The Lost Branches

I hit enter and watched the little leaves pop onto my screen.

I did the DNA testing to learn about my ancestry. Just out of curiosity, really. Now I was staring at several names – not-that-distant relatives – that I had never heard of.

The next day, grandma held the printout in her weathered hands. A scowl crossed her face as she scanned the names. I waited eagerly to hear the stories that I could see dancing through her mind.

“Ah, yes,” she muttered. “That’s Beulah and her kin.”

“And…?” I prodded.

“Sometimes the family tree just needs some pruning,” she spat.


100 words

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.


Let’s Think Positive!

Reasons why my day is going better than a trip to the dentist (AKA Let’s think positive!)…

Sunshine after days of gray and gloom. It’s still cold, though..

A relatively quiet work day so far after being stupid busy yesterday

Taco Tuesday

I’m making friends with my new-to-me car. It’s my husband’s car. I’ve started driving it in an effort to save money on my costly commute. It’s a hybrid. A Honda CRZ to be exact. It’s a bit like driving a tic tac box but it is red and zippy.

I have plans tonight and will conveniently miss the State of the Union address. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t watch that trainwreck even if my calendar was as empty as Trump’s brain. But at least I have a legitimate excuse to not tune in.

My plans tonight involve High School Information night for incoming freshmen. Yes, my almost-14-year-old daughter will be in high school in the fall. There will be registration packets and loads of information about curriculum, grading, graduation requirements, scholarships, transcripts, summer school, standardized testing, etc. Doesn’t that sound like fun?! I’ve already received her fall marching band schedule which has thrown a gigantic wrench into my weekend free time (what free time?) in September and October. And I just know I’m going to get roped into the Band Parents Association. I don’t think I’m ready for any of this. Wait… I think I feel a cavity coming on…


Written for Daily Prompt

Work in Progress

This is the wonderful business opportunity? You can’t be serious.” Arms crossed, Maria wrinkled her nose in disgust at the dilapidated building.

“I know she needs some TLC…,” Mike began, mind reeling with potential.

“Our car can fit through the gaping hole in the wall! And that terrace is a death trap!”

Mike used his charm. “I was in rough shape when you found me. You took a chance and that turned out okay, right?”

Her eyes softened. “I guess,” she joked, “but you’re still a work in progress.”

Mike patted the wall and whispered, “Let’s get you fixed up.”


Word count: 100

PHOTO CREDIT: Sandra Crook

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

If We Were Having Coffee… 1/7/18



Forgive me dear readers and coffee friends, for I have sinned… it has been two months since my last blog post and three months since my last coffee share…

I have really missed you all! I’ve been taking a little break. It has been partly due to being busy. I mean, I’m always busy. We’re all busy, right? The holidays are a gigantic time suck. The break has also been partly self-imposed. Sometimes I just need the time and space to figuratively clean house and reevaluate things. I’m really glad to join you for coffee so that we can catch up.

Our family had a great Thanksgiving holiday. My brother-in-law and his wife and kids came to visit from South Carolina. It is always nice to spend time with them. Brother-in-law did some work around the house (my front door, refrigerator ice/water dispenser, and dishwasher are now in working order!). He also made some amazing food (he has culinary school training). Our kids also got to spend time together. All of my kids’ cousins live in South Carolina, so cousin time is limited and therefore very precious.

Our Christmas and New Year’s holidays were perfect: quiet, laid-back, and spent with close family. My kids got their wish-lists (mostly) filled and I was able to rest and relax. I think I overindulged on food a bit and now I need to get back on track with my exercise regimen (or, you know, establish an exercise regimen. Let’s be honest).

I was able to finish my board recertification the last week of November… a whole month early! I am now good for 5 years.

For my daily commute, I have immersed myself in the world of podcasts. I am obsessed with The Moth, which has re-ignited my love for storytelling.

Easter is three months away and Cadbury mini-eggs have hit the shelves. That means that I have already purchased (and eaten) some. I’m not sure my waistline can stand 3+ months of this chocolately goodness, but I am enjoying them! In other news, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in a little over 5 weeks. I can’t wait for spring!

NFL fans, how are playoffs going for you? Is your team still in it?

Off to read and catch up on everyone’s posts…

Grab a cup, pull up a chair and join us! Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Eclectic Alli. This week’s linkup is here.

#DSFWeeklyRewind… 11/5/17


Another week has flown by and it’s been a busy one!

*Monster Mash* Tuesday was Halloween. Typical Halloween fun was had… the girls dressed up and we went trick-or-treating as a family (well, hubby and I would stand on the sidewalks as the girls would run to the door to get candy). It was cooler than it’s been in recent years but it was bearable. We came home and each girl examined and organized her loot. One house gave out full size candy bars so that was the hit of the night. I also exercised my parental right to take a “candy tax.”

*Hallelujah* (cue angels singing)… I had a productive week. I got my office packed. I finished my second presentation in a week. I have no more scheduled right now (which makes me very happy). I got started on my CEU’s that are due at the end of December. I still have a long way to go on those but I started… and that first step is often the hardest, right? I even got a little Christmas shopping started Saturday night. I am on a roll!

This week I am thankful for the beauty of nature. By this point in November, our colorful trees are often starting to fade. However, October was so warm that our colors were a bit dull last month. In the last week or so, we got some rain and our temperatures finally cooled off. Way off. And the colors of the leaves have really popped. The colors are sharper and brighter. It is late in the season but it is a nice view all the same. I am lucky that on my daily drive I see a lot of bright yellows and fiery oranges and reds.

Have a great week, everyone!

Join us at #DSFWeeklyRewind. This is a way for us to connect and rewind through our week (our “playlist,” if you will), reflect, and express gratitude. Connect with others at this week’s linkup. Everyone is welcome!

#DSFWeeklyRewind… 10/29/17


How can it almost be November?? Where has this year gone? We are dangerously close to Christmas and *gasp* 2018! Let’s rewind the week…

I’ve been freaking out all week about the quick passage of time because my board certification expires 12/31. We have to renew every 5 years. I need to make up a boatload of CEU’s to recertify by 12/31. This means that I need to go online and pay an arm and a leg to download educational content, read and take quizzes, and earn said boatload of CEU’s. As usual, I have procrastinated. Also, I don’t exactly have piles of spare time laying around to devote to this.

Work this week has been surprisingly good. I caught up on my patient letters and I had a *very* productive day Friday packing my office. I actually got all of my drawers and storage cabinets packed. Friday, 11/3, is our last day in the office and all I will have to do that day is pack my desk. I am feeling a huge weight lifted regarding the office move.

Last weekend, I took a trip with the hubby and the kids to a mall in the city. We had a great time, of course. In the car, we were listening to playlists on spotify… mostly the kids’ pop music. Then hubby wanted to hear Stairway to Heaven. Then we fell down the rabbit hole and started playing the Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc. We ended with a variety of hair band stuff. Hubby and I were singing – loudly – and recalling great memories. We were transported to younger days and easier times. Music, sometimes, is magic.

My podcast obsession this week has been Lore (by Aaron Mahnke). Between my morning and afternoon commute, I get to binge about 6-7 episodes a day. If you love creepy stories and want to learn more about the historical events behind today’s folklore, check out Lore. It does not disappoint.

Friday night I did a food drive with the girl scouts. The girls dress in their Halloween costumes and go to local grocery stores to “trick or treat” for customers to donate food items. We also get a lot of people that just give us cash. We donate everything to the local food pantries. We do this every year and it is a wonderful program. I emphasize teaching the girls service to others and giving back to the community. Now, you put a large group of young girls together and add Halloween costumes and things get… chaotic. They have so much energy. And enthusiasm. I love it even if it is a bit… tiring.

This week I am thankful for time. Time with my family to just be goofy and enjoy life. Time in my car alone (even though I curse my commute often) to listen to music/stories that fill my brain and reenergize my soul. Time with my kids, molding and shaping them into good people who will grow up and do amazing things in this world. I know their young years will go lightening fast, I have to enjoy the time while I have it.

Join us at #DSFWeeklyRewind. This is a way for us to connect and rewind through our week (our “playlist,” if you will), reflect, and express gratitude. Connect with others at this week’s linkup. Everyone is welcome!


On the Run

Sunsets were bittersweet to Ana. They were beautiful, but they were also a harbinger of the darkness to come.

She had stopped at the pond to rest, maybe even to bathe. Her sore muscles begged for respite.

She froze as the hair stood up on her neck. Was it the cooling twilight air or was it because of him?

Yes, darkness was coming. In more ways than one. She could feel him. He was close. Always too close.

Ana wistfully picked up her sword and bag. She had to keep moving before the reds and purples overhead faded to black.

Word count 100


PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

#DSFWeeklyRewind… 10/22/17


Happy Sunday! I am again joining my friend, Tara, over at Daisy Smiley Face for her new linkup #DSFWeeklyRewind. This is a way for us to connect and rewind through our week (our “playlist,” if you will), reflect, and express gratitude. This week there is a linkup. Come join us!

Last weekend we went to Fall Fest at a rural Lutheran memorial grounds. We went last year, too, and fell in love with these doughnuts made by an Amish group. So we went again this year to get more Amish doughnuts. They also make a mean bowl of chicken and dumplings, which we also enjoyed. The weather was perfect. And when I say perfect I mean it. It was Midwestern autumn in all of it’s glory. We browsed the craft tables and my older daughter got a handheld acrobat toy (that has mesmerized me) and my younger daughter got a wooden gun that shoots rubber bands. I was so thankful for beautiful skies, warm temperatures, fun and family time.

On Tuesday, I had a work dinner at a trendy, upscale Italian restaurant. About 25 of my coworkers went. Now, I am neither trendy nor upscale and I have pretty significant social anxiety. So functions like this really throw me into a tizzy. I fretted all day about it. In the end, it went great. The food was amazing and the socializing wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. I was thankful for good food, friendly coworkers, and a good job/department that paid for it all.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers eliminated that Chicago Cubs from the NLCS. And the Cubs didn’t just lose, they were spanked (11-1 Dodgers). The Dodgers won the series in just five games. I (and the rest of Cardinal Nation) am ecstatic. Thanks, Dodgers!

I finally caught up on my favorite podcast, Steal the Stars (by Mac Rogers). I binged it for several days. It is amazing. Great story and wonderful acting. Now I have to wait for the weekly episode. I think there are only a couple episodes left. I will be so sad when it is over.

The six month wait is over… The Walking Dead comes back tonight! I am so ready to catch up with Rick, Daryl, Michonne, Maggie, Carol and the gang. Even Negan.

Have a great week, everyone!

#DSFWeeklyRewind… 10/15/17


Hi, friends! We are trying something new this week. Instead of having coffee, I am joining my friend, Tara, over at Daisy Smiley Face for her new linkup #DSFWeeklyRewind. This is a way for us to connect and rewind through our week (our “playlist,” if you will), reflect, and express gratitude.

This has definitely been a week of “put that song on replay.” It started with my camping trip with the scouts. This was our largest group yet and we had many newbies. It was fabulous. I always love going there in the fall because of the weather and the colors. Last weekend did not disappoint. My normal life is full of traffic and cities, so getting away to country and nature can be a magical elixir. Something about a campfire fixes everything. I forget how beautiful the sky is until I am out  in the middle of nowhere and I see a symphony of stars… so many more than I can normally see in my neck of the woods. Of course, the trip was also great because we are growing strong girls. I love seeing young girls try new things, have new experiences, and build bonds with one another.


Monday was my 18th wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe. I mean, time is funny with things like that. In ways, it seems like shorter (how can I be old enough to be married that long?!) and in other ways it seems like longer (it is hard to remember my life before). If our marriage were a person, that person would be a legal adult! Able to vote and everything (well, not drink. I’m not that old yet). Playlist: Grow Old With Me by Mary Chapin Carpenter (our wedding dance song).

The part of my week that I would “skip” would be (no surprise): work. Work has gotten busy again in an exhausting pull-my-hair-out kind of way. We are also preparing to move our offices on November 3rd. I need to start decluttering (I have a lot of junk I don’t want to move) and organizing (stuff is everywhere!).

*cue the upbeat, happy music* Highlight: a surprise package from a friend. My good friend, Violet, sent me a care package of Harvest Mix!! This is Cadbury mini eggs cleverly redesigned and repackaged for fall. Bravo, Cadbury! Violet is such a sweet and thoughtful friend.




  • I am thankful for nature. I am thankful for the way time slows down and means more when you take the time to slow down and do meaningful things. At camp, we exposed girls to new things (horse-riding, flag ceremonies, dutch oven cooking) and gave them some new memories (spider cabins). We felt the warmth of the fire and marveled at the starry sky.
  • I am thankful for purpose. In a chaotic world that I sometimes feel is losing it’s moral center, I am making a difference in the lives of young girls (including my two daughters).
  • I am thankful for love
  • I am thankful for friendship. I am so lucky to have caring, thoughtful friends in my life.
  • I am thankful for chocolate
  • I am thankful for the LA Dodgers, who beat the Chicago Cubs in game 1 of the NLCS last night. I’ll be even more thankful when the Cubs are eliminated.
  • I am thankful that there are only 7 days until the new season of The Walking Dead!!

So, head on over to #DSFWeeklyRewind to check out the deets and participate. Tell me about your week and what you are grateful for!

If We Were Having Coffee on the First Day of October…


Hello, October! It is nice to see you, my friend.

I adore October. It is my favorite month. My wedding anniversary is in October. I look forward to colorful leaves, falling leaves, crisp air, sweaters, jackets, boots, fire pits, hot chocolate, pumpkins, pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween, homecomings… so much fun stuff in October.

Next weekend is our camping trip with the girl scouts. This will be our biggest group yet with about 20 girls and 11 moms. It is a busy weekend with horseback riding, activities, games, dutch oven cooking, and cleanup. But there is also much time for relaxing around the campfire and enjoying nature. I’m hoping to see some beautiful colors next weekend!

My St. Louis Cardinals’ season is officially over. No postseason play for us this year. It was a roller coaster season. We did keep the Milwaukee Brewers from making the playoffs so there’s that. Now I’m just looking forward to spring training.

Who is gearing up for NaNoWriMo next month? I have never participated and doubt I have the time but I flirt with the idea every year.

Thanks so much for having coffee with me this weekend. There is no linkup this time, Diana at has been our lovely host but has been on a bit of a hiatus. Until our next cup!