Thursday, September 29, 2016


We're at the end of week six for the semester and I'm hanging on by a thread. I've taken too much on. Let me repeat that: I've taken too much on. I have Literary Mama duties, an anthology I'm trying to put together, home school religious education for two of my children and two friends, plus five classes to teach. I'm also still mother to these four lovely darlings we have here and trying to maintain a blog. Add the animals into the mix and, as I said, I've taken too much on. I'm not complaining, I'm just stating a fact. Since this is my blog. I can do so. I've taken too much on. (Don't you wonder how many times I can write that same sentence? Am I starting to sound redundant? Yes, I am. Even to my own ears.)

So what's going to give? The teaching? Ha! As much as I teeter on the edge of making that decision to say goodbye (and I say it every year),  I can't give that up. Of course, I can't give the kids up, either. Which means that yes, it's the writing that will be going by the wayside. (Not the anthology, and not anything to do with Literary Mama. Just the blog.)

Say it ain't so, right? I know,  I know. I'm shaking my head as I write this post. A post that might be the last one for a while.

And yes, I've said that before, but then words usually need to come screaming out of my fingers and I can't stop. This time, I can stop and I will.

But fear not, dear readers. I have a plan. Unlike someone else who does not have a plan, even though he says he has a plan. I'm telling you--he has no plan. And that no plan thing is not what we want in the White House! I don't care if you like Hillary or not. She's qualified to be there. I've never been her biggest supporter, but next to the egotistical, racist, sexist, liar that Trump is, I'll take her. Plus, she has experience on her side.

But this is not a Tell Me How You Really Feel post. No, this is an I'll see you in a few months post. Because my plan entails writing down the things I think of, but not posting them. Then, I don't have to worry about grammar and such and I won't feel the pressure to put words on this page so that FRN can read them. (Ahem.) I also plan on participating in NaNoWriMo (yes, even though I will then officially have gone off the deep end by taking on even more), and coming back to you at the end of December, right after the semester ends.

Now, just so you know, should anything fabulous happen in my writing life, such as I publish a book or a story, I will post the good news here. But until that happens...

Hiatus this is, goodbye, it is not.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kitty Cuteness, XX

Our 20th installment and we have a guest kitty...

We met this little guy when we attended a local Autumn Fest. Only six weeks old, he and his brother had been brought to The Learning Tree Farm to serve as resident mousers. As of Saturday, the kitties were unnamed, but our friend Brooke said she might name this little one Ferdinand, in honor of one of our favorite feline friends (a guy I still miss).

Monday, September 26, 2016

Broken Hearts Indeed Do Crack, II

To read Part I of this story, go here.

Hands had always been important to Caroline. Adam had large, warm, capable hands. Unlined, palms slightly calloused. When they first started dating, she'd never have described his hands as capable, but she'd read that description once in a romance novel and she realized that yes, her Adam, did have capable hands. Sappy, but true.

Now, she looked at their intertwined fingers and wondered exactly what his hands were capable of. Did they harbor the capacity to cheat on her? Had his fingers trailed down the arm of that girl her friend had told her about? When he said he'd been at work, which lately, he'd been doing more of, had he really been out with her? The girl?

She clutched his fingers tightly against her palm, afraid to let go of them. Caroline knew, if she did, she might float away from this world, never to come back.

"Seriously, Caro. Let's go. I want to show you something."

"What is it?" Caroline let go of his fingers and wiped at her eyes, not wanting to let Adam see the tears perched there. She needed to stay strong, to show him that she was still her own person, but if that was the case, she should have been able to call him out on his supposed behavior. On the other hand, though, she didn't have any tangible evidence of wrongdoing. Just a snippet from a friend and a feeling in her gut.

But those feelings in your gut usually spoke the truth. Everyone knew that. It was following up on gut feelings that Caroline had trouble with. She knew what her therapist would say to her about this latest gut feeling and Adam. "Don't hold onto someone just to have someone," Dr. T would tell her. "It's better to be alone then questioning and unhappy. You know this. Trust yourself."

Caroline could hear Dr. T's voice inside her head. She envisioned his kind face and experienced eyes. He had her best interests at heart and had helped her through some trying times in her past. But what about Adam? Over the last several months, she'd questioned Adam's sincerity too many times. Caroline wasn't sure if he had her best interests at heart anymore.

Adam's smooth voice interrupted her thoughts. "I can't tell you until we're there." He tugged on Caroline's sleeve, wrapped his arm around her waist, and led her through the door. "Come on, Caro. Let's go."

The steps of the stone church, damp from the evening mist, glistened under the street lamps. Adam guided Caroline over to the far right corner near the entrance. As she waited, Caroline looked at the doors, old and worn, made of wood that had long ago warped from the elements. She turned around, toward the sounds of cars and people, and realized this church faced River Street. She clenched her fists at her sides and waited as Adam moved toward her.

"Adam, why are we here?" The dim light of the lamps cast uneven shadows on his face, making it difficult for Caroline to see his face.

"Caro, I wanted a place to talk. To speak to you about something important." Adam's eyelid twitched, a tell that Caroline had learned long ago meant he was nervous.

"And we're just going to stand here and talk?" Caroline felt her face wrinkle in confusion. Why couldn't they have chatted in her apartment? She'd prefer a dry space, a safe space. She stood out in the open here.

", but..." Adam reached for her hand and moved her over to the small stone wall that encircled the top of the steps. They'd moved into the light. She could see him better now and what she thought was nervousness had been replaced with something more...what? She couldn't quite place it.

"This parents used to take me here," Adam started. "We came here for many years until we moved too far to come here. But when I came back to the city, I knew I'd make my way back. And when I met you, I knew I'd bring you here."

Caroline's heart rate picked up. "But why? Why are we here?" She looked down at her lap as her fingers wrestled with each other. Her hands, small and soft, probably wouldn't have been termed capable, but they'd always served her well.

"My Dad proposed to my mom here. They got married here. We went to church here. This place has history." Adam gestured toward the door. "This place..." He moved toward Caroline and bent at the knee, all the while reaching for something in his pocket.

Caroline's vision began to blur and her ears picked up a wooshing sound. She blinked back tears and breathed in large drafts of air. She knew nothing had changed on the outside: that the spit of the rain still ticked against the pavement and the hiss of tires filled the night air. With eyes partially closed, he clung to the real world in the only way she knew how: she reached for Adam's hand, the one that didn't hold the small cubic jewelry box.

"Caroline, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"

Caroline squeezed Adam's fingers between hers. She looked at Adam's face, filled with hope. She envisioned the future: a cape cod house, three children, and a part-time job. She saw Adam skip up the walkway that wound from the street to their front porch. She watched as he picked up their littlest child and nuzzled his nose against the baby's naked belly. She looked away, toward the gray night sky. She felt the first tear begin to spill down her cheek. "I don't know," she whispered. "I don't know."

To be continued...

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Friday Five

1. Marveled at the complexities and awesomeness of the written word (not mine).
2. Marveled at the atrocities of the written word (mine).
3. Set up a time next week to see an old friend for lunch.
4. Explained a concept to a student, who seemed to understand it better after we spoke (fingers crossed).
5. Looked at the dry grass on the front lawn and was struck by the fleeting nature of life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dear Student Starts

Dear Student: Renal and radial describe two entirely different areas of the body.
Dear Student: Coming to class might be optional in your mind, but if you miss any more class, I'll have enough evidence to justify the F you'll be seeing in the grade book.

Dear Student: Sitting at the front of the class will not make you smarter. (There have been studies performed that indicate students who sit at the front of the class achieve better test scores, but based on the exam you took yesterday, it's clear you don't fall into that bunch.)

Dear Student: Sitting at the back of the class doesn't mean I can't see you as you text your buddy about your lunch plans.

Dear Student: When I say that CO = HR x SV, that SV = EDV - ESV, and that you should memorize and understand how those formulas work, then YOU SHOULD MEMORIZE AND UNDERSTAND HOW THOSE FORMULAS WORK.

Dear Student: Just like avascular means without blood vessels, so too does anucleated mean without a nucleus. Remember when I said to pay attention to prefixes, suffixes, and words in general?