It’s day 543, the last day of the writing project I have been doing in honor of Roger. I didn’t plan anything for it, no ideas to write about or a grand finale with patriotic banners and Walmart champagne. I thought about copying down his own penned words from a letter or something, but that seemed cliché. Although I didn’t plan anything special for this day, the universe did, and it began with a ripple. I wanted it to be holistic and that’s what happened. Maybe Roger had something to do with it, but I doubt it. He’s never been one to linger in the limelight, to manipulate, to talk loudly.Continue reading “We Ripple. Day 543.”
Category: 543 Day Writing Journey
Currently, I am writing to honor my late husband, Roger L. Adams, Jr. As well as being a prior United States Marine and an Army Soldier, he was a firefighter for three departments in North Carolina. The department we fought fire together at was Half Moon V.F.D. in Jacksonville, NC. There, his badge number was 543, and the number has since been retired.
An Uncle. Day 542.
“You don’t want to move to Jacksonville,” Uncle Lee said. “It’s full of strip clubs and pawn shops.” He was visibly unhappy, but I could tell he was trying to hide it.
“Oh, Lee, leave her alone,” Auntie Sue, his wife, and my dear aunt would say.
“It’s rough,” he said, standing firm.
“Roger says it’s different now,” I told him. He smirked and pursed his lips. Roger was twenty-three and a grunt marine, basically a punk ass to a more seasoned Marine, but Uncle Lee would never say that. I can picture him, though, standing straight, holding a brown bottle of beer, wanting just a private five-minute meeting with Roger. I stood tall, too, because we share that internal, prideful grrrrrr, but inside I was saying “eek.”Continue reading “An Uncle. Day 542.”
A Missing Church, a Damned Person? Day 541.
Jay-Z’s song “No Church in the Wild,” states if there is no knowledge of church and a higher power, they shouldn’t be damned as non-believers. You don’t have to like Jay-Z and his music to contemplate his message, to soak it into your inflated, judgmental noggin. This post is not about the song, but about general naiveté and ignorance of religion, the lack of awareness and acceptance of the original and non-evolving intention. If one is not taught right from wrong, how can they be held responsible? If one doesn’t know about God or whomever they feel most comfortable with, are they doomed to a hot place with pitch forks and painted red faces?Continue reading “A Missing Church, a Damned Person? Day 541.”
Single-Use Shopping Bags. Day 540.
I thrive on accountability because of my pride, mostly, so when I announce to the masses that I will do something, I have no choice. Today, I’m officially making a pledge to stop using single-use bags.Continue reading “Single-Use Shopping Bags. Day 540.”
The Barn on Wolcott and a Dream. Day 539.
My sleeping body was still weighted and languid when my eyes opened. I was on my left side, hand under my face. I felt a small body, like that of an animal behind me, still asleep. It warmed my legs with its relaxed, pudgy form. Without looking or being told, I realized it was a porcupine, a talking one at that, one that meant no harm.
The boys, some other strangers, and I were sleeping in the upstairs of the barn I had in Southampton. My sixth dream sense leads me to believe it was not of our choice. It wasn’t a zombie apocalypse, but more of an annoyance, like someone else was in our house. Gisele was there so we were having to distract her from the porcupine for two reasons: his sake and hers. Yes, it was a boy, and he was tired of being hated because he was not snuggly. What a sad life a porcupine lives, right? I mean, do they snuggle each other?
This isn’t about the porcupine at all, but about a property description. I mean, how do you leave out the part about the porcupine, though. (It’s what happens when you don’t have anyone next to you at night to share your odd dreams with in words. Sue me.)
The Red Barn on Wolcott Road
You will be welcomed by a sweet herb and flower garden at the front entrance. Basil, mint, and daisies dance a gentle tango in circles with the wind, surrounded by deep, black mulch. The muted red stains the barnboards and is complemented by the matte white shutters. There is a small covered area in the front that would work as a patio, bird haven, woodpile, or ice cream shop window.
Open the door to hear a historical squeak as you enter the first floor covered with cool, smooth concrete. To the right is a large bay, perfect for stacking firewood and the seasonal porch windows, screen or glass. To the left is a planting station with a window to allow in natural light for seedlings, complete with rich, black mountain soil and thick wooden shelves for pots, spades, and heirloom seeds.
To the left you will find two more vehicle bays, large enough for a pickup truck, tractor, or ping pong table, sublime for adding some fresh mountain air to the barn. Straight ahead is a heavy wooden sliding door that will take you to the workshop and coop that fits dozens of chickens. The area is laden with shelves galore and tons of drawers for your tools and hardware, and there’s a wood stove for your January creativity. To the left you will find one of the two push-out windows and another bay door that gratefully receives the afternoon sun. The chicken coop is safe and secure with a handy door to collect your eggs, a human-sized door for convenience, and there’s a miniature, outdoor lockable door that leads to the run for your favorite feathered friends. The area is cool and shaded, ideal for those warm summer days. Sounds glorious, right? Well, there’s more.
The stairs to the second floor are nestled between the three bays when you first walk in. Go up the stairs to find a landing, or nook, to stand a Christmas tree or house a small office. On the top of the stairway is a door that leads to a large room to the left with a hay door and a skylight. In that room are also secret wooden doors to store your most treasured trinkets. Straight ahead is a large area with three windows that face the orchard and mountain stream. It also has built-in shelves and lots of outlets. Once an antique shop, the upstairs area could be used as extra living space, a teen room, or a home office. To the right is another antique wooden door with tons of attic space and another hay door, convenient for your livestock.
Road Trip. Day 538.
Dreamy, grand ideas come to me so easily, but I don’t always execute them. This one, however, I really want to do.Continue reading “Road Trip. Day 538.”
Another Dad List. Day 534.
Let’s continue yesterday’s list:Continue reading “Another Dad List. Day 534.”
Quick Thoughts About your Dad. Day 533.
Going through my blog post list, I realize I will not be able to write about each item I have listed. Of course, there are many about Dad, and because I want to talk about them all, I will shorten each one and list them out instead of dedicating a separate post for each. Here you go:Continue reading “Quick Thoughts About your Dad. Day 533.”
Tics. Day 532.
I’ve always had tics and almost lost a hand because of them. Tics are physical movements or vocal sounds one makes, either involuntary or voluntary, that are repetitive and obsessive. Click HERE to read more about them and their potential causes. Lately, my tics have been more frequent and prominent, but thankfully I know how to deal with them and have been for over forty years.Continue reading “Tics. Day 532.”
Concentration of Peace. Day 531.
Baylee is collecting branches and sticks for his Foodways and Sustainable Living class, so I thought it would be a lovely time to sit outside at the picnic table and write about the present.Continue reading “Concentration of Peace. Day 531.”
They’re Their Peers. Day 530.
Baylee’s peers are his brothers. Some could say it’s a product of the COVID lockdown, the fact that he’s homeschooled, or that he isn’t currently involved in sports. It’s not, though. He simply enjoys their company. Actually, it’s quite true for each of them. Although their ages are spread out, they still choose to spend time together.Continue reading “They’re Their Peers. Day 530.”
Home. Day 529.
My boys are all home.
Out in the World Again. Day 528.
It’s so nice to be out in the world again, working amongst real live people. The Writer’s Center is a community. We all want each other to succeed, instructors, tutors, and students alike. Don’t get me wrong, I love being home wearing pajamas while I work, but I feel a little more alive working part-time in-person.Continue reading “Out in the World Again. Day 528.”
Sneak Peek. Day 527.
My cookbook is currently on the fourth print. The first two were flubbed by the printers, so I changed directions. Now, I’m using Barnes & Noble Press. The first printing I did myself produced a book that was simply too large and elementary, so I’m currently waiting for the new volume to arrive. (Crossing fingers)Continue reading “Sneak Peek. Day 527.”
Brahmas. Day 526.
According to Wikipedia, Brahma is the “God of Creation” or “Creator of the Universe.” We’ve all heard of the Brahma Bull, too, but in my life, the word means a very sweet, very big, chicken, and we have two.Continue reading “Brahmas. Day 526.”
Productive Day. Day 525.
Because I plan to put these posts in print one day for the kids, and because my mind has no creativity left today, I will list what we’ve done:Continue reading “Productive Day. Day 525.”
Seventeen and Pregnant. Day 524.
I tugged on my short-sleeve white maternity shirt but it wouldn’t cover the bottom of my growing belly. I wore colorful leggings and flats that squeezed my swelling, sockless feet. Fighting to raise my shoulders and chin, I walked into my high school on the first day of my senior year.Continue reading “Seventeen and Pregnant. Day 524.”
My Superbowl Berth. Day 523.
I earned a slot allowing me to compete for incubator space and an undeserved and not-sought-after position in the cold, dark world. Actually, my berth was granted to my eighteen-year-old mother in lieu of the fact that I had not yet existed. It was for Superbowl Sunday, January 13, 1974, the day I was born. Although I was unable to actually attend the game, I cashed in my berth, my “winning” lottery ticket, at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, MA. It was Superbowl VIII. The Dolphins beat the Vikings 24-7. I vaguely don’t remember it.Continue reading “My Superbowl Berth. Day 523.”
Not Much Time Left. Day 522.
I have twenty-one days left with this writing project I’ve been doing. I will be at day 543 in less than a month, and it makes me wonder.Continue reading “Not Much Time Left. Day 522.”
Emu Research. Day 521.
The emu research didn’t go as well as the alpaca one. We started by watching newborn emus hatching from gorgeous and very giant deep blue eggs. When they finally pecked their way out, the helpless little babies wobbled around trying to walk.Continue reading “Emu Research. Day 521.”
Alpaca Research. Day 520.
In our research on what to do with the back field, Max, Baylee, and I chose to check out information about Alpacas last night. We watched YouTube videos created by Old Redding Farm in Connecticut. They raise emus, chickens, and alpacas, to name a few.Continue reading “Alpaca Research. Day 520.”
The Back Field. Day 519.
It’s a warm day with lots of sunshine. The birds are particularly happy and chatty today, causing me to reminisce about summer.Continue reading “The Back Field. Day 519.”
The Good and the Bad. Day 518.
I must mention one more thing. It may not be the last I speak of Gronk during my mourning period, but I have to mention it either way:Continue reading “The Good and the Bad. Day 518.”
Gronk Gronk. Day 517.
Because he was a mixed-breed, I thought we would have more time with him.
Over eleven years earlier, Hurricane Irene threatened to hit us pretty hard. It was August 2011. I was with the fire department at the time, waiting for a call about a downed tree or a hole in someone’s roof. The storm began to calm so I took a nap.Continue reading “Gronk Gronk. Day 517.”
Not Today. Day 516.
I’ll talk about it tomorrow. I need another day.
Our Loss. Day 515.
Rest in peace, Gronk.
Reflection. Day 514.
On the mornings I tutor at the college, I wake early and have a few minutes to write my post while the house is still quiet.Continue reading “Reflection. Day 514.”
The Mugs That Thread Us. Day 513.
A chip on the edge is fine except if it draws blood or maybe if you’ve been wanting to get rid of it anyway, like the ones from the insurance company or your local bank. (They’re usually ten-ouncers anyway. Too small.)
One time, a mug bit me in the hand, quite badly, actually. It was my favorite one shaped like an owl. It began tumbling down from an impressive stack of dishes in the strainer. I tried to save it, but it kind of blew up in my hand, piercing a large shard into the side of my right hand. I should have gone to the emergency room, but I waited until the next day, and it was too late for stitches. For a week, Baylee had to shift gears in the Jeep for me, and to this day, I have an unattractive and very odd bump.
My favorite right now is a new one from Tyler and Deaven. It’s smooth, curvy, and white and says “I’m at a difficult age” where you put your mouth, and on the inside, it says, “That’s it.”
Our mugs are threads to our past, and they join our homes on special days like Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc., and they tell the story of the people in the house. Upon a visit to mine, you will notice we are fans of Marvel, The Office, The Wizard of Oz, and Westfield State University.
The contents of the cups hold our much-needed coffee, warm tea with milk and honey on a rainy day, and sometimes even tomato soup or peaches-and-cream oatmeal.
We don’t celebrate our mugs enough, but offer them a sweet nod by replenishing our stash a few times a year. I wonder if they rejoice at their new family member.
The Crack. Day 512.
The sun claims the afternoon sky, in the way it does from behind the winter haze, glowing white, burning imaginary holes, piercing the center of my pupils. It’s four P.M., and nobody else is on the ice but me and Kim.
“Where is everyone?”Continue reading “The Crack. Day 512.”
Home Alone. Day 511.
Last night, the boys all spent the night at Tyler’s watching WWE and eating pizza and grinders from Michelangelo’s.
“Will you be OK, Mom?” they each asked me separately the day before.Continue reading “Home Alone. Day 511.”
That Horse. Day 510.
There’s a horse I can see through the empty deciduous trees when I tend to the chickens. I think he’s a red chestnut. Red short-haired body and red mane and tail, the sun’s shine obvious even so far away. He stands through the trees and over the fields and watches me from the tops of his hooves and legs and chest. He stops chewing his grassy whatever and looks at me from under his long black lashes as I toss dusty scratch at my hens and roosters. He turns just slightly enough to watch me as I toss the tennis ball to Gronk and he stops walking and turns when he hears me come outside again to collect one or two eggs. I find myself making excuses to go outside like I need one. I walk casually to the right of the property and aim myself at the back field. As I walk, I peer to the right just slightly enough to see him waiting for me, laughing to himself at my predictability. When I turn to aim my gaze directly at him, he resumes his chewing and looks away to seem disinterested. His name I’ll never know just as mine he won’t either, but this is our story. Mine and his. I’ll look for him tomorrow when I step outside to crash the thin ice that rests gently atop the chickens’ water, and he will hopefully be waiting to catch of glimpse of the odd and mysterious human he waits for. I hope he’s there. If he’s not, I will look again next time, and remember him always.
A Football Haiku. Day 509.
No more Patriots.
Dips, us, end of a season.
Go forty niners.
An End of an Era. Day 508.
My phone rang. It was Tyler. He was on his way home from a long-awaited and well-deserved mountain vacation with Deaven and their two German Shepherds in Bryson City, NC.Continue reading “An End of an Era. Day 508.”
Nana’s Trick. Day 507.
Nana was pretty much a lefty. She primarily wrote with her left hand but was completely proficient at using her right as well. That’s not the coolest part.
Nana could, with both hands, write her name at the same time! One name she would write the regular way, and the other she would write backward. If she held the paper up to a mirror, it looked perfect.
Her penmanship was also an art with clean, curved ups and downs. Tiny cursive a’s would mix with high and straight t’s. It was beautiful. It is beautiful.
I miss Nana, but I am so grateful to still have her perfect prose on intentional notepaper.
The Sweets Intro that Never Was. Day 506.
As with the breakfast intro, the sweets intro will not make it into my cookbook. I don’t want these pieces to die, so I must share:
We fortunate ones have fond memories of walking around the kitchen with a beater loaded with hot pink frosting, or of secretly dipping our finger into the freshly whipped and sweetened cream. Birthdays, holidays, and just plain old days are the best days for sweets! Of course, it is best to eat them in moderation, but I have not perfected that practice yet. The following recipes, like chocolate toffee bars and my version of banana pudding are a simple few of the boys’ favorites.
When they were small, I refrained from buying packaged cookies and cakes as much as possible. Since I was taught to cook at a very early age, I was fortunate to know how to prepare all the sweets we would need for special occasions and weekends. Plus, we could not afford to stock our cabinets with colorful packages of snacks and highly processed foods, so I, with teachings from my mom, made them from scratch. Desserts and treats would be simple, like graham crackers with homemade chocolate frosting, and with other uncomplicated and clean ingredients like real butter, pure sugar, and eggs from our chickens.
When some people see the word “scratch,” they shy away from attempting to create. Most of the following sweet recipes are easy to make, so try. Also, ones like “Nana’s Dessert,” and “North/South ‘Banana’ Pudding” require more assembling and less scratch-baking, so start there on your venture to feed the sweetest of teeth!
Breakfast Intro. Day 505.
My cookbook is broken into sections like “Breakfast,” “Football Food,” etc., and initially I had an intro for each section. I decided to omit those writeups and keep it simple. This is what I was going to include in the breakfast section:Continue reading “Breakfast Intro. Day 505.”
Writing Bios. Day 504.
Today’s post piggybacks on my Maescribes site. It’s about writing bios, something I’ve truly grown to love doing, so long as it’s not about myself.
Mom, There’s Nothing to Eat! Day 503.
My Short Intro:
Fifty-three original and oh-so-tasty recipes require whole ingredients, stretchy pants, and a miniscule amount of patience. Using savory and sweet links to the past, the food was created in quaint home kitchens in North Carolina and Massachusetts. A true, small-scale project, Mom, There’s Nothing to Eat! is the first book creation of Teresa Forester Adams, mother of four sons, war widow, and local writer.
Knit One. Day 502.
Nana taught me to knit when I was a teenager, and I pick it up every now and then. Being a rainy day, today seemed like the perfect day to revisit the pastime of click click tick tick.Continue reading “Knit One. Day 502.”
Brother Fans. Day 501.
“I see him walking around!” Baylee said.
“No, he just took his break,” said Max.Continue reading “Brother Fans. Day 501.”
Late-Talker. Day 500.
Baylee was over three before he started speaking clearly enough for outsiders to understand him. The doctors were concerned and their concern turned into my concern, yet I didn’t lose sleep over it.Continue reading “Late-Talker. Day 500.”
Eggs? Day 499.
I’m reading about egg shortages all over the place. People share funny jokes about it online, but when I was at the store yesterday, I saw it myself. They were almost eight bucks!
They are saying it’s because of supply chain shortages as well as illness in the hens.
This spring, we are hoping to grow new babies, add to our flock with our existing hens. We’ve done it once and it was incredible! It’s nice to have fresh eggs every day. It’s also nice to help out friends once in awhile.
The Kitchen. Day 498.
Working is new to me. Maybe that’s why I love it so much. Because I stayed home all those years to raise the boys, I do have moments when I feel I need to prove myself, moments of insecurity in the professional world.
Continue reading “The Kitchen. Day 498.”
Pieces of Me. Day 497.
Now that the cookbook is almost ready to be sent to the printers (again), I’ve been eyeing my memoir as my next project. Although I dread diving deeply into the memories of those days, the ones concentrated with grief, part of me is excited to revise and finally be done with it.Continue reading “Pieces of Me. Day 497.”
Loon. Day 496.
Nana would take us to Maine in the summer for vacation and we would stay in a house in Winthrop. It rested high and proud on a crystal-clear lake.Continue reading “Loon. Day 496.”
Reset. Day 495.
Today I will use to reset, to clear my mind, and to ready myself for a gloriously productive week.
Puzzles. Day 494.
I received jigsaw puzzles for my birthday and Christmas this year. I’ve always loved doing them. It’s calming exercise for the brain, and it taps into the nostalgic pockets of the mind.Continue reading “Puzzles. Day 494.”
Forty Nine. Day 493.
I need to be awesome this year. 49.
Lists. Day 492.
Writers, do you have a list of topics you wish to write about? Is it on your phone, computer, or on paper with real ink? The what-should-I-write-about list in my phone is getting longer and longer, but I don’t write about those topics because I’ve been so busy lately, and they’re too important to rush.Continue reading “Lists. Day 492.”
A Hammer Repost. Day 491.
As a nod to Max on starting a new semester at UNCW today, here’s a repost about his name.