It was one of those clear, cool, clean-air early mornings perfect for walking and getting my energy level up before I began my work day.

The sky was Carolina blue with clouds straight off a Monet painting just drifting by with ease.

As I moved along about a mile from home I looked up and noticed clouds moving along at a quicker pace than when I began.

Uh, oh, I see the one little cloud hanging with its big brothers, it’s dove grey color darkened, beginning to look threatening.

No worries, it’s just a wee cloud in the middle of big, snowy, candy cotton clouds.

I may as well turn back anyway I think as I cross the street to turn toward home still believing that wee cloud was of no consequence until I reached 50 feet from my front door when that wee cloud burst overhead giving me a shower soaking through and through.


SSS- Hunch

abundance of birds fly in, nibble, fly out again

between gossiping together now and then

last week the feeder was completely nil

I watched, I waited, a fat squirrel came to fill

at the feeder one morning, I was at brunch

uh, oh unhappily it was exactly like my hunch



Hunched over my computer, fingers flying faster than thoughts and words came to me, yet up in the corner behind me I see and hear his words, “loosen up, let’ go, get zany, for Pete’s sake!”

Instinctively I knew he was right about my work schedule being way past what someone might call normal except that I loved my work knowing that it fulfilled and defined me!

Why should I give this up when I have waited impatiently for so many years to fulfill my duties to everyone else in my life before starting the life I’ve always wanted and now you whisper in my ear that I should give it up?

No way would I consider changing what I do because I love it and will continue to write until the last breath leaves my body to turn cold.

It is the words I leave behind that will last long after my name has been the answer to someone’s question asking “who is she?”

Besides all that let me tell you that even in my childhood,  even in my teens, even on the nights that I had too many cocktails to behave in a normal fashion, I was never ZANY!


Living Poetry

This week let’s write a molting poem. Have you ever wanted to shed your skin like a snake or slough off your exoskeleton like an insect? Would it hurt or be cathartic or both? 

Molting arlene s bice

so i shed my skin that i wore at the time

when i realized it was not the real me

picked up my house and left that unhealthy corner

to find where i belonged, who my people were

would i recognize them just by looking

how to know i asked myself

but i didn’t answer me

the search began, my eyes peered into windows

looked down every alley, talk, talk, talk

until there was nothing left to say

so i began to listen while my mind opened

little by little, expanding, filling

without my notice an outer layer had formed

it looked quite alike with a tinge of difference

then the call came inviting me to lunch

“of course,” i replied, “i’d love to” i said

the inner glow showed through

matching one that blossomed within me

as i listened, as i talked i knew

no more searching needed

i had molted and found home.


TTOT 20.07.10.

  1.  Peppermint oil wiped on my countertops to keep the ants away.
  2. Abundance.
  3. Earlier travels that exposed me to different cultures and people.
  4. Teachers who encouraged my writing. Not all did.
  5. To be born a woman.
Abundance Oil over acrylic * arlene s bice
  1. To be able to help other writers.
  2. Lisa B.’s weekly yoga class, now zoomed.
  3. For the women who trusted me and submitted their stories “What it is to be a Woman”.
  4. For the friend who remembers me when she is baking zucchini bread.
  5. For Johannes Gutenberg’s inventions.

6 Sentence Story-fabric

She sat at her loom guiding one strand at a time to form the pattern she had designed bursting of color and bold splashes to create a worthy work of art, like pulling a friend back into the fold when she strayed like a thread slipping out and getting lost, dropped to the floor over a careless comment made.

Extending her hand for the thread that slipped its knot, just as reaching for her friend’s hand, turning her face toward the light knowing it would open her heart to understand, have compassion and allow love back into her life the same as the fabric accepted the new strands to complete its desirable end arrangement.

Thoughts ran through her mind as her hands automatically, but carefully, braided her way as she navigated through sharp turns and detours in life to lessen the betrayals that came unexpectedly.

Also a weaver of words, combined with the thinking process that would sustain her strength as the diversity of people filled her life constructing a strong fabric she could rely on to smooth the bumps in the road no matter how disastrous.

A good life was like this tapestry full of brilliant complexities, a stain or two in odd places uncovering the few knots that became entangled along the way, too minor to bother trying to correct what is better to just note and keep on going.

Yes, the full fabric unabridged while giving the weaver hours of joy to create would bring a lifetime of pleasure to any seeking to absorb the trials, challenges, imperfections, and genius of it all including the life it represented, fulfilled with the same energy and skill the novice brought to the canvas.


Authentic Italian by Dina Di Maio, a book review

Authentic Italian: The Real Story of Italy’s Food and Its People by Dina Di Maio. I love this book! Before I even finished reading the Introduction, I wrote notes in the margins, starred paragraphs, underlined, checked, and doodled thoughts and words I wanted to get back to read out loud to someone I knew would love it too. The author’s family moved to a town in North Carolina near the South Carolina border from the New York Tri-State area in 1986. They opened a pizzeria serving Italian dishes with the pride Italians have about their foods, using the finest ingredients. Out of her experience of growing up in this town ignorant of Italians and their culture, came the well-researched information that will fill and delight anyone who appreciates the food and wines that Italians have given the world.

Since I was born and raised in New Jersey a few blocks from Chambersburg, also called ‘Little Italy’ I was fully immersed in Italian culture, their torpedo rolls warm from the oven, rum cakes, Casino hot dogs, Italian sausages, and looked forward to the Feast of the Lights of one saint or another (who cared we were teen girls looking to flirt with the handsome Italian boys). We didn’t say pasta back in the 50s and 60s. It was spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, parmigiana, all names of foods that rolled off my tongue like words of poetry and kissed my taste buds. We shared tomato pies, not pizza as it was later called and it wasn’t delivered, we picked it up.

I was the only non-Italian and non-Catholic in my close girlfriend group whose last names were Petito, Nicolini, Daddio, and Fruscione. Mine was plain Bice-one syllable, no musical sound to it. Who cared? They adopted me as one of their own and I fit right in. Of course there were discussions on who were the best at one thing or another. That didn’t matter either it just gave reason to let the hands fly up to stress a point and to get a word in about what part of Italy one’s family was rooted.

So I loved this book that woke up memories for me and tells you what recipes came from where. What is authentic and what is a myth made up for advertising purposes. I kept thinking of my late husband and his brothers who immigrated to the States in the 50s. They would have loved reading this book. They also would have recognized the daily food on their tables is considered gourmet today. That would have tickled them. I’m sure many a happy discussion would have arisen at the next table they shared.  I’m hoping the author will write her personal story of growing up as a daughter in the only Italian family and restaurant proprietors, in the town during the period they lived there. I know she will have lots to report. It sounds like a TV series. . .


TTOT 20.07.03.

TTOT 2020.07.03.

  1. A cool July morning for walking.
  2. Artist in Elements-the new gallery in the Lizard Creek area of Warren County that carries books of local authors, including mine. It’s a beautiful gallery & a grand opening today!
  3. Numerous birds at my feeder now offering hours of 7 am to 9 am when the fat squirrel doesn’t come looking to ravage the feeder. I remove it when I’m not there to watch over.
  4. The gardenia bush I found tucked into an outside corner of the house that reminded me of

my first corsage at 12 years old given to me by my older brother Albert at Easter.

garden gardenias
  • Flowers bursting from every pot on my front porch and sunporch bringing instant joy when I water them first thing in the morning.
  • The mammoth stones of Avebury, England, older than Stonehenge and whatever they instilled in me when I melded with them on my first visit.
  • People who connect with me through TTOT and Six Sentence Stories. I love the conversations that come from them.
  • The 8 feet tall butterfly bush that lines my sunporch sweetening the air and calling bees, butterflies and dragonflies.
  • The book Sacred Signs by Adrian Calabrese that reaffirms my belief in the afterlife.
  • To help others as I have been helped along the way.

SSS ~ Line

I drove up to the bank where 3 lanes sported OPEN signs and of course I chose the lane to the far right where there are no cars over the closest lane that dealt with the teller direct which had 4 cars waiting and over the middle lane that had 2 cars waiting.

Clear logic told me to drive to the empty lane so I didn’t have to waste time, gasoline and patience waiting in line.

I placed my bank business in the tube, heard it go whoosh and then wondered how it could be possible that I sat there and watched each car in the other lanes as they finished their business and drove off before my receipt thunked back down to me as I waited where there was no line.

My next stop was the grocery store where I zoomed around to pick up the 3 things I needed, zipped into the lane where only 1 person was being checked out.

I glanced over to the registers to see if I had chosen the right line if you could call 1 person a line and saw at least 3 people in each line with carts piled high with everything in them.

I nearly let out a jungle roar in frustration as I watched those other shoppers get checked, paid their bills, got bagged up, and wheeled their carts to the door while the lady in front of me continued to argue with the checker about her credit card was good and there was really no reason why it shouldn’t have worked!