Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Celebrating 8 Years at Roses to Rainbows

Here I am, still blogging along after 8 years. This is my 963rd published post. There have been ups and downs, challenges and lapses, and yet I keep coming back. Why, you ask? Well, it was once said to me when I pondered my apparent failure as a blogger that "you never know when the words you write will touch someone". 

If I make one person laugh or even crack a smile, it's worth it. If I inspire, uplift or motivate one person, then I have accomplished something. If I entertained someone with my fictional characters, then that was a good day.

The doors are always open here at Roses to Rainbows, so drop by anytime. The archives are filled to the brim with eight years of stories, poetry, pictures, musings and much more.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

We Can't All Be Butterflies

We know what we are, but know not what we 
may be. - William Shakespeare

Generally we know who and what we are, and we may even know what we aspire to become, but that is not a certainty. Circumstances change, and events beyond our control can alter the outcome.

Unlike this pretty fellow, who will one day become a beautiful Swallowtail butterfly, we don't necessarily know what lies ahead, or just around the corner for that matter. Just because we don't know what we may be doesn't mean we can't always strive to be our best selves.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

So Now We Wait...

This is the 10th and final day of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by 
P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is New York, New York. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.

"Over here," called Charlie, standing in front of a rusty door. "Other than a loading dock with a garage door, this looks like the only way in...or out of the building. What does that tell you?"

Kyle looked around, stroking his chin, "No one gets in without whoever's inside knowing about it. Do we stake it out and see who shows up?"

"Or leaves," says Charlie. I'll get some agents down here to blend in and keep an eye on the place. We will meet back up with Alex and Bobby to see what they found out." He pauses, taking a bag and some tweezers from his pocket and collects a cigarette butt. "This may be nothing but you can never tell what might turn out to be a clue."

The four agents piled into a booth at a restaurant on the other side of town and began to compare notes.

"So what did you guys pull out of the woodwork today?" asked Charlie.

"We hit four auction houses, but the first three don't count. I think we hit pay dirt at the fourth" grinned Alex. "A place called Tranquility Imports." 

"Tranquility Imports" That's kind of a sissy name for the kind of scum we're looking for," smirked Charlie. 

Yeah, I thought that was an odd name for an establishment walking the fine line between legal and jail time. Turns out it's a family business going back generations. It is run by Sato Yasahiro, the third in the family to bear that name. Yasahiro means 'tranquil child'. After his father died and the current Yasahiro took over the business, changes were made."

"So these changes are perhaps what leads you to believe this may be our guy?" inquired Kyle.

"Not our guy, so much as the guy who knows the guy, and let's just say that the elder Yasahiro is probably not smiling down on the new business plan," said Bobby, reaching for the plate of fries. "What did you find?"

"We found a grungy warehouse that fits the bill for shady dealings. We put some undercover guys on stakeout," replied Charlie, glancing at his watch. "It's almost the witching hour when bad things get worse."

As if on cue, Charlie's cell rings. "Yeah, what have you got? Okay. What did they look like? I see, got it. Thanks."

All eyes were on Charlie. "Alex, can you describe Yasahiro for me?"

"Stocky, about 5' 8", black hair pulled back into a queue. Dressed in black with a red tie and gold cuff links," complied Alex. "Did they see him?"

"Maybe. There was another guy there too, bald, likely in his 50s. One of our guys posed as a drunk sitting propped up next to the building behind the dumpster. He was wired and picked up a bit of conversation about how to get a particular piece for some rich American."

"The bald guy was driving a rental with New York plates so they checked with the rental agency. It was rented to a Nikolai Petrov, who just happens to be our dead Russian. I'm going to have a piece of evidence checked for prints and DNA. Maybe we'll get a hit." said Charlie. "I'm thinking the bald guy is SAD."

"Yeah, I'd be sad, too, if I was bald," joked Alex. 

"All right, get some sleep tonight. Hopefully, tomorrow we can prove the connection between Yasahiro and the bald guy.

The next morning Alex's burner phone rings. "Hello. Yes, this is Alan. I see. Yes, a week will be fine. Thank you very much. Jasmine will be very happy."

"That was Yasahiro. He says he has met with his contact and they should be able to have it within a week, and he would be in touch to arrange payment and delivery," Alex reported to the group. "In addition to the piece being rare, expensive and difficult to obtain, it is also in Hirosaki. So now we wait."

Charlie smiled over the rim of his coffee cup, "Excellent! In the meantime, we'll quietly continue our undercover investigation. We need to know when and where the deal will go down so we can be in place ahead of time."

"At least this one is on our turf," said Alex. "That's a relief after the last case took us all over the country. Plus I got shot."

"Look at it this way, Alex, you got to meet a pretty girl," said Charlie, thumping him on the back.

To be continued.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

In the Good Old Summertime

This is Day 9 of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Best Summer Memory. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.

I'm not sure if the prompt is meant to be just this summer's bet memory, or the best-ever summer memory. Either way, there is no one best memory so I'm going to walk down memory lane through some of my fondest summer memories, in no particular order.

Parasailing in the Gulf of Mexico at Madeira Beach, FL. The experience takes you from flying across the water in a speed boat to sailing hundreds of feet above the Gulf. It was so peaceful up there, and the sounds of the city and boat seemed miles away.

Photo from Pixabay
Zam's swamp tours in Louisiana. It was a slow boat ride through the bayous and back waters of Louisiana where we saw fish, alligators, turtles, Nutria, and lots of birds. After the boat tour, we got a tour of the back yard, which was filled with alligators. There was a talk, but the guide was speaking Cajun French, and I didn't get most of it. It was there we had our first taste of alligator, and we've been eating it ever since. Here is a video from an actual tour.

Tom and Jerry's air boat tour on Lake Panasoffkee in Florida. That was an hour-long tour which took us on slow winding paths through tall grass to speeding across the wide open expanse of the lake. It was beautiful, and yes we did see alligators, turtles, and yep, more birds.

My photo from the Tom & Jerry Airboat

The fascination with water and boats continues. While vacationing in Maine one year, we took a sailboat tour out of Bar Harbor. It was a large sailboat with 3-4 masts. If you love boats and you've never done a tour like this, you should. We did a similar tour in Norfolk that went around the Harbor. That was an evening tour, and it gets chilly even in the summer.

Photo from Pixabay

Not to be forgotten was our trip to San Diego, and of course, the Pacific ocean. No trip is complete without a visit to Coronado and the famous Coronado Bridge.

Photo from Wikimedia
Are you sensing a theme here? What are some of your favorite summertime memories?

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Boom! It's Fireworks.

This is Day 8 of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Fireworks. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.

Fireworks, that brilliant display of colorful lights illuminating the night sky, preceded by a large bang and some crackles as the pattern unfolds. I could research about what makes fireworks go boom and what makes the colors, but the answers are just a Google search away.

Typically summer is the time for fireworks. Here in the U.S. they dominate the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve, and in our area are often seen after baseball games and at the fair. There are even worldwide fireworks competitions. I didn't know that.

This year for the Forth, a neighbor put on a 30-minute display from his yard, interestingly enough, across the street from a city fire department. I'm sure they enjoyed the show as well. We had the best view from the vacant lot next door. We watched, mesmerized, as the sky exploded time and again until the smoke was drifting lazily across the street.

It was a perfect Fourth of July evening, not too hot and no mosquitoes to mar the experience. It was one of the best fireworks displays we've seen in a long time. I know the picture does not do it justice, but I was more interested in just enjoying the show than trying to get a good shot.

Where do you go to see fireworks?

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