Saturday, December 11, 2010


I don't have to hear the words. The music alone gives me images in my mind that set me back six decades every time I hear the song.
"City sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style; in the air, there's a feeling of Christmas..."
Those words conjure up a more than just Christmas memories, but Christmas is a good place to begin.
In my mind's eye, I see those so well-dressed city sidewalks. My sidewalks are in Bangor, Maine. The holiday style setting is fluffy flakes of snow coming down in abundance on the streets and sidewalks in 1949. Having just moved from the country and being dependent for a ride everywhere she went, Mama was having a particularly good winter. Living in the city meant if she couldn't walk somewhere, she could take the city bus. She had freedom she'd not had in...well, most likely in her life since childhood.
"Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile..."
Having that freedom meant she could go to one of those festive stores and absorb some of the holiday spirit simply by being one among many shoppers. She carried a paper shopping bag to fill as she found a variety of small, inexpensive, yet useful gifts for family and close friends. She seemed to like the shopping. The wrapping was passed to me.
There wasn't a lot of money, the gifts were simple, but there was a lot of love. World War II was over, the Korean Conflict had seemingly settled enough that life was back on track, and Daddy had found work again. Our family's two older brothers were now living the lives of young married men. My brother next in age to me and I were still at home. We had a faithful dog named Peggy, a wonderful cat named Tippy, and a comfortable place to live in a duplex that allowed growing kids and pets. Yes, there were lots of smiles over those holidays.
As yet there was no television in our home, but the radio played an important role. Christmas sounds were generally softer and gentler then than songs of today; however, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer had become popular just a few years prior, so don't mistakenly think the songs were all related to the birth of Christ. I well recall my early school year Christmas performances including, "Up on the Housetop" and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." During my preschool years, my favorite Christmas songs were "Silent Night" and "White Christmas."
"White Christmas" was likely chosen because we had a music score of it sitting on the piano in our living room. The cover picture showed a church building with a steeple and snowflakes falling all around. These were silhouetted in white against a dusty navy blue background. My mother played that old piano with much pleasure. I took her talent for granted; that is, I took it for granted until I tried doing likewise and learned that what came naturally to her wasn't carried through to my genes. She'd never had a music lesson; yet she could play the piano, sing lovely harmony (as she called it) and in her younger days, I was told she had played a pretty mean banjo.
The radio, some records, and Mama's piano playing wasn't the only music in our home. Once in a while Daddy would pull out his old harmonica and play a few tunes. I never grew tired of listening to his playing, but after a while he'd grow breathless or weary from the effort. The music of Mama's singing was also a part of the humming of our household. Once she heard a song she liked, she'd make an effort to learn to sing it. If she could inveigle me into learning the melody, she'd end up singing harmony. Like Daddy, I grew weary much sooner than she. Unlike my piano playing efforts, I did do well in the singing department as long as I stayed with the melody, so the end result was Mama and I made sweet music together.
And so, today as I hear the sounds, I see Mama enjoying life and join her in song, "Silver Bells, Silver Bells...soon it will be Christmas Day..."
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 12-11-2010

Monday, November 22, 2010


“Over the river and through the woods…”
Whatever happened to those rushing rivers I recall from my childhood?
And what about the snow-covered woods?
Well, at least, there’s still grandmother’s house, right? Oh, but it’s not a farmhouse way out in the country anymore, is it? No, a patio home in the city is more like it, or a condo on the beach. And “Grandmother?” When is the last time you called her that? It’s a good thing we have a song to remind us of the way things were.
It appears to me that new names have taken over in most families in the years since that song was written as well. Granted, most are versions of the old, but I love the imaginations of the minds that bring forth such endearing terms as Graham Cracker, Meemaw, Oma, Grana, Bubbe, Mimi, Nonna, and more. And as varied as the names, so too are the persons and personalities.
Some grandmothers are as the Norman Rockwell images project in our minds: fulltime homemakers who find delight in cooking and needlework. Some are Cagney and Lacey type policewomen working to “protect and serve” in our communities. Then, there are those we know in the public eye. Mary Travers, of the singing group, Peter, Paul, and Mary, comes to mind. Mary was a grandmother, not much older than I am now when she passed away, but through the beauty of her voice, she left the world with many recorded reminders of having been here.
I wonder if the homemaker’s decision was always her first choice in life. Do the ones who protect and serve really want to be ridding the streets of riff-raff? Would they rather be home reading bedtime stories, rocking and cuddling grandkids? And, as she aged, did Mary Travers love her life in the spotlight on the road, or would she have given it all away in exchange for the home-style life projected in Norman Rockwell pictures?
Earlier today the thought raced though my mind that I would rather be at my computer writing this article than in my kitchen cooking those goodies that my family expects and loves to eat as part of the holiday tradition! Wait a minute! Sitting at the computer instead of preparing a holiday feast? What is wrong with that picture? It appears that more than the rivers of my childhood, the snow-covered woods, and the name of Grandmother have changed as part of the holiday tradition. I am a grandmother who is supposed to be happily humming as I buzz busily around my little kitchen creating confections that the most discerning of palettes will long remember.
Perhaps I’d better think long and hard about the legacy I’m leaving if I choose the computer over the cooking. After all, if I don’t cook, will I be the cause of some future composer’s not writing a new song about “Over the rive…”; well, you get the idea!
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 11-22-2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010



Thursday, November 4, 2010


What is this description I keep hearing of the lonely, quiet life of the writer? Either I am not the writer I purport myself to be, or somebody has been misleading me!
I sit down with a story in my mind, eager to get it into my computer so I can share it with my fellow writers. I no sooner place my laptop in my...well, in my lap…when one of our small dogs jumps up beside my leg, stretching herself close to full length alongside my knee to ankle, on the lifted leg-rest portion of my recliner. Our other little dog climbs onto the footstool by the chair and stands there looking forlorn because he can’t jump up by my side with his Big Sissy Dog in his way. He knows that would raise a row and he doesn’t want to risk her ire. I take pity on him, make sure my computer is secure on its cooler pad, reach over and lift his small body into the space between the arm of the chair and my thigh.
Dogs settled, now I can get back to my story plots. Buzz-zzz…Buzz-zzz! Oh, hold that thought. The dryer announces clothes are ready to come out right now or they will end up with wrinkles set in them. Sorry doggies, got to dump you as I lower the recliner leg rest and head to the laundry room. It’s a good thing I have time to think about my story while I take care of the laundry.
Clothes taken care of, but more laundry is in the dryer now. Walking by the kitchen on the way to and from the laundry room, I notice the addition of dishes in the sink. Funny how those dishes just seem to appear as if by magic, yet they never seem to do themselves. Have any of you ever noticed that? There can be an empty sink and stovetop when a writer walks by to put the laundry in, yet the next time she walks by, not only is there a used frying pan on the stove, but also dirty dishes soaking in the sink as well as crumbs crawling across the countertop! Thankfully, the crawling crumbs are not alive! Might as well do a swift sweep with a wet cloth since I am walking by anyway. This may give me something more to write about.
Now the dogs want to go out. Good timing. I’m on my feet. I wonder how they decided to ask to go out now since I’m not trying to sit and write! Amazing! Good girl! Good boy! Out you go. Guess I’d better follow and clean up the yard before the yardman gets here. His careless stomping anywhere and everywhere, as well as running the lawnmower all over everything, just creates a problem if I don’t get out there before he does. Okay, doggies, time to go back inside. I’m not getting any writing done out here.
Ah, back in my recliner and at my laptop at last. “Ding!” E-mail has arrived. I’d better check that. I’m waiting for a response from the banker who’s working on our house refinancing. No, but one of my writing friends wants some suggestions with a place that has her stuck. She has a deadline and since I don’t, I certainly can help her. Oh, and here’s a joke I want to share with several friends. It has to do with writing and may be a prompt for some folks. We all need a laugh now and then. That reminds me, I have some snail mail get-well cards I must get sent today.
At last, back to my story: “Iva was an intelligent…”
“What are you thinking about for supper?” hubby asks.
“Supper? We just had breakfast a little while ago.”
“Yeah, but I was thinking if we are going to have something that’s frozen, we should be getting it out now so it can thaw.”
(Sigh)…and that reminds me of the groceries that need to be bought.
I just get back into the storyline in good shape when the phone rings, not necessarily for me, but enough to be a distraction. If it isn’t the phone, it is likely something on the TV whose sound I cannot escape during most daytime hours.
Speaking of escape, of course, there are occasions when I go away from the distractions of home, and work on my writing. Usually, that’s when my husband and I, or both of us, go for medical appointments or to rehab, where I know I will be sitting and waiting. The problem with most of my times away seems to be similar to the times at home: there is almost always a TV running in the background. If not a TV, someone is having a discussion a few decibels louder than necessary. So far, I am not deaf, but sometimes I wonder how long before I will be!
The library is a quiet place. I do go there from time to time, but I never thought to go there to write. I go there to find books so I can read books written by those who, I have been told, live the lonely, quiet life of a writer.
As I finish this writing, I wonder: should this be posted under truth or fiction?
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 10-4-2010

Friday, October 29, 2010


It was just a quick glance, but then a swift repeat. It was a little like looking into the face of my daddy. Even though I knew that was impossible, the longing was strong enough that I had to work to hold the tears away.
John was sitting across the table from me at IHOP where we were enjoying a Friday morning breakfast in the midst of running errands. We had already been to do our early voting before dropping some paperwork off at the bank in an effort to try to speed along official signing for the refinancing of our mortgage. I said, “There is a man who looks so much like my dad. Maybe you will be able to see him, too. He is just walking by. He looked at me and then he looked again so maybe I reminded him of someone he knows, too.” I smiled as I added, “Maybe a daughter.”
John said, “Yes, I see him and I see what you mean. He’s earthy.”
I added, “Not a businessman, in a suit.”
John then asked, “What year did your dad die?”
“1967. I was twenty-seven.”
“So your dad was thirty when you were born.”
We each sat with our own thoughts as we continued our meals.
Breakfast finished, we got up to leave and to my surprise, faced the aforementioned man-reminder-of-my-daddy. John had been sitting where he had the advantage of knowing this all along. Having never met a stranger, he had made a plan. I was behind him when he stopped at the booth where the man sat aisle side. A young woman was on the inside of the bench seat to his left. Across the table from them sat a gray-haired woman I assumed to be his wife. John said, “Sir, I want to thank you for coming into IHOP today. You reminded my wife of her dad who passed away in 1967.”
At the same time the young woman beside him said, “Ooh,” in a soothing manner, the man’s pleased response, directed to me was, “I hope you have good memories.”
I assured him, “Oh, I do.”
“Then I am glad I helped,” he said.”
I thanked him as I told the family to enjoy one another. I didn’t feel the need to remind them that life was unpredictable. My hope for that young girl was that she be able to enjoy her daddy longer than I enjoyed the company of mine.
The comfort for me when battling the tears earlier was in the knowing that Daddy is safe in his eternal home. Still, there are times when there is that great longing: I’d like a hug from my daddy.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 10-29-2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


A grandchild is born
Grandma lives far away
Yet gets to spend time
With him today

He snuggles in close
And takes a sweet rest
They rock and relax ~
His head on her breast.

He hears without knowing
Something quite neat ~
He’s memorizing
His Grandma’s heartbeat

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


My recent birthday celebration brought back more memories of my life as a little girl in Maine. As long as I can remember, I did not readily accept my position as both the baby, and the only girl, in the family of four children. I wanted a sister!

Since my parents didn’t seem to be doing anything about it by the time I was approaching school age, I decided to take matters into my own hands. As I stood by the back steps of house of my first-grade friend, I lied to her mother, “My mamma is going to have a baby.”

Standing quietly off to my right, with a smirk causing the dimple in his right cheek to deepen as I went on with my explanation, was my brother who was three-and-a-half-years older than I. “Of course Kent wants another brother, but Mamma and I want a baby girl.”

If I had to choose to make an announcement to the world, I certainly chose well. Not only was this woman the mother of my little friend, she also happened to be the village newscaster…except there was no radio station.

No matter your age, be sure your sins will find you out. It wasn’t very long before mine caught up with me.

My mother caught up with me, too. Is it enough to say she was not happy hearing the news through the grapevine about her expected baby…the one she was not expecting? And when she confronted me, do you think she really cared about my being unhappy that she wasn’t really expecting? Maybe if I had just kept quiet at that point, I wouldn’t have found out how swiftly her dainty hand could slather some Ivory soap across her open palm and the underside of her fingers. My eyes opened wider than my mouth as she then fast-swiped that bit of suds over my tongue, creating a taste I never wished to try again.

Many birthdays have come and gone since that long ago fall. In the meantime, one of my own children told a similar tale to his kindergarten teacher and class about an expected baby in our family.

I received a phone call. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Why didn’t I tell you what?” I asked.

“That you are expecting,” my friend who had grown to be as close as a sister replied.

“Because I’m not! Where did you hear that?” I asked, in disbelief!

“Steve said Chip told Mrs. SoSo you were sick and couldn’t fix his breakfast this morning because you were going to have a baby.”

I didn’t wash Chip’s mouth out with soap. He thought he already had enough punishment by being the middle child, the only boy, in a family with three kids. He just wanted a brother. What? Didn’t he know how blessed he was to already have not just one, but two sisters?

I never did get mine.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 10-4-2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Lately God has sent a special gift for my camera each day!
The tiny butterfly was about the size of a quarter; he was as still as could be in the tall grass of the back yard when I was out with our two small dogs a few mornings back. I figured he might be at the end of his life, or cold. I hoped he'd still be there when I'd had time to come inside, start water heating for poached eggs I'd promised to prepare for breakfast, grab my camera and go back outside. I hurried through my chores, but he was gone...then I saw him fluttering here and there. I was able to capture several shots. This was the best.

The following day as I went to mail a card or two I spied these little yellow flowers trailing out onto our front walk. If the yardmen had come when scheduled, these blossoms would have been destroyed. I have since learned they are weeds and should be quickly discouraged. Since that day, I have noted nothing but little buds in the remaining vine-like leafy trails of green. I am thrilled I was in the right place at the right time. The name, Indian Mock-Strawberry is appropriate because, except for color, they do indeed look like the many strawberry blossoms I have seen.

I mail many cards, so the next day as I walked back from our up-the-street-mailbox, I looked up and thought, "That sky looks like Someone dropped a bag of white cotton balls over a bright blue carpet! I'd better take a picture and post it on Facebook and say so!" So I did!

Yesterday I woke thinking, "I wonder what He is going to give me today?" With all these pretty pictures, I was starting to feel special and spoiled. We had some errands to run and when we returned, there in the front corner, furthest away from our walk, sitting up perky as you please was this Silver Leaf Nightshade! It’s another weed, another thing the yardmen should have trimmed away had they been here when they were supposed to come. I told my husband, "I must get my camera and try to take a picture of that. You're not surprised, are you?" He said, "No, you never met a flower you didn't want to take a picture of!"

Well, hopefully we won't be overcome by weeds before the yardmen arrive, the ones who should have come a week ago, who, when called said they'd be here Thursday. The same yardcare guys my husband called and left a message for yesterday, saying, "You told me you'd be here Thursday. It's now 4 o'clock on Friday. Please call." We have neither seen nor heard yet. Maybe today, but if not, perhaps I'll find more flowers...come to think of it, there is that carpet of tiny purple flowers in the back field...uh-h-h, back yard!

(C)Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 9-18-2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Have you ever seen a dog smile? All you have to do is look into the eyes and there is a certain something that says, “I am as happy as can be and I am showing it the best way I know how!” Well, that’s one way, but there is very definitely another!
A friend once gave me a little hanging plaque on which it is stated, “Dogs smile with their tails.” It made me smile. That was before we got Missy. In order to tell you about Missy I need to go back to the beginning and start with a little bit of Tanner’s Tale though.
Tanner was the dog of my heart. He came to me after a thorough search of much of West Texas and parts of the US that I would have traveled through…well, let’s just say, through thick and thin, to find the just-right Yorkshire Terrier puppy. He came to me after the horrific deed of having had to put down our almost 17-year-old faithful pal, my Little Doggie Tray, a dream-come-true from childhood doggie, also a Yorkie. Tanner was such a delight to watch as he saw everything from the perspective of a baby. When we’d go for a walk, he was skittish over an empty, noisy, plastic bottle, blowing in the street. It was new and different. By the same account, a leaf was something to peruse carefully, from every possible angle. I saw the world through new eyes as I walked with my boy, but everything came to a squealing halt one day when a cat entered our back yard, and Tanner did his duty of chasing it full speed ahead to make it leave. As he made a sudden turn, he also made a terrible sound that ended with a lame little doggie. He was two years old, too young to turn up lame from a mere fast run in his own back yard. A myriad of tests later we learned he had coccidiomycosis (a.k.a. Valley Fever), a fungal infection that entered his system through his breathing fresh dug dirt. A lot of construction was going on in our area, but Valley Fever was in Arizona, not this part of Texas! Wrong! We gave him medication and for a while he improved miraculously, but because the medication could damage his liver, we opted to cut the excessively strong dosage. That was the wrong thing to do. Tanner lost his courageous battle five years ago tomorrow after he and I spent the night in my recliner, knowing it was our last night together.

…but this is supposed to be about dog smiles…

Tanner was a handsome lad of twelve pounds when in good health. I wasn’t trying to replace him, but my arms wanted another Yorkie to hold, so I started searching the rescue sites, narrowing in on Yorkie and Small Dog Rescue (a.k.a. YSDR) in Houston, Texas. Almost immediately I saw a photo on their site that could have been a litter mate of Tanner’s, except she had a very curly tail like that of an American Eskimo dog! Not only did she look like Tanner but she was in Houston, which meant it was feasible that we could travel to pick her up if we could adopt her. We made application, were approved, and before we went to get her, my husband, John, said, “If we get her, I’m naming her Missy!” If he was agreeing I could have my heart’s desire I wasn’t going to argue about the name! We drove the six-hours-one-way trip to Houston and spent the first night in a motel with Missy. Having spent a few nights in motels with her since, we realize she thinks motel living should be for her. She likes the pampered life! Ha! But Missy came home with us and we got down to the routine of day-to-day living. We took her to our vet for a well-dog check-up and as he examined her, he started at her head, worked his way down to her feet, stopped at her left hind foot, looked me in the eye, and asked, “Did you see this?” I hadn’t, so said, “What?” She had basically the same missing toe structure back there that Tanner had had! Was Missy meant to be my girl or not?
Missy has settled in very well and now three years later, we cannot imagine what our life would be without her. Whenever she sees us putting our shoes on, she heads for her exercise pen, knowing she stays in there while we are out of the house. It amazes us how she reads our activities and almost reads our minds.

…but…about those smiles…

Often in the mornings while we are getting dressed for the day, Missy hops up on our high king-sized bed. She is no little Yorkie. It was long ago decided she is likely part Silky/part Yorkie so she is a good-sized, long-legged, strong girl of fourteen pounds. Once she is on the bed, she rolls around on the loose blankets and sheets. If they aren’t loose already, they will be by the time she finishes with them. She hides her face under the covers and we play, “Where’s Missy?” until she decides it’s time to poke her face out from under. That’s when she laughs at me trying to find her! Of course there is usually most of her body sticking out elsewhere while she’s playing her game, but on occasion she manages to hide her whole self under there. Then, when she emerges with a few bull-style, particularly unladylike snorts, she laughs at me some more, all the while showing me that dogs do, indeed, laugh with their tails! She plops down flat on her tummy, front legs ahead and her back legs stretched straight out behind. She stares straight at me. Her eyes contain a certain glow, but she holds her very curly tail at a high angle while slowly waving it back and forth, back and forth, over her now still back, all the while wearing a great big grin that says, “I am laughing! I am laughing! Can you hear me now?”

Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 8-22-2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010


JEEP. My name is Jeep. I got that name because I could go anywhere, just like the original advertisement for the vehicle said. At least that’s what they told me about how I got such an unusual name.

Somewhere in my wanderings I met Miss Tippy Toes. Let’s just say her name fit her real well, too, because she was so slight built she had to stand on the tips of those pretty little toes just to kiss the tip of my not so pretty nose. After a while, even though my nose showed the effects of a few fights from before I’d met her, Miss Tippy Toes and I tied the knot.

Looking back, I remember one early morning occasion when Miss Tippy Toes was home taking care of our newborn quintuplets. Yes, you read that right – five beautiful babies. Thankfully most looked more like their mother than me. By that time the honeymoon period had long passed by and Miss Tippy Toes and I’d each faced the realities of everyday real life necessities. She’d complain, “I don’t see why you have to work so much, and especially all night! 11-7 is a terrible shift! Can’t you find a job with better hours?”

I’d explain, “It’s the only time I can do the kind of work I know how to do. I want to be a good provider for you and the little ones. I’ve worked long and hard to perfect my skills and I am good in this field.”

On that particular memorable morning, as I returned, I laid my night’s work at the feet of Miss Tippy Toes. She speedily snatched the warm body of the recently deceased mouse between her teeth while simultaneously hissing, and swatting me on the nose with one of her pretty little white-tipped paws, just prior to heading back to where our kittens lay sleeping.

“Ungrateful wretch!” I heard the woman of the house exclaim with a slight chuckle. At the same time I realized she was calling my name while opening the bag of special kitty treats she shared with us on occasion.

“Jeep, you good kitty, come here!” never sounded more welcoming!

Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 8-14-2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Why does the issue of one’s health have to be so complicated that you are forced seek the advice of a specialist for every medical situation? It is becoming such that you require a specialist to determine which specialist you must see!
I recently had reason to discuss health concerns with the only nurse in the office of one of my many doctors. I was already frustrated by the fact that with so many physicians, I wasn’t sure which one to choose to seek answers and her less than compassionate repetitive responses of, “That would be guessing,” following her own several “suggestions” left me ready to seek another specialist. I am not suggesting I would be looking for one to deal with the issues of my mind although if this keeps up, that may become necessary, because “they” are driving me to distraction!
Following this “That would be guessing” episode, my circumstances have worsened, the issue I called about has shown no improvement, the added tension is no help, sleep is interrupted as I think of having to keep the already-scheduled appointment and face this less-than compassionate nurse and how I will deal with her. Likely she will have forgotten all about me but my short-term memory has not yet expired! Because I am God’s child, I definitely plan to make a considerable effort to bite my tongue but oh, think of the consequences of that! I’ll have to find yet another new doctor…a specialist, no doubt!

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 7-24-2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010


People who know me, really know me, know I don’t like change… BUT…thinking it over, I’m changing my mind!
For me, change has generally carried with it a connection to something unpleasant. I am not sure when it started but I suppose twenty-some moves in less than thirty years had something to do with it. The older I have grown the more my desire seems to be to stay-the-course, don’t rock the boat, and whatever else you may think you have planned for me, don’t even think of forcing me to leave the harbor until God Himself plans that final heavenly cruise!
However, more recently I have discovered winds of change blowing through my thinking. Often these days happy memories come to me of how Vietnam refugees would smile and say, “Same! Same!” when they understood a concept but I wear no happy smile when I think, “Same! Same!” as I perform some repetitive task. Pervasive thoughts include, “This is the same old routine day in and day out! Where is the challenge in this? How am I going to keep my brain alive doing this same old thing all the time?” As quickly as these same old thoughts invade, others pile in reminding me I should heed the admonition to be thankful I am able to do these tasks knowing at any moment things could…uh-oh, there’s that dreaded word again! … change.
Now I must re-think things: all along I have known that change is not all one way or the other: there is a matter of perception or circumstance here…some change is good, some not so good. Even in all the moving around I mentioned earlier I found both good and bad. Though searching for a new place to live, a different store in which to shop for groceries, and worship with a new church family in each new city was unsettling, it presented something of value at the same time. While new grocery store chains presented challenges for finding familiar items, we found fresh taste treats to try. Somehow our old furnishings took on a new shine in different settings. Maybe that was because they’d just been dusted prior to the move or perhaps freshly painted walls behind faded upholstery set it off in a better light! And going from one congregation of the church to a different one was like finding a part of the family we knew about but had not previously met, thus providing an opportunity to develop new, lifelong fellowships that even a future move never takes away.
Okay, with all of my wishy-washy talk of change, are you seasick yet? I think I’ll just sit here and row-row-row my boat a while and then as my grandfather used to say about the mailboat in his charge, ‘Sometimes we just let the current take ‘er!”
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 6-19-2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


A couple of mornings back I was given a gift sample packet of raw wool. This morning as I stood holding it in my hands in our home in West Texas I was transported back to Northern Maine to Crafts Elan, a shop where I worked for several years ordering, stocking, counting, rearranging, and pricing many varieties of yarns, among which there was some called raw wool that had a similar look to what I was now holding in my hand.
As I stood there, fingers smoothing the sample amount over the palm of my hand, reminiscing with wonder about how yarn is made from what was so recently on the backs of these marvelous sheep, admiring the beauty in the natural color combinations, I spoke to my husband, “I wonder if I could make a sweater out of this.” My reverie was promptly broken when he said, “You don’t have enough!”
Laughter emerged inside and out as I had to agree and the musing for the moment was broken, but it was enough for the brief period of time to have revisited places held dear in memory and then to return to the present, all thanks to the sharing of the shearing of the sheep.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 6-1-2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Red-orange and bright the proud flowers bloom above ground calling my camera and me,
But more than just for today I’m called all the way back to a place in a far memory;
Back when I lived by a beautiful brook where the water flowed by crystal clear
On its path to the sea with a musical song each child should be privileged to hear.
A close look within showed a tadpole or two, tiny tails in developing stages;
A swift scoop of the hand and some were saved to observe; an interest…no matter the ages.
Mamma stood on our porch far away from the brook, calling our ducks who’d gone out of sight,
She feared the foxes in woods and the dangers inherent with the coming on of the night.
Her oft-heard call, “Quacker, where are you?”…the answer immediate, came back…
The ducks were downstream but from far, far away, the response, a loud, “Quack! Quack! Quack!”
As with the ducks, I was called in for the night, away from my wandering ways;
I, too, like the ducks, enjoyed freedoms galore in those long ago childhood days.
Intermittent reminders come to renew the thoughts and memories to me from the past
Re-creating the land of my youth once again helping long ago visions to last.
I see the green of the fields where our daylilies grew alongside the banks adding pleasure;
Although only in memory I go back today, I am thankful for each childhood treasure.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-11-10

Friday, May 7, 2010


On my desk is a beautiful black, red, and silver 2010 high school graduation invitation, not so unusual at this time of year, but this one is very special. There is a silver tiger embossed against the black background along with decorative red writing and a shield in which there are four emblems that hold meaning to the graduates, but none of that is why it is so special to my husband and me. This invitation represents the culmination of years of study of our grandson, John E. Moore III.
When his dad, John E. Moore II was born, we nicknamed him “Chip” assuming he would be a “chip off the old block.” Little did we know how prophetic that would be! When John E. Moore III joined the family, my husband John declared, “My dynasty!” The new addition’s parents said, “We will call him, “Chi.” For those with difficulty working the pronunciation and seeing it only in written form, his nickname rhymes with “eye” but is part of the name of a sorority to which his mom belonged in college as well as the first three letters of his dad’s nickname. His parents were thinkers and his nickname has served him well.
This morning as I added Chi’s wallet-sized graduation pictures to a bulletin board above my computer, my thoughts wandered back as grandmother’s thoughts are allowed to do. As I recalled an opportunity I had to spend a few days babysitting Chi and his older sister when he was in kindergarten, I found it a little difficult to think how fast the years between my making cheese roll-ups for him before he went to afternoon classes that year and now, his senior year have passed. I suppose it doesn't seem all that speedy to him, but to me it seems almost as fast as the length of time writing that sentence took!
As I thought of all that has occurred in what seems so short a period of time, a slideshow of childhood pictures flashed through my memory, and I was thankful I was able to take the opportunity to tell him we are proud of him...the child he was and the young man he has become. And just as the thoughts of how he has grown, so too tumble in worlds of wonder of just who it is that waits inside to continue to grow, as he becomes an older version of John E. Moore III, a.k.a. Chi.
Go with God.
Love, Grandma

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-7-2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010


As I look back over pictures taken from my very early childhood on, there seems to be a dog by my side in a large number of them. I used to think it was because my mother thought it made for good picture posing but as I have grown older and my doggies even follow me into the bathroom so not to lose sight of me, I can't help but wonder: is the tie that binds a leash?
Early last Sunday evening when our kids were loading their car to head back home following a visit of a couple of days, we were in the process of saying so long to our daughter and her family when an adorable ball of white fluff came bounding across the street to greet not only us but our daughter’s small dog as well. Holly Doggie appeared more inquisitive than threatening to the newcomer, but to be on the safe side, I scooped the little one into my arms where she wiggled her friendly protestations at our trying to see her name on her attached tags. The tags had been taped together with black electrician’s tape so while I held her, our daughter tried removing the well-stuck tape. Finally the tiny round black tag revealed the name of DAISY and a phone number but Daisy was holding still for none of it. At that minute I said, “Daisy and I have met before!” About 6 months ago I mistakenly thought she was one of our next-door neighbor’s little white poodles. That day I had gone to the home of our neighbor’s mom because our neighbor was working, but it wasn’t their dog, so I had taken Daisy to our vet where they would find the rightful owner by using the tag info.
The phone number on Daisy’s tag came up as no longer in service, so after our family left, I used the rabies tag issuer phone number and got their answering service. The woman said the animal clinic folks would not be in until 8 on Monday morning. By then I had shut Daisy in our guest bathroom, a perfectly safe place for her away from our two very inquisitive Yorkies, but she wasn’t happy there, so I knew it could turn into a very long night for all of us if I didn’t figure another way. I wondered about Daisy’s people: were they worried about her and frantically searching, as we would be if one of our dogs were gone from home? We live near a fairly busy street and that is always a concern when these little dogs get out on their own.
Then, the idea struck! Why not use the reverse white pages to see if a name would come up for the phone number? Perhaps that way I could find a new phone number and let Daisy’s owners know we had her. Daisy needed help and her persistent barking was accomplishing little in finding her owners; perhaps my fingers walking over the keyboard would have more success. Once the reverse pages loaded and I had filled in the numbers, I could scarcely believe my eyes at the name that showed on the screen. It was our across-the-street neighbors, a young family we see from time to time, but little enough that we would recognize Daisy as being their dog.
It didn’t take long for me to scoop that precious little bundle up in my arms again and walk across the street, relieved to see that their front door was open, a good sign they were home. I rang the doorbell and as the young man approached, I didn’t hear exactly what he exclaimed but it was obvious he was stunned that I was standing there holding their dog. I explained how I happened to have her and said their back gate was ajar, but I added, “This is the second time Daisy and I have spent time together.” I briefly told him of the first meeting. He thought it was the woman from up the street that first time because we had used her phone so her number that had showed up when we left the message about finding Daisy.
Sunday evening: It was enough to know that sweet Daisy was home and we and our Yorkies could have a relaxing evening after all; that is, after our two gave me their version of the third degree, the special doggie sniff-all-over test, saying, “We know you have been with that other dog and we want to know more about her!”
Last evening as I headed out to get the mail just before 5, there in Daisy’s front yard was a very cute rust-colored Pomeranian with a unique bark. I knew he didn’t belong there but judging from his seeming fear I was quite sure he wouldn’t let me near to catch him. If I tried, I was concerned he’d run towards that busy street and traffic would be heavier at that time on a Friday. When I returned from getting the mail, he was in the yard next-door to Daisy’s house and seemed compatible with a kitty that was nearby. I came inside and prayed for his safe-keeping, feeling I could do no more, until I saw him out there again this morning. We have had several days of rain and now I grew concerned and determined to gather him up and make sure he was safe. It was 8 a.m. and I knew our vet’s office would be opened until noon so I dressed faster than even I would have thought possible, hurried outside with van keys and my cell phone in my jeans pockets, having unlocked the van on my way out the door.
At first I didn’t see the little guy again but then, there he was cuddling close to a fence in that yard next-door to Daisy’s house. I wondered if he belonged there but at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning I hesitated to ring a doorbell so I tried talking to him. He answered me, using his smoker’s voice, and each time I moved, he did as well, obviously insisting he didn’t want me to try to catch him. Then, I heard the voice of a woman from the back yard calling, “Russell? Russell?” I said, “Ma’am, Ma’am?” No response. Again she called, “Russell? Russell?” So I spoke more loudly, saying, “Ma’am, does this rust-colored Pomeranian belong to you?” She said, “Yes, he does. Just a minute, I’ll be right there.” Pretty soon she appeared at the front door and I told her of the previous evening as well as this morning and why I had been so concerned. She thanked me as she said, “I’ll have to check my fence.”
And for the second time this week, I came home to receive the once-over twice; twice because with two dogs, each one has to do their own interrogation. I assured each one that I had neither touched nor held the little guy, that he was really cute, but that he was now safe at home.
So ends my week of lost paws. No black-and-white picture-prints of this week’s escapades, but thankful memories it ended so well.

P.S. Several hours after having posted this, I was surfing the web and I learned that April 11-17 is National Animal Control Appreciation Week. I smiled, thinking Daisy and Russell wanted to make the work of the Animal Control officers easier so they "called" on me to help instead! ;-0
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-17-2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Is a person ever satisfied with his/her given name or would it be better to refer to the new little person as Male #1, Female #3, etc., until each is old enough to legally choose a name for him/herself? What, if any, significance does the choice of name attach through the years?
I grew up knowing my mother didn’t like her name, but I was contented with mine. However, once I was enrolled in the city schools and junior high years, the school system took over and said my previous name of Marilyn would now officially become Sue because they used first names. Junior high years were hard years for me but I doubt being forced to be Sue at school while staying Marilyn at home evolved into two separate and distinct personalities. Sue Libby earned good grades, won a spelling bee, and even became a recognized member of the National Junior Honor Society.
I chose marriage immediately after high school so another name change was imminent although at the time I had no idea how much so. My intended and I went to the town clerk of my current residence and she pointed out that my paperwork was incorrectly filled out as Sue Marilyn Libby. Well, that was my name, what did she mean? She showed me that my birth certificate stated I was not who I always thought myself to be. The order of my first and middle names had been switched on that official form so legally I was Marilyn Sue Libby. Oh, if those city school officials had only known way back when I entered seventh grade, I could have stayed who I always had been! Learning about it at the particular moment was enough to be thankful for; we joked that my future was secure because we found out before marriage, not after, thus making the wedding documents completely correct.
Since my husband knew me originally from school, he called me Sue and through the fifty-two-plus years our journey together became John and Sue to our friends and his family, John and Marilyn to my family. Most of the time now, I do not often hear the name Marilyn spoken except at the doctor’s offices where legality reigns. While Marilyn is a name I treasure because I understand it is one Daddy picked out, it belongs more to the little girl than the woman I have become. Perhaps because most of the loved ones who consistently called me by that name have gone from my life, either by death or by distance or maybe due to the fact that deep down inside it hurts to be reminded that I’ll never be that little girl again, tears come to my eyes as I sit here typing these thoughts. Could it be…is it possible that there is more to a name than what we see printed on paper?

©Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-14-2010

Monday, March 29, 2010


When I sit in my task chair at my desk in the early spring mornings as the sun starts it’s rise, it likes to send it’s glorious greeting directly into my eyes. I have a few choices: I can continue to sit in one position and allow the sun to permeate my vision obscuring the keys as I type at the keyboard and find out later what I really wrote or I can get up and close the blinds shutting out the sunshine-activation portion of my personality of the morning. Never having taken office classes, I pretty much need to see to type although I have been amazed at what occurs if I simply try to resist thinking and just let my fingers do the typing. It’s seemingly no worse than all the wrong hits my Parkinsonian misses have helped me manage lately anyway and if I sit long enough, the sun moves and I don’t have to. Added to that is the benefit I glean from the sunshine Vitamin D that manages to sneak though the layers of protective glass and soak into the skin of my face, so I can see (pun intended) I am in a win-win situation.
As I sit in the sunshine this morning I looked up to see the beautiful beams shining through a long-ago gift of glass, a stained glass piece made especially for me by dear friends in a shop named Crafts Elan where I worked in Caribou, Maine in the mid-1970s.
John and I had been on a trip to Texas and while there, he picked a Firewheel (common name Blanket Flower) I admired and gave it to me. I pressed it between layers of tissue and saved it in a book but always wanted it made into a stained glass hanging. When I asked the people where I worked, several took part in creating a lovely piece of art for me. Mary worked with dried flowers to create a design with the Firewheel at the center and Kolin arranged, designed, and soldered the stained glass piece. The owners of the shop allowed the work done by their artists done on shop time later presenting it with huge smiles as a loving gift to me.
Since that presentation day, the gift has been in many windows in many places: Caribou, Maine, Tucson, Arizona, Nashua, New Hampshire, Gifford, Illinois, and Huber Heights, Ohio. However, on its original trek little did we know that the handsome Firewheel flower that started out in Texas and traveled such a long way to go to Northern Maine would eventually find it’s retirement home in a sunny window back in West Texas.

Friday, March 26, 2010


The first line of the limerick was offered at:
when I was looking for writing prompts. I had no intention of poetry prompts such as these but when I went to the site and found this first line today, it struck a chord, perhaps because I had been for a haircut at 9 a.m. but more likely because I like the humor limericks are capable of producing. I came up with the following but I know my brain will not turn off with just this one so I am glad to know MADKANE plans to set more prompts out for future reference. I also appreciated the encouragements she added to the limericks folks had written.

A woman whose hair was quite gray
Decided to keep it that way
Some said she should change it,
Should style, rearrange it,
But the follicles are still gray today.

(c) Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-26-2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I fixed pancakes for breakfast this morning and as he took his first bite, my husband said, “perfection!” That started a whole line of perfection thoughts expressed that neither of us expected.
First, I thanked him and then I went on to explain how perfection is a goal I am always trying to attain, but he already knew that. As I continued to share my thinking, thoughts tumbled one on top of another quite quickly.
I explained how as a child I always felt so inadequate in my artistic abilities when creating with crayon on fresh pages of a new coloring book. It was obvious from the first marks of my crayon (even brand new pointy ones) that my work came nowhere near the perfection shown on the cover. While knowing my picture with crayons would not look exactly like the cover picture made with paint, my goal was still perfection. Looking back, I wonder if seeing that perfection set me up to fail.
In conclusion of my discourse, I said, “When Beth (our eldest) was in kindergarten, no wonder (name omitted- the mother of one of her classmates who had grown up in Germany during WW2) said children should be made to draw the pictures they color.”
Whether trying to draw my own pictures to color would have been more discouraging than coloring those in the already-drawn books or not is something I’ll never know. What I do know is I never reached perfection in the art of coloring exactly like the picture on the front cover. Worse still, the thought of my being able to draw anywhere near a representation of anything other than a simple kitty with long whiskers or a bunny with a powder-puff tail would require quite an imagination. Hey! Easter’s around the corner! Anyone want me to draw a bunny?

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Yesterday looking out the window at the front of the house as I sat at my desk in the office, I watched some birds come and go. Obviously some of the birds were simply passing through because the lovely little red-headed finches are not sights I generally see filling the tree out front. As I looked outside it seemed they decorated the previously bare tree like Christmas balls, adding touches of rosy-tan color here and there against the blue background of sky. Few of the usual birds were evident yesterday so where had those grackles and tiny brown sparrows gone? To my delight, some members of the bird families who visit more frequently, did arrive yesterday. Each time a mockingbird comes, I quietly beg, "Please build a nest in my tree," but so far my plea has fallen on deaf ears. Maybe I should hang a "Mockingbird Nest Space For Rent" sign on the tree. The visiting mockers always show keen interest in our shrubbery, the crape myrtle bushes, hop along the low window sill and look inside, and they try out the tree branches. Yesterday there was a more serious renter appearance to the mockingbird who was in our tree and either she returned several times, sent her husband to look, or perhaps both. Hope holds high that soon mockingbird songs will permeate the air around the front of our house. Therefore I went to bed with visions of the need to order a sign that says, "Caution: Mockingbirds Nesting"
"Why the need for a sign?" you ask?
I went to bed not only with visions of mockingbird songs coming from the nest in the front yard tree but the possibility of a protective mama and daddy mockingbird also coming from that front yard tree to bombard some unsuspecting visitor coming up our front walk that is lined up not very far from the tree.
Okay, I was having a sleepless night by this time. Thoughts were bombarding my mind more than any mockingbird ever thought of using in attacking a predator at its nest: Do we see if we know anyone who would like to or who can make a nice sign and should it be one to hang securely from a low branch of the tree or pound into the ground? Pounding the sign set on a stake into the ground certainly seems more appealing to me but then another vision (they come rapidly with sleeplessness) of the point of that stake being pounded into the ground and instead of it's going directly into the ground, it's pointedly landing dead-center and bursting one of the lawncare sprinkler system water pipes. A gushing spray of water is not the kind of bird bath that would seem welcoming to our new friends in their nest in the nearby tree, so you see, I have to settle the details regarding all these signs of spring before the mockingbirds move in.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Here in West Texas, we thought we had Spring this past Sunday. As we looked against the brilliant blue of the cloudless sky, we could see the spring green budding of the trees. Red bud and Bradford pear trees were bringing forth blossoms along with shrubs bursting with new buds bragging this year’s growth. A neighbor family was out for a stroll in the street with their infant in the carriage, their little dog on a leash, their young son on his bicycle. All around it was a pleasant day to rejoice in being able to be out and about. However, with the arrival of Monday and Tuesday, cold, dreary gray rain fell from the skies and drenching everything it landed upon. Not only that but it seems all the dampness of previous days combined with the latest abundance of moisture raised up mold spores from deep down because I have been battling the worst case of sinus difficulties I have had in literally years. I thought I started to develop a sinus cold, but this is no cold and by yesterday my taste was gone along with the back-up supply of how many boxes of Kleenex was it we had??? I wonder: if our doctors stop taking Medicare patients, do you suppose a plumber could help stop this persistent drip-drip-drip? Ah, well, this too shall pass...or else I will. My husband filled in the 2010 Census form and I put it in the outgoing mailbox for yesterday's pick up there at the corner. Hubby pointedly said something about it being correct provided neither of us passed prior to April 1st...his comment meaning that I had better get well! I’m glad he loves me.
Yesterday and today have been sunny Spring-like days but get this: the weather forecast for sometime this weekend is for a possible (likely?) freeze! Originally being from Maine, I thought the saying, “If you don’t like New England weather, wait a minute,” originated there; after experiencing the swift changes and hearing similar quotes about West Texas, I am beginning to wonder. I just hope there are no tiny featherless baby birds already in their nests or, if there are, that the mamas and daddies keep them tucked well under their wings. In the meantime, we'll enjoy the warmth and glories of the lovely rays of sunshine. I hope you have the opportunity to go and do likewise. And maybe once my senses have returned I can stop and smell the roses. Ach-choo!

Friday, February 26, 2010


For the longest time I have wondered where people get the idea that they could keep a journal of their dreams because either I had none or woke with no memory of having had any. I am not sure what has changed but something has made a big difference lately because I am not only dreaming but wake from the middle of many of my dreams and recall some portions in detail.
I don’t mind dreaming but I hate being awakened with unpleasant details etched into my brain such as occurred last Sunday morning when I was sitting in what was supposedly my car, in the process of being arrested! I had been driving quite quickly past what I knew to be a several story care facility and suddenly realized I was driving in strange territory. As I rounded a turn, there stood three people, two men caught with that deer-in-the-headlights look on their faces, and a woman whom I somehow knew to be a worker at the healthcare facility, obviously there not of her own free will. The men were easily recognizable as TV characters: one a take-charge bully, the other his follower, who had positions of authority, also in that healthcare facility.
I continued on by them to the end of that road and had to turn to the left where the road went off into a country lane that dead-ended. When I turned the car around, a gate had completely closed the road off and the bully-authority man was at the driver’s side of my car-now van-telling me I was now in some county and under arrest. (I guessed, because I had unknowingly crossed the county line.) My immediate thought was trying to make a run for it by ramming the gate but I thought better of it, and as I gathered my purse I wondered if my cell phone was charged, if at home I had left enough water in the dishes for the dog and cat. (I have no cat but two dogs…but this is a dream, right?!) As I started to unbuckle my seat belt and reach to unlock the driver door…I woke up. Whew!
Then this morning I dreamed I was riding a bicycle in a place best described as an English country village area except the vehicles and highways were typical of the United States. It must have been springtime because I was riding on wet, green, grassy areas alongside the road much of the time and when I woke I was racing on a very hilly roadside and going faster than an 18-wheeler truck that was traveling at a normal highway speed! No wonder I woke up. I don’t know how I rode that regular bicycle (no special speeds built in) around that village as fast as I did for as long as I did and as I was waking up I was aware that it was not smart to be riding at such speeds without a helmet! Indeed! Well, I am here to report I must be in very good shape to be able to ride that long, that far, and that fast.

I wonder what dreams tonight will bring!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


By the end of the day yesterday I was too tired to write about my new experience. When we moved to our new built-especially-for-us patio home almost five years ago, the shrubs and bushes were small but with age, they have grown. Over the years, the men we have selected to come to do our yard work have seemed determined to do exactly that and no more. Yard work, as defined by what gets done, means the grass gets mowed, the lawn, walkway, and patio area edged, and if we ask persistently the tops of the shrubs trimmed level. Oh, and the trimmings are blown away.
Unless we wanted to spend another inordinate amount of money we had no input as to the kind of shrubs, bushes, etc., that were used for landscaping across the front of the new house and with as little knowledge as either of us had in the field I think both of us felt it wise to leave that decision to someone who knew what would look and fit better with the area, we did.

In the meantime, I have enjoyed taking pictures of the growing, changing, blooming yucca cactus that sits center front, right next to the foundation between two windows. Wanting to know more about the Yucca Cactus, I read on the Internet that they are useful for other things than ornamental beauty and picture-taking, too. The big surprise to me was the fact they have edible parts: flowers, flowering stems, leaves, and fruits. I haven't tried eating any and would want proper guidance before doing so. I learned that when planted near windows, their sharp, pointy leaves are great burglar-deterrents. Once planted in the ground they seem to thrive requiring little care. That “little additional care” part is a good thing because I really hate to have to beg for help and the local landscapers...uh-h-h...make that seem to have their work already cut out for them.
...but on to my new occupation...once again I went to the Internet because our front yard needed help and, begging not being my style, I thought given proper guidance I might be able to take care of things myself. Putting in the words, "Pruning Crape Myrtle" was all it took to help me locate a wonderful video that took me step-by-step through the process necessary for learning exactly what I needed to know how to do.
With two crape myrtle trees in the front yard, all I needed now was a good day and the equipment for the job. We already had a pair of long-handled loppers that I figured would work well enough. I took a sturdy saw-tooth knife in case I had to use a saw-type implement along with a small pair of house scissors to clip off the tiny branches and I was in business. I ignored the advice about garden gloves being part of the equipment. I think I had some out in the garage somewhere but when I was ready to go I didn't want to take time to hunt for those, so out I went on a fine, breezy, sunny Saturday morning! Having seen that video and read an article by a man from Texas who was very upset with the way most landscapers simply lop off the tops of crape myrtle bushes/trees, I think the words of the teaching video and the article I'd read ran through my head most of the time I was working. While I didn't finish as quickly as the man in the video did, neither did it take me all morning to complete the task and our crape myrtle trees look fairly decent considering they are standing naked of their coverings. Another good thing about the morning is I came away with just a tiny poke in my hand but a wicked reminder that the yucca that stands guard next to the crape myrtle is truly a pointed deterrent. No wonder the yardmen don't want to work around our shrubbery! I'm not sure I do anymore either!

Smiling anyway~

Friday, February 19, 2010


A few days ago I was sitting in a waiting cubby in a doctor's complex that rather resembles the inside of a mall in that there is a large open area with individual doctor's offices opening off the wide walking areas. The first thing I observed about a particularly busy toddler (whose name is changed to protect the innocent) was her mother's outburst, "Susie, stop that!" followed by the mom's explanation to the man as he passed, "She hit you because she was mad at me." As he continued to walk away, he laughingly looked back over his shoulder and said, "I thought she was giving me a high-five." Before long, "Susie" was checking out much of the large area, including where I sat. She came pretty close and used her eyes to investigate my purse. I could see the wheels turning in that cute little head and for some reason she opted to have her hands leave it alone. I was glad she made that choice on her own because even with a gentle smile and a kind manner, an ogre looks like an ogre to a toddle when a momma is pretty far away and I didn't want to have to become an ogre in her eyes by having to be the strange woman who said, "No." Deciding to leave me for fields afar, "Susie" somehow ended up with a Styrofoam cup with water that, rather than to be used for the boredom of the obvious, proved too much of a temptation, so she dumped it on one of the waiting cubby chairs not all that far from where I was sitting. This time Momma was not far away and neither was the hand that swatted little "Susie" so swiftly on her little butt that a bee sting couldn't have come any faster. Momma said things like, "No, don’t do that!" and proceed to clean up the water spill , and when she was done, I asked if I could speak to her well aside from the hearing of anyone who had seen what went on. We went to an area where we could talk with no one else hearing and I expressed my concern to her that a lawyer had once told my daughter that spanking in public was a dangerous thing to do because people might get the wrong idea, that it should be done in private. She immediately became defensive and this is the gist of what she said, "I'll discipline my child as I see fit. I barely tapped her. She had on a thick diaper!" I quickly explained that I meant no reference to her disciplining action, that I meant sincerely protection to her right to do so, but my concern was to help her keep her other words... not lose her to someone's misguided so-called good intentions. Because I was nervous, I wasn't explaining very well, but it seems the young mother saw through my sincerity and understood what I meant. She said, "Well, here in Texas, we are more liberal..." and we parted with what seemed a sincerely friendly understanding as we went back to our separate areas of the seating cubbies.
...however...the more I have thought about this, the more I have wondered:
1.) That little toddler hit at that man. Why? Is she used to being hit?
2.) Why did I feel so comfortable to recommend that this young mother protect her right to discipline her child without possible interference?
I think the answers to these questions are one and the same: I judged from my own life experiences and the woman I saw before me did not appear to be a child abuser. I hope for the sake of her child I am right because I would not want to send the mother into hiding with her abuse; on the other hand, I would not want to see a well-disciplined child sent into the foster care system because someone felt it their duty to complain because a child was tapped on the butt through the thickness of a diaper in a public place. I never did such a thing before in my life; would I do it again? I truly don't know. I guess I'll have to wait and see. At least I have time to pray about it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


There is a restlessness within me of late that refuses to go away. I have tried to think of the reasons and come up with one as being not entrenched in a book of particular enjoyment but I know that is not the complete answer. Where is the solitude I often crave? In delving a bit deeper into my mind I realize the desire to write weighs heavily but the directions seem so multifaceted that I am not sure which way to go. I know only one direction is not the answer because there are several roads I want to travel in writing.
In looking for inspiration this evening I pulled a couple of my writing books from the bookcase. One is not just a book but a writing kit that includes a deck of cards with inspirational quotes and the quote I chose for encouragement tonight indicates I should follow what I love and it will take me where I need to go. I am not sure I'd say I love writing. It is work. However, I do enjoy the results of the process and the play of putting words together. I do love telling stories and I have many tales to tell so I'll continue to persevere. However, the question remains: where is the peace I need to find within (and perhaps wthout) so I can concentrate and spill those words from inside onto the road of life where I can share them?
Is there someone out there who has a GPS to loan?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Good Tuesday Afternoon!
I know as parents we are supposed to set the example for and teach our children well but I am here to let you know that there comes a time when you have done that, that your children are more than capable of setting examples and teaching the parents well. I want to say a special thanks to our daughter Beth for the things she keeps teaching me. The template for this blog and several other creative displays on my sites have come about as a result of Beth's having introduced them to me. As most know, I am particularly fond of daisies and pastels and when I found this background there was no need to look further.
The idea for this blog is pretty much as the introduction indicates: today's tidbits. There are things I'd like to share and this seemed a good avenue to try. I may add to it several times in a day or maybe skip a day or two, depending on what each day brings. There are days that we keep pretty busy so there might be a lot to share but no time to tell it while other days there might be a lot of time with little to tell.
This past week was unique for us. Being retired we are frequently amazed at how fast one Friday follows another but last week we were really ready for Saturday which seemed to linger longer in arriving than we'd have thought possible. Eventually it did appear and we were thankful for the respite from a week that had been busy with either a daily doctor visit or a rehab appointment, meaning we had to be out every day and we are just not used to being on the go so much anymore. I don't know if that wore John out or he picked up some germ or what but he has been suffering the "mully-grubs" starting with a fever yesterday so no rehab. The fever seems gone today and rehab is due tomorrow; we'll have to wait and see.
Even the dogs complained about our being gone so much last week. Missy who is generally so compliant about going directly to her ken-pen when she sees us put on our shoes, still did so, but as we got ready to go out the door, she started to bark and jump. You'd have thought her hind legs were made of pogo-sticks built on the finest of springs available. Since Missy was barking, Max thought it important to join the doggie chorus and added his voice to the mix. That is not the choicest way for us to leave our dogs but we had to go with the hope they settled once they realized we weren't giving in and they weren't getting their way. It's a good thing we had kids first who trained us well!
Last evening we all watched the Westminster Dog Show while Missy laid to the left on my recliner foot rest and Max made himself at home on my right thigh. That was after Missy
had first climbed up on the love seat to gain a close-up view of the TV, perhaps with the idea she could get in the ring with those dogs she saw there; once she realized that was a no-go, she came back and settled down to relax and watch the show. After the Silkies and Yorkies were eliminated from the competition I fell asleep and missed the last 30 minutes of the show. How those judges could not see the quality of those two breeds is beyond me! I did learn that the Westminster Kennel Club has WKC FAN on FACEBOOK, something I am sure will please our daughter Kim immensely, particularly when she learns of my comment to John that if anything could cause me to join FACEBOOK, that would probably be it! Ha! (A little joke there...)
Enough of my spouting for now. I wrote all this on my laptop once and somehow it got lost so let's hope the desktop is more successful.
Smiles anyway~