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Autism Resource Guide

Parenting a child with autism can be challenging, and even though I have not done so, I suspect that parenting a child with autism during a pandemic brings a whole new set of issues. With classes oscillating between virtual and in person, routines are disrupted while the future seems to be in a constant stateContinue Reading

A 3-Hour Leap Back in Time

John K. King Books, Ferndale A few weeks ago, we traveled to John K. King Books in Ferndale. This store is much smaller than the bookstore we visited in Detroit, and just as I was about to leave empty-handed, I spied an enormous book. It looked like a scrapbook, but upon closer inspection, it wasContinue Reading

He asked me. We’re dating.

     November 15th is an important day in our household.      Next to Veterans Day (the 11th—my husband is a navy veteran), November 15th is a day of reckoning of sorts, a celebration that signifies an achievement: for the past eight months two people, through no fault of their own, have had to embrace eachContinue Reading

A Halloween Tale

     Between the ages of 9 and 11, I lived with my parents in a crumbling home in a tiny town in southern Michigan a few miles from the Ohio border. The home itself would be an appropriate reference to Halloween, as I would always hear sounds in the attic (maybe the squirrels?) and thatContinue Reading

The Picture Dictionary-Part I

     For the past several weeks, I have been editing my mystery novel, Island Times Three (A Raymond Gray Mystery), using an online editing program. While it has done a good job of pointing out poor sentence structure, questionable grammar and repetitive words, in the end I will send the manuscript to a professional editorContinue Reading

A Final Garden Update

Well, it’s that time of year again. At least for gardeners in the north.And while we usually don’t experience a frost until the beginning to the middle of October, this year our first frost occurred three nights ago. A few days before that, my husband and I tore out all of the spent plants. IContinue Reading

A Birthday Trek

NOTE: I have been busy editing my book, Island Times Three, and have fallen behind in my posting schedule. Another one of my birthdays occurred last week, and to “celebrate” I told my family I wanted to visit a bookstore.  More precisely, a used books bookstore. Candidates included shops in Ann Arbor, Novi and Brighton.    Continue Reading

Lisa Morningstar and…

     The ring was nowhere to be found. Lisa had searched every logical place, and after an hour it occurred to her that Glen might have taken it. Which would have been fine since he bought it, but what she really wanted was to give it back to him. A kind of token ceremony representingContinue Reading

Lisa Morningstar and…

     When the doorbell rang just after eleven the next morning, Lisa expected it to be Glen. But when she yanked open the door, a short, gray-haired woman occupied the porch. And she didn’t seem happy to be there.     “Can I help you?” Lisa asked through the screen door.     “I’m Debbie Krapps,” the woman answered.    Continue Reading

Lisa Morningstar and..

     “She’s so cute!” Vicki gushed, causing several heads to turn in their direction at the Razzle Dazzle, Lisa’s favorite café. She and Glen would walk downtown every Saturday afternoon to visit restaurants with outdoor seating. That is, until he decided to spend more time at the office to guarantee his “promotion.”     “Hah!” Lisa thought.Continue Reading

Lisa Morningstar and…

     In the four years Lisa lived in the house, this was the first time she was thankful her father had built a fence around the backyard. Twenty years ago he bought the property for $59,000, right before housing prices skyrocketed in the area. Within two years its value jumped to $120,000, and it wasContinue Reading

Lisa Morningstar and…

     “I’ve been trying to train her,” he told her. “But I think Sharon makes her nervous.”     Lisa watched while Phoebe dug up a cluster of purple asters she had just planted in the ground next to the porch. She had remembered reading somewhere that dogs pick up on their owner’s moods. Could Phoebe beContinue Reading

Lisa Morningstar and…

     Her afternoon meeting with Frank went well, and she was pleased when he complimented her on a job well done, particularly in the Jackson office. She was alarmed, though, when as she started to leave he asked her out to dinner Saturday night to talk about the week’s problems–his week’s problems.     “I can’t. I’m…busy,”Continue Reading

Lisa Morningstar and…

How to Deal made it to the short story finals in the 2017 Florida Writer’s Association Royal Palm Literary Award Competition. Because of its length, I will be posting it in “parts.” LISA MORNINGSTAR angrily pushed the power button on her car radio, creating a deafening silence she wasn’t sure she liked. She tucked herContinue Reading

A Garden Update

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” –Cicero © kathleenjae.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of these images or material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

The Intangible Foe

     They met on a Friday night in August. Katie had been hesitant to take part in this particular social group because history had proven to her that such gatherings consisted mostly of cliques—small clusters of young adults who had been attending the groups for years. No structure, no methodology was in place to introduceContinue Reading

My Dream Library

     It is a mere 11-1/2 x 13—150 square feet with one double-hung window and one small closet. Some people think it is nothing more than a room with some books.     Far from it—for it is my library.     I have no idea how many books are in this small room, since I have been addingContinue Reading

O Birds of Peace-A Poem

O birds of peace, so aptly named,Your choice to dwell sublime.Among the million bells proclaim,A place to bide your time. A single kin, so fine and frail,Your gift to all the world.So harsh, but yet you will prevail!The plume of young unfurls. The turns you take, the to and fro,Relief each one affords.The steady bond you eachContinue Reading

Practical Memories: One Teacher’s Attempt at Cultivating Potential

  This post is a continuation of “A Herbal Beginning.”     The years I spent in high school were a lowlight for me–all four years. Every day was a struggle, largely due to the machinations of a series of nefarious women who would—absurdly—assume the “stepmother” moniker and who were adept in their ability to atContinue Reading

Comfort, Thy Name is Chowder

     Here in Michigan, spring weather seems to fluctuate more than the stock market. Yesterday, I awoke to temperatures in the 60’s—nice! Today? Not so nice—in fact, 49 degrees of not so nice.     My choice for a supper-time meal tends to reflect the weather of that day. Eighty degrees? Pasta with veggies (from the garden!),Continue Reading

A Herbal Beginning

A Herbal Beginning

     My family and I have moved six times during the past nine years, and after each one, as soon as we were settled and the weather permitted, I would seek out the local nurseries and purchase several herb plants. Basil, parsley, sage, thyme and oregano were must-haves, of course. But I delighted in discoveringContinue Reading

Part 5: Twenty Questions: Gardening (or so I thought)

     I opened the cooler.     “Since we did not play the game, and you were willing to listen to what I had to say, I think each of you should get the treat asked for.”     Gerard smiled…really smiled…for the first time. “Sounds fair!”     I pulled out the first container and opened it. “Percy, your choiceContinue Reading

Part 4: Twenty Questions: Gardening (or so I thought)

     “E…lim…i,” Adele started, frowning.     “Kill, missy!” Gerard growled. “They’ve tried it before! And here we are!”     “Hah! One threw rocks at me one time,” Percy offered. “Obviously missed.”     I sighed. Adele was visibly frightened, but Betts…she was unusually quiet.     “It’s a collective effort, this time,” I explained. “This means every two-legger in every houseContinue Reading

Part 3: Twenty Questions: Gardening (or so I thought)

     “Hey, Betts, do you have a good story to tell?” Adele asked.     Betts frowned. “I stay away from the two-legged creatures,” she said seriously. “I keep to the creek. Lots of pinchers, swimmers and meanderers.”      Percy and Gerard were talking at once now, each trying to outdo the other while detailing their escapadesContinue Reading

Part 2: Twenty Questions: Gardening (or so I thought)

     Gerard arrived first, and a brief glance told me his attitude seemed to have worsened. Then he opened his mouth, and my suspicions were confirmed.     “Where is everybody? Look, a whole bunch of eggs are waiting for me! Gotta beat the two-leggers!”      He looked at me warily. “You brought the goods?”     For myContinue Reading

What’s an Internet?

  Here I have reprinted the third chapter from my book:  From Prompting to Shaping to Letting Go: My Love Affair With ABA and How Being a “Bad Mom” Helped My Daughter With Autism Succeed.” Chapter 3: What’s an Internet?      My husband and I were at a restaurant on the island with aContinue Reading

Spirit of the Elder

  While I was watching an Elvis Presley movie last night, I suddenly remembered that I had written a play years ago called Spirit of the Elder and that Mr. Presley was one of the characters in the first scene. I had to search for it on my laptop and finally found it archived inContinue Reading

Ode to The Fairy Clock

Ragged leaves, like lion’s fangs, Yellow tops that shout. My life so brief, from dirt I sprang, To color all about. I’m fruitful now! Thanks bumblebee! My strength today rebounds. The waiting starts, no wings for me! White comely hair astounds. The wind is strong, is this the day? My bristles on standby. They leaveContinue Reading

Weeds!

The house we bought last year came complete with several long benches that run the perimeter of our deck. Because we are not the type who throw huge parties, my husband decided to turn each bench into a garden planter. Due to his hard work, last year we were rewarded with a haul that includedContinue Reading

Ten Dollars Enough

Over the span of several weeks, I have been reading a serialization of the 1888 book Ten Dollars Enough: Keeping House Well on Ten Dollars a Week. How It Has Been Done. How It May Be Done Again. The author, Catherine Owen (née Helen Matthews Nitsch), takes us on a culinary journey with Molly Bishop,Continue Reading

My Portal to History

Confession time. I fancy vintage ladies’ and how-to magazines. I don’t mean I simply like to look at the interesting covers or occasionally peruse an online copy (which I do). No, it’s a bit more involved than that. A few years ago, when my family and I lived in Tennessee, I went a little crazy.Continue Reading

Ode to Sanibel

When I recently searched through my archived photos (again!), I decided to pull out some of the Sanibel Island vacation snapshots. We lived in the Fort Myers area for two years (and 30 minutes away from the island where my daughter worked three days a week), and throughout much of that time my husband andContinue Reading

Image by Mabel Amber from Pixabay

A Springtime Cadence

Could it be, that time ago, Ere biting wind, crisp leaves below. Parade of hues my breath did stole, Regale my eyes, embrace my soul. Veneer of white, a lonely stage, Now life suspends, I disengage. Retreat for now, inside to rest, Will I survive this bitter test? Oho! I shan’t repress my glee, MyContinue Reading

Too Much Salt

A couple of months ago, I posted an essay about a vintage cookbook I had bought at my local library book sale: From Clever Judy Frosting to Small Cakes. The cookbook, All About Home Baking, has several inscriptions from a variety of bakers who, over a 75-year period, tried and then commented about their experiencesContinue Reading

The Time is Now to Find Your Inner Charles Dickens!

Wackford Squeers? Serjeant Buzfuz? Hiram Grewgious? Diggory Chuzzlewit? Hah! Just to be clear, I am not on the lash and quite sober and my wireless keyboard did not temporarily go wonky. What then, of the above gibberish? Why, they are all characters straight out of a Charles Dickens novel! The Newspaper Press Fund (now calledContinue Reading

A Trip Around the Thumb

My daughter has always loved taking road trips. But these excursions are no ordinary road trips, and after many years of trial and error they have become heavily regulated. These rules of travel may no longer be discussed or acknowledged, but they still, in fact, do exist: * Expressways and highways must be avoided atContinue Reading

Pins of Spring

I recently published two pins on Pinterest: one about my favorite sound of spring, the other a nice graphic on the steps to take when one finds a baby cottontail rabbit. I did not realize it at the time of publication, but these pins have an intertwined history—namely, both relate to my time as a wildlifeContinue Reading

Happy Birthday to My Hero!

My daughter’s birthday is in a few days, and once again I am completely gobsmacked at how quickly time goes by. Yesterday I searched through the hundreds of photographs I have taken of her over the years, and I inserted a few of them into a slideshow. Some were taken during her ABA (for autism)Continue Reading

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