“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

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back to routine

7:27am
-Blue gave up fussing about not being able to see his dog buddy Jake, and decided to just eat breakfast instead.
-8th grade boy was shocked, amazed and thrilled to find a new MythBusters on the DVR this morning. You see, it’s not just a new MythBusters, but A NEW STAR WARS MYTHBUSTERS!!!! Are you kidding me?! Pure awesome right there.
-Best of all, thanks to the folks at Discovery Channel, that TV show was the incentive my 5th grade boy needed to come out from under the layers of cozy covers where he was burrowed when I told him it was wake up time, a little after 7a.
Up, dressed, breakfast, backpacks with lunches packed…we just might make it.
7:33am now
Gotta go!

The words above were posted in real time as my Facebook status. It is 8:24am as I post them here at Tumblr. I just walked through my front door, after delivering one boy curbside and waiting with the other until the bus arrived. It did. *whew* My breakfast time is next. Coffee. Taking my mom to the train station mid morning. I have a whisper of an idea for how I’m going to spend my day, but I’m not yet telling. Wednesday today. All day. Going to make it A Good One! First step is taking my winter coat off. I’m holding my phone with a turquoise knitted glove and typing with my thumb. I will. Letting the words flow ‘til then…

like a river

My words. They are pouring out of me right now. Pouring forth at all hours of the day and night. I need to channel them, like water flowing between the banks of a river, but mostly, I just have to write them.

January 3, 2014
Excerpt from an email I sent earlier this morning. Here is the email time stamp, stating date and time, “On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 10:07 AM.”

Just Start

Change occurs over time.
Especially transforming change.
The outcome reflects the choices you make.
You decide how to live your life.
Food you eat.
Words you speak.
Friends you make.
Love you give and receive.
Today is new.
Make it fabulous, like you!
~Janean

July 29, 2013
These are the encouraging words I posted at Work in Progress on Facebook today with a photo of butterflies emerging from their cocoons and the words, “Trust The Process.”

nice words

Yesterday I heard two things a woman always loves to hear:
1. From a wonderful friend, “You look thinner.”
2. My 14 year old nephew, “Aunt Janean, Grandma just told me how old you are.”
I reply, “I’m 41.”
Sweet teenage boy says, “I can’t believe it! I thought you were in your 30’s.”
These are words a woman remembers. If you’re looking for me today, my thinner, 30-something self, will still be floating on Cloud 9 with a mile wide smile, Artist, Poet, Daydreamer Style.

June 7, 2013

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