Posted in about shae, badassery, friends, Uncategorized

How Friends Say, “I Love You”

This is how your friends say, “I love you.”

– Did you eat today?

– Did you drink anything today? No, not coffee, I meant water.

– How did you sleep?

– Can I help?

– It’s ok to scream in my ear…go.

– Play “Eye of the Tiger” and call me back

– When was the last time you went outside?

– Take a walk

– It’s ok to stop for the day

– I miss your face

You are told every day you are loved, but it isn’t always “I love you.”

And in case you forgot:

You are strong.

You are loved.

You are enough.

Posted in about shae, badassery, fearless, relationships

Because I’m Worth It

One year someone said they pitied me for being alone on my birthday and not having anyone to buy me flowers or jewelry or whatever they thought a birthday gift should be.

Let me set the record straight. Again.

I’m never truly alone. I’ve had dozens of well wishes and phone calls. I was with a bunch of ladies at the salon this morning. I had great convos at Starbucks and with the nice lady at Smallcakes. Yesterday I talked with my Bestie for two hours. I’m also very fine company all by myself. Don’t worry, I’m good.

As for gifts… I buy myself flowers and not just on my birthday. They are always my favorites. I buy myself some fine jewelry, and it’s always exactly what I wanted. I’m particularly fond of my new rainbow topaz ring and matching earrings.

I know being alone on any given day makes most people uncomfortable. I am not one of those people. While I enjoy the company of many, I am just as happy going out by myself, whether that be for coffee, dinner, a movie or shopping.

If you are someone who waits for someone else to pamper you or buy you gifts, I hope you have someone in your life to do that for you so you do not remain in a constant state of disappointment. If you are there, by yourself, may I suggest making yourself happy. Buy the flowers. Get the ring. Treat yourself to a manipedi.

I’m worth it. Someday I hope you know that you are, too.

Posted in about shae, badassery, photography, Uncategorized, Writing

One Word 365 “Roar!”

In the past, for the One Word 365 Challenge I’ve chosen words like, “Imagine,” “See,” “Adventure,” and “Hope.” One of my favorites that still resonates is, “Fearless.”

As I’m completing my fiftieth birthday year, it is now almost 2020. I set out to have certain goals met by now, some I’ve just squeezed in at the last minute. I am now living my most authentic life, still evolving and learning, but the most me I’ve ever been.

My word for this coming year is, “Roar!” Now that I feel the most me, the most authentic, it’s time the world heard my voice, my thoughts, my stories (visual, written, and verbal) and my truth.

Stay tuned. You are about to hear me roar!

Roar, by Katy Perry

I got the eye of the tiger
A fighter

Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Posted in about shae, badassery, femininity, Uncategorized


I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. Whenever I’ve asked a hairdresser to do it, they’ve balked. Their definition of femininity didn’t allow it.

Know that I LOVE IT.  If you don’t, that’s ok. I didn’t do it for you. It’s the most freeing thing I’ve done with my “look” since I cut it shorter in the first place.

It’s so freeing. I have heard my whole life, from people who mean well, how “pretty” I’d be if I a) lost weight, b) was more demure, c) had long, high-maintenance hair.

I don’t need to be “pretty.” I’m already beautiful.


Posted in about shae, fearless, strangers, travel


I think almost every parent tells their children, “Don’t talk to strangers.” We are taught that strangers are dangerous, can hurt us, abduct us, or worse. That “stranger danger” feeling often follows us into adulthood.

I was asked this week how I handle eating alone, traveling alone, being alone. It was an honest inquiry from someone who has recently moved away from family and friends and is on their own more than they ever have been.

Almost a decade ago, I tried an experiment, starting out small, and eventually adding to it – I challenged myself to talk to strangers whenever I left the apartment. Now, talking to strangers is second nature to me. I do it all the time.

Monday, on my way to Fort Lauderdale, I was in line to board the plane with a man named Glenn, also from Houston. We had a great conversation and went our separate ways.

This morning, I found out a coworker, also in Fort Lauderdale, was taking the same flight home as I was. She has been taking many trips back and forth from Houston to Fort Lauderdale the past few months. When we were in line to board the plane, we both saw Glenn.  He had seen her quite a few times at the airport, and he thought it was wild that she and I knew each other and we were all on the same flight home.

I saw him on the plane in the last row.  I was a few rows ahead.  When we landed, he all of a sudden was right behind me like some sort of airplane aisle ninja.  He said goodbye to me and my coworker and we all went our separate ways.

We saw each other again at baggage claim and he exclaimed, “OH MY GAWD YOU STALKER!” and we started laughing.  We talked a bit, and as we parted he said, “see you around Airport Dweller.”  His wife pulled up and they both waved and merged into traffic.

I think I’d find it incredibly funny if I ever saw him again.  He’s about to start working quite a bit on the West Coast.

If I didn’t make a point of talking to strangers, I wouldn’t have had the conversations and laughs I had today.  I have a whole list of stories I now have to tell because I went out of my comfort zone to cultivate conversations with strangers.

Try it. One stranger. One person at the mall or the grocery store. Your dry cleaner. The lady who sells hotdogs at the ballpark. Most people will be open to a sentence or two.

Add to your story.  Talk to strangers!


Posted in about shae, bariatric surgery, health, weight loss


I had these thoughts today about life post-surgery:

1. What if my nose doesn’t lose any weight but the rest of my face does?

2. What if I lose weight in my feet? Will I get shorter? Will my shoes still fit?

These things may not be important to you, but as someone who has grown up with a German-inspired nose, I wonder about how big the schnoz will look if my cheeks aren’t so poofy.

I have invested quite a bit of money in shoes the last two years. If I end up losing a shoe size, I am buying stock in DSW before I start feeding my shoe fetish again.

Yes, these are the things I think about during the day. Random-tamoxifen brain at work.

Posted in about shae, allergies, bariatric surgery, breast cancer, health, relationships, weight loss

ONE OF THOSE DAYS (I want my life back)

I had a low grade fever most of the day, and though I wanted to be home in bed, since I have dismally few sick days I pushed myself to go work. I had wanted to go out tonight and be with friends, but the fever didn’t leave.

I cried all the way home. I am more than frustrated with the state of me right now. I am a breast cancer survivor, 1.5 years now, and though I got to live I didn’t get my life back.

Don’t read that as I have nothing to live for, I do. I just never thought that this far down the road I’d still be trying to get my legs steady and back under me. I’ve spent all month wishing the color pink didn’t exist as it is a bright pastel reminder that though I’m a survivor, I’m still trying to find my way back to myself.

It’s incredibly difficult to express how I feel, and even more difficult when I can’t even figure out what to say. People who have not had breast cancer or an illness that totally changes their lives have no idea what I’m going through. For them, I no longer have breast cancer. Everything is great, right?


I don’t feel sorry for myself. In fact, I swim in a pretty steady stream of optimism most of the time. As I wait for weight loss surgery that will hopefully turn some health issues around for me, impatience is an unwelcome nag – a constant reminder that I’m not where I want to be.

I’m actually ill more than I let on. I catch everything these days. Compound that with my daily dose of allergy havoc, and my body feels lousy most of the time. I am saddled with a profound tiredness every day. My brain, when not having Tamoxifen/Lexapro delays and lost moments, is actually pretty active and eager to move life along.

I know many people whose bodies do not keep up with their brains, wishes, and hopes. I am now one of them. Throw aging on top of that mess and I feel ancient in my bones. I’m not ready to relinquish my spirit to that notion.

Doctors and friends promise me that after surgery, the energy will return as the weight falls off. I will sleep better. I won’t have to worry about my heart’s current issues. My plantars fascia won’t have as many issues carrying weight around. My knees will stop hurting. I won’t be sick all the time. I might get to stop taking a pill or two.

I want to believe all that. I really do. On days such as this, however, I just can’t, especially when I feel truly alone right at this moment. I know that will pass, but I can’t tell you how much I miss presence, something I had a satisfying portion of before cancer. Now, I know I don’t have enough. Thank God for the friends who meet me more than halfway when I need it and especially for the ones who come 90% of the way when 10% is all I have to give.

I’m so thankful for the few faithful that are ever-present, the ones whom I’m never out of mind when I’m out of sight and the ones who are never out of sight when I feel out of my mind. I love you all and I’m grateful you are on this journey with me.

Now for more meds and begging God for a good night’s sleep.

Posted in about shae, poetry


Time doesn’t heal all wounds
but time does go on.
Time magnifies and distills
and exaggerates and 
impairs and slaps me back
to the cruel reality 
where you aren’t here anymore.
I don’t like it.
I know I don’t have to…
but time does go on.
Time does many things,
but time is not a healer.
is the deception of time.
In memory of Scott Ziegler 1965-2001