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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A is for Arizona #TuesdayTidbit #Life’sAlphabet #Inspiration

Today, I’m starting a new series, inspired by fellow blogger Beetleypete, who did something similar. Each time, I’ll write something about me, using a consecutive letter of the alphabet. As you may have figured from the post title, today’s letter is A.

Arizona is where my family lived for eight years before moving here to Sheridan, Wyoming. We moved to Tucson, Arizona, from Boulder, Colorado, when I was four.

Arizona was hot and dry, and there were no seasons. I remember, as a child, reading stories and watching television programs involving snow and wishing I could build a snowman and ride in a one-horse open sleigh. But it rarely snowed in Arizona, and when it did, the snow didn’t stay long.

I spent the first five and a half years of my elementary school education at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind in Tucson. From first through fourth grade, I was the only girl in the class, and the boys made my life miserable. Teachers did little to stop them.

One thing I loved about the school was the library. I enjoyed checking out Braille books and reading them. But when I was in the fourth grade, the librarian told me I could no longer read books at the lower levels that I still enjoyed.

One of the happiest memories of my time at the school was when I was in third grade. I made friends with a boy in second grade. He played the piano, and we sang in a talent show. We performed Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World.” I sang while he played the piano and sang along with me. Soon after that, his family moved away, and we lost touch.

In the fifth grade, I had a sadistic teacher who held me back a year. During my second year of fifth grade, she made me eat foods I didn’t like such as apples and pretzels. She kept me after school one day because I couldn’t button the back of my dress. When my mother confronted her, she threatened to have me put in a class for developmentally disabled children.

In the summer before my second fifth-grade year, my parents received a letter from the school, saying that if I didn’t learn certain skills at home during that summer, I would be forced to live in one of the school’s dormitories. My mother somehow managed to teach me the skills I needed, and I was able to stay home while attending school during the day as usual the following year. My parents were finally able to get me out of that school, and I was mainstreamed into a public school for the second half of my second fifth-grade year. In the summer of 1973, my family moved to Sheridan, Wyoming. That’s where my story ends for now.

 

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 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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Winter Song #TuesdayTidbit #Poetry #Inspiration

Winter Song

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

©2001

 

 

I’m frightened of slipping on ice,

falling and breaking my ribs.

The days are as quiet as mice.

“More nice days,” the weatherman fibs.

Conditions are ever so cold.

The forecast is ever so nasty.

Still, I must be so bold

when I’d rather enjoy a hot pasty.

I’m wishing the weather were fine.

It’s too frigid now for ice cream.

If only I’d see the sun shine.

Is it really a crime to dream?

I wish we could have warmer days,

get rid of this wintery haze.

 

Back Story

 

I wrote this poem over twenty years ago. At the time, I’d just joined a local writers’ group. A guest poet taught us to write a form of sonnet that has fourteen lines with every other line rhyming and the last two lines rhyming together.

It was mid-winter, and as I usually do this time of year, I longed for the snow and ice to go away and the days to get warmer. As you no doubt have realized, the above poem reflects this. It was published in the winter quarterly issue of The Avocet. You can click the link below to hear me read it.

 

Winter Song

 

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 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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One Late Wintry Afternoon #TuesdayTidbit #Poetry #Inspiration

One Late Wintery Afternoon

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

©2022

With blue sky overhead,

sun no longer warm,

day almost gone,

I snuggle under a blanket in my recliner,

stare out the window at treetop and sky,

all I see with limited vision,

thankful to be safe and warm.

 

Back Story

 

One late winter afternoon, while sitting in my recliner, I decided to write a poem about what I could see out a nearby window. I might have been inspired by another poem I was reading at the time, but I don’t remember. This poem was published in the winter quarterly issue of The Avocet. You can click below to hear me read it.

 

One Late Wintry Afternoon

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 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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I was a Vulture #TuesdayTidbit #Poetry #Inspiration

I Was a Vulture

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

©2022

 

Doc lived in the nursing home where I worked,

loved to read but couldn’t because of failing eyesight.

 

I got him a cassette player from the state’s services for the visually impaired,

arranged for him to receive books on tape from the regional talking book library.

For at least a year, he enjoyed listening to those books.

We often talked about them.

 

When he suddenly passed,

I hurried to his room

to retrieve the talking book player before it could be lost.

Although he’d just been taken away,

the equipment belonged to the state,

needed to be returned.

I felt like a vulture

but did the deed, anyway.

 

Back Story

 

I wrote the above poem recently during a meeting of my local Third Thursday Poets group. We read a poem about vultures and were prompted to write one. I did, inspired by my experience working as a registered music therapist with nursing home residents. This poem appears in the holiday extravaganza issue of The Writer’s Grapevine, which can be read here. You can click below to hear me read it.

 

I Was a Vulture

 

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 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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