Tag Archives: University of Louisville

Beating the Holiday Blues by Diane Perrine Coon

Today my marvelous sister-in-law, Diane Perrine Coon, shares remedies for Holiday Blues.

imagesWhen you’re sick over the holidays and still trying to cook meals and your head’s all stuffed up and you really don’t plan to make it to midnight and celebrate the New Year because all you are doing is coughing up mucus, then you have the Holiday Blues.

Here are my suggestions of how to ward off the Holiday Blues.

  1. Share your misery with the first person on your phone callback button, especially if they are trying to sell you something.
  2. Wander in and out of the bathroom looking for something, anything, everything because you can’t remember what it was you thought you needed.images
  3. Watch college basketball and if it gets too much, watch NBA basketball. Do not watch football, there are too many players on the field and you will get mixed up.
  4. Wrap up in a sweater, a coverlet, and a quilt over the top off all and then wonder why you feel hot when you don’t have a fever.
  5. Drink fluids – soft drinks, tea, coffee, ice water, fruit juices – and stay real close to the bathroom.
  6. imagesMake the dog go outside by himself. If the dog police come get you, hand them the leash.
  7. Read lots of recipes. Think how long it will take to prepare them, and then discard all of them. But the bright photos showing fabulous meals will brighten up the room.
  8. Play computer games, many of them. Mindless almost fun even when sneezing all over the keyboard.
  9. Send your soul-mate to the liquor store to get Plum Wine. It cures everything and especially the Holiday Blues. Guarantee it.images
  10. Think back to the last time you had a great holiday. Was that twenty years ago?

Get well all of you out there with Holiday Blues.



Basketball kept my marriage together

basketballGeorge always took a week of vacation to watch the opening rounds  of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.  He loved every second.  What could be better than watching basketball for hours and hours?  Even teams he did care about, if they were dancing, he watched.   All week.  Iona, Butler, Little Sisters of the Poor–he didn’t care if they were playing Florida or Louisville.  He just wanted to watch every moment.charlie tyra

For that reason and in honor of George, I’ve filled out my brackets.  I’m recording all games this week on four different channels PLUS the women’s games.   At the end of this week, he’d hope that University of Louisville would go on to the sweet sixteen because, Houston v Louisvilleas much as he loved basketball in general, he loved Louisville most.  He’d bring up Charley Tyra  (in picture on right) or Butch Beard or Wes Unseld or Junior Bridgeman and tell incredible stories of positioning and rebounding.

I heard the same stories every year.  I know them well.  Thoughts of the rebounding prowess of Tyra always reminds me that spring has arrived.

These weeks go so fast.  In no time, we’ll be down to the final four–then basketball will be over with nothing to look ahead to but college football.basketball in heaven 2

During these days, I think of George.  Ihope he’s dropped his feet over the edge of heaven so he can get a good view in Dallas or wherever any team is playing.   Eternal basketball would be part of George’s idea of heaven.     And–this makes me smile and cry at the same time–I think of George settling down with his Kindle and his chewing gun and a short rope of red licorice to cheer for his Cardinals.  He’s wearing his favorite UofL shirts, easy to find inside the pearly gates.  Then the game starts and I can almost hear him shout,   “C-A-R-D-S”.


Wayne Barnett: A true and dear friend

I’ve often said that my husband George was the best man I ever knew, but Wayne Barnett is a pretty close second.  The friendship between George and Wayne stated at church camp in 1958 when they were in high school.  George lived in Pewee Valley;  Wayne, in Cropper.   They were reunited on their first day at Transylvania College in 1960. 

In 1963, on a retreat, George fell from a cliff into the hard mud of a creek and broke his back.  Doctors predicted he would not survive.  He did but a difficult recovery lay ahead.  Dr. Perrine hired Wayne to live with George and push him in his wheelchair.  Since Transylvania and most of Lexington—and, indeed, most of the world–had yet to adapt buildings and curbs that were wheelchair friendly, George and Wayne were almost like conjoined twins, rarely separated.

After George’s graduation his dad purchased a home where George and Wayne lived while attending Lexington Theological Seminary.  Wayne married LaDonna on June 4, 1966, with George performing the ceremony.  George and I married two weeks later with Wayne as best man.  Both graduated, were ordained, and began their full-time ministers.  They wrote sporadically, visited a few times when George returned to visit family in Kentucky, and saw each other at church assemblies.  After retirement, they renewed and deepened that friendship with several visits between Northern Kentucky and Austin, Texas. With George a huge fan of the University of Louisville and Wayne a long-time Kentucky fan, basketball season was filled with teasing and taunting.    They kept up on email.  When George realized how sick he was in October, 2012, I email Wayne and asked him to call George, to help keep his spirits up.  Wayne called at least weekly, every one of them a joyous event for George.

All of his life George battled health issues and had numerous surgeries.  On January 31,  2013, the doctors operated again.  Everything seemed to go well, but after the surgery, he couldn’t breathe.  Although brought back, George never fully recovered. s

In February, when George knew he was dying he scribbled his last message, “Call, Wayne.”  He wanted the man he considered a brother to be with him.   Of course Wayne came.  I never doubted he would.  He left for Austin the next day and stayed until 18 days until after George’s funeral March 5.  I’m grateful because he supported me and helped with decisions regarding George’s health care but I’m most grateful because this best of all friends came when George asked him, no questions. No excuses.  No delay.  Wayne came and was here for George as he always had been.

On March 2, the day George died  and although George was probably too sedated to know this, the Wildcat fan watched a UofL basketball game in the hospital room and cheered for George’s Cards against Syracuse.  Then he watched George being taken off life support with George’s sister, Diane, and me.  He cried with us. 

As sick as Wayne was with some bug he picked up in the hospital, he attended the Monday evening visitation, coughing his lungs out.  Fortunately, he got a prescription that night.  He didn’t cough during the funeral but was there to remember George. 

Wayne was George’s best friend, always there to love and care for and support and joke with him.  I will always admire and appreciation your loyalty and friendship, Wayne.   You truly are a fine Christian man.  Thank you.

Illogic is me

I’m working on financials, going through baskets full of papers and letters and statements, separating them and attempting to bring order.  Unfortunately, at the moment the dining room table is covered with stacks that spill over into other stacks.  Someday, I’m going to go through all those piles again–someday.

Which brings up the subject of how often I believe the illogical.   Case in point:   I don’t trust banks.   Although I consider myself an intelligent woman, usually, I have a deep distrust of financial institutions.   I’d rather hide our money under the mattress than invest it.   If I lived in a house with a yard, I’d probably dig a hole and bury a box filled with bills.  However, I don’t believe the manager of our apartment complex would appreciate my excavating in the tiny strip of grass between the apartment and the parking lot.

I have no idea why I feel this way.   I’ve read about the Depression but I also know bills were passed to assure this wouldn’t happen again.  Sadly, I also know these bills have been weakened down in the last few years–but even before the crash of Wall Street, I didn’t like financial institutions.   When the junk bond failures hit or Wall Street ruined the economy, I’d say to George, “See, I told you.  You can’t trust banks.”   Perhaps it was the movie It’s a Wonderful Life which I saw when I was very young.  Whatever the reason, I’ve been thinking about buying a shovel recently.

Another illogical belief:  I don’t believe airplanes can really fly.  To me, there is no explanation for how a metal tube can throw itself through the sky without falling to the earth.   

But my lack of  logic is refuted by people who know stuff, who know much more than I.   Because of that, I  know it is safer to keep money in a bank than under my bed so I do that.   I know airplanes can fly because I’ve made numerous trips, clenching my fists and biting my lip but I do.   When faced with the thought of driving for three days of flying to my destination in a few hours, I choose the plane because  it’s faster.  I also read the statistics that it’s safer.  

Do you share these illogical beliefs or do you have others?   Please share–it makes me feel so much better to know I’m not the only one.

And here’s a picture of the UofL Cardinal basketball team    

What should I get George?

I have probably the best, wittiest, and most intelligent husband in the world.  I would say “sexiest” but I write the sweet books and don’t want to shock  anyone with that word.  ANYWAY, he is also, as I mentioned in my last post, wonderful at choosing gifts that I’d never have thought I needed.  He’s also creative, choosing gifts I’d never have guessed what they were before I opened the package.  For example, one Christmas he gave me a stuffed animal–a cocker spaniel because we had several live ones as pets-with a radio in its tummy.

But I’m terrible at thinking of great gifts for him.   He has plenty of T-shirts and has told me to buy him no more University of Louisville or Houston Texans shirts.  We’re retired so his supply of ties from  when he was a minister is sufficient to last until at least 2050, should we–and the earth–still be around.   He orders and reads whatever books he wants on his Kindle.   He’s not a smoker or a drinker and has plenty of Bibles and commentaries and meditations.    He refuses to wear those onesies retired men wear and prefers sweatpants.    He plays games on his computer and hates puzzles and does make stuff.  Keep in mind we live in an apartment and have little space.

He does like chocolate but there’s a  limit to how much I can get him.  The one present I give every year is food.  I go to a store with a nice display of gourmet foods and get him cheese and pickled treats and sardines.  He has mentioned he’d like a new mattress but that’s not very Christmas-y and it’s hard to wrap.

Time is getting short.  Please help me or George may find no packages for him under our tree!

Twenty-five things (more or less) I’ve learned about life: #2 and #3

I really hate it when people use sports as a metaphor for life so I’m not going to do that.  Instead, I’m going to talk about two tough young men and what I have learned from them.   They just both HAPPEN to be football players, both quarterbacks for the University of Louisville.

Will Stein is a senior who started for the Cardinals at the beginning of last season.  He came to UofL as a walk-on and had to earn both a scholarship and a position as a starter.   When he was injured last season, freshman Teddy Bridgewater took over and Will didn’t get another start–until Thursday, November 29, against Rutgers.   He started only because Teddy had a broken wrist on his throwing hand and a sprained ankle.   Now, I’m not one of those football fans who believe players should shake off injuries and play through pain, but Teddy’s injuries weren’t life  threatening.   He just couldn’t move or use take a snap under center–both challenges for a quarterback. 

However, Will wasn’t getting the job done so Teddy came in.   The most impressive play was when the Cardinals were close to the end zone.  Teddy looked ahead and had a wide-open path to the end zone but he couldn’t run.  I could read the yearning in his posture.  He hobbled a few steps forward then shuffled the ball ahead to a player who made that final and winning touchdown.     What did I learn?  To  recognize your weaknesses and find another way to do the job.

But I learned an even greater lessons from Will.   He was pulled but when the Cardinals had a third down, he was called in because Teddy couldn’t run.  Seven times, Will took the snap, rolled out to the right, and made the first down.  Then he trotted off the field and left the glory for Teddy.

Will is known for his positive attitude.  He’s called Sunny Will.  Early in the game, Will took the ball on third down, ran for the first but misjudged and slid before he reached the marker.   The coach called a time out, furious.   After listening to the coach, Will smiled and said, “It’s okay,”  At least, I assume that’s what he said as he patted the coach’s shoulder.  Then Will went back in the game, and–on fourth down–made that final yard to keep the drive going.

What did I learn from Will?  Keep smiling, stay calm, and do the job.

Thanks, gentlemen.


I hate using sports as a metaphor for life:  it’s too easy and too cliched.  On the other hand, I love sports, watch every minute of the Olympics I can find, buy packages for our cable service for college basketball, watch live events on my computer.   Many years ago, before we could get University of Louisville basketball games on cable, my husband and I drove around Big Spring, Texas, searching for the clear channel coverage from nearly two-thousand miles away.

So, I rationalize.  I do NOT use sports as metaphors for life.  I use sports as EXAMPLES of just about anything.

For example:   Last year, when American gymnast Sam Mikulak dismounted from a  routine, he hit the mat so hard he broke both ankles. This year, he competed for and made the US Olympic team.  That is  PASSION! He must love gymnastics and competition to return to the sport which caused him such pain and months of rehab.   On top of that, his ankles never had time to completely recover so there’s always pain, always the chance his ankle will go out.

Is there anything you love that much? Not me. Two broken ankles and I’m pretty much over that.  Actually, a sprain would discourage me.

Well, that’s not completely true.   I love to write.  Because of scoliosis, sitting at a desk can be painful.   I prop myself up on a pillow in a comfortable chair and have a jerry rigged foot rest–a pillow on  top of a box–to lift my feet.    Recently we purchased a wonderfully comfortable and supporting  reclining chair with ottoman where I edit.  Due to carpal tunnel, I have an ergonomic keyboard, a mouse pad with a soft  cushion for my wrist, and a couple of wrist braces.  And still I hurt but I have to write!  I tell people I write so I don’t have to clean the oven and that’s partly true.  I have no passion for wiping down counters or vacuuming but I do for writing.  

What is your passion?  What do you love to do more than anything else?