Overcoming Bloglessness

Raven’s Reward



After hiding his reward, Raven comes back to say thank you.

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Stellar Jay keeps an eye out, noting where Raven caches his prize.  He’s thinking about rewarding himself.



My reward : a raven escort!  He flew just above our truck, 25-30 mph for about a mile.


Too bad there’s not a wide shot – You’d see me, hanging out the passenger side window, taking pictures and cheering him on.




Weekly Photo Challenge Reward.




As part of my clutter downsizing efforts, I finally decided to gather up the old coins we’ve been storing for ages and get rid of them. In the fire safe we had some musty old blue collector’s albums, slotted for pennies, nickels or dimes. My grandfather had sent them, ages ago, along with some silver coins, carefully wrapped in chamois with a little note, in Grandfather’s typewriting.

Mr. Raven’s beer stein was half full of foreign coins his dad had collected and, to our surprise, somebody’s gold dental fillings! We scrounged through junk drawers and jewelry boxes picking out ugly old handed-down rings, useless gold crucifixes and a broken antique gold watch.  A local coin dealer gave us almost $500.00 for the load; much more than we’d expected. That was some of our best junk.

My grandfather’s old coins I decided to sell on eBay. I’d never sold on eBay before and I didn’t know diddley about numismatics, but I did all right.
The bidding started at ninety-nine cents for my first auction: Grandfather’s  1878 Liberty head dollar coin, nary a scratch on it.   In the thrilling last moments of the auction I watched the bids go higher and higher, ending at $156.00!


The other commemorative coins and Indian head pennies I’d listed had a total face value of $2.26. I sold them for $217.00! I’m sure Grandpa would’ve been plum tickled. They really were lucky coins.


The stolen coins; if only we’d had those too. A foot locker full of silver dollars had been stolen from Mr. Raven’s dad, back in the eighties. Burglars stole from my dad too: his father’s gold watch and Grandma’s old coins; just a handful she’d kept in the kettle on the top shelf in the kitchen cupboard.  I used to take them down, when I was a kid, and wonder at the half-penny and the century old penny as large as a half dollar.

I kept the assortment of foreign coins, put them in a pretty box: pesos and francs, yen und kroner, just for show and tell.  Maybe someday I’ll see if there’s a get-rich-quick coin among them. I doubt it, but you never know!





Daily Prompt via Buffalo Nickel.




Mrs. Boozer’s Class

Something happened at school. Maybe somebody saw her take a swig off her bottle or maybe she came to school drunk. I wasn’t privy to the details, but Dad had had a long phone conversation with Donna’s friend and fellow teacher about something that happened at school. Soon after that, my stepmother went away for two weeks to some Serenity “retreat” at the coast. It was all very hush-hush.

When I found her vodka bottle in the linen closet, I poured out the booze, put water in its place and put the bottle back. It was devious fun, getting back at her a little bit. What’s she going to do; tell Dad?

When I found her Ripple stash I snuck it out to my own hiding place in the garage where, later, my friend Cheri and I smoked stolen Salems and tried to get drunk. We couldn’t even swallow the stuff without spewing. It was hard to understand how anybody could become an alcoholic.

After Serenity, Donna didn’t get better. She totaled the Buick. After the Buick, she wrecked the van; drove it drunk, into the gully where Oatfield curves. Donna was dead by the time Dad got to the hospital on the only vehicle left: her bicycle.

That was the saddest part, for me: imagining Dad on the ladies three-speed, out of breath, sick with worry, struggling to get up Mason hill, arriving too late.

I told Dad I was sorry I hadn’t been nicer. He assured me it wasn’t my fault. It was nobody’s fault.

We were doomed, she and I. How could it not go bad between a sulky, smart mouth, C average, teen-ager and an alcoholic, school teacher, stepmother?

It’s a shame. We looked like a perfect family in 1966, when they got married, before we learned about alcoholism.

Daily PromptTell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?
via Teacher's Pet.

Burn It! (Bwa-ha-ha!)


Daily Prompt via Burnt.
Remember this prompt, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind? via Burnt.

Let me tell you instead, what I’d gladly leave behind. That lamp.

That lamp can burn. That torchier style lamp that directs light upward, highlighting the ceiling and smoke alarm and the stupid air intake vent (another peeve) on the wall.


It’s a hand-me-down lamp from my dad, who donated it some 25 years ago. It’s stood beside Mr. Raven’s recliner ever since, casting a dim glow down and a bright white up. Mr. Raven doesn’t mind the dim light. Mr. Raven likes it because it has a dimmer and he likes the placement of the knob, down where he can reach it without getting up. He likes it because he’s modified it from an unsafe halogen fixture to a regular light bulb fixture and it doesn’t bug him that part of the bulb peeks over the top.

But it bugs me.

I lobbied for a new lamp when we moved here, but we couldn’t find one that suited us both and was reasonably priced. Mr. Raven tried to appease me by spray painting it a metallic flecked black. It’s better than it was in white, but it’s still ineffective and I still don’t like it.

Someday I may find the lamp of my dreams; one that casts light down upon my book or sewing; a lamp in a style that is not early Jetsons. Someday I might not care how much it costs.

Maybe someday my husband will accept my challenge to further modify the lamp so as to better reflect his skill and creativity. ;)

Maybe I’ll papier-mâché it. Faux bois it. Duct tape it. Washi-tape it. Knit-bomb it. Something. Anything would be more aesthetically pleasing.

Next time Daily Prompt burns down my house, I’ll lament losing Grandma’s cookie jar and my old photos and all the what-nots, but at least I’ll be rid of that regrettable lamp.

Or will I?



Daily Prompt  Play Lexicographer.
Create a new word and explain its meaning and etymology.


Chookery- noun: that part of the backyard that has been given over to chickens.

They say it will get bigger; that two hens will not be enough. You want a white one named Doris Day and you can’t resist new chicks in spring and next thing you know, you need a larger, cuter henhouse, a bigger coop, more fencing, electric elements to heat bigger water delivery systems, large quantities of feed and grit and oyster shell and hay and outbuildings.

Pretty soon you have so many eggs you can’t give them away. Pretty soon there’s too much poop. You can’t sleep in. You can’t go away. You’re over-chooked.

That will not happen to me. Betty and Wilma are enough.

But if there’s a white one that needs a home I would name her Doris Day.

Or maybe Blanche.




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