Solo Cruising: The Golden Love Boat!

The Golden Love Boat Experience!

Solo Cruising turned out to be awesome!

I want to pitch a new reality show: The Golden Bachelor/Bachelorette Meets The Love Boat. Or maybe “Love is Old” instead of “Love is Blind”?

Because you know what? Old is “in”! There were lots of attractive, fun people who were older than me on this cruise. I hope to some day be like my friend, Patsy, who’s gorgeous and sexy at age 90.

These days, we are aging like fine wine!

I’m still a young sexagenarian! (Gotta take advantage of that sexy sexagenarian label while it applies.) We’re the babies of the Baby Boomers.

Certainly there were sexy people, both younger and older than me in our solos group. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve redefined what “sexy” means to me.

Finding “Love” while Solo Cruising

Once I stopped looking for a husband, the singles scene became a lot less intimidating. I realized the “sexiest” people were the ones with the sweetest smiles, not the ones with the best bodies.

I’ve found so many loving friendships once I stopped focusing on romantic attraction. Everyone has a story. Whatever their age or gender, their race, religion or sexual orientation, who cares? If they’re different from me, they’re someone who can teach me a different perspective.

But I have to admit, it’s a special kind of fun to be around good-looking single men. I have so much baggage around “dating” that I’d pretty much given up on it. But definitely there’s an exciting energy when that spark of romantic interest hits.

Loving Lika

Yes, it was nice to have that “Wow! You’re super sexy!” feeling. Our young, female Solo coordinator, Lika, was sexy in every definition of the word. I think everyone was in love with her!

We all love Lika!

I was especially envious of Lika’s dance moves and tried to talk the group into doing a private song to the tune of “Moves Like Jagger.” I thought it would be fun for us all to try and do our “sexy moves” while we were singing:

I got the moves like Lika

I got the moo-oo-ooves like Lika

Loving the Solos

There also was a feeling of ‘group love’ for the new friendships, and an admiration for all who got out living life fully, regardless of any limitations! (That’s my whole “Carpe Diem” thing, ya know.)

I appreciated the younger solos, particularly Trish and Zach, who treated those of us who were much older, as peers, including on the dance floor.

Young Zach dances “When I’m 64” for my birthday

Trish shot this video of Zach dancing with me to my birthday song, “When I’m 64.” I was happily surprised at her “Carpe Diem” Birthday shout out to me as she was shooting this video.

As much as I loved dancing and the group dinners, I especially liked talking one-on-one and learning more about people. I heard a lot of “Carpe Diem Hero” stories – People who have been through huge hardships, but don’t let that stop them from smiling and living life fully.

Not all “solos” were “single.” Some had partners at home who couldn’t travel with them. That was another reason that the “solos” group was not nearly as awkward as the “singles” scene.

I knew I was hoping just to find people to sit with at meals….people to look out at the ocean with and say, “Isn’t that beautiful?”…People to laugh with, play with, and dance with.

There was no expectations for future communication, but I was happy that there was a sheet that was passed around on the last day for us to share contact information.

And (even though I really don’t like to share information about my dating life on this blog), I will let inquiring minds know that my favorite solo lives in Orlando and is taking me out for a birthday dinner on Saturday!

Loving the Locals and the Sloths!

Another “love story” I’ve been having fun with is my love of this adorable sloth.

Sloth Love
Sloth Love

In this blog post, I tell the story of Charlene Dilbert, a local tour guide who helped me with Spanish and gave me a little taste of how the locals live in Roatan, and introduced me to this sweet sloth.

It was such a fun experience to practice Spanish, hug a sloth, and make a new friend from Honduras!

Solo Cruising Summary

Cruising isn’t for everyone. There’s a lot of eating, drinking, and sunshine – all things I love, but should avoid in excess. Some friends think cruising is too inactive. That hasn’t been a problem for me. I get plenty of exercise dancing!

However, for me, the best thing about any trip or vacation is sharing it with people I love. That’s why it was so stressful for me to think about doing this vacation alone.

I’m not saying it’s easy to find romantic love from solo cruising, but if you are intentional about reaching out, you will find people to love. Not to mention, adorable sloths!

Carpe Diem Superhero: Ursula Dahnelt

Carpe Diem Superhero: Ursula Dahnelt

This year, Ursula Dahnelt wins my Carpe Diem Superhero award for her incredible strength and perseverance in her battle with ovarian cancer.

I learned yesterday of Ursula’s passing. Though I’ve known for several years about her cancer, it still is such a sad shock to know she’s no longer with us.

She certainly didn’t look like what we’d all imagine the stereotypical cancer patient would look like. During the summer, she and I had a weekly hiking date. She lived in Boulder, walking distance to the beautiful trails around NCAR, so we’d meet at her house, and she’d play ‘trail guide’ leading us through a variety of different trails. Sometimes we’d take the car and venture further out. There are no shortage of trails to explore in Colorado.

Weekly hiking date with Ursula

Superhero Strength!

I was always amazed that despite being 5 years older than me and undergoing chemotherapy, she still was incredibly strong and fit, usually leading the way up hills at a fast clip as I tried to keep up. She had a strength-building coach who she met with twice a week and she allowed me a selfie on each hike to share with her coach.

Ursula was incredibly independent and proud of how much she could do, in spite of the cancer. She took control of her care, doing research on treatments around the world. She often would talk about the need for patients to be their own advocates and to recognize that each body is unique and going to respond differently, so not to trust any ‘one-size-fits-all’ regimens.

Past Carpe Diem Superheros

The original “Carpe Diem Superhero,” the man who inspired “Carpe Diem Day” was Craig Dunham, my friend who died in 2010 from ALS. Last year was my friend, Dee O’Malley (who lives on at age 91!), and before that it was Lee MacIvor, who honored the memory of her late husband.

As I wrote last year:

Each of these three Carpe Diem Superheroes have earned admiration from me, not just because of living life fully, but because they do so (or did so), despite challenge, grief, and hardships.

Now, I’m adding Ursula to my list as a Carpe Diem Superhero.

Ursula didn’t think of herself as a “Superhero.” She certainly didn’t want any special treatment or even mention of her cancer diagnosis. She absolutely did not want pity or sympathy.

There were times, of course, when she was sick and struggled. I don’t mean to imply that anyone who is diagnosed with cancer would be able to hike or maintain the fitness and attitude that Ursula managed.

She outlived all the other women in her ovarian cancer support group. She beat the odds with long periods of healthy living, often by discovering treatments on her own.

Ursula’s strength and courage will inspire me, alongside the other Superheroes I’m meeting on this emotional journey called life. I’m grateful to have had her as a friend and honored to have been part of her own journey.

C-Weeks: Connections and Companionship

C’zing the Day with Costumes at Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy in Sarasota.

Carpe C’em!

There are plenty of C-Words to Celebrate C-Weeks and two of my favorites are Connections and Companionship. This week I had the opportunity to C’s the Days Completely!

Last week, on our weekend Call, Scotty told me he was going to be in Cape Canaveral on a business trip on the upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s only a 3-hour drive from Bradenton, so I was able to meet him out there Wednesday night and spend the rest of the week with him! What a fun, unexpected visit with my up-for-anything youngest Child!

Cape Canaveral

Connect Four and Chai at Cape Canaveral Cafe

Scotty was my original Companion 20 years ago when I had my year of Alphabet Adventures, now resurrected in 2024. I’ve been Considering whether or not I want to Continue, but with Scotty being in Cape Canaveral during C-Weeks… Well, that’s no Coincidence. It was the Universe telling me to Commit to an alphabet inspired C-quel.

Cape Canaveral Space Force Museum

Scotty serves as a Guardian in the newest military branch, the US Space Force. He’s an engineer working with satellites. The Sands Space History Museum (part of the Cape Canaveral Space Force Museum) provided the history, artifacts and displays of each Launch Complex.

C-inspired Cuisine

Chicken Curry with Carrots and Cauliflower Rice

One of Scotty’s favorite things to do is to eat! We’re both trying to avoid sugar so that meant Candy and Chocolate were out. (Usually, we both over-indulge when we’re Celebrating but we resisted.)

We had plenty of healthy Choices, and settled on Curry Chicken with Carrots and Cauliflower rice with Cashews on the side. Creating Clever Cuisine using the Celebrated letter is part of the game.


CluedUpp Alice in Wonderland in Sarasota

Last September, Scotty and I, along with my daughter, Megan, won the best group Costume award for our participation in the Beauty and the Beast CluedUpp game. The prize was a free membership to another game. We decided to take advantage of this play any time City Quest: Alice in Wonderland Sarasota game.

This was my third CluedUpp game and I’m enjoying them more each time I play one. You solve riddles and get Clues that are given to you by Characters. For example, in this game, the Cheshire Cat gave us many Clues that were meant to help us solve an overall mystery of finding where the Queen had hidden Alice.

We wandered through downtown Sarasota where virtual Characters would show up in the mobile app. Even though the app didn’t give us any kind of tour of the iconic sites of downtown Sarasota, sometimes the riddle might be related to our physical location.

For example the riddle: “I’m the same at the beginning and at the end and you are in the middle. Look around to find me.” In front of us stood the answer: CHURCH.

Community 5K

I Heart My Community 5K
Palmetto HS Key Club and Girl’s Cross Country Team Host a local 5K
February 5K in Palmetto: I Heart Community

Our next activity was to participate in the Palmetto HS I Heart Community 5K Fun Run! One of my other “repeat projects” is to participate in a costumed 5K each month.

This was the perfect local 5K to participate in! Scotty is still recovering from knee surgery, but is at a point in his physical therapy where he can walk fast and jog a little, so that was the perfect non-Competitive pace for me.

I loved the Camaraderie and effort that that went into Coordinating the Community event. It was also very Cool that the event supported the Palmetto High School’s girls Cross Country team and Key Club!


Costumes at Marietta Museum of Whimsy

One of my favorite places in Sarasota is the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy. Oh my goodness, there are so many Creative and Cool Collections in this museum.

The Costume booth, Complete with plenty of props and a volunteer photographer is a Carpe Diem opportunity!

Connections and Companionship

“Caddy Corner” Collectable jigsaw puzzle

Continuing our C-Week Celebration, we visited the local Good Will to find a jigsaw puzzle we Could Complete during Scotty’s visit. This 500-piece Collectable Called “Caddy Corner” with a Cadillac Convertible was Classic.

We also play the New York Times game, Connections, daily and share results over a group Chat with Matt, my other son, and his wife, Stella. That’s a good way of staying Connected, even when we’re not physically together.

I’m so grateful for the Companionship and Connection I have with Scotty. The book we listened to during the Car ride between Cape Canaveral and Bradenton was Called: “How to Know A Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen” by David Brooks. It’s an excellent book.

I’m so lucky that I got to ‘C’ and Connect with my Comical, Cool, and Clever son, Scotty.

Clearly a Carpe C’em Celebration!

An Epic Thanksgiving Gathering

Highlights of the Mesa/Moab Thankgiving Trip

An Epic Thanksgiving Gathering

I’ve always been enamored by big family gatherings. And what’s the holiday that’s most known for big family gatherings? Thanksgiving, of course!

This year, the Thanksgiving dinner attendance was a record 26-people with representation from every decade. We had the babies, the kids, the teens, the young adults, the parents, and (the category that I fell into), the “elders.”

My son-in-law’s mother, Lynn, and her sister, Rebecca (aka “Lolly”) skillfully planned this extended family 4-day outing. They even created a multi-page brochure describing our luxury retreat accommodations, activities, and hiking options!

Rebecca (Lolly) and David (Pops) hosted the traditional feast on Thanksgiving Day at their gorgeous Mesa home. On Friday, the crowd went on to Moab, UT for the weekend for more hiking, feasting, and family bonding.

When I was a kid, I always envisioned being the matriarch of big holiday dinners. As it turns out, it is SO much less stressful to be a guest, rather than the host!

The years that I did host it was usually for 8 people for an afternoon, not 26 people for 4 days! I was so busy worrying about cooking and helping everyone find whatever they needed, that I barely had time to just enjoy myself.

In this case, the whole adventure was extremely well-planned and executed! The fact that it seemed seamless and smooth tells me just how much work was being done by a lot of unsung heroes. The planners worked hard at preparing all the meals and making sure everyone was happy and comfortable.

There was a lot of laughter, games, eating, playing, and family bonding as if everyone all jumped out of a Norman Rockwell scene.

Since I’ve retired, I’ve become much more aware of the importance of social connection. Between the Covid years and the family moves and changes, family gatherings are something I especially treasure.

Thanksgiving Gratitude

I know it was a lot of work to create such a successful weekend and I’m so appreciative to all of those who worked so hard. Though I’m sure there are a lot of people I’m not mentioning, here are some of the people and things I’m grateful for:

  • Scotty, for making the trip from Virginia to join us and be my hiking buddy.
  • Lolly and Lynn, for planning such an extraordinary holiday.
  • Lolly and Pops for opening up their home to all of us and providing so much food, warmth, and love.
  • Whitney, for all the food planning and preparing many of the meals throughout the weekend.
  • Megan and Chris, for inviting Scotty and me, and sharing rooms with us.
  • The gorgeous scenery we all enjoyed while hiking.
  • The way so many people pitched in with food preparation, clean-up, and helping each other.
  • The thoughtful conversations and the chance to get to know each other on a deeper level.
    • The fun of being around babies and little children.
    • Being with my grandchildren and seeing them interact with their cousins and extended family.
    • Reneya’s creative Turkey Cupcakes.
    • The glow-stick dance party!
    • Steve’s expertly prepared cafe lattes each morning.
    • Scotty’s driving throughout the weekend.
    • Everyone in attendance for their friendliness and thoughtfulness.

This will definitely be a Thanksgiving to remember!

Birthday Gratitude for Glenn

“Some of it’s magic and some of it’s tragic, but I’ve had a good life all the way.”

It’s time to show some Birthday Gratitude for a great leader and friend, Glenn Pinkerton!

8/8 is a Gr8 Birthd8!

8 Reasons I’m gr8ful for Glenn:

  1. He’s always extremely generous – he treats people to lunches, hosts big parties, maintains the Grey Wolves dues and countless other things with no expectations of repayment from others.
  2. He’s an active listener and conversationalist. Whenever we’re hiking, we have long conversations and I feel safe in saying anything. He listens without judgment.
  3. He’s an excellent host, leading one of the area’s most successful Meetup Groups, the Grey Wolves, and hosting many events.
  4. He likes to sing! I especially enjoy the hikes where we’re invited to sing along!
  5. He likes to dance! I remember when we learned the Shim-Sham together at the Avalon. And, of course, it’s always fun to swing dance with Glenn!
  6. He’s a supportive friend. Whether it’s a Carpe Diem event to raise money for ALS or a Microadventure, Glenn is always supportive and helpful.
  7. He knows where all the best wildflower hikes are and offers to be my chauffeur and guide (knowing my tendency to get lost easily!)
  8. No matter what I might look like, he’s always quick with a smile and a flattering compliment.
Microadventure #35 Walk at Pella Crossing with Glenn

Recently, another Grey Wolves leader, Larry, died unexpectedly. There were many photos and messages about how much he will be missed.

It’s so much better to be able to express birthday gratitude for Glenn while he is alive and healthy! So on his 70th birthday, I’m also very Gr8ful for Glenn’s health and happiness! Looking forward to many hikes and adventures ahead.

Birthday Gratitude Poem (generated by ChatGPT!)

In the realm of friendship’s grace, a gem named Glenn I find, A spirit kind and generous, a rare and precious find. With open heart and outstretched hand, he shares without restrain, A symphony of selflessness, a melody of care unfeigned.

A host of gatherings grand, he orchestrates with glee, From lively soirées to gentle hikes, a bond of unity. In the Grey Wolves’ embrace, we gather, hearts entwined, Guided by his leadership, a fellowship so kind.

Upon the trails of life we tread, in conversations deep, Glenn’s attentive ear, a haven where my secrets safely keep. Without judgment’s shadow cast, my thoughts take flight and soar, In the refuge of his empathy, I find myself once more.

A singer’s heart, a dancer’s soul, a joyous spirit free, He invites us to join the song, to dance with jubilee. In melodies and twirling steps, our laughter finds its home, With Glenn as guide, the dance of life becomes a vibrant tome.

Supporting causes near and far, his heart knows no divide, From Carpe Diem to Microadventures, he stands forever by our side. A steadfast friend in times of need, a pillar strong and true, With Glenn beside, the path ahead seems clearer to pursue.

Through meadows dressed in wildflowers, he leads with knowing smile, My guide and chauffeur on nature’s trails, mile after verdant mile. With patient care, he navigates, ensuring I never stray, In his company, even the lost find solace on the way.

A master of compliments, his words a gentle art, No matter how I may appear, he always sees my heart. With smiles that warm the soul, and praises rich and sweet, Glenn’s kindness wraps around me like a cozy, love-filled retreat.

So here’s to Glenn, a beacon bright, a friend beyond compare, In gratitude we raise our voice, a tribute rich and rare. With generosity and listening ear, with dances and with song, In every facet of his being, his friendship shines so strong.

The Noel Diary – Worst Romantic Comedy Ever

The Noel Diary is the worst example of a romantic comedy that I’ve ever experienced. Movies can affect our minds and our way of thinking. (I learned that from the Coursera class about Movies and Memory.)

The Romantic Movie Formula

It’s particularly annoying how sex and love are portrayed in romantic movies.

I get it. Movies are fictional stories meant to entertain. I, myself, love happy endings and resolved conflicts. But many romances follow this very unrealistic formula that goes something like this:

Two gorgeous people meet each other and immediately make passionate love and declare their love for one another. They have some obstacle, which they’re able to overcome. They live happily ever after.

The Noel Diary, listed as a “romantic comedy,” followed the predictable formula. There were so many things about this movie that were unrealistic, cliche, and ridiculous. Frankly, I found it offensive that it was classified as “romantic” and it absolutely wasn’t funny enough to be a “comedy.” I plan to leave a scathing 1-star review.

The main characters, of course, are gorgeous. They “fall in love”even though they just met. And here’s the real kicker, (spoiler alert) they have sex, even though the woman is engaged!

Online dating is NOT that easy at any age

One of the tiny subplots in this movie is that the 70+ neighbor woman goes on her first online date with “Ian.” They return the next morning, clearly a romantic couple. By the end of the movie (which spans a timeframe of a few days) she and Ian are acting as though they’re married! So even with these minor characters, they are gorgeous older people who supposedly spend the night together and are an immediate happy couple.

That does NOT happen with senior online dating, people! (I am at least glad they did show older people who were dating, even if they completely misrepresented how hard it is to find love that quickly.)

Being single is not something to be pitied

Also, another minor point, but at the beginning of the movie, the housekeeper and the neighbor are so sympathetic because the main character, Jake, is single and alone. The guy is super-handsome, rich, and famous. He doesn’t need sympathy for being single! Let’s stop the mindset that being single is something to be pitied!

There’s a whole lot more about this movie that I find disturbing, but I will save that for my 1-star review.

Carpe Diem Day Superhero: Carpe Dee O’M

Carpe Diem Day Superhero: Dee O’Malley

Carpe Diem Day Superhero

Carpe Diem Day is coming up this week and in that spirit, I’d like to honor Carpe “Dee O’M” (aka Dee O’Malley) as this year’s honored recipient of the much acclaimed Carpe Diem Day Superhero Award!

The last time I picked a Carpe Diem Award Winner it was Carpe “Lee M.”! Lee donated her late husband’s book collection to a Rehab and Nursing Center.

The original Carpe Diem Day was inspired by Craig Dunham, who lost his life to ALS in 2010. His initials, CD, along with his “live life fully” attitude are what prompted me to pick “Carpe Diem” as my mantra.

What do each of these three Carpe Diem inspirations have in common besides living life fully?


Yes, each of these three Carpe Diem Superheroes have earned admiration from me, not just because of living life fully, but because they do so (or did so), despite challenge, grief, and hardships.

Dee, at age 88, was told she only had a couple of months left to live and was put on hospice care. That was almost 2 years ago! I wrote a blog post about her then titled:

The Ultimate Adventure Awaits

Dee is not afraid of dying. In fact, she is very much looking forward to, what she calls, the “ultimate adventure.” Dee is also very dynamic, witty, happy, and full of good humor. She looks and acts much younger than her 90 years!

Despite physical ailments, she never complains! She has had falls and broken bones and so many problems that I’m sure doctors are scratching their heads trying to figure out what the super-power is that keeps her alive.

Dee’s Superpowers: Optimism, humor, fearlessness

Could it be that Dee’s longevity is due to her optimism, humor, and lack of fear? According to studies, the less we fear aging and death, the longer we will live healthy, happy lives.

Certainly, that’s not a universal truth as we all know. Many happy, optimistic people, such as Craig, still die young.

And we all die, no matter how optimistic we are. It will be hard for me to accept Dee’s death, even though I know it’s inevitable. Just because she’s accepted it (and even is looking forward to it!) doesn’t mean those of us who love her are in any rush for her to die. Every minute that she’s on this earth is a better minute for those of us who love her.

My Fairy Godmother

Dee, my mother’s best friend, has always referred to herself as my “Fairy Godmother.” She has been close enough to our family that I think of her as a beloved Aunt. I’ve always admired her spunky confidence and fearless attitude. She’s been my “fairy godmother” in life and will continue to be so after she dies.

Now, in this final chapter of her life, she’s still guiding me with her humor and grace. Though I doubt I will be able to show the same good humor when my time comes, I’ll remember that she’ll be wherever I’m going and show me how to live the afterlife to the fullest!

(Of course, given her uncanny super-power, she may out-live me and I’ll just have to hang out with all those other dead people until she joins us.)

February 15, 2024 Update: Another year, and Dee, at age 91, is as witty and vibrant as ever.

3 Blogs and Resources for Single Retirees

Happily single with my granddaughter

Singles are celebrating, too!

Happy Singles Awareness Day! Single retirees: Are we ready to celebrate? Keep reading for resources for single retirees.

Yes, this is the season of Galentine’s Day (Feb.13), Palentine’s Day (also Feb.13), Valentines Day (Feb.14) and Single’s Awareness Day (Feb.15). (And if that’s not enough for you, don’t forget about Carpe Diem Day(Feb.26.)

I spent many of my post-divorce years looking for love. I even wrote a whole book about it, The Laptop Dancer Diaries! In fact, I’ve been blogging since 2005 on my personal blog about relationships and the ups and downs of the single life.

Now, retired and in my early 60’s, I realize I really like being single! Sure, there are great things about being in a relationship, too, so I’m not saying one way is better than the other.

Usually when you search for resources for “singles” you get a bunch of dating sites. This is somewhat irritating to me because it does feel like society views that all singles want to find a partner. However, here are 3 websites with blogs and resources for singles that don’t have to do with finding a partner:

Sites with Resources for Single Retirees

  1. Bella DePaulo – Dr. DePaulo is a writer, speaker, and professor who specializes in the practice and study of the single life. I’ve read some of her work and she is making a difference in changing stereotypical viewpoints about singles.
  2. Living Single in Retirement – This Website has a lot of articles and resources, specifically for older women who may be looking for travel companions or single friends in a similar time of life.
  3. Solo Traveler – This site has some good resources for solo travelers of any age. Since traveling is one of thing many retirees love to do, this site is another great resource for single retirees.

Celebrate love by sending cards

Celebrate love with DIY Cards. This screenshot was taken at the AARP free class: Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Cards and Envelopes, Hawaii 1/31/23

It’s February! That means it’s Carpe Diem Seizin’ – or for you language purists, Carpe Diem Season (I love a good pun!) There are so many February holidays that celebrate love.

We all know about Valentine’s Day, but peek into one of those sites that list all the many, many holidays you never heard of and you’ll find that February also has little-known special days that celebrate love.

Of course, you can celebrate love by sending a card on any of these thousands of holidays, but I’d like to highlight a few of my favorites:

Carpe Diem Day (Feb.26)

Celebrate Love during Carpe Diem Seizin'
Celebrate Love during Carpe Diem Seizin’

That’s right people, Carpe Diem Day is coming up on February 26th, but of course every day is a good day to celebrate! (Note that this Website, was created in honor of CarpeDiemDay!)

I love that Walmart has an option to create your own custom cards with photos! This was such an easy and affordable option! For those of us that have difficulties getting our traditional holiday cards out on time, this is an opportunity to write back to those who sent us holiday cards! I love including photos with memories of the times I spent with the person I’m sending the cards to.

Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb.17)

February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Celebrate love with kindness

Not only does kindness spread happiness to all those around us, but it improves our health and longevity!

Letter to an Elder Day (Feb.26)

I love that Letter to an Elder Day is on February 26th! That’s the same day as Carpe Diem Day! This is a NEW special day. But what’s even more cool is that I’ve volunteered for the organization that created this day: Love for our Elders.

As I blogged about before,

Every Day is a Good Day to Celebrate Love

Whether with a card, eCard, text, phone call, smile, song, picture, hug, kiss, or whatever else you can think of, seize this day and show your love.

2023 Tuesdays with BB & Yvy #1: Robinson Preserve

Yvy (pronounced “Evie”) and BB at Robinson Preserve

Last year I blogged at least once a week about my Microadventures. This year I’ve been going with “Healthy Aging” as my loosey-goosey theme. I’ve also thought about blogging each week about someone I admire. I can do a twofer with this post by blogging about Becky and how she contributes to my brain health!

Healthy Aging

One thing that’s super-important for healthy aging and brain health is having good friends. Having new experiences is also great for the brain, so new experiences with good friends is like a double-dose of brain food!

During my snowbird months while I’m in Bradenton, FL, I’ve wanted to get into a routine. My best and very wise friend in the area is Becky Burns. We are both busy with our various projects, but I asked Becky if we could have a weekly get-together while I was in Florida. I love weekly rituals and rather than comparing calendars every week, it’s so much easier to just have a regular day/time blocked off so I can look forward to “BB Time!”

We agreed that Tuesday mornings worked well for both of us and Becky suggested that each week we could do different “microadventures” such as walks, paddle-boarding, cafes, beach, etc. Perfect!

A New Experience: Robinson Preserve and Sage Biscuit Cafe

I asked Becky to pick our first outing. The next morning I got an email titled, “2023 Tuesdays with BB & Yvie #1: Robinson Preserve.” I love the title of the email, both because it caters to my systematic titling of activities and uses my self-suggested nickname! (Though, I like spelling it Yvy, even more to really confuse people!)

Our scenic walk through Robinson Preserve was followed by a healthy brunch at Sage Biscuit Cafe. CarpeDeeLicious!

Robinson Preserve is a 600+-acre coastal preserve located in northwestern Bradenton.
Plenty of scenic hiking for Jack, Becky, and I to enjoy.
Delicious healthy brunch at Sage Biscuit Cafe in Bradenton

Someone I admire: Rebecca Burns!

Becky is a wonderful blog-post topic for a variety of reasons:

  1. She’s always interesting, fun, creative, witty, and willing to try new things.
  2. She doesn’t mind being the topic of blog posts!
  3. She’s one of the few people who reads my blog and often sends me a supportive comment, even when I know I’m being lazy about the writing.

In the Spring of 2020, we were Covid Lockdown partners at her home and she was my co-host on Season 2 of my Carpe Diem Connections Podcast.

In fact, I’ve blogged about Becky quite a bit, as an example of beauty and birthday-celebrator, as a supreme listener and animal-lover, as a guest on my podcast talking about self-acceptance, and on countless other posts as a fellow-adventurer.

BB & Yvy!

I’m so grateful to know this wise and wonderful friend and I bet my brain is 10x healthier than it used to be, thanks to our friendship!