Tag Archives: blogging

Summer

Happy Summertime Folks


I sure have missed my bloggie buddies and I hope to get back into the swing of things soon. My little hiatus was a big yawn and failure. I will probably share more on that another time. I mostly wanted to post something … anything, so I could be back in the groove. So many things going on, not sure what topic will be of the most interest. What do YOU want to read about? Let me know. I’ll conjure up something fun.

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Cheers,

 

Reflections 2021 #atozchallenge ~Letters from the Heart

 

Reflecting on the end of a challenge. One door closes another one opens. What was good? What was bad? What was ugly?  What can be done different? How can things be better?  

 

THE GOOD

Through my Letters from the Heart series I’ve learned a lot about myself.  Other years I’ve participated, but not really participated. It was nice to reconnect with some past bloggy buddies as well as making some new friends. This year I put a little more effort into getting to know my fellow bloggers and what they stand for.  Networking, because isn’t that what blogging is? Bonding with the homogeneous.

As the years pass, as we write and interact with others, we change. Our writing changes, our moods change, our habits change.  Hopefully for the better.

Statistically speaking, I had visitors from 25 different countries, which I think is really cool. I received more comments than I could keep up with and trust me that count is not high.  I found that if you reciprocate, you tend to get more comments.

THE BAD

I really had it in my head to visit every single blog from the Master List. I didn’t do very well at this.  I found myself drawn to certain blogs which I loved.  It happens. Blogging is a clicky little world and you can’t avoid clicks. We all have the same number of hours in a day. What do you want to use those hours on?  I choose to spend mine on things that I enjoy. Unfortunately it didn’t leave a lot of time for exploring and finding new blogs. A few times I did visit blogs that I wouldn’t normally visit, but really didn’t find them enjoyable.  I left comments but for the most part if I didn’t get a response or at least and acknowledgement that I visited, I did not return to the site.

THE UGLY

Which brings me to the things I disliked.  Some of the website links were not user friendly.  A few of the websites I visited I found it to be a chore to actually find the A-Z challenge. Once I maneuvered my way to the actual post it was fine. But still it was an inconvenience that took valuable minutes out of my day. Others neglected to even post at all. If I visit a blog and can’t easily find my way around, if there is no indication that it’s part of the challenge, or  if I can’t find where to leave a comment, chances are I’m not going to visit again. Also if I visit more than once and have to enter my name, email, etc. every time to leave a comment, I probably won’t comment a second time.

DON’T BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW

What to do different? I had intentions of participating in the Road Trip. Unfortunately what I need to do is focus on areas where I need to improve before taking on another commitment. I think I jibber-jabbered about how we all have the same number of hours in a day, and we get to choose what we do with those hours. One of the things I noticed through the challenge this year is it’s much more enjoyable when you form a relationship or bond, per say, with some of your fellow bloggers. It’s important to reciprocate when they take the time to make a comment. I plan to take my own road trip.  I want to go back through all of my comments, not only this year, but all of the previous challenges, and respond to every comment that I neglected. Wish me luck.

COLLABORATION

How to make things better? Free advertising. I’ve included a few of my favorite bloggy buddies’ buttons to the right of the site. If you would to share yours send me your info. I’m at yahoo (everyone really is). We are the world of information. Knowledge at our fingertips.  What do you want to share? (Crackerberries discretion of course). I think that’s what this world needs: more sharing and just being kind. And if you think of it throughout the year, pop in on some of the bloggers you hooked up with and just say “HI”.  A random comment or nod might just be what someone needs to make their day.

That’s my take.  What’s yours?  Have you thought about what your theme for next year will be?  Be sure to leave your reflection link or blog link in the comments. I promise to do my best to come visit you and leave a comment back.

Have a great day!

Cheers,

Y = You and You are NOT the Christ ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Impersonator:

Y is for you, and you are not the Christ. Oh, but to have just one day to be the Christ! Can you imagine all the wrongs you’d right? Of course you wouldn’t do it the way Christ did. Dying on a cross for sinners? Heck no! You’d just snuff ‘em out with an enchanted twitch of your nose or a few hocus pocus words with a swirly twirl of your magic-wand-pen.  No second chances, sinners, you’re gone! Ha ha …now wouldn’t that be fun?

Sometimes you try to play God, point your finger to the ones who are doing wrong.  You try to put things in motion  to turn out a certain way. Sometimes you do things to make other things happen to get you the desired result. How do those times turn out for you? Never very good right?

Remember cutting the Cedar tree limbs because the road was blocked? The neighbors told you they took care of the road. (Course they lied, but you still had to exert your rights). Cops came told you NOT to touch the trees, even though they were on the right of way. “The Jones (not their real name) have a lot of entitlement in these parts.” Shit you not, the officer said so himself.

God took care of it all in the end, but if you had just left it alone instead of exerting YOUR rights, you wouldn’t have so many run-ins with the neighbors.  You also would not have the sheriff’s department giving you a “friendly reminder” every time you decide to start a new project! That name has clout in the these parts…don’t you forget it. You’re a Yankee and the South is gonna do it again (that’s a whole other topic, don’t get started!)

Do you wonder if other people think about having that kind of power? Wonder what it would be like to be the Christ for one day? Isn’t that why writers write? To live in a little bit of fabricated world to set aside the real world humdrums even for a short period of time. That’s why you write when you are writing to entertain yourself.

Even in a good short story with that kind of power you couldn’t handle it. You probably wouldn’t be able to handle three wishes. You’d screw up the first two, then have to use the last one to wish that you never had them in the first place. It’s better to live by these instructions.

1. It is all in God’s hands, you are not the Christ.
2. Any questions, refer to #1.

Thanks for playing along. This was just a silly-willy kind of letter. You were convicted a lot in that last Bible study. It’s good to be humble.  He’s got it all planned and mapped out for you if you just follow His prompting. Don’t try to do it on your own. You’ll mess it up and then you know what happens? 


Your constant and faithful,


I don’t know about you guys but I am ready for a break. Omigosh so many things that I’ve not done around the house. Tomato plants are dying to be transplanted (literally). I sure hope we can all stay in touch if not daily, weekly maybe or monthly. It’s really been nice to have you loyal bloggies come around for a visit.

Xtra Xtra Read All About It! ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

 

 

Dear Barbiella:

Isn’t it funny how sometimes the things you have planned or not planned work out like you had no idea they were going to work out? Be honest here. When you put down Xtra Xtra read all about it on the Theme Reveal List, you had no clue what you were going to write about. You just figured something would come to mind and you would get it done.

Perhaps you were going to use this post to list some of the favorite blogs that you have been trying to keep up with throughout the challenge.  

o Music
o Vacation
o Projects
o Cartoons
o Life musings

 

Perhaps you were going to have the news about the new opportunities that both you and hubby have at your places of employment. You are both waiting for that yeah or neigh to go through and maybe you thought  you could brag about those opportunities.

Perhaps you wanted to sing praises about your son and all of the awesome opportunities he has at Disney and Universal. Can’t wait to go on the new ride.  

 

You weren’t really sure until about 8:30 PM last Friday evening when you got the news. (You need to write these things down so you remember them in chronological order!) It’s still kind of a secret because all of the important people have not been told. But in your defense none of the important people read your blog anyways so you need not be concerned that they will find out here.

So you are gonna be a Granny! Isn’t that exciting?   Today is about CELEBRATION! YOU are finally going to be a Granny-mamma! How AWESOME! More to come at a later date.

Your constant and faithful,

 

The end is near … on the last three letters XYZ.  Don’t give up now. You can do this.  Try to get yourself a copy of the Master List so you can continue to visit other blogs throughout the year.  Buy a TSHIRT if you haven’t already.  Make some comments or share your linky-dinks on the social media platforms.  Have some fun.  Enjoy the ride…ooh Road Trip coming up.

Vicious Life Cycles ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Barbarinie:

It sucks that you picked vicious life cycles as today’s topic. Sometimes you have to face it. Life is not all skittles and beer or rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes life wants to push you down and fuck ya stick it you where the sun don’t shine. Not so much life, really, but people in your life or situations that come about that involve people in your life. You know like the ebb and flow of the Atlantic tide.

Vicious life cycles are something like generational sin. It goes on and on until someone decides to stop it. Not that they can because you have tried to right the wrongs. Just because you speak it true, won’t make it real. You cannot control how others will react to your desires. You are not the Christ (coming up in a future post).

Vicious are the things in life that you want to change, you try to change, but you don’t have the power to change them. So what can you do?


1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. In a day/week/month/year it won’t matter anyways.
2. Realize all people are messy. They deal with the same things you do.
3. Show grace. Everyone needs to be shown a little clemency.
4. Know when to just shut up. Remember what Thumper said in Bambi.


Practice these few things and that will be the beginning of stopping the vicious life cycles you find yourself in with people. Just know life is not always going to be smooth as velvet 🧶

Go have a good day now.
Your constant and faithful,

Can you believe we are on our last week of the challenge?  How’s everyone doing?  Having a good time?  I am going to be bummed to see it end.  How about you guys?  Are you going to keep at it and continue blogging on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?  How do you fit it all in? Just curious.

TGIF – Thanksgiving ~ Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge


Dear Barbie

Can you believe there are only six letters left after today? Whatever will you do? Today’s letter is about thanksgiving. Not the holiday (although it is Tall Cool ☺ne’s favorite) but thanksgiving in general.

As you read through the past letters in your little orange journal, you find a few revelations that have helped you understand and get past some of your silly stubbornness. Let’s just say you still have a long ways to go. But aren’t you happy you took the time to write to yourself? At the end of this month you are going to owe yourself 26 letters! (Ha Ha)

Seriously though, when you forget to give thanks for the simple things, you tend to look for things that you don’t have. When you do that it snowballs into a great big battle of discontentment and disappointment. It’s actually been quite nice writing to yourself here on your blog because you have such great people who respond. Thanks, blog buddies! ☺  I really appreciate all you do!

When you look back and see what you have or what you don’t have, it’s usually the daily little things that mean the most. Does that make sense? It’s the trivial things that are huge if they aren’t there. The first breath you take when you wake up, indoor plumbing, the flick of a switch that brings light to the room, a hot cup of coffee, that little piece of Bible scripture that starts the day,  a wink from Tall Cool ☺ne when he peeks into your office each morning, the purring of the cat cuddled up on your neck, the good morning texts from your kids, the bunnies, birds, butterflies and squirrels in the yard, a glass of wine at the end of the day… The list is endless if you just take the time to think about it. It’s the small daily things that count as big in the end. Be sure to give thanksgiving every day.

Have a great day!

How’s everyone’s challenge going? Are you all having a good time? Visiting lots of other blogs?  I gave up trying to visit five new blogs each day– my bad I’m sorry. But if you visit me I do my best to visit you. Have you ordered a t-shirt yet? I really hope Jeremy creates a SURVIVOR TSHIRT for completing the challenge. Are you finding all of the letters so far in the scavenger hunt?  Don’t forget to check out the master list and see if there is a blog you may have missed. We are on the final stretch now.  You can do it!

Reflections of What Made You Who You Are ~Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

Dear B,

Well you have absolutely done it again. Picked a topic which takes a lot of deep thought and contemplation. How in the world will you get this post done in time? There’s much to do…cooking, cleaning …. and calling your mother.

You may have to cheat just a little.

Why do you write ?  Have a gander right here.  When you get a chance maybe you should update that.

Writing has always been a hobby but at one point there was a time you wanted to be famous.  Remember that terrible book you had so many issues with?

It’s more fun to just have a place to ponder your thoughts and write whatever you want instead of what people tell you to write.

When you get sick of writing let your creativity explode in the kitchen. You always have something tasty going on over there.

Tall Cool ☺ne and you have such a fairytale to tell, not to mention the on-going journeys and never ending projects. My, my, you are a busy little thing aren’t you?  Just a face in the crowd baby, a face in the crowd.

Now, in perfect fashion, you have decided to take on that opportunity you talked about in an earlier post. Good luck my dear. You can do this. You have the inclination and determination it takes to push yourself to reach higher goals. If you are comfortable, you are not challenging yourself. Remember that, and when the going gets tough, get a cup of coffee and the tough will get going.

You just realized you don’t have a blog for the kids and grandkids.  You need to build a site for them….one more thing to add to your to do list.

until next time your constant and faithful,

Examining Faults ~ Letters from the Heart



Today, for your listening pleasure I’ve included a song from one of your favorite bands. This song always brings forth some sort of self-examination.

Dear Barbie:

These letters we are writing to our older self are not only to humor you in your old age, but to help you in the now and present time. Isn’t is easy to look at someone else and pick out everything you see wrong with them? It’s E-Evil 👿 and easy to find fault with someone else. It takes a strong person to admit their shortcomings to themselves, let alone share them for everyone to see. Everyone should take a few moments every now and again to examine their own faults. The first part of fixing something is recognizing it’s there. So let’s go through the list, shall we?

→ You are as impatient as the night is long.
→ We already know you leave the cupboard doors open from a previous post.
→ You interpret a situation, then become irritated when the person doesn’t respond the way you think they should.
→ You snore.
→ Your hair is everywhere.
→ The piles of clutter are out of hand.
→ You take on more projects than you can handle by yourself and get upset when Tall Cool ☺ne doesn’t want to participate.

Ok let’s not beat you up too much. That’s a pretty good list to start. Very good, now you can ponder over that list, and tomorrow we will take a look at fixing some of those faults.

Galatians 6:4 ~ Let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another.

FOR MY FELLOW A2Z BLOGGERS:

I got my  A2Z Blogging T-Shirt yesterday so I can sport it today.  YAH for me.

Anyone reading who want’s to sign up for the challenge do it today, because the master list closes tomorrow. 

I’m trying to do some of the BONUS CHALLENGES for fun, are you?  

Until next time,

your constant and faithful,

What is A2ZBlogging? Using this premise, you would start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.  It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself.  The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

ZaRex





If you grew up in Maine in the 70’s you know all about ZaRex. Generations of New Englanders have enjoyed ZaRex since its introduction in the late 1930s. Zarex flavored drink concentrate has been a New England favorite for over 50 years.

It was a simple mixture: 1 part syrup + 7 parts water for a sweet, flavorful drink. It could be mixed with lemonade, or soda water. It was especially popular on snow cones (shaved ice in a paper cone). ZaRex fruit punches were especially popular at birthday parties.  The colored mustaches of children running around after drinking ZaRex was quite comical.

It appears that it is not being produced at this time but I will definitely keep watch. You can too here  BRING BACK ZAREX.   If you hear about it ….do let me know where to find it.

 



Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Yesteryear

The year is 2011. The morning is young.

2:18 AM Chow Maine thinks she is in combat and starts doing laps around the perimeter of the bed.  Four laps around and then pouncing from one pillow across the headboard over to the other pillow, and then leaping to the floor with a loud plop.  One would think she weighed 40 pounds.

2:37 AM    Tall Cool ☺ne has had enough. He gets out of the bed.  She runs out of the bedroom; he closes the door saying something about a stupid cat.

3:01 AM I can’t take her scratching and clawing at the door any more — it sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.  I get up with the flash light, open the door and she peaks around the corner as if to say, “Want to play?”  I go out to the kitchen over to her dish. “Come here!” She thinks she is going to be fed.  I scoop her up, carry her back to the bed.  Chow Maine does a little kneading with her claws and settles in under the covers, purring.  I am just about to the land of “La-La” when she is out from under the covers, across the bed with a loud thump on the floor.

3:32 AM Grrrrrr, she is driving me crazy!  I get up and she immediately runs out of the bedroom.  I throw a sweatshirt toward the door at her hoping to dissuade her from coming back.  Tall Cool ☺ne snickers and says, “She is just going to keep doing it”.  I get settled back under the covers and start that deep breathing that comes just before sleep and …

3:55 AM Bow Wow, Wow, Wow; it is Foxtrot.  He has a deep southern drawl type bark that almost makes me think that he is saying, “I really don’t want to put too much effort into this barking thing but I feel like I should bark.”  He has the Sam Elliot of dog barks.

4:09 AM I lay there thinking, he won’t bark that long, he’s not real loud.  He will quiet down in a minute. He does. I’m back in that mode of falling asleep. Suddenly his brother, Charlie starts:  Ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, and ruff!  He has that high pitched beagle in a big dog bark that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  He has the Pee Wee Herman of dog barks.

4:28 AM I drag myself out of the bed and open the window and yell for the two meatheads to be quiet, not in such a nice tone either.  Charlie, the daring one, tests me and barks a couple more times.  This time I yell just at him. Minutes later I am back under the covers and I am wondering why bother because it’s almost time for the alarm.  But sleep seems to come easy and just as I am sauntering off, plunk right in the center of my stomach.  Chow Maine is back… How the heck?

Sleep is one of those things that the value cannot be truly appreciated unless it is interrupted.  Years later, the dogs have found their place over the rainbow.  Chow Maine is still making her rounds reminding us how precious sleep is. Once we are up, she finds a resting place for the day, usually on the couch where she can bask in the sunshine.

Sleep is something I do not take for granted. As I think about this  I am convicted by how many things that I cannot place a value on because I have not been without them.  Food, water, shelter, clothing; all things I take for granted every day;  simple things like toilet paper. There are so many people that don’t have simple things. The things  that I take for granted every day. Things like being able to take a shower and wash my hair, a washer and dryer so that I can clean my clothes.  Maybe my deprivation from sleep was a wake up call.   Are there things I can do without?  I don’t think toilet paper is one of them and I know that sleep definitely is not.  Chow Maine reminds me of this each morning.     But …. I wonder……

Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts.  Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings.  Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip. 

Vacation



As the lazy, hazy days of summer draw near, for most students summer vacation has started early. I am reminded of the infamous English assignment at the beginning of the school year. “What Did You Do Over Summer Vacation?” It was one assignment we could pretty much bank on every year from the third grade on. I remember thinking my essay was going to be boring. All the other kids did way more fun stuff than me. They went to Disney or Daytona Beach or the Grand Canyon. I spent my summers at my Mimi and Papa’s house in Norway, Maine. No internet, no cable TV, no air conditioning, no swimming pool! Heck there wasn’t even a color tv until I was about 13 years old. How could a kid today ever survive that kind of summer?

One summer, after direct instruction from my grandfather not to, I went in the garden barefoot. I stepped on a rusty, old spike. (Ouch). It went right through my foot. For the next week or so, I spent soaking my foot in a bath of hot, purple water. That was kind of a drag. Another summer I peeled the whole top layer of skin off my back after swinging too close to the tree on a tire swing. Again, my Papa told me not to do so. He took the tire swing down after that and put up a regular swing. Of course this was at the instruction of my grandmother. That was fun. I could stand up on the board and pump my legs so the swing would go really high. In fact, at one point, I had it so high it went right over the clothes line. Those rope burns on the back of my legs only lasted a few weeks. It was all cleared up by the time school started.

Ah, yes the fun days of summer. Bee stings, cuts and bruises were typical. We’d drink iced tea or lemonade that was so sour it would put a pucker on your lips. We’d pick fresh vegetables from the garden and have cucumber and mayonnaise sandwiches out at the picnic table in the afternoons. At night, we would run through the tall grass and catch fireflies to see who could make their Mason jar light up the brightest. We’d take white handkerchiefs and wrap them with rocks then toss them up in the dark sky just to watch the bats dive bomb them. Now that was entertainment.

What would kids write about now? “I spent my summer in quarantine” or “I spent my summer posting videos on YouTube”.  Do you think they would take the time to hand write an essay? Would they even know what cursive writing is? I remember disagreeing with my son about his math homework fifteen years ago. He would always insist that it was okay for him to do it in pen.  He told me that when you are left-handed, writing with a pen is much easier than with a pencil. When I was in school, math was to be done in pencil, English in pen — blue or black ink, no exceptions, and always in cursive. Red ink was unacceptable, ever. My, oh my how things have changed.

I hope kids will have fun and memorable summer vacations just like I did when I was growing up.  Now that I think about it, mine were not boring at all.  Those kids that got to do all that fun stuff are the ones who really missed out. Mine were the best vacations ever. 

2 Timothy 3:1 … in the last days perilous times will come. We are closer than we know.








Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Tame The Tongue

 

Remember the old adage “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Too many times I’ve said something and then wished I hadn’t. Open mouth, insert foot. Most times it’s been both feet. Words are something you can never take back. Once they are spoken they are out there for the duration of whenever that other person decides to let it go. Sometimes they never do.

We should use our words to encourage and motivate, build up and praise, compliment and applaud one another. How many times do we take the opportunity to say “hey good job on that project you completed”, or “wow that’s a nice coat you’re wearing today” or even just “thanks for being here today”? In my workplace it’s hardly ever. (Not that they can see a smile or a coat I’m wearing, but that is just an example.) More times than not people are complaining about having to be at work, or the weather, or the customers, or each other…and we work from home!

I can’t say I haven’t had my share of tongue flapping. Proof is in my earlier blogs. I could flap my jaws like nobody’s business. James 3:8 No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Proverbs 18:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart. I’ve grown a lot in my last twelve years of blogging. I cannot say it’s been an easy road. Wisdom comes with experience and if we don’t learn from past mistakes, we are not growing at all. 

People always have an opinion. Opinions are different than words. We are all entitled to our own opinion. What some people do is take their opinions and convolute them into something that they believe is truth. Sometimes those truths are not real and people who spread these words hurt other people.

Example: Terry and Toni work the same shift on the same team. Every day Toni clocks in fifteen minutes later than Terry. Terry starts noticing this and decides to clock in fifteen minutes later than his scheduled time. Later that week Terry’s boss comes to him and asks him to stay fifteen minutes over to make up for coming in late the day before. Terry is pissed. Instead of asking questions to find out if there is an underlying reason why he had to make up his time but his teammate Toni never does, he starts spreading rumors about Toni and why she comes in late every day. The rumors he spreads are false and hurtful to not only Toni but Toni’s family.  What Terry didn’t realize was Toni only took a 45 minute lunch to allow her that extra fifteen minutes in the morning to take her children to daycare.”

It’s just a silly made up example, but those types of things happen every single day. People make stuff up about someone they don’t know anything about and rumors start to fly. Look at politics. I’ll be honest , I don’t. My favorite author started making his views about politics known, and quite honestly, I think it’s disgusting. I feel bad for all of the people who are in politics and I pray for them…both sides.  They have it hard. I know we are entitled to having our own opinion, but if it involves putting someone else down, keep it to yourself. Tame that little beast in your mouth.

Take the time to build up, encourage, compliment. All good things. That’s what the world needs more of.   Galatians 5:16, 22 Walk then in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of your flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.

That’s all for today my friends…. until next time.

Cheers!


Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Quarter Finals

I’m going to be quiet today because I know everyone else is taking advantage of the Q word no one wants to hear about anymore. It’s been a quandary for all of us and we are tired of it.

Besides, I have fig BBQ sauce bubbling away in the kitchen and need to get that canned up. But here’s a quick poem to make you laugh…


Quarter Finals
Stanley Cup Play-offs

Hockey is my favorite sport
They chuck the puck across the court.

I especially love it when they foul
And when the ref throws in the towel!

When they are down two to one
Three balls, two strikes, oh boy, home run!

Cheerleaders jump and yell with glee
Everyone loves that mean goalie

Peanuts, popcorn and ice cold beer
And people wonder what I’m doing here
Omigosh, wait I think that’s a birdie
Cellphone’s beeping; it’s my friend, Gertie
I love hockey look at that– a hole in one
Instead of that last beer, I should have had none.



See ya tomorrow with the letter R.

Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts.  Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings.  Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip. 




ONE SKIP DAY




Hell found me!  As I fell into the depths of the cold salty Atlantic water I saw my whole fifteen year life flash before me.  I thought about my mother and what she would think.  I worried about my diary and what my sister would do with it when she found it.  I wondered what my friends Chris and Jackie were doing, and if they would try to save me.

The water swirled around me and everything turned black.  The salt tasted metallic in my mouth.  I kept sinking further into the depths of the water.  I didn’t realize the Penobscot was so deep, then suddenly I felt soft ground.  I pushed into the flats upward with my soaked sneakers and immediately began to ascend.  I wanted to take a breath.  I needed to take a breath.  When I slipped it was unexpected, and didn’t take a deep breath as one does before jumping in water.  I knew if I gasped for air that my lungs would be filled with water, and I would drown.  I couldn’t see the surface and my wet jeans and sweatshirt pulled me down.   I didn’t want to die.  I was too young to die.  I started making deals with God, as we do when things go wrong.  “Dear God, please don’t let me die.  Please, I promise I’ll never copy homework again.  I won’t be mean to my sister.  I promise I won’t skip anymore classes.  God, please, please, don’t let me drown.”

April showers bring May flowers, and they also bring warm, sunny afternoons, and the itching of spring fever; that equals to a whole bunch of trouble for a few high school kids. After five months of snow, and shoveling snow, and then more snow to shovel, when it reached 45 degrees, that was a celebrated welcome.  Basketball was over, and baseball hadn’t really got started so those late afternoon rides home on the activity bus were on temporary hiatus.  It was that awkward time of boredom in school, and typical teenage girls and boys look for things to dispel the monotony.   The three of us had been best friends since the fifth grade when I moved to town.  Based on my experience three friends are a recipe for disaster.  Two will get together and talk about the other one, and one will try to vie for another, and it normally turns into a mess.

For Chris, Jackie and I, it was different.  Chris wasn’t into the girlie things that Jackie and I talked about.  He just wanted to be our friend, and that was good enough for us.  We liked that Chris acted as our bodyguard per say, and he always let me copy his math homework.  He was wicked smart.    It is all different now with the technology and social media available to occupy a bored teen-ager.

Back in 1980 none of us owned a computer; let alone a smart phone.  Our parents would never have tolerated us playing video games or social media forums anyways.  We were lucky to have one color television in the house. If anyone had a cell phone it was one of those monstrosities that came in a bag and needed to have the magnet antennae plunked out on the roof, and then the power cord got plugged into the cigarette lighter.  If you were very lucky your parents owned a car that the cigarette lighter worked in, and maybe they let you borrow it with that ugly thing called a car phone.  Only some of the preppy kids, and most of the grease monkeys had their own cars.

The three of us were at the mercy of begging our parents, and more often than not they said ‘no’.  Needless to say, most of our entertainment was done by walking or taking our bikes.  Remember those things that you peddle, and your butt hurts from the uncomfortable seat?    Spring fever brought afternoons of cutting classes, and walking the sidewalks trying to stay hidden from friends of our parents who would share the fact that they had seen us on the street, when we should have been in school.  We were young, naïve.   We had no idea how lucky we were to be young and naïve. That was of course, until after the thirteenth skip day when our parents were notified by the principal that we were cutting classes.  Young people do stupid things, and we were very stupid.

The most significant, as well as the last adventure we took could have been the death of us, or at least, one of us.  The three of us decided to cut our “health” class! How ironic now that I reminisce about it!   We set out for a quest searching for anything that would be more exciting than sitting in Mr. King’s stinky armpit smelling class room listening to his monotonous voice talk about penises and vaginas.  Instead of walking the streets, taking the chance of being spied by a nosy adult, we decided to take the forbidden path just beyond the smoking area  behind Hampden Academy down to the Penobscot River.  We were going to hike out to the rocks, do some exploring and maybe find an electric eel in the small pools of water left behind from the tide going out.

The sun was shining and we shed our sweatshirts and tied them around our waists.  Jackie took her shoes off for a short time until one of the rocks cut her foot and she put the bloody thing back in her high top Nike sneakers.  We searched for cool looking shells with the shiny glitter of embossed quartzite, starfish, crabs and the coveted electric eel.  We made our way out across the rocks that went out deep into the smelly flats that were exposed from the tide being out. We were having a splendid afternoon, throwing rocks and mud at each other, talking about the upcoming spring dance and who we thought would go with who and who wouldn’t show up and who we’d like not to have show up.  

What we weren’t expecting was the tide to rush back in so quickly.  One of us couldn’t swim.  We had sneakers on and jeans and sweatshirts tied around our waists.  Not dressed for rock climbing by any means.  When the tide comes in on the Penobscot, the tide comes in fast.  It was scary for all three of us but mostly for me.

It was Chris, probably because he was the one who couldn’t swim, who first recognized the fact that our way into land was quickly disappearing.  The path out to the rocks that we originally took covered almost immediately with eighteen feet of cold, salty, stinky Atlantic Ocean.  We had to scale the rocks fast if we were going to get to land before there was no path back at all.  I remember slipping and sliding and cutting our hands on the sharp edges of rocks.  The rocks poked out of the dark murky water, some covered in green mossy seaweed while others appeared to be shards of shiny black glass.  The most treacherous were the rocks that appeared dry and safe to step on, but our weight triggered them to shift and move causing us to lose our balance more than once.    I screamed and as I slipped I heard Jackie and Chris both yell, “Barbie!”  The rest was inaudible because I slipped into the depths of the black water.  It seemed like a life time that I was under water.  It was cold and I could feel my muscles tightening up, and soon I wouldn’t be able to move at all.  Abruptly I surfaced and sucked in a huge breath of fresh air.  I gagged and spit and clawed my way to the edge.  Jackie and Chris dragged me back up on the edge of the rocks.  I was shaking from fear more so than the cold, but thankful to be alive.

When we reached the shore line the only way to level ground was up.  We climbed through rocks and pulled through trees and brushed past bushes and dug through sod.  We climbed and moaned and groaned the whole way.  Dry level ground never felt so good.   Jackie and Chris ended up with soaked feet, wet jeans and bloody hands.  I was grateful to be soaked but alive and safe.  Where we came off the rocky walls was a long ways from where we had begun our adventure.  The walk back through a field of prickly bushes was not especially a fun experience, and when the giant back yard dog chased us and the owner came out with a shot gun, we were even more anxious to make our way back to school.  We were lucky to catch the bus home to Winterport and luckier when our parents said we had to quit cutting school and stay in Mr. King’s classroom.  We were just thankful that we could quit trying to scale the banks of the Penobscot River in a pair of Nike’s on a skip day.

To be honest, it was a fun skip day….and some of it’s true!  Most of it is made up and names have been changed to protect the innocent! 

Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people.  Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings.  Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Juniper’s Candy


I’m a day late, and always a dollar short. But better late than never right?

Today is the perfect day for JESUS … HE IS RISEN. Happy Easter everyone!

I’ve often wondered what the little bluish berries are on the tree in our front yard. I never thought too much about them until recently. We have to plan our resources and use what we have accordingly. Here today, gone tomorrow right? In Maine there are weeds that make an excellent side dish to pork chops or chicken. My grandmother could make dandelion greens taste so good. And fiddleheads are my favorite weed treat.

I did a little research and found that the juniper berries are actually used to flavor pork, venison, rabbit and duck. I’m so excited about this and can’t wait to actually try them. I’m going to make some fig chutney and try them in that. I will be happy to share my recipe if it comes out good.

With the times we live in I implore you to take a look around in your yard. What resources are there that you never imagined using?  With the internet at our fingertips research is only a few clicks away. Do it now because like toilet paper, you never know when it might not be available.




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Attitudes



I had the challenge all mapped out. My A-Z’s were thoroughly thought out and I knew what I was going to write about each day for each letter. Day one and the idea I was going to use wasn’t working. I scrapped it and started over. Who is the April fool?

With everything going on right now, it’s important to keep our attitudes in check. Keeping a positive attitude is the best thing we can do for each other, as well as ourselves. When something doesn’t work, don’t get all puked out about it and sit and sulk for the next twenty minutes ~ like I did. Shake it off and start over.

That’s what we do as writers. Sometimes you have to crunch up that piece of paper twenty times before the words come out right. Sometimes they still don’t come out right. But if you keep a positive attitude, you will come out on top. This is true in everything we do. Attitude is contagious. Remember that.  The next time you are around a negative person don’t let their bad attitude rub off on you. Do just the opposite (while practicing social distancing of course). Stay positive my friends.




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the write.

Quiet Time

Quiet time: we all need some.

 

 

Faggots and Fruitcakes

Faggots and Fruitcakes

“Going to the store to get bread.” You’ve heard that expression before right? I always took the term literally. Bread, meaning a baked leavened food made from flour and water. Then one day I saw a silly meme on Facebook and saw the term in a different format. “In-bred” … oh my!

Interpretation. It’s one of those things we fight with on a daily basis. How is what you say going to be interpreted? How many people don’t read this article or are offended by the title?  When I was growing up we lived by, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me!” “Fatty, fatty, two-by-four, can’t fit through the kitchen door”. When our friend did something stupid we called them retarded. If they were acting silly we called them queer or gay. I still use those terms and sometimes I get the dirtiest looks from people.  People probably will take this article the wrong way simply because of the way they interpret it.

Today we have to be politically correct. I get the whole bullying thing and I am all for that to stop. It’s my own personal opinion and I know everyone has one, but I think that a kid should be able to say what’s on their mind without being reprimanded for “hurting someone’s feelings”. Feelings are hurt all the time. It’s part of life. It makes you stronger.

A lot of workplaces ban their employees from talking about politics, religion and sexual preference. In other words you can’t call out the liberal hypocritical faggots and dykes. They’re in every workplace and they’re protected by a blanket dogma. Doesn’t mean mean it doesn’t happen. Go to any water cooler or smoking area. I guarantee you they’re being talked about in some way shape or form.  I wish they would protect me from being a bitch. ☺

Maybe it’s me. I am somewhat of a fruitcake. It is the only thing that keeps me sane in this idiotic world we live in. My feelings get hurt but usually it’s because what is being said is true and truth hurts (I don’t like being a bitch.)  We have to own that truth and if we don’t like it, change it. Don’t blame someone else for pointing out the obvious. Don’t blame someone else for your feelings being hurt. I mean seriously, you can’t call someone retarded if they are not retarded because it hurts the feelings of the truly retarded. How retarded is that? Just saying….

Digby’s Treasure

Digby’s Treasure

The house sat vacant for five years before it was auctioned off to the highest bidder. A “fixer-upper”. By dropping a few thousand dollars into the place, house-flipper entrepreneur Jackson Tinkerton knew he’d make double, probably triple the profit when he resold the place. The little house wasn’t much to look at on the outside. It was a little cottage with a white picket fence that needed major repairs. That was an easy fix.  People in this area liked quaint and rustic. It would be the Taj Ma ‘Hal of Little Pine Hill. Tourists came from all over to spend a week or two in this north-eastern mountain village.

It wasn’t a week after Jackson purchased the new project home when he noticed a difference in his health. He felt better than he’d ever felt before. He didn’t’ think much of it at first, because the excitement of a new project always got the adrenaline pumping and an adrenaline rush was a natural high that always made a person feel good. He figured the clean fresh air of the mountain village played a part into it as well. It wasn’t the normal smoggy air he was used to inhaling from the city. But there was something about this place that was different. There was an aurora about it that made him feel different, better, more alive than he had ever felt before.

The following week when he met with his real estate broker he realized that feeling he’d been having wasn’t imagination, but real. She told him he needed to look in the mirror. Jackson saw the same person he’d been looking at for the last 56 years, until Nora held the August Top House Flipper centerfold beside his face. Although the photo was more than three years old, Jackson noticed a considerable difference in his appearance. The crow’s feet that had positioned themselves next to his eyes had faded to almost non-existence. The deep crease in his forehead, the one his mother always told him would stick on his brow if he kept frowning, was gone. By the way, your mother is always right. But most noticeable was the salt and pepper hair had changed completely back to pepper, without washing the gray out of his hair.

Jackson stared into the eyes of his 36-year-old self. How was that possible? He recapped his actions over the past month from what he ate, how he exercised (never), what he drank (too much), and there was nothing he did any different. The only thing different in his life was the flip.

(To be continued)

Blackhorse Creed

As I ride on my horse, into the night,
I am set for the course, may I be right
My mind has been trained, and thought provoked,
I have been ordained, I’m Old English evoked
My conduct proceeds, as I am humbled
Inferior bleeds, once I have stumbled
Wisdom is achieved, the harder I toil
Mission conceived, for American soil
I am a soldier, skilled for the Army
I’m taught to conquer, or drive souls barmy
I think of the rights, and thoughts of people
Knowing that gunfights will leave some feeble
I am not afraid, of things I can’t see
This is my brigade, who will protect me
Honor comes first, to protect my comrade
Our mission traversed, in our minds unclad
I value honor, duty and respect
There’s no room for mutiny or defect
I will freely uphold the Blackhorse Creed
Guiding the enrolled, to this I accede
I guard the freedom, and home of the brave
This is my dictum to which I am slave.

~ Confederate Army Leader
Adolph Dahlgren

June 1862

Kowtow to the Knightwriters

I woke up this morning at 2AM trying to come up with my daily challenge. K. K is not an easy letter to come up with a great idea. But then my mind started kneading over the challenge process. I remembered one of Hemant Arora’s first posts in the challenge. He tagged me, so I’m tagging him back.  Your it, Hemant and thank you for this great idea! {Sorry about the spelling… hate it when that happens.}

In tribute to my fellow knights, I kowtow to Mr. Arlee Bird with Kansas.   Kimberly Cooper shares a Kiss with us, while Stuart Lennon wants to kill someone. Random bits shares about kapers, knots, knights and knees  ouch! Hangry Fork makes a Kirby out of clay. One of Alex’s Ninja Minion talks about Kaka (believe me, it’s not what you think).

I love that Tyler Charles Austin has kittens (awe they’re so cute)! Wandering isn’t lost  but didn’t have the K post up yet so I’m sure they are searching for the perfect K word. Be sure to check it out. I’m just know it will be very interesting.  Ronel the Myth Maker is telling no myth about the kishi (Hey, this reminds me of some people I know.)

No Word for Sand is a little behind and could use some encouragement in the challenge so pay a visit and inspire them to continue through to the end. Amy Willoughby-Burle has some hotties for J, please vote! Not sure what K will bring, but I’m going to be sure to check back!  Susanne Matthews is writing today about Killer Thrillers… need I say more?  Shirley Dietz just has to say something about the letter K, but I’m just not sure what it is. If is anything like that PBJ ‘sam’mich’, I’m all over it.

These are just a very few of the A-Z Challenge. The list is huge (1,791 signed up to take this challenge), make sure you go read some of these wonderful bloggers posts. Oh, and if you click on any of the above mentioned, make sure you let them know how you were led to them. That’s what this great collaboration challenge is all about… team work and building up each other and helping each other along, no matter where we are in this skill called writing!

 K

Cheers!

Challenge Me This

A2Z-BADGE [2016]

I’ve been thinking about this challenge and debating with myself whether to go with a certain topic or wing-ding it with whatever comes up for the letter of the day. Decisions, decisions. Questions and questions. Tall Cool ☺ne reminds me all the time whenever I ask a question that I’m usually asking two or three at a time. My mind is always thinking way ahead of where it should be.

Going with a certain topic, as far as I can tell, has good and bad advantages. The biggest drawback I can see, is it limits my options as to what I can write. Huge benefit of taking on one subject will make me really knowledgeable (or boring) with the theme I choose to write on for the month of April.

I still have some time to decide. I’m really excited about this challenge. If you have followed my blog, I hope you are excited too.  I know I’ve not been very good at keeping up with my writing and this will hopefully help me get back into the routine.

If you’re a blogger or a piddling writer, this challenge is a great way to meet other bloggers, a tool to get into the habit of blogging every day (which I’ve been lacking terribly). And each blog only needs to be 100 words. If we can’t manage that every day for a month, well we might want to think of another hobby, eh?

Click here to sign up or to see some of the other great bloggers taking part in the challenge.

Reflections on Expectations

Goldfish

The sponsors of the A-Z Blogging Challenge are looking for feedback about the challenge I just took part in for the month of April. What did I like, what did I dislike, what kind of suggestions might I make about the program? You know all that technical stuff that people ask you so they can take your answers and use them as if they came up with the idea themselves. (JUST KIDDING).

Seriously though, my thoughts on the challenge. I must say that I had big expectations about taking part in this challenge. Everything I read indicated it was a time for making new friends, getting new followers, creating a network, all that blah blah blah hoop-la that people tell you when they don’t really know if the project is going to work but it sounds good and they figure there’s gonna be some stupid suckers out there (ME) that fall for it and take part. The more people who take part, the better the sponsors look and the bigger the program gets. I mean the first year there were only 100 bloggers. This year (5 years later) there were well over 1500.

This was my first year taking part in the challenge. My expectations were high. I set myself up for disappointment. I thought there would be a lot more interaction than there was. I appreciate the fellow bloggers that took the time to comment on some of my posts. I found myself taking up a good part of my afternoons reading other bloggers posts, which most I enjoyed but did not take time to comment. That cut into my writing time so I cannot and will not fault fellow bloggers for not taking the time to comment on my posts. Their writing time is as valuable as mine.

There are a lot of good writers out there and some not so good. We all find ourselves in a different level and therefore our tastes in what we read or don’t read are also different. One thing I had a hard time with was trying to follow the bloggers either before or after my website on the list. My number changed so often I couldn’t keep up … so I just kind of randomly selected different blogs. A lot of them were so well written and I wanted to comment, but finding the comment button was sometimes a chore, so mostly I read and moved on.

The challenge all in all was a wonderful experience. I recommend anyone starting out blogging or who has been blogging for as long as the night is dark to take part in next year’s challenge. If anything, it is a discipline. And that is something every writer … EVERY WRITER … do you hear me? Every writer needs discipline. I’m thinking about upping my challenge next year and including a theme. What are your thoughts?

Be sure to check out what other people are saying about their experience here.

A-to-Z Reflection [2015] - Lg