Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mind Made Up

The decision has been made. I will be returning to Blogger and A Clunk Upstairs. What I have at my website will migrate here, hopefully by the beginning of summer. I'm stoked! This is one decision I am completely happy with.

I have so much good happening right now, and so much to look forward to through the rest of the year. One of the really wonderful things is listening to my son play the alto sax. Last evening, we sat in the audience as he played with three other students for chamber concert. Angel Baby has been working with the younger students all year, and their piece went well. As I watched, I realized how relaxed and comfortable my son has become playing. The confidence. The control. And afterwards, when I spoke to him as he was helping place chairs and music stands for the next group, he was all of a sudden a young man, no longer the boy I've always thought of him as being. I am deeply thankful for being along for the ride, watching him grow and mature.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Thinking about Returning

Yep. I'm seriously considering leaving the space where I'd built my website and returning to A Clunk Upstairs. I've not totally committed to doing so, and I still have five months left for the year I've paid for to use the space, but I'm realizing I had a pretty good thing going right here.

I've never felt totally at home in the other spot, not like I did here. And being here right now feels perfect, like I've slipped my hands into well-worn gloves without tears in the seams or holes at the end of the fingertips.

So, I think I'll slowing return and phase out the other space at the same time.

To be continued . . . (and this just put a huge smile on my face, which tells me I'm making the right decision).

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


If you haven't already checked out my new site, I'd love for you to do so. The first chapter of my short story collection is now available, and I added a page for Bike the US for MS. I've had a lot of fun along with some frustrations building the website, but I think most of it is in order. I hope you like it, bookmark it, and check in on a regular basis. I also hope you contact me and let me know what your thoughts are about the short stories, the blog posts, and anything else.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Making Some Changes

During the summer I made a decision: I'm going to take the plunge and try self publishing. To start me on my way, I created a personal website. This website will not only host my short fiction and essays, but also my blog. The idea of having everything under one roof is very appealing, especially after two months of being almost completely offline. So I'm going to say farewell to Blogger, but I hope I'm not saying farewell to those of you who have been readers of my blog. I hope you will join me at my new site which can be found here.

Oh, and so you know, there is a bit of controversy over the photo of me I chose for the site. While I didn't quite know what I thought about it the first time I saw it, the more I looked at it the more I came to really like it. Someone else (take a guess as to who that person is), however, doesn't like it at all because I'm not smiling in the photo. I'm kind of smiling, and that's good enough.

I do have a few glitches happening with the website, mostly the blog page, and I'm trying to figure out why the glitches are happening. So far I'm not having any luck getting them taken care of. Hopefully I'll have it figured out in the next few days.

So, there you have it. I'm excited about this new adventure as I truly think the possibilities are endless.

Monday, June 1, 2015

See You In August

After much thought, I have decided to take a break from all things internet for the summer. Time to do other things. I hope you all have a most excellent summer.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sadness, Happiness, Sadness

Lovely Beautiful Daughter visited for the holiday weekend, arriving last Thursday and leaving out on Monday. The day she had to leave to return east was a sad day for all of us. That particular good-bye was very difficult. She is such a spark of life, such a kind, thoughtful young woman, and everyone who is in her presence feels that spark, is buoyed by it. I know I wasn't the only one feeling the hole created by her departure. Funny Delightful Son seemed down when we all traipsed back into the house after getting her settled in for the ride to Chicago where she was to catch the train heading to Massachusetts. We'd been in the middle of playing Munchkin, but he just looked at the cards on the table and said, "I don't want to keep playing." I really didn't either.  For two days, as if the four people who'd been playing the game were going to return to finish it, the cards stayed on the table where they'd been left. On Wednesday, I finally boxed up the game and put it away.

Two bees enjoying a drink
My usual way of getting past a sadness, such as Lovely Beautiful Daughter leaving, is to immerse myself in some kind of project. This time I made a water source for the bees. I've been reading about what kinds of water sources work best for bees, and I found out the kind with plants seem to attract them more than just a bowl with water. One of my water barrels has a small space for planting flowers, but I'd never had any luck with any of the flowers I'd planted in it as every time it rained the flowers would basically drown. It finally dawned on me to make a small water feature out of it. I filled it with water and put two water plants in it. Wha-la! Every day now, I can stand nearby and watch the bees come to drink.

To give the bees another source for gathering water, I looked at different birdbaths online, found one I liked, and used it as the inspiration for my own creation. I found a trio of nesting terracotta planters at one of my favorite farming stores and liked the idea of having the different sized pots for the project. I then found a six foot piece of rebar, some clamps, the flowers I wanted to put in the pots, and the top piece to hold the water and water plants. I brought it all home, and within a matter of an hour or so, the new water feature/potted plants were in place. For less than $50 the garden now has a functional, pretty addition (this cost doesn't include the 3 water plants which ended up being the second most expensive part of the whole project; the 3 terracotta pots were the main cost at $30 for all 3). Little by little this particular garden is starting to come together. The next step is sowing some lettuce and grass seeds to give the hens some greens to go after. The hope is they leave the flowers alone. They've done a number on the little lilies near Buddha turtle, so I definitely have to do something to deter further destruction.

Buddha turtle bringing calm to the garden.
Buddha turtle marks the resting place of Angel Baby's pet turtle, Jake. Unfortunately, Jake didn't make it out of hibernation this year. I thought all was good in late March, as the turtle had awakened and moved about. I fed it, watered it, and thought it was ready to fully awaken to another spring. When Jake didn't eat or drink, and seemed to go back to sleep, I didn't worry all that much. I figured he would fully awaken when he was truly ready. He never did.

Angel Baby was deeply saddened by this. He found a shoe box and put an old kitchen towel inside it. He then placed Jake on the towel and closed the lid. We took him into the garden and laid him to rest in a nice, shady spot between the cedar trees. That evening, I went to work to find a grave marker and ran across the Buddha turtle. I knew without a doubt Buddha turtle was meant to be a part of the garden. I love the peaceful expression and think it fits perfectly.