Weekend Coffee Share: Pleasure in the Little Things


It’s Sunday night and, admittedly, I’m getting to Nerd in the Brain’s ‘Weekend Coffee Share’  (here)  little late. I hope a newcomer can be forgiven.

So, gentle readers, how was your weekend? Mine was rather nice – a mix of happiness and nostalgia.

FridayI’m never really sure where the weekends go. Friday night is always full of promise: On Saturday and Sunday, I’m going to work on my short stories; I’m going to publish a new flash fiction on my blog; I’m going to actually update my blog to make sure you all haven’t forgotten me! Added to that are dreams of cleaning out closets, getting the laundry done, spending time with the people I love, and also having an hour or two for quiet contemplation. And, lest I forget, an hour each day for my exercise routine.

Come Saturday morning, the mad rush to get everything accomplished commences. Before I know it, it is Sunday night and I’m laying out the clothes for my return to work on Monday morning, packing lunch, and making a to-do list of all the things I need to accomplish as soon as I arrive at the office on Monday.

Ah, Friday night! You beautiful dreamer! You are always full of unfulfilled promise. Perhaps that is why I love you so – you give off the tantalizing aroma of possibility, even if never completely fulfilled.

Some of the things I did manage to accomplish this weekend:

I actually did fit in my hour long walks. Kudos to me! I have been fairly good the past few months, walking daily (even while on vacation) and fitting in a workout with weights three times a week. I find I feel much happier (oh, you lovely endorphins!) and energized when I work out – although I must admit I have to force myself to begin. I am not a lover of exercise. No, I am a lover of sitting on the sofa with a large mug of coffee and a good book in hand.

Speaking of books, I have been reading about the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Warfield DuchessSimpson, formerly of Baltimore. Those of you who are history buffs will recall that Wallis is the infamous divorcee for whom the King of England (Edward VIII) gave up his throne because he could not govern ‘without the woman I love at my side.’

Having grown up in Baltimore, it is quite interesting to reflect that this famous lady lived on streets whose names I am familiar with and went to school at Oldfields in Baltimore County – I work perhaps fifteen minutes from that venerable institution.

What sparked my interest in the Duke and Duchess of Windsor is my immense enjoyment of the Netflix series about Queen Elizabeth II titled ‘The Crown.’ I’m impressed with the quality of this series. As one who has read extensively about the Royal Family, I find it does not stray too far from truth.

I am an Anglophile, I proudly admit it! My love and admiration for England has no bounds.

And speaking of England, that leads me to the next enjoyable part of my weekend. I skyped with my friend, Belinda, who resides ‘on the other side of the pond,’ as they say. I am quite taken with her charming English accent and try to mimic it. Alas, I always end up


When Belinda visited me in August 2015. My favorite photo of two very good friends.

sounding like Dick Van Dyke in ‘Mary Poppins,’ which causes her to make merry at my expense. She, on the other hand, thinks all Americans sound like Dolly Parton or someone from the Bronx. She has yet to master a Mid-Atlantic accent. We shall work on that when she comes to visit my husband and me at the end of April. To say that I am excited about her pending visit is an understatement.

I mentioned there was a bit of nostalgia this weekend as well.

I visited with my mother who is now in an assisted living facility. My mother suffers from dementia. Her long-term memory is quite sharp, but her short-term memory is very bad.

This morning I stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and bought her some Bavarian Crème munchkins, her favorites. She ate one and then set the small bag aside. Five minutes later, she glanced at it and said, ‘Oh, look! Donuts! Did you bring those?’

My husband visits my mom on Wednesdays. She tells me she hasn’t seen him in months. My sister visits at least once a week, yet my mother always asks me if I’ve seen her, saying she hasn’t in a long time. As for me, I think she forgets I was there as soon as I leave.

It’s very hard to no longer be able to talk with my mother in a meaningful way. I miss being able to tell her things, knowing she always understood and took my part. She is my mother – and yet, she is not. Now, the simplest conversation is hard for her to follow, poor lady.

In addition to the dementia, she is profoundly deaf. Her hearing aids no longer allow her to hear conversations well. My sister came up with the brilliant idea of getting a white board for her room, and now my mother will read the white board and we can ‘converse’ with her. She is happier, less frustrated. So are we.


My beautiful mother, all of 20 years old, my handsome dad – and me!

I wrote on the board today about a few stories I am working on, fictional takes from experiences from our past. I’m not sure how much of it got through to her, but she smiled when I wrote to her about her own mother. That made me smile, too.

Today, before I left, I wrote on her whiteboard that I loved her and drew a big heart and wished her a good week. I then hung it next to her chair. Perhaps she will remember that I visited when she looks at the message. I hope so.

As any woman will understand, when you need a lift, you go shopping! Today I managed to snag a pair of very expensive, dressy black flats at 50% off the retail price. I was quite happy and anticipate wearing them at my next dressy event.

Sunday ended with my sweet husband and I going to Primanti Brothers for dinner. He had one of their killer sandwiches (huge!) and I had a small Chicken Caesar Salad flat bread (yum). I love going out with my husband. We take trivia cards with us and quiz one another on our knowledge. Since we tend to be bar eaters, invariably other patrons at the bar will join in on the fun. I am pretty good at trivia. I have a mind that holds a lot of useless information.

When I think about my mom, I realize how quickly life flies by. All those Friday night dreams of what I hope to accomplish don’t mean nearly half as much as the moments I spend with my husband, my mom, my sister and my friends. Life is made up of moments. It’s good to savor the sweet and gentle ones. They are fleeting – and for that reason, precious.

Thanks for letting me bend your ear for a while. I’ve enjoyed it. Now my coffee is quite cold, so I’ll say good night. Have a lovely week, my friends – and make sure to spend a good portion of it with those you love.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved Kate Loveton, Odyssey of a Novice Writer

Posted in #Weekend Coffee Share, About Me, Family, Friendship, Love, My Life, Sisters | 12 Comments

All the Time in the World

Okay, I am going to be upfront and just admit it: I have fallen in love with a BLOG.

Mitch Teemley has one of the best blogs I have come across while traveling around the blogosphere (here).  Mitch describes himself as a story teller (writer, filmmaker, public speaker). He brings a lot of his heart to his writing and his Christian perspective. He is never heavy handed – I like that. He makes a point, but with a fine touch – he will never bludgeon you with his point of view.

I enjoy Mitch’s posts the way I do a box of fine, expensive chocolate: I choose a serving each day and savor it. I hope you will check out his blog – it is something special and well worth your time. To get you started, I am reblogging one of his posts.


Mitch Teemley


I saw the movie The Time Machine as a kid and immediately became obsessed with the idea of time travel. I held my breath as George departed, determined to make the future better, and his friend the Scottish botanist observed, “He has all the time in the world.” Then I swallowed the lump in my throat and rushed to the library to check out the H.G. Wells novel that (along with fellow steampunk Jules Verne’s works) formed the template for modern science fiction.

Years later, I was invited to a liquidation sale of props and costumes from the old MGM Studios. Some iconic items were available for absurdly low prices (back then no one considered them collectibles). These included Judy Garland’s ruby slippers and Scarlett O’Hara’s curtain dress from Gone with the Wind. But the thing my eyes fixed on was the time machine, the one that Rod Taylor had travelled to the future…

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Posted in My Blogger Friends, Popular Culture | 4 Comments



Not really hungry, Freida pushed the small bits of cherry pie around her plate with the tines of her fork.

Cherry pie. It was Thursday night, and Thursday nights always meant cherry pie.

Andrew sat across from her, his Daily Times newspaper precisely folded so that the day’s crossword puzzle was displayed, fitting neatly next to his napkin and pie plate. There was a slight scowl on his face as he worked the puzzle, and he unconsciously gnawed at the nubby eraser on his pencil’s end.

He looked up at her. “I need a thirteen letter word meaning ‘one having the quality of having insight into things.’ Any ideas?”

“What letters do you already have filled in?” she asked, continuing to push the pie around her plate.

“Hmm, the word begins with a ‘p’ and ends with the letters ‘c-i-o-u-s.’”

Freida thought for several seconds. She had been Somerset County’s Spelling Bee Champion at the age of 13 and had been destined for great things, according to her teachers.

So much for destiny.

“How about ‘perspicacious’ – does that fit?”

Andrew’s face brightened. “It does!” Thanks, old girl!” he said, and then lowered his face back to the puzzle.

Old girl, she thought. Well, I like that that! He’s the one sporting a balding head and fuzzy earlobes!

Raising a piece of the pie to her mouth, she began chewing its cloying sweetness defiantly. Old girl – how that affectionate term grated. Freida didn’t feel old. She was on the right side of fifty and ready to experience life. Andrew, on the other hand, was content with Thursday night cherry pie and a daily crossword puzzle to solve.

What had happened to the two of them? She hadn’t signed up for this!

She started to take up another forkful of the pie and stopped. Why was she even eating this stuff? She didn’t particularly like pie. This was Andrew’s doing, not hers. Every Thursday, always cherry pie. Sometimes she had an almost overpowering urge to stage a rebellion, maybe serve chocolate cake – and on a Wednesday. That would fix Mr. Must Have Cherry Pie’s wagon.

She put down the fork and began to rub her temples. She was so sick of the same old routine that at times she thought she would scream.

Each night without fail, Andrew would walk through the door at 6:15 PM, slip from his shoes into his favorite slippers, scratch the cat’s ears, and settle down in front of the television until he was served dinner. And after that? The infernal crossword puzzle.

In the beginning, it was one of the things she liked about Andrew – his unfailing sense of routine. Her own upbringing had been chaotic and crazy, and she never knew which parent would be at home or out drinking until all hours. Sliding into Andrew’s predictable world had been like letting the warm water of a bathtub envelope her. Soothing. Comforting.

But sometime during the last forty years the water had become tepid, and Freida longed to step out of it and into something more bracing. She wanted to chart new territory and try new things while they still could.

A fine example was their vacation which was rapidly approaching. Each year they went to Ocean City for two weeks with his brother, George, and George’s wife, Trudy. They spent their days sitting under bright beach umbrellas that had been jammed into the sand, watching children and young adults playing in the surf. Andrew and George would fall asleep, listening to the crashing waves while she and Trudy would catch up on the people they knew while gossiping about the ones they didn’t. They went to the same old restaurants, little fish and crab shacks smelling of salt and brine, and sit at newspaper-covered tables, drinking beer from local distilleries. At night, the four of them would play cards in the beachfront condo they rented.

Freida wasn’t fond of Trudy, cards or the beach, yet year after blasted year she ended up there, stuck in a routine as irritating to her as chalk dragged across a blackboard.

“Andrew,” she said, sitting up a little taller and marshalling her strength, “let’s talk about our vacation plans this year.”

“Hmm?” His head bent close to the puzzle as he penciled in another clue, Freida’s words barely registered.

“I think we should make some plans.”

Andrew hardly stirred. “What are you talking about? We have plans – we are going to Ocean City with George and Trudy.”

“Well, I want to do something different! There’s no law that says we have to go away with your brother every year.”

Now Andrew was looking at her. “But we always spend vacations with George and Trudy.”

“I think we should do something different this year. We used to talk about driving up to Niagara Falls for a long weekend. Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

“Niagara Falls?” He was staring at her in disbelief. “There’s water at the beach, for Pete’s sake! Why do you want to travel several states away to stare at even more water? And what if George and Trudy don’t want to go to Niagara Falls?”

“I hope they don’t want to go! Why do we need to go on vacation with anyone else? And Niagara Falls is one of the natural wonders of the world! Think of it, Andrew, all that crashing water! The power of it! The excitement!”

“Are you feeling alright?” he asked, studying her. He hesitated and then said softly, “Is it the ‘change?’”

Pushing aside her anger at his question, she cried, “I feel great! I feel alive! Come on, Andrew, let’s do it! Let’s live a little!”

Andrew pursed his lips and looked away. Freida always hated when he did that – it was his way of showing disapproval.

“You might have told me all this before I gave George the deposit for the condo. I doubt we can get it back. And what about George? He and Trudy are expecting us to join them. It’s pretty damned selfish of you to go and upset the applecart just a month or two from vacation. This isn’t like you, Freida, creating a big mess for no reason.”

His soft, angry snort said everything, and then he went back to his puzzle.

Freida’s face sagged with unhappiness, and her momentary excitement quickly ebbed, leaving her to wonder if Andrew wasn’t right. This wasn’t like her. She’d always gone along with whatever he wished to do. It was only lately that she’d felt any dissatisfaction with the way they lived. Could he be right? Was it the ‘change’ that was affecting her?

She didn’t think so, but had nothing else to pin her malaise on.

Andrew, having already dismissed the conversation from his mind, interrupted her thoughts. “What’s a ten letter word meaning ‘discerning’ that begins with a ‘p’ and ends with the letters ‘t-i-v-e?’”

Freida stabbed a piece of the pie with her fork and looked at it. “Perceptive,” she replied quietly.

Andrew examined the open blocks of the puzzle. “Yes! That’s a fit! You’re so good at this, old girl.”

The former Somerset County Spelling Bee Champion gave him a weary smile and raised the fork to her lips.

Cherry pie. Just like always.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved Kate Loveton, Odyssey of a Novice Writer


This story was written in response to ‘Two for Tuesday’s’ prompt (found here) to write a flash fiction using the words ‘perspicacious’ and ‘perceptive.’

Posted in My Fiction | 12 Comments

Eight Simple Ideas to Inspire Your Blogging

I stumbled across Terri Webster Schrandt’s blog, Second Wind Leisure (found here) and found the article below quite helpful. If you get an opportunity to explore Terry’s web, you should do so. She has some very good content there as well as a generous offer of free photos that you can utilize for your blogging. Check it out.

Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

8 simple ideas to inspire your blogging

Another New Year’s inspirational post? Not exactly…

The blogosphere is full of inspirational New Year’s posts. And why not? It’s that time of the year to dust off the good ideas you may have left behind last year and refresh them. Or not.

This post is about finding new inspiration for your blog and its care and feeding. Can you believe some folks’ resolutions are to STOP blogging? Oh, the horror!

Well, that could have been me!

In 2016, I left the comfort of blogging on WordPress dot com, for the world of self-hosting. I envisioned taking my blog to a business level (with no real plan in mind, other than tying it in with my consulting business), having been inspired by many fellow bloggers who have done so. For many, self-hosting is a wonderful and valuable experience. However, there are limitations. Losing your followers is a big one, followed…

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Posted in Blogging Tips, My Blogger Friends, Writing | 2 Comments

Lucky to Have You


Happy birthday to my big sister! I’m lucky to have you as my sister and my friend!

Friday was my birthday. It was nice to wake up to birthday messages from family and friends on my Facebook page. One of the nicest messages was from my sister. Never one for sentimentality, she surprised me by posting a photo of the two of us. She was probably less than a year old; I was five or six. Underneath the photo she wrote, “Happy birthday to my big sister! I’m lucky to have you as my sister and my friend!”


Sleeping Beauty and Lily Munster

You’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s nice, but what’s the big deal?” The big deal is that it has been quite a journey for us to get to this point.

My sister and I have different temperaments, and for many years we had different friends, different interests – and a few frosty differences between us. Ours was a prickly relationship. I teased her relentlessly when we were kids, enjoying the ability to terrorize her. She still recalls the stories I told her about the witch who lived in the wall next to her bed, and my sinister warnings that the old crone would come out and eat her if she should fall asleep. She attributes this abuse to her inability even now to get a good night’s sleep.

I made up all sorts of stories to horrify her. I had no idea she would remember them years later. She enjoys reminding me that I once told her she was a robot who just appeared to be human, and that our parents purchased her from a traveling salesman from outer space who specialized in refitting old robots into new, almost human bodies. I have a vague recollection of this – her breaking into tears, and my mother yelling at me for ‘scaring the baby.’

It’s tough work being the big sister. Especially when the little sister threatens to send the bills for her ongoing therapy to you for payment.

Even so, I can’t be too hard on myself. I figure I must have done something right because she is now a very bold and self-confident person. I like to think I toughened her up for the real world. I, on the other hand, am pretty boring, and much happier blending into the woodwork. Perhaps I needed a big sister to spin a few frightening tales my way. It might have made me tougher.

During our young adult years, we didn’t see much of each other. We just weren’t that interested. We weren’t close.  Our conversations were rather like maneuvering one’s way across a minefield. You never knew when one or the other of us would say something that would blow up in our faces.


Looking momentarily angelic!

I was having a conversation with my best buddy a few days ago. We drifted into a discussion about the ego, and she explained that our egos fluctuate at any given moment between three roles: parent, adult and child. When we converse with others, these three aspects of the ego come into play. Perfectly innocent remarks may set us off and cause us to react either authoritatively (parent), maturely (adult), or immaturely (child). It is not so much what the other person is saying as much as it is what we bring to the conversation – our fears, failures, hopes and dreams – that causes us to put a spin on things not intended by the speaker. Then, before you know it, there is conflict.

When you think about conversations as transactions between people that can set off unintended consequences, it makes you wonder if it wouldn’t be better to be a hermit rather than risk tripping over one of those explosive conversational land mines.

My sister and I had to learn to cautiously maneuver around the hidden mines just waiting to trip us up. Fortunately, we were good pupils.

In the end, what brought us back together was my father’s terminal illness. We began to talk more often, and one sad day the two of us went to the funeral home to make preparations for our dad’s impending death. It was a very difficult thing, listening to the funeral director, discussing the arrangements. At one point, he led the two of us into a room filled with a variety of burial caskets. After giving us a lengthy sales pitch about one casket – a sky blue affair with a satin lining with a sewn pattern of flying geese – he left us alone to decide which casket to pick.

My sister looked at me. “Definitely not the blue one. Dad isn’t a hunter.”

Something came over me, a need to lighten the mood. “I don’t know… I kind of like the pretty blue color.”

“Really?” I could hear the disbelief in her voice.

“Really,” I said with a straight face. “It looks kind of small, though. Tell you what, why don’t you climb in real quick, lay flat, and we’ll see if it’s big enough.”

For a moment, she just stared at me, her eyes wide. Then we both broke into laughter. First the laughter, then a few tears.

Sometimes in the sad moments, you have to look for the laughter. It’s what keeps you going.


Moments of laughter keep you going in the tough times.

Since then, we’ve shared a lot of moments together. Some have been wonderful while others have been not so good. We’ve watched our mother’s slow decline into dementia, and the challenges all three of us face as a result.

It’s good to have a sister. It’s good to have someone who has been with you most of your life. Someone who experienced the things you remember from childhood. When we were small, my mother used to say to us, “Be nice to each other. Sisters should be the best of friends.” I don’t think we understood that back then. We were too busy fighting. I think you need to get some years behind you before you treasure the people who have been with you since the beginning. They understand why you’re crazy at times. They get what drives you – and what can crush you.

My sister and I do lots of things together now. We are no longer reluctant siblings. We are friends. Close friends. Some people never find their way back to each other. It can be a hard journey.

It’s a journey worth taking, however.

My sister says she’s lucky to have me as both sister and friend. I feel the same, but I like to think it is grace that healed our relationship, not just luck. It’s such a gift when people can come together, renew old ties, form stronger bonds. It’s grace that allows people to let go of the past. It’s grace that fortifies them for the future.

Of course, I don’t say all that to my sister. I just grin and say, “I’m lucky to have you, too.”


Posted in Family, Grace, My Life, Sisters | 16 Comments

Guest Post by Sue Vincent: These Are a Few of Her Favorite Things

It is always fun to read about fellow bloggers. In this case, Sue Vincent, guesting on Noelle Granger’s blog, shares a few of her favorite things. Enjoy.


Sue Vincent of The Daily Echo blog (http://scvincent.com/) agreed to my request for a guest post on the subject of: These Are a Few of My favorite Things. I know you will enjoy this.


Noelle recently agreed to write a guest post for my blog, and in return, she kindly asked me to reciprocate by sharing a few of my favourite things. This is more difficult than it seems… how do you pick out a handful of favourites from a world full of people and wonders? Leaving people out of the equation entirely seemed the only way forward. I went back to the blog for inspiration and looked at the things that generally make me pick up the pen, because these are the things that always make my heart smile.

sv-1-aniNo surprise then, that the first ‘thing’ to come to mind was Ani, the accidental dog with a repertoire…

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“I’m hungry,” he cries, a mixture of snot and ice cream caked around his nose.

His mother sighs and disengages a small grubby fist from her denim skirt. Spitting on a napkin, she begins to clean his little face. “Mikey, one ice cream cone is plenty. Go play with the kids.”

The boy hurries to join the others around the swing set.

His mother sits down on the bench.  “That kid is always hungry.”

Silently, I watch the children play.

“You got any kids?” she asks, looking at me.

The sudden lump in my throat makes me dumb.

I’m hungry.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved Kate Loveton, Odyssey of a Novice Writer


Note: Story written in response to 100 Word Challenge hosted by Thin Spiral Notebook (here).  This week’s prompt was to write a 100 word fiction story using the word “hungry.”

Posted in My Fiction, Writing | 23 Comments