Saturday, August 31, 2013

National Eat Outside Day

I took this picture with the old instamatic about 1970. When I read today was Eat Outside Day, this image came to mind. We ate outside often with the warm weather. Mom often had the side dishes made and if Dad had the time to get charcoal going and be ready, he cooked the meat. No gas grills till 1987, when David and I bought Dad one.
The picnic table migrated from year to year. Dad made a little concrete patio right outside the back door, which made it convenient to set the table. Either way, if the table remained in the side yard, it wasn't far from the kitchen. The house was set up for eating outside.
I even had my own little picnic table
Mom also enjoyed in summer weather drinking her coffee on the side porch in the morning sun. She wasn't an early riser, so she avoided the sun shining directly on the porch. The yard proved big enough, that she could relax in her night gown and duster, as they used to say. Dad joined, too, and being a servant, often refilled the mugs with coffee.
Mom always said food tasted better outside. We fought yellow jackets at the end of summer, but that didn't deter our dining outdoors. Later, I read about dryer sheets helping against those pests. I shove some in a table I had and I think it helped.
David's parents' have a huge cement porch that makes eating outside readily accessible. Mom Lyon has many outings on this porch as well. I know they enjoy watching the setting sun in the evening and the multitude of people strolling by. Their porch sits right on the sidewalk of small town America.
Yes, the reference to Maria in Summer Triangle thinking about her back yard in the summer growing up, with the birthday parties for her grandma is reference to my feelings. That yard on Main Street yelled Heaven to me, with lush green lawn, sun filtering through the old maple, adults talking and laughing, the cousins running around, babies on blankets, pool sounds from the neighbors in the background. All gathered around the table with wonderful homemade food, my father leading the prayer for the occasion.
Today, in western Pennsylvania, with two big fairs going on, the weather cooperated with eating outside.  Head to a fair for fries and a hot sausage sandwich or local park with a picnic basket or right out your door with food prepared in your kitchen for a delightful meal. Celebrate life and end of summer conditions with a meal in the outdoors. Read a good book at the same time, too.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Little More Southside

A couple from Ontario, Canada traipsed to Warren, Ohio last week for the concert at the Amp. They had VIP seats and the wife video taped much of the acts. The quality is above the Warren Tribune's video effort. I can watch again from front row seats, remembering my night under the stars with the one I love. Don't be surprised if something like this will be in my next summer novel, I'm writing for NaNoWriMo in November. Moved by the saxophone deep in my heart on this song. Songs of lost love and getting back together make Johnny seem vulnerable. I love the idea of courting in the songs, the man going to the house, meeting under the street lights. An air of long ago filters through the songs, when love could be a challenge. The point of poignant love doesn't need bumping and grinding.
Even "All Night Long," had no gutter about it. The band living love of music. We knew how to use those long intervals of instrumentals.
This is a shout out to that couple for posting this video's. Maybe they'll be in the next book. I won't know until November.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Keep the Faith

Trying to figure out if I want to call this "Stop the World" or "Keep the Faith." Of course, I know which one I should use. The obvious, upbeat title should be gracing the page and my life. As the Irish say, "Nothing's so bad, it can't be worse."
I reject self pity. I need to reflect though on how my life proceeds. What I want is not happening on so many levels. I question, "Is it my fault?"
I need to move on. I need to plug on to my goals. And mostly, I think I need to get to bed after working afternoon turn earlier. I'm not really productive when I get home. Laying in bed reading would promote rest much more than checking e-mails and Facebook.
Rest is elusive, sleep is not all that is included. Sleeping too much addles the brain as much as not sleeping enough. A morning person, like myself, feels off balance allowing dreams to fill the morning space. I crave to know what is going on when I wake. Addiction to coffee wakes me but keeps me from jumping in the shower first thing.
I want to reflect on all I have planned and what is transpiring. I'm not settled to return to writing on Country. I may have to just junk what I wrote and start again. I feel I've lost the thread I used to begin it two summers ago. I look at the present numbers and wonder at writing as a profession.
Then there is the nursing business. What a business. We eat our young and attack our old. I talked to a hospice nurse, to me, these nurses are the cream of the crop, and I kept thinking over and over, "the toughest job, you'll ever love." My friend worked the other day from seven in the morning to ten at night, with maybe two pee breaks, she couldn't remember. Yet, the rewards of this job fill her.
I'm at cross roads, (another title of a book I plan on writing in 2014). I need to work. After thirty one years of nursing, I think of choices I made for my family. I could be advanced to some nifty job or time consuming management job. I chose to stay a worker bee. I have pursued writing as a career. Did I make the right choice at the right time?
As Martha in Main Street grew to say with her faith, "No regrets." I hope to become the woman Martha was.
My heart is writing. I do it every day. Edginess plagues me if I can't write, due to time restraints. I plug along with the nursing with its wonderful perks at times. The patient having a clear moment and sensing the care I give him, tells me he loves me. I continue loving touch I give and pray for strength.
I know God is control. I long for the Macedonian call. Then I remember I'm not Paul, not sure I could live with the persecution. I wish the answer would drop out of the sky in a vision or dream. I guess that is where constant prayer and faith support the foot steps. As I try to keep strong, please forgive the tears that escape at times. I think I just made that plea to myself.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Do It All for Him
This is all a little surreal to me. I have a book on Amazon and I'm promoting it. If you order in the next 20 minutes now, you can get it tomorrow. Save sixty five cents off list price. And if your order is over twenty five dollars, you can get free shipping. So order two. They make great Christmas gifts.
I write the above with a bit of tongue in cheek, but smile on my face. I dream of writing full time, which includes marketing. My dream of my first book out on Amazon, self published, is realized. I don't feel it is happening. No fan fare, no streamers, no phone calls.
Well, I did speak to my sister today, which is great. I spoke to the National Bible Quiz coordinator, but my novel didn't come up in the conversation, although the daughter is a Bible quote champion in Summer Triangle. In less than an hour, I will be getting report on twenty seven souls that I will do treatments and pass medications. I will be Mollie, nurse, writer in disguise. I sat at Sheetz this morning while the rain poured through the lime green canopy with holes, relishing a made to order pulled pork sandwich with a carmel/hazelnut frozen latte, loving life. The rain refreshed and woke me.
I can hold my head up, no matter what I do. I am a child of God on His assignment where ever that takes me. I only have to remember to acknowledge Him in all I do. So consumer, nurse, Bible quiz coach, writer or published author, I do it all for the Lord.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ox Bow Moment

A couple weeks ago, Katie and David built this simple fire ring for me. I've been dreaming of a gathering place in my back yard. Twenty five years ago, when we walked through this house, not even imaging we would buy it, just looking at anything from a realtor or the paper, we ended the tour on a porch edging a lush green back yard. As I joke with my children, never be impressed with a deep green yard during a drought. Most of the time, the yard is too wet to do much of anything in it. An underground spring runs at the bottom of this former farm land. Our neighbors across the street have lost burn barrel after burn barrel, sinking into the muck.
My husband and daughter built the fire ring away from the seepage of the spring. Our tomato tree, a sliver maple that grew in the fence of Mary Ellen's tomato plant many years ago, shades the ring. My mood this Sunday evening ran toward melancholy. My family is growing up and though not physically away, the girls expressed growing pains.
A natural part of growing up demands going away, at least for a while. They aren't flying the coop. I look for empty nest as a rhythm of life. Restlessness fills our home. I wrote from some of this for Maria in Summer Triangle.
This night, after the physical labor, the fire crackling slowing down for marshmallows, the four of us stayed around it. We talked and laughed. The tension of the last few months faded away for a few minutes. We ventured not to the old group hugs of days ago, when the girls were smaller, but we lived the closeness of those days for a part of the evening.
The evening ended with me watching the fire die alone. I had peace as a mother can when her family loves each other in enjoyment of their company. We made plans for improvements on the property. We laughed and had a hot dog together. Fleeting moments from the promise of a strong family start. Life flows like an ox bow. We keep going forward, doubling back at times, but never staying stagnant.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Southside Johnny Lyon

Happy Birthday, Southside Johnny Lyon, December 4.

It's been a long time, but as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes started the concert out last night, "Better Days are Coming." I hadn't been to a Southside concert since I lived in Connecticut. We drove to a bar near Hartford in 1986 for a closer view.
David introduced me to Johnny's music. The joke when he was in college, of John Lyon being his cousin. His friend tried to get him a date with a girl, who adored Southside. She almost bought it, but David couldn't go on with the ruse. His father's first cousin is John Lyon, a veterinarian in Corey, Pennsylvania.
Southside has a strong following here in Steel Valley, and we know how to rock. I saw him first with David and the girl from college in the Beeghly at Youngstown State University. A spring evening in a crowded  gymnasium welcomed me to this band. The sun filtered through the high windows and Johnny joked with the audience. To prepare for the concert, the local FM station WSRD, the Wizard played the album, Having a Party at the four o'clock hour.
Thirty three years later, Southside continues to mesmerize a crowd. He entertains with his loving the music. He controls the crowd, even venturing into the crowd to stop a fight. He talks about local flavor, mentioning Leavittsburg to an exact description. He made references to waiting for a girl to return comparing it to a win by the Browns, like never. I was not too happy with a later mild put down of Pittsburgh, being more a Pittsburgh person than Cleveland.
An end of summer concert under the stars, I watched Venus rise, the weather more than cooperated. We enjoyed the music, with their clear notes to match the sky. The crowd had more gray hair than the concert on the college campus thirty three years ago. Beer sold, but no over rowdiness.The crowd jumped up at the end to have a party. At ten thirty, this lady was not ready for the concert to end.
I had waited for years to see Southside. I joke about him being a cousin to my husband, from the Jersey Lyon's. I see resemblance. Many of the Pennsylvanian Lyon's can sing. I wanted to sway to the music under a summer sky on the Jersey Shore, but Warren, Ohio, satisfied that desire. We had a rocking good time. Being old, we enjoyed  a Pittsburgh favorite, grilled stickies ala mode at Eat-N-Park, before a ride on flat Ohio land under a three quarter moon, back to western Pennsylvania
Grilled stickies at Eat-N-Park. They are free on birthdays, Southside.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Did It!

I did it! Summer Triangle is on CreateSpace e store, immediately and will be ready for sale on and Amazon Europe in 5-7 business days. Something that felt so hard and easy all at the same time. A new experience seems difficult at first. I do believe though I'm going to find a private computer class and keep learning. I feel so accomplished at this time, though.
Thank you, my readers, so much for all your support through prayers, positive thoughts and asking about how you can read this novel. You have buoyed me with your belief in me. Now I hope you like the book, not because I wrote it, but because it engages. And if it does, please pass it on to your friends. As the wine cooler commercial saying made popular a few years ago calmly stated, "Thanks for your support."

Friday, August 23, 2013

Culture Revolving

I got all my polishing done. I thought I had downloaded the interior, the next step after the new cover. But I seemed to have lost my file. By three am, I couldn't keep my eyes open any more. I need to take lessons on this whole computer life. I have learned much over the years, but I still feel I'm coming from another century. I love and am fascinated by the technology, but I'm still a stranger in a strange world.
I sense the tension in world view with my children lately, too. I wonder if this is how our parents, the children of the adults of the roaring twenties felt in the late sixties. The late sixties truly rocked the world. The twenties I am told were a loose time before the Great Depression. My parents were the children of parents living in rebellious times. Our grandparents tried to shelter them.
Our parents felt they grew up in hard times, but moral times. They shielded us from want as much as they could. Some youth rebelled. I guess youth rebel.
As the whole standards jumbled, culminating in 1968, I remember as a kid, looking to the culture, absorbing the new values and my parents displaying a bit of clueless processing. I'm sure not as naive as I thought at the time. Divorce became easier then and the stories of couples splitting after twenty seven years or more, shattered complacency. I feared even my parents divorcing, but of course that was far from reality. The culture changes influenced my thinking in my preteen years.
In my late teens and early twenties, I veered from some of my parents' held beliefs. The ideas of the older ones in my generation affected me. As I grew up more, as an adult, I found myself returning more to ideas from my parents' generation.
I taught my children these ideas and values, as did my husband. Yet they as young adults question many cultural beliefs. It is not easy being straight, white, Jesus believing Americans any more, unless you are a Duck.  Are we caricatured as the Archie Bunkers of our day?  I wonder. Changes crash in the culture and I think, is this how the parents felt in the late sixties? A little off centered, staring at children you held, nursed, changed their diapers, fed, and basically poured your whole life into their lives so they will be great adults, now  feeling they are strangers. I'm not disappointed, I only feel I'm peering into their world, but not a participant.
Maria, in my novel, deals with some of this. Mothers have life come out of them, when they give birth. The control we want is usually benign, that our children will have a better life. We want happiness, contentedness, joy and sometimes try to do every thing in our power to insure that bliss. Even as we know that is impossible, we find our lives revolving around that hope. As all nature, desires can run a muck, and evil enters. As King Solomon declared in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. I think like seasons, the culture turmoil rises and falls. Children have to find their own way at some point onto adulthood, we all know too well.
OK, now back to those files, so you can read a story instead!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Another Prayer Request

I'm at a career decision point. I found I slept a lot more than I thought I would today. I need a clear mind. I am praying for God's direction. Until I really make money with my writing, I have to keep in the job world.
I am blessed that my career pays better than some "starving artist" jobs. I am a registered nurse. I became burned out for awhile, but working at a skilled nursing facility has renewed my love of being a nurse. Yet, like so many professions, we have to weigh the policies and politics of the work place. I know many teachers complain of the meetings, the in services, and rules. We all share an enjoyment of dealing with people, helping them, hoping to improve this world, if only we could get away from the desk. Funny, how as a writer, I rail at all the paper work involved in my profession.
Any ways, this weekend, I'm asking you readers to pray I make the right choice or God opens yet another door. I need now to work on the polishing. The end is in sight. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wordless Wednesdays

Missing my evening walks

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pray for the Finishing

I feel I'm on the home stretch for publishing Summer Triangle. I have sixty pages yet to polish and then off to CreateSpace. I'm not writing on the blog much today, as I have that on my plate and Tuesdays are busy with my prayer meeting in the morning. My friend prayed for me, always an awesome feeling to have hands laid on me. If you readers will stretch out your hands for me in this finishing, I thank you.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fresh Feet

I check my stats still on this blog and I have more here, not writing every day than I do on Wordpress. What gives? I don't understand this blogging world. I do know Blogspot is easier to maneuver, so I believe, hang the business cards, I'm coming back to Blogspot. I'll continue to monitor the stats, but I found Wordpress houses Techno demon or is more open to him. I'd link you to that post, but I can't pull it up on Wordpress to copy the address. Maybe you'll have better luck.
I found I got out of "read-only" for polishing my novel, so I hope to publish Summer Triangle this week. I rested this weekend, got the batteries recharged as they say and picked up the PDF file with new eyes. It is going much easier now. I feel like writing copiously again. I always want to write, but with time crunches and glitches with the lap top, I became frazzled.
I prayed about my dreams. I rested in God this weekend. I see as I should now. I'm back here at Blogspot. I'll see how the numbers respond. And I have new ideas for my paying job, how to respond to the stress there. This week steps on out on fresh feet.