Casual Fridays 2/27/15


Friday again!  It’s time again for Casual Fridays, my weekly chat post.

It has been a long week for me so I am very happy to see Friday has arrived.  I found out that I did not get the job that I interviewed for. I am so disappointed as this would have been a good opportunity and allowed me more time with my family.  So back to the drawing board, I will keep searching.

My kids went back to school after two admin days and six consecutive snow days. Hallelujah.

I finally got a facebook page set up for my blog. This is a leftover goal from the blogging 101 course. It’s surprisingly easy to manage ( go like my page, by the way!). My facebook page and twitter account now have my new header so they are consistent (you know, that whole branding thing).

I was playing around with the themes today and I almost changed to Chateau. I know, my indecisiveness is out of control.

I am listening to my favorite Milk music station and it went from Vance Joy to Journey.  And now Ed Sheeran. You get me, Milk music.

The Direct TV commercials with Rob Lowe crack me up every time.

It’s hard for me to believe that it is almost March! Time is going so fast. My birthday is in a few days. How did that happen? I’m not really one to celebrate my birthday and this year will be no exception.

We had the most beautiful snowfall today – big, fat, fluffy flakes that didn’t stick to the roadways. Perfect.

I am doing this post entirely from my phone because I don’t want to fire up my laptop. Speaking of technology,  did anyone catch this week’s Modern Family? The whole episode takes place on Claire’s laptop. Her dad trying to use facetime is priceless.

How was your week? I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe weekend!


A Drop in the Ocean

Precious soul, you were but a whisper that only I could hear

yet you adorned the hopes and dreams
held secret in my heart

Tiny spirit, instead of sleeping in my arms
you dance in the warmth of the sun and wander among the stars
forever light and free

Gentle one, you were but a drop in the ocean to most
unseen, unheard
quickly forgotten

My child, to me you were a great wave
powerful and crashing
still echoing in my core

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

photo by Chris Luczkow

A/N: I wrote this about a pregnancy loss that I experienced years ago. It started out as an elegy, but as always happens, I take too long to get things written and I get behind in my assignments. I intended to keep up with the poetry class but I found I am spending way too much time trying to follow the rules – acrostic, elegy, ode, limerick, ballad, etc. – and spending less time actually writing. And I have precious little time for writing. I am so impressed by all of my friends who have done the course and I think studying those forms is important, but it is not something that I have time for at the moment. I will focus on expression and not on the format. Happy writing, everyone!

Its All In Their Heads

I published this on 10/31/2014 so I am not sure why WordPress decided to change it to a “scheduled” post… I am just trying to republish it. Carry on.


Based on Daily Prompt: Trio No. 3: A dark night, refrigerator and tears.

“Where is it?! It HAS to be here somewhere!”

My eyes made yet another frantic search around my bedroom.  I had checked every surface and, on hands and knees, every square inch of flooring. I had emptied drawers.  I had even looked in the moving boxes, thinking my ring had somehow fallen inside.

My ring had been missing for a week.  That meant that I had been repeating this same search routine for seven days. Seven days of nothing but frustration.

“Trace your steps,” my husband piped in.  “Where did you last see it?”

I threw him an exasperated look. Really? We had been through this countless times. I knew exactly where I had left it.  Once my grandmother’s, the ring was my prized possession.  I had taken it off at bedtime, like usual, and lovingly placed it in the padded ring box on my nightstand.  The next morning, the box was empty.

“Damn it, Nick! For the hundredth time, I left it right there!” I yelled, gesturing toward the nightstand.  “It just disappeared!”

“Nothing just disappears. We will find it.  I’ll go check the bathroom again.”  He rose from the bed and entered the hallway.

I looked around the room and decided to search the nightstand drawer. Again.

“OUCH! I thought I moved that box.” I heard Nick yell from the bathroom. “I KNOW I moved that box. Did you put it back in here?”

I peeked into the bathroom to see him standing next to the offending box, rubbing his shin. I remembered him moving the box into the office two days before. I shook my head and said, “No, I didn’t touch it. Come to think of it, I don’t remember it being in here this morning.”

He sighed. “This is getting out of control.”  We looked at each other, not wanting to say anything more.

We had moved into the duplex about a month before.  At first, when little things went missing or showed up in strange places, we attributed it to the disorganization.  With boxes and things strewn about waiting for a new home, it would be easy to misplace an item.  As it continued, we started to suspect each other.  I wouldn’t put it past my dear husband to pull pranks to make me think I was losing my mind.  Then about three weeks after moving in, we had dinner with our neighbors. We wanted to meet the people who lived on the other side of our walls.

An accountant and an elementary school teacher, they seemed like a nice couple.  We ate and made small talk about jobs and hobbies before they started telling us about all of the weird things that they had experienced since moving into the duplex.  Hearing footsteps in the hall when no one was there.  Knocking noises.  Slamming doors.  Coming home to find furniture moved.  Items gone missing.

Nick scoffed at their claims, branding them as paranoid.  ‘Its all in their heads,’ he said. I, on the other hand, believed that their claims had validity.  I had also heard the noises in the middle of the night.  The spare bedroom was so cold, no matter how much I ran the heat.  Boxes and other things had shown up where we hadn’t placed them.  And then that night, after dinner with the neighbors, my ring disappeared.

As I stood in the bathroom and looked from my husband to the box that should have been in the office, tears started to slip from my eyes and roll down my cheeks.

Nick’s eyes softened and he took a step toward me. “Honey,…”

I sighed and wiped my eyes. “I just want my ring back,” I yelled into the empty hallway. “Its mine and I want it back!” I turned and huffed down the stairs to the living room.

The large bay window by the front door showed me that it had gotten quite dark.  I closed the drapes and turned on the tv.  Nick came softly down the stairs, watching me with a worried look on his face.  ‘He probably thinks I’ve lost it,’ I thought.

I decided that I needed a beer. Or three.  I padded down the hallway to the kitchen and flipped on the light.  There was a pot on the stove that I was pretty sure was in the cabinet a couple of hours before and we hadn’t done any cooking.  Make that four beers.

I opened the refrigerator and froze.

“Nick? Come here.”

He was by my side an instant later, still with a worried look.

I reached into the fridge and pulled out the padded ring box.  The ring box that was upstairs on my nightstand only fifteen minutes earlier.  The ring box that now contained my lost ring.

I held it up to him and looked him straight in the eye. I worked to keep my voice even. “Do you still think its all in their heads?”

He looked at the ring like it was a snake ready to strike him.  He blew out a breath and ran his hand through his hair. “Yeah, I’ll call the landlord.  We’re breaking the lease.”

“Yes, please.”


A/N: Happy halloween! This is actually a true story. One of my best friends lived in that duplex with her husband. Its in Lakewood, Ohio. And yes, her missing ring really did show up in the refrigerator. I changed one part: they actually did stick it out for the full year of the lease (and she was very happy when they finally moved out!).  They did experience all of the weird things I describe here, though not on a daily basis. It was frequent enough to be creepy but not frequent enough to send them running for the hills.  And none of it seemed malicious.

Casual Fridays 2/20/15

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Friday again! I swear, ever since I started this weekly post, the weeks go by faster!

So, since our last Casual Fridays post, I had one other post.  I still didn’t hit my writing goals for this week but I did better than last week… win? No? Maybe.

I am taking the Writing 201: Poetry class and so far I have completed one of the five assignments. One.  Sad face.

We got six inches of snow on Monday and my kids have been out of school all week.  They were out of school last week Thursday and Friday for parent-teacher conferences and teacher professional development day (I admit I don’t even know what that means).  So that means they have been home for nine days. NINE DAYS.  But who’s counting? Me. I am counting. These kids need to go back to school pronto. And its been so cold this week that they have been cooped up in the house.  Nine days cooped up in the house = no bueno.

Today was girl scout cookie delivery day. Both of my girls are in scouts and I help lead both troops.  Between the two troops, we sold about 2000 boxes of cookies.  It was a LONG day.  My legs are tired and my back is killing me.  I think I will have dreams nightmares about cookies tonight!

I am still waiting to hear about the job that I interviewed for.  They are wanting to make a decision by the end of the month.  I am so nervous and impatient.

I discovered a new app this week: Milk Music.  It is like Pandora but it is exclusive for Samsung galaxy devices.  There is so much music to listen to.  I am loving it!

Sunday is my daughter’s 11th birthday.  I ordered her cake today.  I was stressing about what to get her for a gift so I had a talk with her today.  I decided to give her money and let her decide for herself what she would like.  I know it may seem impersonal (and a cop out) but she is at the age where I would much rather she have what she really wants.  And her interests and tastes are rapidly evolving.

I bought two bags of Cadbury mini eggs last weekend and they are gone.  I could try to blame my kids, but the truth is that I ate 90% of them.

OK, it is getting late and I really have to get to bed.  Have a wonderful Friday and great weekend, everyone!

Casual Fridays 2/13/15

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It’s that time again! Casual Fridays! No structure, no rules, anything goes.

How did Friday come around again so fast? My last post was Casual Friday for LAST WEEK. Ouch. Honestly, I kind of expected that, though. When life blows up, I tend to be MIA around here, sadly.  So, that’s a big fat fail for my writing goals this week. Sad panda. And I am miserably behind in Blogging 201. *sigh*

First things first, my phone interview went okay last week.  Conference calls with multiple people can be a little difficult and awkward, so of course I worried about that.  But overall, I think it went well.  I am waiting to hear what the next step in the process will be.

The word of the week in my house has been: puke.  A stomach virus swept through our house and left no one untouched.  It started with the youngest member last Saturday and hit the rest of us on Monday.  Tuesday was a rest, recooperate and rehydrate day. Wednesday night, the youngest one (remember, where it all started) threw up again. At 1am. All over the bed (and floor and toy box next to the bed). So we are talking 5 days of dealing with puke.  Now, I’ve been a mom for 11 years and I’ve seen some gross things but puke is the absolute worst for me.

Thursday was redemption day for me.  I took a day off work to run a marathon of errands.  It was just me and the two kidlets.  Our agenda included haircuts (all three of us), dropping off tax paperwork, dentist appointments (all three of us), parent-teacher conferences (for both kidlets), pediatrician appointment (for younger kidlet) and a trip to walmart (AKA  the third subbasement of hell).  And after all of that, I had a phone conversation/quasi-interview about another job opportunity.  And let me tell you, switching over to professional mode after dragging your kids all over God’s green acre all day is not easy. But I did it. I may not be supermom, but I have my moments.

While in walmart, we shopped for valentine candy. And in the aisle next to the valentine candy was… Easter candy!  Stores are no longer waiting for one holiday to commence before they are looking forward to the next.  So after I shook my head and told my kids “this is what is wrong with our society,” I threw a couple of bags of Cadbury mini eggs into my cart because I am totally addicted to the damn things.  I am sure I will eat my weight in them between now and Easter.

The Walking Dead premiere Sunday was AWESOME. I can’t tell you how much I love that show.  The episode was hauntingly beautiful and artistic.

Being home sick Monday and Tuesday, I watched more TV than I care to admit.  It was extremely boring but I didn’t have the energy to do anything else.  I’m just going to say that there is a LOT of crap on TV and leave it at that.  And daytime TV is a wasteland.

I started growing my hair out three and a half years ago. It was really short and very layered in the back.  It now comes down to my mid-back.  As of my trim today, the last of the layers are gone and my hair is all one length again!  Ladies, you know what an accomplishment this is. Growing out layers is brutal.

My daughter turns 11 in just over a week and I am not at all prepared for her birthday.  My birthday is just 9 days after hers.  And I’m really not prepared for that!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone! Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend!

Casual Fridays 2/6/15

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Casual Fridays is going to be my (hopefully) weekly post and it is just that: casual. It is just a way for me to catch up from the week and chat about whatever is going on in my life. No daily posts, no fiction, no poetry, no structure or stress.  It will probably be pretty random and I’m okay with that.  I hope that you will join in too.  Chat me up in the comments or write your own post with a pingback to this post.  Here we go…

It has been a crazy week here.  I had hoped to get some writing done last weekend but I decided instead to have some much-needed family time with my daughters.  I did get some writing done on a new project, though not as much as I hoped.

When I start a new project, the characters tend to hang out in my head and just take over.  They have definitely been doing that this week.  So maybe this weekend I will get some work done on their story.

My main source of stress this week has been job interviews. There is this job that I really, really want.  I had my first interview last week.  My second interview was Tuesday (2/3) and my third interview is today.  I am SO nervous.  This job would be such a great opportunity for me and my family.  Wish me luck today!

My husband started a new work schedule this week and he gets home much earlier than he used to.  So he is home more.  I love him so of course having him home more is a good thing.  However, our routine runs like a well-oiled machine.  He is throwing off the balance.  I also envisioned that I would have more help around the house and with the kids but in reality he is just spending more time playing World of Warcraft.

The Walking Dead comes back this Sunday! I am super excited about that.  It is my favorite show on TV.  Any other TWD fans out there?

My husband made steak and baked potato for supper and it was awesome.

He ordered a new vacuum and it arrives tomorrow.  It is a little pathetic how excited I am about this.

It was 9 degrees when I drove to work this morning.  NINE.  That is way too cold.

I am getting really tired of all the hype about the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. I feel like I’m the only woman on the planet who really couldn’t care less.

OK, friends… let’s hear your random thoughts on this Friday!

Introduce Yourself Here To Other Bloggers And Grow Your Audience!

This is a great opportunity to meet new bloggers!


So I’d been thinking since I began 11 months ago about how I could help other bloggers grow their audience as quickly as I did. Y’all know how passionate I am about making a proper living from blogging already.

I started doing Blogging Tips and then I wanted to offer online events that could help boost folks’ audiences. I had quite a few in mind but a busy schedule and some tough periods put paid to getting them up and running last year. But now…here is the first!Feel free to use this post to say hi and introduce yourself to other bloggers. Add links to your books, your poems, your enterprises.

Promote Yourself!

Tell folks who you are and what you blog about so people will want to check you out. Also go say hi to others. It is all key to growing your audience.

Frankly I got tired of…

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