Thursday, December 30, 2010


Rubies because....
rubies are thought to possess an inner flame
which is a symbol that the passion
in marriage is still very alive and strong
........................................................................should I hold my breath?

The chair I was sitting in this morning shook
...earthquake in husband says anniversary present

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday poem and Magpie tale #46

I think Rick started it....
I'm certain he was hungering for a Magpie challenge
and when Tess posted her most luscious poem at
he couldn't help himself
 hope you don't mind ,Willow

  I took the opportunity to use your image

OH! it is a Magpie Tale!

Leather gloves holding a memory of her
The bend of her pinkie finger shows
in the stillness of them lying on the table
I slip my hand gently into the soft leather
and want to find her there
in the worn folds of kid skin
just like I sought her in the empty chair
 that holds the worn oak
 echoes of her hands,
But,she floats in and out like the breeze
through the cracked window on a hot night
...bringing little relief

morning light thought

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A late Christmas Card

Sure...go ahead...make Grandma cry
Is that beach behind you two?
no fair

ah.. book sale treasure

The local library has an ongoing book sale,
books donated or books that they have deleted from their collection
- cost $1.00
Though I am trying to write a novel and a memoir type book
I am drawn to short story telling....
and this little book,Stories for Late at Night, has reinforced that for me.
A well written short story packs a wallop
hits you between the eyes
enlightens you
fascinates and frightens you
And guess what I found while perusing the titles
Could this be THE fly?
And, much to my pleasure and excitement it was....
a reprint of  George Langelaan original story
which was first printed in 1957, in of all places ,Playboy Magazine
seems Playboy led the way in printing Scifi stories.
The movie version of The Fly came out in 1958....I would have been 8 years old then
No wonder it scared the bejeezus out of me...and I NEVER got over the famous movie lines
So, to find the original story that the movie was based on... and was pretty faithful to...
was worth the $1.00 I paid for the book...
And there is another story, the most wonderful and frightening story, by Ray Bradbury,
The Whole Town's Sleeping
Maybe by immersing myself in short story this week
I will be able to unlock the fascination I have with it
But for sure....I will enjoy every word.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Microfiction Monday

Microfiction Monday hosted by Susan

Yes..I actually heard that Gov. Jerry Brown is going to tax
our droppings. So we must fly the coup and head for Texas or Florida!

-135- characters


coyote beautiful

Boo saw him first.
I was busy rinsing some plates in the sink when I looked out
and saw what I thought was a dog sniffing around in the snow.
I thought maybe the dog I rescued last week had returned...
Boo was all hissy and when I walked over to the patio door.
.there he was a coyote at the steps of my deck.
This is not a photo of the actual coyote..Of course, my camera was upstairs
but this is what he looked liked...only thinner and injured
His leg was broken and he was eating birdseed and bread that I had just thrown out for the birds.
He was pitiful looking. What should I do? Then he looked up and saw me..those squinty eyes
burning a hole through me....and he hobbled off as quickly as he could.
I put on my coat and grabbed my camera and went out to see if I could find him...but he was gone
What I did find was a whole mess of feathers along the side of the house..that's another story I'm sure
Poor creatures....I'm sure he will die
I still wonder what ever happened to that goose that came on my deck this fall with a broken wing heart breaks a little bit each time

Friday, December 24, 2010

Oh Christmas Eve

Growing up, Christmas Eve Service was Christmas
The Nativity pageant
Most times I was in the heavenly chorus
with tinsel for a halo and wearing a white robe my mother had made
But one year,eighth grade
I got to play two parts,
First, Eve and the promise of the savior
then Mary and the promise fulfilled
I loved every minute of it and always did
Christmas in church
then afterwards the women's group gave us oranges and Brach's chocolate stars
Then off to home... where while we were gone Santa had come
and left presents under our tree
I always wondered how he knew
Now I know

From my tree to yours
Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I remember so well rushing outside to make a snowman
grabbing mittens and a warm coat and boots
finding..pieces of charcoal from the garage
..stealing a carrot from the icebox (remember when it was called that?)
this..was frowned upon by my frugal mother..but we did it anyway
Finding sticks to make his arms was difficult..not too many trees around and the ones
that were around were trimmed up quite high..but somehow we found arms
and the hat. Hmmm? had to have a hat...usually we had to settle for a homemade knit hat
that we found in the back of the closet...
and the scarf...usually my brother would take mine....sacrifice he called it..for the common good
Boy, he was a bossy one
I remember having so much fun rolling snowballs until they formed the perfect parts of the man
Yes it was a sought after activity.....but when was the last time I made one.....'85-86?
Ah, the art of making snowmen...I think it is a dying art......:(
But I grew up with Frosty the Snowman..and he will forever live in my heart...
and I think if it snows the good packing kind of snow for Christmas..I shall make a snowman
and use my husband's cashmere scarf
what fun it will be!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Home always has a light on

Going through the ornament box sometimes takes hours...and hours
Like becoming a time traveler. Sometimes you need a box of tissues right next to you
as you unwrap and unwrap the years of your life
This ornament stopped me this year for a long pause....I was back in high school, freshman year
homeroom....A quiet, blond haired, bespectacled tall girl sat next to me. She was friendly if you talked to her, but she walked down the hallways of school alone and head facing downward. No one really noticed her..she was smart, well thought of..but no one knew her..we all thought she was a bit of a snob in a way..avoiding any real intimate conversations. I think one year she might have actually sat at my lunch table. Lets just say I liked her but thought she thought she was above us.
Well, when I moved to the suburbs in the 80'.s I saw her one day at the store, and was glad to see her..She was married now (to a wonderful I man I later found out,) her kids went to school with mine and she hadn't changed one bit..same glasses, same long hair, and same gentle and removed behavior. We became friends in a way..the only way she could become friends...She was an artist, and at the time country folk art was all the rage..and she did work for a local store.
I tried to get to know her deeper..but there was this wall,
until one day we talked about high school.
She let go suddenly and with emotion how much she hated going to our school. I was shocked.
Seems she wanted to go to another high school but her mother thought it best that she be in a religious environment at the time.
The month before the start of the school year she was in a head on car accident in Wisconsin. She was in the car with her father... and only she survived.
That's how she started high school the next month..away from her neighborhood friends...alone and suffering. We knew nothing of this.
One Christmas she painted this wooden house for me with lights in the window. Most years, I put it up and briefly think of her.
 I live in a different suburb now and don't see her much. She is a wonderful artist, and a wild gardener and bird lover like me, but that wall only came down for a brief moment.
This Christmas as I pulled out the little house with the lights on in the window, I thought of the suffering girl in high school so wounded ...all alone... Would our knowing have changed anything?

Home, she said that year as she gave me the ornament, always has a light on.I put the ornament up this year, and whispered to a quiet room...Merry Christmas my friend...

Sometimes we have to be the one to put the light in the window...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

Celebrate the return of the sun
on the winter's solstice

"The wheel of the year has turned once more,
and the nights have grown longer and colder.
Tonight,the darkness begins to retreat,
and light begins its return once again.
As the wheel continues to spin,
the sun returns to us once more
.....even in the darkest hours,
even in the longest nights,
the spark of life lingered on.
Laying dormant,waiting,ready to return
when the time was right.
The darkness will leave us now,
as the sun begins its journey home.
...the light of the sun has returned to us,
bringing life and warmth with it.
The shadows will vanish, and life will continue.
We are blessed by the light of the sun."

-Patti Wigington

My Christmas Haiku

the world  in darkness
as foretold the son came forth
 the light of the world

*****Now to have sunny side eggs this morning!****

Sunday, December 19, 2010

microfiction # 62

host a wonderful weekly meme
Write something  using only 140 characters

Why do I have to carry this smelly pig, Bridgid?
Maybe, Jimmy, it's because you told mom about dad's hidden bottle-Squealer!

-127- characters

This Christmas week

I suspect many of my fellow bloggers will be busy this week: baking,wrapping presents,getting out more chairs,adding one more decoration to the house...
preparing the way for Christmas. And for many it is a time of remembering good times
and family gatherings and for some a connection with the remembering of the Holy event.
But I have become increasingly aware of how many of you out there dread this week,
or disdain it. So much evil evidently has happened in God's name that some blame God
for the ache in their heart or the rage held inside..and Christmas has become a time of sadness
or worse
I cannot go back and right those wrongs for you and
I do not know what to say about the hypocrisy or betrayal you've experienced at the hands of a church.
I cannot erase a childhood of abuse,neglect,alcoholism,gambling,poverty,loneliness,or coldness.
I cannot restore what is gone and who is gone,
and I cannot erase a broken heart or the pain of betrayal.
I cannot change the economy and find you a job or relieve you of the burden of debt.
I cannot know the emptiness that you feel as others tell of their gatherings

But what I can do is acknowledge you,
let  you know that I'll save you a seat next to my heart on Christmas.
That I will remember the joy you have given me through knowing you through your blog
for sharing your beautiful artwork ,photography, writing, crafts, decorating, fabric and yarn skills,
for sharing your daily life with me.
For my life has expanded because of you
My life has been made better because of you
I see more joy
and beauty because of you
I have more faith because of you
in humankind's goodness
That despite everything, you chose goodness
as your first step in the day
no matter where or how you started

Thank you
and Merry Christmas
and may star light shine on you

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Magpie Tale #45

of Christmas
is in the pondering 
A miracle birth and
 knowledge of the future
that life ends as miraculously as it began
 that one child's birth made it victorious
a reunion with the Creator who was made Flesh
one cold night in a stable in a humble manger
announced by angels singing Hosanna In the Highest
sought by wise men who saw the Star that led their way
where animals witnessed along side shepherds 
 a mother who kept all these things and pondered them in her heart

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My current reads

What can I say...I am a very complicated woman
Today May Sarton
tomorrow Mother West Wind Stories by..Thorton Burgess
You would faint if you saw all the old childrens books and readers I have collected for over 30 years.
I always more..Then I see another one and oh I have to have it
The Adventures of Reddy Fox is one of my new ones
Purchased in Galena, Illinois last month
I may read it to Finn tomorrow
I have the entire day with I got down on the floor and crawled around with him...and I could hardly get up!  Finn I said..You've got to man up and start walking...'cause this is going to kill grandma
I felt like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz  ...oilcan oilcan oilcan

From May Sarton's Well

May Sarton is a favorite author of mine. She is long gone now,but her wisdom
 through her journals and poetry I still seek.
This bit of thought comes from the book From May Sarton's Well , By Edith Schade

"The more our bodies fail us,the more naked and more demanding is the spirit,the more open and loving we can become if we are not afraid of what we are and of what we feel.
One of the censors that has been at work has been the notion that to be in love at our age is ludicrous and somehow not proper, that passionate love can be banished after sixty shall we say? That is one of the myths that has been around a long time, but it was never true. Love at any age has its preposterous side
-that is why it comes as a kind of miracle at any age.
It is never commonplace, never to be experieinced without a tremor.
 But to stop arbitrarily the flow of life because of a preconceived idea, any preconceived idea,
 is to damamge the truth of the inner person...that is dangerous.
Are we not on earth to love each other?
And to grow?
And how does one grow except through love,
except through opening ourselves to other human beings to be fertilized and made new?"


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas card from Little Miss

When my grandaughter was here last week she loved my Christmas cards hung
on the stairs.  Soon I passed by them and saw one had been added.
Is this from you Reagan?  I asked her.  Yes, she said with a big smile.
But where's your brother's name? I asked.
 I didn't have room for it ,Grandma.
Nothing changes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

microfiction #61

Join us in writing
140 character
to go with this prompt:         

Posing for the soap ad allowed her hands to be warm for a bit,
and paid her a few dimes for bread for her children. Luck was hers today.

-137- characters


Have I been Scrooged?

One more note on my birthday......My husband said he never thought he'd be living with a 60 year old!
I didn't say a word....he's looking back to see 60...ha ha

Driving to my daughter's house for dinner on Saturday, my dear one put on the Christmas music station.
It was so cold and rainy and icy that evening. Since the accident in October I have a certain trepidation about wet roads.
I started to tell him about the visits from my grandpa and such....which he is not a believer in....and Joy to the World came on the radio and I just stopped talking and began crying. Crying big tears from hearing the Christmas music. It was a full body thing.
Have you ever longed for God's presence? I was at that moment wanting the Lord of my childhood Christmas
to be near the way He was at Christmas time growing up. I began to realize how much I have chosen to give up.
Relyn is right....put up the tree! Play the music of my choosing.
All that I desire in my life...first I must uncover it..then I must bring it into my life....and I can, I will, I must

The family as it grows begins to separate and the holidays reshape themselves as they should. But I have made the mistake in thinking that I don't need to do the same old things because they won't be here......most are gone....the others scattered in different states....I won't be doing the cooking and entertaining....but along the way I have lost, misplaced, the religious aspect in all of this ...ritual.
How did this happen to me....Little Miss Lutheran? ...where music is such an important part of it all?
First a visit from the Black Hatted angel
then from my grandparents
then the religious Christmas music on the radio
and this morning...a dear friend sent me the mall food court video of the Hallelujah Chorus
If you haven't seen must...
In a crowed food court members of an opera company stand up one by one and start to sing the Chorus....people in the court don't know what's happening....but some do and stand up and begin singing along..until it climaxes in the final hallelujah.....
..this morning the "proverbial house" just dropped on me.....
Merry Christmas has begun for me.........Though it has just about been erased in public
it will burn brighter in me
for He heard my cry and came
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

60 on my cake
and the earth still rotated around the sun
how about that?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I found this painting in Galena. My husband hates it.
Never the twain shall meet

Dark night sky
Bellybanders coming home
lights on in the window saying comfort...someone is there
a red barn in snow
all it needs is a grandfather with a lantern

Friday, December 10, 2010

Just a nosh

My grandparents are trying to visit me lately, and that is a hard thing to do seeing they have been dead for decades. What I mean by this is that they have been in my thoughts excessively. Maybe it's Christmas,maybe it's that I'm heading to my 60th birthday soon. Whatever it is they are present.
Two weeks ago while driving home from downtown Chicago on the expressway I passed by a section of town that called to me with its many steeples reaching up to the sky. The old immigrant neighborhoods where every ethnic group had to have its own church, one grander than the other. I loved all the churches growing up.
Well, seeing those church steeples I knew I was near my grandfather's house.
 I could taste a sweet sadness in my being.
If only I could just exit at this ramp and drive to Seeley avenue and walk up those wooden steps and ring the bell....he would be there.
But in that instant ..that I could have... I didn't..and drove home...longing in my heart.
Then it happened again while cooking chicken soup. I threw some fresh dill in the pot, but before I did I took a bit and put it in my mouth....and there he grandfather.  Glory. I closed my eyes and the taste of dill took me to his garden and more longing. And the soup was the best I've ever made.
Then just yesterday as I was grocery shopping I kept passing and bumping into this little old woman,all bent over..about 90 degrees from osteoporosis..barely able to lift her head. But she would engage me in conversation everytime we passed,even asking me to help her reach a few items. Then when checkout time came, she hustled her way into my line bemoaning that she was in a hurry and that she needed to get out of the store before it got dark...she can't drive (!?!) in the dark she said. So I let her in line in front of me...although after doing so I noticed that the lanes on either side of us were empty. hmmm
She lifted her head as high as she could and laughed about all the treats she was buying. I shouldn't be eating all these she said with a twinkle in her eye...but I am.. Just a nosh
Oh...there's that longing again...seeping into me....My grandmother used to always say that...go ahead have a nash....
I will be 60 on Sunday and here I am longing to be a little girl surrounded by my grandparents. When I look back on all the decades...the first one was magic to me...pure love. We lived downstairs in my grandpa's house...When I think back on those memories there... they are wrapped in golden light.
Whatever is going on with me....regarding them...

let it be...for their visits are glorious

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Magpie tale #44

I am always curious as to what these prompts stir up within
what rises to be written
and that's why I love them
these Magpie tales

The Good Witness

The red sled
stationed against
the snow covered wall
Silent,bearing witness
to fun times
before all fun stopped
as did your heartbeat
on that glorious old hill
by all who loved you
who heard your last laugh
and saw your last breath
...the red sled spun off
into the snow
its last run

Monday, December 6, 2010

microfiction #60

host a weekly meme
using the below image
 write something using only 140 characters

In the end we are known only to God
and that is enough.

-56 characters-

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Spirit

Yesterday I went to the store to look for little boots for the little ones flying in on Saturday from Laguna Beach,California. That's not the story.
While I was cruising down the wrong aisle for boots (dishes,candles,Christmas stuff) I heard someone humming, then I heard her singing ever so quietly and ever so beautifully. ..oh oh tidings of comfort and joy..comfort and joy...   I stopped and looked around holding a blue and white tea cup in my hand. I couldn't see anyone. Then it began again.....silent night...holy night....   Where was this sweet voice coming from...So I went around to the next lane only to see a tall older black woman dressed in a black Sunday coat, and black Sunday hat, and black Sunday shoes....she was leaving the aisle on the other end... and was gone. 
Okay, I said, no big deal. Then it started again.....Oh holy heart just about melted from nostalgia ....I miss hearing Christmas music that used to be played everywhere when I was a little girl..this time of year.. I remember how excited I was that I knew the songs being played through the speakers at Sears. I suddenly felt warm and loved inside.  I went around again and this time she smiled before turning and leaving the aisle. I had to tell her how much her singing touched me.  So I hurried to turn into the next aisle...But she was gone...gone...nowhere in sight. 
 Yes,Virginia...there are angels.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Hey baby it's cold outside
better get out the hat and gloves

Magpie #43

Old door swollen shut
In the night snow covers stairs
No getting away


Monday, November 29, 2010


On my way out the door today I heard this awful screeching
then saw this fellow fly over to the basketball hoop across the street
Now, I am a bird lover..but this hawk!
He snatched a little sparrow...I could see it clutched in his talons as I got close
He looked at me with those beady eyes and screeched right in my face
Mind your own business!
Oh dear, the poor little bird was already dead
So I reached in my pocket and pulled out my camera
He spread his looks like death wings,
screeched again and banked into the gray sky above
and was gone in a second
The circle of life....sometimes I just hate it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

a Sunday thought

the house is quiet now
and my being is filled with stillness
the sunset kind
the blue sky kind
the I just heard the owl kind
the thank you God for all I have kind
the let me be a good steward of my gifts kind
the humble kind
the loving kind
the watch the moon rise kind
the amen kind

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I give thanks

Just over a year ago I began blogging.
I give thanks today for many things
for having faith,for my family
for my beloved country
for health
for a good heart and generous spirit
for friends and neighbors
for a full cupboard
a car that runs and looks good too
a warm home and a beautiful garden that gives me great joy
for three beautiful and dearly loved grandchildren
but, dear friends reading this now
I want to take the time to say I give thanks for you
You have added to my life
in a mysterious way
in a joyful way
I give thanks for all of you
and for your putting yourself out there
for your sharing,giving,caring ways
I give thanks for you today

Monday, November 22, 2010

Microfiction #58

hosts a weekly meme
using the below photo
write something using only 140 characters

I remember the shame seeing
  the team's hat on its proud antlers
 in the school's hallway,
how I wept for the mockery
...not our team's loss.


Friday, November 19, 2010

while at the bank today

I was in the drive-thru at the bank when I looked up and saw a woman in a wheelchair in the next parking lot struggling in her chair. I wasn't sure if her helper dog....a lovely large golden retriever..I wondered if his leashed had gotten caught because she was leaning forward and trying to do something. I watched as she leaned so far over that I feared she might just come right out of her chair. And then she began to spin around in her chair and the dog did nothing. My first reaction was a long forgotten memory....but I rose above this memory and shut off my car...told the teller I had to help someone...then went over to this poor soul struggling with something. When she saw me coming she smiled and then I saw that she had dropped her hat and it was now stuck under the wheels of the chair. The golden was the biggest one I have ever seen and a strap was around his muzzle.....maybe she did that to protect me?...anyway...I said, I can help and I reached down and freed her hat, and she thanked me.  I asked her if she was okay...sure she said, thanks.
I returned to my car and to the memory.
About 25 years ago I saw another wheelchair bound person struggling...a man. He was trying to cross a major street in the middle of the block...and he was not doing very well in this non motorized chair. I had my little daughter Sarah with me and she was horrified that he might get hit. So I pulled over,got out and went into the street to help this man. Well he began swearing at me and shouting he didn't want or need any help from the likes of me. I was shocked. What could I do? I left him alone and returned to the car. But his attack towards me lasted quite a long time for me and my daughter.
So today when I saw this woman struggling, the memory of that incident came rushing right back to me.
Should I or shouldn't I try to help?  Of course I what if she lashes out at me like that man did?  As it turned out,she was grateful that I helped her.
....Bad memory gone.
Turns out ..she probably helped me more.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

magpie tale # 41

Using the below image as a writing prompt
for a poem or a vignette

Waiting up for her
holding onto, letting go
a stone in my shoe

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday poem

One Stop Poetry hosts a weekly
opportunity for poets to post one poem

another one found and dusted off


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Now where did my book go?

I have three books going at the same time:
 Flannery O'Connor, A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories,
In The Woods,by Tana French,
Poetry As Spiritual Practice,by Robert Mcdowell 
Well, this morning I was in the mood for the poetry book,however, I was unable to find it.
So as I was trying to get into Flannery I looked up and there it was.....
Lambchop was reading it.

.......Finn was here for a visit the other day
and I wasn't the one who cleaned up.
...that will teach me.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Jingle's potluck poetry

post a poem on
 moods,feelings or emotions
join in the fun at

I offer this simple poem

These are things that bound my life
I'm daughter,sister,mother,wife
A braided cord around my soul
made out of each,each one a whole
A different kind of love each part,
that knots this cord around my heart
This cord,this knot,has set me free,
You see this love returns to me


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Microfiction #57

hosts a weekly writing meme
Using the below image
write something using only 140 characters

The man in the serape:
tall,handsome,proud,and her father.
But the painting of him was hidden away
as was his side of her heritage.

-135 characters of fiction-



I chased him across the yard
my Indian corn in his mouth
the thief!
I yelled I screamed...That's Iowa Indian corn!
drop it or else
well...he did...but I saw his partner in crime
got away with one.....
and there they were up the tree
yeeking at me.......
And when I came inside to tell my WH
he just pointed at the bag of unsalted peanuts
on the counter
"And who did you buy those for?" he asked
I hate him
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 12, 2010


The past few days the illusion of Spring tempted me-the sun so bright,
and the air had the scent of wet earth
and if I closed my eyes my heart almost leaped for joy
that Spring had come to rescue me from season-dread
The feeling I get when things go stark and dark
and colorless and I don't have any flower faces to speak to me glorious scent of this or that in the air
But had an epiphany
Master Autumn lit a match overnight
and his tailcoat of leaves were ablaze in the slanted afternoon light 
in  crimson, gold, and orange
...and joy filled me like a new day

It is the time of transition that I dread
And I thought about transitions in life and how hard they are
I think...I know...I am going through one right now
and maybe that is why this autumn transition has been so hard
I dread my own transition...I want Spring again
but autumn is here ... almost gone
But today I fell in love with Master Autumn again
transition complete for now


Morning walk

On my walk through the garden this morning
as I stepped along the path I could hear the rustling of leaves
When I stopped, it stopped
When I walked, something walked
Finally, I spotted the little mourning dove
walking through the leaves
I smiled, and it froze...knowing it had been discovered
I had to "chase" him quietly and slowly
to get a shot of him...oh ..I mean a photo of him
Next to the robin the mourning doves are my favorite
...ordinary, and despised by many
I prefer to see them as blessings
They mate for life...I like that in birds and people
They coo in the light of the setting sun...I'm right there with them

They  wobble away from most movement
either of the squirrels or other birds
They are not fighters...but rather they are funny little winged creatures
that delight me in the garden when I just sit and watch
Anything that causes me to be still is a blessing
..a mighty charge they have been given
Be yourself .... you never know who you bless


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Magpie tale

hosts this weekly meme
bless her ghost loving heart

Lies strung like black pearls
Deceit a golden pendant
Love a broken clasp

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