One minute you are driving down the dark, back-country two-lane talking about the warm bacon salad you just ate, and the next minute your tires meet a wild hare who was sitting in the middle of the road to get away from the rising river.


two lane road (800x533)

But that’s just life.

The weather here has been unseasonably warm, wet and windy. Fortunately we were spared from any tornado activity and flooding. But just north, west, and south of us didn’t fare so well. The Ohio and Mississippi River’s are rising at unprecedented rates. My heart and prayers go out to those who lost their lives and homes over this holiday season.

And speaking of the holiday season. Think family, fun and food! While we never spend enough time with our lovelies, we enjoy every second we get to hang with them.


But now the Christmas tree is in the woods, the back patio is winterized, the decorations are stored (well, most of them) and the desserts are eaten.


And amidst all the frolicking and wine-sipping, December was a busy month.

At the agency.

Elvis and our dedicated Tennessee staff of four (yes, we have four employees now) are on it! We ended our first official year as Berry Consulting with platinum status, which means we’re traveling to Florida in 2016 for the annual GreatWide conference. Get ready Orlando friends!

At my desk.

  • My website is live. Now all my blogs, photography, and book information are under one domain. With the exception of HummingBird Hills for now. I always thought I’d do this site as a blog-to-book for our first five years in Madville. So technically, this could be the last year for this site. But don’t be surprised if you see this monthly journal continue under my new website next October. Now. If you haven’t been over to, go ahead and check it out. Let me know what you think. And while you’re there, you can sign up for two free ebooks, both are easy-to-prepare recipe collections: Amazing Sustainable Seafood and Soup & Chowder & Chili, Oh My!
  • On other fronts, I completed another advanced memoir course. For the first time I feel that the first thirty thousand words are solid. Or as my instructor said, “You’re ready to do some more intensive editorial work focused on form and style – your sentence structure and language choice.” I’ll take it! But I need to complete the third draft before I hand it over to an editor.
  • “The Dangerously Delicious Muffin Cookbook” is ready for editing and then formatting for ebook.
  • And I am still looking for a new home for SALMON while I chip away at the second book, “Shrimp.”


Reagan is as feisty and curious as ever. But this past month he developed a bit of arthritis in his front right paw. He doesn’t chase after the turkeys and deer with the same frequency, but he sure does his best to bark them away.

Lastly, the hawks returned to hunt in our woods! I hope to share some fresh shots in the upcoming months.

Until next month,
Happy New Year,


November in Madville


What happened to November?

Seems like we were just eating leftover Halloween candy.

caramel-candyYou know the stuff we purposely didn’t give out. Although this year we had an all-time low turnout. And thankfully, since I’d only bought a bag of caramels and a bag of Hershey’s kisses!


It took three weekends to winterize the outside landscaping. I replanted a bed of pansies and some decorative kale now that the river birch are gone.

Reagan Wire Fox Terrier

I really should have prepared the soil for next spring’s vegetable garden, but well, as much as I want to grow my own, I know the fight with the animals would be more upsetting. I’ll plant flowers and buy from Chris and Elizabeth down the road. Still. Every year I dream of a vegetable garden.

This year marks seven years since Elvis and I said our “I do’s.”


Traditional gifts for seven years are copper and wool. But we don’t follow anniversary traditions. Mostly because I never think to look up what the traditions are until after the anniversary! Anyway this year he gave me running shoes and a box of Godiva chocolates! Ha! I gave him a new jacket, which arrived in the mail today—only four days behind.

We can’t get enough of Landon! We were thrilled to have him in our arms and the kids for Thanksgiving dinner this year.


I only snapped a few photos this year because I had my work cut out for me with the menu!


And of all the fuss I made about the Cranberry-Bourbon Sauce, I forgot to put it on the buffet!

ranberry-bourbon-sauce-800 mcb


Next week I’m launching my new website thanks to the super talented Megan Johns. And with the launch, I’m sharing a new ebook, Soup & Chowder & Chili, Oh My! Here’s a sneak peek of the cover. You’re gonna love these easy-to-prepare recipes. And just in time for the chilly weather, unless you live somewhere warm. Then you’ll still love them.

Soup & Chowder & Chili, Oh My! MCB

Enter your email on my site here to sign up for my monthly newsletter and receive my ebooks. And if you think someone you know would like this, then please share!


Hugs & happy holidays!
See you next month,


October 2015

October 10

All morning long, I procrastinated pruning the boxwoods. Instead, I edited a friend’s essay, read the news of the day and well, there’s always clothes to sort, wash, and fold.

Now it’s noon and I’m still finding other things to do. It’s not hard to procrastinate. Saturday has turned into a making-chicken stock, house-cleaning-kind-of-day.

Occasionally, as I write, I remember to look up at the beautiful gold and red leaves in the forest.

Boxwoods, schmockwoods.

wet leaves 2015

To stay busy this fall, I enrolled in two online writing courses—literary fiction with the University of Iowa, and Advanced Memoir with Gotham Writers’ in New York. I keep the faith that one day I’ll be cured of my comma abuse issue.

I’m finalizing “Celebrating Muffins” cookbook, and chipping away at shrimp research and recipe development.

Late this month, I’m headed to Killer Nashville, an all-things-crime writing conference!

What boxwoods?


Spicy Chicken Stock Recipe
Yield 15 cups

1 chicken carcass, bones, and skin

4 medium carrots, scrubbed and chopped in half

4 celery stalks and the entire heart including leaves, chopped in half

½ medium sweet yellow onion, or 1 small, peeled and quartered

2 dried whole cayenne chilies, stems removed, chopped coarsely, including seeds (if you don’t want the heat, don’t include the seeds)

2 thyme sprigs, stems included

Small handful of fresh basil leaves, stems included

Small handful of parsley, stems included

1 teaspoon kosher salt

8 whole black peppercorns

Cook’s note: You can use kitchen twine to tie your fresh herbs and celery heart in a nice bundle. But that requires more time, and you’re going to strain and discard it all, so whatever you want to do here. It’s your stock.

  1. Add all ingredients to an 8-quart stockpot. Fill with warm water to about in inch from the top. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. When stock boils, remove cover; reduce heat to medium low. Keep stock at a steady, simmer. Increase the heat a little if needed. Cook the stock for five hours or longer if you want, but 5 hours is plenty. FYI, some people recommend cooking stock for up to ten hours. The more you cook it, the more concentrated the flavors.
  3. Stir the stock occasionally and skim the fat from the top as the stock simmers.
  4. Taste at three hours and adjust with salt if desired. Note: you will need more salt. This is not the time to be shy. Add a teaspoon.
  5. After five hours, remove the stockpot from the heat. Let the stock cool for about an hour. Strain the stock through a strainer, pressing on the solids to extract the liquid. Strain a second time if you press too many solids through the strainer.
  6. Portion and freeze the stock for up to 12 months. Ha! S if you’ll have it that long.
  7. Anyway, how you portion your stock depends on your freezer space and your uses. I find most soup recipes use 4 to 6 cups of stock. Some sauces require a few ice cubes worth. If space is an issue, pour stock in to freezer baggies, leave a little room for expansion, lay, or it is lie? the stock baggies flat on a baking sheet and then freeze. Once the packages are frozen, you can remove the baking sheet.

October 17

We removed four trees from the front of the house today. Two river birch and two magnolias.

This past summer, lightning struck one of the birch and sheared off the top half. While it didn’t look terrible, it did have a major missing limb. The second birch was infested with caterpillar nests, plus Japanese beetles were feasting on both. Since both trees were growing over the roofline, not the most ideal situation with winter coming, and we couldn’t reach the limbs to treat them, our solution was obvious. Of course this just as I planted my fall garden, directly under the birch.


The magnolias were planted too close to the house fifteen years ago and had to be removed. Mostly because they were growing into the gutter and roof line. Also, one tree was practically bare of leaves but blossomed every year. The other was flush with leaves, but had no blooms.

Now the front of the house looks great.

Except for the unpruned boxwoods!

Thanks for stopping by,
Until next month,

September in Madville


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September 14

Cool air brushes my cheeks like a soft kiss from a good friend. The air smells clean, yet I get a whiff, just a hint, of decay. The tulip trees look tired. Then a flash as a white-tailed deer prances down the driveway into the lush woods. Reagan bounces after her.

Just another beautiful day in Madville.

perfect #wirefoxterrier walking weather

September 23

I enrolled in a MOOC! The eight-week online fiction writing class with The University of Iowa starts tomorrow. And yes, I will work on Thornton Park.

But this past week, the introductory week, was all about priming the creative juices. One of the prompts was to make an inanimate object come to life.

“To Live By The Heart”

I wasn’t always a miniature dress form.

My life began long ago as a seed. I was planted in the rich, fertile soil somewhere in the Deep South in America. Nourished by soft, warm water and brilliant white-hot sun I sprouted. I was a fast grower. But before I knew what was happening, my flower was picked and processed. Spun, woven, and dyed.

My bones, the bodice and neck of my dress form, are a combination of recycled plastic and wood. Melted, tumbled and molded into a cookie-cutter form, then wrapped with the linen-colored cloth.

As soon as there were several thousand more just like me, we were arranged in a large cardboard box, shipped by cargo, then truck, to a large airless big-box store.

There I sat on a display shelf.

And waited.


I don’t know if other dress forms have a heart, but I know I do because every time someone looks at me or plucks me off the shelf, I feel flush with joy. You see, my heart rules my life. Because like the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, I don’t have a brain. I don’t have a brain because I am headless. Why I don’t have a head is a mystery to me.

But then before another flutter from my overactive heart, a woman scoops me up into her warm hands. She doesn’t hesitate.

I am moving!

My heart hammers in my oh-so-tight bodice. Fear, my old friend, creeps through my wooden frame and envelops me. What if my cloth rips? Will she return me?


I now rest on a glass-top table in a sunny room surrounded by glass windows and a forest beyond. I wear a cotton ocean blue cloth long enough to wrap around my bottom with extra material to fan around my base.

A few weeks ago I got a head. A fish weaved out of dried palm is perched on my wooden neck, secured only by its flimsy fins. I have eyes now too, but still no brain. I can see the furry four-legged creature and the woman, my savior.

The four-legged creature prances around, back and forth. Annoyingly so. Sometimes it gets close to me, sniffing at my skirt, but the woman’s lips move and the furry creature backs away.

Each day I watch the woman sit at her desk. Sometimes she taps on a flat grey surface and talks to herself. Other times she stares into the screen. It is quiet in this new home. Occasionally the woman removes the wires from her ears. I feel a steady beat that pulses through the floorboards, the table, and up through my base to my core.

That beating makes me long to know what happened to the other dress forms. Where did they end up? Are they happy too? Is my life complete with only a heart and the warm sunshine on my wooden neck? Or will she one day buy me a brain?

September 19

I pulled up the gladiolus and lily bulbs, the blue grass and two other plants that never bloomed once I put them in the ground earlier this year. The begonias and impatiens look super healthy for now. In went a few mums and some heather. Next week I’ll tackle the boxwood’s and hopefully, hopefully, weed the iris beds for the last time! until I prune them next month.


September 27

Kentucky #SuperBloodMoon 2015

#SuperBloodMoon KY MCB 2015

September 29

We finally got a much-needed drenching rain. And like that summer ended. The tulip and river birch trees are the first to shed. Gravity has its duty. Elvis has some work to do.

Hugs until next month,

August 2015


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September 2015 marks the fourth anniversary of HummingBird Hills.

What started as a monthly journal to keep track of my life in this somewhat isolated rural Kentucky town, has evolved into a memoir project. My plan is to transition from blog-to-book next September for the fifth anniversary. So for the few readers here, thank you for following along.

Aug 20

Red-bellied woodpecker on lob-lolly pine

Red-bellied woodpecker on lob-lolly pine

A woodpecker and a raven call out their morning salutations.

I hold my cup of steaming black coffee to warm my cold hands. Reagan sits on the settee nestled against my leg. He needs my fleece against his skin just as much as I need his warm body and fur coat. It’s late August but the cool morning air and light fog make it feel like a fall morning in October.

Twenty feet in front of me, three Kousa dogwoods are flush with red berries. Prime foraging for the squirrels and birds. Interesting that the animals only want the center tree. Raccoon’s venture into the yard at night to ravage the trees fragile limbs too. And in the process, trash the canopy. Even a red-belied woodpecker is bold enough to enter the yard, hungry for these plump, juicy berries.

Kousa dogwood berries

On this morning, I have my camera and binoculars ready waiting for her (him?) to return. I suspect I’m too close. She wants those berries bad. Her mating call “Cha, cha, cha” from the privacy of a hickory tree on the wood line only scares a flock of robins foraging for worms on the lawn.

I am patient. As long as my coffee holds out.

Aug 25

Red fox MCB Aug 2015

A tiny red fox has been running the same west to east pattern along the fence-line for the last week.

I haven’t seen any fox all summer, but the forest is thick and only getting thicker since we don’t thin it. I wonder if the kit’s genealogical disposition is to run that same path or maybe the scent from its previous lineage keeps it running on the same path? Do we humans follow the same basic lifestyle patterns because of our instincts or genetic makeup?

There’s probably a kernel of truth in that statement.

It is not lost on me that I have a life of privilege. One that enables me to naps when I want, admire and study nature and its seasons, write stories and cook delicious food to cookbooks. The privilege to worry and write about the oceans, the weather and seafood sustainability.


Even as I write this Sunday morning, I am pleasantly distracted by a flock of goldfinches that flop and flutter in and around the dogwoods and redbud like a group of jovial drunk sailors on leave. Grey squirrels scurry on the lawn to bury nuts, hummingbirds war around the sugar water and a lone six point buck grazes on the corn in the trough. Reagan is lazy enough he doesn’t want to run the deer off. Of course, I’m grateful since the grass is wet from an early morning shower and he would just make the floors dirty with his paws. On another note, thankfully we don’t have to run the sprinkler system. In fact, the we’ve had so much rain this spring and summer, we only ran the system once.

A few years ago, I would have been consumed with guilt for such luxuries. But since I turned fifty (at an alarming pace), I don’t let guilt get the best of me. Not always anyway.

All the while in this passive, private space, the dangers of the world swirl about. Race wars, wildfires, terrorism, drug wars, poverty, destructive weather patterns.


Danger has always been present.

Here at HBH, I’m isolated. Comfortable. Which makes me feel like something is lurking around the corner. However, I’m never so complacent that I don’t fear the unknown of the future. And I’m not so lucky I don’t worry about the future of us. And I know that many more have plenty than I.

Watching the return of the wildlife each season makes me feel like life spins a little bit faster. But I realize it’s not only nature, but life itself.

When I see a flock of turkeys return each August, I’m humbled. That life, despite its craziness, is precarious, fragile, strong, resilient, predictable and unpredictable. Over all, life is good.

Aug 27

statue of liberty nyc

I traveled to NYC for my birthday this year.

My ninth trip to “The City That Never Sleeps.”

Talk about spoiled. A musical, a drama, a concert, shopping, skyscrapers, family, friends and food, food, food.

I was going on and on about my weekend when Elvis said, “I guess New York isn’t one of those places you’d  say, ‘A great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.’”

He knows me well.

Aug 30

Celebrating Muffins MCB

On the cookbook front.

I am two recipes away from completing the baking part of “Celebrating Muffins.” Once I edit and format the copy and re-size the photos, I’ll self-publish one copy for my eyes only to review. Because it’s so easy to misspell a word or name! Then it will be out in the world (and on Amazon) for all you muffin-lovers!

I’m one shrimp recipe in on the second book in the seafood cookbook series, “Eating Shrimp.” Twenty-nine to go! I’m grateful to have product partners to supply me with wild US shrimp. I know and trust these shrimpers, and when you buy the book, you’ll know to trust these resources too.

Forthcoming Eating Salmon was upgraded from black and white illustrated to full color photograph. SP requested additional recipes and I’m two weeks away from that deadline. Consequently, the release is pushed back to September 2016.

The thrillers are on the back burner for now. Not that I’m not writing and editing. I love “Thornton Park” and my new climate-fiction “The Fish Thieves.”

Will this publishing thing ever happen?

What’s happening in your world? Drop me a line or comment below. I’d love to hear from you. 

Thanks for reading. Until next month,

July in Madville 2015


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This countrywoman is headed to NYC next month for a birthday weekend.

Statue of Liberty

Museums, good eats and skyscrapers. Get ready Instagram and Twitter!

Back home we have a baby! Oh-so-sweet Landon Cruz born July 4th. A bundle of pure joy I tell you.

Landon Cruz

Since I returned from New Orleans, I have been crazy busy and inspired.

Clouds over Tampa

Clouds over Tampa

Here’s what’s been going on at my desk and in my kitchen:

Amazing Sustainable Seafood

  • How would you like a free copy of my first ebook, Amazing Sustainable Seafood? Head over to Seafood Lady or sign up on my Maureen C. Berry Facebook page. Once you see the book, will you do me a favor? Let me know what you think.
  • I decided on an editor for Thornton Park. She’s going to help me with the first three chapters, then my agent wanna-be in Hollywood is gonna love it!
  • My cookbook agent wants the book proposal for the second book in the series, Eating Shrimp. Thank goodness shrimp are off the high cholesterol food list! Thirty recipes baby! Also, Eating Salmon’s release date was pushed to September 2016 from April. The publisher decided to do a full-color book instead of an illustrated b&w! Yep. I’m good with all that.
  • Three more recipes and Celebrating Muffins is doneYou’re gonna love this one.
  • I wrote a synopsis and the first chapter of a new fiction novel, The Fish Thieves.

So since it’s summertime, there are vacations to be had, and grills to be lit, I leave you with a few bird snapshots.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Blue Grey Gnatcatcher

Blue Grey Gnatcatcher

Until next month, hugs y’all! See you next month,

June 2015 in Madville


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Miami ocean morning June 2015

The 0.1 Percenter’s

  • 700,000 books are published every year.
  • The average reader reads one book per year.
  • Most writers make very little or no money on their first book.
  • Writing is a lonely profession.

Why are so many people compelled to write? Are we driven by ego?

I thought about this today when I faced yet another blank page. The cursor blinked, teasing me. Summer tanagers fluttered in and around the forest pansy. A glass of ice water sounded refreshing. The cursor continued to blink. Lemonade sounded even better.

I kept my butt in the chair and watched that cursor.

The white space beckoned. Sometimes what you don’t say is bigger than mere words on the paper.

A blue jay squawked. The dog barked. One yap, then he settled back down on the tile floor behind my chair.

Do I write out of a desire to be heard and seen through art? Or to leave my footprint?

Some of the most obvious reasons writers tell stories is to educate or entertain. For others there is no life without writing. I feel like all that and then some.

On the surface storytelling appears to be easy. And for some, it is. The formula is simple enough. Beginning. Middle. End. In between, add conflict, then more conflict, create a climax, and then offer a resolution. Tie the story up with a few compelling characters and presto! Instant bestseller, right?


The language of storytelling began long ago with ancient cave drawings and spans to our current and quickest form of storytelling, tweets. Although many will argue not all people can tweet a story. And I agree. But a good tweet can tell a story nicely in 140 characters or less.


While I write my crime thriller, and on days I face the blank page and the restless cursor, days like today, these questions and thoughts clog up my thoughts. It’s a mind-fuck of the highest order. Some call it procrastination.

For instance, when I’m not rewriting, I think: How can I make my characters more likable, vulnerable, credible and in the case of the antagonist, despicable? Then my mind flips like a rolodex and I think about the plot, the timing, the rhythm, the structure, the setting, and not to be forgotten, you, the reader.

Why it is so hard to write a good story?

I have a few theories.

Writing is hard work. And a good writer only gets better with practice. Like any of the other things we dream of doing well. Whether that dream is to be a golfer, a master pianist, or a candlestick maker. These things take practice and time. Years and years and years.

One thing’s for sure. The more I learn about writing, the less I know. I think the English language was designed to boggle the mind and aggravate the masses.

Here’s another thought. Ego is a trickster. Always pushing, always comparing. Ego likes to cast its shadow of doubt on occasion too.

Ask any aspiring published author.

Combined with my slight typing dyslexia (teh is my most prolific mistake) and insecurity, I’m surprised I’m at the point in my juvenile writing career that I’m sending Thornton Park to an agent.

Yes. An agent I admire for his client list and his demographic. Hollywood, baby.

While I slave over notebook entries and memos, while I consult the dictionary for the right word, the right turn of phrase, I can’t let go of one final sobering statistic.

The chance the agent will accept my manuscript is 0.1 percent.

But strangely, that tiny fraction of a percent excites me to write the best book I can write. Write the kind of book I want to read. You know, the twisty, freaky, dramatic thriller kind of book.

And if he doesn’t want my book, someone will. Now thankfully after writing this post I am ready to get back to work.

Thornton Park Maureen C. Berry

What kind of books do you like to read? Do you like to read a series, or do you prefer a stand alone story? 

Let me know in the comments or tweet me @maureencberry.

See you next month,

May 2015

This month I am all about the poetry.

As the month of May draws to a close, I have one week remaining in an eight-week poetry class. While my poems are rough, they are full of passion. Or so I believe.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female)

The Crisis of (Mis) Information

Tweet. Post. Snap a photo. Swipe. Repeat.

Infuriatingly living in both

The present

And past.

Babies, Cats, Murders, and Memes.

Is it too much?

Or is it enough to sustain

our lives?

To fill us up like an indulgence like a trip to the grocery store. A splurge on a PayDay at the checkout. Or a trunkful of groceries to fill the fridge.

Are we evolving like robots, our movements automated, prompted by photographs of places we’ve never been, yearn for shoes we want to wear, become inspired by words, faces, and places.

Are we slaves to an electronic fiber so vast, so global?

Who cares?

When the destruction of a race, a bird, a fish,

a gender,

or a woman who drowns her babies in a lake where

herons, cormorants, and turtles

call home becomes just another thing?

Are we outraged, but only for a nanosecond

Until the next disaster? With

Our tweets, posts, photographs, and swipes.



Our skin becomes thick like the trunk of an ancient banyan tree.

What, whom, should we believe?

Noise, voices, fifteen minutes of fame.


Celebrity status trumps quiet, private reflection



What matters but our tweets, posts, photos, and swipes?

Our cry for attention trumps

Quiet, private reflection

And awareness.

But what we can’t,

What we don’t,


between the words, behind the screens.





Cloaked in the attempt to be accepted,

be normal.

Whatever that is.

Where the effort to appear normal


raw honesty.

The crisis of (mis) information trumps

our souls.

Are you surprised?

buckets on the beach miami 2015

Buckets on the Beach

Discarded, sideways, half full

or empty, if you’re a pessimist.

Coated in yesterday’s sand.



The pale yellow sun rises above the horizon.

Cool waves slap at my ankles

and chase sandpipers from their breakfast.

Heating up, ready to play

another day.

April 2015


April brought more than buds, blossoms, and allergies to Madville.

Reagan spring 2015

Reagan photobombs the makings of the “Butterfly Haven.”

April 9

The Garden of Spring

Daffodils and forsythias,

red oaks then red buds,

peach, cherry, and pear

bloom and burst

like quivering virgins

on sturdy limbs.


The fragrance of hope and life.

April 13

I started a seven week-online poetry class with the University of Iowa and International Writing Program. Bear with me while I learn “How to Write Poetry.”

What I’ve learned so far: “Notebooking” the term used for those “turns of phrases” that strike you while you live your life, observing the world. Apparently once you jot down those little turns of phrases, then you create a poetry word-cloud. My first cloud began with “Traffic streams down the four way.” Yeah. See? Nothing spectacular. Anyway, it is fun to learn new words, terms, and writing methods. But basically notebooking is another word for journaling.

I’m notebooking in the squat red suede journal pictured below. Although most of the poet instructors use spiral bound notebooks, I use whatever I have on hand. And I have quite the collection of unused notebooks. Some collect stamps. I collect notebooks.

poetry noebook

This particular red suede notebook was a Christmas gift from my neighbor and friend Carol Gregor. I’d jotted a few notes then let it sit in the top drawer of my desk mostly unused except for a few entries about my first Christmas with Elvis in 2008 and how much I love him. I added another entry several days later when I cooked a lobster and pasta dish for dinner. Then another announcing I had five days until my last day working at Bar Harbor Seafood in Orlando. Lots of exclamations on that one.

In 2011, I packed up my mostly unused little red notebook with other office supplies. And when I unpacked in Kentucky, I placed the notebook back in the  top drawer of my desk.

When the poetry class started, I realized my little red suede notebook was the tool to learn the how to’s of poetry. Plus I love a notebook with fond memories and emotion.

Anyway, here’s my first “official” class poem. The prompt was to write a one, two, three, or four-sentence poem.

Layers of grayish-black ombré clouds fill the late morning sky

like heavy hearts pile on.

Aching, searching to unleash a torrential storm.

April 25

I had my debut photography show at the Madville Gallery Hop, a biannual event to support local artists. Amanda’s on Main, a vintage boutique shop in the historic district hosted me. I took fourteen framed wildlife photos. And while I didn’t sell one, I met wonderful people while we watched the sky for the tornado watch that threatened. There was no tornado, but a wicked rain storm cut the event short. However, I managed to pitch a consignment to the shop next door, 45-70, an upscale men’s shop. Jim is taking four pieces to begin for a six-month consignment. I deliver the work and the contract the second week of May.

MCB Gallery Hop Madisonville, KY

Three Tuesday’s remain until graduation for my little darling high school seniors. They have taught me much and I have made solid relationships with two aspiring writers. I already look forward to mentoring again next year.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next month,

March 2015 in Madville

March 9

dewdrop on leaf unsplash

Almost Spring
(inspired by Sir Paul McCartney-previously published on Medium)

Here I am.

There you are.

Green blades peek through the snow-covered ground while

gray squirrels and deer

forage on the forest floor,

against the white rock sky.

Blue jays caw.

Still water puddles on the concrete

waiting to trickle toward the stream, evaporate to the heavens,

or double as a bird bath.

Earthy, wetness fills the morn,

while rubber spins on asphalt lapping up time and distance.

Almost Spring.

March 18

Mom on the Old Seven Mile Bridge (Marathon, Florida @ 1995)

mom Seven Mile Bridge @ 1995

March 22-23

On Sunday, around 11 am, two red-tailed hawks flew into the yard, side-by-side, over the top of the house and then through the trees to the back of the woods. We have had much hawk activity in the past few months and speculated there must be nest nearby. Even with this majestic encounter to highlight the morning, I’ve been distracted by several hawk species—red-shouldered hawk, coopers hawk and numerous red-tailed.

One adventurous red-tailed actually came into the yard to hunt and found a mouse in the dead leaves.

Hawk hunting 2

Hawk hunting

Around 3:00 pm on Monday, I located the red-tailed hawks nest. High in the crook of what appears to be a hickory tree, the same pair of hawks landed in the trees about 100 yards back from the house, one above the other. Nestled in the crook in-between the two of them sat their nest! While my camera lens isn’t large enough to capture a clear, close up, I can tell when the birds are on the nest. Fledglings are not far behind.

March 24

I took a part time job working at North High School assisting the English teacher, one of my friends in the CSA. Every Tuesday, I arrive at the school at 7:30. Yes, it’s the earliest I’ve been out of the house for years! I don’t mind. But to add to the new schedule change, Reagan has begun to stay outside-he doesn’t want to come back in, knowing I am leaving. As much as I love to spoil him, and I realize that this is the problem, I am only interested in him getting on my new Tuesday schedule! As it turns out, even the deer have taken an interest in my little neurotic ball of furry love.

doe after Reagan (2)

So far, I love my seniors. Did I mention there are 70 of them? And I know they love having me around, even though they are ready to check out, go to college, go to work and just be done with school. I even feel a little sorry for them coming in at the last trimester with my boundless inspiration to finish strong. So far I’ve been asked to show them how to roll sushi, help them become better writers for scholarship money, help one publish a book and start a blog/website. Today, my second Tuesday, I took my guitar so two students could play for me and for me to help them express their creativity.

They are so fresh and full of promise, and I am happy to work with them to keep those dreams alive. I’m grateful for the opportunity and yes, I have much to learn, too.

That’s it for March. We’re healthy and happy that the snow is gone for another year.

Until next month,