Monday, August 31, 2015

Luigi...The family had no idea that.....

Luigi: Who was he?  What did he ?

In this prompt, may writers take on a short story about the enigmatic man, Luigi.  This prompt is provided by Mondays Finish The Story.  This is a unique flash fiction challenge where writer must finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided.

This is my first jab.  Hope it goes well.  Click on the underlined words above to access other writers.  Thanks!

copyright Barbara W. Beacham, Luigi is the toddler up front.
100-150 words:

The family had no idea that Luigi would grow up to be the:

“…unknown hero in war time America…” Lena stared at the typewriter.  What to write about Luigi?  So many aspects…brother…soldier…diplomat…spy…brother…

She stopped there, thought a bit, and then typed rapidly.

“Luigi had a kind generous soul who treated a little sister with love…”  type, type “…Hitler invaded France when…Luigi joined Armed forces….was highly decorated...quiet...changed…” Lena rubbed her temples. “...appointed diplomat to Italy in 1953 where he…”

Do I write about the secret life he led?  “…diplomacy took him around Europe...USSR, where he uncovered secrets to pass on to CIA oper…”

Should I write about Luigi as a spy during the Cold War?  No, better not….

Delete, delete.

Now? “…while protecting me, Luigi was killed…” Lena finished, walking to the door.  

Now I go to his funeral where the headstone will read:

Luigi Gambella, b. 1903 d. 1965…A Brave Man

Whew! A photo/flash fiction challenge by Defending the Pen!  Go to her site for more information about signing up for the Link on her page or at Brenda Beacham .  Click on the blue frog there.

Friday, August 28, 2015

WedWords: Pop Quiz Time

Today is QUIZ time!!

Below you will find incredibly difficult fill-in-the-blank type statements or questions.
Can you answer them?

Who danced in SiO2 slippers?  


In what book is there a velveteen lagomorth?


In what book and with what character fancied Turkish delight?


What book was scandalous for its time, with “Lady” as the first word in the title?


Who was the cad in “Pride and Prejudice?


In classic Looney Tunes, who was Miss Prissy in episodes with the main character, a boisterous gallus domesticus, who spoke with a Southern Accent?



Every Wednesday, Randomosity posts 6 to 12 words to be used by any blogger who wish to enjoy a break from the serious stuff.  Use these words to write fiction, prose, poetry, flash fiction, etc.  Either post it on your own site and link it back to Randomosity or  make your addition to her blog site comment section.

The underlined bold italicized words are this week's words.  Hope you enjoyed how they were used.

Also, many thanks to Delores at Under the Porch Light who started this writing stir up, and to Elephant's Child who took up the slack when Delores' computer went all wonky. And also to River who took up the baton to pass on.

Go on with it!  Fling yourself out into the unknown!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Easter Bunny Cometh

vintage Easter basket // woven wicker natural and pink and green Easter decoration 1960s 1950s
Source etsy
This event was before the Superman Travesty, back before I knew just how low and evil my brothers were, and would become.

It was Easter, maybe 1960 or 1959.  Church was over.  Ham dinner was eaten and done. It was time for the egg hunt.  Hard boiled and dyed eggs had been hidden in our vast lawn after we all had fallen asleep.  It was never questioned by whom.

Free Stock Photo: Whole chocolate Easter Egg unwrapped with smooth plain surface on straw.

It was a brutal competition, with lots of screaming, shoving and pushing. There may have been some scratching and punching as well. There are no memories about who garnered the most eggs; the hunt was not so much about speed—it was about who was most devious. 

Then Easter was gone, baskets were packed away for next year, and deviled eggs were supper. With no holiday to anticipate, a veil of tedium settled over our farm in a pre-summer heat.

In the middle of the night, something woke me, something like a POP!  I rolled over, catching just a hint of chocolate.  Then a new smell came in waves---foul, recognizable, nauseating.

It was the distinctive odor of rotten eggs.  Rolling out of bed and looking under it, I spotted a lone Easter basket with the remains of an exploded egg.  One of my three brothers had placed it there before I went to bed. (My bedroom was that clean...seriously...even under the bed...)

Opened the window…threw the Basket out…and heard the muffled giggles from my brothers’ rooms.  They were waiting for my own explosion. 

Well, they did not get it.  I tiptoed down the stairs and slept on the couch.  The rotten egg smell did not limit itself to my room; it traveled to their room as well.

Justice and revenge would wait for another day.  I was the soul of patience.

Those bastards....

Monday, August 24, 2015

Some Mondays...

It has been "unseasonably warm" here in San Diego.  Having made a promise to myself to not complain, moan, groan, or otherwise bitch about the weather, I am moving to something that makes me smile and laugh.

For a Monday, this is a sweet start of the week.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Dancing around Fire

hypnopompic hallucinations
“This vegetarian lifestyle really sucks,” Dina sighed, tugging at the weeds surrounding peas, tomatoes, and beans.

Dewy leaves now were dried in mid-day sun. Dina stretched and arched her back, standing to look around fields. People and friends just like her hard at work on summer harvest.  What life had been when all of this began…

Oh the times Dina relished when she had whirled around nightly fires, sparks rising up into a black sky.  Fairies had danced upon her fingertips and elves had woven rainbows through her hair. Dina had laughed, swirling and loving all in a colorful world.

Now hippy life and love appeared less and less meaningful after three years. The world now was black and white, the fires less, and fairies gone.  Dropping the clumps of weeds to the ground, Dina strode along the damp earth.

All things come to an end.

Every Wednesday, Randomosity posts 6 to 12 words to be used by any blogger who wish to enjoy a break from the serious stuff.  Use these words to write fiction, prose, poetry, flash fiction, etc.  Either post it on your own site and link it back to Randomosity or  make your addition to her blog site comment section.

The underlined bold italicized words are this week's words.  Hope you enjoyed how they were used.

Also, many thanks to Delores at Under the Porch Light who started this writing stir up, and to Elephant's Child who took up the slack when Delores' computer went all wonky. And also to River who took up the baton to pass on.

Go on with it!  Fling yourself out into the unknown!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Valley of the Slumbering Chiefs

An area of high pressure results in downward movement in the atmosphere. This dries the air out, and is why we don't usually have clouds or active weather under high pressure.
This is why it is so stinking hot.
This is one trigger for migraines, a big trigger.
Summer with all its misery has arrived in surrounds of Southern California.  Every year its revival is analyzed and dissected to discover the increased temperatures.

High pressure effects
Every year I complain to you all, to the point of showing photos of CostCo and its pre-Christmas products in August.

Global climate change is one of the factors.  Fourth year of drought is naturally part of that.  Now, the approaching El Niño, promised to arrive pretty soon, will bring some relief, UNLESS it tires out over Mexico.

Driving up to visit our grandchildren or to work takes us through an Ice Age-formed mounds of sand stone, surrounded with desert greenery and avocado trees.

Rather than complain about the obscenely roasting temperatures we are enduring, here are photos (poor ones taken from a moving car) of the Valley of the Slumbering Chiefs.  (I named it such, all by myself.)

Our greenery

"Our" hill; we claim ownership.

We really like our hill.

Here it is again, with view of "farm" land.

The ridges overlooking the valley.

The resolution is taken from cell phone...out the side window...going 75 mph...trying to make the snap before the next car went by...

Plus the temperatures were 100 deg. in San Marcos, 107 in Temecula, and 117 deg. in Palm Springs (where gr-daughters were competing in an Irish Dance Feis.).  But, I'm not complaining.  Oh, no. Not me.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Search for the Sacred

Ireland Adventure Map
Dolmen in a bare site
Spread the map upon 
the table top
Unfold its creases with care.
Point with sticky fingers,

Dots in random order,
Speak of dirt roads,
Along green walls,
Searching for one place old.

Stones mammoth and ancient,
Balanced and braced,
As Weight of the earth
Called for time’s race.

Under and beneath
Climb on the cap stone,
Feel ocean wind,
Feel the time flown.

Until on the table 
once again,
The map unfolds,
Seeking deep caverns
Where the Earth opens.

 Spread the map on table top. 
Leac an Scail, Co. Kilkenny

Spreading the paper map on the kitchen table on a Sunday afternoon was our special time in Ireland.  We climbed castle keeps, crawled down caves, and hid beneath cap stones at sacred dolmens. 

No MAP APP needed or wanted.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

WedWords: Survival of Lord James St. John

Another hot day in Kansas City began by 9 a.m., and David sighed.  Why the hell did we move here?  Why?

He found himself on the library steps, going up into the brisk cool of books and tables.  David headed back to where he had tossed “The Adventures of Lord James St. John” onto the floor.  The book, of course, had been shelved by some zealous librarian.  Even so, he caught the sapphire blue spine among lined up soldiers of insipid adventure fiction books.

Sitting in a dark corner on a battered leather chair, David experienced a revived sense of anticipation.

“…the ground rumbled beneath him... as he raced ahead of the cave-in, only to sense burning vitriolic acid mist surrounding him, engulfing him.  The air morphed into a freezing mixture, combined with rotten egg scent of  liquid sulfuric acid…
Oh, come on!  Sulfuric acid AND gaseous nitrous oxide?  Together? Ancient tribes would have no knowledge…Idiot writer…Do your research, why dontcha?

Misfortune loomed as the fumes waved over him.  Coughing through a torn shirt sleeve, when he had an epiphany. Holding his breath, he crouched and crept along the craggy cave floor, breathing through the rock and dirt.  Stay low, stay low…out of the mist…

 A light gleamed ahead.  … hallucination?... St. John tumbled and rolled into the bright day light.  He snatched grass and twigs to pull him the rest of the way until he could escape the fumes. Lord James revived just enough to see his worst enemy towering over him.  Not him, Lord James St. John groaned.

David smirked. Well then…this was unpredictable.

A tall man glared down at him.  “…had to take another gamble, didn’t you?...A man who finds  misfortune, unworthy to bear the colors of the St. John banner…”

James lost consciousness blessedly, but when he came to, the man was still there, still haranguing at his son.  “…you impertinent worthless…."

Can’t he just shut up…just shut up…

First you deny the privilege of serving Queen and Country…A PACIFIST….”

David groaned inwardly. His dad.  Just silly plot twist.  Come on, really?

Lord James William Arthur St. John, puffed out his medal covered chest. “Why, in my day…”

Lord James St. John gazed through a haze at the self-proclaimed hero of martial glory.  Before passing out with a fading smile, he whispered, “You peacock you…”

David laughed (a rare thing).  Flipped a few pages ahead, Lord James St. John was on another adventure.

Why not?  He took the book to the check-out desk.

Every Wednesday, Randomosity posts 6 to 12 words to be used by any blogger who wish to enjoy a break from the serious stuff.  Use these words to write fiction, prose, poetry, flash fiction, etc.  Either post it on your own site and link it back to Randomosity or  make your addition to her blog site comment section.
 The are this week's words.  Hope you enjoyed how they were used.

Also, many thanks to Delores at Under the Porch Light who started this writing stir up, and to Elephant's Child who took up the slack when Delores' computer went all wonky. And also to River who took up the baton to pass on.

Go on, with it!  Fling yourself out into the unknown!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Murderer! Murderer! ...Mörder! Mörder!

hiking  in swiss alps
Switzerland is famous for its incredible awe-inspiring beauty.  When I viewed my first mountain with its cap of white snow, I almost reached out to see if it was a painting or real. 

The people of Switzerland are polite and well-educated, and the unemployment rate is near to nothing.  And most have a dog or two, which are also polite and well-trained.  The canine walk on leash, silent, and discreet in relieving needs, which the owner promptly removes with a Swiss provided bag and disposal sites along the sidewalks.

Scrumpy and Porter (these are types of English beers)
My daughter Mary and husband Richard have two dogs, Porter and Scrumpy.  Porter has a stoic dignity about him; he will keep feet warm, let my grandson climb over him, and considers himself to be superior to his fellow dog, Scrumpy.

Scrumpy and Benjamin's diapered bottom

Benjamin (1 year?) hanging out with Scrumpy
Scrumpy is a fun-loving and likable mutt, with mixed terrier tendencies and low on the intelligence scale.  If there is to be something destroyed in the house, Scrumpy is guilty while Porter shakes his head. Scrumpy..Scrumpy.

Porter, the ever-patient-Porter

The Swiss also have professional dog-sitters: people who are prepared with all the needs a dog might have.  Mary and Richard have left Porter and Scrumpy with a lovely lady on many trips, where dogs are happy.

This last two week holiday had an unusual twist in the regular day's activities.  Life for Porter and Scrumpy had been proceeding just fine, until this one afternoon.

Well, then.

How to Care for Your Tortoise

The lady had two sizable pet tortoises who also occupied the dog yard, and enjoyed a platonic, complacent relationship with all the other dogs. And Porter and Scrumpy had stayed there several times.

So it was a big surprise to all when Scrumpy raced toward the medium-sized tortoise (let’s just call him Bernard), opened his terrier-sized maw, and scooped him up.  He shook Bernard side to side to side.  Then Scrumpy threw him in the air, where Bernard turned end on end, landing with a thump on his back.

Scrumpy moved in for the kill—he somehow knew what to do.  With his front paws, Scrumpy disemboweled Bernard.

Porter had been laying under the shade of a tree, observing his impulsive friend do all this, gave one bark, which said it all:  Damn it, Scrumpy, you idiot!  Scrumpy happily jogged over to Porter, a jaunty wag of his tail singing his victory.

The owner lady came screaming and cursing.  How it all ended, I don’t know. Mary and Richard are rather silent on this, while Benjamin still loves to chase Scrumpy around the house.

But I do know this: Scrumpy and Porter will no longer be welcome at her house.

This is a re-post from 2015. Benjamin is now 6 and has a brother James, aged 2.  Scrumpy is less spry, not as feisty. Porter is as Porter has always been.

With Christmas coming, I will be putting up some old posts.  New ones will appear in the New Year.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Things happen

The Unexpected, Ken Okel, Clear the Path, dealing with change, challenges

Things happen.  Things happen quickly.

In one second, a fraction of second,

one’s world changes,

 turns over.

Maybe it is a fall.  Or, maybe it is abrupt darkness or 


But then, things happen.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Wed.Words: Kindle Windle Valentine

Kindle Windle Valentine
Went looking for something
He could not find.
It need not be something gentle or kind.
But something where the road would wind,

Which would be just fine.

Kindle Windle Valentine stumbled and fumbled,
Then rose to his feet.
Questions to his mind rumbled.
Should he take the path of dreamers?
Should he seek a place of solidarity?
Which would surely be a rarity…

With hands on his hips, a whistle on his lips,

Kindle Windle Valentine
Was done, then undone by all his searching
with thoughts in his mind.
He was tired of walking and working,
A place of comfort was where 
Which was where he started,

Which was just fine.

This week's words were supplied by Randomosity , Jacqueline has graciously agreed to supply the Wednesday Words writing challenge, from RiverElephant's Child, and Delores (great writers in themselves).

The photo and/or the six words can be used to inspire writers who are struggling with brain block, or simply want to do something else. The bold, underlined words are six unrelated words with which to cut loose and take a big leap.  You won't be sorry!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Slaughter of the Innocents

Happy Hunters with Cecil
Slaughter—that is what it is—slaughter.

The world news for the past week has been about slaughter of the innocent.

On MSNBC, commentators have spent a total of 41 minutes on Cecil the lion that was first shot by a cross-bow, tracked for some miles, and then killed by rifle.  His head was removed and he was skinned as trophies for the safari hunter. 

It is horrifying to think that a doctor would pay $100,000 for the privilege of having this experience.  Money for a life.

And then, there is the Planned Parenthood scandal.  MSNBC devoted 11 minutes on the sale of aborted baby organs and tissue.  Despite the covertly filmed discussions in a restaurant where negotiations over the sales were discussed, this is now being discussed as an assault on the right to privacy.  

Being that this all took place in a public venue, a restaurant, where every conversation can be heard, every table and occupants visible.

Finding a video on-line was an easy-to-find and nauseating experience.

Two doctors/technicians are pouring over two large petri dishes.  They are using tweezers to pull apart an 11 week aborted infant, setting aside the heart, brain, spinal cord, arms, legs, and more.  

These were placed in the next dish, clearly showing the above body parts, and speculating on the condition of the part and value. 

There is no way that I would post that video. But, I will display sonograms showing the babies at 11 weeks, 20 weeks, and 24 weeks.

at 11 weeks
Abortion are allowed up to 20 to 24 weeks, depending on the state's laws; this equates to five to six months gestation time.

at 20 weeks
24 week ultrasound 3D
at 24 weeks
Vicki's tiny premature son Kieron pictured at Newham hospital where he was born
at 24 weeks 

 Money for a life. Feel free to vomit. 


Monday, August 3, 2015

Far from Home

Rubber Stamp - The Ache For Home Lives In All Of Us - Homesick Family Hometown Quote Sentiment - Altered Attic - 00372 - Mounted
Etsy: $9.00
So far from home.  So very far from home.  These are frequently said in my home.  Photos hold so many memories of childhood days, wedding photos of bright days—all do not do justice for longing of those babies cuddled and now grown.

My daughter now says those words to her own family.  Mary is and has always been an adventurer; she met and married Richard in Cambridge, England.  Now they are in Switzerland, along with 3-year old Benjamin.

Recently she asked to put my quilting skills to work and make some pennants to replace the baby-themed ones that then hung across Benjamin’s wall.

In front of our house

Don’t forget!  Remember us!  Here we are, little man!

Richard and Mary's families
Mary's side of the family

So far from home, but at least now we are almost there.  

Photos are iron-on inkjet printable fabric sheets. Works well enough, but I also sewed around the fabric photos. The pennants are detachable and reversible.