Monday, June 29, 2015

Samuel's Son

Oh, the things I will do...
When Samuel held his newborn son, he was awed that such a tiny being could one day be an adult.

A warmth filled his chest.  He looked down and said, “The little bugger just peed on me!”


He smiled inside.  That's my boy!  Oh the places you will go!  The things you will do!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wed. Words: Clarisse-the-she-devil and Samuel

Grammie announced that she would hold a Formal Spring Tea Bridal Shower for Clarisse and Samuel.  “Oh, they have been friends since pre-school!  Imagine our two families together!”

Nana shook her head.  She has no idea, none at all.  Samuel AND Clarisse-the-she-devil? God help us…she choked at the possibilities.

The day came with the frippery and frivolity that only Grammie could create.  It was as if a Smurf and Pepto-Bismol had smashed into each other.  Guests held comments with great restraint, smiling at the lovely bride.  Being at Grammie’s hosted events meant that respect, true or false, was expected.

Clarisse rigidly held back, as if coated in royal icing.  Oh, Samuel…how could you let me fall for this?

 Source

As if reading her thoughts, an airplane flew overhead, pulling a long banner.  Clarisse squinted to read the message.

Clarisse, I love you!  Get the Hell outta there!  Samuel

And Clarisse threw off her heels, taking off at a run.  Samuel waited on a Harley, revved-up and ready to go.  In your face, Grammie!

The sites listed below are my intro to a long running character, Samuel, a brilliant sociopath.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Creative Awards to Creative Writers

Star Trek Space
Many thanks go to the Star Trek Space who was recently nominated for Creative Blogger Award from J. S. Scott.  There are many aspects of any life that qualify as "creative" in all beings.  

For instance, I could write about quilting, but readers would be snoring by the second paragraph.  History? Geology?  Native Americans?

Final Choice is about science fiction, or science in general. I am supposed to tell you five facts about myself:


Facts about myself  
Fact one:
Two gr-daughters, one husband, and me
My husband and I love space and science. We took our gr-daughters to Mt. Palomar Observatory--best day ever.

Fact two:
My favorite book is the Bible.  I believe in and trust God's plan for my life. His Love has literally saved my life.

Fact three:
Every clear night I look at the moon, stars, and planets. 

Fact four:
Doctor Who and its authors (Steve Moffat mainly), with their creativity and proclivity, continue to create and amaze me.  Matt Smith--sigh

The Doctor Who...Matt Smith in front

Fact five:
I have been told that I have a wry, dry, and peculiar sense of humor.  I do not know if that is true.

The directions say to nominate 15-20 creative bloggers, but I narrowed that list to five.  Summer tends to complicate blogger time.

The rules:

1. Thank and post the link of the person who nominated you.

2. Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers.

3.  Nominate 5-10-20 blogs and notify them (when you make a comments on their blog posts).

4. Pass on the rules.

My five nominees are:






What facts about your life reflect who and/or what you are, what you write, or why you write. Cut loose!

Now, I must continue to sort through my quilt fabrics.





Friday, June 19, 2015

The Old Woman

Wine Train California Watch Alaska Native Corp.
Photo taken in 1917
The Gwich’in tribe had decided, and once a resolute decision is made, there would be no change.

Leader Ti’kto’ma approached the old woman with tribal leaders behind him.  The old woman huddled close to the fire, but continued to chew the hide of a seal, softening it.

”Old grandmother!  It is time to leave you in this camp for you to take your final journey!”  Ti’kto’ma shouted down at the elderly woman, where her youngest granddaughter wrapped her arms around the woman.

Old Woman, whose worth now was less than bark on a tree, nodded in submission.  The young girl begged for Grandmother’s life, her bruised deformed face twisted in tears.  Ti’kto’ma kicked her away from the fire.  “The fire is wasted on you!  Return to your mother…she must have some use for you, Mongrel Child.”

Old Woman gazed as the tribe walked off in the distance, clutching her bag and fur scarf tightly. In a day where dusk came as soon as the sun disappeared, she was left in the abandoned camp. She settled her elderly bones onto icy snow, waiting for the cold to take her.

As night crept in and cold settled over her, sounds grew louder in the forest.  Old Woman reached out, finding her grand-daughter.

“Let us both float off in the final journey together,” Mongrel Child whispered.  Old Woman wrapped her shawl and scarf around the girl, and they settled into a final night's sleep.


Elephant’s Child has provided the bold underlined words as a challenge for bloggers to stir the pot and produce any genre using those words.  This week there are six and another six words to play with as you choose.  Pop on over to her site, by clicking on her moniker above.

Have you heard of a book Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal and Survival" written by Velma Wallis? The tribe name is true and this ancient custom is accurate.  The story has truth in it as well.  After discovering "two old women" left behind, the tribe finds them well, healthy, and with a huge collection of dried foods.  The Gwich'in discontinued this tradition. This book is a worthy read, simplistic yet moving.

Map of books set in Alaska by Alaska authors on andreareadsamerica.wordpress.com
More on this history and legends

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Betrayed


It was bound to happen.  I knew it, they knew it.  But, it came too soon.

I have been kicked out of the loop




 Who knows how long this has been going on??




This sneaked up on me.  But, then Stanley has been acting peculiarly.




This feels like betrayal.



It is time to up my game.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Bouncing Ball of California History


File:Bouncing ball strobe edit.jpg
He who holds the ball last, wins.
California has a bloody history.  In fact, there is no country in the entire world that does not have blood soaked ground.  Battles fought, won or lost, changed histories of every country.  In California, where I live, history is like a bouncing ball, it all has to do with "who owns the land now".

Indigenous tribes owned the land, had for centuries or more.  Then Spain arrived, charged by the King and Queen to spread the word of God to the heathens, form places of worship, and establish forts with lots of military. (Many of the Indians died of smallpox.  Those still healthy were torn away from their ancestral homes to become Christians.  Another story, that.)

This was the start of the bouncing ball.  Spain remained the dominant force in millions acres of land from the Mississippi west.  

Then France defeated Spain, taking the land.  France made a deal called the Louisiana Purchase.

Then the mixed population of Spain and indigenous people (now called Mexico) defeated France, taking the land as their own. 

Then elite wealthy in Alta California became the Californios.  

Then Missions were stripped of their massive amount of land, and left with the Mission Churches only. 

The Californios ruled California, but realized that the Americans were sneaking in, inch by inch, settling the land as their own.

Battles, oh there were many battles in California.
.
my grand-daughters, just because
 The bloodiest battle in California was in the valley of San Pascual (which means Saint “Easter/Peace”).  An essential battle, it closed in the embattled Californios from the east and north.  This battle on December 6, 1846, is always commemorated in the valley, not 15 miles from our house.
Image result for San Pasqual Valley, Escondido CA
Across the Valley

The ball came to a stop with the influx of miners and, through lots of legalities, America claimed the land of California, which became a state in 1850.

Abraham Lincoln signed a document returning the crumbling Missions back to the Catholic Church in 1863.  A copy of the document is at the San Luis Rey Mission (called this, The King of the Missions, since it had the most land and wealth).



The ball ceased its bouncing in America's court. 

The greatest travesty in this bloody history is the theft of the land from the Indian Nation, a bloody travesty which slashed across America. The ball will never cease its bouncing here.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Wed. Words: Emily at Church

Beautiful Savior Pulpit
source
“There’s a storm comin’!  I tell you a storm!” Pastor Grimley yelled, pounding the pulpit.  “ARE YOU READY?”

The congregation shouted Amen, Praise the Lord…waking Emily from her nap on the pew.  Mama was standing, being one of the Amen group.

Emily rolled and then planted her chubby little feet on the maple floor.  The walking thing was still iffy, but she had the crawl-ing down.  Distance to the pulpit wasn’t far at all, and at a fast crawl, Emily could cover it before Mama noticed.

And, off she took, under pews, between legs, around feet, past purses.  Oh, Emily knew she was fearless, and this would be another time she found freedom, with her white diaper bottom wagging behind.

“Can you make a joyous noise to the Lord??” Pastor roared. Cue the organist, who joined in with a chorus from different hymns.

Emily reached the pulpit and pulled herself up, pounding on the cross.
Diaper-deals
Source

Root out sin!  Let joy rise as a fragrance to the Lord!” He raised his arms, pointing to heaven.


Emily plopped down on her bottom, onto a loaded and ripe diaper.  You betcha!  Emily clapped and cooed as Mama came running.

Thank you, Elephant's Child for provided the bold underlined italicized words!  She tosses 6 to 12 words out at writers to take up a challenge in their writing each week.  Go to her site and check her comments!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Last Campout

Salisbury Beach State Reservation Campground
Trees? Please?
A wall of old camping gear stares at me every time I do laundry.  Covered with dust, it reminds me of our very last camp out--a sad and memorable event.

Our church planned a big camp out, starting Friday night to Sunday morning, with a big potluck on Saturday evening.  One of the church ladies had a brochure on a nearby camp site, which showed towering trees, people playing volley ball, kids swimming, etc.  It looked marvelous.

Talk about untruth-in-advertising.  After checking in, we went to our assigned spot.  Where were the trees?  Gone, all gone.  In their places stood spindly plantings.  The pool? Drained for repairs.  The volley ball court? About ¼ mile, at the far stretch of camp.

The saddest thing of all was the sewage back-up in the only shower and toilet facilities. Four toilets, each backed up, with toilet paper pieces covering the floor. Fortunately the campgrounds were spotted with Spanky’s Porta-Potties, which were nearly full.
Spanky's Portable Service - Individual Unit
source

Saturday night was about 90° and at dusk, the air started to cool.  We were each assigned food to bring, which for us was salad thankfully.  

The number of entrees was thin, but some cheerful church lady brought a huge cauldron of her special recipe chicken stew.  “You’ll just love this!” she exclaimed as she ladled it out. My husband accepted his portion, while I passed it by, and headed to the tray of cold cuts.

Most of the campers settled into their tents, while others stayed up around the campfire, singing praise hymns, without ceasing.

Around 10 pm, my husband leaped up and ran out; I could hear him retching in the brush.  There were so many others doing the same. He returned to the tent, saying “We’re leaving. Now.”  

With Spanky’s Porta-Potties by now full to the brim, there were no other viable options where to vomit or allow one to relieve one’s bowels.
Spanky's Portable Services Inc. - Your One Stop Shop for Portable Sanitation Service
Serving the needs of the public

 We gathered or grabbed valuables, leaving the tent standing, and raced to our home, about thirty miles away. It was a rough night.

My husband returned early the next morning to pack up the tent and sleeping bags.  He said many others had done to same.

Since then, we have converted from roughing it to staying in a motel.  Things change; the memories remain.



Monday, June 8, 2015

Great War

Company 'I', 1919
The Boys Went Marching...
The last time Hannah saw Gerald was the day he rode the train out with hundreds, maybe thousands, of boys in uniform.  Fight the Great War…Be home by Christmas! Hannah blew kisses and waved as if her arm needed to go with him.

All the other new brides gathered at the church hall to roll bandages and pack toiletries.  Murmurs echoed across, up, and down from the vaulted ceiling.

“Why, my Joe said that Paris is grand, and some day he will take me there!  He writes to me every day, you know.”  Melissa wrapped bandages, her eyes lost in dreams.  Long white strips draped over her rounded belly.

Airplane, possibly World War I fighter plane, 1916
Beginning of War from Above
In the circle of young brides. Hannah was alone with a flat belly. Letters from Gerald came every day, but were grim and spotted with mud.  His words she would not share with the round-belly brides.  They needed their dreams, while Hannah needed truth.

Christmas came and left, church bells rung and carols sung. Then another Christmas slipped by unnoticed.

Brides, now weathered lonely wives, still met at the hall.  While toddlers chased around, mothers wrapped and wrapped rolls of white cotton.  The young faces once wreathed with smiles now reflected strain of another year gone by.  Letters grew fewer and all waited for the one letter they did not want to receive.

Then.  It ended.

coming home crowd
(AWM H11576)
Australia; women watching for their boys to come down the gangplank

The “boys” came home; some had left legs and arms behind; some remained, buried in graves in France, near the ocean.  Boys now men-- some shivered at every loud sound, while others were stoic, with distant haunted eyes.

Gerald held Hannah gently.  “It was awful, never seen anything like it.”  Hannah settled her face into the fragrance of Gerald’s wool uniform.

She whispered into the wool.  “I knew you would come home, just knew it.  And, I will never let go of you.”

Ever.


World War 1 is the often-forgotten war.  Its veterans are now gone.  Honor them. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Wed. Words: The Art of Being Mindless

Choices
Some people are born with a propensity to mindless  behavior, which is developed to be an art over a life time.  How does one recognize someone who does not have a clue, who spends life in a marathon of stupid choices?

First, such a person would walk across a yard while the sprinklers are on full force, because one is playing “candy crush” something on an iPhone.

A man tore a tendon in his thumb after playing the game Candy Crush Saga on his phone for weeks - but reported he felt no pain at all (file photo)
Man tears tendon after playing Candy Crush for 10 hours every day for 8 weeks

Next, one such is seldom wary of danger, like crossing against traffic, while checking local movie times on that stupid iPhone.

A man talks on a cellphone while crossing a street in New York. More than 1,000 pedestrians visited emergency rooms in 2008 because of injuries suffered while using a cellphone.
Screeeccchhhh!

Finally, this person, who is downloading Johnny Cash’s Greatest Hits, will suddenly develop itchy welts on feet and legs after ignoring a friend’s warning, “Hey, --------.  My sister’s dog is swarming with fleas.  Don’t go near it…”

Source

Fact is, mindless people will find that being mindless does not serve them well. Ever.

Thanks to Elephant's Child who has provided 6 and/or 8 words each week for bloggers to use.  These words are italicized and underlined.  So... Shake up your writing!  Try something new and challenging! Prose, poetry, fiction, whatever!  And, visit her site to read some comments using these words.  Good reading.

And, many good wishes to Delores at Under the Porch Light, who is currently having computer issues (haven't we all been there??).  



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cars vs. Dinosaurs


These days my grandson is too busy to Skype with his grammy.  Unless his mom is chasing him, engaging him in some activity, all I see of this boy is his fine almost white hair flying in the wind as he races away.  

Snotty little thing.

So, my grandson, the former car thief, has become aware that there is a computer screen that cannot be breached.  To break through this problem, I have broken out the toy dinosaurs, which have long lay in the dark. 

back row: Terry, Sarah; front row: Timmy, Bumpy, and
Stanley
While his dinosaurs accurately depict the food preference and degrees of bloody violence, mine are darn friendly. They all have delightful smiles and names. There are all herbivores; even the T-Rex (Terry).  The dinosaurs have become fast friends and visit on Skype.
Dr. Who has visited on many occasions.

My dinosaurs recently gave the little guy good-bye kisses (right on the camera light), which amazed him.  After about 10 kisses, we both said “Good-bye, I love you”, only he added “I love you, dinosaurs.”



Monday, June 1, 2015

Succulents hold the secret of water...


This is the fourth year of the California drought.  Too many photos show the Central Valley—the home of huge fields growing every fruit and vegetable imaginable—is starting to look like a waste land. 

We rejoice for the rain that is beating down on other places, and are appalled at the floods with its unrelenting damage.

Selfishly, I look at the flowers on Elephant's Child site and sigh at their beauty.  Cup on the Bus is surrounded by flowers, plants, and green, so green.  There are other blog sites who post such amazing photos of their world.


Well, now.  The only way I could show any photos at all was using my cellphone to capture succulents at a local Succulent show.  Here are some beauties, and I don’t know their appellations:

<==This seriously could be used as a back drop for a C movie.

The plant to the right is
some sort of bonsai; do not
know what kind.  Do you?==>

This plant might actually survive with my ineptitude?
<==

I was told this plant to the right is called 
"pitcher plant" or monkey's paws.  It
has a sweet nectar at the bottom of the 
pitchers that traps and consumes insects.==>
If you have suggestions, please
write them in your
comments!  Please?

Perhaps you all may know these amazing plants' names?





<==I love this one!