Monday, December 23, 2013

Samuel vs. Santa Clause

Santa Claus: Santa Claus
The above photo was taken by RW Linder at http://rgbstock.com.  My computer is struggling with hacking into Google.

Samuel leapt from his bed, his entire body filled with anticipation.  Today!  Today we will meet again, Santa!  He and Nana were heading to the Mall for the annual tell-Santa-what-you-want visit.

However, Santa was his equal in every way.  The game is afoot, jolly fat man!

The preliminaries of the day over and his winter gear zipped up, Samuel noted The Mother at her cluttered craft table, painting last minute projects in acrylic paints of all colors.  Samuel gifted his mom with a spontaneous hug.  “I love you, Mommy!”  

Then he was off.  Off to see Santa.

No side trips for them—Nana wanted to eliminate collateral damage.  She remembered the last Hallmark debacle.  After shattered snow globes, Samuel had moved on with a red Sharpie© marker and signed twenty sympathy cards with hearts and “Nana”.  Not again, little man.

There he was: The Jolly Fat Man himself.  Samuel gave him a shy smile, accompanying cold blue eyes.  Bring it on, do your best…

Then Samuel stood at the bottom of the red carpet stairs.  Santa smiled, acknowledging his old adversary.  Samuel wriggled up onto the red velvet lap with the difficulty a three-and-a-half year old child.
“So, Samuel!  What will it be this year?  What do you want?” Santa added, “Ho, Ho, Ho!”

Have I been naughty or nice?  Samuel smiled the smile of the innocent. Then Santa whispered into Samuel's ear, accounting the sins of the entire year.
 
How did he know about the car oil?  And the screw driver?  Mommy’s brush?  Samuel sighed in admission...confession given. 

Samuel squirmed uncomfortably.  ”So, Samuel, I will visit your fireplace again.  Sugar cookies this time.”  Santa laid a finger aside his nose.  “Ho, Ho…”

Samuel suddenly hugged Santa tightly, patting his back and long hair, before climbing down.  Later, dude.

As Samuel raced to the exit door, Nana ran to catch him.  Pretty spry, Nana!

Then the shouting and assorted obscenities began.  Samuel turned to see Santa in his new improved suit, white acrylic paint streaming down Santa’s pant leg and onto his black boot; his back plastered with black handprints and flowing stripes of yellow.

Samuel tossed the acrylic bottles into the trash bins, and Nana grabbed him.  They escaped, Samuel and Nana. She was smiling.
Spilled paint bottles



Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa: the real adventures

My "Samuel and Santa Clause" post isn't ready until Monday, Dec. 23, so the site was blank this morning.

I could not leave that as it was.

Here is a video, short and sweet.


Hope the last days of shopping do not wear you out.  There is also the wrapping of presents marathon ahead.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Almost words

File:Gnats.jpg
Source
Almost word, almost name.
Buzzing, flitting--
Out of reach.
Evading defiantly:
A drunken gnat of memory.

Tantalizing with maybe,
Could be, almost…

Sleep descends,
Eyes heavy in a curtain of dark.
Hidden letters a-b-c stretch out,
Swatting the inebriated midge.

smoke grey hazy pattern picture and wallpaper
Source

The almost-name, almost-word
Rises from the hazy smoke
Of buried, cluttered

Memory.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fields to Wall

1457000.  Patchwork fields of the County Down countryside, Northern Ireland.
Source
Morning misted grass
Velvet brushed green

Beckons, cries out
For a child,
Shoeless and wild.

Race across bare grass
With bare feet
Unfettered and free.

Hedge to stone wall,
Run and invite all
Follow, come, join...

Weeping eyes reply,
Cannot run, sadly sigh...
Travel ahead and discover
Fields touched by many.

Through golden gorse,
Beneath rowan trees,
Still, but for wren and sparrow hawks.
Come, follow...

There is yet another
Field awaiting,
Weeping eyes.


Ireland's Eye at Low Tide
Island of Eye/panoramio...Google maps

Friday, December 13, 2013

Jim and Eileen


BONDIS Wall clock IKEA
Source
Jim always called her his “goddess”.  In the early years of their marriage when both were sparkling with the joy of love, Jim had a talent for making her laugh.

Whether it was running along the beach or watching a movie, Jim and his goddess Eileen enjoyed each minute of their lives together.  The years had flown by with surprising speed.

She smiled at the memories of Christmases past, of their children growing, and happy times as she walked by the nurses’ station.  The medical staff always appreciated the elderly pudgy and wrinkled woman who came unfailingly to see her husband in the Alzheimer Unit.


When Eileen entered his room, Jim’s face lit up and for a few minutes his eyes smiled at her.  “Ah, my goddess, my beautiful love…”

These underlined words are from Delores  at Under the Porch Light.  Each week she sets up 6 words and a sentence prompt to be used as the writer wishes.  Please go to her site by clicking on the peaceful stream in the right sidebar.  You will discover some other takes on these words!  Go there, go quickly!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Marshmallow Dilemma, part 2


The situation was dire, very very dire.  The marshmallow coated the small town was showing just how nasty marshmallow truly is.

At first the population tried to dig their way out.  The marshmallow stretched and rebounded, white rubber bands.  Then some young kid suggested using fire to toast their way out.  A good idea for a child, but marshmallow continued to burn past the yummy stage, and the town was barely saved from a raging wildfire by local firemen.

The rain did not solve the problems either. 

The top layers of the marshmallow became leathery, which seemed a “hurrah” moment.  Unfortunately, only children were able to walk across the top.

What about getting food to each home?  Children were dispatched pulling sleds across the tough layers, carrying basics to place on porches.   Boxes were appreciated by everyone, even cranky Old Man Hinkle who lived alone.

The military was called in, with their scientists who finally discovered that liquid nitrogen would freeze the marshmallow solid and could be chipped away.  


Toasted Marshmallows
Source: an interesting site
All residents were ordered to stay inside their houses, and cuddle close to the fireplace, with a crackling fire burning high.  The helicopters flew around and over the town repeating this message many times.

All townspeople stepped of onto the solidly frozen marshmallow and began chipping away at it with every sharp tool. 

Liquid nitrogen
This is a great site for experiments.
The military succeeded in clearing out the main thoroughfare and counting the citizens.  All were accounted for, except for Old Man Hinkle. 

Small, elvin Timmy climbed up the steeple to see if Hinkle could be seen anywhere.  The only evidence of Hinkle was some ski trails across the leathery top.  Old Man Hinkle was a wizened scrawny guy; the leathery marshmallow top allowed him to escape the marshmallow-cursed town.


A letter had been left behind on the kitchen table:  ”I’m outta here…Gone to ‘Vegas…”


P.S.  I neglected to back-link the original story which inspired this follow up story:

Go to:  Marshmallow is not just for cocoa  This may clear up any confusion about 'what the heck?'

Monday, December 9, 2013

What?! No PEOPLE magazines? National Geographic?

Source
Today I drove my daughter to the doctor’s office.  Felt like old times in many ways.

It was for physical therapy, following rotary cuff surgery.  The past two weeks have been horrible, but now she is able to focus her eyes and move without excruciating pain.

We were in the waiting room.  That is the gist of this post:  The Waiting Room.

I have written about the waiting room experiences before.  This is not a theme at all, in case you are worried.

Unlike other medical facilities which have a variety of magazines, this office was specifically for guys.  Magazines on football, basketball, NASCAR, baseball-and all other sports were two magazine deep on the coffee tables around the room. 

Then I looked at the walls.  Framed jerseys, with names, numbers, and autographs were circled around the room.  It was claustrophobic.

Going to a third magazine hoard, I found two non-sports magazines.  One was filled with advertisements for local plastic surgeons and offers for Brazilian Butt Lifts and/or liposuction. 

The second magazine was a children magazine, Highlights.

Source

Had to cater to all the clientele.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Marshmallow is not just for hot cocoa.

Source: Who started the first marshmallow fight?


The yard bore a striking resemblance to pure white snow to/in the aftermath of  of an/the explosion in the/a marshmallow factory.

The surprise explosion had spread an aromatic scent of vanilla over the marshmallow-covered town.  Even the steeple  of the nearby church was coated with the sticky white stuff.  Several red cardinals were glued there, their pitiful songs heard about town.

Finally, an elfin boy named Timmy climbed up into the steep interior and then was lowered by rope to free the poor birds.  Oddly enough, the cardinals were able to fly away to nearby trees.

From the heights, Timmy watched faraway children dashing with toboggans in hand to slide down  “Killer Hill”.  He guffawed as each child became mired in the marshmallow ‘snow’, sinking rapidly into the white gloppy goo.



Winter Snow Covers Ground in North Iceland
Source


P. S.  Kudos to Delores at Under the Porch Light who delightfully selects 6 words AND a sentence prompt to be used as the blogger desires.  Access her sight by clicking on the peaceful stream image in the right sidebar.  There you will find some exciting and excellent takes on Delores' offerings.  Well done, Delores!

Another fine new Christmas Carole Proposal

Let the Carols Ring!
Another new Christmas Carol proposal! 

Already in Wal-Mart and other fine shopping stores, the toy aisles are burgeoning with this year’s new “gotta haves”.  The ceilings are dripping with garland; strands of flashing Christmas lights line the tops of the shelving.  No help needed to find the kids’ toy section!

Meanwhile, shopping in the fabric/craft area or any place in the store, all adults can hear the chorus of Christmas Techno overlaid with children whining for that special toy…and that one…

Here is my proposal for a new song.  We sang it frequently to our youngest daughter “Mary”.  She hated it then and apparently she hates it now.

From Fine Young Cannibals:




The thing about Mary was that her whining voice could be heard all through the store.  Never had any trouble locating her if she wandered off.


What do you think of this suggestion for a new Carol??


Please understand this is all in jest.  I love Christmas Carols!    Starting to play them over store speakers at Halloween wears thin after six weeks.

p.s.  Today is my birthday.  Born in 1951.  You do the math.  No happy wishes needed, just rejoicing that you and I and other readers have reached this point of our lives.  Rejoicing that writing is something that thrills us all.
I probably wont be checking my blog until next Monday, as I am going to party like it is 1984.  Not really, but it is a thought.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Age of Stones

Source
Rounded pillars
Tumbled, tossed
Like dice
Across sage hills.

Cairns guarding
places of rest.
A title for each,
Royalty from earth

Where legends
Spring alive and angry,
Buried secrets,
Hidden people

Cling,
Hold onto
Invisible hands,
Ancient bones.


Source

Friday, November 29, 2013

Alma

old chair dumped in a field (not a picture of the chair in question)
Source
I cannot do this today.  That was the single thought that roamed through Alma’s mind.  Not today.

Her frequent falls had led her to this moment of distress, with her ankle wrapped and restrained, up on a cassock.  Alma had not told anyone of her ‘spells’ where her vision filled with sparkling dots and lines, then turning to black.  Where she opened her eyes to discover she was lying on the floor.

“What mischief have we been up to lately?” the visiting home nurse had asked Alma, after checking all the vitals and settling her into her comfortable chair.  “Oh, we see your niece has brought us donuts again.  We cannot have that, can we, not with your sugar levels…”

The donuts went out the door, along with the nurse, who promised to return in two hours.  “We’ll be here soon.  Doctor will want to see that  ankle. We wouldn't want to do anything to make it worse, would we?”

I don’t want this today. Alma gazed out the window at the nurse as she drove away.  I don’t want them to find out… 

Snow began to float outside, while the sparkling dots and lines again filled her vision.

P.S.  A dark turn, I know. Migraines do that to me.  Anyways....
Many thanks to Delores at Under the Porch Light  for providing six intriguing words for participants to enjoy and write.  Please go to her site!  where a list of bloggers are in the right site bar.  You will not regret it!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

CAPTCHA gotcha

captcha2.ashx
Death to evil CATCHA
For those who find themselves sighing when a comment section has a CAPTCHA, this is for you.

Just WHO has the job of photographing the house addresses? Let’s all say a silent prayer for him/her…done.

And, who works to screw up the non-words with artistic slants, bold letters, condensed letters that share a common wall?  Is it some aspiring graphic artist?  He/she must be blind by now.  Let’s all give him/her some  encouraging thoughts regarding this effort.  Finding employment is difficult.

And what deviant programmer created a way to identify or deny the typed answer?  What went wrong in this life?  Let us hope he/she moves up the ladder to something else. You can do it!  Keep trying!


This is the day before T-giving, and I do not believe that many of you are typing and not cooking.  Do not feel any guilt about not commenting on this blog.  It was a random thought after muttering under my breath for the last few blogs.


Source

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dinosaurs per Metapictures

This week one needs a reason to laugh--I mean really laugh, gut laugh, giggle out of control.

My daughter sent this to me.  Good job, beloved daughter!

To see more, click on the above image.

Hope you enjoy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wednesday Words: Seth

Under the Porch Light photo prompt


Seth was relieved to complete the near vertical climb through deserted stretches of trails overlooking Las Vegas.  Seth cleaned his dusty spectacles and gazed at blinking lights below.

Ha!  And Dave said I couldn’t do it!  Seth smiled as he thought of his brother’s derision as he loaned his camp gear to novice camper Seth.  But his gloat was fleeting as he realized the sun was almost behind distant mountains, and he had yet to set up camp.  The full moon was moving behind heavy clouds and it would soon be completely dark.

Frantically Seth tried to find a suitable patch of ground that wasn’t rock hard.  He tumbled down into a trench where the softer ground made hammering spikes easier.  The tent was up in minutes with the Coleman lantern blazing.   Ha! He said again, as he dropped trousers to urinate into the dry ground.  Indecent of me, but it's camping…

As he dozed off warm and cozy within Dave's tent, he heard the thunder in the mountains and enjoyed the sound of rain falling upon the tent. 


When the ground rumbled and shook, Seth leaped outside the tent just in time to see the wall of water and mud roaring toward him along the gully.  His last thoughts were, ‘Dave is gonna be really pissed about the tent….’


Please check out of Wednesday Words and Prompts from Delores at  Under the Porch Light.  Awesome writers participate in this weekly event!  You can access her site by clicking on the peaceful stream on the right side bar.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why are we here?

Photo from Washington, Illinois, and posted on Donna's site
Welcome to all who know how I write and my style!

Welcome to all whom I have just met!

Normally, this blog plays with words and characters.  But today?  Today I find myself humbled by some posts I have read, and want to share with you.

Donna O’Shaughnessy of Midlife Farmer shared a post about an E4 tornado that ripped through and all but destroyed Washington, Illinois.  Please visit her post at http://midlifefarmwife.blogspot.com/

Where she writes about the panic, the absolute terror she experienced trying to reach her sister who lives in that area is palatable.  There can be nothing like the gripping of the heart she felt being unable to find out IF she is okay, IF she and her family survived such a tornado.


Then there is this Friko in Friko’s Word.  It is difficult to put into words.  Please go to her site at http://frikosmusings.blogspot.com/  and read her post, “Let’s stop minding our own business”.  Child abuse, children abused and tortured to death---not for the faint of heart.

What happened?
Child abuse is a world-wide problem, involving the most surprising pedophiles.  If you have a strong stomach, this site is valuable.


But it needs to be part of each individual’s awareness and, more importantly, action.  Whether is it a child next door or an elderly person living alone, we need to be aware and be proactive.


This is a topic people of “my” age generally avoid.  But after witnessing Mylie Cyrus on some award show and feeling outrage, I started being aware.  Then I read John’s World at John's World .




The video may be shocking, but it speaks volumes about the world of young women (and men) who want to be famous or at the very least, noticed.  The artist is Lily Allen, and read her words at the beginning of her song, Fear.
  
I don't know what's right and what's real anymore
And I don't know how I'm meant to feel anymore
And when do you think it will all become clear?
'Cause I'm being taking over by The Fear


 If this is the only video or site you have time to see, this one is very appropriate to today's lack of morals and values.



Please note that there is a precaution before the video.  But the words used are part of the times.


In this world and this time of political ping-pong, and harangues from news agencies, we need to ask ourselves, “Why and what are we put on earth to be doing?”

What do you think?


Friday, November 15, 2013

Wednesday Words: Gwynneth

chain Heavy chain disease
Source
Everything about Gwynneth was superb, absolutely superb.  Former model, elegant, able to pull together magnificent events with seeming ease.  Superb.

Then her world came plummeting about her.  She discovered Geoff, her successful and wealthy husband, between Gynneth’s own satin sheets with her middle-aged maid.  “It’s not what you think…it won’t happen again…I swear this is the first time I have ever…”

But “it” did happen many times, each time with Geoff plying lie after lie.

At the final time, Gwynneth threw his expensive collection of exquisite art at Geoff, as he tried to bluster his way from her rage.  Holding Geoff’s favorite Rodin bronze and venting her anger, Gwynneth brought it crashing down on his head.   It was a glancing blow that knocked him cold. 

Gwynneth made her decision quickly—faster than a lie from her cheating husband.

When Geoff came to consciousness, he saw two pair of glittering eyes looking down at him: His recently disenfranchised business partner, Joe, and Gwynneth.  “You spurious bastard!” Joe snarled.  “You stole everything from me!

Gwynneth purred in her nasal Texas twang as she tugged on the chains around Geoff’s ankles.  “You won’t lie your way out of this one!”

Together Joe and Gynneth released the hold on the heavy chains, sending a screaming Geoff to his watery death.


Geoff now lies for eternity.

Bubbles rising through a fan coral
Source: messersmith
If you enjoyed this post, it is inspired by Delores @ Under the Porch Light.  Each week this clever woman supplies participants with a list of words and a sentence prompt.  You may access other excellent bloggers by clicking on the photo of a stream in the right sidebar!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Change of the Seasons

Overlooking the Mississippi River.  Illinois on the left, Missouri on the right.
On a bright October afternoon, my brother Don took us on a drive along country roads that Mom had traveled many times over her 82 years.  The sky was glorious, one of those brilliant skies that changes tones of blue throughout the day.  The leaves had begun the magic that seeped from green to red and gold. 

...right there!
Everything held the sense of being so temporary.  The leaves and all their beauty would be a sodden mound of brown mulch in a few weeks.   

The sky would be filled with winter clouds.  And my mother—where and what would she be in weeks or months?  That was an unsaid question that floated over us along this drive along country roads and past harvested fields.

“I used to wade in the stream right there!” Mom exclaimed as we pulled off the road and down to the gravel stream bed.  Don and I ambled over to the water, talking in low tones about Mom, while she stayed in the car.  Don picked up a stone and skimmed it along a shadowy deep drop in the stream. 

“No, not there!  Further down…” Mom called out.  As fragile as she was and no matter how much each breath cost her, Mom would tell us the right way to go.
...you used to play there, Susie....

Later, we drove by a faded ancient house, one that leaned whichever way the wind was blowing.  The whole house gave the illusion that it was held up by the fact that the window frames were still square, and the front door was shut.  Other than that, the poor place was a lost cause.  

 “Oh, you used to play there, Susie,” Mom sighed.  Her hand pointed out the window.  “Over there Anna had a picnic table and we used to watch you kids while we…”  

 I looked at the hand with its transparent paper-thin skin, bulging blue veins, and bones.  So gnarled and painful now, those hands had held mine all my life.


After driving along back roads I never knew existed and hearing about the people who had once farmed that field, people who had lived in a house now a heap of rubble, we took Mom back to her home. 
Country road, goes on forever

While she napped in her recliner, I looked out her kitchen window, seeing some rain clouds moving in from the west.  The color of the air itself had transformed to gray.  I took a photo of a tree outside the kitchen window. 

“I wonder how many more times I will look out this window?”

The clouds moved in, the rain was almost weeping, and my mother slept for the rest of the afternoon.  I stood at the window, watching the leaves fall, and listening to the sound of the clock ticking on the piano.


P.S.  This was posted two years ago.  My daughter is having surgery and I will be busy this week. I thought this deserved a re-visit.  Susan Kane

Monday, November 11, 2013

Smoke Always Rises


Grandpa is old, real old.  

Nancy knew that, he fought in The Great War, the war he said was so big that it would end all wars.  Then her pa went to fight another Great War, called WW2.  Nancy wondered if there would be a WW3 someday. 

Nancy watched as Grandpa spread out his left hand.  He had big old wrinkly hands, with rough callouses and gnarled fingers, like any old man.  But she had never noticed the drawn white scars of burns, horrible burns. 
  
Wwi stereo195
1917-1918
He lay a thin paper on the white scars, opening it with his other hand.  Again, she stared at it, in awe of the stripes and crude stitching it bore from wounds earned long ago.  That must have hurt, hurt worse than any scraped knee ever.

Grandpa reached into the pocket of his flannel shirt, retrieving a drawstring bag.  Fingers moved slowly, easing open the drawstring, and then pouring a line of tobacco.  
Grandpa
Copyright Susan Kane

His hands never shook, not for one second.  They held steady and still as Grandpa licked the edge of the paper.  Hands so badly scarred had continued for fifty years, working, caressing, holding hands, living. Fascinated, Nancy watched as Grandpa placed the cigarette on a lip.  

Oh my, Grandpa! Scars ran down the arms, but she had never seen them before. His arms were always hidden by flannel sleeves, obscuring a torturous horror experienced a lifetime ago.  


He struck a match and lit up, breathing deeply.  She stared at his thoughtful expression and troubled eyes.

An old man walked by, tipped his hat to Grandpa.  Grandpa just nodded back, not even looking at him.  “Who’s he?” Nancy asked.

Grandpa blew out a ring of smoke.  “He’s a Goddamn coward.  His pa paid some other man to go fight instead of his own son.  Sonofabitch, Goddamn coward…”  Grandpa stuck in some other words that Nancy didn’t understand.


A charge by Naval Division on the Gallipoli Peninsula on January 6th 1916.
Over the top

“What’d you do in the war, Grandpa?” Nancywhispered, fearing the answer.


He glanced sadly down at Nancy.  Turning his face away and  taking another deep drag, Grandpa mumbled, “I killed a whole bunch of men.  Too many men…”

Nancy nodded.  The two sat there, one smoking and the other gazing as the smoke disappeared around them.

Copyright Susan Kane
Grandpa, age 55