Thursday, March 29, 2012

The remarkable impact of one teacher who believed in her students...

This story has had a lasting impact on me.

Many years ago, before I was ever published in a Chicken Soup book, I read a C.S. story about a substitute teacher who was assigned as a long-term sub. Small class, but the numbers next to each students' name threw her for a loop. She doubted she could reach these students, but she believed she owed it to them to do her best. She developed and provided enrichment activities.

After six weeks, the principal asked her how she had improved the students' scores in all areas. Their achievement was off the charts.

"I just did what I could to inspire them. I was afraid when I saw that they were all gifted, but..."

"What made you think they were gifted?"

"I saw their IQ numbers next to their names."

"Those were not their IQ's; those are their locker numbers. They are special education students."

We are all special, and we all have the need for affirmation, someone to believe in us. We also need to believe in ourselves. How many times have you told yourself you couldn't do something? How many negative messages do you feast on? "Oh, I'm not a writer. I don't write well enough to submit a story. Nobody would be interested in..."

Rephrase, reframe and the results will surprise you.

Conceive it, believe it, achieve it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Snowing" tulip petals

It is the simple things in life that mean the most to me. When spring burst forth two weeks ago, I was in my glory. The red bud trees decked in their purple finery, the deep pink azaela bushes skirted in full bloom, and the yellow forsythias reminded me of girls in prom dresses showing off. When the tulips poked out of the ground, I took my students for a neighborhood parade with musical instruments, and we sang songs to the flowers. "We're so glad, we're so glad, thank you God, for the flowers in spring."

I teach my kiddos to stop when they see God's beauty and say, "Thank you God, for my eyes." It is the sweetest thing to hear them do this spontaneously.

The wind gusted last week as Nicole and I were walking past the tulip tree by school. We giggled as the pink petals rained down upon us. As soon as all of the children arrived, we hiked back to the corner and stood beneath the tree and let the tree "snow" upon us. The children picked up gobs of petals and tossed them in the air and romped and played. What a glorious, giggly, spontaneous way to start our day.

Has spring sprung in your neck of the woods? We're holding near 80 degrees in the Midwest. I am cherishing these warm days, sleeping with the windows open and sitting outside to read in the evening. Spring IS a reawakening.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Celebrate the moments of your life

I look at Nicole, granddaughter #2, so thrilled with the balloons from her cousin's bridal shower, and I can't help but be overwhelmed with love and nostalgia and sadness for granddaughter #1. Ashley will be married in a few weeks. How can she possibly be twenty-two and a half years old? Seems only yesterday that she was four years old, like Nicole.

I imagine each balloon filled with whispered wishes and dreams. I know for a fact that sometimes wishes go unfullfilled, and dreams can easily escape in a whispered rush, a slow leak, a droopy letdown. I wish both of "Nana's girls" a lifetime of happiness and dreams come true.

I wish all of you success in getting published in one of these two publications advertised in Funds for Writers, by Hope Clark, author of Low Country Bribe, an exciting mystery, now available!

We are thrilled to announce that all contributors of Slice
will be paid ($100 for stories and essays and $50 for poems)
beginning with issue 12, which will launch spring 2013. The
issue 12 reading period will run from July 1 - August 31.
The theme for that issue is "Obsession." Slice magazine
welcomes submissions for short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
We're looking for anyone with a fresh voice and a compelling
story to share--basically any work that really knocks our socks

Good Housekeeping addresses 25 million women. Most are married
with children (anywhere from newborn to college age, but
predominantly in the 6-12 age group) and work outside the home.
Submissions will be reviewed for the Blessings column on the back
page. Submissions should be 500 words, about a person or event that
proved to be a blessing in your life. We will also review health
narratives -- stories of women (or a family member) who've overcome
a significant medical problem, undergone a medical "first" or had
a dramatic rescue.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Anne Lamott...telling it the way it is and was

Local writer, Sioux and I had an up close visit with author, Anne Lamott and Sam, her gorgeous twenty-two year old son who co-authored her latest book, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of my Son's First Son. I was as close as the second row, aisle seat, direct line of eye contact with the mother of all mothers, writer of all writers. Anne and Sam read excerpts and shared family and parenting antecdotes.

Sam read about being anxious for his son's umbilical cord to fall off, and when it did, he thought Jax's guts were exposed and he needed immediate surgery. Actually, his navel was still gooey. The audience laughed loud and long.

Anne is such a real person, as vulnerable and humble a writer as you and I. She's a Nana who admits she has some control issues, but she is trying. She told us how her unmarried nineteen year old son had told her he'd offered his couch to a young woman. "Couch, uh-huh, (Sam actually blushed) and now I have a two and a half year old grandson."

Parenting, writing, living, loving, learning, day by day, one moment at a time; looking back, looking forward, doing our best ... their messages were honest, humorous, meaningful, spiritual and powerful. They spoke from the heart about being a family. They are on Twitter @annelamott and @SAMLAMOTT (all caps).

Are you willing to share your family stories?
Publishing Syndicate has thirty-five anthology titles in development. I am co-creating, Not Your Mother's Book...On Family. Dianna Graveman, is co-creating two NYMB anthologies: Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Mom, and Not Your Mother's Book...On Becoming a Mom. The stories are arriving daily.

Who doesn’t have a slew of great stories to share when it comes to their family? From funny family stories handed down through the generations to more current happenings that will one day turn into family legend, we want to hear them all. No holds barred.

Tentative Chapter Titles:

I'm No Chicken! (wild antics)

• I'm Telling! You're in Trouble! (zany things you overheard, participated in or

• Dinner, down and dirty (stirring the pot, dishing it out, family mealtime)

• Forget the closet! (discovering family skeletons in a drawer, under a mattress, in
a letter)

• I inherited what? (keepsakes, antiques and quirks)

• Waiting in line for the john, the jam and the juice (sharing cramped spaces,

• Ringleaders (your family circus guru, leader of your pack)

• Family reunions (unforgettable in so many ways; the missing link)

If you have other topic ideas, please send a first person essay. Submission guidelines

You know your sibling would tell on you! Beat him or her to the punch. Do you have a flaky relative?

Expectant mothers, tell us about your experiences. Shhh, I'll share one about me. My water broke, filled my blue suede shoes and when the doctor came in, he gasped when he saw me on the delivery table with dyed blue feet.

All you moms out there, I know that you have tales to tell. Your kids spilled the milk, now you can spill the goods. What made you laugh, cringe, gasp or cry?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sam? Sam who?

It has been a rainy afternoon, one of those days when you want to go get a pizza, munch a brownie, and then take a nap. I am not admitting to doing any of this. The scale will reveal the truth on Sunday.

I fell asleep before the end of Jeopardy and woke up as the evening news was going off. Ninety minutes of repeated negativity. The nap was better, but it left me with half a brain.

The phone rang. Hubby said, "I'm meeting Robin at Sam's."

I asked, "Who is that?"

"Robin, my daughter. Are you awake?"

"Yes! I know who Robin is, but who is SAM?'

"Sam's Club."

"Ohhh! Okay."

I thought a cup of black coffee (and another bite of brownie) might jog the gray matter. I sat down at the computer and clicked the PASSWORD space. I waited and I clicked; I waited, clicked again, and I nibbled and I drank, and I mumbled, and I finally said, "What is wrong with you, dumb computer?"

What was wrong was the dumb computer operator hadn't ENTERED her password, just kept clicking the word, PASSWORD.

Another day in Linda's Looney World!

In all fairness, I needed that nap. I taught preschool today, and I wrote and submitted two stories, and I spent a couple of hours working on the anthology that I am co-creating for Publishing Syndicate. I hope that Dianna Graveman, who is the co-creator of two of the Not Your Mother's Books had a restful afternoon, too.

Please consider submitting your stories to an anthology I am co-creating, Not Your Mother's Book...On Family, and also send your first person stories to Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Mom, and Not Your Mother's Book...On Moms-to-Be.

Guidelines for submitting through the website to more than thirty titles in development:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Married Life

So excited and I just can't hide it! My story, The Odd Couple, made the final cut and will be published in Chicken Soup Married Life! in June 2012.

Being married isn't any easier for the husband than it is for the wife. Sometimes it's like using a spoon to feed jelly beans to this small-mouthed Cookie Monster.

Best of intentions can go awry. It takes practice to achieve success. And sometimes you have to ask for a do over, just like these kids in my class.

Couples don't always speak the same language, and even when they do, interpretation can be misconstrued, because they don't always convey what they really mean. Partners are not mind readers, although ... some wives always seem to know what their husbands are thinking.

Communication is the key to all relationships. Be careful what spills out of your mouth when you are talking, and be concise when spilling words onto paper.

PUBLISHING OPPORTUNITY Submission period open for Not Your Mother's Book...On Family, that I am co-creating.
Dianna Graveman is also co-creating two of the anthologies: Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Mom, and also Not Your Mother's Book...On Moms-to-Be. Submission form and guidelines for stories can be found here:
There are more than thirty titles in development. Please pass the word along to anyone who might be interested. Won't you send your stories too?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Butt, I am trying...

My story, The Cookie Chronicles in Chicken Soup Shaping the New You, is available for $4.99 in e-book form. I didn't just shape a new me; I had to SCULPT a new me by the time those Christmas Cookies were gone.

Most of my adult life I weighed 125 pounds, but when I married my honey, we were happy, ate well, and I had a lot less stress in my life. Those twenty "happily married" pounds crept up on my hips and hiney and filled in my mid-region fat cells. Packing peanut butt, thunder thighs, jelly belly. I belittled myself, exercised and ... munched myself fifteen pounds heavier. No more. I am eating right and exercising.

One morning I awoke groggy with my hand on my thigh. I squeezed it, felt it again. Panicked! It was guy-size. Who in the world am I in bed with? Oh NO, not himmmmm! I'm married to Bill now. I startled awake and broke out in a sweat when I realized it was my own leg. Thank goodness Bill was working night shift. He'd have heard this woman panting breathlessly and taken it all wrong.

It is about time I do something about my hippo hiney, jelly belly and thunder thighs. I am determined to loose ten pounds of packing peanuts by July 1st. I have lost two pounds in two weeks. Bill has lost 27 pounds in 12 weeks.

I have to get in shape for shorts, or else it will be capris all summer.
I wish I could tell you that my gams are gorgeous, but to be honest, they're more like a couple of Easter hams on stilts.

Butt, I am still trying!

Chicken Soup for the Soul is doing a special promotion on 12 of its e-books. The e-book is available for half price, at $4.99, on all the major e-book platforms including Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, Apple iTunes Store for iPad and other "i" devices, Kobo, Sony, etc.

Most of the e-book retailers also give you a button to click on to give e-books as gifts so this is a great way to send the e-book to a relative or a friend who has an e-book reader.

Here's the list:
Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Country Music
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for the Young at Heart
Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat's Life
Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Shaping the New You
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive
Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Quackin' and yackin'

Two weeks of unseasonably warm/hot weather, and now, spring has sprung. Pollen is in the air. Look at my puffy eyes. But I am so happy. When I looked out the door and saw that our little red bud tree had blossomed overnight, I had to go talk to it.

"Well, aren't you as pretty as a picture? You just keep on growing, and one day you are going to be a big shade tree. Drink all the rain water that you can."

Bill caught me whispering sweet nothings. "What ARE you doing? You aren't talking TO that tree, are you?"

"What would you say if I told you I was talking to myself?"

He shook his head, snapped a picture and laughed.

"I am coaxing this baby to grow. Carbon dioxide helps growing things bloom."

He's my funny honey. He said, "Come here baby, and let me breathe on YOU."

If only I'd had my camera with me when the racket in the sky caught our attention. They were a few feet above our heads. A duck was in hot pursuit and inches away from a crow. That duck was snapping and quacking trying to bite that crow's tail. I've seen a flock of small birds dive bomb a hawk or crow, but I have never seen an attack duck. I'm telling you, it was a sight to behold.

But then, Bill would say the same thing about me talking to the tree.

Ckick for guidelines:
SUBMISSION OPPORTUNITY. I am co-creating an anthology, Not Your Mother's Book...ON Family, for Publishing Syndicate. Dianna Graveman is co-creating Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Mom. Please submit a story. There are more than 30 titles in development.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A tip of my hat to the leprechaun

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you wearin' the green and tippin' your hat. That green beer will get you if you don't watch out.

Ashley, my first granddaughter, was in my class almost twenty years ago. The leprechaun leaves his little footprints every year and spills his (fake) gold, pennies and sparkly things all over the room. He even visits the bathroom. Oh my, he jumps on the toilet paper roll and the toilet seat. You should hear those kids squeal. EVERYone wants to tell me and take my hand so I can come see it. I tsk-tsk and say, "That naughty little leprechaun!"

We try to trap him, but you know those sly little guys. We've never caught one yet.
It is one of the most exciting, wild and memorable days.

Ashley was about seven years old, questioning the truth about Santa, the Easter bunny and tooth fairy. As I was driving, she expressed her doubts and asked about the leprechaun. I said, "Seriously, they are everywhere, but they don't want you to see them or catch them."

No sooner did I say that, a gust of wind lifted a large, bright irridescent green potato chip bag a few inches off the ground. It skittered in front of the car and dropped out of sight into a ditch.

The most verbose little girl in the world was speechless. When she caught her breath, she screeched, "I saw a leprechaun! I believe-I believe!"

I believe I laughed until tears rolled. That was divine providence, or an interference from leprechaun land. Ashley recently told me that she thought she had really seen a leprechaun scamper in front of the car and into the ditch that day.

St. Louis has two huge St. Patty's celebrations, one in an area called Dogtown, where the Hibernians celebrate with a parade and day-long partying. There is also a parade downtown.

Many years ago, I took my students on a field trip to the downtown area on March 18th. As the children got off the bus, there were some young, green-clad revelers sprawled at the curb still sippin' the suds.

"Teacher, is that a leprechaun?"

"Does he have an orange beard?"

"No, his beer is green."

I shook my head. What else could I do?

Be are watching.

Do a little jig, and hurry over here for some great advice for writers. Jennifer Brown Banks has a guest, Noelle Sterne, whose advice is spot on.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Turning the dogs loose

Yesterday we exceeded a weather record here in St. Louis. On March 14, 1971 it was 82 degrees. Yesterday the thermometer reached 86 degrees.

I am so ready to release my puppies. Would it be terribly wrong of me to just turn them loose and let them run the town? They have been barking for days, they want to be freed, but I am using retraint. They aren't cute young pups anymore; in fact they are old dogs. You know old dogs have problems, and it wouldn't be fair of me to release them on the unsuspecting.

First I'm going to have to groom them, take care of their paw pads which are in need of some Burt's Bees. Trim a wild hair or two, might even paint their nails just for fun. I'm like the dogs, I want to scamper, leap, trot, roll in the grass, but with my luck, I'd roll in a pile of something smelly.

So, I am going to tweeze that wild big toe hair, paint my nails, moisturize my heels and ease my old dogs into a pair of flip flops. That cute T.V. meteorologist promised an entire week of 80+ degrees days. I'm so excited, I am yapping and chasing my own tail. If that weather dude were here in my house, I'd lick his cheek and sit pretty.

A couple of posts back, I personified a purse. If you are interested in personifying an animal, here is a submission opportunity for you.

DEADLINE: March 31
GENRE: Short Stories, Nonfiction
DETAILS: Entries must be about personified animals in some way,
shape, or form. Beyond that, there are no limits! 2500 words or
PRIZES: $50 first prize, $25 second prize

Please check out the variety of anthology titles seeking submissions at Publishing Syndicate. I am co-creating Not Your Mother's Book...On Family. Go to the website, scroll down the left side menu and click on NYMB...On Family, where you can read my bio, and see two of my cuties. Guidelines here.

Monday, March 12, 2012


The news is out! St. Louis writers, Linda O’Connell and Dianna Graveman are working independently on two Publishing Syndicate anthologies in the Not Your Mother’s Book series. Linda is developing and seeking sassy, snappy, serious or humorous submissions for Not Your Mother’s Book…On Family.

Local author and owner of 2 Rivers Communications & Design, Dianna Graveman, is seeking first-person funny, insightful, or downright embarrassing submissions for Not Your Mother’s Book…On Being a Mom.

Dianna and Linda will collaborate on the promotion of both titles, and you are welcome to submit to both. Please submit the stories online via the online form only.

Possible Chapter Headings for Not Your Mother's Book...On Family (subject to change):
1. I'm No Chicken! (wild antics)
2. I'm Telling! You're in Trouble! (zany things you overheard, participated in or witnessed)
3. Dinner, down and dirty (stirring the pot, dishing it out, family mealtime)
4. Forget the closet! (discovering family skeletons in a drawer, under a mattress, in a letter)
5. I inherited what? (keepsakes, antiques, and quirks)
6. Waiting in line for the john, the jam and the juice (sharing cramped spaces, clothes)
7. Ringleaders (your family circus guru, leader of your pack)
8. Family reunions (unforgettable in so many ways; the missing link)

Submissions form and guidelines for story submissions can be found here:
NOTE: If you don’t have a story that fits one of our two books, please check out the other great titles that are in need of stories!

From the Publishing Syndicate site about Not Your Mother’s Book…On Being a Mom:
While we’re looking for stories about the side of motherhood most of us have experienced or seen first hand, we would love to read stories about the side that most of us don’t talk about because it’s too embarrassing or silly! No need to explain: you know what we’re talking about. Now write about it!

Possible Chapter Headings for Not Your Mother’s Book…On Being a Mom (subject to change):
1. Challenge Accepted (getting the news, announcing to family)
2. New Parent Jitters (silly fears, bath time mishaps, babysitter debacles)
3. Call of the Wild (terrible twos, troublesome threes…)
4. OMG, How Embarrassing! (times when you’ve embarrassed your kids in public…or they’ve embarrassed you!)
5. If Everybody Else Jumped Off a Bridge… (Not under MY roof, mister!)
6. You Can’t Scare Me; I’m a Mom (mealtime mishaps, carpool catastrophes, clothing disputes and malfunctions, soccer mom disasters)
7. Birds Do It… (having “the talk,” noticing the opposite gender, beginning to date)
8. You Did WHAT? (testing the limits, parent-teacher conferences, teen shenanigans)
9. Driving Mom Crazy (teaching your teen to drive, getting the license, when your teen borrows—and dents—Mom’s or Dad’s car
10. Parting Words (helping your child prepare for college, first apartment, marriage

Ken and Dahlynn McKowen, owners of Publishing Syndicate, also produce a free monthly writing/publishing tips e-newsletter—The Wow Principles. With more than 2,000writers already subscribed, the e-newsletter has helped many to realize their dreams of becoming a published writer. There are also 70+ back issues available and topics range from travel writing to basic grammar rules to e-books to book-signing etiquette. Here’s the link:

Friday, March 9, 2012

What did you say he ate?

Check it out, the leprechaun is chasing Nicole through the rainbow.

I don't ask questions when young mothers of my students bring me Mardi Gras beads. I mean, I know how some women acquire them, but I assume that "my" moms took their kids to the local parade, and probably someone on a float tossed them to their preschoolers. Yeah, we'll just go with that, because I don't even want to imagine the other way these gals may have gotten them.

I am forever making games and new activities for my students. I cut the Mardi Gras beads into different lengths, and we talked about long and short, long-longer-longest and short-shorter-shortest. Then, I cut a mouth hole for the paper leprechauns, affixed them to a water bottle, cut a hole in the back for easy removal of beads, and encouraged the children to "feed" the leprechaun.
Okay, I know it's nonsense, and by the way, I have never seen a female leprechaun, have you? I tell my students that these little guys eat green things. My students brainstorm and we list all of the green things a leprechaun might eat. He'll be visiting our classroom soon.

Holding the strand and using only one hand to drop a length of beads inch-by-inch into the opening is difficult work for little hands, and it is an excellent hand-eye coordination and fine motor task. Think this is fun? Just wait until you see what I have done with Peter Rabbit and his buddies. I'll post photos next week.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Local angler hooks a whopper

This incident happened to my friend's husband many years ago. I don't know if I'd have been more afraid of what was in the bucket or the car.

Typically, Missouri anglers display trophy-sized large-mouth bass and whiskered catfish on their den walls. The late Mr. Lawrence Cain, Sr. made a whopper of a catch one fine summer day. His trophy mount was barely seven inches long, but his story is one that will be passed down to future generations.

The Big River rises swiftly and floods frequently. Mr. Cain and his son, Larry, meandered to the dock equipped with new tackle and high hopes. It wasn't long before Mr. Cain shouted, "I've hooked a lunker!" The drag of his line whirred through the reel as he tried to out-maneuver the fish. He imagined a good-sized bass. He played his catch until the line slackened, then reeled frantically. He couldn't believe his eyes. Thrashing on the hook was a spiny piranha, native to South America.

"Get the bucket!" Mr. Cain shouted. Larry dunked the bucket and came running.
Mr. Cain sliced the line, unhooked the gnashing fish which had razor sharp teeth. Larry, an enthusiastic environmentalist and avid naturalist, ran to telephone the Department of Conservation. Breathlessly he announced, "My dad just caught a piranha in the Big River!"

"Nonsense!" said the conservation agent. "Missouri doesn't have piranha. You must have misidentified your catch."

Larry insisted the man take a look. The agent agreed, and Larry drove ten miles
to the office with the fish sloshing in a bucket in the front seat. Larry was so excited when he reached Rockwood's Reservation, he left the car door ajar and darted inside to get the ranger.

"Okay, buddy, let's go see this so-called piranha." The ranger led the way as they headed out the door. Twenty yards from the car, he halted abruptly in his tracks, threw out an arm to stop Larry, and whispered, "Stand back! Don't move!"

There in the front seat, a bobcat bobbed for the toothy fish, then lunged
out and darted into the woods. Certain that the bobcat had devoured the fish, Larry dejectedly said, "It really was a piranha."

As they looked into the bucket, the conservation agent chuckled, "Well, I'll be! Our winters are much too harsh for this piranha to survive here. Someone must have dumped him. The bobcat sure didn't want any part of him; I guess he's all yours."

Larry returned to the cabin with the exotic fish and a tale that will be passed on to his son and his son's children. Folks will just have to take his word about the bobcat, but he has proof of the piranha. It hangs on the den wall.

Writers tip: Hook your reader with engaging tales.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

There's a new bag around town

When I really like something, it is hard for me to part with it, even after it is worn out and past its time. I have had shoes that I loved so much, I hot glued the seam. Purses that had threadbare handles. Glasses with one nose pad missing. Oh I eventually tossed them, but it took me a while.

I don't think I'm a hoarder like Tammy, my friend with fifteen pens in her purse. But I did find five in mine today when I switched to a new purse. I spent all afternoon shopping for a new purse, went to
K-Mart and Sears and another big department store, but nothing appealed to me. Walked into a thrift store, and there it was, dangling from a hook, tempting me and taunting in that tawdry voice, which may have been in my head.

Come on sister, flaunt it for once, forget those basic black purses and see what kind of looks you get with me on your shoulder. No! You're wrong. I am not red-red. I am cranberry. Hang me from your shoulder and look in that mirror over there. Ooh-la-la, lady, you know you want me. Hey, don't hang me back up.

Woman, yeah, you with the wrinkles. That black bag makes you look like an old hag. Give me one more chance. Come back here; check out my compartments. That's it, turn me around. That's not just a seam across my backside. Slide you finger down there. That's a cell phone pocket. Yooo-hoo, lady, NOOOOO, don't walk away.

Beige! Bleh! Woman put some zing in your swing, and march right back here! You KNOW you like me. Fine! Go ahead, try on all those old lady purses. I'm waiting ...

I knew you'd be back. Check my stitching, my magnetism, listen to that click when I close. There's a place right in here for your wallet, which happens to be the same color as I am. Pens can go in here, uhm, and dear, do you really need five? They poke. And tissues, Hon, I know you have a cold. A handful of unused is fine, but please don't stuff my cavity with wads of snot-filled Kleenex. I'm too cute for that.

I slipped the handles of that maroon, uhh, I mean cranberry, handbag over my shoulder and I laughed to myself. Perhaps I laughed a little louder than I realized, because the woman next to me, also selecting a hand bag, startled and looked directly at me.

"Did you want this one?" I asked.

WOMAN! Have you heard a thing I've said? With me on your shoulder, you look younger.

I didn't wait for a reply. I walked to the register and bought that saucy sister.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I'm really trying

Today I had a writer's guild meeting at a community center which has a skating rink, an auditorium and several meeting rooms. There was an art and craft show going on as well as several other events, so the parking lot was nearly filled. I pulled onto the lot and got behind a car with an elderly woman driver who could barely see over the steering wheel. I tried to be patient as she inched along at two miles per hour. Half way across the parking lot, the car behind me whipped around me and also the car in front of me. I hate to admit, but after creeping along and going nowhere fast, I too passed the old lady. I parked my car at the far end of the parking lot across from the driver who had whipped around me like a bat out of hell. The middle aged woman walked alongside me and bellowed into the wintry breeze, "I can't stand people who poke and don't know how to drive. Worse, I hate people who are afraid to walk a distance."

I looked at her and said, "That little old woman didn't look like she was able to walk at all, much less this far."

That crabby hag replied, "Then she should have gotten up earlier this morning."

I said, "You know, I try to be more understanding, although I must say, I got impatient too and I also drove around her. What are you here for?"

"Well, you see, there's a couple who picks glass out of a creek and tumbles it till it's smooth and then makes jewlery out of it. I always wanted some, but never had the money, but today I do, so I'm going in there to buy me some creek glass."

I wanted to pick up that broken bottle from the gutter and say ...
But, I am really trying to be more tolerant and understanding.

If you watch the sit com, Mike and Molly, on Monday evenings, and you know who Mike's mother is, then you've got a good picture of the whack job, excuse me, the woman I met today and her gruff manner of speaking.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Wii Fit

My husband bought a Wii Fit game with a goofy cartoon kid.
Going to get himself in shape he says, so this is what he did.
He worked for half an hour hooking up the silly thing
said it would be worth it for the results that it would bring.

Thirty minutes every morning he twists, moves and wiggles.
I have to walk away from him and stifle all my giggles.
He jogs in place and follows trails, high steps on the pad.
My husband’s having more fun these days than he has ever had.

You should see him hold a yoga pose, like a flamingo with no grace.
He gives it all he’s got though until he’s bright red in the face.
“Step on he dares; don’t snicker!” So I tried that sissy game.
Kid stuff, I thought, I’ll show him, put this big guy to shame.

When I stepped on the pad, it groaned my weight and BMI
Those numbers made me cringe, and I tried hard not to cry.
“You want to paddle a canoe?” he asked, “It’s harder than you think.”
“No,” I said, “I’ll hula hoop,” and I gave him a little wink.

“Lean left” he yelled, “move your body; catch it over your head.”
If those had been real hula hoops, I swear I would be dead.
“I quit!” I said. “Aw honey,” he begged, “come back for one more game.”
I gave it my best and wouldn’t you know, I made the Bowling Hall of Fame.

My husband’s weight is going down; he’s losing pounds with exercise.
I haven’t lost a single pound, and I’ve still got my thunder thighs.
He exercises every day, knows how to balance, bend and squat.
He’s firming up and getting fit, but his chubby wife is not!