Quote and Poem

“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. ” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross




Loneliness struck at the oddest times.
I caressed a rose in the garden today.
My heart clenched like back then, startled by the chime
when I saw you holding my first bouquet.
Our lives always felt like they turned on a dime
but then harsh realities pulled us astray.

Tears roll down my face as one memory hit
home, so long ago I hate to admit it.

Loneliness and melancholy of times past
when adventures took us to crazy places.
Laughing back then, never thought it wouldn’t last.
The chimes rang to remind me of embraces.

My tear streaked face haunted with if only we
could turn time back to when it was you and me.© Lyn Crain


letter-c day 40




Bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, scallions and freshly minced ginger and garlic sauteed a couple of minutes in sesame oil before adding a tablespoon of talini and 1 tablespoon of water. The recipe did call for 2 tablespoons of water but with as wet as the bok choy was I chose not to add more liquids. That ended up being a wise decision because there was still alot in the pan when it was done. You can’t cook it down because you overcook the veggies and defeat the purpose. My husband isn’t a fan of bok choy but said this was really good. I agree very tasty and a healthy addition to my cancer fighting menu.

Since we’re on the culinary aspect of this blog, I’ll continue with three more food tools to add to your repertoire.

Bay leaves are a digestive aid. But did you know they help with abdominal cramps and gas because they soothe the digestive tract.

Beans and lentils are anti-inflammatory. They’re great for lowering your risk of breast and colon cancer. The high fiber content helps control blood sugar and flushes toxins from our bodies. That’s a win in my opinion.

Beets are also anti-inflammatory. The spectacular red color comes from the phytochemical betacyanin which along with beets fiber helps fight colon cancer and is a great toxin cleanser.

Our cells do need help getting rid of toxins and beets, beans and bay leaves are all very helpful in that regard.

Reading and Writing:

I started Steering the Craft by Ursula Le Guin this morning in addition to reading diyMFA. I need my stimuli to come from multiple directions.

I added a vignette based on a writing exercise in Le Guin’sbook. I wrote a couple of paragraphs with the photo about it not being to soon to hang Halloween. ( It’s Vic and my wedding anniversary, too!) I wrote a poem looking at Paul’s spectacular photograph of a white rose. I’m not disappointed with my attempts, looking forward to continuing working on the vignettes tonight with our writing accountability group. Today was definitely filled with visual inspirations on wordpress.


Dad shared a picture of your little brother at work with him. Jacob doesn’t have your desire to learn like you did at that age.

Tomorrow, it will be a year since you left us. If only we could turn back time and that day didn’t happen. You’re loved and missed so very much, Johnny. It’s going to be so hard for everyone tomorrow when all the pictures on Facebook of you come up as memories. I’m dreading the onslaught as I’m sure your parents are.

Robert Louis Stevenson said it best, “Life is not a matter of holding good cards but of playing a poor hand well.” We’ll do our best to play that poor hand we were given with your death.  Which brings me to my song for today. Gordon Lightfoot, If You Could Read My Mind. What a tale our thoughts could tell. I’ll never be the same. We’ll never be the same. We never want to read this book of life again because it’s just to hard to take. We can’t read between the lines, we tried so many times but nothing brought you back to us. None of us get it. Why are you dead? You were only 13.




“If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
About a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I’m a ghost you can see
If I could read your mind love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind the drugstore sells
When you reach the part where the heartaches
Come the hero would be me
Heroes often fail
And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just too hard to take. ” Gordon Lightfoot


source: Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson







letter-c Day 39

As I posted the blog title, I wondered why I was capitalizing the l in letter still, I had already changed the c to lowercase putting it in its proper place because I refuse to give the c-word priority in my life.

“Action expresses priorities.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Once this is all said and done I’m changing my title to the Letter-P. Aren’t the words beginning with P much more practical skills set to have.

“Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.”
― Criss Jami


My day began with black coffee followed by me writing a limerick responding to Elaine Chilton’s prompt screech. Facebook shared a picture as I was pondering of a turtle I snapped a picture of creeping away from the noise created by screeching child on the beach at Barnegat Bay.  Timing is everything, the perfect picture for the limerick. Serendipity at its best. 🙂

Two mornings in a row my first writing attempts have been poems. I’m very pleased with both of them. I’m going to share the limerick in my writing group but the cancer poem I’m not because I don’t want the dynamics of our group discussion changed.

Short Stories:

On Sunday nights, my writing group, although it sounds and feels awkward to refer to them as my. We’re all so different, we write different genres, like different music basically march to different drums except for our love of the writing craft.

Sunday nights on zoom, we discuss a different short story each week. This week was Chance by Alice Munro.  I enjoyed the way the story meandered from present to past and back, fantasy to reality with the occasional wave breaking as Jane Alison would say.  The initial indication that the story wasn’t going to be a sweep me off my feet romance was the protagonist’s name Juliet and in the second paragraph out on movie date with her friend that shares intimate details of her own relationship and she confesses a similar issue.. That detail was also reinforced with the mention of Shakespeare later on.

Once our protagonist is on the train heading unannounced to her paramour’s location she is approached by a total stranger while reading who is seeking a chum. It immediately raised the feminine cry in me, why do men always assume because you’re alone you must have company. Added to the presumption was placed an expected need of her, to be his chum. People make the assumption women will be nicer than men when interrupted. She quickly departed to another location to avoid any further engagement. Unfortunately later on she learns the man who wanted a chum committed suicide using the train they were riding on. So now she has a self-imposed guilt burden all because of her desire to be left alone. The author’s demonstrated for every action is a reaction vice versa. Was it fate or karma? If that’s not enough stress she has the awkwardness of her period when the train isn’t moving and she can’t clear the toilet water of her blood but also a recall of the man’s blood sprayed on the train. In her mind it would be no more foul or frightful than her own menstrual blood. Keeping in mind the story’s time frame was in 1965 when discussion of women’s cycles was taboo.

Juliet discussed what happened with Eric Porteous about the man’s death and he tells her initially that she may want to be careful in the future but when she calls him out on his dismissal of her guilt. He tells her that things will happen in her life that will actually make this moment minor in the grand scheme.

We later learn this is memory of her first meeting with her paramour who she decides she will go to see at his home. So we have meandered a bit before we arrive at the final destination where she discovers not only has his ill wife passed but he’s intimate with another woman or at least that’s what the woman who cleans for Eric discloses. Instead of fleeing she stays and instead of him sending her on her way they settle into an arrangement that meets their needs or does it.

This was my first time reading Alice Munro’s work. I enjoyed the story immensely and will definitely be reading more of her work because I enjoyed how she inspired me to think about a woman’s life in general. I remembered the fear I had initially getting my period and then being told women were cursed that’s why we had periods. The embarrassment of the huge pads showing at the time and having to sneak to buy tampons.  Then I recalled my first job and discovering  I was hired at the same time as a man but he was receiving higher wages than me even though we both had identical jobs and identical dates of hire. The damn system at the time wasn’t fair. Unfortunately, there are still many examples still happening. Our conversation in the group wandered off topic a bit with each of sharing similar incidences.

If you haven’t read Alice Munro, I recommend you do.

Dinner at the Crains tonight:

I’ve been sharing culinary tools for you about fighting cancer. Tonight’s dinner is from the Cancer Fighting Cookbook, with the recipe Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms. I know when I was younger I was intimidated making Asian fare because I was clueless on how to prepare it since it wasn’t a typical dish in my family. The recipe is very precise on the preparation for those still inexperienced. I’m going to serve it with poached salmon. Asian vegetables are loaded with healthy phytochemicals. This particular recipe the author, Rebecca Katz assures has two power houses of phytochemicals bok choy and the shiitake mushrooms. Bok choy and mushrooms are anti-inflammatory. Bok choy is also anti-bacterial. Both are good things.

Continuing on our helpful list is:

Barley is anti-flammatory. Lignan one of barley’s phytochemicals binds with estrogen receptors and is said to help women with estrgoen related breast cancer. The high fiber content of barley aids in our digestion and bowel function which we all need.

Basil is a digestive aid, anti-flammatory, anti-microbial. It has two flavonoids that protect human cells from radiation and free radical damage. I’ve used basil to flavor salads, prepared dishes for years but I also found it very helpful when I’ve had a sore throat or irritated mouth. I chew on the raw leaves. If you would rather not chew it simply add the basil leaves to boiling water and let it steep before straining and drinking.

Song of the Day:


Black by Pearl Jam feels appropriate for the clouds hanging over us.  I know there’s a light in the tunnel, we just haven’t found the right switch yet but I know we will because together Vic and I have the greatest gift ever, love. We may need some help but we will get there. We’ll find the path back to what’s beautiful even though right it now seems impossible.


“Life is messy. Grit and grace come at us fast, side by side. Sometimes the grit becomes overwhelming and diminishes our spirit. What’s good seems lost and gone forever. ”        ~ Sharon E. Rainey




“I take a walk outside, I’m surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear
Oh and twisted thoughts that spin ’round my head
I’m spinning, oh I’m spinning, how quick the sun can drop away
And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything
All the pictures have all…” Pearl Jam








Laughing Along With A Limerick



A Turtle’s Dilemma

there were two men at the local beach
one of them made up his mind to screech
the other hung his head
there’s nothing to be said
when fools flock together for a speech

a little morning humor 🙂 with the prompt screech.

Limericks have a rhyme scheme of aabba and syllable structure of 99669.

I didn’t like the repetition of beach at the end Esther so I changed it to speech after I posted it on your page. Thank you for the morning smile.

Esther Chilton

Happy Monday! It’s limerick time! Send in your own or here’s a prompt for you –


Here are a few limericks to make you smile this Monday. The prompt was FOOL:

Keith Channing:

I felt like I needed to cool

So went for a dip in the pool

Like a bird I did fly

But the pool was bone dry

Small wonder I felt like a fool.

Christine Mallaband-brown:

I eat at the ritz as a rule.

The food really makes me drool!

From canapés to icecream

Their chefs are a top team

Especially the great gooseberry fool!

John Reynolds:

There was a young man from Chad

Who at times, was a bit of a lad.

He stole a red car,

and a one-string guitar

Then, chased down the road, by his dad.


A young man from Liverpool

Thought he looked rather cool

View original post 123 more words

Letter-c Day 38


“We can’t restructure society without restructuring the English language.”

~Ursula K. Le Guin.

I’m not sure either are possible. I haven’t read yet any solid advice on this point but I’m glad the revolution is happening. Writer’s unite.

Cribbage and Breakfast:

I remember the first time I ever played cribbage was forty three years ago. My good friend, Kenny taught me how to play. In the beginning, he went easy on me but then upped the ante by taking the points I missed when counting. It didn’t take me long to get better at counting my points. We shared many cups of coffee while playing cribbage over the years.

I enjoyed playing cribbage so much I couldn’t wait to teach Vic how to play when we began dating. I went easy on him too, although I’ve been tempted to take the points he misses from time to time.  I look forward to playing cribbage with Vic everyday while we enjoy breakfast. My favorite breakfast is coffee, fruit,  a toasted English muffin and yogurt.  The time we share together sets the pace for our day with a bit of fun. Marriages need consistency in my opinion especially in this ever changing chaos.

Crochet, pink, and Johnny:

I’m happy with my color choice of rose and magenta. The cluster crochet looks really nice in the cotton yarn.106172890_10219636319393337_9034360569543773396_n

Although in this picture against my burgundy jeans everything looks purple. I chose these shades of pink because of my grandson Johnny. His favorite color was pink. I’ve been trying to add more pink into my wardrobe to feel closer. I put pink on my healing shawl that I shared earlier,and I made a baby pink infinity scarf and a matching hat. Pink I typically avoided because as a child I was always made to wear it along with my three sisters. I hated being dressed alike and in pink. I was surprised when Johnny said he loved pink. He even got his mom to die his hair pink. His father wasn’t thrilled with his pink hair at the time. I know we would give anything to see him walk into the room wearing pink. 

It’s been a heart wrenching 363 days since you left us. In my email today, there was a reminder from Legacy to add something for the family. It was like I was stabbed. Also another reminder that Facebook will be flooded with memories of you too!


October 15, 2005- July 1, 2019


I was inspired this morning by a window image to write a poem in my melancholy mood. Its posted here. Today’s menu has lots of cancer fighting veggies. Zucchini, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Scallions, Basil, and Oregano. Yummy!

Speaking of culinary let’s continue with our cancer fighting toolkit.

Asparagus is anti-inflammatory with phytochemicals that mimic cox-2 inhibitors. As you probably already know it’s loaded with Vitamin A and K and folic acid. Each of these are strong allies in the defense of cancer.

Avocados are anti-inflammatory, too. Avocados monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E are believed to combat prostrate cancer growth. But there’s an added bonus, the glutathione which is a combination of amino acids removes cancer promoting carcinogens from healthy cells.

Bananas are great as a digestive aid in addition to balancing electrolytes. Bananas have high potassium which our bodies need. Bananas like apples are full of stomach soothing pectin and their fiber cleans the toxins that sneak into our intestinal tract and help with bowel function.

If you’re having a difficult day Lavender is great for anxiety. It can also be use as antiseptic, diuretic, reduces gas and as a sedative. I discuss it more later on. I’m going to relax with my lavender candle and music.

Song of the Day:

Speaking of music I’m going with Little Anthonys Hurts So Bad.  The lyrics were about a guy and girl relationship but some of the lines just feel perfect, they say what I’m feeling inside without you. I

Did I ever tell you about the first time I danced to this song was in 6th grade? It was an awkward experience in gym class. Our gym teacher was teaching us how to dance. 24 students except we had more girls than boys. I danced with a girl, both of us were uncomfortable being paired together and we both had two left feet. Added bonus, we didn’t like each other at all which is why I’m sure the gym teacher put us together.  I stepped on her toes more than she did mine. Gramma still has two left feet.


“I know you
Don’t know what I’m goin’ through
Standing here
Looking at you (flooding facebook memories)
Well, let me tell you that it
(Hurt) Hurts so bad (hurts so bad)
It makes me feel so sad (hurts so bad)
It makes me hurt so bad”







Letter-c Day 37

Garden Update:

Vic and I dug into some much needed housekeeping this morning before heading to a local greenhouse to acquire Plantskydd granulated animal determent for rabbits, voles, chipmunks, and deer.  Yesterday morning, I had 24 green beans plants, last night I had 2. The bunnies I mentioned in another blog post had a green bean dining feast. GRRRR … This stuff you sprinkle on the ground around raised beds or at least 2 feet away from your in ground garden. Mine are in boxes so I applied it heavily around each of the boxes. Then I did it around the perimeter of our fenced in yard as an added determent. I’ll let you know who wins the next round of the gardening wars with the bunnies. The cinnamon sticks and peppermint oil did work with the chipmunk. Now to figure out what will work with the squirrels other than using a have-a heart trap and relocating them to Pennsylvania. They’re territorial creatures and can return within a 5 mile radius. Taking them across the Delaware River minimizes their return. Yes, they’re cute creatures but they lose their novelty when they dig up your plants and eat your bulbs.

In the pictures are basil, oregano and kale that are happily thriving in rail planters away from the bunnies. The squirrel seems to ignore them, he prefers the strawberries, mint and the lavender. He digs them up but doesn’t eat them unless there’s ripe strawberries.

Reading Update:

diyMFA has interesting printouts available for download. I’m really enjoying this book immensely . The chapter I’m reading is about bringing characters to life. I always feel like mine are flat. So I’m hoping there’s insight as to how to make them feel more alive and realistic.

I started Ursula K. Le Guin’s Conversations on Writing with David Naimon this morning with my coffee. Delightful read, it’s like we’re sitting down at a table discussing different thoughts on writing. I was particularly amused when I read, “Children know perfectly well that unicorns aren’t real” says Ursula K. Le Guin. “But they also know that books about unicorns, if they are good books, are true books.” My granddaughter, Olyvia (7 years old)  would agree, she’s a huge unicorn fan. I remember her telling me that if they’re in books, they’re real.

Conversations on Writing is broken down into four sections, Introduction, Fiction, Poetry and Non-Fiction. So you can read whatever section you want or in whatever order you want.


I sauteed mushrooms, scallions, tomatoes, kale and zucchini in olive oil with fresh oregano, basil and coarse black pepper than tossed it on top of spaghetti with shredded mozzarella cheese for dinner. I made us garlic toast to go with it. It tasted awesome but it didn’t take long for the heartburn and shoulder pain to show up. I took the Prilosec as instructed before dinner as instructed too!  Frustrating.  The scallions, kale, oregano and basil were picked fresh from our garden. I can’t wait until the tomatoes ripen I have lots of them on the bushes already. I have zucchini blossoms but no fruit behind the bud yet.


I’ve switched to the magenta, but have only done one row thus far. I wasn’t sitting long enough to work on it.

Song of the Day:

I chose When Will I See you Again by the Three Degrees. This song’s background I learned from reading America on Coffee’s blog this morning. I hadn’t thought about this song as a choice until reading the blog but it feels appropriate with the first almost upon us. It was written by a pair of Philadelphia song writers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.  Shelley Ferguson sang the lead,  with back-ups Fayette Pickney and Valerie Holiday.

The reason I feel it works is because we’re approaching the one year anniversary and its just as painful as the night we got the call. Johnny.  I want so much to share precious moments with you again. If only we had more time. Thirteen years is not long enough for any of us. You’re just too young to be dead. Mom and Dad and your little brother Jacob miss you.  Your sisters Mikhayla and Caitlyn miss you. Grammy and Grandpa miss you. You’re other Grammy and Grandpa miss you. Our world just isn’t the same without you.  We love you Johnny.

“When will I see you again?
When will we share precious moments?
Will I have to wait forever?
Will I have to suffer (suffer)
And cry the whole night through?”~ Three Degrees


“When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.”~ Madeline Miller

“Sadly enough, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that are left unsaid and never explained.” Jonathan Harnisch

Cancer today, you’re not a priority,