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Oh, Lizzy! (Gargleblaster #156)

April 6, 2014

I spy another lizard sprawled motionless on the tile- sans tail. With a shudder, I prepare a napkin burial. It scurries from my fingertips.

I squeal.

My giggling sons, the obvious suspects… until I discover the culprit waiting for another “toy.”

Lizzy!

04-06 Lizzy

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gargle156This is my response to the weekly Gargleblaster challenge, which is to answer the following question in exactly 42 words:  Who dunnit?

Not only did we discover Lizzy is our lizard catcher, we also found that we need to do some weatherstripping repairs.  She will sit in this position for hours waiting to play.  Forget the catnip mice- those are for amateurs :)

The challenge is open to anyone, but there is a limit of 42 links, so if you want to join in, you have to be quick!  Click the badge to the left to check out the guidelines and add your link!

Old Ladies Aren’t Strangers or Kidnappers (Apparently)

April 3, 2014
Dead Trees?  Easy to spot.  Adults with bad intentions?  Not so much...

Dead Trees? Easy to spot.   Adults with bad intentions? Not so much…

Last week, my eight-year old crashed on his bike. He plays drama to the hilt, so even a stubbed toe comes across as I’m-about-to-die, with a pain level of 85 on a scale of 1 to 10. I always check for broken bones and send him on his way- lingering will just encourage him to cry longer.

He’d just lost the scabs on his face from a skateboard crash a couple weeks prior, so I wasn’t surprised when he came hobbling in the house with my older son right behind him. Doubled over, my younger son announced he fell on his bike. He lifted up his shirt, and sure enough, there was a scrape. (With the way he screamed, I expected his intestines to be hanging out of the wound or something equally horrifying.) After I sent him to rest on the couch, I caught sight of a car outside.

“Um, why is there a red car in our driveway?” I asked.

“An old lady gave him a ride home,” my older son said.

My eyebrows shot up to my hairline. “What? You know you’re not supposed to get in the car with strangers!”

“She’s an old grandma,” my younger said through whimpers.

So I went outside to meet this supposed not-a-creepy-kidnapper-killer-grandma. She didn’t look familiar and I’ve not seen her around. It turns out, she dog-sits for a woman who lives down the street. She thought it was funny that after my son got inside the car, he turned to her and asked, “You’re not going to kidnap me, are you?”

It’s sweet that he had the innocence to think a kidnapper would say, “Why yes, kid, you’re never going home. I’m going to take you, do horrible things to you and leave you in the desert.” I love his innocence, but it’s a dangerous thing. After the woman left, I had a chat with the kids.

To my younger son:

Me: “You seriously asked if she was going to kidnap you- AFTER you got inside the car?”

Son: “She said she wouldn’t.”

Me: “You think a kidnapper is going to tell you the truth?”

To my older son:

Me: “And you let him get in the car?”

Son: “I didn’t want to be rude.”

Me: “You don’t have a problem with rude any other time. This morning, you told me I looked fat.”

It’s alarming to discover they didn’t get the message we thought we’d conveyed. From a kid’s point of view, I can see the confusion. We teach them to respect adults and be polite, but then if one gets too close, we expect them to push away- even if it’s rude. Reading social cues is hard. I know adults who haven’t mastered it.

Yes, we have more work to do.

Now, I’m off to make sure they understand that if someone pulls up in a car offering candy in exchange for help finding a lost a dog, they shouldn’t approach the window and ask, “What kind of candy?”

In The Stars (Gargleblaster at Yeah Write)

March 31, 2014

    Constellations

of past and future;

burning dreams,

memories lost

commingle in the

 expanse above.

           Even when obscured

        by humanity,

I draw comfort

from centuries

of triumphs and

heartbreaks.

    Twinkle,

    glow,

    then


    fall-


Celestial reassurance that all was, is, and will be, well.

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gargle155This is my response to the first ever Gargleblaster challenge at Yeah Write.  The challenge?  Write a response to the following question in exactly 42 words:  What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?

I don’t think  mine is as good as the one given as a sample, but hey, the fun is in playing along!

Speaking of playing along – anyone can join in, so if you’re intrigued, click the badge to the left to check it out.

Have a beautiful Monday!

Open To Interpretation – Speakeasy #155

March 31, 2014
Signs are there... but open to interpretation

Signs and people:  open to interpretation

“Without a word, she dropped to the ground.” I took a drink of iced tea. “Such a bizarre dream… I have no idea what it means.”

“A wooden cheetah climbed the tree?” Pam tilted her head to the side and scrunched her face.

“Yeah. She almost reached the wooden eagle, but then she just stopped, leaped from the trunk, and ran away lightning fast.”

She shook her head. “That is strange. Cheetahs don’t even climb trees.”

“Whatever. Maybe it was jaguar or a leopard. That’s not the point.”

“Oh yes, the point is you give up too soon.” She jabbed a ketchup-dipped fry in my direction.

“What?”

“The leopard almost reached her goal and then turned tail. That, my friend, is you.”

“Maybe she decided she wasn’t hungry.”

“Doubt it. Leopards are hunters by instinct.”

“Maybe I’m the eagle.”

Pam laughed. “Nope. Eagles symbolize freedom. You’ve trapped yourself.”

“Maybe the leopard decided the bird wasn’t worth the effort,” I said.

“Or she was afraid of what would happen if she actually caught it.”

I rolled my eyes. “It was just a stupid dream. Can we talk about something else?”

“You’re either stressed about that job offer in Chicago or the lack of proposal from Ian- or both.”

“You got all that from a dream?”

Pam looked over the rim of her eyeglasses. “It makes more sense than the literal interpretation of wooden animals in a tree. The subconscious never rests and our conscious worries tend to manifest in our dreams. The way I see it–”

“Okay, okay. I am a little anxious. Just stop already.”

Pam smiled… her smug smile. I hated that one.

“I don’t think Ian will ever be ready to commit.” I picked the sesame seeds off my burger bun and dropped them into a pile on my plate. “I’m done wasting my time.”

“Then why not take the job in Chicago?”

“I like it here.”

“You like the safety of here.”

“Dang it, Pam! Stop analyzing me.” Her scrutiny always made me squirm, mostly because, as my best friend of fifteen years, she pegged me more than I planned to admit.

“Fine, but you really should find out why the leopard turned away.”

“Right. I’ll go to bed tonight and tune myself into the dream channel and pick up where it left off. Better yet, I’ll chase the wooden leopard down and ask her why she didn’t devour the eagle.”

“Funny,” Pam said in a sarcastic tone. Then she shrugged. “Maybe you should stay. That way, we can still discuss your deep-seeded insecurities over lunch.”

I sighed. “Chicago might not be so bad.”

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This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly writing prompt.  The challenge this week is to write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is less- 438 words, to be exact) (1) using “Without a word, she dropped to the ground.” as the first sentence, AND (2) make some sort of reference to the photo prompt (which is posted on the Speakeasy site.)

The challenge is open to everyone, so if you want to play along, click the badge below to check out the guidelines.  Stories can be written and posted on your blog now, but we can’t add our link to Speakeasy until Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by!

speakeasy-new

Hope – Haiku

March 28, 2014
Red Mountain, Arizona

Red Mountain, Arizona

Insecure, unsure;

Falling is a slip away.

Hope grants a foothold.

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My last post wasn’t exactly uplifting, so I wanted to end the week on a hopeful note.  (I wouldn’t want to approach the weekend any other way!)

We still have the same uncertainties, but the support and encouragement from friends (both real-life and blog) have been soothing.  (Thanks to everyone who stopped by to offer words of encouragement or laughter – I appreciate it!)

So this weekend, I’m looking forward to seeing my best friend.  I intend to leave my worries on the shelf (I hope long enough that they simply expire!)  Oh, and I hope to laugh a lot and eat chocolate :)

Do you have any plans you are looking forward to?  I know I asked this on a recent post, but I do like reading about others’ anticipations or joy!

Have a peaceful weekend!

Life Happens

March 25, 2014
Peace and light... I want to feel this!

Peace and light… I want to feel this!

After living in a small town for a year, I’d planned to write a post about it. I intended it to be a follow up of sorts about the adjustments and our overall satisfaction with our new location.

But today, life happened. Again.

I tried to write, with lackluster results. It’s like I was writing about the beauty of a sunset while holed up in a cave. The words were there, but the heart wasn’t.

While I do love our new locale, and I don’t miss the craziness of the big city, today, I just couldn’t bring myself to write as if life is all roses.

Today, my husband is out of a job.

I know things will be okay, but in the shock of the news, I’m trying to keep the worries at bay. I’m looking for the bright side. Uncertainty rocks my boat, perhaps more than I should let it.

I see this as life’s way of teaching me that life isn’t about what I do when everything is going my way. It’s about how I navigate when it feels like I’m inside a shaken snow globe.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic.

Tonight, that’s what it feels like. Tomorrow, I expect my emotions will settle.

Life may not be roses right now, but sometimes the best blooms stem from a fresh layer of manure :)

Work In Process – Final Trifecta Challenge

March 24, 2014
Building facade, Jerome, AZ

Building facade, Jerome, AZ

Without development, I would be one-dimensional; a façade with no substance.

I’m a work in process, continually evolving, growing, becoming.

Each challenge, each word I write, builds depth-

reveals a window to myself.

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TrifectaPicture11-1For Trifecta’s final challenge, we had 33 words to write about whatever we wanted.  I chose to write of my evolution over the last two years.  (I’m forever a work in process!)  Trifecta helped me to consider my words more carefully, to use them wisely.  Trifecta taught that although words are of endless supply, they should not be wasted.  I’ll miss the challenges and the community.  I wish the best to the editors who have spent numerous hours, reading, judging and encouraging along the way.

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