The Scream


Each step I take creates an echo. Step by step by step I approach the inevitable. Inside my core, I can feel a scream. I do not dare voice the scream that threatens to overpower my present. Push it down, down until it can be overpowered by my will.

My will does not allow me to express my internal voice. Later, when the time is right, my will can rest to release the storm.

Strength must be gathered to deal with this journey. Can I really do this? A voice inside my head tells me I can and I must do this.

My heart aches with each echo of my steps. A tear pools at the corner of my eye and slides over onto my cheek. Slowly a wet trail forms down my cheek.

My hand comes up to touch my cheek as if in a reflex of my subconscious. NO! I cannot cry at this moment. This is the time to be strong because that is who I am. I am the strong person everyone knows.

The echo stops. My heart is pounding so hard that it is almost as loud as the previous echo of my steps. Gathering my thoughts to the surface I know I need to be acutely aware of what is going on around me now. There is a glass window of an office to my right. I can see my reflection in the window. I come back to the present and my surroundings. As I straighten my clothes and wipe my face I gather my strength. I gather my strength not for myself but for the others. I am the strong one and I have to be strong for them. I take a deep breath and begin to walk again.

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Back-to-School-itis: Thoughts From a Tearfully Grateful Parent

education-908512_1280Back to school tips/thoughts race through this seasoned parent’s mind. Every year the first day of school is a mixed array of rushing to get school supplies, schedules, clothes, haircuts and adjusting the summer routine (or lack of) to a more regimented school year routine.


You and your student-child have gone through all the clothes, sorted, gifted, and donated all outgrown, outdated and overused items. The stores have been purged and your car trunk filled with beautiful new clothes, pencils, notebooks, backpacks and a little something you sneaked in for yourself.

Back-to-School-itis is hurting!

The symptoms of Back-to-School-itis:

Empty wallet, sore feet, headache, tearfulness, excitement, dread, anticipation, camera attachment disorder and reminiscent melancholy.


Diagnosis by another experienced sufferer who knows too well the ailment. They too suffered through the expense, shopping, fatigue, and conflicted emotions of the beginning of the school year.

Treatment for the suffering Parent

Take pictures of all the moments of your child growing up and moving from year to year in school as they outgrow clothes, grades, and sometimes you.

Get an extra hug and squeeze every chance you get, out of sight of your child’s friends.

Enjoy the extra free time! Time to get out and join that club or gym you have been eyeing. Treat yourself to a new book, girlfriend lunch or bubble bath. Your child is growing up and think of all the things you are happy about. Take a walk and breathe while you think of how lucky you are to have the best kid in the world.

Why this too shall pass

Your little munchkin is growing up and you are there every moment of the way. What a great thing, teaching, crying, laughing and remembering all the special moments. Back-to-School-itis passes and the school year routine happens, homework, after-school activities, play dates, bake sales, fundraisers and teacher conferences confirm you have recovered and on your way to another successful year.

by Jackie Moore Wagner

Picture by Pixabay

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Whisper in the Dark


A Whisper

It was dark as coal when my eyes opened

Hair raised on each goose bump

Breath held in anticipation


“Momma….momma…MOMMA!” in a loud but whispered voice

Eyes adjusted and fell upon two sleeping babes

My mind searched for an answer

A louder whisper was heard by my awakened mind


Desperation in the whisper of an unseen, unknown child

My mind placed a face to the voice

Small boy of white blonde hair

Where is your momma?

Soon the light began to twinkle through the window

No more voice but a face in my mind forever

Voices of the unseen, only to be heard by the minds of some

Oh lost boy I heard you

A warning heeded by the waken mind

by Jackie Moore Wagner March 2016

Picture by Pixabay

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Heart Disease in Women Facts and Symptoms


Gender Makes a Difference in Symptoms and Death Rate Attributed to Heart Disease

Heart Disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. If you are a woman or have a woman in your life then you should know the symptoms and facts of Heart Disease in women. Most people do not know it is more likely to lead to death than all cancers combined and the symptoms for women are very different from men. Women are much more likely to die from heart disease complications than men are. According to in 2004, 60% more women died from heart disease than cancers. Know the symptoms and your numbers.

Know the Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women

  • Shortness of Breath or complaint of sudden unusual fatigue
  • Possible swelling of extremities
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Discomfort or pain in chest, left arm, jaw, throat, stomach or back are common complaints. Important to know: Women are less likely to have chest pain than men are.
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Confusion, drooping face, slurred words are symptoms of stroke to look for.

These are the main symptoms according to the CDC. Many women do not have any symptoms so if you suspect a life-threatening situation call emergency 911 any way. Better safe than sorry since heart disease is the number one killer of women.

Take care of your mental and physical health

  • A thorough annual physical to determine the level of risk for heart disease is essential.
  • You need to know your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood glucose numbers.
  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Lose weight, if needed and eat healthier, your doctor can help you find the right weight loss and maintenance programs.
  • Stress reducing activities like sports, yoga, meditation or other outlets are fun and good for your heart.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. According to the Office of Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, limit of one drink a day.

Seeing a doctor for regular checkups and maintaining a sensible weight, exercise regimen, and healthy eating habits certainly help. Educate yourself on the symptoms, prevention, and risk factors for Heart Disease in women so we can bring the leading cause of death for women in the United States to a controlled health concern. Love your women and their hearts and learn the facts.

by Jackie Moore Wagner

Originally published on Yahoo 2014

Picture by Pixabay

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A Morning Walk in Spring


Damp, musty is the scent. Fragrant are the blooms.

It is a walk of life, springing from death, mingling with the present.

As I walk, the presence of nature and life is apparent in every step. You would think that a crisp quiet would be what is overwhelming, but it is not. In the solitude of a spring morning walk there is sweetness in the atmosphere. Of course, the obvious sweet smells of fragrant flowering trees and perennials are anticipated, but the sweetness also comes from the morning song of the birds, the tinkle of dew as it drips from leaves and eaves. There is a rustle of leftover fall leaves on the ground as awakening creatures scurry through for their morning bounty. In the distance is a hoot of an owl as he ends his nocturnal adventures and the whistle screech of a Cooper’s Hawk as the shadow of its wingspan appears to dance on the ground as he glides and drifts in the rising warmth of the starting day.

During these morning walks, it seems to be the perfect time for quiet reflection and observance. No matter how horrible the day before may have been it is almost impossible not to smile and feel alive. The wonder of the morning walk is in the exuberance that a fresh new morning brings. This is what God must have beheld on the seventh day. I walk and my walk starts to become a prayer of Thanksgiving.

This is a particularly significant morning. This morning is the morning after a dear friend has passed. Tears of grief, heartbreaking sorrow and a feeling of helplessness threated to overpower me. A question always seems to loom over the death of a good person after they are gone. Why?

We often rationalize the irrational as we see it. Rationalization is a cover for our lack of understanding. I often just believe we all have a different understanding at different times depending upon our own life journey and experiences. What may seem horrible and cruel to one may appear as a gift and honor to another. Honestly, every experience has a light and dark to it because that is what life is: Light and dark …never one without the other and neither exist in the same space at exactly the same time; neither recognized without the other. It is interesting how perspective can bring us in and out of the light and dark without the situation ever changing at all. We often choose to see what we want to see…the same goes with light and dark…The brightness of day always brings shadows. A shadow can be a welcome relief from an extra warm sun or a dark place to sulk. A dark room can be a welcome haven for a tired mind and body looking to replenish itself or a terrifying dungeon of creatures of imagination lurking in every corner.

As I am brought back to the dawn of a new day, I am curious, sometimes, how life can seem so resilient and go on as if nothing has changed when someone that meant so much to so many just is not there and never will be again. Then I think about it in a different perspective. The person that I find to have a profound effect upon my life is not gone at all. Each person she touched carried away something. Whether it was a familiarity of a smile or the sound of twinkling bells recognized in their laughter. Each moment carries with it an impression and impressions stay either profoundly or ever so subtly. This dawning day has already had an impression upon me and it was in thinking of the impressions of a person no longer with us. Our legacy in this life is not just of the breathing life we have, but also of the impressed upon life that we leave for those still here and for those to come. It is our true legacy, our impression and our perspective derived from that thought.

As the memories of my beloved friend pass through my mind like snapshots in a photo album the experiences of my present start to mingle and they adhere to one another. The experience is one of a bitter sweetness; Past and present with no connection other than my walk and my thoughts. The only conclusion that seems to matter this day is my own personal memories of my beloved friend and the living abundance around me as I ponder. This solitary walk was not in solitude I realized, it was with my beloved friend and her legacy in my living experience. My legacy in this life is to go out and share her life and experiences, which she shared with me. Our lives are like a chain with infinite links and should be added upon and not broken. It is God’s expectation that we are to share; witness to one another our experiences and understanding of our knowledge gathered from our experiences.

On this glorious walk I cry tears of grief in loss, smiles of fondness and a relaxing contentment were the product. As I slowly conclude my morning walk, I am prepared to continue my day as a finite person in an infinite chain thanks to my beloved friend and the grace of God. As the sun is reaching farther up on this day, I am ready to continue my story as forge toward the future. In my present perspective, the why is apparent and gives me a reason to continue on the path. I revel in the sweet smells and sounds of my, not so solitary, walk and I decide to be happy. Perspective is a decision and not to be taken lightly and is a gift of God.

written by Jackie Moore Wagner

picture by Pixabay

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In Validation of National Women’s History Week

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Welcome to the week of the woman. I am a woman that has been married 30 years and raised two girls. As I ponder the idea of President Carter declaring March 8, 1980 as the week of the woman, it occurs to me that women have been the last population recognized as having a voice.

As I was tinkering with my own ancestry, it came to my attention that my paternal aunts that lived in Northern Mississippi, in a family of nine children, were college educated and became teachers themselves. One of my aunts passed a couple of years ago at 103 years of age. What a blessing to have parents that supported her and her sisters in an education beyond the basics of cooking, cleaning, sewing and raising children. It came to me the rarity, of not one, but three young girls valued as more than domestic ornaments. My aunts were educators and made their mark being unique. They were home educating while their brothers were fighting for our country.

In today’s environment of equality, women have to forge their own way. It is still an uphill struggle to acquire a job or career that has equal pay for equal work. When my husband and I brought into the world two beautiful girls, we had no idea of the responsibility. Men are very important in fostering girls in striving to be the best person they can. My husband was right there teaching my girls how to play hockey, hammer a straight nail, and how to handle themselves with their male counterparts. It is just as important for dads, brothers, husbands and male friends to value girls as people.

As a woman, I recognized the importance of instilling self-confidence in my girls. My husband, their father, also recognized the importance of building our girls into capable people. We established a strong family unit that required that everyone behave with high standards. Dabbling in or trying new things was encouraged while discovering their uniqueness and gifts. Our daughters have grown into strong, capable, loving and strong women. It is exhausting to take on a project with the level that is required to do it right.

Reading to the girls when we had not slept for a couple of nights, sitting in the cold rain during a soccer game, making flower chains, taking fish off a line, trail rides, museum exploration, digging in the garden, being an example are all things that make a child a person that will give back to her world. When we teach our girls, we are teaching our grandchildren and future generations.

by Jackie Moore Wagner

Picture by Jackie Moore Wagner (my daughters)

Originally published On Yahoo March 2014


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My First Inspiration Blog Post

Hello, world! I started this blog to inspire people to ‘see’ outside the box. If you feel and see the images that are written here then my mission is complete. My writing is informational, creative, imaginative and an expression of artistry in words. Please come and browse, scan, read, get lost it all. Every day is a new day with new inspiration and I will write about my sadness, imagination, excitement, joy, perception, and tell you a story with a recipe, poem, short story or interesting article. Join me on my adventures.

Sometimes I will tell you about some great beer, events, people and throw in some home improvement and how to information. I love life Hacks and you will learn a few from me as I have learned them through experience and others.

I will write and post things about the weather, pets, DIY, decorating, Gardening and most anything that strikes my fancy. When I do tell you a story it will be either informative, interesting, enlightening, thought provoking or just plain fun. So, join me on my life adventure as I share it all with you. The story is life and I am the artist who will paint with my words on my canvas for you to enjoy and be inspired by.

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A Brewing Storm

rain-862677_640By Jackie Wagner

As I awaken from my nocturnal slumber, the dream of the night starts to mingle with the realities of the dawning day. The smell of dampness and the sound of curtains as a slowly more persistent breeze encroach upon my dream. My eyes flutter as my body struggles to grasp at the pleasant fading of fantasy. The senses of my body will not allow for fantasy to stay as long as a detectible reality is of more importance. Importance, my ears have detected in the slow rumble of thunder as it becomes increasingly louder. The pang of droplets can be heard in a beat of urgency as they become increasingly more numerous. The breeze that was gently fluttering through the curtains was now a gale of growing strength.

Suddenly I am no longer in the bliss of my faded dream. My heart is pounding with anticipation of the impending storm. What should have been a bright sunny morning was now a dark menacing start of a promisingly tenuous day. As the reality of a storm sets in, my heart went from fear to a kind of warm anticipation at the thought of a cozy day filled with reading as I sit with the comfort of a warm dog curled up next to me and a hot cup of tea on the table next to my couch.  But first reality insists upon safety.

My urgency increases as I descend the stairs and the storm intensifies. Windows must be lowered and candles on the ready. These routine storm activities are the norm in the Midwest as the Spring storms make there timely way across the region to prepare for the growing season. A quick outside visit for my beloved dog after I convincingly express to him it was now or never. He returns in a flurry of ears pulled back, partly from the gusting wind and partly from his running jaunt to come back to the safe haven of his home. My companion was back with me and now dried and fed, he too was anticipating a safe cuddle next to me as I nestled down in the folds of the random throw blankets on the couch with my book in hand. Now, it is time to allow the rain to lull me into another fantasy that is within the pages of my book.

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A Mind Thief Stole Her Person

262215_1398358616851_1225941_nBy Jackie Wagner

She was carrying on as a woman does in her life, one-step, one moment, one day at a time. Slowly things started to become a jumble. What time is it? What day is it? Who is she?

The thief of her memories and her security has come. Her daily routine has slowly been making its face known. If only she can save it for long enough to help her manage. How can something unseen be insidious in its cruelty upon her mind? Getting out of bed used to be a joy and adventure; now, the thought of waking and moving from something warm and comforting is terrifying. Oh please let this day be a day of memories and knowledge of her direction, step by step, moment by moment.

What used to be taken for granted is hollow in its lack of assured stability. Who is she: wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend? Where have they all gone? As she stares at the reflection in the mirror she wonders if that person is the thief. Must brush the hair and feel the skin of the person whose reflection seems to not ring of truth.

Slowly she moves the curtain to peer outside; the sunshine looks so alluring. She decides to go outside. Ah, the warmth of the sun feels good on her face as she decides to twirl. Suddenly, she notices someone staring from the street. The thief within her mind stole her knowledge of having to put on sensible clothing and her memory of what happened the last time she enjoyed the warmth. The thief within her mind stole her sensibilities of what others in the street think of her moment in the sun.

Finally, she notices more people staring from the road and something inside her becomes frightened. The thief in her mind did not let her make the connections to make her understand what she once knew. She crouches inside her home. She is crying uncontrollably with tears coming down her face. There is no one to comfort her, no one to tell her who she is or where she is. The thief was waiting for there to be no one to save her from herself. The thief waits until the end when there is nothing left to steal but her mind. Tears, fears, empty of memories, empty of self. The thief in her mind stole what was left of her person.

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The Chill of Deep Winter

by Jackie Moore Wagner

1498996_3727571885727_942635217_o (2)When the North is in the midst of winter at its most intense, heartiness comes out of all living creatures. It is a strength brought out only by the brink of a living creature’s weakness and survival. There is knowledge within creatures of the deep winter. It is almost a science experiment, of sorts, to see what emerges after such chill, wind and lack of living abundance. First, there is the element of death in the falling of leaves to bare the bark and limbs of all the trees. Next, there is the growing chill each day as time slips deeper into the dark hours and days of winter. Then the white snow comes as a blanket to cover the bare limbs and ground as if in a protection of what is to come. More chill and thaw and more snow with biting winds that can cut a living creature to the core of its living being.

As this chill descends upon the north, so does the hush silence of the air. It becomes so hushed that any small noise becomes intensified as a soulful experience of its own. The cry of a hawk can be heard in the distance and is echoed from the cold with a vibration that can be felt as well as heard. The chill makes the wood of the trees shrink and crack with moans and groans that seem to reflect the internal moans and groans of my body as I walk. The chill is so profound it has a way of sinking into my body so that I can feel my body’s protest. Each step that is taken upon the white path produces a squeaky crunching noise. It is funny how snow has different sounds depending on the level of the chill. The colder it is the drier the snow and the more crackle and squeak it produces upon each step.

This is the type of cold that seems to cling to the hair and skin. Anyone with knowledge of the deep winter knows of bundling in layers to keep the body’s warmth close and the chill out. Layering the clothing is much like preparing for an event. Well, it is an event when planning an excursion out in the brittle, snapping and frozen day. This time of year is an oxymoron of a type when it is oh so bright and sunny yet so cold that a body stiffens beyond the ability for teeth chattering. The only blessing of forgiveness in the bitter clear day is the sun. If bundled quite right and able to find a place of full bright exposure to the sun, away from the wind, then it can be a very pleasant experience. Nothing like the sun on a bitter day to hit you and make you feel warmth from the inside out instead of outside in like would happen on a warm day.

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