I am test driving a quit smoking program of my own design.
The first concept involves hiding my cigarettes.
It works rather well because I wander around for about twenty minutes wondering where I left them.
Then I remember that I hid them, but I don’t remember where I hid them and that takes another half hour or so.
I call this phase of the plan Hide and Freak.
Moving on, the other thing that I am testing involves TDCO.
I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about new initial named programs, but I promise you this one is unique based on the fact that it is Too Damn Cold Out to go outside and smoke.
I moved home to New England to challenge this theory, but now I’m a Believer.
Sometimes, it’s just Too Damn Cold Out to go outside and smoke.
My husband almost sabotaged that tool, trying to be nice.
He said, “Just smoke in the house,” even though he hates it.
I said, “No, thank you,” but don’t think it doesn’t cross my mind now and then, especially when it’s -14 degrees outside.
Damn. Need some more tricks to get this program off the ground.
Already tried every product on this planet so I know I need a new program.
All ideas welcome, except “just quit smoking.”
I do that every day.



Okay, I have been taking flak from my family all winter because I live in Florida… Well, it’s time to set the record straight.
Yes, I live in the only warm, perfect little piece of the United States.
Yes, I have year-round sunshine, plenty of rain for my flowers and just a few cool nights when all the plants have to come in the house.
Yes, I have a yard full of tropical flowers that are gorgeous and there are no gardening limits beyond my imagination.
Yes, we have flowering hibiscus trees in every color. Yes, the blooms are as big as a salad plate.

Yes, we just planted a Pink Puff tree. (I sat and watched the puffs open today.)

Yes, I have a pool that now has a solar heater so I that I can swim year-round because I am NOT getting into 60 degree water!
Never mind that I swam in the ocean in New Hampshire with water that had permanent icicles for thirty-six years.
Never mind that my sister and I once streaked naked through that ocean in November. My body has changed and it does not like cold.
Still, I would stand beside you all, stand right by your snow drifts with you, if I could.

With all that said, let me tell you what I have been through this winter.
I have been snowed-out while you are all complaining about being snowed-in. I have been kept out. I have been kept out of Maine, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. I have been stopped from visiting my sisters and their families, my son and his wife and their new baby, my brother, my granddaughter and her baby boy, my newly found niece and my daughter.
I have been trapped in this sunshine and it hurts and I don’t want to hear no more hoo-haa about living in the land of sunshine while you are a living in the land of six-foot snow banks and having to put your kids out in the parking spaces with cones on their heads to save your parking spaces after you shovel.
No, I don’t have to shovel but I have to sit here and miss everybody and I am snowed-out.
You know, we have problems here in Florida too. We are expecting a cold front tomorrow, record lows in the 70’s.
So, the next someone says squat when I post my pictures of flowers glowing in the sunshine, they are going to get a smack upside the head because I miss you, my family and I am snowed-out.
It’s not my fault. I tried to move back to New England. I sold my house. I put a contract on a house in Laconia, NH. Both deals fell through. I would have been moving January 31st, just in time for the first big snow storm, but God said, “No, you just stay right where you are little Missy,” and that’s the way it happened…
Family, I love you, I miss you and I would love to be snowed in with you instead of being snowed out, I promise.
So please shut up.


…and I would throw snowballs at your bedroom window at midnight…


I wish I lived in a little New England farmhouse with the wood stove burning and a fire in the fireplace. Beans would be cooking on the wood stove, snow would be falling outside my window and you, living right down the street.
I would sneak over and I would throw snowballs at your bedroom window at midnight so you would come out to see who it was and then I would dance in the snow under the moonlight and it wouldn’t hurt because the cold snow would make my foot pain better, and you would shiver in your doorway and say, “Get in here, you idiot!”
I would grab two icicles from your front window and dance into your warm kitchen and we would have hot chocolate with pink marshmallows and we would laugh.
We would talk for hours like when we were little girls and we would forget that we are not little girls anymore because when we are together we are just sisters. We are not old, we are not crippled, we are not grandmothers, we are not great-grandmothers (me) and we are not old ladies.
Because when we are together, we are young girls again with our future in front of us and we laugh…and I would throw snowballs at your bedroom window at midnight…

Mountainburg Mountain

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Sitting in the dark of Mountainburg…
waiting on life’s spark to ignite…
moon hidden amongst clouds…
in trees bare of their leaves.
I write one last winterous scene…
dry counties surround me…
three shades to the wind…
no rum, no whiskey, death of my frisky…
washed out this girlie, angel dusted pixy…
awww sweet Jesus…
gave her prayers final answer…
no rum my daughter, no whiskey.

by Jodie Lynne