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Memoir. Day 339.

Originally, my blog was to share memoir pages, which I did. I then set it down and started writing other stuff, called myself busy, and dreaded the day I would open my memoir again. Well, I just did.

I need and want to finish this memoir. It just makes me sad to work on it.

When I opened it up today, I reformatted it and took a peek at some of the words, which seemed kind of unfamiliar to me. Stiff and safe.

It made me wonder if one day I will be happy I waited to finish putting together the pages, because I was holding back big time. Maybe this time will be different, or maybe I will quit again and put it up for another year. Either way I have to try.

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Which Wich. Day 337.

I worked a few hours this morning then unplugged and it was glorious!

Baylee and I ran some errands in Wilmington then had lunch at Which Wich. It was delicious.

I turned off socials, email, and even work, which I haven’t done in months, and it was so freeing. It reminded me I need to do that more, so I’ll see you tomorrow.

543 Day Writing Journey

New Curriculum. Day 335.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s hard to believe we are coming up on our second full school year with Baylee as a homeschooler! The first year was terrifying at first, but then we found a groove, some pretty awesome online groups, and fell into it.

Continue reading “New Curriculum. Day 335.”
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Blurry Eyes. Day 334.

I’ve been on this laptop all day writing about the services I will provide in my new business, Maescribes, and have also spent too much time choosing a modern, clean color. I also ordered business cards with a QR code. My eyes are done for the day and I’m ready to bake up some sourdough bread. Please take a look, let me know what you think, and pass the word.

Click HERE to read more.

543 Day Writing Journey, Maescribes

About Maescribes. Day 333.

Selling myself is a little awkward, but it is important for people to know that I will be strong, confident, and capable when I work for them. About-Me sections have always made me uncomfortable and I’ve kept them quite short, but not this time.

I’ve also added a few sections in the process of building my site. The color is still not grabbing my attention, but I have time to figure that out.

Take a peek if you like, or even just give it a click so it’s not so lonely.

543 Day Writing Journey, poetry

Topsail. Day 332.

I took this poem of mine, one of my favorites actually, and made it into a pose poem:

Miss Geller’s Barbados crown circles the other girl’s face, yet blonde, while she bakes. Cod with Ritz. And she watches the dolphins with their accidental grins wave in the waves with their virtual arms and hands at her curious gaze while they suck fish bones from their pebble teeth. The ocean is one and many, while it shows its black at night, sometimes. With its billions of workers who in their grain bodies soften with their grit, the contents of its cupboards. And it sighs at the oohs and ahhs that it hears while the not-noticed is seen once again. Plain gray rocks and little black teeth, broken shells or miniature trees. Chunks of glass, Budweiser. They rub their thumb on the edge, and feel it in their chests, and if the blood does not come, they call the brown compressed sand, that became smooth by its relatives, sea glass. Repeat it. Sea glass. Natures unnatural art. As they walk with their heads down. Hunching to find the treasure or, the fantasy message, in a bottle of ale. The breaths are deeper. Deepest. Loud, full breathing, slow. Long outs. Longer ins, keep some. Lungs’ delight. And the skin somewhat smoother than yesterday, toes and shoulders turn brown under the pink Coppertone and squarish freckles. Roaring hushes the thoughts of what is next and what was before. Wavy steps slow as the end appears. Boat-tailed Grackles wait to take it. Seeds of the sun’s flower, black and oiled like their windy feathers. And the leftovers are gently grabbed by the one-footed gull with her perfectly pedicured toes. Her soft feathers just white flow as she looks into your eyes to see where the next toss will aim, or to know your blues. And she gracefully dangles in the air, singing like a squawking angel, needing no sympathy as she takes turns with her new old friends. The fuzzy, savage cats, smash their young faces on their mate’s as they beg and exist in their fatness of black stripes on brown fur, flicking tails and kneading toes. Dancing for their food, deli turkey or leftover salmon. Their song is like the water’s while the purring and roaring dance and the humans fall for their massive blinking and their hypnotic petition. The velvet deer in the beaten trees twitching her wavy ears hiding in the crooked sharpness living in the death. Waiting for her turn to dine. After the cherub cats and the fliers and swimmers and the ones with the money or the prehistoric glow of the celebrity bird. If I only had a silver fish to drop into your impressive gullet. As you glide by with your russet friends with the same tattered plumage. Not even a side-glance. Maybe you’re praying for your vanishing kind.

Continue reading “Topsail. Day 332.”
543 Day Writing Journey, Maescribes

Me, Me, Me. Day 331.

Day five of the business being legal and I am dragging my feet and making hot pepper sauce with the abundance of cayenne peppers the hot NC sun has helped us grow instead of adding to my site. Why? Because I have to write my About Me section for my website.

Continue reading “Me, Me, Me. Day 331.”
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Let Them See You Cry. Day 328.

Nana passed on June 1, 1993. She had cancer. Before she passed, I would sit with her and internalize everything. All of my questions, thoughts, and emotions, including tears, were held in until I hopped into my little gray Dodge and starting crying before I even hit the gas.

Continue reading “Let Them See You Cry. Day 328.”
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Just a Dress. Day 325.

I saw a dress.

It was in one of my social feeds, taunting me with her colorful, toilesque story, jet black background with reds, yellows, indigos, golds.

Now I know what happens when you click on something like that. It’s an invitation to bombard. We don’t click I AGREE after we read all the words. Nobody reads all the words.

I clicked anyway.

It was on Amazon. $11,990. Oscar de la Renta.

I exited the site, cleared my history, and spent too much time trying to find it just so I could look at it again.

Goodbye, pretty dress. Here’s looking at you. (Cause that’s wear . . . where, it ends.

Want to see it? CLICK HERE but I warn you, it’s hypnotic.

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Mountains. Day 324.

A prose poem:

Pungent, crinkly oak leaf, once red, decaying with the sweet, straight dry pines, and hard, solid acorns. My heart holds many places tightly within its arteries, latching like spikes onto the memories with its blood-filled avenues and tossing them to the forefront at random, inconvenient times. Just like the heart does. Walking in woods with the sounds seeming so high-up and loud. Blue Jays and crows telling each other to stop and start. Crystal, cool, and clear brooks and their loud fluidity saying to drink me or dip your big toe down to the clean, rippled sand. Being watched, listened to, and my human scents inhaled, evaluated, feared. Dangling tea berries and dangling Lady Slippers and confident, downy dangling doe ears. Rock walls with hunter green moss sit like couches in 1973 and trees, fallen and felled house crunchy bugs and minky-soft rodents and wild canaries. The ups and downs and overs and hops test the thighs and the loud crack behind you tests your jumps. The red squirrel laughs and leaves and the leaves cry under your booted feet. It’s all there, still. It’s all there.

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Old Videos. Day 323.

I do wonder what I should have done, because what I did, didn’t work.

Baylee was not quite three when his dad died. He was attached to him, always choosing him over me, which was new to me. For some reason, I never was bothered by it.

The day he left for war and we said goodbye, Baylee didn’t realize what that meant, or what it could have meant, but we all did. He had no true concept of time or true danger, and although he was sad to see his pops leave, he didn’t understand.

After Roger passed, I made a deliberate choice to not show Baylee videos of Roger because I wanted his memories to be real and organic. Now, I wonder if it was the right choice. Maybe the videos would have triggered something in his mind, in his heart.

It’s not something I cry about anymore, but it will linger with me forever, and I will always wonder if I could have helped him keep some of those memories, if he could have remembered his dad.

If someone ever asks me for advice about this, I don’t know what I will offer, and I think if I could go back, I would sit Baylee on my lap, put the tape in the VCR, and press play.

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Flutes in War. Day 322.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When did we decide to stop playing music as we fight? I mean, there had to have been a meeting, right?

“Um, maybe we should stop playing music and just concentrate on killing the enemy?”

“All in favor!?”

(cue gavel hitting a handmade wooden desk in a snowy field, surrounded by white tents and dysentery.)

Flutes and drums. Imagine walking, straight-backed and straight-faced while you play the flute so angelically, or rat-a-tat-tatting with straight, wooden sticks while large, oddly shaped metal bullets whizz and whir very wobblily by your white-wigged noggin.

Were we simply naïve and dumb, or are we now too technical and in need of depth and passion?

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Vet From Mass. Day 321.

The pets’ new veterinarian is from Massachusetts.

It’s difficult to find a new vet when you move. She will be their third one since we’ve been here just over a year ago. The first one had some issues I won’t illuminate. The second one seemed nice enough, but was never available. So, I decided to make the thirty-minute trek to Wilmington to try a larger, more modernized vet, and so far, I am happy I did.

I took the three cats, and the vet knew we got the name T’Challa from Marvel’s Black Panther. Score. She read the dogs’ names and said, “Are you Patriots fans?”

“Yes! I’m from Mass,” I said to her.

“Me, too!”

She knew Gisele and Gronk were linked to the team. “David is from David Ortiz, Big Papi,” I said to her.

“No way!” she said.

My heart feels better and I have confidence in this new vet. My anxiety from this morning prior to our visit is beginning to quell, and I am thankful that our new animal doctor is from my home state.

Another day . . .

543 Day Writing Journey

Do I Smell Like a Dog? Day 318.

Wanda and David

I go to the office once a week and that’s pretty much it for me as far as socializing goes these days. It’s truly impossible with the limited time and significant distance between me and, well, everyone I know. We live way out there, which is awesome, but it does limit my stop-at-the-bar-for-a-drink meetings and mid-day baby showers.

Continue reading “Do I Smell Like a Dog? Day 318.”
543 Day Writing Journey

The Death of Love. Day 317.

Love, we all know, is a complicated, and at times, subjective topic. Since it’s not tangible or even visible, there are gray areas lingering within the definition of it, and it’s on a very wide spectrum. One thing we all know very well, is that it does not die easily, and it’s a tough beast to slay.

Continue reading “The Death of Love. Day 317.”
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Farm Trucks. Day 316.

The small town I live in is close to another small town called Wallace. The people are sweet, the feel is simple and safe, and there are farms everywhere in town and in the surrounding communities. They grow corn, soybeans, hemp, and farmers also raise pigs and chickens.

Almost every time I go into town, I see the big semi farm truck, the ones with the open, gated walls, the ones that carry pigs and chickens. We see full ones, and we see empty ones.

I really wish I could just look past them and not see what’s inside. I know people eat meat, and I don’t push my ways on them, but it makes me very sad to see them. I try so hard not to look at the animals’ faces and to not think about where they’re going. I also try to imagine they are at least treated with kindness and respect until their last minute.

I understand this is my issue and that it’s not within the social norm, and I’ve learned to live with it and learn how to go the other way when I see one of those giant metal cage trucks. I will say, though, that if one of those chickens, or even pigs falls off the truck, it’ll come home with me to live, and I will name her Suerte.

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The F-Word. Day 315.

Why have we given people’s offense of the F-word so much power? You can’t say it in school, on the radio, at work. Why not?

We’ve all heard the word. It sits amongst a few friends on a mossy toad stool in our minds, knees propped up, waiting to hop down from it and spew from our lips. Teeth touch the bottom lip, then the air hits, then the voice box joins in to finish the word with a hard, loud K-sound.

I say the word, but for the past few years I’ve refrained from using it unless absolutely necessary. I made that conscious decision simply because it’s lazy, not offensive. A good kick with my bare painted toes on the top stair, though, brings it out.

It seems to me that the people who don’t want the word to exist in a public forum are the same who call people “offended” by certain terms and phrases that are truly derogatory. Others are afraid a child will hear it.

When I was little, as soon as I left my driveway on my blue, three-speed bike to ride around the neighborhood with my friends, the word became ready in my mouth, sitting restlessly behind my back molars, waiting.

My boys are free to say the word. I mean, it’s silly to imagine them being forbidden from speaking freely. They’ve never aimed swears at me. They understand and respect the social construct of quote-unquote profanity. It has no power if it has no audience. It’s always been silly more than vulgar.

It doesn’t aim its offense at anyone in particular. It’s literal meaning is a positive action, so I suppose its sharpness will always baffle me. In a country that boasts free speech, to limit the use of four-letter word with no audience to be harmed doesn’t make the most sense.

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I Could Do This all Day. Day 313.

I really really love my job. When I read this, I almost hear Mr. Peterson, Elaine’s boss on Seinfeld reading it, which makes is comical. Either way, this is so much fun to do.

Come home from a day at the beach and rinse your sun-kissed skin off in the outdoor shower. Enter the brilliant and beachy home to find a smooth flow and neutral colors throughout, stunning views of the white-capped waves, AND the unspoiled nature of the area’s most spectacular sound. Cook dinner in the open-concept kitchen while you occasionally peek at the deep teal water through the windows, or laze around in the very spacious living room and binge-watch your favorite shows. Maybe you would rather step outside onto the expansive wraparound party deck while you inhale the warm beach air, or take an evening walk up and down the beach.   

A few steps away you will find the beach access that will guide you to the fresh, clean sands of Topsail Island. Lounge in your beach chair all day long while you watch the dolphins frolic in the ocean, sip your coffee while you welcome the morning’s first sun, or rent a surfboard or bodyboard from one of the local rental places and play in the salty water all day long. 

Walk back over to the house, rinse off in the outdoor shower, and get yourself ready for a night on the town. A brief car ride will take you to a more lively beach life with stores and chain restaurants you are familiar with, and also local boutiques, restaurants, some with local fish, seafood, and produce, and nightlife, sometimes with live music and karaoke. There is also a boat ramp, golf course, and fishing piers where you can spend time catching fish and speaking with the friendly locals. 

Maybe you would rather have a quiet night at home sitting on the deck listening to the ocean swell begin to quiet for the night. Order wine from Instacart, or browse local food delivery options and throw on comfies to stay in for the night and watch classic movies or play Yahtzee until dawn. End your day with thoughts of tomorrow, then wake in the  morning and watch the waves while your head rests on the pillow, only to begin another day at the most treasured Topsail Island. 

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No Google. Day 311.

“How many people live on Earth?”

“I don’t know. Google it.”

Did we just never know anything before? We depended on our elders, and look where that got us.

We’re very lucky, blessed, and fortunate to have instant knowledge, but we surely are incompetent when the internet is down.

What a . . . What’s that called? Hold on, let me look it up.

543 Day Writing Journey

Grocery Stores. Day 310.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Maybe it’s the bright, cheerful lights, or the wide-open, tiled space with soothing music from my teens that melds with my footsteps in sweet syncopation, fast or slow. It could be the sweet scent of the Macintosh apple fritters in the bakery oven that mixes with the brightly-lit air, or the promise of tomorrow that is made by the date on the red-capped milk. Either way, I just love grocery stores.

Continue reading “Grocery Stores. Day 310.”
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She Loves. Day 309.

When I arrive home from work, I brace myself, and once she sees me, her mouth closes, and she implodes.

Wanda is a sleek, long, and fast German Shepherd. She’s semi-obedient and smart. I think she’s pottied in the house twice since we adopted her in December, she’ll stay in her crate until we say she can come out, and when we say “crib” she goes right into her crate. She’s not perfect, though.

Her only issue, although a major one, is her separation anxiety. She will scream if you leave her and she will push with all her might to get out the door with you. Also, she doesn’t like to leave her homestead and will cry in the Jeep. Cry, like a baby. It’s a piercing screech.

I do become impatient with her when she’s inconsolable, and I know the worst thing I can do is console her during her outbursts or she’ll think it’s OK, but it’s very sad if you think about it.

We adopted her at six months, well after a pup remembers, so I don’t know if she’ll ever feel secure, safe, and a permanent part of this family. Gosh we love her so much, and if we could only reassure her that she’s here for good, she may be able to rest.

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Beer. Day 308.

Roger had a traditional, simple palate. He wasn’t into bold flavors or robust foods or drinks. He liked his coffee light and sweet, and although he was an evolved foodie, gourmet was not his thing.

“Take a sip of my merlot,” I’ve said to him.

“No,” he said laughing.

“Please? Just a little one.”

He was either over my annoying pestering or he loved the attention, so he took my glass and sipped a small amount of the deep, rich wine.

The face always changed immediately. I don’t think he could have possibly stopped it.

“Why do you make me do that?”

“I don’t make you!” Of course, by this point, I’m laughing.

He was like that with beer, too.

“Roger, we bought you that water you like,” my dad would tell him.

He was referring to Busch Light, his favorite beer, always in a can.

Today, I raise my tepid can of Busch Light and toast my husband on what would have been his fiftieth birthday.

Cheers to the gray that never was. Cheers to your birth and your legacy. Cheers to you!

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Life Blocks. Day 307.

Life changes very fast, and not in little pieces, but in blocks. Large chunks of big deals, life events, well-contained chapters.

This new series of being in North Carolina again seems to be contained in a tidy section of our life with new degrees, careers, friends, and a home we are completely comfortable in. Tucked in.

I feel, though, that although all is good, I still haven’t mourned my life in Massachusetts, what could have been, and even what was. I still dream of my house while I’m awake and inhale the rich sent of history. The places and the people still rest there all snuggled into that beautiful state I called home, the one I can’t imagine stepping into again.

The haunting of my potential life in Massachusetts hasn’t approached me in a diluted form, not yet. Maybe I don’t want it to or maybe it’s just not time.

It’s odd that even what we do or did want to happen can still cause pain, and although I’ve moved on, there are times the what-ifs still drag me down.

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(Would Be) Fifty. Day 306.

Roger has a special birthday this week. The twelfth is his 50th birthday.

As always, I wonder what we would have done to celebrate, but there would have only been one way.

A party at our house would have been his choice anyway, a cookout with burgers and his favorite sides, enough pineapple upside-down cakes for the masses. Busch beer.

The boys and I would buy him some shirts from faraway fire departments, maybe a Red Sox hat, and a power tool.

There would be a fire in the back yard for after dinner and cake, and he would be cheerful and very happy to have his people all in one place, and we’d play country music, his favorite.

Now, it’s just another date to wonder, one which chills sloppily atop the others, not leaving when the clock strikes midnight, but resting in their little closet with the missed anniversaries, Memorial Days in May, and the thirteen Christmases that have gone on without him.

The woulds are annoying, quite honestly, so very annoying.

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Bullets to Organize My Thoughts. Day 302.

  • Shade is underrated.
  • Change is scary but also very exciting.
  • My chicken, Elsa, has a new roommate, Romanoff.
  • Baylee is my favorite son today.
  • Why do fools fall in love?
  • Sammy helped me come up with a name for my brand. It’s a secret still.
  • There’s a zucchini in my cup holder.
  • It feels like 108.
  • We’re having southwestern egg rolls and guacamole tonight.
  • Life is so dang good.
  • Sam is our new egg collector.
  • Made appointments with a new vet.
  • Kayaking sounds so fun, even amongst the alligators.
  • Wear sunscreen.
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Milky Way. Day 301.

“I don’t understand how people can take a photo of the Milky Way if we’re literally on it,” I said to Sam.

He looked at me for once, eyebrows raised and said, “right?!”

I’ve seen photos of it for years and years and can’t process the concept that photos exist, and I stand by my curiosity and confusion as not a sign of dippiness or naivete.

It’s just weird, but either way, I would love to see it.

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A Storm. Day 298.

We’re having a little tropical storm named Collin today. It was last minute. The air is so muggy and thick, warm and misty.

As the rain was pouring on my Jeep, giving it a much needed bath, a rinsing off of the poor juicy insects who found their demise on Interstate 40, I was reminded of past hurricanes, and of one moment in particular that wasn’t funny then, but I guess is now.

Max was a baby, only a couple months old. He still used a baby carrier because he wasn’t quite ready for a car seat yet.

I worried about the storm and potential for tornadoes so when it was time to sleep at night I locked him up tight in his seat so if anything happened, he would have a fighting chance.

That’s paranoid, right? I thought it was genius.

It’s frightening to sit through sometimes days of violent winds and darkness. News on the battery operated radio talked about tornadoes lifting houses high in the air and flooding chasing people away from their homes.

I was simply afraid.

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How Do You Do It? Day 297.

Single moms out there, how do you manage? What do you leave undone? I need to choose something.

How do you:

  • paint your toes
  • clean out closets
  • brush the dogs
  • weed anything
  • deep clean the house
  • organize kitchen cabinets
  • cook dinner
  • not freak out
  • catch up on personal emails and Facebook messages
  • reach out to old friends
  • keep up with annual appointments and tasks
  • schedule service on your vehicle
  • play a board game with your kids
  • not pull your hair out

I’m waiting.

543 Day Writing Journey

Thirteen Years. Day 295.

The headlights from our white Chevy Venture van lit up the front yard of Shamrock Drive, exposing the freshly-cut green grass and the real brick façade that protected the bottom front of our little home. The hunter green front door opened and Roger, hair still wet and sticking up from his shower, walked out. He had on his plaid pajama bottoms and a clean white t-shirt. He was holding the front of his PJ’s just above the knees so they wouldn’t touch the ground. His skin was sun-kissed and squeaky clean.

Continue reading “Thirteen Years. Day 295.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Dystopia. Day 294.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

I don’t watch many shows or movies which are horrific or violent, but some I like have some unsettling moments, like Tarantino, Marvel and other similar science fiction. I don’t generally watch movies or shows of horror, war, or thriller (that’s a broad spectrum, but either way), but the genre that freaks me out the most is dystopian fiction like Handmaid’s Tale.

Continue reading “Dystopia. Day 294.”
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Quiet House. Day 293.

All of the boys are working today, and I am too, but they left and I stayed. It’s just me, the cats, the dogs, and the chickens today, and I thought it would be nice.

It’s too quiet, and I haven’t had a second to myself until now. Once the boys all began working, the others would take over their chores. Now, today anyway, it’s only me. I worked until after two, then did the chores.

I had to tend to the chickens which included feeding them, making sure their water was fresh, counting them, giving them treats, chatting with them for a bit, and collecting their eggs. I also had to peek at the garden and pick what was ready, take out the trash, empty and fill the dishwasher, and so much more that I simply don’t want to list.

While I do all this I have nobody to talk to, not one person to hear me fall in the shower, and the silence is deafening. It’s funny because even the dogs are quiet. It’s eerie.

So, I have made a decision: If I am still single when the boys all move out in fifty years, I will become like Forrest Gump’s mom and have boarders here who I will cook for, rent out rooms to, and share stories with. It actually sounds kind of nice.

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Gisele and her Person. Day 292.

We had a beach day at Tyler’s today and Gisele came along. It’s sweet to see her niece, Maxine, and her nephew, Belichick, love on her and show her the respect she deserves.

She got to see her person, Tyler, and she knew where we were going once we turned down his very long road.

Life is good. I just can’t stand it sometimes.