Heart Things and October “Warning”

An apology:

Salve for injured emotions.

Repeat as needed.

I took this photo in February and I'm so excited to have a post I think it fits with.  Even the Boy Scouts saw a heart in this stump!
I took this photo in February and I’m so excited to finally have a post I think it fits with. Even the Boy Scouts saw a heart in this stump!


After several days of not speaking to my husband following his mother’s too-long, drama-inducing visit, he finally asked if I was upset with him.


It occurs to me that the silent treatment was probably a beautiful gift and he had to take a few days to consider whether he wanted to return it.  I suppose all decisions must be carefully weighed 😛

I find it ironic that the ones we love the most are the ones we hurt the most. These are the people that we can take for granted and not even realize that we’ve hurt them. After thinking about it, I see that when I overstep my bounds with an acquaintance, “I’m sorry,” rolls off the tongue so easily. When I disappoint a loved one, my first inclination is to defend my “rightness.”

As I write this post, I remind myself to treat loved ones like acquaintances. Tomorrow is not a given.

My last partly-fiction story was not the least bit uplifting, but when I’m mad/sad/frustrated, etc., I’m wholly all of those things and it bleeds through into my writing.

Oh!  Speaking of bleeding, do you know what day it is? Hump-day!  Well, that- and October 1st! (I know, that’s a terrible segue, but I’m sticking with it.) I had so much fun writing extra-twisted, super-creepy stories last October that I’m ready to see if I can keep up the scary fiction for another October. I don’t really do blood and gore so much, but hope to bring on the psychological scary. Boo!

If you’re not into creepy, I’ll understand if you make yourself scared, I mean, scarce.  Okay, okay, I’ll stop now.  Have a great Wednesday!


Birdie (Fiction)

Funky tree in our yard... wasn't the initial inspiration for this post, but well, I'll explain that at the end!
Funky tree in our yard… wasn’t the initial inspiration for this post, but  I’ll explain that at the end!

Bernadette Thibodaux stood in front of the house she’d just purchased, key folded in her palm.  “This is it,” she exhaled.  She turned to her best friend, Chris, to read his reaction.

“Well.  It’s a nice place.”


“Who said anything about a ‘but’?”

“Come on, after twenty-two years, I can tell.”  She didn’t have to mention their years as high school sweethearts and their failed marriage; that always lingered in the back of her mind.

He shrugged.  “Birdie, don’t you think four acres might be a bit much for you to maintain?”

Birdie.  No one else could get away with calling her that.  “I just bought my first place.  Don’t ruin it for me.”  She grabbed his elbow.  “Let me show you the house!”

He nearly knocked her over when she came to an abrupt stop at the wrap-around porch.  While she fumbled with the key in the lock, he shook the railing.  “Sturdy support,” he mumbled.  “A porch swing would be nice over there.”  He pointed to the right.

She glanced over her shoulder.  “That’s exactly what I thought.”  She pushed on the door but it didn’t budge.  She thrust her hip against the door twice and it popped loose with a creak.  When she entered the foyer a new wave of excitement rippled through her.

Chris opened and closed the door several times and rubbed his fingers along the door jam.  “I think a little sanding right here and a re-paint and it’ll be good as new.”

Thunder rumbled overhead, shaking the windows.  Intermittent rain drops pelted the glass.

He peered at the track of the large window to the left of the entryway.  “Might need some tightening.”

She threw a playful punch at his shoulder.  “Critical much?  You talk like the house is falling apart.”

“I just think the place on Church Street would’ve been better for you.”

“It was sweet of you to look at it for me, but it was a condo.  No privacy at all.”

“But it was in town.”

“This is only twenty minutes away.”

He opened his mouth, but then closed it again.  “May we continue the tour?”

She nodded.  “Follow me, then.”  She led him into the kitchen.  She expected him to comment on the worn finish of the cabinet doors or the discolored laminate counter tops, but he said nothing.  When he saw the guest bathroom, he let the missing drain stopper go without comment.  The smallish guest bedrooms drew not even a murmur of criticism.

“So what do you think?” Bernadette asked when they circled back to the front door.

“It’s perfect for you, Birdie.”

Something in the smile he gave her, or the wistful tone of his voice, made her cheeks color.  “You know I want your honest opinion.”

Continue reading

Approaching Storms


highs and lows-

predictable becomes unstable.


rumbling on the horizon-

just before atmospheric tension thickens.



I haven’t written much poetry lately (inspiration comes and goes for me on the poetic front.)  On Sunday afternoon, I pondered what to write just as rumbling thunder teased me with the prospect of a monsoon storm.  I remembered this photo from the 4th of July, taken a few hours before rain happened and delayed the fireworks display.  I thought it went well with this poem.

As I wrote this, I had in mind the similarities between weather storms and the emotional storms we encounter in relationships.  Perhaps my crankiness this past week prompted me to go there!  Seriously, last week was stressful with one annoyance after another.  I let it get to me, until I finally was able to let it go (mostly).  My husband was smart and kept his distance.  My kids (older son especially) were not as wise and chose to challenge me.  Next week has to be better!

I missed writing a story last week because my mind just wasn’t there.  It was a creative flat line of sorts, which I haven’t experienced in a while.  I won’t overreact and call it writer’s block- I’ll just chalk it up to being preoccupied with the competing priorities that are life.  I’m hoping to come up with some fiction for later this week.  I really need my mind to rescue me from the “daily grind.”

Have a beautiful week!

Hate Has Its Place

01-29 Hate

Several times a week, I sit with my younger son (he’s in second grade) and he reads to me.  I would love for this to happen every day, but sometimes life doesn’t cooperate.  That’s another post for another day!  Anyway, as he read the chapter book, my son substituted “bleep” for a word.

I halted his reading and we went back and read the sentence.  Sure enough, there was a four –letter word that he’s been trained since preschool not to ever utter- under any circumstances.  Right there in black and white, “hate” glared out from the page.  Shocking, isn’t it?

Okay, I’m being facetious here, but this did trigger some thoughts.

It’s admirable that language is being monitored (censored?) in an effort to reduce negative speech, but I wonder if it really hurts any less to have one kid tell another, “I dislike you more than liver and onions” rather than the old-school, “I hate you.”

I follow the belief that if I don’t have anything nice to say, shut my trap.  If something about someone bothers me so much that I’m tempted to fire a verbal missile, avoid that person.  If I’m about to say/write something that knocks another person down, do the world a favor and don’t.  Simple, right?

I don’t think banning the word “hate” from our vocabulary does anything for removing it from our hearts.  Here’s another thing- hate is kind of like bacteria:  there’s good and bad varieties.  If we eradicate the good, productive hate then everything goes wonky.

Hate is a passionate dislike of something.  Bad hate is directed at others with the intent to harm.  It hurts feelings, brings tears and burdens another’s heart.  Bad hate is a tangled knot in the threads that bind us together.  Bad hate is toxic.

But hate has its place.

Let me tell you some of the things I hate.  I hate bullying and any behavior that implies one person is better than another.  I hate the fact there are children without loving homes.  I hate that not everyone has enough food to eat, while my hunger is not out of necessity or circumstances.  I hate when differences of opinion turn to personal attacks.  I hate when animals are abused, I hate discrimination for any reason, I hate that we so often turn our backs claiming, “There’s nothing I can do…”

I could go on, but I won’t.

I believe passionately disliking something is the first step in passionately and consciously deciding not to ignore it.  In this way, hate can foster caring.

If you disagree with me, that’s okay.  I don’t hate you for that 😛

What do you hate?  I’d love for you to share your thoughts.

Love Song

Duck!  Oops....
Duck! Oops….

Cathy stomped along the hiking trail, fury urging her to go faster.

Ethan huffed behind her.  “Come on, Cath, you’re over-reacting!”

She ducked under a low tree branch, and then giggled when she heard the thwack followed by a string of expletives.  Serves him right.

“Why can’t you believe me? I love you.”

She stopped and whirled around.  “Love.  Really?  What I heard is that you want to be a bachelor.”

“I never said that!”

“Your karaoke choice did.”

“You’re the one who asked me to sing.”

“A love song, ignoramus.  “Baby Got Back” is not a love song!”


If you are not familiar with “Baby Got Back“, this link will take you to a YouTube video.  If you have heard the song, you know why Cathy would be so upset!  This song was big when I was in high school, but it’s not a song I’d want my kids listening to, so listen at your own risk.  You’ve been warned 🙂

This is my response to Trifecta’s extra-special 99th challenge post.

TrifectaPicture11-1“This week we are giving you a page from the Oxford English Dictionary.  The ninety-ninth page, to be exact.  (Click to enlarge.)  From this page, you can choose any word, any definition, to use in your post.  (Please type your chosen word in bold, so we know.)  And instead of our typical 33-333 word limit, we are asking for 99 words exactly.”

If at least 99 writers link up, there will be a random drawing for a $99 Amazon gift card.  So why not join in?

Once again, this is a community-voted challenge, which means that readers have the opportunity to vote on their three favorites by visiting Trifecta’s site after the challenge closes on Thursday, at 8PM Eastern time.