“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

6:57am
School is on here. The phone call last night and the email from the public school announcing a one hour late start had the best wording. Funny thing is, they sent the email in bigger, red colored type too. I think they really wanted to cancel again due to subzero temps. It is -6, feels like -20. Life goes on and school must to. I get it.
No driveway drifting overnight. I needed that l’il “win.” Blue is taken care of now. Sidewalk needs a l’il help, then back in to rouse the oldest boy, with dynamite if needed. I opened his blinds already. Sunlight. Expose the teenager to sunlight. Step one. 🙂
There is color in the sunrise. Warm looking yellows and golds. An illusion. It is snot freezing cold. So much for poetic…there’s the blunt as hell. 😉
Heading back outside now. Not quite Hoth-like. Blue could walk on all four paws.

February 6, 2014

a l’il luck

in this moment
I’m all kinds o’weepy
still wearing my fleece pajamas
with peacock adorned rain boots
(of course)
I don’t care about societal rules
pajamas smajamas, I’m not nude
just leaving the grocery store
where I bought a shamrock plant
figured I could use a l’il luck
hoping for the good kind
years ago, more than 20
my mom gave me shamrocks
for my college dorm room
that’d be four of them
‘cause a green thumb is not my gift
I’d forgotten all about ‘em
until they recently caught my eye
plant after plant
set along a deep window edge
waiting to catch sunlight
I mentioned them aloud
walking down the window lined hall
following the kind woman
one of many helping me through
she casually replied
“They are mine.”
Shamrocks
for luck
‘tis their month you know
March and all
with the fun of St. Patrick’s Day
less than a week away
soon

March 11, 2013

I awoke

I awoke with a smile
I nearly always do
sleep refreshes
body, mind and soul

I awoke with a smile
and lollygagged in bed
purring cat sat atop me
‘til sunlight was shining in

I awoke with a smile
even as I heard
a muffled woof
that’d be Blue dog
testing the airways
from the main floor
to see if I was up

I awoke with a smile
and tonight shall fall asleep
with one too
a quiet curving of lips
upturned
speaking of joy
and contentment
within

February 24, 2013