Monday, December 21, 2015

In a Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti



Choir of King's College, Cambridge, England


In a bleak mid-winter

Frosty air made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like stone;

Snow on snow

In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago

Christina Rossetti

This is my last post before Christmas!  I will return January 11, 2015.

Blessings on you all.  Rejoice is God's Glory and Gift!
Susan Kane





Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Fictioneers: Kitchen Window

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Copyright Rochell Wisoff-Fields
Edith had stared
Out this window
For nearly 50 years.

Edith had watched
Weather changes,
Children playing,
Family picnics.

Today, fields
Were silent.
Her house was silent.
Edith herself was silent.

Last mourners had closed the door.

The parlor was over-powered with
The scent of roses and carnations.

The table held remnants of
Sandwiches and pie.

Edith did what she always did:
She cleaned up.

Now she stood at the kitchen window.
What to do? What to do, now?

Edith carried her suitcases
To the car,
Locked the house.
And left.

To where?
She did not know.

This is part of a fiction writing group called "Friday Ficitoneers".  If you wish to read some postings, go to This site .


Wed. Words: Martin Van Buren O'Brien

I will not speak vernacular in class
Please check this site--about prohibiting children from speaking their native language.
Remnants of the original family stories trickle down generations.  As with all stories, there was truth and imagination interjected throughout.

Incredibly, family patriarch and provider of his large clan Martin Van Buren O’Brien spoke, said, and did every blessed thing the stories passed down insisted.

“The bastard was a spiteful old sinner…cranky does not begin to describe his temper…words that son of a bitch could say…Ireland would weep at the vernacular when Van exploded in one of his rages…

Actually, this is one of our family stones,
 and the head of the family was Martin.


Many more true tales hovered about.  Subsequently, at Martin Van Buren O’Brien’s interment, over six hundred town residents gathered around the grave to hear final words from the priest.



Then, one by one, each passed by the mound of dirt and spit on it.  Some spoke words in their own vernacular, expressing heart-felt wishes.  One frequently used phrase was “May you burn in hell, you…..”






This week's words were provided by River, who has given six words and/or prompt sentence  (which was quite interesting this week!).  Please pop over to her site and see what other bloggers have posted in her comment section, OR write your own poem, prose, story, etc.  Be sure to leave an address at River's site to allow us to find you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea

Call me Ishmael.
J145119504
1819-1891
Movie reviews are supposed to help movie goers decide what to see.  Most of those who write these reviews seem to have forgotten why people go to see movies.

We go to escape.  To enjoy.  To be part of something bigger than ourselves.

We do not go to examine the plot line, seek to deride director errors, editing decisions, actor choices or screen writer inadequacies.

Right now in theaters is “In the Heart of the Sea” which is story about a story.  Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick”, sought out the one of the survivors, Tom Holland who had been the youngest of the crew on the whaler ship, Essex.  It was a bloody, horrible story, and this survivor needed to wrench the images of memories from his tortured mind.

Nathaniel Philbrick.JPG
Nathaniel Philbrook
Author Nathaniel Philbrick researched Melville, the painful consequences of the Essex and the greed of the company who owned the ship. With this incredible history, Philbrook wrote "In the Heart of the Sea".

Interview and relating the story was therapeutic for both the story teller (Tom Holland) and the writer, Melville.  Even so, film reviewers turned their noses, criticizing it for lacking “stuff”.  At This Site  every amateur critic had not read "Moby Dick".  One such critic said this. 

"Nobody gives a crap about Moby Dick.  Just THINKING about the idea of a movie about the friggin' story that inspired the story of Moby Dick puts you to sleep.  How did he (Chris Hemsworth) get paid $80 million to make that?!"  


For us, the movie was riveting.  The actors were strong and skillful.  The director was Ron Howard.  The setting was true to the times.  The interaction between Melville and the survivor was emotional and bonding. Knowing the story of the Essex and its demise hung over the audience, hoping “No, not that!”

Engrossing, hope, loss and gain, greed, a dirty industry, eminent death, and finally redemption—all make for a movie that rises above “Krampus” or “Trumbo”.


Please see what the whaling industry became before its demise.  

More than that, see what the current intelligentsia reads or has not read. 




Monday, December 14, 2015

The Old Bin

Delores at Under the Porch Light



The storage bin had been a part of the farm house as long as anyone could remember.  Even back many generations, that bin was there, leaning up against the barn. 

It used to store chicken feed.  Farmer Gunter got rid of the chickens after a few decades. 

Then the bin was used to keep coal before the farmer switched to propane.  He cleaned the bin out and thought about how it could be used.  He even asked his wife Bernadette what they should do with the empty bin.

Bernie launched into another harangue about him being too lazy to even think for himself, and then moved on to his other deficiencies.  The list was long.  Gunter stared at her blankly as she continued.

After some time, Gunter packed up his suitcase and gathered up all their money stored in the cellar since the Great Depression.  As he passed by the bin, he patted the lid which sported shiny new nails all around the perimeter.  

“You’re right, Bernie.  I shoulda thought of this long ago.”  Silence was the answer.


This was a photo prompt compliments of Delores at Under the Porch Light back on July 17, 2013.  I liked the macabre even then.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Wednesday Words: mmmm...good coffee...

A cup of coffee
mmmm...coffee....
Heavy silence fell when an elderly man with a cane came in to buy a coffee.  The customers in Rick’s Coffee remembered him well.  Oh yes, they remembered him.

He called himself “Fred”, but no one ever knew his true identity.  An air of inaccessibility surrounded him, which was just the way Fred liked it.  All that anyone knew was that Fred was superb at tracking.  Animals or people, Fred was on their trail while foot prints were still wet.

Some said Fred could find a mosquito hiding in a free standing rotting tree, during a raging sand storm.

When “Fred” left, walking slowly with his cane, all exhaled. They had not wanted a repeat of the last time he came for coffee.


No.  They did not want that.

The italicized underlined words are courtesy of River, who is providing Wednesday Words for the month of December.

Please click on her name to access her site and enjoy how other writings have used these words and the sentence prompt!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

He's Back: less than 100 words

  

PHOTO PROMPT © Luther Siler
He's back.
A brutal scene greeted Det. James.  Blood splattered everywhere, gruesome and dark.  But, there were no bodies. None. 

Det. James and Forensics scoured the house, gathering bits of evidence.  But, still there was nothing, no clues at all.  Packing up and walking out the door, Det. James was certain he had missed something.  But what?

Something from the patio caught his eyes.  Turning around, James saw the carcass of a bright yellow rooster.  Feathers littered the patio, a patch of yellow around the dead fowl.


Det. James shook his head.  “He’s back.  Rooster Man is back. Damn.”



This post is a stab at a story under 100 words.  Go to this site, to see other stories.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Tickle Me Elmo's Reign of Terror

christmas story
...Black Bart...you'll get what's acoming to you...

Christmas toys have evolved over the decades without a doubt.  In different magazines (Reminisce, for example), readers share how difficult it was for parents to manage to save enough money to buy or make one toy for Christmas.

Not the case now.  Visit Wal-Mart and discover toy heaven.  Toys-R-Us is dedicated to floor to ceiling toys. There is now a retro-toy boom, which is just fine with me.  I like Roy Rogers lunch boxes.
Rudolph cast
Fifty years old and still going strong








Husband has refused to watch Rudolph or the Island of Mis-Fits toys.  Five decades is enough, he announced.  In fact, no more animated/clay motion shows will be watched.  It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas are acceptable and enjoyed.

Our own memories provide enough entertainment.




On Amazon: $52



Do you remember Tickle Me Elmo™?  How it seemed that the little orange red monster would giggle, talk, and roll around seemingly without stopping?  We never found it appealing or amusing, but the other set of grandparents did and gave it to itty-bit.  Our just-then two year old gr-daughter did not enjoy it at all.
  In fact, it scared the daylights out of her.
Her daddy switched it on, and little girl hid around the corner, peering at it with wide eyes.  Then he turned it on again and she ran away completely.

Before we left, sweet girl had boxed up silent Elmer in its original box.  “Take it, Gawpie! Take away!”  Chuckles from the parents, we put the box down on the floor.

Kisses and hugs, and then little girl carried the box and set it on the sidewalk.  “Take away! You take away!”

Her eyes were tearing up and Daddy held her.  It’ll be fine.  She’ll get used to it. We left, no Elmo in hand.

Elmo sat hidden in a closet for a year before little girl-turned-three would let it roll around the carpet.




Thursday, December 3, 2015

Whimsical Wednesday: Funny Philly

If you notice, the performer is Merv Griffin!

The stage manager scowled from backstage as Funny Philly sang his opening song, “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts…”  Since Billy Cotton and Danny Kaye's deaths, the vaudeville acts went wild with imitations.  And Funny Philly was famous for his spirited performances that endeared him to audiences across the country.

However, it was unknown to audiences that Funny Philly was a tightwad, paying his crew paltry salaries.  The schism this created was reaching monumental proportions.

With no motivation, the stage and prop crews became sloppy and some walked away.  Funny Philly found his bookings sinking lower and lower.  It took two weeks for Funny Philly to extrapolate the cause.


By then it was too late.  The only job Funny Philly could get was that of managing the back stage door.

The words for the month of December will be provided by River.  Please, oh please, visit her site where bloggers have posted in her comment section, OR have indicated they are posting at their own site.

Being part of the writing renewal and regeneration has been a riot.  So many takes of the same words is lively and entertaining!


Thursday Trauma: Revenge

This is also posted at Delores' site, Under the Porch Light.  I had so much fun with it that I decided I would put it up here as well.  Please please go to that site to see what some great writers create!!!

“Griz” lit the stacked logs, then stepped back to enjoy the blaze in the fireplace.  His old cabin glowed in the light, and Griz inhaled the scent of spruce. Ah, the memories this place holds.

Griz gazed around at the walls laden with his collection of antlers.  The glass eyes of dead bucks reflected a sense of anger. You bastard.

There was a knock at the door and Griz wondered who would be out at this time of night.  He swung open the door and his jaw dropped.  

There, in the moonlight, stood a massive gathering of bucks.  In the lead was the biggest buck Griz had ever seen. 

It stood on its hind legs, and it held a bully club in one front hoof, slapping it onto the other hoof.
Far Side Deer Hunting Cartoons Mad About Cartoons Way Back
Deer gone hunting source

“Griz, we’ve come for revenge.”  And with that, the deer charged into the cabin. 

Crashes and screams lasted a few minutes.  Then all was quiet.

**I grew up in a county noted for deer hunting.  Even sports celebrities flew in to hunt there.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday Words Hand-off

If you find this chicken, then you'll be at the right place--River!
Borrowed from River's blog site, where you should go!!  Go on now.  Git!

Today is  2nd, and River has created some awesome words and sentence prompt for all bloggers.

Just in case you have gotten lost, here are the posted words and sentence at River's  Whimsical Wednesday:

extrapolate, coconut, spirited, schism, paltry, motivation

"He had blithely gone his way, carelessly breaking my heart as he waved good-bye."  

Enjoy and write!! You may post at 1) in the comment section of River's site OR 2) at your own blog site.  Please be sure to inform readers where you are, so that you may be found!


Ludlow, Shropshire, England OR Ludlow, California, off Needles Hwy




In 2004, our youngest daughter, Mary married Richard McKinley, whom she had met at a Cambridge, England. It was a beautiful wedding in April, when everything was green, so green.
Shropshire Hills views and landscapes
Source
We stayed in Ludlow for a week, and then in Cambridge for the wedding. (A delightful blogger lives in Ludlow/Shropshire, Carole AnnCarr.)

Acton Scott Historic Working Farm
Certificate of Excellence
1066 or 1183 AD
Ludlow is one of those English towns where roses and geraniums grow everywhere, over stone walls, spilling into fences, and along roads--So amazing that I almost wanted to cry.

I have recently discovered there is a “city” here in California also called Ludlow.  Boy howdy.  Could there ever be such diametrically opposed cities?
photo of Ludlow Cafe  along route 66 in Ludlow, Ca
Source
We discovered this Ludlow, California, as we drove along Needles Hwy.  We had stopped for petrol/gas and were immediately hit with hot desert wind, blowing sand-like bits of black lava, from an ancient lava flow, which is now being graded and ground. 

In 1883, Ludlow was once just a water stop for trains. After gold and copper were discovered, the town's population grew dramatically. The town now has ten residents left, after the gold and copper mines ceased to produce, in 1940.

Once Interstate 40 was built, the town slowly disappeared.  Now there are many empty boarded up buildings, all that remain of the former boom town. In fact, the towns along the old Route 66 also slowly faded away.  Ah, well.

Photo of the Old Dominion copper and gold mine in the Mojave Desert
Walter Feller-Digital Desert.com
Ragtown-Ghost-Town

It is a “gold mine” now for geologists and history buffs.  Remnants and pieces of old mines and rails are very inviting to lead those interested through the Mojave Desert to Death Valley Junction, passing through towns named Baker (Home of the world's largest thermometer) and Zzyzx. 
Freeway exit sign to Zzyzx Road off Interstate 15
It does exist.
We lived in Victorville, California, for seven years in the Mojave Desert.  A desert has its own beauty, especially when the sun goes down, and the bluffs turn the colors of glory.

Source

Depending on your interests, please visit either Ludlow.  Both will astound you. 

Please note that the desert photos are copyrighted by Walter Feller - Digital Desert.com. and Mojave Desert Photos . He has several books available for sale on Amazon.  His photos capture incredible desert beauty.