Tag Archives: auld lang syne

Auld Lang Syne Means “Old and Sigh….”

An MS’er tackles a new year and offers a contest update


Happy days after the holidays friends, or, as I like to call them, the “ok to have Christmas cookies for breakfast time as you have so many to eat in order not to offend the people who gave them to you and you will start a health kick in the New Year anyway” week…

If you are at all like me, your holiday of choice was filled with food, family and friends and all of them are making you sluggish and nostalgic in the aftermath. Today my brain is foggier than usual and foggier then the fog outside as I ponder all things emotional, old and new.


For example, I have a friend having a birthday this week and she is turning 45. How on Earth is that possible?

Don’t get me wrong, I have friends of all ages and a true friend is not determined by how old they are. But this friend is in my same age bracket and if she is turning 45, what does that say about me?

I shiver at the thought!

The good news is that even stuffed with roast beast, potatoes, baked goods and chocolate, I got on the scale and discovered that I weigh 6 lbs less than I did at this time last year-woohoo!


Since my goal last year was to lose 20lbs by my next neurologist appointment (that was this past July and who’s to say that I didn’t lose it?) and I have had another appointment since then and that was three months ago and my goal had nothing to do with follow up appointments, I am considering this a success!

And since last year I went on a family trip where I lost six lbs chasing a 21 month old and his baby brother, and this year their ages are now 2.9 months and 17 months, my plan was to lose 12 lbs chasing both of them. Hey, you do math your way and I will do it mine.

The plan did not work however as I only lost 1 lb on the trip this year proving of course, that I still suck at math.


Sitting down with a plate of holiday treats I decided to take stock of the year by looking over some former blogs. Turns out, when I go below the bare bones of the musings throughout the year, I discovered that it was a bit of a tough one.

There was a blizzard, ridiculous heat and humidity, bug infestations, being forced to move during the heat and humidity and bug infestations, two unexpected deaths of two dear friends, and a couple of falls.

Note- I only document one fall in my blogs this past year, a fall where Fido, my pet portable ac tripped me. The second fall happened on my recent trip where I got my first black eye, a real shiner. But man, you should have seen the sidewalk!

Looking over the blogs though, I also found some great stuff.


I got to see the Rolling Stones perform live which was huge because that could be the last time they perform live together again.

Yes, I did say that the previous six or seven times I have seen them live but you just never know.

I was able to keep my sense of humor through most of the bad, hopefully helping all of you giggle as I kept from going crazy by sharing some of the bad with you.

And my year was filed with wonderful and fun help from dear family and friends, for which I am super grateful.

So the good of the year outweighed the bad. And maybe the bad of 2013 will help ease some of the potential bad of 2014, making 2014 a total kick butt year!


For example, while the move came at the worst time possible and I miss my little house, when the bugs and pollen and heat hit this spring, I will be in a new rental better able to handle it and complete with a real ac.

Don’t worry Fido fans, I will keep him around too if for no other reason than that he has stayed super loyal, despite the pushing incident.

And while my ‘get fit’ plan continues to be a work in progress (I did refer to it as baby steps though this baby is about to enter high school I have been working on this so long,) I have dropped 12 lbs and more importantly, adopted some healthier habits. All the better to move forward with in 2014.

So what if the end 2013 means we are all one year older, including my birthday friend. Let’s all give a collective sigh at this knowledge.


BUT, let’s use that knowledge to work even harder to have a much improved 2014. I know I plan on it!

Happy Birthday dear, thrilled that you are older than me, friend!


And Happy New Year to everyone!

PS One of the things that took a lot of work in 2013 was getting my book ready for publication. Now I can use 2014 to reap the rewards of its release and count all the huge book sales- hopefully!

Please mark on your calendars that MS Madness: A “Giggle More, Cry Less” Story of Multiple Sclerosis will be out in February!

In anticipation of its release, I can now announce the December contest winner! It is Cindy from Indiana. Her response to the question of what two quotes do I open MS Madness with were the first and most accurate. The quotes are-


“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV


“A smile relieves a heart that grieves…” Jagger/Richards from Waiting on a Friend


Cindy got the exact Proverbs verse and while she did choose the Rolling Stones, she didn’t get the exact quote from them.

Congratulations Cindy! You win a $25 gift card to Amazon and an autographed copy of MS Madness!

Others won a free e-book of MS Madness for their guesses and I will be in touch with them as well.

Thank you all for your support.

There will be one more contest in January which I am not going to tell you about now, mostly because my brain is too fogged to come up with contest details.

But please stay tuned!!!



Image courtesy of vectorolie/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Image courtesy of lamnee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of vectorolie/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/FreeDigitaalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Resolve This!

An MS’er attacks the New Year


Happy New Year everyone! Hope you have had an excellent start to this first day of 2013.

Yes, oh particular ones, I do realize that today is the 11th and thus eleven days after the first official day of the year. But my question is, says who? The Mayans?

I have chosen to start the New Year and my New Year’s resolutions today for several reasons.

1. I had way too much chocolate and goodies still leftover from Christmas to even attempt any healthy eating plan. Unlike my thinner friend who decided to start her resolutions on 12/29 to get ahead of the game (New Year kiss-ass,) I choose to be a rebel and just start later. I also resolved to waste less, so I would be immediately failing if I threw out the good stuff. My friend had help in that department. Her four, pretty much grown kids, who were home for the holiday helped her devour her treats. I was forced to tackle mine almost completely alone.

ID-100126224 (1)

2. The end of the first official week of the New Year was filled with two afternoons of MRI’s, for which I needed to refrain from taking my wonder drug, Aleve, for several days. (More on what I Iearned from the MRI tube in a future blog.) Without my over the counter pain meds, the aches were miserable and I resolved to do nothing but lie around my house and whine about them.

3. As you can see from the above, this year I resolved to take my health and ‘get fit’ plan seriously. So I seriously chose a good day to start- the 11th, the Yvonne deSousa official first day of the New Year! A brief Auld Lang Syne to all!

If you happened to be following my ‘get fit’ plan over the summer, you understand that it takes baby steps to achieve healthy new fitness goals. Little by little, I have been sneaking better habits in and have figured some things out along the way that may help all of you in your ‘get fit’ journey as well.



1. One regular size Mounds candy bar is not the equivalent of two servings of fruit.

2. Kale is the best veggie in the world but eating eight bowls of Portuguese kale soup is not the healthiest way to meet your veggie requirements.

3. While super delicious, Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Pumpkins are not actually made from pumpkins and thus, don’t count as a fruit serving.

4. Cinnamon is an excellent spice and very good for you. But shaking just a little on ice cream, puddings and baked goods is the least effective way of adding it to your diet.

5. Just because something is in the yogurt section of the dairy case and starts with Yo, doesn’t mean it is the same as the yogurt the experts all tell you to eat. Apparently the stuff that comes with mini M&M’s and Oreo cookies are not the best in yogurt options.

6. Since dark chocolate is good for you, one would assume that milk chocolate is even better as it has milk in it. Apparently, that is not the case.

7. Turns out calories consumed by eating raw cookie dough really do count.

8. Vegan and vegetarian are considered by some to be politically incorrect words these politically correct days. The new appropriate phrasing is “plant based diet.” This I discovered when another friend and I attended a class on “plant based diet” cooking. (See, I really am trying.)

The class was held in a small, quiet room in a doctor’s office, and was just beginning when my friend called to tell me that she was late as she couldn’t find the place. I did what any good friend would do and gave her the best directions that would help her find it.

“It is directly across from McDonalds on Main, you know the Mickey D’s we went to last month to pick up the Frappes.” Despite the offended looks I received from the instructor, I did take home some good recipes.


Over the fall, you, readers have been concerned about me as well and have sent me some helpful information. One reader and dear friend recommended a book called the Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book that I purchased and have leafed through several times. I swear one of these days I will actually read the words written in it, I really will.

Another reader mentioned the website www.skinnytaste.com and honestly, it looks really good. And I heard from the founder of the website www.msdietforwomen.com and that looks really good too. Guys, you are on your own on that one.

I also discovered the website www.crazysexydiet.com that is geared towards people using healthy foods to fight cancer, but has the same good for you basics we all need. I was at first pleased when I read their list of 9 Foods You Should Never Eat and discovered that I only ate 2 of them- two didn’t seem that bad. Then I realized that Portuguese bread and Italian bread are considered white bread so damn, there were three things on the list I need to cut out.

Not to forget the other part of any person’s ‘get fit’ plan, is the fact that you must drink lots of water. It is not that I have an aversion to water, I just forget to drink it. I usually remember right about the time in the evening when I remember to take my “so I don’t pee all night” pill, which of course, is too late to start drinking water.

And then there is exercise. Another reader sent me info about a website www.crankyfitness.com    The concept of this site is that if exercising makes you cranky, the website can relate.

What all of these things seem to say is that the basic plan should be to eat more vegetables and fruits, no processed foods, much, much, less meat, sugar, and flour, drink water and exercise. I am on it!

I have charged the batteries in my Wii and have the ingredients for my first recipe, a Ham, Brown Rice and Peas casserole for WHICH, I am going to substitute kidney beans for the ham and exchange half the brown rice for farro to add some good grains.

I can do this! Want to join me?


Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [sattva] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net