Saturday, March 30, 2013

New Bunnies

Well into the Easter week events and soon it will be Easter Sunday...a holiday dedicated to rebirth and Resurrection  See the pewter bunnies in my silk flowers? Thanks to a super friend I will have more bunnies in my house and these will be on the dining room table, a reminder that real spring will come sometime too after Easter...we hope!

I wish all readers a good Passover and a Happy Easter. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Friday Fictioneers/Afterglow

Finally a good day…no phone ringing, bathrooms swabbed, bills paid, milk fetched, laundry done, one book finished with another waiting, and a chilly sunshine over it all. There is time left over to join Friday Fictioneers!

A picture prompt below and 100 words from the inspiration. For more fiction and complete rules go to

Janet put the last sandwich in the cooler and waited to watch the bass boat pull out the drive. She waved like Miss America, with restrained affection. As the Evinrude bounced through the corner intersection, she raced into the house to prepare for her true love.

She shut the drapes, started a Kitaro CD, punched in an order for a delivered pizza, and checked the wine. She changed to a lacy gown, turned down the lights, and flicked a match over candle wicks for a soft glow. Then she breathed deeply, picked up her book, and pulling it close, sighed. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bits on a Snowy Palm Sunday

It was rainy and cold last night when a friend and I attended early Palm Sunday services. The smell of the fresh palms was strong and refreshing. This morning I got up to falling snow. I am glad I can stay in my robe today, tucked inside where is it warm and dry. I am grateful to high school buddy Linda Raney Weidert for letting me use the picture she took this morning. It is a perfect Palm Sunday Snow picture.

First thing this morning I offered the following Small Stone to Writing Our Way Home. Writers, these are short writings that capture a moment in time. Go here for more info:

The earth and sky wrestle over spring this morning.
Heavy snow falls from gray skies, accumulates;
Streets puddle as warm earth melts the cascading flakes.
Who will win in March?

DH has already moved his chair as close as he can get it to the TV for basketball March Madness. (There has never been a more appropriate name for an event!) I will curl up with a stack of books. I have three started. If ONLY I could figure a way out to read three books all at once!

I am reading in Slant of Light by Missouri Writer Guild president, Steve Wiegentein. Blogger Buddy Donna over at alerted me to this one. Nice to see the state president is such a great writer himself! The author is telling a story of mid-19th century Missouri and a group of people trying to set up a Utopian society in southern Missouri. I love the way Steve has caught the forests, rivers and prairies of this state on the page. I can almost smell bark of the hickory, cottonwood, and sycamores as he writes. Oh, and he did a description of earthy fragrances of tea brewing on a wood stove that is well, a masterpiece.

Another Blogger Buddy in Alabama, Lisa at, introduced me to Wheat Belly, a book about gluten-free eating. I am just starting this one, but can tell it is going to be a powerhouse of information. I avoid this kind of book anymore because I am so tired of reading How To books that I call Don’t Work for Me books. However, this one is full of info worth listening to at least.

The third book waiting its turn for attention is Sabbath: Restoring the Scared Rhythm of Rest by Wayne Muller. I want to read a first chapter or two. A local group will meet in two weeks at the Episcopal Church to begin discussing this book. I want to hear what both the book and the group have to say. The author’s position is that our constant push to be successful, gain possessions and to produce in the workplace is a force of violence to our bodies and our spirits. Sounds reasonable to me.

If there is any time left, I want to pick up my knitting which could be considered an act of violence to my sanity. I knitted all last winter producing several nice things. I have knitted constantly this winter too, but I have produced nothing! I am knitting the small ball of yarn I started with in October. I have ruined and started over so many times I am amazed the yarn doesn't now look like dental floss. However, DH says this is the most economical hobby yarn he has ever seen!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spoiler Alert: Heavy Duty Blog

I never wanted to put much down stuff on my blog and have worked to find something in each day to be positive about, something I think that would be fun to share. That was the whole idea of the blog in the first place, a positive thanks-giving place. But sometimes, the ugly can’t be avoided because it is part of life. One of my shortcomings has always been to crumble with the pain of others because I felt it so much with them. As I age, I am becoming tougher, but still I seek answers and meanings for why the ugly has to happen.

Two weeks ago my 97 year old father-in-law fell twice in one week and broke his hip. Sparing the details, readers will know what a broken hip means at that age. It has been a text book case of delirium, dementia, weakness, infection, etc. Yesterday he was better but who knows what each day will bring…just like it is for all humans really. It is hard on us as we make the 160 mile round trips. First the worry, followed by sorrow and then our own exhaustion.

Today is DH’s birthday but we aren’t celebrating like we should be. We are just glad to be at home and getting some rest ourselves. We know this is not over, that there will be more to face. Yet, this is an expected challenge because as my Grandma used to say, “None of us get out of this mess alive.” The upside is my father-in-law has had thirty years of living more than my own Dad who died in severe and excruciating pain. My father-in-law is amazingly in no pain and has not had much pain at all he tells us.

I know we are not to ask HOW and WHY in this world, but still we try sorting out the meaning of things which is more difficult on given days. At times like these I wonder if all the modern advancements are so really advanced. We have invented such things that make us live longer but for what? For what kind of life? Sometimes it looks to me like our bodies become like junk cars, sitting up on blocks, a cloudy windshield to see through, tires that won’t roll, an engine that barely rumbles. Then someone sees a hole in the radiator and gets excited to fix the leaking anti-freeze. But hey, the car still won’t run because it is worn out.

I used to say that we should all be Butterball turkeys with one of those oven timers. You know the ones I mean where the button pops up and the cooking is done, no questions asked. Maybe we would all live better lives and be nicer to one another if we had a button we could watch, reminding us daily that this is all there is…the now. We are all guilty of forgetting how fast the days go, of not relishing each opportunity to be a better person, always thinking we have a tomorrow.  Some days we do, and others...well, the time is often up before we are ready. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Family Soap Opera!

Last fall I got an email from someone whose DNA said they were 99% positive for being my cousin. The young woman had been adopted as a baby and linked what little information she had to my family. It was a shock to come home from traveling and hear this. We went to work trying to find who her biological father was and how he sat on my family tree. I was not sure what I might find, but I was sure I wanted to help this gal.

We turned over family stones, tracked pictures and high school yearbooks, opened closets, and shook some family members up when questions led to both new and old family secrets. One branch of the family had been guilty of hiding some facts as they feared the truth because it might sit too close on a family tree limb.

But this story had a good ending because her biological father was thrilled to learn of her existence! One of the lucky people in this world, she now has two loving families. Her new family embraced her and is now including her in every event family-wise.

Now a mother of five herself, she is using her children’s spring break to meet more new family at gatherings including a wedding of one of her new sisters. Today we met at a halfway point for a lunch and an in-person comparing of notes. My grandmother told me once that you can pick your friends but you are stuck with your relatives. Another quote says that friends are relatives you chose yourself for a family. I am hoping this young woman will be both friend and family.

Welcome to my new distant cousin!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Morning After

When Dawn Harmon, President of the Missouri State Poetry Society and leader of the Crawford County Bombadils, sent out the writing prompt asking for poems that convinced readers something superstitious was real, I did not think I could do it. But I have just enough blarney in me, I tried anyway. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

              The Morning After 
I was always told the Little People weren't real,
That they hammered little shoes only in fairy tales,
But this morning I know better.
In a wakeful night under a milky moon,
I listened to them tap, tap, tapping their tiny toes
Way late into the night while I couldn't sleep.
I heard them dance, sing, and dance some more.
My own toes twitched while calves trembled to the tempo
Of the tin whistles and harps I could hear.
This morning my legs were sore from keeping time;
My mouth felt parched, possibly a dry drought from poteen.
I listened carefully for tunes or wooden hammers hitting 
But the sun had already climbed the horizon.
So the Little People were burrowed away, snuggled 
My fingers rubbed sleepy eyes as I pondered the stillness.
Maybe tonight I will slumber…but then again, maybe not.
I pick up a strange gold buckle from the floor…and smile.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Centus/Red Dreams

       It has been a while since I had time to do Saturday Centus. This week has been calmer with some time for friends even. This morning a fast trip to the library, a real hard cleaning of my office, a nice lunch including fresh spinach and broccoli  and most things caught up reasonably well make me think I have time to play a bit. 

Today's prompt is Code Red which means I can  write 102 words only including the prompt. For full details and more Centus writers, visit Jenny at

                                    Red Dreams
Carly wiped the counter and locked the dishwasher with her last drop of energy. It has been an exhausting shift as paramedic with two car wrecks, a fire, and one heart attack.  She longed for her bed at 9:00. Jake was kind enough to go with her.

Somewhere after midnight, Jake was shaking her awake even as she heard her own voice screaming, “Code Red!”

Jake tried soothing her, but she broke from his cuddle like a bean through a pea shooter. “It’s fire!”

“No, a nightmare, Carly.”

She placed her palms on warm the wall as curling smoke invaded the room. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March, Door to Spring

Time can move slowly, speed by, or it can simply be a blur. The days have felt suspended for the last week after the 97 year old father-in-law fell breaking his hip. News yesterday was he is doing well in rehab after the successful surgery. So maybe days will now move into ordinary time again.

Yesterday the air was cold but the sun reached the ground with a crisp brightness, like the fresh suns of spring. So I turned down the furnace, opened the windows and cleaned our bedroom. Ah, one room felt better by the end of day.

With both spring and St Patrick’s Day in the wings, thoughts of things green and Irish Soda bread came to mind. So for supper I made Irish muffins. I could not find currants in my local stores last fall and a sister-in-law brought me some from Montana. The tiny fruit bits were perfect making these speckled muffins wonderful.

This morning the sun is here again…I need sunlight so much, and I am grateful for these rays, for this day!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Little Pitchers

My maternal great-grandmother had a pitcher collection all the years I knew her. She lived in a two bedroom bungalow with a 1950’s kitchen. The colors light green and red come to mind along with a chrome dinette set. Under a short bar in the kitchen was a built-in cabinet with glass doors. That is where all the pitchers were, and as a child, I would sit there gazing at the beauties. We were never allowed to open the doors and play with the glass and porcelain. Many were brought to my great-grandmother by her friends who traveled.

While the pitchers were in every size and color imaginable, I favored the small ones, probably because I imagined my dolls using them. When she died, we grands and great-grands were allowed to go in and choose “keepers” for ourselves. Many were gone by the time I got there.  I chose varied ones from what was left. 

Some were standard like the little Blue Willow one and the red ceramic one.
But one teeny tiny one is still a favorite and it is amazing I have not lost it in 45 years of moving around and rearing kids, etc. This little jewel is as small as my little finger, but the painting it is exquisite. The flowers are detailed and vivid, and the Japan mark on the bottom is very clear.

PS...If you are a person who thinks Christmas lasts year round, go download this book, 50 Shades of Santa,  for free until March 5 at the following link. These are clean, uplifting Christmas now and read next season if not now!