2016 Poemy Monday, The Third


It should come as no surprise,
her daddy is as stubborn as they come.

It should come as no surprise,
animals are in all our hearts.

It should come as no surprise,
her Bamma is practically Betty Crocker.

It should come as no surprise,
her momma is a reader too.

It should come as no surprise,
her Opa set the bar for kindness.

It should come as no surprise,
her Grandma has a green thumb.

It should come as no surprise,
her cousins are silly to the core.

It should come as no surprise.

And yet,
every single day.

She leaves me in awe.


On The Back of the Door

On the back of the door that used to be the computer room and is now my mother’s bedroom hangs a pair of jeans. These jeans are too long and too wide to fit her frame. Their worn denim hangs alongside the light jackets and dresses and anything else she parks in that spot. They’ve been there for almost 14 years now. I know they are a comfort to her heart even if she doesn’t notice them much anymore. I can picture her running her hand along the soft seam and remembering.

In my childhood house I walk around and am assaulted by memories. Memories that run the gamut of happy to sad and every emotion in between and sideways. The frame is the same. Five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a large walk-in closet. Many of the contents have changed though the heart of the house remains: My mom.

That’s a big house for just one lady and a dog. Always a dog. Right now she’s in between, but it’s only a matter of time. “You need a smaller house,” is a line that my mom often hears from well-meaning friends and family. “This is too big a house for just you.”

Never mind that that house is filled often with the laughter of four girls giggling their way through the night.

Never mind that a few times a year it’s filled with eight girls wreaking havoc for a few weeks.

Never mind that us three come together to make our family of four plus a few spouses complete.

Never mind that the memories of our family of five are strong in this house.

Never mind that things have changed but you can see the signs if you look closely enough.

Never mind that I know all these things are important.

Never mind that I know the real reason why this house is just right for her.

It’s not her house. It’s their house. It’s the house they chose with two big kids and one just barely born kid a few months before a snowstorm would keep them nestled in their new home.  It’s the house where the Chicago Bears were always tops, even when they weren’t. It’s the house where dogs came and went but always stayed in hearts. It’s the house they became Bamma and Papa in. It’s the house that is filled with mistakes, triumphs, and love.

It’s the house with his jeans on the back of the door.

And it is just right.



The Meat Monster Has Taken Over the Fridge


We’ve been eating out for a few days. Or ordering in. Depended on our mood. It always had to be somewhere with smaller portions. We couldn’t bring home any leftovers. 

You see, the meat monster had taken over the fridge. This is a more frequent than I would like to admit occurrence that I may or may not have written about before. 

You see, the annual picking of the guys will commence later today. No, it’s not us girls bidding on the most eligible bachelor. We are all happily attached to our own personal child already. 

It’s all our guys painstakingly picking their guys. Which naturally calls for an insane amount of food to feed 12 hungry men. And because I am married to the BBQ aficionado we are of course utilizing the pit barrel smoker to do this thing right. 

Being married to the chef and residing in the hosting draft house has its perks. One of which being that our fridge has been consumed by a 20 pound brisket, 20 pounds of pork shoulder, and 6 slabs of ribs.  In the meantime, the nooks and crannies are filled with blocks of yellow and heavy cream for mac and cheese and all the fixin’s for some top-notch potato salad. The six varieties of sauce for the novices and a collection of odds and ends that will someday be a mean cole slaw top it all off. 

Did I mention only 12 men are coming over?

So the meat takeover makes way for no thinking dinners. There is not a nook or cranny available for other food. 

Hopefully I will be fast enough so that I can rabbit away a plate of my own before they descend and pick every pan clean. 

A Slew of Slicers 

There’s a slew of slicers in this challenge that have just made me stop and simmer in the awe that is their writing. 
Some I’ve known for years, working side by side. 

Some I’ve seen around and about working for the same district. 

Some I’ve been lucky to stumble across as I scroll through the daily call for posts. 

Some are the slicers that built the foundation of this challenge. 

I think of all as friends that I’ve met across these stories. Stories of families, students, houses, outings, and everyday noticings. 

All are inspiring and I am lucky to read your work. And have some of you read mine. 

I hope to continue to devour your words and maybe find my writer again someday. 

For now, thank you for being the writers you are. 

Oh, Hey There

A day off for all three of us. Go figure the rest of the known universe was also off and lo and behold, everyone decided to descend upon the same movie theater. 

Timing didn’t work out (should have been my first clue) so we ended up at a different theater than our usual haunt. We should have just called it a day and stayed home. Alas, we did not. 

Oh, that movie you advertised as standard is really in 3D? No thank you. We came at this time on purpose, believe it or not. We do not want 3D. Yes, we are sure. See you in an hour. 

Oh, you didn’t know that Election Day equals a holiday for most of the suburban schools where you are located? No worries. A line of 37 people long to get that promised popcorn is a breeze. 

Oh, hey there mom with your nefarious brood squeezing through the line? I see you chose not to notice the crutches and the giant brace taking up the space of one person. Please. Feel free to knock me over and tell me to get out of your way. Really. My bad. 

Oh, hi small theater space already filled up 20 minutes before the movie starts. This one might actually be on us. But didn’t realize we needed to be seated. With small children. 45 minutes before the movie starts. We will enjoy the view from those seats no one ever sits in because the view is skewed and the sound is deafening. It’s all good. 

Oh, hello Icee the size of my daughter’s head. Seems that the establishment from which you came does not believe in the white cherry Icee that every other theater in the state serves. Your bright red color is sure to give me stain removing duties later. Let’s do this. 

Oh, hi there movie that is all the rage. (I fully realize this is not the fault of the theater or its clientele but this crazy train has left the station, so hang on) You weren’t really that funny. You tried to teach a lesson, which is admirable. Which you wove into the whole premise of the movie through incessant dialogue, the opposite of admirable. 

Could be I need an attitude adjustment. 

But I know for sure that we will be going back to our accurately listed time having, large theater space rocking, white cherry Icee serving, kind clientele milling theater next time.

Well, HE Loves it. So…

I’m going to a concert.  Sure, I’ll tell you who I’m going to see.
No, you won’t know who they are. 

They’re name might be Sevendust, Nonpoint, Disturbed, Flaw, Shinedown, or maybe it’s Five Finger Death Punch. Those are some of the recent bands that have entered this conversation. 

Oh, you’ve never heard of them?
Told you so. 

Twenty odd years ago I went to my first concert with my now husband. Back then I was that country girl that was more into twang than bass. I hated this band. My ears hated this band. Their name is in that list up above. They were loud and it was crowded. And you had to stand. The whole time. But I was starting to like this boy I had known throughout high school, so I made it work. 

Over and over again I would attend shows with this boy. Some were unbearably loud and some were slightly more tolerably so. Some were in places you’ve heard of, most of them were not.  But he loved them. So I tried to do the same. 

Over time the music got into my head and settled in, growing roots that had some staying power. I couldn’t do the screamers but I found that “loud” music was actually pretty good. Ok, excellent in fact. 

My pseudo husband is the front runner of one of these bands. This man can sing. His band was on the light end of the gamut of hard metal rock. So I was told. I just knew that I could belt those songs out and loved every second of it. I also knew I could let those notes sail from the speakers at work. Not something I could do with most of what we listened to. Standing through the opening bands (never know when you might find a gem) was worth it to get to hear him sing. 

Fast forward through years of standing, rocking out, getting squished, and having a hard time hearing the next day and we end up at a theater (?!) for a show to see my man do his thing. 

As we were leaving my husband smartly asked me what I felt before stating his own opinion. 

Well. They sounded great but it was kind of boring. And really weird to have seats. 

Wait… What?!? 

No Win Tag

You know it’s on when she comes up and sits and just stares you down. She doesn’t even blink, I swear. 

So you reach out to tag her and off she goes running to the next room. Stopping just long enough to turn around and scoff at you.

The second your toe hits the threshold of the room she chose, she’s off like a rocket expecting you to follow. Of course you do, the stakes are high here. 

When she hits the dead end of the basement the table turns and now you’re the prize. Off you go racing up the stairs stopping at the top. 

It doesn’t take long. There she is peeking around the corner.  You take off before she can react and make it to the next set of stairs. Again she is sticking her neck out just so- trying not to make a sound. 

Now it’s your turn to run round the nearest corner. 

The game of tag without a winner.


2016 Poemy Monday, The Second

Settle in,
head hits the pillow,
earplugs in place,
silence reigns.

Dreams paint
a landscape created.
But through the silence
a sound cuts through.

A growling mastiff.
A motor running.
The rumble of a jet engine.
A wounded warthog.

All at decibels
that break through
the barrier of silence.
Sleep interrupted


Heave a sigh worthy
of an Oscar if anyone
were around to hear it.

Looks like another
night on the couch.
In the basement.

Silence reigns 

Bionic Me


I’m exercising. 

Physical therapy counts as exercise, no? 

My husband is continuously laughing on the inside as he tongue in cheek counts through the required reps for knee bends that he must be there for “just in case.” Part of me thinks he wants a front row seat to the train wreck that is me having to exert energy beyond walking from point a to point b.

My lack of love for all things physical is really biting me in the butt these days. I have a 6-year-old and I work in a school so I am no stranger to motion and movement. Does anyone notice me sweating around the brow when I jump in with a room of 8 year-olds taking a brain break? Most likely,no. 

Apparently I’m going to be jumping (ha!) on the exercise train. The most voluntary exercise I’ve done in the last decade is …oh, never mind. 

The problem I’m finding is that therapy is really helping my broken side. It hurts like hell but every session leaves me feeling like a superhero in the making. 

Why is that a problem? Well as most humans do, I have two sides. And the other side is wholly unfit. 

So I fear I’m becoming bionic.

But only half.

Daddy’s Got it Handled

Can he do it?

It’s Monday. You’ve got this. We love you! Love, Daddy.

Momma is usually the captain of the mornings. All the gotta get out of the house on time tasks are under her domain. But moving around is tough and this is why daddy is home too, to take on some of the load.

Have a great day sweetie. Guess who’s going to win the Scrabble match tonight? Love, Daddy.

I mean you have to get yourself ready, all the requisite things so you don’t look like a crazy loon upon arriving at work.

Happy Wednesday! Can’t wait to see you at the bus stop today. Love you! Love, Daddy. 

Then you’ve got to rise the beast and get the milk and pick out the clothes and get the clothes on and pack the lunch and get the backpack stocked and pick the stuffed friend that hides in said backpack and get the shoes on and get out the door. All without forgetting anything.

Good luck on your test today. You’re going to be awesome! Love, Daddy.

And the little love notes that get folded up and placed in between the juice box and the snack sized bag of three Chips Ahoy cookies. You have to have that.  Every day. Without forgetting.

Happy Dr. Seuss Day! Have a great snowy Friday! Love, Daddy.

I’m pretty sure it’s going fine.