Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sisters, Sisters...never were there such a pair of sisters...

sisters, sisters...
16 October 2014

Dear Martha,

Your letter pulled me from a pit of despair.  If ever there were awards for "Surviving Multiple Plethora of Childhood Illnesses", I would be inducted into the Hall of Matriarchal Fame.

The triplets have developed a chain of cursed plagues:  Influenza, chicken pox (despite the vaccine), strep throat, ear infections, and worms (?).

Is this God's thunderbolt of retribution for swearing during Mass?  Loudly swearing at Clarisse-the-She-Devil, the mistress of of insubordination?

As you know, my house was never a museum, but now a City Inspector would cover the house with "Condemned" yellow tape.

Must go. Alex-the-Spontaneous is vomiting on the cat. Christopher-the-Wild is smearing the vomit on the bathroom mirror.

Your sister,


Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio - Martha and Mary Magdalene - WGA04101.jpg
Source: Wikipedia
"May thanks to Delores at Under the Porch Light for providing the six words (above, underlined) with which to wrestle and write.  Delores is awesome and such a joy!" This was written some time ago, and since then Delores has had a falling out with her computer.  Other bloggers have jumped in to provide new words each week.  August words are being provided by Hannahbananaface for the month of August.

The underlined words were provided by Delores on October 14, 2014; that post is being re-posted.  We are moving, but it just doesn't feel right to not post,..

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dance Forever

Language of music
As you may or may not know, Irish Dance is a huge part of our lives; our goal is to be involved, part of our grand-daughters' lives.  Lily and Clara have been taking lessons for years, participating in wild Irish dance competitions, known as a Fe'is (fesh).

When our girls were only five, they wore the school uniform for beginning dancers, a white blouse and blue kilt. Most of the time white blouses were partially tucked in and kilt sagged down beneath child tummies.

So proud, they were so proud and so eager.  Little girls were lined up, feet almost in the right position.  Clara picked her nose a few times and Lily sent a smile that lit up our world. There was always a red head giggling and pinching girls next to her.

Now, years later--maybe six years later--each stands with feet "turned out", posture straight and hands tucked it.  White blouse and blue kilt have evolved through an official school uniform ($350) for novice dancers, with hard shoes (same price).

Then their costumes became elegant, enough for a princess.  Some uniforms became hideous in day-glow colors.  But OUR girls has a mother who can sew up a storm.

Lily still glows with her smile, now with braces.  Clara no longer picks her nose while in line, and believe me, we watch for that.

It is an amazing experience to be surrounded by talented dancers and Irish music. Other little girls evolved as well, into Champion dancers. Those young ladies fly through the air, truly fly.  Long legs make impossibly high kicks, while long hair follows music and dance.

What happens after High School, after most dancers leave to pursue careers somewhere, doing something? Will they still dance?  Will they teach other little children in blue and white?

Without us all knowing, these talented dancers now teach school or are doctors.  But, Irish dance is never packed away in a closet, forgotten.

From YouTube entitled "UPS Driver gets jiggy after receiving a gift.

Where did he study dance?  When did he study dance? He remembers the steps and such!

Here is another example.  In Ireland at a wedding reception, clearing the floor for dancing takes on new meaning.  

Groom and his guests (all ages) dance.  Obviously there's a ringer.

Other young adults join a dance team, and appear at Dublin Airport.

A flash mob in Dublin Airport from a dance troupe, "Take the Floor."

Feet never forget, legs perform the impossible, and a doctor becomes a dancer once again. We hope this for Lily and Clara.

Friday, July 22, 2016

1979 with Fleetwood Mac and Tusk

New Year's Eve Ball dropping in Times Square:

Being able to dance is a wonderful.  Being able to dance skillfully and gracefully is truly a gift.  

Manzanita used her skill and love of dancing for the 2013 A-to-Z Blogfest.  Every day she shared a new dance and her experiences.  They were marvelous.

For one whose dreams alone allow me to dance, I confess that I am rhythmically impaired.  Two steps and I am lost.

But that does not take away the joy of dancing, of watching dancing.  The best dance ever done took place on New Year’s Eve, 1979. 

Our daughter was about 4 ½ and our son “Johnny” had just turned one.  We always threw a ‘big’ party with our small children on that day.  We let them stay up until almost 10 PM and eat all manner of party foods.  We put on our favorite music albums and artists, cranked the music up loud, and we danced.  We danced all over the house.

It was the Fleetwood Mac album when the real dance began. 

Fleetwood Mac in 1979, YouTube

While still not too steady on his feet and clothed in a simple diaper, Johnny was stunned by “Tusk”.  He held onto the coffee table, and he danced.  And boy, did he dance!  Perfect rhythm, into the music, shaking his head, singing as only a toddler can!

When the  sorta-free form drum solo kicked in, he stopped and waited for it to be over.  Then the music started again.  And Johnny broke into dance.

I have never looked at dancing the same.  And I still like the Tusk album.

Live, 2004 from YouTube

This is a re-post of November 6, 2013.  We are in the throes of packing and moving.  I hope you enjoy this re-post and leave a comment, but I can't make my own response.  Party on!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lord and Lady Davis at the End

Matilda wrung the dust cloth and sighed.  “Get to work, girl,” she mumbled to no one, since the house rang with emptiness. 


Starting in the kitchen, Matilda reached behind the dry goods, retrieving the boxes of rat poison and bottles of potassium chloride.  “No one needs these anymore!” she exclaimed cheerfully.

She moved on to the bathrooms used by the late Lady and Lord Davis, taking the arsenic bottles, and putting the real medicine  in their places.  “Poor souls! To be so ill at the late blossoms of life!” Lady Davis had passed to her eternal reward only a year or so ago.  There had been little mourning and much giggling at church during music and prayers for the late Lady Davis

Now again a year later, at the Presbyterian Church next day, the township were dressed in black, touching their eyes now and then with hankies.  Matilda sat in her customary place in back.  The Right Reverend Lancaster, retired, gave a very very brief sermon, and then praised loyal parishioners  for honoring his late lordship, Lord Davis. “Now, we shall attend the church potluck, after attending to His Lordship’s request to be cremated.”

Outside, a roaring bonfire awaited pall bearers to throw the pine box into the flames.  As the fire leaped at the additional fuel, the cheers lifted as if one. “Take that, ye old *@$%^....”

Matilda smiled demurely as she was thanked over and over for her service.  Murder is a pleasure when one has lived a life of servitude to the Lord and His Ladyship

This is a re-post from August 8, 2013.  It was at my "How do I do this?" Not knowing the proper way to reference and honor anyone, I will do it now.  The words are from Delores, who started the Wednesday Words way back when.  Delores wanted bloggers to break from their WIP and get a fresh look after writing something unusual. Unfortunately, I didn't indicate the word in any way, but oh well, what can I say?

However, in my young blogging, days, I did not underline, bold, or italicize the words for readers to identify. Just look for strange words that are worked into sentences that seem a little odd.


Monday, July 18, 2016

...As long as we have no place to go, let it snow, let it snow...

Today in Tomsville Explosion: Bring Graham crackers and chocolate!
mix icing sugar in to melted marchmallows to make fondant
After an explosion at Tomsville Marshmallow Factory, the town was blanketed in white melted marshmallow. Mr. Miller gazed out the window, "Well, that's not something you see everyday..."

The surprise explosion had spread aromatic scent of vanilla over the marshmallow-covered town.  Even the steeple  of the nearby church was coated with the sticky white stuff.  Several red cardinals were glued there, their pitiful songs heard about town.

Finally, an elfin boy named Timmy climbed up into the steep interior and then was lowered by rope to free the poor birds.  Oddly enough, the cardinals were able to fly away to nearby trees.

From the heights, Timmy watched faraway children dashing with toboggans in hand to slide down  “Killer Hill”.  He giggled as each child became mired in the marshmallow ‘snow’, sinking rapidly into the white gloppy goo.

Winter Snow Covers Ground in North Iceland

P. S.  Kudos to Delores who delightfully selected 6 words AND a sentence prompt to be used as the blogger desires, to break into another genre, or take a break for current WIP.  The bold underlined words were for the week of December 4, 2013.

Delores started "Wednesday Words" several years back.  After growing tired of incessant battles with her computer, she handed the baton off to other bloggers. This month's words are the gift of Elephant's Child. Find this week's words there and either post your take in the comment section OR post at your site, being sure to let us know where you are and what you have written.  WE WANT TO FIND YOU!

Starting in August will be hannahbananface who will provide words.  Thanks, Hannah!

 We love you, Delores!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bringing Home a New Cat
From the window of "Purrrfect Grooming",  Gretta groaned as Mrs. Hick lugged a heavy animal carrier containing Pfffit to her store to be groomed.  Oh please dear God, protect me.

At the previous  grooming, Pfffit had attacked her when Gretta tried to clip Pfffit's claws.  Even though the harness had been tied securely to the table, Gretta was scratched severely which required stitches.  Gretta shivered at the memory.

Mrs. Hick had covered the cost of the injury and work time lost, of course. Mortified, Mrs. Hick made many promises.

When the door opened, Gretta greeted Mrs. Hick kindly.  Mrs. Hick anxiously assured her that Pfffit had eaten all the meal served at lunch time.  At that, Gretta lifted a woozy Pfffit, which weakly batted a paw at Gretta.  Ah, my nemisis...we meet again on a field of battle. 

In fifteen minutes flat, Pfffit was back in the cage and driven away. Mrs. Hick had paid a three figures for the grooming, but it was worth every single penny.

Gretta whistled as she counted out the bills.

The end.

Wednesday Words meme was the brainchild of Delores, who tossed out 6 to 12 words for bloggers to use as a chance to try some other genre. When she and her computer continued to have battles, Delores gave the W.W. baton to other bloggers.  This month of July, Elephant's Child is providing W.W. words.  Bloggers may post in her comment section, or write that you will post at your site.  Link it back to her site, allowing us to find you.

In August, HannahBananaface will challenge writers with her word selection.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

W.Words...Dillard Sanders and Fine Food

Fine Dining Here! Make a reservation.

Dillard Sanders had spent weeks trying to obtain a reservation in the new gourmet restaurant, Bouvillon Arrière-Train*****, to no avail.  When his cousin Jim plummeted from the hay loft that day after consuming a tankard of his best whiskey, Dillard managed to infiltrate by claiming Jim's reservation.

The maître’ de (the high school French teacher Mr. Wilder who was half-French) escorted Dillard to his table, handing him a menu.  Pour voux, Mr. Wilder bowed and gracefully withdrew to another table.

Dillard examined the menu, Man, I am gonna eat fine tonight:  A “Splendid Gastronomic Feast"!  He read the header at the top of the parchment paper.   

His first obstacle came when he examined the entrees, all written in French.  The half-French Mr. Wilder returned and solicitously awaited.

Dillard, filled with anxiety, merely pointed to the fourth entrée,

Bœuf Fumé en Tranches Fines sur Pain Grille en Sauce Blanche”.**

“Bon choix”, Mr. Wilder nodded, handing him a wine list.

Dang!  I am out of my league here!  But, he thought red wine would be just fine and indicated the last one on the short list:

Ferme du Aubaine”.***

Before returning to the kitchen, Mr. Wilder snapped the white linen napkin and tossed it on Dillard’s lap.  This was a bit of a surprise, as Dillard usually tucked it under his chin.  Must be a French thing…

The half-French Mr. Wilder returned with the bottle of wine and presented it to Dillard, who felt confident here, having watched “Murder, She Wrote” one hundred times and had seen how this was handled. 

Dillard nodded, and Mr. Wilder opened the screw top bottle, and poured a bit into the wine glass.  Dillard stuck his nose in a bit too far, but recovered by sipping carefully. 

Dillard again nodded abruptly as Mr. Wilder (who was half-French) poured the wine, then departed to the kitchen.

Mr. Wilder returned with a gleaming cloche (aluminum dome cover used to keep food warm) and removed it with a flourish, setting the steaming entree in one elegant move before Dillard.

Dillard exclaimed approvingly. Not one to dither about, he savored the first bite.

Chipped beef on toasted white bread in white gravy** was an unexpected pleasure, Just like Ma made…

He swilled the red wine, a fine choice and noted that it was his favorite, Boone’s Farm, not a high stuck-up wine.

***translation:  Bargain wine from a farm

***** Rear End of a Bull

Jim, you sure missed a treat tonight! And Dillard dug in, while Mr. Wilder (who was half-French) observed appreciatively.

Apologies for:  1.  Slaughtering the French language---using an on-line dictionary may not have helped; 2.  Making fun of anyone unintentionally; 3. Suggesting that Boone's Farm is sub-standard, having enjoyed it many times myself during college years; 4.  "Dillard" is the name of department store, not the name of a person, maybe; and, 5. Abusing the name "Mr. Wilder", since I do not know of any Wilder except Gene.

 The underlined words come from a Wednesday Words challenge started by Delores, now at Delores as a way to challenge writers.

Wine to beat all Wines

Monday, July 11, 2016

New Kids on the Block

A photo of our current house, I found it on Google.  On Google! Is nothing private anymore?? We have since trimmed back the roses and honeysuckle, as well as the sweet jasmine since this photo was taken. Grass is brown--water shortage.
When my son-in-law Brian (he is a loving gift to our daughter, girls, and to both sets of grandparents) selected real estate for our possible new home, we had no expectations.  None at all.

The first house could be, but it was not. Every room screamed "1990" with its mauve and cornflower blue. The garden was big with many projects that were incomplete or overgrown--just what we wanted to escape.

The second house, oh the second house.  It was perfect in every way except the closets were not large. The square feet were about the same as our existing house, but one bedroom gone, dining room/kitchen/family room had no divisions.  It was wonderful.

But the best thing of all was the back patio. No gardening to do except for our own potted lilacs and succulents on the patio!  The most amazing of all: a view!

We could look over eucalyptus trees on the left, golf course on the right, over to the city where evening lights would twinkle, across to hills. Not in single person's back yard!

For years, we have been facing our neighbors' fences on three sides with our street on the fourth.  Every conversation said around their pools or back yards, we could hear and wish we couldn't.

Brian took us around to three other houses, but I was blind to them, except one which had a superb closet. "Let's go back to that house..."!

It was as I recalled it to be.  This house is that I wanted, and my husband did by extension.  It was wise for him to like it as well.

Brian brought my daughter Erin and the girls to see this marvelous home, with the oldest (who is nearly twelve, old beyond her years, wise and with a good eye for art and balance) gave it her approval.  She did notice the closets were very small.

The final test was to visit The Club House, where all the action was.  Library, exercise room, club rooms, rooms for every thing. A swimming pool with a sauna was available.

streets twist and turn, in a California Community for 55+
It had it all.  But as we left, we looked at the card room where four women were having a drag out, down and dirty bridge game.  All were old, white haired, a little stooped.  One waved at us with an arthritic hand.  "Hello, dearies"...and smiled at the girls.

Erin looked at me with wide blue eyes. "Mom, you guys will be the youngest old people here!"

Somehow that does not sound so bad.  It has been years since we have been the youngest anywhere. Maybe some old lady will hit on my husband, while some old geezer will put moves on me.

Oh, yes.  We are buying that house, and moving in 27 days.

We are in no way loaded with money.  John's mother (I called her Mom, too) left each of her children money in a trust fund, which has allowed us to move.

Friday, July 8, 2016

ww...Impossible Dream + Hot Babes

Morning Glory Pool is a hot spring in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. (National Park Service Archive Photo/Wikimedia Commons)
Indigenous tribes removed from Park, "for their own safety"
Jerry had packed a suitcase weeks ago, checked off days on his Hot Babes calendar, and read everything possible about Yellowstone National Park.  This had been his lifelong dream, so much so that he had saved intensely for fifteen years. I can scarcely believe it...Yellowstone! Yellowstone, at last!

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Craig Mellis/Florentine Films.
Old Faithful...
Jerry sprinted to catch his Bus, tripped over a case left on the sidewalk by a curvy blonde and fell hard on his knee.  Even though his scrape bled like a son of a gun, Jerry stopped to put his packed suitcase into the belly of the beast.  The case popped open, spraying his clothing onto dripping oil by the bus.  Hot Babes was forever disfigured.

Finally ol' Gray (Jerry's nickname) rattled out onto freeway from Burton, Florida, heading straight to Yellowstone.  In 30 minutes or so, ol' Gray wheezed to a stop, and all could see the radiator boiling ,sending steam straight up.

Jerry felt his colon cramp and his stomach become a knotty mass of anxiety.

When ol' Gray returned to bus station, Jerry was nearly crying.  While there had never been any sort of competition between calendar to calendar, Jerry had kept years of Hot Babes calendars, crossing off days after days.  This was the month...the month...

Yellowstone Ash Deposits (Yell.1936)
How far can it go?
While this is a blurry map, it does show the extent when the caldera blows.  Bad news for all.
Ironically, the next day it was announced that the immense caldera beneath Yellowstone Park blew, exploded, blasting apart all states from Canada to Texas, Nevada to Illinois, over to Oregon and down the western coast, and all parts in between. Clouds of ash covered the skies around the world

Jerry's head hung down despondently.  Gone, it was gone.  As he tacked his new Hot Babes calendar, Jerry pondered where he would go instead.  Iceland?  Iceland would be nice...He crossed off another day, heading toward Iceland in a decade or so.

Oh, Jerry, poor uninformed Jerry.

Stupid tourists with falling boulders from YouTube

The above italicized underlined words are a gift from Wednesday Words, this month provided by Elephant's Child. Each week during one month, volunteer bloggers provide a writing challenge by posting 6, 12 words and/or a sentence/photo prompt.  This gives writers a jolt to experience winding those words into a cohesive poem, prose, short-story, whatever genre.

Participants may post their take on these words in that E.C.'s comment section, or indicate that your post will be at your site.  This helps readers to find you, which is nice.

 Olga Godim. will be providing some photo prompts sometime during July..

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Mystery of the Fifty Second Minute

This is a re-post from 2011.  I did not know many other bloggers then.
Just past the 52nd minute....

The Mystery of the Fifty-second Minute

Sounds like a great title, doesn’t it?  Kinda like “The 39 Steps”, or “Sixth Sense”?  Throw a number in the title, and you create a question and a grabber.

Maui, Hawaii:  Hawaii 5-0

This is how one of my favorite TV shows always plays out.  The main characters have a close bond, would die to save the other.  

And then, lead M/C decides to do something dangerous, head out on his own.

Lead M/C must make hard decisions.
Oh, so delicious Alex O'Loughlin (or the M/C)

Clues are rife, and predictions can be false.  Eventually, bad guys capture Lead M/C. 

The close friends discover some sort of truth. All their paramilitary connections rush to rescue M/C. 
This always happens at the 52nd minute. Always.

Equally delightful Daniel Oh Kim

The amazing Grace Park

If I know this formula so well, then why do I watch these TV shows?

Eye candy.  

The men are young, buff, handsome, and have piercing blue/green/brown eyes.
Hawaii Five-0
Scott Caan, son of James Caan

Grace Park?  Amazing, vulnerable, tough.  Every one of them is easy to appreciate.  

Plus, HAWAII!!!  Lush, green, blue ocean--everything to love.

When #52 minute comes the culminating action happens, and TUH-DUH!  All is well.  The hero looks back at his 
place of imprisonment with tortured eyes.

Villain "Wo Fat" actor, Mark Dacascos, also on "Iron Chef"

Knowing the 52nd minute is coming lets me relax while I watch the tense parts where uncertainty should reign.  At “52”, I sigh and wait for the final credits at 59th minute.

I could write those scripts.

Let's be honest here.  I think any of us could write these scripts.  but could we create something that must have that big bang at 52nd minute?  That is the question.

Friday, July 1, 2016

WW...Mysteries Solved...Maybe

Oregon State

In hundreds of millions of years, somewhere in the past, Earth consisted of one big continent.  For many innumerable million years, in fact. Geologists wondered the how and why of uniqueness of the land masses filling the earth, dividing Atlantic from Pacific. 

Why does South America feel like it could cozy up with Africa? Why is Australia off by itself, containing unique critters of its own? Why is there a Gulf Stream that swirls hot to cold, an interactive exchange? Can any continent claim that it has the hottest temperature? Personally, I'd go for Africa.  Sahara Desert wins, hands down.

Alfred Wegener published The Origin of Continents, in 1912.  He posited that at that time, there had been only one massive continent, which he named Pangaea, or Pangea. It was during a 600 million year span to some other million, land masses broke apart in a continental shift, similar to pieces of driftwood rolling through waters until it found a home. (First, continents were together, then they broke up, and then they moved back...Fickle, if you ask me.)

Found in YouTube...there are many other videos

Wegener's book seemed to solve a great mystery to most people.  I suspect that other geologists may have wondered about this but discounted it, but Pangaea seemed to make sense to average humans. I mean, really.  Just look at a jigsaw puzzle, you academics. 

Unbelievably, this created quite an uproar, was controversial until the 1950s. But, even so, Wegener had cast his scientific reputation to test the waters in early 20th century years. I'd say he took quite a chance on this, but then...

This shift had all sorts of ramifications, too numerous here. Feel free to check it out. BUT it is patently clear that there will be no effort to reconnect any time soon.
Carole King from YouTube

The above italicized underlined words are a gift from Wednesday Words, this month provided by River. Each week during one month, volunteer bloggers provide a writing challenge by posting 6, 12 words and/or a sentence/photo prompt.  This gives writers a jolt to experience winding those words into a cohesive poem, prose, short-story, whatever genre.

Participants may post their take on these words in that blogger's comment section, or indicate that your post will be at your site.  This helps readers to find you, which is nice.

In July, Elephant's Child  will be tossing us some words, with some visual prompts provided by Olga Godim. It will be interesting, as always.