Monday, February 25, 2019

Paper or computer, just get it down... and come on down to Lodge of Des Peres

When I taught preschoolers, I loved to see their faces when they actually understood a concept or read a simple word, such as CAT. It was very rewarding to see their brains in action.

It has always been my belief  that literacy is the most important skill we can teach little ones. And phonics instruction is the way most kids learn easily and feel most successful.

Liam is making me very proud. I was doing worksheets with him, although I completely disagree with the exclusive use of work sheets and table work. Kid's finger and hand muscles aren't well developed at 3& 4 years old. I always made my worksheets floor size throughout the year and then after a year of developing finger/hand small muscles through finger plays, play dough squishing, and games, we graduated to worksheets and table top work the last month of school.

Liam was finger painting and creating a masterpiece with foil hearts and sparkly confetti for his mom. He asked how to spell some words. Then he said, "Never mind, I'll do it.

He filled an entire page, line after line with scribbles. Scribbling with intent is a precursor to writing
and spelling. He is now driving every one crazy with one sentence, "How do you spell ____?"

I am so pleased to witness his interest in learning and reading.

If you are a writer,  scribble ideas, jot a word that intrigues you. As William Wordsworth once said, "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."  

I am speaking on the topic of freelancing creative non-fiction, at St. Louis Writer's Guild on Saturday 3/2/19 

10 a.m. - 12 noon at Lodge of Des Peres, at 1050 Des Peres Rd. St. Louis, MO 63131

Free for SLWG members/ $5.00 for non-members.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Mom always did things HER way

One month from release date, March 19th, in time for Mother's day gift giving! My story, The Can Opener Queen, is included in this collection. 

My mom did not make homemade food, but she served us yummy meat and potato meals. My story is about a time she decided to bake chocolate chip cookies, (no mixing bowl or standard ingredients) which led to a disastrous outcome. 

I hope you buy a copy of this book for yourself or someone else. Easy to read, 101 short stories of love, gratitude and wisdom.

Did your mom prepare a favorite dish?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

My hubby says the darndest things!

Where has he been? Why didn't he know?

I never know what he will say next! Bill and I were talking about Doris Day. I said, "She and Rock Hudson made all those sweetheart movies together, and the public didn't know he was gay. He was so good looking, wasn't he?"

Bill said, "What did you say?!"

"Didn't you know he was gay, or did you just forget?"

My wisecracker said, "Good looking? Gay? You mean I had a better chance at him than with you or Doris Day back in the day?"

Not a day goes by... he makes me laugh out loud at his antics.

This is not a post to elicit opinions on sexual preferences. Personally I don't care about other people's private lives.  Just letting you know I married a comedian twenty-five years ago.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

He married me twice!

Here's the scoop!

                                                         “WE  DO”

            I was driving to work when I heard my name announced on the radio as a winner of a complete wedding package. I shrieked like a maniac. The woman driving next to me must have thought I was in labor. A little old for that! I was a divorcee in my mid-forties, engaged to be married in April.
          On a whim, I submitted a parody of the song, "He Ain't Got  a Barrel of Money" to a local radio station’s Valentine’s Day contest, and it was selected. I called my husband at work and bellowed into the phone, “Meet me at the court house by 5:00 p.m. to pick up our marriage license.”
         “Calm down. We have two months. What’s the rush?” 

         “The rush is, we’re getting married on Valentine’s Day. I won a contest.”
         “Have you been drinking?”
         “You know I don’t drink.” 

          I explained that the wedding would be performed at the ornate, elegant Grand Hall of the Hyatt Regency located in Union Station, St. Louis’s once-bustling train station. It would be broadcast live and covered by local television media as well. I told him all about the things we had won: wedding bands, tuxedo rental, flowers, photos, morning and evening reception, hotel package and more. What I didn’t tell him was that I was not the only winner.

            We checked into the hotel the night before. As we sat in the balcony restaurant overlooking the vestibule, we observed other guests arriving. The couples came in droves. Women carried gauzy white wedding gowns, sleek satiny dresses and beaded, sequined veils.

             My fiance looked bewildered. “What is this, a bridal convention? There must be twenty sales people down there hawking dresses.”
            “I counted twenty-five. It’s not a bridal convention, it’s a mass wedding.” I mumbled.

            “A what?” he asked incredulously.

            “Uh yeah, they’re getting married too.” I looked away.

            “With us? Are you kidding?”

            “Uh no, but I’ve decided, I’m not going to go through with this anyway.” I looked him in straight in the eye.

            “What! Why?”

            “Those girls are all young brides with long wedding gowns and gorgeous veils. I’ll be the only one in a white suit with an embellished sequined collar. I’m just not going through with this.” My voice rose and his eyes widened.

            “What now? We’ve registered. Does this mean you don’t want to marry me?” He was getting perturbed, and my tears began to flow.

            “No, it means I’m not going to be the only one not wearing a wedding gown!”

            “Is it too late to go buy one?” He was serious at seven o’clock at night.

            That comment convinced me that he was definitely THE ONE, and I made every effort to be pleasant and proceed with the wedding, regardless of my attire.

            In the morning we made our way down the corridors and onto the elevator with other couples in formal wear. I breathed a sigh of relief when I spied two women my age wearing similar suits and white silk hats.

            “You feel better now?” my betrothed asked. “See, out of twenty-five brides, you are not the only one in a suit. You look glamorous.”

            When we entered the Grand Hall with its ornate gilded ceiling and intricate carvings, Bill gasped audibly. It looked like prom night in the 1950s. There was so much chiffon and so many guys in monkey suits with adoring women clinging to their arms.

            “How the hell many people are getting married with us?”

            “Ninety-seven other couples.” I winced. (The call letters of the radio station sponsoring the event was Y 98, thus 98 couples.)

            Simultaneously all couples repeated their vows and said, “I Do.”

            Not many women can say their husbands married them twice in two months, but we did it again, as planned in April.

             Twenty-five years later Bill is STILL THE ONE!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Everyday is precious

Last Sunday I was driving us to breakfast because Bill has a bad knee. I had no idea we would be in the emergency room fifteen minutes later.

An uninsured, 40 year old,  pick up truck driver, under the influence of narcotics, ran a red light and totaled my car. If the impact had been three feet back paramedics think I'd have been a goner.

As it is, Bill and I are recovering from contusions, abrasions and awful bruises. Each day last week we discovered more muscle aches and bruising, but we are on the mend now, dealing with insurance, and replacing a car. Not something we planned on, but we are grateful we weren't injured worse. The driver and his female passenger were not wearing seat belts and sustained more serious injuries.

In my case, my hard head paid off. They did a CT scan. No concussion or brain bleed. Very bad bruise above my temple. My skull hurts, but the headache has subsided, and I no longer feel goofy.

When a life threatening event occurs, it makes you appreciate your life. Bill and I are grateful for one another and thankful that our little guys were not with us. We have to replace the car seats because they were involved in a collision. Just the little headaches of dealing with paper work and being redirected to claims adjusters, etc.

People asked if I was angry. I am not. Our uninsured motorist reimbursed for damages which did not cover the cost of a replacement car, but helped.

I figure the driver and his passenger have it far worse than we do: injuries, vehicle impounded, numerous traffic violations, and  possibly jail time. I wish them well and hope this was a wake up call for them. It does no good to hold a grudge.

Liam, Alex, and Charlie are a handful, but they make me so happy. I babysit two days a week, one or two at a time.

Liam misbehaved when I visited him at my daughter's house. I had to correct him. He asked, "Are you going back home when Nana Tracey gets back from the doctor?"

I said, "No, sorry."

He said, "Will you be gone when I wake up from my nap?"

I said, "No, I'm thinking about spending the night here."

He looked aghast. When my daughter came home he said, "Can Nana Linda leave now?"

I said, "I'm staying here."

He tried a new approach. A few minutes later he came out of the playroom and said sweetly,
 "Nana Linda, you'd better leave. Papa Bill is missing you, and he really-really needs you."

I hugged him and told him Kindergarten was going to be really fun for him, maybe not his teacher.

We took Alex to McDonald's Play Place Friday. We ate our meal, and then I took him in to play on the baby slide. Suddenly he spied Bill through the plate glass window. He screeched excitedly, "Paw-Paw!" and left the play room to greet him... again. He jabbers constantly and is saying more words: cookie, Paw Paw, car, go-go-go,  DON'T DO THAT! Don't touch!
He is going to be  talking in paragraphs soon.

Charlie is pudgy at six months old, and he loves Papa Bill. He watches him all the time and coos at him. Bill says, "That's the only grandchild who hasn't been afraid of me." Their relationship is fun.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

I may avert my eyes the next time I see you.

If you would like a little laugh at my expense (and a splash of written imagery I probably shouldn't share with readers) please take a moment to read my humorous essay. Leave a comment on their site if possible.

Cover artist Tim Rees.