Showing posts with label 30 Days of Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 30 Days of Writing. Show all posts

Saturday, June 30, 2012

It Could Have Been Worse

This is the last day of an insane incredible 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.   Today's prompt is it could have been worse.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to see how excruciating invigorating this has been.

Today we conclude 30 intense days of writing, the likes of which will probably send some of us into therapy.  Along the way we have laughed and cried with one another.  We have teased one another.  We have inspired, or been inspired by one another, and perhaps gotten to know each other just a little better. Some of us have made new friends, and maybe connected on a new level with long-time buddies.

How did this all come about?  Well...thanks to Nicky and Mike-

We roasted and toasted and lived like there's no tomorrow.  

We praised our friends, challenged the babysitter, embarrassed the defenseless banana, and even extolled the virtues of the camel.

We sang and danced as they played our song.  We felt the pressure and broke a few rules along the way.

We went solo, and just when we thought we couldn't make it anymore, we reached the turning point.  We should all feel a great sense of of accomplishment for surviving the challenge without needing an intervention.

So as our time here draws to a close, what can I say about the past 30 days?  It could have been worse.

And now to help wrap this up in a proper cheesy fashion - some cheese rap!


Friday, June 29, 2012

Breaking the Rules

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  This is day 29, and the next to the last day of this incredible writing challenge and those who are still standing will be weighing in with today's prompt is breaking the rules.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to see who's breaking the rules.

I've never been much of a rule breaker - too afraid of getting in trouble I guess.  I did break the rules once in kindergarten but I've already confessed that in "Black Eyes and Tutus".  I learned early on what can happen when you break the rules.

Rules are made, rules are broken, and somehow life goes on and more rules are made. 

I leave you now with a few quotes on what other people think about rules.

Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes   

You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.
- Richard Branson  

Principles and rules are intended to provide a thinking man with a frame of reference.
- Karl Von Clausewitz

No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people.
- William Howard Taft

I had these recipes that say do this, do that. Who MAKES these rules?
- Emeril Lagasse  

There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules. That is what invention is about.
- Helen Frankenthaler


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Learning to Eat

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is day 28 of the writing challenge and those who are still standing will be weighing in with today's prompt, the turning point.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to turn on to some great writing.

Today's prompt is the turning point.  That should be an easy topic to write on, right?  We've all had at least one, and probably many smaller, less significant ones.  So what is a turning point?  I found this definition:  When an action or an event takes a turn for the better or for the worse, or changes direction.  This could mean getting or losing a job, getting married or divorced, moving out or moving in, among other things.

Dinner at Waltz
I've experienced all but one of those, but perhaps a more significant turning point was food related.  I learned to eat!  No, not really, but it seemed that way.  My Mom was a great cook and everything she put on the table was delicious, however as a kid I didn't always like it and if I didn't like it (or thought I didn't like it) I didn't have to eat it.  My father was not an adventurous eater, and so Mom's repertoire was limited.  After fixing something once that he didn't care for, she vowed not to serve that to him again.

So I entered adulthood still thinking Mexican food came from Taco Bell, and wouldn't dream of eating Chinese, Japanese, Indian, (real) Mexican, German, or any of the other cuisines I now enjoy.

Then, when I was in my mid 20s, enter my boyfriend, who is now my husband.  He liked all these things and more, and wanted more than just meat and potatoes.  He took me to a Mexican restaurant called Casa Galliardo's, and that was the beginning of my conversion.

Before that going out meant seafood or steak.  With my newly discovered taste buds, I even became more experimental with seafood, and pretty much if it swims, I'll at least try it.  Well done steak - forget it!  I've eaten crawfish and alligator, and tasted kangaroo and ostrich.  I found I like spicy foods too...who knew?  Indian and Thai, bring it on.  Jerk and Cajun, yum!  Our most recent discovery is a lovely little authentic Greek restaurant. 

That was definitely was a major turning point which has made for some really delicious meals.  We like to say that we vacation for food because we like to check out all the local specialties.  So I say thank you to my husband for broadening my culinary horizons.

Waltz Seafood at John's Pass

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Side of the Road

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is the 27th day of this challenging event, and we are approaching the finish line.  Today's prompt is Side of the Road.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to get on the right side of the road.

My apologies in advance to Katherine.  Her Intervention post inspired this poem. 

Katherine she got smashed
No, I mean she got crashed
Her car that is
I hope it's not trashed

She got smacked from behind
Were they out of their mind
I bet for this screw-up
They'll surely be fined

She came to a halt
From the slamming assault
At the side of the road
It wasn't her fault

Now her neck's in a twist
And her friends did insist
That to the doctor she go
And she did as they wished

With pills he did stuff her
No pain will she suffer
At home she must stay
Until she is tougher

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saving the Day: An Intervention

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is the 26th day of this challenging event, and we are approaching the finish line.  Today's prompt is An Intervention.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to get the inside scoop.


The headline read Saving the Day:  An Intervention.  "I was just doing my job" John told the reporter, after he was photographed being hugged by the little girl's mother.

It had started the day before when the FBI profilers had narrowed the search to one man, Hector Stimfield.  He was wanted in six states for kidnapping and murder.  He targeted blond-haired, blue eyed girls between the ages of 10 and 12.  They believed him to be a victim of abuse by his older sister when he was a child.  His sister was now in prison for dealing drugs and assault.

Hector moved from state to state, and job to job.  In his current location he worked as a furniture delivery man, which allowed him to gain entrance to people's homes.  That is how he searched for his victims.  His most recent kidnapping was 12 year-old Eliza Parker.  She had been missing for two days.

Image Source:
Local authorities, working with the FBI, had a tip of a blond girl and a man fitting Hector's description in the warehouse district on the north side of town.  The FBI and SWAT were on the scene in minutes.  There was an old white delivery van parked outside an unoccupied warehouse.  Snipers set up on the roof tops of several nearby buildings.
They tried to negotiate with her kidnapper.  They knew what he was capable of and that the situation could become volatile at any moment.

This is where John came into the picture.  He was positioned with a direct line of sight into the warehouse through a broken window.  His rifle, an Intervention sniper rifle, was among the best and most accurate.

He was waiting for his cue.  The FBI wanted to give Hector the opportunity to surrender so he could be arrested, tried and hopefully convicted.  If he failed to comply, then they would allow John to take the shot when he had it.

Not grasping the reality of his situation, Hector refused, saying "If you come in here, the girl's dead."  That was it.  John took the shot and it was over.

After the child was returned to her, Mrs. Parker insisted on meeting John to thank him, and that's when the photograph was taken.  She hugged him and thanked him profusely.  "If not for your skillful intervention, my daughter might have been killed.  I cannot thank you enough."

"You're welcome, ma'am.  I was just doing my job."

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Worst Christmas Ever

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is the 25th day of this mind-bending challenge, and I can say that my mind is both challenged and slightly off kilter.  Today's  prompt is Worst Christmas Ever.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to see who is still standing.

For most people Christmas is a happy time, filled with family, friends, big dinners and gifts.  Houses are decorated with lights of all colors, lawns filled with lighted reindeer, inflatable Santas and snowmen.  Holiday music begins and stores display large festive trees long before the Thanksgiving feast is prepared.

This is what we know, what we expect, and what fills us with the Spirit of Christmas.  However, sometimes things happen in life that changes that feeling.  Events beyond our control take over our thoughts, control our actions, diminish our joy and leave us feeling sad and blue.

That was the case in 2002.  Christmas was just weeks away when we discovered that my Mom had an electrolyte imbalance and had the option of drinking about a gallon of Gatorade or going into the hospital for a few days to get her sodium and potassium levels back on track.  We chose the hospital...there was no way she could drink that much Gatorade.

This was temporary and she would be home in a couple days.   OK we can fix this.  I arrange for ambulance transport because it would be the easiest and safest way to get her there.

We got her sodium and potassium back in line, but then there were more problems and by the time she'd been in for a week, she'd lost too much strength to go home alone.

At that point I faced what had been, thus far, the worst day of my life - the day I put my mother into a nursing home.

This was the middle of December and I visited her every day.  While we knew she had some issues, we still felt that after some physical therapy she could return home.  That wasn't to be.  On the night before Christmas she had taken a downward turn.

Two days after Christmas on December 27, she passed away when we had stepped out for a few minutes to get lunch. 

We all know that death is a part of life, but to have to face it over what is supposed to be a joyous, happy season is even more difficult.  Not once but twice have we faced the loss of a loved one at Christmas.  We lost my father-in-law just this past year several days before Christmas after two separate stays in the hospital.  Like my Mom, we thought that he too would recover and go home.  It wasn't to be in either case, so we each have a worst Christmas ever.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cheers to You!

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is Day 24 and the prompt is Roast or toast another blogger.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to see who everyone's talking about.

Today we are supposed to either roast or toast another blogger.  I remember the Dean Martin Roasts, and they were funny but I don't possess the wit or talent to roast anyone properly.  The other option is to choose someone to toast.

Well, there are so many deserving folks that choosing one would not be possible or fair, and since this was not 30 days of roasting or toasting bloggers, here is a partial list of the many talented, funny, and highly entertaining people I have come to know through the wonderful world of blogging.

While I have created categories, I would say that there is much crossover among these multi-talented individuals.

Most photographic
Hilary from The Smitten Image

Hilary hails from Canada and takes the most amazing photographs of just about anything that strikes her eye.  Her nature shots are so clear and with such detail, you feel as though you are looking at them in person.

Most engaging 
Jayne from Injaynesworld

Jayne is a unique individual with a great sense of humor.  She has written for TV, and is a published author of the the book "Suitable for Giving".  She loves horses and living a quiet life in her mountain-top retreat.

Most poetic
Jannie from Jannie Funster

Jannie takes the ordinary and paints pictures through poetry, and is a talented song writer and singer.  She is artistic and creative and loves hanging out with her adorable daughter.

Most family oriented
Katherine from Shoot Me Now

Katherine shares her family stories, her trips to the beach and even her embarrassing moments with us so that we feel like family too.

Most Challenging
Nicky from We Work for Cheese

Nicky is the hostess of our 30-day writing challenge, and aside from her passion for shoes, is a funny, talented writer who can make the normal everyday life interesting, and also creates great fictional characters through creative writing. 

Most hilarious
Babs from Babs-Beetle

Babs shares the most hilarious, fly-on-the-wall moments so charmingly.  She and Mo have cracked me up so many times with their videos.

Most entertaining
Meleah from Momma Mia Mia Culpa

Meleah entertains us with her family drama, her Dad stories, her son, and her novel writing adventures.  They are a close-knit bunch and it seems there is never a dull moment in her home.

Most insightful
Sara from a sharing connection

Sara writes fiction with a flair, poems, and does the most interesting photo challenge posts.  She posts a picture and poses questions for the reader to answer, thus challenging their creativity.

Most adventurous
Linda from The Good, The Bad, The Worse

Linda's life on the edge stories are always funny and entertaining.  Her love of her husband, her family and her animal companions shows through in her posts. 

Best storyteller
Talon from Talonted

Talon is indeed talented.  She writes poetry and short stories, accompanied by some wonderful photographs. Like Hilary and Nicky, she also lives in Canada.

All these folks deserve a huge round of applause for keeping us entertained, making us think, and sharing the beauty of the human experience.  I would be honored to hang out with each and every one of you!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Stilettos

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is Day 23 and the prompt is Stiletto Heels.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to see who's still standing.

In the little town of Shewville lived Spike Stiletto, his wife, Hotstuff and their teenage daughter, Kitten.  They were new in the neighborhood having moved in during the Spring season.  Spike worked at the tannery and Hotstuff modeled during the Fall and Winter seasons while Kitten was in school.  Life is good in Shewville, and they visit occasionally with their neighbors, the Phlats and Lowfers.

That was until Spike stopped off on his way home from work for a drink at the Golden Spur.  Across the room, pounding on the bar was his cousin, Blade,  from across the tracks.  His tanned face was leathery from working in the sun.

Blade had always been a troublemaker, and there he was dissing Spike's friend Crock, saying that the new house he had built looked like it had been cobbled together out of scraps.

OK, thought Spike, that's enough, getting pumped up.  I'm going to teach that heel a lesson.  Grabbing his beer bottle, he strode toward Blade who barely noticed Spike until they were nearly toe to toe.  Blade, not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, started in on Spike.

"What's this cloak and dagger routine, cousin?" sneered Blade.  "Think just 'cause you're Italian you're better than me?"

"You need to learn to keep your mouth shut, cousin, as he raised his bottle.  Blade ducked just as Spike raised his bottle, successfully blocking the blow, and sending the bottle to the floor, shattering it.  Spike lunged, stepping on the broken glass, slicing his sole. 

Undaunted and still wanting to sock it to Blade, he grabbed him by the collar jerking him off his feet.  Blade was by no means a small man, but Spike was a half size bigger, and hauled him, kicking and flailing toward the door.

Spike then turned his cousin around and gave him the boot, sending him face down into the street.  Blade landed unceremoniously at the feet of none other than Sandal, the prettiest girl in town.  She laughed and said "you really stepped in it this time, Blade."

Friday, June 22, 2012

If There Were No More Tomorrows

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is Day 22 and the prompt is Like there's no tomorrow.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to see who's still hanging in there.

What would you do if you woke up in the morning to discover that this was your last day on earth, that there would be no more tomorrows? I don't know because I don't like to think about that.  Ideally, it would go something like this:

I suppose the first thing I'd do is cry a little because, well, I like my life.  Then I would decide that is a waste of precious time, and tell my husband to stay home, and we would spend the day hanging out.  

We'd get breakfast - pancakes, or bacon and eggs, or maybe doughnuts at a table on the sidewalk.

I could choose to go some place exotic, but who wants to spend any part of their last day sitting in a plane?  So instead we would go to a park and walk beneath tall trees that were here long before I was born, and will, most obviously, be here when I have departed.  

I could go to a rock concert, that would be fun, but who wants to spend their last day in a crowd of screaming people?  So instead I would watch the squirrels and chipmunks play and listen to the birds sing.  

Strangers would come and go walking their dogs, not knowing or caring that there is no tomorrow.

I would hug my husband and tell him how good my life has been for having him in it.  

I'd pet my cats, and watch the clouds pass lazily overhead.  

I love this life of mine, and I would take a moment to count my blessings.

I would marvel as the sunset paints the sky with colors too beautiful to describe.  

I would not sleep, so as not to miss a single moment of my day.  

And then should I be granted a reprieve, and see the sun rise yet again, I would take to heart the lesson learned.  

We should live our lives thoughtfully, thankfully and fully every day, because we never know when there will be no more tomorrows.

And that is how it should be.  In reality, however, I am a fighter and would probably spend it trying to figure out how to fix it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

No Favors

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today is the 21st day of crazy-making fun and the prompt is Favors I'd ask of satan.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more creative exploits.

I am having a real problem with this one, so all I can say is:

Get thee behind me satan.
I don't make deals with the devil, or ask him for favors.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Going Solo?

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today is the 20th day of crazy-making fun and the prompt is Going Solo.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more creative exploits.

When I think of going solo, I think of doing something grand, special or brave like taking that first flight without the instructor, or giving a performance.  I think of taking on some great adventure alone.  I don't have any experience with such things.  No, going solo for me is attending a social function without my husband, or going parasailing (back in the days before they had tandem flights), or maybe when I rode my first bicycle without training wheels. 

Since I don't have any special solo events with which to entertain and fascinate you, I present to you someone who does.  Dixie Carter.  She entertained us as Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women (1986-1993), a sitcom about four strong Southern women in the interior design business.  

She portrayed a strong, yet genteel, Southern lady who was always willing to stand up for family and friends, and when something got her riled, she really laid it on the line.

But perhaps what I remember most is her rendition of "How Great Thou Art".  In this episode she was to sing a choir solo, but was afraid she wouldn't be able to hit the high notes.  Charlene was having issues with her church and it's prohibition on female ministers.  It was important to her that Julia sing this song for women everywhere.

 Dixie Carter as Julia Sugarbaker singing "How Great Thou Art"

Dixie Carter passed away in April 2010.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stealing Away

Beneath the midnight desert sky
On his camel he did ride
Away to see his lady love
Beneath the silvery moon above

He went to sweep her off her feet
But her daddy he did meet
Because of this lovely damsel
He nevermore will ride his camel

You see the gal that he did seek
Was the daughter of a Sheik
She bid her daddy leave him be
Instead he hung him for all to see

The princess cried for days on end
Knowing her heart would never mend
How could her daddy be so cruel
She longed to escape his rule

Then one night to her surprise
She could not believe her eyes
Stood the man for whom she cried
The man she knew had surely died

The noose had slipped and he was free
He owed that to a friend you see
Who was handy with his knife
And owed this man his very life

Now the princess bride to be
Hopped on his camel and they did flee
Happy now with her intended
This is how the story ended

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today is the 19th day of madness fun, and the prompt is Camels.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more stories...will that be one hump or two?

Also posted for dVerse poetry.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Let's Sail Away

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is Setting sail.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more stories as we set sail on the 18th day of this adventure.

The Quote of the Week!

There is nothing--absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.  - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Our good friend Bruce had invited us to go sailing on Saturday, and I knew that would fit today's prompt to a T.  It was a picturesque day at the lake, with a light breeze, well make that breezy with 14 mph gusts.  I don't enjoy a lot of excitement on the water, so I had my qualms about a peaceful sail.

Hubby (left) with Bruce

This is Bruce's sailboat, a Newport 16, complete with a cabin, which is stored on-site at the lake.  He purchased this last year and knew both of the previous owners.

Discussing the finer points of sailing
Now where does this rope go?  Just kidding.  Hubby is a former member of the yacht club, and Bruce has recently joined.

Raising the sail

The wind wreaked havoc on me gracefully donning my life jacket, but after several tries, I got it on with the buckles on the outside.  

Bruce's wife, Dixie, has now arrived, so it's time to get this show on the road, or rather the water.
Me, or at least my feet

Since I am always behind the camera, this is what I got of me.

Dixie relaxing

We are underway, the breeze is blowing and we gals have stretched out to enjoy the ride. 
Oh what a beautiful day!

The sky is clear, with just a few clouds gracing the sky.  The breeze which seemed a bit much in the beginning was just perfect to keep us moving at a leisurely pace.  All was well until the boom let loose came crashing down.  Just a minor blip [scream] and all was quickly restored to normal.

Approaching the dock - full speed ahead! 

At the lake, the wind is up then down, the up again, depending on Nature's whim and where you are on the lake at that moment in time.  In other words, the wind is with you one minute and agin you the next.

Here we are approaching the dock.  The wind picked up a again at that moment.

Our thanks to Bruce and Dixie for an enjoyable afternoon of sailing and friendship.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bananas Risque

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is The Awkwardness of the common banana.  This is day 17 of this never-endng challenge.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for some delightfully fruitful stories.

Banana Candle Salad
What would you think about a banana stuffed into a pineapple ring, smeared with mayo and topped with a cherry?  Let's just say it was not all that appealing, and left us feeling rather awkward.

The setting was Christmas back some 20 or so years ago.  We were visiting my in-laws over the holidays, and my mother-in-law, bless her heart, decided to make a special treat for us.  She found the recipe in a magazine or old cookbook (we didn't have the internet then) and proceeded to assemble her creation.  When she brought them out, we stared in disbelief at the somewhat suggestive looking item being placed before us.  Being the tactful people that we were, we tried to hide our...uh...amusement.  As you can see it's a rather risque looking dish.

We were holding back our laughter pretty well while we tried to figure out how to tell her just what it looked like.  That is until my brother-in-law exclaimed "that's a nasty chancre on that thing".  At that point we all burst out laughing, and had to explain what was so funny.

Interestingly, the banana candle recipe was originally published in several 1950s cookbooks for children. More recently I saw this recipe and picture in a popular spice catalog.  Apparently it was more common than we thought.

So tell me what you think - Yum or Yuck?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Little Red-Top House

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is Hanging out in the cemetery.  This is the 16th day of this challenge, and we've passed the halfway point.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more telling tales from those still hanging around.

OK, now not only do we have to write about cemeteries, but about hanging out in them.  Over the years I have come to terms with cemeteries and their necessity. Cemeteries are both a part of life and death.

There was a time, however, when I studiously avoided anything to do with them.  During my teen years, my parents bought plots from a nearby cemetery that was just being developed.  It is a perpetual care cemetery which means a fund has been established for the continued maintenance of the property.  Many of the cemeteries are not allowed to have headstones, but have flat markers instead which give the cemetery a uniform look.

Getting back to the point, I thought it was morbid to even talk about cemeteries, much less buy plots, vaults, markers, and all the other things that go along with the process.  To talk about it went way beyond my coping ability.  I couldn't bear to think of my parents' passing from this life.  At that age it was a lot to comprehend, and being as close as were, it would have been devastating to me.

They, on the other hand, saw it as practical and economical.  They were right considering all those necessities cost about twice the price when purchased "at need".

Daddy would refer to their plots as the "little red-top house".  Honestly, I have no idea where this came from.  Any mention of the great beyond was known as going to the little red-top house.  Before that he called it "the happy hunting ground".  No, there is no Native American ancestry on my father's side that I know of.  It's just what he said.

Mom liked to go visit the cemetery where her relatives were buried...I thought it was creepy, almost like it was tempting fate just to be there.

Now that both my parents have moved to the "little red-top" house, I no longer find it creepy.  I still don't go very often, but with age comes a bit of understanding, and now I know what they did back then, they did not only for themselves, but for me as well.  Bless them for having made their plans years before they needed them.  By the way, they bought 4 plots.  I guess they really were planning ahead.

Now I neither like nor dislike cemeteries, but I seldom hang out there.  Ironically, I did work in the cemetery office for about a year...up until they made plans to move the office to the actual cemetery grounds.

Friday, June 15, 2012

In the First Place

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is First Place.  This is the 15th outrageously entertaining day of this challenge.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more winning stories.

I am struggling a bit with today's prompt.  Taking first place, winning contests, competitions, sports, spelling bees are not things I ever did.  While other kids were joining teams and taking lessons, I was playing outside in the yard by myself or with my family.   There aren't any awards for that.

However there were rewards.  I was an only child, and so my parents were my best friends.  Sure, there were some neighborhood kids, but most were boys and somewhat older than me.  This made our family really close.  We played badminton, kickball, grilled out (that's a barbeque for some of you), had picnics and had lots of fun.  These things were worth more than taking first place in any competition.

First place had another meaning.  Mom would occasionally use it when I should have done something differently, or that the outcome would have been different, if I had I listened to her "in the first place".

Now I leave you with a few contenders for my choice of first place.  First, may I present my hubby, who has survived over 25 years of marriage to yours truly.  That is no small feat to be sure.  You see he brings home the bacon and I eat it.

My wonderful hubby

And in the snuggle-bunkins category, we have three fabulous felines.  While they are all friends, what you probably won't see is Sophie and Dood in a snuggle like this.

Rosie and Sophie
Rosie and Dood
To me they are all winners, which makes me the biggest winner of all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Ant and the Lion

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is The Short Hairs.  This is the 14th mind-numbing day of this challenge.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more entertainment.
There are a lot of these in my yard.

Image source:  Wikipedia
Fortunately there are a lot of these too.

Antlions, or rather antlion larva, as I learned from my research.  Otherwise known to me in my childhood as doodlebugs. They are called doodlebugs because the twisty winding trails they leave in the sand while looking for the right place to make their traps look like someone doodled in the sand.

They hang out in inverted cone-shaped dwellings in loose sandy soil, and feed on ants. It is interesting to watch them "build" their traps.

When complete, they lie in wait for the unsuspecting ant to drop in for dinner...not knowing he's the meal, thus having the ant by the short hairs.

Image source:  Wikipedia
This is what they become.  

Does this meet the criteria for today's topic?  If you were the ant, what would you think?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Other One

Choices, changes
Life rearranges
He chooses
He loses
Should have chosen
The other one

Choices, changes
Life rearranges
Now he knows
And he chose
The other one

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is The Other One.  This is the 13th mind-numbing day of this challenge.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to see what everyone else chose

Also posted for dVerse Poetry.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

25 Years in my Kitchen

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is In the Kitchen.  This is the 12th mind-blowing day of this challenge.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to see what everyone else is cooking up.

A lot has happened in my kitchen.  This has been my kitchen for over 25 years, and it is pretty much the same as it was the day we walked in for the first time.  There's a new fridge, that is it was new in 1992, and a new dishwasher about 13 years ago. In our house new is a relative word.

I learned to cook in this kitchen, something my Mom wanted to teach me years before, but I said "I'll learn when I need to"  Foolish me.  I did absorb more than either of us thought, which gave me a good background for learning.  I've learned a lot in my kitchen, like how to handle a knife, and make a sauce that doesn't break.  I've learned about herbs and spices and how to create my own dishes.

The cats are fed in the kitchen so there's always cat food on the floor.  When our cat, Missy, was sick and wouldn't eat, I made cat food smoothies and hand fed her, seated on a chair with a towel pinned around her neck.  She stoically accepted the food - until she had had enough.

Games have been played and friends entertained at the kitchen table.  Wine has been drunk and many conversations had that lasted long after the food was eaten and the plates had been cleared.

There have been messes and spills, broken glasses, and many experiments.  There have been cuts and burns and, yes, a few curses.  There has been laughter and tears over the years in my kitchen, which means there has been a lot of living in my kitchen. 

If your home is your castle, the kitchen is it's heartbeat. 

What's the story in your kitchen?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Quote of the Week


Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment. - Thomas Carlyle

Accomplishment is like a shot in the arm, a boost of courage.  You immediately feel better about yourself, and when you feel better about yourself you can accomplish more. It is a continuous circle. The more you do, the more you can do.

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is A Sense of Accomplishment.  This is the 11th day of this challenge.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to read the accomplishments of the other participants.