Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday 55

Even I came out of the kitchen long enough to write a story in 55 words. Make sure you let the G-Man know you came to play.

"Are you done yet? he asked
as she sat at the computer.

How could she sit there for so long,
fingers flying over the keys?

It was like text messaging.
He didn't get it.
Why type on a phone?
Just call.

"Don't worry," she smiled.
"Your German Chocolate Birthday Cake
is already on the counter."

Today is hubby's birthday, so help yourself to a virtual slice of the German Chocolate cake I made him last night and have a great weekend!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Microfiction Monday

With a mere 140 characters, use Susan's photo of the week to tell a story. Then make sure you tell her you played. Come on! It's fun!

You want me to pull WHAT out of my hat?
Look, I'm taking Alice to the Wonderland Ball,
so don't make me late for my very important date.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

From Leprechaun's Pot to Cooking Pots

Here I go again. Asking questions and knowing the answers will leave me scratching my head wondering how I'm going to get myself out of the mess I've created. Your views on the Leprechaun's pot of gold killed my original story...and yet, they gave birth to a story which was just as fun. Thanks! (And yes, I will be torturing you with said story at a later date. Say March 17th).

I will begin with yet another disclaimer: I know that Americans with one drop of Irish in their DNA (and I don't mean Guinness) go absolutely crazy celebrating St. Patrick's Day. My question this time doesn't pertain to the Americanization of St. Patrick or Boston's green beer. It has to do with food.

I'm in need of suggestions for dishes to serve the senior citizens at their March 16th "St. Patrick's Day" luncheon. And before anyone suggests corned beef and cabbage, the group has already requested I not "stink up the kitchen with the smell of cooking cabbage."

You think that's bad? Try cooking and having 20 grandmotherly types telling you 20 different ways to prepare what you're in the middle of preparing. I learned early on to listen, smile, say, "Isn't that interesting?"...and then continue with what I was doing.

So when YOU think of Irish cooking, what dishes spring to mind? And yes, recipes gratefully accepted.

You people really are the best! And in your honor, I promise not to wear a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish!" button to lunch.

Although technically, I do have the genetic DNA to back it up.

Oh and Thom? We're also doing a Hawaiian Luau lunch at the end of March.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday 55

Our snow was brief, meaning my fingers thawed out in time to write a story in 55 words. You really ought to try this. Better than a shrink and cheaper too. And when you do, make sure you let the G-Man know you came to play.

“What’s that?” Sam asked, pointing at his friend’s list.

Bill Gates
John Q. Public
Auto makers
AIG Executives
Pharmaceuticals prevent this from working
In cahoots with pharmaceuticals
What I want to be when I grow up

“My childhood is calling. Some things never change.”

Rich man
Poor man
Beggar man
Indian chief

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Question for the Irish Amongst Ye...only those with sense of humor need apply

Okay, be forewarned. It's a silly question. Not so much an "American" question as one born of curiosity. Curiosity... with a plan.

Each month I write a newsletter for my senior citizens and on the back, to fill a big block of space, I began writing what they like to refer to as, "Ah, your little stories that we love."

Yeah, I know. Just how every adult who writes likes to hear their work described.

Anyway, I've been writing their newsletter for 16 years and to say March has been portrayed every way possible is an understatement. So I'm working on a "new" angle to give them a giggle, which calls for a very silly question:

How large is the pot of gold that Leprechaun is guarding at rainbow's end?


Sure. Go ahead. Laugh. Get it out of your system. Done?

Yes, I do know it's a legend.

Yes, I understand that legends are just fun stories passed on for eons to entertain. Or to make Americans buy souvenirs.

But seriously, I have a plan. No. Really. As one who is mathematically challenged, I need dimensions. You can even forgo height/width/circumference if you can give me an educated "guess" as to the volume of that pot.

As I sit here envisioning you, my lovely reader, doing one of the following: [a] rolling your eyes [b] illustrating ROFLMAO [c] removing yourself from my "Followers" list or [d] expecting MENSA member Susan to do all the work for you, I beg for mercy.

Come on. We all had grandparents. Can't you give me one more reason to make my group smile? After all, they didn't get a raise in their government checks either...they need something to smile about.

For those of you who actually read to the end, I thank you.

The rest of can get off the floor now, sit back in your chairs and continue with business as usual.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fiction so Micro it's....hard to even see

My fiction is missing..don't frown.
We drove to an Island...not town.
Here's one final shot.
A woman quite hot.
But wanting to nap, she fell down.

She stood proud for the picture.
30 minutes later,
she had toppled over sideways and was lying on her side.
And no, it wasn't my idea to make her a girl. Or give her ta-tas.

Sorry I missed Microfiction Monday, but Hubby, DaBoys and myself hopped in the truck and headed to Edisto Island this morning. Yes, it is quite nippy for a beach retreat, especially when said beach had 3 inches of snow too. However, our mission was too good to pass up.

A trade. The bartering system at it's very best. Since I was off today [Thank you Presidents!] I got to tag along instead of waiting to see what had happened when I got home from work.

Hubby's friend is a fishing guide on Edisto Island, which is beautiful in the summer time. But right now, between the economy and the weather, it's been rather bleak. So last night, the buddy called and said he had "a little something" for hubby.

I always like that call.

So we loaded the truck with venison hamburger, breakfast sausage, and snack sticks and traded for the Island's clams, oysters, shrimp and some flounder. This couple is really back to nature: as in grows most of their food, keeps bee hives, chickens for eggs, no get the picture. They live far away from the maddening crowd, so grocery shopping is quite the trip. When you want to take it. The lady of the house is expecting, so we brought a "baby to be" basket loaded with baby lotions/shampoos/body wash, a comb and brush, nail clippers and scissors, baby wipes and "natural" disposable diapers. [The things they have now they didn't have when I babysat!]. We brought their 7 year old daughter a tiny bag with a few treats; not too many sweets as this sweetie is home schooled and believes in "natural" only. With the weather being really odd lately [and them with no t.v.], we added a weather radio to the bounty. Now the fishing guide has tides and wind speed at his fingertips and I feel better knowing the "alert" will go off if bad weather is approaching the women folk at home while he's out with customers.

By the time we got BACK in the truck, they were so happy with their "extras", that they shared even more. We have honey from their bees and a dozen fresh eggs, courtesy of the chickens. The daughter drew me a lovely picture AND let me sit in her playhouse: a genuine pine tree teepee which she helped construct! I promised to return in the spring for the Orange tree the wife wanted to gift me with, one she'd grown from the seeds of ancient orange trees on the island...because the dogs were taking up all the room in the backseat of the truck and it was getting ready to rain. And rain it did. All the way home.

Who says trading isn't fun? Everyone got what they hoped for...and a little more.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

And it's outta here

By mid afternoon, with the exception of the sun shielded side of the house, the snow had melted. Which is fine with me. I'm just glad the entire roadway didn't turn into a sheet of ice. So here's one parting shot, for Susan. It's not the old gal out front, but one of her siblings on the side of the house, facing the field our former Romeo used to go see his gal.

Justify Full

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Guest Blogger

Usually you wouldn't find me asking anyone to "Guest blog" here. But today is unusual. You see, yesterday it snowed, something I haven't seen in my neck of the woods for 10 years. In fact, the weather guy says it's the biggest snow we've had, statewide, in 30 years. I know, 5" isn't much to most of you but considering we usually see snowflakes fall and melt on contact, it was interesting. The nice thing about southern snow is that it makes our world lovely, bringing everything to a complete standstill because we aren't equipped to handle it and smart people don't drive because too many idiots will try to...and fail. A snowy day here is like Christmas for wrecker services. We play in it for a while and by the next morning, if not by that very afternoon, it's melted and gone. The only downside is that it's melting as we speak and tonight's low will turn it all to ice.

But this morning we took pictures and my oldest kid, Smokey, asked if he could tell you all about it. After all, he was only a year old for his first snow here and now at the ripe old age of 11 and a half [in people years], he'd like to walk you around.

Hi, Smokey Joe here.
I'm suppose to give you a tour of my territory.
But you know how people are,
they have to take pictures of EVERYTHING.
This is my dog house.
I share it with my son Bou and our two humans, who we'll refer to as "Dad" and "Mom" just to make it easier on me.
Typing's not my strong suit.
Dad thinks we should sleep outside
but thankfully Mom allows me to curl up on the couch with her while they watch t.v..
Personally I don't care for "American Idol"
but it makes them laugh.
Laughter is the human equivalent of tail wagging.
Bou is content to lie on something called a
"Dog Bed" in front of the fireplace.

This is my kid, Bou.
It's his first snow.
He looks as confused as I did the
first time I stomped around in that weird white stuff on the grass.
First thing I taught the kid:
No matter how many times they insist, never SIT in the snow.

Before I go on, Mom asked that I share some "artistic" shots.
Fancy human term for snow covered stuff no one cares about but her.
These are some hay bales across the field from us.
The field served as a shortcut to my girl friend's house
but she's given up on men. So I gave up pining for her.

Mom says a guy named steven in Canada will enjoy this one.
Like they don't have snow in Canada all the time?

She also said to ask Thom if his
Hawaiian hammock ever looked like this.
Oh, and Susan.
Mom said to tell you she wrote "Hi Susan" under the big pecan tree out front
but the photo didn't come out with enough definition.
Whatever that means.

Now, back to us.
This morning Dad asked if we wanted to play catch.
I love to retrieve!
And after 6 years, Bou's finally decided he's a Labrador Retriever too.
For a while,
we thought all he knew how to do was stroll towards stuff.
Humans are tricky.
I should've known something was up when Dad didn't throw my yellow tennis ball.
I couldn't BELIEVE I couldn't find that white ball.

After Dad threw the 3rd one,
I remembered what snowballs were.

Good catch, huh?
Bou was utterly amazed. Speechless even.

The kid tried.
Think he caught 1 out of 15.

I caught one more, just to show him how it's done.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going in to take a nap.
And if I'm lucky, I'll get to the couch first,
while Mom is posting this.
Sometimes a guy just needs to stretch out and snooze.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday 55

Can you write a story in 55 words? I bet you can. And when you do, make sure you let the G-Man know you came to play.

He was the first man in her life.
Well, not counting male relatives.

His name was Ele.

Ele was attentive. Always listened.
They went everywhere together.
Outdoor events.
Afternoon tea.
Best of all, he made her laugh.

And even though he’d retired one day,
she’d kept him around.

Why? Because Ele still made her smile.

Sitting in the Sun with Ele the Elephant.

Afternoon Tea

Giggling towards sweet dreams

And yes, I really do still have him.
He's napping in my hope chest.
Perhaps he'll make an appearance here on Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Microfiction Monday

With a mere 140 characters, craft a tale using the photo below. Then make sure you tell Susan you played along. Come on! It's fun.

This week's photo:
Jan was shocked to discover that
her Mom's famous pie recipe wasn't hers,
but pilfered from "Dear Abby".
Party lines were most informative.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Haven't Forgotten You

Nor have I forgotten how to type. It's just been a busy week, complicated by a not-so-lovely reaction to my antibiotics. I will spare you the details, mostly because I can't make an intestinal track at war sound as funny as Dan does.

And to tell you the truth, I'm kinda laying low at the moment. No, not felled by illness. Sort of overcome by the joy which comes when you free yourself from a commitment you really didn't chose to make. No, I haven't found another job. Yet in an odd way, my current job took an interesting turn this week and gave me an opportunity to jump ship on something I never wanted in the first place: being the Chairman of a Committee which I didn't volunteer for which was working me to death with excess work I had to do at home. After work.

Bringing home extra work is not nice for Hubby and DaBoys. It is a killer to one's Blog and creativity to boot.

So this week, even though we got the speech currently so popular in the American workplace, "Our budget has been cut...again. And we'll have to tighten our belts and work weirder hours", things may be looking up. I talked to another agency yesterday and after a few minutes, we realized we could pool our talents and resources to benefit both of our groups of senior citizens. Then I made the decision, after much thought and mental hand wringing, to jettison the one thing sucking the life out of me: the Chairmanship.

Oh, most of you men are rolling your eyes and wondering how hard can it be to say, "Sorry. Too much work of my own to do. Can't do yours too." Women are wired differently. And then add what I lovingly call my Mom's "curse", which has been used, quite effectively, on me since my brain, which never forgot:

If a job is once begun
Never leave it 'til it's done.
Be the labor great or small
Do it well or not at all.

It took doing my job, half of a co-worker's job, a new appointment to a State committee by my Boss and the Chairmanship of a Committee I never wanted to be on to finally make me stand up and scream, "NO MORE!"

Okay, so it was a mental stand and scream moment. Still, it felt good.

So I politely, which Mom also taught us, explained to the group in an e-mail that my plate was beyond full, my workload for my PAYING job had increased and I wasn't someone who did things half way, so I was stepping down.

Interestingly, the area Representative, the guy who hasn't answered my e-mails for guidance in 3 weeks, was the first one to answer with, "You really should reconsider. You're the only one who can lead this team."

Yeah. The team which didn't volunteer either. A team which has dropped from 20 to 8 in five months because they ran out of patience before I ran out of time.

And yet, I feel no guilt. Oh, they'll try but you, my blogger friends, will urge me to remain strong. Mom will even absolve me of guilt because she knows exactly what kind of working conditions I've been experiencing lately. My conscious will allow me an "exception to the rule" moment on "If a job is first begun....". And I will be happy.

Ironically I just got another e-mail, from my poor, stunned Vice Chair, who will have to assume my responsibilities. "Speechless! Are you sure we can't just share the workload?"

I'm sure. Because I've found my voice. And it felt wonderful to say, "Sorry, not this time. But YOU are doing an excellent job!"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Microfiction Monday

With a mere 140 characters, craft a tale using the photo below. Then make sure you tell Susan you played along. Come on! It's fun.

This week's photo:

Dang it Bubba!
Guess there's no mystery how
the hole got there now.

It's OVER the rainbow you idjit.

So much for our gold prospecting trip.