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Showing posts from 2015

Holiday Clean-up: A Poem

with apologies to Dr. Seuss
Cleaning up after the holiday Isn’t quite as much fun, As on the day When the decorations were strung. 
There was my family, all spruced, in the den, With an eggnog toast, and a cheer, “Let’s begin.” We set about bedecking every pillar and post, Window and mantle -  With ribbon, wreath, Santa, and candle.
By the end of the evening The tree was aglitter. The windows were glowing WIth the candlesticks flicker.
The children were happy  Mom and Pop, too. To think we did all this. You! You! and you!
But, then, the week after Rolled quickly ‘round. No time to un-trim. We headed to town.
To return all our presents. To see a quick show. What? It’s the first of January The trimming must go.
Undo each ribbon. Undo each bow. Untie the wreaths Get that tree in tow. It’s out to the trash bin Arms loaded, we go.
Away go the boxes. The cards and the letters. Out comes our list of “Things to do better.” Resolutions. Affirmations. Declarations. Proclamations.
Where’s that old diet? By jiminy, we’ll try it! It’s…

Christmas photos and newsletter Dec. 2015

Merry Christmas!
My tree - 2015

The is the newsletter I sent to family and friends this year. Hope you enjoy reading what's going on with my life as I consider all who read my blog friends!
God bless you this holiday season.

Christmas Cookies With decorating help from the kiddies
Hello Folks:
It’s been a few years since I’ve written. I hope everyone is well. It’s hard to believe 2016 is around the corner. I’m excited our family will be coming here for Christmas. I’m ready - just last minute cards to do and some presents to wrap.

Ray’s been gone for two years and I’ve experienced many adjustments and changes. I miss him terribly but realized after he was gone how very ill he was the last two years. My own health has improved greatly in the last year. Caregiving isn’t an easy job. I moved to a condo in last year. I’ve reunited with friends and my church. I’m in a women’s Bible study group and a writing group. I still attend Hocking Hills writer’s group monthly, my forever buddies.

A few of ou…

Pearl Harbor: My Visit

Memorial at Pearl Harbor

Dec. 7, 1941: The memories sear, the blame washes away
"War! Oahu Bombed By Japanese Planes." A few summers ago at Pearl Harbor, I read the shocking headlines from a copy of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, dated Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. I was waiting in line to board a tour boat to go to the USS Arizona Memorial. Finally, moving toward an empty boat, I noted that most of the people on the crowded platform were Japanese. On the short ride across the harbor, I listened to a guide describe the events of that fateful day. As the small boat approached the white concrete building, the guide concluded, "The battleship Arizona still rests at the bottom of the harbor in 38 feet of water just eight feet below the water's surface. The memorial is an enclosed bridge that spans the sunken hull, but touches no part of the ship itself. Oil will continue to seep from the battleship for many more years." When I stepped off the tour boat, I saw the American flag fl…

The Red Christmas Cane/A poem

It's been so long since I've written a blog I'm not sure anyone will even come by. But if you do, know that I appreciate your reading. I was cleaning some files and found this Christmas poem I wrote years ago. So I'm recycling my work again. I love writing but have spent the last five months reading, reading, reading, hoping that by reading all sorts of different genres that my own writing will improve. I have to admit though when I get into a good/great story, I sink in and my writer self takes a leave of absence. I'm still working on the novel about Sweet Baby James, a baby abduction. Hoping I'm making the story stronger than any I've yet written.
So here's my poem. Enjoy! Have a lovely beginning to your Christmas season and God Bless!


I was walking around on an old cane that year
Grumping and complaining that the holidays were here.

I looked out my window and as far as I could see
There were lights, stars, and angels adorning every …



“Dorene, if you don’t hold still, I’m gonna hog tie you to this chair!” Vada Faith whipped the pink salon chair around to face the big woman. She shook her comb under Dorene Moon's nose and the woman’s eyes grew wide as china plates. “I’m a nervous wreck! I’ve had customers up the wazoo this morning! Since Joy Ruth left to take Mama to the hospital for a test, I’ve had a dozen walk ins.” “Well, forgive me for living!” Doreen snapped her tabloid closed. Vada Faith swallowed hard and bowed her head in front of Dorene. “Whew!” She took a big breath and sighed. “I’m sorry, Dorrie. This day’s been a disaster. To start the morning off, the girls both needed panty hose for a school project. That meant a trip to CVS. I had to wake up James.” She smiled when she tho…

Elvis, Niagara Falls, and Fuzzy Dice...

Hoot and Marla: A short story


Hoot and Marla are on their way to Niagara Falls. Hoot's sister, Betty Sue, has talked Hoot into letting her come. She has brought along her boyfriend, Nick.  Hoot is driving the black Monte Carlo he bought last week for $800. Everyone is to chip in on the gas. "All-my-x's-live-in-Tex-as," Hoot sings along with the radio, "that's why I hang my hat in Tennessee!" He taps his hand on the steering wheel in time to the music.  Hoot loves George Strait. Not as much as he loves Elvis though. Hoot is an Elvis Presley look alike. He's never traded on it or anything. But he can sing and play the guitar, too. Marla nearly dies when he sings, "Love me Tender." He's that good.

Now, as he sings, Hoot dusts the dash with his middle finger. Then he smacks the fuzzy blue dice hanging from the rear view mirror and they bounce back and forth.

For the last hour Nick has cracked his knuckles and studied the r…


Through tangled brush We make our way  To the creek bed Cooling summer feet In crystal water.

Butterflies  With gossamer wings Skitter up the bank, Fanning honeysuckle vines.     Suddenly, a head shoots From beneath a mossy rock,

A crawdad staking claim to his territory - As if little girls pose a threat. Later, on a picnic cloth  They arrange their treasures, A speckled feather, an odd shaped Rock, a golden leaf. Unlike their “find,” my treasures Are images - images of two giggling girls  Arms outstretched  Ready to Embrace the world - Ready EVEN to walk on water.


This is a blog from five years ago. It's relevant to me today. Hope you enjoy!

My friend Liz and her husband recently stayed two nights with us while on vacation in this area. I pulled a dozen or so books from my shelves to share with Liz - who is also an avid reader and wonderful writer. (She writes as Elizabeth Vollstadt and has various books and stories in print, including YOUNG PATRIOTS: Inspiring stories of the American Revolution- which she co authored with friend, Marcella Anderson. It's for children but I love this book!)

THEN, Liz unloaded the books she'd brought to share with me. (She'd also brought a gift for me - a book, what else!)

While she was here there were books stacked on the coffee table, the end tables, the dining room table, and the kitchen bar. A few books more than my usual stash covered every available surface.

I'd catch her reading as I puttered in the kitchen, or at night we'd have tea and then she'd head off to bed with a book t…

Grandma's Rocking Chair by Barbara A. Whittington

I'm recovering from acute bronchitis. All I've done the last few days is think about writing but not actually writing. My time has been filled with lots of Kleenex, coughing, breathing treatments, etc etc etc. Every day I feel a bit better. Come tomorrow I'll be well - I'm counting on it. In the meantime, while I'm not writing, I found this poem among my papers and thought I'd share  - it's a sentiment I wrote for our daughter Jill. Hope you enjoy. As always comments are very welcome. Hugs to all. Grandma’s Rocking Chair

Grandma’s rocking chair -
passed on to our daughter -
headed for Wisconsin
loaded in a U Haul, nestled
between an antique secretary,
and a refinished dresser -
mirror long gone.

Our three year old triplet
grandchildren, faces pressed
to the window of the van,
wave good bye to me and grandpa
in the driveway, their tears
breaking our hearts.

Our daughter, Jill,
heavy with the child of her new husband,
hums to the children
And soon they are fast asleep.

The rock…


This is a post I wrote on March 11, 2011, I believe. I'm in the midst of rewriting my WIP, and decided it was time to review this article. Hope you find something here that will inspire you to rewrite or even to write. Let me know if anything speaks to you. 
Rewriting/ Quotes by other writers Sometimes beginning writers say they don't believe in rewriting because they're afraid they'll "lose the spontaneity" of the first draft. This is naive; rewriting means making the work better by adding, deleting, and revising; what worked well in the first draft stays--that's the effective spontaneity. Most professional writers know the heady sense of control that comes with the revision process--this is where one knows one has mastery of the writing craft. Note the following comments. Not sure who wrote the above intro but the quotes below are worthy of sharing. Enjoy!

"It is no sign of weakness or defeat that your manuscript ends up in need of major surgery. This …

Last trip to Massachusetts

Yesterday we returned from my youngest daughter Jill's in Attleboro, MA. The car trip there and back was uneventful. An 11 1/2 hr trip. Daughter, Susan, and I had lots of fun both ways. We laughed, joked, reminisced about the good and bad times of our lives. There was more good than bad. 

READ the small print.

Reently I ordered a miracle face cream for $4.95 and a serum for $3.95 online. When I clicked to order,  the terms of agreement between company and customer was written in such small print that I decided to forego reading and just clicked agree and ordered. Of course I gave my charge card number.
I tried the cream and serum upon arrival and a few days thereafter. Since I  couldn't see the expected miracle on my face and neck, I tossed the jars - which were tiny - in with dozens of other creams and potions that hadn't worked and forgot all about them.

A few weeks later, I was checking my charge account online. I nearly fell off the office chair when I saw that there were two charges --- $87.63 for each sample sized bottle. It seems I'd joined a beauty club and would be charged that amount each month.  Per our agreement.
After regaining the ability to breathe, I emailed my card company. They checked and read the agreement. It was binding. The rep agreed to call the company with …


THIS STORY IS FREE March 16 through March 20th. Here's a sampling. Hope you like enough to download from Amazon. Thanks!!! 

Dear Anne: Love Letters from Nam By Barbara A. Whittington

                        Copyright © 2014 by Barbara A. Whittington
All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be copied, scanned, or electronically transmitted without the express permission of the author. For more information, contact the author at Check the author’s blog at
This is a work of fiction. All characters and names portrayed in this story, or the depiction of locales, are used fictitiously. Any resemblance of any character or person in this story, either living or dead, is purely coincidental.  Any references to specific names are mentioned only for the sake of providing a sense of reality to the story.

Dedicated to all who served in the Vietnam War; especially to my nephew, Mike Snodgrass, and to my brother-in-law, Paul Warren, who served in t…