Hello Blog World, part deux!

I started blogging on September 9, 2013 at the suggestion of a friend who knew I was in the middle of a major lifestyle/health change and it has been a great tool and a lot of fun too!

Now four years later I am still blogging and we are in the midst of awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Irma.  Not much of a day to get out and celebrate, everything is closed, rightfully so.  So while I still have power I am putting out this little post.


Getting ready for a hurricane is no fun at all.



In Tampa Bay we were spared as compared to other parts of the state.  Feeling blessed and thankful to God that most everyone I know is safe and well.  Continued prayers for those in the Keys, Naples/Venice, Jax, GA and other Polk County to the east of us who in our area took a very hard hit!


Hurricane Irma Thoughts

Living in Tampa, Florida for over 30 years, I have seen storms come and go but I have not witnessed such collective concern over an impending storm.  Hurricane Harvey seemed to been the “wake up call” that Floridians needed to take approaching storms more seriously.  But, has there ever been an “Irma” threatening the state?  In reality, not really but Hurricane Andrew ravished Homestead and other areas of Florida in August 1992.   This are photos post Andrew and Irma is slated to be far more destructive than Andrew.  (from the weather channel)  It is difficult to imagine anything more destructive but looks like that is what we are facing now.

An aerial view of Dade County, Florida published on August 24, 1992, showing damage from Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 hurricane which devastated the state in 1992, and one of the most destructive hurricanes in the history of the United States. Hurricane Andrew did extensive damage to homes in South Florida, leaving little behind in its wake. One million people were evacuated and 54 died in this hurricane. Hurricane Irma, which is headed towards South Florida, is slated to cause more damage than Andrew. (Credit: Bob Epstein, FEMA News Photo)  Uneven damage pattern in Lakes by the Bay development in the greater Miami area after Hurricane Andrew. August 1992. Hurricane Andrew did extensive damage to homes in South Florida, leaving little behind in its wake. One million people were evacuated and 54 died in this hurricane. Hurricane Irma, which is headed towards South Florida, is slated to cause more damage than Andrew. (Credit: NOAA Photo Library)

Florida Governor Scott has closed all schools, universities and state offices until at least Tuesday, September 12, 2017 and maybe longer depending on what happens between Saturday and Monday evenings.  People are crowding highways and toll roads trying to escape South Florida where landfall is predicted to happen sometime early on Sunday morning.  With a storm 500 miles wide and the whole state of Florida only 361 miles wide and 447 miles long everyone in the state are expected to be affected to some degree or another.  Whether wind or rain, Irma will be affecting everywhere and just a tiny variation of ten or twenty miles in the path of the storm east or west will mean major differences in what you will see feel or experience.

Most are filling up their gas tanks, purchasing water, batteries, generators, filling sandbags and other non-perishable foods.  There are many tips on storm preparations which are being shared in social media and people are posting where to find the necessary items.  Neighbors helping neighbors, this is what makes America great and Floridians special.  This morning when I was out walking my dog, a stranger came by with his car window down and bid me to stay safe during the storm and wished me good luck.  There is a difference in Florida a good difference overall.  Yes, there are hoarders and those who are rude and do not care about their fellow mankind but those are fewer in number.  Irma seems to be teaching us that all lives matter, skin color is irrelevant, your immigration status, your political party affiliation or your political philosophies are not important in the big picture as we facing the effects of Irma. If people could only feel that way all the time with no potential crisis before them!

Be kind.  Be safe.  Be prepared. Be Smart. Pray.


What is “fake” news?

I do not claim to be a journalist but just an average American who sees this term being used and I think it deserves some clarification.

I think there are two definitions to “fake” news.

  1. The obvious something that is totally fabricated and untrue.
  2. The second something that is fabricated but is not “news”  nor appears false on the surface.

In today’s media I think we experience lots of both kinds of ‘fake’ news mainly the second type.  First I think I need to define what I believe “real” news is.

I see real news as like a house is burning and someone calls for assistance and the police and fire trucks show up and by happenstance a media outlet is listening to police and fire scanners and hear about the fire and send a news crew to cover it.    The media did not cause the fire but is covering the events as they are happening.

I see “fake” or “fabricated” news meaning two things.  Examples of false news would be a media outlet reporting that Donald Trump Jr. is going to win the Powerball Lottery this evening and is donating all the money to Veteran’s Groups, and Children’s causes.  Totally fake and false BUT if perchance Donald Trump Jr. does play and win the Powerball Lottery tonight, he will share his earnings with me for predicting it. LOL

A second type of fake or fabricated news can be either a media outlet choosing to interview someone who said they were at a particular news event and asking them very leading questions which forces them to answer in a way that can be edited to appear to be some kind of “news” when in reality it was just edited to sound that way.

A third type which I feel is happening a lot more than we would like to believe is that a special interest group or media outlet are paying people to say or make accusations or to “create” a news story by inciting a group or people to react.

Just my two cents worth on fake/fabricated news this lunch hour this Wednesday.


The Rolling Stones and My Gallbladder

Who would have thought that my not feeling so good for a couple of weeks would end up with me admitted to the hospital for the first time in 50 years, my first ever experience with CT, and MRIs, the ERCP medical procedure and rising to a high crescendo with a laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery.

While at the hospital, I was tethered to an IV for 7 days and was tired of being poked and prodded as the “vampires” came into the room about 6am for daily blood draws. I nicknamed my favorite vampire, Vampira. She got a kick out of my nickname for here and she liked it too.  Here is how things proceeded until the mandatory visit to the TGH ER Friday evening!

Wednesday, August 24

I woke up not feeling well after a night of not being able to sleep comfortably, I called in and stayed home from work.  I noticed that evening that my coloring was very off.  In fact, my skin had an abnormal yellow glow.  I told my mother about it and agreed if I was still “glowing” in the morning or if my eyes looked yellow, I would be calling the doctor.

Thursday, August 25

I woke up and noticed the whites of my eyes had a definite yellow cast. I went to work and called the doctor’s office and was able to be worked in about 10:30 am that morning.  I was not able to see my normal PA as I was worked into the schedule and had to explain all the concern over the coloring.  She ordered blood work and a CT scan for September 2nd as she expected it was possibly my gall bladder.  I did the blood work before I left the building.  When I told some friends about the CT scan being next week, they expressed a concern as they had a friend that put it off and it did not turn out well.   They encouraged me to press the doctor to get that done sooner rather than later.

The  reason that seeing myself jaundice was scary for me was that I had an aunt and grandmother who died of liver cancer.  The last time I saw my aunt which was about a year before she was diagnosed she was very yellow and I knew that meant I had the possibility of having liver cancer myself and that scared me.  Hearing that the PA thought it could be my gallbladder was a huge relief.

Friday, August 26

I went to work and proceeded about my day when the phone rang about 10:30 am and it was the PA I had seen the day before.  She said results of my blood work came back and my liver function was abnormally high and wanted me to get to the CT that day.  High norma was 130 and I was showing 397.  She called and scheduled me for the CT scan 1pm that afternoon.  I called my mother and let her know what was going on and she wanted to go to the CT Scan with me.  I explained to my boss what was going on and she thought it would be good for me to ahead and leave for the day.

The thoughts of liver cancer came back to my head.  When I went to the CT Scan at 1pm, the tech and I started talking prior to the exam and I expressed to him that having lost so much weight, I would not be surprised if it was truly gall bladder trouble.  He said didn’t your doctor tell you that it is common for people who have lost great amounts of weight to develop gall bladder issues.  I told him I had read that and had been expecting it to happen. After the scan was over, he said I am not a radiologist but I can tell you have gallstones.  Again another sigh of relief and the liver cancer thoughts were pushed out of my head.

The PA called me at 4:50pm with the results of the CT Scan.  I had a gall stone blockage and needed to get to the ER ASAP.   After debating with the PA about which hospital I was going to, I finally relinquished to her suggestion and proceeded to find a ride.  I quickly packed a bag with some clothes, and essentials (including my phone charger).  It took a few calls but  Alesha took my mom and I to the TGH ER on Friday August 26th.  My mom didn’t stay that night as she needed to help take care of my dog.

While in the ER, I had a nurse say when she saw my name she had to meet me, same as mine and she was from Northern Indiana too! While in the ER, I was checked in, blood drawn, ultrasound performed all before I got admitted and a room found.  Dr. Erhen was assigned to me and she took the vitals and got me settled in my first room.  I was moved a couple of times before the nurse found me some food.  I started eating graham crackers and peanut butter and applesauce.  Never knew they could taste so good.   I also found that when you are in an ER, your dignity goes out the door.  Feeling like my bladder was about to explode, I had to pull curtains that didn’t fully close and go.   The second room I had to go again and luckily this time the curtains fully closed but the room was very hot and they had propped open the door.

Saturday, August 27

It was about 2am on Saturday before I was taken to my room on 7C 733 bed 2 in the surgical oncology ward.  I had a window view but I didn’t particularly care about that.  I was put on the NPO list which means no eating or drinking, at midnight as I was awaiting an MRI.  Not eating or drinking is something I got kind of used to while in the hospital due to tests, surgery and procedures.

I was told they put me in the surgical oncology ward because of my history of breast cancer and that the room they put me in the woman was very quiet.  About 4am I found out she wasn’t very quiet at all.  They came to take her vitals and she started unknown to me trying to hit and kick the nurses.  She was a small little white lady who as time unfolded was suffering dementia or and Alzheimer’s it was sad and funny at the same time.  All I could do was hear, I could not see.

Early Saturday morning, I got a new roommate.  A young black woman the mother of 4 who was having issues with her iron being too low in her blood.  They kept monitoring her blood but didn’t do anything to help the iron levels raise.  Talking with her I found after she had her 4th child, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer.  She kept telling the nurses that she needed to get out so she could get her children off to school on Monday.  Dad wasn’t good at those kinds of things so she wanted to be home.

I was not able to eat or drink anything almost all day on Saturday.  Finally the nurses and doctors found out that 6pm was as early as they could do the MRI so I was allowed to eat lunch about 2pm.  The food was yummy.  Perco Asado, (Cuban Seasoned Pork), roasted vegetables and rice. I was thrilled to be able to eat and drink, but after that I was placed on the NPO list again.  6pm came and went and no MRI, 8pm came and went, no MRI, 10pm came and went, no MRI, midnight came and went and no MRI

Sunday, August 28

Finally, at 2am, they came to get me to do the MRI.  That was a much better experience than I expected.  By 3am I was back in my room and back in bed.  Yay! The nurse brought me some crackers and peanut butter and water, it tasted great!  But by 5am they were back doing vital signs and drawing blood about 6:30 a.m. So much for solid sound sleeping.  And this day they added getting my body weight and wheeled a scale beside my bed.  145.6  I was shocked I didn’t weigh more with all the fluid they were pumping through me via the IVs.

The young woman in the bed next to me talked to her doctor and they agreed to send her home about 9am Sunday morning.  She was so happy to be going home and able to be with her children.

Around 2pm, my mom got to the hospital and was planning on staying the duration of the of my stay.  A little before she got there, I received another roommate.  I spoke to her on my way to the bathroom.  Her doctor and a nurse came in and started the intake interview and with just a curtain between us, you could hear everything.  My mom and I looked at each other as we heard the various answers to the doctor’s questions.  My mom was where she could see that the nurse shot out of the room.  I told my mom that I wanted to get up and walk around.  So we went out walking.  I stopped by the nurses’ desk and spoke with the charge nurse and asked a few questions about the patient next to me and should I be concerned.   The nurse got a strange look on her face and went to check on things and she said no worries she is going to be moved ASAP.  By the time I got back to the room, after walking about 5 laps on my ward, my new roommate was gone and the cleaning crew was working diligently to re-clean the room and bathroom.  The concern was the new roommate had HIV and had been infected since the mid-2000’s.  HIV patients are not supposed to be in the general hospital population and she had slid through the cracks.

By 6:30 pm, I had another new roommate.  She was coughing a lot and it didn’t sound good.  The doctors were giving her breathing treatments every few hours and that would make the coughing much worse all throughout the night.

At midnight I went  once again on the NPO list because I was supposed to be having the ERCP on Monday to remove any stones that were left after the blockage had passed.

Monday, August 29, 2016

My procedure was scheduled for that morning but did not get taken down until around 3pm.  My transport person called himself the GI King.  He flirted all the way to the procedure room.  Dr. Gomez did the procedure and removed 30 “rolling stones” from my bile duct. Normally there are one or two but rarely 30!  This was my first experience with general anesthesia and when I woke up the nurse said “How are you feeling?”  My reply, “I’m hungry, thirsty and I have to pee, I assume all of that is good.”  She laughed and said “Yes it is!”

I was taken back to my room and placed on a liquid diet because of the sore throat post-procedure.  Chicken broth was so good and so was water but the nurse found some Luigi’s Italian Ice in Cherry and that was some of the best tasting food I had that day!  I ended up eating two of them and it felt so good on my throat.

Jorge Delgado (my little brother) came by and bought me a vase of pink carnations. He is my “adopted” little brother and one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  He and his wife, Olga, have the most adorable little girl too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The typical morning routine vitals, blood draw continued along with getting my weight again.  145.8, two tenths of a pound higher than Sunday.

I was on a low fat diet and got breakfast by default since I wasn’t able order when she came around the day before since I was NPO.   I was able to eat all day on Tuesday since the Gallbladder removal was scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Breakfast was at 9:30 am.– oatmeal, ½ blueberry muffin, 3 turkey sausage links, whole wheat toast, hash brown potatoes and apple juice

Lunch came around 2:00 pm, Grilled Chicken breast, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, sliced orange and chocolate chip cookie

Mom and I went walking the ward again and ended up running into the GI King.  He had to give me a big hug.

That day I was seen by:

  • 3 surgeons (Redhead Sam, Dr. Herron and another surgeon-Senior head of surgery) in prep for the next day, another blood draw and to check my clothing.
  • A GI associate of Dr. Gomez to see how I was doing post procedure and to tell me about the 30 stones they removed.  Which was definitely not the norm! I joked I had my own little rock quarry, Bedrock going!
  • My primary Dr. Oler came by and later her team led b Dr. Erhen and others.

Dinner came around 7:00 pm, Roast beef with Dijon Sandwich, Sliced peaches, Chicken noodle soup, and I ate it all gladly.  Later, Hugo and Grace Badillo came by to visit me that evening.  Hugo and Grace are some of the nicest people too and are certified salsa instructors.

I had been watching the news, there was an impending storm headed our way and found out that TGH is a storm shelter.  The doctors told me they would not toss me out if the storm was going on or threatening to hit us.  A breath of relief! Yes!

I again went on the NPO list at midnight with surgery scheduled for Wednesday morning.  This NPO list stuff is old old old and so is the IV.  But relief was coming!

Wednesday August 31, 2016

6:30 am – the surgical team came in and they were still hopeful that the surgery would be that morning.

8:00 am – Nick Castor a new member of the team came to check in on me.  His first day had been Monday and his jacket wasn’t buttoned correctly; it was funny but afraid it would have embarrassed him to say anything. So I did not say a word just smiled.

8:30 am – Dr. Erhen came in to check on me

10:00 am – Dr. Oller came in with the team.

After morning came and went, I was told the surgery was scheduled between 1-2pm.   A cardiology tech came in to do an EKG.  I was a little confused about that but mom said it was normal prior to surgery.  He said it was a “perfect” EKG which is supposed to mean a very good heart.  Good to know.

The 1-2 time frame came and went and around 2:30 they came and got me to take me to surgery bed and all.

I did not get back to my room until around 5:30 or 6:00 pm.  I was on a regular diet again and could eat anything at that point. Relief!  As soon as I got back to my room I headed for the ladies room.  A nurse came in shortly afterward and asked if I needed to go to the bathroom.  I looked at her kind of puzzled and said, not really I went when I came back from surgery.  Her eyebrows raised and she asked if I had got up and went by myself?  I looked at her and said “Yes?”  She said something about I had to be feeling fine and that wasn’t the typical to no need any assistance to get up.

Thursday, September 1 2016

I was discharged from the hospital about 9am and was home before 10am.  The storm had taken a different path and things were all quiet.  My next door neighbor, Carla  came and picked me and my mom up.  Freedom at last!

After getting home the next stop was the grocery store.  Neither mom or I had any food in the house as we had been gone for a week.  I ran into some friends at the store and they could not believe I was out grocery shopping the day after surgery and just a few house post discharge from the hospital.  Hey, you do what you have to do.


Tampa General Hospital’s doctors, nurses and staff are well deserving of the number one ranking and accolades.

Post Script:  I wrote this several months ago and I forgot to publish it.  Sorry for the lag!

My first meal in my room.
Got to admit it not only looked good but tasted good too!

Hospital Meal Saturday August 27

Moving: Blessings and Cursings

We see all those ads with lower interest mortgage rates and those houses that have that something “extra” we are missing in our current dwelling and we get the “bug” to buy, sell and move.   Sometimes moves are very well thought out and strategic, sometimes our jobs require it, and sometimes we just want to do it.

Not having moved in seventeen and a half years.  I saw what a mixed blessing moving is.  While fun and exciting on one hand it is dreadful and miserable on the other hand.  The fun part is living in  new space and finding new places for everything.  The miserable part is living in a new space and finding new places for everything!

For the past few weeks I have been almost obsessed with trying to find two items that I could not seem to find after the move.  The first one was a crystal compote which was a gift from a friend.  This past weekend I managed to find the crystal compote packed inside a box that was totally unrelated so I must have packed it very out of sequence with my packing. What a relief!

But the earrings are still evading me or are they?  I was so shocked when I unpacked that the earrings were not with in the same box with the necklace and the necklace, bracelet and a coordinating necklace with earrings.  Why would I have separated them from the set?  It did not make any sense but I have been looking for those earrings since mid-June.  I went online today to find a picture of the earrings but much to my shock, there was no picture!  The earrings I thought existed do not exist so what does that mean?  Two things, I did not lose any earrings and can stop searching for them.  Secondly, it means the move is driving me nuts.  Too much stuff, too many boxes, no place to put things!  Moan!

This past weekend I once again re-arranged and went through boxes in the garage.  Hint:  A garage in Florida July heat is a VERY HOT place to be!  But oddly my dog Sunny, the goofy yellow Labrador Retriever LOVES the garage! Well I say she is fascinated and almost obsessed with the garage or any garage it seems!  Shaking my head! Since she is a rescue and I do not know her background but she loves everyone’s garage and thinks if the doors are open she SHOULD get to go in.  Got to love our goofy dogs.  Got to love the garage even thought it has too many boxes in it.  Cannot wait to be able to park my car inside and cannot wait for the community yard/garage sale to hopefully find new homes for many things I have no room/no use for any longer! And so the summer goes…unpacking one box at a time, feeling overwhelmed and melting in the Florida humidity…(insert big WHINE here)…just kidding, sort of…

The upside is packing and unpacking boxes gives me steps on my activity tracker.

Man covered in cardboard boxes - moving concept



CHAPTER 6: Rolling the Dice: First Dates

Dear Universe,

After chatting with some of the men online, it seems the time has come to meet face to face.  This is how I went about meeting them. I feel you can never be too safe when meeting total strangers from the world of online dating!  I have included some meeting tips in between each date/meeting description.

Date #1 – Was easy to plan/set up.  We met at a restaurant and had lunch. I The conversation was easy and we communicated well.  We both had an interest in health and being active.  We also both shared an interest in writing and communication, respect for others and being considerate of others.  Lunch did run more than an hour we did have a time limitation as he needed to get back to work.  We said we would meet up again and see how things went.

 Update:  We have continued to communicate about how things are going with our work, writing and online dating experience.  We continue to be great friends and he has met someone he really clicked with.  Good for him!

  • Meeting Tip #1: I would always suggest lunch over dinner for a first meeting and/or coffee.  It is good to keep things light and keep expectations low.
  • Meeting Tip #2:  You should feel totally comfortable about meeting and should have not experienced any pressure about meeting.  If you feel you are getting pressured into meeting, it might be time to back off the chat.  Finding the right person should NEVER be a rush, you should never feel uncomfortable and you want to get it right not fast!

Date #2- Was also easy to set up/plan.  We met at a food court at a local mall and had lunch.  I met him a little out of my normal area to help accommodate him as he was coming into a new area and I wanted to explore that area more.  Conversation was easy and fun.  He had a varied background of interests,  work experience and had a good sense of humor.  He has been a musician and lead singer in bands all his life and just  formed a new band. We kept our time limitations and said we would like to see each other again.  Another positive experience!  He kept my text function very busy after we met!

Update:  We have continued to communicate but no second date has been set up due to his busy work and rehearsal schedule.  He seems to wanting mainly a virtual/text relationship, NEXT!

  • Meeting Tip #3:  It is important for the woman to feel totally comfortable and to select the meeting place.  It should be a very public familiar place. A real gentleman will accept and understand this without question.  If he pushes you to meet somewhere on his “turf” look out, something’s not right.  His motives could be questionable.
  • Meeting Tip #4: If you feel shaky about meeting, I would suggest finding a “wing” friend who could be fairly close by incase you run into trouble.  A friend could be in the same place or a text away.  You can always call off the meeting if there is something that keeps bothering you.  Listen to your instincts.  But if you are just normally nervous, go with the “wing” friend 🙂

Date #3:  This date took a little more planning to set up but we met at a coffee shop and had a cup of tea.  We both knew the time limitations and stuck to them. He and I had chatted a lot before meeting and shared some common interest to the point that I had a little more hope for this date being the beginning of a great friendship and maybe more.  He sat and did not really seem to look me in the eye much and seemed distracted.  I found out the next day he did not feel well but did not want to reschedule yet.   Our first outing I felt should be cancelled as there were some health issues that had arisen in the middle of the night with his mother.  I felt it was more important that he was accessible to his mother than evening than he and I meeting on that particular day.

Update:  Two weeks later this man contacted me and we chatted about the first meeting and neither one of us were happy with how the conversation went in the meeting.  We both agreed too much time was spent talking about past relationships.  We have decided to meet again in the future and see how it goes.  We have not met again, que sera sera.

  • Meeting Tip #5: Share the details of who you are meeting and where you are going with a friend or relative.  This is important for many reasons.  In today’s world things unfortunately happen that are not good you have to make sure you cover your bases and stay safe at all costs.  There have been several people who ended up with some very bad experiences and were not missed as no one knew what they were doing for a while.  Be smart, let a close friend or relative who lives close by know where you are going and who you are meeting yes share emails, telephone numbers and pictures.  It could save your life or help authorities catch someone who has been up to no good.
  • Meeting Tip #6: Make the first meeting simple, uncomplicated and inexpensive.  I have found meeting for a coffee, tea or soda is a simple way to get to talk and get to know each other.  While everyone “dreams” of a fabulous first date of dinner, movies and dancing.  You need to be able to focus on what the person is telling you in word and actions and not having to strain to hear them speak.   Meeting in loud surroundings does not allow you to see and hear what you need to about the person.

Date #4:   I was setting this one up as this guy had been very consistent in his chatting with me and seemed like a nice honest hard-working guy.  We met at a coffee shop and talked for an hour.  I could tell his interests were far different from mine as I had expected.  We had an interesting conversation but he and I were not a match.  He ever made an offer to buy a cup of coffee/tea, nothing.  Again my “gut” told me we were not really a match and I was right; I have not heard a word from him since.

  • Meeting Tip #7: Have a plan in mind about how long you are willing to spend.  Realistically about an hour is a good frame for a first meeting. Set up a phone call after an hour from a friend or relative so they know you are ok and give you an exit at an appropriate time if you feel you cannot stay within your time limits.  Make sure your date knows you are free for the hour.
  • Meeting Tip #8: Plan out in advance questions/topics that you want to ask him about.  Find out what this person is really like, what their interests are, their hopes, their dreams and their faults (we all have them!)  Find out about the issues/values or thoughts about relationships which are most important to you.   Yes it is an interview of sorts, after all, isn’t finding the best life partner the most important position in your life? How do they speak about their mother/father?  Remember ladies, how a man speaks about and treats his mother is a window into how he will treat and speak about you.   Talking about their work gives you a lot of insight about their personality too.

Date #5:  This one was a little more difficult to set up as both our schedules were vastly different.  We met at a public place and sat and talked for almost two hours without even noticing the time had passed.  The conversation varied and was lots of fun.  We texted for an hour after I had gotten home.  He wants to plan a second date sometime soon. I think this is a great sign!

Update:  We have continued to email/text and looking forward the next date being sometime soon.  But this never happened so back to the drawing board!

  • Meeting Tip #9: Recall and Reflect.  Spend time reflecting about the date and how you really feel about what was discussed.  Is there potential?  Are there issues? Be realistic.  Just because she/he was cute and charming, were there other things that sent up red flags?  Cut off your sentences?  Dismissed any suggestions you made?  Was tardy without reason?  Kept looking at their phone or others around you.  Was not attentive to you? Would not look you in the eye?  Avoided answering basic questions?
  • Meeting Tip #10:  Do not be afraid to provide feedback to the guy you met.  If you had a great time, let him know.  If you felt something was lacking, let him know.  Things do not always go perfectly, if ever.  Learning how to voice and share your feelings about the meeting can be a great experience.  Talking about what went right or wrong about the meeting can help you to communicate better and potentially create an opportunity for a “do over.”

Date #6: This was probably the easiest meeting to set up.  We met and talked for a little over an hour and covered a wide variety of subjects from the taboo subject of politics, to travel and relationship dynamics.  It was nice having my mental muscles taxed along with allowing my personality to flow.  He let me know that I wasn’t the one for him and I agreed he wasn’t the one for me either.

I can say all six men I met were all nice but some I had more in common with than others.  I am not looking for a carbon copy of myself but someone who is different and complementary at the same time.  I am trying to take time and give some time and distance from the time I have met them to my writing of this blog.  I think thoughtful reflection is far better than a quick assumption.

A Good First Meeting (for me) Should Include:

  • Fun, joking and filled with laughter.
  • On familiar territory (to the woman) to eliminate any unnecessary stress.
  • Doesn’t require a lot of work to set up.
  • Not filled with too much history.  Talking about past relationships tends to bring the mood of the meeting down from being lighthearted and fun to a bit of a dirge.
  • Great conversation about a wide variety of topics.
  • A timely ending/closing out the meeting.  If you have an hour limit, try to stick to it.
  • Parting at the end of the meeting can be done in a variety of ways.  Some meetings might end with a handshake, a hug or just a “nice to meet you.”  I am not clear if there is any special significance to any particular ending.  I will have to think about that more.

Conversation Starters
Not sure what to talk about at the first meeting?  Here are some questions I found online that are good conversation starters if you do not already have your own.

1. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
2. What kinds of things really make you laugh?
3. What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
4. Who is your best friend? What do you like about him/her?
5. Favorite movie of all time? Why so?
6. What’s your biggest goal in life right now?
7. What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday?
8. Do you have any pet peeves?
9. What was your family like growing up?
10. What were you like as a kid?
11. What should I know about you that I’d never think to ask about?
12. Did you—or do you—have a nickname? What’s the story behind it?
13. Who was your favorite school teacher or college professor? Why?
14. Have you figured out your calling in life? What is it?
15. What do you hate most about the dating process? (Tell me so I can avoid it!)

Roll the dice and have a wonderful and happy first meeting!

Chapter 5: Dating and Weight Loss

Dear Universe,

Thinking about finding that special, someone can really be a mentally and physically taxing process that will challenge your healthiest of eating habits.  Yes, I am talking about added stress!   My healthy eating habits have been challenged as I have entered the dating world again.  Not because of where I am going on the dates and the food choices I make while out but the mental stress/baggage package that comes with the dating scene has been the culprit.  I have detached more from the whole process and have begun thinking more “whatever!” and let things be as they are meant to be which is far easier said than done.  One of the beauties “I” like about the man more than “does he like me?”  That is a major mental shift for me and a real stress reliever in itself.

As a part of my dating “battle plan” I have purposely increased my amount of healthy snacks within easy reach and have added a couple extra different pieces of whole fruit to my snack repertoire. This is to increase the likelihood of continuing to eat healthy as I navigate the online dating scene.

Another part of the “battle plan” has been to read about when to tell the prospective men about my major weight loss early on in the meeting process or later on.   I have found this to be dependent on the individual and not to be any hard and fast rule.  You have to let the situation guide you.  I have found most men to be extremely complimentary and generally supportive.  After age 40, more are concerned about good health and quality of life rather than the superficial side of weight loss.

Attention  is a two-edged sword in the dating scene.  I have to choose not to focus on the amount of attention I currently receive when compared the past as an overweight/obese woman.  The choices? I could choose to be angry with men who would not have given me the time of day are now seemed to be suddenly messaging me and seeking me out to chat or to meet.  But on the other hand, I fully understand that obese women are not attractive to some men.  Can you really condemn someone for their personal preferences?  While I know some men will choose to dismiss me based on the fact I used to be obese, others are impressed with my accomplishment and think the accomplishment is wonderful and amazing.  Some men are understandably fearful I might become obese again which the research has shown to be true as a great deal of people do regain the weight.  If they would choose to get to know me,  they will see I am diligently working on preventing that from happening.

In the dating scene, there are many fish in the sea do not let one person’s choices, preferences or prejudices taint your experience or make you question your own personal worth.

Happy dating!