Overcoming Bloglessness



Daily Prompt: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).

What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it for us in all its ethereal glory. If no dream stands out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening detail out.   Photographers, artists, poets: show us IMAGINARY.



When the tree hit the foot of the bed it jolted me wide awake.   It took me a few seconds to realize it was only a dream.  It felt so real!  I swear I nearly fell out of bed when the tree hit.

I wondered why would I dream about a tree falling across the foot of the bed.  There were no towering evergreens near my house; it’s not something I worried about.

I filed it in the Weird Dream category and went about my morning routine: coffee and local news.  What a surprise to see on the news that while I slept, a couple had narrowly escaped death or serious injury when an enormous evergreen tree fell on their house, right across the foot of the bed in which they slept.


I’ve had other dreams that came true; short, one scene dreams.

A place with tables twenty feet long and irons hanging from the ceiling.   It stuck in my head.  How bizarre!  Irons hanging from the ceiling?!

Months after that dream I got a job in a drapery shop, pressing hems on a huge table with an iron that hung from the ceiling.  It wasn’t exactly my dream job, but I did dream it!

But let me tell you the weirdest dream that came true.  (Vegans and sensitive readers, please avert your eyes.  This is a hunting story.)

I told the dream to my husband as we drove through the forest in pre-dawn darkness.  It was opening day of deer season.  I told him all about the dream I’d had the night before; how I spied a buck and shot at it, but it just stood there.  I thought I’d missed, so I fired again and this time it took off lickety-split, to the left and then Husband emerged from the woods on the right and together we started looking for the buck.

Husband probably was only half listening when I told him my dream; you know how they do?  He was plotting the hunt.

The plan was, I drop him off at the bottom of the mountain, drive the Jeep to the top and wait for him to hike up and maybe push some deer up.  So, when it got light enough to hunt, I dropped him off at the bottom and wound my way up the switchbacks, through the forest ,up the mountain.  But before I got to the top, I saw a buck.  A nice buck.  I’d never shot one on my own before, so I was really nervous.  I got out of the jeep, took aim and fired.  He barely twitched.  I fired again and he took off to the left, lickety-split, just like the dream.  Pretty soon, Husband appears on the right, just like the dream.  We found the buck, close by.  It was a four by four; my first buck.  I dreamed my first buck.

On our way back to camp, I marveled aloud that the dream had come true.  I was glad I’d told my husband  about the dream.  It happened just like I told you! 

I haven’t had a dream come true like that in many years.  I seldom remember my dreams anymore.  They never were very useful anyway.

Well, that brake light dream, maybe.

It was just one scene, a sudden flash of brake lights in front of me, I’m behind the wheel and I know I can’t stop in time.  It jolted me awake.  It was so real!

It made me wonder; was it like when the tree fell?  Did someone see brake lights in real life and have a terrible accident?  Was it a scene from my own future?   Or was it just a random, meaningless image?

I don’t know,  but it made me extra careful not to tailgate.



Daily Prompt: Shake it Up.

You’re 12 years old. It’s your birthday. Write for ten minutes on that memory. GO.    Photographers, artists, poets: show us RECKLESS.


My granddad sent a birthday package.  Inside was a petrified snail shell, his sergeant stripes and a transistor radio with telescoping antenna,  leather case and an earphone.

That’s right kids,  one ear-bud!

That little radio was the perfect gift for a red-headed step-child who was  eager to be  a teen-ager.  It gave me control of one thing: I could listen to my station and my music.

I lounged in the backyard that summer, savoring sun and song.  I fell in love with Peter, Paul and Mary, The Mamas and The Papas,  Simon and Garfunkel, Beatles, Stones.   I filled my head with lyrics, curious about their meaning.

I just dropped  in to see what condition my condition was in.

Light my fire, light my fire, light my fire…

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small …

I decided let my hair grow long listening to Donovan on my transistor.

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is…”   

 I  distinctly remember that moment on the backyard swingset; wanting to be groovy and go to San Fransisco wearing flowers in my hair.

That would be far out.


Moon Walking For Dummies



Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon.

What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?  Photographers, artists, poets: show us RISK.

Moon Walking for Dummies

Don’t worry about breaking a leg

when you’re walking on the moon.

If you stumble you will fall slowly,

the impact lessened

by the moon’s weak gravitational pull

and the soft, forgiving nature

of it’s cheesy goodness.

Owl Be Back!


Imagine that tomorrow, all of your duties and obligations evaporate for the day. You get the day all to yourself, to do anything you please. What types of fun activities would make your day?Photographers, artists, poets: show us FUN.

via Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time.

Since my retirement I’ve had an aversion to duties and obligations.  All the days are mine, all mine.

For a good time today,  I witnessed the release of a rehabilitated great-horned owl.   After being hit by a car she had head injuries and a severe concussion.  She couldn’t even stand up.   She was in rehab for 21 days, then released today where she was found.


The release.  Wait, I missed it.  Do it again!



The owl soared low over the field and landed on a fencepost to get her bearings.

I learned something today about the owl’s feet.   It looked like she only had two front toes when she was perched on a branch, but great horned owls are zygodactyl.  They have four toes, one of which can flex either forward or backward.

I  got a little misty eyed, watching the owl fly free.    Thank goodness for people who take care of broken birds.

Good luck Owl!   May you live long and prosper!



Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me.

Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEGACY.


I’ll leave behind a lot of pictures.

It’s hard for me to throw a photo away, but I started culling photo albums,  removing several albums’ worth of mediocre landscapes and too many squirrels and cats and flowers.    I separated family by branches, so it’ll be easier to distribute photos, if anybody wants them when I’m dead.  I sent some to people who should have them.

My kids will want the albums from their childhoods, but I don’t know if they will value my grandparent’s and my father’s old photos.  Maybe someday one of my granddaughters will be interested in the family tree and treasure the photos of our ancestors.  I hope so.  I hate to think of those old photos ending up at the Goodwill.

I don’t make many prints anymore.   I’ve adapted to keeping photos on the computer.  I only print my best shots for keeps, plus a few to send away to the old folks who don’t do internet.

The job isn’t done yet.  When I’m done with the prints, there’s a ton of images on my computer I could organize better.   At least they don’t take up closet space.


I Should Have Gone To Scientist School

Daily Prompt: I Did it My Way.

Describe the one decision in your life where you wish you could get a “do-over.” Tell us about the decision, and why you’d choose to take a different path this time around.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us ITERATION.

I’m often mistaken for a scientist.

Well, it did happen once. Recently. I was flattered at first and I thought it was funny, seeing as how I’ve never gone to college. Then I started to worry that maybe I’d come off as a Know-It-All. Maybe I’d participated too much in the conversation with the wildlife biologist. She was the one who had asked me, “Are you a scientist?”

I admitted I’m not a scientist. It just so happens that I’d recently read about the topics that came up.

I’d really enjoyed our conversation about the plight of the caribou and the effects of climate change on snowshoe hares, and Bernd Heinrich books. I liked this biologist.
I saw myself, for a moment, in her job. I was surprised to find myself wishing that I was a scientist. I could’ve done that.

Why didn’t I?

I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I lacked confidence. I lacked inspiration. I didn’t feel worthy. I let life happen to me, not realizing my own power. My need to be loved and wanted outweighed everything else.

It would’ve taken more than one decision change to get me to scientist. It would’ve taken a different childhood altogether.

Mixing Bowls


Daily Prompt: Ingredients.

What’s the one item in your kitchen you can’t possibly cook without? A spice, your grandma’s measuring cup, instant ramen — what’s your magic ingredient, and why? Photographers, artists, poets: show us KITCHEN.

067Photographers, artists, poets: show us KITCHEN.

Mixing Bowls

My first mother-in-law gave them to me 40-some years ago, when her son and I were first married. I didn’t care for them at first, deeming them cheap and ugly. I would’ve preferred the colorful, more expensive Pyrex bowls Grandma had.

But who was I to be choosy? I had no mixing bowls. I didn’t have much of anything at that point. I was grateful for Marge’s gift, bearing in mind that she cooked for a living and she had raised and cooked for eight kids. She probably knew what to look for in a mixing bowl.

Over the years I grew to appreciate the red mixing bowls more and more. I don’t even think they’re ugly anymore. They’re lightweight and durable, plus I like the pouring-spout shape and the easy-grip lip on the opposite side.

I eventually acquired Grandma’s Pyrex mixing bowls. I’m fond of them, because they were Grandma’s, and I do use them, but not nearly as often as I use the red ones.

I think Marge would be pleased to know that I still appreciate her gift of mixing bowls. The marriage with her son didn’t last, but the bowls sure did.


Old Jimmy


Daily Prompt: Good Fences?.

Who are your neighbors? Are you friends with them, barely say hi, or avoid them altogether? Tell us a story — real or invented — about the people on the other side of your wall (or street, or farm, or… you get the point).
Photographers, artists, poets: show us NEXT DOOR.


Old Jimmy

“Are ya hungry? I made ya some pancakes.”

Is he talking to me? I looked up from my weeding, towards Jimmy’s house across the street. He was standing on the front steps, tossing little pancakes onto his tidy square of lawn.
Oh good, he’s just talking to birds. I adored the old man, but it could be hard to get away, once Jimmy started talking. He was so hard of hearing, conversations were loud and awkward.

Old Jimmy had lived on our street longer than anybody. He had forty years worth of 38th street stories saved up. He’d known all the families that had ever lived on our street, including the original owners of my little house. He once told me how the man that had built our house had worked for months building a beautiful pony cart for his wife to ride around in. The day he finished the cart, he hitched the pony up to it and the pony promptly kicked it to smithereens. Jimmy laughed so hard he had to wipe his eyes every time he told that story.
I was happy to know that little bit of history. Imagine, a pony on 38th street!

“Well come on! Come and get yer pancakes.” He was talking to a pair of crows, perched on the wires above. The crows swooped down to claim their pancakes. They tore them up and gulped them down until their craws and beaks were overflowing, then flew away to hide their stash.

I’d never thought of feeding the crows. I fed the little birds and squirrels, but never crows.

Jimmy had no pets. He didn’t need any. He fed stray cats on his front porch. Whenever he saw my dog, he’d call over, “Ya want a cookie? Well, come on!” Buddy would wait by the screen door while Jimmy went inside to get a “cookie”, then run home to munch it on our lawn.

When Evelyn was alive, I’d see them sitting together on the front steps on hot summer evenings, drinking iced tea, reading the paper. The neighbor kids congregated there too, listening to his stories, eating Evelyn’s cookies, cartwheeling on their lawn. They had no kids of their own, but they watched a generation grow up on our street.

Evelyn had been gone ten years. The neighbor kids grew up and moved away. Jimmy’s nephew looked in on him. He needed help around the house, but would not accept any. Neighbors brought him dinners. His eyesight got so bad, he had to quit driving. The nephew made arrangements to move Jimmy to assisted living. Jimmy couldn’t bear the thought of leaving his home and losing his independence.

I couldn’t believe it, that snowy day when I heard the news. He’d taken his own life.

I started feeding crows, after that day I’d seen Jimmy doing it. Once they know you’re a feeder, crows don’t forget. They tell their friends and relatives. It got so they followed me on walks and waited on wires outside my door. They’d fly alongside my car for blocks. I wondered if neighbors ever noticed.

Last December we drove past our old house. We’ve been away three years now. Everything looked just the same on 38th street, but none of the people we knew are there anymore.

The crows remembered us though. They followed our car and flew alongside, just like the old days. I was ecstatic. It was the most exciting part of the trip. I felt terrible that I didn’t have a peanut or a cracker or anything to feed them, so I went to the corner store and bought a bag of cat kibbles, went back to 38th street and dribbled them all the way down the street, followed by a little flock of crows.

My love of crows, ravens and all things corvid began because of old Jimmy, that day I saw him throwing pancakes.


Under My Bed

Daily Prompt: Those Dishes Won’t Do Themselves (Unfortunately).

What’s the household task you most dislike doing? Why do you think that is — is it the task itself, or something more?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us HOME.



Under My Bed

Cousin Cora looked under my bed once. I couldn’t believe it! Who does that? Her little girl had chased my fat-cat underneath my king-size bed and Cora followed her and got down on her hands and knees to look for Kitty under the bed.

I was so embarrassed. Under the bed was cat hair and dust bunnies and stored junk in junky boxes. There were un-hung pictures and rolled-up throw rugs and the Scrabble game that was too big to fit anywhere else. The box-spring’s fabric had been cat-ripped and it hung in shreds. The bed was on lifts, so I could store more junk under there. Under-the-bed was not a place I looked at or cleaned very often. I never imagined anybody else would look under my bed.

Not that Cora would judge. Her house is clutter upon clutter, except for that one spot of counter space by the fridge. A feng-shui guru told her that, if nothing else, keep this one area free of clutter; it would benefit the children, academically. Cora also has a tiny feng-shui mirror on the ceiling above the toilet, so she doesn’t flush her wealth away.

I suspect Cora’s under-the-bed situation may be much worse than mine; not that I would ever look. Still, ever since that day she peeked, I’m paranoid about people looking under my bed. I keep it really clean. It’s easier now, in the new house, without carpet, sans fat-cat, with a new, un-shredded box spring. And there’s only one box under the bed: a fancy box made just for underbed storage. I Swiffer under there several times a week. Okay, maybe twice a week, as far as I can reach without getting down on all fours.

I should get out the vacuum more often and do a thorough cleaning under the bed. That’s the chore I put off. It’s the getting down on my bum knee that makes me put it off.
Or so I say.
Even though I don’t vac as often as I should, it’s still much nicer under my bed than it used to be.
Go ahead. Look all you want!