543 Day Writing Journey

Queso Recipe. Day 402.

Photo by Tabitha Mort on Pexels.com

After many tries and changes, I have perfected the queso recipe! The sauce has a way of sticking to the chip, so a deep dive with your favorite tortilla will coat the chip perfectly. You will find me and the boys standing around the stove eating this queso. It rarely makes it to the table.


Continue reading “Queso Recipe. Day 402.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Pros and Cons. Day 400.

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I was born and raised in Massachusetts until I married a Marine when I was 21. I stayed in NC, even seven years after Roger passed, then decided to move back “home” to Massachusetts. That didn’t work so we moved back “home” to North Carolina. Both states have a piece of my heart, and if you placed them gently on a metal balance, it would be quite even, but the list of pros and cons is long.

Continue reading “Pros and Cons. Day 400.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Let Her Cry. Day 399.

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“Are you sure you’re ready to go out alone?” my friend said to me. We were sitting at the picnic table in my backyard at my house on Shamrock Drive smoking Camel Crush cigarettes and drinking too much coffee.

Continue reading “Let Her Cry. Day 399.”
543 Day Writing Journey

What to Do With All the Peppers? Day 398.

Just a bit of our loot

Peppers, whether they are jalapeños or bells, have never loved living in one of my many gardens. One or two will grow just enough for me to make a big deal about them, and their bitter, thin flesh would make its way into an omelet or pot of red sauce. This was all the case until this year, the year of the peppers.

Continue reading “What to Do With All the Peppers? Day 398.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Baby Talk Hot Take. Day 397.

I can’t handle baby talk. Never could. Never will.

It makes me sound like a snob, yes, but maybe I am a snob, a word snob.

When people use terms like “fur baby” or “rainbow bridge” or when any word in our language is modified to sound more childish or cutesy, it makes me cringe. The problem is, it’s everywhere.

Occasional additions of annoying words:

  • Doggie
  • Tummy
543 Day Writing Journey

When Are They Gonna Get Married? Day 396.

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A few days after Roger died, several people said to me, “You’re still young and beautiful. You will find someone else.” Superficial, yet well-meaning comments like this continued throughout the years. Of course I want to marry again, right? I mean, who stays single? Well, I don’t see that in my future. I’m not saying never, but I am saying that I am complete as a solitary being in the meantime or forever.

Continue reading “When Are They Gonna Get Married? Day 396.”
543 Day Writing Journey

No Place to Go. Day 392.

When I was eighteen with a young Tyler, I was packing to move out of my parents’ house to live in an apartment in Southampton, MA. I had boxes of hand-me-down pots and pans from Nana, cheap, flimsy towels from Ames department store, and a couch that looked as though it belonged on the the Golden Girls’ lanai.

Continue reading “No Place to Go. Day 392.”
543 Day Writing Journey

That Stinks! Day 390.

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After I pour my first hot cup of Cafe Bustello in the morning, I hold the mug with both hands, close my eyes, and inhale the bold bitter scent. I tried that this morning and felt the warm steam hit my face, but no smell of coffee. I tried again. Nothing.

Continue reading “That Stinks! Day 390.”
543 Day Writing Journey

My First Post. Day 385.

I wrote my first blog post for Maescribes! It is very important content about homonyms and how incorrect usage can actually affect your business. Misuse of like words can cause potential clients or customers to have unfair misconceptions about your ability and product. Here she is:

543 Day Writing Journey

Gummy Smile. Day 382.

Baylee at five

Kindergartners with missing teeth are the cutest little angels, right? We cherish the old pixelated or curling photos of our children with gummy smiles, and look back at how cute they were with gaping holes where their little white pebbles once were.

Continue reading “Gummy Smile. Day 382.”
543 Day Writing Journey, poetry

Carnage. Day 381.

Photo by Mahmoud Atashi on Pexels.com
Sappy green canopies and umbrellas and a roof.
Lush, sturdy pine branches with stick walls.
Little big homes made of twigs, mud, hair.
New babies tucked into siblings' warmth.

Gray Mom reappears with three acorns 
and a fluffy, speckled off-white mushroom.
Tail the size of her body,
rising high in alert.
The barred owl screams. Mom's ears perk.
She wraps up with her kits until the sun.

Above them the crows,
Ma and four hatchlings. 
She flies away from the nest,
then comes back,
then flies away,
then comes back. Earth's worm.
Scream scream scream eat it.

They, too, tuck themselves in for the night.
Setting sun.
Under Mom's wide black feather blanket.
Away from the owls and the rain and the chill.
Until the morning sun. 

In a tall pine close but far,
owl's nest.
The downy fledgling watches Mom fly
and waits for the flimsy, soft mouse
or the floppy graying lizard.
All through the night. 

With the sun.
and the waking lids
and the morning dew
and Earth's yawn.
It comes.

Not breeze or flutter of birds,
but crashing and clanking and foreign yelling.
Yellow machines aim at the houses
made of twigs and sticks and branches and trunks.

Work boots and fat tires,
lunch boxes and canteens of coffee.
Raspy yelling and Marlboro smoke.
Chainsaws and ripped, dull blue jeans.

Sappy bleeding horizontal trees.
Settling, blinding dust.
Owl flies, crow flies.
Squirrel grabs her favorite and,
in vain

Down down down the tall pine, 
grabbing with her sharp claws
at the crispy bark
while her little dangles between her teeth.

543 Day Writing Journey

A Little Country Store. Day 380.

Some of this summer’s stash

There’s a little country store for sale at the end of my road on the corner of 117 in Willard. It’s a small rectangle with a flat white roof, and has windows covering most of the front. There’s a little shed out back, a small propane tank, and it’s on a corner lot with ample parking in the dry dirt lot.

Continue reading “A Little Country Store. Day 380.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Tomorrow! Day 374.

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Today is an exciting day!

My sister-in-law, Sherry, is on her way from Tennessee to stay for the weekend. She will join us tomorrow for the 5K in Swansboro, then we will hang out all weekend. Plans? Yes! Menu planned? Yes!

Continue reading “Tomorrow! Day 374.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Picky? Day 372.

When I was a kid, I ate what was put in front of me. There were no other options.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

“She’ll eat anything.” To this day, there isn’t much, unfortunately, that I don’t like.

Continue reading “Picky? Day 372.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Layaway. Day 371.

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It was October and my carriage was full of Hot Wheels tracks, downy Elmo pajamas, miniature Hulk Hogans and Stone Cold Steve Austins, and plush character blankets covered in football helmets or Power Rangers. I pulled up to the register at the back of the store by the bathrooms.

Continue reading “Layaway. Day 371.”
543 Day Writing Journey

9/11 Repost. Day 369.

*If you wish to learn more about our upcoming T2T 5K, or if you would like to donate, please click here:


I wrote this post a year ago and it still stands. Use today to live a little slower, soak up your freedom and peace, and reflect on those we lost that day 21 years ago. Somber, yes, but let’s maybe try to pry ourselves out of that just enough to live live live out of respect for those who perished that day. Also, celebrate the lives of ones like Roger who followed years later because of 9/11.

Mention them, talk about them, REMEMBER them.

This repost is about taking it a little slower and going down virgin roads:

543 Day Writing Journey

Brownies. Day 355.

The basement of the Primary School in Southampton, MA was the first place I have felt complete shame, and it’s attached itself to my psyche and self-worth even until this day, 43 years later.

Continue reading “Brownies. Day 355.”
543 Day Writing Journey

New Curriculum. Day 335.

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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.

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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.”