Monday, May 23, 2022

He's no Ninja! He's my hero.

Today I turned the corner onto a side street and saw a dinner plate-size, yellow-bellied turtle in my lane trying to cross the road. I stopped the car. Bill who has a bad back, achy knees, and uses a cane, said, "You are going to cause a wreck over a turtle," before he slid out, bent down, and plopped that big guy in tall grass far from the road. He's no teenager. He's no mutant. He's no Ninja, but my honey is MY HERO!

When I was small, baby turtles the size of quarters or half-dollar coins, could be purchased as pets from dime stores. Sales were discontuinued when it was discovered they carried samonella.

When my son was about eight, he rescued a box turtle from the country. We named it Speedy, because that critter could make it to the back gate in a flash. A few weeks later we returned it to the original spot. it never did its job anyway. We watched a water bug climb out of the sewer and over Speedy's shell.

Don't relocate turtles to new areas, even if you think their current location is odd (unless it is obviously hazardous, such as a busy parking lot). Moving them to an unfamiliar location can subject them to foreign diseases and parasites that they lack a natural immunity to, so that should be avoided.

A group of turtles is called a bale (ever seen a group piled on a log) or dole.


Saturday, May 21, 2022


This is three-year-old talkative Charlie. He is verbose, opinionated, informative, and a quick learner. He is spinning his brush, painting tornadoes and telling me everything he knows about them. 

Before he went down for a nap he said, "If you hear me say, 'OHHHHHH UHHHH' (big sigh) you'll know I'm up, okay?" He is a whirlwind of activity when he is awake. A cute little mini tornado.  
St. Louis and surrounding area experienced eight tornadoes Thursday, EF zeros and EF ones. Thankfully no death or major destruction. Damage to trees, cars, roofs. We are expecting a week of rain and storms. That is disappointing, as I had big plans for the boys.

Now, I'm expecting a lot of indoor activities next Tuesday and Thursday when Charlie and his year older brother, Alex, come for a visit. Life is filled with little disappointments. If we learn to handle the minor things we can be better prepared for the bigger ones. 

We had 91 degrees heat the other day. I put the boys in swim trunks.

"Where is the BIG pool? That little kiddie pool is too small." 

It served the purpose for water play and pouring. Making do is what we do.

Our neighbor invited the boys to swim in her son's and daughter-in-law's in-ground pool when she returns from vacation in two weeks. Excitement and disappointment all at once. 

The weather is too cool since the storms rolled through. But better weather will be here before we know it, and summer will be upon us. 



Sunday, May 15, 2022

Moments in time

Grandkids growing up! Nicholas graduated last weekend and is destined for a good paying job starting next week. We are very proud of our instrumentation electrician.

Morgan graduated yesterday with a degree in psychology. She is destined for grad school and  pursuit of her masters in the fall. So proud of the hard work she put in these past years. Her last paper was on how music can be calming. She used Bill (her grampie) as a case study. She interviewed him on the phone and asked him to name 10 songs that had an effect on him growing up.

When he replied, "Tutti Fruiti," she laughed and thought he was joking. He named many other rock and roll songs which he loved to dance to over the years. He got so into it, he pulled the songs up on the internet and played each for her. He made her a tape of his old favorites from the 50's. 

This memorable moment made me smile, sniffle, wipe a tear, because the days are sometimes long, but the years have flown. Our knees are too bad for dancing, but we used to jitterbug all night long. The professor's comment was that music for Bill's generation represented social engagement and this generation has music at their fingertips and in their earpods. 

There were some memorable moments in Morgan's graduation ceremony. To begin with, the audience was asked to stand for the national anthem. Everyone stood. And waited. And waited. And waited. Technical difficulties... so we sang acapello. It was a moving experience. But not quite as moving as the older gentelman whose grandfather graduated in 1910, but his family had no record of it. Research proved he did indeed graduate from the college, and so the gentleman was presented with his grandfather's degree. He accepted it, turned to the audience and saluted. A memorable event, but not as memorable as what happened today.

Morgan's parents and brothers moved her out of her apartment and back home. She wanted to keep the fullsize bed she'd had while away, and advertised her single bed for sale. A buyer was coming at 4:00 p.m. to purchase it. So, her brothers sat it on the front lawn and pulled the moving truck in to the driveway. Nine of us helped unload the truck. Bill was the doorman. The young ones carried her belongings in. The house was filled with people coming and going.

Bill opened the door for a woman we did not know. (neighbor?) She greeted us and began walking around. Her husband followed. Asked if the barking dog would bite. We said no. He petted the dog. They began commenting about the furniture. Told the bed was outside, they said they didn't want a bed. 

"We stopped here because we saw an Estate Sale sign on the corner and figured this was the place."

We will laugh about this in years to come. "Grandpa let strangers in!" 

And so, a new chapter begins in the lives of grandson Nicholas and granddaughter Morgan.  We are thankful for family.    

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Feeding the hungry

 I received news that moved me to tears. 

I contacted my first writing professor, 1979 (teacher appreciation week, you know) thanked him for a job well done, and sent him copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul books in which my stories are published. 

He said since I refused to accept payment from him, he has made a donation in my name to a worthy cause. Indirectly Chicken Soup for the Soul and I are responsible  for feeding Ukrainian people. 

No matter how small the effort, I can confirm one person can make a difference. 

I consider this HUGE. The monetary donation has been made in my name to World Central Kitchen. 

I am deeply touched by this gesture.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Who needs laughing gas!

Time to visit the dentist. 

Those words used to strike fear in my heart. I could feel the remembered pain from childhood dental experiences.

Visiting Dr. Holly Ellis, DDS and her team is always such a positive experience. Dr. Ellis is personable and fun and makes her patients feel at ease. 

I gave her a copy of my Chicken Soup for the Soul, Too Funny book. Her staff looks forward to reading a story here and there during their workday or at lunch. This one will have them showing THEIR pearly whites.

I was in the chair when Dr. Ellis walked in and asked me about my eyes. I wondered which of us was more confused. Then it dawned on me. She had read my story. We both had a good laugh.

My hygeniest, who I have known for many years, mentioned she was going to eat a light lunch. I told her she didn't need to worry about dieting. "You are so petite."

Denise said, "Yes I am. My brother is big; he got it all, the height, the weight, even the boobs."

Never laugh when you have a rinse device in your mouth.  

Visiting my dentist is like reuniting with girlfriends. We always pick up right where we left off. 

Ellis Dental
10296 Big Bend Rd.
Suite 207
St. Louis, MO 63122

Monday, April 25, 2022

Is she or is she not a friend?

Whenever I read something aloud from my phone, my dear husband has a habit of asking WHO's that?

I have told him so many times, "I don't know. Just a friend."
He then quizzes me about FRIENDS I don't know.

I've tried telling him their names, but then he asks how WE know them. It gets to be a real Who's On 1st.

Finally I say, "They are Facebook friends, and YOU do not know them. They're from the WWW."
First time I said that he thought I meant World Wide Wrestling.

Anyway, it was a pleasure to actually hear my FB friends' voices and and see them on screen. 

Last week I participated in a ZOOM meeting with Amy Newmark, Editor-in-Chief of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I also met D'ette Corona Executive, and Shelby Janner, publicist, folks I have interacted with for many years. This was in celebration of the Chicken Soup for the Soul, TOO FUNNY release. Looks like it is heading for the Best Seller's List! Yay!

It was a real thrill to hear and see many of the contributors. Several of the Chicken Soup writers and I share publishing credits for other books and magazines, and it is always a thrill when we find our names in the contributor's section of a new CSS book.

Each contributor had 90 seconds to do a biography and tell about their story in the Too Funny book. 
It was like being privy to a secret discovering how the story began. Nice to hear the voices and see the faces of the friends I  know, (but don't really KNOW.)  

I used to participate in monthly IN PERSON Open Mic meetings, but since the pandemic stopped that, I've missed my literary "friends."

By the way, if you are reading this, just know that I consider YOU a friend and I thank you for your readership.

Proceeds from the sale of MY contributor copies will be donated to Chef Andre`s World Kitchen, which was bombed and destroyed in Ukraine, but has since been reestablished elsewhere. Everytime I look at the CSS, Too Funny book, I imagine a Ukrainian having a bite to eat thanks indirectly to Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC. Proof that one person CAN make a difference.


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Be careful out there!

 I was at WalMart the other day standing near the frozen foods when a young, caucasion, clean-cut, wild-eyed guy, came storming up the center aisle shouting a female name. He was in a frenzy and screamed, "When I find you, I'm going to shoot you!" He did not display a weapon as he went running up and down the aisles.

 I hustled to the front and paid for my chocolate cake. 

It is getting dangerous out there.