What Sort Of Woman?

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Eighteen hundred miles from here there’s a place that she calls home, but it isn’t.
She left it behind long ago, this gypsy’s child who could not deny her urge to roam.
On the distant shore she still calls home there’s ocean air she longs to breathe…
the endless blue she aches to see, winds that howl all the way to her heart,
”Come home to me.”
When her longing for the ocean overwhelms her senses, she goes.
Sand castles that take so long to build; yet, never meant to last.
Waves that crash ice cold, slap against her legs, deliver burning blows, sting away her past.
As she tries to absorb the ocean through her skin the surf takes her pain and
batters it away, beats it senseless against her shins cleansing the memories from her head.
The salt in the air, the sun on her face must go straight to her head, drive her half insane
because what sort of woman lifts her body off the sand but lets her soul remain?
Still, home is just a word she doesn’t care much to define and her soul knows where it belongs.
In the early morning hours, one last plunge, she shares the waves with a wayward dog.
Their eyes meet, sentiment is shared, “This ocean it is mine, for this moment, it is mine!”
Dried kelp, empty crab shells, seaweed, rocks, she gathers with a fury she can’t explain
because what sort of woman flies to the ocean and attempts to carry it back home on a plane?
She hauls back a suitcase filled with rocks, stones of every shape and hue.
Still her ocean slips away, not even this gypsy woman can possess the bewitching blue.
She flies away, minus her soul, maybe she’ll return to stay, maybe when she is old.
Painted by many, photographed by even more, none have ever captured
the Lady’s true essence nor managed to carry home the sandy shore.
“I want to live at the ocean,” she tells him when she walks off the plane.
He mourns for the longing in her eyes, her lust for oceanfront property undisguised.
She knows the answer before he speaks, money stands between the ocean and her door.
She’ll have to settle for a visit each summer.
Meanwhile she’s returned to frozen lobster, dirty dishes and unwashed floors.
She gently arranges her cache of shells, goes back to work not quite resigned.
“If I ever sell a book,” she whispers, “I know which cottage I’ll call mine.”

Inspired By Run A Muck Dog Ranch

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LOVE DOGS. Love lots of dogs even more.
We used to go RV-ing to the drag races, with three poodles and a Yorkie. They would start to run around the house and bark just because we were loading the RV. Plus, we pulled a race car. They all slept on our bed, two slept on our heads. We r down to one Chihuahua and seriously considering adopting two more babies. My little girl barks at us to get on the floor and play and then she runs up on the couch and snuggles into our warm spots.

Under The House

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The truth escapes me
Sifting down through
The cracks in the floor boards
To live beneath our home.
The walls absorb reality
Which never was quite clear
Facts taunt and tease
Sneak in when I’m alone.
Yesterday’s unwashed dishes
Fester in the sink
Mold grows in the cellar
Moving boxes still unpacked.
The truth lies under the house
It awakens me at night
It waits for me in my dreams
When I’m vulnerable to attack.
Behind the bathroom mirror
Demons guard the walls
The truth is not what it seems
Deceit covers reality like paint.

by Jeanne Marie

Hi Mom, This Is Me

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I recently published my book, Women Who Think Too Much. I held onto this manuscript for almost 20 years, afraid to be judged, because I bared my soul in those pages. I waited so long that someone else published a book with the same name.
My writer’s group encouraged me to edit and finish this book and they believed that my words had value. My editor and friend poured her heart and soul into this book, she fell in love with this book. Read every draft, every word, over and over and over.
My writing group believed that my words could touch and maybe help another person, and to my surprise, releasing my book released so many of my own pent up fears, that it helped me. After growing up with my promise/threat to publish WWTTM, my son just kept saying, “Just publish the damn thing.”
I am out there now. ME, THE REAL ME. I felt the walls come down. And so, I helped myself, even if I never sell more than the 11 copies I have sold.
I am not hiding in my blog, I am coming out.
Hello, fellow writers. This is me. Jeanne Marie.

This is my book’s dedication.

To my mom, Mrs. Grace Christine Doucette, 1926-2009.

Mom, without your love and support, I wouldn’t have found the courage to write this book. It all began with my first computer and a four-page letter to you in 1998.
You proudly passed the pages (composed of essays, poetry and pictures) around to family and friends.

When they asked for more, I let my imagination fly in print. That was how the newsletter, “Women Who Think Too Much” was born.

Within a few months, I had subscribers in eleven states and Canada. The full-color newsletter grew to sixteen pages and at my invitation, many guest poets and guest writers were featured, but most of all, I will always treasure your submissions.

I wrote WWTTM for twenty-four months and then I allowed life to get in my way. The bulk of this book was written back then, but never finished despite your persistent encouragement. It may not even be finished now, but it’s printed.
I miss you every day…

Until next time, love, Jeanne Marie

Women Who Think Too Much available at:Ebook

 

 

Google Me No More!

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Google sent me a text from its no such place mansion in The Cloud, asking me a stupid question in the middle of night. They asked me if I wanted to update Google Play. They asked me that question at 2:00 a.m., to be exact, and it is far from the first time that Google couldn’t sleep. Well, Google let me think about this…
I was sound asleep.
I don’t play with Google on my cell phone, only on my Android pad.
Texts in the middle of the night mean one thing to me…someone I love is in deep do-do because…
I have a daughter who makes the Hot Mug Shots page at least twice a year.
I have a great-grandson who was born less than 2 weeks ago, promptly turned yellow and we discovered that he fractured his little shoulder during his journey through the birth canal, (8 pounds, 8 ounces).
I have four kids who live in three different states. I have 13 grandkids, ages 5 to age 22, and they live in four different states.
My elderly mother-in-law lives two hours from my house.
My son almost died in a car wreck a little over a year ago.
My sister’s son almost died in a car wreck 7 days ago.
My oldest granddaughter just left after spending two weeks with me because she was in an emotional crisis and Grammy is the family tear wiper.
So Google, where ever you are, do you think I want a false alarm (2:00 a.m. panic me good) text asking me to get up and check out your new games in the middle of the night?
To make it perfectly clear, NO.
How many people actually respond to your a.m. requests?
No, don’t answer, I’m better off not knowing.
NO, I do not want to play with you, especially at 2:00 P.M. NO, I don’t want to wake up from my dream of a White Christmas 30 years ago in New England.
You have invaded my boundaries and abused the privilege of knowing my unlisted phone number.
I would notify you of my desire to be left alone when I am sleeping, but since you live in the no such place mansion in The Cloud, I don’t know even know how to get in touch with you, although obviously, you know how to get in touch with me.
My Cloud wants to talk to your Cloud. I’m sure you have his number.

The Ants and The Housewife

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The ants were watching the housewife. Zoe, their Queen was dead. Boric acid and sugar. They had delivered it to their Queen in all innocence. Princess Zia was leading them, because without a leader they were helpless, but she was so young. She was trying to take her mother’s place but she hadn’t even begun training for her own nest when her mother died from the tainted sugar.

The ants waited, silent, deadly, hungry, watching the housewife, hoping she would release the grains of white sugar from the container that they couldn’t breach, the big white plastic gallon with the ant proof, tight blue cover. Then they could eat and regain their strength before the battle.

Oh yes, there would be a battle today.

They watched as she drank her coffee and started to pull down items from the food closet. They hated her. She had killed so many of them over the past few months and they were out for more than sugar now, they also wanted a taste of revenge
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No luck yet on the sugar. The crazed ant killing housewife didn’t even use sugar in her coffee. They watched her, never taking their teeny eyes off her as she bustled about the sparkling clean kitchen. Bleach. The physco even knew about bleach.

She wiped down the white counters and washed the kitchen floor with it every morning, hoping to wash away their scout’s scented trails. Thanks to her, most of their scouts were dead. Cruelly crushed by her deadly pale fingers and then washed down the stainless steel sink.

It wasn’t fair. They had lived here in the empty house for years because the crumbs and sugar spilt by the previous owner, a ninety-year old woman, had been more than enough to support the nest. She had never even noticed them when she was alive. When she died, the empty house had become their own private food locker. The kitchen drawers alone had held enough crumbs to carry them for ten years or more. Under the stove and the refrigerator there had been mounds of crumbs, more than they could carry back to the nest, even if they had worked night and day. But they hadn’t worked night and day.

They had become lazy and smug, taking nights off to run around and play. They had thought the house would be empty forever. Thanks to the endless food supply, the nest had flourished, spread out to encompass over a thousand square feet beneath the house. Their house.

Then the housewife moved in and started cleaning out the drawers, washing the counters and the floors, vacuuming the rugs.

At first they had still been able to feed, favoring the new supplies she bought in abundance instead of the moldy, old crumbs. They were still happy little ants and then BOOM. One day she found them in the food pantry and she had declared war. Bombing, spraying, squashing, poisoning in devious ways. Pulling out the electric stove and the refrigerator, she’d scrubbed under them with bleach, and then she had sprayed more poison. She poured flaming Cayenne powder around the cracks, behind the appliances and under the cabinets. Then she sprayed more poison.

Just when they thought she was calming down and they could sneak back into the kitchen, she found them scouting in her bathroom and she absolutely freaked when she found the stupid baby ants playing on her bed pillows.

The war had escalated. She began to tempt them with dishes of sugar-water and boric acid, laying out traps and lairs to capture the stragglers who hadn’t died from the insecticide. That was the death of their beloved Queen Zoe.

Now, it was going to end, one way or the other. She couldn’t kill them all unless she burned the house down and they weren’t going to move out. Zia stood and gave the signal. Thousands of soldier ants silently crawled into formation behind Zia and began moving toward the housewife’s feet. The line was about an inch wide, hundreds of tiny red sugar ants on the march, silent, slow, and short-tempered. Streaming steadily toward the woman. She was oblivious to them as she continued to arrange the ingredients for her baking project

The ants were on the offensive now, crawling like an upward stream of brownish red sludge, they moved closer to her. Closer. They were almost to her feet.

Zia reached the housewife’s big ugly right toe first and she stood defiantly on the craggy toenail to instruct the troops. “I may not live long enough to become your Queen,” she signaled with her antennas. “But today we will drive this housewife out of our home and we will avenge my mother, Zoe, your Queen.”

More ants poured out from behind the fridge and flowed down the cabinet. They joined the thousands already on the floor, marching as one, they streamed toward the housewife.

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When she woke up that morning, she was determined to make her mom’s Christmas cookies. She had been too depressed to make them for a few years, since Mom had died three years ago, but this year she was determined to restart her Christmas spirit engine and what better way than rekindling her best Christmas memories? Kneading Italian cookie dough for hours with her mom and hand rolling hundreds of the little wreaths for friends and relatives. She’d made the cookies for years with her own three kids and then with her grandchildren. Mom’s Italian cookies, anisette, orange, lemon and strawberry, they represented everything she now needed to touch, to smell. They would light her heart back up, she would become focused in the simple task of rolling cookie dough in the palm of her hands, little strands of finger shaped dough, folded over to make wreaths and then dipped in different types of sprinkles, chocolate, red sugar, green sugar, multi-colored dots, she had bought them all.

She knew from past cookie baking projects that she would become focused and happy, smelling the memories of her mom’s wood stove, remembering the big tins of warm cookies they would get ready to mail to all their relatives.

She didn’t realize until she was a grown woman that the cookies were all her that mom had been able to afford, that the long hours of back breaking labor needed to bake the three to four batches she’d helped mama roll each year were love offerings sent in place of store bought presents. No boxes wrapped in red and gold, no packages tied in ribbons and bows.

The kitchen and the wood stove had been the center of their minute corner of the world during Christmas seasons gone by and every Christmas, without fail, the Christmas cookie mixing bowl came out of the cupboard. People might forget Christmas presents they unwrapped under the tree and checks that came in the mail, but no one ever forgot her mom’s gift of delicious bright-colored cookies.

She reached up into the spice cabinet and took down the little brown bottles of flavoring and the four plastic bottles of food coloring. Red, green, blue and yellow.

The batch of dough required twelve eggs, twelve cups of flour, twelve cups of sugar and the mound of dough would be enormous. It would be cut into four sections and then each section would be kneaded with a different food color and flavor.

Sometimes she cheated and made a half-batch, but not this year. This year she was going to mix up a whole batch and spend several days rolling and baking the scintillating wreaths. She began to break the twelve eggs into a glass bowl, watching for pieces of egg-shell.

The phone rang and she washed her hands, catching it on the last ring. “Hi honey, nope I checked, no ants this morning. I even decided to make cookies since it’s been a few days since we’ve seen any of the little buggers. Ya, I know, I’m sorry they got in your spagetti and meatballs. It was the darn sugar I put in the sauce. I know, I know…okay, love you too, see you later.”

She set aside the cell phone and went back to cracking the eggs. Mom used to sing when she worked. Searching her mind for a suitable song, she set the eggs aside and began to measure twelve cups of flour into the huge silver bowl Mom had bought her. It sounds easy to count to twelve but knowing better than to believe she could maintain the necessasary concentration, she scratched a pen mark on a little piece of paper each time a cup went into the sifter.

Zoe paused on the woman’s big toe. Giving a silent signal to her troops, behind her the marching ants stopped. Zoe had seen a big can of Raid Ant Killer on the counter next to the woman and although she couldn’t read, she knew what was in that can and what it could do to her army. If they attacked now they would be covered in the deadly ant spray, easy targets as they grouped on the floor prepared to attack.

Zoe signaled again and the troops began to reverse their march, silently creeping back up the wall and into the small hole in the ceiling that led back to their nest. Zoe knew they would need a better plan.

The Shoulder Knows

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The rain is coming
The shoulder knows
The bones warn me
Joints throb they swell
They ache they burn.
The rain is coming.
The shoulder knows.
The weatherman
Claims no rain
His million-dollar radar
Is wrong, so very wrong
The shoulder knows
And it is never wrong.
The rain splats down
The shoulder throbs
Sunshine withheld
Picnics are cancelled
Disappointed kids run
Through the rain
Back to the mini-van
Whining, fussing, grumpy.
The shoulder could have told ‘em
The rain will pour down today
Stay home, rent a movie
Make some popcorn.
There is no comfort
In being right
How I wish it didn’t, but…
The shoulder knows.

by Jeanne Marie