Win Chocolate – Name Blog

Whether you are a first time visitor, or have been reading since the blog’s beginning (last week), I am asking for your help.  I am often late. Those who know me are nodding. Please note my tardiness is not intended as a lack of respect, but due to other factors.  I get lost easily, or forget where I am headed.  Navy blue and black look exactly the same in my closet, but when I walk into daylight and notice I am wearing both together, I must return to the closet and change into something more appropriately coordinated unless I want to hear that voice all day – the one that reminds me not to wear white before Easter or after Labor Day.  (The voice never said, “except in Florida,” so I took liberties.) When I lived in Florida and felt like it, I wore white in October and November. It made me feel like a floozy. I kinda liked the feeling.  Sometimes I am late when the caller ID on the phone alerts me to the friend or family member in crisis, so I have to answer and lament.


New Harmony, IN

Into the blogging world, I am also late and I need your help in finding a clever title that attracts readers. Won’t you help me with a name for the blog? Suggest a title by the end of the week and you may win a prize. The cookies offered last week to readers who left a comment are gone, but this week’s grand prize is even sweeter: almost the best chocolate fudge you ever tasted…with only a few teeth marks. E-mail your choice for a blog name and any other questions or comments to with your suggestions.  Be sure and include your address so I can send you a yet-to-be-selected prize for real. I’ll post the favorite suggestions next week and declare a winner.

A few titles that come to mind are “vintage granny,” but that isn’t all I am. (Don’t you like the word “vintage” better than old?) and though photos and anecdotes about grandchildren are sure to slip in here at times, I am not looking to showcase them.

Another title I wrestled with is “running toward old age in red shoes” (an allusion to the novel I’ve been working on for almost nine years, Red Shoes in August. The second novel, 1934, is going much faster. )


Today is the 59th birthday of my favorite sister. She is the tall one, the long-boned graceful one with more personality in her little extended pinkie adorned with a funky, glittery ring, than the the collective family members for three generations. She can charm the ancient redwood tree out of the forest, make a telephone pole laugh out loud or convince the dullest of paint chips that it is a spawning salmon in Alaskan waters. Today, I am a vintage sister.  Standing beside her, I am short and colorless. Paint me vintage beige.


My favorite sister, Susan.

If you are reading this blog, you either like to read or have a lot of extra time on your hands, so from time to time, I will share what books I am currently reading.  I have upstairs books and downstairs books. Unlike Downton Abbey characters, the books do not inhabit one or the other.   This week, I am reading a newly-published novel by Eleanor Morse titled White Dog Fell From the Sky. The setting is Africa, mostly Botswana, where the author spent several years in the 1970’s. One of my daughters gave me a book for Christmas titled Here Now: 100 ways to celebrate the present moment  (sic) by Rachel Cushner.  The other book I have going is the autobiography of a stray by the Newberry Award winning author Ann M. Martin called A Dog’s Life that is almost certain to appear on the optional reading list for the literature course I teach this semester at Bellarmine University: “The Literary Dog.” I call it Doggy Lit 101.  Books lay scattered about not because I have multiple pairs of eyes like a spider, but that I often cannot wait until I finish one to start another or I lay down one book, run a few errands, go to class, and forget what I was reading by the time I get home ad n pick up one  I am eager to read. Oddly enough, I finish them all about the same time, and within a day and half, at least two others are open, with a third and fourth soon to follow.   And you?  What are you reading?

Come back next week when I blog about exclamation points, but not in the grammatical sense.   Between the question marks of life and the exclamation points is where we live.  I still have questions – sure don’t have it all figured out yet.   Nevertheless, every day is an exclamation point!  What about you?  Did you figure out  how to navigate through joys and challenges and the influx of Medicare information flooding the mailbox several months before a 65th birthday?  If so, share your wisdom with others. Send me a few paragraphs about what you would tell your younger self.  Maybe you have unanswered questions still, or issues to resolve before your days are exclamation points.  What is on your bucket list?  What do you want to know? Where do you want to go? Who do you want to be?  Is there anything you always wanted to do? Now is the time!

God bless us, every one.

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Happy New Year!

New Year’s is a holiday I love to celebrate – not in the way you might think. Big crowds of people in various stages of inebriation bewilder me. Watching LIVE the big Waterford crystal ball drop in New York City didn’t make it on my bucket list even when Dick Clark hosted.  The thought of twisting tongues with any of a million of my favorite strangers makes me queasy.

Fireworks in the middle of the night awaken babies and scares dogs. Do PETA and the ASPCA protest?   I think not.  Lest you consider me “bah, Humbugging” New Year’s Eve, you should know that I celebrate with gusto…and often with gumbo.

Yes, I am a foodie and have Hoppin’ John (Southern dish made with black-eyed peas) in the slow cooker right now to have later with cornbread and collard greens, cabbage and pound cake.  With sweet iced tea, of course.

Other New Year’s Day favorites include the Rose Bowl Parade and elastic waistbands, ongoing football games and putting away the lingering remnants of Christmas decorations, recovering a baby doll’s sock or small pieces here and there from a new game or set of Legos opened with glee just a week ago.

A holiday adrenalin rush overtakes me with possibilities and expectation. On January 1, we hold the year in our laps, a book with blank pages to fill with dreams and goals and prayers and pain, of birth, and death, and fear and triumph. A blank canvas to paint the colors of our lives, 2013 offers hope and another chance to grow…intellectually, spiritually, physically.  Like each New Year, this one promises many first steps and last hurrahs. Invite the next twelve months to your table, develop abundant relationships and deeper gratitude.  Feast on the possible and go back for second helpings.

Find community and help others find the same. Let go of guilt-filled baggage, damaged thinking, and that one bad habit Velcro-ed to you.  Fill the New Year with helium balloons of your best that will carry you aloft. See through the dusty clouds of doubt, and soar.

God bless us, every one.

Thank you for visiting. Your comments, thoughts, rebuttals, and suggestions are welcome.

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