Wednesday, July 6, 2016


I have not thought about strawberries for a while even though they are one of my favorites.  I used to have lip balm that was strawberry-flavored which I used for many years.  My favorite scented candle is still Yankee Candle's Sweet Strawberry, even though it is getting more and more difficult to obtain.  Strawberry is such a refreshing, uplifting scent.  It always makes me feel better when I inhale its fragrance. 

Strawberries are only available for a short time every year, so when you can find them fresh you need to seize the opportunity, which brings me to my post for today.  I stopped by the local market on the way home tonight to pick up a gallon of milk and a few other items.  As I was looking for the green peppers, I happen to see a plastic container full of ripe red strawberries sitting on the shelf in the cooler.  Immediately I reached for it thinking I would buy it.  I could already imagine the delicious, sweet strawberries with a little sugar sprinkled on them sliced in a bowl with a little whipped cream over some shortbread.  Immediately my mouth started watering.  I lifted the container closer to my nose and got a whiff of the sweet smell of the strawberries.  What a wonderful aroma!!

I started turning the container over checking each strawberry for bad spots or mold.  So many times in the past there always seems to be one strawberry in the middle that is bad or the side NOT facing out is rotten.  First container had a strike out -- fuzzy spot on the side of one strawberry.  One container down, three more to go.  Next container had several strawberries that were partially green -- no go.  Next container had a big fuzzy one in the center of the container.  My hopes are beginning to deflate.  What started out as a hopeful adventure is quickly becoming a depressing state!!  By the time I get to the final container, I have to accept the fact that I will not be having strawberries for an after-dinner delight tonight.  The final container had several strawberries with black spots on them.  Dang!!  I place the contained back in the cooler and push my cart on down the aisle feeling sorry for myself.

As I pass by the frozen food section, I see a pint-size container of frozen strawberry topping.  For a split second, I almost reached for it.  At least there would not be a fuzzy strawberry in it, but somehow it is just not the same.  I kept pushing my cart on to the checkout.  The only strawberries I will have tonight will be in my dreams!!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

November 13, 2012: Attack of the Killer Dead Oak Tree

     I got up EXTRA early (around 6:25 a.m.), so that I could be at the library by 7:30 a.m. for the "Breakfast Buddies" program, a library program that works with third-grade children at the elementary school.  Selected students who need a little extra coaching with reading skills come to the library before school begins.  They receive a light breakfast and eat while the volunteer (me!!) reads a book to the student on his or her reading level.  After the student finishes the breakfast, he or she then reads the book back to the volunteer (still me!!).  The librarian makes a record of the book read.  The child later answers some questions about the book and then receives credit for reading it.  Like I mentioned above, the program is early, BEFORE class begins. 
I had not slept well the night before and was oh so very tired.  I figured if I could get out of bed, it would probably be my major accomplishment for the day.  After hitting the snooze button for way too many times, I stumbled down the hallway into the kitchen, plugged in and turned on the coffeemaker, and then stumbled back down the hallway to the bedroom to start getting dressed.  Our dog then decided she wanted to go outside to potty.  I opened the back door, let her out in the backyard, and waited for her to return.  She came back inside and did a very pretty "sit" on the kitchen floor waiting for her usual treat.  At the same time, as usual, four of the five kitties lined up in the kitchen by the microwave waiting for their morning treaters.  There were four sets of eyes, shining like little peridots, staring up at me.  I handed out the treaters and gave the obligatory pats on each head which completed my treater duties.  Everyone was satisfied, and I headed back to the bedroom to get dressed.
     As I was dressing, something felt out of place.  I looked in the mirror and immediately realized that my cotton pullover shirt was on backwards. (Problem #1.)  Geez!!  I took it off, turned it around, put it back on, and finished getting dressed.  I went to the bathroom to put on eye makeup for fear that I would make a horrible mess in the dim light of the nightlight in my dressing area.  My husband was sleeping and I did not want to risk waking him by turning on the overhead light.  Eye makeup was accomplished with no major mishap.  Next came the hair.  I checked the time and realized I was running late.  I brushed it quickly, twisted it up, and put the in the "mei fa" sticks – immediately I had a doinger!!  (For those of you who are not familiar with "doingers," they are the ends of hair that "doing" (pronounced doi-ing, one of those onomatopoeia words) or pop out after they are tucked in a chignon.)  After another attempt, success was had.  All done.
     I went to the kitchen to fill my travel cup and Thermos with coffee.  I turned off the coffeemaker, unplugged it, and put the Thermos in my briefcase.  I put on my jacket (the temperature overnight had been close to freezing), and grabbed my travel cup, handbag, library bag, and briefcase.  I left the house in the dark because I did not want to leave the front porch light on all day (Problem #2 leading to Mistake #1).  We live in the country so there are no street lights, no close neighbors, just total darkness.  I stepped off the front porch, walked about 10 feet, and then it happened . . . I was attacked by the killer dead oak tree!!  One of its dead branches reached down and stabbed my head as I walked under it on the way to the car. (Mistake #1).  Small twigs on the branch tangled in my hair.  Now remember, my hair was in a chignon and twisted tight.  I was trapped like a rat!!  I could not move.  By the pain, I could tell the twigs had scraped my scalp and parts of it were stuck tight in my hair.  My scalp felt moist.  My hands were full.  I could not get loose from the branch.  No one was around, so yelling would have done no good.  I tried to stoop to set my handbag, library bag, and briefcase on the ground.  No such luck.  Finally, after I tugged on the branch and tried to pull away, the twig broke off the branch.  It was still stuck in my hair, but I was free at last!!  Now I was REALLY running late.  I made it to the passenger side of the Jeep, unlocked the door, and put my things on the seat.  As I was getting settled in the driver's seat, I put on my seat belt and looked up to the front windshield as I started the Jeep.  All I could see was WHITE.  Yep, there had been frost overnight and there was a layer of ice all over the windshield.  Dang!!  My car engine was cold, so there is no way the defroster was going to work for a while.  Now I had to get out of the car, scrape the windshield, and THEN possibly be on my way.  Okay, all done, and back in the Jeep.
     I was FINALLY on the way to the library.  I was going to be late, but not too bad.  A few miles down the road traffic started really slowing down and finally stopped.  Ahead, I could see that a big truck carrying utility poles was totally blocking the roadway. (Problem #3.)  I could tell it was going to be a while before the roadway was cleared.  Good grief!!  Okay, now take a deep breath.  This situation was TOTALLY out of my control.  It was time to sit back, relax, and have a few sips of coffee . . . ah, Sumatra . . . with just the right amount of half-and-half.  Life is good.  All will be right with the world.  Now, I can face the day!!

Rainbows in my Kitchen

If it turns out that I get up extra early (which does not happen very often) on a bright, sunny morning, I sneak down the hallway to see if I can discover rainbows dancing in the kitchen.  Yes, you heard that right -- rainbows dancing in the kitchen!!  One of my dear friends gave me a beautiful prism for a Valentine's Day gift in 2014.  I have it hanging in the kitchen window alongside my crystal hummingbirds so it will catch the morning rays of sunlight. 

On bright mornings, the sunlight magically bounces off the prism and forms small rainbows that pirouette across the countertops and spin and twirl like little colorful dervishes as the sun travels across the eastern sky.  I never know when these delightful rainbows will greet me or how long before they fade away into thin air.  When I am fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of them, I always whisper a thank you for the mystical illusion being shared with me by the powers that be.

It would be so very intriguing to summon these enchanting rainbow dervishes to dance on demand.  They would definitely turn any bad day immediately into a splendid day!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mascara Miscreants

  Why is it when I am putting on mascara, I come up with the best darn ideas?  I immediately must write them down so I do not forget.  They may be ideas for writing, things I need to share with someone, items for my endless to-do list, juicy gossip, a word I totally could not think of the day before, etc.  These little puffs of inspiration come at the most inconvenient moments.  If I do not immediately preserve them in some way, they will melt into the ether and be lost again, possibly never to return.
            I suppose this little practice has something to do with the fact that while I am attempting to apply mascara just on my eyelashes and not poke myself in the eyeball, my creative psyche takes over, the flood gates open, and the thoughts and ideas come rushing out with a roar.
        Then would be a good time to have more than two hands.  With a mascara brush in one hand, a mirror in the other, how am I suppose to write down these puffs before they escape my pea brain?  After a swipe of the mascara brush, I put down it down, scribble a note or two, pick it back up, and carry on with another swipe.  I am never too far away from pen and paper -- never!!
             There is no telling how many great thoughts I have lost over the years before I learned I must always have a pen and a piece of paper nearby to catch those wispy miscreants.  So without further adieu, I am going to go and make sure I have a pen and enough scrap paper nearby my makeup bag so I will be prepared for tomorrow morning!!

The Time Has Come . . .

Well, the time has come that I must split up my blog.  I had thought I would be able to continue one blog with writing, book reviews, and Zentangle posts.  Now I think it is too much and makes it too busy.

I have divided the subjects into three blogs as follows:

Writing posts will be at "A Day in the Life" located at

Zentangle posts will be at "ZentangleLynn" located at "

Book reviews and miscellaneous items will be at "Slices of this Life" located at

Please visit all three often and let me know what you think!!