Who can you go skinny dipping with, in the middle of the night, while on a retreat? Your girlfriends! Yep, I did that! I know it sounds weird, but it was, first of all, a contemplative, almost ritualistic moment, then it was a whole lot of giggling. Out of my comfort zone? You bet, and I would do it again.  We were all over 50 and it was so much fun.


I am very much an introvert. I am comfortable being alone. So comfortable, in fact, that I forget I need to socialize until my girlfriends remind me. I don’t realize how much I miss and need them until I’m with them. My girlfriends are the glue that holds me together. They are there to laugh with me, to get angry on my behalf, to help me see reason, to be honest with me, to get silly with me, to push me to do new things or sometimes just to be there for me.

friends 1
friends 1

Last night I went out with a couple of girlfriends I hadn’t seen in a while, nothing spectacular, dinner and margaritas. We did some catching up, laughed a lot, and it was like we had just talked the day before. Recently I reconnected with another friend that I hadn’t seen in years. We picked up right where we left off, we “get” each other, we still connect emotionally, and there’s no judgment, that’s how friendships should be. I have a few other friendships I’d like to rekindle. I’m looking to strengthen my tribe.

girls gone wild

As women, we need to have girlfriends. We need to cultivate and keep those friendships. Girlfriends are important to us mentally, physically and emotionally. Let’s keep those friendships going ladies!

old friends






The Struggle is Real

I seriously struggle with boundaries. Setting a boundary is me making a rule, so others know how far they can push me, and what will happen if they push me past that point. Setting a boundary is protection against being used, abused or manipulated. It is meant to give me a sense of self -respect. It is to remind me that I am no less important than anyone else.

I’ll admit I have trouble saying no, and when I do, I feel guilty. I sometimes let other people define who I am. I rarely speak up when I’m being treated badly. It’s much easier to not rock the boat.

So, now I’m trying to rock the boat in order to take control of my life. I’ll learn to be selfish (not a lot, just a bit) and not put myself on the back burner. I’ll learn to say no. I’ll learn to communicate better when someone crosses the line, is disrespectful, or inappropriate. I will learn to love and trust myself.

It’s never too late to start rocking the boat, right?




Revisiting Kindness

We have talked about being kind to others, now let’s talk about being kind to ourselves. You are someone you should cherish. You can start with these 10 simple self-care tips :

  1. Take a nap – reduces stress, boosts creativity
  2. Eat healthily – nourish your body to feel and look better
  3. Move – get up and do something, do yoga, take a walk or put on some music and dance!
  4. Pamper yourself – soak in a hot bath, get a relaxing face massage, new haircut or a pedicure
  5. Unplug –  no social media, no emails, no internet…nothing
  6. Create something (anything) – plant, paint, build, bake
  7. Do something new – get out of your comfort zone and be bold
  8. Be still – find a beautiful place and just be still
  9. Laugh – loud and often
  10. Just be you – YOU ARE AMAZING


Is it ever okay to lie?

Is lying a black and white area, or are there shades of gray? Say you are at work, a co-worker tells you they lied about something and asks you to keep it to yourself. They also let you know that if they are confronted regarding the situation, they will deny everything.

moral dilemma

Do you keep it to yourself? Do you tell the boss? Do you suggest to your co-worker that they should “come clean” with the boss? Is your decision based on whether it’s a BIG lie or a tiny lie?

What would you do and why?right

For the Young and the Young At Heart

50 fun activities for $5 and under, in Indianapolis, IN.  Not in Indiana? I’m sure where ever you are has some similar activities. This list courtesy of INDY’S CHILD Indiana’s #1 parenting resource.

  1. Visit several local museums during Free Museum Days Many museums around Indianapolis offer free admission on different dates throughout the year. Free.
  2. Try for a turkey with Indy’s Kids Bowl Free Program!  Children participating must register online beforehand. Free.
  3.  Discover Garfield Park Conservatory offers a wide range of engaging and fun programs for all ages. General admission is $2/per person (after March 31), special events $4 per person, $10 per family(2 adults max. per family), 2 and under free.
    • Upcoming Special Events
      • June 2-3: Bonsai Show
  4. Take in the fresh air on one of Indianapolis’ hiking trails
  5. Climb away on the Treehouses at Flat Fork Creek.  Free.
  6. Pack a picnic for the Concerts on the Canal.  Free seating in the lawn.
  7. Get your cat fix at Nine Lives Cat Café. To visit with the cats, it’s $3 per person for a half hour, or $5 per person for a full hour. The fees collected go directly to caring for the cats and providing them a good home.
  8. Catch a $1 movie at local Regal Cinemas.
  9. Try over 100 different restaurants on the Indy’s Child Kids Eat Free list.
  10. Splash around at the Monon Center’s Waterpark. General admission is reduced to $5 for adults and $4 for youth ages after 4pm each day.
  11. Jam out at a FREE outdoor concertFree
  12. Check out a local splash pad.
  13. Go creek stomping at Marott ParkFree
  14. Build sandcastles, swim, or simply soak up the sun at Saxony Beach.  It is free to Fishers residents, and $1 for non-residents.
  15. Don’t let the rainy days deter you!  Check out “The Park”, a giant indoor playground, at Trader’s Point Christian Church.  Free.
  16. Foster imagination at the Museum of Miniature houses!  Admission is $5 for kids aged 3-9.
  17. Respect the law, and learn all about it, at The Indiana State Police Museum.  Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
  18. Enjoy a free Morning Movie at Goodrich Quality TheatersFree
  19. Take a self-guided tour at  Trader’s Point Creamery! $2 per person (kids 4 and under free)
  20. Jam out under The Sails or explore inside the Eiteljorg every Wednesday of the summer from 5pm-8pm.  Free
  21. Make a splash during Goldfish Swim Schools family swim. Family swim is just $5 per person with a max of $15 per family.
  22. Check out the Indycar Factory!  $5/children 12 and under + senior citizens; FREE for kids 4 and under.
  23. Skate away during $2 Tuesday Nights at Skateland. $2 for skates, and $2 for admission.
  24. Visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum to learn about the fastest sport in the world!  $5/youth ages 6-15, free for ages 5 and under.
  25. Putt on over to Just 4 Fun on Wednesdays to receive a special on mini golf and go karts! $4 cost each.
  26. Explore the brand new KidCity at Greenwood Community Center. This brand new indoor playground is just $4 per child and adults are free.
  27. Visit the interactive and fun Holliday Park Nature CenterFree.
  28. Enjoy $5 per person admission to The Children’s Museum on the first Thursday of the month.
  29. Tour the track used for the Indy 500 on an IMS bus, complete with narration.  $5 tickets for kids 6-15, children under 5 are free.
  30. Scope out The Carmel Fire Buffs and Fire Department Museum.  Donation at the door recommended.
  31. Walk around the Indianapolis Art Center!  Free.
  32. Discover Indiana Flora and Fauna at the Zion Nature CenterFree.
  33. Explore The Learning Curve at Central LibraryFree.
  34. Explore a new playground.
  35. Gear up for Laser Tag at X-Site for $5 games on Fridays.
  36. Check out Ultimate Guide to Story Times in Indianapolis offering many FREE stories times throughout the week.
  37. Go climb a tree inside at The Treehouse at Plainfield Christian ChurchFree.
  38. Race family and friends on bikes, foot, or blades on the Monon Trail.  Free.
  39. Visit Mass Ave on Sundays to explore fun stores without paying for the parking meter!
  40. Take advantage of a rainy day by going to Cornerstone Lutheran Church. Free.
  41. Make reading fun with dogs!  Indy Reads Books Paws to Read Program uses therapy trained dogs to help build confidence.  Free.
  42. Stomp out the creek on a nice spring day at  Cool Creek Park.  Free.
  43. Spend a day at Eagle Creek!  The park includes hiking trails, a swimming beach, a playground, and various boat rentals.  $5 per car.
  44. Weather shouldn’t stand in your way of having fun at the pool, head over to Indy Island Aquatic Center and enjoy their indoor waterpark. Kids ages 3-17 is $4 on weekdays, and $5 on weekends. Adults is $5 on weekdays and $6 on weekends.
  45. Ride the monorail downtown – catch it at Methodist Hospital and ride the loop. Free
  46. Road trip down to Columbus to play on one of Indiana’s largest indoor playgrounds, the Commons. Free.
  47. Take a walk through Broad Ripple and stop at the Rainbow Bridge to feed the ducks. (This change is mine: DO NOT FEED THEM BREAD. Feed them corn (canned, frozen, or fresh), peas (same deal), seeds, oats, or rice.
  48. Explore the iconic ruins of Holliday ParkFree.
  49. Lock your kids up at the Hamilton County Museum of History and old jailFree.
  50. Try over 100 different restaurants on the Indy’s Child Kids Eat Free list.


Kindness Does Matter

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return” – eden ahbez

When we show acts of love and kindness to others it also makes us feel more love and kindness towards ourselves. Some small simple things, a smile, a compliment, holding open a door, saying good morning, can have a huge impact on someone including you! We get into that daily blah, blah, blah, rat race and forget that every small interaction with someone is an opportunity to have a positive impact on both of our lives.
Everyone wants to feel needed, noticed and loved whether they know it or not.  A little compliment, “love your shoes”, or “cute haircut”, can make someone smile and feel good about themselves. It’s simple and quick, it can be free (up to you), and there is great return on your investment. Kindness does matter.
I propose to you, a 30 day kindness challenge.  I’ll do it too.  Every day engage in 1 random act of kindness (or more, if the spirit moves you). Every night before you go to bed, reflect on the kindness you gave away and maybe, the kindness you received.  If you follow through with this, I promise you will feel better about yourself and life in general. Let me know what kindness you have spread.
 Some ideas:
  1. Hold the door for someone
  2. Smile at someone
  3. Give a stranger a compliment
  4. Help someone with packages
  5. Make dinner for a family in need
  6. Leave kind comments on social media
  7. Walk a neighbor’s dog
  8. Let someone go in front of you in line
  9. Let someone merge in front of you (with a smile on your face)
  10. Donate your clothes of other household type things
  11. Call a parent or grand parent just to talk, ask them about their youth
  12. Pick up litter
  13. Pay for the car behind you at the drive thru
  14. Write letters to soldiers
  15. Take coloring books and crayons to the children’s ward at a hospital
Beaucoup d’amour, mes amis!

But you don’t look sick

I have lupus. I get lots of skepticism and lots of unsolicited advice. Here is a small list of things people with invisible illness (like me) wish healthy people would not say.

  1. But you don’t look sick. To me this is like judging a book by its cover.
  2. You would feel better if you ate healthier. What time will you be serving me that meal you are preparing? Sometimes I’m just too exhausted to fix a meal.
  3. Everyone gets tired. Yes, but your kind of tired is not like mine. If I ignore my kind of tired, I will most likely pay for it with a flare up.
  4. I wish I had time to take a nap. Napping is not something I want to do, it is something I need to do.
  5. You should get more exercise. I’m doing the best I can. My body hurts even without exercise. Exercise won’t fix my immune system.
  6.  Have you tried…? Yes, I probably have.
  7.  You should stop taking so many medications, it’s not good for you. I don’t like taking all of these, but I know what happens when I don’t. The medicine helps me get through my days, feeling somewhat normal.
  8.  It could be worse.  Yes, I know. Right now handling this is pretty hard though.

Lupus can affect the body in many invisible ways. Headaches, kidney problems, blood issues, heart and lung issues, brain and spinal cord issues.  A person with lupus or any other invisible illness is not whining, or attention seeking, or complaining  just to complain. They are not making things up. Let them know you believe them. Learn what you can about their illness to better understand it. Be aware that not everyone with that illness has the same symptoms, try not to generalize. Be understanding when they cancel at the last-minute and try not to make them feel guilty when they don’t answer the phone or text. They really are trying their best.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I (we) appreciate it.

Beaucoup d’amour, mes amis! (Much love my friends!)







More Book Reviews

The Girl With No Name – Diney Costeloe

Interesting read about the some tragedies of WW II. The story follows a young German girl from her journey on the Kindertransport, to the Blitz, to after the war. Heart warming and harrowing with lots of twists and turns, I would recommend this book.


My Grape Year – Laura Bradbury

If you are interested in learning about France or are already in love with it, this is a must read.  Laura Bradbury brilliantly writes about her year, as exchange student, in the Burgundy region of France. My Grape Year is an entertaining and informative book. I look forward to reading the other three books in the Grape Series.


A Strange Beginning – Gretta Curran Browne

I found myself loving this book. I picked it up on a whim. I honestly had no idea how interesting and quirky Lord Byron’s life was. I’m looking forward to the second book.


House By the River – Lena Manta

This book is about the individual lives of five sisters, their relationships with each other and with their mother. Each sister’s story was very similar and sometimes a bit tedious. I had some difficulty remember what happened to which sister. That being said, I  did finish the book and I’m glad I did.


Tuscan Roots – Angela Petch

I enjoyed this book. I liked the writing style and history lessons are never a bad thing. I believe the story is based the lives of real people, making it all the more interesting. I highly recommend Tuscan Roots.  Bonus: there is a sequel, Now and Then in Tuscany.


Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Things are hopping at the racetrack. Here are some nuggets of information about the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

June 5, 1909: Indy stages its first race. As construction crews toil below, the racers soar high above the surface—in gas balloons.

1911: Forty-six cars enter the first “500-mile Sweepstakes,” 44 show up, and 40 qualify. Qualifying consists of sustaining 75 mph for a quarter-mile down Indy’s front straight.

Paying $1 each for grandstand seats, 80,200 spectators turn out for the first 500.

Riding mechanics were mandatory at the Indy 500 from 1912 to 1922 and 1930 to 1937, but teams later abandoned two-man cars after World War II to cut down on weight and improve aerodynamics.

1913: Frenchman Jules Goux  chugged champagne at each of six pit stops.  He’s the first European winner and the first to go 500 miles without a relief driver.

New rule for 1914: No alcohol consumption while racing.

World War I keeps European entries away in 1916. The grid is the smallest ever: 21 cars. The race distance is shortened to 300 miles. Attendance is slim.

April 6, 1917:  America enters WWI, and racing is suspended for the duration. The Speedway becomes an aviation-repair facility and airport.

The track was paved with 3.2 million bricks after the gravel and tar surface caused several deaths. A three-foot strip of those original bricks still exists on the starting line.

Three-time winner, Louis Meyer cooled off with a bottle of buttermilk in Victory Lane. An executive with the Milk Foundation was so happy to see the moment captured in next day’s newspaper, he made sure to supply the beverage in the years following.

60 drivers, mechanics and spectators have died as a result of on-track accidents and debris. One of the worst tragedies came in 1931, when a wreck by race leader Billy Arnold sent a stray tire flying out of the racetrack and across a street, where it struck and killed 11-year-old Wilbur Brink as he played in his front yard.

It is said that Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Colosseum and the Vatican City can all fit inside the track.

13 nationalities were represented by the 33 drivers in the 2009 Indianapolis 500.

If you lined up all of the hot dogs and brats sold at the 500, they would wrap 3 times around the track.

24,000 pounds of track fries and more than 475 gallons of ketchup are consumed.

Fans drink approximately 15,000 gallons each of Coco-cola and Miller Lite.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the hardest to leave sports venue in the world. It takes a long, long time to empty the place. Some experienced fans wait at least three hours after the race before they make their way to their cars.

So there you have it race fans.  This year’s Indy 500 is only 5 days away. Are you ready for the Greatest Spectical in Racing?