LATEST POSTS, procrastination

Pebble in my Shoe

People hide their truths. Like a pebble stuck in their shoe they limp or avoid walking altogether.

In the book Bird by Bird, by Ann Lamont, she refers to writing in this way:

…But after a few days at the desk, telling the truth in an interesting way turns out to be about as easy and pleasurable as bathing a cat.

The truth generally is mucky. Our veneer appearance and eloquent words are far more palatable.   The problem is that approach tends to be boring. After all, no one wants to hear about our shortcomings, or underbelly.   

Or do they?

Often, the very thing we want is stuffed behind a tangle of lies and truths we tell ourselves.

I want to is write a novel. Often, the welling builds and I must spill words, stamp them onto paper. Lately, that means a short blog such as this.  That preverbal pebble remains in my shoe. Thus, no book.

Meaningful writing is truthful. It’s communicating something worth reading.

Exit veneer and eloquence.

Below are the truths about writing (a book) that have kept me away for too long.

Exit pebble.

I’ve spent too much time writing without much success. That formula feels like failure.

After losing a husband and a dicey 2020 I’m not sure I can take disappointments.

The journey reminds me of a rollercoaster. The idea of getting back on scares me.

Flooding pages with honest words feels like walking around naked.

A good writer’s group is hard if not impossible to find.

My point is sharing this is twofold:

To expose my truth, slough it off and move forward

To encourage others to exam their truths.

What might be stopping you from doing what’s deep in your bones?

Cheers to truth.

Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out. It’s the little pebble in your shoe. Muhammad Ali


A Thankful Heart

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She wears her heart on her sleeve.

The meaning is obvious.  But why her sleeve? Why not her chest , where her heart beats? Or her eyes, the window to her soul?

I can’t hide my emotions. My eyes widen in excitement. Crinkles form at their edges when conflict looms. And they leak or at least threaten to when I am troubled.

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Troubled  (v) disturbance in mental calm and contentment

October is a hard month.  The air is thin. The memories vivid.  Being okay is subjective, given the circumstances.  Losing a spouse and wading through 12 months of hills and valleys is hard enough. Reliving the end when so much is gained in the journey, brings pause to potential back sliding into the pit waiting at the end of the month.

Wallowing there is an option. A lapse of world expectations disappear. It’s just you and your buddy, despair.  Some would say the pit is a safe place, a cocoon. Add food and alcohol to deaden memories. I fear the pit is deep. The sides are slippery, and the climb upward is steep.

I won’t go there.

I will remember.

I will cry.

I will be thankful for what was.


Blessed Trees

If I showed you my garden could you find the spot where a smiling tree had once shaded the land?

Now, not even a stub remains. Only soil and a hole where life once grew old and wise. Still, I remember the tree.

A new tree grows nearby. A lean tree. The leaves are different, curled like a wave. When I sit in its shade I smell the ocean. And I feel peace.

I am thankful for the trees. For the blessings before, ever present now, and the blessings to come.

I’m watering the new tree. When I look up a canopy of branches spread far and wide. Leaves shimmer in the sunlight. In the breeze the curly leaves sing.  Some fall to the soil, filling the hole.

And that makes me happy.


Dear Author,

I miss fudge brownies with vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate sauce.


I suppose if I’d never had that decadent dessert I wouldn’t know what I’d missed. I had a damn good version of that slice of heaven.

Say I read another’s book. Oh how I learn, laugh, experience journeys I’ve only dreamed of. How better to grow than listen. To experience that sometimes awkward dance of dating and uncover commonality. Exploration begins. New chapters form.

Soon two stories intertwine.


I want to share my life with someone. Not because I’m weak or unable to do life on my own.

I’m full. Bursting in fact.

There are chapters left to write. Imagining possibilities is a gift and I want to share that journey, pen words unique to us.

I am grateful God has tossed you in my path.

Let’s write an epic story!

Or, if you prefer your metaphoric language…….



Seeds of Possibility

seedlingMost days I walk.

I’ve noticed more birds, lizards, butterflies, and thriving plants. Maybe they’ve always been there.

Or maybe our new world has widened my view with less thoughts to sift through. Or just the opposite: too much time to contemplate this or that.

Enter a seedling. That’s me. Growing…..experiencing….learning. 

Waiting is hard, especially for the new parts yet to come. I know my roots are strong. The soil has been turned. Remnants of the old me remain. You could say I’m variegated. A unique blend of then and now.

The future is before me.

Most of us want to see what lies ahead. The contemplative me desires that. But I like surprises, anticipation. My mind reels with possibilities. I am a seedling, a dreamer, in love with happy endings, underdogs winning. Pouty babies and goofy dogs. A good book, chocolate anything and wine. Cozy couches and candles.

I believe in tomorrow.


Every morning has a unique story. There are always some seeds of possibilities waiting to sprout.”                                                                                               – Amit Ray
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Bingo was her Name-O

bingo       It was a wooden board with a groove to hold a bingo card.   You know, the hard cards with the slide-thingies that covers up the number with a transparent film. For easy transport, the board folded in half.  And it was sold at JC Pennys.

I remember circling the display with her and finding a half-dozen boxes on the bottom shelf, right inside the store entrance. If I glanced up to see her reaction at seeing the boards, her boards, I don’t remember.

I also don’t remember any discussion about the invention.  Just the trip to the mall.  I’m sure there was plenty of hubbub. Maybe, being a teen, it whizzed over my head.  At fourteen, I had other pressing things on my mind: the zit on my chin. Did Critchfield like me?  Why wouldn’t that weird feeling (later I learned it was anxiety) go away?

Today, while driving to sister’s breakfast, the idea for this blog surfaced. It was more of an epiphany really.  My mother, Lois, was an entrepreneur!  She had passion in her bones.

Like many kids, my parents weren’t real people with feelings, wants, and desires.  My mom’s side of the family, the Barfoot clan are gentle spirits.  I know I’m generalizing here, but it’s true. They are truly kind and generous folks, Canadian and cozy.  A cup of tea is always nearby, along with a comfy sofa. And maybe toast.

          Before this light bulb moment, I never considered my mother much of a go-getter.   But as I parsed apart her Bingo invention, much became clear.

This gambling pursuit that requires staring at numbers and willing B-22, or G-56 to be called, is serious fun. Even glancing at your neighbors cards, and swearing under your breath when someone else yells Bingo, is fun. The snacks are high calorie and plentiful. The conversation lively.

Today I’m declaring that our collective love of bingo is thanks to Lois.   She might not have been the first in the family with Bingo in her blood, but she had the passion to dive deeper and dream up an invention.  I’m certain that there were wooden bingo boards before her invention and after. But she did it! And I love knowing that my entrepreneurial spirit may have stemmed from her side of the gene pool.


Creased Leather Cushions


     Often we use simple terms to describe the friends we know, declaring attributes we most admire or more likely, desire. Either way we find ourselves smiling when we say, she’s fun, outgoing, and a daredevil too!

When we are searching out a new friend, complicated thoughts bubble to the surface.  Stating that someone is simply fun isn’t enough. We tend to define what fun means to us. I want a friend who enjoys long walks and tea parties. Who drinks beer and can sing karaoke on a moment’s notice. 

Sometimes though, words evade us and we are left with edges of a feeling we can’t quite put into words. Like cool air drifting over us, we are drenched in heightened awareness, and the elusive word(s) are replaced with a picture.

                                             For me it is creased leather cushions.

The buttery leather is inviting. When I sink into it, the creases give and expand as if they’ve been patiently waiting for me.  Together, the cushion and me, find the perfect position to rest. I love that the cushion hides the parts of me that I prefer to keep from others, tucking them deep in the folds, like a secret.  As I relax into the tawny leather, my mood often lightens.  And, whether or not I am aware, peace comes. Often it’s ever so subtle; my nervous leg stops bouncing, I stop futzing with my hair, wondering if it looks flat against my head. The breath I’ve been saving for no particular reason, releases in a slow escape.

There are plumper cushions. Some with fabric that sparkles and sticks to your skin so all can see where you’ve been. Tight weaves leave you sitting high on the cushion, above the other friends. I’ve had those friends-oh, I mean cushions. You had better hold tight to the chair arms because you might bounce right off.

My closest friends are creased leather cushions.  While other fabrics may fray or stain, leather endures.  However, effort is needed to care for them.  A gentle rub or hug. A polish or compliment. Sometimes, just sitting with them when they’ve been wounded, the weight of their pain, carving another crease into their being.

When I look in the mirror, I see creases across my forehead. And fine lines around my eyes and lips. And when I dare to look, the deeper ones mottling my neck.  Then I smile and remember that I am someone’s creased leather cushion.