I was summoned to the backyard to weigh in on landscaping options. The color red catches my eye. Its hue is in juxtaposition with the surrounding colors.


I examine the surrounding area. This is what I discover.


More feathers! I follow the path of feathers. Tracking like an Indian. Take a step, study the ground, move slightly to the left, then to the right. Continue forward until this!

IMG_3531And this!

IMG_3530 (1)Horrors! Slowly it is dawning on me that someone feasted in my yard. I’m puzzled because I remember this from the last snow fall.

IMG_3503The tracks indicate was a scuffle of some sort.

IMG_3502But there were very few feathers scattered on the gleaming snow. Is someone using our backyard for their own personal dining room? Could it be the hawk?

I will have to keep a better lookout on the activities of the backyard.


This Is Just to Say

Yesterday afternoon, as I was grilling my pan of vegetables and dillyburgers, the smoky smell filled the air as it billowed out from the grill and wafted across the yard. As I savored the smell,  I hoped someone was out on their patio or walking the neighborhood so they might be tormented by the grilling smells. Thinking these thoughts reminded me of poems of false apologywcw0002 by William Carlos William. I consulted Gail Carson Levine’s book Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It for guidance as I developed my poem of false apology.

I was grilling 
the burgers and veggies
on my

which made your
mouth salivate
stomach grumble

Forgive me
I savored
every single
grilled morsel

Here is William Carlos William’s original poem.

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold



If You Make Corned Beef . . .

I love corned beef, so I am thrilled when stores put this meat on sale around St. Patrick’s Day. After the dinner with corned beef,  a domino effect influences our meals for the next week. If you make corned beef, you might have some leftovers. Those leftovers will make a great Ruben sandwich.

So if you plan to make a Ruben sandwich, you will need sauerkraut, but you won’t use all the sauerkraut in your sandwich.

Now I need another dinner where I can use sauerkraut. Dillyburgers* on the grill require sauerkraut. But you have to be sure you have propane in the tank for your grill.

Once you have procured the propane you have to install the tank, but you can’t remember how the pieces attached. So you look for the manual, but it is no where to be found. You use Google to find the pdf of the manual for your grill. Now the propane tank is back attached to the grill.

Since you are grilling dillyburgers, you might as well grill a pan of veggies too.

Finally, all the odd ingredients have been used and the dominoes have stopped falling. Now I wonder what’s for dinner tomorrow?

*A dillyburger is a double hamburger patty with a filling of sauerkraut, chopped dill pickles, onion, and mustard between the two thin patties of beef. It is eaten with a knife and fork and not on a bun. We tend to apply a generous portion of ketchup to this meat.

Spoken or Thought?

Early morning, my mind doesn’t always function properly, until coffee has been consumed. I go through the rote motions of preparing my coffee. Take out the coffee filter, two scoops of coffee, pour water in, flip the switch. As these actions are happening on auto pilot my mind begins whirring. Thoughts begin to tumble like the balls in a Bingo game. One  thought jump starts another, never developing a completed thought. My thinking said:

Dinner tonight? Ruben sandwiches, with Tuesday’s corned beef. Taco meat needs to be used. Lunch could be tacos. Tell Mike not to eat lunch. Will get home around noon. Do I have my materials for this this morning ready? Glance over to Mike, he’s reading something. Wait to tell him later. Grab Creepy Carrots. What else do I need to grab for the day? Tell Mike I will fix lunch when I get home. Coffee’s ready, finally.

I fill my cup, settle in on the couch to read a few slices, write a few comments. Fifteen minutes pass. I need to eat breakfast. As I’m preparing my granola and yogurt, I wonder (in my head) did I tell Mike to wait to eat lunch? I can’t remember if I only thought it or have we had the conversation.

“Did I say anything about lunch yet?” I casually inquire.

“No, why?” is the response from Mike.

I had to confess that I couldn’t remember if I actually said something or just thought it.

Wonder what else I’ve thought but forgot to actually say.

Title Fun

The directions are simple:

  1.  Stack your books
  2.  Snap a picture
  3.  Share it

That’s all it takes to create a spine poem. So head to your bookshelves or the library and start stacking books to create a spine poem. Here are my latest poems stacked and ready to tell a tale:

I Wanna New Room There's a Nightmare in My Closet Psssst! It's Me . . . the Bogeyman Walter Was Worried

I Wanna New Room
There’s a Nightmare in My Closet
Psssst! It’s Me . . . the Bogeyman
Walter Was Worried

A Perfectly Messed Up Story Charlies Superhero Underpants Gleam and Glow Just a Second The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County Flying Solo Again! Chasing Vermeer The Book Thief Where the Wild Things Are Oh, No! The Story Goes On

A Perfectly Messed Up Story
Charlie’s Superhero Underpants
Gleam and Glow
Just a Second
The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County
Flying Solo
Chasing Vermeer
The Book Thief
Where the Wild Things Are
Oh, No!
The Story Goes On

Finally, this one I would call Ask and Answer

Where Do Balloons Go? Balloons Over Broadway Who Needs a Nose Like That? The New Kid on the Block Are We There Yet? Im Not What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You? Move! Whats

Where Do Balloons Go?
Balloons Over Broadway
Who Needs a Nose Like That?
The New Kid on the Block
Are We There Yet?
I’m Not
What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You?
What’s Your Favorite Animal? Wolves

What poetry is standing around your shelves waiting to be discovered?


Not Your Mama’s Mac ‘n Cheese

What’s for dinner? The budget was small, the family was large (five kids, two adults). You would think mac ‘n cheese would make a regular appearance on the nightly menu, but it didn’t. Meat and potatoes were the staples on the dinner table. Once and a while we would have spaghetti. Not once was mac ‘n cheese served.

I don’t know where or when I discovered mac ‘n cheese, but I fell in love with its creamy goodness. Favorite meal at school (as a teacher) included mac ‘n cheese.

Flipping through the Southern Living, years ago, I saw a recipe for Mac and Texas Cheeses with Roasted Chiles. My mac ‘n cheese radar went into high alert. I scanned the recipe, and thought I can do this, even though I had never worked with poblano peppers before.

Carefully I followed the recipe. First step is to broil the peppers. Get them as blistered as possible.


Once they are charred, quickly put them in a ziplock bag, seal, and the steam will loosen the skin of the pepper, which makes it easy to peel that skin away.


Once the peppers were prepared, I could concentrate on the macaroni and the sauce.


Mix all components together and bake.


This is now the only mac ‘n cheese that I prepare. Of course this only gets a showing once a year because it will wreak havoc with a diet, but oh so worth the splurge!

If you look at the recipe, you may notice it calls for bread crumbs on the top and my picture does not have bread crumbs. I’m not a fan of bread on my mac ‘n cheese. Besides, who needs those extra carbs, right?



Blog Post 365

I saw the numbers creeping up, up, up. Then it hit me 365 equals one year but this journey has been in progress for over five years. I began 1-11-11, I found myself in a motel waiting out a snow day when I decided to jump into the world of blogging as a participant rather than a lurker. It’s a decision I’ve never regretted. My world is so much richer because of the friends I’ve made through words first.

I’ve just revisited my first post, my first sentences written for public viewing: “Today I jump into the blogging world. It’s a little scary, considering I don’t know what I am doing.” Three hundred sixty-five posts later I still think it’s a little scary to tell my story.

Many times I don’t know what I am doing when it comes to navigating the behind the scenes of the blog.Technical issues arise and the language is foreign. I would love to change fonts, but I guess this is not an option when you use a free format. I place words carefully in my draft, but on the preview they move to a new location. Sometimes I want the words to wrap around my picture, but they don’t want to bend to my will. And as to figuring out the automatic posting time schedule, I throw my hands into the air and admit defeat.

Three hundred sixty-five sent me to Steve Jenkins’s book Just a Second. just a secHere are some facts of what occurs in 365 days:

  • Mount Everest rises half an inch.
  • The moon moves 1.5 inches farther away from the Earth.
  • Sea floor spreading move the U.S. one inch away from Europe.
  • Humans cut down 4,000,000,000 trees.

I also Googled 365 and discovered a blog started in 2013 called 365 things in 365 days. A couple decided to take on the challenge of completing 365 things they had never done in 365 days. What an interesting concept and journey they took on with gusto. In their look back, they describe their learning:

  • Life moves fast. Take a risk.
  • Failure is healthy.
  • It takes a tribe to accomplish big goals.
  • If you put goodness out there, goodness will come back.

These statements can also be true of my journey in the slice of life world. So here’s to the beginning (tomorrow) of my second 365 days of blogging my slices of life. I hope you will join me as I live this ordinary, but extraordinary life as I search for the right words, and sometimes pictures, to tell my story.