The road ends, but the journey continues...

just dropping By to say Hi

Okay-Okay, I’m still on my blogging break, but what say you to a quick hello?

Perhaps a bulleted update will suffice:

2003 Toyota Camry, 400K 12/28/2018

Our 2003 Toyota Camry – 400K 12/28/2018

400K reached at MM 64, I10W on hubby's 64th Birthday

400K reached at mile marker 64, I10W on hubby’s 64th Birthday!

  • Our 2003 Toyota Camry reached 400K on hubby’s 64th birthday at mile marker 64 on I10W about 40 miles south of El Paso, TX while we were driving on our way to CA from SC for the Rose Parade…turns out, that trip also counts as a literal ‘coast-to-coast’ roadtrip. Interesting, eh?
  • The Rose Parade was not as great as last year’s, but still nice to experience in person. Plus, we just like the West Coast better than the East Coast (no offense intended, just personal preference).
  • We switched health insurance companies the beginning of this year. Not only have our monthly premiums and deductibles gone down by an incredible amount, but the procedure that was denied on our old plan yet aggressively deemed as a medical necessity by my doctor is now 100% covered and approved on this new plan. So, I’m slated for my long overdue foot surgery on Tuesday. The worst part about this is that I’ll be unable to continue my meager exercise routine for several weeks and I’m already starting out at my Winter Weight High…mostly due to all those days in the car traveling cross-country. 🙁 The best part is that I probably won’t be aware enough to really care about whatever happens during the State of the Union Address! No, really, the best part is that I’ll be in tip-top shape to take on my normal rigorous hiking routine when we get back to*…Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself here…back to the bullets…
  • On January 21st, around midnight, hubby and I were blessed to see the Super Blood Moon in all it’s glory. It’s not often the skies above our little rental here in FloTown are clear, but that evening was perfect for viewing this spectacular heavenly show.
  • I’ve connected with an artist/layout person who really ‘gets’ my vision for the artwork, packaging and branding of my Swimming with Swans project. This is a major achievement. She is amazing. Bless, you, Rita.  🙂
    (Ma's Uncle) Tran Mawicke poster

    (Ma’s Uncle) Tran Mawicke poster

  • I found a reasonably priced piece of vintage poster art by my Ma’s Uncle Tran Mawicke. My favorite fine art piece of his isn’t for sale, but I’m hopeful one day I’ll snap it up…However, for now this purchase was inspired by the fact that sailboats are one of hubby’s favorite activities after motorcycles. It’s set to arrive just in time for Valentine’s day. Just feels good to have this connection to my past here with us in the present.


 That’s it for now, dear readers. Thank you for allowing me to pop in & say hi during my blogging break. Bye for now.

 *will fill you in on details as we get closer to timing on all of this


  1. Catherine de Seton

    it’s been nice to met you via my blog…by now you will have gotten into working with a mangled but repaired foot and doing whatever needs to be done, to create healing…take it easy and come your summer, you will be out and about…

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, I agree, it’s been nice meeting you, too. Another organizer-driven soul! HA!
      And thanks for the encouragement, yes…my hobbles are becoming less wobbly (an unsuccessful attempt at a rhyme – sorry!)

  2. Jennie Fitzkee

    Good to hear from you, Laura! You have been busy. I think your new lucky number is 4.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You are welcome to use it for any ‘lucky’ purposes of your own, Jennie!

  3. Andy

    What is it about the West Coast that you prefer to the East? As a stranger to both I’m just curious.
    Hope your surgery went well.

    • laura bruno lilly

      IMHO: West coast is more ‘wild’ and accessible to everyday people. Plus if the line on the map shows it’s along the coast…it does indeed run along the coast with a view of the ocean. EAst coast can be ‘wild’ in the northern states such as in Maine and that’s gorgeous, but for the most part, the Atlantic Seaboard is placid (except during hurricane/storms) with no rocky coastline for their breakers to crash against – in high or low tide. And coastline is more privatized to where it’s normally accessible by those who ‘own’ the shoreline with their property lines. The lines on the map showing roads as being along the coast are deceptive to those of us accustomed to the West coast – very rarely catch a glimpse of the Atlantic ocean.
      My experience is that Atlantic is more of a flat sandy beachy/large bathtub experience rather than the Pacific’s more of a stretch of beachy sand/rocks intertwined with nooks and crannies of rocky dunes to explore if sunbathing isn’t all one wants to do.
      Oceans of all types are magnificent (all those positive/negative ions and such, HA!). This is just my personal preference. That’s why I think I’d love the ‘wildness’ of Ireland’s/England’s northern coastline rather than the Italian Riviera???? Just a thought.
      I’m doing well on the recovery track with the foot surgery, thanks.

  4. tierneycreates

    400K? Wow that is a good reason to drive a Toyota Camry! I think you got your money’s worth out of the vehicle! Congratulations on a better health insurance experience! Lovely sailboat piece. 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Tierny. The only negative to riding in the Camry is that it’s a bit on the low side, so going over cool bridges means not getting to see out the window and over whatever the bridge is crossing!

  5. Joe Finnerty

    I weary of being driven in my Silver Cloud Rolls Royce by the haughty English chauffeur who came with the car when I bought it (package option 4). But I trudge on, from doc to doc, stiff lipped and hipped. Your Driving Miss Daisy to Rose Bowl commentary made me smile.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I’m impressed the chauffeur is still around to attend to your driving needs, Joe!

  6. Marty

    Nothing makes me happier when I hear about people conquering the health insurance maze. WELL DONE! Congrats on finding not only a less expensive plan, but also one that actually allows to get treatment. It blows my mind how much we’re all dependent on the narrow-minded rules that draconian bean counters inflict on society.
    And I’ll say it again: 400,000 miles! Our trading in our car later this year for its measly 150,000 shows what wimps we are compared to you guys! 🙂 – Marty

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for the pat on the back…it’s crazy out there in ‘health insurance la-la-land’. And, I am a very healthy specimen…it hurts me to know others who aren’t ‘healthy’ are being treated even worse than myself… 🙁
      So, go for it in your blogs, Marty! HA!
      And 150K ain’t bad, it really depends upon the car, too – I’d say the car wimped out sooner than its drivers!

  7. Ally Bean

    I love to read a blog post that a blogger is sneaking out there. Especially when things are going well for you. I have a 2003 Honda Accord that’s still going strong so rock on with your Camry. So cool. I agree about the west coast vibe versus the east coast. Nothing wrong with the east, just not as relaxed as I am… so west coast it is.

    • laura bruno lilly

      HA! Great to hear from another wanderlust-y adventurer racking in the miles on your trusty vehicle!

  8. Jane Chesebrough

    Good to hear from you, and wish you a speedy recovery from surgery. Be blessed and get back to us, maybe something you can do once in a while during recovery.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah! Good idea!

  9. Janis

    Best of luck on your surgery! My husband and I have recently changed our health coverage (mostly due to his joining the Medicare generation). I was OK with what I had and my fingers are crossed that this new insurance group is there if I need it to be. Hard to believe one insurance company would deny a surgery (especially one recommended by a doctor) while another says it’s covered. I attended the Rose Parade years ago and enjoyed it but the most fun I had was the year I got to actually work on a float (and, by “work” I mean cut up flowers into tiny little pieces and glue them on). Then seeing that float in the parade on TV was thrilling.

    • laura bruno lilly

      That is too cool about you working on a float…the teeny pieces that make up the vast swathes of color, how tedious. But seeing it all come together in the final product and being a part of that, wow.

  10. Anne Copeland

    I really love this accounting of your travels, your insurance getting lowered (we live in CA and pay one of the highest rates – $131 for our old 2001 vehicle plus smog check every two years). So always glad to hear when someone else gets a lower rate. Old Cars – wouldn’t drive anything else. I had a Honda Civic Hatchback 21 years old, and it drove like a peach. Have never been a fan of buying new cars. I love old ones; they have so much character. In the last 7 or 8 years, I covered it with many different colors and prints of fabric using acrylic gel and then coating it with 3 coats of polyurethane varnish. It was a total hippy car and very pretty too. Everywhere I went, people treated me differently – where before they always honked for me to get out of the way, now they gave me high fives and peace signs, etc. People in parking lots came up and wanted to take photos. It was so much fun! And I am 77, so even more fun! I made lots of friends over the years that way, and we still correspond too.
    My hubby had a hard time too getting surgery he needed; finally got critical neck surgery, but still has issues from it. Still, we were glad he got it. I hope your husband’s surgery goes well for his foot. Many years ago I had Morton’s Neuroma, and that too is on the bottom of the foot and very painful like a nail in your foot. So I understand how critical foot surgery is.
    Sure enjoy your tales of your little trips. It sounds like so much fun to be able to travel around that way.
    What is your book about? I love that you are putting art with it. I bet it will be beautiful. I am happy for you. You write beautifully and make it all as if we are all right there. Peace and many blessings, Anne

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you Anne, for such a thoughtful reply.
      Wow – a fabric covered car…really takes the textile arts to a new level!

  11. Mary

    Hi Laura! Good to hear from you. Best of luck with your surgery and your plans!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Mary.

  12. Bob Cloud

    My prayers are that your surgery is a success and your recovery is fast and complete. All of us that follow your blog site look forward to your future return. I too just changed vehicles. Mine was an F-150 that had been many off road miles and those miles finally caught up to it. I hope this reply comes through to you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for the well – wishes, Bob. Sorry to hear the ole F-150 is no longer traveling the trails.
      Hope this comes through to you as being ‘replied’ back to you.
      Take care, bud.

  13. Bette Cox

    Thanks for the update, Laura – I will be praying about your foot surgery Tuesday, that everything goes 100% right and well, and that your recovery will be 100% and uneventful. <3 Bette

    • laura bruno lilly

      Bette, I covet those prayers, thank you.
      I must mention I’ve been so healthy much of my life that I’m a whimp when it comes to enduring the insertion of IVs…and I’m more concerned about that then the actual surgery! HA!

  14. Roseanne

    Hi Laura! Well, that is rather significant turning over to 400,000 miles and capturing it in a photo. Happy belated Birthday to DH. That’s quite a cross country trip, from SC to CA. I wonder how long it took you? Too bad the Rose Parade wasn’t up to snuff, but I’m sure you still enjoyed it. How cool that you are able to collect some of your great-uncle’s artwork. I’m looking forward to hearing about your upcoming adventures when your self-imposed blogging ban is lifted. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks Roseanne! And you, too, I look forward to your quilting/grandkiddo updates – eye candy especially while I’ll be unable to get out and about for awhile.
      FYI: it took a little under three days…with 2 overnights each way. But then, we like to drive!

  15. Mariss Stevens

    Strength for the foot surgery. May you soon return to your travels and may the moon continue to shine on you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh, Mariss, thank you for such a lovely ‘blessing’. I’ll be watching your site for all your gorgeous quilts/poetry during my ‘down time’. Keep on creating…

  16. L. Marie

    For some reason, the rest of my message was not given. I mentioned that I also have a Toyota Camry. It is approaching 200K miles.)

    • laura bruno lilly

      I remember you telling me that you had a Camry…oh 200K is a biggie! Send me a photo when the big event occurs.
      We may drive beat up cars, but they are stalwart, dependable and continue to get the best gas mileage!

  17. L. Marie

    Laura, I’m saying a little prayer for you (yes, I can’t help thinking of the song) for your foot surgery. What time of day will it be? May you have a recovery that is faster than predicted. Glad you have books to entertain you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Early tomorrow morning…thanks for the musical prayers.
      My stack of books is so inviting, I’ve been resisting the urge to delve into them for so looooong….and tomorrow after the deed is done and I begin the road to recovery, I’m looking forward to the adventures to be found within that stack!

  18. S.T. Ranscht

    Every little pop is a celebration!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks! Clever comment, Sue! And I hope to see a little pop (update) at your place (blog).
      Yes, I keep wondering about Eliot….

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