Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Are your ears and eyes working?

My jagged ripped-in-half heart aches. My thoughts, your thoughts, our thoughts  all filtered through the same dust mote filled air ...

This morning I heard audio and saw video of the barricades being removed from our state capitol because they were installed "only" for the governor's inauguration. Yet, there are verified threats of violence predicted for the next week. So what?

And in the nation's capitol, after a domestic terrorist attack, officials are refusing to go through metal detectors?! The Capitol Police are standing by looking helpless as to what to do?! Metal detectors? SO WHAT!

I said this a long time ago when I taught preschool. My room was housed in a middle school. I witnessed inconsistent accounatblity, lack of consequences, and infractions overlooked when students AND teachers broke rules.

Someone passed out handbooks on conduct. The whole attitude was a huge collective shrug. SO WHAT!  

When many federal, state, and local officials neglected to impose a mask mandate, and a few mayors broke rank and did insist, opposers refused. Mandate? So what?!

So covid deaths are rampant. That is what!

Arrogance, apathy, helplessness.  Rules? So what?!  

Until there are consequences to actions and words, and enforcement of rules and laws ... 

I pray for peace.

Thank you for your comments. I am a firm believer and know this is out of my control and God is in charge. I just needed to sound off.


Saturday, January 9, 2021

When my head hit the pillow

The world is in such a mess.
Still I have faith and hope that
tomorrow will bring brighter days;
calmer heads will prevail;
compassion and peace
will lead to positive changes. 

I can be an instrument of peace.
I can spread a little sunshine instead
of focusing on the gloom and doom
that seems to envelope us.

can offer a helping hand,
speak with a softer voice... use 
inspiring words that offer comfort or
provoke a thought that leads to empathy.  

I can meet eye to eye, offer a smile, incite laughter
because we all need to turn our frown upside down a while.

Wednesday, near midnight, after an entire day of constant TV viewing, observing unbelievable, unspeakable behaviors, gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking real time scenes playing out on the screen as the US Capitol was taken over, I went to bed angry-red and broken-hearted blue from the pandemic statistics.

Sometimes when I have too much screen time, my left eye goes wonky and I see a bright wall of flashing white lights for a few minutes. If I cover my eye, it subsides shortly. I have been examined by two opthalmologists who say it is not a retina tear, just eye strain or ocular migranes. My head does not hurt.

With a heavy heart and sigh, I climbed into bed, thankful for the snorer and the creeper. My honey rumbles like a motor and the purr boy inches his way from the foot of the bed and scrunches himself right NEXT to my legs or any curve he can find.

When my head hit the pillow, my eye started flashing bright white. I laid still and prayed 

for my family whom I miss so much, for peace, a friend's daughter battling cancer, and our back door neighbor who just lost her husband of 50 years. I covered my eyes with my palms. I breathed deeply. I opened my eyes and holy macaroni! I saw bright RED flashing lights.

Well this was a first. I squeezed my eyes shut. Opened wide. Those red lights were spinning back and forth, dancing left and right every where I looked. I played with them a little bit, open, close, flash-flash, gazed up, looked down. They were persistent.

Then I heard a thud, got up, looked out the window

at an ambulance in the next door neighbor's driveway.

Relieved for me and concerned for her, I added another person to my prayer list,
closed my eyes and went to sleep.  

If you can't laugh at yourself, laugh at ME. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

No, it wasn't the same, but different can be good

Christmas 2020 is in the history books. Such a different holiday for us. Bill and I visited each of our four adult children in their homes instead of everyone gathering in our small house. It really was very 
intimate and special this year.

Seeing the great grandsons was as much a delight as it was seeing our own kids and older grandkids who were home from college/work. We spent quality time with each family, missed two oldest grands, but we plan to throw a big bash this summer where we can all be together again, hopefully. Good-bye 2020!

We walked in the front door with a container of fluffy, plush snowballs and set the boys into action. They bombarded paw paw and had the best snowball fight with us. Their laughter is a happy memory.

Alex is quite the tinkerer at age three. He received two sets of tools and has been using them! He likes his goggles and work gloves. He has a car that has removable parts and he loves it!

Charlie is the typical active  two year old, vocalizing in full sentences now more than striking out and screaming. But as you can see he got very excited here when he realized what was about to happen...

Charlie saw Alex wearing his chef outfit, and mama on her way to make green pancakes for Christmas breakfast. Alex loves to help cook. 
Liam, age six, received SO many video games and battery operated cars and things to play with. However when I showed him what we could do with the empty box in which I carried the gifts, he was mesmerized. He has inherited his mom's artistic ability. He had fun with his remote control car that did flips and zoomed around, but he was as interested in what I was doing. He watched me turn the box upside down and lay out dry erase markers and eraser. He took the things into his room and began to draw on the plasticized cardboard which makes it a dry erase board. Charlie left the chaos of the livingroom to find Liam, and when he did, he sat right beside him and also drew. 

 Who says kids need expensive toys?! I used to present workshops for teachers: Learning Games from Trash to Treasure. Notice, the box is on a slant. When the child rests his arm on the box, it provides the stabilization needed to support the wrist/forearm. This discarded box provided much entertainment. 

I hope you had a good holiday and are prepared to beat the heck out of 2020 tomorrow night. When the boys' mama Ashley was three, she was spending the night with her great grandma. I called at midnight and told her to get a pot and big spoon and beat the heck out of the old year.

She handed my mom the phone and said, "Nana wants me to beat the heck out of an old deer with a pot and spoon."

We are on a countdown now. Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

But what can I DO?

I wake early. Make a cup of green tea and sit and sip my warm beverage by the light of the Christmas tree. I gaze at the meaningful, simple, and homemade ornaments, which are priceless to me. There are framed photos and scribble designs made by our children, grandchildren and great grandsons which span almost half a century. A tiny gauzy angel which belonged to Bill's late mom adorns a branch high on our tree. It is possibly a century old. I revel in the beauty of the lights. I can almost hear my first great grandson at age two shouting excitedly, "Balls, Nana, Balls!" Balls were his favoroite thing then, and when he saw the colors splayed like balls all over the livingroom, his joy became mine. To this day I can feel that joy in my heart.
I look back at Christmases past and wonder if times were better or just seem to have been. I cherish meories of Tracey's and Jason's childhoods. We had such fun sled riding, decorating, making cookies and sitting on Santa's lap and especially visiting family on Christmas Eve. I miss my mom more than ever.

I miss the close contact most of all, the hugging, smooching of little cheeks, and wide-eyed close talking as they share their innermost thoughts and excitement about their presents. 

When my daughter was five she unwrapped a little purse. She held it up, pointed to the dangling price tag, and shouted with glee, "Look! Santa shops at Target, too!" Oh the memories.

I love this little statue of Santa holding a candle. It reminds me of a long ago song: This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine... 

The message brings hope in times of despair and uncertainty. All is calm... all is bright. If ONLY. 

Peace begins with each of us. Random acts of kindness pile up like presents, and each of us gets to distribute our gifts. Let your light shine. Seek peace, calm, serenity and remember that Jesus IS the reason for the season. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you.

 I had my annual well visit yesterday. My doctor asked how I was feeling. Tears brimmed when I told her I missed nine months with my great grandsons. She agreed isolation is the worst. And she asked how things are at home.

"Oh fine. Really! Bill makes me laugh, and I make him food. We're happy!"

She laughed out loud. I think she needed that. Her husband has a terminal illness. I told her I pray for her and him. It was good see the gratititude in her expression. These are the random acts of kindness that cost nothing and pay off big. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

From five cents to five bucks

Did you ever lose something and instead of feeling upset, it made you really happy? And then you lost a second one and it doubled your happiness?

It's pretty big stuff when you're six years old and you lose your first baby tooth. Liam was ecstatic when his right front tooth fell out at school last week. They sent it home in a little plastic container shaped like a tooth. 

The tooth fairy left him five bucks. If I recall, she left me five cents! But you know, inflation and all.  

Yesterday the second tooth fell out as he was riding the bus to school. Luckily he was wearing his mask. His mom came home after work, and he stood in front of her with his mouth closed. He kept staring at her.  Ashley said, "What's wrong?" Then he smiled.

All he wants for Christmas is his two front teeth. 

I remember when those teeth came in. He was almost a year old and still toothless. The teething toys didn't do a thing, so I bought a big fat carrot for him to gnaw on. When he tired of it, I dipped the tip in syrup so he would chew some more. After a few days, his first tooth erupted and then the second. 

We were so excited when those teeth came in, and now he's excited that they are coming out. 

Times they are a changing. I will be so happy when I can squeeze him and his brothers again.

Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. we saw their mama's car pull into our driveway. Bill and I ran outside in our robes to the delighed squeals and shouts of "Nana! PawPaw!" and Charlie screamimg, "Hi Nanny!" He refuses ot call me Nana anymore. He is distinguishing "nanas are yellow and yummy" I am Nanny now for him.

The joy those little faces and voices brought us was immense. There parents were taking them to view holiday lights and dropped by to surprise us. I ran back inside to get cookies for them. They were in their jammies, each with his own blanket and bag of snacks. We so wanted to hug each one, but made do with rubbing their hair and telling them how much we loved them. 

As they waved good-bye, we turned to go inside, then I turned around and darted after the car in my robe. I raced their car up the driveway and out to the street, to the sounds of their hysterical laughter.

It truly is the little things in life that matter. 

Friday, December 4, 2020

That's WRITE!

When this change of (my) life occurs, I "fall back" unwillingly, unproductive, and out of sorts. But after a while I get used to the cat meowing in my face at 4:30 instead of 5:30. I accept Daylight Savings Time. 

What actually IS: I fall into deep restorative sleep on the couch from 7 or 8-10:00 p.m. I watch the late NEWS and then have insomnia until 2:00 a.m. This is time I could be putting to good use, as in doing chores or writing, but I'd rather stay cozy under covers, complain,  and wish for what was.  

I procrastinate big time. I am so bad I don't even get on the computer. I access my blog, emails and Facebook through my cell phone. Unfortunately my phone does not allow me to respond. I tell myself I'll to do it later. 

Later happens about 6:00 p.m. when it's pitch dark and I'm quite certain it is almost late NEWS time. But it isn't!

I "ugh" and "oh no" for an entire month. My submissions calendar has so much white space you'd swear it snowed on my desk. Yes, I use a real wall calendar, ready at a glace.

By Decemeber I'm in my new groove. Wish me luck. I've turned the page. So far I am on a roll and picking up speed. I have submitted three pieces and am feeling the urge to write. I think I'll give in to my whim.

Check out publishing opportunities here

Saturday, November 28, 2020

A flower from heaven

In late summer and through fall, these flowers (sedum) are pale pinkish purple and attract insects.

Since last week the flowers wilted and shriveled on the stems.
On November 19th, a day or two before the 20th anniversary of my friend Rose's death, I discovered this growing right up out of the center of the plant. Not so unusual you say? 
Read on.
Before my best friend Rose died of lung cancer, we made a pact that if there was an afterlife she would send me a flower in winter. I have received an unexpected blossom/flower, different varieties and colors ever since the first anniversary.  

I wrote a story, titled The Golden Girls, which was published in Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul about the very first flower I received. 

 I am never surprised, forever grateful, and always in awe. No we havent had a hard freeze, but we are on the cusp, so I can't declare it to be winter, but definitely the growing season is finished for these flowers. 

Another year without my friend, another gift from her from beyond.