Category Archives: WP Daily Prompt

Soundtrack for a movie of my life

When I look back over my almost 66 years and try to put a sound-track to my life, I tend to come up empty. While not totally boring, at least to me, it hasn’t really been an exciting, momentous life.

I suppose a nautical theme for my birth; I wasn’t born on a boat or a ship, but I was born in Annapolis, Maryland and the Naval Academy grounds have a fond place in my memories (Anchors Away.) I was young, not quite 3 when my parents moved me to New Mexico. I dearly loved the woods near any of our houses and spent a lot of free time there, pretending to ride a horse or, preferably be the horse (Theme from Tubular Bells.) I’d watch Roy Rogers and Gene Autry only so I could see Trigger and Champion.  Never did have a horse, though. Mother figured she’d end up having to take care of it. She was probably right.

My first marriage wasn’t a love match. (Maybe Days of Whine and Roses?) After almost 13 years, I gave up on the marriage when the ex asked our daughter why she ate a piece of lettuce from a salad with her fingers and was satisfied with her “Because I’m stupid” answer. Six months later we were gone. He had never wanted kids in the first place but actually cried that I was taking his son away. (My D-I-V-O-R-C-E or I’ll Be Glad When You’re Gone, You Devil, You)

Then I met and married my current husband. (Happy Days are here again.) We’re in our 34th year of marriage. There have been some ups and downs, usually related to kids growing up and my quitting smoking was a bit of a trip,  but for the most part it’s been smooth and peaceful.  Now I’m in the last third of my life (sounds like I’m going to make it to 100 – not sure about that) and I’m trying to figure out just what I want to do with the rest of my life. (It Was a Very Good Year.)

A Perfect Day Off

This is kind of hard to write about since I’m retired and don’t HAVE to do much of anything I don’t want to.  I have my bi-weekly massage and weekly TOPS meetings and we usually shop in Santa Fe once every 2-4 weeks which kills a Thursday. I visit my father every Sunday for about an hour and we grocery shop for an hour to hour and a half on Saturdays but other than that I’m free to do anything I want.

And there’s the problem. Because I don’t have to be anywhere at a specific time other than those already mentioned, I usually sit in the office and work on my computer. I read emails for 2-3 hours every morning – most of which get deleted – but I really like the photo gallery at UglyHedgeHog and will spend half an hour or more each day looking at the offerings for the day and commenting on a few of them.

I also look at the latest offerings from several digital scrapbooking sites and buy way too many of them.  I’ll download what I buy and might even get them extracted from their zip-files and, if I’m really working effectively, I’ll even get them in the designer’s folder on my external hard-drive.  Note that I didn’t say that I use them to create layouts.  I just store them for “someday.”  I might even have an idea of what I want to use them on but that’s about as far as it gets. (No note or if I do make a note it’s probably on a sticky note that gets put someplace “safe” i.e. I’ll never find it again.)

I’ve also ordered the supplies to make hundreds of greeting cards, mostly Christmas but other occasions as well.  I probably have enough instructions and supplies to keep me busy for at least a year if I made 5 cards a day every day. (Most cards only take an hour, if that. Some, like the British kits, can take 2-3 hours for one.)

So, what am I going to do about this? Well, I’ve dusted off my old Franklin Covey® planner and ordered the refill for 2105. It appears my days are actually chopped up (makes a difference when you start to write about your schedule – you start to see things.  And, no – not that weird spirit-thingy looking over my shoulder.)

I tend to feel I need large chunks of time to get stuff done. In the warmer months and sometimes during the cold ones, I’ll go for a walk with my husband. Because he times his walks to happen at different times (depending on weather, car races, hair-cuts,) I don’t want to get busy and have to drop everything to get ready to walk. Then when I get back, it’s difficult for me to get back into my groove. The mojo disappears.

Hence, the planner.  I figure I can write down my commitments, even if they’re only my commitments to myself (like laundry, working on my book(s), building all the scrapbooks of our various trips and cruises, making cards, sewing (next up, a sewing machine dust cover,) washing my hair [why that is so difficult to get done I don’t know,] write on my blog.)

So, instead of a Perfect Day Off, I’d like to have a workable, productive series of days. But not too rigidly scheduled.  I want my cake and eat it too.

Pie

New Mexico doesn’t have a well-known pie.  At least I’m not aware of it and I’ve lived here for more than 50 years. When I searched for New Mexico Pie I was reminded of a town called Pie Town.  It was named that for a bakery that was there built for making dried apple pies. Also in my search I found that one Albuquerque business, New Mexico Pie Company, makes a Caramel Apple Green Chile Pie which sounds positively weird to me.

On Thanksgiving, if I’m having it at my house, I’ll have at least one pecan pie.  My father’s family lived in Virginia and pecan pies were a favorite.  My mother, raised in Maryland, liked mince-meat pies.  My husband, from Illinois, likes pecan pies but also likes pumpkin pies.  My absolute favorite pie is lemon meringue but that’s just not a fall-winter pie (unless, I suppose, you live in Florida, the Texas coast, or Southern California where they grow a lot of citrus.) So that makes pecan my favorite for the winter months.  I don’t have a specific recipe that I always use so the Karo syrup may be light or dark depending on where I found the recipe to use that year and the sugar will vary between white and brown.

If you talk about fruit pies, cherry is my favorite. But I have a problem with cherries or anything cherry flavored – it can trigger binge eating. So I seldom have cherry pie – maybe a piece at a restaurant when I won’t be able to grab a lot of extra food afterwards.  Apple is a nice fruit pie. But you have to have some really sharp cheddar cheese to go with it. And it’s preferable if the apple pie is warm.

Now, it’s almost 8 am and I WANT PIE!

 

Trio # 4

I stepped out into the crisp, bright morning and headed for the bus stop down and across the street.  My cell phone rang. I answered it.  A strange voice said “You’re dead.” Then I stepped in front of a speeding car.

“The world today doesn’t make sense so why should I paint pictures that do?” Pablo Picasso

Guernica-1937

Guernica 1937 – Pablo Piccaso

I really never got into Picasso’s paintings especially when he was in his Cubist phase.  I was uncomfortable with his pictures.

Too many angles, too many sharp points.

Probably too much like the news.

Still too much like the news.

“Ebola!”

“Climate Change Coming Sooner than Expected!”

“War! (yet somewhere else)”

“Hatred!”

“Political Dirty Tricks and Sleazy Accusations!”

And what does it say about all of us that we live for that kind of news?  The people in Africa who are suffering from Ebola and/or starving to death don’t want to hear about our problems.  They have their own.

We have our own as well – our leaders contemplating taking away programs that will help us in our “golden” years (i.e. Medicare and Social Security)  Shouldn’t we be doing something about that?

The seas are rising – Shouldn’t we be finding a way to get people out of the flood zones without demanding an arm and a leg from them? Or do we let them drown, or worse survive the flood only to die of some horrid disease that wouldn’t have been caused if they hadn’t had to live in the resulting squalor of the aftermath?

Why are we so blind to the poverty and pain all around us?

Why do some of us refuse to help our own family members?  Did they REALLY deserve what’s happened to them?  Or is that just an excuse to not have to face the issue?

Unfortunately, I’m just as guilty as everyone else. I don’t like to see/hear/feel/live all the nasty stuff going on.

Gone With the Windfall

WP Daily Prompt – 8 June 2014

If I suddenly inherited $1,000,000, I’d donated $50,000 to Ardantane Wiccan College and $50,000 to Victory Junction. We already donate to these two organizations and I want to be able to do more for them. That would still leave me with $900,000 to pay taxes, and put into any of my retirement accounts or invest to keep me living well for the next 30-40 years.

Game of Groans

23 May WP Daily Prompt

Reality Shows are so much fun!  You get these people together who have nothing in common and, some of whom, are so sadly out of shape that they couldn’t survive in their own backyard without a rescue team standing by and then you put them in close quarters in unfamiliar, potentially dangerous environments, add a little bit of competition and watch the fur fly! Divide them into at least two teams and tell them that the best team will win a million dollars.  Then watch the conniving, back-stabbing, underhanded, vicious fun begin. Pacts are made and broken like so much Tijuana pottery.

I especially like the Survivor ones, people get so cut-throat and easily betray each other. What fun. It’s so much fun to watch the one voted off the island try not to cry. And if the wuss gets thrown off, I love the pain in that one. I also love it when the bully who’s been master minding the whole game suddenly finds her/himself voted off and is surprised, oooh how sweet it is! I can just see it now, after the show is over the bully stalks the others on the team and kills them one-by-one.  I know that’s what I’d do.  Revenge is SO SWEET!

But what really gets me going is the Amazing Race types. Five or six teams of two – family members, best friends since grade school, newly weds, and 20-years married folks. At least one couple has a lazy, entitled member and the bossy one.  The married couples are funny; they start out so lovely-dovey each one helping the other and giving encouragement and then when the going gets rough (like heights, drowning, eating bugs) oh do I love watching a marriage break up. They can be so mean.  I actually take notes!  I’ve even been known to go back and watch the show again just to find more goodies!  I like to watch best friends become enemies – especially when one is totally clueless about how the other has felt all these years.   Oh, and brothers and sisters, or just siblings – wow the whole family will bust up because of things said. Such drama!!!!

 

 

 

 

NOT!  I do not watch reality shows at all for all the reasons stated above. What a civilization (or species) finds entertaining says volumes about it. I shouldn’t be too surprised; the Romans had their circuses and we haven’t changed much in the intervening 2000+ years.

On the other hand, watching those shows might give me some ideas for antagonists/villains in my stories. Hmmm…

 

Pick Your Gadget

A prompt from Ben Huberman

“Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these did you buy and why?”

 

I’d buy that anywhere door. After, of course, making sure that the door could be used to return or go further on adventures.  Wouldn’t want to get stuck somewhere and have to find the funds to get back. And that’s also one of the whys – funds.

I like to travel. But there are two things about travel that bug me,  the time and cost to get from where I am to where I want to be – especially when it’s a long distance.

I recently priced airfare for me and my husband to go to the Berkshires in Massachusetts – $3500 for one/ $7000 for two. If I had the anywhere door, I could make my reservations and, on the day of arrival, go through the door and be at our destination. Then when the time was up, we could return home the same way. The money saved would more than pay for the rooms we stayed in (which don’t cost a lot if you trading timeshares,) the car rental, and any foods we consume. We’d have extra for excursions, too.

As for time to get where we want to go, I’d like to visit Australia and New Zealand but I don’t want to be flying for 15 hours.  Being able to just open a door and be there would be fantastic.  No leg cramps from sitting. No feeling and looking rumpled. No airline food.

Now, granted, I suspect there’d be some issues if we tried to use the anywhere door to go to a foreign country – I mean we’d be bypassing customs and I’m sure they wouldn’t like that.  But maybe we could pop in to the customs, show our passports, get them stamped and then open the door to our destination again. We’d really save on air fare.

But I don’t think I’ll find that anywhere door in my  electronics store. I’m sure the travel industry will have bought the technology and buried it deep in their vaults in a file labeled “inventions that would destroy our industry.”

Monday Fiction: The Visitors

 Daily prompt 

“I knew we should have locked the doors.” I said to my husband as I opened the front door to find two visitors sitting on our couch.

We stood there, arms full of grocery bags and just stared at them, then moved into the kitchen to put down the groceries.

“Close the door to the living room,” I told him, “then we can let the dogs out.”

As he moved to the living room door, I headed into the dining room where we cage our dogs while we’re gone. They tend to get into too much mischief if we don’t.

My husband opened the back door to the back yard as I let the last dog out of her cage. They careened around the table, Daisy’s back feet almost sliding out from under her on the linoleum floor, and out into the yard.

“Now, let’s go deal with the visitors,” I said.

We let ourselves into the living room. They were right where we left them only now one was sprawled across my seat on the couch and the other melted onto my husband’s.

“How on earth did you get in here?”  I asked.

No response. One looked at me and blinked. The other yawned.

“Where do you live?  Can we take you home?”

Nothing.

I turned to my husband.

“Well, dear, it looks like we’re having guests for a while.”

He nodded and turned to go unpack the groceries. I followed.

When we finished with the groceries we let the dogs in. They ran straight to the living room.

We heard not a sound.

I peaked around the door way and saw the two guests were sitting up straight, eyes as big as golf balls. Each one staring at one of the dogs.

The dogs sat and then lay down and put their heads between their paws, thoroughly cowed.

Our guests sat back and relaxed.

And that’s how we came to have two cats as well as two dogs. Life hasn’t been the same since.

The King and Queen had arrived.

 

 

What Goes Around Comes Around

Today’s prompt is: If I Ruled the World – You’re given the super power to change one law of nature.

Oh boy!  If I could change one rule of nature it would be the Wiccan “Law”  Everything you do, for or against another, returns to you threefold; if not in this lifetime, then in the next. I’d delete the last phrase from “if not in this lifetime…”  to immediately. (Okay, so I fudged a little.)

Just think of the benefits: A mugger is mugged (three times), a rapist is raped (three times), a murderer is murdered (two failed and a final that works?)  Just think how crime rates would drop!  Cruelty repaid. Bullies bullied. Polluters having to live and breathe in their pollution.

And on the upside – courtesies reciprocated three times, love all around, Earth would be healed. I can’t really think of any draw backs.

I’d leave gravity the way it is. I’d leave the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology alone as well. For me, changing the way the human animal acts is a more worthy use of a super power than anything else. There’s very little “noble” to the savagery committed by humans, especially the civilized ones.