The Home Place

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This morning
Just now
Standing on the road
Walking two doors down
To my grandpa’s house

March 8, 2014

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whackadoodle winter

snow piles on the ground
thunderstorms now
water is pouring down
it is loud
rain pelts the roof
thunder
lightning accents the noise
BOOM
flash of light
mercury reads 36*F
this would be a mega blizzard
if four degrees colder
flood watch in effect
due to snow melt + pouring rain
the ground is saturated
high wind warning is added
35-45mph up to 55-60mph
severe wind gusts tonight
all in one day
what a weird winter
and it’s not over yet
Illinois does crazy weather
really really well
we are sort of known for it
You don’t like the weather?
just wait
rainy days soothe me
watching snow fall charms me
everyday can’t be sunny
appreciate the days that are
make the best of the rest
even the all mixed up,
little bit of everything,
snowy, windy, rainy, cold ones
like today promises to be
here I am
talking about the weather
because it is downright
whackadoodle
like me

February 20, 2014

“Mud Season” by Ellen Stimson @ellenstimson

It started one late fall morning, when I read an excerpt from Ellen Stimson’s first book, “Mud Season” in “Reader’s Digest” that had me grinning and laughing. When my oldest son, age 13, woke up I suggested he read that mini tale about rain, cows, a skunk and chickens. He chuckled too. He did. Laughter is even better shared. That was sometime before Christmas. I then ordered several copies of “Mud Season” to give as gifts, and wrapped a copy for myself in Christmas paper too, Mom Style. I began to meander and mosey through it, reading while I ate my meals, often standing up in the kitchen. I’ve never been to Vermont. I love cheese. I’ve always wanted to visit New England. Some of my friends have chickens. I buy farm fresh eggs from them, brown and white ones. Part of me wants to move and live anywhere but here, but we’re staying put. We are. It’s A Good Spot. Earlier today, at 9:27am, I wrote in an email to a friend, “Lots to do and I just want to curl up with a book in bed and tell the world to go away. Maybe with an F thrown in, some days. Unplugging today as much as I can. Breakfast is next. Went to the store first.” Then, at 11:08am, I wrote to her again saying, “I just finished reading “Mud Season” by Ellen Stimson. Thought of you a lot as I read because I loved the way she told her story – honest, funny as hell, with excellent cussing. I sat and read in a quiet house, with my last cup of coffee, while my Blue dog snoozed on the love seat next to me, his head by my side. I’m crying because I read to the end and she included recipes – cheese and cream laden ones. Oh my. More too. All of it really. Through the past few years, during my husband’s cancer fight, I couldn’t read much, but I could write. I love to read and “Mud Season” was a fun book. Memoir. A saucy, sassy one.” The beauty of “Mud Season” is that it felt so much like a multilayered conversation with my closest girlfriends. They are an amazing group of strong, fascinating women with beautiful smiles and musical laughs, who simultaneously pray you through a storm and help you find your smile with stories from their lives. That’s what friends do. Books are friends too. They keep us company, teach us stuff and are meant to be shared, like a good meal and laughter. Poor, Ellen Stimson. I found her on twitter and have been tweeting to her as I read along. At 11:28am, after I finished reading, I tweeted her this picture and said briefly:
“Dear @ellenstimson,
I finished Mud Season this morning. Smiled, laughed and cried w/Blue by my side.
~Janean”
The end. Now the dog is awake, off the love seat and barking to go out. No more time to type, because nature calls, both the dog’s and the beauty of outdoors with glitter on the snow in sunlight under a blue sky, even if the temp is 1*F. It’s time for me to “write for real” with a purpose. Memoir. It beckons me. My first book, “The Blue Collection,” is hiding, right out in the open here at Tumblr. It is a collection of all these micro posts, poems and stories about me and my dog, Blue. Woof. Again. He’s really gotta go at 12:45pm.
(Time lapses.) I took the dog out. My Aunt Janet called as we circled the block. I didn’t slip on the ice as we talked and laughed rat a tat tat fast. Familial shorthand. I saw a friend walking her two little white dogs. Knew today her husband was to hear Doctor News. It wasn’t good. Damn it. Hugged her. Caregiver support. Walked home. Read and replied to emails. Tweeted some. Phone got down to 3% battery before I plugged it in. 2:16pm now, as I’m finally going to click, “post.” I know where the day has gone. Words. The ones I read, the ones I wrote, the ones I spoke. The day has been gobbled up with words. I just remembered to feed the dog. I can hear his food go crunch. It’s time for my lunch as my stomach growls a reminder. “Mud Season” charmed me. That’s what this post is about. I am a rambler. Brevity eludes me, except in poetry, and I’m OK with that.

February 7, 2014

6:56am “Just in from walking Blue. Too cold a day for a flannel pj walk. Now I know. Sun is just coming up now. It started sort of dappled and is hot pink and lavender now. Kinda gorgeous. More hot pink now. I still have my coat on. Time to wake up my oldest son, but the sky and writing to You. My wind chimes chime.” I send the email and then step outside to my backyard deck, to try to capture with a mere photograph, the amazing beauty I watched unfolding. For not the first time, I find myself wishing I could see further along the horizon, without houses in the way, as Blue looks through the sliding glass door, longing to be outside with me. I head back in and begin to wake those two tired boys. Opening my oldest son’s blinds to let some light in, and mentioning the beautiful sunrise. He groans, to let me know he heard me and is getting up…eventually. When I return to the kitchen the sky has changed again. Warm golden hues followed the initial display of fiery color. Fleeting color at that. Hours have since passed, both boys are at school, and we aren’t even left with blue overhead. The sky is white today. The wind blows. My chimes chime. Just two days remain in the first month of the new year.

January 30, 2014

mom stuff

Children both to school.
Dog walked.
Big sigh breathed aloud.
Wednesday today.
All day.
Thankful for a quiet house.
My chance to recharge.

January 29, 2014
9:32am
a twitter poem
*chirp*
Today is the first day back to school after the weekend, plus two “snow days” with no school due to sub zero temperatures and double digit windchill. Six snow days were used this January and 2014 is still young. February, March and April are yet to come. It’s winter weather in Illinois, anything can happen!

This morning’s sunrise gave the illusion of warm in shades of gold and orange. I checked my weather app AFTER stepping back inside from walking Blue. Weather status at 7:30am, “-1*F here, feels like -23*F.” The really crazy thing is being out with Blue this morning, it didn’t feel THAT cold. Dogs paws didn’t hurt. He walked on all four around the mini block. I checked the temp again just now and it’s “warmed up” to zero and feels like -23*F. Indoors is best. Thankful for heat and money to pay the bill when it comes due. My boys of course are thankful for sleeping in, no school and another day at home. Blue has since fallen back asleep. Dog is love seat zzzz’ing in his favorite spot. The house is momentarily quiet, even with all of us home on a Monday. Good morning.

January 27, 2014
9:33am, and my youngest son just woke up

I love that patch of blue
“Clear skies ahead”
as the sun sets
and a brisk wind blows
with January’s chill
standing on my front porch
the sky is changing still
more glowing color
shades of orange and gold
the patch of blue moved o’er
a l’il to the left
as the sun sets
tiny snowflakes fall
and then…
the sky changes yet again
diagonal clouds
pink creeps in
a colorful cloud dance
in the sky
what began
as a tiny patch of blue
expands across the sky
lavender at the horizon
rosy clouds drift by
it’s quite a sight
the wind blows stronger
my hands grow colder
as evening
gets a l’il darker
the sky show is over
time to go inside

January 16, 2014
4:57pm