Friday, December 8, 2017

When your life turns upside down

"What is he doing?" Bill asked when he caught three-year-old Liam bent over, gazing into a spoon, hanging his head upside down so close to the floor it looked like he might be going to tumble.

I knew right away, because my sweet baby had been in the kitchen rummaging through the junk drawer (everyone has one) mistaking it for the silverware drawer.

"What are you looking for?" I asked.

"That big magic spoon."




I handed him a shiny serving spoon, and he went off to play, or so I thought.

Hubby said Liam turned his head this way and that as he tried repeatedly to invert his image in the spoon. I guess he figured if he stood on his head it would happen.

How to explain the principles of curved surface reflections? Light travels straight until it hits a curved surface.

The concave bowl of the spoon bounces incoming rays back toward a central focus point lying between your face and the center of  the spoon. In passing through this point, rays from the upper part of your face are reflected downward, while those from the lower part are reflected upward, thus an UPSIDE DOWN IMAGE.

We've all had an upside down kind of day where everything seems backwards or goes wrong. 

Today I tried my best to leave a book review. I failed miserably after several attempts to sign in or even change the password. The more I tried to straighten things, the more upside down it all became. 

Sometimes you have to back off when standing on your head doesn't do the trick. After calming down, I tried a new approach and changed my husband's password and got into the website  that way. I will deal with him later. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

When the chimes ring out, I cry.

This time of year, I blast the car radio when I'm driving by myself, and I belt out Christmas music. Nobody cares if I can carry a tune or hit the high notes. I love holiday songs!

Some Christmas carols bring a lump to my throat or a tear to my eye. Not, I'll Be Home for Christmas, or Elvis crooning Blue Christmas. No, it's the craziest thing this year. My eyes sting several times a day when I hear one particular song.


Our cat died this year and I thought I had worked through my grief of losing our sweet boy. Then right before Thanksgiving I heard an age-old Christmas song featured on a television commercial which brought me to tears.  You see, several times a day, he would dart from wherever he was snoozing when he heard it.  He'd run  to the living room sit in front of the TV, cock his head this way and that, and watch the Hershey's Kisses (acting as hand bells) ring to the tune of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. (His favorite holiday show.)

These days I miss my purr baby. I remember him bounding in every single time that song chimed. He'd watch the Kisses dance, then return to his favorite perch to rest between Bill's legs on the raised recliner. WE miss our old boy.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Frosty has nothing on this guy


Looking at my writer's  submission calendar for this year, and with only 31 days left, I realize I'd better get growing. Not just going, but growing in the literary sense. 

At quick glance I notice I am slacking: only one submission in September, and four this month.  
Although I have submitted 83 pieces, I am unmotivated, and discouraged by the lack of paying markets, especially for personal essays. 

It is a busy time of year, and people don't have time for blogging, but when I receive a comment it is as exciting as discovering a seashell on a beach walk.  

My blog is more or less a personal journal, so I know if I want to direct traffic my way, I have to offer readers tips and provide info, and freebies... not just cute pictures of my great grandsons Liam and Alex. But I am going to end this month with Liam and the snow family. 

Look at how HE has grown. 

                                                                    Six months
                                                                         18 months

                                                                             2 &1/2 years
                                                                           3 & 1/2 years

Well, there are at least 15 hours left in this day, so I'm off to write. Enjoy the photos.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

They are both a laugh a minute

Hubby and I had an urge to go to Taco Bell. The computers went down when we walked in. The cars in the drive through lane were wound around the building. The lobby had three people waiting. The manager who looked as though he came from the deep woods, and was  loud and  overzealous, apologized through his missing front teeth. During our twenty minute wait, the workers were shouting, "Help! We need assistance back here!"

I wondered if they were paging customers for help. 

While waiting for our nachos, I asked Bill what his confirmation name was. 

He looked at me confused. I said, " You know, the Biblical name or saint's name you assume when you're confirmed."

With confusion on his face, but not missing a beat, he said, "FRANCIS."

I laughed out loud. "That's a fake out!  It is NOT Francis!"

"Then what is it?" he asked.

"I can't remember what you told me when we met, but I know it isn't Francis!"

"Well, it's FRANCIS until YOU can remember."

The man makes me laugh. I am so thankful for him.


Granddaughter Ashley stopped by to use the computer. 

I said, "I don't know what I'll do if Grandpa dies before me. I can't figure out any of this technical stuff. I will be so lost, in so many ways, without him. I can't even think about it!"

She said, "Nana, relax. I have this figured out."

I thought she meant the computer, but she continued...

"You and Gramps are going to go on a cruise, get severe food poisoning, and die at the same time." 

I laughed out loud at her.

Now I am not laughing at either of them. Our old guts are roiling after eating at Taco Bell.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving



Thanksgiving comes but once a year; why not every day? Not the meal, family gatherings, and over-stuffing. I'm talking about the "giving thanks" part.

As we gather around the table in the coming week, I wonder if instead of an impersonal rote recitation of formal grace, our heavenly father would be more pleased if we spoke individually from our hearts and thanked Him for our many blessings.

The tenets of the world's religions dictate the specific prayers and ways for followers to express thanks. Some may call me a non-conformist because I don't follow ritual. I pray, but not on bended knee at the side of my bed, not on a padded kneeler in a church pew, not in a darkened closet, not on a pallet on the floor with hundreds of others.
It is my personal belief that God Almighty hears me when I rise in the stillness of the morning, when I am driving, or walking down a busy street, when I'm in the classroom, boardroom, or bathroom. No matter how far away I am from Him, I know He is always near to me, waiting for the reach of my hand, my heart and soul. In the hustle and bustle of everyday living, it is easy to forget or fall out of step.

I don't wait for a specific time or day to pray. I ask blessings and protection for family, loved ones and complete strangers. When I peruse Face Book and come across a plea for prayer, I beseech God to help or heal, His will be done. I thank Him for my eyes when I see His handiwork in the face of my great-grandchild, a leaf on a tree, the snow-covered ground. Before I stuff a dark chocolate covered pretzel thin in my mouth, I thank God that I have plenty, and I pray for those who don't have enough. I thank Him for my health and pray for the health of others.
Instead of always pleading, I make it a habit to say thanks. 

On this Thanksgiving Day, I intend to bend God's ear as I gratefully enumerate my blessings.

How about you? 

Published 11/14 Pallonttine Restorative Center Blog

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Gift from Beyond


Twenty years I have been receiving a flower in winter from the great beyond, per the pact my best friend, Rose, who was dying of cancer, and I made before she passed away. 


We purchased this basket of mums from a hardware store the first week in October. It was sopping wet. The garden guy over-watered it, and it lost all flowers, and withered. It has been that way since the second week of October...and look what we found today, on the anniversary of Rose's death. Tiny little buds are erupting, but this cluster of four flowers reminds me of The Golden Girls. You can read my Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul story  HERE.

Some things are unexplainable in earth terms. Earth's mysteries are heaven's gifts.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Santa Claus made an appearance



Saturday was a busy day. I drove from one end of town to the other. The temperature was 70 degrees when I left home at 9:30 a.m. By the time I arrived at Half Price Books in St. Charles to meet fellow Chicken Soup for the Soul writers for our book signing, it was 40 degrees and raining. We had a successful event and canned food drive.
            Linda O'Connell, Cathi La Marche, Lynn Obermoeller, Tammy Goodsell, Pat Wahler

I left there at 2:00, drove home and picked up hubby and his Santa suit, and hurried to the other end of town to my daughter's and son-in-law's so Paw-paw could play Santa for Alex and Liam.  We prepared Liam for a week. I told him the same Santa who came to visit at our house last year (we showed him photos of himself with the big guy) would stop by Nana Tracey's. All the people who love him would be there, his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, and we'd make sure he was safe. I asked if he was afraid or thought he might cry?

"NO, Nana Linda. I am not afraid. I am not going to cry. I'm going to tell Santa I want two big dragon dinosaurs, a red one and a blue one, like I saw at Wal-Mart.


Alex loved all the excitement and jabbered as he was passed around from one of us to the other.


Liam was so excited when Santa came in. He tried so hard to be brave, but you can see the melt down about to happen. Poor Santa looks overwhelmed, too.


"Santa, I want two big dinosaurs..." Then the waterworks started.


So, this is the official Christmas card picture, unless they can get him near another Santa.


Santa left Liam a present and promises for more to come... then he left, and everyone settled down.
Lots of huggin' and lovin' with my sweet great grandsons who settled in for a long winter's nap.