Mugging Up with a Blog Hop

I had a quick mug up (coffee and unsweetened almond milk) by myself earlier this morning…our peach tree is full and the “drops” are starting. I’m glad I went out and stood under the tree for just a few quiet moments before the craziness of my day began. What was in your mug today?

So, this is something new. I’ve accepted a “Blog Hop Challenge” from @Nancyspoint. What is a Blog Hop? Basically, I’ll answer the below challenge questions and then I’ll be added to a list of other bloggers who are participating (not everyone is writing about cancer) so we all can learn about other blogs, make new connections and friends. Regular “Mug Uppers” know I sometimes write about my cancer journey. Sometimes I don’t. But always, the invitation is there to be together over a Mug Up and share our authentic selves. I hope you all enjoy meeting each other and sharing our stories. So, here goes…

2019 Blog Hop Challenge Questions

1.  Who are you? If applicable, share anything you want about your cancer (type, stage, when diagnosed, whatever.) Share something about yourself such as where you live, the name of your blog and it’s “mission”, a challenge you have faced or are facing now, or whatever you want.

I’m Mug Up Mermaid, aka Julie, but to some I’m Julie Ann. New readers will have to go back and read my June 2018 blog to know why “Julie Ann”.

To understand the title of my blog, this will get you started:

Mug up:  term used in coastal communities since the 1880’s to describe a coffee break or snack.  Fishermen would gather to warm up and have a hearty meal. (Urban Dictionary)

Mug up:  to study intensively. (Merriam-Webster)

Mermaid:  a fabled marine creature with the head and upper body of a woman and the tail of a fish. (Merriam-Webster)

“I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” (Anais Nin, The Four-Chambered Heart)

I started this blog as a way to get comfortable with people reading my writing as I worked on a novel and I wanted to encourage people to share what was on their minds. Then, WHAM! Cancer kicked in my door and my blog became a way for me to process my experience. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2018, had a bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction, chemo and now daily and monthly medications. I’ve been on and off medical leave for the past year (long story and threads of it can be found in the blog posts) but I’m getting ready to return to work in a few weeks. Back to normal? Not sure what that means. A new normal? That’s what “they” say… Fresh eyes and a more open heart? Definitely.

 2.  Have you ever participated in a blog hop before?


 3.  What’s your favorite sort of blog post to write and/or read – personal story, informational, how to, controversial, political, opinion, rant or other?

I’m drawn to blogs that are personal narratives especially ones that have authentic voices and are that perfect combo of funny, sassy and sometimes salty.

 4.  Describe yourself in three words. Yes, just three!

Loving. Playful. Inquisitive.

 5.  Name three of your favorite books from your youth (whatever age that means to you.) that had an impact on you.

“The Witch of Blackbird Pond”. “Charlotte’s Web”. “The Velveteen Rabbit”.

 6.  What are you reading right now, or what’s on your to-read list for when you have time?

“Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury”. “The Alchemist”. “Wuthering Heights”. “I’ve Been Thinking”.

 7.  What’s your favorite dessert of all time?

Key Lime Pie.

 8.  Tell us about a special pet you have, had, or would like to have. (Never wanted a pet, that’s okay too.)

All my pets have been special…my fur babies! Here are a few of them over the years because, awww, who doesn’t love a break from reading a blog by looking at cute doggie pictures? 

Gianna, Olly, Sophie, Murphy & Bandit

9.  What’s something people don’t know about you and might be surprised to learn?

I’m a direct descendant of the person who coined the phrase, “In God We Trust” for our currency, Salmon P. Chase. He was the sixth Chief Justice of the United States. He also served as the 23rd Governor of Ohio, represented Ohio in the United States Senate, and served as the 25th United States Secretary of the Treasury.

10.  Do you believe healthcare is a privilege or a right?

Both. Especially after seeing what it is like in places where neither are true.

11.  What’s your favorite thing about blogging and/or reading blogs?

I love reading a blog and seeing I’m not alone in some of my random, obsessive and crazy thoughts.

12.  What’s something you really suck at?

I suck at being patient when someone is reading out loud to me.

13.  What’s something you’re pretty good at?

I’m pretty good at remembering to write thank you notes.

14.  How do you escape from cancer (or life in general) worries?

Being in, on or near the water.

~Mug Up Mermaid

Blog Hop link:

4 thoughts on “Mugging Up with a Blog Hop

  1. Dear Julie Ann, I have been missing you! A lot!! And then came your blog which was absolutely soul-filling. These were my ‘take-aways’. I never realized that you ALSO had a Sophie! And I’d forgotten about Bandit – which happens to be Sophie’s well-deserved nickname! I was FASCINATED to learn about Salmon P. Chase and “In God We Trust”. AND now I have a new book to add to my reading list: “I’ve Been Thinking”. (I KNOW that I’ve read “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” – but since I don’t remember it, it’s definitely time for a re-read.) Ironically, today was the first day of a Journal Writing course that I’m teaching at the prison (in Windham). Actually, I’m the Assistant Teacher – in part, because I don’t like to write. And given my lack of enthusiasm for the activity – it’s important to have someone else lead the way! She (the lead teacher) happens to be a Deacon in the Episcopal Church, and is a sparkling gem! I was so happy to read about your returning to work (again) – which I so hope will introduce a healthy new chapter to life. (Please give my love to Tommy – and save plenty for yourself!) Best blessings, Ruth


  2. Hi Julie / Julie Ann – nice to meet you. Wow, that’s a great true fact about yourself that you could pull out at random! I loved reading “The Alchemist” – “I’ve Been Thinking” sounds interesting too.


  3. Hi Julie,
    It’s great that you decided to participate in my blog hop challenge! I enjoyed reading your responses AND loved looking at your cute doggie pics. You have an interesting family tree. You and Julia have me intrigued about “The Alchemist” now. Hmm…As an author, I took notice that you are writing a novel, and I’m wondering if you finished it or have gotten back to it yet. Cancer is such a rude interrupter!

    Thanks for participating. Be sure to hop around to the other blogs and say hi when you have time. Great name for your blog, btw.

    Liked by 1 person

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