Tuesday, November 29, 2016

We could all use another FRIEND

"And a little child shall lead them... "
 Liam's first Christmas. He was six months old here, and his big blue eyes took in everything!
 At 18 months old all he cared about was lights and balls. He was thrilled with the tree lights reflecting on the living room walls. Look at those short little legs. They have taken him places.
And here he is at 2 1/2, slouching down, or he'd be a couple inches taller than the snow family. His legs dangle off the chair now.

Liam thinks every single kid he sees is his friend. Each Monday I ask him if he wants to go to the mall playground or Monkey Joe's, the bouncy house jumping place. He asks, "My friends be there?"
I tell him, I don't know about the bounce house place, but there will probably be kids at the mall.

He shouts excitedly, "I go mall to see my FRIENDS."

He gets more delightful by the day. His vocabulary is advanced, and I think he is going to go for the older women. His mama said they were at a store, and he was sitting in the cart jabbering away.

When she stepped in front of the cart to unload it, Liam noticed this darling little four year-old girl staring at him. His legs were dangling in front of her face.  Delightfully surprised, he smiled and said, "HI, girl."  When she didn't respond, he introduced himself.

"My name Liam (and his last name), and then he told her, "I'm two." With a big smile and great expectation, he waited for a reply. NOTHING. He couldn't understand why she did not respond to him, as most adults do when he talks.

So he began naming all the colors of the balloons nearby, he told her shapes of things, and he God Blessed every family member he could think of. I'm telling you this little boy is going to be a heart breaker.

Finally the little girl smiled at him. It made his day, and he was thrilled to no end. He talked about his new friend all the way home.

Instead of seeing our differences, maybe we should look for ways in which we are alike. Instead of perceiving an enemy, why not regard the person behind, in front of, or waiting on us as a potential friend? 

With the holiday season upon us and so much upheaval and evil in the world, I imagine if everybody smiled and said hello to a stranger, peace might begin to spread... like oozing butter on those yummy Hawaiian rolls I've been stuffing into my mouth for days. 

I promise not to inundate you with any more Liam photos for at least another week. I only babysit him on Mondays.

May I ask a favor, please? Say a healing prayer for blog friend and writer Claudia Mundel who is undergoing major cancer surgery today. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Vortex of confusion and disillusion

Do you ever feel as though you're caught up in a whirlwind storm, a funnel cloud of negativity? Does it seem like the world and many of the people you know are spiraling out of your orbit? Are you reaching for something that is not there? Trying to get a grasp? Feel as if everything is fleeting, changing, or slipping away? 

Liam and I were at the Science Center.

When overwhelmed and confused by so many images, it feels as though we're meeting ourselves coming and going. We feel cornered, a sense of helplessness, and don't know which way to turn. 

Confused? Unsure? Don't know what to do next?

Maybe it's time to 
  • Scrolling social media sites and reading political rants. 
  • High-fiving and endorsing those with which you align.
  • Trying to convince the other "side." It's futile. It's divisive.
  • Focusing on what is wrong. Discover what YOU can do that is right.
  • Thinking you can't make a difference. Peace does begin with you and me.

If you are a person of faith, look up and cast your cares on your higher power.  If you are an agnostic or atheist, look inward and listen to your inner voice. Fight for justice... not just against something but for some thing, some one, some group...

because one day the oppressed, the needy, the weak, and helpless could be YOU.

Wishing you a calm presence in your life this weekend, an assurance that we will survive. 
As my friend, Gloria Gaynor sang, "At first I was a afraid. I was petrified..."

For my friends battling cancer, I send a special prayer on your behalf that you experience physical, emotional, and spiritual comfort and healing, a reprieve from worry and pain.

Friday, November 18, 2016

I'm a believer

Many years ago when my friend was battling lung cancer, I took her for a radiation appointment.
I reminded her about a story we'd read years before when our kids were little. Two best friends, one terminally ill, made a pact that if there was an afterlife, she would send her friend a flower in the middle of winter. It happened.

That day in the doctor's office, Rose and I made the same pact.

On the anniversary of her death, she sent me a beautiful flower, with four buds. They opened to the size of large carnations...during sub zero temperatures and a hard freeze. That story was published in Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul.

Every year in November around the anniversary of her death, I have received a flower.

This year with unseasonably warm temperatures, it would be easy to dismiss this tiny pink flower as a straggler. But NO, it was not there yesterday, and all of the sedum has withered and dried up.

Today, on the anniversary of my friend's death, I discovered this. I say, "Thank you, Rose. You've done it again."

Monday, November 14, 2016

Thursday evening 6-8 please join us.

Local Author Open House for Over 100 Authors!
                   I am one of the one hundred!

We eat local, we shop local, so let’s read local! Don’t miss the St. Charles City-County Library District’s Local Author Open House. At this one-of-a-kind event more than 100 local authors will be gathered in one place to sell and autograph their books, and to talk to visitors about how they got their start.

The 2016 Local Author Open House, now in its 8th year, is being held on Thursday, November 17 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Spencer Road Branch, 427 Spencer Road, St. Peters, MO 63376.

“This gathering of so many local authors in one place, is an event that you will not find anywhere else in the area,” said St. Charles City-County Library District Adult Services Manager Sara Nielsen. “We are excited to be able to help people discover the many authors that live right here in our own community.”

The St. Charles City-County Library District offers a special collection that features the work of local authors. This collection is housed at the Middendorf-Kredell Branch, or you can browse and reserve a title online. To access the collection online, go to www.youranswerplace.org/specialservices and select “Local Author Collection.”

Refreshments will be provided, and attendance prizes will be given out. Register online at youranswerplace.org or call the Spencer Road Branch at 636-441-0522.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Help! She poked me in my funny bone, and I can't stop laughing.

I needed a good laugh, and my blog gal pal Val provided it here.

Val (aka Kathy), a recently retired teacher, sits in her haunted, dark, backwoods basement, sips Diet Coke, and writes OH SO WITTY.

Reading her post had my jelly belly rolling like the guy in the red suit who's due in town in a little over a month. I encourage you to take a peek...if you're not CHICKEN!

Thanks to Sioux for originating this B of B B on her blog here. I encourage you to participate.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Not asking for permission

In an effort to calm myself and those who read my blog, I will not participate in political bashing. I am soothing my ache with pictures of my fur babies.   

 She really was my first baby. I loved her so much. She had a large receptive vocabulary. I could tell her to get a specific toy, and she would. One time I came home from work and found her rolling in chicken feathers. She'd  ripped up a bed pillow and was having a blast!

During the time she was my girl, in 1977, I had to have a tubal ligation. My then-husband took me to the hospital in an icy snow storm for an overnight stay. The staff panicked the next morning after they had already prepped me.

When they realized they could not proceed with my procedure because they had failed to get HIS written permission for a procedure on MY body, they made a conference call with him, me, the Hospital Administrator, a nurse, and doctor as witnesses. They made an exception and obtained my husband's expressed verbal permission to operate on MY body as if I were his property.

Ladies, think long and hard about that. We've come a long way baby! The results of the presidential election may take us all back to those days. I believe women, not the government, husbands, or hospital administrators, should have control of THEIR bodies. I am not pro abortion by any means, but I respect a woman's right to make her own decisions.

 This puppy was six months old, a kooky, big oaf who couldn't keep his tail up, and it often dragged the ground.
 This little sweety roamed the Alaskan wilderness with him and often brought him home at night with his many finds: the neighbors bra, a kid's hat, a butchered moose leg... and the list goes on and on.
 She had the brains, and he had the brawn, and I had big hair in 1970 when I was in Alaska expecting my first baby. My then-husband could not be present when I gave birth, nor was he allowed to see me at 10:00 p.m. after visiting hours and having worked an overnight shift and driven 100 miles to the army hospital. Times were different then.

 Kitty No-No makes me happy, even though he is not the brightest. He is the sweetest! He has a one word receptive vocabulary. If I say the word "eat" he runs to the kitchen.

Here he is being duped by false promises, hopes and dreams, as many Americans have been by an overbearing man with the temperament of a toddler and the codes to nuclear launch, our future president.
 I hope you come back. I will be posting an announcement about an event next week. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Did you know the rubber band was patented in 1845 by Stephen Perry in England?


I am certain that I could make an enormous rubber band ball such as this if I followed the mail carrier. When I walk a mile in the neighborhood, I find thick rubber bands on the ground every few houses. I read that the US Postal Service is one of the greatest users of rubber bands. 

I have been in the bowels of the main post office downtown where mail is sorted. I took older students on a field trip there to see how mail goes from mailbox to destination. We learned a lot of facts and heard many opinions. Most of the employees were women who stood on their feet most of their shifts and sorted mail electronically by zip codes, or by hand when the zip code was unreadable on the envelopes. 

They shouted at my students, "Get a good education. You don't want to work here! Don't use fancy envelopes with decorations on the bottom. The machines won't sort them and we have to do it by hand."

The postal workers were probably overworked and releasing frustrations. But to tell you the truth, I sort of felt like we were visiting a dingy prison where the inmates were about to revolt.

I digress. Let's get back to rubber bands. I have often used a large rubber band as a bookmark. It works well.

Let me tell you about my latest adventure with a rubber band. Nicole was opening her birthday gifts. One of her dolls had a thick, long rubber band on it. When she removed it, it shot across the room and she couldn't find it.

My ex and my present husband were seated close to one another at the corners of a sectional couch. Bill was seated on the large couch and my ex on the small one. I was seated at the far end of the large couch.

Ten minutes into their political yammering and downright debating, I cleared my throat. I get it that my long-time ex didn't remember my attention signal. But Bill knows my heavy emphasis throat clearing is for effect only and not because of sinus drainage. Neither of them looked my way.

That is when I spotted the thick rubber band near my right foot. I needed to divert their attention. I placed one end on my index finger, pulled back, and aimed at my sweet baboo's thick, muscular right shoulder. He doesn't complain about flu shots, so I knew he would feel the ping, not complain, but get my drift.

I cocked my finger, stretched the band taut, took aim, and launched right at his arm. Like a curve ball it swerved and hit my ex right in the cheek. 

It took me by surprise as well as both guys. I sputtered, laughed at his bug-eyed expression, and Bill's What the hell did you just do! expression. I apologized, and couldn't stop laughing. My ex joked, "She's mean!" and then laughed with the rest of the crowd. I swear, it wasn't on purpose.

So, how do YOU use rubberbands?  

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mom, Mama, Mommy, Ma... what did you call yours?

My story appears in this book, available now. https://www.amazon.com/Celebration-Mothers-Reflections-Celebrating-Motherhood/dp/1539420140/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1478211333&sr=1-10&keywords=In+Celebration+of+Mothers

A mother listening to her child's heartbeat. A mother soothed as she holds her son's hand. A daughter grateful for the pearls of wisdom from her mother, gracing her neck in an invisible strand long after her mother's life on earth. Memories of special Easter dresses. A mother's purse full of delightful objects. A mother dancing around the kitchen as she shares music with her son while they mop. Shopping trips with mother's that are more than mere chores. The stories here celebrate mothers and the glorious world of motherhood, in all its variations. Mothers celebrating their own children, and children paying tribute to their mothers. 

In this book,  In Celebration of Mothers, women share stories of gratitude. The contributors write of their thankfulness for their mothers, for what they've learned through the years, for the acts of kindness and sacrifice their mothers exhibited. If the mother had too short of a life, as in Redwood Park, or if she lived a long, full life to over 100 years old, as in One Hundred and Going Strong or My Mom, My Angel, a common trait is shared; a deep, abiding love for mothers and the state of motherhood.

This would make a great holiday gift, or think ahead to Mother's Day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Why? Well, WHY NOT?!

Last one, I promise. Couldn't resist posting this little happy face. His language is exploding, and his vocabulary is amazing. His latest: if we ask him "WHY?" about anything, he replies, "Why not?"

So I am taking his words to heart. Why should I work on a NANOWRIMO project?


 I will be working everyday on revising my novel, The Hot Mess Chronicles, which has been collecting dust since an agent rudely rejected it a few years ago with this comment:

"Why would I want to read about that decade? I lived through it!"

Although I have 84,000 words completed, revision is not as easy as it sounds.

I will pop in and out, so do check back on my blog posts.