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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Facing it Head on With a Silver-Can Shield. Day 285.

If you think about it, who amongst us doesn’t experience a little sadness on days like Fathers Day? Whether we’re missing someone who’s passed, mixed up in an estranged relationship, or maybe some of us have never had a father.

Continue reading “Facing it Head on With a Silver-Can Shield. Day 285.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Squatters. Day 284.

The boys and I moved to a bigger house in 2009, but I couldn’t imagine selling the home that Roger and I bought together, the one where we raised our little family for seven years. It was the last place I saw him, and Max and Baylee’s first house.

Continue reading “Squatters. Day 284.”
543 Day Writing Journey

A Bungalow. Day 282.

As Steve Rogers says, “I can do this all day.” I love love love writing property descriptions, especially ones as charming as this. This is one of the five I’ve written in the past twenty-four. Thanks, God.

Continue reading “A Bungalow. Day 282.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Perspective. Day 277.

“Maxwell, come up here,” Roger said to Max, many, many times.”

Max dragged his blanket with one hand and used the other to balance himself as he stood and walked from the end of the bed to the middle of me and Roger.

Continue reading “Perspective. Day 277.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Feetie Pajamas. Day 275.

Fleecy flannel feeties, 
Warm, lightweight, cheap,
Kmart $3.99.

Primary red, blue, yellow.
Soft hand-me-downs,
washed in Dreft and Downy.

Hanging by the wooden pins,
by the white plastic toes,
swaying in the North Carolina wind.

Zip up zip down,
carefully,
Lesson learned once.

You, too tall but not too wide,
so I cut the feet off for you,
then they fit again.

Big brother then small,
Same ones shared at different times,
until one day.

No more feetie pajamas
swaying in the wind, 
or tumbling in the washer, 
or sticking out of the top drawer, 
or in the cart at the non-existent Kmart.

One day, gone.
No warning or thought.
Just gone, 
in the dump on Ramsey Road in Jacksonville,
or the white trash bag for the Good Will,
or the box in the attic that the rats got to.

Gone. 
RIP feetie pajamas. 



543 Day Writing Journey

Zucchini Balls. Day 274.

These zucchini balls can be eaten with your favorite homemade or jarred sauce and served with crispy, buttery garlic bread, and a spring green salad. That is, of course, if you can wait. They have the same texture as a meatball, but are filled with healthy, flavorful ingredients, like whole-milk mozzarella and fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Continue reading “Zucchini Balls. Day 274.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Raided by Rats. Day 271.

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I sat up in bed and looked at Roger who was standing in the hallway outside our bedroom on Shamrock Drive. The only light was shining a dim yellow from a small fixture above and behind his head, so I could only see his shape, and not his face. He was about to pull down the stairs to the attic because we just heard a mouse trap snap.

Continue reading “Raided by Rats. Day 271.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Change is Strange. Day 266.

Photo by David Gomes on Pexels.com

There are some shows and movies I watch simply because the kids do, and they recommend it. I begin because I like talking about stories, and since they’re not big readers (cry), I appreciate the next-best thing.

We discuss and debate the storyline, intention, character development, theories, etc. We don’t simply look at the surface of what’s on the screen, but all of the intricacies. After a couple years, they convinced me last summer to watch Stranger Things.

I’m not particularly fond of gore, and science fiction is a new interest of mine. I thought it would be a show about a bunch of kids, kind of Gooniesesque, with young, shallow love storylines or monsters who jump out and say “boo.” I didn’t realize the amount of layers and conversation starters the series would have.

Well, it does, and yesterday we watched the first few episodes of Season Four, the newest release from the franchise. It was awesome!

What’s new to me, besides my interest in science fiction, is my ability to withstand the gory scenes. Maybe it’s the way the team presents it or maybe it’s me being desensitized, but I am able to move past it and look deeper into the story.

I am babbling, I know, but I don’t want to spoil any of it for anyone, so I suppose I should end it here and continue later when people have had enough time to watch.

Try it! If you lived during the 80’s, that alone will be enough to have you gape-mouthed watching the TV for the different styles and brands, oh the brands. You’ll see old soda cans, different store brands like Benetton, and sneakers that I imagine were hard to find or had to be custom-made.

I just love it, all of it. Broaden your scope and break away from the same old. Trust me.

543 Day Writing Journey

On Behalf of a Grateful Nation: A Memoir Page. Day 265.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. I have to do it this way,” he said with a kind, firm tone. He was responding to my babble, my unanswerable questions, my erratic spin.

There was another man in uniform next to him, Sgt. Perez. I knew him, yet it didn’t register. There was also a police officer who I went to high school with. The night was dark and quiet. All of this was going on while the boys were asleep inside.

American tradition with its glory and Colors dictated how I would find out. My husband, Roger, of thirteen years had been killed in Iraq. He was driving a Humvee and ran over an Improvised Explosive Device. He was killed instantly, and I know it was fast because they said, “He didn’t know it even happened” like a billion fucking times. My first reaction was to reason with this young man and ask for proof. I thoroughly believed I could argue it away, mechanical and irrational.

I didn’t cry or fall like they do in the movies. There was no yelling because I didn’t want the kids to find out. I stood there in my parents’ front yard on a warm summer night in Southampton, Massachusetts. I’m sure the crickets were making noise, and maybe the bats were circling above, wanting to nuzzle their faces into my tangled hair. I felt like I needed to put on a bra and brush my teeth.

The boys and I had only been in the state for a few short hours. I stood there without my legs, with nobody to hold me. It felt like everything inside me was unattached and floating around. It was all gone. I was floating on very hot nothing, melted hell, and all I could concentrate on was the young private’s face.

“I’m sorry you had to do this,” I said to the poor kid. He just stood there after telling me the words. He looked perplexed, not knowing what to say next, pale. When I recall that night, I still feel for that boy, and the job he had to do, his vital composure.

The stranger and I stared at each other for some time, then for some nonsensical reason, I looked in the window of my parents’ house. There stood Sammy, ten-years old, pillow hair and full lips like his daddy, looking at me through the glass door, wondering who I was talking to in the middle of the night.

543 Day Writing Journey

Comments. Day 258.

I used to click on the comments, especially on a controversial post. It took me years to realize it altered my mood and made me snappy and even crabby. Why do we do this to ourselves?

Continue reading “Comments. Day 258.”
543 Day Writing Journey

In the Wolcott Woods. Day 257.

Black bears, lost count.
Dense fur, giant square,
thick-padded paws on hinges.
She sees my face.
Her sweet browns, relaxed brows.
She saunters away, silent,
fur moving in waves,
like thick, black gravy.
In the Wolcott Woods.

Turkeys for days and then
for none.
Moms, dads, babies, friends.
Polygamy.
Intelligent;
(except for the time
that tom was fighting his reflection
in the truck chrome)
They fly to the tops of the trees
and stay together,
walking through the woods
and fields like friendly Skeksis,
modern velociraptors.
In the Wolcott Woods.

Possums, one in the coop.
Screaming smiling foxes.
A knocked-kneed, young moose!
Hundreds of deer who,
with their skittish babies, raid my apple trees.
Rabbits with nests of holes.
Bushy coyotes during the day,
call for each other at night,
or when a firetruck whirs by.
In the Wolcott Woods.

Gurgling ravens float in the sky,
chased by four spiteful crows.
Red-tailed hawks perch,
on the top of the chicken run,
smiling down.
Owls, barred, barn, and great-horned,
ask for them and dive for mice.
In the Wolcott Woods.

Bobcats in arm's reach, slight smile,
While they lick lick lick,
from atop the spilled willow tree.
Wetlands with the cat tails,
and juicy ticks,
a sentry for me from him,
or him from me.
In the Wolcott Woods.

They don't believe:
I looked up at the road
and saw a bobcat crossing over
I said, "hey!" and it turned to take a peek
then I saw,
tail dragging, touching the road.
Crossing through to find a mate,
local myth.
In the Wolcott Woods

Shut-down world,
need some air.
Freshly brittled leaves and babbling brook.
Prints in the white crystals,
or viscous watery dirt.
Slick mountain boulders covered in
crystal-tipped moss.
Walking with my girl, my girls.
In the Wolcott woods.


543 Day Writing Journey

Sandwich. Day 254.

Nana was in the big-enough, poorly-lit kitchen, wiping down the counter with a brand new yellow sponge minutes after she parked her car after a three-hour drive. We all loaded up our skinny arms with supplies for the week and brought them from the car to the house, flip-flops flipping and flopping along the way.

Continue reading “Sandwich. Day 254.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Chopper Mom. Day 245.

“Eat your breakfast now,” I said to Baylee.

“Why?”

“So I can be home in case you choke.” I was getting ready to leave for work, and he would be alone all day.

I suppose that seems funny or over-the-top for some, but it’s our way of life. It’s not a chosen way of life, and maybe not even situational, but it’s tangible and constant.

When I say situational, I mean some would think we are worriers because of what happened to us, but it’s also genetic. I come from a long line of worriers, so our situation, so-to-speak, simply and complicatedly magnified and continues to magnify our worry.

If a dog limps, we go to the worst case scenario, and Heaven forbid they cough. That’s another story. We continuously suffer the consequences of our genes and happenings by living a life full of what-ifs. We have to put significant effort into enjoying life, celebrating, but we can and we do.

We party and swim and go to the beach. (Although I do stare at my man-children in case they need me to save them from drowning.) We have to put a little more effort into living and having fun, but we do.

Usually when a child turns into an adult, the parent stops telling them things like “Don’t cut yourself” or “chew slower” but I never hit that wall. I never stopped. I don’t think I will actually. Maybe I’m that mom who does get into the pilot’s seat and helicopters over their heads. If that’s what it takes to keep them safe, then so be it.

Just call me, Chopper Mom. (Very superheroesque. I need a cape.)

543 Day Writing Journey

No Memories. Day 240.

Everything Baylee knows about Roger is from what he’s been told and photos he’s seen. Just today he quoted to me, “You know that the earliest memories begin around three years old.” He was not quite three when Roger died. I could see his quiet face concentrating on the math.

Continue reading “No Memories. Day 240.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Worry. Day 238.

It’s debilitating and I think I do it to myself. I wish I had that gift of letting my kids figure it all out on their own, but I’m the mom who always says, “Don’t cut yourself” when they’re holding scissors or “Don’t choke” when they’re eating. Mind you, my kids are not babies anymore, and I don’t see an end in sight to my madness.

I’m not a helicopter mom, but a reminder mom who lectures and makes sure they know what they most likely already know.

Max went to his first day of work today after just getting his license, and I worried all morning until I got his text. “I made it. Love you.” I took a deep breath and thanked God.

All day we texted, him initiating more than I did because I was trying to give him space. Well, he forgot his charger, which in this day and age, and since he didn’t know the way yet, means he didn’t know how to get home.

“My phone is at one percent,” he texted me.

“You’ll have to figure it out,” I said, wanting to cry.

Well, he did, and he’s on his way home now. I knew he could do it, but why don’t I want to let him?

543 Day Writing Journey

New Drivers. Day 234.

Max finally earned his driver’s license! Due to him not being in a rush, COVID restrictions at the RMV in Massachusetts, and one failed attempt, it took longer than he would have liked. He got it, though. He practiced and studied and went in there knowing what he was doing. We were both very freaked out, but when he rounded that corner, I saw that smile his dad gave him stuck on his face, and I knew.

Continue reading “New Drivers. Day 234.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Beach Property for Rent. Day 233.

This hasn’t been published yet, so I eliminated the names.

Find harmony on a tranquil part of the island in this newly painted, clean and cheerful six bedroom, four and a half bathroom ocean-view house that sleeps fourteen people and has six balconies! You will admire the sunrise, sunset, inlet, and the ocean from this three-story home. This dog-friendly, newly decorated house nestled in the private community of &*%$* boasts a beach access and three stories, each with its own living area with ample comfortable seating and smart TVs.

Smart TVs are also in each of the six bedrooms ready for you to sign on to your favorite streaming apps. Two of the bedrooms, one on the first floor and one on the second are master suites with king beds and their own bathroom. Other bedrooms include two more on the first floor and another two on the third floor, enough room and separation for several families. 

The house sits on a cul de sac, right across from the private community beach access, offering a safe, short walk to the sand and sea. This part of the island will lend you a serene beach stay with an array of restaurants, bars, and shops only a short drive away, but not close enough to cause a loud, busy vibe.

The staircase at the front of the house will guide you to the first floor which boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living area, and the convenience of a laundry room so you may return home with clean clothes, but it doesn’t stop there.

The second floor is the heart of the home with a sitting area, a large living room with ocean views, one bedroom, and two bathrooms. It is also home to the well-stocked kitchen, a gourmet chef’s dream with a Keurig bar, stainless steel appliances, a dining area with a large table that seats eight, and additional seating at the kitchen bar and center island. Adults can enjoy a glass of wine in the ocean-view living room while the kids play games a short distance away upstairs.

The third floor, a child’s dream, has two bedrooms, a large sitting area with a table perfect for games or snacktime, another bathroom, and a game nook well-stocked with board games. Children will love the bright colors and ocean life decor while they create lifelong memories.

Don’t wait to book this property in the highly-coveted area of *%^@&$?. It will go fast! 

543 Day Writing Journey

Pigging Out. Day 232.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Walmart has boxes of cereal, name brand cereal, called Mega size. Last night I tucked a bright orange, 31.2 ounce box of Reese’s Puffs under my arm and brought it to bed with me. I knew I wanted to add to the extra milk at the bottom of my enormous bowl a little at a time, many, many times. Then I drank as much of the milk as I could before it made me sick, fell asleep, and dreamt about Wanda carrying around a live copperhead. I awoke this morning with a sore mouth, dirty dishes in my room (which I read is no good for one’s mental state), and no remorse.

Continue reading “Pigging Out. Day 232.”