Monday, May 31, 2010

Memories of a Hero

My father served with pride and honor in World War II.  He rarely talked about the cruelties and horror of war.  Instead, he focused on the camaraderie, the people he met in places like France, and the daily hardships of surviving in war torn countries.  He was an older father who insisted his kids kept him young.  He looked and acted so young that most people were shocked to find out that he was 70 when my youngest brother graduated from high school.  He worked hard his entire life, something of an  A personality who found joy in creating.  He was a dreamer and I believe the love of my mother's life.  He passed in the spring of 2000 and he would have been 100 years old in July. 

I miss him dearly.  He could tell a story with a twinkle in his steel blue eyes, his laughter came quick and his passion flamed with a fire that could burned hot.  He had a salty tongue, but was as gentle as the flowers he'd pick and present to mom. 

I think of him every day, but especially today as the country honors those who served in wars and those who died with services, picnics, flags unfurled and flying.  His uniform still hangs in the closet at my brother's home.  His Cleveland Indian baseball cap sits atop my desk.  He's everywhere  and anywhere I or my five siblings wander. 

Here's to you, dad...our hero. 


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Times They Are A Changin'

This is it, folks. This is my last day of exquisite freedom and I plan to eat tuna sandwiches for lunch while watching the insanity of Bravo dwellers. Yes I tune in, without shame, to psychotic Housewives and chefs creating dishes I don’t think the cats would even sniff. What’s worse is my newfound rubbernecking at MTV shows like The City, but I digress and I’m wasting time.

No, I’m not heading for vacation on a secluded island in some exotic location. No, I’m not going to jail. And thankfully, my computer glitches and problems have been solved. Nope…the end to my freedom comes at the grimy hands of “zee leetle devil” (That’s a story I really need to tell). Thursday is the last day of school.

“So what?” You ask. “You have one more day of silver silence.”

“No I don’t! Tomorrow is another day of digging up the side yard in an attempt to grow veggies. That means, two of my brothers armed with a rototiller, shovels, and beer show up to do the grunt work while I run to McDonald’s for Happy Meals. So this is it, my precious hours of alone time to write, blog, and do whatever I want are spent and gone.

The invasion begins *long bosom heaving sigh* and I have no choice but to leap into Mimi mode. That means I become grandmother/nanny for the next three months. I’m looking forward to the neighbor kid crawling under my bed searching for a cat to thrust his plastic laser into. I can’t wait until the fighting over Bravo or Cartoon Network begins. I’m eager to start pleading and bribing zee leetle devil into washing his hands before lunch, picking up the mountain of toys that traveled from bedroom to living room, and roasting like a chicken in the sun while he swims in his inflatable pool. Summer is here and the times they are a changin’, much to my chagrin.

You all know me…I’m the softtiest lady around and when it comes to the little man in my life he can ALMOST do no wrong. I’m looking forward to sharing summer fun with the little urchin, but man I’m going to miss my alone time lunching with tuna and Bravo

Monday, May 24, 2010


There’s more than one way to tell a story, which led me to revamping my blog. Through the wonder of blogging I discovered photography. Who knew that it would become one of my favorite things to think about and do! I really wanted a page dedicated to this budding passion. Then I thought, I’d like to put a few darker themed stories out there, but I don’t want them on the Home page. I want readers to choose if they want to read while visiting or not. So here I am tweaking HTML, adding widgets and gadgets until I’m satisfied. Write in Amazement isn’t exactly under construction, but it’s morphing into more of what I want.

And I want…

Written with Soul, nothin’ but creative writing. I’m giving readers a warning about this one; the content will often be adult in nature. No, not pornographic or overly violent…that’s not my bag. However, sometimes characters use profanity, make disturbing decisions, and behave less than stellar. I’m not asking for approval, I’m just sayin’…

The other page: Written with the Lens is all about photography because it’s just another way to tell a story.

To get my focus fix every day I’m attempting to take at least one photograph a day and post it on Written with the Lens page. When you come for a visit, take a peek at my view for the day.

While I’m at it I might as well tell everyone that I submitted a photo to Shutter Sisters One Word Project. Each month one word is selected and photographers play along submitting their interpretations of the word. The word for the month of May is everyday. I’ve been knocked off my whirling, twirling office chair by the amazing photos I see on the Shutter Sisters site and on Flickr. Now, this may not seem like much to most out there, but submitting that photo was baby step in the right direction for me.

So there it is, two new pages with different themes. Oh by the way…what you’ll find on Written with Soul is creative writing from my very own imagination, not based on anyone and seldom based on anything I did or didn’t do.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Little Shop of Hearts

She greeted us with dark eyes, haunted and beautiful, framed with wisps of black hair cut short and neat. Her little shop of hearts, just off the main drag, invites the imagination to take flight in mesmerizing juxtapositions of every day minutiae and the complexities of simplicity. With a beguiling smile, she bids visitors to search for a million stories among the lovely clutter.

See the white feathers, a graceful flourish to a sequined mask, but who hid behind the elegant facade? Was she at a masked ball for society’s ultimate pretenders? Did she sashay down Bourbon Street in chic camouflage after too many glasses of rich, red wine? Perhaps she attended a Halloween bash on a dark October night when frost lay heavy as revelers made their way home. The cherubic bust, with eyes closed, repeats a silent prayer for her mortal soul. Oh the stories that the imagination conjures up in a fraction of a moment.
The hats…the crumpled, flowered, colors of the rainbow, animal print hats hung from a wooden display pole. I fell in love with the hat with the cherries and why not? What lady doesn’t want a hat with bright red cherries decorating her tippy top while strutting down the street in red stilettos and red full lips? Then there was the lime-green frill of tulle with a pearl stung flower. It had to be the headdress of a bride’s maid dressed in pea-green soup while the bride danced in white satin.  
A flounce of flowers caught my attention and I saw her…excited to be going to the city. Breaks away from the daily drudgery of cooking, cleaning, and children came so seldom, but a trip to the city, a full 60 miles away was such a rare treat that she barely contained her glee. . From a distance, he caught her admiring the black confection with a deep red flower, a burst of yellow, and a blossom blushing the soft lavender of a twilight sky. He envisioned her face beneath the pretty hat and then her joy each time she donned it, but money was tight. He figured in his head and decided he would do without the new shirt he needed so she could own something lovely. I’m sure they quietly argued until she acquiesced with a humble smile and he fidgeted ever so slightly while he handed the money to the clerk.

Black lace is a siren song waiting to be sung. The parasol in black lace, hanging from the ceiling, was a feast for the eyes prodding at the imagination to conjure up stories. Is there a mournful theme to the story of lost love and a need for a pretty parasol on a day too harsh for milk white skin? Perhaps it was the delicious ending to a stylish gown of black and white with a bustle in the back and ruffles in the front ala Scarlet O’Hara. Or maybe… just maybe…it was the whimsical addition to a bedroom scene with a high-kicking dancer and her delighted lover.

Visit a vintage shop and buy something…anything. Ponder the who, why, where, and what of it. Listen to the heart of the matter and let it ignite the imagination until the object is no longer just a thing, but a story with a past, present and future.

The photos were taken in a magical shop called Heartstrings in Cleveland's Little Italy.  I can't wait to go back.   

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rainy Day in May

It’s been a wet May so far. Last week it rained, hailed, and the winds came blowing across the region with a ferocity that knocked over wooden swing sets, set limbs free from trunks, and moaned as it snaked around the corner. Today, clouds heavy with rain, linger like a low, gray ceiling. What to do on a rainy day?

Stare out the window at naked stalks of dandelion sporting white pored heads among grass grown too long because mowing wet grass is never a good idea.

Keep the Weather Channel on in the background hoping for a glimmer of sunshine in the forecast.

Grab tweezers and do a little facescaping. Shape the brows, check for unwanted hairs or stiffies, as I adoringly call them, on the chin.

Slap a white muddy face mask on after careful plucking. Write a blog post in the fifteen minutes it takes for the stuff to dry and pull the skin tighter.

Sigh a lot.

Ponder article and query ideas. Check the list, check it twice and decide to create an organized, informational spreadsheet in Excel.

Watch the tops of trees wave to-and-fro in a wind dance.

Put headphones on and listen to a Sting CD, Sacred Love. Muse over the song Stolen Car and what a naughty little story it is. (Yes, I know the Weather Channel is still on, too.)

Check the MLB site to find out how the Indians and Red Sox are faring. Yikes! Both in 4th with the Sox 5 games out and the Indians 9.   *sad face*

Look up dates to go to a Mud Hens game.

Become a voyeur and watch the Cape Cod cams to see what’s going on in my favorite place.

Finally…stop procrastinating and get busy on this rainy day in May.

Ciao, Bellas!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

At A Year of Happy

JoLyn graciously invited me to be a guest blogger on her blog, A Year of Happy, today. JoLyn’s photography tells rich stories of her life, her words make me smile, and I feel a kindred spirit residing a thousand miles away.

Please hop over to her blog and share some Sunday love.  Thank you for all your thoughtful comments over the months and honoring me on your blog.  Big hugs to JoLyn!

Happiness is a girl on a goat!