Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Stuff from the Stoop

...and random musings from the porch!

~2022 is nearing the end and it has been quite eventful. We just celebrated Thanksgiving in Tampa and will be back in Pittsburgh to celebrate several December birthdays and Christmas. 

~2021 came in pretty much resembling 2020 but with vaccine availability opening up in late winter--early spring, life is slowing getting back to normal. Well, let's say the NEW normal. Visits with close family are getting more frequent and activities outside of our bubble are feeling more comfortable. Summer is right around the corner. Here's to sunshine, swimming, and s'mores around the campfire. 

~Our new grandson safely arrived on December 19, 2020. What a great way to turn around the negativity of 2020. Welcome to the family, Warren Michael. You are truly loved. 

~So it's September and the ten years that slugged by between March and today are finally getting closer to the end. Next up is election day (no and then it will be Christmas and New Year's Day 2021! I'm very curious to see if the 2020 vibe will be over. I know we'll still be dealing with Covid and continually adjusting to the changes that little nasty bug brought to our daily lives. But with any luck, an extra large dose of health, wisdom, and kindness will waft over what's left of the good old U S of A. As they say when discussing roller coasters, the only place it can go from the bottom is up. 

~In exciting news from the family bubble that keeps me safe and happy, we're expecting grandchild number seven in December. This sweet little boy will join our 4 other grandsons and 2 beautiful granddaughters. I look forward to his birth as the beginning of that roller coaster ascent. 

~Just returned from ten days in Alaska. Yes--Alaska. And this beach girl cannot wait to go back. The bucket list trip of my honey, we traveled from Pittsburgh to Seattle to Anchorage to Seward to Denali to Fairbanks then back to Seattle and home to Pittsburgh. I really expected him to have the time of his life and never expected that I, too, would fall in love with all of the nature and majesty that is Alaska. The boat tour of the Kenai Fjords, the Alaska Railroad trip, and the hike in Denali National Forest are my top three highlights. We saw wildlife, breathed crisp fresh air, and soaked in the atmosphere of this calm, peaceful experience. Despite my pre-trip naiveté...Alaska is not all snow and frozen tundra. And there is technology and electricity and running water everywhere we stayed. If you get a chance to visit, go. I cannot stress enough how absolutely awesome and welcoming our 49th state is to us Lower 48-ers.

~Six arrived today. Well her name isn't really Six but since she is the sixth grandchild in our flock, that is what I've called her for nine months. After over 24 hours of labor, she finally forced her way into our life and claimed another piece my ever-growing heart. I am beyond grateful for the continued gift of being a grandmother. Being Nana to my favorite little humans is my absolute joy. (Or hoomans, as my sweet Silas, says.) 

~Twitter is on fire today. I'm having so much fun interacting with writers and editors and publishers and actors. Yes. Actors. Bruno Gunn, of Hunger Games fame, liked my tweet about two new picture books I'm working on. I'm pretty jazzed about that.

~I have these five awesome and wonderful grandchildren who would be hard pressed to ever disappoint me but one of them sure did this weekend. He ever so sweetly asked me to take him to "my library." I got all nostalgic and bubbly thinking about my childhood and how much I LOVED going to the library. The Carnegie Library of Homestead to be exact. Since it was past 8 p.m. when he asked I explained that they were closed for the night but I would be happy to take him in the morning. I spent a good five minutes telling him how much fun we would have and how I could sign him up for his very own library card. All the while hoping 3 year olds were permitted to get their own card. Now just as I began explaining the process of borrowing books and returning them, he stopped me in my tracks. "Nana. I mean "my library" in your tv." Yep. The folder in the On Demand section of our digital television system. My library-loving, book-smelling, old school tv-viewing heart was broken. Little does he know we are having a Nana & me field trip to THE library the next time he comes to visit.

~I'm finding it difficult to adjust my daily routine since my darling hubby recently retired but the time I spend networking on Twitter is becoming my favorite part of the day. Even though it is usually in the morning, a.k.a. the buttcrack of dawn, I cherish that I am meeting some of the coolest people in the Twitterverse that I would have never had the chance to interact with otherwise.

~Cinco made his arrival and is a healthy happy ball of chubbiness. I cannot believe we have gone from zero to five grandchildren in 34 months. Everyone told me how great it felt to be a grandparent. But words do not do it justice. There are no words to describe the feeling of walking on air heading into the hospital to see them. The children of YOUR children. If anyone had told me I could love someone more than my own children I would have called them a liar. Or at least looked at them like they were crazy. But it is true. As I have said over and over lately, my heart exploded. Like a ball of muscle, veins, capillaries, and blood just squeezed itself up to its tiniest little self and BOOM....exploded. An overflowing pile of love is all that remains between your left & right ventricles. Or aortas. Or whatever the two chambers of your heart contains. Complete. And. All. Consuming. Love.

~Pizza and ice cream. That is the answer to the "what would you choose to eat for the rest of your life if you could only pick two things?" The answer used to be pizza and my mother's meat loaf but she passed away three years ago and I became a vegetarian seven years ago. So ice cream has replaced my mother's meat loaf. As much as I love ice cream, that makes me sad. I miss her cooking a little bit but miss HER more than I can put into words.

~Waiting is hard. Sometimes waiting is really hard. G-baby number five is due at any moment and every time my phone alerts me that a new text has arrived, my heart stops for a moment. So far they are all just crazy texts from my daughters. The memes and gifs are at times inappropriate (because that's how we roll) but all are hilarious. And, of course, all the pics of the babies are adorable. We have a group text that we update daily with our comings, goings, and random quirky thoughts. And the best part of the texts are the pictures and memes. The pictures are of g-babies #1-4. Two are almost three and the wee ones are almost 9 months old. Regardless of their ages, they will ALWAYS be referred to as my g-babies. These texts will have to keep me busy until I get THE text and make my way to Columbus, Ohio, for the arrival of g-baby number five. Until then, I'll invoke the Princess of Patience and continue to wait. Or at least try to.

And speaking of grandchildren...thank you, my beloved children, for this gift that I surely hope I deserve. I promise to make sure I earn it. Every. Single. Day. xoxox

Some of the words that get jumbled by my favorite little hoomans are so much fun. I need to document this list so we can remind them at their high school graduation parties.

  • Hanitizer is what we use so much more of due to that pesky Corona virus. Or as my granddaughter sings, "corona VIIIIIrus."
  • And finna finna's help you with stress and anxiety. Also know as fidget spinners.
  • Sansu and you're smelcome are the polite niceties we share.
  • Bandans are for boo boos.
  • Take your memicine when you aren't feeling well.
  • Berries are all babies...strawbabies, blubabies, rasbabies.
  • Lemolade is refreshing. And lemons are lellow.
  • Flingos instead of flamingos.
  • Shornts are what we wear in the summer.
  • Knees are now known as elbow-knee-pads.
  • Barellas are what you need to go outside in the rain.
  • Twinners are two people who match in their clothing, actions, looks, etc.
  • Emmett is Warren speak for open.
  • Dorpedos are on submarines.
  • Tee tee bombs are cannonballs.
  • The movie with John Smith and the Native Americans is Hocapontas.

I'm fairly certain this list will continue soon.

A cool newspaper piece from my past:

Root Cellar Memories/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


September 23, 2010

I have bittersweet memories of the root cellars in my childhood home in Munhall. We had two, actually. My mom called them fruit cellars, but I suspect it is the same as root cellars.

When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I snooped myself right out of the wonderful, endearing belief in Santa Claus. Every fall my brothers and sisters and I were told to stay out of the fruit cellars. My mom always had some silly story for us about why we could not go in there in the fall (animals came in from the cold, special apples were growing in there, etc.).

Well, I had had enough of not knowing what was going on in there and chose to sneak in one afternoon all by myself. The first one had nothing spectacular going on and did indeed smell like special apples or something was growing in there.

The second one, however, had the mother-load. There were boxes of toys and five brand-new bicycles sitting right there for all the world to see (if you snuck into places you weren't supposed to be). I stood there in awe for what felt like an hour but was more like 30 seconds. I ran out, closed the door tightly and ran to find my mother. She, of course, told me that they were hiding Christmas toys for the neighbors, but I was too wise for my own good and knew that wasn't the case.

She told me NOT to tell my siblings, and as far as I can remember I didn't. I spent the rest of the day, and the next few days, fighting with the reality that I knew those gifts were not for the neighbors and that my parents most likely were Santa Claus. I wanted to believe in Santa again. I was so mad at myself for snooping. I told my brothers and sisters that I heard scary noises coming from behind those dark and eerie doors so that they would not snoop themselves out of such a cherished, childhood fantasy.

Instagram - @Scanlon_Keene

Facebook - @keenewriter

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania