in my backyard

sitting in the sunshine
a ladybug lands
upon my shoulder
hello little ladybug
I’m wearing green
Do I look like a tree?
my hair blows
in the cool breeze
mere moments pass
the ladybug flies away
a crow calls
from above the rooftops
doggone dog barks
a squirrel has been spotted
beyond the reach of his leash
time to drag the dog inside
don’t want to be bother
babies are napping
a woman is reading
two actually
myself and another
goodbye sunshine
goodbye ladybug
good riddance crow
hello library book
I’m going to read you
just a little bit longer
in my cozy love seat spot
missing celestial warmth

October 8, 2014

love seat thoughts

I walked my Blue dog this morning, just like every morning since we got him as a three month old pup. I wore my favorite new zebra rain boots to keep my feet dry, my black winter coat with a turquoise hat and gloves for warmth, and carried a red and white umbrella too. It felt a little bit mixed up. Thankfully the dog did his business quickly and we turned around for home instead of circling the big block like we usually do. Will wake the still zzzz’ing boys soon. I love sleeping during thunderstorms. This morning’s was a doozy and made me want to stay in bed. It is calmer outside now. I hear some birds chirping through the outer walls, over the din of the ticking clock. That signals it is calm inside because in midst of commotion the sound of the clock is drowned out. I will wake the boys soon. Sitting still a moment longer. Tick tock. Tick tock. Chirp. Surprisingly the wind chimes are silent, though not for long. The wind is predicted to pick up speed this afternoon and gust throughout the night. I’ll look forward to hearing their melody later, when the day is wrapping up, and I have another moment to sit still and woolgather, in this, my favorite love seat spot. Rain is pouring again. Thunder resumes. Boys getting out of bed will be the next sound. The day has officially begun here.

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

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

don’t mind me
one more skyscape
from this morning
because I can’t help myself
even though
my stomach is growling
the sky keeps changing
golden glow
just now receding
to reveal
bright blue sky
with puffy white clouds
today I think
is for painting
all is well

P.S. Blue stopped getting up at the sound of the sliding door unlocking. Dog realized he’s staying inside right now so he went back to zzzz’ing on the love seat. Me?! I’m still doorjamb leaning. Children still sleeping. They need it. They were wound up, laughing, rambunctious Wild Things last night, and we all loved it! Sleep is much needed. So is quiet time, spent watching the rising sun. Today is good. Typed while those white puffy clouds drift off into the distance leaving me with a humongous patch of bright blue sky straight ahead. Soul Balm. All of it. Peaceful and calm. “Island Mellow,” I call it. Much better.

January 19, 2014
7:43am on Sunday morning

I kid you not

Voices drifting up, through the heating vent in the living room floor, I just heard the almost 13 year old neighbor guy say, “Somewhere over the rainbow?”

My oldest son (13 1/2) replied, “Might be over the storm clouds.”

Odds are good they are talking video games. But seriously?! I just wrote about singing a few bars of that song, while walking on the sidewalk, across the street from where our side by side houses are! I’m not making this up! My writing is memoir, not fiction, especially the really weird, crazy and not too whackadoodle stuff.

January 1, 2014
2:04pm
(My jean clad azz is off the cozy love seat spot and I am standing up. Blue dog stretched out and is resting his head upon a striped pillow. Life is good, especially for the napping dog.)

I’m sitting on the living room love seat, dressed half in pajamas, and half in clothes (jeans pulled on top of the long underwear pants I slept in).
Blue dog is wedged against my hip on the left, in his favorite living room love seat spot.
I’ve been playing on my phone.
Writing.
Tweeting.
Just picked A RAINBOW RIBBON up off the ground!
I kid you not!
I even thought of, “Over the Rainbow,” and sung a few bars, as Blue and I stepped on the sidewalk beside Luna’s fence.
Right after that musical moment we turned a corner and spied this bit o’color.
I took a picture.
I picked up the piece of rainbow ribbon.
A rainbow, in an unlikely place.
Found it looking down, not up.
Evidently today is A Writing Day.

January 1, 2014
(Excerpt from a New Year’s afternoon email reply to my sister. She knows the significance of my mentioning, “Over the Rainbow” too.)

like coke bottles

Teenage boy was up and at ‘em early today. We enjoyed sharing morning quiet time. Visiting. Breakfasting without a rush.
I went in to wake up ATB at 7:09am and said, “Last day of school before Christmas Vacation.” I sort of sing-songed it. I picked up his glasses to clean ‘em, from where they were sitting on the nightstand beside his bed. Sweet boy rolled over, while rubbing his eyes awake, and calmly said, “Mom, there are already coke bottles going off inside me.” Even after drinking my morning coffee I still had to ask, “Coke bottles?” My ten year old boy replied, “Mentos. Diet coke. Get it?!” Oh, yes. I so do. Christmastime is for children and grown ups who don’t really wanna be “adults” at all. Christmas is magic, excitement and lots of happy energy about to combust. It’s a feeling that, if you’re lucky, always stays with you. Joy that bubbles up from deep inside.
My first conversation of the morning was with a teacher on the sidewalk. It was sometime before 6am, maybe before 5am. I’m not sure of the time exactly. “Early” covers it completely. I was walking with my Blue dog. We were sort of lollygagging along. She had Blue’s best buddy, Jake, who was dancing at the end of his leash. We visited like the neighbors and friends we are, as the dogs romped and played. I said, “I’m praying for ALL the teachers today.” We shared a smile under the streetlights glow.
Now I know the fifth grade boy description of what it feels like: Every child has coke bottles inside them, you know, like mentos and diet coke. (I’m being sort of a grown up and resisting adding the “Duh.”)
I treated my younger boy a little bit today, by offering to drive him, instead of waiting in the drizzling rain to ride the bus per usual. He needed a little less rush too. By 8:40am both my sons were delivered safely to school.
Their days will go by fast. Mine will too. For this quiet moment though, while I catch my breath and plan, Blue is curled up next to me, each of us on our favorite halves of the family room love seat. I need to make a mega list and wrap up the remaining Christmas To Do. Best of all, I’ll be smiling about coke bottles while I do. Oh, how I love them, and rejoice in the gift of my two sons. Christmas time is about the birth of God’s Son. Long ago. In a land afar. Angels first foretold, then announced his birth. Shepherds followed a star. Wise men began the journey to meet him. Baby Jesus. Born of a virgin. Joseph the carpenter was there, beside the manger. His mother, Mary, pondered all these things in her heart. I’ve always loved that quiet little verse, nestled in Luke 2. I’m a heart ponderer too. Everything changes in a moment. My phone rang, Blue jumped down and front window wild woofed, only to return again to curl beside me, as I work to wrap this up. My heart squeezes, my eyes leak. Tears of joy and the ring of laughter intertwines with the ache of grief. Life goes on. Christmas is coming, whether I’m “ready” or not. I’ll be ready, well, ready enough. Joy. Peace. Hope. Love. Blessings. Thankfulness. The Gift of God’s Son. Christmastime. Like coke bottles going off inside. That covers all the important stuff.

December 20, 2013
Luke 2:19 “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

Blue is a snow dog. We were outside for two hours early this morning. During that time Blue ran and played with Jake (his canine buddy across the street with a fenced yard), we walked around the block so he could “go” and to greet the shoveling neighbors, in between those other endeavors the dog romped on the long leash that is temporarily fastened around the front yard tree while I cleared the driveway and sidewalk (even though we aren’t going anywhere). That was my 6:30a-8:45a. Then breakfast all around. Snow dog is love seat napping now. I have one more cup of coffee waiting to drink, but then I may join him. Happy snowy Saturday here.

December 14, 2013