getting unstuck

Sitting at my kitchen table
Still in pjs
Drinking coffee
Blue on guard in the backyard
[quietly]
Boys voices drifting up
[talking over video game sounds]

I took a long hot soaking bath with a light book yesterday
Had a good day but was tired and fried
That helped
A lot
I’ll do it again
I forget to
Best of all woke up early [4:40a] but fell back asleep until 7a
Bliss

[PAUSE]

Dog woofed
He jumped the crooked bent ineffective wire mesh garden fence and got stuck
Out of leash but also the leash clasp was caught around the edge of the fence
Stuck
Unclipped him
Bent fence down enough he could jump
Loved him
He scared himself
For today anyway
He followed me in
Muddy paws which he hates having touched
Got a layer of dirt off
My house is nowhere near spotless
Ever
A little garden dirt won’t hurt

Poured the last of my coffee
Not rushing anywhere today
I am so thankful for lack of rush

October 26, 2014
A diary of my Sunday morning moments that occurred between 8:18a and 8:51a today. I can pinpoint the timing so exactly because this is an excerpt of an email reply I sent to my cousin. On a wild whim decided to share this snippet from my life here too. I’ve been quiet in my public writing spots. Have needed to be. Still do. ~Janean

color view

20140323-124529.jpg

the sky seems extra blue today
I tip my sunglasses up
so vivid, rich and bright in hue
giving the illusion of warm
despite the chill
of a gusty March wind
cold
cutting through

the sky seems extra blue
perhaps due to the brightness
of the sun
or the contrast
of puffy white clouds
floating merrily above

the sky seems extra blue
as the dog and I meander
along familiar streets
in our neighborhood
he stops to sniff
while I daydream
lollygagging
over thinking
tug his leash and say,
“Let’s go home, Blue.”

the sky seems extra blue
because my heart is so full
blessings abound
the love of family and friends
provision from The Lord
there is art to make
two skies to paint
one a sunset
one in blue
much like today

the sky seems extra blue
because I am thinking
of you and me
what was
what wasn’t
what will never be
these are the things I ponder
as I wander
while walking the dog

Does anyone else look at the sky this way?

March 23, 2014

cat vs. dog

I carried Blue dog to the basement today. He let me and didn’t thrash about. I am so tired of my animals not getting along. Get over it already. Snuggles the cat ran. Blue got ahold of her with his mouth. She got her claws into his face and held on. I didn’t know what to do then. I made him drop her. She ran upstairs and hid in the laundry room. She came out for my youngest son, age ten. She let me pick her up. No blood. Just saliva on her tummy. I held her. Told her she was the fuzzball boss and needed to let Blue know it. Carried her to the basement where the dog still was. Blue was waiting at the bottom of the stairs but not barking. That was good. Better was that when Snuggles snarled at him from my arms and went to jump, Blue ran up the stairs on his own and Snuggles found a basement spot of her own. Since then Blue has fussed at the top of the basement stairs, but won’t venture down on his own. He doesn’t like the feel of the painted wood. Too slippery. Afraid he’ll fall. They look too steep from the top. We’ll try again another day, even though my sons think I am crazy for what I did today. Just get along. I also told Miss Snuggles that I loved them both. She is my favorite cat and Blue is my favorite dog. That my heart was big enough to love them both. Oh. She heard me. She’s thinking about. Though feline plotting is more like it. *sigh* =^.^=

March 16, 2014

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

music in the air

The birds are singing again. Not just the crows, but the songbirds. I noticed recently while walking Blue. Subzero wasn’t song-worthy or, I just didn’t hear them singing. I’m sort of not sure.

Yesterday, I first wrote these words in an email to a friend. This morning I heard a pleasing lilt yet again. Louder though, were those blasted crows.

February 19, 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

hostage situation

My ten year old son just said to me from the kitchen, “I have the olives as hostage, until you tell me where the yard stick is.”
(I’m laughing in reply.)
“I took the olives first because I know you like them best.”
“I took the whole pantry hostage.”
“No more large pitted olives from the pearl company.”
“No more mini moos half and half”
“No more honey, grade A.”
(A longer list goes here that I didn’t all type.)
“Tell me where the yardstick is and you’ll have all these objects back.”
“No more cake mixes, Mom.”
(Oh…there’s more…it’s not bedtime or anything. Maybe I should give him the yardstick?! He wants it to measure Blue’s tail.)
“Let’s see what else I should take for ransom…”
“I have the battery charger on ransom.”
“No more white distilled vinegar.”
“Where’s the yardstick?!
(Answers his own question) “Oh. Found it.”
(To the dog) “Hey, Blue, can you lay down?”
“No more mini marshmallows.”
“No more dark chocolate.”
“No hot traditional salsa. Even though I don’t see anything hot about it.”
“No more brooms.”
“No more measuring cup.”
Me: “That’s to measure Blue’s food with.”
10 year old: “Well, you’ll have to guess now!”
This is where the pantry hostage taking standoff ended at 9:27pm. That is when I walked into the kitchen from the family room to see all the items he held hostage from the pantry stacked on the counter. Tomorrow is soon enough to shove them all back in. By 9:41pm my youngest son was tucked into bed with his covers all straightened out from last nights acrobatic sleeping and the bedside light on. Never a dull moment. I’m so glad!

January 29, 2014