Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Graduation and a Class of 4

I feel like I'm graduating after 31 straight days of writing!!!! All in 31 days:

I have written.

I have reflected.

I have learned.

I have laughed.

I have shared.

I have read.

I have moaned.

I have smiled.

I have realized.

I have uploaded.

I have regretted.

I have reminisced.

I have celebrated.

I have traveled.

I have skipped instead of walking or running.

So what does a retired person do after learning so much more about herself and her writing in just one short month? Continue writing, sharing, and working with my class of four very special students--Lucas, Noah, Lilly, and James, my grandchildren.

I make sure Lucas, Noah, Lilly, and James are reading some very good books. Every chance I get, I make sure they have a new writers notebook to fill with whatever and wherever they are at this moment. Soon, I must talk with them about what is in their notebooks and ask them, "How's It Going?" I will show them my notebook and my blog. We will talk more, and we will read and write together and apart. Writing is a record of our lives for now and evermore.

Congratulations, fellow bloggers!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Writing Wishes

Fortunate than most children? Yes, indeed I was.

I had a beach when other children only had a swimming pool.

I had a ballroom, they only had a family room.

I had a witch's den, they only had a sand box.

I had a huge tent, they only had a doll house.

You see, I had a big back yard.

I have been looking through some of my old writings. I came across the above piece entitled "My Backyard," dated May 4, 1965, the year I graduated from high school!!

I wrote a post for my Blog on March 1 of this year called "Clothes Lines." In that post, I only remembered part of the fun I had as a child making the tents from the clothes line in the backyard. I discovered in this '65 piece that my backyard was my daycare, my escape, my dreams. It went on to tell in detail what I meant by the beach, the ballroom, the witch's den, and the huge tents.

As I read, I said to myself, "Yes, I remember that. How could I forget that? I remember that now. And that reminds me of other games we played."

If only I had written more when I was younger, kept track of more events. I kept a diary at times growing up and after college, but always put it aside, got rid of them, in fact. Oh, I'm so sorry I didn't save/write more. I guess I didn't take my writing all that seriously, but I continued to write in little ways such as a free lance reporter for the Ft. Wayne newspaper's Northeast Neighborhood section. I had some tough fire stories to cover and some human interest stories. There was long gap then until I started writing workshop in my own classroom back in '01-'02. I discovered the love was still there, and now here I am retired, wanting to really write again.

The challenge to me now and to you fellow bloggers is to keep writing, writing, writing. Keep writing and keep everything you write. You won't remember all the precious details of your past if you don't. We're fortunate writing is so much easier now that we have computers. I can't believe I said that since I'm a firm believer in using the pen. I certainly didn't compose these posts on paper! Discovery time again!

So as we wind down from a month of writing every day, keep the fires burning within your mind and soul beyond the month of March and into your future as an author of works.

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Living on the Porch"

The "Living on the Porch" sign will soon be hung

With great anticipation and praises sung.

It announces that a table cloth will soon adorn

A picnic table full of meals with fresh peppers, tomatos, and corn.

The adirondacks and cushy wrought iron chairs

Wait for weary bodies who have left all their cares.

Impatiens, petunias, geraniums, and more

Will warm our craving spirits to the utter core.

Oh, how we long for the warmth of the sun,

To dry all those swim suits when swimming is done.

When on the porch, we'll raise our coffee cups and say,

"Here's to you Spring and Summer, we've come a long way!"


It's a Monday morning, and this is the first time I haven't started a post by this time! I usually get an idea the night before and type it in as it comes out. Then I come back to it the next morning when the post is due, and revise, revise, and revise.

The reason why I have to revise so much is because (I just realized when commenting on an email and remembering my grief with my last post) I usually write my sentences backwards! What does this mean? Many sentences that come out with my thoughts are usually so awkward, discombobulated, and backwards that I have to slowly rearrange the words in the sentences. I blame it on getting ahead of myself, and my mind is just spitting out those thoughts at random! Mary Helen calls it "jumbled," I think.

Maybe I should just start to write by making a list of my thoughts and then numbering them in the order in which they should be. I think I do this already --some of my writers notebook pages look like chicken scratch! But I find I really like to revise, use my thesaurus, read my words over and over, read out loud, and make sure the sentences/phrases have a rhythm. My cousin Sharon said, "You're in love with words." I guess I am--realization!

I also realize I have more to say than I thought I would. I am more aware of my surroundings and the events in my life. I sometimes ask my husband or son what to write about, and they just throw some "things" out. Sometimes it is an idea I can use, but sometimes it's not exactly the topic they suggest. I may just turn one topic into another.

I also find that there are many excellent writers out there in this SOL community. I find that many of us writers share the same writing joys and difficulties. What better way to learn than from others--mini-workshops every day this month!! Sometimes I want to have more of a conversation with other bloggers. We've become penpals in a sense.

I get a kick out of family and friends finding out that I can and love to write, and that I have a blog! It's like letting out a secret that I've kept at bay.

In the end, I realize I'm skipping along more in my thoughts, rather than just walking through them.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Watching and Wondering

For the first time in my life, I sighted a robin in early January! Was he lost? confused? Or did I just never notice robins during the winter??

Late in the morning or afternoon, the robin would perch himself on a small berry tree in our native plant garden in the backyard. I just thought this robin was a fluke. On January 21 in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, a picture appeared of a robin with the caption of "A robin sings as it rests on a branch during snow showers Thursday afternoon in Fort Wayne." On January 26, I saw three robins!

In February, I started hearing family and friends talk of sighting flocks of robins! I also ended up seeing flocks of robins in trees in the front yard. I did an internet search and found that some robins do winter over, but so many? We had such a cold and snowy winter, especially in February. In addition, I read that robins will eat berries. I even put out some raisins, but nothing was touched.

Spring has finally arrived, and now many robins hop around the yard, trying to find worms in the grass. However, I still see one robin perched in the same tree every day mostly by himself. Is this the same robin that I sighted back in January? Does he have his eye on a nesting place?

I guess this is what you call bird watching and wondering!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lost in the Land of Dolls

A week ago, I tossed a little, old, bridal doll in the trash because she lost
her head! I couldn't fix it, and I've tossed her around in the old boxes so many times, I just got rid of her. Now I'm truly sorry I did.

The next week, my good friend Alice told me she was going to pick up her old doll from the "doll hospital" as she puts it for her grandchildren. "What? There's a doll hospital?" I exclaimed. "In New Haven, IN!!" I just had to go there! I've heard about places like this but never visited one.

I was in for a delightful surprise. On the side of the building was a huge mural of the basic concept of the store and in front, there was the store/hospital window!!!!

Alice and I walked in, and immediately saw the small metal kitchen sink that we both had as children! We just starting rambling on about our childhood, unaware of the store clerk who came to talk with us. I'm sure she has witnessed this many times before.

We saw other antique doll furniture and a wicker doll carriage. Glass cupboards held some very old dolls that were in great condition. There was a collection of old Storybook Dolls and Ginny Dolls. Middleton Dolls are the latest "real" life baby dolls that you can adopt. We saw antique and new doll clothing, doll shoes of all sizes, and doll hairpieces of all sizes and colors. What a find for a doll collector or anyone who wants to reminisce.

Some day soon, with my granddaughter Lilly, I am taking in another old bride doll whose dress crumbled with age and fit her with a new dress! I might even take something there to sell.

If you're interested, you can find Dolly Heaven at this website: It is also on Facebook as Dolly Heaven or Dolly Dearest and on ebay as Dolly Dearest.

Be sure to go in with a good friend and get lost.............................

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Neighbors

We all help each other out along our private dead end street
where we live.

We share the cost of blacktopping our road.

We hook a water hose from one house to another if a well goes bad.

We share driveways for parking if anyone has a lot of company, and we always call first.

We share the snowblowing of the private road.

We snowblow each other's driveways when the need arises.

We look after each other's pets/homes when one is gone.

We get each other's mail at times.

We mow other's lawns if need be.

We attend each other's neighborhood get togethers.

Today, I got a dozen of yellow roses from the Kiwanis Club neighbor who bought extras from
the Kiwanis fund raiser for the ladies in the neighborhood!

These are my neighbors! God love them!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ode to a Tomato

Oh, tomato, how we love you so.
We plant and water you to make you grow.

Full of vitamins A, C,
And lycopene--how healthy we will be.

Count the ways we consume you:
Spaghetti sauce, salsa, ketchup, and soups.

Whether sliced, tossed, diced, and even fried,
We praise you for your juicy, fleshy side.

One thing I did not know
Is that YouTube celebrates you so.

I heard the Tomato song that was fun,
But then you are a scrub to protect us from the sun.

Cherry or beefsteak grade,
We love you, great tomato, whom God hath made.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New York 1956

I was getting ready to host my book club this month when I decided to bring down my mom's old collection of tea cups and saucers. She gave them to me when I started teaching because she said that I could get together with my teacher friends and have tea. At the time, tea was not on the menu for the teachers I knew, and I always laughed about that fact.

As I took the best tea cups and saucers down, I noticed my mom's name Lillian written on one cup along with the words "New York 1956." I knew my mom hadn't gone to New York City, but I had with my Auntie Mary and cousin Sharon.

The tea cup and saucer brought back a fond memory. I remember Radio City Music Hall where we saw "The King and I," the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the automats (Put in a quarter and get a sandwich of your choice--back then even!!), Central Park, and coffee and donuts in the morning in the Taft Hotel!! Yes, it was my first experience of drinking coffee, and I have loved coffee ever since, and I was only nine at the time!

So, not only did I recall a good memory but used my mom's tea cups and saucers with a group of teachers for the first time! I also used my mom's personal New York souvenir tea cup and saucer knowing she would be proud--finally!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Motorcyle vs Writing

Congratulations to those fellow bloggers who have written every day for 22 days, give or take a few! We can also say, we are 71% in completion of our goal. We have 9 more days to go!

My middle son asked after I told him I was writing a post a day for 31 days, "Why are you doing this to yourself?" I explained I like writing slices, have always liked to write, and now I can share my writings with others on a daily basis and also read their blogs, making comments. It's like a little writing workshop. He just nodded his head and smiled. I didn't know if I had really reached him.

When I got home, I emailed my son and referred back to his question he had asked about my every day writing. I said, "You know how you like to ride your motorcycle, shine it up, and fix it if it needs fixed? Well, that's how I feel about writing/blogging." He answered back, "Point well taken."

Writing is like a motorcyle--you love riding/writing it. Shining it up is reading it over to yourself, and then fixing it/revising if it needs it.

Blogging every day has also taught me that there is something always there to write about, insignificant as it may seem.

Writing is an appreciation of life.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dresses and More Dresses

Why are weddings still a fascination for young and old alike? I'm in my sixties and love to watch "Say Yes to the Dress." I love to watch and attend weddings. My husband and sons just wonder what the fascination is. For me, it is the dress and "all" the things that go with it today.

I made my dress and I wasn't even a seamstress!!! My husband even helped me. Like I said, I'm pretty basic. My best friend/roommate at the time was getting married, and she made her dress and her bridesmaid's. If she could make hers, I could make mine! My bridesmaids had to make their own. Wow, this would be a lot to ask today! Times have changed so much. What else is new?

Brides are now buying two dresses--one for the vows and the other for the reception. What's important here? Is this now just an activity or a real vow of love and a lasting relationship?

William and Kate will take their vows April 29 in Westminister Abbey. I can hardly wait!! I wish them the best and think they have that love since they took their time with and away from each other. I loved seeing Charles and Diana marry witih all the hoopla. What was Charles and Diana thinking????

Where is this going? To me marriage is a beginning a new life with the person you love and respect and a hope that whatever comes, love can prevail. The rest is fun hoopla, and there's nothing wrong with fun!!!

But "you gotta have love."

Isn't there a song that has these words? Anyone know?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Moon Over Matter

Full moon weekend--

last full moon for the winter

and first full moon for the spring.

Celebrated with our first campfire of the year

with fallen tree limbs, logs

and that old Christmas wreath.

Saturday was the last day of winter

with the sun even closer now

and spring arrives today!

Good-bye, Winter.

Hello, Spring.

See you next month, Full Moon!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Because I Can

I wrote this once and deleted it because I didn't want anyone to feel bad about having to work and maybe never get to retire, but I have that opportunity. I feel blessed.

Because I'm retired

I can sleep in until 8:00 after going to bed at midnight.

I can skip the naps because I get 8 hours almost every night.

I can stay in my robe until noon (I never did that before!).

I can go out to lunch with friends.

I can be part of a retiree lunch bunch.

I can blog and enjoy it.

I can take care of family when they need someone to be there.

I can go shopping during the day all year long.

I can really enjoy weekends and rest on Mondays.

I can take care of my grandkids during the week.

I can enjoy Sunday nights.

I can be a better person because I'm not tired all the time.

I can choose how I spend my time.

I can enjoy trying new recipes.

I can read more books.

I can garden all day long this spring.

I can enjoy my coffee every morning.

I can feel blessed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just Part of My Poem

I use to think the good times were going to a party, a wedding, a vacation,

Having a new outfit, or another bracelet.

Then I discovered

It was the small things/moments

That truly made up the Good Times.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Alive and Well

I took my first spring walk this afternoon--mighty fine day to be alive and well.

The general color scheme was brown, gray, yellow, and coniferous green with a pure blue sky and lake--yes, the lake is finally open from its frozen guise!!! I'll be watching for the brighter greens and colors as days go by.

I took to the beach and found two of the many swans that now inhabit our lake. They looked at me and then nestled their heads from the left into their right wing. It looked uncomfortable but with the long neck they have, the extra stretch seems to work well.

Two black dogs were running and jumping after each other on the beach when I spied a man in the distance calling out. I pointed to the two dogs, guessing that's who he was looking for. I could identify with the dogs' frivolity.

On the way back, I picked up large, downed tree branches and laid them near the backyard fire pit that soon will be lighted with large logs. The old Christmas wreath lies there as well with its piney scent. What a fire feast of aromas we will have!

As I returned to our deck and took one last look at our backyard of summer dreams yet to unravel, I remember all the things I was meaning to do this past winter. Oh, well, there's always next winter. I'm just ready to go out again, play, and enjoy the sun!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cup Quest

Or Odd Things People Do

I am looking for the perfect coffee cup. It has to be the right size, have the right handle, weight, look, and microwaveable!

How did this begin? I had the perfect cup when I worked for Lincoln Life--it was a freebie, too. It broke, and I have been on a quest to replace this cup for quite awhile. It was a secret at first, and I didn't tell anyone I was doing this in my head. This is not to say this is all I do when I leave my house, but the thought is there when I spy cups at a store. And, of course, when you drink that special cup of coffee in the morning, it has to be an object of comfort!

I finally admitted to family and some friends that this is what I do. Knowing me, they just kept quiet and helped me locate cups when they were with me. I also had to tell them eventually that no one else but me can find it. Getting really strange now, huh? There is a good reason for this as there is with every odd thing I do--believe it or not!

As soon as you tell someone you are looking for that perfect cup, he/she wants to buy you one, maybe as a gift. This is where the problems begins in collecting things if that's what you want to call it. I call it a quest--not always sure if this will be the one, but it's fun, too.

When other people get involved, you begin to get things you would never buy for your collection, and then it doesn't become your thing per se. My mother-in-law has a collection of spoons which started out with every time she traveled somewhere, she bought a spoon. Soon everyone was buying her spoons of places she never went!! Whose collection is it anyway???

I started collecting pumpkins, and my mom went crazy buying them for me. No!! I ended up with grandma and grandpa pumpkins--not what I was doing really. Same with collecting sugar bowls and creamers--stopped that in the bud!

People want to please, I know. But a "collection" or quest is yours to find--where you were at the time, why you bought it, what it means for you, etc. Call it a little personal perk.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Five Pets Later

I read Elsie's post yesterday, 03/15/2011, "53 Years of Pets," and she reminded me of all our pets. Four dogs and one cat made our lives meaningful. Having dogs was a no-brainer. I had a small dog Ginger as a child. After being married, getting a dog was quite natural, especially when you're pregnant and have that nesting sensation. Our first dog was Dynah, the dalmatian. We had her until my youngest of 3 boys was in grade school. Dynah was a skittish sort, afraid of thunder and fire crackers and lived 12 years.

Next came Tootsie, a brown and tan coon hound who could clean the kitchen floor of every crumb that fell. I think we had her for 7-8 years. The last dog we had was Amber, a blond lab who was a very dear dog to us all.

Our children's grandfather gave us a kitten the last year he was alive. It was a surprise gift, and we couldn't refuse it. This cat was supposedly the nicest kitten of the barn litter. Into the shoe box he went and home with the grown puppy Amber. We never had a cat before and wasn't sure how Fuz, the kitten, would get along with Amber. The first thing we learned was when you look for a kitten, you don't necessarily look under and around, but up! There he was on top of the curtain rod. Amber and Fuz hit it off. Sometimes they would even lie by one another.

I realized cats definitely have an attitude. We had so many names for him--Cat, Fuzzy, Little Lord Faunt Le Roi, Leroy, and other unmentionables, just like the cat poem of T.S. Eliot's The Naming of Cats.

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,

It isn't just one of your holiday games;

You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter

When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

Fuz wasn't a lap cat until he was older and because our son got married, we left him alone for 3 days. Next thing we knew, Fuz wanted to be on my lap every night.

All my kids had left by now for a marriage, college, or a job. Amber had to be put down because she could no longer could manage to get up and down. That left Fuz. Because Fuz was raised along side of Amber, he basically acted like a dog--went out in our yard only and came back when we called. He was long-haired, and we took him to the vet to get a shave and a shower 2 times during the summer--he loved it. He would prance around when he got home. Fuz lasted another 2 years after Amber. We had to put him down because of cancer.

For some reason, I still think I hear or see Fuz creep around. Is this because I miss my pets--I sorely do. Sometimes I still yell out when I get home, "I'm home!" Is that call for them or my own longing?

Will I get another pet? I don't think so. They're a great responsibility, and now I can enjoy my sons' dogs on the weekends!

12 Full Moons

I'm a real fan of Deb's blog because she recommends books for young children now on a daily basis through SOLSC. Ruth also suggests books in her blog when she comes across a good read for her children. These are tried and true recommendations.

I also check for suggestions and customer reviews. I found a fairly new Cynthia Rylant picture book called long night moon, illustrated by Mark Siegel. I was attracted to it because somewhere I read that each month of the year has a special name for its full moon. Rylant took the names of the 12 moons from the Native Americans. I ordered it for my granddaughter and just read it this weekend!! It's lovely in word and art.

Night pictures appear throughout the book, but are friendly, warm, and inviting because of all the shadows of deer, rabbits, birds, an owl, lightning bugs, squirrels, trees, lighted house windows, rain, snow, and a mother and child at the end. It's a perfect bedtime book.

The story is told in free verse with great examples of alliteration, similes, metaphors, and personfication. My favorite names of the full moons are the names for May, the flower moon and December, the long night moon who "waits and waits" and is "your friend." Rylant has a gentle way of describing the important things in life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Light-hearted Sunday

There's nothing like visiting the grandchildren to remind yourself of what is important and endearing. After the seriousness of the news from the last few days, I got lost in the realms of children, namely Lucas and Lilly.

Saturday began with Lucas's 5/6 year old basketball game. What a wonderful game--no score was kept!!! The importance of the game is dribbling, running down the court, guarding the person with same color wrist band, and maybe making a basket!

After the game, there was the gynmastics gym. Lilly and Lucas ran to the zip-line to glide across the gym floor and then jump off over and over. There were forward somersaults, a swinging rope, a plastic ball pool, jungle gym bars, balance beams, wall climbing , two trampolines, and much more. What a workout for all!

Sunday morning, I felt this gentle pawing. Gosh, their dog Wrigley really has gotten gentle! It wasn't Wrigley but Lilly gently trying to wake me up. Lucas was at the door and said, "Gram, it's time to play!" Why can't every morning be started like this when you're gently awakened with the idea of just play is on the agenda?

The day ended with a walk around the block, looking for rocks in the sunshine!

Thank heaven for little boys and girls!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayerful Haiku

I just finished posting my 11th blog when I heard about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Everything around me seemed so small and unimportant. People once again were losing lives at the blink of an eye. My mind went back to 911, Katrina, Haiti, and New Zealand to name a few. . .and to my own childhood.

I grew up thinking about disaster and destruction every day, never expecting to make it past high school. We were in the Cold War at that time, and America was threatened by an atomic bomb.

We saw movies of what would happen if a bomb fell in our country. We were told to build air raid shelters with provisions. In school, I was tatooed with my blood type on the left side of my body as was every child in Gary, Indiana. I guess this would give us an advantage if we ever needed blood quickly. We had practice air raid drills in school by getting under our desks. When you weren't in school, you heard the air raid sirens bellowing about noon for people to practice and run for safety. I remember one time I was alone outside and heard the sirens. I ran into a dark hall in our apartment building just thinking, "This could be it." What a way to grow up.

Thankfully, no catrastophe happened during my childhood. Now I am witnessing again and again war, disaster, and destruction all over the world. Hopefully, my grandchildren will be as blessed as I was.

Be thankful for the sunny day we have as bloggers today and to remember every day what is really important right now.

Prayers and thoughts go out to the Japanese people--a prayerful haiku for them.

behold the heavens,

strength in hope and each other,

God be with you now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hello, Yellow!!!

Color is pretty important to me. I love lots of color in my life. I didn't realize how much I loved color until I painted my kitchen a clay, flower pot shade (a Martha Stewart brand color, my husband Steve pointed out) and then started buying a lot of yellows, greens, and blues to go with my kitchen. My bathroom is yellow, and I like orange and lime green to dress it up. The computer room is yellow where I blog--really bright and cheery. My cars are always red. I like red coats and shoes, too, even though I don't wear red shoes!!!! I love Dorothy's red, ruby slippers!! I have wanted to write about colors per se, but the ideas just wouldn't come together.

(Get to the point!!!!!)

Well, yesterday, I was determined to buy a new purse because the one I have is just too small. I run around a lot and need to pack my purse just in case........... Besides the size of a purse, color is important, too. Did you ever think how many times color guides our lives? (Do you see how my mind wanders?)

I saw black purses, beige, blue, red, white, multi-colored, and one yellow purse. A yellow purse!!! Yellow is my favorite color, but a yellow purse??? I love red purses. I love light green and light brown purses, but I never really considered a yellow purse or saw a yellow one I liked! I passed by this purse many times before I stopped to take a look.

It did look like the right size and was, oh, so soft. Okay, I'll open it up and search inside. It had a multi-colored umbrella with it!!! What a deal! But that umbrella was speaking to me, too, "Take a chance on this yellow purse!" (How many male readers have I lost by now?)

The purse had a beautiful yellow color, but for a purse to be yellow? I admit it sure didn't go with my red winter coat. It will be spring soon, right? I can see me now wearing my white, tan, and black capris with all my colorful tops, swinging a yellow purse by my side. But a very bright yellow purse??? (This is a lot of time to spend on color, you know!)

I bought it!

It was the only yellow purse in the large Ft. Wayne Kohl's store. It was my favorite color. It was the right size with plenty of pockets. I took it home and slept on it--not actually on it, but sleep is good when making an important decision as to keeping something or taking it back.

Yes, it's a keeper. Now I can hardly wait to see what reactions I get when I carry my large, yellow purse. If I don't get any reactions, I'll be disappointed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Roget Reigns Again

Roget's International Thesaurus, 3rd Edition, 1962

This book is an old friend, and it has regained its place in my life. I've had this book since high school when I used it to write my English compositions, school newspaper stories (The Norse Wind), and yearbook copy (The Emersonian). After high school, it took a back seat to other books in college. Then I taught a few years, married, had children, received my Masters in Education, went back to the work force, and finally taught again until retirement. I may have used this thesaurus now and then, but nothing like I have used it this month for SOLSC.

Since blogging, this book has been by my side just like in high school when I discovered the love of writing, thanks to my sophomore English teacher, Mr. John Hancock. (Yes, that is his name.) I spent hours making sure everything I wrote was exactly what I wanted to convey. I am tickled to have the same love surface again like an old friend.

I have that time again to savor my writing, and at the same time, share it with other authors who have been bitten by the Blogging Bug!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Take Me Away........

A shower? A bath?

There is something about taking a shower or bath.

You're in a world of all your own.

As an old Calgon commercial used to say, "It takes you away!"

Away from the busy day and into the caresses of drenching warmth

Of your alone place.

Sometimes the best ideas stream from showers or baths.

A lesson plan just seemed to flow in from nowhere.

The right words surface to spend tomorrow.

Can I remember all these things when I leave?!

It's the little things again

That make us feel good, extinguishing the weariness,

Making us whole again.

I don't want to leave..........

Blogging Bits and Pieces of.....................

Writing for a blog every day is quite the challenge. I'm newly retired and consider my days pretty basic except when I get my assignment for the day--helping family, visiting someone, shopping, thinking about cleaning, and blogging every day!!!

I love to write, and this SOLS Challenge holds me to writing every day. It's a great exercise. Someone said today, "Writing is good for you." Where have I heard that before? It's good especially for writers.

I admit to the same feeling I saw in a comment on another blog post about "struggling to get the post in today."

"I'm feeling the pain as one blogger would say as I started having trouble yesterday and was thankful for a beautiful sunrise. Today, I'm late to get #8 posted. I even took a napkin (couldn't find any scratch paper where I was) and started to write down what I heard on the Today Show--Martha Stewart has a new baking show on her new tv channel. She shared a recipe for pate a choux. Then there was information on the new diet trend of combo-killing (taking 2 diet drugs at once to lose weight, then get a high), about the Duke and Duchess of York (Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, UK), and much more. What variety! Then, of course, there was the news of the world.

Where to go with my writing?

Is it right in front of me or what?

Every day deadlines are killing me!!!

Some day, I want to blog about Sienna and Shadow, my son's dogs, with picture, but not today.

Now I'm home again. I saw nothing spectacular driving home (hard to believe since all the snow is melted!!), and all I've done is open the mail from the last 2 days and got a cheese snack. Tomorrow is the dentist which I'd rather not think about, let alone write about!

You could call this writers block. I could write about anything, but nothing moves me today, and I call myself a writer? And oh, my, rough draft of Blog #9 is due tonight!

For now, it's shower time, reading time, and savoring the quiet time--hopefully, fuel for my next blog.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Round, orange, bright, and welcomed...........

This was my view as I drove into Ft. Wayne early today. I forgot how big the sun can look in the morning when there are no trees or buildings to get in the way.

I had the radio on, and Huey Lewis was singing one of his upbeat songs, and like they use to say on American Band Stand, it had a very good beat. I got so into the sun and the music, I almost missed my turn!!

All I can say is that the power of nature and music can certainly take over the human soul to lighten the load on a Monday morning.

Here's to more of those kinds mornings!

Spring Friend

Melting snow
More sunshine
Greyish fir
Living proof
Welcome Pussy Willow Tree!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Birth of a Blog

When I don't know what to write, sometimes I read or look back into all my old writers notebooks. I'm on my 11th notebook this year--how appropriate for 2011. I didn't realize I had a 10th writers notebook anniversary last year. Congratulations to my writers notebook!

I started my writers notebooks in the 2000-2001 school year. This was after I attended a number of after school writing workshop meetings. I basically wrote along with my students and whenever at home.

Tonight, I found writers notebook #1 and discovered the page on which I had title ideas for my notebook--everything should have a name, especially if you're going to live with it every day!

This was my list on 01/10/01:


Life's Treasures

Mind Treasures

A Lifestyle

Bits of a Rainbow




My Kingdom

Dew Drops of the Day--(really!!)

Fairy Tales

Fragments of My Imagination

Clay Fragments

Learning Journal


I starred the name "Clay Fragments." Thus, also, the name for my blog now. I had forgotten that I had made a list of names, but I remember thinking that the name had to be something that contained bits and pieces of writing that eventually would take some shape and then change, maybe over and over again until it took its place in print.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Writing Woes

Mr. A's SOLS on Wednesday talked about wanting to curl up in the fetal position and cry when his black paint splashed all over the white on his oven project. I had the same kind of moment this last Monday, the day before the first post for SOLS.

I was trying to cover as many email messages as I could, including a site that has me counting my calories. I was very intent on getting this set up before I went on to blogging for my first March 1 posting for the SOLS Challenge.

All of a sudden, I saw a warning, "YOU HAVE A VIRUS!"--holy moly!!! This can't happen to me, now, of all times!

In my panic, I immediately hit the button to go after that little squirrel and kill it dead! Panic set in--I would never wish a squirrel dead, but today, I had a mission, and woe to the person/thing to get in my way!!!

A new screen popped up then, counting how many viruses I really had--mercy days!--over 300!! I was so glad we were going after all these little monsters now. What was I thinking--We????? This had become a crusade!

Then a screen came up that said that for $59.99, all this would be taken care of--Wait a minute!!!! I thought my husband had already installed a program and it was working for me, or was it? I immediately tried to escape, and my whole screen turned blue with a red warning sign at the top! No matter what it really said, all I knew then was that my computer was sure to blow up or was already dead!!
I called my husband with a controlled, remorseful voice, so as not to alarm him--at our age, you have to be careful. He came up from the basement, mumbling that this day had finally come. He then quietly tried to get me out of this mess. This is why I married him--his calmness in times of calamity. But I knew I had done wrong!!! We turned the computer off and on again, but the blue screen was still there. It has happened! I always feared I would break/crash a computer, and now I had. What would my children say?

I walked straight to the patio door in the kitchen and just stared out into the backyard with my arms crossed. I felt like a defeated child. "It's okay," I told myself, "You're still alive and healthy, and so is everyone else in the family," (coping strategy 101). I had also lost one of my best friends--blog writing!! I had always liked to write, but had fought the idea of blogging for 2 years (eh, Ruth), and now it was taken from me. Blogging has overtaken me!

Drama, drama, drama--"Get hold of yourself, woman!" I told myself.

My husband reminded me that we had a laptop, but I'm not a laptop kind of girl! My husband reassured me and unhooked, hooked everything up, and I was on my way again.

Life was good again. Thank you, Sweetie!

I've decided, just like books and writing, blogging is a friend.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Winter Blues

Things I will NOT MISS about winter:

late sunrises
early nights
below freezing cold
unending snow
brutal winds
icy roads
heavy coats/gloves

Things I WILL MISS about winter:
slow falling snow
the quiet
graceful deer near my windows
all variety of birds together at the feeder
warm, bulky sweaters
layers of soft blankets
wooly, fuzzy footies
hot, homemade soups
the warm coziness of home
mighty, good reason to stay in bed longer in the morning

I can't believe I have more things to miss than not!!! Sometimes I wonder how we tolerate the winter, but by tolerating winter, we experience summer, spring, and fall, and I wouldn't miss any of them for all the warmth of summer!

So, Mr. Winter, you may not be my favorite, but I guess loving 3 out of 4 seasons is a pretty good life, not forgetting all the things I would miss if I didn't have you around sometimes!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Clothes Lines

How many people know what real clothes lines are and can become? Everyone has hung clothes up at some time in a bathroom or when camping out, but how many have really hung clothes on lines after lines to help dry the weekly laundry? The Otterlanding blog has reminded of this wonder from the past.

My family lived in my Auntie Mary's apartment building which had ten rental flats, and everyone had their laundry day. The washing machines were in the basement which had to be filled up with water through a hose from the large, thick, metal soaking sinks. After agitating the clothes in the soapy water, the clothes were sent through two rollers to wring the clothes out to be tossed into the rinse washer that was also filled the same way. You had to use a very thick piece of rounded wood to feed the clothes through the rollers, so hands/fingers would not get crushed. Rollers rolled again before the clothes were thrown into a basket to make their way out to the backyard clothes lines or just hung on the basement lines. The dirty wash water then was drained through the hose down to the floor drain. The washers had to be filled up again with clean water for each new load of washing! New appreciation of our washing machines of today??

Auntie Mary (the same auntie as in the Diamonds Are Forever blog) washed clothes for 8 family members--her laundry with her daughter Sharon's, my family of 4, my uncle's and my grandmother's. Many times it was my job to help Auntie Mary hang all of these clothes. There were the lines in the basement during the cold winter months, and there must have been 10 lines at least outside in the backyard! I didn't mind helping her in the backyard, maybe because I knew what could come later after the clothes came down.

The four tall, grey, thick, metal posts that held the clothes lines outside were goal posts to play games of running, tagging, or just holding onto, spinning around until you got dizzy and fell! Other times, large, multi-colored blankets, which we called "Indian blankets," were fastened with clothes pins to the clothes lines with one fastened for the roof, and then they were all clothes-pinned together at the sides--one huge tent now stood waiting only for our imaginations.

These were our good times as children, and every day items became our toys--our best toys.