Along Came A Spider

April 2, 2017

burning_car_by_nomyurfaceoff-d3cncioThose of you who know me, undoubtedly know I have a fear of those little creepy, crawly things with all those beady little eyes and all those long legs known as “spiders.”  No, I do not kill them but it’s only because I can’t get close enough to them to do so.  I mean, even using a flyswatter would put me within too close a distance for comfort.  Nope.  Can’t even suck them up in a vacuum cleaner – heaven forbid they could find their way out and seek revenge!  People who live within screaming distance of me, know why I’m screaming and they come to my rescue.  I was once caught in a ladies’ room because one of those creatures was crawling across the floor between me and the exit door.  It’s a wonder I didn’t have a heart attack and die right there!

I suppose if you dig down to the root of the problem, my fear probably stems from my childhood days of using an “outhouse.”  A two-holer.  It was located about halfway down a hill behind our house.  Mr. and Mrs. Spider and family resided in, around, and on the way to the outhouse.  In the early morning hours, while the dew was still on the weeds along the pathway, there would be spider webs glistening in the early morning rays of sunshine.  Once you got to the outhouse, I do believe there were spiders guarding the door to keep anyone from going inside – especially me!

3709c8948b6d2485adb8c849eb7fe798Once you got inside, well, you needed to watch where you sat.  And, just when you thought it was all clear, the ugliest, biggest, meanest looking thing, with at least a thousand of those beady little eyes would crawl out of some crevice and just dare you to sit down.

Now, in my eyes, these were not tiny little creatures.  They were humongous!  They could pick me up and swallow me whole!  They could bite off an arm or leg.  Humongous, I tell you, just humongous!  On top of that, their bodies were all different shapes, sizes, colors, some with long legs, and some with short ones.  But any way you looked at them, they were ugly critters.  I probably came by my fear of spiders easy enough.

Let’s get back to yesterday.  I’m innocently driving along the interstate minding my own business, staying between my lanes, doing the speed limit, not bothering anyone UNTIL!  “Along came a spider and sat down” on my dashboard.  That was not a good thing.  I mean, I was on a trip a few years back and I saw something “black” in my shower at the motel.  Ran out and started banging on the door of the room next to me and had the very nice gentleman go in and kill it before I could go back into the room.

So, having a spider plop itself down on my dashboard when I’m doing 65 mph in a moving vehicle was not a good thing.  I’m sure to the people behind me it must have looked as though I was trying to shampoo a porcupine inside my vehicle!  Lucky for me there was no one beside me because I slammed on the brakes as I pulled over to the side of the road in front of a semi who happened to be broke down and had those orange cone thingys out and all that.

I whip in, in front of that semi, and I think I was outside of my vehicle before I even got the door open.  Now, you have to realize I’m Southern.  I was born and raised in the South, the Deep South.  Alabama to be exact.  So, I’m outside my vehicle and I’m having one more “hissy” fit.  A real Southern hissy fit!  I’m screaming like a banshee, jumping up and down, slinging my hands and arms and yelling for somebody to set the thing on fire!

11140079_10153291981419594_8950620987583217017_nThe poor semi driver, who must have already been upset over the rocks and dust I threw all over the place when my vehicle slid to a stop in front of him – 65 mph to zero in about two seconds flat tends to do that.  Anyway, he must have thought I was having an epileptic fit of some sort, plus, he heard the word “fire.”  Well, that did it.  He grabbed his fire extinguisher and came running.  I managed, in all the screaming and yelling going on (mine), to explain he needed to kill the humongous spider sitting on the dash of my vehicle.

It took a minute for the whole episode to sink into his brain, I think.  Then very calmly, he reached inside my vehicle and with his thumb squished the spider right where it sat.  Well, that sent chills all through me and I shivered for about five minutes afterwards.  He was kind enough to grab a Kleenex and wipe off the dash and he even took the Kleenex with him so the spider couldn’t miraculously come back to life and get even with me for having it squished.  I made him check out the rest of my vehicle just be sure the rest of the family wasn’t lurking somewhere inside waiting and watching for their opportunity to get even.  Once that was done, I thanked him profusely.  You know what, he said it was okay.  His wife was the same way and he just hoped there was somebody out there who’d do the same for her if she ever found herself in my situation.

So, next time you see a woman throwing a conniption fit alongside the highway, stop and kill the spider would ya?   I wonder if all those people passing by me yesterday knew just how close they were to a humongous spider!

Share A Smile! You May Just Be Someone’s Guardian Angel.

January 15, 2017

2013-08-18-22-29-58As 2017 begins to unfold before us, I wanted to remind, not only myself, but also everyone else, to remember we are all struggling together in this life.  My struggle is not the same as yours and we never know the depth of someone else’s problems.  So, as a reminder, I like to share an incident from my own memory banks of an old man I happened to meet who, in a way, taught me to smile.

I stopped at the grocery store that particular afternoon on my way to deliver a speech about my latest book.  I was always watching the people I passed, always saying something to lift spirits along with offering them my biggest smile.

“Nice weather we’re having today,” I’d say as I passed someone or “I love that outfit, girlfriend,” as I passed some young lady.  Sometimes, I’d buy a few roses and hand one to a stranger as I walked the downtown skywalk to work just to brighten their day.

After grabbing the bags of candy I needed to take along with me, I headed toward the cashier.  I spotted a lane with only one person in it, so I headed that way.  The moment I got within a few feet of that checkout lane, I realized why no one else was there.

The smell was so horrid I almost wretched.  The old man in the lane could not have had a bath in at least five years or more.  Although it was the hottest day of summer he obviously had on every piece of clothing he owned, including a heavy winter jacket.  The stench of sweat and body odor plus the filth of dirt and debris clung to him.  I had to turn my head away from his direction to breathe.  Glancing at the young cashier, I could tell she was having as hard a time breathing as I was.  The old man slowly counted out his change for the pack of cigarettes and candy bar he was buying.

Then a thought struck me out of the blue.  “Bet he hasn’t had a hug in awhile.”  In that instant I knew what I had to do.  I sat my bags of candy down, summoned my courage and plastered the biggest, brightest smile across my face as I could.

“Hi, Pops,” I said as I walked up behind him in the checkout line.

Looking up from his task, he turned slightly towards me, a look of bewilderment in his sad eyes.

“How are you doing today?”  I said, engulfing him in the tightest hug I could muster.  “You sure are looking spiffy today.  Why, if I were a few years younger …” I let my voice trail off leaving the rest to his imagination.

The cashier, anxious to get rid of the smell, handed him his bag.

“Wait just a second, Pops, and I’ll walk out with you.”  I tossed a $20 bill on the counter, picked up my candy, winked at the cashier and said, “Keep the change.”

Taking hold of the old man’s arm as though he were the grandest of gentlemen, we proceeded toward the door.  Once outside, I asked if there was someplace I could take him.  He declined.  So, I gave him another hug, handed him my business card along with a $20 bill and instructions to call if he ever needed anything.  I told him to take good care of himself, patted his scruffy cheek and said goodbye.

In the months that followed, I occasionally wondered about the old man but never ran into him.

About a year later, shopping at the same store, I noticed a handsome elderly gentleman sitting on the customer bench just inside the door.  I smiled and nodded a hello as I headed on to do my shopping.

I seemed to catch a glimpse of the elderly gentleman at every turn, as though he were stalking me right there in the store.  After grabbing the bags of candy I needed, I headed toward the cashier.  He stood at the end of the aisle as if waiting for me.  Knowing I was in no danger from an elderly gentleman in a crowded grocery store, I continued on toward him.

“Nice day today, isn’t it?” I asked as I got closer.

“It is you,” he said as a broad grin took over his face.

“Yep,” I replied, “last time I checked it was definitely me.  But I’m afraid I can’t place you.  Do I know you?”

“You’re my guardian angel,” he replied.  “Do you have a minute?  I’d like to buy you a cup of coffee from the cafeteria while I tell you my story?”

“Sure,” I replied, “I’m always up for a good cup of coffee.”

After grabbing our coffee, we sat down at the nearest table.  In the minutes that followed, he explained he had been the horrid smelling man I had given the $20 to so many months before.  I was in shock. The man before me now was nicely dressed, freshly shaven and smelled wonderful!

“I’ve been coming in here as often as I could, hoping to run into you.  Today was my lucky day.”

He took a sip of his coffee and continued.

“I had lost everything. My wife died. I’d lost my job.  I don’t have kids. I was alone with no reason to keep going.  Oh, I tried for awhile, but it just seemed useless.  Finally, the day you hugged me, I’d bought cigarettes and my favorite candy bar.  After you left, I went on down to the river as I’d planned, sat down and enjoyed my candy bar.  Then I took out a cigarette.  While I was smoking, I could still feel you hugging me.  That feeling just kept hanging on.  I couldn’t get rid of it.  I could feel where you touched my cheek.  You know, I couldn’t even remember the last time somebody had touched my skin.  I asked myself why someone dressed as pretty as you, would take the time to hug a filthy old man.  Not only that but you took my arm and walked out of this store here like I was somebody important.  Like you were proud to be seen with me.  And I thought about that, and thought about it.”

“And what did you decide,” I asked.

“I finally decided it had to be because you cared about me.  Me, an old codger.  I felt like there was one person in this whole world who really cared.  And I knew you cared because as bad as I looked and smelled, you had to care to even be able to touch me.  And I had your phone number to call anytime I wanted and the money to pay for the call.  Right then and there I decided if you cared then I had to care, too.  First thing I did was to go to the thrift store.  I bought myself a pair of slacks, a couple shirts and a pair of shoes and some socks.  Cost me $12 out of that $20 you loaned me.  Then I went back down to the river and took a bath as best I could.  Put on my new clothes, went and got me a haircut and shave, then I headed to the unemployment office and got myself a job.  I’m a greeter at one of those big chain stores.  I ate and slept at the mission until my next retirement check came, then I got a small room.  Now, I spend my time caring about people.”

“But, that’s not the end of my story,” he continued, “the reason I call you my angel was when I woke up that morning, I had made the decision to take my own life.”

I could see the wetness begin to form in his eyes and reached over and clasped his hand in mine.

ripples“See, I was headed down to the river to drown myself.  I told God and Ethel about it that morning.  Ethel was my wife.  We were married for fifty-one years before she got sick.  Anyway, I told God I was tired of living without my Ethel.  Told Him there was nobody left down here in this ol’ world who cared whether I was alive or dead anyway so I was just gonna go down to the river and end it all.  But, He sent you, my guardian angel.  You cared.  You cared enough to share a smile and a hug with me for a few minutes.  There’s not enough money in the world to repay you for that so I’ve been kind of doing like they say and paying it forward ever since.  When I’m not working, I volunteer my time helping the homeless.  I tell ‘em about this angel I met.”

You can’t begin to imagine the tears I shed sitting there with that old man that day.  I’m sure it wasn’t really me who kept an old man from taking his own life.  I don’t consider myself to have that great of an influence over people.  But I think of that old man often and I wonder just how many lives he might possibly have saved in the years since we had that cup of coffee.

1157410_1053718304659686_7378397068882605086_nYou just never know the struggle someone you pass by may be going through.  So, remember to share a smile with them.  They may not be able to make one themselves so give them one of yours!  You just may be someone’s Guardian Angel!

I like Nora’s Attitude

January 9, 2017

2012-10-14-19-24-19For those of you who don’t know (as though there is anyone out there who doesn’t), Nora Roberts is a bestselling author.  The thing about Nora is her attitude about writing.  I love it!

I’ve heard Nora speak at several of the Romance Writers of America National Conventions over the years and she definitely has the right attitude.  “Bitch-slap” the muse.  Writing is a job.  Do your job.  That’s it in a nutshell.

There are countless books on “how to write.” Do this, do that, decorate your writing space just right, listen to the right mood music, start your book this way, you must have strong characters, use setting as a character, show – don’t tell, ad infinitum.

Nora sets it out there plain and simple.  “It’s a job.  Do your job.”

I think what she means is you have to treat writing exactly like a job.  You get up in the morning, punch in on your time clock, sit down at your desk and write.  It can be good writing or it can be bad writing.  It doesn’t make any difference.  It’s your job to get words written down on paper.  Period.

If you showed up at your employers and said, oh, the “muse” hasn’t spoken to me yet so I think I’ll sit here and listen to some mood music, drink my coffee and wait to see if the muse will show up today, guess what your employer would say.

It wouldn’t take very long before you heard the words “you’re fired.”  And there would probably be some words about going home and waiting for the muse on your own time and you would be instantly replaced with someone who was willing to do the job.

Writers write.  Period.  So, the question is, are you a writer or are you still waiting for the “muse” to show up?


Closing in on a New Year

December 18, 2016

2013-04-07-08-51-072016 is quickly coming to a close and 2017 looms close by.  I’ve been thinking about what I accomplished in 2016 and what I’d like to accomplish in 2017.

I make it a point to read books/articles on setting goals during December just to get my mind back into the idea.  One of my favorite articles is one that talks about a study conducted back in 1979 on some Harvard students.  Those students were asked whether or not they had set clear, written goals for the future.  It turned out only 3% had written down their goals. 13% had goals but had not written them down; and 84% didn’t have any specific goals at all.

Then the article fast forwards ten years when the students were again interviewed. The 13% who had not written down their goals were earning twice as much as the 84% who had no specific goals, while the 3% who had written down their goals, on an average, earned ten times more than both the other groups added together.  Wow!  Earn ten times more by setting goals.

11391131_10152807262512371_6393412234623399280_nThe trick is to set clear goals.  What I mean by that is you need to be specific.  For instance, I want to earn more money is not a specific goal.  However, I will write four books by July 1, 2017 is more specific.  I would then divide that goal down to the actual dates by which each book would have to be completed.  From that, I would decide how many words I would have to write each day to accomplish getting each book completed.  Then, I would take a sticky note, write the first date I had to complete a book on it along with the daily word count and I’d post that right on the edge of my computer screen where I would see it every morning when I sat down to write.  My goal would be accomplished if I kept my eye on that little sticky note and followed through with what I needed to do each day.

So, what are your goals?  Do you have them written down in a clear, concise form?  Will you be in that 3%?

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Christmas and Other Things

December 9, 2016

Christmas 2016

I decorated my Christmas tree a few days ago.  For me, it was a very nostalgic time.  Pulling out decorations I’ve had since before my son was born so many years ago.  For a few minutes, as I carefully lifted some of the Christmas tree balls from their holder, I was blinded by tears as memories of Christmas past flooded back into my mind.

My son was two years old when his dad and I were divorced.  His dad and I were in the U.S. Air Force where we met and married.  We were way too young.  Three years later my son was born.

After the divorce, my son and I were on our own.  I made very little money.  At the time, I was trying to go to college on the GI Bill and that was the only money we had.  Times were tough to say the least.

Our first Christmas alone was the hardest thing I had to go through.  I remember having sold my first article to a magazine and I had been paid Twenty Dollars for it.  I took that Twenty Dollars and with my son on my hip, I walked to the grocery store blocks away from our small rented house.

At the grocery, I bought baby food and milk for my son with that money.  While we were standing in the checkout line, we were watching one of the employees hanging Christmas bells, made from paper, from the ceiling.  The employee must have taken pity on us as he climbed down off the ladder with two of those bells in his hand and handed them to me as he said, “I’ve run out of room to hang these so you take them home and hang them for the little guy.  Merry Christmas.”

I was so delighted.  We actually had something to hang in our house for decoration.  I still have those paper bells.  Our tree, a fake one I’d inherited from my now defunct marriage, was decorated with things I’d been given by my aunt when I’d left home.  Older ornaments she no longer wanted.

The problem was I had no money to buy presents.  No money to spare.  And it was Christmas.  My son was two.  Sure, he would never remember that Christmas, but that wasn’t the point.  The point was, I was his mother and I could not even afford to buy him anything for a gift.  I could not make him a gift because I couldn’t buy anything to make a gift with.  It hurt.  It hurts to not be able to give your only child a Christmas gift.

Christmas Eve came and I did not want him to wake up on Christmas morning and find that Santa had not stopped by our house.  So, I took some of his cowboys and Indians (little small plastic toy figures and I cleaned them to make them as shiny as I could.  Then, I placed them underneath the Christmas tree.  If I remember correctly, there were eight of them.  When my son woke on Christmas morning, we excitedly ran into the small living room and there was the tree with his presents underneath.

Did he know they were old cowboys and Indians?  Probably not.  But to a two-year-old they were as good a present as any.  He was happy.  But, to a mom … it still hurts.

Christmas Memories

December 4, 2016

What are the sights, sounds, smells you remember from your childhood Christmas memories?

The one memory which stands out most to me is chopping down the yearly Christmas tree.  My mom and I would tromp through the woods at our place looking at the evergreens until we found just the perfect one, chop it down and drag it back home.  Sometimes we’d cut pieces of holly, too.

Once we got our “find” home, we’d get it set up and the decorating began.  We used homemade decorations mostly with a few hand-me-down Christmas balls and such.  It was a hodgepodge of decorations.  I made paper garlands to string.  I remember the strings of lights.  In those days, it was the big Christmas bulbs in red, green, blue and yellow.  They didn’t twinkle, do any chasing or any of the fancy things Christmas lights do nowadays.  Nope.  You plugged them in at dusk yourself and unplugged them before going to bed for the evening.

I remember having a fake set of candles.  The kind you put into your living room window and plug in.  If my memory is correct, each one had twelve candles and we had two of them which we put in the two front windows.

In our Christmas stockings, my brother and I would get some nuts, an apple and an orange and maybe a candy cane or two.  On Christmas morning, we’d find a gift from Santa.  For me, a doll.  For my brother, maybe a cap gun with holster.

Christmas was always an exciting time and it was always time spent with family.  We always had Christmas dinner with one set of grandparents, plus all the aunts, uncles and cousins on that side of the family.  Kids played outside while the grown-ups were inside.  There was no television so the men gathered in the living room and actually talked to each other while playing games of checkers or dominos (no computer games).  The women were usually busy in the kitchen re-heating food they had cooked that morning and brought with them.

After the meal was eaten, everyone was too full to move so we all piled into the living room and people talked.  Stories and jokes were told.  Once the food in our stomachs had settled and we could begin to move again, everyone packed up and headed for home.

mary-snow-1There was very little snow during the time I was growing up and I don’t ever remember having snow on Christmas Day.  I do, however, remember having snow one December.  It started to snow in the evening of December 31st and snowed into New Year’s Day.  Even had enough to make a Snowlady!

The temperature wasn’t cold as you can tell from the clothes but the mary-snow-2snow stuck around long enough my brother and I rolled two huge snowballs and made a Snowlady.

Those are the good times I remember.  Where have those days gone?



What Happens at Writers’ Retreat Stays …

October 30, 2016

Pinkie leads the way!

It’s that time of year again when the Iowa Writers’ Corner holds its Fall Writers’ Retreat.  For those unfamiliar with a writers’ retreat, I’ll explain.

Twice a year, the Iowa Writers’ Corner members meet for their spring and fall retreat.  We gather up laptops, pen and paper, writing books and any other thing we might need for two to three days of writing.

We also bring food!  Lots and lots of food!  Tons of food!  We could feed an army.  There was everything from sandwiches, veggie pizza, assorted mini pastries, grape salad, Pink Fluffy Stuff salad, cakes, cookies and brownies (homemade by the way), Howard’s to die for chili, chicken salad with croissants, cheese and crackers, lots of wine and plenty of chocolates.

img_6640We rent a hotel room and we all pile in.  A decorating theme is chosen and this year’s was “Fantasy Island.”  So the first thing you see as you walk down the hallway to the room, is “Pinkie,” our pink flamingo.  Just inside the doorway, you’re greeted by a coconut tree, complete with coconuts (just in case there were not enough “nuts” attending).

img_6664And one of the nicer things about our retreats, the hotel always provides us with our own personal attendant.  For the fall retreat, we had “Island John” who supplied us with everything we asked for and always did it with some jokes and laughter thrown in.  We so appreciated “Island John” who made sure we never ran out of anything we needed.  All we had to do was ask and John was there within minutes.  And, most of the time, he anticipated our needs and would show up with whatever he thought we’d like.  A huge thank you to John!

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Our room was perfect!  With a living room, screened in porch, conference room and kitchen area, we were all set.  Those who had the time off arrived at 10:00 a.m. on Friday morning and the writing began.  There’s so much writing energy when you gather a group of writers today in one room.  Plot problems get solved as ideas are tossed out, characters get named easily, and if you don’t have a plot to write, we’ll create one for you.

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Of course, there’s fun and frivolity.  From best costume award to time writing sprints everyone won something.

traveling-trophy-winner-oct-2016And the traveling trophy found its way to Maggie Rivers for the month of October who took it from Darrel Day, September’s winner (only because he couldn’t make the IWC October meeting to have his word count recorded).

If you missed this retreat, you missed an awesome time!  And NO, none of us are going to tell you about all the “monkey business” that went on.  You’ll just have to plan now to attend the April 2017 retreat, because “what happens at retreat, stays at retreat!”




An Exciting Day!

October 28, 2016
11896128_10207151191358992_6566562951038699263_nGood morning friends, family and fans!
I’ve been up for awhile now and had several cups of coffee already. Can you tell? LOL!
I’m excited today. It’s the official start of the Iowa Writers’ Corner Writers’ Retreat! I always enjoy our writing retreats. Despite all the fun we have, we go get lots of writing done.
There’s nothing like a room full of writers from every genre to inspire another writer to new heights! Plus, with so many genres represented, if you get stuck in your plot you could wind up dabbling in another genre to get unstuck. Everybody throws out their ideas so you could wind up with an element of mystery, suspense, sci-fi, inspirational, young adult, who knows! But it sure gets those creative juices flowing!
We’ll have all sorts of idible goodies, too.  From Howard’s chili to C. Deanne Rowe’s caramel corn and everything in between.  There will be no shortage of great food!
This year’s theme is “Fantasy Island.”  The room will be decorated with palm trees, pink flamingos and all things tropical.  Participants are invited to wear their best island get up to win a $25 gift card!  You have to arrive in costume to be qualified to go into the drawing to win.  The drawing will be held on Saturday to give those who have to work on Friday the opportunity to show up in costume, too.

As writers we create fantasies and fantasy worlds for our characters so the theme of “Fantasy Island” fits perfectly.  There’ll be other prizes throughout the retreat for such things as total number of words during a writing sprint and other contests to spur each of us toward our writing goal.
Yes, I’m excited and I can’t wait to get there.  So, I’m off here now to go put on my grass skirt and coconut shell bra!
See you at the “Fantasy Island” Writers’ Retreat!

The Potato Chip Saga

October 21, 2016

img_0745This is the story of potato chips.  Not just any old potato chip but HyVee Kettle Cooked Salt & Pepper potato chips.  You may already know the beginning of this story.

When my son, Joe, and I took a trip home to Alabama, we filled the van with assorted “snacks” for the long fourteen hour drive.  One of those snacks was the potato chips.  When we finally arrived, there was a half bag of potato chips left.  One evening while we were watching TV, we pulled out the remainder of the chips and my dad had his first taste of HyVee Kettle Cooked Salt & Pepper ones.  That was it!  He was hooked.

So, when Joe and I returned to Iowa, we packaged up a large box (5 big bags) of potato chips and sent them down to him to snack on while he watched the Alabama Crimson Tide play football.  During the games, if it was a close game, he’d eat an entire bag but if the Tide was winning and the score was so far apart the opposing team couldn’t catch up, he’d only eat half a bag.  We kept him supplied with the potato chips throughout the football season.

Fast forward to the next year’s football season.  Again, we kept him supplied with potato chips for the Crimson Tide’s games.

dscn3167Fast forward again to this year’s football season.  That box is full of five large bags of HyVee Kettle Cooked Salt & Pepper potato chips. Plus, a package of 10 highlighters!  LOL!

dscn3174Yep, highlighters.  I happened to be talking with my dad on the phone and he had a question.  Wanted to know what those things were called where you could color over writing and still see the writing after you colored it.  He saw someone using one but he didn’t know what they were and wanted to get one.  I told him not to worry about it that I had plenty and would just send him one of mine and he wouldn’t have to go to town to buy them.  So inside that box, I packaged up a set of 10 Sharpie highlighters.

It’s such a simple thing for me to do.  He called me yesterday afternoon to let me know the package arrived. The postlady took the package into the house for him.  He’s on a rural route.  So for her to do that means she has to get out of her car and carry the package to his door.  She does that because she knows he wouldn’t be able to walk and carry the box, too.  So she “home” delivers it.  I think she’s a wonderful person for taking the time to help a Senior Citizen who can’t do it himself.

The first highlighter he chose to use was the yellow one.  He locked the rest of them up in his safe so no one could get them.  ROFL!  Highlighters!  In a safe!  To me, it’s funny.  To him, they are priceless.

HyVee Kettle Cooked Salt & Pepper potato chips and a package of highlighters made his day, yesterday.  At 92, I’d rather spend money on him while he’s still alive.  Flowers on his grave after he’s gone wouldn’t even come close.

Oh, and now, he eats them while he watches NASCAR, too.  I’m off to HyVee for more potato chips and a box to mail them in.  LOL!

Some Days …

October 17, 2016


Some days getting out of bed is extremely difficult.  It takes a major effort just to roll over and put my feet on the floor.  Today is one of those days.  I want to sleep the day away and start over tomorrow.  I want the world to stop and let me off.  I’m just tired of trying so very hard day after day because it seems no matter how hard I try, life just pops up when I least expect it and slaps me in the face.  Hard!  It did that today.

So, yes, today is one of those days.  I want to throw in the towel and say “Okay, life, you win.  I’m down for good.  Just pour the dirt in over me.”  I want to pull the covers up over my head and cry just to let out all the stress.

The problem with that type of thinking is if I let it take over, then I am truly done.  I have work to do and bills to pay.  I have to get up each and every morning whether I want to or not because no matter how hard I try, I cannot find anyone willing to give me a measly few million dollars.

So, I have to get up each and every morning, put my feet on the floor, grab a cup of coffee on the way to my office, sit my behind down in my chair and write.

But today, it’s hard.  So today, I’ll take the day off.  I’m going to sit in one of those chairs, listen to the ripples in the water and let my mind go to that happy place where the sun shines warm on my face, birds chirp, squirrels play, fish flop and life flows peacefully out to sea.

There’s three vacant chairs.  Who wants to join me?