100

Happy 100th birthday in Heaven, Grr. I can hear your fiddle music playing at your birthday square dance and see Grandma smiling. Have fun calling, “chase the rabbit, chase the squirrel, chase the girl around the world.” You did. Thinking of you. Wearing my cowgirl boots for the first time this fall. Tell Copper and Santas I said hi too. Scratch their ears in the spots they liked. I am hoping that an unadvertised good thing about Heaven is: No Horseflies. Love you. Thinking of you extra today. Smiling, not crying. Just a little misty around the corners, like you when you’d hear music playing in your mind as you told a story from long ago. Love, Janean

stating the obvious

As Blue and I step out our front door a teenage girl wheeling by says with a smile, “What a beautiful dog.” I reply, “Thanks. You have a unicycle.” She smiles wider and cycles on her way while the dog and I walk the other. As we circle the block, our paths again crisscross, and we share another smile. First time I’ve seen her and her unicycle in our neighborhood. Quite unexpected. Rather wonderful. This glimmer of circus flair among the beige houses.

September 19, 2015

supermoon

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Dear La Lune,

There you are.
It’s been awhile.
You’ve been obscured
by cloud cover.
Caught a glimpse
a few nights ago.
Crescent shaped then.
Saw a half moon by day.
Leading up to tonight.
When you are full
and beaming bright.
It’s been awhile
since you made me smile.
Shining with your celestial light.

I fell asleep penning this poem to you.
Stretched out on the living room couch.
Moonlight shining in the window.
Eyes shut tight until 2am,
when I moved myself to bed.

You greeted me as a new day dawned.
The dog and I begin our walk.
You met us in the morning sky.
Honey hue of nighttime gone.
Darkness faded yet you remain.
Glowing white come daylight.
Until you disappear from sight.
I’ll look for you again this night
and admire your changing shape.
Waning now.

Love,
Janean

August 13, 2014

routine maintenance

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The firefighters just flushed the hydrant in front of my house
Little unexpected excitement
Blue heard Jake barking while they did the hydrant around the corner
We had to go investigate
Saw the water spraying but stopped by the fence for the dogs to say hi and didn’t go around the corner
Saw three young children and their parents splashing in the street
Smiled at their happy
Then here came the truck to park by our curb
We watched from the sidewalk across the street
‘We’ being two dogs, three adults and the three hopeful children wanting to splash some more
This hydrant not making as many puddles as before
No splashing after all
Parting ways with, “Have a good day” and “See you later”
Blue and I cross for home
Staying dry other than bare feet through the puddles in the street
My boys slept through it
Had it not been for my dog I’d have missed it too

July 5, 2014
A snapshot of a moment from before 9:30am. My oldest woke up right after the dog and I came inside. The youngest will appear with some prodding before noon. The lazy hazy days of summertime are here.

sky light

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I love the way the sun can rise and light the sky as both a fireball of gold and serene pastels at the same time. Blue and I took our favorite park walk this morning. Just a heavy frost on the ground. No snow. No ice. No rain puddles. The air was brisk but the wind was still. Heard songbirds sing and geese honk as they flew. No cars. Another woman was walking alone. She smiled as she overheard me say with a tug, “Come on, Blue. Let’s walk.” We did, as the sun rose and painted the sky both behind and before me. Now home. Good morning.

March 30, 2014

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feeling lucky

A little before 10:00am Blue dog and I stepped outside for our second walk of the morning. Temps are brrr cold and we’re walking once again upon freshly fallen snow. We pass by several neighbors shoveling and greet the ones we know. Just a few doors down, is the kind, white haired neighbor man who pauses in his work to smile and say to me, “You sure are dedicated.” Then he adds, “You sure are a lucky dog, Blue.” That made me laugh! Yep. He is. Blue acknowledged the words of his neighbor friend with a happy woof and tail wag. Oh. He knows. We stayed on course, circling around the block. The little one, not one of our longer routes. Back inside now, thawing out with a later than usual hot breakfast, while the dog curls back up on the couch. My lucky canine compatriot. After food, it’ll be time to retrieve my shovel from the garage for digging out the front of the house. For many weeks I kept a snow shovel propped by the front door, only recently returning it to the garage, rather optimistically. Oh well. More snow fell. Winter is still quite “ON.” Thankfully we got less snow than predicted and it is the light, fluffy version of the white stuff. Very doable. Although, breakfast has turned into brunch here. My boys drifted to the kitchen in search of food. Sausage has been cooked and bacon is sizzling now. Evidently breakfast meat is the secret to A Great Sunday at home. Even better is the time we’ll spend in scripture, worshipping at Home Church for awhile longer. Suddenly a day that began with solitude and quiet is filling up with life, love and yes, a bit o’commotion. Good stuff. God stuff. We’re all “lucky dogs” because we have each other. Feeling thankful and blessed. Let it snow.

March 2, 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