Monday, July 31, 2006


Floating, drifting
at the night sky
its velvety deep blue
layered with
thin lavender clouds

the water supporting me
floats silently
and like me
soaks in the view
of the night sky above

one star pierces the darkness
a solitary diamond
in a sea of indigo
the ripples in the water
exquisite aquamarine
and varying shades of
silky turquoise

I am alone

I float
I think
I pray
I dream

seclusion. . .

**author's note: this is my 100th blog entry! If you are the first person to read this, congratulations! You have won absolutely nothing...well, except my gratitude for you stopping by!!! :-)

The Old Man

The old man
sat at the next table
hunched over
tattered John Deere cap
pulled down low
over his eyes

what is his story
I wondered
his tan hands
showed signs of wear
his posture appeared
slightly defeated

did he love once
only to lose her
after years of illness?
does he have children
that gather at Christmas
or do they simply
send pictures
once a year

he ate slowly
with no care for time
an occassional glance
in our direction
a slight smile
a friendly nod

for some reason
I want to know his story
his favorite memories
tales of love and loss
for his warm eyes
betray his cold exterior
they beg for conversation

I consider saying "hello"
but alas, our food arrives
a moment later
I glance over to the next table
and the old man is gone...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Mama Mia

Just got in from seeing the Broadway Musical "Mama Mia"--it was fantastic! Keith and I had great seats in the balcony and laughed throughout the show (a far cry from our unfortunate CATS experience last time--blech!) By the end of the show, the performers came out for an encore and the entire theatre was on their feet dancing to "Dancing Queen" and "Mama Mia" of the highlights of my recent memory is watching my husband grinning from ear-to-ear and clapping along at the end.

Gas to get to downtown: $20.00
Babysitter for entire evening: $40.00
Falling even deeper in love with your husband: PRICELESS.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Great Lyrics--#1

Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" ...contains one of my favorite lyrics of all time:

"..and I wanna rock your gypsy soul........"

Wait, it doesn't quite read like it sounds. It sounded a lot better this morning as I was driving around curvy roads with the window down belting at the top of my lungs:

"...and IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII wanna rock YOUR GYP-sy so-oullllllll.... just like way back in the days of ol-old....and together we will flow....innnnnnnnnnnnn-to the mystic..."

Yeah, much better. :-)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


2 AM and I'm still awake writing a song
If I get it all down on paper
It's no longer inside of me
Threatening the life it belongs to

And I feel like I'm naked
In front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary

Screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them
However you want to

Cause you can't jump the track
We're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass
Glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button
So cradle your head in your hands

And breathe... just breathe...

--lyrics to Breathe / by Anna Nalick

Yellow Curtain

window half open
yellow curtain dances

peeling paint on the pane
milky layers of
white again

stain on the curtain
a battle scar
of family gatherings past
perhaps unruly mustard
or a feisty deviled egg

yellow curtain
oh the life you’ve seen

Monday, July 24, 2006

A Boy's Prayer--July 24, 2006

"...and thank you God for all the stuff you put at Wal-Mart. Amen."

I knew I gave birth to that child.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Boy's Prayer-- July 23, 2006

These are but a few excerpts from Daniel's prayer tonight...a prayer that lasted a minimum of 5 - 6 minutes. It took everything Keith and I had not to giggle out loud at times because it was so cute....

here are just a few parts from tonight:

"...and God I love you and wish that you were here to play with me but you can't God because you are far away in a much bigger house, God and you have a lot of people there to take care of..."

"...God I hope you have fun with all the people that live up there with you now, God and please be sure to take care of them..."

"...and I know I can't see you right now, God but I will see you when I die one day..." (wow)

"Please watch over Momma tomorrow because I'm going to miss her when I'm at church school and also watch over Daddy because I'm going to miss him, too...and I hope we all have a good day tomorrow and that we're kind like you, God..."

"...Thank you for all our blessings and please give us all your sins, Lord... Amen."

Amen, Daniel.


It started out as a small drop of water at the top of the shower door.

I followed it with my eyes and watched it slide, ever so gracefully, down...down...down... weaving its way in between drops of different sizes--family perhaps--leaving behind a serpentine path on my door. Twist, turn, slither... down it went, merging briefly with another droplet before reaching its final destination--the floor of my shower.


Is there a heaven for water droplets?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Visit to Florida

I'm in Tampa (actually Brandon, FL) visiting my sister for the week. It feels like such a different world here. The complex where they live feels like a nice resort with lakes and fountains, pools and palm fronds pressing against several windows. The world's biggest Wal-mart (or so it felt) is right around the corner as is a nice mall. It's just so funny to see the difference in housing--everything here definitely has that "Florida feel" to it.

Every afternoon, we have the rumble of thunder and bolts of lightning in the distance but we haven't experienced a downpour since being here.

It's just nice to spend time with them and funny to be doing it in a new setting.

Keith flies down tomorrow and then we'll be heading back Saturday or Sunday.

More later........

Monday, July 17, 2006


I think I have an issue.

Just recently, I have become acutely aware of the existence of germs. Not that I obsess about it, but I think about it when in public places. On a trip to McDonald's the other day, I sat with Daniel eating lunch and could not stop noticing how dirty most of the customers were. Granted most of them were construction-type workers, but the dirt covering them was unbelievable. Sweat rings on shirts, open toed shoes...Then I glanced around at all the surfaces--including the napkin dispenser with it's glop of dried ketchup that looked sorta like a birthmark--and I couldn't stop thinking about the germs that we come in contact with every day.

I won't go into detail like Matt Lauer did on a Today show special last year (a topic that temporarily freaked me out)...if I think about the subject with a medical-type scrutiny I could possibly become homebound. :-)

You know, I guess life is too short to become obsessive-compulsive about the germ thing.

Or, is life short because I don't worry about the germ thing?



Saturday, July 15, 2006

What A Difference...

I was looking back through some old photos of Daniel when he was at the orphanage and comparing them to now...

What a difference a couple years makes!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Nice Visit!

Here are a few pics from our visit with my friend Cindy and her two boys, Ethan and Caleb when they came to stay a couple days ago.

It's neat to see our kids growing up together and learning how to relate much like Cindy and I have grown closer over the years.

We went to the pool, played and she and I even got some highly-coveted alone time to talk...imagine that!

It was a great visit and we can't wait to see them again!

Boys of Summer

This is a pic of my son Daniel (on the right) and his best bud Ethan at our pool yesterday.

These two are a picture of summertime!

Life on July 13

Good Things:

~~A refreshing swim and meeting new neighbors at the pool

~~Laughter and good conversation while cooking out with friends

~~Daniel going to put on pj's but coming out in 2005 Halloween clown costume

Not-So-Good Things:

~~Realization that summer's end is one day closer

~~$2.96 a gallon at the pump! Schwinn bike, here I come!

~~Didn't I just do all the laundry???

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


My friend Cindy and I were just sitting up late at the kitchen table discussing our interests and I discovered that I'm passionate about a lot of things. Maybe too many?

I LOVE geography and reading maps and anything related to travel. I'll get out a map and pick a state and study Minnesota. Where are the major cities? Are there any major interstates or just one long straight one like in so many midwest states? Are there a lot of state park areas or possible scenic areas I might want to visit? Confession time: When I was in high school, (and this was pre-computer/internet-access for me), I once contacted every US state's travel/visitor's bureau and requested a travel package so I could get a state road map. Yes, there were atlases back then but that would have been too easy. :-) I LOVE maps.

Outer space. I'm intrigued beyond belief with the concept that there are zillions of galaxies like our Milky Way and how many planets are out there in those galaxies that possibly contain life just like us. I'm fascinated by the grandeur of it the cadence of life and the orbit of the planets around the sun and how everything just works. It's like being a part of a great symphony yet not knowing how to read music. I'm curious about what is/could be out there.

I'm passionate about writing (obviously) and reading poetry and drawing and creating things, and folk art. I am fascinated by all things weather-related and am energized by the mere thought of an impending storm.

I am truly passionate about comforting others. I want to soothe souls and massage shoulders and wipe tears. I want to hold the hand of a sad friend as well as bring laughter to one who is feeling out of sorts.

And, I am passionate about music. I LOVE music. It evokes feelings in me that I seldom find elsewhere. Music can uplift me, transport me, and even put me in a somber, melancholy mood which I secretly enjoy sometimes. I can retreat into a set of lyrics much like others find solace at an exotic destination. I'm passionate about my music.

There are so many things I want to do that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the possibilities. I want to write poetry and cards and children's books. I want to belt out an old standard on the stage of a smoky cigar bar just once. I want to start and run a permanent foundation to promote, and help finance, adoption of children. Of course, I don't have "Save the Whales" stickers on my car-- mine would read "Honk if you love Maps and Thunderstorms." Don't worry, I realized long ago that I'm a a freak.

What would your bumper sticker say?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Heart Attack City

My well-meaning husband awoke me today at 6:30 am with bottle popper/firework thingies that shoot confetti in honor of my birthday.

It was ex-TREME-ly sweet but nearly gave me a heart attack. He had this boyish grin as the distinct smell of gunpowder wafted in the air... OK, so maybe it wasn't gun powder but it was a close relative... :-)

Needless to say, it was a wake-up call that's for sure.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bloom Where You're Planted

I'm a product of my upbringing. As a child, we moved 9 or 10 times. Although this sounds like a somewhat "rootless" existence, we found it exciting to get a fresh start, meet new friends and learn about new places. As a result, my sister and I are extremely adaptable people and I have quite a grasp on geography from our multiple moves.

My Mom would often joke that as soon as the carpet needed cleaning in a house, we'd pack it up and move. Sometimes, that's what it felt like (our shortest time in one spot being four months). That ache for change has found its way into my adulthood as I try to once again settle into our new town after being here a year. This last move was the hardest. Leaving a solid group of friends with children that were my son's friends was extremely difficult. These same people had seen me through the two most daunting periods of my life: the death of a parent and becoming a parent. It took quite a while for me to adjust.

The upside is that we've made some good friends here, too. Our neighborhood is terrific and we're convenient to every form of recreation you could imagine. But the itch is still there. Deep down inside I imagine what houses are on the market and what towns could be beckoning. I look down from the balcony in my office and see that there are a few spots on the floor. Is it time to pack up or is it time to clean?

One of my favorite sayings I came across in a newspaper column years ago is "bloom where you're planted."

Guess I'll be heading to Lowe's this afternoon to pick up the carpet cleaner.............

Saturday, July 08, 2006

We're a Little Closer....

to becoming parents for the second time.

With a mound of adoption paperwork screaming out for attention on the desk in our office, Keith and I put Daniel to bed Friday night and went to work. It was 9pm when we started and we signed our names for the last time at 1:00am. 4 hours of filling in budget worksheets, outlining our assets, liabilities and plans for the future paid off as I attached the last paperclip on the last batch of documents.

We thought it was difficult to do the paperwork necessary for Russian adoption, but this is double. Not only are we doing all the financial and relationship surveys for our home study, but there were similar questionnaires to be completed for the agency as well. Do we want a boy or girl? (Either is fine with us) What medical issues will we accept in the birth parent background (8 tough pages on that) and a host of other items we had to have done such as fingerprints, septic tank inspection, pet vaccinations and such.

This could be a long process or this could be much shorter than all depends on when a birthparent chooses us to be the parents of the child they're about to give birth to. It could be months, it could be's anybody's guess.

But, something happened on Friday night. Keith and I buckled down with a fierce determination to get the biggest step out of the way. As we dropped the packets into the mail this morning, we had a peace of mind that we have done all that we can do at this point. It's now up to us to wait.

So, that's exactly what we'll do................................

Friday, July 07, 2006

In a dusty, dimly lit room...

on the back side of the Wright Art Center at Delta State University, I fell in love with drawing. Or, should I say, I fell back in love with drawing. I have always loved to doodle. While in meetings, talking on the phone...juat about any time...if I have a pencil or pen and a piece of paper then I'm in business.

My friend Christina has recently taken a leap of faith and enrolled in school to study interior design. Not only am I proud of her for following her heart, but I am insanely jealous of her sudden need to go buy art supplies. Pens, pencil sets, art gum erasers with their characteristic scent...what I wouldn't give for an excuse to spend money on such things.

It also transported me back in time to my freshman year in college as a Graphic Design major. This was pre-computer kind of design (yes, I'm sure I've dated myself) and my favorite class was Beginning Drawing. I spent many an afternoon in a classroom filled with nothing but benches designed to hold art easels arranged in a circle around the "still life of the day." If I close my eyes I am there, art caddy at my feet, rays of sunlight pouring in through the dusty window in the ceiling and spotlighting an assemblage of objects we're responsible for sketching--an old tennis shoe, a sewing machine and some sort of fruit item.

The room is silent except for the sound of art pencil against sketch pad. There was a sweet tranquility that emerged each afternoon as a gathering of art students converged on one room and sat for 2 hours without uttering a word. The unmistakable smell of art gum filled the air as a white haired instructor slowly strolled by, surveying the scenes evolving on each pad of paper.

I miss those days. Sometimes the art professor would simply challenge us to explore the campus, pick a scene and sketch it for that day's lesson. I would delight in finding just the right tree to prop against as I scanned my surroundings for the subject of my choice. It was a libertaing experience for a college freshman trying on her new found independence.

Lately, I've been more tuned into what I can do with my pen (or, in most cases, computer keyboard) in the form of writing. I guess I should pick up my sketching pencil again one day and see where it takes me...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Life on July 6

Good Things:

~~My son Daniel offering to sleep with me tonight so he could "take care of me"

~~More rain to quench the thirst of a drought-ridden yard and flowerbed

~~Having a loving husband care about you enough to encourage your intake of fluids

Not-So-Good Things:

~~Having a husband force you to drink gallons of yucky Gatorade against your will

~~ Keith having strep throat

~~Me having strep throat

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Red Bicycle

As I strolled along
The brick walkway
Peeking into windows
Of quaint little shops
The red bicycle at the corner
Whispered "hello"
And beckoned me to stay

Although I could not oblige
I wondered about the history
Of the red bicycle
The life that it had seen
Before it became
The ambassador
Of that little cafe

Its paint well-weathered
The red bicycle had not lived
A pampered, garage-dwelling life
Its scratches and scrapes
A testament to its once-lively existence

Had it spent many an evening
Traveling up and down
Country roads
Lined with lush green fields
Dust a-flying, gravel spewing
Racing to make it home by dinner

Perhaps it had ambled along quiet streets
Passing rows of tidy houses
With neatly manicured yards
Delivering the morning paper
As the sun gently rose
On the horizon

Did the red bicycle ever
Proudly display
A shiny new horn
To honk at its friends
The blue and the green bicycles
As they swiftly passed by

No matter the tales of its storied past,
The red bicycle now takes
A well-deserved rest
Perched in front of the cafe
Sprigs of grass growing at its feet
Whispering "Hello" to passerby.....

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Written Word

While surfing the web recently, I came across a profile in which someone listed under the category career: "aspiring writer...aren't we all?"

Suddenly, I felt very small--a tiny fish in an enormous pond of people who love to write just as much as I do. That's one reason why I can't seem to take the leap and try to publish some of my work because I'm afraid it would fall on deaf ears (or at least on the top of some very tall stack in an "In" box somewhere.)

There's just one thing that keeps me going, though. Passion. There are a lot of things I love in life. My family, my friends, a good movie, the way the grass smells after a good rain--all of these things would be on the list. But, there is something that I eagerly anticipate each new day...the chance to experience something and write about it.

There are times when I'll see something that would seem ordinary to most; but to me, I find such beauty in it that I almost get this burning sensation inside until I can write it down on a piece of paper or blog about it. Sometimes, it won't be a new experience; instead, it's a memory that comes flooding back and I'm afraid I'll never remember again unless I write it down.

For me, it's not really about getting published (although I'll admit that is one of my biggest dreams.) I just know how life can change in an instant and it can be a security blanket to have memories in writing to fall back on.

When my Mom died a few years ago, my sister and father and I came across a big blue binder full of poetry and short stories she had written. That night, we laid on the floor and cried as we read through years of thoughts that she may have considered "insignificant" at one time...but, to us-- it was gold. She was no longer with us but her voice was. Her memories were. Her humor was there in print and that book has been an enormous comfort to me since that day.

One of the things I came across in the book was a Gratitude Journal Mom had started after being inspired by an episode of Oprah. It was dated July 16, 1997 and she shared the following:

"...Personally, my "public" goals have all been met. I manintained a solid, loving marriage. We have raised two daughters in an atmosphere of love and stability. They are each bright, successful, happy young women making places for themselves in the world. I have all this to be grateful for, and I am. My heart overflows everyday, thanking God for His bountiful grace and for the blessings He has bestowed upon my life."

I can assure you that my Mom had no idea how special those words would become on a cold, rainy night in March 2003. That is one reason I write. If something I observe or think about can be written down and one day inspire, comfort or simply make someone smile...then my life will have been well lived.