Share Your World

Melanie is the host, from Sparks From A Combustible Mind


When you were a kid, did you eat the crusts on your sandwich or not? I don’t totally remember but I believe we did unless mom cut them off. We were told that it was just part of the bread. I can sort of recall eating all the bread part to the crust. I used to cut the crusts off for my kids because it almost seemed like that made an opening to eat the sandwich.

Are you a fan of musicals—why or why not? Yes, and no. I enjoy them and when I have seen them they have been wonderful but I can’t even remember the last time I saw one. I do remember going to Phantom of the Opera when my kids were little but I also remember how hot it was and that I was falling asleep the whole time.

Is it difficult to do what you do? (for a living, hobby etc.).  If you’re retired, what you ‘did’ previously for a job can be substituted. Teaching, especially Special Education, can be very hard. I always had the kids with social/emotional issues so that made it harder. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything though. Building my miniatures is not as much difficult as it is labor intensive. Putting all the tiny stuff together takes time. I love every minute of it. Making pottery can be very difficult but it seems to depend on the state of mind I am in. When I am more relaxed throwing pottery on a wheel turns into beautiful bowls. When I am super stressed out, hand-building a small animal or object can seem impossible.

What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?  (Doesn’t have to be a rock concert either). From what I recall I think my favorites were Pink Floyd and Tom Petty (separate shows).


Looking back over your life, what is one thing you’re grateful for?  One thing you really regret?
I am so grateful for my life with my husband and kids. I knew Bob longer than I knew my own mother! Then my kids…I don’t know if I would do it again, if given the option, but I don’t regret them one bit and love them more than life. One thing I really regret was the time my sister, whom does not like me one bit, told me that my son was growing pot in his closet. I went in and sure enough, he had the closet blacked out and was running lights and all that. I recall wondering why my electric bill was so high. So I went back and called her and told her I told him to get rid of it, get it out of my house. She got back to me and told me I was crazy! She told me to go in there and get rid of everything NOW! So I did. Joey ended up killing all the plants in my garden as revenge. Yes, it was screwed up that he was growing pot in my house and yes it was completely screwed up that he killed my plants (just because I killed his) but the thing I didn’t even stop to hear him say was that he was so proud of all the chemistry he had figured out to grow this beautiful plant. All his time and effort and he wasn’t even given the chance to get it out of my house, I just demolished it all. Why do I regret this? Because my son saw black and white, there was no gray. He saw what he did as a huge accomplishment and I totally wrecked it because my sister told me it was what I was supposed to do. I know my logic may be screwed up too and it isn’t just because my son died. I regretted it when he was alive. I just never told him how much I regretted it. It wasn’t the “right” thing to do as a parent – tell your kid you regret your own actions. And then after killing my plants, I was told that it was completely “fucked up” and that I should be so mad. I wasn’t. Maybe if people knew Joey they would have understood why I felt the way I did and why I wish I had given him the chance to get it out of my house in his own way, rather than destroy it. My therapist always told me I should really think about the fact that “why did he think it was okay to grow it in my house”. That makes more sense to me. I’m sure everyone has their own ideas but I’m the one that lives with it.

By the way, there are so many smaller instances of me listening to my sister that I regret and now that she has openly told me how much she doesn’t like me, the regret feels that much worse. But, those are all in the past……

Blogging Insights

Dr. Tanya over at SaltedCaramel has us think about blogging:


“You need to read everything. Read fiction, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers. Read history, historical fiction, biography. Read mystery novels, fantasy, SF, horror, mainstream, literary classics, adventure, satire. Every writer has something to teach you, for good or ill. (And yes, you can learn from bad books as well as good ones — what not to do).”George R.R. Martin, via the author’s FAQ for fans

My take:

I think to some degree this is true, especially at a young age. For many school-aged children books are picked out by adults and the kids are supposed to enjoy those picks. Unfortunately, grown-ups are always right about that.
As a teacher I always told my students to find something they they liked. I could find a way to teach almost any lesson based on what was put in front of me.
Additionally, I have been asked to read a few books, ones I would probably never have picked on my own, and have enjoyed them very much.

The following activity was developed by Christine Bialczak who holds any rights.

Back when I was teaching and taking additional courses I came up with an activity called “Read My World”. I tried to have it published in a few kids magazines but I can’t even remember what happened, I must have given up. Anyhow, it starts out with little kids and reading things that they know and love. Like a Hershey Bar, or Apple Jacks cereal. Cheerios, Sprite, and Oreos. Kids know these names because they see them on the labels of things they love and things they see commercials about. As the caregiver, point these things out everywhere you see them. In the store, on television, in magazine adds. Talk about how the letters sound, or sometimes don’t sound. This helps children become familiar and comfortable with the written language. As they get older have them read everything to you. They will need assistance at first but have them read the tube of toothpaste. Have them read the back of the cereal box or the label from the jar of peanut butter. Now, adults may think, “well, they are just memorizing the words because they have seen them before”. This is true in many cases, but it is okay! That is part of learning about the language. Let them “read it back” to you even if they make up their own words. As they learn they will start to correct their own mistakes. You can always help and point words out but Reading Your World is fun! That is the key; it should be fun. Signs in store windows, packages in stores, bumper stickers (when appropriate), newspapers… To add on to this fun try this: Give your little one(s) a pad of sticky notes. They can be the less expensive ones at the dollar store) and a pen, pencil or crayon. Have them label the house. Help them to spell or show them where to look on the computer or if you still have a dictionary in your home. Label walls, rooms, items, decorations, “Dad’s Chair”, mom’s book, Buddy’s (doggie) door. The sticky notes won’t cause damage and they can be taken down and moved if that works. Now, here’s a fun add-on…Take a room at a time. Take all the sticky notes and mix them up. Lay them out and see how many your child can put back in the right place by themselves. Sure they might not know that c-o-u-c-h spells couch, but they might recognize the “c” and know it isn’t for the television! Let them make mistakes then point them out and laugh about how silly it is that the book sticky note is on the fish tank – “fish don’t read!) Keep going and you will have a strong reader someday.
Read My World was developed by Christine Bialczak (all rights reserved) ©2022 CBialczak

A Letter A Week

Deb is the host of A Letter A Week and this weeks letter is J.

My words:
Place – jail
Emotion – jealous
Adjective – jovial
Verb – jam
My animal – Jackdaw

Being in a state of stress
the Jackdaw was a jealous mess
He landed his own self in jail
when jamming dirt onto that snail
But little did he know back then
That shells are filled with lil’ snail men
And when you push the dirt up tight
They put up quite a nasty fight
‘Cause that’s their home and they won’t go
They’ll chase you out, although they’re slow
So leave the shells right on the beach
This is a lesson I’m proud to teach
Someday I’ll be a jovial bird
Don’t let my story go unheard!

©2022 CBialczak Poetry

Simply 6 Minutes – Fluffy Butt Strut

Jezzie G

Inspired by and written for Simply 6 Minutes – thank you, Christine

©Mary McGowan/The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2018

Oooh she’s giving someone a right talking to, I’m going with that initial thought. I have nothing against grey squirrels but our native British red squirrels have been decimated by the invading greys. There are no dialogue marks as I don’t include those until editing – ok clock on

Fluffy Butt Strut
Form: Free Write

For the last time
and I won’t tell you again
I do not know the location of the nut stash
and if I did I wouldn’t be telling you
you grey squirrels think you can
just come over here
stealing our best territories
and spreading you diseases
even the dumdum humans see you as vermin

Magpie stares up from the lawn
in confusion
just who does that daft red squirrel think
she is talking to

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Mr. Squirrel Verses Barky

This, That, and the Other

Mr. Squirrel loves his home. There are plenty of trees to climb, nuts to eat when he’s hungry, a water feature for when he’s thirsty, and several bird feeders that the two-leggers keep filled with seeds that are easy for him to get to.

The only negative aspect about the place for Mr. Squirrel is that loud, barky, four-legger who lives with the two-leggers. But the good news is that whenever that four-legged barker is in the backyard, the two-leggers keep it on a leash, so even though it barks like crazy every time it sees Mr. Squirrel, that’s just a lot of noise and doesn’t prevent Mr. Squirrel from having free rein in his yard. So he doesn’t feel like he’s by showing himself even when the barky thing is around.

Until one day when a mini two-legger went into the yard with the four-legger, who saw Mr. Squirrel…

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All that’s for me, or: For myself

The Skeptic's Kaddish 🇮🇱

Poetry Partners #89

A poem by Christine Bialczak of ‘Stine Writing and Miniatures’

Happy to know that life has my back
even when sorrow has given me slack
I swim in the glory of water outside
The colors and feelings are the mood of inside.
Nothing to bother me, no problems here
Loved ones, my husband and daughter are near
I'm thankful and gracious for all that's for me
Hoping the world will soon be peaceful and free.

A descort poem by ben Alexander of ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’

rhyme and rhy- thm fail me when emotions burst my vessels; it's been a dark forever since I last felt so happy, so contented, so - I don't know how to articulate... let's put it this way: I no longer feel I'm just existing until death, so that my daughter can have a good life; I'm alive…

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