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I’m not the Druid priestess or Celtic warrior queen the name “Gaelen” represented in my online gaming days. And I’m not the romance novel author, either. Gaelen is the screenname I’ve used since 1991 in my first internet account on AOL.

These days, ‘Gaelen’ is the ID I use on most internet forums and websites.

I’m Pat Steer–a writer, dog trainer and a really good cook who has been living with Stage IV rectal cancer since 2004. I work every day to stay focused on life in the moment, life out loud…and taking aim on finding the enjoyment in each opportunity I have to laugh, to learn, to think, to observe and to live with everything I’ve got.

blkeyesueThe black-eyed susans in my avatar represent two things: every-day beauty in spite of adversity, and sheer persistence. At home I have a 4×12 foot border of black-eyed susans around my front patio. Those flowers are the offshoots of a single 4-inch pot I found wilting on the reduced-for-clearance rack at the garden center in 1998. Now even the daylilies have to argue with them for water, sun and space. The black-eyed susans never lose and never quit; they are a simple, beautiful symbol of what my life with cancer survivorship has become: life out loud, no matter what the circumstances or adversities.

I also blog about improvising with food at Kitchen Jam; drop by and share some of the things that pique my tastebuds! If you love dogs and enjoy training them, visit my Dog Trainer’s Log to follow my adventures training out loud with English Cockers Madison and Casey.

Random Question: When you hesitate before hitting snooze on your alarm clock, are you being lazy?

Nope…I am giving *me* the only five minutes in the day over which I have any direct control!

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