Grab & Evacuate!


Please take a moment to review our list of needs and continue to learn how to be prepared, whether for only 72-hours or for long-range emergencies.

Just ask anyone who has survived a weather catastrophe, (flood, tornado, earthquake, etc.), or long-term unemployment, pandemic, or ANY unexpected interruption of life.  They will quickly explain why one SHOULD bother to be prepared.  It’s a reality check, for sure.  Surely COVID19 has removed any skepticism.

  Preparation = Fearlessness.

I think all I need to say is toilet paper.  You, too, probably have a few stories yourselves, but here’s my take.

  You see, when Len and I first heard the news of the Corona Virus, and long before it was labeled a pandemic,  I immediately ushered him into Sam’s Club and purchased a 24-pack of TP, as weIl as a few other needed items.  I wasn’t panicked because I knew we had plenty in the closet; but thinking ahead,  I did want a little surplus.  He kept saying, “Do we really need this?  I just bought some.”  I assured him that I thought we did.  Sure enough, two weeks later, the shelves were empty from over-reactors who had not been prepared and who panicked, and therefore emptied shelves needlessly.

This much is certain to me:  With preparation, we can reduce probable stress, whether emotionally, financially, or physically.  AS mentioned in my previous blog, I’ve been in both situations of being prepared and lack thereof.  I’ve also seen where too much of a good thing proves ill advised.  For example, toilet paper…it literally disintegrates over a lengthy period of time, as will many inventory items become unusable.  Therefore, rotating foods, toiletries, batteries, basically all home inventory, is very important.

Need More Info?  Check out the following:

These are just a few, and from long ago.  Google and find updated information.  Let us know what you find.




“If you want to lean on someone else, you better make sure that person is on very solid ground.”

  • WHAT IF…You are caught in a fire and required to immediately evacuate?
  • WHAT IF…There is a flood, tornado, or any calamity that requires you to leave your home?
  • WHAT IF…Your gas tank is empty?  You can’t get to your bank? Your family member needs medications for special needs?



If you can’t answer or envision the above questions, it is time to think ahead.

Every Person Must Have A Backpack

Age-appropriate, each person is responsible for his/her backpack upon evacuation.

What’s to Know?

  • What to include in a backpack
  • How to organize for 72-Hour Survival and Beyond
  • How to create a 72-Hour Family Container

As you’re frantically heading out the door with your backpack in hand, make sure that each person has age-appropriately participated in packing that bag long before a disaster occurs.  Everyone needs to know what’s packed and how each article enables the family member to survive.

  • Families are sometimes separated during emergencies.
  • Teach children how to fend for themselves, with or without you.
  • Allow everyone to be knowledgeable.  No need to frighten.  Just inform.

Backpacks, plus container bins, should be kept accessible and easy to reach in an emergency.  Store in strong plastic bags and rotate goods accordingly.

Create a list with family preferences.  Don’t forget a treat!


You may ask why each item in the list is important.  For me, and if I were entering a community emergency shelter or had to stay elsewhere, I would want to have my own items and not wait for hand-outs.  Perhaps I would want my tube tent to change clothes, or just have a moment of privacy.  One never knows  unknown circumstances or surprises.  Hopefully, we never will be confronted with such an emergency.  Yet, it’s true.  Life happens.

The following items are suggested for each backpack, age-appropriate:

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste * Brush/Comb * Towel * TP/Plastic Bags
  • Reading Glasses * Extra cell phone if appropriate
  • Cell Phone Chargers
  • Infant/Toddler Supplies, if needed
  • Bug Repellent * Water Purifiers * Hand Sanitizers
  • Feminine Needs * Deodorant * Lotions * Sunscreen * Biodegradable Soap
  • Hat/Sunshades
  • Waterproof Matches * Lighters
  • Change of Clothes
  • Sufficient ID: Copies of DL, Contact Numbers, SS#
  • Medications * Medical Instructions for Special Needs
  • First-Aid Kit * Ointments
  • Solar Blanket
  • Packaged Tuna/Chicken * Peel-top canned foods
  • Packets:  Water / Juice/ Instant Milk / Hot Chocolate / Tea
  • Packets:  Sugar * Salt/Pepper * Creamers *Small Plastic Bags
  • Freeze-dried Foods * Energy Bars
  • Tennis Shoes or Hiking Boots * Socks
  • Sleeping Bag * Favorite Small Pillow or Plush Toy
  • Camping Utensils * Scissors * Retractable Cup/Plate
  • Pocket Knife, Small Shovel, Bungee Chords,
  • Flashlight (preferably headset type) * Rain Gear * Rope
  • Handwarmers * Tube Tent * Compass * Radio
  • Face Masks
  • Pen/Small Tablet * A favorite paperback book

Make sure each bag is labeled with name, telephone number, address.

Next blog will include what to pack in your FAMILY SURVIVAL CONTAINER.

Continue reading “# 1. 72-HOUR SURVIVAL”

We Can Do That?


It’s Friday!  It’s Friday!  I can’t believe that I still celebrate the proverbial TGIF, even after being retired for nearly a year; yet I do.  Guess it’s hard to teach an old woman new habits. Goodness knows, my hubby’s trying!

Len reminds me daily, “Relax!  We’re retired!”  He affectionately throws his hands in the air and says, “What are we doing today, luv?” He speaks with a light-hearted, untroubled buoyancy that amazes me.  In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, “Really?  We can do that?”  I am blessed.

…and so…Yesterday, we drove over to Prosper, Tx to pick up an item for our little antique~boutique business.  Rural north Texas is always a treat to travel.  On our way back, we stopped in Celina, TX, which is historical, with a small up and coming downtown energy that I found inspiring.  While window shopping on the square, one could hear the sounds of progress…bulldozers pulverizing old concrete walls, cranes hauling debris away.  We could see cars dotting in and out, smell the aromas from numerous cafes, and we enjoyed shopping the small gift shops.  One could just feel the excited anticipation of success and imagine the visions of hope.  Ah yes, as an entrepreneur, I recognized that feeling, and then…An epiphany!  It’s cliché, I know, but oh, so true.


I was hearing the sounds of progress, the senses of new life, the unraveling of old for new.  The chaos of it all took me aback.  For a moment, I became the old brick building being demolished one wall at a time.  I sensed fears being crushed one brick at a time, and I inhaled the dust of a lifetime of love, mistakes, successes, and lessons that enable me to successfully meet the next change before me.


More often than not, we either choose or we are mandated to tear away walls, jerk roots from earth’s hold, catapult steel beams of bad choices into salvage bins AND make room for new lessons, new adventures, new ideas, new mindsets, new elations, new disappointments.


I rant, “But reinvention is so hard!”   I question, “What’s wrong with the way I am?”  I resist, only to find that staying tight in the bud is truly harder than blooming in God’s love and angels’ Light.  New missions await.


Today is Friday.  Changes?  Not sure what or if there will be any,  but I do know that I have one variable that never changes, and that is to live life lovingly.

Of course, I fall short of expectations, and I ask forgiveness to all.  Yet, isn’t it wonderful that we can change, evolve, and repurpose?  HE didn’t say it would be easy…just worth it.

Need help?  Seek until you find those tools, those resources and those people that will enable you to reach your goals.  Pray.  Open your heart. Be kind.  Remember the children who need us.


Adventure with Spunk. Sass. Soul.

As always,

Texana Lane














Windows, Wishes, and Wanderings

Yesterday, I had an entertaining, reflective time meandering my way through You Tube music venues and choosing what I ‘liked’ and ‘saving’ what I chose.  What fun!  You probably know that there are thousands of musical choices, but I was totally unaware of You Tube’s entertainment value.  (Here’s hoping that I’ll become somewhat knowledgeable before it’s obsolete).   With anticipation, I sorted through obscure soloists, orchestras, videos, pop, jazz, and everything in between old and new.  It was just me, a stormy day, the recliner, my fuzzy blanket and our 65″ TV with a fabulous sound system.  As the wind howled outside, the music tangoed and rocked with the swaying of big Oak branches as if dancing with nature on my behalf.  Together, they created a perfect afternoon of musical folly and wanderings of the heart…a totally selfish, decadent day, except…

Yesterday, I also had a tooth pulled.  Nothing more needs to be said about that except it was a stubborn tooth, not wanting to leave its 71 year old home.  Dr. Pam had to twist, pull, dig and curse a little to get the dang root to budge, and then it splintered and yelled, “UNCLE!” as it cascaded down my tongue and into the depths of dental debris.  Although I didn’t have PTSD from the experience, I did have a sore jaw and 4 hours of bleeding gum.  Dr. Pam said to take it easy for the day…so I did:)

While looking out the window and making my life’s wish list, I wandered down memory lane. The path was pretty cluttered, though, with whys and why nots, and upcoming decisions haphazardly twirling around; it occurred to me that being still, being mentally quiet, is very important for the soul.  Taking a day to relax, (even if by doctor’s orders) is instrumental in clearing the clutter that overstimulates.  Without time to relax, to just simply ‘be’, we cannot wander into new directions, new wish lists, new beliefs, new understandings and new gratitude for what we have.

Perhaps your day of relaxation is reading, puzzles, decorating, sewing, crafts, or music, etc.  Whatever it is, just do it.  Take time to look out of your windows of life.  What perspective and paradigms do you see?  What must you rearrange to wander without stumbling? What remains the same or changes?

What is your wish list?  What keeps you from attaining those wishes?

I encourage each of us to take some time to be still, be quiet, and calmly wander through that window that opens to new expectations, new hopes, new adventures.

Play it safe if you must, but occasionally open a window.  Be fearless.

See yourself.  Be yourself.  Love your self.

Windows are made to let the Light shine in and to protect us.

May you wander where you wish,

Texana Lane,

Living life lovingly!












Another Day! Another Wonder!

One of my favorite songs,  “Late for Your Life”, by Mary Chapin Carpenter, says it all.  Her lyrics catapult me into taking chances, facing consequences, and holding unto life as deliberately and as passionately as I can.  Really, it’s never too late to keep living life, to keep putting one foot over the edge of the bed and saying, “I can do this one more time!”

I’m not too late to realize my purpose, and it’s not too late to live as kindly and as grateful as possible.

I am running as fast as I can to create as many memories as I have days left in me.  Granted, I’m a little slower; and arthritic pain has become my nemesis, but…Oh my goodness, how grateful I am!

In my mind’s eye I see smiles, and friends.  I see family surrounding me with love.  I sense the beauty of our amazing world and reflect upon miles of road trips, simple moments, and amazing mountainous sculptors created by prehistoric winds, waters, and fires..  I feel my mother’s arms around me.  I hear my dad’s sound advice.  I see my children’s smiles and understand that what seems to be insignificant can often make the biggest impression in one’s life.

No doubt, the memories bring a swelling within my heart and an unrivaled joy.   I have lived a life to cherish, to remember, to adore.

I could go on rambling and sharing my memories; but, truthfully, my life is uniquely mine, and probably not so relevant to you.  However, I wonder, just wonder, what makes you feel fulfilled?

Whatever stage of life you are living…beginning, middle or end…I hope that each day brings wonder; and with each wonder you add some some mistakes, a few heartaches, some learning tools, and LOTS of gratitude, compassion, and kindness.

Take some chances.  Give it your best.  Be fearless.  Be YOU.

Just don’t be late for your life, (and add some spunk, sass, and soul)!

Living life lovingly,

Texana Lane






I believe that each one of us is a child of God, AND each one of us is God’s special work of art.

Through each of us, He teaches.  He inspires.  He shares beauty.

Inspiration will come to those who will take the time to be still, to observe, and who will admire the art that He creates.

What does it mean to admire His created works of art…Earthly wonders of the world?  Miracles?  The Mona Lisa?  Not for me.

In my mind, it’s much more simple.  Instead of visualizing myself standing in an art gallery, staring and admiring the artful displays of oils, bronzes, etc., I imagine myself  admiring YOUR picture of life in front of me, your display of body, mind and spirit.  And what would I admire?  Would I see the gifts that God has given you to share, to inspire, or to teach?  Of course, I would, because that is what I seek in God’s worldly creations!  I want to be inspired.  I want to learn.  I want to know my brothers and sisters.

You, my readers, are God’s special works of art. 

Words that come to mind:  Uniqueness * Differences * Sameness * Labels * Categories. 

We are human; we err.  We are human; we love.  We are human; we fear, despise, and envy.  We judge.  We accept; we deny.  We give; we take.  We forgive; we retaliate.

We contradict ourselves constantly.   We are darkness; we are light.

  We are human.  

As humans, we fall prey to the darkness, yet we rise toward the Light.    The question begs, “Are we taking the time to admire the art of being human?”  Are we reaching for the joy within the spirit and Light from which we are created, or are we bogged down in darkness and fear?

I don’t have the answers, nor ever assume to have them.  However, I do admire beauty.  I do admire acts of kindness, love, and inspiration.  I love the fact that I, like you, am God’s special work of art; and it doesn’t matter if I look like you, talk like you, walk like you, or think like you.  To believe in God, I must believe that the human race is His…all of us are His works of art.  If not, who do we call our Father?  Who do we call our Mother?  Who do we call our Creator?  Who answers my prayers of requests for major and minor needs?  Does He love some and not others?  Does He only answer prayers to a few and not all?

Pragmatically, I am just a body with mind and spirit.  How I write the chapters of my life is intrinsically my choice.  I can either admire God’s art of uniqueness  and build upon His teachings of tolerance, brotherly love, neighborly sharing, and universal awareness, or I can  dismiss my life as something insignificant, worthless and meaningless.  My choice.  My life.  Our world.  Their future.

Light/Dark vs. Fear/Love.

We are God’s work of art.  We are each responsible to represent that creation in His likeness, or so the Bible says.  We are each given opportunities to artfully imagine and inspirationally live our lives as masterpieces of love, kindness, diligence, tolerance, etc. etc.   He allows us to take a blank palette and slowly begin the process of creating our lifelong journey of life, painting as novices and then advancing with knowledge, experience, humility, common sense and love.  As mistakes are made, we correct, wipe out, repaint, and begin again.  The artful beauty begins to take shape, to be admired, to be shared, to inspire…just as He planned.



The adventure of life becomes very lively when living by faith and the knowledge that you have much to offer anyone and everyone.  Whatever your spiritual or religious beliefs, let your artful acts of love inspire and teach be seen.   Fill your canvas of life just the way you want it…neutral, monochromatic, or bold.

I, and those around you, need your beauty in a dark world, and one tiny LIGHT inspires us to take one confident step forward.  I pledge to step forward.  Quietly.   Kindly.

Keep the faith, ya’ll!  Live life lovingly.














My roots are from the south.  Being called, ‘Pumpkin’ or Punkin’ is common, and it’s an endearing term from ones we love.  Not that my blog has anything to do with that, but there are other connotations about the word pumpkin…which IS what my blog is about this week.

“It’s October, ya’ll!


Time to take those pumpkins to get a mammogram!” 

All kidding aside, I’d like to take a moment to be authentic and share my feelings regarding breast cancer and survival, as well as pay tribute to those beautiful women who were and are and will be fatally victimized by its brutal, cellular clutch.

I share my story, as a survivor, because I hope that I may uplift, or enlighten at least one person or one family to realize that breast cancer is real.  Learning to live with it, prevent it and remove it from our society is a huge challenge for individuals and communities.

My blog is longer than usual, but something keeps telling me I must share it.  I hope that it’ll be of interest.

Breast Cancer is deadly, and it respects no one:  Woman or Man.         

Cancer patients, and certainly breast cancer survivors, are strong, vibrant, resilient warriors, and they are fighting against huge corporate odds, thus victimized by chemical additives in foods, homes, environment and more.

The fight for cancer prevention continues.

Please take care of yourself.  Educate. Prevent. Inform.

Here’s my story.  I know you have a story, too.  Please feel free to share and inform us.


I felt a small lump in my breast.  It hurt.  I was concerned, but I didn’t have insurance, so I simply put it aside and carried on about my business.  Then, I turned 62, was able to take early retirement; and was, also, fortunate enough to have Medicare at 65.  I went to get a mammogram as soon as possible.  Sure, I know there are free clinics and organizations where you can pay by sliding scale; but my hubby and I were going through some financial issues, so I simply procrastinated.  Just that simple.  Just that hard.

At any rate, insurance was finally acquired, I finally went to the Women’s Clinic, got the Mammo and waited for results.  You can imagine how happy I was to learn that it was just a mass, and no cancer was found.  Whew!  I took a deep breath, and again, carried on about life and business as usual.


For me, ‘as usual’ meant Divorce. Death. Family complexities. Long working hours.  Financial crisis.  Change of lifestyle.  Several moves. Fear. Elation. Failure. Goals met.  Expectations unmet.  New experiences…and well, you get the picture.  There were a couple of years where my life’s journey blended calm and chaos, and I was just spinning.  The metaphor that comes to mind is a visual of stirring powdered creamer into a cup of coffee and watching it slowly dissolve and blend into the spinning vortex of creamy delight.  It appears that it’s blended,  but then that one tiny lump of creamer doesn’t dissolve and sinks to the bottom.  You don’t see it until you take a big sip.  Then, there it is, stuck to the back of of your tongue,  and you either just swallow it or slowly let it dissolve.  Well, those years I gulped it.  Savored it.  Felt its energy.

After all, it was just a lump of  life.


I woke up one morning totally exhausted, completely wiped out, dragging.  For a multitude of reasons, and with hesitation, I decided to close my business.  Complications ensued.  Nothing seemed to be going as planned, and yet many opportunities were being presented as positive changes.   I was treading to stay above the chaos and flailing about the waves of self respect, approvals, disapprovals, judgements.  I realized that I needed to get a grip, stay steady and wait out the storm.

First, I sold my cute little Mercedes pony.  Then, I bought a car with fewer complications and  less expensive upkeep.  I found a teaching job in Austin in an area that I felt was accessible to my needs.  I knew I would want to move back to Austin asap.   In addition and to help out with closing the business, I was asked to participate in a small antique venue in Austin where I could close-out my current stock.  As suspected, traveling back and forth soon proved to be too much; so I found an apartment within a mile of my work.  By Christmas, I was settled into 625 square feet of apartment.  Though tiny, it was home. I was in transitional shock, relationship shock, family worries.  You name it, I think I was in the middle of it.  Craziness for sure.  Yet, the plan was unfolding with intent, with God’s grace, and with the help of good friends and family.  The lump in my breast traveled with me, too.

With many boxes still to be unpacked and surrounded by fears, faith, and a good foundation, I woke up one morning, ready for the day’s schedule; and as most of us, I headed for the bathroom first thing.  As I flushed, I saw blood in the toilet.  What the heck?

I hadn’t had a physical for several years.  Obviously, it was time.

With appointment made, and Medicare in hand, I headed to one of the local 24-hour clinics and got the usual blood work and all the pokes and prods.  I was happy to have good insurance:  Complete Medicare and Plan G that would pick up the remainder of costs.  The $300 + monthly costs were worth it.  The doctor then said, “I see it’s time for a breast checkup.”

So, I did and also saw a GYN.  I had a 3-D mammogram which is much cleaner and more precise than a regular mammogram.  The dreaded call came; I needed to return and discuss the findings.  I went by myself.  I felt immortal and unworried; but there was a concerned look on the technician’s face when I arrived.  She said, “I see something here that is questionable.  (Another consultation).  “Yes. We believe a Lumpectomy is in order to test for cancer.”

No problem.  It’s just a little outpatient thing.  I once again ventured by myself.  Unfortunately when I checked in, they had records and appointments confused.  I waited for nearly two hours.   I think they gave me a sedative.  Finally, the doctor who would do the outpatient surgery apologetically arrived.  I can’t remember what the complication was during the procedure, but she kept apologizing about it; I could see the probing of the needle in my breast as she moved it around.  (It’s amazing technology).  For a moment my anxiety overwhelmed me, but I slowly calmed down.  I was numb.  Numb at heart.  Numb from life.  Just numb.  And scared.

Cut to a few days later, May 8th. according to my journal.  I’m driving back from lunch to work, pulling into a parking space, when my cellphone rings.  “Hello.   (I can barely understand her as she speaks).  This is Dr. ___ from the ___ Clinic.  (The doctor that I originally saw for the physical).   I am sorry to give you this news, but your tests reveal that you have cancer.  I suggest you find a cancer consultant as soon as possible.  I am so sorry.  Call if I can help with anything.”   Click.


I sat there dumbfounded trying to process what she had just said.  Truly, I NEVER thought I’d fall victim to cancer.  That was always someone else…someone I didn’t know, or someone who smoked, drank, or lived an unkept life.  Me?  No.  Then, I immediately recalled that my Mama had just survived a mastectomy a couple of years prior.  A flash of pain shot through me as I visualized the anguish she endured and the physical changes that her body had suffered.

My body began trembling, but I didn’t know what to do.  I still had an afternoon class to teach.  I vaguely remember opening the car door and walking inside the courtyard of our early childhood facility.  One of my fellow teachers was walking toward me.  “Lane, are you ok?”  Obviously, I wasn’t, and the tears and anxiety flooded out without warning.  She embraced me.  We sat down.  I now recall some of that trauma, but not all.  It’s blurry in my mind.  The sun was shining.  It was late spring.  Mostly I remember the warmth of her embrace and the tears we shed together.  That scenario is very clear to me to this day.

I left that afternoon without  a clue as to what would be happening.  I called a friend.  “M…Can you come over?”  That’s all I recall of that conversation.  She brought a bottle of wine, and we sat outside on the patio.  My apartment neighbors gathered.  They consoled, and then the journey began.  Sleep was not an option.  Ignorance was bliss, for sure.

Readers, here I take a break…

      WHO GETS A CALL ON THE PHONE TO TELL YOU THAT YOU HAVE CANCER?              I hope that this doesn’t happen to all patients.  I’m in hopes that communities are currently working toward better communication and ways to support patients. 

Back to story:

Soon, the reality check hit me,  and I began educating myself about prerequisite needs and the sequential steps to deal with the lumpy cancer.  I learned about the different types of breast cancer, the possibility of recurrence, and statistics of what proved to be the best recourse. I make a surplus of calls, trying to talk to anyone and everyone who had experienced breast cancer.   I reached out to local organizations who could provide support and enlightenment.

I interject here that the first major step after the reality check is to find the ‘right’ cancer specialist.  I went to Texas Oncology.   (Dr. Fain is absolutely the best and kindest doctor on this planet.  I love him). He said upon our first visit, “I’m going to be your best friend over the next five years.”   The Seton Hospital and Clinic staff are super nice.  I now see that God had guided me in my decision to close the store and to move back to Austin, because my hospital, cancer care, and therapy center are only minutes from my apartment.  It had been wise to fold the store and to move to my new digs.  I continue to say, “Thank you, Lord.  Thank you angels.”

With great deliberation, I found a surgeon who is a cancer specialist referred by friends and neighbors.  “She’s the best!” I was told.   My mama and my sister, Scottie, escorted me to the hospital for that first initial prognosis and consultation.  It took about 30 minutes to conclude the conversation with her.   Not much discussion; I was her last patient for the day.  Here are your options…Gotta move on.

Departing from the clinic, the three of us walked out, looked at each other, stopped and then repeated, “What just happened?”  It was all a blur.  I reread the reports.  I reread the prognosis.  I had several options to rectify the small, but growing metastasized cancer in my left breast.  I looked at my mom.  Memories flooded back again; and with certainty, I made a quiet decision.  I did not want to be 86 and suffering from the removal of both breasts.   Neither did I want to destroy my body through chemo (although if my cancer were at a higher, progressive stage, I might have made a different decision).  If I needed radiation, so be it.  I went home.  Called the kids.  My daughter, Shani, said “Mom, we support you in any decision you make, or don’t make.  It’s your life.  It’s your body.  We love you.”

Quickly, I realized that I could not work and proceed with all of the details regarding the hows, whys, whens, and wheres.  I was at the mercy of each organization’s schedule, and rarely were they open on the weekend.  Not everyone took Medicare either; or if so, there was limited care.  I called numerous people to get advice.  If I didn’t work, I had no income.  How would I survive?  Who will take care of me during recuperation?  There was literally too much work in the beginning process to feel sorry for myself.  I had to remain focused.  I was definitely NOT a victim, and the battle began.

ON THE LIST:  A will.  Hospital admittance and approval applications.   A head-to-toe MRI that lasted what seemed like forever without sedation.  (It’s best to be accompanied and be sedated for a full scan as they weed out any other types of possible cancer).  Insurance papers. You will nest like crazy before the surgery, and that’s OK.  I felt like I needed to know where everything was when I returned home from surgery, and I wanted organization…it was the only control I had, or so it felt.


Fortunately, my SS check covered my rent, car, and insurance.  I had been wise in setting that budget up when I moved.  However, with no income, I didn’t know how I would pay my bills, utilities, debt, etc.  Believe me, it took 8-hour days of constant phone calls and inquiries to learn how to meet my needs:  Financial help, home healthcare after surgery, recuperation down time…the list was endless.  But it was up to me to make it happen.

Today, my advice is to find, within each organization, the person who will navigate you through the process.  Stick with that person and always find a center’s social worker, his/her hours, and specifics (PAPERWORK) you need before talking to them.  Create a folder.  Buy a binder.  Keep phone numbers, account numbers within reach.

I am sure that all cancer patients experience similar feelings and situations even though we are all at different levels of income, etc.  But when one is single, it’s notably harder.  For this reason, my heart truly goes to all widows, divorced or single women who must endure the ramifications of cancer or any health issue.  It’s just hard, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Kudos to all of the women who have endured this trauma with children and while being single.  I cannot imagine.   One must be prepared for the onslaught of schedules, recuperation, emotional support, and specialized care that is needed.  By the way, the nights while lying in bed and thinking about the ‘what ifs’ are very long.

June, 2015.

I’m ready to meet the monster.  Everything is prepared.  My daughter, Shani, arrived from NYC, and literally sanitized every piece of furniture, accessory, and inch of floor that she could reach.  She knew the industry and knew that I had not had time to complete the tasks.  She removed rugs so I wouldn’t trip, (she knows me too well).  She rallied me as we purchased specialized clothing to meet the needs of the surgery recuperation.  She seemed anxious, but caring.  I couldn’t thank her enough.

We arrived at the hospital.  Family and friends were allowed to be present for pre-surgery,  I was scared and thankful but smiling and optimistic…and crying inside.  To myself, I was thinking, “I’m losing parts of my body that have suckled babies, given me confidence to look womanly, given to me as ‘my body’.”   I couldn’t  imagine what it would feel like without them.  “Yes, they are just parts.  They aren’t ‘me’. ”  I faced the harsh reality that there was no turning back.   My mind wandered into a thousand questions. Will another man love me?  Will I look deformed?  How badly will it hurt?  Can I return to work immediately or very soon?


The good news is that there are many communities who are helping cancer patients and survivors.  Cancer Care Community is excellent in providing personal advocates and financial help for cancer patients.  I also found a reputable home care provider that weekly visited me and provided post-physical therapy and made sure that my needs were being met.  Just having someone to sort medications or heat up a bowl of Campbells is a wonderful act!

To find these caring supporters, one must seek and find, search and request.  In addition, one must provide an endless amount of paperwork, proof of needs.  It’s almost character assassination, at times, when a patient must prove that their needs are worthy of help and assistance.  It can be degrading.  It can be exhausting, but it is worth it when one reaches the other side of recovery and normalcy, if that ever happens:)  I’ll talk about that later.  After all, when you lose two breasts…well…


I don’t handle medications well.  I don’t need much before I’m overmedicated and seeing things on the wall.  My family finds humor in my medicated antics, and laughed about what was to come from me as I returned from surgery.  Soon it was time to say farewell to all my well-wishers, and I was wheeled off.  A few hours later, I was wheeled into my room, and my daughter greeted me.  I was so thankful to feel her presence, her hand on mine.  The only thing that I remember, besides the pain, is telling her I’d like to take her hand and go listen to techno music in another room.  I could hear her distant laughter, but I was quite serious.  I really was.  She flew home that evening, and my son, Kyle came to stay with me.  He helped me get to the restroom.  My breasts were gone. Let me tell you.

The pain was much more than I could have ever imagined.  I was glad to make it back to bed and to have him near me.  Next day, I made it home.  Kyle and Lynn were there to help.  To all those that contributed their time and efforts on my behalf that week, I’m truly thankful.  Soon, I realized that going back to work wasn’t going to happen right away.  That meant that my cashflow was nil.

A friend had suggested that I create a GoFundMe account.  That sounded horrific!  I am a better giver than receiver.  Yet, what choices did I have?  I needed additional monies to survive and go forward.  With great humility and resistance, I did it.

I recently went back and deleted all of the GoFundMe posts that I could find on my FB page.  Not because I am not grateful.  That is certainly not the case.  However, every time I see a post, it reminds me of the past, and I’m working hard to move toward the future.  Most importantly, I want to enjoy being in the present.  Without hesitation, I sincerely recall the love that I felt for every donation.  Each time one red cent wascontributed, tears would fall; and I would not feel worthy of such generosity.  That lesson alone gave me a testimony of the goodness of people.  I keep that when the world feels oppressive today.

God only knows how grateful I am to those who aided me in my time of crisis.  They earned a jewel in their crowns, and I earned a respect that I had read in the Scriptures but had never truly experienced.  As biblically stated, there is no greater love than for our brothers and sisters.  Through loving actions, Jesus says He will know we are truly His disciples.

AND SO, with surgery #1 out of the way, I slowly realized that this wasn’t going to be easypeazy. Call me dense.  Call me whatever, but through my mind’s eye and prior to the surgery, I enthusiastically thought I was going to be jumping back into action very shortly.  I was going to have two new perky breasts., (some consolation for the older ones).   I was going to bounce back to normalcy quickly.  That’s what blind ambition will do to you, plus an enormous amount of faith.  Silly me.

Little did I know when I started the cancer journey, that it takes a solid year and at least 4 surgeries to have complete reconstruction of the breasts.   Perhaps I didn’t want to know.  I’m not sure, but when I realized that those were the facts, I was sad.  I was scared.

Little did I know that my breasts would  have permanent 6″ scars. I thought the doctor made all breasts beautiful and young.  Not so, even with the best, and I feel that I had the best cosmetic doctor in Austin.  (I still need one more surgery to finalize the deal).

Little did I know that I would leave the hospital with an ‘invisible stretcher’ attached to my surrounding chest muscles and under my concaved breasts. This stretcher allowed the cosmetic surgeon to inject a solution through a portal to gradually stretch the skin in increments of 3-4 months before inserting the ‘new girls’.  Once the ‘falsies’ (who by the way, have their own card of identity should I ever have an accident) are inserted, then it takes some time for another surgery or two.

Here I give some due credit to a wonderful entrepreneur, Cherie Mathews.  She has created a shirt that allows breast cancer patients to hide the distasteful tubes attached to the boobs, stomach, etc so that excess inflammation can drain.  These tubes are awful; they confined me for at least two weeks after each breast surgery.  Cheri’s cleverly designed shirts offer compartments to keep the tubes stationary and out of view.


It’s been a journey, and mine has been much easier than many.  Readers must realize that each woman is different.  Some feel the need to reconstruct; others do not want it and are very comfortable with or without their breasts.  It’s all so very personal.

Frankly, sharing is difficult for me, even embarrassing.  Perhaps it’s TMI, but it’s the facts and maybe it will uplift or inform another warrior.  And I’m alive and a survivor, and for me and my family, that’s the most important fact of all.  My heart grieves for those who have not lived to tell their stories.  No words can express.

They say that five years is the golden date of cancer not returning.  I have the type that does often return.  I chose to remove my breasts so that those chances narrowed.  I have also chosen to not take the medications often prescribed to delay its return.  That’s just my choice.  Others take it and glad that they do.  Again, personal choice is unique.

Cancer kills.  Let’s find ways to prevent it and inform everyone.  Please support those who cannot help themselves.  Let’s continue to give aid to those who need our assistance, whether financially, spiritually, or emotionally.

God Bless and Live Your Life with Spunk, Sass, and Soul.


Living life lovingly,















More Than A Piece of Pie


Aromas.  Tastes. Memories.

Funny how something as simple as seeing, smelling, and eating pumpkin pie can take me down memory lane.  It can also make me feel adventurous.  You may ask how can a piece of pumpkin pie be adventurous?  Well, if you had asked my parents, they could tell you.  Heck, they’d travel from Dallas to Waxahatchie (with their favorite friends in the backseat of their spawling  ’57 Pontiac), just to get a piece of Sweet Potato pie.  They loved adventuring  through Texas history, visiting courthouses and small town venues, and yes, even traveling a long distance just to taste a piece of southern culture.  That may sound foolish to some; but to them, it was an adventure to learn and share some laughs.  Which leads me into question,  “What takes you down memory lane?”

Aromas. Tastes. Touch.

For me, just smelling a pumpkin pie baking is like walking into my Mammaw’s country kitchen.  Instantly, my memory conjures the love that was shared unconditionally.  Without hesitation, I see her sweet face gleaming over the gas stove, as all four burners glowed brightly under pots and pans of fried chicken, pinto beans, green beans or gumbo.  That list could also include sweet corn, black eyed peas, fried okra, or mashed potatoes.  And cakes and pies?  Of course!

In the summer, Mammaw would make our favorite foods when we’d visit her.  City to country, we’d experience three meals a day.  No fast food, no pre-packaged frozen foods, no packaged foods, period.  Yes…only foods straight from the field to the table.  Fresh tomatoes, fresh okra, fresh everything!  From the kitchen window, we could see the fields of watermelon, peanuts, cotton, corn…beautiful foods that sustained us for a very nutritious summer vacation.

Staying with my grandparents meant certain rituals.  At night and after our prompt 6 o’clock meal, we’d enjoy our favorite cake or piece of pie, or a root beer float.  My favorite was peanut sheet cake and cool lemon icebox pie, or chocolate custard pie.  We enjoyed the kitchen delights out on the front porch as we watched the twinkling lights of the big city of Nixon, Tx rise from below the hill.  Family talk would ensue, and we’d curiously listen to my grandparents discuss the ills of the world, and then I’d ask a million questions.  Pappaw always had the right answers; and after solving all the world’s problems, we’d then turn off the front porch light and go inside to  watch Gunsmoke or the Lawrence Welk show.  As the moon shown through the Mesquite trees, and with country sounds floating through the rusted, screened windows, pitch darkness (without city lights) would show its scary self outside, and we’d  lovingly get tucked into bed.

Memories. Aromas. Touch.

Mammaw would let me have the cool icebox lemon pie for breakfast, too, (of course, Mama never knew), which never altered my appetite for her bacon and eggs.  My sister, cousin and I would rally round the breakfast table, ready for a day of country adventure and, what now, are memories of a wonderful childhood blended with culture, family, and experiences to share with my family and friends.

Traditions are unique to us all.  Families are unique to us all.  Life is unique for each of us, too.  For these reasons, I love learning of others’ traditions and memories and how memories are triggered to take us back into what we selectively choose to remember.

Your memories may be similar, but, also, very different than mine.  I like that, for it adds to my lifelong adventure of sharing cultures and  traditions.  Without our differences, what a boring world it would be.  After all, if God had wanted us all to be alike…we would be.  But He gives us free agency, different opportunities, and a variety of ways to expand ourselves, to learn, to tolerate, to grow.

TEXANA LANE’s adventures are experienced through the mind’s eye, through cultural opportunities, through actions of those around me, and through the teachings of my family, my traditions, my values, and God’s grace.  The Universe enlightens my light and my spirit, and I am influenced by God and His power and His purpose.

I am fortunate to have had a good family, true friends, loving children, and the willingness to tolerate differences around me.  In fact, I thrive on these opportunities; and well, pumpkin pie takes me back to where I began so that I may adventure into places yet to travel.

Touch. Aromas. Sounds. Sights. Memories.

Today, I inhale the essence of life around me.  I see the beauty.  I touch the work of God, and I allow my memories to catapult me back and forth from my past to my future.

Hoping you’re making good memories today and remembering yesterdays, too.

Adventure with spunk, sass, and soul.  Live life lovingly.

Happy Fall, ya’ll!

Texana Lane


A Celebratory Year Around the Sun


Maybe…Even so, I have had a blast sharing my adventures this year as I turn 70, and I appreciate those of you who have followed and posted your thoughts.  Thank you!

I started this celebration and introspective blogging when I realized that I couldn’t get the ’70’ number to come out of my mouth.  So, instead of drowning my fears with booze, or complaining and whining, or being in denial, I decided to face it all head on and use my words to express my gratitude for these honored 70 years.  As I tell everyone, “After my birthday and honoring 70 years, I will resume 60 again…and there I will remain:)”

We’re always telling the little ones to “Use your words!”  With that, words seem trite at this point; but I’m going to try as my memories, imagination, and emotions are thrown upon my keyboard.  With fearless authenticity, everything meshes against the realities of life:  the highs, the lows, the elations, the sorrows.  I imagine all of these emotions inside a ball, just bouncing and rolling and only stopping to be picked up and tossed again.  That’s just life.

One wonders how the glow of living can even surface when considering the oddities, the inhumane acts,  and the constant pitfalls.  Yet, I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER!

No doubt, the years HAVE tossed me, my family, my friends, my loved ones into despair, (and you, as well, I’m sure), and I didn’t know where to turn or who to turn to, aside from God, family, and friends.   Those were definitely fear-driven eras of life.  During those times, it seems that I never felt safe.  I was always living in the past or projecting fear into future.  That place, my friends, is not a friendly place!  It’s like a vortex that keeps one unsatisfied.  It’s a place where one never has enough money, enough love, enough time, enough is never…enough.

When did my life become ENOUGH?  Well, the old cliche of almost losing my life comes to mind, plus the reality of living without income for a year definitely taught me gratitude and servitude.  With those uncertain moments, what I learned was how to be happy.  Not the silly-grin kind of happiness, but the thankful kind of happiness.  The peaceful kind of happiness.  The content kind of happiness.

And with this contentment came peace of mind.  I learned to just be still and let the Universe do its job, let my angels comfort me, let my friends share their love, let my family support me, let myself be free of the burdens of control, impatience, and judgement.

At 70, wisdom is still fleeting, AND it’s also frequently comforting.  With wisdom, I can just be me…right, wrong, or indifferent.  With confidence, I don’t HAVE to put my best, prettiest pictures eye level for others to view.  Often, I’ll display the scribbles {and paint-by-numbers} eye level for everyone to see first.  Judgement simply doesn’t matter anymore, for I know that I’ve accomplished a crapload of good effort in a lifetime.

AT 70, I’ve set goals and have seen them completed.  I’ve created and followed bucket lists and repeatedly redefined myself to meet the needs of my life.  I’ve watched and learned from others and gleaned what I could from their accomplishments as well.

At 70, I love youth, OUR youth.  I love watching them bloom into the beautiful cosmic souls that will influence our universe forever.  I love watching the buds unfold and dance the dance of life as if there is no tomorrow.  It’s beautiful.

I am beautiful.  You are beautiful.  WE are beautiful.  Our ages blend into a life form that intertwines with ageless souls influenced by God and His power and His purpose of ‘our world’ and the unknown.  WE are spirit.  WE are light.

At 70, abundance is ours.  We are loved with abundance.  We are given health to respect and enhance.  WE are given wealth, not just finances, but a wealth of knowledge, service from our neighbors and loved ones with kind hearts.  WE are given wisdom to teach others by actions, not by words alone.  WE are given strength to make good choices, to share the Gospel teachings as well as the teachings of all good people who teach us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.


The attached picture is of me in my twenties.  I look at it as I write.  I marvel at that young woman and wince, at times, at the woman she is.  At 70, I am astounded that life has passed so quickly, AND that young woman is excited about tomorrow.  


My celebratory year has included small, but important bucket list opportunities.  These follies included friends and families and significant others.  They included memories, desires, and fearless authenticity.  They weren’t always easy, and it certainly wan’t a frugal year.  Which takes me into next year…THE ESSENTIAL YEAR:)

My five-year goal is to have the happiest five years of my life.  I realize that misfortune will smirk at this goal, but I say it aloud:  The best five years of my life!  In deliberating this, and saying it repeatedly, I have come to believe it.  Words are powerful, you know.

Believe.  Believe in yourself.  Believe in the best.  Believe in your life.  Believe that we ‘mature adults’ (I use this sparingly) can influence for good, for peace of mind, for worldly peace, for Universal peace.

Believe that we are here for a reason, not just a season as the old saying goes.  What we look like, what we sound like will soon be forgotten.

How we made others feel will never be forgotten.

I thank you for sharing your love, your hearts, your thoughts…your lives with me.  It’s so fun still being in touch with childhood friends and so on.  You add color to my life.  You add strength to my soul.  You add joy.

Keep livin’ life with spunk, sass, and soul.

Giddyup to new adventures and another trip around the sun to celebrate!

Marilane Perriman, Bryan, Anderson, Ray



“KEEP YOUR MOTORS RUNNING…Heading for the Highway…Looking for adventure and whatever…” (well, you know).

“Born to Be Wild”, by Steppenwolf, is indicative of Woodstock, protests, free love and crazy 60’s, right?   It seems to me that those experiences (vicariously, or not) should be implanted into our aging Boomer bodies and our memory banks (that may be forgetting a few things here and there).  I can still hear the band singing now, and the girl in me wants to jump into chorus, dance around the room and pretend that I’m a vibrant 20 year old again.  My!  I could Frug, Jerk, Twist, Pony, and make a room come alive.  I bet you could, too.

Just one more time, I’d like to hear that motor running and step into adventure, heading for the highway.

However, today I’m feeling 69 1/2, and not so wild.  In fact, my rheumatoid arthritis is rampant this week, and I’m walking like Grandpa on the old TV series, The Real McCoys.  I’m reminded that aging is not for the weak, the spineless, or the fearful.

I am reminded that life is full circle as chapters are written, memorized, edited, loved, hated, rewritten and oft times, reinvented, if possible.

Last night, alone in my room, except for my friends, MacBook Air and Netflix, I settled in early and began watching a referred movie, “Our Souls at Night”, starring Robert Redford and  Jane Fonda.  Watching it was an exercise of intense introspection and realized realities.   Realizations that have sometimes hurt, have sometimes emoted pride, sometimes required forgiveness.  Nevertheless, these reality checks were significant enough to make me take serious reflection upon what I think I want, what I really need, and what reality provides.

For example, love.  Now, some of you have been married for a very long time.  I am sure that you’ve traveled many wonderful miles together, up and down, around and back within 4 or 5 decades together.  You have withstood the tests of time; and rightfully, have earned my highest respect! You have endured and chosen to remain within your marriage.  It is an awesome feat.  But, the big but, is that many of us are not…married, for whatever reasons.

So, what does being single mean to me at age 69 1/2 and what has this got to do with love, needs, wants, and life, adventures and growing older?  Being single itself promotes adventure, and can have its advantages, for sure.  It’s also many other expletives, as well as:  Challenging, Lonely, Unnerving.  Being single over 60 can also create critical judgements, can create victimization, always requires unusual spiritual strength, mandates emotional balance and most of all, requires having friends…really good, good friends.  And herein lies the jest of my blogging thoughts.

This is where the reality check evolves.  The tradeoffs, the compromises in life are numerable and varied.  I can’t dance like I used to.  Love doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me, either.   Yet, what I do have and what reality is providing for me is:   Friends.

My friends come from all walks of life; they are all ages, and they are male and female.  Without them, I do not know how’d I’d function.  They uplift, they tell the truth, they laugh with me and at me, and they sustain me through bad health and euphoric moments.  We are authentic and fearless.  Each would stand by my side should I call them.

The list isn’t long, this list of really good, good friends.  And, none of us are angels or little old ladies or somber men rocking in our chairs at sunset.  We meet to hear live music.  We talk about each other’s husbands, or boyfriends, girlfriends,  or children, or lovers or neighbors or our businesses or the latest trends.  We disagree about politics.  We watch each other dance.  We watch each other delight in grandchildren.  We brag to the inth degree.  We share in grief.  We somberly hold one another when times are tough.   Do my friends take the place of love and adventure?  No.  But they add to my life in ways that can’t be necessarily measured.

My motor is still fortunately running and sometimes I still head for the highway.  Seeing Earth, Wind & Fire in concert was a blast!  Sometimes I still dance a little,  too.  Yet, my best adventures now aren’t so elusive.  My new adventures are treasuring my memories of my children and family.  Honoring my friendships.  Unconditional love.

Being alone at night is still hard:  The intimacy of sharing the events of the day, or feeling someone hold you while you cuddle…of course, I greatly miss being in love; and that 5:30-7:30 time is THE HARDEST.  I miss my family meal preparations, the talk, the chaos.  I miss it all.

…and then a friend calls.  “Want to share a glass of wine?”   ‘Need a ride to Donn’s?”  “Just letting you know we sure do appreciate you here at work.”  A familiar voice, and I’m back on track.   My adventure of life seems stable and nurtured.  And isn’t that what we all truly desire?  To be loved, nurtured, protected, needed?

Know this.  I  am not ready to retire into senility or powerless aging rhetoric.  My adventures are yet to be seen or known.  My soul at night may be lonely, and I surely do want to find that person to share my intimate thoughts again; but my adventures still exist.

I will get my motor running.  I will head on down the highway, looking for adventure and whatever comes my way…and Yes!  My really good, good friends will enable me to see the world through the eyes of our youthful hearts.  They will share adventurous highways of trust, laughter, and tears.

These long and winding roads of life’s adventures will be filled with love, tenderness, and the unknown…but that’s another song:)

Giddyup ya’ll.  Go see the Bluebonnets.  Eat some Bluebell’s ice cream.  Picnic by the rivers.

Live life lovingly,

Texana Lane…headin’ down the highway of life!