Definitely not bored!

This is most definitely a strange and unique time, and one that I hope disappears completely, as soon as possible. I fear, however, that that is not in the cards since “stay-at-home” orders are being extended well past the April 30th deadline and on thru May, as well.

Even finding new and unique ideas or topics about which to write has become difficult, if not next to impossible. With all of this COVID-19 virus “war” foremost on everyone’s mind, and the steady and non-stop flow of information/mis-information that comes at us 24/7, it’s hard to put much thought into much else, despite our best and honest efforts to do so.

Never bored with a wall full of books and a nice, little writing desk!

Sitting down at my desk each day this past week, I’ve had every intention of writing something that would be uplifting and fun and far from the madding virus pandemic topic. 

I considered posting about my three-day stay in the hospital a little over a week ago, but that seemed to me equally dreary and self serving. I’ll briefly mention it here as a matter of updating my current status.  It was a little cardiac scare that I didn’t want to materialize into anything more drastic, so I went to the ER, found out I have A-Fib (an irregular heartbeat), and was admitted for a couple days of tests and observation.

 I already knew that I have aortic stenosis, and will eventually need a valve replacement. I rather think that will be coming much sooner than later after the echo test they performed during my stay. So, I’ve begun to deal with that and have reconciled myself to doing whatever it takes, although I don’t relish any form of surgery that will be involved. I am scheduled to meet with another cardiologist next Friday to discuss the options. I am feeling much better, have lost several pounds (which I needed to all along!), and am being faithful to my new daily meds regimen.

Aside from the great care I received while there, another piece of good news came about: I tested NEGATIVE for the COVID-19 virus. By the way, that test is quick and simple—but not entirely pleasant! I’ll leave it at that.

I have gotten lots of reading done, and I’ve even managed to get more writing done than in recent history. For example, I’ve taken to writing a “daily” journal during this strange time, and I’m trying to get my thoughts and observations down as often as I am moved to do so during the week. Work on my endlessly ongoing sequel to my first novel has re-captured my attention. My  love of doing a daily crossword puzzle has also been resurrected during this “stay home” period of our lives.

We’re in constant contact and communication with our son’s family and our grandsons, who should be busy right now playing baseball on their new teams. Not happening yet! Our daughter in Florida seems to be riding this thing out pretty well and managing to stay employed at the Humane Society. Keeping our fingers crossed and our prayers in overdrive for their continued safety and good health.

So I’m definitely not bored through all of this. After all, I have a wall full of books off to my left, and there are so many resting there which I haven’t yet read—fiction and non-fiction alike. I have a wonderful little desk in front of the two big windows that look out onto the front yard and street and sidewalk. As I work at my desk, I am able to see when the mail person comes and goes each morning, as well as all of our new neighbors as they’re out for their morning strolls—many with dogs of various shapes, sizes, and breeds.

All of this is nothing that any of us asked for, but we’re all adapting and making the best of it. Perhaps it has become a kind of blessing, allowing us the chance to slow down and really take a look at our own special spaces. Like re-discovering books on the shelf I’d forgotten I’d owned! It’s true, I’m definitely not bored!

Until next time…


A sad and terrible time…

Family Portrait - Montreal 1963
Family Portrait – Montreal 1963 (Photo credit: Mikey G Ottawa)

In my mind this morning I had a wonderful blog post all configured and worded regarding yesterday’s horrific incident in Boston. But as this day has worn on, I have begun to realize that what I might say about that incident—yet one more example of how this country’s morals and standards have eroded exponentially—would be lost in a sea of words and platitudes offered up by others far more eloquent than I.

So I’ll leave all of that to the more erudite and prolific shapers of words and only say that what took place yesterday in Boston is not a surprise. In fact, I’m stunned that something like this hasn’t happened sooner—much closer to the  date of the tragedy of the World Trade Center.

Not knowing who is responsible for the deaths and injuries causes the most anguish at the moment. I think of a little boy—eight years old, about the same age as my first grandson—who was taking part in a wonderful event and, but for any other explanation, was in the wrong place at that right time—the moment the explosions happened. I think of his sister and all of the others who, if for no other reason than their positions along that major avenue in Boston,  would be well today, celebrating the terrific event in all of its festive glory!

I had planned to write about my own accomplishments since my last post, finishing and compiling via Scrivener, two short stories and publishing them on Amazon KDP for Kindle. (Two or three copies of

English: Latest Kindle (2011) showing Esperant...
English: Latest Kindle (2011) showing Esperanto characters. Esperanto: Lasta Kindle montranta Esperanto-literojn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

them have even sold already!) And although I’m thrilled that I’ve come this far in learning the wonderful tool that is Scrivener, and that I now understand the process of how to get my finished writing projects on to, I’ll save my ramblings and espousals of glee for another post. There will be a time for that, but right now it’s difficult to get too enthused about my offerings.

Those two short stories, “Hobo Willie” and “Pinewood Farm”, were especially fun to write. Of course, I’d love to sell millions of them, but I’m happy at this moment just knowing that they’re “out there” and available to anyone in the world.

For now, I’ll leave all of the wit and wisdom and other mundane thoughts posted here for another time. Right now, though, I’m in that “hug-your-kids-and-grandkids” state of mind, so I hope anyone reading this will think about doing just that.

And when doing so, please offer a prayer or two for the families who were caught up in something they didn’t deserve and for the loved ones taken from them. God bless those little ones who didn’t deserve it!…CortlandWriter


The Precious Ones…

On my desk, in an 8 x 10 photo, my three beautiful grandsons smile out at me as I attempt to come up with some words to

English: Chicago-style hot dog at Portillo's
English: Chicago-style hot dog at Portillo’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

create this long-overdue blog post. The youngest is just over two, the next youngest will turn five next month, and the oldest is seven, close to the same ages as those innocent little ones who had their lives so violently taken this past Friday. What catches my eye each time I study the photo is the happiness that shines out from their smiles and their clear wonderful eyes!

And we had the opportunity to spend last night with the older two–a fun dinner out at Portillo’s for hot dogs, fries, and shakes, followed by a car “tour” to look at a multitude of Christmas lights. The rain had finally stopped by early evening, so there were no issues viewing the season’s wonderful displays.

The plan, originally, was to do all of the above and then take them home to their own beds. But as often happens, the two pulled the “power play” on Grandma and me, and they ended up sleeping here. It was fun and good and memorable. The younger one gave out and slept on the ride back home, while the seven-year-old sang Christmas songs with Grandma and me! Through it all, I couldn’t help but simply want to hug them whenever the opportunity presented itself.

And on this dark, chilly Sunday evening in December, I can’t help but focus on the photo that sits nearby and silently pray that the three beautiful children who smile out at me will never have to face the horror and terror that those innocent and precious children did last Friday. I pray that God will always help my grandsons keep those smiles firmly affixed and that their lives will be all that they deserve….CortlandWriter

Rolling Down Hill Like…

…”A snowball headed for hell…”

For some reason, the words from a classic Merl Haggard song pop into my mind this morning.  Since I last wrote, so many mind-numbing things have taken place that give me pause to ask the question all over again: Where are we headed? The answer(s) that one could come up with don’t offer much hope or lend any credence to the belief that it’s best to look on the bright side of things; stay positive; don’t worry, be happy, and on and on and on… 

The very bizarre situation at Penn State is the most recent sickening turn of events, following on the heals of turmoil in the world (the collapse of economies in Greece and Italy), the Occupy Wall Streeters, the Herman Cain issue, the volatile state of Iran, and all of the vitriol being spewed forth by both sides of the political scene. As I write, I feel more twisted and confused about the way of the world than I have in a long time. It seems that the more people say they want to make the world a better place for us all, the worse it seems to become.

In one quick desperate move, the Penn State Board of Trustees yesterday elected to oust Coach Joe Paterno because of his failure to “do more” in the sordid, sickening sex abuse scandal that has exploded onto the scene. Who would have thought that this would ever be the way that this iconic football coach for 46 years at PSU would exit a long and glorious career? The actions of one sick and trusted underling brought this all about, and Paterno’s own failure to have more awareness to what was actually going on around his program, caught up with him in the end. Here was a guy who allegedly “did things right,” and we believed this all these years. Maybe he became a bit too ensconced in his own image that he never could see the little things that added up to a grim and gruesome scene. 

If this can happen to a seemingly “squeaky clean” coach and program, I ask again: Where are we headed?

And with the words of Merl still resonating in my mind, I travel a road of uncertainty and confusion on this cold November morning, thinking that we all might be “rolling down hill like a snowball headed for hell”MLA