I’ve Been Everywhere

To me, learning new things is the best part of travel. I usually plan a trip down to the most minute detail… but this time, for the first time, I left room for lots of other things to happen, and great things did!

71BB1856-40BA-467F-906F-29C0B90230C0I couldn’t find an RV “resort” in Jackson, MS, but there was a state park on the route and the price was good, or should I say, cheap? As we drove deep into the park along swampy ponds, we both got a little nervous. Things were getting closer, smaller, more jungle-like… were we going to be able to fit? As we slowly, slowly snaked our way in, we began to wonder why we even wanted to.

“If I hear banjos, we’re outta here,” my sweetie mumbled.

Having already unhooked the truck, we decided to see the Capital and the State Supreme Court buildings. Then we drove to the Fondren Neighborhood where parts of the movie “The Help” was filmed. Being sure to return before dark, I got to see my first alligator. The realization that there were alligators in that lake made me almost faint!  I couldn’t wait to leave in the morning.

A572B947-758C-4CEC-929E-5E85B9FE0150We headed to Florence, AL, hoping to have work done on our coach. Since there was a five-week wait at the Tiffin factory, that didn’t happen, but we did get to tour a Frank Lloyd Wright house, which was very close to our RV park (above) on the banks of the spectacular Tennessee River. We’ve always wanted to see one. I loved it, he didn’t like the small rooms. But the exterior, wow!

8764E0B5-7F97-4470-9C24-1C568BA02A96From there we went to Nashville, TN, and what a revelation! While Austin, where we live, is supposed to be the “coolest” city around, I disagree. Nashville is everything Austin could have grown-up to be, if we’d had leadership with that kind of vision. There are so many ways to get around Nashville that traffic isn’t the horrific experience we are used to at home… everything moved easily here. 218F7482-7209-4203-9E39-C5963F01AD3C

Staying at a spectacular park SE of town on Percy Priest Lake, we had our first taste of autumn, and the pleasant surprise of running into friends we’d made back in Natchez! We were excited to sit in their sleek Airstream and visit with them again. EC1206ED-32F3-4378-80CA-9B6DB404C9F2

We’d planned to visit with our dear friend Juliet, also a motorcycle rider. She came out to the lake to see our “casa,” one afternoon, and then we met her in East Nashville, where she lives, for a fabulous Sunday brunch at Marche. Having also eaten at Biscuit Love, I contend that we had our two best meals of the trip in Nashville!

From Nashville, we originally planned to go to Chattanooga… but headed to Memphis instead. Everyone told us to see The Ducks at The Peabody Hotel, which we thought was kind of corny… but we planned a whole day around it: lunch at a bbq joint, then explore the town, planning to be at the hotel by 4:00 to have a cocktail and see the ducks perform.


Lunch was good, more so for the people-watching than the old rooster I’d been served. Afterwards, my sweetie suggested going to “the museum” across the street to see why tour buses were bringing people there. We saw a sign… The Lorraine Motel. It rang a bell, but it wasn’t until we got closer that I realized why:

We were facing the balcony where Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had stood and shared his dream. Where he had died. I felt my heart break all over again, and I stood and wept.

B0B5FBF1-9692-4E50-B668-96106BCB49B1The next day, we ate at Beauty Shop Lunch, in the Cooper-Young neighborhood. An actual beauty salon with dryers, booths, and sinks that is now a chic cafe, how could I NOT go there? Priscilla Presley used to get her hair done here!

Getting to see the ducks at the beautiful old Peabody Hotel, the riverfront along the Mississippi, with its trolleys, and the MLK Memorial Park I’m so glad we visited Memphis. And to think, we had originally planned to skip it!

Our final stop was Little Rock, AR, and the RV park is right downtown, on the beautiful Arkansas River. It’s nestled between two pedestrian bridges, and blocks from their trolley system. The closest bridge leads to The Clinton Presidential Library. 2AFDC78F-3D8B-4B9F-B80C-C84A984093B0

The riverfront is beautiful. The city is small, elegant, and there seemed to be lots of cultural things to do other than just bars and music. However, the very best thing, in our opinion, is the fact that the Clinton Pedestrian Bridge lights up each night! We saw LED lights on it during our walk, but were disappointed when it never lit-up before we went to bed. 50221EEA-36C3-422A-B39A-19571DC1D900

One sleepless night, I peeked out of our living-room shade and to my amazement, there was a light-show on the bridge! Even though it was 2:30 a.m. I woke my better-half up… we were both as excited as kids at Christmas. What a great finale for a wonderful trip!

XO Donna



I know it probably seems like I’ve been “absent without leave,” but the last three weeks have been crazy-busy, stressful, and exhilarating, as if I’ve been riding a giant roller-coaster… and, mind you, I hate riding roller-coasters. I’m always afraid I’ll be that person… you know, the one who gets sick!

Long story, short: On July 15th we moved again,  and downsized even further. On July 20th, up to our ears in boxes, we finally found our dream motor-home just up the road in Georgetown, TX.  The owners have been a dream to deal with, too.  Talk about getting lucky!

imageThen, on July 31st, the book I’ve been writing (for a couple of years) – Sick and Tired… & Sexy: Living Beautifully with Chronic Illness became available on Amazon. If you (or anyone you know) are dealing with chronic illness, I’m sure you will find this book to be both helpful, and a fun read.

I hope you all enjoy it. If you do, please tell your friends, and please write and tell me. I’d love to hear from you!
Here is the link:

XO Donna

P.S. – I also wrote a new article for the online women’s magazine: 1010ParkPlace.com


What Else is Going On

The good news this week – an MRI revealed that I don’t need surgery, and I now have a beautiful blue fiberglass cast. They come in colors and you get to choose. Since they didn’t have leopard (calling all designers) I chose a lovely cobalt blue. It allows me to type with greater ease, and I can drive my stick-shift again.  I did like having “a driver” for three weeks – that’s definitely something I could get used to.

But here’s the really big news – my first article has been published in the online magazine 1010 Park Place! Their tag line is Make Life Count, and isn’t that what you are doing? Living well, staying inspired, and keeping it sexy!


I am impressed with the caliber of the writers, and honored to be included among them. There are thoughtfully written topics as diverse as mixing a great cocktail, leasing vs. buying an auto and the difference between a man’s approach and a woman’s, the passing of a parent, and traveling to Europe.

I hope you feel compelled to subscribe – and I’ll meet you there every other Wednesday.

XO Donna


A rabbit out of my hat

MagicTrickI still chuckle when I think of Bullwinkle J Moose and his promise to pull a rabbit out of his hat.  Speaking of performing magic tricks – I finished my book! It was sent to a publisher here in Austin on Monday.

The title is Sick & Tired. . .and Sexy, Living Beautifully with Chronic Illness. I have been writing it for a bit more than two years, but when I decided to retire at the end of December, I committed myself to finishing it. I worked for 4-5 hours each day for the past three months, and Voila!  Bullwinkle would be jealous.

It is a Body/Mind/Spirit/Style guide to feeling good, having more energy, and keeping that sexy part of ourselves alive and well, in spite of chronic illness.  But, I believe it has great information for everyone.  Who couldn’t use more energy?

I’m going to leave you with a sneak-peek of the piece of art being used on the “Flaming-June”-by-Sir-Fredrick-Leightoncover: It’s an all-time favorite of mine called “Flaming June,” by Sir Fredrick Leighton. Isn’t she beautiful?

XO Donna

Stage Fright

I’m certain it’s just stage fright, nothing more. I’ve been working toward this day for more than two years, but if truth be told, it’s really closer to fifty years. My first book, Sick & Tired. . .and Sexy! Living Beautifully with Chronic Illness is finally finished and almost ready to go to the publisher.

I’m touching up the Introduction. I’ve finished the Table of Contents, the Resources, the back cover, and the Acknowledgements. Then I’ll need to know my final word count. And, of course I’m worried that I’ve forgotten someone important. Now I know why Oscar winners ramble on and on and on for fear of leaving someone critical to their success out. Like their husband, or wife, or the director.

imageRight now there is so much stuff cluttering my desk that I can’t find what I need, and I’m having a teeny-tiny panic-attack. All I can think about is having an Old Fashioned with a Luxardo cherry.

Maybe I should take more time and work on it for another month or two so it will be perfect. Or maybe it would be even better to just rewrite the whole thing? Aaarrggh!

Okay, I’m fine. I have to get back to it now. I’m pretty sure I’ll have good news for you next week. Wish me luck.

XO Donna