Showing posts from 2013


I don’t recommend moving at Christmas time. It’s not much fun the rest of the year, but a holiday move has got to be high on the stress level list. On the other hand, it’s probably no worse than trying to celebrate the holidays, knowing that you need to move and don’t have a place to go to. In the end, I’m glad we bit the bullet and completed the move before Christmas.
We finished clearing our old residence on Friday night, but the speed of the move meant our packing was less than organized. Exhausted, we slumped in our recliners and had a dinner of chips and dips. We rallied on Saturday morning and began finding essential items – coffee was first on the list. We managed to clear a space in the living room for a Christmas tree, although the lights were MIA. Calico finally gave up looking and bought some more. I got online and ordered a Wacom drawing tablet for Miss Muffin with promised delivery of Monday – for an extra shipping fee, of course. We spent the days before Christmas alter…

Questions and Answers

The headless snowmobiler was winter’s answer to harvest tales of Ichabod Crane.  

Do these snow pants make my butt look big?  

“She was last seen headed down that path singing Follow The Yellow Brick Road.”
“Hmm, all I see is a brown dog and a yellow trickle.”


Apologies to anyone, who may have owned and loved a doll like this. Something about her face is just downright creepy!

Red didn’t want to face the bargain bin, especially for a third year. Maybe some little girl would see that beauty was only plastic deep.

Nobody would buy those strange dolls. In desperation, the manager offered a cash bonus for the employee who sold the most.

Who could reproach the creativity of an associate, who sold out the lot by posting a single sign?

This week’s word was reproach

'Tis The Season

For 10 years, they’d lived so close, but never met ‘til they spent a frigid night in a store lot, waiting for the Black Friday sale to open.

Sue grinned as she rode by in a packed sleigh. She’d ripped the last SliceDice from her hands and tripped him as he raced towards the toys.
Two robust thugs waited around the bend for the sleigh.
Quick shopping and no lines!

Happy Thanksgiving

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today as I remember Thanksgiving past. No, I’m not thinking about dinner at my grandparents with tons of relatives and a huge stuffed turkey. While they are fine memories, my mind has settled on my first Thanksgiving in Georgia, where I spent most of the long weekend outside in my shorts and tank top, marveling at the late November flowers and basking in the sunshine. That’s a far cry from today, where the temperature was in the teens last night and forecasted highs won’t exceed the thirties.
I’d be ready to head back to Atlanta, but friends there reported snow yesterday. My brother in Florida has fifty degree temps– a bit warmer, but I doubt he’ll be serving dinner on the lanai. My childhood home in northern Vermont is winning the frigid contest, however, with a wind-chilled temp of 0 degrees. Vermonters are hardy stock, however. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they are headed out for a round of skiing to balance out the Thanksgiving overload.

Toil and Trouble

Sit down and let the boys steer. If you had any aptitude for the job, we’d still be on the ship.  

“They think we’re going the wrong way?”
“When they meet the natives, they’ll stew over their error.”
“At least it won’t be dog stew.” (131)

Different Drums

Golden Oldies aren’t always so golden. Sometimes I catch myself grimacing as I wonder why I had ever loved a song. 
Different Drum doesn’t fit that category. Whenever I hear Linda Ronstadt belting out the lyrics, I get nostalgic for the days when it seemed that nothing could “pull the reins in on me”. Some of that spirit has stuck through the years and more than one person has called me a rebel. Rebellion has never been my intent, however, I just strongly believe in following my heart.
Decades later, I am pleased to watch Miss Muffin develop a strong sense of self. At least I am most of the time. When it comes to homeschooling, we’ve had a few clashes. I’d like her to do her daily assignments in a specific order. She has other ideas. We’ve had more than one negotiating session to reach a compromise. 
I’d love to see her learn a musical instrument. I dedicated myself to the piano at an early age and never seriously considered another instrument until I started playing with an autoharp …

Lofty Thoughts

A Touch of Spice
Snowball loved birds – preferably with a pinch of sage and a hint of cilantro. 

Better Think Twice
Nestled in the pines, the birds were twittering. “He thinks he’ll catch us like that? What a catbrain idea!” 

It Sounded Nice
Cozy starter home with view.
Real estate ads could be so misleading.

Clothes Make the Dog

Please Don’t Bite Toby loved his costume until he was chased through a vacant lot by monsters carrying chopped onions and hot sauce.   
No Girls Tonight Rex had hoped for a costume that made him look hot, but this was not what he’d had in mind.  (91)
Getting It Right I told you to hold the mustard!

For the Price of One . . .

Since I didn’t get to an entry last week, I decided to do double duty this week.

In her first swinging competition, keen skills defeated an older opponent. Future Olympic gold would pale in comparison to this moment.

The thrill of victory. The agony of no feet.

Stop! The restrooms are right over there.

“I started feeling poorly after I ate a bowl of stew.”

“Hmm. Sounds like a classic case of stuporitis.”

Cavoodlin’ In New Zealand

Cavoodlin’? What’s that? Could it be a new type of sport? Or is it a euphemism for something a bit risqué? No, it’s just Grandma getting a bit of a canine education. That’s the story in a nutshell, but read on for the unedited version.
Let me assure you that we’re not in the market for another dog. We adore our border collie. While, at the age of eleven years, he’s showing a few signs of slowing down, we’re hoping to enjoy him for many more years. While purusing some sites on New Zealand, however, I saw a link to “Cavoodle Puppies for Sale”. I had to learn more. What the heck is a Cavoodle?
When I checked out some pictures, I found that Cavoodles look a lot like a dog we had many years ago. Cupcake had been originally been named Satin by my daughter. There was nothing satiny about her curly, tousled coat, so I’m not sure what prompted the choice. But she was as sweet as a cupcake and that was the name that stuck. She had such youthful enthusiasm that folks were always asking to pat o…

Vive la différence

“Leggings!” “Striped socks!”
Clearly, the fashion designers didn’t see eye to eye.  

“I have a gut instinct about this.”
“No need for instincts, just use your head.”

Slim lost 50 lbs on a yam diet, but Shorty gained weight. Guess no one told him that butter, brown sugar and marshmallows weren’t included.  

Who would win the fight? Some spectators favored Jeff and his low blows, while others believed that Mutt had the upper hand.

Bad Decisions

He could have wagered a myriad of personal belongings. Why had he opted for his horse and buggy?  

He knew models must have good posture, but this was not what he’d envisioned, when he paid $5,000 for an online supermodel course. 

It had seemed like a harmless flirtation until his enraged spouse evicted him. Now he lived on Drury Lane with only a platter for shelter.

Growing Up

Jimmy successfully climbed the slide, but his gymnastics career had an electrifying end, when he mistook a live wire for an uneven bar.
As a kid, Otis had been full of energy.
As an adult, he spent his days sitting on the dock of the bay.
Harvey was the butt of everyone’s jokes. He wondered if this was related to something in his childhood.

Genre Confusion

Sci Fi It had been a tranquil Sunday afternoon. Then a child, touched by a luminous alien proboscis, ran for his life and shattered their reverie.  
Legal Thriller
As a boy, he was always being chased by cops. No one dreamed he’d become a criminal defense attorney, now facing the case of a lifetime.
As a toddler, she’d admired him from a distance. Twenty years later, the age gap had closed, but he was still oblivious to her adoration.  
Superhero Bob needed to run faster if he was going to save the day. 
(Maybe he should get a fast car . . . and a driver’s license!)

Girls Will Be Girls

Calico’s birthday was Monday, but we were all feeling too sick to celebrate properly. Today, we’re working on rectifying that. I suggested a restaurant dinner, but Calico says she’s not feeling up to it. I suspect she’s afraid that I’ll tell our server and she’ll end up surrounded by singing employees as some DJ wannabe announces it to the whole restaurant! Looks like it will be a home celebration. Top on our list of things to do, is the birthday girl’s favorite cake, a dense cocoa based cake, frosted with chocolate icing and served with, what else?, chocolate ice cream.
It occurred to me that chocolate is one of the few things about us that screams “girly”. Our living room with its three dark recliners could just as easily be a man den. Both Calico and I have chosen careers that are dominated by men. We’re more comfortable in jeans and sneakers than dresses and heels. There’s an endless list of little things that you’d be more likely to find in an all guy house than an all girl one.…


“If the other horses plague you, just walk away.”
Mom’s advice wasn’t always practical.  

School wasn’t hard. He was keeping right on track. 

Revolution didn’t always mean change.


Tighter Than A Glove
“He’s testing some newfangled adhesive. I think they should call it Super Glue.”  

Neither Sideways Nor Above
It was a tough career. First he’d hit a glass ceiling. Now, he’d got stuck making a lateral move. 
Unrequited Love
The man was irksome. She stayed inside, pretending she didn’t hear his ardent plea: “I’m really stuck on you.”

The Perfect Fit

Too Small
“I don’t carry shoes that big, Ma’am.” “Maybe if I push harder. That old woman who lives down the lane gets lots of children in her shoe.”

Too Big
His delighted sisters watched him disappear into the giant shoe. Sadly, EMT’s brought an x-ray machine to locate and retrieve him.

Just Right
One salesman fetched shoes. Another chased her raucous kids. Mama sat and relaxed. She hated the shoes, but loved the free childcare.

School is in Session

Campus was a hive of activity last week as the university finished its last freshman orientation session and weathered “Great Move in Day”, the day when students return to the dormitories. Many of the 2,000 incoming freshmen were accompanied by parents. A fair number of these arrived from out of state and some from international locations. I cringed to think about the cost of airline tickets. Orientation sessions have been held throughout the summer and these are attended by both student and parents. Just a few weeks later, they are making the trip again. I had to hope that they knew how to find good deals on airfare.
I learned about shopping for airline tickets the hard way. During the three year period that Calico and I were separated by a thousand miles, I flew north at least once a month for a weekend visit. At first, I just called the airline and gave my credit card information. A friend, who travelled frequently, showed me the value of making multiple phone calls. The first age…


Years of playing pinball had altered his perception of the world. 

He’d ignored the doctor’s warnings about excess weight until he leaned against a pole and put the entire planet in jeopardy.  
Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane… ** wipes eye ** No, it’s a bird.


Ready To Compete?
Mark, Seth and Ringo, aka On Your Mark, Get Seth, and Go, were prepared to win.  
Losing His Feet?
Spotting the infamous pool cryptid, two divers stopped just in time. Zippy was not so fortunate.
Getting A Treat?
Neither snow nor rain nor heat, not to mention a pool, would stop them from reaching the ice cream truck first. 

Hungry as a Lion

The sign said MGM. Did that stand for Mighty Good Meals?  
The no frill production lacked a dressing room and the props made B_grade look lavish. The two snacks were nerdish, but probably tasty.  
Interesting idea, but he preferred teeth to knives.  

Is this a roar or a very satisfied burp?

Botanical Faux Pas

Mommy’s sick. I bet this pretty flower will make her stuffy nose feel better.  

A budding botany career ended abruptly, when a ten-legged bug crawled up the quizzical child’s arm.

All Wet

Blue skies and sunshine? Time to elect a new weatherman. 

Might as well head home. This wasn’t an auspicious day for a bottled water vendor. 

The weather had been perfect. Until she decided to wear her new shoes.  

Kernels of Truth

A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.  

Knee high by the 4th of July? Chin high worked just fine for Nutty. 


Ship Wreck
Viewed from a piece of floating wreckage, the tiny island had seemed like an oasis. A year of coconuts had tarnished that vision.  
Financial Wreck
Bad investments led to an eviction from his jungle paradise. Now he was so poor he couldn’t even afford a free bankruptcy consultation.
What The Heck
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. What the heck could he do with a coconut?

Fiscal Fitness

Exercise used to be free. As a kid, I jumped rope, climbed trees, played tag and explored the woods behind our house. I grew up and switched to long distance bicycle jaunts and hiking to stay fit. Even with the cost of my three-speed bicycle, exercise was still cheap.
Over the years, that has changed a lot. My friend bemoaned the cost of sports fees for four athletic children. Hundreds of dollars to play baseball? What happened to a ball and bat on the back lawn? Dance class fees are exorbitant and that’s before they sock you with costume, recital and other special fees.
Yesterday, a friend Facebooked that she had started doing yoga. I figured that was an activity that shouldn’t be too pricey. Wrong again. She’s out trying to find yoga blocks, a mat, rings and balls. The mat needs a carrying bag or strap, the pillows and bolsters need covers and the balls (three types) need bases and a pump. Then, of course, there is the cost of instructional materials. Yikes! I’ll stick to walking.


With fingers as numb as her smiling lips, the model wished for a smaller camera, even though engineers claimed it was impossible.  

Times were tough, but the Joneses kept up appearances. She dressed as a maid and hid his bag lunch in a camera case.

No Drive

Everyone has their skills. We have our weak spots too. I’ve always been a bit car illiterate. Sure, I know how to drive. After forty years of accident-free driving, auto insurers love me, although the metal fabrication industry may be less than enthusiastic about my record. When it comes to repairs, however, I’m both clueless and unmotivated. In my youth, my dad took care of repairs. When I got married, the torch was passed to my husband. Nothing prepared me for my first venture into a repair shop.
“You need new joints, Ma’am”.
Considering my arthritic knees, I wasn’t in a position to argue, but what did that have to do with my car?

The mechanic saw my bewildered look. “You need a CV joint repair.” “It just clicks a bit. Can’t you squirt some oil on it?”
For just one second, his face appeared incredulous. Then he grabbed pen and paper and began a lecture as endless as my college chemistry professor’s. My mind drifted to that evening’s dinner as he rambled on about everything except my…


Our three cats are part of the family, but yesterday, I was thinking of sitting all of them next to the curb with a sign reading “Free to Good ANY Home”. 
Our new recliners already are showing signs of kitty claw punctures. Our youngest cat loves to tear down the hall, streak across the living room and leap to the back of a recliner. He’s got the timing down, rarely pulling this stunt when we are there to scold him. No, he waits until the early morning hours. It’s hard to sleep through the sound of his rampage, but by the time we get out of bed, he’s sitting sweetly by the window. “Who? Me?” his innocent expression asks.
I console myself with the knowledge that we didn’t purchase pricey chairs. That doesn’t go well with either pets or small children. Still, I’d hoped they’d keep that new perfection for just a little longer. We had a hard time finding the right table and, when we did, it wasn’t inexpensive. We squirted any cats who tried to jump up on it and thought we had won the bat…

The Price of Fame

Sunny had always been the hub of attention.Even with the shades, the paparazzi wouldn’t leaf him alone.

Small Fry

Fresh From The Deli
Breakfast and lunch looked delicious, but where was dinner?

Maybe A Belly?
“Have you seen Junior, Goldie?”
“No. I hope he hasn’t gotten into something.”

Said With A Sigh
Appearances to the contrary, I don’t think we see eye to eye.

Never Say Die
Smokey began the ancient feline ritual: hug ‘em and chug ‘em. 

The Best Things in Life

I looked around an apartment stacked high with unpacked boxes and wondered what I had gotten myself into.  
When I'd made the decision to move, I'd felt confident that it was the right choice.  My job had been secure, but with little chance of advancement.  I wanted to continue my education, but lived hours away from the closest university. I spent my nights working in a position that had limited human contact and my days caring for my toddler and trying to catch a little sleep.   Far too little sleep.  I was constantly exhausted and knew that something had to change.  
A year of searching for another position convinced me that I wouldn't find it in my rural and economically depressed community.  I began to widen my search.  When I was offered a position with a university, it seemed like a dream come true.  I would even receive free tuition benefits.  The dream had just one catch; it was over four hundred miles away from my family and friends. I decided to take a risk.

Diner King

It was blatantly obvious that Elvis hadn’t left the building. 
No peanut butter and banana sandwiches? What kind of restaurant was this? 
Life was fickle. Once he had been hailed as King, now he was sitting next to a rack of cigar magazines.

Blue Suede Shoes? These things feel more like stone.

Paws for Thought

This isn’t a litter box?

Green eyes? Definitely.
Green thumb? Not really.

Where had Tom gone this time?
That gadabout should be home mowing the lawn.

Mother's Day Agendas

Dad’s Agenda
Help kids make breakfast, watch them play, have dinner at his Mom’s house. He’s no chauvinist! 

Mom’s Agenda
Clean kitchen, retrieve naked kids from front lawn, apologize to neighbors and help his mother cook a big meal. Liberation? What’s that?

Paul and Polly

Paul couldn’t believe his eyes. So much junk coalesced into one tiny space, but not a single cracker.  
Polly wanted the cigars. Smoke? No way. These premium cigars were made from chocolate. She wasn’t sure why kids called them Tootsie Rolls.
He felt very clever as he hid behind a pinwheel to catch the thieving parrots. Not so clever, when a breeze spun it into his eye.   I’ve heard the phrase, but I never really heard a parrot say it. Until now.

Car-tesian Intersection

Squash that Bug! 

“Your tires need air. Your oil is low. Get a wash.”
He should tell Red to get off his back, but he was too yellow. 

Red always vied for top place. (30)

A Good Education

After my freshman year in college, I took a job as a waitress in the dining room of a local hotel. Prior to that time, my only restaurant and hotel experience had been as a customer. I had never thought about the people, supplies and planning needed to make a hotel or restaurant successful. 
Although I was smart enough not to voice my opinion, I considered myself superior to many of the permanent employees. For me, it was a temporary job; they were permanently stuck in these no-brainer positions.
The manager of the dining area must have heard my unspoken words. She never discussed my attitude, but that summer I got an education I hadn’t planned on. She started by teaching waitressing skills and I learned it took some smarts to correctly “read” my customers and tailor my service to their needs. It took a good memory as well. Soon I was in awe of a waitress, who could take orders for a table of twenty and never make an error, even when the diners kept changing their minds. 
After I had…

No Hang Ups for Apple

I caught up on tech news as I sipped my morning coffee. It’s been seven years since I left the IT workforce and this is one of the ways that I try to keep current. It’s not always an effective technique. The speed of change in technology frequently leaves my head spinning and I’ve considered having a scarlet “D” (that’s for dinosaur) placed on my forehead. 
This morning, however, I had no trouble understanding the news that Apple had prevailed over Google in an iPhone-related dispute. The case, filed by Motorola Mobility in 2010 and inherited by Google with its purchase of that company last year, revolved around touch screen capabilities that sense the location of the user’s head and prevent head movement from causing an inadvertent hang up. 
It brought back memories of my first cell phone. Although it didn’t have a touch screen, it had the usual buttons, including the one that ended a call. Although I am not known for physical coordination, I could unerringly hit that disconnect but…

The Baker

I know times are tough, but I suspect you’ve got stolen dough in your backpack. I hope you’ll rise to the occasion and confess your crime.  
I sent you to the store, so why are you staring at the water? Did you get everything that I knead?  
You fed the entire batch of bread to the ducks? I’m gonna punch you down, girl.  
No, I don’t think your brain is filled with sawdust. The last time the doctor used his otoscope, he could only see flour. 

Autumnal Thoughts

“Why is Junior laying down?”
“He heard he was a Fall leaf.”  
Mrs. Oak became discontent with her bronze attire after seeing her neighbors saturated in gold. Any Olympic viewer knew the difference. 
He was wrinkled, brittle and needed a prop to stay upright. Getting old was tough, but it beat what came next.