Gratitude’s Love Child

(No, I’m not pregnant!!)

There continues to be many things happening in my life that I am grateful for. One of these is finding a community of writers in real life and here, in the blogosphere. Another is stretching my “writing wings” with the various challenges provided by other blogs.

This poem was inspired by the Pic and a Word Challenge #150 – Gratitude. Welcome back, Patrick! I also incorporated the Tuesday Challenge from Go Dog Go Cafe which was to write a poem where every line begins with the same letter, and no line begins with the same word.  Thankfully, these two challenges came together quite nicely. Below is their grateful love child!


Bittersweet Gratitude

Today, my kids are all at school

The laundry calls my name

To-do lists loom across my desk

These errands know no shame.

Through the summer, I had loathed

Those little dirty feet

Tension cramped my shoulders

Tears fell on my sheets

Though now I am alone all day

Thoughts stray from my menial tasks

Treasured moments cross my mind

Thank goodness days go fast

©️ iido 2018

Not a Humble Brag

Nope – we don’t play those games around here!

This post is about some pretty cool things that have recently happened…much cooler than keeping my kitchen island clean!

First, I recently received a “Notable Mention” on the nature themed haiku I submitted to Vita Brevis. I am over the moon about this because Vita Brevis showcases some really beautiful poetry. And to know that they actually thought my haiku deserved a shout out…I’m seriously so proud and honored!

I told my parents about the Notable Mention and my mom wrote back this haiku for me:

<tears> My mom was so proud of me that she wrote a beautiful haiku despite her admission that she doesn’t even like haikus.

<still crying here> <heart overflowing>

Second, I’ve admitted – out loud – several times – to different people that…I want to be a “real” writer. And by “real”, I mean someone who spends time during the day (or night) to write something, anything with purpose, and then sends it out into the world in hopes that at least one other person (who isn’t their mom or other family member) finds their writing worthy. And by “worthy”, I mean, that after reading it, the other person can say, “I’m glad I spent the time to read that”.

Hopefully, that’s what you, my dear readers, say to yourselves after reading my posts. Am I right? Can I get a “like” in here?!

Since making this admission, I’ve joined a writing group at my local library. I met with this lovely group of writers tonight and was blown away at the amount of knowledge and insightful critique imparted. While I throughly enjoy the connections I’ve made on the blogosphere, meeting other writers in real life is a necessary experience for me. It’s just like needing to meet other mother runners in real life to run or needing to drink coffee around 2 PM or always needing to get fries with that.

Thirdly, I finished typing up a “back to work” resume. It seems that being a mother runner writer is not really making the big bucks (note to self, if you’re thinking about that career choice). So, I’m in the market to do something where my interpersonal and creative skills, coupled with my expensive…I mean, intensive schooling, can make a difference in some type of (paying) organization. This is definitely one piece of writing that I hope someone will find worthy enough.

Lastly, I’d like to brag about my awesome family who has supported me and continue to support me through this chapter in my life. I realized after I wrote this last post, that I really would not have been able to get those things done without my husband watching the kids while I ran or my mom (who was visiting) helping to clean up after the kids or even my kids who have started to consistently bring out their dishes (it only took all summer to get into that habit!). I am surrounded by some super wonderful, loving people and I just want all of you to know that!

Well, that’s it. I’m turning off the spotlight and putting away my jazz hands…at least, for now.

Opposable Thumbs

A poem inspired by The Poet by Day’s Wednesday Prompt – Evolving. Thank you, Jamie Dedes, for another thought provoking prompt! It started out optimistic but as the poem evolved, it was pulled in the opposite direction. Telling, isn’t it?


It sets us apart from other animals

The ability to grasp objects and concepts

To finely manipulate tools and other people

With this simple communication

We can catch a ride or point the way back

We can say Winner or Loser

With a twist of the wrist

For complexity

We now use them like beaks

Pecking letters that make or break relationships

The more it gets used

The faster it gets

Bypassing the higher brain

Thinking only of the print it wants to leave behind

Mayhap, flattened against the button

Signaling the start of the end

Of evolution.

©️ iido 2018

Taking advantage of Newton’s 1st Law

If you need a physics refresher, go here.

I’m on a roll this week…

I wrote three posts this weekend (two in one day – this one is my fourth!) and am working on one more post for this week. I’ve also crossed of half my weekly to do list AND my kitchen island has remained clutter free since Tuesday (that is a significant feat!). I’ve also started going through my kids’ clothes to sell at the Just Between Friends Consignment Event next month.

I’m pretty sure this spate of energy and motivation came from my sola 5 mile run this past weekend. There were several excuses that I could have used to not do this planned run:

-it was supposed to thunderstorm that morning

-my group run got cancelled because of this

-I overslept my planned start time by two hours

-by the time I got out, the humidity was so high because the storm hadn’t come yet, that I looked like it had rained on me (and only me) after a mile of running.

And yes, I am calling them by their rightful name, EXCUSES, and not reasons, because those items (individually or together) should not have been a factor in my decision to run or not.

Even though I did less mileage than I had originally planned, just the fact that I got out there was enough to make me realize a few things:

1. Even if I don’t really wanting to do something, if I have to do it, I should still do it (or at least make a good attempt to do it).

2. Even if I have excuses for not doing something, if I have to do it, I should still do it.

3. I need to stop thinking about the action/activity and just get it done.

4. The sense of accomplishment and bad-assery that comes after doing 1 and 2 (above) is immense and continues for numerous days after the deed is done.

I’m calling those Irma’s Laws for Getting Shit Done.

Now, I know, that what I’ve just written above is nothing new. I’m sure you type A personalities are thinking, “I’ve known that since I was 5!” Well, if you know me IRL, you know that I am not so much a type A or even a type B. If there was a type L (for people who want to get things done with the least amount of effort – you know, leisurely type people, not lazy!) or a type P (for people who procrastinate then run around crazy trying to do things last minute and still manage to pull it off even if it’s not their best work at least it’s done), that would probably be more like me.

I joke with my kids that I’m not a “Tiger Mom”; I’m more like a “Panda Mom” (FYI – I just googled that phase, totally thinking I was making it up but I didn’t! Panda moms are real!!) I am pretty relaxed about most things which works for me as a parent and partner (even as a therapist), but maybe not so much as a runner or a writer.

So, I’m going to keep rolling with this bit of insight and see how long it will last. I’ve discovered I love making little boxes next to my to do items and checking them off. Whether I love having a little more structure and discipline in my life is still up in the air….

Haiku Challenge Accepted!

I continue to feel brave today and have decided to post a haiku for Brian’s nature themed Comment-a-Haiku Poetry Competition at Vita Brevis. I’ve actually been feverishly writing haikus all weekend, looking at old nature photos I’ve taken, and staring intently out the window looking for inspiration.

It was difficult to pick one that I thought would be a worthy competitor – there is a plethora of talent and beautiful imagery in the comments section of the post. I picked the one that called to my sense of “nature haiku poetry”.

Below is my submission for the Vita Brevis nature themed haiku challenge. If you continue to scroll down, you’ll be able to read some of my other nature themed haiku musings. Thank you so much for this opportunity, Brian! Drum roll, please….


Nature: A Mother’s Love

We reap your colors

And still, you send us rainbows

Your tears mixed with oil


(My runner ups)

Morning on the First Day of Camping

Cool fingers massage

My city shoulders relax

Green giants heal me


I heard you drowned in

Plastic bags and straws so, I

Trade coffee for water

Not happily every after

Can’t think of beauty

Without beastly pollution

Nature has no prince


Did I make the right decision? What’s your favorite?

©️ iido 2018

Flash Fiction Challenge Accepted!

This is my first time participating in a flash fiction challenge but Stephen at Fractured Faith Blog had thrown down a gauntlet that I just had to pick up. How fun is this challenge! The prompt was this receipt:

Here is my response, inspired by Edgar the Bug, from the movie, Men in Black.


Close Encounter

Chapter 1

The mints and Diet Coke should have tipped me off.

“Is that all you’re eating on this trip?” I asked as I placed my own cravings of beef jerky, pizza flavored goldfish and Sunny Delight on the counter.

Chrys laughed nervously. “Oh, you know, it’s that time…” she explained and rolled her eyes.

We get back into the car and onto the highway. This was my first official road trip although it wasn’t by choice. I had overslept and missed my flight this morning. I was able to change my connecting flight from Newark Airport to Hong Kong, but all the flights from Harrisburg to Newark were booked. Chrys was the only one left at the dorm who had a car and was willing to drive me so I wouldn’t miss my connection.

I saw her grab a handful of mints and toss it into her mouth followed by a big gulp of Diet Coke. I shook my head and looked out the window. I didn’t really know Chrys: she was the only sophomore who didn’t have a roommate despite living in a double and she never hung out with anyone from our floor. Still, she had calmed me down and had offered me a ride after I finished with my “oh shit, I missed my flight” meltdown.

I looked at Chrys’ profile again. Her hair was greasy and I noticed how her ear and mouth drooped and sagged a little on the side closest to me. I wondered if she had a medical issue and that was what kept her isolated.

“So, Chrys, thanks again for helping me out. I’m glad you were still around. When were you leaving for break?” I asked.

“Oh, I wasn’t really going anywhere for break. My family lives too far away. Plus, I like being in the dorms alone – it gives me a chance to be myself,” she replied.

“Where does your family live? Mine are in Hong Kong right now, and that’s pretty far away.”

Chrys laughed, a sound like a cricket rubbing its legs, “They’re really far. I don’t get along with my parents anyway, so it’s not a big deal.”

I looked back out the window thinking about what type of homecoming I would get. “I’m sorry to hear that. I totally get it though. I’m not even sure why I’m making this huge effort to go “home” this break.”

I made a big gesture with the air quotes around “home”. The last time I had spoken to my parents, they had told me they were selling the house I had grown up in to travel the world and blog about it. Hong Kong was their third stop and where they would be over Christmas. In my mind, I had lost the only home I had ever known.

My eyes started to water at the same moment I felt a tickling sensation on my arm. I looked over to see a huge brown insect climbing up from the middle console next to where my arm rested. “What the fuck!” I screamed and tried to smack it with my beef jerky.

Chrys swerved the car into the breakdown lane. “Stop it! Stop it!” she yelled. “It’s ok! He’s my brother! Don’t hurt him!”

She scooped him up from where he had fallen on the console and placed him on her shoulder. The insect reached up and adjusted her ear, pulling the skin so it also uplifted her mouth before tucking it into her hairline. He resettled on Chrys’ shoulder and she gave him a mint.

“Thanks, Sis,” the insect said before turning his head in my direction. “Sorry to scare you, but I just could not stand to see her ear and face out of place. I’m Manny, by the way. Nice to officially meet you, Daphne.”


I could write more but it’s late (or early!) and I need some shuteye. Stephen had also recently blogged about finding just the right first chapter for his new book (my other inspiration for this piece of writing). How’s this for a first chapter?

Thank you, Stephen! Totally worth losing some sleep for this challenge!


Last year on this date, in Charlottesville, racism, bigotry, hatred and violence came together in the form of the “Unite the right white pride/white nationalist rally”. Today, in Washington DC, this same rally took place in front of the White House. Despite a different outcome today, the fight for true equality, for an end to racism, in the United States continues.



American Eyes

If you look at me

Will you see

That I, too, love the home of the free

That allows me to say amen and glory be

Or praise be to Allah, or nothing at all.

Does it matter the words that answer God’s Call?

If you look at me

Will you see

That I, too, love the land of the brave

My police proud brother facing danger grave

My military friends who follow family around

Who silently weep when they’re put to rest in the ground.

If you look at me

Will you see

That I, too, support unalienable rights

So keep your guns but let’s not fight

There is only one flag that we should fly

Your rights shouldn’t mean that mine should die.

If you look at me

Will you see

Only what your hateful stare decrees

Instead of your eyes, turn your ears to me

Turn your heart to me

Reclaim that part of your humanity.

©️iido 2018

Shhh, be vewy, vewy quiet…

…I’m hunting wabbits!! (If you don’t know where this is from – you’re still a baby in my book; if this brings back memories – get your dose of nostalgia here!)

Don’t worry! No rabbits were hurt in the writing of this post! But let me tell you about this fun run I did a few weekends ago and you’ll see the connection.

I went for a run with three fabulous mother runners, Cara, Emily and Olivia, from my MRTT group. They are faster runners than me and had to do more miles than I did on this group run.

We were on an out and back trail so the plan was that I would turn back at my half way point and they would turn back with me, then go back out again to finish their miles. (BTW, I LOVE this about my RBs at MRTT, they really try to not let members run alone. We’re all in it together – start to finish!)

So, I’m about to turn around at the halfway point of my run, when I had this idea. Maybe it was from reading about Harrier runs or maybe it was my way of making up for holding them back with my slow, interval running. I had never suggested this before but the ladies I was with seemed like a fun bunch who were willing to take the challenge.

My idea: they continue their run (it was about an additional half mile before they needed to turn around to get their miles). Then, they could catch up with me on their way back (they were faster and I was doing run/walk intervals) and we would continue the rest of the run together.

Now, these ladies are faster than me by a good 3-4 minutes – which doesn’t sound like a lot but every runner knows that each second multiplied over a run is a lot of time. I figured I had about a 9-10 minute head start on them. At this point, my competitive self appeared and decided that my secret goal was to try to beat them back to the start before they could catch up to me (insert diabolical laugh here). So as long as I kept my pace, I figured, I had a chance. Did I mention that running math was not my strong suite?

Anyways…I’m chugging along, enjoying the scenery and trying my best not to devolve into just walking (which is my tendency when I run sola). I’m checking over my shoulder every now and then and see no sign of these lovely ladies. Now, I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself, thinking, “Ha! Intervals do make for a faster run (at least for me). I am pretty awesome for keeping ahead of these mother runners who I know can run faster than I can without breaking a sweat!” I mentally pat myself on the back and promise myself a mocha latte for the ride home.

I’m a little over a mile from the start and had just passed a male walker. I think to myself, “Gosh, I still don’t see them – I might actually really beat them to the start! I can probably walk and still beat them.” I mentally give myself a high five and include whipped cream to that reward latte.

So now, I’m just walking and looking over my shoulder (lone male walkers/runners keep me on high alert). I go around a bend and after a bit, look behind and lo and behold…I see these awesome women totally catching up to me! Ack!!!! Panic!! I start to run like they are chasing me because clearly they are!! Be vewy, vewy quiet…but I can’t, because my breathing is like a 1-900 Operator (do you young’uns even know what that is?). And of course, I still have to take walk breaks every now and then (because my heart is going to explode). When I do, I look over my shoulder and see them getting closer.

At this point, I’m in full blown “OMG! They’re going to catch me” mode because my competitive self has come out and is screaming, “Go! Go! Go! Don’t let them win!!” I’m about fifty yards from the start and I am totally sprinting like those people on the shirt with the dinosaur chasing them because these mother runners are totally on my tail.

I see the finish line about 20 or so feet ahead! I think, “I can make it! Run Irma Run!!!” Then WHOOSH!! Cara totally smokes me and breezes by to the finish line!!

OMG!! These mother runners are TOTALLY DA BOMB!! Emily and Olivia were only seconds behind. Even my competitive self had to give these ladies props and sweaty high-fives. After getting some water and chatting, these freaking awesome mother runners turned around and finished the rest of their miles. That’s right – they totally did what amounted to a speed workout for about 3 miles then went on to finish up the rest of their 8 mile run. Drop mike.

THIS is what mother runners are made of…

So proud to have run with these kick-ass mother runners! Thank you for indulging my crazy idea and for one heck of a workout!! We’re calling this the “Elmer Fudd Run Challenge”!

That’s all folks!!

(Seriously, if you didn’t get that last line, how old are you?? I can probably be your mother…)


This poem was prompted by Jamie Dedes at The Poet by Day. Her directive: How gullible we humans can be. Tell us about that. In what ways are we “Chumped. Stumped. Petrified.”


I learned in the back seats of cars

The alcoves of bars

How to please

And how to tease.

I learned at the department store

How to dress to settle the score.

And underneath, my angel side

Learned how to cause a great divide.

A push, a pinch, a tug, a spin

Put pain to the side; upfront, just grin.

I learned my worth, a ratio

Of tits and ass and let it go.

And when you think the game is done,

You spy your girls and know they’ve won.

Those weren’t lessons, they were deceit.

I was fooled, their greatest feat.

Should I just acquiescent to my defeat?

Oh hell no.



©️iido 2018