Gratitude · Life Lessons · My Thoughts

2023 is Here, Thank God!

2023 is here!

2022 is gone, and I’m glad 2023 is here!  2022 has been a hard year for me, but I always believe in the positives amid trouble.

2022 is gone-2023 is here!

In 2022, I faced shingles in April and ended up with postherpetic neuralgia (nerve pain on face, scalp and ear) ever since—still nine months later. Because of the ongoing pain, I have had to continue pain medication, gabapentin. At first, I took higher dosages but recently have continued taking it three times a day at a lower dose. I hate the side effect of a fuzzy mind. This last week, I changed to Lyrica because my doctor thought it might help with the fuzziness.

Because of the fuzziness and pain with the neuralgia, I had to stop my next book, along with the audiobook of Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? I was recording. Before the shingles hit, I had recorded the entire book, but working my way back through chapter by chapter required concentration I didn’t have. Also, when I sat down to work on my next, I Said Yes, a how-to write a biography book, I stared at the screen and struggled to even get a sentence written. In fact, I sat that as my goal—write just one sentence a day, and I couldn’t do it!

When we returned from our second cruise on December 8, Lin and I were diagnosed with COVID. I experienced worse symptoms than Lin and ended up with a sinus infection, so my doctor prescribed a strong antibiotic that bothered my stomach. Also, the COVID intensified the neuralgia pain on my face, so my recovery has been slow!

Also, last month, my sister passed away unexpectedly. She had some health issues, but I had just talked to her and was expecting an update on her health.

So, yes, 2022 hit me hard, but I want to focus differently with you, my friends.

Group looking at a tablet-2023

Positives I Experienced in 2022

  • Because I got to Urgent Care quickly after I suspected I had shingles, I got the antiviral medication quickly, so the break-out on my head and face were reduced.
  • Also, my eye doctor demanded I receive a second week of the antiviral medicine when I saw him that first week, and I’m sure that helped.
  • Regardless of how I felt, I wrote this weekly blog.
  • Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? won the 2022 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Body, Mind & Spirit category.
  • I joined an international meditation group in April and have taken part regularly. I have also led the group a few times, which stretched me completely.
  • I wrote haikus after my meditations. They came so easily from the meditations.
  • I stayed dedicated to my daily Quiet Time and Morning Pages almost every morning.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed Lin’s garden, and we hosted a garden party in July and had 25 attendees come and celebrate his garden.
  • I had a lot of quality time with my 19-year-old cat, Jesse. Any time I sat on the loveseat, he thought he should sit on my lap.
  • I had several trips to our ranch in Colorado and spent time with my brother.
  • Yesterday, I finally became the winner of the Cribbage tournament Lin and I enjoy each year. He has beat me for 11 years! I won by one game!
  • Two wonderful cruises
    • 1st cruise Lin and I started in Barcelona, Spain. We traveled to France, Italy, Greece and then back to Rome, Italy. You can read about this cruise in my previous blogs.
    • 2nd cruise, Lin and I started in Rome, Italy. We cruised to Italy, Spain and Portugal. We ended up in Lisbon, Portugal, and I will write about this cruise in the coming weeks.
    • I had the joy of cruising with my husband, Lin, who makes every trip an adventure.


As another year ends, I often sit and ponder what the past year held, and I’ve learned to look at all of it—both negatives and positives. As I face 2023, I also have high expectations for this new year—it’s a clean slate with all kinds of possibilities. However, I’ve learned in recovery an expectation is a premeditated resentment, so I’m careful with too high of expectations. I look forward to what 2023 holds for me and you!

What are your expectations for 2023?

News, News, News!

~2 Big Sales to start the new year!

~For me, it’s Christmas all year long! Here’s a variety of Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When It’s Christmas Time in Texas”:

Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? meme

~My new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? WON the 2022 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in the Body, Mind & Spirit Category. Have you bought your copy yet? Vist my website:

Just Another Square Dance Caller: Authorized Biography of Marshall Flippo

~Have you bought a copy of Flippo’s biography yet? Believe it or not—it’s been two years. Go here for your hardback or paperback: or at Amazon.

Coronavirus · Dancing · Goals · My Thoughts

2022, Hello!


2022 is here, and I’m ready! Each year arrives with new hope, new possibilities! Because of the last couple of years, I have mixed feelings. What does 2022 hold for us? With everything still on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, join me in my wondering!

My Book Business in 2022

Four of my books - 2022
3 of my books - 2022

I now have six books and three cookbooks in my stable. I plan on focusing on my book business and becoming more proficient in the administering of it. My mission statement is “a baby-boomer with a purpose.”

I have five areas of focus this year:

  1. Writing
  2. Recording audiobooks of my books
  3. Online Memoir workshop
  4. Promoting
  5. Continued training

Today I wrote a plan for each area so I use my time more efficiently. Obviously, writing is my major focus. I have two books in the works: a description of my experience of writing Flippo’s biography and what I learned and the first book in a poetry series. Before the pandemic, I had a successful Memoir Workshop I presented at various libraries in the area. Now, I plan to host it online through Zoom.

Audiobooks are another major focus of this year. I will record, Let Me Tell You a Story, first. After that, I plan to record my newest book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better?. Then, I will tackle This Tumbleweed Landed and then When Will Papa Get Home? Sounds ambitious, maybe, but I’ll let you know my progress.

Promoting takes so much of my time. I hope to be more systematic at my promotions this year. And last, I have bought some great training packages over the years, so I plan to incorporate training in my weekly schedule.

2022 Goals

My Personal Life This Year


I want to dance! I’m getting cabin-fever and want my old life back. As I look at 2022, I see annual festivals we normally attended and yearn to go. Normally we’re in Arizona at the end of January at Hummingbird Hoedown, so I’m hoping we can make that this year.

Because we have a mask mandate, here in New Mexico, we haven’t danced since August—Lin can’t dance with a mask, so I’ve stayed home. But I’m going to go to a weekly Advance dance with a girlfriend because I can dance the guy’s part.

Hopefully, the three local festivals I’m involved in will not be canceled again this year: Duke City Singles and Doubles’ Spring Fling, New Mexico State Square and Round Dance Festival and 16th Annual Hot August Nights.

Dancing is my passion and I just have to dance!

Our Ranch

Recently, I went to our family ranch in Colorado, but I want to go monthly and spend more time there.

Our Response to the coronavirus

As a couple, Lin and I have been super conservative, staying home mostly for the last two years. We will continue being cautious, but hopefully activities will open up more this year.

My Spiritual Life in 2022

Because of such major changes in our lifestyle, we stayed home these last two years, providing me an opportunity to go deeper spiritually. I plan to continue the habits I’ve honed over these couple years of dedicating time to a Quiet Time in the morning to read devotionals and study Scriptures and write. I also plan to add more meditation to my daily habit.


I always anticipate the best for each new year: a blank page where I get to decide how to fill it. What do you feel at the beginning of a new year?

~Here’s Christmas greetings from Flippo & Neeca, featuring his song, “When Its Christmas Time in Texas”:

~Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks:

~Check out a Gigantic End of Year Sale at my Etsy Shop, Larada’s Reading Loft. 25% off almost all bundles!