My 15

A number of bloggers that I follow have taken Nancy’s suggestion to write a post of 15 random facts about themselves. Well, I’m jumping into the mix, but rather than just a general post of details from various parts of my life, I’m going to use this spark to jumpstart an update post.  It’s been awhile. Here goes:

1. We got a new dog a month ago to try to fill the void left by our much loved Zoey. It took a couple of months of searching–applying to a local border collie rescue, checking out Petfinder every day– before we found this roly poly, ball of fur at the County Line Pet Hospital on Chicago’s Far South Side.


She was named Panda by the shelter–and considering that she is at least 20 pounds overweight–the name fit. Her extra weight is really ‘weighing’ her down and we have put her on a diet and exercise regiment to see if we can get her to a much trimmer, zippier, healthier weight. Channeling a healthier dog, we have renamed her Zora Belle, after one of Terry’s grandmothers.


Zora is quite the poser.


And except for a few glitches, gets along well with Bleu.


2. It’s been a year since we moved back to Chicago from New Orleans. A year! Wow. And that was one of the more intense moves of my life!

3. I raced with 7 other novice rowers in the Chicago Sprints this past weekend. Can’t believe that 4 months ago I had never heard about ROW, 3 months ago none of the 8 of us had ever rowed on the water, and a month ago we had never rowed on the 8s or feathered our strokes. One of the most intense and craziest experiences of my 40s!


4. After a year sabbatical/gap year/furlough/leave of absence, I am easing back into the work force with a summer gig with a very large textbook/publishing company as a curriculum trainer.

5. Snoring Round 2. Two years ago, immediately after a Lupron Depot shot put me into menopause, my annoying snoring intensified to the point that Terry started sleeping in another room. I did a sleep study, was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea and prescribed a C-Pap machine. 18 months later, my C-Pap machine was driving me crazy and I was being very non-compliant in its use. The combination of mask and night sweats sucked. So, on top of all of the other new University of Chicago doctors I have visited this past year, I also went to a sleep specialist in January. After a new sleep study, it turns out my sleep apnea has jumped up to severe (lucky me) and she recommended pursuing a dental appliance for snoring (a specially fitted device on the lines of a dental retainer). Another specialist, another sleep study to see if I was a candidate. It turns out I am. Yeah! I pick it up Thursday and get to try it out vacationing next week at Isle Royale.

6. After 2 years of chemically induced menopause, my period is back. Hello? My body is so whacked!

7. As a result of #7, my doctor went into precautionary testing mode. Cruising along one minute, yanked off into reactionary overdrive the next, necessitating blood tests, an ultrasound, an endometrial biopsy (ouch!!!), and waiting for results. BC medicines such as Tamoxifen can lead to endometrial cancer and so my doctor wanted to make sure everything was ok. I found out last week that everything is ok. Yes.

8. Another reason I am glad to be back in the Home Triangle: a Girls’ Weekend is doable. Last month a couple of my old Chicago friends, Carol and Grace, came back into town for the weekend, along with my sister, and we had a great time catching up! Barb and I even went to see Mumford & Sons in concert one night.

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9. It’s been over 6 or 7 years since we have had the sunfish out on Lake Charlevoix. We finally pulled it out over the 4th of July weekend and I loved being able to take my teenage niece and nephew out for their first small sailboat experience!

10. Speaking of water sports, Terry and I got new kayaks. We are going to take them up to Isle Royale next week. So excited!


11. Can’t believe that a year ago we found out my sister Barb had breast cancer, too.

12. I’ve reconnected with a number of Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean friends this past year which has been awesome. Follower-of-my-Blog-Extraordinaire Kelly Suhoza came into Chicago in November with her family. Jen R was in town for a wedding in the spring and we were able to catch up, while Mary T came in and we went to Detroit to check out the Kahlo/Rivera special exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts as well as the Heidelberg Project. Mary and I also checked out Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art here in Chicago which is a gem.

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13. One of my dad’s cousins has hired a genealogist in Switzerland to do some digging of our ancestors. I’m very excited that she has put together this cool map of where these ancestors lived. I sure do want to do some genealogy tours in the near future!


14. Went to the very special wedding of Terry’s brother Jason to the beautiful Kristin in May. Great time–and wasn’t Terry looking quite dapper?

15. Now that we are closer to family, they can come visit more often!

That was good! Glad Nancy prompted so many of us to write. And here is one postscript:

16. I’m watching “Purple Rain” on VH1 tonight. I remember going to see this movie when it was released in 1984 at the old Mai Kai Theater in Livonia, Michigan. I was 16 and drove to the show with a couple of friends. Good memories.

10 thoughts on “My 15

  1. Love the rowing video the the new roly poly dog!!! And I was named! Yes, I loyally follow your posts and love the slideshows! Will call you back soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Weekly Round Up | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  3. Loved this post and getting to know you! I currently live in Chicagoland, but am from NYC originally. I totally admire you for your rowing; that’s so awesome. Your dog is absolutely adorable!


    • Hi Beth!

      Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, but our vacation last week was in the Upper Peninsula and out at Isle Royale where the internet is a little sketchy. Thanks so much for sending a message! I’ve followed your blog as well and have meant to send you a message this past year knowing you are in Chicagoland. You should come out and try rowing yourself! 🙂 ROW is having a mid-summer learn-to-row intensive this week for women to try out the sport. Here is some basic info:

      ROW 1 Three-day Intensive
      Just as we did at the beginning of the season we will be holding a three-day ROW 1 intensive at the end of this month. Over the three days of the intensive survivors new to rowing as well as any current ROW 1 members who want to get back down to the basics will start on the ergs at ROW HQ day 1, then move to the tanks at Clark Park for day 2, and finally out on to the water on day 3. We already have a few newbies signed up as well as some experienced ROW 1 members but we encourage everybody to reach out to any survivors they know to join us even if only for the intensive. We all know what can happen once you’re bit by the rowing bug- and YOU are our best recruiters.

      Check out for more info.

      Think about it! 🙂 Even coming out only on Saturday would be cool…

      Regardless, it would be fun to meet at some point in the near future.



  4. Hi JoAnn,
    I must apologize for missing this post. I tried to make the rounds when others joined in this challenge, but I missed yours. Sorry. It was great fun to read them all, including yours. Of course, I was immediately drawn to #1 on your list since as you may or may not know, we recently lost our golden to cancer. I love Panda, or I guess I should say, Zora Belle. Great name. We’ve pretty much decided to go with one dog for a while, but looking at your two makes me want to possibly rethink this. You sound like quite an accomplished person and I sure enjoyed the photos you shared here. Sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis. That’s too bad. Thank you for taking part in this challenge. And again, I’m sorry to be so late.


    • Hi Nancy! No worries, mine was written a couple of weeks after your initial post! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. I had meant to send you condolences when you lost your golden; it’s so hard to lose such great companions. I’m glad we gave ourselves 6 months to mourn Zoey’s loss, but appreciate that we decided to go with a pair. They keep each other company and give us even more love than just one. But the hair…they are shedding up a storm right now preparing for their winter coats. Ugh. 🙂


  5. Pingback: Zora’s Own Post | Searching for EMWA

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