Archive for April, 2008

Down with Adulthood

Just when you might have thought I’ve abandoned my goofy nature with all these posts on recycling and traumatized children…I can’t resist a new dog picture: Exhausted dog after spending a warm spring day with all five of my grandchildren.    Back in a few days…currently in a writing frenzy…


April 29, 2008 at 6:34 am 18 comments


When Pap and I took custody of the oldest two grandgirls over a year ago, removing them from the nightmare our oldest daughter had created through alcohol, drugs and men who treat her like a punching bag…I commented to him that I was concerned that the girls were not exhibiting the anger, fear, frustration, or angst I thought they should considering what they’d been through.  They settled into my house with very little problem.  They laughed and giggled all the time, had good grades at school and really enjoyed their visits with their mother as she got her life back on track.  When Children’s Services cleared my daughter’s case and the girls moved back in with her, they were excited to reunite their family.  Happy to be back with Mom.   Most of the family thought we’d dodged a bullet…call me pessimistic, but I knew the gavel would eventually fall.  Nobody goes through what they did without getting totally and royally pissed.

My daughter is finding out that nobody exists in a vacuum.  Everything we do or say affects somebody else and results in repercussions.  If you’re sending out good – that’s what bounces back.  If not – you get the ten year old daughter from Hell.  Now that the pressure is off and life at her house looks like it did at my house, Jazz is thoroughly and completely furious at her mother.  From screaming tantrums to name calling to open rebellion on chores and curfews…she’s giving it back.  But the worst part of this ugly scenario, is Jazz doesn’t know why she’s angry, she’s just mad all the time and usually out of proportion to the situation at hand.  What’s saddest to me is seeing the light seeping out of this child that occupies such a piece of my heart.  Counseling is forthcoming, and my hope is that the psychiatrist is successful, because too many of these pictures keep showing up on my camera. 

April 26, 2008 at 10:43 pm 17 comments


Of all the things we relocated or gave away in order to scale down our lives, Pap and I miss the dogs and cats the most.  Well, we miss the kids too, but they haven’t tossed a ball or snuggled in for a hug with us in many years.  This little guy needed a new home so when the call came in, how could we say no?  His name is Wimper (I just adopt ’em, I don’t name ’em) and he looks so much like our last Shih-Tzu, after just one day I feel like I’ve known him forever.  He’s one, the same age as my youngest two grandgirls, likes vanilla ice cream and believes his new chew bear belongs on my bed.  Ought to be an interesting ride with this guy.

April 24, 2008 at 8:22 am 13 comments

The Earth…If You Think About It

Have you seen that commercial that says something like, once you’ve made one change to help the planet, it changes your thinking forever? That ad got me thinking about my own journey into noticing that there were steps my family needed to take that would be better for us and better for the planet we inhabit.

It started in the garden, of course. I love working in the garden and it’s always been important to me to provide pesticide and hormone free fruits and vegetables to my kids. Around here, the only sure way to do that is grow it yourself. But, the expense and work of turning clay into plantable earth was beating me down. Then I found this book: Lasagna Gardening.   My battle with the weed infested flower beds here at my new house reminded me that this is THE ONLY way to garden. 

The process is really simple, rather than digging into the ground, you build on top, using all the waste materials from your yard that you once sent to the landfill. It starts with several inches of newspaper, add your grass clippings, dump the leaves, add more grass clippings and the weird lettuce leafs, peelings and misc. shells from your kitchen, add more tree leafs. Once you have several layers – brown, green, brown, green…you can plant right in it. No weeds, no bugs and the most beautiful flowers and vegetables you’ve ever seen. All my gardens at the old house were lasagna gardens and that got me thinking….

With five kids we could haul out ten or twelve bags of trash every week. Do you have any idea how many sheets of paper five kids throw into the trash? How many aluminum cans? It was costing us a fortune. So we set up a simple system to collect these kinds of things along with the plastic milk jugs for recycling. That got me thinking….

Energy efficient light bulbs are not that much more expensive than regular ones, and it is proven fact that they’re better for the planet. We had a small windfall a couple of years ago and decided to spend it replacing all the light bulbs in our house. Yesterday I replaced the light bulb in my favorite reading light. I can’t remember having to do that since we put the new, environmentally friendly bulbs in. That got me thinking…

Plastic bags and bottles will lay in the landfill for 100 years or more. There are chemicals in plastic I don’t want to think much about. I know what kinds of chemicals they treat my tap water with and it’s scary. There are ingredients listed on my cleaning supplies that I can’t even pronounce… I think this will be my new set of problems to resolve in an environmentally friendly way.

April 23, 2008 at 8:12 am 8 comments

Life and A Rogue Character

Now that we’re settled into our new little jewel box of a home, a few truths have emerged:

  • It grows larger any time you have to mop the floor.
  • One thing out of place makes the entire house look trashed.
  • Spiders that invade a small house are just as big as spiders that invade a large house.

After two days of breaking my back trying to get the garden in shape at this new house, I was very happy to see rain on Saturday.  This town was built on clay, you might think you have top soil, but it’s no more substantial than foundation and blush on a ladies face.  I had forgotten this fact after working on the gardens of my old house for 15 years.  Luckily, we had this early great weather, I’m nowhere near planting anything. 

Progress on my new book continues with the exception of my main character’s sidekick who has gone totally rogue.  I keep telling him I’m going to write him out and replace him with a girl if he doesn’t knock it off, but he’s not listening.  Lest you think I’ve gone totally insane, remember the story acts itself out in my head and I just record the action.  Despite this technique, I do have a plan and a rough outline for where I want the story to go…then something like this happens.  Punkin’ headed supporting character keeps pushing his way to the forefront. 


April 22, 2008 at 6:55 pm 8 comments

Spring Fever

The sun is shining and I have a new flower bed filled with dandelions.  Back on Monday!

April 18, 2008 at 7:03 pm 8 comments

Writer’s Groups

Last night was the monthly meeting of my writing group.  Of all the committees and groups I’ve ever belonged to, this is my favorite.  There’s much debate in the writing world about the benefits of a writing group.  By its very nature, writing is a solitary pursuit.  But not all writers can continue to be productive without the stimulus of time spent with other writers.  I’m one of those writers.

Our writing group was formed in 2004 with the following purpose:  To provide a safe and inspirational place for local writers to assemble for motivation, inspiration, instruction, guidance and the resources needed to complete their work. We’ve stayed true to that purpose and while we have yet seen a member get something published traditionally, our group is as fresh and vibrant as it was the first day we met.  To a member, everyone is writing.   What started as a hand full of townies, has grown to a full page of names and e-mail addresses and includes members from towns as much as forty miles away.  Our membership includes fiction writers, journalists, playwrites, poets and historians.  We range in age from 17-73.

As I looked around the room last night I couldn’t help thinking we’re onto something.  We’re doing something right.  Some of our people have come from other groups that failed, but nobody has ever been able to clearly tell me what led to that failure.  I’d like to know, so that those mistakes don’t creep into our program.

Do you belong to a writers group?  Have you in the past?  Tell me about it.

April 17, 2008 at 4:03 pm 11 comments

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