Sunday, August 30, 2020

Standing tall and proud

Somebody tell me when it happened. My son and his wife stopped by with Nicholas and Nicole. They have outgrown me, both are taller than I am. They are sweet as ever and still like my surprise treats. Today I melted Dove chocolate squares and gave them each a banana to dip in the dark chocolate. Of course I gave them a handful of squares to go.

It really is the little things that mean so much and are often remembered. They both love back rubs, and I hope they never outgrow that special little connection, because I will always be available for gentle loving touch, which matters when words aren't sufficient.

The world is getting crazy. Violence is everywhere, and it is getting closer to home. Yesterday two police officers were shot, one is critical, the other released. There were several shootings, murders, and a home invasion in nice parts of the city where I used to live and work. Places you would never expect.

Nicholas told me his best friend's cousin was traveling home from California, arrived in St. Louis, and was gunnend down in cold blood on the interstate, for no reason. I worry for my family.

And so I arm myself... with prayer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Forced marriage?

Ahh, that little boy of mine. Actually he is my granddaughter's little boy, but six-year-old Liam and I have a connection that wraps itself around each of us like his long legs that entwine my lower body when I arrive at his door, and he jumps into my arms.
Liam came home after his first in-class day of 1st grade and told his mama a little girl asked him at recess if she could be his playground girlfriend.
Ashley said, "Did you know I was sort of Daddy's playground girlfriend? We met when we were in school."

Liam looked at his mom aghast and asked, "You mean I'm going to have to marry her?!" And you think wearing face masks is the only concern for first graders? Ashley explained he'd have many playground girl and boy friends throughout school. He did not have to marry them.🥰

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Would you? Could you?

Not just writing a Good Reads or Amazon book review, but personally contacting a New York Times Best Selling author… 

Would you? Could you? Have you ever?

I have. 

When my grandson was a young reader he was thrilled with a middle grade novel, Saving Zasha, a story about a boy and his German Shepherd during WWII.

I contacted author, Randi Barrow to express my thanks and tell her how much her book influenced Nicholas, who declared after reading Saving Zasha that he was going to join the military when he finished high school.

Until recently he was still so influenced by Randi Barrow’s book, he considered joining the Army. I am happy he changed his mind and will be entering college on Monday. Saving Zasha is a book that will forever remain with Nick.  

Randi Barrow replied to my original letter, and I presented her letter to Nick, who still considers it a treasure.

 Lesley Kagen is a New York Times Best Selling Author of ten novels. 

Her books are written from the viewpoint of children as narrators and they are set in the ’50s and ’60. Recognizable places, things, and brand names make me smile at the familiarity. Page after page transports me back to my childhood. Her themes address serious adult issues and empower the narrators.

About the same time Nick discovered Randi Barrow's Saving Zasha, I discovered Leslie Kagen's first novel,Whistling in the DarkI felt as Nicholas did, enthralled, lost in the story, a part of it. I didn’t want it to end. 

I contacted her and told her how her book was the escapism I needed to get through a particularly difficult time in my life. My friend Sheila was suffering from effects of brain cancer and I knew we would lose her soon. Through the pages of Lesley Kagen's book, I imagined Sheila and myself as the main characters.  

Lesley Kagen replied with a heartfelt response. A week later her next book arrived in the mail with a lovely inscription… a complete surprise, which made me cry.   

Authors are people who have lives just like you and I.

They thrive on positive reviews and encouraging comments.

This week I picked up another of Lesley Kagen’s books, Land of a Hundred Wonders, and I intend to get lost on another great adventure.

Lesley Kagen's latest and greatest, Every Now and Then, will be released October 6, 2020.

Do you leave book reviews? If not, please do.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Oopsie again

So here is another oopsie of mine.

Sassy cat woke me before dawn begging for breakfast. Does he look like he's starving?! He banged against the closet door just because he knows the noise will wake me. When that didn't work, he went to sharpen his claws where he shouldn't. I got up and out of bed with narrowed eyes and achy knees to reprimand him. When he meowed sweetly and softly, I had to smile because he's been a real mama's boy lately. So I gave him some kibble to hush him.

 I saw a cup of yesterday's coffee in the pot and poured it into my dark mug in the dark kitchen and microwaved it. I grabbed a few Famous Amos mini chocolate chip cookies with pecans and settled in front of the TV to watch the anxiety-inducing news.

I dunked my five little cookies and sipped my coffee right down to the bottom of the cup, tipped it up, encountered cookie crumbs and pecan pieces, and chomped the last bit of sweet goodness. I thought! Only it was yucky old coffee grounds. Fat cat just sat and watched me sputtering and spitting into a tissue.

That was how I started my day. How was yours?

I have been writing stories for Chicken Soup for the Soul's new titles. The only one I can not think of a story for is for the collection titled, What I Do For Me.

Dare I write about how many cookies I eat?

If you are a writer, remember that sometimes the most mundane things can evolve into a 1,000 word publishable story.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Keep your nose clean!

I wrote about this on Facebook yesterday when I discovered something about myself.

I hate taking any medication, and I have never done drugs, unless you consider dark chocolate a drug. And I could never snort cocaine or any other thing, not even dark chocolate!

I opened a brand new container of orange flavored Metamucil and snorted a cloud of Tang dust up my nostrils. It nearly did me in. My first instinct was to flush my nose, but something in me said, "NO! What if you cause a gelatinous clog?" I blew, I snuffled, and I swore I would never open a container under my own nose ever again. Just a warning to all of you.

This morning I received an acceptance from Prairie Times, an out of town publication, for October. I've submitted a lot of work, but acceptances are not pouring in. Just doing the happy dance and sending a warning to all of you to keep your nose clean!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Weirdo magnet working

They find me. The weird folks home in and find me.

I was in the back yard washing a small rug and hosing it  down on the fence. I saw a woman about 25 walking through the neighbor's yard behind us. She walked toward me wearing red cap, red shirt, red pants and red shoes. She had a large purse slung over her left shoulder. She approached and said, "HI."
I said, "Hi. Who are you?" Thinking she was a friend or relative of our backyard neighbors.

She said, "Oh I live around here. I'm taking a short cut. She flung her purse over our chain link fence about four ft high.

I said in a firm voice, "This is not a short cut; it is our property and if you get hurt we are responsible."

She hopped the fence and said, "See I'm not hurt." And she walked to the front of our house and walked down the street shouting, "Hi, how are you?" and waving.

I thought she was talking to Bill or our neighbor. 

Nobody was around. Wheee!

Today you just don't know about people. I told Bill she could have had a gun in that big purse. He said, "What would you do, turn the hose on her?"

I thought about it. YES!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Raindrops kept falling on my head

Charlie turned two-years-old. He was amazed with his cake. Those are finger marks below his name. I caught him sneaking the colored sprinkles off, naming the colors and munching. 
We sat on the front porch and watched the rain come down, then their mama took off their shirts and encouraged Liam, Alex, and Charlie to go find some puddles to jump in. They had a blast.

Alex shouted, "Brella!" then I joined them for a little Mary Poppins fun. Making memories.
I took my boot off temporarily because it was soaking wet, but I have 10 more days of wearing it.

I would appreciate prayers of protection and good wishes for Liam as he starts school tomorrow. I am so concerned for his well being, but the decison to send him was not mine to be made. This virus is relentless.