Postcards from the Diabetes UnConference

Laddie_Head SquareLast Friday I drove from Arizona to Las Vegas to participate in the Diabetes UnConference. It is trite to say that words can’t describe the experience, but Words Can Not Describe My Experience. Three days later I am still exhausted. But three days later I am invigorated with images of new friends, old friends, smiles, tears, hand claps, Diet Pepsi, red wine served by charming bartenders, hugs, lows, highs, and flamingos. I don’t want to start listing names because I know that I will mess up and forget my most cherished friends. But I do want to thank Christel Marchand Aprigliano of The Perfect D for following her vision of “The only peer-to-peer support conference for adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.”

As I struggled to find a way to express my impressions of a magical weekend, I stumbled upon a pile of postcards ready to tell their story:


Abby the Black Lab Discusses Community

Laddie:  Abby the Black Lab has been slacking off recently and hasn’t written a blogpost since May 2014. In response to my threat to withhold dinner tonight, she graciously offered to step in and share her views on community and #dblogcheck day.


Abby with Abby Crown_no backgroundAbby:  It is #dblogcheck day. Laddie informed me that she is too busy to write a blogpost today because she is visiting other blogs in the Diabetes Online Community (#DOC) and leaving comments. Although I am overworked protecting my home from coyotes, rattlesnakes, and FedEx drivers, I suppose I can take a minute to discuss dog biscuits, mailboxes, and people with diabetes.

In my Arizona neighborhood there is a magic mailbox which dispenses dog biscuits instead of outgoing mail. I learned about it a few years ago from my Golden Retriever friend Stella. When Laddie and I walk down this street a few blocks from home, I tug on the leash to prompt her to open the mailbox door and see what delicacies await me. (Mind you, I eat tree pods, table scraps, and rabbit poop so I’m not very particular….) Along with dogs of all breeds, shapes, and sizes, I wag my tail and explode with excitement. I am a 78-pound dog who goes berserk over snacks the size of a quarter.


Do you know what else the magic mailbox does? It beams happiness to My Human and zaps a smile on her face every walk. Some days there are twenty treats in the mailbox and they are devoured by late afternoon. That means that lots of dogs got yummy treats while their owners were reminded that small things can bring joy to others. The random act of dog-biscuit-kindness is contagious as the humans become more apt to smile at and engage their neighbors. By dispensing magical treasures every day, this mailbox helps build a bond of community in the neighborhood. Community. That’s important.

So what does this have to do with diabetes? The purpose of #dblogcheck day is to celebrate the #DOC and connect with people on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and wherever you hang out. You are prompted to leave a comment on every blog you read even if it is as short as writing “Check.” I like to think that blog comments, tweets, and Facebook remarks are dog treats where you touch base with people and remind them that they are appreciated and that the diabetes community is important.

Laddie: Sometimes I ask myself whether my blog is my most important contribution to the #DOC. My answer is “Not at all.” I think that when I read and respond to the blogs, tweets and Facebook postings of my FFABD’s (Fellow Folks Affected By Diabetes) that I validate their experiences and remind them that their voice is important. That’s a good thing.

Abby the Black Lab has no idea about the carb count of dog biscuits and neither do I. We both know that comments are carb-free and we encourage you to explore the #DOC today and everyday. Write comments and take time to welcome/support new and established members of the diabetes community. No one has ever complained about too much love, respect, and validation.

Abby:  Check!

Laddie:  Check!


Other posts by Abby the Black Lab:

Abby the Black Lab Discusses DSMA Live

Abby the Black Lab Discusses Nutrition

A Diabetes Poem

The Great Divide in the DOC

My List of Fours

Sue_HeadSquare2Thanks to Laddie for encouraging me and Sue from Pennsylvania to contribute our answers to the Meme of Fours. I had a lot of fun thinking about and coming up with these answers, changing my answers more than once from my husband Steve’s input.

Here are my answers:

1. Four names people call me other than my real name:

  1. Q
  2. Mom
  3. Babers
  4. Grandma

2. Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Babysitter
  2. Waitress
  3. Accounting clerk
  4. Typist

3. Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. Finding Neverland
  2. About Schmidt
  3. Lord of the Rings
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean

Meme of Fours_SueS4. Four Books I’d Recommend:

  1. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by the Countess of Carnarvon
  2. Better Each Day by Jessica Cassity
  3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  4. Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

5. Four Places I’ve Lived:

  1. Scarborough, ME
  2. N. Syracuse, NY
  3. Cortland, NY
  4. Farmington, NY

6. Four Places I’ve Visited:

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. St. Thomas and St. Martin, Caribbean
  4. St. Louis, Missouri

7. Four Things I Prefer Not to Eat:

  1. Anything Andrew Zimmern eats
  2. Liver
  3. Escargot
  4. Frog legs

8. Four of My Favorite Foods:

  1. My husband’s spaghetti and meatballs
  2. Cobb salad
  3. Chicken wrap
  4. Homemade chicken noodle soup

9. Four TV Shows I Watch:

  1. Downton Abbey
  2. The Voice
  3. Today Show
  4. The Black List

10. Four Things I’m Looking Forward to This Year:

  1. Warmer weather
  2. Trail walking with Steve and my Morkie Rosa
  3. Cookouts
  4. Get out of the house

11. Four Things I’m Always Saying:

  1. You should try it, it’s really good (to the grandsons at mealtime)
  2. Don’t leave a mess in the kitchen (to hubby)
  3. Do you want to go to the mall? (to hubby; the answer is always no)
  4. Are you going to bed already? (to hubby)

My Fours Meme

Sue B_Head SquareSince I have run out of things to say on a blogpost, this is a great way to let everyone know that I’m still here. Thanks to Laddie who sent the idea to me and Kelly Kunik of Diabetesaliciousness from whom I got the questions. Kelly mentions other D-bloggers who posted a Meme of Fours and be sure to follow those links to read their blogposts.

1. Four names people call me other than my real name:

  1. Mom
  2. MomMom
  3. Susie the B
  4. Susie Q

2. Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Legal Secretary
  2. Owner of a Wig Shop
  3. Owner of a Hobby Shop
  4. Owner of an Italian Ice and Ice Cream Shop

3. Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. Dirty Dancing
  2. Top Gun
  3. Waterboy
  4. Die Hard

Meme of Fours_SueB4. Four Books I’d Recommend:

  1. Roots
  2. A Time to Kill
  3. Anything by Faye Kellerman
  4. Sotah

5. Four Places I’ve Lived:

  1. Philadelphia, PA
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Trenton, NJ
  4. Harrisburg, PA

6. Four Places I’ve Visited:

  1. Nassau
  2. Puerto Rico
  3. Grand Cayman
  4. Grand Turks

7. Four Things I Prefer Not to Eat:

  1. Ham
  2. Sushi
  3. Salmon
  4. Frog Legs

8. Four of My Favorite Foods:

  1. Spaghetti & Meatballs
  2. Hot and Sour Soup
  3. Boneless Spareribs
  4. Peanut M & M’s

9. Four TV Shows I Watch:

  1. All the NCIS shows
  2. Law & Order SVU
  3. Revenge
  4. Walking Dead

10. Four Things I’m Looking Forward to This Year:

  1. Seeing my kids in Atlanta
  2. Lunching with Friends
  3. House Hunting with my son
  4. Spring (this winter has been the pits)

11. Four Things I’m Always Saying:

  1. I love you
  2. Isn’t it a good day
  3. I’ve never felt better
  4. Geez, it’s so cold outside

My Meme of Fours

Laddie_Head SquareI have plenty of ideas for blogposts but am suffering from an extended bout of laziness. The Meme of Fours is right up my alley because it is easy and fun to do. Plus, I hope that I can convince my co-bloggers Sue from New York and Sue from Pennsylvania to chime in with their own Meme of Fours.

Thanks to:

    1. k2
    2. Kunik
    3. KellyK
    4. Kel and Kel-Bel

or Kelly Kunik of Diabetesaliciousness from whom I got the questions. She mentions other D-bloggers who posted a list of fours and be sure to follow those links to read their posts.

1. Four names people call me other than my real name:

  1. Mom
  2. Grandma
  3. Ma’am
  4. The nicest bossy person I know

2. Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Accountant
  2. Stay-at-home Mom
  3. Accompanist—piano and organ
  4. Do-it-all at Kinkos/Fedex Office

3. Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. The Sound of Music
  2. Tin Cup
  3. Dreamgirls
  4. Frozen

Meme of Fours4. Four books I’d recommend

  1. Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
  2. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
  3. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
  4. American Assassin by Vince Flynn

5. Four places I’ve lived:

  1. Greenville, SC
  2. Princeton, NJ
  3. Minneapolis, MN
  4. Rio Verde, AZ

6. Four places I’ve visited:

  1. St. Andrews, Scotland
  2. St. Moritz, Switzerland
  3. Grand Canyon, Arizona
  4. Disney World, Florida

7. Four things I prefer not to eat:

  1. Live baby octopus (Thanks for the video, Mike!)
  2. Sushi and anything uncooked
  3. Meat with lots of gristle
  4. All things delicious because I have diabetes… Not!

8. Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Chicken chili
  2. Stir-fried chicken and veggies
  3. Mixed nuts
  4. Cantaloupe

9. Four TV shows I watch:

  1. Big Bang Theory
  2. NCIS
  3. NBC Nightly News before the Brian Williams fiasco
  4. CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley

10. Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  1. Every hike I go on In Arizona
  2. The UnConference
  3. My son and family visiting in late March
  4. Visiting my other son and family in Annapolis

11. Four things I’m always saying

  1. Golf is a stupid game.
  2. Life is Good.
  3. Enjoy today.
  4. You can do this.