A place where I can share interesting ideas and maybe get a few things off my chest

Soapbox, Now Ad-Free!

Pencil sharpener 2020-07-03 11.17.11



I’m getting that itchy feeling inside my head that tells me it’s time to get writing again.

Considering the variety of topics popping in my head at any given time, I decided I didn’t want the intertubes deciding what kind of advertising would best match up with whatever came through my keyboard.

So, I ponied up a little extra to make Soapbox By Kay ad-free.


Words to Weave With

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A tiny toadstool in our front garden. Unrelated to the writing, except that it was as ephemeral as I’m feeling now.

This morning was the second time I’ve joined Firefly’s Morning Coffee writing session. I’m in Florida, they’re in Canada. Crazy how things work out. We all threw out words we like, and then chose from that list for our writing prompts. Even though I picked relatively positive words for my list, my writing took me down the same shadowed lanes my mind has been wandering the past few weeks.

Here’s a portion of today’s session, a poem of sorts:

My thoughts and feelings are messy
Bubbling up from that primal pit of fear
Until recently forgotten below the base of Laslow’s pyramid
I’ve been living happily on the 4th level, with occasional forays to the top
But now I find myself sitting on the bare boards of the bottom floor
The rug pulled out from under me

Steve returns from his dangerous hunting foray to the big box store
Crackling plastic bags carried in gloved hands
Our eco-conscious reusable shopping bags still in the pantry
The stores don’t want us to bring them; we don’t want germs to get on them

So, it’s back to disposables
Disposable bags
Disposable gloves
Disposable wipes
Disposable masks
Disposable people

Oh, wait – we’re not supposed to realize that last one
Or at least not say it right out loud….

Social Distancing Reading List 2020-03-22 18.36.04

It seems that possessing a smart phone has been a great hindrance to my reading time.

Since I will be working from home for the foreseeable future, and have gained an extra hour per day due to losing the commute, I don’t want my electronics (and the obsessive checking of them) to continue to suck away my time with nothing to show for it.

In setting up my new work space, I had to move around several stacks of books, and decided to make a reading list from some of the books that I obviously have wanted to read, since I went to the trouble of buying them and bringing them home.

And so, I present to you my Social Distancing Reading List. I might even become ambitious enough to post reviews as I finish them. At this point, anything could happen, right?


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The Photography Wall

I listen to podcasts on my daily commute. One of my favorites is Gretchen Rubin’s “Happier”. A few weeks ago, she had her friend, Chris Guillebeau, on as a guest, promoting his new book 100 Side Hustles, based on his podcast, “Side Hustle School”.

Chris launched “Side Hustle School” on January 1, 2017, and has every podcast archived on the website and available for download. I decided to start at the very beginning and put the first ten weeks of daily, under-10-minutes podcasts on a thumb drive. I also checked out his book Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days from our local library.

Chris defines a side hustle essentially as an income-producing hobby – something that is not your regular day-job, that you enjoy doing, and that provides you with extra money. I started thinking about what I might like to do to bring in a little extra cash. Start making soap again and sell it on Etsy? Re-imagine Dream Dollys? Crank up pysanky production? Those all seemed like a lot of work to ramp up. Then I realized that one of the things I really enjoy doing is going on treasure hunts to thrift stores and antique malls.

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Taking measurements and more photos

There are so many fun things I’ve found at thrift stores but chose to leave “in the wild” for someone else to find because I didn’t personally need them. By the time I was halfway through Chris’ book (and a few weeks’ worth into the podcasts), I had posted my first few items for sale on e-bay.

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A bunch of things I have no idea how to ship (yet)

I’ve only sold a few things, and I’m not yet in the black for the purchases I’ve made so far, but I’m having a lot of fun with it. I’ll let y’all know how it goes.


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I recently found out about the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center (SHAMc), when a friend invited me to attend January’s InPrompt2, their monthly open mic poetry and short prose event. Participants write to a monthly prompt and sign up for 5-7 minutes in the spotlight. The space is amazing, with one side devoted to selling member artists’ wares and the other side a very trippy, artistically dynamic performance area.

Wednesday night’s prompt was “backwards”. About fifteen people got up to share their talents, bare their souls, and revel in the applause from fellow wordsmiths. I had a great time and eagerly awaited the announcement of February’s prompt, so I could start composing on the drive home and be ready to take my turn at the mic next month.

“Hamsters.” February’s prompt is “hamsters.”.

Guess I better get those wheels turning….

Happy New Year 2019!

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Lucky New Year’s Lunch!

I’ve been listening to Gretchen Rubin’s “Happier” podcast lately and one of the things she and her sister do, along with many of their listeners, now to include myself, is to put together a list of goals at the beginning of the year, and then review the list at the end.

At the top of my “Nineteen for ’19” list is: Resume Blogging. And so, here I am.

Since I started this blog in 2007 or so, it has been a catch-all of whatever has been drawing my interest or ire at any given time. And so it will continue to be. There’s no telling what might show up on these electronic pages.

Thanks Gretchen and Elizabeth for accompanying me a little farther along my Happiness path!

Organic Life Coffeehouse

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Outdoor seating, too!

In the nerve-wracking days leading up to Hurricane Irma’s arrival, with my work campus closed. Mom’s day center closed, and our home as prepared (we thought) as we might be, I had to get myself out of the house for a little while. I had been meaning to visit Organic Life Coffeehouse in Palm Harbor for as long as it had been open, and decided it was past time.

They have all kinds of sandwiches and wraps, baked goods, pastries, and of course, what I was there for–coffee.

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Larry cheerfully behind the counter

The latte’ Joanne prepared for me was wonderful but I didn’t think to take a picture of it. I was too busy drinking it.

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They have live music several nights a week. Larry also plays guitar!

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Organic Life Wall O’ Friends

I had my notebook with me and spent some time writing while I enjoyed my drink. There was nice jazz playing. It would be the perfect place for a writer to get in some quality writing time, if she didn’t have a day job. Maybe they’ll let me hang out there on the weekends.

Goodwill Haul 2.18.17

I love going to our local Super Goodwill store. It provides a valuable service to the community and a cheap adventure for me. Sometimes I have a purchasing goal in mind; more often I just want to go see what might be there. The treasures of today’s haul fall into a variety of categories.



First we have Kidstuff, in anticipation of my granddaughters visiting over spring break. We already have one sand bucket and shovel, so getting this second one at Goodwill saved me from paying $10 or more at the state park’s concession when we visit Honeymoon Island next month. I figure the magnifying bug buckets will be just as handy for magnifying shells and other sea treasures we find on our trip to the beach. And a bean bag toss set up in the yard (or den, if it’s raining) can be just as much fun for the 3-year-old as the 10-year-old.



Here we have a miniature version of my sewing baskets, a place for my rings to live when I take them off during dinner prep so they don’t end up under the hot mitts on top of the microwave, and a set of three small baskets, of which I need only one for holding small items in my dresser. Who knows where the other two might end up? Holding napkin rings in the buffet? Keeping Sharpies together in the desk? The possibilities are endless!


3 of 4 books

The first book is one I have had in my Amazon Wish List for a long time. When I got home, I realized that I finally bought it. From Amazon. Now I have two. At least this one is hardback. The second book looked interesting and I thought Steve might like to read it, too. Nope. The third is about a woman who started a blog, which was turned into a book, which was turned into a movie. Essentially, a blogger’s dream. Maybe I’ll get some pointers. The fourth book is a 1986 collection of short science fiction edited by Harlan Ellison. Steve was interested in that one, so it is on his nightstand and not available for the photoshoot.


Quilted Nativity

And finally, the thing that just makes my heart melt every time I look at it, and what made me decide to make “Goodwill Haul” an on-going, if occasional, blog entry series. A well-loved, hand-made, quilted Nativity. I thought I was long past adding to my Nativity collection, but I could not leave this lovingly wrought handicraft stranded on the Goodwill shelf, jumbled up amidst the mismatched coffee cups and chipped tchotchkes.

“Love me, love my dog”

I haven’t been posting here lately because all my energy is going to my mother’s care, and all my writing efforts toward processing everything that involves are going to Not The Roommate I Expected.

My dismay at much of our daily “news” is too much for me to process and write about. It makes my brain hurt and the idea of researching it more in-depth in order to provide proper citation, etc. etc., makes my brain hurt even more and also makes my stomach hurt a little. Fortunately, my friend, Harold, frequently conveys the essence of what I’m feeling, and helps me realize I’m not alone in this dismay.

I’m basically a small-town corn-fed bumpkin from Western Nebraska who found out he was gay and probably above-average in intelligence at about the same time in 2nd or 3rd grade. Even though I didn’…

Source: Love me, love my dog

No Excuse Mammogram


Mammograms are no fun, and I’m not even sure how effective they are for women with no family history of cancer, but my main excuse for not getting one done was the inconvenience. When the MammoBus showed up in my campus parking lot, I couldn’t use that excuse any more.

Okay – nice interior, comfy waiting area, free pens and mints. This might not be so bad.


And look – a nice, pink wrap! I don’t look nervous at all, right?


And there’s the beast. The only improvement since the last time is that the surfaces are cold plastic, which is not quite as uncomfortable as cold stainless steel.

Well, ladies – if I can do it, you can do it. But I don’t think I’ll do it again.

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