I walked past this hammock for sale at the store today and flashed back to my childhood summers. On the most special of days my dad would tie the big white hammock between two skinny walnut trees. We’d take turns climbing in to sway gently from side to side. How I wanted to buy a hammock today to recapture the peace and ease of those long ago summer days. I resisted though. No where to store it. No good place in the yard to serenely sway either. Street sounds. Lawnmowers. Basketballs hitting pavement in pre shot dribbling. Dogs barking (not just mine). I’ve landed a hundred miles from the deep, sloped, tree filled backyard at the end of a dead end street behind the little yellow house that I called Home for my first twenty one years. I grew up in a town of 20,000 surrounded by factories, farmland, and highways to anywhere but here. Now I think to myself, “Those were the days.” These were my fleeting thoughts this morning, as I pushed my shopping cart past the hammocks toward the aisles that held stuff actually on my list. The only other thing I wondered was whether my parents, my dad specifically, would like a hammock once again to enjoy on summer afternoons from his screened in porch that overlooks the Mississippi River. You can be sure I’m going to ask him and hope the answer is, “Yes.” My ulterior motives are quite transparent…I want a turn too. ~ Janean

Yesterday was for buying swimsuits. Today I am throwing away the remains of the last bag of jelly beans, after I save the black ones for my dad. I knew there was one more bag in the pantry and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I finally gave in to temptation. Notice the yellow ones are all gone. Not too many orange ones either. This after I’d already snitched ‘em all out of my sons candy bags. Yes, my name is Janean, and I have a jelly bean problem. It ends today. It has to. Damn. Cause I really love jelly beans, but not the sugar laden calories that I must begin counting. Soon. Double damn. ~ Janean

P.S. THIS is my 500th post on Tumblr! Something had to be. Might as well be a frustrated I don’t want to be a diligent dieter saga about one of the most beloved Easter candies of all, the colorful, oblong, jelly bean. I am wooed and wowed by their pretty colors. I admit they dazzle me with their artificial flavors. Purple = Grape, Yellow = Lemon, Orange = orange (easy one), White = Vanilla, Pink = Berry, Red = Cherry, Black = Black Licorice, Green = Not My Favorite and I Don’t Know

lost and found

I found my smile tonight
quite by accident
I hadn’t realized
it was missing
until my lips quirked
in a familiar arc
at the halfway mark
walkin’ Blue
somewhere in the park
spilling over with children
and grown up conversation
with a cone headed dog
at the end of a royal blue tether
I found myself grinnin’
and my steps felt a little lighter
oh, how we needed that evening walk
with fragrance from fading lilacs
scenting the gentle breeze
purposeful motion
a return to routine
up and at ‘em
it’s no wonder then
that I found my smile tonight
on the inside too

Standing at the sink.
Workin’ on the perpetual dishes.
I was about to give in to the tears that have been threatening all day.
Really.
I was.
Then I look over and see that cone headed puppy with his head in the dishwasher.
I took a picture before shooin’ him away with a, “No!”
Because he made me grin and chuckle a bit instead of sob into the sink.
Thankful yet again for our dog, Blue.

on the edge

on the edge of emotion
tamping back tears all day
no reason for it
I consider giving in
and letting the tears fall
but I already did my makeup
so I shove ‘em down again
they might be happy tears
for my oldest son’s 12th birthday
or relieved tears
for my father’s safe travel
or exhausted tears
from two weeks
of my own health battle
or apprehensive
it’s a chemo week tears
for my husband
most likely it’s just regular
I’m a girl and cry sometimes tears
even though it makes me mad to feel this way
and I don’t want to be a cliche
there you have it
tamping back tears all day
on the edge of emotion

5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, added two quarts of oil to my wonderful old gal, Lola the Corolla. There is now more than the merest smidge of oil on the end of the dipstick. Last Friday afternoon, as I drove around town with my sons, my empty fuel light AND my oil light were coming on as a WARNING. Thankfully the fuel fill up was in a nick of time and we didn’t run all the way out of gas. Bought oil at the grocery store last night. I’m sure I paid too much, but it was my last chance to see to it for a few days time and it needed to be done. I’m so glad my dad saw fit to teach me how to check and add oil to my car. I remembered to use a funnel this time, so the garage floor doesn’t have an oil puddle. He taught me other cool stuff too like how to bait a hook, cast a line, shoot a gun, gas weld, fry an egg, cook a burger, sew a button on and drive. The two lessons that were obvious at the time, and not veiled in conversation, are:
1. Don’t speed in small towns.
2. Seek the good and shun the bad.
The second was uttered, as we were left the house I grew up in, on the way to college for my freshman year. That was when his dad shared it with him too. My grandpa heard it from his uncle when he left home to serve in WWII. My children have heard it already. More than once. I’m not waiting until they are eighteen to pass it on. They need now. We all do. All this to say, Dads are special. Oil Pouring Writing About Random Stuff Moms are too, even if we do have to say so ourselves. It’s 5:55 a.m. now. Time to make lunches, pack snacks for testing and write a schedule for today because it’s Mom’s Day Off. Granted, I have to go to the hospital to get one. You see, I’m running on empty and need some TLC, just like my old Corolla. I’ll be OK. Just need to be flat and still after the procedure so I’m off work until tomorrow morning when Blue says, “Woof”, or I wake up on my own. Whichever comes first.