Archive for July, 2012

More Grapes of Wrath

She remembered the fragrance of grapes on her grandma’s heavy vines. Her tears moistened the winter soil around her young vine as she remembered the one lost to a driveway for a new house. In February, she trimmed back the vines as her uncle had taught her long ago. She watched as the early spring filled the vine with tiny potential grapes. Her grandson delighted in the soft new clusters. There was only one thing she forgot-it wasn’t yet May, even though the spring had been hot and early.  One night, a late frost fell unexpectedly. She arose to, a withered vine, one cluster of tiny grapes remained. Ironic, that it had been one of her favorite books-The Grapes of Wrath.


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Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Spider

As many of you know, I study spiders, insects, nature in general. I have written stories on spiders many times. Ironically, Black Widows “come to me” on my son’s grave and now, my mom’s grave as well. It has happened 4 times with my son and this is the first with my mom. I will look around and there will be no black widows on any of the other grave sites. Is it a message to me because they know that only I would recognize the Black Widows web and hunt for the spider? I will always “wait” to see if it is some sort of message from my loved ones. This one I found tonight hidden in my mom’s flower vase.

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A Haunting Afternoon

My son and I were going to pick up a few things at the local hardware store, garden supplies, a few herbs, a hand shovel. It was dark and stormy, we ran to the door just as huge drops started to spatter the ground.  My son saw a fireworks display and asked to buy some, reminding me that it was July 2nd.  Suddenly a streak of lightning light the sky and the lights flickered out.  I grabbed my son’s hand said, “It will be okay.”

The next few moments were the most intriguing of my life. Everything was dark around me, but inside my mind, I was in a different place, a different time.  I heard someone cry out to “hold the line”. I saw soldiers falling on an open field. Rocky outcrops lined the hill above me, and I saw a Confederate flag waving in the distance. The air was filled with gun fire, cannon shots, shouts and screams.  My heart was beating loudly, I held my breath in fear. “Where was I? What was happening?”

My son looked towards me and said, “Mom, Mom, are you alright?” I shook my head as the lights flickered back on. I was still shaking. “Yeah, I think so,” I said. “ I just had the weirdest experience.”  “What?”, he asked as we approached the cash register. “I’ll tell you in the car,” I replied as the cashier told me the amount of my purchase.  “$18.63.” She said with a smile. I handed her the money, grabbed the receipt and bags and headed for the car.

“Well, Mom,” my son said, “What was it?”  “I know you believe in the paranormal.” I said and hesitated.  “Yes,” he replied, waiting. “I think I just had a flashback to Gettysburg.” I reminded him that today was July 2nd, the heat of the Battle of Gettysburg, and that the years of the battle was 1863-the amount my bill had totaled. I told him of the experience I had when the lightning blew out the lights in the store and he shuddered. Mom, I was there, too he said. I saw Uncle Jim Merritt get shot in the face. I was hold the flag up, waving for help.” We both smiled a knowing smile, we had just seen a piece of our family history!

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I am so tired, exhausted, empty
From writing sad poems
about my lost son.
Tired of crying when I read all the kind comments,
The expressions of compassion.

I don’t want to write about
my dead son-
Don’t want to see this as my best work.
I’m so worn out from
looking at his pictures
and screaming, “Why?” “Why my baby?”

But I find myself there,
in that empty. lonely place,
every night, especially at night.
And I find comfort in the words
of kindness others take the time
to pass on to me.

I welcome the inspiration, the prompts
To write about something else.

I dry my tears again and cannot find rest.

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Initials in the Infield

Initials in the Infield

He played ball with my son,
Young teens, years ago.
They didn’t hang out together,
Just had things in common,
Kids from families with six kids.
A rarity in this day, this world.

Now he plays college ball,
Grown and alive and thriving.
While my son has a plaque in his memory
At the middle school and high school.
Every time he takes the field,
They see him writing in the dust.

One day, my friend whispers to his mom,
“What is he writing out there?”
She turns and wipes a tear, takes a breath,
“His initials- sighs his mom-“AJL”
“He’s done it for almost 6 years-
At every game, to feel his presence.”

A bat hangs in my son’s room signed by his team,
“Never forgotten” written by this friend.
He has kept his word-
My son is there at every game.


On the link, my son is the middle photo on line 15.

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The Very inspiring Blogger Award Thanks to for nominating me for this award!  It means a lot to know that other bloggers appreciate my work.

7 things about myself:

1. I have written poetry since I was a child.

2. I cook Sunday lunch for up to 18 people!

3. The sound of water comports me.

4. I love coffee-any kind.

5. I crochet afghans for those I love.

6. Lynyrd Skynyrd is my favorite music group.

7. Halloween is a favorite holiday.


I nominate the following bloggers for this award:








 Thanks to Madison, 20 Lines a day, Subhan Zein and all of those who have helped me. If I left out a name, It may be that I had trouble finding your blog name. Im pretty new at the Awards,






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One lovely Blog Award

Thank you to for giving me this award!
7 things about me
1.I love to read mystery and detective novels
2.I plant a garden every year.
3. I study insects.
4. I study butterflies.
5. I grow herbs in my garden.
6. I have irises that’s root stock is over 89 years old.
7. I collect dolls.
I  nominate the following bloggers for this award: The nominees can decide whether they wish to accept or not…
8. throughthe
11. stuffitellmy
Thanks to all who follow and read my blog! I an honored to share my thoughts with all of you!

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A Day in the “Life”


The morning holds little promise

dreary, gray, a bit depressing.

Staying in bed later than I should,

hoping the phone doesn’t ring-

it does,

A call that made me cry sweet tears,

A call filled with words I didn’t like,

finally, one of those calls we all dread.


A dreary dark, difficult day,

spent in an emergency room

filled with veterans from many wars.

I wonder what their stories encompass,

If I even deserve to share this time with them,

waiting, waiting, waiting,

for their name to be called,

so they could wait again in a different line.


I am humbled by their patience, the calm

of a room filled with people who didn’t wait

when they were asked to serve.

Another day, another lesson in what it means to serve.



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The Watcher

Every morning, she is perched at the top on a “snag” (dead tree) above my house. Her job is to look out for possible food sources for her family. I smile when I see her sitting there, stoic and silent, as I put out bits of bread or food meant especially for her.  The minute walk out the door, she begins to spread the work, “food-food” in her language. “Caw,caw,caw caw.’ If I don’t see her, I call out for her in the same “language, “Caw, caw,caw, caw. Soon she and her family arrive.  We had a symbiosis between us, a bond. We are a part of each others’ world.

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French Broad Chocolates hosts an Open House


As someone who doesn’t go downtown a lot, it took  the  grand opening of the French Broad Chocolate’s new Factory at 21 Buxton Ave. in downtown Asheville, North Carolina to change my mind! I read about it in the Asheville Citizen-Times Newspaper and decided to take my teenaged son to the grand opening on Friday, June 29th, 2012.

It was a wonderful introduction to how everyone’s favorite  food is made.  After a brief speech and introduction of owners, Jael and Dan Rattigan, by an officer of Home Trust Bank, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held.  The crowd was then led inside the 4,000 foot factory recently opened by the owners of French Broad Chocolates ( located within walking distance at 10 S.Lexington Ave.) There were free samples of many of the different chocolate bars they create, as well as samples of beers flavored with cacao products made at a local micro brewery and bar which operates next door. Other free snacks and drinks were offered and chocolate bars made at the factory could be purchased.

The owner, Dan Rattigan, took visitors on a tour of the factory, which literally takes the chocolate from cacao bean to chocolate confections right in the factory. This is a first in Western North Carolina, and one of only a few in the country.  I took pictures of Dan as he lead us through the factory and showed us each step in how the cacao beans were processed. The Rattigans get most of their cacao from Free Trade” Cacao farms in Peru. They also own a cacao farm in Costa Rica, which will supply some of the beans.

During the presentation,  Home Trust Bank offered to purchase a piece of equipment needed to make processing go a bit quicker. The walls of the Factory were lined with beautiful photos of the place the cacao is grown, the farm owned by the family and the processes the beans go through on their way to becoming  the product used to make their delicious chocolates. If you are in Western North Carolina, going to taste the treats at  French Broad Chocolates Lounge is a must! Tours of the factory can be scheduled as well as special orders for holidays, wedding, parties and such.

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