Food For Thought

“You are what you eat, you know,” you may have heard it said;
So what form of nutrition, is better to be fed?

Eat some sweets to help you have, a pleasant countenance;
A slice of homemade humble pie, to curb your arrogance.

Take any hurtful comments, with a grain of salt;
To err is only human; do not lay blame or fault.

Keep your ear out of the grapevine, spreading things that you don’t know;
It keeps your foot out of your mouth, and you from eating crow.

Don't upset the apple cart, giving people fits,
You may have to eat your words, and end up in the pits.

To keep from going nuts, or bananas on bad days,
Look on the sunny side, use lemons for lemonade.

Never drink the wine, made from the grapes of wrath;
Instead swallow your pride; stay on the narrow path.

Eat the spiritual fruits, of joy and peace and love,
And the fruits of all your labor, will bring blessings from above.
Plate of fruit
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Victim

Beautiful art, without a signature, Spider,
Be proud of your work. Why do you hide there?

Ashamed of your creation, the role you’re born to play?
Do you mourn for the victims of the lies you convey?

Knowing that you’ll trap them empirically,
Feeding on their flesh, vampirically,
Just like you did with me.
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Storm

Thunder rolled in the distance. He could feel it, though nothing had happened yet. There was always a warning, though sometimes it went unnoticed. Bryce heard the front door slam when his father came home. He knew the type of slam it was–he had heard it many nights before. That’s when he retreated to his room and put in his earbuds. He hoped he hadn’t forgotten anything. Did he take out the trash? Yes, he was sure of it. Feed the dog? Pretty sure. He didn’t leave his LEGO bricks on the floor, did he? Oh, no. That might be it. That might be what gets him. He should just throw away the stupid LEGOS. It would be better than getting beaten again.

He took out his earbuds and could hear his father clanking around in the kitchen. There might be time. He could race into the living room, grab the LEGOS and be back in his room before his father noticed. He quietly opened his bedroom door and made it quickly down the hall to the living room. He swiftly and silently gathered as many LEGOS as his little hands could hold and turned to head back to his room. As soon as he turned around, he saw the shoes first, and then looked up at his father, who was glowering down at him.

Then the lightning struck.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you see evidence of domestic violence or if you are the victim of such abuse, please summon the courage to speak up.

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Bullied

The sounds of the crowds around me, drowning

My thoughts. I ought not to be fraught with

Jealousy, indelibly. To hell with me;

To hell with them. Endlessly rendering

Judgment and grudges, uttering loveless

Orgies of words. Gorging on stories that are more or less

Lies that are cited as wise. Their eyes always dry

For they never endeavor 

To see clearer, to look in a mirror.

It uncovers the ugliness deep under

Their makeup. Won’t wake up to face up to

The truth.

Shutting out the loud mouths of the crowd with a 

Bullet and gun,

And I’ll be the one to pull it; I’m done.

Excerpt from Like A Mousetrap Book 2: A Glimpse into a Family About to Snap

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Joy and Henry – A “Sweet” Story

Photo by Sydney Troxell on Pexels.com

“Who’s song is this?” Joy asked as she walked into the kitchen.

“M&M’S,” he replied.

Joy looked sympathetically at her husband poring over their bills splayed out on the kitchen table.

How many are unpaid?” she asked.

“Mounds,” he replied. “We really need a payday, bar none.”

“That would be a lifesaver,” she said. “What would it take?”

“100 grand.”

“What do we have left in savings?” she asked tentatively.

“Zero,” he said.

“Oh, Henry,” she said with a sigh. “I guess we won’t be able to afford to go to the symphony to see Reese’s performance, after all.”

“I’m sure your brother will understand.”

She walked over and picked through the mixed nuts on the counter. After picking out an almond, Joy dropped it on the floor.

“Butterfingers,” she said to herself.

She looked around for it, and then heard a crunch as she stepped on it. She cleaned up her mess and then heard little baby Ruth laugh.

Their daughter was pointing at their kitten, Rolo, and squealed, “Kit kat does funny twix!” and started giggling. The kitten skittles across the kitchen floor, and into the living room.

“I love when she snickers,” Joy said, smiling as she walked toward the high chair.

She tenderly lifted their daughter out of her chair and swayed with her as they walked toward the kitchen table.

“She’s ready for bed. Hugs and kisses,” she said as she leaned down to let her father say good-night.

“Blow Pop a kiss,” he requested.

Ruth mimed the action and then gave her father a hug. After putting the baby to bed, Joy slowly strolled back down the hallway toward the kitchen, stopping to look at a photo of their family.

“The 3 musketeers,” she mused lovingly.

As she entered the kitchen, she saw that her husband was still staring hopelessly at the pile of bills. She stood behind him and started rubbing his shoulders. She could see one of the letters that read:

Mr. Goodbar, Our records indicate that you are 3 months behind on your mortgage payment, etcetera… Sincerely, Heath Clark, 5th Avenue, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“It’s a rocky road,” he said.

“Let’s take 5 and go sit outside for a bit,” Joy suggested. “Come on, slo poke.”

They went out and sat together on the porch swing, gazing up at the stars.

“I love looking at the, umm… whatchamacallit?”

“Milky way?” Henry suggested.

“Yeah, that’s it,” she confirmed. “I’m such a dum-dum. You can see so many of them tonight. It looks like a Starburst. I think I can even see Mars.”

They sat quietly for a while, and then. Joy said, “We may have bills and they may be some whoppers, but no matter what, we’ve got good and plenty.”

    “Yeah,” Henry agreed. “We’ll always be happy farmers–jolly ranchers–now and later, always and forever.”

How many brands of candy did you see?

New Book Now Available!

Like A Mousetrap: Book 1: The Story of a Teenager Feeling Trapped
I decided to write a “companion” to my book, Like A Mousetrap. I have made this the first one in the collection, but they are each stand-alone stories, so you can read them in any order. I hope you will check it out!

“I should’ve killed myself this morning.

In a bigger city, being gay wouldn’t be so bad; at least, from what I’ve heard. But when you live in the Bible Belt, go to a small school, small church, small community, full of small minds, it’s not so easy.”


Teenage life is never simple. For Melissa, things are even more complicated. The first book in a two-part collection, Like a Mousetrap Book 1 invites you inside the minds of a mother and her daughter who see the same events in radically different ways.

Melissa believes the only solution to her temporary turmoil is a final and irreversible one, while her well meaning mother wanders around blindly in denial. Will mother and daughter end up on the same page, or will this be their final chapter?

Joseph Oliver Ellrich

Joe was born on September 20th, 1989. He had his issues, his vices, as we all do; unfortunately, his particular addiction ultimately led to his death.

He was easily influenced by his “friends.” I use quotations to emphasize that anyone that introduces you to drugs–and especially those who feed an addiction that has already caused much harm–is not your friend.

He knew the pain that he was inflicting–not only himself, but upon his family and loved ones–yet he did not have the tools nor the strength of mind to pull himself completely away from it.

He tried many times to break free of the bonds that drug addiction had on him. It was like he was attached to a bungee cord. He could get away for a while, but when the cord was stretched, when the stresses of life were pulling at him, he no longer had the strength, and was jerked back into that world.

Joe was loving and caring, and was constantly joking and laughing on the outside. It was always fun to be around him and he made me laugh a lot. He also suffered from depression, which was a side that many people didn’t see.

Like A Mousetrap is dedicated to him, because there are so many people suffering in silence, and more awareness should be brought to those who are struggling and feeling alone. Joe was not even 30 years old, had so much potential and promise, and had yet a lifetime to fulfill it.

I put a phrase at the end of that book: Help someone, be a friend to someone, love someone. It is a simple phrase and simple acts, but the impact can be immeasurably great. I hope that you will follow that directive and, hopefully, prevent a tragic event. It will cost you nothing, but the reward will be priceless.

Rain is a Poem

Rain itself is a poem -
Sounds that are rhyming,
Rhythmic timing,
Dark and foreboding or sweet and endearing.
It can be touching and light, 
Or it may drench us like 
So many tears.

Short and sweet -
A cloud burst;
Or it may be the worst
Storm we have seen.

Interpreted differently,
It may leave a message,
Or with simply more inquiries.
Rain is a poem.

Is Your Birthday Killing You?

A Birthday Party is a time of celebration, of commemorating another year of life. As a child, we look forward to getting presents, as a teen, to a driver’s license, and then to becoming an adult, and then, perhaps, to simply having a reason to eat an ice cream cake! I have often wondered, however, if this marker of the passage of time hastens the end of our existence. Hear me out…

We all have a general idea of the average life expectancy (somewhere around 78, with variations in regard to gender, genetics, geographic location, etc.) and as we age, we cannot help but make a mental note of where we currently are on that time line. How often have you heard or made the comment, “I’m too old for that”? How many instances of the proverbial “mid-life crisis” have you witnessed?

What would happen if we didn’t keep track of our ages? What if we lived our lives, not knowing when we would reach that proposed or assumed midpoint of our days on Earth? Many people like to say that “age is just a number” and “you’re only as old as you feel,” but how much regard to our ages is actually lying in the subconscious, affecting our everyday actions?

I think it would make a fascinating experiment, but almost impossible to implement, as we use our age and birth date for identification purposes, among other things. There are also many legal restrictions associated with certain age markers; thus, we may never know the implications of such a possibility.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Please leave a comment.

Today, as it turns out, is my birthday. No, please, there’s no need to buy me a present 😉. And if anyone asks me how old I am, I’ll just say that I’m simply ageless!

Who is disappointing whom?

Do people often let you down? Do you create and build plans only for someone to pull the rug out from under you?

Something you might want to consider is that you are pulling the rug out yourself. I came to this realization a while ago, but still have to remind myself of it. If you are constantly let down by people, stop and think about where the disappointment is coming from. You build up a specific idea about a particular future event, and then expect a person to react a certain way–perhaps the way YOU would react. Then, when that person reacts in an unexpected manner, you become disappointed, sad, maybe angry.

Did the other person cause you to feel this way? Is it his or her fault? No. No one can make you feel a certain way. You are attributing feelings and motivations to others that they might not have.

I’ll give an example: I wanted to plan an event for my birthday. I contacted several of my friends and family to see if they wanted to go play pickleball (if you don’t know what that is, look it up — it’s a lot of fun!). Everyone said they were busy, or didn’t seem interested. I was disappointed. I thought, “My birthday comes only once a year. Couldn’t they put aside their plans for that one day?” and “If they asked me to do something to celebrate their birthdays, I would definitely go!”

I feel like I am a very loyal friend, and I would drop everything if a friend asked me for something. But not everyone has this quality, and I can’t change others to fit them within my box. I have to be aware of other people’s characteristics when developing my expectations.

So, when you’re disappointed that nobody but you shows up at your birthday party, you can blame all the people in that room!

P.S. One friend of mine ended up going with me and we had a fun time!