“I am an open book but I don’t show my footnotes.”

Source: husband when I mentioned some things you can say and some you shouldn’t.

I was talking about Bugsy Malone the other day regarding appearances can be deceiving. Then someone brought up Spud Webb, a retired professional basketball player known for winning a slam dunk contest despite being one of the shortest players in NBA history. Then I realized looking up a few facts that the person being spoken about was Muggsy Bogues and my memory deceived me as it was not Bugsy Malone. An American former basketball player who at 5 feet 3 inches was the shortest player ever to play in the National Basketball Association.

There is a lot of information about his stats, his background, net worth, film and movies appearances of which I will let you do the work. However, why am I writing about him?

I think I was referencing “The Art of War” (Sun Tsu).

In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack: the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers. Consider the timing of what you do….how can this lesson apply to us? We might not understand the mechanics of basketball but we can appreciate the grace and beauty of the basketball player knowing when to take his or her shots.

Knowing that height does not matter as where there is a will, there is a way. Final thoughts: I will always appreciate basketball because to me it seems you only have to dunk the ball in the basket. Although there may be many rules, the end result is the same. And as for Bugsy Malone, I do like his movies but now I know a little about the other Muggsy and Spud. One can never know too many basketball players defying the odds or too few readings of “The Art of War.” Those are my final thoughts before Monday.

Thanks for listening! Have a great week.

Rain and no barbecue today.
Rain bands pour down on granddaughter’s plants.
No water needed for bird bath.
This plant produced some white flowers.
As the sunflower kneels down to the rain….
The concrete frog rules the roost seen on the stump of the fallen oak. We need not fear tree falling as the wind picks up and the banners of rain fall down.

‘If loving shoes is a crime . . . I’m looking at life without parole.’ Brian Atwood.

Photo by jan valle on Pexels.com

Sometimes the biggest worry is “What shoes should I wear?”

Photo by Alexandra Maria on Pexels.com

It is not abstract but concrete. It comes in more than one color composed of some height and can be described by adjectives, sometimes nouns and mostly it is something we all need. Depending on our differences in climate, disposition, needs or cultural or just a need for comfort, we may park at the door instead of wearing inside the home.

Photo by Wellington Cunha on Pexels.com

Sometimes we have to accept that not all shoes will be the same on a person. How we wear them depends often on where our shoes have tread or where others have tread on us wearing them shoes….so,

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Wherever you find them shoes, remember you might outgrow, outwear, or just sometime need a new pair of shoes…and to that, congrats as that means you are growing and needing a new pair.

Photo by Bess Hamiti on Pexels.com

So you may find a new shoe store, new books, new friends and you talk about new things because you are no longer at the same shoe store finding the same old shoes, reading the same old papers or books, or talking about the same old things.

Photo by wendel moretti on Pexels.com

You have taken off the old shoes, the old stuffiness, the heat index and put on some new shoes.

Keep on trying on shoes….enjoy your weekend!

Around the same time the sunflowers bloomed, I found out that I passed my English 6-12 exam for re-certification. This is always a challenge as one never knows what to expect from the questions and the essay. I have been out of school for awhile but I passed and now will study for the Reading test which is in October. Hopefully, I will be able to add this certification to my certificate also! This will be the last time for re-certification before I turn in the hat.

As for the sunflowers, I planted a few tiny ones also to the immediate right near the blackberry bush I planted. I went to the same vendor and for $12 he gave me 4 more + 2=6 including a beautiful cactus plant which I planted in a pot. He told me that if he is there next summer, he will have more for me. I showed him pictures of the sunflowers. He told me that I was one of the few who said they were coming and showed up.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all you need to do in life is show up on time? Although half of the battle might be won by doing this…..

Continuing with Florida’s Romantic Past…Florida History With Flair!

“What is the best way to remember history?” If you are visiting the site, how can you imagine the people who used to live and work here?

How do you think the feelings of the prisoners were affected by the thick gray walls of the fort? Can you make any connection between the forts of the past and today?

Look at the first paragraph. Which word is made up of two words? Moon + light=moonlight. We can also notice this in the illustration.

Fortress…can you identify any words within this word?

What words are challenging? How can we use inference? Which words are from another language?

Who build the forts? Let’s research the history. What material did they use? Are they still there today? This will help us learn more about the rich and interesting history of Florida.

Update-The illustration made me want to discover more forts in Florida. I am very interested in viewing the Dry Tortugas National Park the next visit we make to the Keys. Bucket list. At heart, we enjoy best by remembering the child within.

A poetry which tells a story is called slam poetry and one of the more recognized slam poets is George “G” Yamazawa from Durham, Carolina. He was born in 1990 and raised in a Buddhist family. When I look at some of his poems, I am reminded of Blondie and her hit “Rapture.”

I found this today going through some of my old papers and writing. I had written this piece for a young man about five years ago. He wanted this for some educational enterprise he was working for and paid me for the writing. As I was reviewing this, some old memories returned of me telling my freshmen students that the first rapper was Blondie. Most did not know of her, so I found a video of her. Then there was the usual, “No,” and the shaking of heads and the giggles.

I continue reading, “Similar to the way “G’ is reaching mainstream audience, as did Blondie with the introduction of the song “Rapture” in 1980. Blondie brought rap and the song “Rapture” to number 1 in 1980. The song was not about fitting in with the mainstream but instead breaking barriers. The song was inspired by events in the African American communities at the time.

You go out at night, eatin’ cars

You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too

Mercuries and Subarus….

Different interpretations for everyone but both genres of songs are about breaking barriers. Slam poetry and the music of Blondie reach different audiences with similar results.

And that is all I have to say….still the music I listen to at the Health Club pounding away on the running machine. As for Yamazawa…who? My students might laugh but she was the forerunner and still going strong. We forget him but Blondie we still google or ask Alexa, “play Rapture.”

Thanks for listening. And I just sampled the new WordPress format. That was interesting.

Nice after the rain to see growth. Reading an old journal from my time in South Korea: Sept. 28 The rain falls softly outside my window once again. Tomorrow Chusok season will begin. Everyone who is Korean seems to be shopping.

From a couple of day prior: They caught the other spies in South Korea. It was fascinating to watch all the guerrilla tactics that went on. I wonder if I have ever taught any North Korean spies. What a marvelous cover, to be a University student studying English at Jeonju University!
(I remember the tanks, tear gas…the Koreans don’t mess around with rioters or dissenters).
October 9th-Went with two Korean teachers, Ms Ko and Mr. Hun to the country. He mentioned the teacher’s union and called Mr. Chung, VP-a dictator. A Canadian teacher tells me K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple). I feel flustered about his crass thinking of Koreans.He tells me “they don’t look further than their armpit.” I don’t know what to say to him. I don’t think this way. I notice the country has developed very quickly. I went to the acupuncturist and was stuck with 6 needles in my back. Today when I came home, one of the locks on the door was unlocked as if someone had tried to enter. Going to sleep. Tired.

Note to self-Nice to be an armchair traveler and remember those days.

I am going to write about the lost art of phone book directories. I am a phone book person I realized today. I grew up using phone books to find names, restaurants, location of school, employment agencies, and everything else now covered by Google.

Phone books were an important part of my past and controlled some chaos for me as I like order. I read everything including phone books. The phone book enabled an old friend and her husband visiting the states from London to find me in 2008. I love phone books. I even taught a remedial reading class in the early 2000’s using a phone book. They didn’t like to read anything, so I made a game of it using the library, nearby locations, the parking lot of the teacher’s car including license plates (which did not endear me to the Assistant Principal) and a few phone books.

The art of controlling chaos: now we have Google but a google search can get like 123,456 hits. I like the small numbers in the phone book and how the names are lined up alphabetically, so even a non-native speaker of English can find the name or location. So in the yellow pages known as “the original search machine” I can find burglar alarms-monitoring & system; coupons for dentists; to tax return preparation. For someone who craves order, I hesitate to throw away a phone book from 2018. We haven’t received any on our doorstep lately and what if I need the location of the nearest private school or a restaurant.

I like it. I like the old-fashioned way of looking things up and no device is listening to me or monitoring my activity. The art of controlling chaos means simplified, doesn’t it? My mind craves simplicity like the water rolling off the duck’s back. Sometimes you can’t improve on this but I guess I need to get rid of this phone book. We are in a disposable society and my google just replaced any phone book you have.

So there….

Big thank you to Brizzy Mays Books and Bruschetta for nominating me for this award and for a sterling tribute: a lass who is most up to anything presented. I accept challenges well! Thank you for those kind words!

Brizzy introduces me to the land Down Under and to her interests, many of which we share including a love of old books, movies, and a keen sense of humor.

Award Rules:

1 Thanks the blogger who nominated you (as above )

2 Answer the questions you are asked ( if you’re comfortable doing so!)

3 Create 10 questions for the bloggers you’ve nominated.

4 Nominate at least 3 bloggers for the Special Blogger Award.

5 Comment on your nominees most recent blog post to let them know you’ve nominated.

6 Have fun!

Answers to questions follow:

My Questions:

1. The last theatrical production or musical performance you attended? Les Miserables.

2. Your next holiday destination? Most likely, the interior of Florida, a small fishing village or a town on the edge of the ocean.

3. Do you set yourself goals? Yes, sometimes. Finish 1 a day, even if it is small like take out the pug for a walk.

4 So many books are made into a movie. Do you have a favourite? I like the Jack Reacher series but the movie never made the mark for me.

5 If you could invite any three people – dead or alive- to a dinner party who would they be? Truman Capote; John F. Kennedy; and Robert Redford.

6 You wish your Super Power was? Invisibility to spy upon situations I have no business hearing.

7 If you could do one thing to change the world what would you do? Write more crime stories with true life good endings.

8 Please share a secret about your childhood. I would play dress up with my paper dolls as they were my invisible friends.

9 Name two things that are on your MUST DO LIST

1. a safari in Kenya with my husband.  2. Publish a book of fiction.

10 Do you have a song, movie or book that you return to when in need of comfort?

Cold Play: Viva La Vida.

My Nominations (with zero pressure attached!):

Kuched-I recently started following this blogger and like his postings.

Murisopsis: A Different Perspective-Yes, I get her “perspective.”

Sinharishika, How can I be so normal? I like her normalcy.

My questions:

  1. If you were a cat with another life, where would you be sitting right now?
  2. What is your favorite song in times of challenge?
  3. In one sentence, tell us about a time you enjoyed being proven wrong.
  4. What is your favorite mode of transportation?
  5. What is your comfort food?
  6. Which is your favorite social media app to use?
  7. If you could name yourself, what name would you chose and why?
  8. What news did you hear recently that surprised you?
  9. How often do you walk in your neighborhood?
  10. Are there any writers who influence the writing of your blog?

Thank you for your graciousness and kindness with this endeavor! Cheers…

If I could rule the world….





I keep a few lists of potential blogs in one tiny composition book. Another might be work ideas and the third might be password lists, grocery list.

So I reviewed this morning getting ready for a busy week ahead. Yesterday was a delightful day at the beach.

1)shoes-evidently the craze about we all scream for shoes. I bought a new pair of comfortable ones so I get used to standing all day and threw out two pairs but at the end of the day, I noticed how much was being asked for one pair, so I took them back and then tried on the other. They felt comfortable, so I kept them like an old friend. I also bought a new pair.

2)Keto-clearer mentally sharper…I think I want to write about keto because some bloggers keep asking me for recipes or what a picture is of…..inquiring minds want to know.

3)manicure-noticing details, why do I not have a manicure? My garden, digging in the mud, saving my sunflowers.

4)twigs-getting rid of the details and finding the big picture…not sure where I was going with this one.

5)spy craft-sniper…we have been watching Quantico. The other day at the VA waiting for husband, I went out of my comfort zone and exchanged few pleasantries with a sniper from the Marine Corp. Afterwards, husband pointed out a few discrepancies in his story making me wonder if I was able to comfortably play a game like five truths and one lie.

6)Getting rid of all the no’s received from Submittable.com. Some were from 2016. I finally broke down and when it stated “in progress” decided they forgot me or lost my work. Now, I have one pending from 2020.

7)Can you help me figure this one out? Amy Winehouse, Amy Parker, and Amy….no idea…Who did I want to write about?

8)”Women and elephants never forget.” Quote by Dorothy Parker. Perhaps that answers #7.

9)Finding things in the dollar store or not finding them.

10)I have a list and now on the next page, two phone numbers. I don’t remember who they are for…and this is how I organize myself. As they say, less is better. Remembering there is a blogger who asked to see photos of the bathroom redecorated and the little outside porch husband redid. Now, there is a name for this porch part. Do I need to know? Do you need to know?

It will be a busy week and I don’t think I will be making more lists for awhile. Thanks for listening. I feel better already and getting rid of shoes was not involved.

My new poem “The Artiste: Live at SpillWords Press, NYC. Photo by me.

The Artiste

The art of war
Sickles between my toes
Ticking my sense of time
Stealing the rhododendrons
From the gardens, blood red trickling with the red rose petals running rover
stealing my sensibilities. Like the poet, I am I cringe…

To continue reading “The Artiste” please go to SpillWords press. https://spillwords.com/the-artiste/

I was filling in some forms recently and someone asked, “I am trying to decide where you are from.” Where I am from? I said “New York.” She said, “New York but I don’t hear an accent.”

She was talking about the traditional New York accent or Brooklynese of perhaps, Mona Lisa Vito, Marisa Tomei’s fast talking character in “My Cousin Vinny.” Since I mostly grew up in upstate New York, traveled and lived overseas, and have lived in the South for a long time, I don’t have any distinguishable accent. When I do pronounce some words such as “Coffee” “water” then you can hear an accent.

It is interesting though that you can’t really correlate people and their regions by likes or dislikes. It turns out she was also from upstate New York, further North than I. She asked me, “Would you ever go back?” Meaning from the warm sun, the wonderful ocean, and the balmy weather we experience along with the more laid back people.

I thought of a cute little second home in the mountains about 800 square feet to call our own with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and a great view. I would prop up a desk, and begin to write. Solitude, get to know the neighbors down the way but the last time the husband and I visited five years ago it had changed. And yet, walking down the street, my husband approached an older couple and mentioned my parent’s name. They remembered them! The knew me! A small town, the essence of what distinguishes my personality. I make personal connections with people often based on my background and my need to establish familiarity. If you would like to know which part of the world I am from, invite me to have a cup of coffee with you.

You’ll figure it out in a few minutes. How about you? What can we learn about where you are from in a conversation with you?

Looking back over my photos from the past years on WordPress, my desire to share bread with a few dinner guests. My tastes have not really changed. The bigger question would be the menu or who would cater if I won the lottery because as you know I like my games of chance by my choice. So, here goes my guest list.

The entertainer
Saying the grace and saving grace + elegance.
+ Jared = 2.
Everglades hunter of python for reality check.
husband who thinks outside of the box…
A few classmates and friends.
And there. The goal of the exercise was to use each of my photos from the beginning of my years with WordPress to concoct a good story. And so, I succeeded.
And the last is the judge, the man whose face said so much in Ozarks without speaking one word.

Thanks for listening! Don’t be confused. Read along the way.

And while I am staring out at the garden for inspiration, know husband and I can team play. For example: the light in the garden, I found through a bike ride in the neighborhood and husband arranged to have the electrician come in and hook up with lights while I was teaching in the UAE. It was for sale for $50 but hooking it up was a little more expensive.

Although he is retired, he still can bake delicious desserts. This is a keto raspberry cheesecake with low carbs.I think I found a recipe…but he made it his own.

We take turns cooking. I love to cook and am creative and experiment often with not following the recipe. I don’t let the ladies know my husband can cook and also is pretty handy with fixing things in the home or else you know, I would constantly be beating them away from the door….

He fixes a few lights, changes the bathroom. Next is the kitchen and I get to tell him my vision, mostly.

This is one half of the outdoor porch as the other half, he build a pergola for us to sit under this summer. As soon as we have a few dry days without rain, I will take a picture. We both take care of the garden. Since he grills, he will be using the grill to barbecue. That is okay with me. I do not grill.

When I need something handy and pithy for my students who are veterans or interested in the military, I go to Michael and he gives me a saying. So, you see we are a team bringing different strengths and abilities to the table, so to speak.

Thanks for listening! Enjoy the rest of the weekend. I am really having fun with this new style.

We worked in our garden getting grubby fingernails. For a treat, I took the granddaughter for a pedicure with hot stones. She texted and I talked with her sharing a few insights.

It rained often. Hurricanes came but they never touched land, so we were not affected but it is not over, yet….

There was a shortage of toilet paper but we were okay as husband, the hoarder or stocker, if you prefer kept us stocked.

I continued with keto diet for both of us, as did husband from deviled eggs, meats, stuffed mushrooms and the occasional glass of wine.

We enjoyed lunch and meeting a few times with the stepson and family. Michael took little Charles for a trip to Home Depot where he helped carry some lumber. We also did some house sitting of their dogs this time at their home, so I got to explore a new area! Husband enjoyed their very big tv!

While husband made a few keto cheesecake desserts, I tinkered with my old journals reliving my time in South Korea as an English teacher. “Laughing Africa” my short story was finally published twice and I am ready to move forward.

As I write more, foolishly I sign a contract with a friend but then complete my part of the contract by time signed. As Brizzy May suggests, “Get it off your plate” and so I do. Grammar book is ready to send the draft to Ms. D. I have finished before December which is a good thing because I will be busy for the next few months.

We have played some lottery tickets this summer, watched some great Netflix series (currently watching Quantico), cleaned a few corners, gotten rid of a few things, and promised to bring less trash into the present. I passed a few exams and learned a new vocabulary from Conference to Canvas and RAFT and all in between. We celebrated my passing and enjoyed the humor of Schnitt’s Creek. In other words, I will tread carefully but I am excited as I have accepted a face-to-face teaching position once again from now until January.

So hopefully, my excitement will continue longer than the sunflowers might with the predatory squirrels and hawks about and then of course, you have the snakes.

I will tread lightly and move forward keeping in mind some of the lessons bloggers have shown me. September promises to be very busy but I will keep perspective and watch my steps treading lightly.

Can you spot the snake curled up?

And of course, I will keep blogging with you, my crew.