Sunday, March 31, 2013

One Whirlwind Week

Indy Palm Sunday
Easter egg hunt
Dress shopping
Snow storm
Mega book sale
Return of spring
Husband's minor surgery
Early baby arrival
Birth of Evelyn Mae
Easter bunny subs
Great-Grandma's Easter dinner.
Another Evelyn visit
Last SOLC post.
I've enjoyed posting this year.
Can you tell how my mind is working right now?
Enjoy the picture show.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

It's a Girl!!!

Everything went just fine.
No worry about the baby's position after all.
Induced last night at 2:00 a.m.
Regular delivery.

Thought it would be a third boy, but.............

It's Evelyn May
Born 8:34 a.m.
March 30,
8 lb., 21"

Maybe a picture tomorrow.
On our way back to Ft. Wayne now
Then Easter.

What a great Easter weekend.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Baby Now

Just a quick update:

Just got back from Ft. Wayne from my husband's surgery.  All went well. 

Just got a call from my son Ben.  His wife had an ultra-sound today.  Doctor found no water, so baby must come out today.  Baby is in wrong position, too.

Packing to go back.

Thanks for thinking of me and my husband.

Tomorrow, hopefully, I will update with all good news.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's About Food Again!

I've lost 20 pounds in the last year.  I've gone up and down my whole life.  I'm one of those that has to talk myself into dieting.  Sometimes it takes a long time to get there. 

I'm older now and realize less weight means better health.  I also want to go out thin is what I've been telling my friends.  I want to be finally thin and looked upon as a woman who is in control of her life and body.  I've maintained keeping the 20 pounds off since last fall.  Winter is a great time to give into carbs, comfort foods.  I did not. 

Today, it's a beautiful sunny, warm day compared to the snow we keep having.  I was very busy all day and my husband made chili.  Perfect.  As we sat down, he asked me if I wanted some of the Kahn's bologna I had bought for him.  I said I would eat the bologna only, no bread.  Bologna is not part of my healthy eating, but without bread, it's okay for today. 

As he came to the table, I noticed he had cut the bologna sandwich he had made into halves.  How cool is a sandwich when it is sliced in half!  And a bologna sandwich, too!  We were raised in the 50's and 60's with bologna as a main staple.  I don't eat it now as a rule--bad, bad, bad for you--nitrites and nitrates.  I took a bite and then two and then finished the whole half.  He made himself another sandwich and cut it into triangular halves.  What is he doing to me?  I ate another half of a bologna sandwich--a whole sandwich with bread!  I also had a whole cup of chili.  Then I had two homemade choco chip cookies which I made and froze and was left over for a week.

I plummeted to the bottom!   Why had he and I done this today?  

I know why now.  Tomorrow, my husband is having minor finger surgery to remove a cyst and see why his finger is reacting to the cyst.  Instead of talking about tomorrow morning and getting to surgery by 6:45, we are eating comfort foods together--bologna sandwiches, chili, and cookies.  We chuckle, finish eating, and watch the news.  It's minor surgery, but we always think about where we are in the scheme of things--our latter years together.

We're ready.  We won't sleep, but we're ready together for tomorrow. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Tonight was a well-deserved dinner out at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  Today my husband and I worked hard at helping set up for the community library Mega Book Sale by lifting, carrying, pushing, alphabetizing, and sorting hundreds of books. 

We like this particular restaurant because it has the best buffet ever--not a roomful of food but a handsome assortment of Chinese on a small island table in the center.  There is a full menu, but most people go for the buffet.  It is all you can eat, but most people eat reasonably.  It's always fresh, hot, and delicious.  It's when you've had enough of the basics at home, enough spaghetti and pizza, enough tacos, and enough hamburgers and chicken.  It's a casual enough place you just get up and go from home with your whole family.  The owners are polite, quick, and friendly especially with children.

After our meal we are always given fortune cookies with our bill.  On the back of the "fortune" are lucky numbers, a Chinese phrase to learn, and, of course, your fortune.  Many sayings on these strips of paper are not fortunes anymore but interesting comments, funny comments, and today a quote with no credit given to an author.

Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant. 
Sometimes as teachers, parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers, we wonder if what we do or say really makes a difference.  Every now and then we'll be rewarded by someone acknowledging our endeavors.  Many times we never know the outcome of our influence. 
I just know I have to keep on planting, caring, nurturing with consistency and fairness, and not giving up.   It's a thankless job many times, but I am here to make a positive difference when so much around us is negative and dark.
Enjoy your Spring Break and come back refreshed and ready to plant again.  Spring is here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A SOLC Reflection

I'm home from a visit to my grandchildren and need time to adjust being back home--an advantage of retirement.  It's a time to reflect on the weekend again.  I wrote about "the dress" yesterday with sleepy eyes, but today I look back at more pictures I took.  Where will I go next?

This is what I've discovered this year about the SOLC. 

It's not only a time to write every day, but a time to stop and reflect any time we want to as slicers.  I am amongst fellow bloggers who are going through the same thing every day as I am.  I know we're all in the same boat so to speak.  We can whine, celebrate, or show fatigue.  It's okay.  Like I've said to others in my comments, I feel like I'm writing to pen pals sometimes.  Not just a person who talks about events but a writerly person.  How special is this?

The pain and the glory:   The "pain" comes with the desire to make a difference with our posts--a difference in our lives, as well as others.  Bloggers experience the glory of writing by receiving comments from other writers.  There is a sense of accomplishment. 

I appreciate reading posts before writing mine.  It gives me insight into my own life and writings.  I appreciate the teachers that experience joy in their classrooms as well as frustration.  I connect with memories and good times.  We are one right now.

Only 5 days left. 

Can I continue to do this at least once a week for the next year?  A new challenge. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

The One That Dad Chose

"Oh, try this dress on.  It's so sparkly."

"I like this yellow one."

Then there was a pink dress with bling that Dad picked out.

"Let's get this one and this one."

"I still like the yellow one."

The yellow dress

That's when Lilly said, "I don't know what to do or which one to pick."  I was so excited to be on my first dress shopping trip with my granddaughter, age 6, and my son.  I was officially invited.  I didn't know how excited I would be until I got there.  I overwhelmed myself and Lilly. 

We explained to Lilly that we had to pick a few dresses, so she could try them all on in order to pick the one that looked the best on her.  I guess these dresses were meant to be for Easter, but they looked more like evening gowns.  But Lilly and her dad were going to a Dad/Daughter Dance in April at school, so they did fit the bill for us.  Next we had to find some tights to go with her white heeled shoes which Lilly already picked out last week!  I think this was the first buying trip of many to come in the years ahead.

Size one with heels!

On the way to the dressing room, I could feel the smile on my face getting bigger and bigger with excitement and giddiness.  My son looked at me and said, "You've waited almost 40 years for a moment like this."  He was right.  I had 3 sons and also 3 grandsons so far--Lilly was the first girl for me.  All he could hear from the dressing room was laughter and silliness.  Then we would come out and model for Dad.  I was unaware of anyone else around us.

It was a close tie between the yellow one that Lilly chose and the pink one Dad chose.  As soon as she put on the pink one, she loved it more. I think it was more comfortable for her--no sweater needed for the bare shoulders!
The chosen one, sideways! (I couldn't get it turned)

The next day we painted nails on a snowy day.

Snowy spring weekends don't get any better than this! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Spring"(?) Headlines

Beautiful Sunny Saturday in Indy

Dad, Daughter, and Gram Shop for Dance Dress
(more later)

Spring Takes a Back Seat Again

Easter Egg Hunt Held Indoors

Laptop Woes Battle Blogger

Snow Swirls as Traffic Slows

Indy Records 4 Inches Sunday Night

Snow Will Make Morning Mess

No Hurry to Return North

Post Accomplished!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Friday/Saturday Haiku

everyone drags

trudging to bed early on
morning light brings joy

Friday, March 22, 2013


I gave up waiting for spring.  I'm waiting for other things now.

Tomorrow we head south to Indy to see my middle son Tim and grandkids Lucas (8) and Lilly (6).  It's got to be warmer there at least, right?  We're celebrating Easter with them this weekend.  I think we'll dye eggs, have an Easter egg hunt, and dabble in books and writing in our WNs together.  I also found out I can go shopping with Lilly and Dad to get Lilly a dress for the Father/Daughter Dance in April.  With 3 sons and 3 grandsons, this is truly a treat. 

My husband and I are also waiting for a new grandchild to be born the first of April.  "It could come earlier," I say.  Ben and Amanda have the 2 other boys, Noah (6) and James (4).  Amanda has chosen not to know the sex of the baby this time.  I like that idea.  I asked if the baby's room was ready and Ben said he and Noah put the baby bed together again and James measured everything in the baby's room.  Everything was 80 feet long!  This weekend, they paint. 

Lastly, I'm just waiting for the month of April.   The spring date of March 20 arrived.  Hopefully, April will confirm it. 

In the meantime, Sunny will do right now.  I've been waiting to bring him out!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Five Furry Friends, Part II

The humane shelter--imagine all the stories that are within those cages.  Someone later said, "Your chosen puppy won the lottery that day!"  There she was--a blonde lab, so small and cute as a button.  Of course, the name had to be perfect for her.  Amber, like amber fields of grain. 

Why get a puppy in January???  Here we go again, potty training 101--how we all forget!  We taught her early to sleep and stay in the basement unless we were home.  Forgot about the whimpering and crying at night, too.  We put up an electric fence this time to assure that this one would not wander. 

Life was fine but in April of that year, my father-in-law took a turn for the worst with his cancer and was not given long to live.  While at Grandpa's, he came up to my youngest son and handed him a a tan and white kitten from a barn litter just born.  "I picked the nicest one for you, Ben."  What could anyone say?!  We had just gotten a puppy in January and now a kitten!  I had never had a cat before, never really wanted one.  Dogs were my forte.  To say the least, the cat went home with us in a shoe box.

Two furry friends at once now.  What to do with a kitten?  Name?  Mother was called Fluffy and kitten looked very furry, so Fuz it was.  Later, he would be known as Little Lord Fauntleroy, Leroy, or Cat--funny how cats end up with so many names!  I understood T.S. Eliot so much more now.

First lesson:  When losing a cat, don't look low necessarily, look up, too.  Then there is the kitty litter box.  Now there are claws.  Tried to keep the dog and cat separated, but looking back I made a lot of mistakes.  Both dog and cat co-existed just fine.  Funny part was, Fuz acted more like a dog than a cat.  We could let him out in the yard and he would stay in the yard!  If he wanted to go further, we trained him to stay in the yard and that was fine with him.  He would go in and out just like a dog and sun himself on the porch.  He was so furry and matted and we didn't have AC, so I would take him to the vet for a shower and shave every summer.  He loved it.  He would come home and just strut around. 

I became a cat lover, too.

Amber eventually had to have ACL surgery--didn't know dogs could have this condition.  I think this weakened her and gave her great pain.  Boys were all in college or away at work now.  One day when my oldest son came back from Alabama, Amber, who was 12 now, couldn't get up.  This was the day I didn't want to see arrive.  I was glad my son Eric was there.  He had grown close to Amber, taking her for walks in the field nearby. 

Eric knew she had to be put down.  I was glad I didn't have to make this decision alone this time.  We managed to get her in the car.  I just couldn't go this time.  The vet administered the shot in the car.  We were all there to bury her in the garden and now called it Amber's Garden.  This pet was the hardest yet to let go. 

That left Fuz.  He was a constant lap cat now.  He wasn't jumping much at the age of 14 now.  It was time for his shots and the vet discovered that he had cancer.  I didn't know this until my husband called me from the vet while I was at school.  What to do?  Once again, I had to make the decision then and there during class time.  We buried him in Amber's Garden, too.

That was it, I told myself--no more pets, no more training, no more worrying, no more sorrow. 

My son Eric has 2 labs, and I see Shadow and Sienna a lot.  My middle son has a dog, and I get to see Wrigley.  Ben and his wife Amanda have 4 cats: Marshall, Miss Kitty, Ramsey, and Bill.  I still enjoy dogs and cats, but I do miss that pet at home who's always waiting for you no matter what.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Five Furry Friends, Part I

Since I've been on the subject of friends, I think the first day of spring is a good day to write about my fine, furry friends.  I have the time now to sit back and recollect the companionship they brought to me.

As a child, there was Ginger, the small male terrier who my Auntie Mary bought because he was advertised as a Chihuahua.   In those days, you accepted what was and moved on, plus the attachment was already there after he kept growing and growing.  He was my daily companion.  My family and I lived in an apartment building that my aunt owned.  I really considered him my dog.  I took him for walks, talked to him, fed him and myself regularly, and learned what a grand companion a dog could be.  Ginger lived for 17 years! 

I went off to college and was notified one year that Ginger had died.  It was during the winter months and the ground was frozen, so my aunt put Ginger in a plastic bag in the freezer, so she could bury him later?????   Sounded strange, but I could see my aunt doing this.  This was her every day companion, too, since she was home every day taking care of business with the apartments.   I didn't worry about my aunt but mourned with her.  I was in another world by now and was able to get over this all right, but I did value the presence and warmth of a pet. 

When I married and became pregnant, I did what every hot-blooded pregnant woman does.  My husband and I chose a sight unseen Dalmatian from a litter of 12 off a farm!  She was so regal looking that I named her Dynah.   I was home with my children most of her life.   She was skittish and even though she was fixed, she had false pregnancies a number of times.  This caused more fret for her since building a nest didn't amount to anything except becoming more skittish. 

She ran away one day after being left out in a storm by accident.  She dug a hole under the fence and took off.   Story has it that she jumped in the first car that opened its door.  The people took her to the pound and then we got a call--next time there would be a charge of $50 and it goes up each time. 

When I finally returned to the work force, she was very unhappy and couldn't adjust, making messes every day.  Everyone was frustrated.  The kids had to help, too--every day. I took her to the vet to get her shots in her 12th year.  I warned the kids that I might not bring her back.  I didn't know what I was going to do or could do.

When the vet walked in, I immediately said I wanted her put down.  He was surprised to say the least.  I told him of our problems, sobbing.  He said that pets were here to make us happy and if we're not happy, or the pet isn't happy then it's time to do something.  He also said while listening to her heart, "She does seem to have a heart murmur."  Did she or didn't she?  I knew he knew that this was not easy for me.  He asked if I wanted to stay, and I thought, "I'm doing this by choice, so I should be here."  The vet was very compassionate to us both and told me not to get in the car right away, but to walk around outside first before I drove.  I went home and the kids knew right away.  So sad to have to face my kids.

Of course we all missed having a dog.  We went "shopping" with my sister-in-law Michelle to farms that placed ads.  Now we had chosen what looked like a brown and tan coon dog--big ears and a nose that kept the kitchen floor cleaned without direction.  Her name became Tootsie Michelle!  Tootsie came from an old family dog's name.  Plus, she was the color of a tootsie roll anyway.   Toots was a loving pet. 

We moved to another town because of my husband's job, and there was no fence for our large yard.  Tootsie stayed pretty much in the yard, but did wander off.  She was about four when I came down the stairs one morning to go to my teaching job with my son in tow since he was at the same school.  Tootsie's eyes were yellow.  Her skin was yellow.  She could barely walk.  We took her to the vet immediately.  They kept her overnight to try to flush her system of the poison she had gotten into.  She died.  This time, we brought her home and buried her in the backyard.  We weren't ready for this so soon again.

But I said I was finished with dogs--lots of work and then there was the sadness with the loss. 

This was November.  By January, my youngest son Ben said since his brothers were never home anymore, he needed someone to come home to and play with after school.  How does a mother say "No" to that!?  I missed a dog, too.

Tomorrow:  A trip to the pound--Part II of Five Furry Friends

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Roget and Me

I've been meaning to write about one of my dear writing friends.  He's been a friend for a long time, beginning in high school.  He's handsome, organized, and very knowledgeable.  They say I'm in love with words.  He is, too.   I guess that's why I have him around me all the time.  He's always there for me and anyone who needs help, too.

This particular friend was born in 1946 which means he's one year older than I am, so we have a lot in common as far as history.  I keep tabs on him especially when I'm writing.    

When I say, "There's got to be something better than this."

Roget says, "Make sure to be precise and pick the best."

It never fails.  He's right, and I move on knowing I've done my best by him.

Hail to my old but constant friend and writing companion, the Third Edition of Roget's International Thesaurus!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Shower Power

The power of the shower
Lends itself to
Thoughts, warmth,
And answers.

Lessons plans
Were finalized.

Final decisions
Were made.

Sauna warmth
Was sensed.

The 18th slice
was created.

Don't underestimate
The power of the shower.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


It may be St. Patrick's Day, but I'm not writing about my favorite color today just because it's made from green.  My favorite color right now is lime green.

I've gone from olive green to yellow, and now lime green--odd that it's a combination of the two. 

I started to look up the color of lime and that bit of research got way out of hand.  Wikipedia has a fine description and discussion of lime.  I was just curious and got more than I bargained for and then started comparing my favorite colors to the times of my life--way too much information right now.  Maybe another day, another post, another story. 

Is this what a blog does to you, especially during the Slice of  Life Challenge during March? 
Or is it a journey of a writer becoming a writer? 
Or someone just making sense of her life? 
Or all of the above?

Okay, to keep things light and airy on this St. Patrick's Day, here is a photo of some of my limey things!  Yes, even the sewing table that my husband made for me!  I think I need lime curtains, too.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Super Miracle Bubbles

This was a Christmas gift from one of my BONS writing friends Ruth M., just one gift of many that she pulled from her book bag--little, meaningful things.

She gave me the lime green color, my favorite color right now.  Everyone loves bubbles, especially kids, moms, teachers.  Anyone else?

On the label it says, "Super Miracle Bubbles."  No one has to tell me that they are "super" and  "miracle" when it comes to producing those magical little round bubbles and watching them glide through the air.  

My 4-year-old grandson James has seen plenty of these bubbles at the Cleveland Clinic where he goes every 3 months for check-ups since his brain surgery at 9 months.  He doesn't like the MRIs but likes the doctors (the ones who use these bubbles).  Yes, super miracles when it comes to attitude changes, tears to smiles.

The little things.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Early Spring

Here we are!

Greyish-white, paw-like,
Silky, soft catkins.

We're attached to
red/brown-colored limbs.

Still so cold and
Sometimes topped with snow.

But we are here again                                                                                                   
As always in early March.                                                                                   

We burst forth,
Leading the way.

Next, a small spray of light yellow
Will release the small, green leaves.
We are the buds of the
Pussy willow tree.

Shared on Palm Sunday
In the Russian Orthodox

Atop a picture of the Lord's Supper
All year long--now a memory.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Posting a Life

I've always used and enjoyed Post-it notes ever since these little pieces of sticky paper became available.  While teaching, I used them for marking places in a book, lesson plans, or for a quick reminder not to forget to do something.  Yes, they were handy.

Today, I have been retired for almost 3 years.  The notes have not lessened in the least.  In fact, I use more notes than I ever have.  Why? 

I use the Post-it notes more for reminders now.  Some may say dementia is on the way--maybe, but since I have no routine, I need to write down the things I have to do.  It's a whole new world when you're retired.  There are no alarm clocks, no daily time of arrival, no school bells, no just weekends to get everything done at home.  I'm on my own schedule which can change at a minute's notice--just because it can.

I'm on the computer most of the morning.  My sons send me information by internet most of the time.  I have to write important dates/happenings down and move the note where it will do the most good.  Sometimes I see something for a good price, write it down, and then take that note to the store to compare.   Facebook keeps me up on information from extended family and friends.  There is usually something there that should be noted since everyone is not on Facebook.

A notebook for things to do wouldn't work.  The notebook wouldn't be where I wanted it to be when I needed it.  I have a stack of Post-its everywhere.  I also like picking them up and putting right in front of my face in my purse to remember to do/get what I have to.  I have post-its for all the places I have to go and in which order. 

The best part of using notes is you can throw each of them away when you've moved the information to the right spot or when you're finished with a task. 

There is a memory attached to little notes, too. 

I can't remember exactly the name of a cartoon that was in the newspaper in the 70's, but it all had to do with writing little love notes before the Post-it even existed.  My husband and I were motivated by this cartoon to slip little love notes to each other on bathroom mirrors, in lunches, in books, under pillows, and other places.   Good times.

Ahhh....more uses for Post-its!!!  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

8 oz of Memories


Why do we buy the things we do?  This is the question that came to mind when no one else cared for this purchase I made.  The purchase?  

A measuring cup that holds over 1 cup of liquid, measured by ounces and milliliters.

When I saw it, I loved the old porcelain-looking finish.  A bit of nostalgia here.  In a sense it looked like old school.  That finish reminded me of old tile that were on some of my school walls and floors.  I liked school. 

The cup also had a sturdy handle for pouring.  Inside the cup, measuring increments started with 2 ounces all the way up to 8 ounces, plus room for an extra 2 ounces.  On the opposite of the inside were measurements in millimeters--something knew for me in relation to measurement.  It looks classic--older and better, too. 

On the outside, "8 oz" tells us what this cup is all about.  On the opposite side, is a picture of an old metal confectionary sugar shaker with a set of metal measuring spoons. 

I realized when I got it home, I still own that set of old measuring spoons just like my Auntie Mary had.  She also used this confectionary sugar shaker for final touches on cookies and breads.  I followed my Auntie Mary around as a child since my mom worked a lot.  She owned the apartment building our family lived in for over 20 years.  She was my 2nd mother who loved to cook and bake besides taking care of her building and raising my cousin Sharon on her own.  I learned to love her and my time in the kitchen with her. 

I use this cup not only for measuring, but for a spoon rest, for a cup to scramble eggs in before they go into the pan, for feeling a sense of comfort in my kitchen as I prepare meals for my husband and family on occasion.

I bought it for a number of reasons, I guess, but I also just like it. 


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Winter Winks

A week ago today,
a March storm covered
our land with ice,
snow, and wind.
It was Old Man Winter
striking a blow,
keeping Sweet Spring
at arm's distance.

Temperatures then rose,
melting all that is cold
with torrents of rain,
Sweet Spring jousting for its place.

Today, Winter enters again
with just a coating,
saying, "I just wanted
to say good-bye one last time."

With one last wink (maybe),
and temps to rise again,

"Just remember me
with good thoughts.
Sweet Spring,
it's your time to brag
about green, yellow,
lilac, and all that is bright.                                                                       


Monday, March 11, 2013

A Bit of History, Part II

I finished college, taught 3 years, got married, decorated cakes in a bakery, and became pregnant with my first child, and then yearned for more words. 

I took a Continuing Ed class at IU-PU Fort Wayne called Creative Writing.  Now I was able to write for myself, not as a set assignment.  I wrote about my childhood backyard, Mrs. Dremley (a friend of the family), roses, and just my stories.  I loved the class.  I remember I attended the class the first part of my pregnancy, but I became so sick, I didn't feel I could go on with the class.  My instructor sent my stories back to me with much encouragement.  I still have those stories. 

After leaving teaching to raise 3 sons who were in school by now, I ventured once again into writing.  I had the desire to see my name in print!!  By-lines were my goal.  The Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette published a Neighbors section for the 4 quadrants of the city.  I became a reporter for the northeast side where I lived.  I loved interviewing people and listening to their real stories.  I covered things like a family opening a new business to families who had experienced  home fires.   I was required to bring my copy in and type it on the newspaper computers.  At this time, computers weren't found anywhere I knew except for games of Pac-Man at home.   I did this for a season, then decided to take on a real job.  Teaching was out of the question for me right now. 

I ended up getting a great job at Lincoln National Life as a secretary which lead to a position in the training department.  I loved this job.  I worked with sales people, taught a class in business etiquette (Believe it or not!), and helped write manuals for the insurance field offices.  I wrote but did not understand anything I really wrote!!  I don't know how I did that to this day.

We moved, and I finally returned to teaching 7th graders for the next 19 years.  The last 10 years before I retired were the best.  I started to attend AllWrite meetings with Ruth at another school.  We left that first meeting not really knowing what we had just experienced, but we were hooked.

I enjoyed teaching more than I ever had when I incorporated Writing Workshop into my classroom.  I stumbled a lot those first couple of years but couldn't let the concept go.  I felt I was really teaching, connecting with kids, and writing for the first time with a community of young writers.  I learned along with my students and am still learning today.

Why do I still write?   

It's like reading a good book.  I write:

- to be comforted
- to be grounded
- to escape
- to enjoy
- to sort things out
- to be part of a writing community
- to tell my story                                                                                                   


Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Bit of History-Part I

When did I begin to write?
Why do I write?

Trying to remember when I actually started to really write, I can't really come up with anything at an early age.  I do remember playing "newspaper"  on the enclosed side porch of the apartment building when about 7 or 8.  I had a set of  plastic, alphabet stamps and printed a newspaper with information about what, I don't remember.  But I do remember the newspaper. 

I don't remember writing really being done/encouraged in my early years or even in middle school.  I did love the ink wells and fountain pens one year.  It might have been 4th grade--the old wooden desk with wrought iron legs that connected table with bench.  I only remember using that pen and ink one year.  

Side note:  I think I shared this little story about my husband last year in a post.  Steve use to dip his pen in the ink well and put it under a strand of hair of the girl sitting in front of him.  "It really soaked up a lot of the ink!" was his comment.  Boys!

Not until I was a sophomore in high school (1962-'63) when my English teacher, Mr. John Hancock (Yes, that is his real name!), tricked me into being on the newspaper staff.  That's another story.  We also had a lot of writing assignments in his class.  Basically, he brought me out of my shell of shyness.  I had to interview people and write a story about what I learned.  I experienced, for the first time, being in a community of writers.  Loved, loved, loved the company! 

Next I joined the yearbook staff.  Then I became co-editor (along with Alice Dear) of the school yearbook my senior year.  I was hooked!   Never did I have so much fun and become truly creative in my writing. 

I went on to become an English teacher in 1969--Franklin Junior High, Ft. Wayne, IN, 7th grade.

Writing took a long hiatus from that time in high school until much later.

These were the early years.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Just a Saturday

Surprisingly, so far, my posts have come easily for me.  I haven't even scratched my list of ideas yet.  I guess I was ready and comfortable to come up with the slices so far.  I've just been myself this year without over thinking my ideas into the night and obsessing if they're perfect.  I also found out that I don't want to create when it's late at night.  I discovered writing in the morning or early afternoon is best for me.  After 3 years, I thought I had figured it all out.  I feel like a real writer.  I can do this--no problem!

Well, now it's the 9th day of the challenge--nothing is hitting me.  Mind is slowing down............eek! 

I went shopping instead of going for a walk.  Nothing notable happened.  Grocery and Kohl's were busy.  People getting ready for Spring Break? 

Snow piles melted somewhat and dirty. 

It is a weekend.  My body wants to slow it down today, too.  The time change is tonight, and we're losing an hour by springing forward.  Sounds strange to me.

It's suppose to rain tomorrow.  I look forward to rain these days.  We had a drought last year, and I'm still catching up on the sounds of rain.  Will my slice be about rain?

Excuse me while I get a cup of peach tea and settle into my next read.    

--A slice in slow motion and pictures for your entertainment

Friday, March 8, 2013


It's about time I choose my One Little Word for the year.  I haven't forgotten about it.  I just couldn't decide. 
I looked outside in my writer's robe with coffee cup in hand.  (Yes, that would be my lounging robe when I don't get dressed to go somewhere.  I have two--one white and one sky blue--so glad I bought two at the same time.  That way I don't have to run a wash just to lounge around for the day!  Retirement tactics.)
It's a beautiful, sunny yet cold day.  I look at the birds feeding and my eye catches the turned over bird bath next to the melting snow.  My collection of rocks cannot be seen yet.  They are there though, hiding from me since I have been ignoring them now for years.
My mind wanders again--always has but didn't realize it until I took to the classroom again in 1991.  You can't be teaching a concept and wander off.  But if you think about it, how long can a 7th grade teacher continue to teach without having to stop and wander off, so to speak, like quieting a student from talking or messing around, answering a phone, greeting a visitor that comes to the door, paying heed to tornado/fire drills, answering a student with a raised hand out of frustration, or tripping over an overhead cord with abundant giggles?  I think these events just enhanced my inability to concentrate.  If I were video-taped after school in my classroom, you would see this mouse scurrying from task to task to eventually get it all done for the next day--never finishing anything at one swipe--here and then there and back again, and then finished.
Back to my OLW again.
I thought about last year's word--"Treasure."  Little did I know that word would come at me with such wonderful moments/thoughts.  Our family took a first time, most treasured trip to St. Augustine, Florida.  It came unexpectedly and on a whim.  Before we knew, 10 of us were signed up.  It was a great trip and week with treasured family members, including the grandchildren--can't get better than that.  We experienced, so appropriately, pirates, a treasure museum, the ocean, great food, and treasured moments that are now recorded in digital photo albums.   I guess you could say, I lived that word.
Now this year's OLW
I have chosen "Rock."  Reason?  I have ignored my rock collection, but not forgetting about it.  Maybe this word with all kinds of meanings will lead me in the direction of doing something about my rocks--if there is anything to do with them.
"Rock" can be a noun, verb, adjective, and given to many idioms, also.  Where will "Rock" lead me this year?  When you just look at the word itself, it's an odd looking word, sounding short and harsh, too.  Mmmm.  Time will tell.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


It's that kind of day when 
Food comes to mind.

I am one of those emotional eaters.

I grew up with it and struggle with it
Every day of my adult life.

Now that I am older, it's not
About looks but health.

I don't want a doctor
Telling me to eat healthy and less.
I really want to be healthy for my sake.

I want to go out thin!!

I can blame and blame,
But I am the adult now,
Grandparent to be exact.

I love breads and pasta
To the point of stuffing my mouth.
Where did it begin?

I know that answer.

That's the way it is.
Take charge, and make
Your life the way it should be
Without anyone to blame.

I do give myself to celebrate--
With breads and pasta
On occasion and with small portions.

I still do love vegetables and fruits,
So life is still good.
I wait for the moment.

When bread and pasta are allowed to rule!

Just for a time, not a lifetime!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow Rules

Dear Mr. Snow,

You were handsome last night as I sat tight in my warm, cozy home.  No one was on the streets.  I hoped everyone was where they should be.  I had my books, "Words With Friends" on my Kindle, and an occasional uplift of the Mute button on the TV, just in case something looked good. 

But I kept going to the window looking at you fall and blow around.  Memories of my snowy childhood always come back to me when I see you falling--snow up to our waists many times, no make-up school days just because of your tricks, and snow men/balls/caves galore.  We'd play late into the night because you were at your best then--dark, cold, starry skies with your brightness all around us.  Lake Michigan shores also became an alien planet with all the snow and ice.  Thanks for all the memories.

Before I went to bed, all I could say about you again was "That's a lot of snow."  We haven't seen you do this to us for awhile, Mr. Snow.  You came late, but when basketball sectionals come to Indiana, this is what you do.  I thought you were done last week, but it wasn't March.  I know you can't stay very long because temps will rise.  It's like your good-bye to all of us--a great farewell as usual. 

When I got up this morning I said, "That's a lot of snow" again.  I knew the temps would be rising, so I had better get out there and remove as much of you as I could before the cold night.  You will just turn to ice and that's a whole other letter. It took forever to clear you from the deck, steps, and mailboxes.  I know, this is what you do.  I wished I had my grandkids here to really enjoy you again. 

How long will your farewell be?  Sorry, I don't mean to sound impatient, but we're all ready to move on to the next season.  We will be thrilled again to see your first appearance next winter, never knowing how much you will fill our days.  See you in my dreams until then.

Adieu, mon ami d'enfance.