Phantom Festivities

Mike and me

My brother-in-law Mike & me

“Flying fruit,” called Sarah as she tossed a banana to her son Max in the back seat of their car.

“You’re so funny Mama,” exclaimed her delighted 4-year old keenly imaginative son, whom she’s dubbed “Banana Boy” due to his fondness for the long yellow fruit.

My preschool-aged nephew regularly engaged in make-believe playing, which currently meant he was often one of the four famous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Before banana-eating ensued as darkness fell on the chilly day, though, the boy who likes bananas went to school:

It was a frosty morn deep in the eleventh month of the year. Trees starkly stood at attention along sidewalks and streets, having recently been stripped completely bare from the rainbow of colorful leaves they recently hung from their long brown branches. Nothing especially stood out this particular fall day, save for the unseasonably biting temps that caused people not dressed appropriately for the wintry weather to shiver with cold.

“Do you want to come to Max’s party?” Sarah asked me after I called her at 10 after nine because we’d planned to spend that Tuesday together. “It starts at 10.”

“Sure.” So I quickly changed from the grey yoga pants and old tattered-with-holes long-sleeved grey t-shirt I was wearing – that would’ve been fine if I was just running errands around town with my sister to cross things off her list – in favor of dark jeans and an attractive red cardigan I’d purchased the day prior – in order to look nicer and presentable to my nephew’s teachers and classmates. I was glad to already have my lenses in my eyes and quickly packed food and hastily applied make-up before rushing to get out the door.

Pulling up to the school, Sarah and I, along with her daughter and youngest son, waited until Banana Boy’s busy but couldn’t-be-kinder Dad drove in to meet us. Upon Mike’s arrival at Max’s school to attend the class’s holiday party, however, Sarah and Mike observed aloud that the school parking lot was oddly void of vehicles. Clue number one.

Sarah – and wouldn’t it make perfect sense if the half of Maxwell’s doting parents that cared for him during the days while the other half earned a successful living knew in advance of the upcoming celebration? – was in no way privy to such notable information. Clue number two.

While waiting outside in the parking lot with Mike and his two youngest children, my baffled-a-bit brother-in-law confessed to me he might’ve dreamed up this occasion entirely on his own. Clue two-and-a-half.

The Banana Boy’s mystified mother entered the school and returned to the nearly empty parking lot soon after with the following news:

“They looked at me like I was crazy,” she reported. “There’s no party today.”

Clue number three and there you have it: Playing pretend runs in the family.


Take a Look in my Book

Buy my book "Exhale" for a FABULOUS & inexpensive gift!

Buy my book “Exhale” for a FABULOUS & inexpensive gift!

 With gift-giving just around the corner, I want to present this offer. “Exhale” is my book that contains 20 incredible and encouraging poems as well as a crowd-favorite “The Top 10 Reasons Why a Bald Head is So Cool,” written while I was in the midst of my fierce eight-year cancer battle. “Exhale” is a wonderful gift for all people, especially anyone affected by cancer, specifically patients, families and supporters. Readers of the book have responded very positively to the writings of “Exhale,” saying how encouraged and uplifted they are by the poems. “Exhale” costs only $10 plus $2 for shipping in the U.S. Send me a message if you’re interested on Facebook to exchange mailing addresses at

Jack (Osbourne) Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick

Jack Osbourne, a true inspiratiion

Jack Osbourne, a true inspiration

Spoken from a TRULY REMARKABLE MAN living with multiple sclerosis but clearly triumphing with his incredible positive fighting attitude over health obstacles, mere minutes ago Jack Osbourne brought the house down swinging his hips during the “Dancing With The Stars” finals after saying these words to everyone watching:

Pain is temporary. Glory is forever.”

Words to live by. Always.

Jack Osbourne triumphing over his multiple sclerosis to achieve a spot in the "Dancing With The Stars" finale

Jack Osbourne becoming emotional – and justifiably so! – after triumphing over his multiple sclerosis to achieve a spot in the “Dancing With The Stars” finale

Lock & Block

Lock a public one-person restroom to Block others from entering

Lock a public one-person restroom to Block others from entering

Lock a bathroom door if it’s only a single-person bathroom, whenever you’re in the hospital for some kind of appointment – or anywhere else in public for that matter. Some people don’t knock – I HATE THAT! Be proactive and lock the door so no one can burst open the door when you’re trying to P.I.P., or Pee In Private. (Remember from an earlier post, a palindrome – in this case P.I.P. – is a word, phrase or sequence that reads the same backward or forward.)


Monkey Maxwell

Monkey Maxwell

“What does he do at your house?” Sarah inquired to me how her son spent his time in the home of Grandpa, Grandma and Aunt Amy.

“He sings Barney songs into my fan right now and gets into stickers in my room,” I repeated, having stated those two things before. I was at her house that afternoon and looking forward to Max coming over later that day. “He does lots of things.” Here’s a more in-depth look into some of his evening activities:

What Maxwell Did Tonight on Academy Court 

1. Played with Barney and the Sesame Street characters in the Hello Kitty stuff

2. Shared Chex Mix with Amy on her bed viewing child-friendly shows

3. Accompanied Amy in the bathroom multiple times

4. Played with the plastic whale toy in Amy’s bathroom

5. Played superhero with a red bandana with Grandma in a yellow bandana

6. Rode Grandpa’s tractor, then hung out with Grandma outside

7. Played cars in the family room with Kristen Hitz and Grandma

Soon into my nephew’s stay on Monday the eleventh of July, he and I sat together in the living room on the couch by the window.

“That’s my Amy,” Grandma declared as she strode into the room where I was parked with Max, aiming to get a reaction from her 2-year-old grandson in blue plaid shorts and a navy shirt with the word POLO in the center in green.

“That’s my Amy!” Max answered defensively as he flung his arms tightly around my neck.

Grandma echoed her initial words in her attempts to stir up the boy, but Max never failed to cling to me and shoot back a retort insisting I was his Amy.

Comedy came with Max’s sudden surprise remark to shoo Grandma away and stick solely with his Mom’s sister aka adored aunt aka biggest Tic Tac supplier.

“See you later!”


Three Reasons why the saying “Three’s a Charm” Runs Circles Around the phrase “Three’s a Crowd”

1. While the third looks gleefully on, two can jubilantly high-five because the brunette was a beyond-brilliant advocate during the other one’s recurring callous clashes with cancer.

Most Marvelous Mother aka Exceedingly EXCELLENT Cancer Caregiver

Most Marvelous Mother aka Exceedingly EXCELLENT Cancer Caregiver

2. One can sit back while the other two merely appear to be involved in a fairly frenzied follicle fiasco.

Follicle Feuding Friends

Follicle Feuding Friends?

3. All three can pleasantly pose . . . despite facial muscles of one possibly portraying otherwise.

Looks can be deceiving

Looks can be deceiving.