Monday, February 27, 2012

The Scent of Sage

Evil Genius Awaits You...Are You Ready?

Dr. Whitehead approached the room cautiously.  Uniforms moved out of her way, touching their caps respectfully.  ‘That Strange Lady M.E.’ didn’t come to every murder.  Just to ones like this.

In the room lay the mutilated body of an old man.  His long gray hair, streaked with blood, had been plaited over the slashed face, and a raven’s feather rested atop the brow.

Dove Whitehead stood over the body, peering around with telescope eyes, focusing on what was there, and more importantly, what wasn’t there.

Where was the blood spray?  The pooling blood beneath the body?  The splatters of blood drops on the wooden floor?  There were none.

Dove turned her eyes to search the room, not moving from the spot where she stood.  The man had lived here on the reservation for eighty years, nearly all his life.  Where were the accumulations of a lifetime?  The room was spartan, with the simplest of belongings. 

Closing her eyes, Dr. Dove Whitehead tilted her head and shut out all sounds.  Lifting her hands over the body, Dove inhaled.  It was there, the evil was there.

The scent of salt.  The scent of blood.  The scent of sage.

Word count: 200

Drawer of Watches

Drawer full of watches
Worn out bands
Batteries long dead.
Marked time
Minute by minute.
Marked time,
But never lived it.
Running out of time
Steps harder and slower.
Walking in molasses
On each step.
Molasses, black molasses
Leaving a mess
Of footprints
On road behind.
Footprints that follow footprints
Will any come after
Follow mine?
Running out of time.
Like watches in a drawer
Worn-out bands
Batteries dead.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Battle for Space and Grandma Housely

Sounds from the heavens rose to great heights....

The old church was a lovely peaceful place to worship with its great acoustics: wood plank floor, white plastered walls, oak pews, and vaulted wood ceiling.
Many worshipers found peace here....

Sounds bounced around that sanctuary.  Music, whispers from the back row, giggles from teenagers, and even the crinkle of a candy wrapper were  heard by the congregants.

A young family found a spot in the third row from the altar.  Coming late made the front pews the only ones open.  The three children settled in for the sermon. The oldest girl went to sit with a friend, while the mother took the fussy baby girl to the adjoining nursery where she could hear the sermon through the intercom.

The father smiled benignly through most of the sermon before dropping off to sleep. This was not uncommon, but usually the wife gave him the elbow jab.  Not today.

That left the three-year old boy who found enjoyment with his double-jointed fingers and his imagination.  Fingers could become galloping horses or speeding race cars.  Today his fingers were alien spaceships.  They were engaged in a fierce battle.

As the struggle for space domination heated up, the boy stood up to use the back ledge of the second row pew to help better stage the drama. 

Sweet Grandma Housely always sat there in the second row pew.  People who visited the church often commented on this saintly woman with her fluffy white hair and lovely pink hat. 

Bless her heart; Grandma Housely was blind, and very hard of hearing.  She could just hear the sermon if she sat in that spot, with her hearing aid cranked up to high.

The little boy situated himself directly behind her precious white head, and resumed the space battle. 

Zooommm.  Ch-ch-ch-ch!  Aaaaaa…kabooooom!  Crashhhhhh.  The fingers/spaceships faced off on either side of the white hair, pink hat planet.

The fingers/spaceships met at the pinnacle of the hat, and collided in a glorious explosion.  Kerrrr-aasshhhh!  Nooooo…ker-ploom!  P-shhhhhhh! 

The congregation held its breath, watching the battle, and waiting for the space debris to shower down on Grandma Housely’s head.  The pastor had paused to allow the dying alien fighters some dignity.

The final notes of music filled the church just about then.  Church ended.

Dear Grandma Housely stood and turned around.  “What a precious family you have,” she smiled to the young couple.  “So quiet, I didn’t hear a thing from them!”


Many glorious sounds reach to the heavens....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Samuel and Sarge

The Throne
 Samuel heard “Sarge” whispered that night.

“We can’t do it.  We tried today, but Samuel is too strong for us!”  The Mommy sobbed. 

Samuel heard The Daddy sigh.  “Sarge. He’ll do it.”

What can’t Nana handle?  Samuel thought.  That woman could handle a charging bull.  Oh…today Nana tried to cut his hair.  The Mommy had a lock hold on him which usually worked. Not today. Heh.  Heh.  That was a fine moment.

The next day, The Daddy drove Samuel to a dingy barber shop far away.  Afternoon was passing into dark when they walked through the door. CLOSED said the sign. 

A scrawny old man stood waiting for them.  Old, but his arms showed muscles and tattoos.  Semper Fi.  Old, but ‘don’t mess with me’.  “This your boy?  Looks like ya.  Well, climb up, kid.  Let’s see what ya got.”

There was a throne.  Entitlement at last.  Finally.  Someone recognizes my true place.  He climbed up, surging with power.

 Sarge moved.  Awfully fast for an old man, Sarge had straps around legs and arms, then a red cape over Samuel. 

“Put yerself over ‘im.  He might pull loose.”  The Daddy launched himself across Samuel’s lap.  Samuel heard a buzzzz, and his eyes widened.

Limbs struggled against the restraints; one leg got free.  Lashing out, it hit The Daddy square in the groin.  Groooooan.  Buzzzz. 

Swinging his head around, his baby teeth clamped down on flesh. Semper Fi.  Grrrr.  Buzzzz.

Kick.  Bite.  Groan.  Grrrr.  Buzzzzzzzzzz.

It was over.  The cape sent hair flying, straps were undone. 

The Daddy hobbled around the shop.  Sarge wiped the blood from his arm and lit a cigar.

Samuel crawled down, leaning over to throw up.  Power is hard on a 2 ½ year old tummy.

He saw his reflection in a mirror.  Samuel rubbed his nearly bald hair.  Tears formed.  Okay, Nana.  You win.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Many thanks to Delores @ The Feathered Nest  for this lovely soiree.

An invite to a party?  To a blog party at Gary's site  Man.  It has been decades since I have been to a fling like this.  I was young then.  Thin.

The model looks fabulous....

First, the dress.  NO, first the fat-suppressing undergarment.
 Ugghhh…Grrrooan…Ouch…Inhale, exhale…..snap, hook, zip…tug, tug…ahhh, it is on.  Now, pray for no hot-flashes.

Next, the dress.  Let’s see what I have in here. No. No.  Oh, heavens, no!  What was I thinking when I bought that??  Oh, there you are.  I forgot all about you.  I will call you ‘vintage’, and everyone will think I am clever.


Hose?  Yes, varicose veins aren’t attractive. 

Shoes—I can stand these in short chunks of time, say, three minutes at a time.

Make-up, check.  Done by the stylist who disguised my gray, and plucked my brows.

I decided against the nose ring.

Honey?  Honey?  Are you ready?  You’re wearing THAT?  Fine.  Fine.  You can stand by the window, behind the curtains, with the rest of the husbands who insisted on sandals and white socks, Duluth™ firehouse jeans, suspenders, and that new flannel plaid shirt. 

(We have pulled up in our 1999 Nissan Altima, and parked behind a Hummer.)

The music…Listen!  They’re playing “Lady in Red”…honey?  Oh, I see, the curtains…all your astronomy club friends are there.  Hi, Ernest!

I wish, Delores, I could say that I danced all night, sang Karaoke with Elisa, and handled my champagne with the best of them.  But, I said “Hi!” to Gary, showed off for five minutes, and then started yawning.

It was time for American Idol, and my honey never misses that.  Besides it will take me half the night to get out of the #$%@ girdle and to scrape the make-up off my face. 

But, I had a grand time, and everyone looked awesome.  Congratulations, again, Gary, on your 5th anniversary as a blogger! 
Happy 5th Anniversary, Gary!

Please click on the address beneath the Moet to visit Gary's site and wish all the best!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The A-to-Z of Everything

My journals are dispersed throughout my house, along with one in my purse for traveling.  In them, I record the great thoughts and images that occur to me.  Okay, then.  Some of them are not so great.  But, lately, I have been filling up the pages with all sorts of possible posts.

You see, the A-to-Z Challenge is coming up.  There has been much activity with signing up at the linked site. 

Last year was my first year blogging and the 2011 A-Z Challenge was incredibly exciting.

There is a freedom is having an excuse to write about anything like, say, de-salinated water.  Or how to make crossbows.  Toothpicks, have you ever wondered about toothpicks??

Yes, this is bacon.

The reason I bring up such peculiar topics is that I recently watched the “A-Z: How It’s Made” afternoon.  Hours and hours of all sorts of things I would never ever think about were explained by a nice man with a pleasing and engaging voice. 
Here are some of the topics:
Automatic transmissions (A) 
Bagpipes (B)         Crossbows (C)       Double-Decker buses (D)          Enchiladas (E)    
 Fiberglass siding (F)    
 Guard rails (G)
Hand-made canes (H)       
Inflatable rafts (I)     
 Jacks (J)      
Ketchup (K)           
 Luxury chocolates (L)   
 Metal fences (M)  
 Needles (N)    
 Outdoor hammocks (O)  
Pontoons (P)         
 Racing wheelchairs (R)   
Sticky buns (S)  
Tequila (T) 
 Underground rail systems (U)     
Waterbeds (W) 
THERE WAS NO WORD w/X          
Yeast products (Y)       
It was clear to see that even the producers of “How It’s Made” struggled with the same dang letters we struggled with in the A-Z 2011 challenge.  Q, X, and Z are obscure in the world of inventors, I guess.

After reading this, you should have some insights into what you can include in you’re A-to-Z posts!

Oh, by the way, did I mention to go to the A-to-Z site by clicking on the highlighted words? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Blogfest!
Love is in the air….

Well, here it is Valentine’s Day.  Its importance has exploded and become a rolling industry all on its own.  What are the big indicators?

The day after the ‘Happy New Year!’ stuff was taken out of the stores, the Valentine candy was on the shelves.  The Christmas cards were out of the Hallmark windows and the hearts were in. 

Women do not worry about what to give their men; they really don’t have to worry.  It is the male population that scurries around looking for cards and gifts.  I am fairly certain it has to do with sex. 

The commercials have recently struck me for their placement and flow.  Commercials mostly seem disjointed, with no connection to each other. This set was a surprise.

You should see the REALLY big bear!

First, A GIGANTIC teddy bear (as advertised by Vermont Teddy Bear) is referred to as “Hunk of Love”.  It is six feet tall, and touted as the ultimate for the girlfriend.  The catch phrases:  Where Size Matters, and Sure to Pay Off for You. Hunka love

Second was the Pajama Gram commercial, with awfully cute size 2 young women prancing about in fleecy pajamas.  The promise is:  Sure to Heat Things Up, Appeal to the Sexy and Sweet Side. Heat things up!

Third was a stretch at first but made more sense later.  It was:  5 Hour Energy drink.  It comes in a small bottle and promises, no, absolutely guarantees that this little bottle will give the drinker renewed energy. 

Then the connect-the-dots became a little jagged.  The creativity lost its flow.  The fourth commercial was for Alka-Seltzer which should provide instant relief for heartburn.  Perhaps romance involves over-eating and excessive alcohol consumption?

Cheerios is good for all members of the family....

Fifth was Whole Grain Cheerios, which has been shown to lower cholesterol. I gather it contributes to all the members of the family.

And, dismally, sixth was regarding Hip Replacement Law suits.  It is true: an active life style will cause joint damage.

Feeling hot and going strong....

So, there you have it.  The string of commercials started strong and steamy, went through the stages of man, ending with hip replacement.

Perhaps I am being hasty in dismissing the connections.  All that was missing was a Viagra or Cialis advertisement between the 5 hour Energy drink and the Alka-Seltzer.  Did I miss that commercial?

Please click on the Love Blogfest beneath the Blogfest Photo, and go to Siv Maria's site to follow other views on Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Actions and Consequences

We will always face the consequences of our actions.  I firmly believe this, even if it seems that there are some who seem to escape. 

This is not a moral judgment, although I could go in that direction.  No.  This is a simple observation of the Laws of Physics, cause and effect.

You trip over something or miss a step.  You can stumble and maybe catch yourself; if you are all of fifty-one pounds and seven years old, this is a good possibility. 

You can plant your face on the asphalt (I have done this, spectacularly!). If you are said seven year old, chances are you will jump up and keep on going, maybe with a skinned knee.  If you are ME, you will lie there for a while and then roll over to access the damage.

But, the primary point is that the fall-ee will face the consequences of the fall.

So it is that the life-long jogger approaching 70 will most likely be suffering with hip and knee joint problems.  Time for replacement surgery.

So it is that the old rock stars (Mick Jaggers and Steve Tyler) that have danced and contorted their bodies repeatedly probably hurt like heck in the morning when they roll out of their beds.

The current 'street dancers'?  By thirty, they will have hurt every joint they have.

The sunbathers who were bronzed to a fare-the-well back in pre-suntan-in-a-bottle days?  Dermatologists are busy treating skin cancer and unfortunately melanoma.  (Couldn't bring myself to show the sun-related skin diseases.)

To children and young people playing sports:  Think blowing out a joint or tearing a muscle, or even worse by the time one would be considering playing professionally. (I looked for photos on this, and some were beyond gruesome.)

Those heavy metal bands of the 80s?  Metallica?  I wonder if they are wearing hearing aids? 
So, to this current generation who are always on the iPod or whatever with the ear bud thingies:  Think ‘hearing aids’ by age 40. 

To the Tweeters, Texters, and Twitters:  think ‘carpal tunnel surgery’ by late 20s.  (Bloggers know this feeling!)

To the PStation and XBox players:  Think ‘arthritis’ in the thumb joint by the late 30s.

We all pay the consequences, eventually.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon….

This is actually part of a family song and dance that my little girls and I perform when I make a food that they really like.  The song was originally about tuna fish sandwiches, but also applies to bacon, pancakes, pizza, and all the major child food groups.
Remember the cool dance they did? 

How does the dance go?  Well, one has to picture “The Breakfast Club” movie.  It is from the mid-1980s with Emilio Estevez, Aly Sheedy, and other good actors whose names I cannot remember.
I see IHOP in my future!

Back to the bacon subject…There is no odor quite as enticing as cooking bacon.  That odor weaves through the house, clings to one’s hands, and splatters onto the clothes.  Technically, bacon is a “gift that keeps on giving” all day long. 
Maple bacon chocolate

My M/C Ellen Jo Carter, frequently refers to bacon and also coffee as ambrosia and having the ability to arouse one who is near death.   In Preacher's Creek

This BACON love is growing.

Jack-in-the-Box: the new Bacon Shake

Jack-in-the-Box recently released a new milk-shake:  Bacon shake, which is vanilla milk-shake into which the essence of bacon oil is added.  YUMMMMY!

AND, if that wasn't all, they have a new BLT commercial.  A young man falls in love with, and then marries the Jack-in-the-Box BACON BACON Cheeseburger.  Bliss comes in all forms.  You can see this special marital union at

Be sure to have a box of tissues (and napkins) handy.

Admit it:  We have all bought something here.

San Diego County Fair (and other fairs) has had deep-fat fried, chocolate coated bacon as one of its fine dining options in the food vendors.
These are not real turtles, they're faux turtles.

Bacon is the new gourmet taste. 

So ends my tribute to the food of the gods:  BACON

Clearly this is my love song for bacon.  If you want to sign up for  “Love is in the Air” blogfest, click on this:  Love Is In The Air!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Small Stones: Across the Sky

Helicopters fly
Gray and Green
Against blue sky

Whoom-puh, Whoompuh

Blades cut through air
Shake leaves
Rattle glass
People watch from below.

Fly at night
Fly in day
Going where?  When?
Today, tomorrow.

Young men, young women
Sons and daughters all
Fly across
Desert ground, look down.

Whoom-puh, Whoompuh

Beating of their hearts
Beating of blades:
Same sound.

Monday, February 6, 2012


March 2010, courtesy of
Mick Jaggers is sixty-eight years old.  Yes, yes he is.  I read it in Sunday’s paper.

Was it so long ago that I listened to him and The Who in my room on the farm?  Can’t get no……can’t get no……can’t get no…Satisfaction…

I was standing at the top of the stairs, listening to my brother’s radio in his room, humming along.  “Satisfaction?”  What the heck does he mean?  I even looked it up in the dictionary to make sure that I knew what he meant. 

State of being satisfied; reaching a point of feeling completeness; satiated

Being all of thirteen or so years old, it occurred to me that the singer should have been satisfied.  I mean, after all, here he was, from England!  England!  And, he had a record that was playing on the radio all the time.  Plus, he and his English  band had been interviewed on television.   The interviewer asked him if he had gotten 'any satisfaction', and Mick said NO. This man, this Mick Jaggers, should have been very happy, very complete.

Years later, when I had learned more about Mick Jaggers and The Who The Rolling Stones, it again occurred to me that these people should have been satisfied.  But, they were not.  Drugs, alcohol, lots of sex, fame, money—they had it all.  One of their band died from an overdose.  Each struggled with addictions of some sort.  Why weren’t they satisfied?

Now, at age 68, Mick Jaggers should be able to have a perspective of his life.  I wonder how he would answer the question:  Am I satisfied?

What do you think?  What do you remember about that era?  Those songs?