Best Friends (Gargleblaster #157)

I see her whenever I wear Keds, eat Hawaiian pizza, or glimpse the half-heart charm in my jewelry box with the worn letters:


I wonder if she kept the other half.

“No,” I answer. “I haven’t seen Mary in years.”




gargle157This is my response to the Gargleblaster weekly prompt, which is to write a 42 word answer to this question:  Do you see her much?

While my response is fiction, I am sometimes reminded of friends no longer part of my life.  I know some friendships are just for a season, but they do cross my mind once in a while.  I also owned a “Best Friends” necklace, but it was gold.  I think it’s an ‘eighties’ thing 🙂

This challenge is open to anyone, but you have to think (and link) fast – the challenge closes once there are 42 responses linked.  Click here to post your own link!

Oh, Lizzy! (Gargleblaster #156)

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.”


04-06 Lizzy


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!

In The Stars (Gargleblaster at Yeah Write)


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






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


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!

The Power of Zero

For a number that results in nothing when multiplied by another number, and is often skipped in the counting sequence, zero wields more power than many realize.  Of course, we recognize the power of zero when they are printed on greenbacks… if given a choice between a $10 bill and a $100 bill, Ben will win every time.  Sorry, Hamilton.  (That must sting, being the first Secretary of Treasury and all.)

The number zero has highlighted a difference in thinking between my husband and me.  The Mars/Venus thing has been done to death, but I’m not going for the gender difference angle here.  This is personal(ity).

Some things around my house drive me absolutely nuts.  Like the cup rings on my wooden dining table.  Despite the 7 coasters scattered around (2 of which the kids broke and Scotch-tape repaired, as if I wouldn’t notice), cups still end up on the table- sans coaster.  This launches me into the “Why can’t I have anything nice?” tirade, which garners dazed stares, much like what I imagine seeing after a zombie apocalypse.

Kids' handiwork.  To them, they are "fixed"!
Kids’ handiwork. What cracks?

As I walked by the kids’ bathroom this morning, I noticed the broken towel rack (for the 59th time.)  It’s been broken for two months, since my eight-year-old decided to use it as a pull-up bar.  My husband couldn’t figure out how to get the anchor out of the wall, so he tossed the bar in the closet and closed the door.  Fixed.  Now, I wasn’t born yesterday.  I know very well he could get the anchor out of the wall- if he wanted to.

What's left of the towel rack...
What’s left of the towel rack…
The missing, er, hidden link!
The missing, er, hidden link!  (Out of sight, out of his mind.)

Last week, I found out what does crawl under his skin:  when zero goes missing.  Specifically, the loose zero on our TV remote control.  He loves his TV and the fact he can’t click directly to channel 10 is driving him batty.  He didn’t notice my amused smile  as he stuck his hand between every couch cushion (I wouldn’t advise doing that,) felt underneath the couch (I really recommend avoiding that,) and practically lifted the couch up with me sitting on it to locate the zero.

Zero, where are you?  I'm lost without you!
Zero, where art thou? I’m lost without you!

He’s done this for four nights now, and he’s still zero-less.

Me?  I’m not bothered at all.  I don’t watch TV much, but if I want channel ten, I press the one twice and channel down once.  I type a lot so my fingers aren’t taxed by the extra button press.

You might wonder why he doesn’t just buy a new remote.  Good question.  Obsessions are rarely rational.  I would suggest it, but frankly, I find the nightly ritual too entertaining.

I have to admit, zero has given me new appreciation of our quirks and differences.  Knowing he has a button that can be pushed (not zero 🙂 ) makes me feel more normal in the things I fixate on.  We may not have a zero to press or a rack to hang a towel on, but at least we can hold hands and commiserate over the common thread of the things that drive us to distraction.

Ah, the uniting power of zero.


If this passes through moderation, I plan to link up with Yeah Write #147.  I haven’t linked there in a while so I thought I’d give it a go! At 513 words, this post comes in under the 600 word limit.

Thanks so much for reading.  Have a beautiful day!


Crossroads of Independence and Determination

My older son had pestered asked us to camp out in the backyard for several weeks.  We finally decided that if he pitched his own tent and cleaned up, then he could.  The next battle discussion point was where to set up the tent.

His desired location:  in a cluster of trees out of sight of the house (where, by the way, he saw a large animal that scared the wits out of him early in the summer.  In talking to neighbors, we think it could’ve been a bear.)

Our preferred location: in a clearing next to the house, close enough to our bedroom that we could hear them.

My son continued to present his case for independence, and we continued to explain our position.  Finally, we made our last offer (a take-it-or-leave-it deal):  camp in the clearing next to the house or don’t camp at all.

He took our offer without further negotiation (that's a first :))
He took our offer without further negotiation (that’s a first!)

At his age, independence is limited, but determination is not.  I remember when I knew I could accomplish anything because I had the will and fire to make my dreams happen.  Yes, this is past tense.  This observation made me wonder exactly when I succumbed to complacency and accepted my full adulthood independence without the determination to reach for more.

My inner voice is eager to point out that so many people reach for the same dream, that they are more flexible than me.  They are better than me.  My inner voice is plugged into my well of determination and has pretty much bled it dry.

My son put up his tent, with a little muscle from his dad to pound in three of the stakes.  I gave my boy a hug and gushed about how proud I was of him.

“Mo-om,” he groaned as he pushed me away.

I smiled, because I’ve learned what the two syllable “Mom” really means:  “Yeah, I love you too, but please get away from me you emotional freak – it could be contagious!”

As for my inner voice, it can shut up and leave me alone.  Failure is guaranteed if I let it yammer on at me.

Update:  When the inky darkness descended and he couldn’t see his hand in front of his face, my son decided he’d rather sleep inside. (But he wasn’t scared, he assured me.)  Even though good sense tempered his enthusiasm, he’s still inspired me to rekindle my own determination.


This is not part of Darlene’s Story that I’ve been writing with Trifecta weekly prompts.  In fact, this isn’t a Trifecta post at all…I wasn’t “feeling” the prompt today, so I did my own thing.

Edit:  After I posted this, I ran across the Speakeasy/Yeah Write challenges while reading Suzanne’s (awesome) blog.  I read about the two challenges – Speakeasy is fiction, and Yeah Write is non-fiction/personal essay.  I reviewed the submission guidelines and I think this qualifies for Yeah Write, so I’m going to gag my inner voice link up and give it a shot.  Click on the badge/link below to check out other submissions (or give it a try yourself).