Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Coffee House


Winter is approaching; I feel the chill in the air. I hurry across the parking lot and stoop under a canopy of colorful flowers that will soon need to be taken in out of the cold weather. I open the door, and I’m welcomed by a warm blanket of air that envelopes me in the rich aromas of fresh coffee and baked goods. Stepping into the coffee house and closing the door behind me, I lock the chill of the cold fall day outside.

Live plants are positioned around the room, their leaves casting shadows in the muted lighting. The dark blue ceiling appears low enough to touch. Pine wood panels cover the bottom half of the walls. The tan color on the top half of the walls is a shade darker than the pine, tying the pine wood panels to the darker color of the ceiling. Various works of art hang on the wall. I feel as though I’ve stepped into the den of a country home. Overstuffed chairs in shades of green, blue and maroon are arranged into mini-living rooms with matching pine end tables and coffee tables. Sets of dining tables are set comfortably apart from one another with padded forest green chairs. The blue carpet has maroon running through it, tying the whole color scheme together into a nice country setting. The ceiling fans are on, moving just enough to keep the aroma of coffee and baked goods circulating throughout the room. The front of the counter is open, revealing an array of delicious-looking baked goods arranged in wicker baskets.

A man is seated in a corner of the room, his coffee cup in one hand and a newspaper in the other. A group of older women are chatting happily as they crochet, hooks flying skillfully through the yarn as they talk. They smile as I walk toward the counter, nodding their hellos. I place my order with the man behind the counter, and he expertly creates my perfect blend of coffee, milk and caramel. My fresh hot coffee warming my cold hands, I walk to one of the arranged seating areas closer to the wall and rest in one of the padded chairs. The whirring of the coffee grinder, the gurgling of the coffee brewing, the bubbling of the steamer warming the milk, and the humming of the refrigerator create a relaxing symphony of sounds. I take a sip of my hot coffee, relishing the warmth. My eyes get heavy, and I settle to the sounds and smells of the coffee shop. I can hear the man moving behind the counter, and it carries me back to memories of my mother moving through the kitchen making Sunday morning breakfast. The rustling of the newspaper as a page is turned reminds me of my father at the dining table reading his paper. I feel as though I have come home.

The serenity of the coffee shop is only interrupted by the occasional rush of traffic sounds as the door is opened by the next cold customer eagerly awaiting his or her taste of home.




It hits me the moment I step out of the car. My stomach lurches in an attempt to retch away the odors assaulting me. The faint hints of bleach and antiseptic barely mask the decay and toothy smoke smell that surrounds the building.

Walking toward the door, the stench intensifies and I can almost taste the barely concealed rot. I gag harder.

Sneaking quick breaths between long moments of not breathing at all, I stagger to the door of the office. The door squeals ominously as I open it and I’m surrounded by a sudden cacophony of sounds. The sucking and scraping provide a background for the whine of the drills digging. Mumbled voices slurping and moaning around devices in their mouths are mixed with impulsive whimpers of pain.

I collapse into a chair in the waiting room, my heart beating out the seconds to my appointment time. I absently stare at the pages of a magazine, dabbing the beads of sweat from my forehead with trembling hands.

I recoil when the nurse calls my name.

“The dentist will see you now!”

Caramel Macchiato



my typical morning begins


a rich smooth hot caramel


topped with frothed white milk

raw sugar

and brown caramel drizzled on



*a poem written in 2011 for a creative writing course I was taking. The poem was meant to follow the style of a poem in our text. I forget the name of the poem I was trying to style after…but will update if/when I find it.

Something you look forward to in the next 12 months…


I imagine the next 12 months will bring so many changes for me. I am, above all things, looking forward to seeing exactly where life takes me this year.

March my son turned 16 years old. We spent time with my husband’s side of the family to celebrate.

April will be the last full month of this semester for me and in

May I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Community Leadership. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I expect to graduate Magna Cum Laude, which is pretty freaking cool.

June will officially mark the beginning of summer around here and that will also mean the beginning of some outdoor adventures for our family. We’d love to visit Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks this year as well as doing a few hikes locally to see some waterfalls.

July is always fun with the fireworks on the 4th (assuming we are not on high fire alert) and more summer fun.

August is my oldest son’s 22nd birthday and I am hoping we’ll get to see him.

September is my husband’s birthday and so I’m sure we’ll do something special for that as well.

October is Halloween which is a pretty big deal around here. We even have a headless horseman!

November is my youngest son’s birth month and he’ll be turning 14 years old. We also have our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. Plus, my husband and I will celebrate 19 years of marriage.

December is, of course, Christmas time and with that comes all of the beautiful lights. Plus, I’m usually busy with custom orders for gifts.

January is the beginning of a new year, which always feels like a new start for me.

February is my birth month and I’ll welcome yet another year with open arms.

Over the next year my focus will be on getting to the place I want to be as I move from college to career. This involves becoming much more active so I can be in shape and possibly checking out some resume and cover letter courses from Job Service so I can be prepared with the best possible paper foot forward. Odds are pretty good that a career might involve moving to a surrounding town somewhere, so that is also an option. Plus, with starting a new career we’re considering the possibility that we may need a new vehicle so we both have a car to drive.

I really want to spend more time writing poetry and short stories, especially after graduation gives me the extra free time to do that.


Basic Things About ME


One of my friends posted a blog with a 30-day Writing Challenge. (You can view that blog here) I thought it might be fun to give it a try. Day 1 is Basic things about yourself.

  1. I turned 40 this year. I remember being a teenager and thinking that 40 was so old. Now I’m 40 and it doesn’t feel old at all. I am, however, quite cognizant of the fact that it may seem that way to others.
  2. I have been married 18 years. My husband would tell you that it seems a lot longer. The secret to our marriage is his sense of humor and our shared stubbornness. He swears he is going to get me a card on our 25th Wedding Anniversary that says, “If I would have killed you when I met you, I’d be out by now.” He has had this planned since day 1.
  3. I have had four children. People ask and I never quite know how to answer. It seems complicated for general conversation. My first child was a boy. He is now 21 with a child of his own. I did not raise him myself, but that story is far too complicated. My second child was a girl. She died 24 hours before she was to be born and therefore, was stillborn. Her name was ShaunnaMichelle. My third child is a boy. He is 16 today. My how the time flies. He looks nothing like me and yet Facebook declares that he is my evil twin. I don’t know about the “evil” part as we can both be quite the troublemakers, but twin seems pretty accurate. I’m proud of him. My fourth child is a boy. He is 13. He looks almost exactly like me, though in much better shape. He is strong willed and smart. I have no doubts he will go far in life if he can rein in his temper.
  4. I expect to graduate Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Criminal Justice on May 7, 2016. It has been a long road in school, but that was mostly because I wanted to learn everything. I’ve taken psychology, writing, Spanish, computers, community leadership, and criminal justice courses, among so many others. I loved them all and I really think a part of me could absolutely be a student forever. I’ve had some of the best professors too.
  5. I like seeing vivid colors. I also love using them in my creative expressions. I like the view of a gorgeous sunrise or sunset, the full moon, and the clouds before a hurricane. I love the scent of rain, men’s cologne, fresh cut grass, leather, raw silk, and puppy breath. I love the sound of kittens purring, a child’s belly laugh, music with a good drum beat, and the sound of a fan at night. I love the feel of the cold spray from a waterfall, the burn in your muscles after a fun hike, the brush of cashmere against your skin, and the prickles of kittens kneading on your arm. I love the taste of hot tea, chocolate over strawberries, caramel in coffee, and Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donuts.
  6. I hate peas, potatoes, liver, onions, and peppers. I hate trying new foods. My brother-in-law calls me a communist because I don’t like potatoes. It’s a running joke. I hate the smell of skunks, cigarette smoke, diesel fuel, and deep fried anything. I hate seeing child abuse, animal abuse, hate, bigotry, and apathy. I hate hearing people chew, ice chipping, people fighting, children crying, and needless machines making racket. I hate the feel of a commercial wool sweater. They are itchy. I hate the feel of hot sheets, a dog’s tongue, a thin coffee cup, a too-thick tea cup, and popcorn kernels in your teeth.
  7. I believe in our justice system. I believe in law. I believe in community. I believe in standing together. I believe in love. I believe that, while things can always improve, we must work with what we have. I believe in resilience. I believe in moving forward. I believe in I can and I will. I believe in personal power. I believe in education. I appreciate those who see the good in life, even when faced with adversity.
  8. I do not like those who hurt others. I do not like those who cannot capture their own strengths and make a difference, even with help. I despise the victim role and applaud the survivor.
  9. I like hiking to waterfalls, geocaching, and fishing when I actually manage to catch something. I love beading. I love spinning yarn and knitting. I love art and writing. I love pretty much any form of creative expression and enjoy trying new ones.
  10. I am absolutely passionate about law enforcement and it is my dream to be a police officer.

If you would like to know something I haven’t spoken about, please ask! If you are participating in this challenge, feel free to link in the comments!

Wings of Change


The wings of change flutter softly by

Gently touching a moment on her cheek as she plays

in blue overalls muddied by cakes made from nature.

She barely notices as she swipes them away

and runs for the house from the rains that cloud the sun.

The wings of change flutter softly by

Softly landing on the tip of her button nose as she hops from foot to foot

in her brand new clothes that her mother made.

She gives no second thoughts to flipping them away

waiting for the large yellow bus to take her to school on her first day.

The wings of change flutter softly by

Delicately playing in her hair as she studies her image in the mirror

Putting the finishing touches on her makeup and hair.

She is too busy to see as she combs them away

Getting ready for her high school graduation day.

The wings of change flutter softly by

Casually landing on her shoulder as she smiles

At the boy she has just met under the large oak tree on campus.

She is too enamored to see them brushed away

As he puts his hands on her shoulder to draw her in for their kiss.

The wings of change flutter softly by

Gracefully touching each of her breasts

as she grips the hands of her love

She is in too much pain to watch them fly away

As she delivers the twin little girls.

The wings of change flutter softly by

Noiselessly fluttering seconds by in beats of wings

As she watches her daughters play in the yard

She is too content to watch them fly

As she holds the hand of her love.

But the wings of change flutter softly by

Gently persistent in imperceptibly bringing change

Even as her hair grows gray and her face shows wrinkles

She sees the fluttering now

In her aged hands as she sits next to the man she loves

And picks up their grandchildren for a hug.

Tell Me a Story


Tell me a story

of places far away

a place I can go, a place I can stay

for just a little while, a part of the story I’ll be

make it something wonderful

a story just for me

Tell me a story

with action and love

I need a happy ending

to fill me with hope

Tell me a story

make it up as you go

take me with you there

don’t leave me alone

Tell me a story

bring it alive

with words carefully chosen

and I might tell you mine.