Friday, August 31, 2012

The Old Tree at Blarney

Blarney Manor House and its old tree

“Weel, now, Pat, I’ll tell ye…” Grandad wheezed from his bed.  “The secret of the old tree is this…”

Some 150 years ago the Lord of Blarney Castle ordered the young Thomas O’Roark to cut down the oak tree, since it interfered with the view of the castle.  Cutting down a healthy old oak tree?  Desecration…you damn English built your ships with Irish oak!  So Thomas pondered how to save the tree.

His old Gran listened to Thomas voice his anger and hurt.  Her eyes twinkled. “Weel now, Thomas, I’ll tell ye.  T’ain’t nothin more da English afeared than da’ curses that befall them when dey break our magic.  You go down to da’ pub in Carrigtwohill and tell Ol’ Paddy der dis…”

So Thomas went to the pub and found Ol’ Paddy spinning his stories to the local boys.  He pulled Ol’ Paddy aside, and told him what he had heard in the wind about the oak tree.  And, before Thomas was out the door, Ol’ Paddy was telling the tale whispered from Gran to Thomas to Ol’ Paddy.

Two days later, the Lord of the manor nervously pulled Thomas aside and pleaded with him NOT to cut down the tree.  That he had heard the whispered legend about “If ye cut the tree down, ye cut down the Lord of Blarney…”  Thomas told him  indeed that was what had been said all these years.

The tree was spared.  In fact, Thomas made sure his sole job was to keep that old tree alive.  Thomas’ son Conor did the same.  Conor even grafted shoots from other healthy oaks onto the branches.

The Lord of Blarney was so grateful that he gave Conor his own cottage to be near the tree at all times.

Over the years, the top of the tree grew blackened and scarred, which scared the bejeebers out of the Lord.  Conor’s son Liam rescued the tree, invoking the fairy magic and some horse manure, plus some horticultural knowledge.

Now Grandad passed the truth down to Pat.  He breathed his last, a smile on his face.

Blarney Castle

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hit Movies and Possible Titles

It is the end of summer and all the blockbuster movies have been shown.  Not quite blockbusters, but maybe block-chippers.

The movie industry has struggled over the years to create movies that would interest and inspire the public.  There have been some great movies with great titles. 

Gladiator—with Russell Crowe—had a big draw.  The simple title, the historical accurate filming (well, maybe), and the actor made for a blockbuster. 
Ghostbusters—Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, and Harold Rami—was a unique title with a unique premise and host of SNL hits.  People still watch it, despite all the movies that this hit spawned.

Then there are the awful bombs.  Do you remember The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?  If you don’t, then you are lucky.  How about I Was a Teen-age Werewolf with Michael Landon?  The list can be pretty long.

What about these titles as possible movies?  These are from a brain fog moment:

The Bloody Reign of the Duck Kings
Life and times of the Amoebas in Santa Fe
When Granite Dreams
Going, Going, Gone: Salt Flats Tortoise Memoirs
Cirque du Slugs
Rise and Fall of Gravitational Tendencies
Sex in Lettuce Beds

Okay, this is just plain silly, and I know it.  But recently I heard that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was making a comeback. 

I had to say something.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gazebo to the Rescue


Oh, family reunions…weighed heavily on Ralph’s mind. 

Ralph, wife Denise, and their five rowdy noisy children had driven three solid hours to this central park to meet up with all Denise’s relatives.  Millions and millions of relatives.  Thousands and thousands of children. 

Denise had cooked for a week to prepare for this event.  The kitchen smelled of pickles, onions, salsa, and pepper.  Their car positively reeked of all the food, plus a soiled diaper, boy smells, garlic, and little princess fingernail polish. 

Three hours here for four hours of unadulterated friendliness and sloppy hugs seemed to be unnecessary.  Attach another three hours home and Ralph was all nice-good-fellowed-out. 

After three helpings of pistachio cloud salad, Ralph was done.  Off in the distance on private property was a gazebo.  Oh, blessed gazebo…

Within a few minutes' walk, Ralph collapsed in gazebo’s dark interior.   A few groans and bodily function noises later, Ralph was asleep.   If they want to go home, they will have to find me first… were his last thoughts as dreamland claimed him.

p.s.  I am not certain that Ralph is alone in that gazebo...something pink seems to be there...but I went with Ralph being alone.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

PhotoPrompt: Blarney Manor House and Tree

Blarney Manor House, Cork County, Ireland

This eerie tree is/was near the Blarney Castle, Co. Cork, Ireland.  The house in the background is Blarney Manor House, owned and occupied by the Lord of Blarney and his family. 

In a land that is so very green that it sometimes overwhelms the senses, this tree is starkly void of leaves and seemingly of life.

Using this photo as inspiration, write anything you wish—prose, poetry, flash fiction—anything.  Link it back to this site.  On the right sidebar are frequent participants in Monday PhotoPrompt writing; click on those and see what other inspirations you might find.

Happy writing!

Friday, August 24, 2012

PhotoPrompt: Girl with Big Horse

Hey Tiff,

OMG  We are at this totally like lame county fair, you know.  And it is like all full of animals—ewwww. 

Then OMG there are these like sickest food places.  It is like all crazy and I ate this like totally amazing sick fried butter.  Oh like I won’t be eating for the next like week.

And would you believe this my lame father is making me stand by this like fence while I am trying to like text U this sick pic of this like awesome guy.  So I like am standing here, well duh, and he is taking a photo. 

Now my like totally lame father is laughing and pointing.  I said, “Hey, Dad…you r sooo crazy…” 

And now…EEWWWW

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Life is too short to....


When I was in college, my dorm was the oldest on campus.  It had four floors, including the basement.  I was on the top third floor and was in great shape traveling up and down the 6 flights of stairs.  Good times.

But, the most interesting floor was the basement.  At least, the most interesting girls lived there, and their activities were legend.  But, I won’t go into that; it was the late ‘60s, early ‘70s and college life seemed to float above the ground in certain dorms.

One thing this group did was recycle tea bags.  They stapled the tea bag onto the low ceilings, so that when one made tea, one could go about the room and lift the mug to the next waiting tea bag.  Ah, the stuff of legend.

Which leads me to the essence of this post:  Life is too short to reuse tea bags.

Then a list of my own emerged.  Life is too short to:

·         buy cheap shoes
·         wear cheap shoes
·         order the least expensive thing on the menu
·         delay a dream
·         ignore your children because you have ‘work to do’
·         stand in line when you are so tired you can barely stand
·         hold back when you should give all (think on that one—it will mean something different to each reader)
·         nurse a grudge
·         hurry by something when you should stop and enjoy it
·         not eat ice cream
·         keep silent when you should shout
·         doubt/belittle/blame yourself

What would you add to this list?  Do you have a list of your own?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Destiny in Frozen Time

From Inspire Nordic source

Timbers and time
With ice
Do not long survive.

Unmoving sea and salt
Chew away
At ships destined by fate.

Lines against sky
Drawn across ice peaks
Silhouettes of past ventures
Frozen by ambition.

Echoes of voices
Silenced in frigid air
Echoes of despair
Hidden by relentless white.

Please check out the blog site: Inspire Nordic !  She has amazing photos and thoughts.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Lily and Violet with puppy 'Dusty'

“Mummy said that Dusty could be
my own little puppy, if I sat
nice and quietly while Papa
takes this photo!
“Mummy will not you keep
this puppy, and you know that!
Remember what happened
to little Tutu
when she let you have him!”
“But I’m a big girl now!  And
I want Dusty as my own puppy!”
“Think again, girl!  You
won’t get him!  I
will make sure of it!”

Take the darn photo, Pops!
Then I am so outta here!

PhotoPrompt: At the Fair

Little girl at the county fair

Here is this week’s photo choice.  What will you write? 

There are many, many possibilities here. 

Sometime this week, copy and paste this photo on a post at your site.  Write a short something—prose, poetry, flash fiction, whatever. There are no limits with these photos!  Link it back to this site, if you could.

Look at the list of participants on the right sidebar and go to those sites!  You will always find a post there that entertains and surprises!

Thanks!  Susan Kane

Friday, August 17, 2012

PhotoPrompt: 38.4

Along the Aure River in Switzerland

Elise roamed down the river path, looking carefully at each marker. 

38.1…38.2…  Reaching 38.4 was all that mattered to her.  He would be at 38.4 when the sun went behind the hills to the west. 

Lengthening shadows from ancient oaks told her that time was passing, just as the river current that flowed so close to the path.  Elise began to jog, peering through the dappled shadows to the next marker.

38.3!  Almost there!  Elise began to pant with the exertion.  Keep looking ahead!  He must be there!  After all these years, Franz is coming home to me!

Long war years had passed and now they both were old.  But, Franz had finally come home.

The pain in her chest struck her down before she knew it.  Dropping like a stone, Elise rolled into the swift river to be forever swept away.

Franz watched and waited, looking back and forth down the dark path.  When the sun had set and the moon was overhead, Franz sighed.   He headed up the path, using his cane as he went. 

Oh, Elise!  Why didn’t you come?  I have waited for decades for you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Massacre in the Sock Drawer

Life was great in the sock drawer.  They were one big happy family, freely visiting from the back to the front of the drawer.  Some socks had returned from vacations recently, and spoke glowingly of the glories of Fresno and Bakersfield, and other distant exotic destinations. 

Yes, cotton, spandex, wool, and nylon co-existed happily.  Polyester was merely tolerated. 

Then came the massacre, a purge that would traumatize the sock drawer for all time.  Not one sock that survived would ever forget that day when friends and family were divided, and some disappeared.

The damned IKEA product, Komplement #16635, was to blame.
One morning the drawer was opened, pulled out, and dumped onto a bed.  Some of the socks had never seen the light of day and were stunned by the open sea of bedspread.  Socks were tossed left and right.  Some were knotted together without ceremony; others were thrown into the waiting jaws of Good Will bags.

Then the Komplement #16635 box was assembled and pushed snugly into the drawer. 

Such efficiency, such brutality!  In moments, all the mated socks were sorted into their boxes, and the drawer closed slowly.  Gone were the Veterans, the Christmas tree sock, and most of all, the sage and wise surgical sock with the chevron treads.

Only a quiet sob was heard and then there was silence.

Reference:   Christmas in the Sock Drawer

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

PhotoPrompt: A boy and his horse

From Delores @ Thefeatherednest

When Pa brought Ol’ Lightnin’ home, Wilbur threw on the saddle on its back, cinched it up, and leaped onto the horse.  Giddeeup! He had shouted, and the horse took off.

The first minutes of full-on galloping were beyond Wilbur’s expectations.  This is like flying!

In the next few minutes, Wilbur became concerned.  This isn’t what I expected.

Then he thought, Oh, dear Lord!  Make this horse stop!

Finally, when the horse had run around the pasture, it came to a full stop.  The incredible pain in his gonads had Wilbur frozen in agony.

Pa took a picture, chuckled, and walked away.

Monday, August 13, 2012

PhotoPrompt: 38.4

Marker 38.4 along the Aure River, Bremgarten bie Bern, Switzerland

A larger view

The Aure River winds around and through the city of Bern, Switzerland.  Branches of the river provide well-used paths.  Along one path was this marker.  It was about 18 inches tall and covered with golden lichens.

This is the photo challenge for today.  What story can you weave about this marker?  What is its purpose?  Who put it there? 

Sometime this week, write a flash fiction, a poem or prose, an explanation for this marker—whatever.  Please link your writing to this blog so viewers can access the other PhotoPrompt participants listed on the right bar, under the rabbit.

(I inadvertently left off Delores’ blogsite when I re-vamped my design!  Sorry!  It should be back there today!)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Samuel and the Fireplace

I had the source site at one time, but I can't find it...Sorry!

Since his shearing, there had been a quiet lull with Samuel. The Parents let Grammy babysit one afternoon.  Surely she could handle Samuel now.

They sat in a triangle:  Grammy on the sofa, Samuel on the floor with his Legos and beach bucket set, and Ginger the Tabby on the window ledge.  Grammy put on “Little Einsteins”, and watched the children pleading for the audience to ‘pat, pat, pat’. 
Ginger stared at Samuel.   Go ahead, kid.  Make your move.

Samuel watched Grammy down the clear liquid with a slice of lime.  It wasn’t water, he knew.  That’s The Daddy’s Special bottle, lady.

In time, Grammy’s head drooped, just as the red rocket rose into the sky.  Samuel shook his head.  Oh, Grammy.  You are no Nana.

Samuel pondered his options.  The plant?  No.  The curtains?  No.  Then he looked at the cold fireplace.  Excellent.

Samuel took the sand bucket and shovel to the fireplace.  Oh, so much better than I thought.  He viewed the pile of ashes and the soot.

Always a hard worker, Samuel filled the bucket with the ashes.  With quiet care, he carried it to the kitchen sink where he could just barely reach.  Dumping the bucket, Samuel returned to the task. Ashes and soot marked his journeys.

Wiping his hands on the carpet, chairs, and curtains, Samuel took bucket after bucket to the sink.  It was tiring to stretch to the sink.  Samuel headed to the bathroom where the toilet was an easy reach.

Viewing the fireplace, Samuel rubbed his hands over his stubbly head.  A good job well done, young man.  He climbed up next to Grammy and kissed her face.  She snored. 

Yes, Grammy.  You are going to be in such trouble.  With that thought, Samuel decided to help the red rocket fly, ‘pat, pat, pat’.  The front door opened.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Close My Eyes

My family, Christmas Day 1958
Close my eyes,
Close them,
Have peaceful dark
For a little while.
Light blinds me
And hurts me,
Forces me to look away.
Dark is velvet and smooth.
Silent and soft,
My head quiets in darkness.
Can you not understand?
The Light! Have you ever gazed into the light
And found pain instead?
Don't you know by now?
Run your fingers down my brow,
Let my eyes find soft blackness,
Discover a deep rest.

In Memory of my Father, Louis "Bud" Peck

Monday, August 6, 2012

Samuel and Christmas Lights

Samuel gazed out at the falling snow. It blurred the strings of bright Christmas lights along the street, an eerie but pleasing sight.

Samuel felt this blurry sensation in his being. Since seeing Santa, the man who knows everything, Samuel doubted himself. That was scary.

“Time for sleepin’, buddy!” The Daddy scooped up a compliant Samuel. Surprised at the lack of fight, The Daddy lay Samuel in the crib and then locked down the ‘tent’. “Daddy’s gonna catch some ZZZZs too.” 

He left quietly, leaving the door cracked just a bit.  Soon the ZZZZs were flying; The Daddy was out cold.

Samuel had figured out the ‘tent’ and its locking mechanism just the other day. Such a simple thing really—simple enough that adults would not notice it.

Slipping the hook up and over, Samuel silently raised the ‘tent’, and ninja-d himself over the railing. He swung down onto the carpet, and made his way to the living room where the snores were raising the roof.

He headed into the kitchen where Ginger-the-fat-tabby reclined in the travel carrier, after her encounter with the angel on the tree. They eyed each other in mutual respect. A truce had been called after the scissor incident. Later, cat. I must think some more.

Samuel continued his exploration. Next to the living room he entered the guest room where Grammy was staying. All was normal, except for her elaborate knitting bag. It was enclosed, except for four holes through which yarn could be pulled.

Peering into the interior, Samuel perceived there were four large balls of yarn. Large balls nicely wound with single strands of yarn through the holes: This had possibilities.

Pulling out one strand and then another, Samuel noted how easy this would be.  Grabbing the other strands, Samuel left the room.  Streams of red metallic, sparkling silver, shimmering gold, and forest green followed him obediently.

He walked around the house, crawling under the tables and over the chairs.  Some strands were dropped, but would be continued later around furniture legs and even the Christmas tree stand.  Quietly and methodically Samuel wove rooms together in bright Christmas cheer.  Forget the lipstick.  THIS is so much better.

All was complete.  The house was strung and tied up, a grand present just waiting to be opened.

Samuel went to the carrier where Ginger had been watching.  Cry havoc! Samuel opened the hook lock.  And release the cat of carnage!

He returned to his room, and closed the door.  He had barely climbed into the crib and locked the tent when he heard the earliest sounds.  Tucking his thumb in his mouth and pulling up his blankie, Samuel smiled sleepily.  So little time, so much that could have been done.