Writing about hearts – and now roses

by Carolyn Thomas

Regular Heart Sisters blog readers may have recently noticed that the Sunday morning blog posts I’ve been publishing here since 2009 have slowed down.  Well, not just slowed. They’ve stopped. With spring in the air and my new balcony rose garden on my mind, I’m taking a summer break from writing about women’s hearts. Instead, I’m pulling on my gardening gloves and exploring my latest infatuation: is it possible to grow roses in pots out on a balcony?          

And like many writers, the urge to document my summer adventure has turned into a little blog. It’s called The Novice Rose Gardener.  For quite a while, I’ve felt the need to write about the things in life that bring me PURE JOY.  In the final paragraphs of my last published blog post here, for example, I hinted that I needed a wee break to do just that. Although I’ve been an avid gardener here on the west coast for decades, I’ve never been tempted to grow roses – however lovely the photo on the rose tag may be – mostly because of their nasty reputation: high maintenance, short blooming season, black spot, powdery mildew, aphids.  No thanks!

But – something wonderful happened last summer.        .     Continue reading “Writing about hearts – and now roses”

Heart Month awareness: doing the same thing, yet expecting different results

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥   @HeartSisters

February is our shortest month of the year and also the month officially acknowledged almost everywhere as Heart Health Awareness Month. Then we all turn the calendar page and glide over to March, the official month of Liver Health Awareness, Disability Awareness, Ovarian Cancer Awareness, Red Cross Awareness worldwide – and many other causes. My niggling question remains: do these assorted official days/weeks/months of awareness-raising actually help to raise awareness out there?  Continue reading “Heart Month awareness: doing the same thing, yet expecting different results”

10 years after my mother’s death

                “The Perogy Pinchers” ~ Lesley Lorenz *

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥  @HeartSisters

It will be ten years ago tomorrow that, after hearing the news on the phone, I re-read the chapter called When Your Mother Dies, in Rona Maynard’s wonderful book, My Mother’s Daughter:

“Baby showers herald the transition to motherhood. Roses, greeting cards and invitations to brunch celebrate mothers every May. Yet, despite our culture’s motherhood mystique, no rituals mark the psychological journey we daughters begin when our mothers die.”     Continue reading “10 years after my mother’s death”

Bucket Lists: do heart patients need them?

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥  @HeartSisters

Since my heart attack in 2008, I’ve been asked on occasion by friends and family (and even people who barely know me) if I now have a “Bucket List” – that Hollywood invention of the wonderful list of important-sounding things we must do before we kick the bucket. Nothing like a medical crisis, it seems, to remind us that life is short, and to shock us into re-examining our priority lists before we head off to that great Coronary Care Unit in the sky. Continue reading “Bucket Lists: do heart patients need them?”

#JOMO: it turns out there’s a name for my life

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥  @HeartSisters

You’ve likely heard of FOMO (the “fear of missing out”). Whenever you observe a group of friends or a family out spending time together, except every one of them is staring down at their phones – that’s a symptom of FOMO.  (What if something far more important than what I’m doing now is happening out there?!?)  But until recently, I hadn’t heard of the term JOMO – the joy of missing out. There’s actually a name for how I tend to live my life now.             . Continue reading “#JOMO: it turns out there’s a name for my life”

When heart disease isn’t your biggest problem

                                                    .           by Carolyn Thomas      

I did not see this coming.   I’d always thought that it would be heart disease that would do me in.  A year ago, when I noticed a deep pain at the base of each thumb, I figured I must have somehow injured (both) hands at the same time. When the pain got so bad I could no longer push-and-twist open the child-proof caps on the bottles of my cardiac meds, I asked my pharmacist to use easy-open caps for my drug prescriptions from now on. It took a while before the gnarled finger joints of both hands began to swell until they now resemble those of the Wicked Witch of the West.

I remember looking at my outstretched fingers one morning and wondering, “Whose hands ARE these?”       .    Continue reading “When heart disease isn’t your biggest problem”