How many sunsets have you seen? Did you turn away in fear or feel anxious because you knew it would end very soon or did you gaze in amazement and take in the glory of the beauty?Now having both of my daughters pass the threshold of graduation, I have learned (the hard way) that these moments are as glorious (and more so) then the most breathtaking sunset and should be experienced with awe….not approached with fear of the unknown. For certain, with God’s grace, tomorrow will bring quite possibly an even more exquisite sunset for us to lose ourselves in, knowing that right here and right now is right where we are suppose to be.


  A Irish Diabetic’s Blessing

I wish you lows to balance the highs. Life saving insulin that your body requires. To be surrounded by loved ones who lift your spirit when the weight that you carry pushes you almost to give up.  Moments to allow you to recall that although you live the DLife, truly LIVING is what matters most of all.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Residing in an area in upstate NY that is famous for landing in the Top 10 of most gloomy, frustrating, “worst ever” lists as of late, I feel obligated to carry the torch and be sort of a crusader. I mean, who writes this stuff anyway? Did my hometown piss off the gods of the Top 10 lists? I am but one of the many “minority” voices that want to remind those who live here of all of the good things, the good people and potential awesomeness that refuses to die but continues to germinate under a layer of factory soot, sedimentary silt, and sadness. I actually cringe when I hear rumor of a new list and hope to God we made it for something positive. For this reason, I felt motivated to create a Top 10 list of my own personal favorites in my home town. Of course, this is not in any order.

1-Festivals:The Speidie Fest, the JulyFest, Porchfest, First Friday Art Walks, Blues on the Bridge, Luma and many music festivals to name a few!
  2-Diverse ethnic groups and community celebrations. Everyone looks forward to the honey puffs at the Greek Festival and the great food at St. Anthony’s but the list goes on. Living here, I have grown up learning about many cultures.  

3-An awesome St. Patrick’s Day Parade sponsored by the AOH and all the festivities around town. We celebrate St. Patrick’s day twice in Broome County!

 4-Many community theater organizations. We have SRO Productions, EPAC, KNOW Theater, Därkhorse Drämatists, Theatron Productions and many more! So much talent! 

5- Wonderful local businesses that deliver quality services such as Tom’s Coffee and Gifts, the Cyber Cafe West, the Lost Dog Cafe and the Uncorked Chocolate and Wine Loft. A developing art, microbrewery and cuisine scene in downtown Binghamton. Take a stroll off the weathered path of chain stores and restaurants…..  

6- The Tri-Cities Opera. Always a cool experience when you take in a show at their opera space on Clinton St. and at the Forum.

7- Wegmans. No other explanation needed.

8- Two rivers that flow beautifully nearby. Our rivers have provided a lovely backdrop for picnics, special events and walks along the way. The rivers have also created major devastation but nonetheless, make this area our home.

9-If you are a closet sports fan like me, we have the AA affiliates for the NY Mets and AAA affiliates for the Ottawa Senators in addition to the Binghamton University sports and performances.

10- Most importantly, the wonderful, strong, survivor-spirited people that continue to stay here and deserve to hear words of hope and encouragement to make this a better place for the future.

I said I would write a Top 10, so I did. The outcome of this little exercise was interesting…. I realized that I could list so many more positive points. And here’s the challenge for you. Feeling bad about your hometown? Or where you are at in Life? Make a Top 10 list and see what you come up with…. You might be pleasantly surprised. And you might just inspire someone else to do the same.

I will provide a Top 10 list about living with Diabetes in my next blog. Yes, I believe there are even silver linings in this SweetLife.

Photo Credit to BingPop, SRO Productions, The Binghamton Press, the Cyber Cafe, and Riverview Media, LLC.

#BroomeCounty #ThinkPositive #Binghamton #Bingalings #NurtureTheHappy #TheGreaterBinghamtonArea #BingPop #future #optimist #T1D #T1Dlookslikeme #ILoveNY #BroomeCountyChamberofCommerce

This might sound like a boast but there is so much more behind this post. In 2014, Sierra Sandison walked across the Miss Idaho Beauty Pageant stage for the bathing suit contest in a 2 piece bikini, sporting her insulin pump for the world to see. This bold move inspired so many who wear a pump and attempt to “hide” it so not to look different. Little girls and older ladies like me both learned something that day.

I am not in the public eye as Miss Sandison is however I do strive to demonstrate how someone with diabetes can live a fun-filled, adventurous and healthy life. I am a speech-language pathologist, dancer, actor and vocalist. Some days I want the world to see what it takes to live this SweetLife, with nothing at all to hide…. but then there are days when I want to tuck away the test strips and tubing, monitors and infusion sites along with the mindset of having to constantly manage such a complicated lifestyle.

Often I #hashtag #T1dlookslikeme as a way to form a somewhat cyber community of my DLife tribe.  I am not one to rack up a 1000 “likes” or even 100. Today a true hero “liked” a photo of mine (compliments of Tom Egan) out of the blue and with no other connection in this massive world other then a #!!

That made my DAY!

Miss Idaho 2014’s simple gesture of “liking” my Cider Mill playwrights festival pic reminded me how important it is to continue to strive to be a positive role model for those who may not feel as strong. My goal is to somehow inspire and educate those who are living lifeandthesweetlife or love someone with Diabetes!

Thank you Sierra for your courage and beautiful kindness!

#SierraSandison #T1dlookslikeme #insulinpump #T1d #LADA #Type1Diabetes #inspire #BeBoldBeBrave #MissIdaho2014 #LifeAndTheSweetLife


I heard it said that if you purposefully acknowledge the events, people or things you are thankful for on a daily basis, you can raise your happiness quotient and counteract great sadness or a sense of loss. A mindfulness by rearranging your thoughts to see all you do have rather than what you do not. It is so easy to be swept up in a current of being dissatisfied or down and we should all practice just naming 1-3 items that do bring a small smile or warm thought to the front of our minds.  

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of depression. On a daily basis, those who are challenged to maintain health struggle with the negative reminders that come with many tasks we need to do to survive. One person asked me recently why I appear to want to be reminded of my disease by posting many ideas that revolve around the topic. For me it is not to remind myself but to maybe connect with one other person who may feel alone, possibly pushed down emotionally by the burden of the daily pressures of living with Diabetes. Maybe that person will be the one to lift me up if I find myself in the same place on a later day. 
At Thanksgiving, I will absolutely express my gratitude for the gift of being “mother”, my wonderful friends and family, having a profession where I am able to help those with communication challenges, and everything else that I am blessed to have. But today, I am acknowledging those little daily moments that only a person with Diabetes or the people that love them may know. I am grateful for finding the silver lining to not take Life for granted which came with my diagnosis. For every time I test my blood (which I do around 6 times a day) and I am right in range. Being able to get through a Broadway musical, Zumba class, Yoga session or Ballroom dance event without going low so I can do what I love. My insulin pump of which helps me attempt to maintain consistency and normalcy (whatever that might mean). Learning to love whole foods and conscious nutrition. Insulin!!! Yes, that is a big one! And waking up to live one more beautiful day in this SweetLife!
If you find yourself chronically depressed or just feeling emotionally overwhelmed, please reach out. You do not have to fight this alone. 
Here is a link to the American Diabetes Association and information regarding depression.

#T1D #Type1Diabetes #Gratitude #Thanksgiving #Thankfulness #nurturethehappy #Depression #YouAreNotAlone #ReachOut #AnericanDiabetesAssociation #JDRF 

As Veteran’s Day passes and those who have signed their name on the dotted line to serve their country, be at war-time or at peace, are honored…..I can’t help but stop and think of all the brave souls who are fighting the front line of a war that takes casualties, drains spirits and finances, worries parents, caregivers and loved ones but continues….
As a veteran and a former Chaplain’s Assistant in the U.S. Air Force, I have seen first hand how serving can separate families and ask not only the military personnel but their loved ones to sacrifice much for the mission. As a LADA Type 1 Diabetic, I have also experienced and listened to accounts of how Diabetes also wages war, puts us in dangerous situations and takes casualties. We must never give up fighting for a cure while honoring the brave individuals both very young and old who face the enemy daily. Let’s all hope for a day when we too can be a peace. You are not alone in this Sweet Life. 
#Diabetes #Type1D #Veteran #AirForce #Peace #FightForACure #Caregivers #DLife #worlddiabetesday


My favorite special effects make-up artist and sista DLifer. In honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month, listen to her story (while watching her amazing work) and commitment to help the WORLD understand. This video should be viewed in all middle and high school Health classes to help raise awareness and minimize negative peer behavior. No one should feel isolated because of their illness. 

  If you know me at all, you can confirm that I do not like anything scary that will linger in my psyche to freak me out at a later date….Period.  

All of this talk about zombies lately has finally caught up with me and literally infiltrated my dreams last night. Without permission, my subconscious casted me in my own DLife version of  Zombieland or any other zombie fanatical movie version (they all look the same to me). There were no “double tap” super power rifles or power teams to save my life, oh no….What was present in my movie was the forbidding feeling of not having access to the supplies I needed to survive as a Type 1 Diabetic in a crisis. This does remind me of a conversation my best friend and I were having regarding her Zombie Apocalypse Power Team and she referred to me as “Zombie Bait” (I still love her but that little gem has been noted). Feeling a little bit powerless, I told her my power would be to access pharmaceuticals across the nation to help all of the sick. (A gal can dream ya know)

So what does a frightened, slightly sleep deprived (due to zombie nightmares) DLifer do to take charge in this situation? Post a comprehensive prep list for all of us “Zombie Bait” individuals to have…..just in case.

Diabetes Disaster Guidelines
#Dlife ##Diabetes #Type1Diabetic #ImNotZombieBait 

Numbers. We study them. Add them. Subtract them. Designate the future and the past. We are identified by our government with them and ranked by performance with them. We hope for higher numbers such as “16” and “21” as a teenager, then of course mile markers that signify wisdom and longevity as seniors in the community. We are bombarded with cell numbers and login numbers. We check in with our gravitational pull to the earth or otherwise known as weight “numbers”, our pant size, shoe size, ring size and beyond. We even marvel at the endless number of Pi that marks no exact finite destination. I could go on but I am sure you get the picture. 

Birthdays are special numbers that give us a sense of being “unique” and special for one day. As my unique (well sort of) date of birth approaches, I am becoming well aware of how numbers, dates, hours, minutes, and seconds fly by! I am also becoming accustomed to the constant mind set of calculating carb numbers, glucose numbers, insulin deliverance numbers and other Diabetes related numbers.  
There are many special numbers in my life but the 10-15 combo represents the birth of a girl that grew into a confident woman who then was challenged by the hand of fate to appreciate life even more than she could ever imagine. 
For all of us who embrace life and juggle all the numbers in our SweetLife, I wish you all a very happy birthday, whatever that number might be!

 Diabetes is on my mind 24 hours, 7 days a week but sometimes embracing life without the thought of blood glucose testing, highs, lows and everything in between for just a little while is exactly what the Dr. ordered.