We had a very close call one day last week while driving to Publix in Panama City, Florida. As we sat first in line at a stoplight, a speeding SUV blatantly hit the gas and ran through a red light. If it were not for my son-in-law’s intuitive split-second hesitation as the light turned green, that SUV would have certainly slammed us broadside and caused a horrendous accident. The thought of that completely shook me afterward, especially since Posie was in the backseat with my husband.
Certain things stick in your mind as you count and re-count happenings and blessings of the day. Now I will probably always think of this moment when Tangerine plays. But I am grateful that God was watching over us and for some reason, caused Brenton to hesitate at the light. Thank you…. this was one of those reminders that life is truly precious. Please people, be careful and diligent when driving out there. Slow down, and for God’s sake, do not run red lights!!!!!!!!!
bad moon rising tears slip down reading sad news pen poised in my hand yet the words will not flow fresh ideas do not spark in the dry desert of my mind the time has come for a hiatus for fourteen years we have joined together sharing laughter, love, pieces of our soul friendships were nurtured, memories made never forget the happy times our amazing adventures so take a break, dear friends bask in summer sun hold these treasures forever in your heart
Where do I start? It took a while to write this, and I changed the title about 10 times. The title is a play on Breaking Bad (the series), but also expresses the feeling in my heart.
I am grateful to have been part of Blogophilia since Week 12 or 13 of the very first year, can’t remember since that was back in 2008. Oh, the heady days of Myspace!! Since then, we’ve been through a lot with the Myspace destruction, the Facebook Note discontinuation, and finally the difficult migration to WordPress. We had some sad times with the loss of writer friends (Barbara, Bettie, Deb Truitt, Elly, Kismet, and Sassy Sue to name a few). But through it all, we persevered and stuck together. I feel blessed to have made friendships virtually (and met a few in real life)! I was able to meet Dahlia, Leta and Christine while Dan and I vacationed in Napa and San Francisco back in 2014 and 2016. We had a blast both trips, but the most fond memory I have is the time all of us went to some ritzy Italian restaurant in San Francisco and nearly got kicked out for laughing so loud!!! Chalk it up to lots of wine and great conversation and some uptight businessmen who were annoyed with us, haha. Ahhh… that was such an amazing trip!
For me personally, I am blessed to have been able to participate in the best blogging group in the galaxy. One of my biggest joys was to share my Tommy Blogs with the group. I really enjoyed sharing my crazy cats’ antics and infusing them with personalities. It was such fun, creating the blog and captioning the pictures. Everyone seemed to enjoy Tommy blogs and asked for more! I want to thank all of you for loving Tommy right along with me, and I am truly grateful for your support during his illness and death. It is hard to believe that he passed exactly 9 months ago today. I haven’t been able to write that kind of blog since then. He still has a tight grip on my heart…. I will never ever forget that sweet cat, I think of him each day! *sad tears*
For summer vacation, we plan to make two trips to Florida. The first trip will be to Panama City and could happen at any moment, when my daughter Katie delivers our grandson Hatcher! She is due June 25, but we are prepared to hop in the car once she goes into the hospital. We can’t be at the hospital due to COVID-19, so we plan to arrive about the time she’s released from the hospital. It would be really cool if he decides to make his entrance on June 20 – which is my birthday and Father’s Day! The second trip will be sometime in August to visit my son Vince in Palm City on the East Coast. We are looking forward to updates on the wedding planning for his November wedding, and doing some fishing and relaxing with his fianceé and him.
Thanks for the memories, Marvin – and please rest up and come back soon! You certainly deserve a break after 14 years. It’s my goal to continue writing each week as I await your return. Sending love and light to Marvin, Commander K and all my Blogophilia friends!
Ecrits Blogophilia Week 13.14 Topic: “Hiatus” (Provided by Marvin) Hard Bonus (2 points): Share a ‘detailed fond memory’ of Marvin Martian, Commander K or anyone in the Blogophilia group (past or present) Easy Bonus (1 Point): Reveal your summer vacation plans
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! Thanksgiving is always a time of reflection and giving thanks for those many blessings in my life. It was definitely a very different and lonely Thanksgiving. This was the very first time in 32 years of marriage with Dan that we spent it completely alone. I’m usually the one who cooks the big dinner, it’s something I’ve always loved doing! Now that I live in Virginia, I invite all my family members to share. Because of COVID-19, this year everyone decided to play it safe and celebrate in their own households. Even my Mom didn’t come, which made me sad, as I hate that she was alone. I hope our future Thanksgivings can be spent together with family and friends.
This week, I am choosing to write a blog on gratitude for several reasons. First, it is the topic of the week for my writing group Blogophilia, but most importantly, to recognize that I have many reasons to be grateful for in my life. Yes – even in one of the most horribly challenging and frustrating years ever! So without further adieu, here is my Top Ten Gratitude List for 2020:
1. My husband – Dan is number one on my list for obvious reasons! He’s the yin to my yang, patient, generous, kind, loving and understanding. (I could go on.) He puts up with my quirks and anxieties, showers me with love and attention. He makes me feel like a queen, is a good father to our kids, and we always have a wonderful time together in our adventures. You give meaning to Plato’s quote: “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” I’m incredibly grateful to have him as my love and life partner.
2. My children – Vince and Katie, you are the lights of my life! I cannot express how deep my unconditional love is for you both. It has been an honor and a blessing to be your mother. You have brought me the greatest joys and wonderful memories. I have loved seeing you grow through the years, and I am so proud that you have both blossomed into beautiful, loving adults (and parents). Katie, thank you for my sweet granddaughter, adorable sweet Posie Mae who arrived in January!!! This was the absolute BEST THING EVER in 2020, and we found out today the wonderful news that baby # 2 is A BOY!!! WOO HOO!!! He is who is due in June 2021!! Vince, I am happily looking forward to your wedding with Natalie next year and future grandbabies!
3. Family – Thank you, Mom, for birthing me and supporting me through all the years with kindness and unconditional love! Dad and you gave me a wonderful life, and I am incredibly grateful for that. I was blessed to be born in a huge family, with 2 sisters and 2 brothers, and lots of aunts, uncles, cousins! My childhood memories are golden, and I hold them close in my heart always.
4. Cats – I’m a crazy cat lady, incredibly grateful for the cats that have owned my heart. First and foremost, my beloved Tommy who died from lymphoma this year…this was the WORST THING about 2020, and it literally broke my heart. Rudy lifted us up during this difficult time, and now we have added playful Bobby Moonlight as his baby brother. They met for the first time yesterday, and it was the smoothest cat introduction ever! They became fast friends, played and chased around the house without even a snarl or hiss! It lifted my heart to hear their galloping up and down the hallway all day long. And last but not least, Jordan who left us two years ago… my pretty princess over the rainbow bridge who started my obsession with cats.
5. Health – I’ve been blessed to have good health, and I hit that scary milestone of 60 this year! It’s not so bad, and I am extremely grateful to have made it this far without any major illnesses such as high blood pressure, and heart disease, which runs in my family. I attribute my good health thus far to a lifetime of dedication to exercise. Well, you could say obsession…. I love running, high impact aerobics, kickboxing, and yoga!
6. Music – I’m grateful for music, as it brings me great pleasure and gets me through the tough times. I always have music on when I’m awake. It makes working a lot less like work, allows me to pour out my emotions, dance when nobody’s watching, and inspires my writing, as well! I like just about all kinds of music (except country – sorry not sorry)… from classical to classic rock to pop to electronic to hip hop. One of my hobbies is music collecting – I have a cache of over 300 vinyl albums, 400 or more CDs and a mp3 library of almost 15,000 songs. I’m a (very) amateur guitar player and took piano lessons as a child. For me, music evokes memories and emotions, and touches my soul. Thank you for always being there, music.
7. Wine – Yes, I know this is one is a real shocker!! Wine, thank you for helping me get through 2020! Seriously though, I have always been a red wine connoisseur. It is good for your heart, you know! I love a good, bold red. I belong to 4 wineries, one in Napa and three locally. We have been fortunate to visit the Napa area twice and hope to return, as it was one of the most beautiful and enjoyable trips ever. One of the things Dan and I enjoy doing is hitting a local winery or two on the weekend, sipping some Cabernet, gazing at the beautiful vineyard views and listening to music. COVID-19 has impacted that experience this year with social distancing and strict protocols, so we cut down on our winery visits this year. I’m hoping 2021 is better.
8. Cheese – Yep. I love cheese! (And it’s a writing prompt.) I love all kinds of cheese, thanks to one of my first jobs – working retail at a Hickory Farms store. I got to sample cheeses from all over the world: Brie, Gouda, Havarti, Gruyere, goats milk cheese, Gorgonzola, Camembert, Parmigiano, Roquefort, Swiss, you name it! My absolute favorites have always been sharp cheddars like New York and Vermont, Colby, and Muenster cheeses. I should probably cut down on it, but it goes so well with my red wine!
9. Nature – I love all animals (well….except rats, most snakes and insects like roaches and spiders). I marvel at the wildlife in Virginia – we have deer, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, groudhogs, chipmunks and all kinds of birds that visit our yard frequently. I am a lover of trees, sunsets, clouds, stars, changing skies, the 4 seasons, the moon, flowers, and bees (excepts wasps). My love for nature is expressed through my photography, also one of my hobbies.
10. Poetry – I’ve been writing poetry since I was 5 years old. It is my passion, and allows me to express myself in words. If I’m feeling anxious or experiencing emotions such as grief, anger, joy – I can channel it and use it creatively while relieving any negative stress. I love experimenting in poetry formats such as sonnets (my fav), etherees, pantoums, villanelles, and haiku. Even with my busy life and career, I make it a point to write one poem per week. I published my first book of poetry in 2011 called “Shadows of My Father,” a tribute to my Dad after he passed away. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to publish Book #2, if life ever slows down.
So there you have it! There are lot of other things that did not make the list that I’m still extremely grateful for: my home, my job, my car, technology, Virginia, Florida, toilet paper (haha, so 2020). Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, with hopes of a better year in 2021!
Ecrits Blogophilia Week 38.13 Topic: Gratitude Hard Bonus (2 points): Incorporate a quote from a Greek philosopher (Plato – “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”) Easy Bonus (1 Point): Include three types of cheeses (either types or names of cheeses will be accepted) – I listed quite a few!
1. Snoopy 2. Bicycle Race 3. Autumn 4. Falling Leaves 5. Windblown 6. Thanksgiving 7. Beagle 8. Change of Seasons 9. Happy Dance 10. Basket full of happy
We are doing a foster to adopt with a 5 month old tiger cat named Moonlight. However, because we prefer “real” names for our cats, we have decided to rename him Bobby (after my uncle). For the time being his full name will be Bobby Moonlight (sounds like a rock star). Since he’s used to being called Moonlight, we want him to recognize his name for now until he gets used to Bobby. Of course, we always have multiple nicknames for our cats so he’ll also be called Bob, Bobcat, Mr. Moonlight, any other variation we think of…. 😉
The reason we’re doing a foster to adopt is that because of COVID-19, the adoption process has slowed down and substantially changed. Since we were not able to actually go in person to the foster mom’s home to spend time with him in his environment, they recommended we go this route as a trial. 90% in this situation end up adopting, and that is our intention unless he’s simply not able to adapt. We had been looking at kittens, but they’re in high demand. Seems the older the kitten or cat, the more challenging to get them adopted out. Bobby is technically still a kitten, but he stayed longer in foster because he needed a little more socialization. But the foster mom reports he is loving, enjoys being with other cats and is a purr machine. The fact that he’s a little older than 8-10 weeks may actually make for a better integration with Rudy, since he’s bigger and could stand up to him better than a tiny kitten.
We have put him in a safe bedroom, which is Katie’s old bedroom. We had it all set up with the usual cat things. When he arrived with his foster Mom, I took him directly up there and opened his carrier. He scurried right and and under the bed where he has stayed hidden all day. I’ve spent much of the evening lying on the floor meowing and pretending to be a kitten…. that has elicited the most response and he’s at least come out of the box springs (Rudy’s former hiding place). Overnight he ate, drank and used the litter box, which is a good thing. Eventually he will get curious and leave his hiding place to check me out. This is totally normal, but I’m dying to be able to see and pet him. It always takes time, and I’m not the most patient person lol.
In the meantime, Rudy is energized since he knows there’s another cat in the house. He is keeping watch on the closed up bedroom, and is dying to get in there. When I’m in there he’s sticking his paw under the door. It’s too early to introduce them, will take days if not a week or more until we allow them to see each other for the first time. We did foster to adopt because of COVID and the fact that Bobby is a little older, which sometimes is hard to integrate. We want to make sure both cats are accepting of each other, but I suspect things will work out okay in the end.
Side note: The above picture is not Bobby, it’s from Flickr. But he does look similar to this, and I’ll post pics when he comes out…
Week 37.13 Topic: What’s Behind the Door? Hard Bonus (2 points): Use a lyric from the song “Misty Blue” (any version or artist) (“heaven knows I tried”) Easy Bonus (1 Point): Include a Ray Stevens lyric (“like a starry summer night”)
SECRET BONUS GUESSES:
1. Super freak 2. I mustache you a question 3. Forgot to shave 4. Black beauty 5. Porn stache 6. Beer mustache 7. Chocolate Stout Beer 8. Goth Rocks 9. Here for the Beer 10. Chrissie Hynde Look Alike
The skies gleamed with crystal blue persuasion, beckoning me to the water’s edge. I stared in wonder as the seagulls frolicked and dipped into the sea. Wispy cirrus clouds floated by at a leisurely pace, and I longed to touch them. A slight breeze stirred, and the crash of the breakers called to me. I couldn’t have asked for a more picture perfect beach day.
This is exactly what my soul needed. The anxieties of life had worn me down, my nerves were frazzled and sleep eluded me. I was in search of peace. God knows I would have been content to just lie in the sand, toasting my skin to a golden brown. A rum flavored cocktail topped with an umbrella is all I really wanted. That, and perhaps a good book to immerse myself in.
But my friends were insistent. It would be the experience of a lifetime, they said. Life’s too short. Go big or go home. Don’t be a wuss…
So I swallowed my apprehension. I gave in to the pressure.
As I stepped tentatively onto the stern of the idling charter boat, my eyes were drawn to the name hand painted on its hull. The Whatchamacallit. Not a very reassuring name for a sea worthy vessel. The wind began to pick up, and the boat responded, bobbing back and forth beneath my Skechers. My heart beat furiously, and pit of my stomach burned. I wasn’t sure if this was excitement, fear… or a little of both.
The boat captain smiled broadly, thrust a life vest into my hands, then buckled me into a harness. I held on for dear life, gripping the leather straps. Returning to the midsection of the craft, he gunned the motor and ventured forward at a slow clip toward the western horizon. As the rushing wind gathered beneath the colorful parasail, it puffed up like a curtain blowing in the window. The tow rope grew longer, and my body was lifted like a balloon, high above the aqua sea.
The balmy breeze kissed my cheeks as I skimmed weightlessly across the fields of blue. My chest filled with euphoria, adrenaline pumped through my blood. I let out a squeal. So this is how it feels to be a bird! I reached out my hands to touch the soft cotton clouds, hopping from one to the next. The people on the beach below me looked like ants, and I waved to them from my perch.
Pure joy coursed through my veins. I was so lost in the delights of flying that I didn’t hear the snap. A sharp jolt, and suddenly I was adrift, scaling to new heights. Then as the parasail lost momentum, I plummeted feet first toward the sea. Terror seized my heart.
I opened my mouth to scream, but nothing came out. My body hit the surface with a loud slap, and plunged underwater violently. The impact rattled my bones, the sound shattering my eardrums. Dead silence. Everything faded to black before my wide open eyes.
Floating, the undercurrents pushed me down. A brilliant white light beckoned in the distance of the ocean depths. I swam toward it, my limbs gliding effortlessly beneath the frigid water. Never before had I held my breath this long. Oddly, my lungs now were one with the sea.
In time, I rose up beyond the confines of my watery grave to the sanctity of the cottony clouds. I watched as my loved ones built a memorial on the beach. Saw them wipe the tears away, then drive off to laughter-filled gatherings. But time marches on, and misfortune tests the sincerity of friends. They eventually stopped coming to pay tribute and moved on with their lives. They forgot about me.
But up here, I am never alone. At night, I am cocooned in the warm arms of the maternal clouds. When daybreak spills across the crystal blue skies, my heart soars. I ruffle my feathers, spread my wings and join in with the seagulls, dipping down toward the sea.
As a child, I walked through the park
hand in hand with my father.
Brimming with energy and innocence,
I played a game of hide and seek,
jumping into his enormous shadow.
My elfin figure was gobbled up
by his lumbering adumbration,
stretching long across the path
illuminated by the springtime sun.
Young and stupid in love,
I felt as if my father’s shadow
was falling over me, somehow
supplanted in my subconscious.
Though I could not see it,
I could feel his image lingering,
cutting through the darkness,
watching me as I made mistakes
from which he could not protect me.
I could sense his shadow slipping
away that New Year’s Day,
battle weary from the fight of his life.
With a weak smile on his face,
my father gazed at me
from his hospital bed.
I knew from the far away look
in his soft hazel eyes
that I was saying goodbye.
Now as I walk alone
with the sun on my back,
my own blackened silhouette
extends before me.
There are no huge hands to hold,
no large shadows to jump into.
But my soul is at peace,
and I smile, knowing that I carry
his shadow inside of mine.
This poem was the one that inspired me to do a tribute book of poetry to my father. Though the book contains many poems about experiences with my father, there are other subjects covered in the work presented within. I want to thank my family, friends and network of fellow writers who have shown great support, not only by purchasing the book, but in giving me such positive feedback throughout this process. I love you all!
Published in “Shadows of My Father”
Available now on Amazon:
(Hard, 2pts): incorporate an animal with fur other than a sloth
(Easy, 1pt): include the Samba
Final date to post: June 14th, 2011 GMT midnight
Final date to post ALL GUESSES: June 11th, 2011 GMT midnight
King Of The Road
Yo, my peeps! It’s Tommy the cat, taking control of my Mom’s blog for the week. She’s been doing chores like cleaning out the garage and organizing things around the house. She’s also been taking an online course the past few weeks, which has her glued in front of the computer. I figured since it has been a while since I last wrote, I would volunteer my services…. But it is always for a fee, of course. Starkist Albacore, to be specific!
The weather has gotten really hot down here in South Florida, so most days Jordan and I like to chill on top of the dining room table. This is always a great vantage point for keeping tabs on what’s happening inside the crib as well as out in front of our house. And I can watch Mom every time she goes out to feed that moocher stray cat, Toby. I’ve kind of gotten used to Toby, I have to admit she is really a pretty mellow female stray cat. Mom has been feeding her for over 3 years now, and they have gotten pretty friendly. Still, I get a little jealous when Mom goes out and sits with her twice a day, especially when I see Toby rubbing her head on Mom’s knee.
One night last week I was taking a nap when all of a sudden I heard this loud, unfamiliar meow outside our front door. It startled me, and I snapped to attention.
“What the….??” I snarled. I jumped on the buffet in front of the window to get a closer look. I saw that black-furred moocher eating out of Toby’s food bowl.
“It’s that loud, promiscuous tomcat, begging for a free meal. I do think he’s been trying to woo Toby. Could have sworn I saw them together in the bushes by the fountain,” Jordan stated.
Lately Toby had taken to sleeping underneath the fountain outside the front window. It provides shade from the hot summer sun, and she likes to hop up on the side and drink water out of it. For some reason, this really gets under my skin.
Next thing you know, Mom actually got up from the computer, tiptoed up to the front door and peeked out the peephole.
“Look, Tommy!! We’ve got a new black cat to feed. I’ve named him Shadow. Did you see him?”
What am I, a moron? Of course, I see him! Who do you think has been keeping tabs on that moocher? I’ve seen him do the samba up and down the middle of the street as if he owns the cul-de-sac. I’ve kept watch at night from the bay window, spying on him skulking around by the lake out back. And I’m about ready to set some things straight with him, cat to cat. I am the alpha male around here! I’ll show him!
Mom fetched the cat food canister and her camera from the kitchen and went outside. I crept over to the door and noticed that she didn’t close the door the whole way. I poked my nose through the crack.
“It’s now or never! My chance to show that thug a thing or two…” I said, nudging the door open and stepping outside.
“You’re an idiot! You’ll never catch him,” deadpanned Jordan as I stepped outside. “And besides, Mom will grab your ass and throw you back inside.”
But that didn’t stop me. I stepped carefully out onto the front step, my senses heightened. I sniffed the air.
Yeah, I smell cats out here! Mom was nowhere to be seen, she was probably out snapping pictures of the sunset.
Just then, I heard a rustle in the bushes and blood-curdling hissing noise…. My heart was nearly pounding out of my chest. Then I saw a flash of black as that damn Shadow went rushing right by me, fast as a hurricane!
“HEY! You want a piece of me?!” I yelled as he scurried off. What a fraidy cat! He couldn’t even face me, cat to cat. I was actually feeling pretty macho…. that was until Mom appeared on the walkway, hands on her hips.
“HEY MISTERBUSTER!!!!! Where do you think you’re going?” She picked me up and carried me inside the front door, laughing and kissing me.
“No outside adventures for you, buddy. The last time you broke through the screened patio and ended up being scared of your own shadow!” Mom giggled.
“Busted!!!! Bwahahaa!” Jordan cackled maniacally.
Ignoring her, I jumped back up to the front window, only to see that thug prancing down the street as if he was the king. The sheer madness of it all!
“Damn! Look at him! He thinks he’s the king of the road!”
Suddenly, Mom’s singing voice jolted me out of my whirlwind of thoughts. TUNA? Did she say TUNA? As I scrambled out to the kitchen for my favorite snack, I realized how good I had it. Hey, at least those stray moochers don’t get the premium food. Ah… Starkist Albacore! Maybe I am Mom’s favorite, after all….
Keg on the road, tap that, drunk driving, heiny-can, roll out the barrel, beer barrel polka, smashed, tipsy, tow away zone, hitching a ride, busted, no parking zone, what’s on tap, smashing fun, beer bust, cold one, one for the road.
A balmy breeze ruffled the palm trees as they lay in the sun, in the sanctuary of their wooden cabana. The gentle surf tumbled and pushed forth, leaving ripple marks in the sugar soft sand. Overhead, black-headed seagulls dipped, scolded and cried out to their mates, landing on the barrier rocks searching for food. If this wasn’t paradise, it was pretty damn close in his mind.
He glanced over at her lying in repose, clad in her new leopard print swimsuit, her skin bronzed by the Bahamian sun. He shut his eyes and thought of their moonlight rendezvous, shuddering with delight. No…. there was no need for bringing back sexy moves or adding spice to their relationship. Last night was proof that it had never left, even at this juncture of their life. He felt blessed that the fires of passion still burned between them. So often he heard coworkers joking and make derogatory remarks about their old “ball-and-chain” wives. She had never been that, and never would be to him. He would never, never give in or stoop so low to say one negative thing about her. True, she had her faults; she was human, after all. But in his mind, she was simply perfect.
He still remembered the very first time he looked into those big brown eyes of hers, how she captivated his heart with her warm Southern accent and her easy manner. They had belonged to others then, but something inside him told him that they were destined to be together. He once confided his innermost feelings to a mutual friend, and it was she who put them back in touch. For that, he would be eternally grateful.
The heat of the April sun was building, and she stirred, stretching lazily like a cat. She asked him if he wanted to take a dip in the ocean with her. They rose and holding hands, strode to the water’s edge. The breakers caressed their ankles and enticed them to wade out deeper. The seawater was shockingly cold until they immersed themselves completely. As they rose out of the water, their skin puckered with goosebumps, they erupted in giggles. She circled her arms around his neck, and he embraced her, carrying her deeper into the water. She sighed and nuzzled beneath his earlobe, whispering that she felt so lucky to be in paradise with him. He told her that no matter where they were, it was always paradise to him. She drew away and looked at him with those big brown eyes, now etched with fine lines, and smiled. As his lips covered hers, her eyes closed and she sighed, floating deeper into paradise beneath the Bahamian sun.
Hello WordPress world!! It’s me, Colleen Breuning aka “Colleen B.” Yes, I’m new over here. I decided to give things a try blogging here. The drama of Myspace and its never-ending changes have frustrated me…and Facebook is not conducive to blogging. I will still be on both sites, of course. But I’m just going to give it a go over here, as a few of my friends have started blogging here.
So if you happen upon my little “hello world” blog, send me a request here. Of course, I’m new and not up on the protocol. Are there friend requests, even? Or do you just have followers? I haven’t gotten that far yet…. LOL