‘Till Tuesday



March SOL Challenge #31 (Last Day of the month!)


We’ve been together for 31 days

I’ve learned so much about you

I’ve learned so much from you

Your stories inspired me.  Encouraged me.  Made me laugh.  Made me cry.

When I didn’t know what to write, I looked to you.

When I did know what to write, I looked to you.

I wrote for an audience and it felt good, because you were there

Your comments meant the world to me.

They validated my writing.  Encouraged me.  Made me laugh.  Made me cry.

I shared my soul, my deepest thoughts, my experiences, my stories, with you.

Every day I wrote and every day you wrote.  Our stories, they needed to come out.

Now we have come to the end of the month.  The end of the challenge.  We accomplished something great.  Something huge.

Goodbye for now.

I will miss our writing community.  The power I could feel each day as I sat down to write.  Knowing that hundreds of others were out there doing the same thing.

I will still see many of my writing colleagues as we pass through our school halls.  In our classrooms.  In our offices.  Down the hall from me.

We will continue to share our stories

We are forever linked through our tales.  Through our writing.

Goodbye, for now……till Tuesday!





March SOL Challenge #30





A tiny device that goes by the name of “Fittbit”

One inch on all sides – pocket sized.  Black.

Tap the tiny screen face and you’ll probably see zero’s all around because it hasn’t been worn in over 24 hours.

You will also probably see the smiley face turned into a frown.

Last seen:  Friday night.  In my pocket.

Willing to pay a reward of many “thank you’s” if found

This little device is really  missing from my life.  I have no idea how many steps I took all day yesterday.  I recently got back on the treadmill and was thrilled to watch my number of steps dramatically rise by six and seven thousand each time.  The little guy has become a new friend.

Please help get him back to his owner.  He needs to count.  He’s probably afraid out there…alone….no belt to be clipped to.

Or, maybe I’ll just go to Best Buy today and buy another one……

What I Know




March SOL Challenge #29


Today was my mom’s birthday.

We spent the majority of the day together.

As I was saying goodnight to her tonight I wished her a final Happy Birthday.   She was quiet and then said, “yes, but I’m getting older.”  Of course I dismissed it and said, “yes, just like the rest of us!!”  It seemed to appease her.  Who knows for sure.

I walked slowly down the hallway back to my condo thinking about those words. We’re all getting older.  Yes, that is a fact.  There are a few things I understand, that I know, as I get older.  As I age I realize that…

The small things DO matter.  I used to think we weren’t supposed to “sweat the little things.”

I am in charge of how I feel on any given day.  I used to think the situation I was in or the people I was with could make or break my mood.

I can get through seemingly insurmountable situations,  I used to think a situation like Cancer could break me.

I can drive in snow storms and get to my destination safely.  I used to think my nerves would get the better of me resulting in a bad accident at some point.

I can discipline myself to sit down and write for 31 days straight.  I used to think I would run out of things to write about.   I’m not quite there, but very close.  And, actually,  I was a bit worried that writing today might not happen!  I Know I Can.

The Haves and Have Nots



March SOL Challenge #28


It’s hot.

Mozzarella cheese melted.  Draped over the beef.  Dripping over the bread and onto the plate.

The bread, with a hint of garlic,  is slightly wet from the juice.  Just enough to make the bread moist and yummy.

Sweet peppers.  Luscious.  Cut large and fresh.

Smells wafting through the air…..toward you.

I’m sorry for you.  For you cannot have a taste.

You must eat a grilled cheese sandwich today.

Plain cheese melted on bread.  Dry.  No smells drifting.  No juice dripping.  Maybe a pickle, or two and a glass of water to help wash it down.

Just a few more Fridays to go and the tortuous ban on meat will finally be lifted!

Until then, keep your hands off my sandwich!

Happy Lent.


This slice was inspired by my suffering Catholic friend as she watched me down a luscious beef sandwich for lunch on this Friday of Lent.

Thanks, Kathy!




March SOL Challenge #27


We were together for almost 4 hours yesterday, but our memories of the same event are vastly different.  Interesting how that can happen…….

“When are they going to call my name?”

“Mom, there are a lot of people in this waiting room.  They all have to be called.  I guess they’ll call us when it’s our turn.  Hey!  How about looking through this Boys’ Life magazine?!”  I can’t believe it.  This is the only magazine this stupid place has???  More than half of the people in this waiting room are over 65!!

“No thanks.  You look through it for me.”

Throw that one back.

“Look!  Rachel Ray is on the T.V.!”

“Oh, I don’t like her.  Now, if it was the Barefoot Contessa, that would be great.”

Oh Lord, please call her name!

“Do I really have to take all my clothes off and put one one of those…….coats?”

“Yes.  The Dr. can’t do a check of your skin if he can’t see it.”   Darn it!  Why didn’t I warn her about this before she dressed this morning so she could leave off her bra???

“Well then I should have left off my bra!”  Yep, saw that coming.

“It’s OK, mom.  Maybe he’ll let you keep it on (your bra).”

“When are they going to call my name??!!”

Receptionist: “Jill Cahill!”


We get into the Dr.’s waiting room……for more waiting.

“We should just go.  There’s nothing he’s going to see, anyway.”  Foot starts tapping, eyes look crazed.  (That was me.) 

“Well, you’re undressed and in your coat/gown now.  Let’s just stay and see what the Dr. says.  I hear his voice outside in the hall!  think he’s coming……no, he’s going to the patient across from us.”  Why?  Why can’t he just come to our room?  Doesn’t he know I have a near runaway on my hands???

A total of 43 minutes has passed since we made our fourth trip around the parking lot looking for a handicapped spot, or at least a closer one to the door, and my mom said “Oh, let’s just forget it and go,” to the moment we (irreversibly) made it to the Dr.’s waiting room.   Yep.  That’s the Dr. finally walking through the door.  He’s with us for 13 minutes.  More than his usual amount of time, I suspect.

The Dr. said, “Yes, those spots look like the beginnings of cancer.  How old are you again?”


“Oh, then I wouldn’t worry about it.  It’s slow-growing and, at your age,  If it’s not bothering you it’s not a big deal to just leave it.”  What?  I never thought I’d hear those words in the same sentence…..It’s cancer and I wouldn’t worry about it.  Is this what we have to look forward to later in life?  The older we get cancer just doesn’t even matter????  OK – let’s get lunch!

We sat in my front seat eating our cheeseburgers looking at the robins as they  frolicked in the grass.  The cars were driving up and down Harlem Ave. and we talked and watched.  The mood was lighter as my mom was relieved to be out of that office.  We drove home and then I went back out to run my own errands.

Later that night,  I listened to a phone message my mom left.  She said, and I quote, “Carrie.  I just wanted to tell you what a great day we had today.”  It was really, really fun.  Thank You!!”

Like I said, same experience – vastly different perspectives!




March SOL Challenge #26


Get everything all set up.

Can’t wait to finally get in bed

Turn the fan up to high.

Get snuggly under the covers

Heating pad warming up

Heating pad really, really warming up

Strange smell in the room, making me cough

Must be smells from the newly opened window

Turn heating pad down

Flames are coming up

Jump out of bed screaming so loud my throat still hurts

Holding heating pad with flames shooting out

Cut toes bleeding all over floor from jumping out of bed so quickly

Heating pad out on the balcony now


Nightgown burnt up


My nightgown.  Holy crap.  This was no joke.  Still shaking.

20140325_232017 (2)

Thanks, Boss! :-)



SOL March Challenge #25


Between the ages of 16-25 I worked 8 different jobs.  Some were good.  Some were OK.  Some were very bad.  Only 3 of them lasted longer than 5 years.  Looking back on those 10 years I learned many lessons, with one common thread that, once learned, served me well from that point forward.

I had a boss who told me I needed to smile more.  So, as I filled the salad bar I smiled nice and big!   This seemed like a pretty simple lesson.  Smile.  More.

I had a boss who was imprisoned while I worked for his company.  I’m not sure what he did, but I remember having to find his house, somewhere on the south side, to get paid….before he went to jail and the record store closed for good.  I was relieved and smiling as I walked down his driveway  safe and sound and with my final pay check!

I was gently “let go” from a Greek restaurant where it became quickly apparent that I couldn’t balance soup, salad, drinks, and appetizers all before the main course.  I smiled gratefully as my boss put me and my customers out of our misery!

I was Christmas help at 2 of my 8 jobs.  I learned how to hustle and deal with crabby holiday shoppers.  I also learned that I did not want a future career in retail.  I smiled calmly as they cried and yelled at me because we didn’t have the right size, color, or style that they just had to have for the perfect gift that they had just begun to shop for on Christmas Eve!

I found my niche at a pizza joint for 6 years.  I worked for a local family whose business became my home away from home.  I was back to waitressing, but here I was able to handle the pizza and beer.  No problem!  I made enough money to pay my bills and also made some lasting friends along the way.  I smiled happily as I worked my way through college and eventually had a festive send-off to my very first job in my chosen career.  I kept smiling and never looked back!

Valuable  lesson learned.  Thanks, Boss!!  🙂