Sunday, July 29, 2012


It's been a good weekend and an emotional day. On Saturday morning, Steve and I went for breakfast with friends. I then accompanied a friend to the salon for an updo for her wedding. Steve and I trekked to new Buffalo, Michigan for dinner at Mickey's. We caught a magnificent sunset except when the guy with the hairy back stood to the front and west of us and blocked our view, and we enjoyed a pleasant overnight stay. It was called Harbor Country Hotel. It was nice and peaceful, although we missed our Lady Cats. Both Steve and I were able to finish our books. Today we checked out, returned home, ventured out for lunch and then out to purchase a few pots of perennials for my garden. We bought black-eyed Susans and cone flowers. I planted them in my mother's honor, as she loved flowers. It is her birthday today; I cried once today. Of course, it was at Hacienda. Nothing like sobbing in one's merlot. I'm not sure if it gets easier; I think, rather, as each year passes, the pain resonates more deeply. Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Friday, BMC Graduation, and Colorado

(New Buffalo, Michigan, LCS/2012) On Friday, Steve took the day off to spend time with me at the beach. It was a surprise, but I'm not surprised. Steve is a sweet man. He took me for a birthday lunch and then we spent a little time at the New Buffalo Beach and visited with a friend. Friday night, I attended BMC's graduation. As faculty, I was able to sit in the front row and watch with pride as our students crossed the stage to receive their diplomas. Afterwards, I met up with some of my students to congratulate them. Later, I discovered a new Mediterranean restaurant with other faculty. We opted not to frequent the local "breastaurant" that some other folks attended. If I want to see breasts, I'll look in the mirror. I also have to say that our hearts were and are heavy for the victims and the survivors of the tragedy that occurred in Colorado. July 20 will now be remembered as another tragedy associated with terrorism--domestic, but it is what it is--rather than a celebration of a man landing on the moon. It's disheartening. I wish someone could have seen the signs and stopped this person before he unleashed all of his hate and destroyed his life while taking so many innocents with him and leaving the rest to struggle and suffer in the aftermath. The guy at the gun range's instincts were correct to deny him membership, but that wasn't enough. Of course, it comes down to personal responsibility and the person is definitely responsible (I won't mention his name), but it's tragic that it wasn't prevented somehow. But one thing is for certain: change is necessary. The tragedy also provided a stern reminder to the universe to have gratitude, because in a split second, a life can be snuffed out like a candle in a windstorm. And so we march on, trudging forward in this world of uncertainty and volatility, one mucky step at a time, and wish for the best and a peaceful 365 days--or fewer now--until the next July 20.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Turning Forty... and Turning Forty-One

In less than two hours, when the clock on the right-hand corner of the computer screen says 12:00 a.m., I will be forty-one years. Years old or years young, the jury's out on that one. Going off the vine has been a whirlwind. Some days I feel like a sweet mascato, and on other days I feel like an ascerbic merlot. We'll see what the circle of forty-one brings; I am hoping for much more laughter, peace,and tranquility. (*Raising my glass*) Cheers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The SeaLake

I think I'm far enough into my story to safely say that I'm writing a novel. I'm at 10,632 words right now. It's been an interesting summer, so I'm taking that energy and pouring it into this story. Plus, writing a novel is on the proverbial bucket list. I'm over 10% into a draft and I'm gonna finish it. (There's a reason why I posted it on my FB wall and on this blog. Making a goal public is a good incentive for me to finish it.) A couple years ago I participated in the NaNoWriMo writing challenge. It's 50,000 words.I started the novel and stopped. Last year Steve and I were invited to present at Greenwood Public Library at the end of the challenge. (Thank you, D. & K.) Anyway, although Steve and I wrote and published a book, I was in awe of the audience members who followed through and finished it. The first draft is the worst draft. My draft so far is all over the place. I'm putting in dialogue here, description there, even if it's out of order. It totally is. I started this novel based on a series of freewrites I did when I was tutoring a student, so I will put the student's name in the dedication. A friend wrote and asked, "What is the premise of the story?" Good question. (Thanks, D.) I paused, and then needed to define the word. (I kind of knew what it was, but I'm a librarian. I need to look it up and define it.) According to, a premise can be defined as a plan or scheme proposed. Well, here's the proposed premise: It's a story about a cleric (Esmerelda Fontaine) who avenges her lover's demise in the war against the undead. (The group travels to the castle on foot.) Besides an army, she takes her comrades with her: a drunken fairy named June Moon and a gray wolf named Wolfie. It's a good versus evil story. (I don't want to give away any more details until a first draft is completely finished.) Thanks for reading. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Palmer's Grove: An Online Publication

I am pleased to review a magazine that Carrie, a friend from high school, sent me. It's an online issue of her publication called Palmer Grove. It's a professional online ezine created by Brian A. Palmer and Carrie Bonner and based in Columbus, Ohio.(There are additional hard-working staff members listed.) In the July 2012 issue, there were 48 pages filled with an eclectic mix of articles, art, poetry, and photography. I especially enjoyed Carri's article from the editor concerning the power outage they experienced and then retreating to the public library for relief from the hot weather. (The public library does more than house books, that's for sure.) If you have a chance, please check out the publication! There are also guidelines for submission:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

North Liberty Nostalgia: Libraries and Gawking at Gables

It was an honor to be asked to present a children's story hour this morning at the North Liberty Branch. It seemed like a lengthy but lovely drive out to the branch. Then I remembered that I used to drive that route five (or six) days a week for a little over two years during all the seasons, and enjoying the ever-changing scenery. I was warmly welcomed by the staff. We had a great time passing around the ocean drum, playing with puppets, and presenting poems from my book. At the end of the session, D. the librarian passed out small stuffed animals that were donated from someone in the community. It was nice to return again. It's a good feeling to know that present and future generations are enjoying the library that is so cherished by its community. I'm thankful to have had a hand in its creation of the library. I still can't look at houses without looking up at the structure of its gables. I was gawking at gables. Thank you, North Liberty Branch Staff, for your hospitality! -xo

Friday, July 06, 2012

Here are the Dresses!

The top dress is the va-va-voom dress and the bottom dress is fairy princess sans landlady.

Shopping Excursion

Sometimes strangers are the best judges of clothing. I appreciate their objectivity. I needed to spruce up my droopy summer wardrobe, so I went to the mall and bought a proverbial clue. (Bad cliche, but I like to use it anyway.) I found two lovely dresses. One is gray and black with flowy covering, and the other is a pretty black and blue dress. I was on the fence with the gray and black dress, so I asked a mother and pre-teen daughter what they thought. I said, "In your honest opinion, does this make me look like a fairy goddess or a 21st century Mrs. Roper?" After initial laughter from a question they probably weren't expecting, they responded that they liked it. They like the "flowiness" of the dress and how it went with my hair (not the color-- I just had hairapy. Tinsel is covered). The woman also said she was shopping alone recently for a dress and strangers commented on how pretty she looked. I thanked them for their kindness and purchased both. I'll be wearing the gray one tomorrow for my friend's daughter's wedding.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Full Moon Rising

Last night, I noticed the full moon looking over the boulevard. (Yes, I howled. Several times.) Steve and I also noticed that the Lady Cats were well-behaved. They entered the house from the porch on their own, without prompting or bribes. (Yes, we are well-trained.) Java jumped off the second tier of the porch, jumped onto the ledge, gingerly climbed down the arm of the couch, and independently made her way indoors. (She's almost fourteen and still very independent.)Moshi also didn't have to be coaxed into the house. Sakura didn't even attack our feet last night. She briefly pawed at Steve's leg and then I held her briefly before she escaped. All during the full moon. However, this morning Sakura promptly pounced on me and bit my foot. The full moon is over, and the Sakura-monster is back. Moshi pulled the plastic rolling ball out of the turbo-scratcher (a scrach pad with a plastic rolling ball on the outside) and grunted. Hmmm. My cats behaved better during the full moon and returned to their mischief afterwards. We'll see what happens next month.

National Lampoon's Garden Adventures, and Last Thoughts on 46

Update on Sake Sakura: We will be making an appointment to get Sake's MRI. It's been really hot and our schedules have been nuts,...