Mystery Solved

Standing at the open refrigerator, I am sliding containers left, then right. I take containers out, I put them back in. I search the drawers. My husband inquires, “What are you looking for?”

“I have a container of chopped onions from the spinach salad the other night. I want to use them up before we leave.” I tell him. “But I’m not having any luck finding them. I wonder what happened  to them. I could swear I put them in here.”

No onions to be found. I shrug, but still wonder where they could be.  A mystery, but not worth worrying over a missing container of onions.

Four weeks later

We have just finished dinner. My husband looks over to the refrigerator. “What’s on top of the fridge?” he asks me.

“I have no idea,” I reply, glancing over to the fridge, but seeing nothing.

He reaches up and finds a small Gladware container. Something chopped is inside. Quickly I realize this is the container of missing onions. Immediately they are dumped into the garbage disposal.

As the remnants are ground away, we are left wondering how did they end up on top of the refrigerator?

Sirens in the Night


2:19 a.m.: sound asleep

2:20 a.m.: a sound is pulling me awake

2:21 a.m.: an awareness of the sound that is pulling me awake is not on the TV or in my dream, this sound is outside the house, down the street, it is a mind-numbing whining warning siren

2:22 a.m.: turn the TV to local news, stumble in a zombie-like state to the closet for shoes (just in case there will be broken glass)

2:26 a.m.: fully awake, watch the weather reporter urging people to take cover, I listen for storm sounds outside (there are none)

2:30 a.m.: I fall back into bed (shoes near), the siren stops its wail, silence surrounds

2:40 a.m.: the siren screams out its warning again, the wind blows through the trees, shaking the leaves loose, hard rain beats against the house, TV signal is lost, I prepare to take shelter (again)

2:50 a.m.: TV signal is restored, siren quiets, storm has passed through

3:00 a.m.: still wide awake, wondering what has happened in the darkness, gradually tiredness takes over and sleep returns

7:45 a.m.: daylight, cloudy skies, cooler breezes slide through the trees, a leaves litter the ground, a warning that more storms may appear through the day

Coffee helps the pounding of my head from the disruptive night. No further storms develop on this day. This time I’m relieved the weather man is wrong.





Can you ever go back to a previous time of your life and savor the experience? This photo sends me spiraling back in time to almost fifty-two years.

I am the fifth person on the front row. I think I was eight.

I am the fifth person on the front row. I think I was eight.

My family lived in a suburb of Chicago, but every summer we would travel from Chicago to Baldwin, Wisconsin. It was a grueling trip, five kids, two adults, no air conditioning. This trip took us all day, but in the end we landed at grandma and grandpa’s house.

Fun times were ready to begin. There were aunts, uncles, and cousins galore. Kids were shipped off to spend time with the cousins. Kids and parents met up once again at church on Sunday. After the service everyone headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s house where a feast was set up on picnic tables in the side yard.

At some point the cousins all had to gather in one place for the group photo on the side yard of grandma and grandpa’s house. Those where the best of times that live on in my memory.

Last fall I returned to Baldwin for the funeral of an aunt. I had my husband drive past my grandparent’s house. Decades ago they left this house (before they died), but it always remained firmly visualized in my mind. The house my eyes viewed, was not the house of my memory. This house was beaten down, there was no life spilling out onto the lawn. Weeds sprouted, screens were torn. It had not been loved in many years.

I think I will hold onto the memory of the home where twenty-nine grandchildren lined up to preserve a moment in time.

A Moment Caught

Before I retired, Friday evening was my favorite part of the week. The weekend hours stretched like a slinky. So many options to fill those moments, but like a slinky, time snapped back and the routine of school filled the days.

Now that I am retired (but working part time in schools) Fridays don’t have that same magic. Instead the special time is mid-April into June. These days I savor just like a working-life Friday, but the joy of time lasts longer.

Here is the time I get to play with my crafts, read, and read some more. No guilt lingering in my mind that says you have work to finish. I stop by the library with my list of book titles that I culled from various posts and walk out with a stack to last me for a while.

I carry my  sweet tea with a touch of lemon to the patio. Pull the chair into the sunshine, prop my feet on the ottoman to become lost in the world of the book.

I hear it before I see it. The vibrating thrummmmmm hovers six inches from my face. The wings create a breeze, as the hummingbird scans my body looking for the nectar portal. I am as still as a marble statue, I relish the closeness of this contact. Moments later, it zoomed away searching for something with more nutritional value than my peach colored shirt. This moment caught in my mind, sadly not on my camera.

Wherefore Art Thou?

Last year a cold snap destroyed all the potential blossoms on my peach tree. Somehow four peaches managed to survive.
In the fall we had the tree pruned. The arborist promised this action would create a plethora of peaches, plus it would allow the tree to develop to its greatest potential.
I guess this means one peach. How sad!

I guess this means one peach. How sad!

Eagerly I waited for the tree to burst into bloom. Then the leaf buds appeared, followed by leaves. Concerned, I studied my tree. A single blossom was all that I could find. My heart sank. Another year, no peaches in my yard.


These are the blossoms I expected. This is from March 2012

These are the blossoms I expected. This is from March 2012

Baby robins are now feathered, so soon they will be on their own and the tree will be removed.

Update on bird status: Baby robins are now feathered, so soon they will be on their own and the tree will be removed.

If She Only Knew

An Alberta spruce at our front walk.

An Alberta spruce at our front walk.

A pair of Alberta spruces flank the step to our front door. They should never have been planted there, the arborist informs us. They are too close to the brick. In the summer, the heat of the brick will scorch them. Why did no one tell us this ten years ago when we began landscaping our new house?

The view from the house. Not so pretty.

The view from the house. Not so pretty.

This tree looks presentable from the front. However, the backside is another story. It is dead and each year more branches in the back turn brown, become brittle, then break off.

IMG_0949These trees are slated to be removed, but now we have a problem. A robin discovered an abandoned nest. It was just what she would have built herself, but she was running short on time. She moved in and immediately laid three eggs.

Daily, I check the progress of the eggs. Will this brood be hatched and raised before the tree removal crew arrives? Hopefully the rain has put the tree company behind in their work.

This mama robin has claimed her nest. If she only knew this tree is living on borrowed time.

This mama robin has claimed her nest. If she only knew this tree is living on borrowed time.


My friend arrived for dinner one evening with sly smile and a mischievous glint in her eye. As she is reaching into her purse, she is saying, “I have a present for you and a job.” It is with great apprehension that I take the small brown paper bag from her hands. My mind is swirling, wondering how the gift and the task are related.

I peek into the bag and relief floods through my veins. This is a job I will enjoy. I pull out four strands of beads. She continues to explain how on a recent trip she went to a turquoise mine in Albuquerque. At the end of the tour she was in a room full of beads and the ladies of the tour were snatching up strand after strand of the beads. She goes on to tell me, “I bought you and me a strand, because I knew you could do something with them.”


I love to play with beads, so this was a challenge I relished, if there were no time constraints put upon me. “No rush,” she tells me. Good, I think because soon my work in schools will be finished and I will have time to play with the style of the necklace.

The next week, the bead store puts out their newsletter with classes listed. My eyes light upon the wire wrapped Tree of Life. That might make the perfect pendant for the turquoise necklace. I did this class several years ago, but cannot remember the process, so this would be a perfect refresher course.

Saturday morning I have my stone and wire ready. There are only two of us in the class, I rejoice in that (lots of personal attention at my point of difficulty). Slowly we create a tree from wire. I brought my iPad to record steps in the process for reference later. Two hours fly by and I have a little bit of work left to finish at home.

Start and end of the project with a few steps along the way.

Start and end of the project with a few steps along the way.

Once the tree is complete, I need to figure out how to arrange the turquoise stones to create the necklace. I string a few beads, add some seed beads. It becomes a dance of the beads as I string, remove, restring, remove, until I am satisfied with the results. I bring my nearly completed necklace to my friend for a length check and approval. She loves the pendant and we decide to lengthen it just a bit.

This necklace has been completed.

This necklace has been completed.

It’s back to the playground of beads for me as I try to find complementing beads to create the next necklace.