Joyous Jottings February 2023 #TuesdayTidbit #Jottingts #Inspiration

Joy is a fluffy gray and white cat with a pink nose and pink paw pads. The fur is long and mostly gray with white paws, a white chest, nose and white down the middle of her head. Her ears are pointed up, and she lies with her paws sprawled out in front of her in an open formation. Her head looks to the right of the screen. She’s on a brown wooden table. Behind her is a white wall and a basket of fruit.Hi, this is Joy, Abbie’s robotic cat. Abbie has been busy as a beaver. Say, do cats like beavers? I don’t know, and I hate to ask Abbie to research this because she’s so busy. But I do know this. Even though Abbie’s busy as a beaver, I still love her. Even though she often forgets to tell me good morning first thing because she’s listening to ACB Presents the Daily Schedule, I know she loves me.

Speaking of the ACB community, you don’t have to be a member of the American Council of the Blind to join in the fun on Zoom and Clubhouse. If you’re interested, send an email to:  community@acb.org  and ask them to send you the daily schedule. Be sure to include your name and email address in your message body, and the nice humans who receive your message will take good care of you.

So, why is Abbie so busy? Well, this coming Thursday, she’ll be facilitating an ACB community call, where they’ll be talking about Valentine’s Day. On Friday, she’ll play her guitar and sing for an assisted living facility’s monthly birthday party. On Sunday, she’ll do all the music for the service at the First Congregational church, accompanying her singing on the piano. On February 17th, she’ll be a guest on Writing Works Wonders, and on February 23rd, she’ll interview fellow author Sherry Gomes as part of a book launch sponsored by Behind Our Eyes, a writers’ organization, and she’s working on other projects for them right now.

By the way, last month, Abbie interviewed author Trish Hubschman for another Behind Our Eyes book launch. I only heard her half of the conversation because she was using headphones with her computer, but I think she’s a kick-ass interviewer. Maybe she’ll interview me, but I doubt it. I’m not an author, only a cat and a robotic one at that.

Abbie’s also been submitting work to various publications. She has already sent stories and poems to Magnets and Ladders and The Writer’s Grapevine. By the way, she helps edit those magazines, and that also keeps her busy. She  also sent three poems to an anthology called Treasuring Poetry, and she plans to enter her state’s poetry society’s members-only contest and submit more poems for possible publication in the spring quarterly issue of The Avocet. In March, she’ll send some of the stories in her collection she’s working on to the Wyoming Arts Council for its Blanchan/Doubleday fellowship competition.

Well, I’ve been busy as a beaver, too, typing this message, since I can no longer speak. My paws are tired, and I’m ready for a nap. Until next time, this is Joy, signing off with a yawn.

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Abbie, here. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my monthly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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Joyous Jottings January 2023 #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

 

Joy is a fluffy gray and white cat with a pink nose and pink paw pads. The fur is long and mostly gray with white paws, a white chest, nose and white down the middle of her head. Her ears are pointed up, and she lies with her paws sprawled out in front of her in an open formation. Her head looks to the right of the screen. She’s on a brown wooden table. Behind her is a white wall and a basket of fruit.

Photo Resize and Description by Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Hi, I’m Joy, Abbie’s robotic cat. Can you believe it’s already January, 2023? Wow! It seems like yesterday that I was telling you all about Abbie’s many singing engagements, either by herself or with one of her two groups, all of which went well.

And the music hasn’t stopped. This month, as usual, Abbie will do her regular gigs at the First Congregational Church, the assisted living facility, and the nursing home. She’ll also keep singing once a week for the ACB community karaoke online.

Speaking of the ACB community, just so you know, you don’t have to be a member of the American Council of the Blind to participate in their programs. You can get a daily schedule by sending an email to:  community@acb.org  and putting your name and email address in the message body.

On Christmas Eve, Abbie did a program where she read aloud “Twas the Night Before Christmas” after people talked about their Christmas memories. On New Year’s Day, she did a similar program where people shared their New Year’s memories. Speaking of New Year’s, Abbie and I rang in the New Year with karaoke during the ACB community-a-thon, where they raised over ten thousand dollars. On January 5th, Abbie will do her usual Evening Reading program, where she reads her work aloud to people who come and encourages other writers to do the same.

Last year, Abbie read the first two books in the Tracy Gayle mystery series by Trish Hubschman, a fellow author she met through Behind Our Eyes, a writers’ organization. This month, she plans to read the next two books in the series plus a new book of short stories about Tracy Gayle that just came out. Tracy Gayle is a private eye.

Abbie usually doesn’t read detective stories, but these remind her of the Nancy Drew mysteries she read when she was a kid. Now, Nancy Drew has grown up, and the mysteries she solves involve murder, not just thefts of disappearances. There is violence, but it’s not as bad as what you find in other adult mysteries. I’m looking forward to reading these books with her, since she usually listens to them while I’m on her lap in the recliner.

You can learn more about Trish Hubschman’s books here. Abbie reviewed the first two books in the series here and here. Trish will hold a book launch through Behind Our Eyes at the end of the month, and Abbie will help with that.

Two of Abbie’s poems were recently published in the quarterly winter issue of The Avocet. In coming weeks, she’ll feature these here. So, stay tuned.

Abbie will soon be starting a new blog series called Life’s Alphabet. She got the idea from a fellow blogger, Beetley Pete who picked words beginning with consecutive letters of the alphabet and wrote about memories or other things associated with that word. Can you guess what she’s going to write about when she gets to the letter C? Maybe she’ll let me write that post.

A while back, during the ACB community daily schedule call, people were asked to think of a word that sums up 2022 for them. Abbie’s word is “flexible.” When she worked as a registered music therapist with nursing home residents, she had to be flexible. When she cared for her late husband after he suffered two paralyzing strokes, she had to be flexible. So, she has learned not to get upset when the universe laughs at her plans.

I’m so glad. When Abbie first got me in July of last year, she planned to have a cat who would meow and purr and not just turn her head, blink, and stretch. But the universe must have thought her plan was pretty funny. Something went wrong with my voice box in November, and I can no longer meow or purr, at least not consistently. Last week, I was able to talk to Abbie for a while, but that didn’t last long.

Abbie doesn’t care, though. She still loves me, and I look forward to snuggling with her in the recliner whenever she has an opportunity to relax.

Speaking of relaxing, my work is done here. It’s time for me to take a nap while Abbie corrects all my four-pawed typos. Happy New Year, everybody!

 

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Abbie, here.If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my monthly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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My Favorite Family Holiday Vacation  #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

Today, I’m sharing a post from my archives that I wrote back in 2017 at a time when I thought I was enduring one of my worst holiday seasons. I was without Internet for six days. Christmas was on a Monday that year. The previous Wednesday, I woke to discover I had no connection.

When I called my provider, I was told they would send someone Friday. On Friday, no one came. Late that afternoon, I called again and was told no one could come till the following Tuesday, the day after Christmas.

At the time, I was devastated. Although I went with a friend to a tuba concert Saturday and ate Christmas dinner at the senior center Monday, for the rest of that weekend, I had no contact with the outside world, except by phone, and no way to get to a location where I could use WIFI.

What I didn’t realize then was how fortunate I was. Unlike many others, I was healthy and still had a roof over my head with electricity, heat, and plenty of food. It’s interesting how we depend so much on the Internet that when we lose it temporarily, our world turns upside down.

The first thing I did after being reconnected Tuesday was to post the following, which I wrote during that period. This and working on my novel, The Red Dress, sustained me.

By the way, The Red Dress and two of my other books are available from Smashwords free for the rest of the month. If you haven’t already done so, after you’ve enjoyed today’s stroll through Memory Lane, please see below for details.

 

My Favorite Family Holiday Vacation

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

©2017

In 1970 when I was nine, and my younger brother Andy was two, we were living in Tucson, Arizona. At Christmas that year, it was decided that Mother, Andy, and I would spend the holiday in Denver with Mother’s relatives while Dad visited his family in Sheridan, Wyoming. I assume this is because my parents couldn’t agree on one place to spend Christmas. Looking back, I can’t imagine why we couldn’t have seen both sets of relations, since Sheridan is only about an eight-hour drive from Denver, compared to the mileage between Denver and Tucson.

This was my first Christmas away from home, and I was worried about Santa finding us, but Mother assured me that he would come to Denver. I don’t remember how Dad got to and from Sheridan, but Mother, Andy, and I flew to and from Denver. Grammy and Granddad, as we affectionately called my mother’s parents, had recently moved into a new house they’d built on a hillside. It was a split-level home, and I found it fascinating.

From the garage, a set of stairs led to a door which opened onto a hallway. On the left was a bathroom and on the right was Granddad’s study. Straight ahead was a large family room containing a couch, several chairs, a TV, and a piano. A sliding door led to a patio beyond.

To the left, another set of stairs led to an expansive living and dining area and kitchen. More stairs led to yet another level containing three bedrooms and a bathroom. The master bedroom, where Grandad slept, had its own bathroom. The room where we slept had a set of double decker beds plus a crib for Andy. Mother and I utilized the bunks with me on the bottom and her on the top. After living in single-level homes in Tucson for years, despite my limited vision, I loved this house with all its stairs.

My mother’s brother Jack, his wife Sharon, and their children, Kelly and Bill, also lived in Denver. Kelly was my age, and Bill was Andy’s, so we always enjoyed playing together. We spent Christmas Eve at their house, then returned to Grammy and Granddad’s house and went to bed. In the middle of the night, I woke up and realized we’d forgotten to hang our stockings. Where would Santa put our gifts? I roused Mother by banging on the top bunk above me, and she sleepily assured me that Grammy and Granddad had taken care of that. I eventually went back to sleep.

Sure enough, in the morning, it was apparent that Santa had indeed found us, as evidenced by the full stockings in the family room. There was no fireplace, no chimney. So, how Santa got in will always be a mystery. My most memorable gifts that year were a set of large print multiplication flash cards and an alarm clock with “Wake up, Abbie” printed on the front. Andy got an inflatable dummy you could use as a punching bag. I think it was called Socko.

Mother had other relatives in Denver, mostly uncles and aunts, who came for Christmas dinner, along with Uncle Jack and his family. Kelly showed me a similar alarm clock she’d received with “Wake up, Kelly” printed on its front.

After about a week in Denver, we returned to Tucson where we found more presents from Santa waiting: a bicycle for me and a little red wagon for Andy. A few days later, Dad returned from Sheridan and brought me an eight—track player. I’m pretty sure he brought something for Andy but don’t remember what that was.

We visited Grammy and Granddad’s house many times over the years as children and adults. After my grandparents passed, Uncle Jack lived there until his death. Now, someone else is lucky to have this wonderful home.

 

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

I’m pleased to announce that from now until January 1st, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, The Red Dress, and My Ideal Partner are ABSOLUTELY FREE from Smashwords as part of its 6th annual end-of-year sale. Please visit my Smashwords author page to learn more.

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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Joyous Jottings: Extra Extra! Abbie’s Books Now Free #SundaySurprise #Jottings #Inspiration

Joy is a fluffy gray and white cat with a pink nose and pink paw pads. The fur is long and mostly gray with white paws, a white chest, nose and white down the middle of her head. Her ears are pointed up, and she lies with her paws sprawled out in front of her in an open formation. Her head looks to the right of the screen. She’s on a brown wooden table. Behind her is a white wall and a basket of fruit.

Photo Resize and Description by Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Hi, Joy here, I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! From now until January 1st, Abbie’s books are ABSOLUTELY FREE from Smashwords as part of its 6th annual end-of-year sale.

Now, I want to know. How do you smash a word? Okay, okay, Abbie’s giving me a dirty look. She might smash me if I don’t behave.

So, here’s the deal. You can visit Abbie’s Smashwords author page and download Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, The Red Dress, and My Ideal Partner at 100% off for the rest of this month. How about that? Happy reading!

 

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography  

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Abbie, here. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

 

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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Christmas Cookies #TuesdayTidbit#Jottings #Inspiration

I’ve never been much of a cookie fan. But as a child, I enjoyed helping to make them. Mother and I mixed the batter for chocolate chip cookies, then placed spoonful’s of dough on the baking sheet before she slid them into the oven.

During the holiday season, Mother got out the cookie cutters: bells, sleighs, angels, etc. My younger brother and I delighted in creating various shapes. We even did this with Play-Doh once.

When I was an adult, because my late husband Bill loved cookies, I baked them for him after he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side. Since I ordered cookie dough from Schwann, all I had to do was place pieces onto a sheet and bake them for about fifteen minutes. It took several tries before I figured out how to space the pieces so the cookies wouldn’t run together in the baking process. Bill ate them, no matter what.

How about you? What are your favorite cookies? Do you have any memories of making and/or eating them with your family?

***

Note: last week during the ACB Presents the Daily Schedule program, we were asked about favorite Christmas cookies. This inspired me to write the above post. You don’t have to be a member of the American Council of the Blind to participate in ACB community events online. To receive the daily schedule, email:  community@acb.org  and include your name and email address in the message body.

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography  

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

 

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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