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This Many

How old am I?  It’s almost my birthday; did I already round up? I usually start rounding up about mid-year. One year I forgot that I’d already rounded up and I tacked on an extra year. I didn’t need to be that old yet. It was sweet, realizing the error, getting that extra year back.

Now I always do the math, just to be sure.

Age may be just a number, but it’s good to know which one.



Daily Prompt   Age-Old Questions.

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Age Matters

Daily Prompt

Age-Old Questions.

“Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?

Age Matters

The 14 year old girl killed herself, pre-trial.

Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced her rapist, a 47 year old high school teacher, to 31 days in jail and probation until 2028.

Thirty-one days for rape of a minor.

Age meant nothing to Judge Baugh, even though Montana law states that sixteen is the age of consent. Fourteen, sixteen; just numbers. Numbers don’t matter.

Looks matter to Judge Baugh. She looked older than her chronological age, therefore she was probably just as much in control of the situation as the 47 year old man. Just as responsible.

Thirty one days for raping a 14 year old girl.

The judge has been censured and suspended. He’ll retire this month.

The rapist will be resentenced in September by a different judge.

The girl remains dead at age 14.




Alone Time

Daily Prompt

Middle Seat.

It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

Loud, loquacious people get on my nerves. They are a people who can’t read signs.

Look! I have my headphones on! That’s a sign. Don’t talk to me. I’m listening to something important. But they just chat away, oblivious. I make a show of removing the headphones, turning off the pod. Now, what was so very important? Please, make it quick. But loquacious people don’t know how to summarize. You’ve got to hear the prequel and descriptions and backstories before they get to the anticlimactic point.

I’ve been trapped with them at work. Eight hours with Jabbering Jackie would wear me down. She’d just stop working and talk. You get her and Motor-mouth Mary together and you’re looking at overtime, for sure. I used to hate overtime. Shut-up and get to work! I didn’t say that out loud. It would only make matters worse.

Come to think of it, I know several loud Marys. I never could get a word in edgewise with a Mary. You’d think Marys would be quieter. Meeker.

Gabby Gail yaks my ear off at the grocery store, telling tales about neighbors, forgetting to bag the groceries as she gossips, customers stacking up. I’d help her bag, but if I get too close she’ll start whispering. I back away, nodding and smiling. Have a nice day! Geez, just give me my damn spuds.

Blind Cynthia, down the road was always trying to recruit me into her Buyer’s Club. On and on and on she goes, sellin’ that pyramid scheme. And she’s not really blind. Well, sometimes she is. Or not. You never know. Sometimes she walks with her big glasses and white cane and wants a ride to the doctor, but sometimes she drives a car and rides a horse and sells pyramid schemes. I steer clear of Blind Cynthia.

Just thinking about all those chatter-box people makes me want to be a hermit, alone in a cabin in the woods.

Mother Raven’s Visit

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Daily Prompt

From the Top.

Today, write about any topic you feel like — but you must reuse your opening line (at least) two more times in the course of your post.

Mother Raven’s Visit

We took Mother Raven to see mermaids. Real ones. The mermaids swim at a tiki-bar in Great Falls called the Sip ‘N Dip.  Mother Raven and I couldn’t wait to see the tiki-bar with the window to the mermaid pool, so we went in and had a drink in the middle of the day while our driver, Mr. Raven, napped in the motel room.


“When was the last time you bellied up to the bar at this hour of the day?, I asked.

“Never!” says she. Pretty soon she got all weepy about her three wonderful sons and three wonderful daughters-in-law. I got weepy too and told her I admired her and that if I could choose any mom, I’d choose her.   We laughed at ourselves, drinking and getting all sappy at a tiki-bar in Montana in the middle of the day when the mermaids don’t swim until nine.

Mother Raven used to teach synchronized swimming, so I thought she’d like mermaids.  When nine o’clock came around the Sip ‘N Dip was packed.  Two young mermaids swam back and forth, blowing bubbles and loop-de-looping behind the glass.  Mother Raven thought their tails would be quite restrictive.

The legendary Piano Pat plays keyboards and sings at ten o’clock.  She’s not a very good singer, but she’s been singing there for 50 years.  We stayed up late, just to hear her.   There was standing room only in the bar. A rowdy bachelorette party wearing devil horns and blinking penis necklaces clamored for “Sweet Caroline” so they could all sing bum-bum-bum together.   Everybody sang “bum-bum-bum” except for Mr. Raven.  Mother Raven and I snagged two seats at the piano-bar while Piano Pat croaked Fly Me To The Moon and Ring Of Fire.  It was exceedingly cheesy fun.

We took Mother Raven to see mermaids. We took her to see dinosaurs too. Real ones. Not as lively as mermaids, but equally awesome.

We took Mother Raven to see mermaids and dinosaurs. Then we took her to see cowboys and Indians at the Charles M. Russell museum. The museum was vast and Mother Raven was too tired to see it all. The drawers full of beautiful beaded moccasins were our favorite part.

We took Mother Raven to the airport. Always bring a hankie to the airport because it’s sad, watching people say good-bye, everyone secretly wondering, Will we ever see each other again?

Come back anytime, we say.

Next summer, says she.

You can see Piano Pat for yourself at this link.




Picture This

Daily Prompt If you could paint your current mood onto a canvas, what would that painting look like? What would it depict?

via Frame of Mind.

The Picture
At first you perceive a placid scene: A raven on a blue bicycle, sunshine, green fields. Her basket is full of corn muffins and banana-nut muffins. But, look closer. Raven is sweaty and out of breath. It’s too hot. There are no pedals on the bike and Raven is wearing roller skates, her feet just a-goin’ and a-goin’. Her blue gingham apron is really a calendar with notes and scribbles in every numbered square and the birdies in the trees are saying Tick-tock-tick.

In the distance you see Dear Mother Raven, standing by the dusty road with her suitcase, waiting to be picked up.

The Meaning
I’m in pre-house-guest hyper mode, always thinking of one more thing to fold or clean or put away or cook. It doesn’t matter that Dear Mother Raven, who is 88 years old, won’t see the dust and the spots on the floor. I’ve gotta clean everything anyway. It’s what one does, when guests are coming.

I stayed up past midnight, baking so we could keep the house cool today. Banana-nut for us and corn muffins for baby ravens. Yes! The mom and dad raven brought the babies to the yard for muffins. They woke me one morning with a screeching AWWWK! outside my open window.

That’s a baby raven!I said to husband. He didn’t jump out of bed like I did and peek through the curtains.

There are three babies, as big as the parents; brownish with bluish eyes and pinkish mouths. And they’re loud! At least the one is. They’ve landed in the yard when I’m standing very close, but I think the momma is teaching them not to do that. I heard her clucking, cautioning the youngster. Maybe she was shushing him. Anyway, I was excited that the ravens brought their babies by.

Friday we take Dear Mother Raven on a little trip and Tuesday we do this and Sunday So-and-so comes over and appointments to remember and it’s too, too hot outside.
And I won’t have my usual computer time because Mother Raven tends to sit and watch. That’s okay. I’ll show her some cat pictures or something.

I really don’t mind her coming. It’ll be fun.

I need to go get wine now.

She’s here in four hours.



This Old Place

Daily Prompt

You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?

via Reviving Bricks.

This Old Place

Money is no issue‽ Well then! Here’s a rough draft of what I’ll do.

This old place is dark and musty. I’m going to open it up and air it out. Paint it white. Make it green. Reconfigure. Re-wire. Re-design. French doors. Bigger windows. No mini-blinds! Re-insulate. Top of the line appliances. Re-plumb. Granite. Fancy fixtures. Sparkly tile. White cabinets. Breakfast nook. Open concept. Restore hardwood floors. Lose the wallpaper. Refurbish the banister. Update HVAC. Paint. Muted tones. Reface the fireplaces; add new mantles, shelves, media built-ins. Energy efficient windows. Spa the bathrooms, lose the bidet. Tear down that wall! Make two rooms a master suite. Make two master suites. Walk in closets. Guest house. Pool house. Sparkling laundry room. Mud room. Game room. Sun porch. Moon porch. Conservatory. Librarium. Wine in the cellar. Telescopes for the observatory. Balls for ballroom. Steeds in the (hire stable man)stable.
And a custom copper cupola with a double raven weather vane on top.

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Devil Wife

Daily Prompt

Roaring Laughter.

What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?

Why, it was just last night; Mr. Raven and I had shut our books, turned off our bedside lamps and settled our heads into freshly fluffed pillows.

“Good-night dear.” says Mr. Raven.

Goodnight is what I attempted to say, but I didn’t sound like myself. The voice that came out was not my voice. I had a gargoyle in my throat.

Go-O-o-dni-I-i-ight,” I croaked. I sounded like Satan. I sounded like Linda Blair on Satan; like I might be able to spin my head and vomit or levitate the bed.

“Who’s there‽ ” my poor, frightened husband asked.

“I don’t know!” says I, in my normal voice.

We both started laughing and we couldn’t stop. Every time we started to settle down, we’d hear that scary voice again.


We laughed ourselves to sleep.


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