Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Honoring our grandmas

My son-in-law's mother passed away yesterday, the day before her husband's birthday. They shared almost sixty years together. The family was called to the hospital to remove her from life support. Her adult granddaughters painted her fingernails bright red, her favorite color. It reminded me of the day my grandma died and what I did for her.

Grandma's Curls (published Flashquake, 2006)

Pappy and I rode the street car every Friday evening during my first three years. My weekend visits perked Grandma up better than her prescribed nerve medication. She filled my belly with food and my heart with love. As I got older, she fed me rutabagas and rye bread, and thick skinned chocolate pudding for dessert. Slabs of toasted coconut bread waited for me after school, a gesture of her love.

She raised her voice and all five feet of herself up when my high school diploma was presented, and wept harder at my wedding than she did when her second husband died. I became her confidante when, in her golden years, she fell in love with an eighty-year-old two-timer.

She lured me with food; we sat at her table, giggled like school girls and nourished each other.

"Have some soup. I think he's seeing a redhead. Do you think I should dye my hair red? He stopped in to see me last night." Her goo-goo eyes made me laugh.

One day she called and asked me to bring my portable typewriter. "I have something very important I want you to type. It's a secret and I want you to write exactly what I say."

I imagined a love letter and formatted it in my mind. She greeted me and touched my new curly permed hair. "I love your new hairdo. Could you curl my hair like that? I think Joe would like it."

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had her in a death grip and I explained that the perm fumes would be harmful.

I opened my typewriter. "How should I begin, My Dearest or My Darling?"

I wrote the greatest love letter of all time that evening, and it was not to her gentleman friend.

"My Daughters and Son," she dictated her last will and testament, bequeathed her meager possessions to her six grown children and professed her love.

"You are the only one I can trust to do this," she said softly. "This is our secret."

The next day she was rushed to the hospital. Her failing health led to a lengthy hospitalization. Each time I visited, she asked, "When can you give me curls?"

"Soon," I'd say, but her illness progressively worsened. The hospital summoned. I was the first family member to arrive, but it was too late.

"Expired," the nurse said as she led me into Grandma's room.

"Dead," I thought, because Gram and I never minced words.

I sat beside her, wept, then wiped my eyes, stood up and walked to her night stand. By the time I was finished telling my grandmother how special she had always made me feel, every strand of her hair was wrapped in pink sponge rollers. "Grandma, there's a halo waiting for these pretty curls." I smiled, turned and walked out of her room.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

AHHH! A naked man!

Ladies, do you remember the first time you saw a naked man? In person, not in a National Geographic or Play Girl magazine.

I was a child, and no, this is not one of those horrific child abuse stories. It is not about the sexual exploitation of children. I was never molested, yet the incident is as fresh in my mind as a small, hard brick of Bazooka chewing gum softening in my mouth at the age of eight.

My parents had taken us swimming in St. Charles, first time at a pool. My mom took me through the girls' changing room and my dad and brother went into the boy's changing room. I was amazed that we both exited out of those rooms and into the pool area simultaneously. We enjoyed clinging to the pool edge and wading. My dad supported my belly and tried to teach me how to swim. It was so exciting to be in over my head, yet so comforting to know my dad was there to hold me up when my toes could no longer touch bottom.

Dad, who had a tan, got out of the pool to take my brother to the bathroom and told me to wait in the wading pool. Mom must have gone in to change. I felt afraid and so I darted into the changing area. Oh my gosh! I had wandered into the boy's changing room. That MAN may have been a teenager, or he may have been a middle-aged man. I do not recall seeing his genitals. What I vividly recall is that guy's entire nude body was as pink as a wad of Bazooka chewing gum.

I was ushered out of there in a hurry. My parents talked in code on the way home about what they thought I had seen and wondered aloud if I had been traumatized by the exposure. Oh I was traumatized alright. From that day forward, I could not chomp on a chunk of Bazooka chewing gum, even though I did like the little waxed cartoon paper it was wrapped in. Thereafter, I chose Double Bubble gum wrapped in a twist of waxed paper instead.

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Blues

There are three shades of blue that excite me.

1.Turquoise, whether it is on a winter sweater or a piece of stationery, transports me to the ocean. The sight of aqua marine in winter makes my heart race in anticipation of my summer beach vacation. I work all year, landlocked in the Midwest in order to be able to hit the road again and head South to spend a precious few days with my husband toeing hearts in the sand, walking hand in hand. We are getting older and the beach calls to us like the gulls overhead. It is my greatest pleasure to frolic barefoot in the surf.

2. God's gift, a newborn wrapped in a baby-blue blanket, or snuggled in his infant seat can stop me in my tracks, no matter how busy my day. A smile creeps across my face and I am reminded of my own son who was a pleasant baby; he grew into an active little wild child, a young man with a need for speed, a decent teenager and a hard working adult. Now he's a husband and father who attempts to slow his own offspring down. Kids grow up too quickly these days. Some days no matter how he tries, there is just no stopping them.

3. When the sun is high and the sky is azure, I am energized. A cloudless sky excites me. It can be blistering hot, or freezing cold, but if the sun is shining I feel as if fairy dust has been sprinkled on my psyche. I am up for anything. Toss me a problem, I'll find a solution. I smile until my facial muscles ache. I ride a wave of euphoria.

But when winter dulls the sky and land, my spirit shrivels and wilts like the last rose of summer. That familiar lack of energy overtakes me regardless of how much chocolate I sneak. I want to crawl under the covers and hibernate like an old bear.

I actually do. But, on New Year's day I begin my countdown to spring. It makes me feel somewhat in control to say, "Only sixteen more weeks before I whip both plush, blue blankets off the bed, not just for the weekly laundering, but for the last time."

All winter those two, fluffy blankets cocoon me, hold in my body heat, regulate my mood when I crawl in between them. On the day that I am able to replace them with light weight, brushed cotton sheets as pale blue as a baby blanket, as turquoise as the ocean, or as bright as the sky, my mood soars and the blues of winter disappear out the open window. I love-love-love a spring breeze.

This afternoon, it was 65 degrees. I sat outside in the sunshine and read a book. I considered stripping the blankets off the bed, and then I came inside and heard the weather forecast. Winter winds will be gusting, and a few hundred miles north, they are expecting eight inches of snow. I guess I'll wait a few weeks. I am not complaining. We have had a mild winter.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Non-verbal communication

Generally speaking, females talk more than males. We lecture our children and over explain our positions. It isn't easy being a kid and it isn't easy being the adult in charge of a a kid.

Some kids who are on the autism spectrum do not have a grasp of non-verbal communication. If an adult puts a finger to the lips, most children understand that communicates, Shhh, be quiet. But not everyone gets it.

I try to use non-verbal as much as possible in the classroom. I gesture, raise an eyebrow or use few words. I have a new boy with limited English and an abundance of energy. As he learns the rules of the different classrooms he visits, I hear others trying to 'deal' with him. Over talking is confusing in our own language. Kids process the last three to four words of a sentence. So if you say, "It is not nice to throw blocks at Johnny." The child processes, THROW BLOCKS AT JOHNNY.

When he is in my classroom, I call this child's name and then use a hand gesture, for stop, or no, etc. It works in most cases.

Let me share an incident that happened with my cousin when she was a young teen. She was crossing a street and a police officer in his car was at the stop sign. He motioned to her with his finger. She said her heart started pounding. He motioned again. She walked over to the passenger door and opened the car and got in.

"What are you doing?"

"You just motioned for me to get in, didn't you?"

"No, I was motioning you to cross the street."

BE CAREFUL, don't get your signals crossed. By no means am I implying that my cousin is on the spectrum; she was a young girl who misinterpreted.

Be concise in writing. Readers who have to process all the way down a meandering path, no matter how pretty, may skip instead of stroll. They may not even make it to the end.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm clucking!

Oh yeah! If my back wasn't hurting so bad, I'd be up doing the victory dance. I received my final round acceptance from Chicken Soup for the Soul books on my story for the Married Life book. It is a story so dear to my heart about how Bill and I met. It is about how his pantry, like his life seemed perfect, mine and my life were haphazard. I wrote how I like to wing it and he has to plan every detail. It also includes a humorous incident involving a vacation.

I had titled it Committed, No Matter How it Stacks Up. The only edit they made was the title, they changed it to, The Odd Couple, which is probably more appropriate. The big guy said, "Well they should retitle it to, The Odd ONE!"

Sunday, February 19, 2012

They are growing up!

My grandson, Austin, celebrated his fifteenth birthday today. He has abs of steel, but won't let me see them.

"No, you're my grandma, that's weird."

He works out and exercises several times a week. He has sports memorabilia and posters of ball players (and also a Sports Illustrated model) all over his walls, a large TV in his room, and a recliner which he bought with his birthday money a couple years ago. Fifteen and his own man cave! He's a good kid with a lot of ambition, and I am very proud of him. He invited his uncle and cousin outside to toss a football. He spied me and pretended to toss it to me.

"Go ahead! You don't know who you're messing with here, boy! Last time I was here I proved I could slug a baseball. I can hit, and I can catch. I just can't throw."

"Yeah, right!"

"Toss it!"

"Wow!" he and Nick both yelled, as I caught that spinning pigskin.

I tossed it back and narrowly missed a Mustang, car.

I have never taken a cake decorating class. When my kids were small I used to make them stand with me at the grocery store bakery department so I could observe the bakery ladies decorating cakes.

Years ago, I bought a few tips and decorating bags, a large pan and obtained a frosting recipe. Shhh! Don't tell the Cardinals I used their logo. The bird's head feathers are a bit too froo-froo, and his legs are out of place, but close enough and not too bad for free-hand drawing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Handiwork for you and for them

Keeping little hands busy doesn't require battery operated games or electronic gadgets. It requires a bit of creativity and ingenuity. I love making something new out of something old. Hubby says I am the only person he knows who will destroy one perfectly good thing to make another thing. Yeah? So?

Did you know that twisting, turning, squishing, smooshing, squeezing and wringing develops and strengthens small finger muscles that children use when printing?
I have a collection of about twenty different sizes and shapes of jars and bottles in which I stuff an object, then screw on the lids. The children unscrew the lids using wrist action. They like to see what is inside each. After all of the lids are off, I put them in a pile and the children have to match them and screw them back on. It requires reasoning. Sometimes I put a corresponding sticker on a lid, for example, if I have two Ponds Cold Cream jars, and one has a dinosaur inside, I would glue a dino sticker on the lid of one.

You would be surprised at how much fun the simple things can be for little children.
Hubby cut these hands out of a piece of scrap wood. One side is brown and the other lighter (multi-cultural). The kids love placing corresponding amounts of rings (from the Dollar store) on the fingers. My original "hand" game was made out of strong cardboard, so don't think you need a carpenter!

Friday, February 17, 2012

You are invited! Please come and bring a friend.
I am participating in a multi-author event at an independently owned coffee house. Several contributors will read and sign books.

WHEN: Saturday, 10-noon

WHERE: 6 North Cafe at 14438 Clayton Road (near Hy 141)

WHY: Multiple author book signing and reading event

TITLE: St. Louis Reflections, a St. Louis Writer's Guild anthology of prose and poetry.

PRICE: $9.99, but you don't have to buy. Stop by and say, "Hi." Have a cup of coffee or a
pastry, and support local writers.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My cup overfloweth

This over-sized, ceramic glazed, earthenware mug is my favorite. It holds two cups of coffee, cocoa, or hot tea. It was a Christmas gift a couple of years ago from my oldest granddaughter, Ashley, 22, who will be getting married in four months. It is one of a matching pair. The other one is navy blue and has PaPa etched on it.

Every morning when I awake between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m., the first thing I do is fill my mug, pop it into the microwave for two minutes and then, head to the study to write, search markets, check out blogs and Facebook.

When I cradle the mug in my hands it is as if I am cradling the bald headed, blue-eyed baby girl I called my Tweety bird when she was born. This mug holds the memories of a bright precocious preschooler with bouncing blonde curls who gave me so many laugh lines; a hurt little school girl who suffered the consequences of her adults' behaviors; a non-judgmental teen who befriended the problem kids so she could help them; a bright, young woman of strength and character, with a great sense of humor and sharp wit.

In the quiet early hours I sip from the memories and can almost hear her beautiful voice singing, I Hope You Dance. In the swirling liquid I gaze into her youth and hear her singing A Capella in front of the high school student body. I laugh at her talent show antics, her college artistic ability, her way with people, her brilliance, her delightful personality.

I feel all of her hurts and all of her happiness as I hold the past in my hands. The beverage warms not only my hands and tummy but my heart. This mug represents a little girl who held hands with me and called me Nana ever since she was one year old.

These days she is busy making her own life, working, preparing for her future. I seldom hear from her unless I call her, and when I do, she usually TEXTS me back. Kids! :)

But when I wrap my fingers around this mug, I feel the warmth of her little hand in mine. Nana's girl is grown up, and she doesn't need me anymore, but she will always be my girl. Ever since I can remember, we said goodbye or ended every phone conversation this way, Me: "You're my girl!" Ashley: "You're my nana!"
These days she says, "You're my Nan." After all, she's a big girl now.

I read recently: Time passes swiftly when you get older. The only thing a grandparent really wants is time with grandchildren, a few minutes, a phone call an unexpected visit. When they are gone, will you say, "I'm glad I did, or I wish I had." I am so proud of Nana's girl.

Do you have an object that evokes special memories when you hold it in your hand?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A bargain for you

Cheapskate, skinflint, frugal, I suppose all of those words applied when I was a young mom and we had to stretch every paycheck.

The day after Valentine's Day my late, best friend and next door neighbor, Rose, and I used to drop the kids off at school and make a beeline to Walgreens Pharmacy to purchase the biggest, most beautifully decorated boxes of chocolates for our moms. Half price! It made us and our mothers so happy.

I thought I'd make my honey happy, so yesterday, I went outside in my pink robe and black tennis shoes at dawn and stomped a big heart in the snow on the lawn. I used a broom handle to write I LOVE YOU. Hubby woke and with coffee in his hand I told him to look outside and see what was going on.

"I KNOW, it snowed a couple of inches."

"No, look out the door."

He gazed out and said, "The darn squirrels are back, they've been running around
like crazy in the snow."

He's a big joker. I hugged him and we acted silly.

Four year old Nicole, lying on the couch, giggled and said, "You guys gave me smiles."

We went to dinner and then for a nice walk as the snow melted at 40 degrees. In the evening we played Wii bowling. I kicked Bill's butt, jumped up to cheer and kicked a hand weight which was on the floor, and broke my toe next to the baby toe. Another memorable Valentine's day.

Hope someone treated you right yesterday. Just a reminder, 50% off Valentine's Day candies today at Walgreens if you want to treat yourself.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

No thorns on this one

Twenty-two years ago today, we celebrated our first very first Valentine's Day together as a couple. Eighteen years ago today, we were married.

Today, let me share our first Valentine's Day memory.

An entire week before the big day, Bill would read florist's marquees, "$59.99 for a dozen roses. Wow! $39.99. I'm going to buy you a dozen red roses."
"No, a dozen roses would not make me happy."
"How about half a dozen?"
"No. Please, no roses. It's crazy to spend that kind of money. I'm way too practical."
"How about one rose? I can even get it from 7-11 if it's about money." He's always been my funny honey.
"Cut flowers do not make me happy. They remind me of withering relationships, sad endings, not happy beginnings. Please do not buy roses. They will die."

We had been invited to a Valentine's Day dance with a group of friends. He knew how much I wanted to go, but he had to work second shift. I'd see him at midnight. He said we'd go dancing on the weekend. As a utility company shift worker he had missed so many of his own family's functions over the years, and I knew how it saddened him. "I'll make it up to you," he promised. "Roses?"
"NO! I mean it."

I walked into the house after work, dreading the bouquet of roses I thought I'd find. But what I discovered on the counter made me laugh out loud.

On top of the pile of mail instead, was this 8 inch long post card advertisement from a well known local florist.

When I read Bill's inscription, my heart pitter-pattered. The chocolate-covered strawberries lasted two days.

This one, long-stemmed, red rose has been hanging on the side of our fridge for more than twenty years. It is a simple, thoughtful memento that I will always treasure, and like my funny honey, it makes me smile every day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

All you need is LOVE

I like to peruse the book shelves at thrift shops. My mom was a woman of strong faith; the Bible was the only book she cared to read. She and I had this ongoing issue. She was determined to force feed me a sermon every time she called, several times a day, or when we were together. I would laugh and say, "Okay-Okay, stop! I am a believer. I know-I know. You want to give me a shovelful, but all I need is a spoonful." She'd back off a while, but she couldn't help herself, she was relentless in her preaching.

With Valentine's Day upon us, she's still trying to get her messages across. I was scanning the used book titles in search of some light, humorous reading material. Only the religious titles stood out like BOLD print on a blank page. Not just dozens of Holy Bibles; I counted at least fifty faith-based books interspersed on six shelves! It became humorous. I snickered and sent a silent heavenly message, "Okay-okay, that's a shovelful." But, I did buy Ninety-Minutes in Heaven, to appease her. Then, a religious book fell off the shelf and onto the floor at my feet. I had not been rummaging anywhere near there. Not creepy to me, just funny.

Got home, opened my email and found this. So, I share with you the messages my mom would like me to know. One thing I know for sure, love transcends time, and place.

Listen without interrupting. (Proverbs 18)
Speak without accusing. (James 1:19)
Give without sparing. (Proverbs 21:26)
Pray without ceasing. (Colossians 1:9)
Answer without arguing. (Proverbs 17:1)
Share witout pretending. (Ephesians 4:15)
Enjoy without complaint. (Phillipians 2:14)
Trust without wavering. (Corinithians 13:7)
Forgive without punishing. (Colossians 3:13)
Promise without forgetting. (Proverbs 13:12)

Mom, even though we are in different dimensions, I received your messages and I feel your love.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A handful of memories

You can tell that there is a love affair going on. You probably can't tell by this lovely picture that it's like a circus at our house. Note the performer in her tutu and the big happy face clown. See the barking dog and hissing cat? You say you can't see the animals?

They are resting on the arms of the recliner. The dog is to your left. The cat is on your right and wears a wedding band. The human performers control the animals. The clown owns the animals and the ballerina bosses (trains) them. Grandpa Bill and Nicole can sit there for fifteen minutes playing dog and cat with his huge "paws". The dog barks and tries to bite her. She smacks it and tells it to lie down. The cat acts up. They all aggravate each other, the dog, the big guy, the cat, the little girl. They giggle and laugh out loud. It is the most annoying game I have ever witnessed, literally, all they do is annoy one another.

But it such an empowering, playful and simple game for this little girl. It is one of those memory makers that I hope she holds onto for life. I cling to a similar memory I have of my grandfather and me. I called him Pappy and he died the day after I turned six. I smile everytime I think of how I sat on the porch with him and looked in awe as he drummed his fingers and made the sound of clopping horses on the wooden rail. I tried in vain to replicate what he did. When he said, "Hear the horses? Here they come," my eyes widened, my brain sparked (hear/here...I got it!). I looked all around for the real horse, because I am old enough to remember milk being delivered by a horse and wagon in our North city neighborhood. We lived blocks away from a dairy.

When an adult gives a kid a hand early in life, it should come in the form of a love pat, a playful gesture, a positive stroke. Reach out your hand to a child today, anyone's child.

This is for writer friends,
think of someone in your early life who gave you a hand up, who hands down was the best influence, whose hand patted your back, rubbed your brow....you get it. Now write a paragraph about it, and if you allow your words to flow, you may end up with an essay to submit. And then if it gets published, everyone will give you a hand for you accomplishment.

OKAY, I'll stop. Now you get going.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

An eye opener

Click HERE to read an interview with me conducted by Diana Davis, posted on line at Walrus Publishing. Please leave a comment on their site. Thanks.

I had an eye-opening experience. Generally I postpone the medically inevitable as long as possible. The obstetrician can attest. Both of my kids were two weeks overdue!

I visit the doctor and dentist regularly, and I have my annual mammy-whammy, but I would prefer not to have to go at all. If something bad is going to happen, like a blown tooth or gallbladder gasket, I figure it will happen to me. What I really figure is no news is good news. I procrastinate.

My last optometrist appointment was in August.
2005. Yeah-yeah-yeah, I know. I have made do with reading glasses, but of late they just weren't "doing" their thing. No matter how much I squinted or how I positioned the glasses, I couldn't read that dang Taco Bell menu. Then I had these lightning strikes in my left eye last month, which warranted an emergency visit to an opthalmologist, who gave me an all clear, but left me with a few words of wisdom, "If you want to pass your next driver's exam, you might want to consider glasses."

I didn't tell her I had been considering them for five years. No longer able to postpone the inevitable, I had my vision exam.

The optometrist had an air about him, a very pleasant air. He was friendly, and we chatted like "old home week". We're nearly neighbors, and I am sure that we have acquaintances in common, but if we had started name dropping, we'd have been in that little dark room a little too long and folks in the waiting room may have wondered.

He made me see the light, as well as the fine print. It was a delightful 20/20 experience.

Angie and Rick, (not college students, but adult office staff, who acted like college students) made my experience even more fun. How often do you go for a medical exam and leave the office butt gusting...I mean gut busting?

Angie and Rick bantered like siblings.

"She treats me like I'm twelve!"

"Yes, I felt terrible Monday when I called in sick. I texted him constantly and in between questions, I told him what to do, BREATHE."

Poor Rick, I was there Monday. I felt bad for him. The office was understaffed and people were harping in his right ear, left ear, in his face, at the back of his head, texting, tugging ... it was taking a toll on him. He loooked as if he could have pulled out a taser and zapped a few folks. So, instead of waiting around on Monday for an appointment, I postponed it to today.

The office was under control this afternoon; there were only two patients in the waiting room, and Rick seemed relaxed. Angie, dressed in lace and finery, had it under control.

Rick robbed me, I mean, sold me a fine pair of rhinestone studded glasses and jacked up, I mean, reduced the price. He also kept the one liners coming faster than Robin Williams.

All I can say is I have never had as much fun in a doctor's office, except that one time...oh well, never mind.

Seriously, if you are looking for a new pair of specs or contacts, I highly recommend Sears Optical at South County. I left there in stitches. The good kind.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Seriously folks, let's get serious here. I receive all sorts of junk mail and spam, and I am sure you do too. I was amazed to learn that my email was chosen as the winner of 5 million dollars, (I wasn't chosen, mind you, but my email was). I'm sure the check will be made out to Hewey Packard.

I've been awarded free i pads, pods and pretty much any other i-thingy out there.
I've received requests to allow guest bloggers to write about (you name it, and a lot of it is nutty!). I've been "solicited" by those who cannot write a complete sentence, use English or grammar correctly, but who think I am the most gorgeous creature on earth after viewing my profile. Creature? Makes me wonder if I should update my photo.

My latest win cracked me up: an internet massage. Now what do you suppose, a gentle stroking of my keyboard keys? A hot stone on my mouse? Deep pressure on my monitor? A warm cloth across my screen? No one is touching my tower!

Have you received any offers or amazing wins lately?

Sometimes you have to be creative

Had I given each of them an unpeeled apple, they would have nibbled bites and wasted a lot. Instead, I peeled the apples and inserted corn on the cob holders into the top and bottom, and Nicole and Nicholas nibbled like bunnies.

It's the same way with writing. If you have struggled long and hard with a scene and still can't get it right, do the unexpected.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A celebration of a great one, and the loss of a great one

I remember my first milestone birthday. I don't remember a party or my gift, but I remember having a profound thought. I vividly recall waking up on my tenth birthday and saying, "Wow, I have lived ten whole years on this earth. My age is now double digits."

Today, my grandson, Nicholas, is ten years old. I am thrilled with this wonderful little boy who asked me to help him get his "book" published. He had hand written an entire episode of Finding Big Foot, which he had seen the night before on TV. When I explained the word, plagiarism, he cried. When I showed him how to write his own version and fictionalize the stories, he beamed when I praised his word choices and ideas.

I want to keep him this age forever. He has grandiose dreams.

"Nana, I want to be a professional hockey player, but if that doesn't work, I want to be a writer. I know I can't do both, because I wouldn't have enough time."

I told him, "You'll find time to do all the things you love."

"Then I will be a hockey player AND a writer!"

His comment inspired me to sit down and write an article about making time to write. I had planned on querying Writers' Journal. Sadly, I learned the magazine folded this week.

Nicholas was thrilled with the birthday cake that his mom decorated with our home team hockey logo, a blue note.

He received a Wayne Gretzky Blue's jersey and an autographed hockey stick, plus tickets for tonight's Monster Truck Jam, and more money than I ever received for my birthdays.

The rain did not keep him and his buddies indoors. They laced their skates and took to the cul de sac. They played until they were breathless and red in the face.

Physical exercise is to the body, what writing is to the mind.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I will see clearly soon

I am forever misplacing my glasses. Sometimes I find them on my head but this time I can't find them anywhere. I am using an old pair of readers that are missing a nose pad.

On monday I am going for a comprehensive eye exam which will result in a pair of glasses. I'm not thrilled with having to wear them constantly.

A coworker showed me something on her cell phone, but I had to admit I couldn't actually see it.

"You need glasses," she said.

Then she told me she had eaten at a Chinese buffet. I commented that coincidentally, we had also.

"Oh but, yuck! The onion rings were so tough and the chicken had a weird taste," I said.

"What was wrong with them?"

"Well, they were actually calamari and frog legs. I ate octopus and frog legs! Eww! I am never going back there. You can have that place."

She asked, "Didn't they have the signs posted above each pan?"

"Well, yes, but ..."

"You couldn't read them? WHEN are you getting glasses?"


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Coincidence or connections?

My Soul Friend, on page 207, is a true story about being with my late friend, Rose, when she died. I witnessed a truly remarkable and unbelievable occurrence.

One year after her death, my son had a serious motorcycle accident. As he lay on the side of the road, he says that Rose came to him and comforted him.

I used to be a skeptic until I received these messages from heaven.

"101 messages from heaven (is) about miracles, amazing connections, and answered prayers. When our loved ones leave this world, our connection with them does not end. These stories will amaze, inspire and comfort you."
~Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC

This is not one of those sappy books; it is inspiring, filled with stories of love and connections from beyond. Believers know. Doubters will believe that the unexplainable happens, and they will come to understand that not all of these types of incidents are coincidences.