“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

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!

I can’t make you

turquoisetangle:

I can’t make you

I wish I could

you’re bigger than me

I can’t stop you

you won’t listen

I won’t beg

do what you have to do

the door closes

I cry then

my eyes are dry now

no longer tired

I wonder

when you will come home

knowing that you will

I won’t call

you know the way

when you’re ready

come home

even though

I can’t make you

© 2011 Turquoise Tangles

That feeling when someone suddenly “Tumblr loves” something you wrote a few years ago. You reread it. Sigh deeply and cuss (just in your head). Somehow you nearly forgot. Does anyone else tag real life personal drama as, “creative writing” and hope the outer facade of reality doesn’t crack? No, me either. After tagging that way a few times my husband “called me on it” so I stopped. Stopped writing quite so honestly. Stopped tagging anything “creative writing.” Started talking about the dog, Blue, then just a puppy. A lot. Time flies. Speed varies. I’ve logged nearly 1,000 posts here at Tumblr since joining in November 2011. Poems. Photographs. Stories. Quotes. Reblogs. All tweeted too, if you’re counting. The best, most interesting, jaw dropping, heart aching, twisting, tugging, wrenching, soaring writing from the past several years has all been done behind the scenes. Just in case you’re wondering, this poem, written on a long ago night, was foreshadowing. I’m glad I was brave enough to write it and say it at the time. I still remember the fight. Faded. Fading. Letting go. We were fire and fire, fire and ice, hot and cold. Yet, we ended “just right.” We came through the fire, all pride set aside, and we loved with our walls down for the very first time.

January 6, 2014

The poem pictured is copyrighted by @Red_Sekhmet. Shared with permission granted today via Twitter on my Tumblr blog. I’m so glad Bloodmoon said yes.

I made dragon slayer art
A silver-clad knight
Shield up
Sword drawn
Facing a big red dragon
Darkness all around
Except for the knight
Light shimmers there
Illuminating
Protection
I am the knight
I wear a dragon some days
Printed on a cotton shirt
On days I know
There is a dragon near
A big red dragon
Needing slain
She is me
I’m a fireball
Sagittarius
Fire is my element
Red is my power color
I am a dragon slayer
I wear the whole armor of God
I’m speaking boldly
As I ought to speak
Ephesians 6:11-20

January 6, 2014

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.)

leakin’ salt water

everything is making me cry today
gonna unplug
^ from the woman who totally sucks at it
solitude and quiet would be lovely
but they aren’t layered into the schedule
things to do
places to go
people to see, love, hug and care for
one big ole dog and striped cat too
so I will go and do
but I can’t read words today
not on Facebook
not on Caring Bridge
not on Twitter or Tumblr either
everything is making me cry today

December 6, 2012

I sat down poolside with coffee only, just as a hint of drizzle turned to gentle rain at 6:20a.m. Thankful for that big red umbrella and time spent sitting in the dark outside. (It was quiet until that lady sat down with her cell phone…that she’s actually talking on and not typing on like me.)
Since then I’ve moved tables. Tweeted. E-mailed. Facebooked. Have refilled my mug o’ coffee too.
Nearly moved again after loud talking cell phone user number two. Instead I couldn’t help but overhear as she said, “You can’t run away from yourself because you can’t get away from your own ass.” Well, tis true.
The sky has brightened. I should go and check on my family, and find out if they are waking up anytime soon. No hurry. That’s the beauty of vacation. The gray clouds are moving. Blue sky is tryin’ to peek through. Not sure where the day is going to take us. The To Do List just reads, “Have Fun.” Gotta love Vacation Days. Reality can wait a few days more. It’s 8:09a.m. now. Livin’ on Eastern time rather agrees with me.
~ Janean

October 24, 2012