Friday, July 31, 2015

Wed.Words: Dysart, Louisiana

People sit on a bench along the seawall in the storm surge from Isaac, on Lakeshore Drive along Lake Pontchartrain, as the storm approaches landfall, in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 28.
southeast Louisiana
When forecasters warned that Hurricane Banning would be making landfall in just a few hours that morning, parishioners of St. Mark Catholic Church dropped everything and sprinted to the Church.  All recognized how fragile the old church was.

Even the normally dysfunctional people drinking at Lucy’s Bar and Grill loped over, with fry-cook Big Chris moving with rare alacrity. 

The Baxter family unloaded sheets of plywood, planks, and boxes of nails as the community arrived.  Without speaking, it was understood that the multi-paned, mullioned window overlooking the altar was primary to protect.
The colored glass, brought to the Parish from France in 1781, was invaluable, a true treasure to the people of Dysart, Louisiana. Even with the church boarded up, still none knew if it was enough.

Hours later, when the wind had carried the storm away, parishioners hurried to see St. Mark’s.  Viewing the structure even from a distance, all gave thanks, even Big Chris. 

Seeing the Altar and precious window intact, it did not matter that much of St. Mark’s lay in ruins.

Every Wednesday, River posts 6 to 12 words to be used by any blogger who wish to enjoy a break from the serious stuff.  Use these words to write fiction, prose, poetry, flash fiction, etc.  Either post it on your own site and link it back to River's delightful gentle stream, or make your addition to her blog site comment section.

The bold words above are this week's words.  Hope you enjoyed how they were used.

Also, many thanks to Delores at Under the Porch Light who started this writing stir up, and to Elephant's Child who took up the slack when Delores' computer went all wonky.

Go on, with it!  Fling yourself out into the unknown!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

God Bless the Little Children

Sometimes an unexpected talent appears.  Just shows up, never seen before.

Sometimes that new talent comes in the form of a child.

I hope you can enable this to run. (It may require something I don't understand.)  If not, go to this site:Ten years old, in tiger pajamas.

If you could not access that one, there is always a three-year old:

Small packages, amazing talent, and surprising joy.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Dominion and Defiance

Dominion - Title Card.png
Maybe it is just me, maybe it is the fond memories of television at a more innocent time...

Every single time the new round of TV shows appears, I wonder how in the world THIS idea made it through the sorting process and WHO dreamed this up.

The new program in this line-up is “Dominion” on cable SyFy, and it is a winner, according to advertisements. It has been renewed for another season and has a substantial web site, heavily loaded with darkness.

The plot line is that God has disappeared (Oh, come on!  Really?) for some unknown reason, and the Angels are looking for Him.  Understandably, the Archangels Michael and Gabriel are the most upset, as they are the God's angel sons.

And then there is also "Defiance", on SyFy.

The plot line here is that Earth has been all but destroyed by an alien force.  The action setting is in the ruins of St. Louis, Missouri.  

The famous Arch teeters, as a symbol of society itself.

I really don't know what else to say. 

I find these are just another dystopic, society-in-ruins shows, joining the ranks of so many other post-apocalyptic messes. 

This all amazes me and dismays me.

Is this what entertainment has become?   

Thankfully, our God reigns. He truly does.  He has not disappeared.

Friday, July 24, 2015

WedWord: Adventures of Lord James St. John

Kansas City Library
David wandered through the library, seeing if any book caught his eye.  So many, so little interest.  He picked up Boy Scout First Aid, letting it open to any page, and then reading aloud. “Apply….an-ti-sep-tic…What...” he tossed it on the table. Enough Boy Scouts for me.

Another book flipped open, and David began reading. 

“…entombed in sand, boxed in by towering columns, Lord James St. John had to quell the feeling of doom.”
Well, that’s not bad.

David found a chair and stretched out, his feet resting on the library table.  Enjoy yourself, enjoy air conditioning. 

“St. John stepped forward, immediately caught by a net, work of an ancient civilization….This whole trip had been a big gamble, he had known from the start.

“With just a few cuts in the decaying rope, James St. John tumbled down into a cavern, dark and dank after many centuries.  A cobwebbed torch was visible on the craggy walls, and he struck a match….

"Ahead was a pedestal, on which stood the object of his search…a beam of light streaming from overhead upon it...

Oh, no.  Really?  Really?

Does this look familiar?

But on David read.  “St. John retrieved a counterfeit item from his battered leather bag to replace the treasure.  Snatching the treasure and swiftly setting the fake, St. John chuckled as he beheld the ancient jug.

Wait for it…wait for it…

“James St. John raised the jug up into the light.  It was truly a hideous but opulent object, with amber and bone chips inset in the priceless gold.  Then the ground rumbled beneath him, with…”

Well, Jimmy boy, happy trails…David tossed the book on the carpet and left.

Every Wednesday, River posts 6 to 12 words to be used by any blogger who wish to enjoy a break from the serious stuff.  Use these words to write fiction, prose, poetry, flash fiction, etc.  Either post it on your own site and link it back to River's delightful gentle stream, or make your addition to her blog site comment section.

The bold words above are this week's words.  Hope you enjoyed how they were used.

Also, many thanks to Delores at Under the Porch Light who started this writing stir up, and to Elephant's Child who took up the slack when Delores' computer went all wonky.
Go on, with it!  Fling yourself out into the unknown!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cromwell...Lord Protector...Beheaded...

Saying the name “Oliver Cromwell” elicits two reactions, depending where it is said.  In England, Cromwell is viewed as the savior of a ragged nation, a poor nation, after the monarchy made some unwise decisions.

His own decisions did not always work out well for him, as he was beheaded in 1540. The English regretted this decision a few decades later, deciding to exhume him and re-bury him in a place with more dignity.   

However, in Ireland (Drogheda and Wexford, in particular), Cromwell is known as the slaughterer of 500,000 Irishmen.  As he marched through the land, he killed the Catholics and some Protestants did not fare all that well (especially the Presbyterians).

During a 1984 visit, we inadvertently walked in Cromwell's path and when we said “Oliver Cromwell”, an Irishman would repeat the name, cough up some phlegm, and spit on the ground.  No more needed to be said.

Here are the two views:

plaque marking burial place of Cromwell's head WKPD
The English revered Oliver Cromwell
for a while, anyway

But then there were the Irish:

Massacre at Drogheda
Slaughter at Drogheda, Ireland

Now, here is a condensed historical version by Monty Python.

Gotta love
Monty Python
and their
excellent view
of history.

p.s. Have you ever seen "The Holy Grail"?  Worthwhile.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Awesome, absolutely the best

Fashion-era, fashion history vintage 1920s Wedding Photo - 1928 Thomas Paton and Lucy Flemmings Bride Wedding Dress

Generally, at one time or another everyone manages to attend one or more weddings.  Pretty generic most of the time, but sometimes amazing things happen at weddings.  Not just the expensive wedding gown, flowers, etc. But surprising and memorable things.

At my own wedding, my-almost-husband fainted, dropped down like a sack of feed.  Down.  Out cold.  He was okay, we ended up married, so all was well.  However, my small town of 427 had years of stories from that.

Then there are the melting cakes.  

I personally have been at three family weddings where the heat and humidity caused the cakes to droop with icing cascading down the layers. 

Thanks to Cake Wrecks for this beauty! (again, thankfully not ours)
My sister’s cake—the layers nearly slid off each other, onto the table.
My sis-in-law’s wedding in Chicago, mid-July, the icing was sagging and turning into a puddle.  

Same thing with another sis-in-law--pure sugar water fall. 

Some weddings are sunny mornings with the tent all set up, tables with tablecloths, with crowning wedding cake in the center of dance floor.  
Then a storm whips up, winds sweep, and all disappear into the manicured grass. Awesome.

But, the best part is the wedding cake.  I love eating wedding cake.  Skip the chicken and broccoli, let’s move on to the wedding cake.

Those weddings are the best—when something goes wrong and people have to problem solve.  Those are the great weddings. 

Source: Pinterest

Let's all raise a glass and toast....

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wednesday Words: Kalper's Kitchen

Source + recipes
In the backwaters of Louisiana, the place to eat was at  Kalper's Kitchen, where unique and delicious fare could be found. Food prepared by the man, Kalper himself.  He was always the force blowing full bore around his kitchen, letting no one and nothing get in his way.

Not an easy person to approach, his manic brilliance gave new definitions to Southern fried catfish and smoked ribs.  AND all who knew Kalper also understood to stay out of Kalper's kitchen during these hours of inspired creation.

Sadly, a short new sous chef, Whittier, was ignorant, and stumbled into the kitchen whereupon Kalper promptly skewered Whittier with his newest blade, a nine-inch Miyabi Birchwood.

A squelched scream gurgled. Hearing the thud,  Kalper's three brothers,rushed in to grab Whittier by his Nike sneakers, and drag him to the freezer. 

One muttered, “Damn! That’s the third one this month."

They tossed Whittier onto the heap of Alvin, Sanders, and Simon. “Damn shame.”

Every Wednesday, River posts 6 to 12 words to be used by any blogger who wish to enjoy a break from the serious stuff.  Use these words to write fiction, prose, poetry, flash fiction, etc.  Either post it on your own site and link it back to River's delightful gentle stream, or make your addition to her blog site comment section.

Also, many thanks to Delores at Under the Porch Light who started this writing stir up, and to Elephant's Child who took up the slack when Delores' computer went all wonky.
Go on, with it!  Fling yourself out into the unknown!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

...Just around the corner

Mr. DeMille...I am ready for my closeup...not really.

I have been told by people that I do not look my age.

“I am 63…
“Oh surely not…you look about 55…, 47?

And, I have been “hit on” by men not my husband or relative. They are in the upper senior level.

Here is the thing.  I know I still hold onto that by a thin piece of fleshy fabric.  I know that in a brief bit of time, I will get up, go to the bathroom mirror, and let go a silent scream.

I know that all cells in my body have probably formed a revolution, organizing through each inch of skin and fascia.  They have whispered, “Okay—tomorrow, every one simply lets go and gives into gravity.  Let'r all drop!”

I’ll let you know.  It is just around a corner.

P.S.  Migraines had become so severe that the only viable solution is having BOTOX injections--not on my face, (except one in each eye brow)  however. Temples, various places in the scalp, down the back of neck, into the shoulders. Thirty-eight injections that are unimaginable in the pain factor.

Please don't hate me because I'm beautiful...

Not really. Go ahead...

Monday, July 13, 2015

On Retirement

Retirement is an odd event.  This event provides:  The joy of sleeping without an alarm clock jolting one awake; the joy of relishing a hobby…skill…interest leisurely; and, the joy of finding the time to go on adventures.

Even so, retirement is an exhausting event, for so many reasons.

It requires emptying the desk and throwing away papers which make you wonder “what the heck what I thinking” before making a 3 pointer in the waste basket.  The desk and filing cabinet are cousins, only the filing cabinet is far more painful.  

The filing cabinet holds years of decisions, receipts, memos, letters written, ledgers, and just about anything which someone gave you and had no other place to go.

It is somewhat like purging one’s soul and alimentary system.

Then there is enduring the “Farewell Party” with its gaudy CostCo cake, party decorations, hugging people—some of whom you could not stand then or now, and walking out the door.  Your boxes, calendar, photos, memorabilia from the Hawaii vacation, and whatever have been packed await you.

After teaching for twenty years, this is exactly what I did.  

My almost-adult kids unloaded all the above, stacked the boxes on a sturdy shelf unit, and that was it.  Some boxes were actually personal, so they saw the light of day.

But the others?  They stayed silent and dusty for about fifteen years. 

Now, we are cleaning out the garage.  Those boxes are being pulled out one by one, opened with surprise.

One surprise was that I had been extremely organized back then.  Since my book collection was once a dozen full boxes holding excellent well-written student literature, it had been condensed to eight boxes, after giving away the rest to a nearby Christian school.

Some of the precious pieces from several boxes
Unit on bears (which also taught about Northwest Tribes, longitude and latitude) had been tucked away for some use later (what, I don’t know).  

Units on Ireland (literature, language, history, Irish student textbooks) neatly surrounded by lesson plans and cards of commonly used Gaelic words.

Units on…just about any State Framework curriculum requirement.

Is it painful? You bet.  

Is it amazing?  Oh yes.  

But most of all, it is liberating.  

It is closing a door on a wonderful twenty years where both the students and I learned so much.

I did keep a box or two—one to give to my granddaughters and one for me.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Wednesday Words: The Foursome

1091818.  The legs of a man wearing golf shoes making ready to hit a golf ball.
When Evan dropped dead in front of his golfing foursome, Frank responded quickly.

With his brand new golf shoes, he nudged Evan, and turned him over.  “Damn!” Frank cursed, “Now I have grass stains.  Damn.”

Clem interrupted. “Well, you did insist on a morning tee-off time.”

All looked down at Evan’s still body.

Jack spoke up. “Who will be our fourth?!  It isn’t likely Evan will be regenerated anytime soon.”

Frank shook his head.  “No help for it.  Let’s head back to the clubhouse.  We’ll tell the Front Desk about Evan.” He nudged Evan once more with a heavy sigh.

This was a Wednesday Words Post, and I truly enjoyed writing it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


“…the Universe, presupposed  to limitation and thinking that the Universe remained in a state of stasis, Astronomers were astounded to discover, that inexplicably, with a smidgen of disbelief, space as we had known it to be, was in fact, in vicissitude…”

Phil’s head now lay in the lap of female Physics major behind him, his snore reverberating off the walls of the huge and completely packed lecture hall.  Silence reigned as Phil awoke with a small embarrassed giggle, wiping the drool from his cheek, “I’m in the wrong lecture hall.  So sorry…”
He ran through the doors, throwing his Advanced Physics textbook into the nearest garbage can.  Even though the book was worth $300 used, changing his major to Social Sciences seemed a better choice.

Vicissitude struck me as a good choice.)

164 words

Monday, July 6, 2015

What Theo Did Next

As Theo rumbled down the country road to catch his cousin Victor at his business,  he prayed incessantly.  OhpleaseOhplease, Dear Lord…

Victor waited, clearly watching for Theo, his spirit battered by now.  Cell phones are marvelous things he thought as Theo braked in front.  There was urgency in Theo’s step, and some in Victor’s stance.

Theo pulled a business card from his wallet and held it out as they shook hands.  “Does this offer still stand?” Theo gulped.  “My barn was blown to pieces, and I need this….”

Victor’s eyes widened, assessing if this was a true offer.  He credited Theo for the strength it took to come there. “You mean this?  Really?  You want to sell?”

Theo nodded with determination.  “I gotta do this.  I ain’t got a choice…Does the original offer still hold?”  Oh, please say it does!

“Here, sit down,” Victor replied, pulling over a leather chair.  “I’ll make the call, ask him if it the offer stands.”  Victor made the call, spoke briefly, and his eyes widened as he made a thumbs-up. 

Theo relaxed for the first time since the windy storm had crossed over his farm.  He released a deep breath.

Victor jumped up, placing his hands of the desk.

“He’ll give you fifty more!  Think what this means!  $160,000!”  

Dropping his head between his knees, spots and stars floated in darkness. 

“He already has a buyer, some fancy dancy designer up in Chicago.  Been waiting for one of those barns in your county to tumble down! He's been putting together a collection of old reclaimed timbers for a year now. *** 

Who knew some rich person wanted the 'country touch' in their mansion. ###  Gol’durn. You’re going to be okay, Theo.  That designer is already putting together a crew and eighteen wheeler to take that wood away in the next day or so."

Victor heard the sobbing and relief in Ellen’s voice when Theo called with the news.

In the sunny week that followed, from the old growth American chestnut, white oak, black walnut, pine timbers, planks and, hand-carved pegs that had held the structure together since 1840... the hand-hewed timbers were chosen.

The collection embraced the history, decades, and lives which the barn had sheltered.
Then the old barn was driven away.

The designer handed Theo a cashier’s check, wished him well, and followed the truck back to Chicago. Victor stood on the concrete porch with Theo and Ellen.  “You’re gonna be okay, Theo. Okay…”

Theo nodded, finally seeing a brighter future. Ellen whispered, “Okay…we’re gonna be okay.” She saw, with a sudden clarity, her husband's courage.

Our old barn was taken down in the 1970s, before the trend to purchase the reclaimed wood began.  At that time, the barn was wafting in the wind.  It was sadly burned to the ground when it lay in pieces.  

Friday, July 3, 2015

Wednesday Words: The Storm

The Perfect Storm - Photography Challenge 9/365 - #oldbarn #storm #lightening
The Perfect Storm Source
Last night’s violent thunder and lightning storm more than battered Theo’s barn.  The storm brought it to the ground, leaving broken timbers and shattered planks.

Theo and Ellen were silent, as he assessed all that had been lost.  His eyes widened as he realized the cost to rebuild and to begin again.  Credit?  That was stretched beyond his ability to repay.

“Maybe we could take up a collection from our families?  I know that…” Ellen suggested, hesitantly.

Theo hung his head, “No, no.  I can’t ask them, you know that.”  Then Theo realized with clarity what he could do, what he should do.  “I’ll be back.” He hugged Ellen tightly and then getting into his truck, Theo drove out onto the dirt road in a cloud of dust.

Where did he go?  What will he do? Any ideas? 

This week, River provided 6 or 12 words for bloggers to use as a writing prompt, to stir up the old brain cells.  Take the leap and see what you can create.  You could write it in the comment section of River's site, post it on your own site (with a link back to River).  
I have really enjoyed these prompts.  They give me a chance to cut loose, take the plunge....

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ten More Days

metro transit bus
Take the Bus
Ten more days…only ten more days…Rosalie heard this phrase in her mind with each bus stop, with each passenger trundling off the bus and new passengers pulling themselves aboard. Her smile greeted them with each closing of the door.  Ten more days.

After all these years, Rosalie had come to know their names, their lives with all the good and bad, and how they aged as she followed them wrinkle for wrinkle.  Now, retirement marched closely: Ten more days.

Passengers sit in fixed two-seat units. There are metal poles and bars for standees to hold.

Then a new passenger, pretty young woman clutching her bag and books to her chest, leaped upon the steps.  Looking over her shoulder, pretty woman caught the glare of an angry man racing after the bus.  “You bitch!  Get yourself out here!”  He screamed her name, “Cassie!”

“You okay, baby?” Rosalie closed the door and pulled away from the bus stop, brakes and hydraulics singing. She saw in the mirror other passengers, faces creased and worried.  Young Woman looked up, face bruised and tears creasing.  “Cassie?”

No story needed.

“We all been there, Sweet Child…Bastard needs a good whuppin’…We keep you safe here, Baby…” Slowly a smile crept across Cassie’s face.

Day after day, Cassie raced faster and faster, the Bastard drawing closer and closer.  Day after day, the Bus Family held her, carried her to safety.

Then one day, on Day Ten, Bastard gripped Cassie’s arm, backhanding her soft face. 

The bus door opened, with Rosalie flying out, facing the Bastard nose to nose.  Following close behind, the Bus Family surrounded, encircling him tightly.   Rosalie lightly rested her hands on Cassie’s shoulders, whispering, “You tell him, girl.  You don’t need him anymore.  We’ll take you in.”

Words bottled up burst out and nailed the Bastard for every sin that was his.  The circle tightened when Cassie gave him a right cross.  “You get your crap outta my apartment before I get back…”

The Bus Family climbed back on, each one shoving or kicking him. We take care of our own…

Rosalie smiled inwardly. I’ll tell the company I’ll stay for a few more months….

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