Monthly Archives: July 2022

Hi, Mardi

There is a cardinal in the tree outside my window this morning.

Some people say cardinals are your loved ones who have passed, saying hello.

“That’s not you, Mardi.” I think. “I know you say hello with hummingbirds.”

I sip my coffee, and remember the time, just weeks after Mardi died: An intense porch argument with my then husband was interrupted by several hummingbirds flying onto the porch, some straight for his head. Yea. She definitely says hello with hummingbirds.

Suddenly, there is a hummingbird in the tree outside my window.

She flies to the top of my window and hovers there, staring in.

“There’s a hummingbird at our window!” I tell the kids. They don’t seem to understand why this is so important.

I watch the hummingbird fly down to the bottom of the window, where the cardinal has landed on a bush. They both stare into my family room for a bit, and then the hummingbird flies away.

The cardinal stays though, for just a moment.

So I guess she says hello with hummingbirds and cardinals.

Hi, Mardi.

The Social Order

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers! Thanks for stopping by.

This summer, I’m living in a nature documentary, waiting to hear Morgan Freeman or Sir David Attenborough narrate our life with our new kitten, Clyde.

Please do your best to read this slice of documentary narration in Morgan Freeman’s or Sir David Attenborough’s voice.

Hey! It’s a choose your own narrator slice! How might you narrate a part of your summer?

“Upstairs in his private den, the new baby practices his hunting skills. Watch as he perseveres against all odds.”

“As Clyde rests in his den, the cats and dog go about their daily routines, perhaps sensing a shift in the wind.”

“Soon it is time to introduce the animals to each other. In the wilds of the first floor, the cats and dog work to create their own social order.”

“The young kitten is brave. Maybe braver than he should be.”

“While wary of the newcomer, the fluffiest member of the family instinctively watches out for the baby. He even puts himself between the dog and the kitten when necessary. His sister is not so quick to protect. She wants to live her own life and starts lowly growling if Clyde comes too close.

The older cats will share their food, but, so that nobody is confused, they will still guard their sleeping habitat with all their heart.”

“The cats are working it out, but over here you see this 55 pound dog who is trying hard, but still unsure of what to do. He knows he isn’t supposed to fixate on the new kitten, but he’s curious. He wants to play, but he’s also afraid. Only time will tell. Will they will become friends, or simply creatures that cohabitate?”

“Listen for the sounds of the social order being created: The low growl of warning from a cat high up in their tree; the warning hiss from one cat to the another; the frightened hiss of a young tailless kitten; the whine of confused dog; the wagging of a tail; the crunching of food shared among the felines.”

“These sounds tell the real tale of this non-traditional animal family. We can only be but silent observers of the majestic dance of these household pets.”


Part of Slice of Life with Two Writing Teachers. Thanks for stopping by!

I need to tell you about calling the cable company.

Why would I call the cable company? That’s a level of adulting I don’t usually stoop to. But, I live in a neighborhood cut out of a forest. My Wi-Fi and cell service are terrible. It’s somewhat of a joke, a terrible nuisance, and the cause of a bit of anxiety…The dropped calls, the “Can you hear me how’s” are getting old. So I finally agreed to call and set up a landline, for emergencies.

I’ll spare you the details of the automated voice answering, the way I had to press buttons and answer a kind robot’s questions and be on hold for awhile before finally getting to a real person.

I was curious and confused, and I also just needed a landline added. But the pricing system didn’t make any sense, and it seemed like you almost had to get TV channels.

“So Internet plus a landline plus TV is only a little more than what I’m paying now?” I asked

“Sure ma’am. I’ll set you up for the Triple Play Package, Ma’am. I’ll get you all set up, ma’am, and then I can send you an estimate.” There was a lot of waiting and clicking.

I double checked about the landline, feelings stupid as I asked questions like, “So this is for like a real landline that connects to my phone jack, right?” And “This has nothing to do with my Wi-Fi right? Because the whole point is to have a back-up landline.”

She was patient with me. “Oh yes, ma’am. A real landline. Not the Wi-Fi. I understand your situation.”

There was more waiting and clicking.

“And who is this Mr. Thought?” She asked.

“Oh.” I said with a deep breath. “That’s my ex-husband. We were actually on the phone for hours and hours months ago trying to get his name off of the account.”

“Yes, ma’am. I am sorry, ma’am. I can take care of that ma’am.”

There was more clicking, more waiting.

“Sorry ma’am. I can get this contract estimate to you soon. What happened?”

“What?” I asked, confused again. She couldn’t possibly be asking about what happened with my divorce.

“You said your ex-husband,” she explained, “what happened there? With your ex?”

The customer service woman at the cable company is wondering about the downfall of my marriage. Okay…

“Well, it was terrible,” I explained. “And then, like I said, I had to stay on the phone for hours with him trying to get his name off of my account.”

“Oh, ma’am. I’m so sorry that happened.”

She finally sent the estimate – which by the way, with added fees was more than $50 more than it says it will be.

“I’m a single mom now.” I told her. “I really need to keep the cost low here. Can I just get internet and a landline?”

“Oh ma’am. I understand your situation. Yes I do. You don’t worry. I will get your cost down. We will give you just the landline.”

At the end of the call, with the promise of an activated landline over the weekend, she had parting words for me.

“Ma’am, I don’t want you to ever be negative about the world.”

I thanked her, and she continued.

“There are so many people out there. So many people who love you. And thank you for doing your business with us.”

I hung up, smiling, with hope in my heart that the bill she quoted me would indeed be true.


When the weekend came and no landline was activated, I was annoyed.
So, today I called again.
Turns out, it’s a Wi-Fi landline.
Turns out, my modem doesn’t support it.
Turns out, it would be an extra $40 a month.
I’m really trying, MA’AM, not to be negative!
I mean, I did get my internet speed tripled today, for $20 cheaper. . .