Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for...


Back in 1983, my husband John and I went on “Date Night” to see a movie, called “Terms of Endearment”.  Not knowing much about the film except its strong acting cast, we thought it would be excellent.  Which it was, of course; it won best film, best actress, best supporting actress, and maybe best director. 

Shirley MacLaine plays a strong-willed, vain mother whose daughter, played by Debra Winger, develops cancer.  Ms. MacLaine is helped through this horrific experience by her neighbor, played by Jack Nicholson.  Mr. Nicholson plays a former astronaut, who is thrown into helping this family during this heart-wrenching time.  Jeff Daniels plays Debra's unfaithful, but likable husband.

Heart-wrenching, sobbing-tears, and nose-blowing.  That is what half the theater was doing during the entire movie, once Ms. Winger’s character goes into the hospital.  Oh, I was probably the noisiest and most prolific when it came to the sobbing and blowing.  All my tissue, which was an ample supply, disappeared into a sodden mess in the empty popcorn container. 

Half the theater, did I say?  Yes, all the women in the theater were crying buckets of tears.  The men?  A few of them had moist eyes, discreetly wiped; my husband was one of them.

During the biggest scene of all, when Ms. Winger’s character is in the last moments of breathing, and silence reigned in the dark theater, there was a sound.  It cut through the air like a buzz-saw in a timbered forest.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…snort, snark, and hiss…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The source of the sound was behind me, and I turned to see a man in his 50s.  He was completely asleep, head thrown back, mouth open, and arms crossed.  The buzz-saw sound was erupting from his slack mouth.  His wife saw me watching him, along with every woman in a twenty foot radius.  She gave him an elbowing that must have bruised straight to the ribs.  He jumped up, saying, “What?  What?  Where?”

As Ms. MacLaine welcomed the grandchildren into her home, and we were supposed to be prostrate on the movie floor, sobbing with grief among sticky popcorn, we instead were busting with laughter. 

I guess every tragedy needs some comedy.
A big THANKS goes to the A-Z Blog Team!  Check out the link below:

Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for...

One would think that a girl living on a farm, surrounded with procreating animals followed later by animals giving birth would have a down-to-earth understanding of sex and how things work.  I believe that is what normally should happen.  However, on my father’s farm, my sister and I were kept away from all the “action”.  Why, I don’t know.  I think the whole sex thing embarrassed my dad, and he preferred that animals copulating remain a mystery.

Words fail me.
Even so, there are hormones that won’t be denied.  While I didn’t comprehend the how and where of sex, I sure understood that I wanted to know.  There was something that went beyond just smiling and gazing at the boys, but I just didn’t have a clue what that was.  I knew that when Dr. Kildare was on TV, both my mother and I sat down and paid attention to every word he said.  While I was in this beginning stage of yearning for that unspoken action, I watched “The Ten Commandments” on television. 

No, it wasn’t Charleton Heston who pulled me in through the television screen.  It was Yul Brynner.  

I can not explain it to you, but something about the intensity of his eyes, the seductive prowling walk, the powerful exotic voice, and the commanding dominating presence…the way his hands reached for the woman, and how his mouth devoured…whew, is it hot in here or is it just me??

Yes, my King!  Whatever you say!
Since those beginning yearning/lustful stirrings, I obsessed on all things-Yul Brynner.  Any movie that had his name in the credits, any newspaper or magazine cutting, or even other bald headed men (except for Telly Savalas), I was hooked.  This obsession continued throughout my life, I confess.

In 1975, when I was eight months pregnant with our first child, my husband and I went to see Yul Brynner (sigh) performing in “The Odyssey” in Los Angeles.  All during the performance, while having Braxton-Hicks contractions, I kept my eyes glued on him.
Years later, in October 1984, we sat in orchestra row 5, seats D and E, where we watched a matinee performance of “The King and I” in Hollywood.  We were sooo close to the stage; I could make out every detail of his face, the ripple of muscles in his arms, the…oh, my.  Turn on the fan, somebody.
The Magnificent Seven
Even though Yul Brynner died on October 10, 1985, and I am a grandmother, I still watch his movies and sigh at the enigmatic sexual power he possessed.  I wonder if all people have an iconic figure that is integral in the coming of age awareness which happens with hormones.   Hmmm…I will ask around…
Thanks to the A-Z Blogfest team, who have bravely taken on the month of April!  Go to the link below to check out other blogs! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for

X is for…
There is a dearth of X words in the dictionary, truly a lacking of words that begin with “X”.  But, moving beyond the alphabet and into the metaphorical or metaphysical, whatever, X has some real possibilities.

Think about this:  I print out my newest addition to the WIP, and then hold that paper in my hands.  I pace around my abode and read this brilliant writing aloud, while marking in missing words, taking out mistakes.  I also circle large sections, and with my marker, decisively put a big bold “X” through that section.  Ta-Duh!  In the world of blood, sweat and tears’ writing, “X” denotes a big change.  It cries out “This no longer applies!” 

Then, of course, there is the treasure map, where “X” indicates where the treasure has been buried by pirates.   So many movies have been made about pirates and treasure, that it is truly nauseating.  I don’t care if Johnny Depp is absolutely gorgeous.  “Captain Blood” with Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, and Basil Rathbone?  I will watch that any day, any time. 

“X” is not locked into position, like, say the letter “A”.  “X” can be rotated, flipped over, put on its side—and it is still the same letter.  There is something of immutability with the letter “X”.

“X” was chosen by the movie raters to denote a movie that should never be seen by anyone who has an ounce of good taste and moral fiber.

I think that is all I want to write about “X” at this time, but I definitely have explored some of this letter’s uses.
The Awesome A to Z Blogfest was created by Arlee Bird, and his crew of talented bloggers!  Please go to the link below to access other sites!  Huzzah, me hardees!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for...

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
When I saw commercials promoting the upcoming Westminster Dog Show, I got excited.  I pointed them out to my husband, and explained how I enjoyed watching the different breeds and the judging.

 My husband snorted in disgust.  “You really wanta watch that stuff?” he said derisively.  “That’s just plain boring.”  Then he turned his attention back to a DVR recording of a repeat showing of a 2006 World of Poker competition.  “See that?  Just watch, now, ‘cause Mike the Mouth has a pocket queen, and the river card is another queen.  See?”  He smiled triumphantly, vicariously enjoying the excitement of the win.  “Next, Brunson will…” 

Best of Show 2011: Scottish Deer Hound
By then I had ceased to listen; a switch in my brain had gone to the Off position.                                                      

Why can’t he see what I see?  The best of each breed in their category will be paraded around the arena and a judge who is a world-class expert in a particular category will examine each dog.  An announcer will tell the TV audience about the peculiarities and history of that breed.  Then the dog handler will trot the dog around the arena while the camera follows each move, each expression the dog makes.  All that is seen of the handler are the legs and shoes—the focus is on the dog and how utterly beautiful he/she is.

If I was on a desert island with electricity, a TV, and a few DVDS (Olympic Figure Skating 2010, 2004 World of Poker Las Vegas, Highlights of Super Bowls 2004- 2010, and Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 2011),  and could chose only one to watch, Westminster would win, hands down.  No competition.

Thank you, Arlee Bird and Team, for hosting this A-Z Blogfest.  Please check the link below to see the other blog entries.  Woof! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for

There are places I plan to visit, beautiful places.  The National Geographic shaped my mind to desire to see these places for myself. 

I must go to Yellowstone National Park.  I don’t have to see Ol’ Faithful geyser, but I must see the mountains, the buffalo, and breathe the pine scented air. 

I must go to Mount Rushmore, where someone with a great vision of what could be carved into granite and produced the faces of some of America’s most honored presidents. 

I must go to Alaska, and gaze at ancient glaciers, listening to iceberg size pieces ‘calving’. 

I probably will manage trips to these amazing natural wonders God created.

But, being greedy, I will wish for one more, knowing that I will never ever go there:  Victoria Falls in Africa.  Why won’t I go there?  Well, I really do not enjoy plane travel, and Africa holds too many questions for me to feel safe, at this point of my non-adventurous soul.  But, still I will always wonder about Victoria Falls.

After writing about “UP!” in the previous blog, it is natural for me to think about Victoria Falls, I suppose:  V is for Victoria Falls

 To hear the thunderous roar of the water, to feel the spray of the mist rising up from the gorge, to follow the rainbow to its end--these things I will dream about some quiet night.
Thank you, Arlee Bird and your team.
Please check the link below to see what other bloggers dream about when considering the letter "V".

Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for....

UP! is an animated movie about many things. The characters are an elderly man, Carl Fredrickson,
who has lost his wife, Ellie. They bonded together as children when they considered themselves to be explorers. Their life-long dream was to visit ParadiseFalls in the Lost Lands of South America. To that end, they saved up pennies, nickels, and all denominations of money in a jar. The jar had to be broken several times during their life to pay for disasters. Being unable to have children, they devoted themselves to each other and their dream: to travel
Carl and friends (squirre
to Paradise Falls.

Both worked at a local zoo, where Carl sold helium-filled balloons and Ellie taught children about animals. After Ellie dies and when Carl is threatened with eviction and a forced nursing home life, Carl inventively makes his house into one floating helium balloon, with thousands of balloons lifting his house off the foundation.

Unknowingly, Carl has a stow-away, Russell, a needy eight-year old scout who is trying to earn one last badge, “Helping an Old Person” to complete his scout sash.
Dug (squirrel!), Kevin with Russell, and Carl

Ultimately, they do make it to Paradise Falls, where they encounter hundreds of speaking dogs (who wear dog collars that translate ‘dog’ into English, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, and other languages.), and the dogs’ crazy owner, famed and disgraced explorer Charles Munts.  During their wanderings, a dog named ‘Dug’ and an exotic bird (which Russell
names ‘Kevin’) befriend them.  They are chased by the dogs and their maniacal alpha dog, a doberman pincher, whose speaking device is shorting out, making him speak with a helium voice.

Ed Asner is the voice of Carl, and is endearing throughout the character's growth (he looks like Spencer Tracy).  Crazy Explorer Charles Munts has the velvet voice of Christopher Plummer (and looks like Kirk Douglas).
On his way

Okay, I understand that not everyone loves children movies as much as I do. The technology that goes into making these endearing films amazes me. Heck, I was also amazed by “Snow White”, so perhaps I am easily amazed. Art in any form grabs me, and feeds my soul. The unexpected twists and turns also delight me. So, there!

On a deeper level, UP! is about undying love, creating one’s own adventures, opening the adventure to someone who needs something to believe in, and to be believed in. It is about persevering and accomplishing a dream thought to be impossible.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for...

Time.  We all moan about not having enough of time.  I used to tell my children that they had too much time on their hands if they were getting into fights.  My husband always has big plans for projects he will do over the weekend, but on Sunday night, we look at each other and ask, “Where did the time go?”

That is the big question of the day:  Where did the time go?

It is not as though it slipped behind the bookcase, or joined the lost remote in the sofa cushions.  It certainly isn’t hiding with the iPod, which my husband has AGAIN misplaced!  Time seems to run away from us, like a small child who has just discovered he can outrun his parents.

Time is a fire in which we all burn.
In “Star Trek: Generations” with Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean Luc Picard (sighJ), he is confronted by Dr. Tolian Soran, played by Malcolm McDowell, who says, “Time is the fire in which we all burn.”  Picard has just learned that his brother and nephew have perished in a fire, and this statement hits him rather brutally. 

Is Dr. Soran correct?  Is this the view that most people accept? 

I don’t believe, or can’t believe that it is. 

Time is the ticking of some form of clock, to be sure, but it is also an accumulation of life experiences, memories, events, and closely held loved ones.  Time is a steady revolution of the earth around the sun, a myriad of glorious sunrises and sunsets, the rushing of the foamy tides.  Time is holding the hand of my husband on our wedding day, and still holding his hand when we are old. 

Jean Luc Picard, at the end of the movie when all action is said and done, concludes that time is much like an old friend who moves along slowly with us through our life time.  I really like that conclusion.  “Do not go gentle into that good night!  Rage, rage, against the dying of the light!”  as proposed by the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas is certainly an option.  But, as for me, knowing that the closing of my eyes as a mortal being, and the opening of them to behold God for all eternity, I prefer that measurement of time.  

Friday, April 22, 2011

S is for...

Spring is officially here, and everyone is talking about it, as if it were a personal triumph.  There are indicators everywhere.  They are classical ones: daffodils, budding trees, a mild wind scented with pollen.  People have more lilt in their step, as if they know that the winter coats are close to being retired.  I know that spring is almost truly here, or coming, and it is my own peculiar and subtle way.

I do not support this product. I just like the photo.
Subtle?  Perhaps I would write “stubble”, for that is my indicator.  When I sense that spring is coming, I actually want to shave my legs. 

Oh, there is a big difference between having to or needing to and wanting to shave my legs.  All through the long winter, I wear jeans, heavy socks, and sweaters all the time.  Flannel pajamas are the lingerie of my life.  Moisturizer is a popular product on the bedside table.  No one sees my legs, so why should I shave them?  I am not 21 any more, as my mother is known to tell me frequently when I complain about my weight or arthritis.  No one, including my husband, is interested in my legs.

But with Spring, things change.  The capri pants and long shorts are looking more and more like they will be dug out of the drawers in the bureau.  Therefore, the legs must be shaved, and I will do this willingly.
Legs:  Watch out!  I mean business.

Why?  Dang it, it’s spring.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for...

Standing at the window, I gazed out at the back lawn through a misty rain.  The neighbor’s liquid amber trees were budding out, even while a few stubborn dried leaves clung to the branches.  The daffodils were nearing then end of their glory, giving up the yellow gold that had bravely appeared when spring was just a vague hope.  There, at the back fence, stood the most resilient tree in this family’s fourteen years together:  the loquat tree.

It has grown to nearly six feet, and the new growth will take it even higher.  That may not seem so spectacular, but one needs to know its humble beginnings and its near-death experiences to appreciate how amazing this tree is.

My daughter and her then-new husband had purchased the tree during the early weeks of their marriage.  They had planted it in the narrow backyard of their first house.  It was a healthy, well-established tree, and the leaves were lovely and green.  They loved it, but their black lab, Shelby, loved it even more.  That dog loved it so much, that in just a few weeks, she had chewed the tree down to within four inches of the ground.  After that, Shelby must have felt the tree was over and done with, and ignored it.

When they moved to a new house, my son-in-law dug up the tree, while my daughter scoffed, “Leave it!  That thing is dead and nothing will revive it.”  But, he re-planted it in a half-wine barrel in their new backyard, where the loquat must have felt safe enough to start growing a tentative trunk.  When it was about two feet tall, Shelby re-discovered it.  Same fate, poor tree.

Shelby went to dog heaven, and my son-in-law dug up the loquat tree.  He re-planted it on the sloping ground separating his house from the back neighbor’s house.  Nothing happened initially.  However, last year, I was looking out the window, and saw a tree that I didn’t recognize.  “Oh, that’s the loquat tree that Shelby loved so much.”  I was astounded. 

Nature is resilient.  People are resilient.  We see it all over the world.  I see it in the backyard, through a misty rain.
 Please go to the link below, and check out the entire list of obsessed writers who have joined the A-Z Blogfest, hosted by Arlee Bird and a whole group of other amazing writers! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for...

Q is for que tal?
By the time I was thirteen, I had seen every Disney Zorro television program, appreciating Guy Williams and his handsome dark eyes.  Then I saw the actual movie starring Tyrone Power, who could fence an evil villain to a fare-thee-well.  And, I watched a movie with Ricardo Montalban, swimming across a river with Esther Williams.  By the time I arrived at high school, I was primed and ready to learn the exotic language, Spanish.
Guy Williams

Ricardo Montalban
Our teacher was a first-year teacher who moved to our rural area only days before school began.  Before ‘Map Quest’, this young lady had gotten lost trying to locate the rural highways that would guide her to our high school.  Miss B. turned out to be an excellent teacher.

The first thing she did with our freshman class was to have us make a circle, and then read from our text books.  The first thing we learned:  que tal, which roughly means how’re ya doin’?  We made the circle, each of us inquiring after each others’ well-being.  Then, the rest followed.
Hola.  Que tal?
Estoy bien.  Y tu’?
No estoy bien.  You tengo catarro. 
Que lastima!  Lo siento.

After we had all confirmed that we were all sick with a cold, our next lessons were much more exciting.  It turned out that these Spanish people led pretty exciting and enriching lives.  They went to the cinema (al cine’) to see movies (las peliculas).  They went to dances (los bailes) and concerts (concertos).  They even went to the beach (la playa).  Our Spanish alter-egos lived amazing lives, full of song, dance, and splashing in the ocean.

Tyrone Power
What about our English-speaking real-time egos?  The male half of the class were mainly sons of farmers.  They returned to the farm (la chacra) where they milked cows (vacas), drove tractors (tractor)), and got very dirty (succio) with either pig or cow (excremento’).  The female half of the class were in the kitchen (la cocina)  with the moms, peeling apples and potatoes  (manzanas and papas),  washing clothes (lavanda las ropas), and learning that it would be more fun if they were Spanish, living la vida loca.

Yes, sirree.  Learning Spanish was probably the best class I ever had in high school.  My motivation level was high, really high.  As I went to university, traveled to Spain, and ultimately ended up teaching English to many non-English speaking students, I discovered that learning a second language is one of the richest experiences one can have. 
And, now I have discovered Antonio Banderas ---delicioso y muy guapo.

Okay--he's a vampire, here, but HEY!
What more can I say?
My apologies to any Spanish speakers reading this.  I don’t have a clue how to use Word to accent or make correct punctuation.  I truly admire the Spanish language, and its contribution to the world.  Many thanks (Muchas Gracias) to the A-Z team!  Check out the link below to find other blogs:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for ...

In Preacher's Creek, Ch. 1  (first 550+ words)
            There are fragments of memories that float around in my head, things from the earliest years in Preacher’s Creek.  Smells and sounds of a big family dinner, ham with scalloped potatoes.  Being surrounded by giants, and seeing only their knees, or looking up their noses.  My father’s soft aroma, being nestled into the crick of his elbow, while he read the newspaper.  The security of my little sweaty hand in my momma’s warm hand, her fingers caressing the top of my fingers.
            These quick snap-shot float through my brain with no words attached to them, only deep reactions of emotions to events that swirled around me, before I had learned words and could attach meaning.
            But then, almost overnight, all those images settled like lime Jell-O in a refrigerator, going from hot sweet sticky liquid to a jiggling solid.  All those fragments became a moving picture in which my family was the stars and Preacher’s Creek was our stage.
            It was Memorial Day, I was told, and we went to the Hunter Cemetery.  We spent a lot of time there, visiting headstones, laying out flowers, and telling stories about the dead people who were lying peacefully under the grass. 
            I had been given some pretty straight forward instructions, a face to face with Momma, where she looked deep into my eyes, with her hands on each side of my head.  “Now, Ellen Jo Carter,” she had said.  When she used the whole name, it meant serious business.  “You are going stay right here, in this spot, and you will keep your clothes, your shoes, and your socks on.”  Momma had covered all the bases here, which was important when dealing with a legalistic four year old.
            I had tried her out, just to see if she was really paying attention to me when she moved on to another headstone, leaving me on that spot.  Took off my shoes, and was just starting in on the socks, when swoop Momma came down from the sky, like a giant eagle snatching up a helpless baby lamb.  SMACK!  her hand descended on my scrawny cute little butt, leaving a pink hand print under my panties, the ones with little yellow chicks.  
            Tears never worked with her, I would learn over and over in the years I was with my mother.  She pointed dispassionately, wordlessly, to my discarded shoes and lone sock.  Whimpering and looking up at her with big pleading eyes, I went ahead and put them back on.  I had been so close to clothes-free romping through the vibrant green grass of Hunter Cemetery.  I would have left panties on, but everything else would have been tossed behind my great-grandmother’s headstone.
            Placing my hand-pink butt on that spot, I gazed longingly at my two brothers, Ron and Kent.  Ron was almost a giant, since he turned nine years old, and he knew absolutely everything, and he could even read.  Kent was only a year older than I was, but he was a big kid.  His slicked down black hair never moved a hair as he chased Ron, “I’m gonna get you this time!”  His glasses were steamed up, so I don’t know how he thought he would have any luck catching Ron. 
            I swiveled around tenderly, the prickly grass grinding into the little yellow chicks, and faced my great-grandmother’s headstone.  Tracing the carved letters, I had no idea that my name was the same as hers. 
After the W.I.P. blogfest, I received so much feedback, that I felt invigorated to approach my book from a different angle.  This is the result.  
Many thanks! again to the A-Z Blogfest team.
Please hook up to the link below, to access the other entries!

Monday, April 18, 2011

"O" is for...

The dictionary is one of the favorite bound books in my house.  I have always randomly looked for interesting words.  That, of course, made me a bit of an oddity in rural environments.  I looked for the words with the most syllables, words with the fewest vowels, words that had a Latin base, etc.  But I never looked for the words that scared me the most.

Through intense research and years of child-experience, I have found the ONE word that absolutely sends chills through me.  It is the word, “OOPS!”  Its close cousin is OH, NO!”, and a first cousin-once-removed is “UH-OH!”
I can feel you all nodding, because you understand.  Anytime someone says either of those words, and it is heard from another room, a variety of images pop up.  An old vase inherited from a great-grandmother, who received it from Queen Victoria?  On the floor in pieces, and your cat saunters away.  The Hans Solo limited edition something-or-other?  The four-year old boy leaves in a blur, as he runs out the room, a leg in each hand.  The fantastic Italian veal something that you spent a fortune of time and money on, and which you are taking to a very important dinner in five minutes right after you change your clothes?  Spilled all over the living room carpet, by some one who thought he/she would help you by loading it in the car, since you are fifteen minutes late and he/she is really pissed off at you for taking so long.

Or, how about this?  You just spent a few hours on a re-write of a re-write, creating a query letter to the publisher, who expressed extreme interest in your writing.  You hear the famous “OOPS!” and rush in to find your coffee spilled over the keyboard, sparks flying, and the computer crashing, while your teary-eyed child/grandchild/spouse/casual friend/beloved friend/neighbor  looks blankly up at you.

Oh, yes.  Forget about names of monsters, diseases, horrific imagined events.  On the everyday level, where we usually operate, the scariest word of all is “OOPS!”
 Many thanks to Arlee Bird and his awesome crew of fellow bloggers.  Please go to the following to check out other posts!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for: Nuthin'

On harsh winter mornings in 1960, my brothers and I hurried down downstairs, eager to get near the heat stove that sat in the middle of the farmhouse kitchen.  Winters were hard on every living being on the farm, especially on the animals.  My father had hundreds of swine and cows under his care; winter was the time when there were 20 to 30 sows in the farrowing house with their newborn litters of piglets. It was not unusual for us to find a cardboard box resting on the open door of the oven range, with newborn piglets wrapped in flannel.

Usually it was because the sow had rejected the piglet(s) for some reason, or there were not enough nipples to feed all the piglets.   Either way, we children would have the responsibility of feeding these squirming little piglets until they were large enough to go into the pig population, or until they mysteriously disappeared in the night.  That meant that Dad had found them dead and disposed of them. 

Life was life, and things died—all farm children know the harsh facts.  But, one cold winter day there was a lone piglet that was different. 

Love me for my brains!
He had been rejected by the sow because clearly something was wrong with him.  He had a huge tumor on his left hind leg.  My brother Robert looked down at the piglet in the box as I uncovered it and examined his poor leg.  “It ain’t worth nuthin’.  Should let it die.”

“Nuthin’…that’s what we’ll call him.”  Over the next days and weeks, Robert and I took turns feeding Nuthin’ first from a bottle, and then from a dish.  Nuthin’ grew, and we kept him in a pen in the breezeway until spring came.  By then, Nuthin’ was almost the size of our dogTuffy, and they played together in the yard.  We called his name, and Nuthin’ came as fast as his crippled leg allowed him.   
Fast Friends
Spring was moving into May, and Nuthin’ was getting too big to let roam the yard.  Animals reaching adolescence are just like humans; they aren’t the same sweet little kids anymore.  Dad said we had to put him in the barn lot with the three milk cows.  We could still visit him, but playing with him wasn’t an option.  That was when we noticed the tumor on his leg growing.  Day by day, we could see Nuthin’ slowing down, and not eating as much.  One day Nuthin’ lay down, and no amount of convincing could make him move.

The next morning Nuthin’ had disappeared.  No one said much about that, because all farm children know the harsh facts. 
I have told the story about Nuthin' to my children and students many times.  The A-Z blogfest gave me an excuse to share it with you.  Many many thanks to Arlee Bird, Jeffrey Beesler, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Jen Daiker, Candace Ganger, Karen J. Gowen, Talli Roland, and Stephen Tremp for hosting this daunting and awesome event! 
Susan Kane  22 March 2011