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12:07:11 PM

Hi Jamie,

Thank you for such kind words. You have certainly been a steadfast friend to me. I value your thoughtful ways and your kind heart.

I am very happy for you that you are now retired and can get more rest, which can only help you to heal.

I hope everything goes smoothly with your upcoming move, and ya'll love Southern living and your new home.

Notice I said "ya'll", because every Southern girl must have that word in their vocabulary. I bet I'll be hearing you use it soon :-)

God bless,


7:11:05 PM

Hello, Chrissie!

Mel does have a great sense of humor, and I like the graphics he chooses! They make people smile. That is always a good thing!

I am sorry to hear that you are having tummy issues. There are a number of us (you, Cheryl, myself, Linda, and others) who really struggle with our compromised guts. It’s very unfortunate. As you know, there are a lot of natural foods and other things that help to soothe the gut: aloe, slippery elm, marshmallow, licorice root, ginger, turmeric...the list goes on and on. I know you are a big fan of ginger, as am I. Everyone is different, though, so what works for one person might not necessarily work for another. That is why a food journal, as Mel always stresses, is quite helpful to keep track of what helps...and what doesn’t help.

Yes, I agree that moving long distance requires an adjustment period. I cannot wait to develop a charming Southern accent like Cheryl or Donna or Karen! Alan’s family is there, and I have met many of them before; they are nice people. Alan’s stepmother (his only surviving parent) has like 11 brothers and sisters, and they all have families. My mother’s two closest friends are there. One of my close high school friends is there—only 10 minutes ways. Some of my former students are there. When I was only 22, I moved from Pennsylvania to Connecticut. I was far less emotionally equipped to handle that move, but I did it. It took about a year to adjust but, honestly, New England is NOT the most receptive place on the planet when it comes to newcomers! (Sorry, Donald, but it is SO true!). The South is entirely different. And, yes, I do have my husband and Lilly, although I think she is NOT going to enjoy the adjustment. We are a tad bit worried about her! She knows something is happening because there are boxes all over the place, and we have disturbed her environment! She might need a tranquilizer during the long trip in the car!!! I’d love to see a picture of your cat who was once with you!

I’ve been walking (slowly) every single day. I’ve slowed my pace because I am trying to slow my entire body down and get it out of “fight or flight.” I won’t get better if I don’t. I am eating so slowly, too....that is another digestion tip. Eat slowly and chew your food until it is literally the smallest of particles. That way, your tummy doesn’t have to work so hard. Teaching taught me to devour my food because I had to get up so early and often only had 5-10 minutes for lunch. That is not enough time to eat a meal!

I really hope that you and Holly girl are doing well. I know you have had a terribly long journey trying to rebound from the last surgery you had. I don’t know how you do it every day, but you do. I have great admiration for your perseverance and positive nature. Now that I am back on the calls, I have been reminded of how utterly calming your voice and prayers always are. Thank you for that!!!

Take excellent care of yourself. If you have a chance to give me a phone call, please do! I’d love to actually speak with you personally! We did that a few times, but it was a long time ago.

Love you!


7:51:29 AM

Dear Jamie,

Ha I smiled at Mels picture of me and Holly bouncing on our rebounders to help both of our lymphatic systems, what a funny image!!

Woweee Jamie, it's even more exciting than I thought re you are getting a house built just for you!!! Thats absolutely wonderful. It also sounds like a lovely wee place you are moving too.

There is definitely an adjustment period . I moved away many miles after living in the place I was born for 39 years. I didn't know anyone and moved alone and I didn't know the place.. It took maybe a year of it being a bit surreal and like a dream, before I got used to the new reality. My only familiarity was my beautiful Calico cat who I loved with all my heart. Her constant affection, purrs and cuddles got me through the adjustment period!!! She's, long gone now, but that wee petal helped me immensely through many ups and downs for 18 years. Bless her wee white paws :-).

I think though that because you are moving with Alan and not on your own , you will still have that sense of familiarity through him. And your wee cat will be with you too. Also, he knows the place well and can help you settle in. Does Alan have friends and family there who can welcome you both? Also, the beautiful countryside around you and going on your lovely walks surrounded by the fauna and flora of NC, I'm sure you will love. Not to mention your brand new home :-).

So so good that you feel a huge weight coming off your shoulders re not having to go to school anymore. It is especially good just now with all the stress and restrictions re the coronavirus. It's a blessing that you can sleep as much as your body and mind need now and can tune in to what your spirit needs and connect with God too. That's great you can walk 3/4 miles a day, your energy levels are really good!

Your welcome re advice re digestion. I find that my go to is definitely cucumber batons. I slice up that trusty cucumber and munch the long sticks like an eager rabbit :-).The cucumber can neutralise acids and aid digestion. They are also an excellent source of vitamin K, C and different B vitamins too. They also contain essential alkaline electrolytes that keep us hydrated too.

Well, take good care, enjoy your freedom and we look forward to hearing your warm voice on the calls!


4:58:51 PM

Hello, Terry!

Thank you for your sweet post!

You and I talk several times a week on the phone, so I pretty much know what is going on with you!

I’m so glad that you have a healthy distraction right now—that your daughter is keeping you very busy with wedding plans and details and events!

I continue to pray for you in the wake of the loss of your dear Terry.

Love you!


1:48:12 AM


It sure was great to here your voice on the calls last week.

I am so happy for you. Being retired is an another step to getting well. You can now focus 100% on yourself and getting well.
As we all know it is a full time job working on recovery from this illness. But together we can all get to the end of this journey.

I am so happy for you and your husband. Starting a new life in a new home is so exciting. I wish the best for you Jamie.

You are a dear, sweet person.

God Bless,


4:26:40 PM

Hello, Chrissie and Tea!

Mel, I have to say, that graphic of Chrissie and Holly on their rebounders is quite funny!

Chrissie, I am moving south of Raleigh, NC, less than an hour. I am definitely not in a big city. I am just outside a sleepy little Southern town. We have a house being built, and it will be ready when we get there at the end of July. It is in a community that is being developed by two separate builders, and each has numerous home design options, so the neighborhood will not be “cookie cutter.” It’s not a retirement community, but there is a community pool. My husband was born and raised in North Carolina, and he still has family there, so he knows the area much better than I do. However, I am not a native New Englander (I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA), so I do not feel as though I am leaving my “home,” even though I have been here for 35 years. I will adjust. Like everything else, it will just take some time. I have a lot of friends in New England who will keep in touch and come visit, and I have a lot of dear friends on the forum as well.

Thank you for the advice related to my digestive system! I greatly appreciate it!

I definitely feel about 300% less stressed knowing that I never have to return to full-time high school English teacher ever again! I am still connected to the school email (that will end soon, I am sure), and today they came out with THE PLAN for the fall. Let me tell you: I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad that I will not be there! I just feel so sorry for my friends who will have to endure it. The world has surely gone a little crazy. God definitely had His hand in my decision to leave when I did. I got out just in time.

I am getting SO much restorative sleep. I sleep until I feel like getting up, which is such a blessing. I think I was literally sleep-deprived for the past three decades. I take a 3-4 mile walk every day (the weather has been beautiful here), and I have upped my water intake tremendously. I am consciously monitoring my stress and not allowing myself to fixate on negative thoughts. I pray and read the Bible more because I have the time and because I have committed myself to do so. It has made a HUGE difference. For a long time, I do not think I was QUIET enough to hear God because my life was stuffed full to the brim due to work. That makes breathing easier.

Tea, thank you for the Bible verse (which made me tear up a little), and thank you as well for watching my speech. Actually, there were a number of forum ladies (and Donald!) who were able to see the speech I gave to the senior class, my words of wisdom after 32 years. For those of you who heard it and were listening very carefully, you might have caught this VERY personal piece of advice that was near the close of the speech.

I said: “Make sure to take care of your physical and mental health because the cost of not doing so might be too great.”

Oh, if those kiddos I have taught in the past four years only knew the truth about what their teacher has endured! It is better, however, that they never know that.

It was awfully nice to be on Sunday’s conference call and hear so many familiar voices! I am hoping to make the calls this weekend, but we have Alan’s children this weekend, and it is one of the final weekends we have with them before we move. We will miss them a lot. It is also Father’s Day this weekend, so I am sure we will do something to celebrate as well.

Both of you (and Holly, too!) are in my thoughts and prayers, as well as everyone on the forum!


10:36:37 PM

Hi Jamie!!

Wow!! It came and went so fast! I watched your speech and like everything else you do it was great!

It’s amazing to hear I love the good actions you’re doing moving forward with such a positive aspect on the outcome.

I’ve always been trying to stay positive on how to keep our mind focused on what’s good. The unfortunate circumstances of this crazy world will always try to detour our thoughts give us one that shouldn’t be there and make us worry about things that never happen. When we stay positive our outcome is positive. The one thing we can choose in life is, what we think about. Which being human, I struggle with a lot, but I will always continue to pick myself back up and walk in the right direction.

So, it won’t be long and you’ll be getting everything in order and ready to start your next chapter in your new journey, (which will be amazing) and I’m so excited for you! One of my many favorite versus is

Isaiah 60:1

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is Risen upon thee.


12:58:38 PM

Dear Jamie,

Thanks very much for your swift and very pleasant response :-).

I am very glad to hear that you are retiring and so that stress won't be there anymore. That's tremendous news!!!

Also you are moving to North Carolina in July that's awesome. Is it far from where you live now? I dearly love North Carolina accents and the countryside is just beautiful isn't it. Can you tell us, will you be in the heart of the countryside and what kind of house will you stay in? Do you know it well the area? That's exciting!!

I am sorry re your heartburn and headaches still troubling you Jamie :-(. I too have been having problems with acid reflux and stomach issues. Certainly the pain killers and medication after my operations did not help.. I find that when the stomach lining is irritated I always have a headache also. The gut and the head are very much linked.

A few things that I have done that have helped me are drinking strong large mugs of camomile tea, at least three mugs a day..i also find mint and nettle and fennel tea to be helpful.

I also make a point of eating raw vegetables at every meal including breakfast. This was an intuitive thing but it certainly helps the digestion by keeping the body more alkaline. Even just some long strips of cucumber to munch on alongside the other food absolutely helps. I eat a large salad daily also.

Peppermint oil in the bath helps my headache and it may be helping my digestion a little also. Or you could use it in an oil burner with a wee tea light. It is a very cheering, uplifting smell.

Every day I rub a little virgin caster oil onto my stomach area and also my lower back where my kidneys are, then I rest for an hour or so. I then wash it off. You can add a little lavender oil to it for relaxation or camomile or rose oil (they are usually blended with a carrier). I find the caster oil is very relaxing and healing and does help.

I still am healing from my op and still have health issues including my stomach but all of these things do help. As well as the wonderful meds we have re the protocol, essential digestion and the probiotics. Magnifigreens also help re alkalinity. Extra probiotic helps also.

Have you tried deep abdominal breathing? I try to remember to do that daily also. This deep breathing helps relax the parasympathetic nervous system (through the Vagus nerve) and can help calm the body and mind. It can even help with inflammation in the body.

It's soo good that you are incorporating new things daily into your life to help your health and wellbeing. Sometimes, even just a few little things can make such a difference.

Catch up soon,

Wee Holly says, "Woof!!!"

Take care,

11:01:20 AM


And CHRISSIE I do actually know your name! That was a major TYPO that I missed!

Sorry about that!
Love you!


11:00:43 AM

Dear Jamie,

It is wonderful to read your post! I am so happy to hear about the progress you are making.

I think the extra water might even help with your headaches.

I am glad you liked the shampoo I sent, and I pray it helps restore your hair to its natural, thick, shiny state. You will get there!!

It will be easier to push away negative thoughts as you have more time to SLEEP, rest, and take extra good care of yourself.

I think of you often, and say a prayer for you especially every night.

You have suffered tremendously for so many years--I want to see you get WELL my dear friend!

I hope that a fresh start in the south will be all that you want and need it to be. I am excited and hopeful for you as you continue your journey towards recovered health.

Love you girl,

11:00:20 AM

Hello, Robin, Cheryl, and Donna,

Well, I am 24 hours away from being a retiree! Woo hoo! Today, I return this device and my keys and my parking pass to the school. Grading is all done and submitted. It is really over!!! I thought I’d be more emotional about leaving the place, but I am surprisingly not. I will absolutely miss the kiddos, but I will not miss much else!

Oh, Robin, your poor daughter got into teaching during such challenging times. God bless her! I hope her third year is not too overwhelming with all the significant changes that are happening in public education across the nation. Thank you for reading my posts: I am glad someone makes it through my long-windedness!

Cheryl, it was so nice to speak to you the other day, and we text very regularly. You have been so supportive to me and know how tremendously difficult the past few months have been. You have taught me so much about the Bible, about this disease, about life, about what it means to be a true Christian lady. I am so grateful for you. I continue to pray for you and Sonny as your husband recovers from his surgery.

Donna, I was just thinking that it has unfortunately been ages since we have spoken. That will, indeed, need to be remedied quite quickly. And guess what? I now have LOADS of free time on my hands! It is so liberating to be retired from teaching. It is as if a 100-pound pile of bricks lifted right off my shoulder, almost instantly! Whenever you have some time, please feel free to give me a call! I hope you are doing well and enjoying life post-MD and Lyme, you lucky girl! Oh, how I wish I were there, too, but I am fairly sure that is not happening any time soon. I have had these illnesses for lengthy periods of time, and I have complicated pre-existing GI issues, as you know. I’m not sure where Robin is from, but pretty soon I will be much close to you and Cheryl, and I will officially become a Southerner! I cannot wait to develop a Southern drawl so that I sound more like my husband and numerous ladies on the forum!

The packing is going well. You would be surprised (well, maybe not!) about how efficient I have been over the past two months while my students were working during e-learning. I would mute myself and pack boxes. I only have to pack the kitchen (although whatever we do not use on a regular basis is already packed), clothing, bathroom items, and the office where my husband pays bills, etc. This move has not stressed me one single bit so far. Alan is doing all the tough arrangements like hiring a moving company, dealing with the closings, etc. (he likes to do those things, so more power to him).

I think my darn prima Donna cat will be the biggest challenge. Lilly does NOT like change. I am plopping her in the car with Alan because she likes him better anyway. I plan to drive to North Carolina without a perpetual Siamese cat shriek ringing in my ears! We will, invariably, need to stay in a hotel for a few days on both ends. There is absolutely no way around it. I tend to do very well in hotels. My husband always chooses really clean ones. I will be armed with Kleen Green, too, and my own pillow. Our new home is brand spanking new construction, which just thrills me to death, although the house we are living in does not have any issues, thank goodness.

Well, that is about all for now. Take care, lovely ladies!

Donna M

12:34:53 AM

Dear Jamie,

As Chrissie and Robin said, it was so good to hear you on the weekend calls. ( I wasn't able to make Saturday's call but can't wait to listen to the recording.)

We have not had a phone visit in quite awhile, but it is apparent you have been a very busy bee! Finishing your last semester of teaching and retiring, selling your home in five days, and moving to North Carolina are definitely exciting, life changing events. All I can say is wow and congratulations!!

Even though you went through a pretty rough patch, I am so glad that you were strong, persevered and got through it.
Its wonderful that you have started to enjoy your time off and have implemented so many positive changes in your life.

I know you will be crossing the finish line, sooner than later! I'm looking forward to catching up with you soon. Love you sweet lady and take care !

God Bless,


3:46:57 PM

Hi Jamie,

I agree that it was great hearing you on the weekend calls. You are such a lovely, caring person. I miss you when you aren't there.

Who sang any better than Cat Stevens back in the day? He was one of my favorites and I still marvel at his beautiful voice when I hear one of his songs.

I think I remember you reading Morning Has Broken in Sunday prayer and fellowship once a while back. It would be lovely to hear you read it again sometime again.

For those of you who have never heard Cat Stevens sing Morning Has Broken, or if you would just like to hear him sing it again, here he is singing it live.

Thank you for the kind words. Redirecting our thoughts can be difficult, especially to begin with. We are never perfect at it, but the more we do it, the more our brains seem to adapt to it.

Karen from Texas had a great thread about that a while back called What is Under Our Control It has some fantastic information in it.

Tea read the following verse during prayer Sunday. Thank you, Tea, for reminding us of the importance of thinking on good things.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Rockin Robin

8:09:24 PM

Dear Jaime,
Just wanted to say we miss you! I have always loved reading your posts, probably because I am a teacher too. You show such love and care for your students!

My daughter also became a teacher. This was her 2nd year. Know we love you and are here for you! Thinking about you today a lot. Your in my prayers!!

Love & Hugs, Rockin Robin


5:21:20 PM

Hello, Christie!

So ironic...I was thinking today that I have not spoken to you directly in quite a long period of time. I hope you will consider Skyping or emailing me again soon! Now that I am just about retired (I only have three days left, but they are not actual teaching days), I have way more time on my hands already! It is blessed wonderful!

I really hope that you are feeling better. You certainly sound better. I attended both weekend calls, and it was SO calming to hear your voice. I hope Holly is doing well, too. I know how much you love and adore that pup. And I know how much she must keep you going.

I am hopefully coming out of a rough patch, and it was rough. I have been experiencing absolutely terrible heartburn on a daily basis, and my esophagus became burned somehow, making it very hard for food to go down. I still have no concrete answers to what has provoked this issue, but I have some strong suspicions. I was also horribly plagued with almost daily headaches for months. It almost broke me completely. The pain was barely endurable. Teaching online for the past three months also wore me down as well: so glad that it is over FOREVER.

My husband and I sold our home in five days flat, which was an incredible blessing. We move to North Carolina at the end of July, which is also a blessing.

I have already begun to change my life in some significant ways, now that the incredible burden of my career has been lifted. These are some of the things that I have incorporated on a daily basis:

#1: I drink SO much more water.

#2: I have started taking B6 and CBD at night to help with my sleep and headaches. I get a lot more sleep these days and take naps when I need them.

#3: I walk for about an hour every day I can.

#4: I pray multiple times a day, usually about three: once in the morning, once during the day, and at night before I go to sleep.

#5: I read the Bible daily. I have committed myself to reading the Bible start to finish. I am currently in the middle of Exodus.

#6: I play music in the morning, usually the songs “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel.

#7: After speaking at length with Cheryl the other day, I have started to work on redirecting ALL my negative thoughts. It is a TON of work for me, but I need to do it.

#8: I continue to work on being a better person.

Thank you so much for reaching out, Chrissie. I truly appreciate it! Love you, girl!

Chrissie **

12:23:13 PM
Hello Jamie

Dear Jamie,

How are you doing? It was a nice surprise to hear you on the weekend calls :-).

I do hope that you are keeping well!

Do keep in touch and let us know how you are!

Best wishes,