Monday, March 31, 2014

Love, Mom

My Son

I remember when I carried you
We watched my belly grow
We talked, we dreamed, prayed for you
with a love you'll one day know

We hadn't even met you
but loved you from the start
the tiny little person
that forever would steal our hearts

We rejoiced at your arrival
our joy we could not hide
our gift sent straight from heaven
we hugged, we laughed, we cried

No schools and no manuals
but we did the best we knew
to prepare you for this journey called life
The years they quickly flew

Yesterday is now today
And the time for me has come
to silently appreciate
the fine man you've become.

I know you'll both be happy
as together you share life
and I vow to give you both my love...
My beautiful son, and your beautiful "soon to be" wife.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Today, I will relish each drop of sunshine
Today, I will smile at everyone I see
Today, I will do something special "just for myself"
Today, I will do something special for someone else. 
Today, I will make positive contributions to "our" planet
Today, I will be grateful....for the opportunity 

Today, rather than rebuke myself for lack of accomplishment, I'll applaud myself for moments well spent.

Tonight, I will prepare myself for an even better tomorrow......... 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Band of Gold....

My eyes can no longer see the phrase so lovingly inscribed in the tiny band of gold, but it matters not, as it’s eternally inscribed within the confines of my heart.

“Your heart is my loves keeper.” It reads… these words written by the love of my life… inspiration that I still live by today.

 Love in its splendor and magnificence while beautiful, is not enough to provide the longevity we seek. The complexities of life have a way of be challenging our loyalty and attempting to disillusion even the most loving of couples. But, all is not lost.  True love is resilient; filled with honesty and radiance capable of providing comfort and light even in the darkest of times….but true love takes effort

                                             What I've learned…..

The responsibility of “keeping each other’s love within your heart’s” is sacred, and should be treated as such… today,  I will leave you with loving advice that’s withstood the test of time………

4” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Friday, March 28, 2014

Three Brats!!

Tomorrow is a very, very big day. The wedding shower!!  As the mother of the groom, I want everything to be absolutely perfect right down to the wrapping paper..... In my minds eye....I can visualize exactly how I want mine to look....... neat, crisp, corners with just the right splash of color, perfectly accented with perfectly curled ribbons and homemade bows.........  there's only one problem....

When it comes to wrapping presents, I have, well.... shall we say ... limited skills?

Nonetheless, I am determined to do this myself.....

Taking a deep breath, I promise not to give into intimidation.....but a sigh escapes me as I note the variance of shapes and sizes, and can't help but listen to the voice that's taunting me in my head.... had an entire week to wrap these, but you waited until today...."

Undaunted,   I reach for a paper and scissors, ready to begin. Carefully, I cut just the right amount of paper to cover my table top. That should be perfect, I think.  Gently I press it smooth  with my palms to eliminate any chance of wrinkling....

"Nice!", I whisper to myself.

Making one final cut, I allow the rest of the paper to flow to the floor....I'm on a roll..... Corner one....neatly folded, tape, nice.....corner two....good.....

Wait......what's that? 

....crunkle, crunkle...thump...crunkle.....

"What the....? Oh No!!"  I yelp, trying to retrieve what is left of the wrinkled paper on the floor.

"Meow" her gleeful response ......and she isn't  alone....

All three of them are here,  under my table frolicking like happy children in their self created toy-land,  "eyeballing" boxes, rolling on paper and batting at the mound of ribbons.....

Apparently, my limited skills are not the only problem I have.....

So, I must gather up my three brats and prepare to lock them safely away in another room, and  I share with you  a delightful post I found on  explaining the reasons why.

My sincere apology for not writing it myself , but I really do have to get these presents wrapped sometime before tomorrow......PLEASE....wish me luck!!

Wrapping Presents with a Cat

  1. Clear large space on table for wrapping present.
  2. Go to closet and collect bag in which present is contained, and shut door.
  3. Open door and remove cat from closet.
  4. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.
  5. Go back and remove cat from cupboard.
  6. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors, labels, etc. . .
  7. Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.
  8. Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since last visit and collect string.
  9. Remove present from bag.
  10. Remove cat from bag.
  11. Open box to check present, remove cat from box, replace present.
  12. Lay out paper to enable cutting to size.
  13. Try and smooth out paper, realize cat is underneath and remove cat.
  14. Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.
  15. Throw away first sheet as cat chased the scissors, and tore the paper.
  16. Cut second sheet of paper to size - by putting cat in the bag the present came in.
  17. Place present on paper.
  18. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don't reach. Realize cat is between present and paper. Remove cat.
  19. Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.
  20. Spend 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from cat with pair of nail scissors.
  21. Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.
  22. Look for roll of ribbon. Chase cat down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.
  23. Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two-directional turn.
  24. Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to cat's enthusiastic ribbon chase.
  25. Repeat steps 13-20 until you reach last sheet of paper.
  26. Decide to skip steps 13-17 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper. Retrieve old cardboard box that is the right size for sheet of paper.
  27. Put present in box, and tie down with string.
  28. Remove string, open box and remove cat.
  29. Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for locked room.
  30. Once inside lockable room, lock door and start to relay out paper and materials.
  31. Remove cat from box, unlock door, put cat outside door, close and relock.
  32. Repeat previous step as often as is necessary (until you can hear cat from outside door)
  33. Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet, but do your best)
  34. Discover cat has already torn paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last year's paper. Remember that you haven't got any left because cat helped with this last year as well.
  35. Return to lockable room, lock door, and sit on toilet and try to make torn sheet of paper look presentable.
  36. Seal box, wrap with paper and repair by very carefully sealing with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst areas.
  37. Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself on completing a difficult job.
  38. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to make drink and feed cat.
  39. Spend 15 minutes looking for cat until coming to obvious conclusion.
  40. Unwrap present, untie box and remove cat.
  41. Go to store and buy a gift bag

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Sapphire Promises
Sapphire Blue the sky
Dappled with Marshmallow Clouds
Sweet spring promises

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A City Girl at Heart!

Memories of my beloved city.....

Red lights, Green lights, flashing lights
blinding reflections of sunlight

Throngs of faceless strangers
Native and visitor
walking together
shoulder to shoulder
fast paced
destinations varied
so many to choose from
shops after beautiful shop

Peppers, Onions
Garlic, sauces, gravies
Pasta and rice
Fish, Poultry, meat
Ethnicity in all her Glory
Some healthy
Some not
all supreme

Popcorn, Ice cream
all flavors
fresh bread, cookies
Fresh spices
Fresh brewed coffee
Italian Ice

Sirens, horns, screeching tires
Voices nondescript
Diverse slices of music
Pulsing from corners
Shops and cars
Chaotically harmonious
to my ears

My senses satisfied, I casually stroll back to my peaceful tree-line street, and my stomach growls in anticipation. The mouthwatering aroma or pastrami emanating from the small brown sack is beginning to take it's toll.   

Shifting my weight, I adjust the shopping back of second hand books and pick up my pace. The melodious sound of St. Michael's bell's chiming in the background, add to my exaltation.

This has been a very good day, I smile.

Oh, how I miss you my beautiful, glorious city........I will always be a city girl at heart! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014



It's been 546 days
9 hours and 58 minutes since I last smoked a cigarette. 
But quitting smoking is not what this blog is about.....Instead, I've decided to talk about about the reasons 
I- (we) ever started such an awful habit to begin with
As a baby boomer, smoking....most definitely, was a generational thing. 
Today, smokers are forced to hide in a dark corners and back alleys for fear of societal flogging.
But things were different in my world...
So, rather than write, allow me share with you in pictures (each worth 1000 words) 
how differently "my" generation portrayed smoking. You'll see doctors and dentists, actors, actresses, athletes, and mothers.... You'll see promises for a better life. Be it beauty,romance, happiness,  patience, self esteem, sex appeal, or adventure, those little cylindrical rolls of tobacco promised to give us the one thing we really wanted.
To be cool!!
So take a jaunt with me 
 down memory lane
and be amazed
at what my
taught us
Smoking "was" the epitome of cool!




Monday, March 24, 2014

The Gift of Gloom...

The sky
steely gray
hovers woefully
over the horizon of barren trees
Broken, brittle, battered by hostile winds
desolate, lifeless
abandoned by God.

An endless wintry drizzle chills me to the bone
adding to the familiar mood of melancholy
While nature meticulously paints her picture of gloom and despair
the lonesome song of a train whistle accompanies her in perfect harmony. Her portrayal of sadness, artfully drenched in aesthetic appeal

These days should be embraced, not shunned.

Giving us permission to "feel" blue
and perhaps shed a tear or two....
they promote us to heal our wounds from

For today's gloom is but a precursor
to a bright and beautiful tomorrow.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Book "Preview"

A dear friend of mine is writing a book. Last week it went to the editor for final editing, and will be ready for print in the blink of an eye. I am honored to say that I was one of the lucky ones, who had an opportunity to read her original manuscript.....and quite honestly I cannot wait to get my hands of the finished version(s)!!

Her book struck such a cord with me I had to read it in chunks. A message so powerful, so cleansing, I needed the time to absorb the myriad of emotions it evoked. It forced me to look at myself through the eyes of truth...Forced me to take ownership of my own problems, I found a fabulous sense of freedom.....

This book can and should be read by everyone, but for people like me it's "a must read, never leave home without it, pocket book version, second copy on night stand, big decorative coffee table version for quick reference" kind of book. 

The author writes with so much love, it seems to ooze through the pages, as gently she invites us to examine the very core of our being; providing us with guidance every step of the way, as we seek to find the happiness that is our birth right.

While this book "preview" is for everyone, I am especially focusing on those who are hurting, We CAN do this.....and it's not about fantasy worlds or magic's about learning to live and love ourselves again. 

I absolutely love this book, but more than that, I love this author. She, has the power within her fingertips to make a difference to people like me, who sometimes still get lost in the shadows of heartache or loneliness .

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Go Ask Emily...

Every Day, as I go out into the world, I see people of varying ages come and go.  It rarely fails, as I warmly greet a person of the “newer” generation, I’m lucky to get a return nod or a quick smirk before their noses are buried deep in their cell phones, thumbs running rampant on the touch screen surface. In the past, I placed my confidence in the more "mature" generation, knowing my warm greeting would ((almost)) always be returned with a smile, and eye contact; throughout the entire interaction, pleasant or not, they were usually engaged completely.

As a member of the "mature"  generation, I find myself sinking deeper and deeper into the quicksand of social faux pas , I once found offensive.....

Don't get me wrong.....

I still get irritated with the chronic cell phone-user; however, I personally am guilty of the same thing – .  When I am at a restaurant with friends and everyone has their phone out and the silence takes over the table, I stare at the top of my friends’ heads, the awkwardness overcomes me and I find myself reaching into my purse digging for that electronic security blanket.....  

So, rather ranting about my personal ideas about cell phone etiquette,  I decided check in with the "Queen" herself,  Emily Post. 
Here are a few quotes of my favorite quotes from her website.  What about text messaging at the dinner table?” it was an easy answer – “It’s not good manners!”


“The guideline is that you do not text message when you are involved in any type of social interaction – conversation, listening, in class, at a meeting or, especially, at the dinner table. If you really need to communicate with someone who is not at the event – or at the table – excuse yourself and then return as soon as you can.”
And my personal favorite:
"If you're having dinner with friends and family, be with them"…..
Today, I Darlene, promise my friends and family to be with you as we meet to break bread, and I humbly request they extend the same courtesy to me.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Consumed by the Cloud of Complacency

A dark, hovering mist of complacency had gathered around them
But they didn't fear.
Instead, they embraced it, as a knight would his shield
"Not seeing"  the suffering would make things  easier.
They didn't want to get involved, and why should they?
After all, their lives were good.

For awhile they lived the high life 
On top of the world they celebrated, occasionally looking down on those less fortunate 
With a pretense of sadness.....they pretended to care...
They didn't have to, their lives were good.

But then, one day "It" happened to them
Unprepared, "It" proceeded to rock their world.

With dazed eyes, they watched in disbelief
The surreal scene unfolding before them
Fire, smoke, shrieking sirens, tears...
Brains overloaded with chaos, screams of terror, pain.

Paralyzed by shock, they stood; still statues, trying to make sense of it all
"This can't be happening, not to us.
Why had nobody warned them, they wondered,  or had they?
They couldn't remember.....they'd never bothered to listen. They never had to...
Their lives had been good. 

Seized by a panic 
They were forced to seek comfort in
All they perceived to have wisdom
Preachers, scholars, God, the Bible...
Looking, listening, praying for 
A word
A gesture
A smile
A sign 
And they learned.....

They learned to channel fear into compassion and brotherhood
They learned to expel their prejudices, and dismiss judgment
They learned what it means to have faith... 
They learned that in unity there is hope....

Years came and went
Memories faded
One by one the people went back to their own little worlds
Surrounding themselves with locked doors and high fences
they lulled themselves back into a sense of security
Forgetting all they had learned ...
Until, once again, they found they had been
consumed by the cloud of complacency.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The friend in my drawer

Okay, I'll be the first to admit you you're not quite as "cute" as you used to be, and while my friends are too tactful, say it, I'm pretty sure they wonder why I continue to wear you. My guess is,  if you were able to speak, you'd ask me the very same thing. This morning as I pulled you from my dresser drawer, I could almost hear you're groan.." Please, don't you think it's time to let me go?"

No way, I smile cheerfully yanking you up and over my hips....."I ll never let you go"!

The truth is: I love you you!

I love you, in spite of....noooo, because of your imperfections. Your once crisp indigo denim has long been reduced to faded threadbare patches soft smooth fabric, divulging your true age. Random blotches of color tell colorful tales of the over zealous bleach bottles, summers of yard work, and painting projects gone awry. Your fraying edges, (which I prefer to call fringe), reveal endless memories of me walking barefoot, on sidewalks, blacktop, and lush green grass, absorbing the warmth of sunshine with every spirited, loving life, you were there with me....through good times and bad.....

So today, as we once again  face the world together, I will not be apologetic for my lack of fashion. Instead I will revel in the fact that I can always find a comfortable old friend just by looking in my dresser drawer

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Song that shall not be named....

Have you ever done something that may seem strange to to others, but makes perfect sense to you? 
You may not even realize when it happens, but there's a good chance somewhere down the line your mother or father have done the same thing. 

I came to this realization recently when a certain Beatles' song came on the radio. Now, I am actually a fan of the Beatles and pretty much love every song; however, when this particular song came on I instantly, without thinking, changed the station. I've always been superstitious when it comes to this song. So, superstitions in fact, I will not even reveal the name of the song. 

Upon reflection, I remember my father doing the same thing, with the very same song when I was little. I now realize, his superstition became my superstition. 

So, the song that shall not be named will go down in infamy, and I don't even know why. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Three minutes

Close your eyes, and visualize for one minute faces of all those you love. Can you see them? Pretty amazing, aren't they? 

Now, for another minute think about all of the wonderful things your loved ones deserve. 

Finally, take one more minute; but this time try to see yourself  through their eyes..... 

Are you starting to get the picture? 

If you can see yourself through the eyes of those who love you, you'll know how truly amazing you are. You deserve the best that life has to offer....  don't ever settle for less.....

If you don't believe me.....just ask them! :-)   

Monday, March 17, 2014




You walked my way
I did not speak
but hid my tongue
within my cheek

I walked, you followed
with that phony smile
you asked me to sit 
and chat for awhile

But I've learned your ways
so I refused
to be a part
I could only lose

So Syrupy sweet
you appear to be
but your ugliness
is now clear to me

So I'm done with you
and your cutting words
your love of gossip
is just absurd!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Keep the luster alive.....

Love and friendship, like precious diamonds, have many facets than cannot observed with the naked eye. Sometimes we forget that ALL facets are equally essential to the unique brilliance we desire....When the little things cease to be important, we begin to lose the luster...... til one day we wake up and wonder how we ended up with a dull piece of glass.....

What inspired me to write these words?  I don't remember.  But I do know from personal experience they are key maintaining a long, meaningful relationship. 

My son is getting married.....

For months, my daughter has been working on creating the perfect scrapbook for the bride and groom to be. Pages and pages of advice, pictures, quotes, and words of wisdom from friends and family members. 

Of course, being procrastination queen,  I've yet to finish mine, and am in a time crunch.

 I have words that endlessly twirl in my brain; pages I've written, only to be tossed aside. 

This is important, and I am kind of liking the words I wrote above.

After all, isn't it little things that count? ....the smile, the caress, the kind words, the gratitude, the " not going to bed angry", the I'm sorry's , the listening, the sharing , the forgiveness.....the making time for each other, even when the rest of the world seems out of control. 

So, while I haven't still haven't decided all my "my page"  will entail, I do it will include

Remembering the little things, and keeping the luster alive. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I See Treasures.....

                                                           What to do you see?
I see an eighteen year old boy, going out on his own for the very first time.
I see a mother, crying, praying, pleading with God to keep her only child safe.
I see a brave, strong, handsome young man, wearing a uniform, proud to serve the country he loves..
I see a girl, her pretty eyes brimming with tears, clinging tightly to the boy she loves, begging him not to go.
I see the sadness and pride of small farming community as they watch another one of their own go away during war time.
I see the Korean War.
I see vintage stamps adorning the fragile, "yellowed" envelopes that are filled with sweet surprises.  
I see an opportunity to follow a mother's heart as it pours into each envelope; hopes, prayers and words of wisdom for her boy overseas.
I see a son who anxiously anticipates receiving them, and never fails to respond. 
I see a form of precious communication that needs no help from: facebook, twitter, email, or text messages. 
I see beautiful cursive with perfect punctuation.
I see black and white photos curled with time
I see "slices of life" lovingly packed away.......for me..... my grandchildren....
I see a world, as viewed through the eyes of my ancestors.
I see treasures.........

Friday, March 14, 2014

Musical slices

Tubing down St. Joe's River......a drink in one hand, suntan lotion in the other...surrounded by "my" girls.
                                                   "All Summer Long" Kid Rock
My John on keyboard, Mike on drums, Johnny on guitar, Julie singing .. heart swelling with love and pride.                                  "Let it Be" The Beatles 

My sister, my daughter, my niece, windblown hair, sunshine/ laughter....loud obnoxious singing/ Missouri.
                                                 "Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen
My dad singing old love song, his sheepish grin/ mom getting on New Years Eve in Mo.
                                                "That's Amore" by Dean Martin 
My friends/ a screen porch/ wee hours of the morning....singing, dancing, and laughing  and crying.                                    "You're So Vain" Carly Simon

In a matter of moments we all have the power to bring back those moments in time, the feelings, the pictures, the memories in their entirety. Hundreds/thousands.... tiny slices of life made possible to all of us by the sweet gift of music. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Today I am sick!

It's all about work ethic.....and it makes me CRAZY!!

This morning I called in sick!

Why? Because I'm sick! Simple, right?   Not so much, not for me. 

You see, even when I'm sick, missing work has always been a big problem for me. Feeling guilty, like I was letting others down.

So, unless was delirious with fever or unable to remove myself from the porcelain throne, I was obsessed with the idea going to work.....

For instance, this morning, even with minimal sleep and a multitude of  flu-like symptoms, I dragged myself out of bed, into the frigid darkness to shovel what turned out to be excessively heavy snow. (Because I needed to go to work)

But this time my body revolted  "No!" it exclaimed loud and clear.

Weak and shaky from a combination of illness, shoveling, and loss of spring chicken status, my body had finally had enough!   Take off warned me, dramatically threatening to collapse. 

I did, with a promise to take things more seriously.


In the future I my plan to follow my own advice:
  • Stay home if you don't feel well.....
  • People would prefer you to stay home if you are potentially contagious 
  • Your body is sending you need to take them seriously.
  • You need to rest Missing one day now can save you from missing several days, later.
  • And finally, you are needed, but you can only give 100% to others when you are healthy yourself.
  • Be honest with yourself, if you'rd sick, you'r sick.

Today, I am sick!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nowhere to Run!

She eased herself into the scorching hot shower, consciously inhaling the warm cleansing steam deep into her lungs.  The intense heat did nothing to relieve the throbbing in her head, but it did help to clear mind and assemble her thoughts. Tentatively, she patted dry her tender skin, and stood in front of the full length mirror long enough to assess the damage. Jeans and a  sweatshirt, she reasoned, would hide the welts, but her face was a different story. "You're hideous", she murmured through clenched teeth......"and I hate you!!!"

It was time.....
Powered by the adrenaline of anger and fear, she moved at lightening speed, dumping the contents of her backpack onto the bed. No need for Math or History books, she thought bitterly as she shoved clothes into the canvas bag. For a moment she considered packing the picture of her mom, but quickly  decided against it. Her sister should have it.  The thought of leaving her sister sickened her, but what choice did she have? 

There was no time for thinking, no time for regrets.

The frigid air ripped at the fragile flesh on her cheek, a somber warning of what was to come, but  refusing to acknowledge the premonition, she focused only on the promise of the rising sun....