Author: Caryl Dierksen

Kittens—the Good, the Bad, the Cute

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Animals / Just for Fun

The doctor tapped on the door of the examination room and walked in. He shook my hand as usual, then paused and said, “Caryl, what have you done?” It was a good question, and it came from a man who knows me well. Dr. C. has taken wonderful care of my cats since the ’80s. I consider him a friend as well as a veterinarian. That morning my friend was a bit perplexed, perhaps a […]

Tales of Joy and Grace

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Animals

On Aug. 14, I lost my cat, Shadow, only four months after losing my other cat, Angie. I knew ahead of time that each was reaching her final days. I thought I had braced myself for transitioning to a home without the welcoming presence of a cat. But I was wrong. I had forgotten how utterly silent and lonely it would be. And no wonder. Angie had been with me since 2001; Shadow had been […]

A Return to Home Sweet Abbey

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Blogging / Mostly Musings / Neighbors

It’s been more than a year since I posted on this blog. Maybe you thought I had decided to close it down. I wouldn’t blame you. There were times when I thought that’s what was happening too. It seemed like I had run out of ideas and of inspiration. I would sit down at the computer and try to write, but my topic wouldn’t work out. There were even more times when my mind was […]

I Can’t Wait to Get Back to Three Pines

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Mostly Musings

Today, November 27, is circled in bright red on my calendar. It has been for months. You see, today is the release date for Kingdom of the Blind, book number 14 in Louise Penny’s series of Armand Gamache mysteries. Here’s how addicted I am to these books. I slept with my iPad on my nightstand last night. Immediately on waking up, I checked and found the ebook downloaded to my Kindle app, ready for my […]

My Radio Adventures

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Uncategorized

It began as a 3-way chat on Messenger. It was a couple of weeks before my trip to visit Joe and Sylvia in Asheville, NC, and we were discussing plans for my stay. Sylvia and I were making decisions about places to visit and things to do. Then Joe jumped in. Wait. A set of questions about the novel I wrote?? I took a deep breath and typed: Yes, it turned out, that was exactly what he […]

The Bee in the Rose at the Biltmore

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Hi, readers… Long time, no see. Long time, no write. The ugly truth is that I haven’t blogged since July. Honestly, I don’t have a good reason for my absence. I’m not sure why I couldn’t get motivated to write. What I do know is that I’m back now. And it feels good.   A few days ago, I returned from a delightful week visiting friends in Asheville, NC. Joe, Sylvia, and Bandit were my neighbors in […]

Maples Friends Are the Best

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Neighbors / Social Life

I was working in my unofficial role of homeowner-sales assistant when I asked a question of a couple here on a first visit. It was a typical question that received an atypical answer. I asked when they might be buying their new home and moving. The wife answered: When I find what I’m looking for. I asked: What is important to you?, expecting to hear about square footage, number of bedrooms, price, or other popular concerns. […]

Perfectionism

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Mostly Musings

Hello, Perfectionism. My old nemesis. My worst enemy. My jailor. We meet again, though you have actually never been away. You lurk within my mind and taint my feelings. You judge me, then convince me that I will never be good enough. Then to make it worse, you subvert my best efforts to forgive myself. I don’t remember when you clawed your way into my psyche. I was probably too young to remember. And though […]

‘Thank You For Serving Our Country’

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

via Photo Challenge: Twisted The twisted object I choose to share today is a simple one—yet one that carries a timely message. It is a handmade, braided bracelet stapled to a card by a child named Audrey. The words, Hears A Bracelet, in her printing, tell me that she is quite young. Note the date—Valentine’s Day. The card is a love note to a veteran whom she has never met, and most likely never will. […]

Oh, Canada!

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Thank you to the readers who have asked to see more photos from my recent cruise. In my previous post (immediately below this one), I shared my pictures from our day in Old Quebec City. Now we sail on to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. And while we do, this is a typical view from our ship, Holland America’s Veendam.   Our first stop is Prince Edward Island, which is the smallest of the provinces […]

Where They Don’t Talk in English

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As I took my first few steps on the narrow cobblestone streets of Old Quebec City, fragments of a quote popped into my head. I wanted to share it with my traveling companions, but I couldn’t retrieve the exact sentence of dialogue from Our Town. It had been too long since I had taught or seen the play. As soon as I reboarded our cruise ship, I looked up Thornton Wilder’s words: Only it seems to […]

Heavy Lifting

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Construction

I woke up this morning and, as usual, looked out a window. It was a good start to the day because I didn’t see any snow. Given our recent weather, that cannot be taken for granted. But I did notice something unusual. Do you recognize the object in the circle? If not, you may not live in a community under construction. It’s the top of a crane, a sign of an interesting building day. Though […]

April 4, 2018

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

It has been widely publicized that today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. It is indeed a day to celebrate his heritage. His life and work have inspired countless people of all races, beliefs, and nationalities.         Today is also the birth date of another influential Civil Rights activist who knew and worked with Dr. King. Dr. Maya Angelou, who also championed women’s rights, was born […]

Easter Nostalgia

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

Dear readers: I wrote and published this post four years ago. I am sharing it again as holiday nostalgia sweeps over me on this Easter weekend. My feelings and memories have not changed. Only one thing has; I lost Mom a year and a half ago. ••••• Do you feel it too? For me, holidays always bring back memories of the celebrations of my childhood. I can close my eyes today and see us so […]

A Cup of Coffee

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Mostly Musings

After a long break, I’m returning to my online blogging class. Today’s assignment, my second-to-the-last, is a virtual coffee date. In this type of post, I am to share thoughts in the informal way I might if I were actually talking to a friend over a cup of coffee. So… I have brewed up two mugs of strong, hot Black Magic coffee. Let’s sit in my sunroom and chat.   If we were having coffee […]

Puzzled

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Animals / Just for Fun

I loved working jigsaw puzzles when I was a kid. Somehow, though, it seems that I outgrew them. I don’t remember exactly how or why it happened, only that when I went away to college, I didn’t take any along. But now, after more than a 50-year absence, I’ve redeveloped a passion for jigsaw puzzles. And I know exactly how that happened. Last February, when I spent a week with Sue in a condo on […]

A Slice of Vacation Life

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Blogging / Just for Fun / Nature

Today’s assignment is to recreate the events of a single day. This one will be easy, since I will draw on memories of my recent stay with my friend, Sue, in her rental condo in Orange Beach, AL   I wake up when I wake up, without an alarm or obligation. I know without getting out of bed whether Sue is up before me. The first thing she does each morning is open the glass […]

Mapping My Family Home

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Blogging / Mostly Musings

  Today’s assignment is to write a post based on a map. I am doing that, but you will have to read for a while before we get to the maps.   It was, I don’t know, maybe 2013 or -14, a late afternoon, when my phone rang.  I didn’t recognize the number that came up, but I knew the 319 area code.  It is for eastern Iowa, where I was born and raised. A family […]

Tweet, Tweet

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Blogging

Today’s assignment calls for me to “mine my own material.” This means that I search my writing in places other than this blog for ideas. So, for example, I might use something I’ve written on other social media sites or in journals or, really, anywhere. I’ve ruled out Facebook posts because too many of you reading this blog are FB friends, which means you would be reading re-runs. I’ve also ruled out the journals that […]

School Shooting, Number Gazillion

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Blogging

I. April 20, 1999:  It was a Tuesday, the end of a normal school day. I packed up the papers I was taking home to grade and locked my classroom. That year, due to a student enrollment that had outgrown our building, I was teaching in a mobile classroom on the front lawn of Woodstock High School. It was a short walk across the street to the parking lot and my car. I started the […]