The Mug

The mug…the other day, I finally, for the first time ever, used the mug. It was a present from my cousin Denny. We all received one from him along with other gifts from his sojourn to Hong Kong when he was serving in the Navy. It was during the Viet Nam War although his ship, a destroyer, apparently never went near the country, but I digress.

By we, I mean, my parents, my sisters, and I. Every mug was different, and yet the same. Each had our name on one side of the mug, and the other side sported a cartoon character of the times. I seem to recall that Dad had “Pa” and Mom had “Ma” from the Katzenjammer Kids comic strip. My sisters and I had various characters from the Peanuts comic strip. I think my sisters had “Sally” and “Violet.” Mine was hapless “Charlie Brown,” out in the baseball field waiting to catch the ball, or at least,  a reasonable facsimile of him.

For years, they were stored in the cupboard at my parents’ home and never used. They were too good to use; they were a precious gift; what if they were broken or chipped; none of the kids drank coffee or tea; there were lots of reasons, but the result was that none of us ever used them.

After some time, I moved away from home, never thinking to take the mug. Besides, it was in perfect condition, and all the reasons for not using it then still seemed valid. Yet, after my parents died, and my sisters and I were cleaning out our home and we all took our mugs to our individual homes. What happened to my parents’ mugs, I can’t say although I suspect they were never used, just like the Japanese coffee set Denny gave my Mom at the same time. That pristine coffee set was given back to him as a gift after their deaths, but I digress.

Several months ago, a dear writing friend talked about having dishes she rarely, if ever used, crystal that stayed in the cupboard except for special occasions, and she went on to say that she was going to starting using her finest dishes and crystal on a daily basis. I have to say that is when I started using my crystal wine glasses every day because she was right. Having those dishes and glasses sitting around gathering dust was not honoring the gift giver, nor was it the reason they were lovingly given, and frankly I love drinking my Riesling in a wine goblet now. It makes those happy hours spent with my husband a little more special.

Back to the mug, the virgin, unused mug, the mug given oh-so-long-ago…my husband made me tea in it the other day. He just grabbed the mug from the back of the cupboard, and I was exhilarated when I realized that this was the first time, that the reasons were silly, that life didn’t end. After more than fifty years, I think it was time. Since then, I have used it again just as it was intended all along.

Now, if at some time it breaks or chips, then it won’t be because it just fell off the shelf (and that has happened to me more than once), but lived the life it was supposed to have lived.

How many of us do the same thing? Keep everything in perfect condition, only to realize later how ridiculous it may be. My sons probably won’t want my crystal, nor will my nieces. I wonder if my parents ever used those mugs; I wonder if my sisters have. As for me, I intend to continue. Life’s too short.

fall afternoon…

Charlie Brown mug

christened with tea



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There are no more summer tomatoes

I didn’t write this, but loved the message of it. I think Jane has got it figured out. May I be as mindful as she.

Box o' Ducks

I read a text on “mindfulness” recently that suggested readers surround themselves with pillows at bedtime, and imagine the pillows are another person cuddling them. In another chapter, a reference to a woman who was cutting herself was included as an example of the healing potential of meditation.

Perhaps it’s the curse of a creative, or more likely, an experienced mind, that I felt immediately sad for those who were being counseled to personify pillows, as I am certain they would wake up to the reality of cool linen and soft stuffing rather than a human presence, and their loneliness would only intensify. I felt intense pain for the one who was harming herself, and was unable to purge her from my mind.

I reminded myself these examples were fictional scenarios (offered by a psychotherapist) and relegated them to my mental incinerator, where they were mercifully destroyed.

When I try…

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End Game

I did not write this, but I found it interesting and thoughtful. Certainly a different perspective…

Michael Seidel, writer

Lot of people are upset out there. They’re upset about this whole gay, lesbian, bi-, trans-, binary gender neutral thinking. They expostulate that it’s this simple: if you’re human, you’re either a man or a woman. If you’re a man, you have sex with a woman. If you’re a woman, you have sex with a man. Everything else is wrong; everything else is an abomination.

I laugh at that. They’re so absolute in their knowledge and beliefs. Many fall back to the idea that God (or Allah, or someone) created the two sexes, and it was written in the Bible or some other religious tome, or inscribed in rocks, or were whispered into ears, so, The End. There’s nothing to discuss. Two sexes make sense, because it’s all about procreation. Go forth and multiple.

Which is, you know, amusing. Did God finish, and say, “Okay, that’s that. What else can…

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Let’s Focus on Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Great information, and sharing Drugopinions’ post.


November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  As a pharmacist, I am often asked how to best optimize medications for patient with Type 2 diabetes. There are many medications already available on the market, and there will be many more to be developed. But what I find odd, is that we haven’t spent enough time to focus on prevention, when we know Type 2 diabetes can be preventable.

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Friday’s Bumper Sticker

What more can be said? Oh yeah, check out the Huron Public Library (Huron, Ohio 44839) for a copy of 44839: Poetry From a Zip Code, published by Drinian Press. Only $ 6.00

What more can be said? Oh yeah, check out the Huron Public Library (Huron, Ohio 44839) for a copy of 44839: Poetry From a Zip Code, published by Drinian Press. Only $ 6.00

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The Journey of a Thousand Miles (September)

…begins with a single step. This year this pedometer geek agreed to work toward walking a thousand miles. A friend in Great Britain was in a challenge to do the same and indicated she’d challenged others. Obviously, I took up the challenge and throughout the month, I have walked over 80 miles, leaving about 186 miles to go before the end of the year.

More than that, this pedometer geek tries to put 10,000 steps on the pedometer daily. In that, September’s results were not stellar; however, they were better than August’s numbers. The total number of steps registered on the pedometer was 213,415 averaging 7,113 steps per day. Aerobic steps had a bit of an increase over the previous month with 72,504 steps accumulated on all but three days. Only on five days was the goal met.

In October, though, there is an added incentive to hit the goal. Like last year at this time, the Million Mile Month organization has a marathon challenge of either 26.2 miles, 50 miles, or 100 miles with donations going to Hurricane Harvey relief. Last year, this pedometer geek exceeded the 50 mile goal set. This year, the 100 mile challenge was chosen as the goal, which means more steps, which equates to more miles. Although the challenge has started, the MMM would like more people participating so consider checking out and choose one of the goals.

Another passion is to read more, and during the month, nine books and one short story were read, and two books were consumed in an audio version. Of these books, six of the authors were new to me. Various genres were read including romance, both contemporary and historical, suspense, fantasy, and mainstream novels. Four of the novels were read in an e-book format. One novel was from the 1001-BYMRBYD list, and another was a sequel. For several of the authors, this was their debut novel. All in all, it was a diverse month of reading.

Added to the adventure of reading, two challenges have been undertaken. The first is the SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge, which is a quarterly event in which the participants choose an individualized reading goal; the other challenge is the pages-read challenge, which is a yearlong event. The individual chooses the number of pages to be read among books, magazines, or other print media.

As for this pedometer geek, the results were mixed for the two challenges. The SIY challenge was to complete fifteen (named) books, but only eight of the fifteen were completed by the end of September. Despite this (and last quarter’s failure), another SIY challenge has been undertaken, but with only twelve books to read this quarter (although I have plans to read to also re-read Atlas Shrugged, which is celebrating its 60th year of publication, but I digress).

In the pages-read yearlong challenge, the results were a bit better. Looking toward accomplishing the goal of 40,000 pages for the year, 2,622 pages were read during the month (the audio books were not counted toward the goal), bringing the year-to-date total to 33,735 pages read. With less than 7,000 pages to go, the odds are good that this challenge will be met.

In September, the following books were read/completed:

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal *

Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones

The Fifth Doll by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan *

The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

Fly Away by Kristin Hannah

The Second First Time by Elisa Lorello

Last Night with the Duke by Amelia Grey *

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

You Send Me by Toni Blake

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connolly **

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen **

As indicated earlier in the post, all of the above books are fiction, but only some of them will be briefly discussed. Three of the books, Jenny Colgan’s mainstream novel, Elisa Lorello’s contemporary romance, and Amelia Grey’s historical romance, were reviewed on my other website,

Several of the novels were sequels to previous books read by this pedometer geek. Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones is the second in a contemporary romance series, and Fly Away by Kristin Hannah is the sequel to Firefly Lane, a mainstream novel.

Ryan Stradal’s debut novel was a mainstream novel, which is about food and the effects of food on a young woman with a fantastic palate. The last section brings the story full circle, a true story arc.

Charlie N. Holmberg’s latest novel, The Fifth Doll, is a fantasy that centers on mysterious nesting dolls and their magical hold over a tiny village. 

Shirley Jackson’s The Bird’s Nest is a psychological suspense novel about a young woman, Elizabeth, with multiple personalities. Jackson always brings horror to a new level, and she does so with this one as well.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel is a novel of a long-term relationship and the relationship through the foods (and recipes) that mark it. This novel is one of the 1001-BYMRBYD books.

A contemporary romance doesn’t have to be long to be complete ( that is, achieve a happily-ever-after) as it was in Toni Blake’s You Send Me, a short story.

Two audio-books, The Lincoln Lawyer and Die Again were both suspense novels. Gerritsen’s novel continues with the team of Rizzoli and Isles solving suspicious deaths, while Connolly’s novel introduces a brash defense lawyer, Mickey Haller, who operates his practice out of a Lincoln Towne car. The former was an abridged edition while the latter one was unabridged edition. The difference: all the facts are there, but much of the filler is gone from the abridged editions.

That’s it for September’s reads if a bit tardy to post; now onto October with miles to go and books to enjoy.

Asterisked books are part of SIY challenge; double asterisked books are audio-books.














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Daily Haiku: Oct. 6, 2017

Thanks Charlotte for featuring my haiku. It is appreciated. And to Failed Haiku for accepting it in the first place.

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

last deployment

yellow ribbon replaced

with black wreath

by Nancy Brady (USA)

Failed Haiku, July 2017

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