Category: Family


Reflecting on this Easter Sunday was much tougher than I imagined it would be.   There were so many moments to savor:  the sight of my beautiful grandmother in church for another Easter service,  the Hubs and his mini-me Grand sitting on the grass playing with Hot Wheels from the egg hunt,  all the wonderful food and family time, …
But ultimately it came down to this.
Cascarone Wishes.

May every day contain a bit of Easter.
With rejoicing and rebirth,
Faith and hope,
Family, food, and fun.

May you have just the right amount of confetti in your hair.
And most importantly, of course, the sheltering arm of someone who loves you draped across your shoulders.

Then sings my soul….



Grandboy  #1 experienced the highs and lows of losing a tooth today…
as only a 6 year old can.

At. High. Drama.

The illustration says it all.
Especially when narrated by the Grand.

Starting on the right — because the image bled through from the other side.

Which was, incidentally, another of the traumas of our morning.  But that’s a story for another day.

Today’s slice starts now, from the increasingly toothless mouth of Grandboy #1:

So, you see….
I was eating my donut.
Chocolate’s the best, you know.
But I was just eating and it started messing with my loose tooth.

I kept on eating but then!!!!!
It fell out!!!
I was lucky because it stuck in the donut….

But then everything went wrong!
I can’t believe it happened!!!!!

Did I mention high drama???  Oh my GOODNESS, high drama!

So then.
I put my tooth in my hand and came over to show you but BOOM!
It fell out of my hand!
Just. Like. That.

I couldn’t believe it!
You helped me look, but…
You said it happens to everyone.
You said people lose their teeth then LOSE their teeth!
You said it happened to Josh and Kat, and all we have to do is write a letter, but I don’t know if I believe you!

So then I was just sad…..
Really, REALLY sad.

Josh called and Kat called and they said they wrote a letter.
They said the tooth fairy understands….
So, maybe…???

I sure hope this works,  Teeta.

I just don’t know if the tooth fairy is that smart.

Oh, that boy…
Then sings my soul!

I made absolutely,  positively,  100% sure his Momma knows what the tooth fairy did at my house when this happened….
Because I know.
The tooth fairy IS that smart!


There’s no place like home.

As the gate opens,
I feel myself physically begin to relax.

Then, I see the cows…
And my heart soars.
Sugar’s here!!
The Hubs moved her across the road today!

Then the jackrabbit escorts.
With their long tawny ears
And little black tails,
They are definitely one of my favorite compound words.

And at the second gate, the pups.
Boomer, dancing in circles of joy because I’m home at last.
Latte, making her trademark & namesake “lotta” noise.

And finally.

Pups and I raced inside.
10 minutes to pjs, clean face,
And bedtime.

All is well.
Life is good.
Then sings my soul….


Found this treasure today and it made me think
Maybe I was born for this…

A ponderer of thoughts
With a way for words.
A student of the world around us
With a penchant for the click of the keys.

Starting young.
Books and songs in the lap of my mom.
And this.
Definitely this.

Another of my treasures is my dad’s old steamer desk where he wrote oh, so many words.
It is huge
And heavy
And goes with nothing.

Nothing, that is,
Except my heart,
And the words that pour forth from it.

Then sings my soul….


It was late Friday night during Spring Break of her freshman year at UT-Austin, and she was well on her way to a 3.84 GPA in the coveted and rigorous School of Engineering, when I got the call.

“Momma?” she whispered.  “Can you talk?”

“Of course, Babe.  What’s up?”

“Oh, Momma….. I just don’t think I can do it.  I mean… I know I can do it.  I just don’t think I can love it….”

“Do what?  Love what, Honey?”


And through choked back sobs, she poured out her heart, her worries, and her fears.
She could do it, no doubt, but if she couldn’t love it…..?

“Well, now’s the perfect time to figure that out!”

And figure it out, she did.
Within the week, she had conferenced with advisors in both the schools of engineering and natural sciences, and she had a plan:  Biology with a focus on evolution, ecology, and conservation.

The next semester she began her new program of study and now, here she is, 9 months away from graduation.

Is she in a field of high demand?

Will she make lots of money?
Probably not.

Does she have a clear career path?
Not yet.

But is she happy?
…one look at her face today says it all.

Then sings my soul….


Then sings my soul!

It’s usually my tag line,  but with these boys and their cousins, it’s where it all begins.


I came into my stepkids’ lives when they were older.  
Their relationship with their dad was complicated,
And I wasn’t quite sure where I fit into the equation.

Over the years, I have come to know them as incredible human beings.
I love them dearly and I believe they love me.

And then came the grands!!!!
Oh my goodness!
The grands!!!!

Tonight I walked to the oldest’s baseball practice across town.
(Yes, walked….but that’s a Slice for a different day.)

I did it just for the chance to breathe some of the same air.

I knew he’d be busy.
I knew his dad – my oldest stepson – would be busy too.
But I knew I’d be able to see them in their element.

My stepson is step dad to this precious boy, our oldest grandson.
He is at every practice.
He is at every game.
He loves this boy…
And he parents this boy….
And he makes a difference!

And my soul does sing….

It sings to see the love and strength of their connection.
It sings to see the pride in B’s eyes.
It sings to see that B and he know right where they belong.

And then.
As the sun set over the field and the night hawks moved in….
When the evening couldn’t have been any more beautiful….
When it was time for me to walk back across town….
One of the team moms asked if I was I.’s mom.

“No,” I said.
“I’m one of the Grandmas.”

And I knew.
I absolutely knew….

I’m right where I belong as well.

Then sings my soul….


Those hands….
Those precious, precious hands.

Each Tuesday,  I travel to the next town after work.
I travel to visit.
I travel to talk.
And I travel to pay tribute to those hands….

Those precious, precious hands.
The hands of my grandmother.

95 years in the making.
95 years of living, loving and service.
95 years of hard, hard work.
95 years of nurturing….

95 years of love in action…
… through the bread she kneaded and baked.
the clothes she cut, pinned, basted, and sewed.
The veggies she planted, tended, harvested, and canned.

95 years of doing whatever it took for her family to thrive.
Cooking, canning, sewing…
Taking in ironing so that her girlchild could take piano.
Working tirelessly at home and out, if she had to.
Working the fields,
Working at the five and dime,
Whatever it took…

For the last 25, these hands have been solo,
Mourning their partners, my grandfather’s hands.
For 25 years, she has managed the house and continued to do all that she could — all while waiting for the day her hands reunite with his.

95 years…
and now frustrated by having to sit idle.
Hands at rest for the first time in 95 years….

Hands it is my honor and good fortune to pamper just a bit,
to thank with the caress of my touch,
the smoothing of her skin,
the trimming, filing, and shaping of her nails,
and the painting….in her favorite colors: Vivacious, Red Carpet, and Bubblegum.
The dolling up of those beautiful, marvelous, precious, precious hands.

God’s work has been mighty through
those hands.
God’s work is mighty in those hands.

Those precious, precious hands.
The hands of my grandmother.

Then sings my soul….