There is no cure
for deadline stress
like Munchos and Crush.
On my way home. A general buck.
There is no cure
for deadline stress
like Munchos and Crush.
On my way home. A general buck.
Our search for a new canine family member came to an end quickly. Of course, Baylee was on it like sweetness on a honeycrisp apple, but the discovery was actually made by me and by accident on social media.
While scrolling through my Facebook feed the day after I wrote that post, I saw a female shepherd on a local rescue site. She reminded me of my David. They both show their energy in their eyes, and she was six months old so the potty training and chewing up stuff would almost be over for her, so I filled out an application.Continue reading “Like a Nail in the Head. Day 92.”
The pregnancy test was one that turned from white to blue if the result was positive. It had been sitting in the top drawer of my dresser for weeks, and I was waiting for the perfect time to use it when I had the house to myself. The stick turned gray, which allowed me some more time to be in denial and continue living my teenage life.Continue reading “My Unanswered Prayer. Day 91.”
There’s never the perfect time to have a baby, just like there’s never a good time to add any member to the family, including the non-human kind.
Our pups are all pushing ten years old, which means they are a little slower than they used to be. It takes nothing away from their majestic spirits, but I’d love to add a new member to the pack while the ones who live here now are spry enough to show them the ropes.Continue reading “It is Time. Day 89.”
“What’s your insurance company?” the lady behind the counter at Walgreens asked.
“Um.” Max wasn’t sure. He was in line to receive his COVID booster shot.
I said, “He has Tricare. They only give us an ID and not an insurance ca . . . ”
“How old is he?!” she interrupted.
“He’s twenty,” I said.
“Then, I need to talk to him!” she said, very angrily.Continue reading “Mean People. Day 88.”
Sammy and I were talking about Roger the other day, and my vanity kicked in, again.
“I hope when I get to heaven, I’m not too old for him,” I said. Roger was 36 when he died. I’m 47 now.
“I think you get to choose how you look,” said Sammy.Continue reading “Heavenly Conceit Rant. Day 87.”
It was 2002, and years since I was able to get my hair done. Between Roger being deployed so much and having small children, I just couldn’t find the time. I made an appointment at the JCPenney salon in the Jacksonville Mall. I was nervous.
The appointment was in the evening so Roger could stay with the boys. The mall smells of pizza and perfume found my nose as I walked into the building. I found my way to JCPenney, checked in, and waited until she called my name.Continue reading “Are You Itchy? Day 86.”
It was a winter Saturday and we had been at our new home, a single-wide trailer in Hubert, NC, for eighteen days. As a new family, we were starting to form a routine that worked for the three of us. Although we had only been married a few weeks, we were feeling comfortable with each other, and dancing on our very own white, puffy cloud-nine.Continue reading “January 13, 1996. Day 85.”
When I look back and reread some of my posts, I fight the desire to cringe. I’ve become quite boring over the years.
I talk about my chickens, sustainability, road trips, writing, and I even penned poetry about some wild turkeys I befriended a few years back. It’s white-knuckle stuff, I know, but it’s dull. I’m dull. What happened to me? Don’t say it’s an aging thing because I’m not there yet.Continue reading “I’m Boring. Day 84.”
Heck no, I’m not dating. I don’t have a Match.com account or an ad in the local paper that reads “Must love dogs” or “SWF seeking ______.” At this point in my life, I can’t even imagine getting in a car with someone never mind sitting down in a restaurant sharing my life story with them. For the first time in a long while, Teresa is mine, and I’m not really wanting to share her.Continue reading “Dating. Day 83.”
There’s this funny little dark cloud that loves to hover over the function of any house I am living in at the time. It rains on my well, stoves, many dishwashers, heat pumps which have always been used to air condition my houses in North Carolina. (Look it up.) We’ve lived with non-functioning faucets, broken dryers, non-working toilets, and so many other affected components of our houses’ moving parts, most recently, the water heater.Continue reading “No Hot Water Still. Day 82.”
Mutual friends of mine went through a nasty divorce and I remained in touch with them both. I heard both sides of the story but not the third side, and also remained friends with their children. Like many other people in the world, I have suffered with heartbreaking estrangements, some of my own doing, others I continue to be confused about. Either way, rifts are common and very awkward especially when it comes to mutual friends.Continue reading “Awkward Relationships. Day 81.”
It runneth over.
He’s a lone Tom,
down the hill.
With swinging swag,
he’s hopeful still.
We started early this morning, running around Wallace about eight o’clock when everything opened. Sammy went to work and Max, Doo, and I went to the store to get extra butter, because, butter, a longer tablecloth for the eight-foot fold-up we have, and a basketball that we won’t keep in the dog yard. Pop.Continue reading “My Commitment. Day 78.”
Baylee and I were in the furniture store, finally ready to purchase a sectional for our new home. While we were sitting on the one we chose, waiting for the salesperson to finalize the deal, he asked me a question.
“How did you meet Dad?”Continue reading “How I Met Your Dad. Day 77.”
For the past few years, we have put some serious effort into being a more sustainable family. We don’t use paper plates, paper towels, Red Solo cups, and other disposable items. We try to use the dishwasher when we can to limit the water we use to wash the dishes, and we’ve replaced paper napkins with cloth ones.Continue reading “Sustainability. Day 76.”
“Is your husband handy with power tools?” The plumber was referring to a small piece of baseboard that needed trimming.
“I don’t have a husband and I know how to use power tools,” I said, smiling.
“It’s OK,” I said. “Really.”Continue reading “Independence. Day 75.”
So, one day when either I or one of my sons look back on these daily posts, we may need a reminder of how awesome we are, and how capable we are. So, this is what we’ve accomplished in the past year:Continue reading “What We’ve Done. Day 74.”
I was asleep when the pager went off with its short, bursting beeps. I put on my flip flops, told Tye he was in charge of the house, and got in my truck. I turned on my red flashing light that was on the dashboard and drove the five minutes to the fire department.
We were responding to another district as automatic aid. That means if it was a certain type of call, like a structure fire, we were set to respond automatically to help them.Continue reading “Smoke Detectors. Day 73.”
We kept driving, absorbing the familiarity of our beloved North Carolina. Tyler and his girlfriend, Deaven, were waiting at the house for us. We hadn’t met her yet, and I wanted her to be comfortable with us. I remember thinking she must be nervous, and we were about to come in like a few rusty wrecking balls with all our drama, emotions, and creatures. They live about an hour away, so they planned to stay the night and we were so looking forward to spending time with them, especially since we hadn’t seen Tyler in over a year.
Months before our trip, we had our first Christmas away from each other. We put Tyler on the big screen TV in the living room and connected with him via Zoom. I would internally cringe each time there was a glitch, or Tyler’s face froze, and felt myself many times wanting to throw something heavy and sharp at the TV, hating not being with him. We made the best of it, but as I continued driving toward our new home, I fantasized about our next Christmas, one where we would all be together.Continue reading “The Big Move Part III. Day 72.”
Once we realized sleep was not going to happen, we let the dogs out and tried to find the two cats, Gary and Salad, to put them in their crates. We tossed the last of our belongings into the truck, realizing we didn’t even have room for our food bag. Eating was the last thing on our minds anyway. It was time to get the chickens.
We had large bins with wire tops and a ventilated truck bed to take them. Most bins had two hens in them, but some had three if they were smaller. We also had to incorporate two roosters in the mix, including one who is testy. That part actually went quite smoothly. We had a good plan, but they didn’t like it.Continue reading “The Big Move Part II. Day 71.”
Uncle Lee’s face was painted with worry. He spent the day at our house, helping us get it ready to leave for the new owners. He even left halfway through to go to an appointment and came back to help some more.
“Remember, if you see anyone that looks shady, just leave. And don’t stop at any rest areas where you don’t feel comfortable. You may want to carry a gun of some sort, even a small one just in case. Don’t trust anyone and don’t be afraid to tell them you’re Gold Star.” He was sad to see us leave, and we were sad to leave him.Continue reading “The Big Move Part I. Day 70.”
It was Thanksgiving and the kitchen in Nana’s small house in Laurel Park in Northampton was split down the middle with long, rectangle tables lined up to make one large seating area for over twenty people. Oversized antique serving dishes were filled with mounds of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and bright orange butternut squash, and there was a table setting for each person including the good silver and a wine glass for the family toast. The air was warm to contrast the cool November, and the low murmur of people talking quietly within their circles wafted around the room. Nana was wearing an apron over her clean white blouse and dark slacks, and on her face was a smile showing her pride for her very large, blended family.
After we ate dinner at Nana’s, we would make our way over to my paternal grandparents’ house in the next town over to have dinner there, also. Margie, my grandmother, would serve turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, corn, and her special dressing. Their house was crowded, too, and aunts, uncles, and cousins drank Budweiser Beer, and everyone checked in with each other and asked, “What’s new with you? How is school?” The meal was buffet-style, but the mood was the same holiday cheer. They were grand celebrations with no phones or other distractions, and we were all genuinely happy to see each other. Babies were passed around the room and at times, people would become emotional.
One day, it all stopped, but I can’t recall or detail that exact minute, and I wish I had not taken those moments for granted. People pass, relationships break up, people become estranged, and for other Ob‐La‐Di, Ob‐La‐Da reasons, things don’t stay the same. For so many decades, though, we celebrated the holidays the same way, with no changes, and I leaned on it, relied on it, and I miss it. It’s a reminder, I suppose, to live in the present, and appreciate the moments that will surely flee.
“Where are you going?” I asked Roger.
“Kmart,” he said with a serious face.
“Again?” I asked.
“I just need one more bulb and a short extension cord.”
“Don’t you think we have enough cords?” I asked.
“It’ll only be ten bucks. Tye, put shoes on and come with me to Kmart.”
“Can I get a candy bar?” Tye asked.
“Fine,” Roger answered.Continue reading “The Village. Day 68.”
Since Sammy has his own vehicle now, a full-time job, and has graduated college, he has his own car insurance. Some of the lingo and decisions he had to make confused him.
“What’s a deductible?” he asked.
I tried to quickly tell him what that meant, and after a few words his eyes glossed over and he was clearly not absorbing any of it. I think it will work better if I type it, so here it goes:
If something happens to your vehicle or because of your vehicle and you have to make a claim, the deductible is what you subtract from the claim total amount. For example:
If the cost of repairs, damage to property, or injury is $1000:
The lower the deductible you decide to have on your policy the better the payout will be if there is an accident, but it will cost you more on your monthly payments. Yes, it would be better to save the money each month and keep some aside for emergencies, but a lower deductible guarantees you won’t have issues paying out if need be because, let’s be honest, good intentions to save the money are not easy to stick to.
That’s all for my insurance speech concerning deductibles. Book mark this page, sons.
This is one I revise each year during November. It’s a sweet, fun little story about a man named Warren and a weekday meal, the perfect story to read on the days between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Enjoy.
(Tomorrow, something new.)
His fluorescent orange hat was menacing against the warm yellows and browns that autumn offered the eye as he hunted for his Thanksgiving feast. Rules never mattered to Warren, and he just loved baby turkey meat. His shotgun rested heavily on his fat-cushioned shoulder as he waited for a chance to shoot it. The tall man walked carefully and tried not to create a cacophony of cracking with the crispy twigs, Mother Nature’s warning. Off to Warren’s side, Tom sang a ballad to his ladies, and produced a feathered rainbow of tans and browns, grabbing Warren’s attention. Using only the balls of his feet, he turned his boots like the Black Swan. They made a little crunch on the tiny pebbles as he progressed towards the flock. His yellowed eyes saw them in the sunny field, dust bathing in the sand and familiarity. He maneuvered his lazy body their way, catching drool on the corner of his ashy lips. He must have stepped on a dry stick that blew his cover because the bony birds sped to the woods and over the shallow brook. They mimicked mannequins and stayed the color of the forest, then spread amongst the downed trees and dancing orange tape. Warren jumped over the brook and his size fourteen boot caught on a willow root, disrupting its drink. He landed hard on his right foot and knew instantly it was broken. He heard his gun crack as it fell from his reach, and watched the filtered water carry it close to its sand. Instantly, the feathered figurines began making their way towards him, smirking and slowly tilting their heads like tiny velociraptors. Back and forth. Back and forth. They were accompanied by friends who brought friends. Their lemon-sized heads swayed to the left. Then to the right, in perfect syncopation with The Blues on a cloudy Monday. The downy babies jumped on him first as he shooed them away with his meaty hand. They plucked at his orange vest with their sharp beaks, removing the down. The wild poultry snickered, and more friends came along. A female came from behind and chomped on his ear, rolling her beady eyes and shaking her head until half of it was in her mouth. She tilted back and quaked until it slid down to nourish her, then reapplied her red lipstick. Another Tom showed up with his girlfriend and the Ocean Spray cranberry sauce. They drank white zinfandel and choked down green bean casserole with extra dry onions while they continued to nibble on him. They made their way through his too-tight LL Bean vest and portly white belly, seeking out his intestines to make a nice sage gravy.
I wrote this poem on a plane a few years ago when I was flying to North Carolina from Massachusetts to visit Tyler. I compare the two states, the two places I love. They both tear me apart with their memories and people. I revised this poem a little to post today which is actually tomorrow because I am writing this on Wednesday.
“Today” I will be or I am in Washington, D.C. celebrating Veterans Day with many special folks and Baylee. My deep breaths are going to get me through, and many tissues, I am sure.Continue reading “CLNC Revision. Day 65.”
I had a smack-in-the-face realization the other day and had to make a decision where one of the factors is how long I will live.
We’ve been doing research about rescuing a pair of mini donkeys one day in the near future, so we will need a sleeping area, some hot fence, and knowledge.Continue reading “Lifespan. Day 64.”
“Are the cats locked up?” I asked Max.
“Yes, but let me go check again,” he said.
“Put the collars on the dogs,” I told Baylee. I heard the jingle of their name tags as he grabbed them off the hook on the wall, the click of the plastic collar clasps, and the dancing tick tick tick of the dogs’ nails on the floor in the front room as they anticipated our ride.
I went down to the basement to open the utility room doors and make sure the outside door was closed. I blew out the apple candle, watched the blackish smoke dance its way to the wood ceiling, and added a few large logs to the wood stove. I walked to the basement stairs and looked around one last time to be sure it was satisfactory for a showing.Continue reading “Strangers then Angels. Day 63.”
It’s Monday. Again. What an easy time we all had getting up this morning because of the time change, well, not the time change, but the clock change. The roosters did not get the memo and were crowing at 4:30. Baylee and I were the only humans home because Sammy and Max stayed at Tyler and Deaven’s this weekend to watch the pups because the two lovebirds had a work function. The newbs have been cleared by the vet to meet other dogs, so Baylee and I decided to drive to the beach this morning to allow Gisele, who is nine (and Tyler’s dog) to meet her new niece and nephew.
The sun was extra bright today in contrast to the past two cloudy days, and the air was almost warm. When we rolled up to Tyler’s condo, Max was outside with both pups on a leash. Instantly, Gisele’s hair raised, ears perked, and her deep rolling growl found its way to our ears.Continue reading “The New Pups Meet the Queen. Day 62.”
I remember when I enrolled Tyler in kindergarten in 1997, the application had a section for corporal punishment. Wikipedia says that corporal punishment “is a punishment which is intended to cause physical pain to a person.” At the time, I didn’t know what the term meant. There was no active internet, so I had to ask around. I just didn’t want to sign anything I was unsure of. Once I learned what the term was, I signed to opt out of it, which meant teachers, principals, etc., were not allowed to hit my child who was six at the time.Continue reading “Corporal punishment. Day 61.”
When we saw Molly the first time, she was being quarantined until all her labs and tests came back clear from the vet before she could be with her new donkey friends. Today, she was alone in the pasture when we pulled up and parked, but then she quickly found us and introduced us to her new friends, Lilly and Gino. Molly was smiling and frisky, rolling on the floor and hopping instead of walking. She was always moving around and teasing her new friends, just so happy. The first time we saw her, she was easy to photograph, but today, she was blurry!Continue reading “Molly. Day 60.”
Poetry is my favorite writing form. Maybe it’s because the first time a publisher ever said yes was for one of my poems put into a copy of Hypertrophic Literary Press called “Dear Annie, I Kissed Another Man.” Also, poetry is therapy because a writer may choose to rhyme or not, and it is a free and freeing way of writing. Some are intimidated by poetry, understandably so, but it is not as complicated as most believe. Lyrics are poetry and most of us sing along to them. Greeting cards, nursery rhymes, and even silly limericks are poetry. I suppose it doesn’t matter why I love it, but that I just do.Continue reading “Will Pay With Eggs. Day 59.”
The more words a writer uses, the easier it is to fully express and explain an idea. Flash fiction always fascinated me with its fully condensed pile of a story where a writer uses the least amount of words to paint a picture. It’s not easy to whittle down a loved collection of writing to the heart of the piece, and to figure out how to fully explain something with the smallest amount of space provided, but it’s a challenge that I find fun (most of the time) and others may as well.Continue reading “Day 58. Six-Word Story.”
“Let me see it,” I said to Max. I took his phone and looked at the photo of me he just took.
“Take another please,” I said.
I did this many more times until I finally quit and said we would do it tomorrow.Continue reading “Vanity. Day 57.”
We speak a different language around here. We use slang, made-up words that are mixes of real words, and some we still use that are products of the boys’ speech when they were babies. Here are a few:Continue reading “Adams Glossary. Day 56.”
Yesterday, I foolishly used a large, steel roasting pan to hold all the candy I had for the littles for when they came to the house and yelled, “Trick-or-treat!?!?” There were Kit Kats, Reese’s, Sour Patch Kids, and Heath Bars. I put on duck boots to hide my unpolished toes and a trucker cap to cover my unwashed mop, then waited for someone to walk down the long driveway to our front porch which is decorated with pumpkins, mums, and skeletons. Nobody showed up.
For the first year in many, I didn’t smell the cheap, pasty-white Walmart make-up and the over-spray of black hairspray didn’t threaten the cloth furniture or ecru wall. Nobody had to be told “say thank you” or “stay out of the road” and I didn’t check one Snickers for razor blades, needles, or miniscule tears in the wrapping. Yay me, right?Continue reading “A Spooky Slap in the Face. Day 55.”
I’m 47 and am unashamed to say that if Twilight is on, I will watch it. I’m not sure if the timing of the movie aligned with the sequence of events of my life, or if I plain old like the concept and story. A forbidden love story to me has always been the blood to my thirst, and I read the books first, so I just had to watch the movies. The books don’t have the cringy moments the movies tend to display, yet I still became semi-hooked to them. I have a hard time avoiding Robert Pattinson and his inhibition to be strange. (If you don’t agree, check him and Willem Dafoe out in the movie, Lighthouse. It’s very, very odd.) Twilight’s storyline distracts viewers from everyday life trials because it’s unrealistic. Also, the author fascinates me.Continue reading “Stephenie Meyer. Day 54.”
I decided to take a break from Weight Watchers today and treat myself to a hot cup of apple cider with some freshly grated nutmeg. As I was heating it up in my trusty old New England Patriots mug, I thought about what I would write about today. All sorts of ideas came to my mind, and it made me think about writing a gratitude post on Saturdays. Understandably, people probably won’t be too interested in reading about what I’m grateful for, but it will be nice for me to look back at.Continue reading “Gratitude. Day 53.”
Maxwell Forester Adams is my third son. The tallest of the four so far, he stands at six feet, three inches tall.
We call him Max. The only shoes he wears are Converse sneakers and his clothing will always be soft and comfortable. Currently, he is in his last semester at Holyoke Community College and will soon earn his associate degree. He will take the next semester off to work and volunteer, then will continue at a university next fall to finish with a bachelor’s degree. He’s thinking about studying business so he can one day open something of his own.
“Ow it hurts!” Baylee, who was four at the time, had been whiny all day.Continue reading “Bad Mom. Day 51.”
Mom is a pecasit. Tyler wrote that down and handed it to me, lips pursed, and eyebrows tightly raised as he was trying not to smile. He and I were being silly and writing goofy notes to each other on a piece of paper. He was six.Continue reading “Holden Caufield and Profanity. Day 50.”
Sun was peaking through the windows of the Primary Elementary School in Southampton, MA. as I held up a small, pink dinosaur. I didn’t speak, but just stood there and held it up with my thumbs and pointers for everyone to see. I made no eye contact with my classmates, and I remember feeling frozen. When my turn was over, I sat down on the flat carpet in a slouchy crisscross applesauce, relieved it was over.Continue reading “The New Show-and-Tell. Day 49.”
“Bats!” Kim yelled.
“Wahhhhhh!” Our midnight screams weren’t new to the neighbors.Continue reading “The First Kim Chronicle. Day 48.”
Knock knock knock!
“Mom, Dad, what are you doing? Can I come in?”
“Not right now. We’re wrapping presents,” Roger would say.
Rarely he was being honest. Most times, we weren’t really wrapping presents.Continue reading “Wrapping Presents. Day 47.”
Continue reading “Purple. Day 46.”
Revision in writing is what offers color to a piece, no matter the genre. I am forever editing and revising old works, and today have decided to paint a poem I wrote for a chapbook I put together a year ago, and the color I used is grape.
2 blocks Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 boxes instant banana pudding*
2 cups whole milk
2 8-ounce cartons frozen whipped topping, thawed*
2 boxes vanilla wafers*Continue reading “North/South “Banana” Pudding. Day 45.”