Friday, June 22, 2018

#JUkNOWuCanDoIt: June 22, 2018


Ahhh, June! Fresh air, blooming flowers, a little run, a lot of sun (we hope) and summer vacations. Last month I participated in #MAYkingItWork sponsored by I.L. Wolf on her website. My goals for #MAYkingItWork were to get back to reading (and less writing) and to restart my yoga.

Now it's time for #JUkNOWuCanDoIt and I'm keeping the goal of reading more but am changing my goal of restarting my yoga for just moving more. I will post on Fridays as to how I am doing. Any one can join in - choose a project or two (a goal or three) and post in the comments below or on your own blog (and add a link in the comments).

In addition, I.L. Wolf has now started a long term project, #AccountaClub. I'll be joining in there and hope you will, too. Just use the same (or new) goals for both and at the end of June, continue on with #AccountaClub over at I.L.'s blog.

So, June is winding down and soon I will evaluate my current goals and probably change them. But how did I do this past week? Well, I've managed to read several new books - short, humorous mysteries. Fun reading! Several days were lost with chores, errands and general "stuff", but they all counted towards moving more, right? Yoga hasn't been done but I did get my new exercise DVD, "Young at Heart" from BodyGroove.com. Now to start using it.

One more week in June - hope to see you next week! Oh, and don't forget to check in to I.L. Wolf's #AccountaClub today.

Friday, June 15, 2018

#JUkNOWuCanDoIt: June 15, 2018


Ahhh, June! Fresh air, blooming flowers, a little run, a lot of sun (we hope) and summer vacations. Last month I participated in #MAYkingItWork sponsored by I.L. Wolf on her website. My goals for #MAYkingItWork were to get back to reading (and less writing) and to restart my yoga.

Now it's time for #JUkNOWuCanDoIt and I'm keeping the goal of reading more but am changing my goal of restarting my yoga for just moving more. I will post on Fridays as to how I am doing. Any one can join in - choose a project or two (a goal or three) and post in the comments below or on your own blog (and add a link in the comments).

In addition, I.L. Wolf has now started a long term project, #AccountaClub. I'll be joining in there and hope you will, too. Just use the same (or new) goals for both and at the end of June, continue on with #AccountaClub over at I.L.'s blog.

So, was this week any better than last? Sort of - I moved more, just by virtue of feeling better. It may have just been around the house but I was up and about a lot more.

Reading? I've read a dozen or more sappy romance books, just to get them off my Kindle e-reader so I can download more books. {snicker} Some were good, some were terrible and after the first couple of chapters, I just deleted them.

Do you ever do that? Delete books without finishing them? When I was reading print books, I never did that. I always finished, even if I hated the book. But for some reason, whether it's the media I'm using or the fact that I'm older and know my time is limited, if a book doesn't grab me in the first couple of chapters - it's history!

See you next week!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Small Town Living: The Gathering Spot

Every small town has one...the place where long-time residents gather to share their news, gossip about others' news, solve the world's problems and just generally stay updated.

One of the spots in my small town is McDonald's. I discovered that in my BWD (before work days). After the death of my husband I started going out for a morning coffee, just to get out of the house. I'd take along a book and sit for an hour or two, reading and sipping my coffee.

This gave me time to watch the interaction between the locals and eventually get to know many of them. The farmers who have retired and discuss local haying that needs to be done. The young mothers with small children in tow, meeting grandparents....or just as often the grandparents with young children in tow, baby-sitting for the day. The high school age kids catching a quick breakfast on the way to school or, in the summer, grabbing a bite with friends. Local law enforcement, business owners, realtors, social workers, local politicians....visiting with friends, neighbors and co-workers.

The conversation flows around me, I catch it in snatches. Sometimes our eyes meet, we nod our heads and exchange a smile. On occasion that moves into our own conversation, sometimes a new friendship starts.

"Was that Mary's boy in the crash over by the bridge last night?" "No, it was Bill & Sara's boy." "The young one?" "No, the older one. You know...the one who's always in trouble".

"Did you see what they done to that house on the corner?" "You mean the Johnson's?" "No, the old Miller house." "I thought they tore that down..." "Nope, ya gotta go by there and see it."

"How's your mom doing?" "Better, she still misses Dad but her ladies church group is keeping her busy. Don't know what she'd do without them."

"Did you hear that old Joe died this weekend?" or "I heard Sylvie's getting worse, they don't know how long she has." or "Mary Jo's boy had a baby last week."

Over the last two years I have come to know many of these folks, not usually by name but by face. We exchange pleasantries, I get teased about reading so much, we smile and know that we are not alone in the world.

I've had to trade my leisurely morning coffee for a cup to go but still stop in for lunch from time to time as well as breakfast on weekends. The staff is still friendly and welcoming and the conversation continues to ebb and flow....
[originally published on my personal blog on September 6, 2006]

As I have traveled the country, visiting all fifty states over the last several years, I've continued to see this in towns big and small. The gatherings...they still make me smile.

Monday, June 11, 2018

#SundayPhotoFiction: Traveling

Here's my tiny tale for Sunday Photo Fiction.
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding
"We're moving again?" Gracie complained.

Her husband, George, laughed. "I think it's exciting."

"I don't! I'd like to get to know my neighbors. Just once!" She stomped her foot and glared.

"Just think of all the places we're seeing. Not everyone gets to do this, you know. There are those who are just stuck in one spot."

A tear threatened to fall. "Maybe... I don't know. I guess you might be right," she sniffed and smiled at her partner.

He nestled her neck. "It'll be okay, honey. One of these days we'll be too old to travel and we'll get settled in one spot."

"Humph. More like forgotten. Or tossed in a trash heap," she snorted.

"But we'll be together and you'll always know how much I love you."

"I love you, too. There's no one else I'd want to spend my life with." The couple snuggled in their own familiar way.

The familiar sound of a truck engine pierced their reverie followed by a shout.

"Lucy, hurry up. We've gotta go!"

"Just a minute, Ricky. I almost forgot my flamingos." She plucked the two pink birds out of the ground and tossed them into the pickup pulling their trailer. "Ready!"

197 words
Read more stories from this prompt HERE.

Friday, June 8, 2018

#FridayFictioneers: I won't....

This story is in response to the photo prompt at Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers.
PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot
Look at them down there.

So self important.

Scurrying around like rats in a maze.

No eye contact.

Not really living.

I could take them out one at a time.

Hundreds before they could stop me.

But I won't. Really, I won't.

I've thought about it.

But why?

No satisfaction.

No joy.

I'll just take out one.

The real reason I'm here.

I'll take out ME.


65 words

Read more stories for this prompt HERE.

I'm sad today. The news is full of suicides. People we know, people we don't know, people who have internal demons we can't understand. Please, if you are feeling like there is no other way out, call the suicide hotline in your country


#JUkNOWuCanDoIt: June 8, 2018


Ahhh, June! Fresh air, blooming flowers, a little run, a lot of sun (we hope) and summer vacations. Last month I participated in #MAYkingItWork sponsored by I.L. Wolf on her website.
My goals for #MAYkingItWork were to get back to reading (and less writing) and to restart my yoga.

Now it's time for #JUkNOWuCanDoIt and I'm keeping the goal of reading more but am changing my goal of restarting my yoga for just moving more. I will post on Fridays as to how I am doing. Any one can join in - choose a project or two (a goal or three) and post in the comments below or on your own blog (and add a link in the comments).

In addition, I.L. Wolf has now started a long term project, #AccountaClub. I'll be joining in there and hope you will, too. Just use the same (or new) goals for both and at the end of June, continue on with #AccountaClub over at I.L.'s blog.

Oh, how did I do this week? When it comes to reading, I did great. As usual, I read a lot of blogs but I also managed to read two books on my Kindle Paperwhite. That said, the Paperwhite has two issues. One is battery life - this has been an ongoing issue so today I bit the bullet and ordered a new battery. The other is, IT'S FULL!!! I've been using a Kindle E-reader since 2010 and I'm on my third one. The first one went to my daughter, the second one to a friend. I bought this one in the fall of 2015.

I've already removed all the non-fiction books from it and still have over 2000 books loaded. For the past six months, I haven't been able to download any books to it. Some folks recommended Calibre to help organize what I've read and haven't read. This will be critical if the battery doesn't fix my issue and I have to order a new one. Right now, in order to download books from Amazon to a new device, is a painstaking process. Page after page after page after page of clicking, transferring and waiting.

Because I have so many books (over 3000 on Amazon), there is no way to easily track what I've already read or which ones I bought for my husband (he loves non-fiction war books). My hope is, once I have Calibre working, I can off-load a lot of the books on my current Kindle, and then re-install when I need more to read.

So two days of work on that and it's still on-going. Until that is done, no more reading of books. LOL!

See you next Friday!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Our senses....



I love the little things that make me smile and start my heart singing. Some of these are favorites for a lot of people, others may be unique to me.

  • Watching puppies and kittens play
  • Listening to a baby or toddler laugh
  • Seeing fields of wild flowers
  • The smell of leather
  • Organizing almost anything!
  • Listening to the soft sounds of my wind chimes
  • Hearing the waves lapping on the shore
  • Seeing an elderly couple still obviously in love
  • Watching hummingbirds and butterflies
  • Lining up my pens on my desk, just the way I like them
  • Making the wrinkles disappear when I'm ironing (rarity)
  • Good, I mean REALLY good (creamy) ice cream
  • The odors of things baking - bread, brownies, etc.
  • Flowers blooming - bright and colorful
  • Watching the head on my vacuum twist to the side
  • Fresh fruit, bought at a fruit stand
  • Daisies (white & yellow), black-eyed Susans and sunflowers
  • Comedies (TV, movies, books, cartoons) that make me laugh out loud
  • Watching the ocean waves on a moonlit night
  • The smell of night blooming jasmine
  • 50's music and dancing like no one is watching 
  • Seeing my husband smile - melts my heart
What are some of your little things?

Sunday, June 3, 2018

#SundayPhotoFiction: Damaged?

Here is a short tale for today's Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.
Photo courtesy of C.E. Ayr

They walked along the side street, looking at places for rent or sale. They stopped in front of a partially built house.

"I wonder what happened? Looks like it was a nice house."

His wife shrugged. "An earthquake maybe?"

David shook his head. "Not here. Remember, we're at 8400' here in the middle of the Andes Mountains."

She studied it. "It doesn't look like there was a fire."

A man walked over and asked, "Te puedo ayudar, señor?"

His wife nudged him. "I think he's asking if he can help us. See if he speaks English."

"Inglés, señor? We were wondering what happened to the house."

"Nada. Nothing happened. In Ecuador we build when we have the money." He pointed to the house. "That house is being built by a young couple. Now they live with his parents and grandparents. They work hard. When they have saved enough, they will start work again." He shook his head. "No, how you say, no loaned money here."

"You mean no mortgages, or loans?" David responded.

"Si. No debt."

His wife smiled. "I think I like that idea. Let's build a house!"

183 words


This story was inspired by our experiences while living in Cuenca, Ecuador for two years and is based on real life there. You do see houses and other buildings in various stages of completion as they await the funds to finish them.

Read more stories from this prompt HERE.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

#writephoto: Smashed

My entry in Sue Vincent's Thursday #writephoto challenge: CONFLAGRATION

"Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning." She repeated the phrase her father taught her. It wasn't really a red sky, more orange, but it took her mind off her predicament.

Anyone passing by, not that anyone would, might think she was crouching there on purpose. "Not on your life would I be here on purpose." She laughed, now she was talking to herself. But if she didn't laugh, she might cry.

"One more time!" She tried to extricate herself again, pushing with her feet and hands, trying to ignore the throbbing pain in her ankle as well as the searing scrapes on both her legs. Three times and nothing changed. She sank down took stock of her situation once more.

"This would be funny if I weren't here alone." She'd been hiking and snagged her shorts on a bush. As she attempted to untangle herself, they tore completely and fell to her ankles. Losing her balance, she slid down the boulder she'd been standing on. Her rapid descent was stopped when she slid into a narrow crevice where she now found herself trapped.

Something glinted as the sun continued it's descent. "My cell phone!" She stretched to the limit of her arm and then stretched some more, her fingertips just hitting the edge of the phone. She wiggled them, trying to entice it closer but ended up sending it skittering further away.

Of course at that moment, the phone rang. "Damn!" She reached again, using all her strength. "C'mon body! You can do it!" Surprisingly, however she had managed to twist, her body was released from the confined space.

"Yes!" She scooped up the phone and answered, the words tumbling out. "Jack? Yes. Sorry, I'm a bit breathless. I know. I'm late. I'm headed down now. Meet you at the bottom."


And that was how Jill came down the hill to meet Jack.

Friday, June 1, 2018

#FridayFictioneers: The Hole

This story is in response to the photo prompt at Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers.
PHOTO PROMPT © Connie Gayer
"You diggin' a hole, Grampa?"

"Yup."

"What fer?"

"Stuff."

"What kinda stuff?"

"Stuff like little boys who don't stop asking questions."

He continued digging while the young boy squatted on the edge of the hole, head on his hands, elbows on his knees.

"Grammy know you're digging in her garden?"

Wiping his face with his bandana, he leaned on the shovel.

"How 'bout you ask her for some lemonade."

"Okay!"

When the boy was gone, the old man checked the contents of the burlap bag before placing it in the hole. As he covered it with dirt he whispered, "Gonna miss you, Katy-Cat. Even me."

100 words

Read more stories for this prompt HERE.

#MAYKINGITWORK: Jun 1, 2018


This is my final post in the #MAKINGITWORK blog challenge set out by newly acquired friend, thanks to the April A to Z blog challenge, I.L. Wolf. My goals for #MAYkingItWork are to get back to reading (and less writing) and to restart my yoga. I will post on Fridays as to how I am doing.

YOGA:
Well, yoga has been a bust. First it was my back, then it was...well, it was...um... Can't deny it, it was a lack of motivation on my part. The biggest positive movement forward on this goal was finding and signing up for A Daily OM: 15 Minute Yoga for Aches and Pains. I paid $10 and I can save the emails and do the courses anytime. Hey, it's a start!

READING:
No reading for "fun" this week, unless you count the blogs of my numerous friends. I have also read a lot of flash fiction from the four or five writing prompts I've participated in recently.

Even though MAY is gone, I.L. Wolf are tossing around the idea of continuing on through June. Then I will have NO excuses...right? Well....maybe. But I do plan to get on the elliptical daily!

So here is to #JUkNOWuCanDoIt. Join in the fun and post your goals for the month, those things (or thing) you want to move forward (on, with, through) either in the comments or on your blog. Then do an update each Friday. Hope you will join us!


I.L. and I will be forging ahead...and she will be posting about another challenge, one for the rest of the year. More on that later...