Story Time ~ 7/28/20

Story Time: Griswold Vacation

This book was in my treasure trove trunk.  It contains professionally shot, color photos of wildlife in Yellowstone National Park.  We took one of the best family vacations ever when we went there in June of 1972.  We pulled a travel trailer behind the station wagon.  Yeah buddy!  We stayed in various KOA parks between Texas to Wyoming.  KOA stands for Kampgrounds of America.  Drives all English majors krazy.  Kool right 🙂

I remember seeing snow on the ground in Colorado.  We were shocked!  We pulled off the side of the road for pictures.  We had left Texas in shorts.  Thank goodness mom had reminded us to pack our jackets.  Boy was it cold. 

We stayed in Colorado to see Pikes Peak and the Royal Gorge.  We actually took the wagon sans trailer up the narrow one lane road to an observation area before turning around and going back down. I hid my eyes the whole way up.  At the Royal Gorge we had a vote between cog train or the tram. The older siblings voted tram which was actually less scary than the drive up Pikes Peak.  Of course, not realizing that I cried.  Pitched a fit (or so I was told) and almost did not get in.  Seeing Old Faithful in Yellowstone was also a treat.   But mostly I remember a stinky egg smell of sulfur.  The stay in your trailer/tent bear warnings blasted through speaker in the campground were a bit unnerving too. 

I only have flashes of images.   I was only 7 1/2 years old at the time.  Even the memories I do have are likely from what I was told or what we talked about for years after the trip.   We were always allowed to get a souvenir and I picked this picture book.  I was a weird little kid. 

Now that I am doing my Swedish Death cleaning, this book is going to Half Price books.  I don’t have the heart to toss it into the trash or recycle.  But I know the family won’t want it.  Since I have decided to downsize versus organize, I feel mucho mas bueno.  

As always more to come.

Story Time ~ 7/24/20

Story time.  “It’s Happening Again”

When my dad’s first wife died from a brain tumor, he became very depressed.  Her passing happened suddenly.  He became a young widower with six kids to raise on his own.  Once the people supporting him returned to their “normal” lives, he developed a practice to bring himself some semblance of peace.  He’d stop at her grave every day on his way home from work … to talk.  For weeks this went on. But as I mentioned, he had six kids to take care of …  to get home to … that reason propelled him forward.

When mom died, times were different.  He didn’t have anything to keep him in this world.  He couldn’t drive to the cemetery every day to have those conversations.  He was’t physically able or I think he would have.  Instead he became very depressed again.  He stopped showering.  He was barely eating.

Dad was able to muster the strength to go to Mass every morning.  Only a small group … less than 10 were in daily attendance.  The gang would go to breakfast after church.  In particular, he struck up a relationship with Irene.  In short order he began to shower again and look forward to the next day.  We got my dad back for eight more years.  They married when he was 82 years young :).  I credit her with saving his life.  She gave him companionship and a will to live.

Fast-forward to 2020.  My mother-in-law fell for the first time.  It was February and we could still go out.  We were at the Rosary of a dear friend’s mother.  I remember her being so embarrassed.  She blamed her tumble on the slope of the floor.

We’re in March.  We got the 2 am phone call for help twice in a row.  She went in for tests, they changed her medication.  She was back to her feisty old self.  This was temporary.

Marking the time.  The day was Monday 7/20/20.  Lulu and I were taking our walk.  As we passed the brush pile/rabbit hutch, we saw PoPo standing on his back porch.  He was looking toward our house to see if B’s truck was still there.  He told us “Mary fell again”.  Pony works from home so Lulu and I ran back to get him to help lift his Grandma back up.

She had split her lip and hurt her shoulder.  EMS came whisking her away … alone.  Thanks to Rona no one could go with her.  After head CT and shoulder X-Ray, they sent her home in a sling for her broken shoulder and a next day appointment with orthopedic surgeon.  The surgeon diagnosed setting the shoulder had a 75% chance of success.  But no surgery needed.  A blessing.

Lulu spent Tuesday night staying with her grandma while PoPo attended to getting her a wheelchair and other items suggested by the doctors.  Things sucked, she was in pain, but we thought Mary would be okay.  We were wrong.

As always, more to come.

Story Time ~ 7/23/20

Before getting into the details aka the deets, I chose the big ass feature image of a frog for a reason.  That frog was on our carport one evening and I took his picture for posterity.  I knew I could use him one day.  His time has come!!!!

There is an expression about having to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.  Well I fared better than that.  I found B when I was 12 and he was 13.  We started dating after  I graduated from high school; marrying when we were 19 and 20.  I can count on one hand how many frogs I’ve kissed. And by frogs, I mean boys.  lol.  So silly.  There is a point to this in here somewhere I promise.

Oh ya, the frog.  He represents storytelling.  The concept of kissing the frog that turns into a prince is gold when it comes to spinning a tale.  Not as good as stay gold Pony Boy but still good enough for moi.

I will keep my episodes 500 words or less.  I will try to stay in order but likely will jump around in time.  Stream is my thing after all.  Hehe.  Like I even have a thing.  LOL.

Alright, I am done for now.  Work is kicking my butt and I need to turn my attention to that for now.  See ya next time folks.

As always, more to come.

Story Time 7/21/20

I wrote this on FB last week.  Only reason I didn’t post it here is that I’m almost out of photo space.  Very silly but oh well.  I wrote this …

In the spirit of “if I to have to live here, I need to like it”. I dumped the mister’s junk drawer. I have no idea what half this shit is. LOL. In case anyone was wondering, I wasn’t really “living” here until I started working from home. Now that I am in self imposed stay at home because I can, I’m starting to spruce up the place. When I used to leave my house for work and other fun activities ya know basically living my life, I never noticed any of this shit. Step one organize 😂

The first picture was a jumble of odds and ends. Important stuff ……..especially the 19 allen wrenches that were part of the assembly kits for various products purchased over the years……… never know when you’re gonna need to used one of them. Two or three tape measures. A ruler.  A level.  Phillips head and flat head screw drivers.  Not the good stuff that is out in his barn.  The mini in-home versions.

The second picture was the finished organized drawer.

Whew!  Worn out but not to be out done, the next day we tackled Lulu’s closet.  She moved back home.  Earlier than expected.  Considering the times, she is likely to be here for a while.  That interview that never happened 3/27/20 has her spinning about never getting a job.  B very patiently tells her “it’ll happen, when it happens”.  Anyway, we needed to make space and spruce up the place since we are all always here on top of each other.   Except B.  He masks up and goes out on the job.

Day two we attacked her closet.  And in it, I found a treasure trove.  Those gems and more will be the basis for my stories.  Truth is stranger than fiction and what I write will  be embellished by my recollection.  A spin or a yarn if you will.  But NOT a lie … These tales will be my perception of events past.  And if one knows anything about perception, might as well be the god’s honest truth.

Super excited to stroll down memory lane.

As always, more to come.

Feedback is a Gift

Once upon a time, I was a new quality manager.  My job was to oversee the auditors and provide a monthly summary to our executive.  WT was a very approachable fellow who always joked around.  Taking liberties one month, I sent my summary email with the tag line:

Feedback is a gift and today is your birthday!! 

The next morning my boss, CJ called me into his office.  Well okay he called me over to his desk because he didn’t have an office.  He gave me feedback on my email.  Apparently it was MY birthday.  My tag line did NOT go over well.

I was embarrassed.  I wanted to clear the air.  Go apologize to WT.  I meant well, I was trying to soften the blow of the month’s less than stellar results.   CJ told me DON’T do anything else … just to NEVER do that again.

Mind you I didn’t modify the official report.  My lame attempt at humor was in the cover email.  Ha!  I still laugh … today is your birthday … because it’s funny.

Years later … or maybe fast forward to June, I saw WT in the hallway at work.  Though I no longer work with him, I brightly smiled and said “Hey W.  Happy birthday! Wink wink.  Get it?”  Surprisingly he did.  We had a good laugh.

And that’s the back story.  Because I’m rambling.  I save my one-liner posts for Wednesdays.  Today is Friday.  Haha.  I slay me.

Okay!  Here we go, here we go now.

I participated in Write Club 2019.  I didn’t place but this year they did something different by offering feedback.  I got about eight word docs with my 500 or less story followed by critiques.  I’m in heaven y’all … hog heaven that is … or I’m high on cotton … lol.  That ain’t right.  I’m something else … tickled pink.  Yep, I am tickled pink.

The first critique was good.  I made his or her top 45, not top 30 but man y’all that’s close when the top 30 compete for reader votes.  My entry was written in an hour-ish, rough draft, not polished.  Yep I’m telling on myself.  I joined for fun with zero expectation of placing.

Guess what critique #2 said?  It said and I quote “this looks like a draft and not a polished piece or perhaps part of a larger story??  Maybe with more context this would make sense.” Winning!

The remainder were neutral.  Several said I had grammatical errors throughout.  Did I think this was #SoCS?  uh ya!  That’s my style.  And I did a head hop thing at the very end.  “Just how did Missy know what Stella was thinking?”  Well geez Louise, mind reading of course.

But I jest!  I LOVE my feedback and I’ll do better next time.  I know what to work on.  Not being facetious either.  Constructive criticism makes us better.  Now I am off to eat b-day cake and ice cream. Maybe play a little pin-the-tail on the donkey.  Hit that pinata.

As always, more to come.




Miss Goodie Two Shoes, always giving advice as if the world would just fucking collapse if she didn’t have something to say about every damn thing.  Know-It-All.  Gives the rest of us girls a bad name, servant goddess to men. Kissing up and batting those big eyes.  I wonder if she believed half the Betty Crocker bullshit she dished out.

As always, more to come


She could end her with the words left unspoken

The opinions conflicted

What to do?

The so called experts had told her for years not to say anything

To stand back and watch

To support without conditions

They did not understand how hard it was to watch someone die

The longest, slowest, most painful death of indifference

Of self-loathing and hatred

She turned the words of the one person to ever suggest a conversation over in her brain

Not saying it doesn’t mean it is not true

Deflected truths added to the lock box

She knew speaking the truths would not change anything

She knew her subject was in deep denial

The kind that can lead to psychosis

As always, more to come.


In twilight, she woke. At 4 am the alarm clock finally blared pulling her back to life. It was then she realized she was already living.

She missed him dearly. Gone too soon. He always told her “it’s not insomnia. If you wake before the alarm, get up, you’re done sleeping. There’s no right or wrong/no magic number”.

This trick worked as well as any other. Things like not looking at the time, not drinking caffeine after 3pm, and her deep breathing techniques.

The peace and comfort despite lack of sleep was something she wanted to share. If everyone had a bed, covers and pillow … a soft place to land. What a wonderful world it would be.

As always more to come.

Okay I Lied But You Have To Read & Comment Puhleese

One more post … Turned into … One more post … And this time I mean it!

I am done.

Until this afternoon

When I will be crying in my Post Toastees

I read this yesterday How Much Do Dreams Affect You?

Well yesterday my time, versus 3:03 a.m. the author’s time which is how my comment is displayed.  At 3:03 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST), I was snoring.

Rabbit hole alert!

I am no longer sure I am on CST.  Dayum daylight (non-plural) saving time.  Oh how I loathe thee.  Also aren’t you awed and amazed at how connected we’ve become across geography all the while shrinking into ourselves and becoming hermits?  I mean really y’all.  Well the latter is what I do.  I diminish into my head.

Anyhoo …

This was my comment – I think dreams are our subconscious at work. I don’t always remember mine. And even the ones I remember don’t affect me all day.

And don’t cha know that I remembered my dream from last night for the first time in ages. Or a short while. Or forever.  I forget. Okay, I lied.  I am the dream whisperer.

Lulu woke me at the pinnacle scene/dream sequence which might be why I remembered.

The dream was about things that have been stressing me … my lack of wardrobe (not that I am a diva, the opposite, my clothes are tattered) AND my health.  In this dream, a dear sweet BFF from work was helping me find clothes that fit.  I was telling her how I felt bad with my diagnosis of osteo-everything.  She reminded me to give her the deets on the pharma and she’d ask her nurse sister (life imitating dream as we’ve discussed this before).

Next she was gone.  Poof!  And I was going to the doctor.  A new one.  Maybe has something to do with my rheumatologist appointment in April. My dream doctor turned out to be my nephew (who has distanced himself from all of us lately).  Surprise!  His office was atop a craggy mountain.  I made my way to the precipice; then I saw him and started crying.  He hugged me and looked over my shoulder commenting Who is he?  I turn and to the right was my dearly departed brother but alive and well.

Dr. Nephew: Is that you I smell?

Bro: Maybe? Let’s try this again, shall we?

Deep inhale …

Me still crying: I know the smell is coming from me.

Dr. Nephew & Bro: Yes, Jill, we smell your disease.

Then I am AWAKE! OMGee!!!!! What can that mean?

Years back before Dan was officially diagnosed with lymphoma, his breath gave off a sort of sour yeasty smell.  We often wonder if the diagnosis had been made then, would he have survived?  And of course, now I am sure I am dying. Well what else is new?

Rhetorical peeps.

This house is clean.

As always, more to come.

**** P.S. as an aside, would you have voted for this?  Or is it a crap fest? Or somewhere in between? ****

I am gauging my appeal (or utter lack thereof).  I am NOT breaking WRiTE Club rules.  Cuz I am not promoting myself or any other writer.  Also, I cannot not use this anyway since you can’t have posted the story anywhere else before, even on your blog.