Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I will be on a blogging break for a while in order to spend time with my family. I hope the new year brings many blessings to you all.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Family Tree

Family Tree

Take a look at your Christmas tree.
Is yours, like ours, a family history?
Bits of our lives adorn each limb,
scattered among the lights and trim.

Here's an ornament celebrating 
our first Christmas together.
It was such a cold day, with snowy, wintry weather,
but we were warm and cozy inside,
secure in the knowledge that our love would abide.

It wasn't long until our family grew.
We added baby's first Christmas ball in little boy blue.
In a few short years, we added another.
Another blue ornament for a little brother.

Next came handmade treasures
that were made at church and at school.
Bits of ribbon, paper, and glitter
became happy art marking each new yule.

Our hobbies and sports are there on the tree too,
along with the things we love and the things we do.
There are baubles to honor anniversaries and vacations 
that we fondly remember,
and all of these memories come back to us
when the tree goes up each December.

Fragile bits of blown glass from the old five and dime
remind us of another place and another time.
These were left to us by the previous generation. 
They give us reason for reminiscing and contemplation.

Symbols of our faith, are, of course, represented too.
Angels, shepherds, and stars remind us to give proper due
to the real reason for the season, 
the reason we gather around that family tree:
to celebrate the light and love given to us 
that began with the birth of the blessed Baby.

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

My poetry book, Rainbow Chaser, is now available in ebook format for those who prefer reading on a Kindle, Nook, or other electronic device. It can be ordered from the sources below. Click on a bookstore name to be taken to that site. Thank you for ordering, and if any of you have the time and would like to leave a review of my book at the site where you purchased it, I would be extremely grateful. 






Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Ducks in a Row

Ducks in a Row

"Plan ahead. Be prepared. Be organized."
We grow up being told to get our ducks in a row,
but plans change, the unexpected happens,
and life gets messy, the further along we go.

Sometimes ducks are stolen by predators,
or they swim away, still in sight, but out of reach.
Sometimes ducks have minds of their own.
They swim in circles going nowhere, 
no matter how hard you preach.

You finally realize that some ducks can't be controlled.
So relax! 
Let them swim and quack. 
Take delight in the brilliant sheen 
of the blue and green 
of  their feathers,
and know that, one way or another, 
they'll get back on track,
(and so will you).

Monday, November 30, 2015

To Write a Book

To Write a Book

It takes courage to write a book,
to accept the challenge, if you dare.
You open your soul, share your heart,
and reveal your thoughts--exposed and bare.
You hope others will understand
what you are trying to say.
That they will nod their heads, cry, or smile
and see life in a new way.
When that book is finally published,
you dance around in a fit of glee,
because your words are there in print 
for all the world to see.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I have exciting news to share! As you might guess from the poem and photo above, I have written a book! The title of the book is Rainbow Chaser, and it is a collection of my poems. The poems in this book were inspired by: nature and its changing seasons; the gratitude I feel for home and family life; and other observations I have had about the world around us. 

For those who are interested, Rainbow Chaser is now available to order online from the publisher,, at this link. If you prefer, it is also available to order at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble, as well as at bookstores and other online sites. 

I am thrilled to have this book published and am grateful to Angela Hoy from Booklocker and Todd Engel, who designed the cover, for making this dream of mine come true. If you decide to buy it for yourself or as a gift for a friend, I hope you come back and tell me what you think of it. I appreciate you, my blog readers, for all of the encouragement and support you have given me over the years. Thank you!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


For fun, I decided to use the same list of writer's prompt words from my last post to create another poem. I wanted to see if I could come up with a totally different idea but still use the same words. I got the words originally from the blog, Under the Porch Light by Delores. These are the words: cards, dangerous, flip, glance, sputter, and cowardly. If you need inspiration for your writing, visit Thursday's post at Under the Porch Light. Thank you, Delores, for providing these fun prompts.


After a quick glance at the judges,
the  skater stepped onto the ice.
She pushed off and began her routine,
spinning, twirling, 
jumping  once, jumping twice.

She knew it was dangerous,
but she had to try. 
She launched herself into a triple flip jump
leaping and reaching, 
meeting the sky.

She nailed it cleanly without a sputter.
Head up, smile beaming.
No one could call her cowardly now.
She glided back to her seat, 
the blades of her skates, sharp and gleaming.

She held her breath and watched.
Nervously she waited
as the judges made their decision.
The cards revealed all tens!
Roses rained down, cameras flashed.
She skated out in victory,
a sparkling. triumphant vision!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cheaters Never Win

Delores who writes the blog, Under the Porch Light, gives writing prompts for her readers to use as a jumping off spot for their writing. I decided to play along. One of the prompts she gave last week was to use this list of words: cards, dangerous, flip, glance, sputter, and cowardly. I used them in the poem below. I put them in italics so they'd be easier to see. I thought the resulting poem was over dramatic and comical, which was not my intention, but I had fun trying to make the words work for me. If you need inspiration and want to have some fun with your writing, visit Under the Porch Light on Thursdays and try out one of the writing prompts that Delores provides.

Cheaters Never Win 

Smelling of smoke, leather, and whiskey,
five rugged cowhands sit at a bar room table
and hold close the cards they've been dealt.

Jed, with a furtive glance
and a flip of his wrist,
swigs back another belt.

Never known to be cowardly,
he slips an ace from his sleeve, 
lays his hand down, (Jed treads on dangerous ground).

"YOU'RE A CHEATER, JED JONES!" Frank bellows 
as he bangs his fist on the table.
He begins to sputter and swing his gun around.

Jed leaps to his feet and runs for the door.
Frank shoots without blinking an eye.
Jed falls and lies still on the hard, cold floor.

With a sinister grin, Frank drawls,
"Cheaters never win and sometimes...they die.
So long, Jed Jones. Goodbye."

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Election Day

Election Day

So much in the future depends
on the decisions made today.
Choosing leaders, passing issues.
Everyone has a say.

Politicians spend their time
trying to prove they are great.
The rest of us consider and try to decide
how they compare, how they rate.

I'm glad I'm not one of them.
Can you imagine how difficult it must be
to guard so cautiously
all that you do 
and all that people see?

Each word spoken 
must be carefully weighed.
Because you know for certain, 
the world will notice if mistakes are made.

So for all of our sakes
and for the sake of our future too,
let's hope the best men and women win.
The fates of many rely on so few.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October Scenes

October Scenes

October, what have you brought to me?
Red velvet leaves drape a row of trees.

A skeleton trapped by spiders 
whispers, "Please, please, set me free!"

Pumpkins and gourds keep watch on who's sneaking around.

Old bones struggle to escape the ground.

A calico naps in the noon day sun.

Zinnias flourish, pretending summer isn't done.

A burst of red and gold peeks out from the green.

A ninja is always watching the neighborhood scene.

The colors of Christmas? No, not already!?

But the colors, oh the colors!

The colors leave me heady!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Everyday Love

Everyday Love

He left a trail of paper clips
and made coffee cup rings
on the envelopes of unopened junk mail.
She followed along behind
and made their home tidy again.

Her hands were bent and twisted.
Ruled by arthritis, they were weak and clumsy.
He opened jars with tight lids for her
and swept up the shattered pieces of drinking glasses
that slipped through her fingers
and crashed on the ceramic kitchen floor.

Together they picked apples,
watched movies and sunsets,
and strolled through the leaves in the park.
He tended the houseplants
when she forgot to water them.
She could always find his keys
and his glasses for him
when he misplaced them 
and left them lying about.

Their love was so simple, so pure,
so real, and so grand,
that others couldn't help but to feel it
when in their presence.
Some of the gestures of love between them
were extravagant and beyond imagining,
but mostly it was the little things 
that bound them together:
a shoulder rub after a long day,
sharing the last piece of apple pie,
holding hands at the theater, 
knowing when to speak
and when to remain silent,
and carrying each other's burdens.

Their love was an everyday love.
Not an ordinary love,
not a boring, tedious, or plain love,
but one that was felt every single day.
It was steadfast, reliable, and unbreakable.

His eyes twinkled and teased,
her smile lit up his world,
and her laughter was his music.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Honeymooners

The Honeymooners

Late August early mornings
bring the raucous complaints
of a flock of geese overhead.

Their squawks and shrieks
rattle through the air,
breaking the peace,
clattering through the empty skies, 
like a honeymoon-bound car 
with strings of soup cans 
tied to the back bumper,
and a "Just Married" sign, 
taped to the trunk.

The honeymooners travel
with hope and uncertainty,
as the geese do,
to a new season
and a new start.

Geese making travel plans by the lake before taking flight.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Egg Custard Pie

Egg Custard Pie

One creamy, yellow slice of egg custard pie,
freckled with a soft sprinkle of nutmeg,
sitting in the bakery case at the diner, 
reminds me of childhood summers:
of blue sky days and morning glory ways;
of laundry on the line, drying in the breeze;
and dandelions and clover 
dancing to the rumblings of the honeybees.

Out of breath from racing our bikes home,
we take a break on the porch.
We sip lemonade over ice
and watch wispy, white clouds drift by.
We know all is good and all is right
because Mom has just handed us each a plate
with a slice of her homemade egg custard pie,
still warm (topped with whipped cream---piled high.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Old-fashioned Ways

Old-fashioned Ways

Old-fashioned ways
and long ago days
drift through the clouds in my mind.
Manners and modesty,
grammar and honesty:
when did we leave these behind?

Honeysuckle and hollyhocks,
the ticking of clocks,
dresses with a bit of lace.
I remember drinking root beer floats,
and folding newspaper hats and boats,
back when homemade was commonplace.

Neighbors shared their hydrangea blues,
but not their political views,
and maintained respect for the rights of others.
It was a simpler age,
but now we've turned the page,
if only we had listened to our mothers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015



Memories suddenly appear,
sneaking up on you 
from the rear.
They push you up higher and higher
as if you were on a swing 
at the playground.

They play on a screen in your head
like a motion picture show.
They stir up emotions and swirl them around, 
and then as quickly as they came, they go.

They arrive at your door uninvited.
Some you welcome with surprise and delight.
Others you slam the door against 
to protect yourself from the sadness they bring.
They cling to your spirit
the way darkness clings to night. 

A song, a smell, a color, a well-turned phrase. 
Anything can be a trigger to reminisce.
Each one takes you back to people and times in the past.
Some that you long for.
Some that you really don't miss.


Speaking of memories, my friend Cary has written a fun list of pop culture memory triggers from the 1970's, 80's, and 90's. If you have a minute, click here and see how many you remember.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Little Things

Little Things

Safety pins and buttons,
paper clips and strings,
nuts and bolts, nails and staples,
and other little things.

You might not even notice them
because they are so small,
but little things hold the world together.
They matter most of all.

Smiles and kind words,
and other gestures of good will
don't take much effort;
don't require a lot of skill.

But others will take note of them
and be quick to recall
the kindness that was shown to them--
it makes a difference to us all.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Today You Turn Twenty-One

Today You Turn Twenty-One

Today you turn twenty-one.
That's it. You're legal. I guess I'm done.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday my son.
You were my second born and my last.
Oh my. You've grown up so fast.
From a small bundle cradled in my arms
to a young man with twinkling eyes and beguiling charms.
You were my collector of things:
rocks, shells, cards, and strings.
You caught Pokemon and wanted to be a Power Ranger.
You had tons of friends; you didn't know a stranger.
Baseball, football, wrestling, track.
You played sports from here to there and back.
You brought music and rhythm to my ears;
my in-house bass player for years and years.
Lucky me with a ring-side seat!
Cheering you on with each successful feat.
You were and are my sweet ginger lad.
So much love to give. What fun we've had! 
Now in college with a pretty girl by your side.
In demand and on the move. I'm so full of pride!
Today you turn twenty-one.
That's it. You're legal. I guess I'm done.
No, no, not done. You will ALWAYS be my little one.
Happy birthday! Happy birthday to you, my son.
Today you turn twenty-one.

For my son's birthday: May 22, 2015.

Thursday, April 9, 2015



Counting the train cars.
One, two, three, four.
Queen Anne's Lace tiaras
are woven into our hair.

Pick a number, pick a color.
Five, six, seven, eight.
Cootie catchers: paper folded in triangles
will tell your fortune...if you dare!

Jacks and marbles played in the dirt.
Onesies, twosies, threes, and fours.
An ant invades the playing field,
carrying a crumb, taking it---who knows where?

Hide-and-seek played after dark
quickly becomes Ghosts in the Graveyard.
"I've got the best hiding spot.
I'm not telling you where."

Moths flutter around the back porch light.
Edges of the yard are deep in shadow.
"I see you hiding behind that tree."
"Hey, you peeked! That's not fair!"

How lucky am I to have had that childhood?
Who knew such happiness could be found
in making felt clothes and Popsicle® stick furniture
for pig-nosed trolls with purple hair?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Movie Night Magic

Movie Night Magic

Dinner's done. The kitchen's clean.
We're wearing our comfy clothes:
stretchy pants, fuzzy slippers, old fleece shirt,
no bra - (Shh!! Nobody knows.)

The poodle with his chew toy
is snuggled against my knee.
Hubby has his glass of wine.
I cradle a cup of tea.

Pillows are plumped behind us
and afghans cuddle us near.
Popcorn's popped, lights are dimmed.
The volume's right, so we can hear.

It's cold and snowy outside.
We're holed up with no place to go.
Flickering light whirls us away.
Movie night magic! On with the show!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Compulsive Cook

I made lasagna for my sons when they were home over the holidays which inspired me to write this silly children's poem below.  Don't try to read it too fast, or it will turn into a tongue twister for you.

The Compulsive Cook

Every kind of food she made
was piled in layers, one by one.
Each main dish, sandwich, side, and dessert
showed its stripes when it was done.

Homemade lasagna was layered:
meat, sauce, noodles, and cheese.
Her seven-layer salad held
lettuce, cheese, onions, celery,
bacon, mayo, and peas!

Cakes were layered, pancakes stacked,
tortes were tall chocolate towers.
Trifles, jello, cookies, and dips!
Sometimes she layered for hours!

No one knew what caused it--
this urge to stratify things nutritious,
but no one ever, ever complained,
because all the food she made 
tasted SOOO delicious!