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

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Babysitting Blues

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The first use of the term "babysitter" was recorded in 1937, but it wasn't until 1947 that it was used in the verb form to "babysit".  Babysitting only became common in the mid-twentieth century.  It was a way for teenage girls to earn money.  Prior to this, if a couple were affluent enough to afford to go out, then they had a live-in servant to look after the children.  Those without servants generally lived near or with family or extended family who could then help with the children. 

From babysitting sprang many other types of sitting such as pet sitting, house sitting, and care for the elderly.  We have engaged sitters for our cats.  As with human children, we would leave feeding and care instructions, emergency phone numbers and our vet's information.  Sitting is sitting, whether for humans or pets, allowing the parents to have that much needed night out, and pet owners to take their vacation without worrying about the "kids".

All this talk of babysitting brings to mind one of my favorite movies of the 1980s - Adventures in Babysitting in which Elisabeth Shue stars as Chris Parker, the babysitter.

The movie begins with Chris getting ready for her big date, who cancels with some lame excuse about his kid sister being sick and he has to look after her.  With nothing else to do, Chris accepts a job babysitting for Sara Anderson.  Add her brother Brad, and friend Daryl into the equation and chaos ensues.  A quick trip into the city for ice cream ends up a hair-raising adventure of a blowout, eluding criminals, facing down a street gang, and rescuing Brad's sister, Sara, as she clung to the outside of a skyscraper, narrowly missing Brad's parents at the party.  Chris' mad driving skills get them home with moments to spare, and no one was the wiser.

What did Chris get out of this?  Well, she found out that her boyfriend was cheating on her, and met someone new when Sara had to use the bathroom and they ended up at a frat party.

All's well that ends well, don't you think?

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is Babysitting.  This is the 10th day of this madness.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more interesting revelations.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Magic Carpet

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is Magic Carpet.  This is the 9th day of this madness.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more flights of fantasy.

Here we on Day 9, the long-awaited opportunity for some good fictional fantasy, and what have I got?  Nothing!

Image Source: Wikipedia
So, what I can I say about magic carpets?  

Great gas mileage - duh, no gas, it's magic.

Avoids traffic jams - they're above all that.

Time saver - no speed limits.  You have arrived at your destination.

No problem parking - just roll it up and sling it over your shoulder. 

No license required - no waiting at the crowded DMV office.

Physical ability needed - can you sit or lie down for short periods of time?

Cost - Priceless! 

What can I say, some days I am running on empty. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

My Best Friends

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is Best Friends.  This is the 8th day of this madness.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more great stories.

There are many kinds of best friends, girlfriends, buddies, husbands and wives, even our pets.

My best friend for life was not always my best friend.  I was 10 when she was born, and no 10 year old is friends with a baby.  She lived next door, and during my teen years, she wanted to hang out with me, which, as you can guess, annoys a teenager.

When she was about 12, I came to see that she was smarter than most kids, not book smart, but smart in the ways of people.  She had an insight and intelligence beyond her years.  We soon developed a friendship that has lasted over 30 years, through college, marriage (both mine and hers) and many moves.

As I said in the beginning, there are different kinds of best friends.  Ashley is my best girlfriend, and I love her like a sister.  My husband is also my best friend.  We met on a blind date February 5, 1986 and have been best friends ever since.  Both of these are forever relationships.  

On another note, not all best friends are human.  For the last 15 years I have shared my heart, my home, and usually my pillow with my cat, Rosie.  Anyone who reads here regularly knows Rosie from his picture, which I use as my avatar (he's just cuter than me).  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In Excess?


There was a Canadian Princess
Who for now shall remain nameless
She loved her high-heeled shoes
Bought in varying hues
Some might say to excess

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is Excess.  This is the 7th day of this madness.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more tales of excess.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Feeling the Pressure

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is Pressure.  It is now day 6; only 24 days left, to check out these great stories.

It all started around the table at dinner one night.  A friend says "Guess what I did last weekend?  My son and I went shooting.  I hadn't been shooting at a range in years.  It was great!"

That was the beginning.  Shortly afterwards a group of guys, including this friend and my husband met for breakfast one Saturday and went to the shooting range afterwards.  Hubby came back sporting a target, and telling who had which guns, etc.  

After several more trips to the range, it was planned that I join them.  I had expressed an interest in the past about learning to shoot, so here was my chance.  Let me just say that I was very disappointed in my first performance.  For some reason I thought I would just go in and whack the crap out of the target.  Other than my inexperience, I was using shooting glasses from the range.

Two weeks later!
I wasn't giving up however, and the next time, with my own glasses, I showed improvement.  This gave me the courage to agree to take a gun course.  Not just any course, but a concealed carry course complete with training not only in gun safety, shooting, but in the laws and how they apply to personal defense.  This is important.  Guns are not the first resort.

We received our training materials, a book and several DVDs.  After reading the book and viewing the videos at least two times, hubby and I went over a practice test.  I had managed to improve my accuracy in shooting so I was least as ready as possible.

The day came, and with butterflies running rampant in my stomach, we walked into the classroom.  The very first thing was a 20-question written test.  I passed...with a 95.  We had a gun safety lecture, an oral test and target practice.  So far so good.  Then came the shooting qualification.  

We had to fire a certain number of rounds into the target.  I can do problem, right?  Well, let me tell you that practice is practice, but the test is totally different.  The instructor stands there and tells you how many shots to fire in a given number of seconds from different starting positions.  

I was waiting my turn, watching the others and getting more and more nervous.  "I don't belong here" I said to my husband.  The pressure was on!  We were the last two to shoot, and you know what nervous waiting does to one's ability to think?  Yep, I blanked on everything I had learned.  My hands were shaking and my mouth was like paste in spite of two cups of water before entering the range.  I stood wrong, held the gun wrong, rushed my shots.  You name it, I screwed it up.  I didn't know how many shots I had fired, or how many had hit the target.  I was feeling pretty down and afraid I had failed and failure was not acceptable.  Everyone else had passed.  I was afraid I would be the only one not to pass because I was so nervous.  Did I mention that all but a few people in the class were our friends?  More pressure!

You can imagine my relief when he handed me the target and said "here you go, you passed".  It was over and I got my certificate.  The pressure I felt was all pressure I put on myself.  Still, I'm glad I did it for the sense of accomplishment.  We can do whatever we set out to do.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is Spiders.  It is now day 5; only 25 days left, to check out these great stories.

Ack, this is a really big spider!  Meet our house guest for the weekend.  He (or she) was a really good house guest (for the sake of the story we will assume it's a male).

We were visiting with friends for the weekend, and we had our choice of sleeping quarters, so we chose the accommodations at the top of the road because the A/C was supposed to be COLD, and with me being just short of volcanic, I figured that would be best.

In the main cabin we had dinner, drank wine and talked, as good friends do.  Our hostess's charming aunt and uncle, who lived nearby, joined us as we waited for the last couple to arrive.  The wine flowed, stories were told, and the evening wound down in anticipation of the next day's activities.

We walked back to the trailer, and shortly after getting settled in for the evening, we discovered our house guest.  Wow, that's a big spider (loud exclamation) and then "where's my camera".  Now I'm not afraid of spiders, but I would greatly prefer that they remain outside, and I will use lethal force against a home invasion of the eight-legged critters.  One this size, though, I prefer to just persuade to leave, and by that I mean have my husband remove him.  We grabbed a broom to entice him out the front door.  Alas, our attempts to evict him failed, as he skillfully evaded us under a bookcase or some other piece of furniture where we couldn't get to him.  

This was probably the hottest weekend we could have possibly chose to get together.  Now that doesn't have anything to do with the spider who probably didn't care one way or another that we were there, and the trailer was now cool.

What, you ask, did we do now?  Well, I'll tell you.  Nothing!  We went down the hall and went to bed.  We never saw him again.  The funny thing was that a member of our group had an intense fear dislike of spiders, however, I couldn't resist showing our house guest's portrait the following morning.  Apparently everyone chose the appropriate sleeping quarters.

And now for everyone who hates spiders.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Quote of the Week

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is Behind the Wheel.  Today is the 4th day into this 30-day challenge.  Only 26 to go!

Another way to solve the traffic problems of this country is to pass a law that only paid-for cars be allowed to use the highways.  - Will Rogers

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Will Rogers (1879 - 1935) a vaudeville performer, actor, humorist and an American cowboy was probably the best known celebrities during the 1920s and 1930.  He died in a small plane crash in Alaska in 1935.

Back in 1935 life was different, things costs less, and salaries were less too.  Here are some examples: A car cost $580 and gas was 19 cents a gallon.  A loaf of bread and a gallon of milk were 8 cents and 47 cents, respectively.  Your house was around $6,300 and your salary around $1,500.  During the 1930s there were approximately 2.7 million cars sold compared with an estimated 254 million cars on the road today.  With that in mind, it seems odd that there would have been enough people behind the wheel for traffic to have been an issue over 75 years ago.

With more cars being built and sold today, the average price being some 50 times greater than in 1935 and car loans being up to 6 years, the concept of not allowing unpaid for cars on the road is unfathomable.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

So I Thought I Could Dance?

 Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is They played my song.

The night they played my song!  Or better yet, the night I embarrassed myself by turning into Disco Duck.   We were at a friend's wedding reception.  You know the fancy kind at the country club with an open bar and a dance floor...need I say more?  I do?  OK, the kind where the bride's father just smiles and empties his wallet, and then when asked about the reception, just turns his pockets inside out.  Yeah, that kind.

We knew a small handful of people there, but with the open bar, were enjoying ourselves.  Finally, I got hubby to join me on the dance floor.  I don't remember what was playing at first.  It didn't matter. It was a chance to dance, and, social occasions being few and far between, I liked to take full advantage.  

I expect the first few dances were the slow kind were you just kind of hug around in a circle on the dance floor, trying not to step on each others' feet.
And then, all of a sudden as if by magic, or as if they could read my mind...wait for it...

Stayin' Alive from Saturday Night Fever.  At the first note there was instant recognition, my eyes lit up, I grinned, and my feet took on a life of their own.  Everyone else disappeared.  It was just me and the music.  I no longer cared what anyone thought, or how ridiculous I must look.  I had to dance.  I had the moves.  I was in the groove. 

Sadly, the night was nearly at it's end, and the party was winding down.  I remember thinking it was cruel to play that at the end of the evening when I was just getting started.

As we made our way to the car, my feet, that were happily ready to dance the night away, now without the pull of the music, were sore and aching.  So much for Disco Duck.

We made some good memories, and I still love to dance when I get the chance.

This is what you get when I write at 1:30 a.m.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mental Roadblock

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is A Roadblock.

There are all kinds of roadblocks.  The ones we see on the street are easily overcome by a detour directing us around the event that caused the blockage.  

Bloggers face roadblocks too.  We stare at blank screens until our eyes glaze over like the remnants of yesterday's donuts.  We mark out endless lines of slumber-inducing stories written after too much indulgence has turned our brains too mush.  Mental roadblocks are the worst because there are no detours, no signs and no one directing our mental traffic around the barricades.

Now let's check in with Bonnie Blogger to see what's on her mind.

Nothing.  That's what's on my mind.  It's blank!  My mind is a total blank.  I am supposed to write a post every day for 30 days and what have I got?  This is only day 2 and I am blanking out. I've got nothing here.  Geez, what was I thinking? 

What I thought was that having a goal would help me get back on track, get back to my blogging roots.  I mean you can only depend on picture posts for so long.  But no!  I have a list of 30 pre-selected topics and I totally freeze.  The cheese has already been devoured, and the next course food-related topic isn't until day 12.

I can probably use my cats for days 7 & 10.  Day 8 is easy, and 18 is probably good too.  Day 30 is a common saying around here. 

There should be a day devoted to wine.  Oh wait, I think that's day 26, and I don't know if I can hang on that long.  Who came up with these crazy prompts anyway?  I know, I know, they asked for suggestions, but did I offer any?  Noooo, I just sat back and waited to see what the powers that be decided we should write about.  

I could be writing about a tropical paradise, about lying in a hammock sipping exotic drinks from a pineapple with fancy little paper umbrellas and being fanned by handsome natives whose only English consists of "yes" and "would you like another"?

I could be writing about...well you get the idea.  But no, I had to wait and see.  Therefore, I am at the mercy of two insane creative folks and their equally insane creative list of topics.  All of which are barring my way to scoring the coveted 500 point post.  Major mental roadblock in progress.

Likely by the time this is over I'll need to get on the waiting list for therapy since I hear those who took part in the last challenge are still there.  

So, there sits Bonnie Blogger, gulping copious amounts of drinking wine and weeping over an crumb-covered plate once filled with cheese, desperately wishing she had two mildly amusing words to put together.

Friday, June 1, 2012

More Cheese, Please

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is cheese.

Cheese, cheese, beautiful cheese
Provolone, Swiss and Edam

Colby, Jack and Muenster, too
You just can't beat 'em

A plate of Havarti, creamy and fine
So lovely with a glass of wine

For my pizza I gotta say
Mozzarella makes my day

Gouda, oh Gouda, smokey or plain
Drives my Quesadillas insane

Mac and cheese down on the farm
With lots of Cheddar and a little Parm

What more can I say about this food prepared from the pressed curd of milk?  More cheese, please!