I’m pulling photos from the archives today because I am without my laptop. And without my laptop means I’m without any of my most recent images. Grrrrr! On Friday my laptop screen decided to take a nosedive. It just went blank with a bunch of stripes going up and down it. I immediately ran it over to Best Buy and their Geek Squad told me I’d have my baby back in 3 weeks. THREE WEEKS??? That is like death to some people – I included. How in the world am I supposed to go three weeks without my left arm? Needless to say, I’m feeling the pain. Photoshop, all of my actions, my current and past images over the last year, etc. are all on my laptop. I’m lost! I’m currently using my desktop computer which I don’t necessarily care for. It doesn’t have any of my current programs or anything on it. What a mess! So…for now, it looks as though I’ll be using older images that you’ve already seen anytime I plan to blog over the next three weeks. Oh, what a joy that is going to be. LOL! Bare with me…I’m keeping my fingers crossed that three weeks go by in a jiffy.

Karen flew into town and spent the past 4 days with me before she had to head on over to the East coast of Florida for a concert she was attending. We had a great time eating at all of the restaurants I’ve wanted to try but just haven’t had a chance yet. For those of you heading to the Sanibel Island area over Spring Break, you must eat at the “Island Cow.” It is this quaint little restaurant that I’ve always wanted to try but never had the chance until last week. It’s always packed out and therefore we never attempted to stop there because of the wait. It’s an outdoor restaurant with the most adorable hand-carved Adirondack chairs in every color of the tropical rainbow calling your name in their front yard. The chairs are handmade by a company here in town called “Tropic-chair” and I’m bound and determined to save up for some to place around our pool. They scream beach, tropics, sun, fun, etc.

Definitely a new favorite find of mine. The Island Cow restaurant has a menu the size of Texas which includes everything under the sun. I tried their lobster and shrimp wontons that were plated with a plum dipping sauce that day and devoured them along with their hand-squeezed orange juice and their chocolate chip muffins as a side filler. Oh yes, my tummy was in heaven. Keep in mind this stuff followed a bowl of guacamole dip that Karen and I woofed down in the car on the way to Sanibel that morning. Yes, can you tell it was my “cheat day?” I think it goes without saying that it was my one day off my diet and I made the best of it. And when my blender broke at home and it appeared that our lime chips and avocados were about to go to waste, Karen suggested duck tape for a quick fix. I never wavered – headed straight to the garage for Brent’s duck tape and we made that doggone blender work. You know you’re a guacamole addict when you tape up your blender with duck tape in order to make it work at 9:30am in morning. HA! Thank you, God for brilliant friends who suggest duck tape and for the duck tape itself. 🙂 Oh and here are a few photos I found on the Internet of the Island Cow atmosphere…

As you can tell, the Island Cow is a MUST when on Sanibel Island. I love the atmosphere. I love the colors. I love that it is an open-air restaurant. I love their food. I love the shirts they wear there. I loved it all. We will go back. I want to take the kids there sometime. Too fun! Lastly, I’ve had many people writing and asking how my doctor appt. with the cardiac electrophysiologist went yesterday. In a nutshell, he doesn’t think that my issues are the AV Node Tachycardia. THANK GOODNESS! Praise Jesus! Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes. The doc says he is 90% sure that it is due to stress rather than the condition that requires surgery. He thinks my body is releasing a surge of adrenaline at night while I sleep and while my body processes the day. Because of that, I’m having severe palpitations as I’ve never had before and my medication is no longer working to help them. He basically told me that I needed to quit “stifling” my stress. (meaning don’t hold it in or push it deep down – deal with it!) Anyone who knows me well enough knows that it takes a lot to get me down. No matter what is going on in my life, my main goal is to keep trucking along. I refuse to let anyone or anything get the best of me. I read a quote yesterday that said…”Those things or those people that tried to destroy you, haven’t! Those things or those people who tried to kill you, didn’t! YOU’RE ALL THAT!!!” (by Paula White) I loved it. Thought the quote was a must share – so I did share it on Facebook with my crack book friends. 🙂 However, that attitude is apparently part of my problem. I need to start accepting my stress and owning it a bit more I guess. The doctor reiterated that the normal person who is stressed out hasn’t undergone a move across 5 states away from family, a life-altering heart diagnosis last year (the PFO), personal issues last July nor do they parent a special needs child on an hourly basis – day after day – and so forth. He told me that my stress level is beyond the norm and that I have to start balancing that out even though I might not feel stressed or feel as though it is as bad as it is. My problem is that I don’t look at my life as stressed.

I won’t give in to the enemy and allow my joy to be stolen. After my talk with the cardiac doctor yesterday though, I realize now that I can OWN my stress and still have joy. He said I needed to give myself extra long bubble baths, extra walks on the beach, pedicures, etc. that focus on me and me only. He said the body needs to balance and the only way to balance your life is to give yourself the time your body is requesting. I laughed and said “Well, apparently my 1-2 walks on the beach each week aren’t cutting it then. I’ll follow the doctor’s orders and increase that amount.” He twisted my arm. LOL! Looking back on it, in hindsight, I guess I do have a lot to be stressed about. I’m just not one to let those “stressors” win. Even knowing what I know now, I still won’t. However, I will throw them away with the seaweed as the wave caps come washing up on the shore each time that I’m taking my walks on the beach here in sunny Florida. I’m making the decision to own those stressors and send them packing in the cool gulf waters with the sharks and the bottom feeders on the ocean floor. Yes, yes…that is the best place for her them…on the bottom of the ocean floor – in the darkness for which they so consistently beckon. And today…where am I headed…to the beach of course. Today begins the start of an FL warm-up here in Naples. Our temps are expected to reach the low to mid 80’s over the next 10 days. Not only do I plan to hit that beach over the next several days in order to return to Indiana next week tan and actually looking like I “live” in Florida, but I plan to hit that beach to feed my stressors to the almighty powerful ocean and the monsters that lurk within it. My stressors will soon be their problem now and not mine. And when I report back to my cardiologist in 4-6 weeks, I intend to prove to him that he was right and that the sea is confirmed yet again as a huge and ever so powerful tool in life. Happy, happy, Monday peeps! Make sure you are all de-stressing even if your “sea” is the toilet in your nearest bathroom. Let’s be honest…that is where the stressors best fit anyway – in the commode.