Saturday, May 31, 2014

She's a little bit you know her?

Congratulations Mevely, you are the winner of the drawing for a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul Home Sweet Home. Send me your mailing address.

Here's another callout for $ubmission. Good luck.

Anthology call from Belladonna Publishing, for a volume on "Strange Little Girls." Description: "The strange little girl is not like the other little girls. She might look like the other girls and act like the other girls, but be very strange at heart--or she might be just plain weird altogether. Sometimes she is a scary little girl, other times a dreamer, always treading the fine line between reality and imagination--or even madness… We want to meet new strange little girls, and read strong and original stories about them. Why is she strange? How is she strange? Who is she when she grows up? Does she end up like the madwoman in the attic, hidden away from the world--or is she an office clerk? A lawyer? A baker of poisoned goods?" Pays: $120, via PayPal. Deadline: July 15, 2014. (via

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

HOME SWEET HOME book raffle


My story, In My Dreams, is included in this book on page 92.
Yes, our little 1950s ranch style home really was a dream come true for me. When the realtor said she had one more house to show us, I could not believe it was THIS one.
I am giving away an autographed copy of this book to one lucky winner within the United States.
To win:
Leave a comment on my blog 
Please tell a friend to drop by my blog for a visit.
I love FOLLOWERS, even if they are occasional visitors. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It's not the blue angels and you shouldn't drive like a bat out of hell

No, it's not the Blue Angels flying out of formation.
It was these guys that  buzzed over our heads this evening as we sat at a picnic table in Suson County Park, off Highway 21 on Wells Road in South County. This is one of the most beautiful parks in St. Louis, complete with stocked fishing lakes, a playground, picnic areas, and barnyard animals.
The large animals are turned out to pasture in the evening. These gorgeous horses were contentedly grazing, swishing their tails and snorting at the gnats.
My honey and I sat lakeside and watched the sunset. There were children, teens and adults fishing all around the lakes. This is the roof of the barn where the goats, ponies, sheep, ducks and other small animals reside in stalls during visiting hours. Below lake level in the rear of the barn is a large fenced compound where those animals are released to roam at night.
The breeze was delightful. the scenery tranquil. Just what I needed. I sat quietly and read a magazine, watched people and prayed for the many car accident victims in our area. 
Emergency vehicle sirens blared all day. We live near a major highway, so it's not unusual to hear the occasional ambulance zip by. But this morning about 8:30, we heard one emergency vehicle after another, must have been a dozen, and they stopped close by. Then we noticed the highway traffic had come to a standstill and was being rerouted down our main street. As it turned out, a drunk driver had struck a state trooper who had just exited his vehicle and was approaching a driver he had pulled over. The alleged drunk driver's car was lodged against the guard rail, its roof peeled back.
Not an hour later, the sirens wailed again, numerous emergency vehicles flew to the multi-car pileup down the street at a busy intersection at the four way stoplight.
On our way to the park, we heard those sirens again. Numerous emergency vehicles exited the highway and reentered and sped back down in the opposite direction. We passed the third scene, a car in a  ditch on its smashed roof, several young males milling about in a daze.   

Life is precious and we don't realize how quickly everything can change. The trooper, a young married father of three is in serious condition. I don't know about the others. These accidents were local. In the grand scheme, I'm sure the death toll will rise on this holiday weekend, beginning of summer fun. One more day of fun folks. Be careful if you are on the roads. And no matter how you feel about the current/past wars, remember what the holiday is about. Our veterans deserve respect.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Personal essay call for submission
 Anthology call out for mom themed stories, a paying market $125 per story and can be previously published. First deadline is upon us 5/31 and the next is 6/30

Chicken $oup is also still seeking mom stories.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The boy rises to the occasion, has seven kills!

Last evening 17 year old, 6'2" grandson, George's volley ball team qualified for the State Championship! This is a big thing for him, the school and the team. Tonight, they will play for 1st or 2nd place. That gymnasium will have standing room only. The noise will be deafening, the boys will be sweating profusely, and we will be there!

We arrived an hour early last night because someone I know very well got the time confused. We climbed to the top of the bleachers. No small chore for aching knees. Then he decided the referee would be standing in his view and he wouldn't have full court advantage. Give me a break! So, down that wobbly set of bleachers we climbed, and moved across the room. I hobbled back up to the top again.

In walked classmates, cheerleaders, students, and the team straggled in...a few at a time. The bus to transport the team never arrived, so the varsity team had to pile into cars and drive themselves and others across town to the game. Dressed in their finest! Their tiny little coach, a new mom, was dressed in heels and a dress. What an impression they made. Soon the team headed to the locker room to suit up.

We looked across the room, and what to our wondering eyes should appear but a gigantic picture of a head on a stick. It was at least three foot high and easily recognizable because of the receding hairline (genetics) and the facial expression. Our boy! The star player on the team. He can spike that ball like no one else. Soon we saw other "heads" bobbing. The game was intense, point for point right up until the end.

George Diehl (pronounced deal) was interviewed by a journalist for the newspaper and also a T.V. sports reporter. We waited for the 10 p.m. news, for our boy's fifteen seconds of fame, and wouldn't you know it?! The guy blew it when he proclaimed, "GREG DIAL made seven kills."

College info keeps pouring in. In his REAL name. The latest from Harvard. This kid is going places.

Tonight should be a blast! I'll keep you posted. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Get me a rocket launcher!

I have been remiss all week about posting on my blog.
I have been stressed because I haven't been posting on my blog.
I have been so busy I haven't had time to post on my blog.
I have been adjusting to a new living situation, family staying for a while, computer/kitchen sharing.
I have put in 12 hour days at school with early conferences, field trips, and evening programs.
I am on overload.

Finally had time this morning to browse the internet. I saw an advertisement for a mini (spoon size ) launcher that clips to the desk. A stress reliever? In whose direction would you launch a wad of paper?

Years ago we toured Ben and Jerry's ice cream plant when the two benevolent hippies actually owned it. We sampled 8 scoops of ice cream. Talk about overload.

Then we went to Vermont Teddy Bear Company Factory and watched the seamstresses at work. No matter how much you love Teddy bears, there's only so much time you can invest in sewing body parts together before you go bonkers. Every fifteen minutes a bell would ring and the seamstresses would grab their small water guns and empty them at coworkers. Oh the laughter of both the tourists and employees.

Desk launcher, UZI size water gun, whatever it takes to lessen the stress. Give me a few more days, something fun or funny is bound to happen, and I will share it with you.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kicking up her heels

Nana's girl goes on stage!
Saturday was Nicole's dance recital. May life always provide as  much excitement for her as she felt at this moment. May life also provide a little extra cash, like she received from the Tooth Fairy.
May she know we love her as far as her arms can reach...and more. Her dance routine was to the Annie Song, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow. May she always remember, behind every cloud the sun is shining. May she reflect her light on others.  
May she always reach for her dreams and goals even when they seem insurmountable, and may she find the right amount of balance in her life.
May she always stop to smell the flowers and appreciate the little things, especially a job well done! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I guess we'll keep him!

I took my students to the children's hands-on museum today. A mom told me something that took me back to the time when my little girl was three and waiting for her sibling to be born. My daughter had given me instructions to bring home a baby girl. A bald baby girl. She was so disappointed with her brother. We had to buy her a bald baby doll. She still has Angie.

The little three year old girl in my class came to the hospital to visit her mom and was thrilled with her baby brother. She kept calling him by her three week old cousin's name, no matter how many times her mama corrected her. When he came home the little girl was excited to have (her cousin) there and kept asking where her aunt was. She didn't understand even when she was told, "He's ours."
Her mom removed the baby's diaper, and he peed all over the little girl's foot. Mama said, "Get me a diaper, quick!" The little girl said, "Get my foot cleaned. Quick! This is gross. Take him back to auntie."

Mom invited auntie over one day so the little girl could understand. When she came in and saw both babies lying there, she yelled in disgust, "Now what are we going to do with TWO of them?!"

Mom explained one was theirs and one was auntie's. Six weeks later she realized her brother was there to stay. She's still not real thrilled.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It's impossible to make out when your mom is tossing clothespins at you

My mom was overprotective. There I said it! I couldn't have a large bouncy ball because it might roll in the street. A bike? Out of the question. She had to know where I was every minute of every day when I was a kid. If I was next door she would call me and tell me I had to go to the store or do a chore. It was my norm.

It got to be a real pain when I became a teenager. I was 15 when I met my first husband. We were kids who lived a couple houses apart. I was friends with his sister. He'd walk up the block and sit out front on the stoop, and we'd talk.

My family lived upstairs in a two family flat. There was a closed in sun porch at the back of the house. The quarter sized hole in the floor must have been a drain hole or where someone once had a wire. It was the perfect size for a clothespin to fit through. When we would sit out front, Mom would peek out the window and check up on me below. When we moved to the back stoop of the house, she would call my  name periodically to make sure I was still there. When I didn't answer she would drop a clothespin down, narrowly missing us. Stealing a kiss? Necking? No way. We were dodging projectiles. Now I can laugh about it.

Hope you all had a happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

No more garter belts

Throwback Thursday is here. My former sister-in-law, Debbie posted a photo of herself as a teenager at the corner confectionary in our old neighborhood. She asked, Where have all the confectionaries gone?

There are very few left in our town. When I was a kid, there were little corner grocery stores, bakeries and taverns across from churches in our south side neighborhood, just about on every corner.

Mrs. Bean purchased the corner confectionary from a little old couple who retired. Sue, my late sister-in-law and I were 14 & 15. We walked to the corner store everyday to make purchases for our parents and ourselves. That is not to say that we had money. We had ways though to get what we wanted. We scoured the neighborhood for discarded glass soda bottles (yes, litter) and we collected them, then cashed them in at the store for two cents deposit on each bottle. Cho-Chos (creamy chocolate ice cream) on a push up stick was our favorite treat. Every day and sometimes twice a day we trekked to Ms. Bean's Confectionary.

When begging our parents for change didn't work, we worked the system. My parents ran a tab every week and paid the "bill" on Friday. It was never over a few dollars. The first time I decided to add something to the "bill" I felt like we'd pulled a bank heist. We purchased, of all things, pickled pigs feet from a jar on the counter. Also, Fifth Avenue candy bars, and once in a while a 16 ounce Coke. 10 ounce bottles were the norm, so when they came out with 16 ounce, I could never drink the entire bottle. But I tried, and we experimented with various types: Tab (I still remember the after taste) and Royal Crown Cola, 3V was a local product, I think. A bag of salted peanuts in Pepsi...why?!

The confectionary carried all sorts of products besides groceries: velvet hair bows in every color that we girls clipped in our bangs. Nylon stockings in a box. I will never forget when Mrs. Bean asked if I wanted to see the newest product. She removed an infant size pair of suntan colored sheer nylon tights from a package, and she stretched them to adult size. Sue and I were amazed when we saw our first pair of panty hose. The concept was ingenious. No more garter belts.

Many days I walked into that little one room store, made my selection and said, "Put it on the bill, please." Eventually our little scheme was discovered. Mom went to the store with five dollars to pay her tab...and the bill was nearly double. That was the end of my charging.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The countdown is on!

We took Ashley and her hubby, Justin, (both almost 25) to Missouri Botanical Gardens for a maternity photo shoot. The day was beautiful, the flora and fauna were blooming, and the proud parents were beaming. 
Looking into the future...
Living day by day, waiting, waiting, waiting.

Every 1st time mother sits quietly and contemplates the unknowns: what the baby will look like; how bad labor, delivery and recovery will be; how her life will change forever; how much love she already has for the big headed little guy who refuses to turn, has hiccups and can break dance.
May all of my granddaughter's wishes and dreams and hopes for the future come true.
No, really, it's not a beach ball, and it's not twins!
Doctor's appointment on the 20th, and then we'll know for sure. Nobody believes she is going to make it six more weeks. They've changed her due date once and expect to again.
Counting down.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I took a 6 hour "nap"

I posted new pictures to yesterday's post. Take a peek.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The big day arrives...if only the baby would

These are my girls, granddaughter Ashley and my daughter Tracey.
 This is the reception hall after we decorated.
 There were about 45 women in attendance. THANK YOU to everyone. It took Ashley over an hour to open all her gifts. She was exhausted. Although the room was air conditioned, she said, "I'm so hot!" The next gift she opened was a bib. She held it up and it was imprinted with, MY MOM IS HOT! Perfect timing. The room was rocking with laughter. 
This is the photo of the expectant parents.
This is the card I pasted the photo inside of and wrote a note telling them to get ready for the realities. I did give them a beautiful card as well.
This is the cake I made for my baby's, baby's baby shower today. It matches the invitation with one exception, there was a doggy in the basket. Do you think she'll notice it's a teddy bear instead?  Nobody noticed. I arrived at 11:30 a.m. to help decorate the hall. I got home at 4:30 p.m. I told my honey I was going to lie down for a few minutes. I awoke at 10:30 p.m.

I am passing my moniker to my daughter; little Liam will call her Nana. I will always be Nana to my grandchildren, but now I will assume the alias of Grammy for my great grandson.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Say what?!

Okay, fiction writing friends, here is a call out that you can experiment with, even if it is out of your comfort zone. It does not say X-rated, so if you are interested, give it your best shot.

Garden-Themed Erotic Short Stories Wanted


Greenwoman publishing is looking for sexy gardening-themed stories

for its upcoming anthology, 'Fifty Shades of Green.'


They want stories of between 1,200 and 1,600 words that are fully

developed, entertaining and engaging and have a sexual element, all

stories must include gardening.


Payment is $100 upon acceptance for First North American Rights.

Contributors will also receive a print copy of the book.  For more

information visit: