Monday, June 30, 2008


Last night I stayed up late to finish the latest book I have been reading. It is The Appeal by John Grisham. We are big fans of that author and read all of his books. I had bought this one for Darrell for Valentine's Day and had it on my "to read" list for a long time. Last week I finally got to it.
The book is typical Grisham with it being another lawyer/trial book. I loved the first page. It was such an example of writer's craft. The first sentence is a grabber lead: "The jury was ready." It goes on to repeat that phrase at least three times to make it another craft of "Power of Three".
Then the first full paragraph is a true example of description. It goes like this: "After forty-two hours of deliberations that followed seventy-one days of trial that included 530 hours of testimony from four dozen witnesses, and after a lifetime of sitting silently as the lawyers haggled and the judge lectured and the spectators watched like hawks for telltale signs, the jury was ready."
That first page was enough to sell me on the book. I was not happy with the ending. My good friend, Marsha, had warned me that it was not something she was happy with, so I was a little leary. She was right. I am thinking Mr. Grisham had a bigger picture in mind than just that I would have a "happily ever after" ending. I was to learn something about life. If that was his goal, it worked. I did.
If you are a Grisham fan, a Mississippi fan, a lawyer/trial will enjoy the book. Beware though, you may not be happy with the ending, but you will be glad you read it!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


On Friday night we decided to do our shopping in Fort Wayne. The main reason being we could then stop by and visit Audrey. She is now three weeks old and we hadn't seen her for a couple weeks. We just knew she must have changed a lot. We were right.

When we got to her house, Angie greeted us at the door with Audrey in her arms. She told us that Audrey had been a very unhappy baby lately and her daddy had gone to get her a swing to keep her occupied. I couldn't wait to get my hands on her and we had a little "grandma-baby-talk". She seemed fine to me. We could not believe how she now kept her eyes open and actually tried to look at us. Except for a few times of spitting up, she was perfect.
Grandpa and I took turns holding her and talking to her. She even got on her 4th of July dress and modeled it for us. Her little tiny arms were just waving every where. She is still very tiny, but also very alert.
Her daddy finally got the swing assembled and she went for her first ride. It was great, with lights, music and perfect swaying motions. She seemed to like it a lot. So after our last picture we took off promising we would be back soon before she got too much bigger!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


On Tuesday morning at Shipshewana, I got a call from "The Big D". He was having a crisis at home. Nickey, the cat, was very sick. Darrell was afraid he was not going to make it and would be gone by the time I got home. He was wonderful in his treatment of our oldest kitty. He called the vet and ran over and got meds for him. By the time I got home, Nick was doing much better, but still not really himself. After a couple days of pure "babying", he is now back to his old self.

Here he is this morning wondering what I am doing on the floor pointing a camera at him. He is so curious. In fact, we are afraid that might have been what happened and what caused his problems. We had gotten ant traps and if Nickey did what he usually does, he checked them out. Anyway, time and the meds helped this big boy.

"Okay, folks, what else is there out there to get into? I guess my owners really do love me!" The trials of being a pet owner!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


On Monday morning I hopped in the car with Natalie and Al and we headed for our summer conference in Shipshewana. All the way there we talked about the great speakers we would hear, the friends we would see and wondered about the new facilities. We weren't disappointed on any of it.

I was so excited to hear Penny Kittle from New Hampshire. I had read many of her books and have her quote hanging above my desk at work. I knew she would be inspiring, but was still shocked to see what an outstanding speaker she was. She is full of enthusiasm and makes you feel like you've known her forever.

On Monday night at the Author Dinner, I looked across the tables at the Blue Gate and there was my friend from Denver, Marjorie. She and her sister had driven all the way from Colorado to come to the conference. I knew she was there, but with around 450 people it was hard to find her. We got to catch up and then promised to connect again in the morning!
Today I got to introduce Georgia Heard. She is my favorite poet to learn from. I use her books to teach poetry to second to fifth graders. Today she spoke about her book on revision. I had forgotten some of the things she talked about even though I read her books several years ago. That is what is so wonderful about this conference: you just keep learning and learning.
Now it is time to reflect on the two days and begin thinking about next year. Mindy told us the dates, the planned speakers and the hope of having even more people. I am so thankful for the All Write people and especially Mindy and her dedication to the teaching of writing and her wonderful, bubbly spirit!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


We don't get to see our nieces and nephews near enough. When we visit each time, it is so interesting to see how much they have grown and what they are doing now. Here are a few pictures of the littlest ones in the family. I know the next time we see them they will have grown so much. What adorable kids! Cole is our youngest nephew. He is just a delight with his bright blue eyes and snowy white hair. He loves to smile and be active. Here he is trying to see what he can fish out of the stream by our picnic site.
Ben and Kate are first cousins and our great niece and nephew. They are busy trying to see if they can get into the stream without getting in trouble. I am afraid that getting into trouble is something they are quite good at, but they are adorable kids.
Nathan had fun playing with his nephew Jackson. I am not sure what they were trying to do here, but they were having so much fun just being with each other and seeing what they could find to do.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Alone Looking at The Mountain

All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by,
We never tire of looking at each other-
Only the mountains and I.

---Li Po

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Turning 80 is a milestone and that is one reason we went to Utah early this year. Darrell's mom turned 80 and we decided to surprise her. We walked in her room on Saturday and softly called, "Mom?" She woke up and couldn't belive what she saw!

On Sunday we had a big celebration picnic at the park. She had fun watching the kids play in the stream, the big family ball game and eating all the fabulous food. I think she loved the cards she got as much as the gifts!

While we were there Darrell heled her decorate her room and we got her situated with a laptop computer. Now she is ready to check out all the family's blogs. We had a wonderful time going on drives, playing dominoes and eating our favorite foods, especially Glades! We were so glad we could spend a few days celebrating this wonderful birthday!
Happy 80th, Marian!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Utah Views and Sights

We are in Utah for our summer trip. Actually, we are here to celebrate Darrell's mom's 80th birthday. I will be adding some pictures of that soon. We landed in Salt Lake City and went to find some place to eat. We went to a deli and sat outside. This is the view we had from there!
On Sunday we celebrated the birthday with a picnic at Canyon View Park. It is common for all the cousins to play a game of baseball. Here they are playing with the mountains in the background. Isn't it beautiful?

There was a small stream flowing right by our picnic spot. The kiddos thought that was perfect for stepping through, finding crabs, and splashing. What a great place to celebrate Father's Day and also an 80th birthday!

I am doing my blogging today at my neice's house. Check out The Anderson Family blog for more pictures!!! Thanks, Annalyse!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Poetry is A New Born Baby

What better way to show poetry in the new creations God brings. Here I am with Audrey. She is one week old. That is true poetry!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lazy Days of Summer

Today started off with rain streaming down the patio door. I couldn't believe it. I had planned for this day for a week. I was so looking forward to my long-time friend coming over for lunch and a long, long talk. I wanted to sit by the pool and eat on the patio. Now, the rain!

I went ahead with all my plans of making lunch, cleaning the house and taking my shower. I knew we would still have loads to talk about and could do that in the living room or dining room with no problem. Still the patio was so comfortable and cozy. Luckily, the rain did let up about an hour before she was to be here.

I took my new Oprah magazine and went to the lounge chair by the pool with a can of pop and began to browse. I had told Murphy to let me know if anyone came. He knew his "Aunt Marsha" was coming. I was just settling into my chair when sure enough Murphy started his "Murphy-bell". I wasn't sure if he was tricking me or someone really was there. I couldn't take the chance even though it was early for my friend.

Well, Murphy was good for his word and she was standing at the door when I got there. I put the juicy strawberries she brought into the frig and we made our way to the patio. Yes, we got to spend our whole time out there. The Big D even came home for lunch so he could take our picture. We have our picture taken together every time we meet. I was afraid this time there would be no waitress to do it, but he came to our rescue.

This is my favorite way to spend a summer afternoon!

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Favorite Aunt

Tonight I got a surprise call. It was from my aunt who now lives in Arizona. She had planned on making her "every-other-year" trip back to Indiana. The call was to inform me that due to cost of gas and airlines the trip was not going to happen this year. I was disappointed. Aunt Reita is my only relative of that generation left. Her visit is always full of laughter and stories.

We talked for a long time tonight catching up on all the family news. After hearing about her husband's health, what her children (my cousins) were doing, I gave her the updates of the relatives in our area. We talked about the reunions we used to have at her place and the reunions we had at my cousin Dale's house.

When the call was over and we promised to write or call soon, I started to remember. I remembered why she was my favorite aunt. She used to babysit for me when my mom had to work. It was great visiting their house. They had every animal you can imagine. We could eat raw hot dogs for lunch and not have to sneak around to do it. Then we would sit around and tell stories. Not the usual kind of stories. They were made up stories. Aunt Reita would start them, then she would stop and the next person had to continue. It went all around the circle of the four of us, my sister, my cousin and the two of us. What imaginations we all had. I now make sure all the kids I work with tell me their "stories" first before they begin to write. Maybe the reason I do that is because way before you have to be able to "tell" your story. Aunt Reita taught me how to do that.

So, until next summer, I will just have to continue to tell my stories and wait for hers next year!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Peachtree Here We Come

One of my goals for the summer is to run another Peachtree Road Race 10K in Atlanta, GA. We have run this race for 15 years...this will be our 16th. I have the t-shirts to prove it. We got up early this morning to do a training run. We are not where we would like to be on our training, but we are trying!

I thought it would be fun to blog about my trails of training for a 10K race deep in the hills of the south. For a little background here...a 10K race is a little over six miles. Atlanta is VERY hot in July. The race will be on July 4th. They call Atlanta: Hotlanta at this time of year because of the heat and humidity. Oh, did I mention there are 55,000 runners in this race?

Today The Big D and I got out early and ran/walked two miles. It was not an easy run. I did my stretches and we started out slowly. We did run farther before walking than we have before. The weather was hot and humid, perfect for getting ready for Atlanta. We have a long way to go before we feel we can successfully complete the race. On the brighter side, we did do two more walks during the day. That gave us a total of six miles.

I have been walking about six miles each day...two mile run/walks in the morning and another long four miler in the afternoon. I should have a total of 30+ miles this week. That along with doing weight lifting for upper body, will help me be ready to tackle this chore. I know, I only have less than a month to be ready to hit those hills. Hopefully, I can stay focused and do it. I will keep you posted.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Poetry Through Flowers

"The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life."
---Jean Giraudoux

For poetry Friday I give you a slice of my garden!