Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A narrow band did this!

This was my view at 4:30 a.m. when I looked out the front door. I was awakened by 45 mile per hour wind gusts rocking the house, bending tree branches. Heavy, wet snow was falling at one inch per hour. The temperature was above freezing, but the snow was so heavy it kept piling up. Electric poles snapped, power lines were down, and resulted in closing all traffic, north and south bound on the major interstate. Electric transformers were exploding in bright blue flashes of light. There are 38,000 homes without electricity. 
 At daybreak I stepped outside to photograph this freaky storm. It did look pretty.
This view out the back window is the snow melting down the window pane as it stuck to the tree branches and shed. Bizarre!  

This is my footprint in the 5 inch deep snow.
My little plaque expresses exactly how I feel.
 Now, take a look at the bottom of the black pole. The snow is so heavy it is sliding down the pole in one section.  That is my confused little rose bush. It was 78 degrees just a few days ago. 
Look over Bunny Boy's shoulder, spring is apparently around the corner.
Friends and family who live twenty miles north didn't see a snowflake. St. Louis was in that narrow band of wild weather which is now heading off to the East. Streets are slushy and kids are out having fun in this mess.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lisa Claro Ricard has done it again. BELIEVE!

A woman in a man's world. A man with a secret. Love to believe...

Read an excerpt from Lisa Ricard Claro's second book in her three book romance series.
Love to Believe will send you into a tailspin, awaken your senses, and make you yearn for the kind of love Rebecca and Sean discover.

"Rebecca cursed herself for falling into Sean’s sexy little trap. The man was incorrigible. Gorgeous, but incorrigible."

Think romance genre is not for you? Too much fluff and fantasy? The realistic plot and twists will grab hold of you. You will remain engaged long after you close this contemporary romance novel.

Uhmm, Caleb, the main character from her first book, Love Built to Last, still floats through my subconscious. Okay, I'll admit it, my day dreams, night dreams...Caleb is never far from mind, even though he belongs to Maddie.

And now there's Sean.

While Lisa is a fan of storytelling in all genres, Romance is her favorite because she believes everyone deserves love and a happily-ever-after. But she adores a little mystery now and then, too, so keep an eye out for Lisa's whodunit one of these days soon.

Lisa Ricard Claro is a masterful story teller. She also provides writing and editorial services.
Her books are available now. Check out her website and follower her at these links.

Purchase Links



Monday, February 15, 2016

Say WHAT?!

With the presidential candidates making fools of themselves, acting like little children, smirking, sticking their tongues out and na-na-nuh-na-naning one another on television, I am reminded about the year I addressed an envelope to William Jefferson Clinton and mailed it to the White House.
Each year on the Friday before President's Day, which was a Monday school holiday, I introduced the children to the concept of the presidency, briefly touching on positive rules and deeds that they could institute if they decided one day to become president of the US. They made a red/blue pattern with paper squares as a border on their paper, then wrote their names, and I wrote their uncensored comments on their papers.

Who is the boss at your house? What rules would you make if you were the boss? How could you help others?
The responses were as varied as the childrens' backgrounds: My Dad thinks he's the boss,  but Mom is. If I become president, I will give everyone a present/pony/puppy, and my rule would be no letting your brother punch you. I'd say: Don't drive crazy like my dad. My rule would be: make moms cook what you like.

It was a fun activity. 

Many years ago when President Bill Clinton's unbecoming personal behavior was being reported on TV and making newspaper headlines, I showed my 4 & 5 year old students a picture of him and asked, "Who is this man?"
They thought he was the doctor, the principal, the Pope, George Washington,  etc. Their responses were cute, so I posted them in the hall for parents to read.

I put a heading on another paper: What does President Clinton do?
The responses were priceless, and so I wrote them verbatim, and I sent them to the White House. A staffer thanked me and mailed a school packet of brochures and booklets.

Someone there laughed and laughed, I am certain.
Some of the 18 responses:

He stays in hotels and rides on jet airplanes.
He writes love letters in a big white house.

He eats lunch with girls in his office.
He talks on the phone to this lady.

They revealed every and ANY thing they had heard.
My colleagues and I laughed until our sides hurt.

One year I was nominated a Class Act Teacher. Tom O'Neal from the local NEWS station spent the morning in my classroom with a photo journalist. Afterwards, while talking about community helpers and occupations, I asked the children what a reporter or anchor was, and what that person's job was. I recorded their responses and mailed them to Tom O'Neal.
"My daddy says the news people are liars."
"An anchor is on a boat."
"Reporters report to their mom what their brother's are doing."

I love the innocence of little children who don't yet know about filtering their comments. They freely express thoughts, ideas, gossip, and opinions.

I think Art Linkletter was correct, "Kids say the darndest things." Do you know a little free thinker or tattle tale? Care to share?


Sunday, February 14, 2016

When you're smiling...

"As our days grow shorter, our love grows stronger." This quote from my wonderful husband made me weep when I read it in Bill's handwriting on this Valentine's Day, which is also our 22nd wedding anniversary.

Many of you know this fact: I wrote a parody song of "He Ain't Got a Barrel of Money" about my honey and entered it into a contest at Y 98 FM radio station. Winners were announced on air a week before Valentine's Day. I screamed as I was riding to work the morning they read the list of 98 winners. I called Bill at work and told him to come home early because we had to go to the county court house for a marriage license. He said, "Calm down. Our wedding date isn't until April. We have plenty of time."

"No we don't!  I just won a complete wedding package from a  radio station, and we are going to be married on air." I did not tell him then that 97 other couples would be joining us.

My wonderful husband married me twice, once on Valentine's day and once again in April on the 25th wedding anniversary of my late best friend and her husband, Sheila and Bruce. The four of us stood side by side and repeated our vows.
Bruce: I do.
Sheila: I do.
Bill: I do.
Me: I do... not believe that our wedding cake I made is collapsing. (in a whisper)

That has been a laugh for many years.

It is true. As time goes on couples either grow together or fall apart like the small, three layer wedding cake I made and forgot to insert the support sticks into. We have grown wider, smarter, more confident and into our own. We are two halves of a whole. When I get a blemish, ache or pain on my right side, he gets the same thing on his left. We support one another.

We've sat together in every room of our old house, in brand new cars, on cruise ship balconies, in theaters, restaurant booths, on casino stools, in a dozen states, foreign countries, hospitals, hotels, and in all of our four kids' homes. But my favorite place to sit is by my honey's side, wherever life takes us.

I want you, my readers, to know that I love your visits, your comments, and your loyalty.

Whether you are part of a couple
or alone on this day,
love yourself,
and give a smile away.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My heart overlflows with love

It has been a crazy week: family birthday, tummy ache, babysitting. But I am back! And I have some information for writers. This is a great resource. I hope you can find something of interest.

Liam makes me laugh out loud, and I do the same to him. We are a pair, the old one and the young one.

We celebrated Nicholas' 14th birthday yesterday. What a kid. He is such a neat person, excellent student, caring individual, and still not too big for Nana's backrub. Things are a little different now with this 5 feet 8 inch tall young man. "Rub my arm?" led right into, "Hey, Nana, look at my muscles. I can press 200 plus pounds. I lift weights."

He watched me playing with Liam, who was watching me snuggling 8 year old Nicole. Liam toddled his jealous little self right over, climbed on my lap and grabbed me by the cheeks. I shook my head back and forth, lolling my tongue and blowing raspberries, and he cackled so hard every time.

I told Nicole she was my favorite girl and always would be. She still just wants to cuddle. And she was so good with Liam. He was shocked when he walked into her PINK room and saw all the dolls. He went right for a BALL, and a Barbie car.

Nicolas watched me play with Liam who flipped himself upside down (head to floor) off my lap, over and over again and laughed out loud every time.

Nick asked, "Nana, did you that stuff with me?"

"Of course, I did buddy." So I had to share his "baby" stories with him.

He was tearing around the gymnasium at school Friday and hit a metal volleyball pole, ending up with a gash that required 8 stitches. Boys are proud of their battle wounds.

He shared his light sabre with Liam, whose pawpa Dave was showing him how to operate it. This baby was the center of attention. You think?

Retirement is wonderful, and spending time with family is what rocks my world right now. It is such a blessing to see the different ages and stages of each of our grandchildren. These are only three of our wonderful 10.

How about you? Did you do anything this weekend?


Monday, February 1, 2016

Would you rather have a barker or a meower?

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Which do you think is more playful, a cat or a dog?
This is Howie when he was eight weeks old.
This is Howie four years later. He and his boy, grandson Kyle, are best buds.
They are both sitting. When they stand up, they are both over 6 feet tall. They wrestle, and Howie puts his paws on Kyle's shoulders when he stands up. They hug and nuzzle. It is too cute.
This is our Kitty No-No who loves his bag more than any of his toys, and he has many toys. 
He hides in his bag, peeks out at us as though we can't see him. He bites it, rips it, and when he gets one side open, he runs through the house with it on his back like a turtle shell, sliding on the carpet, rolling like a silly boy. Sometimes the bottom of the bag ends up on top, the bag wide open, and he is sitting there ON the bag completely exposed. The expression on his face is total confusion. He can't figure out why he isn't IN the bag. We laugh so hard at his antics. He has such a time when he is his inside his bag. I call him and say, "Where ARE you?" He peeks his head out and looks to see me. Then darts back in.
As you can see, I am not the only one who loves this silly kitty. He thinks Bill is alpha cat. Kitty  rolls over and lies on his back and allows Bill to pet his stomach!
However, when the cat is sitting in the hall and Bill walks by, he reaches out and strikes him (no claws) and wants to be chased. I keep telling my honey that having an animal makes a person live longer. Bill says, "That's only true if your cat doesn't try to trip you as you're going down the basement steps." This silly cat has to be wherever we are.

We all have busy and somewhat stressful lives, but all work and no know the adage. Take some time today to be playful. Pause, smile, relax, do something that gives you great pleasure. Don't eat the entire bag of cookies; nibble ONE rather than gobble.

Share something that makes you smile, chuckle or belly laugh. Then go treat yourself.