A to Z Blogging Challenge Starts Tomorrow!

I participated once before in the A to Z Challenge and while I found it fun, it was a challenge as I waited until the last minute to start. You really have to do at least some homework ahead of time and be organized. So this year I am ready! I am using my joy list as my theme. A little over a year ago I started a Joy List in my BUJO conveniently arranged alphabetically. In January I started writing posts. Somewhere along the way I decided each entry should be 53 words long. Yes, I totally borrowed this idea from Carrot Ranch and I went with 53 because that is my age.

In February I built the posts adding pictures along the way. In early March the A to Z badges became available and I was able to finalize and schedule the posts, finishing just before starting another round of census work.

I mostly used my own photos but for a few entries it was easier and made more sense to use the free WordPress photos.

And here we go!!

Flash Fiction: A Character Takes Charge

I confess I almost skipped this week’s prompt from Carrot Ranch. I am not interested in a bunch of diatribes against our leadership. The only thing I am really interested in these days are chocolate and an uninterrupted nights sleep.

But then I decided I can continue to be me, write something lighter, more on the fun side and not read the rest.

I am Sherlock and I am in charge!


Time for my every ten-minutes check on the family.  Dad was still staring morosely at a blank television screen.  My boy was fixated on a screen and clicking on a mouse.  I don’t know why he called it that, it sure wasn’t a mouse. Mom was wiping down the kitchen counter for the eighth time, no sign of her cooking bacon.  Darn. I decided it was time to take charge.  I grabbed my leash from its hook and started barking and jumping around.  “Great idea Sherlock,” said Mom and she yelled out “time for a family walk, right now!” 

Let’s face it, in many homes pets rule the roost! (The pictures are of the the same dog, different hairstyles, he likes to mix it up 🙂 )

Stay Safe!

Census Day

April 1st is National Census Day – no foolin’!

The census is important. Being counted means your state is properly represented in the House of Representatives. Being counted also helps your state get its fair share of federal funds.

As we know getting a really accurate count this year is going to be a challenge but it will be done. It is required by law and was even done in 1920 despite the havoc wrought by the Spanish Flu.

And now we have technology on our side. Even if you haven’t gotten any mail from the census yet (there may have been a problem with your mailing address) or you lost it or tossed it away, you can still go on-line or call and provide your information. Personally I didn’t find the questions overly intrusive or too time consuming, though the more people you have residing in your home the longer it will take.

The census doesn’t share specific information with anyone. Not the IRS, not immigration, not even the President. Very, very few people will see your name linked with your data. Statistics are what the census bureau creates.

You can do the census at anytime, you don’t have to wait until the First of April. So please, go to https://2020census.gov/?cid=20002:%2Bcensus:sem.ga:p:dm:en:&utm_source=sem.ga&utm_medium=p&utm_campaign=dm:en&utm_content=20002&utm_term=%2Bcensus

Feel free to pass this blog post or website on. The more people that respond the better it is for your state. BE COUNTED.

Photo Friday: Desert Blooms

Flowers are just starting to bloom around here. The other day I started seeing spots of color in the beige desert landscape so yesterday I took a walk with camera in hand. I found all these along the side of a busy road (though a little less busy these days).

This post is for all those stuck inside or stuck in winter. I hope you enjoy.

I have no idea of plant names so I will call them by color!

Pink. I think this is my favorite.
Dark purple.
No flowers on the cacti yet but this south facing plant has cool looking buds. I do believe this is a barrel cactus.

Keep your Focus!

Flash Fiction: Rabbits on the Roof

When I first read the prompt of rabbits on the roof from Carrot Ranch I thought I would skip it. I just couldn’t imagine rabbits on a roof. Plus I was still trying to wrap my head around all the changes in my world. But then I read the Brambly Hedge (by Jill Barklem) Story for Spring to my son and suddenly I had a picture of a rabbit family living on the roof of a New York City skyscraper. Being rabbits it was a large family. I could see rows of dollhouse-like homes and shops. In one corner was a park complete with a duck pond and swings. Another corner had vegetable garden allotments.

Every time I found myself thinking something was unrealistic or impossible in real life I made myself stop thinking. This is their story.

“Spring Picnic”

Unbeknownst to the humans below a family of rabbits lived on the 94thfloor (aka the roof). The first spring-like day they decided to go on a picnic.  The aunts got busy making egg salad sandwiches and carrot cookies while the uncles dug out the picnic baskets.  The cousins gathered quilts and Frisbees and badminton sets.

They headed to the park and set up under a tree whose leaves were still buds and basked in the warm sunshine.  They enjoyed the good food, pleasant company and fine spring weather.  The simple things in life are the best they agreed.

More serendipity, I just finished coloring this bookmark!

Common Sense in Uncommon Times

I know I have said this before and used the same picture* but I really feel it can’t be said enough these days, COMMON SENSE people! It is taking me a few days to wrap my head around this new “normal”. I find myself feeling rather anxious which is atypical for me. I am trying to puzzle out why.

Maybe because I have the responsibility for a child? Part of me is happy he is home safe with me and part of me worries that we will be screaming at each other before the week is out. Putting a woman at the tail end of menopause with a boy on the cusp of puberty seems like way too many hormones in a confined space.

Since we are both on a bowling hiatus I figured we could do some Wii bowling. He kicked my butt all three games!

I think the more likely cause of my anxiety is simply the unknown. How long will this last? Will we get locked-down? How many people will actually get sick? Will anyone I know get sick? Will I be able to buy toilet paper (or whatever it is I run out of first) when the time comes? How long will the repercussions last?

Ah, how long will all this last? Will school resume? When will shelves get re-stocked? Stores re-open?

Will this end up changing our lives permanently in any way? Think about how things have changed since 9/11. All the changes to security. Will the impacts from COVID-19 eventually lead to major changes concerning health issues?

As you can see I don’t have any answers, only questions. In time all these questions will be answered. And in the meantime the answer to dealing with my anxiety was staring me right in the face:

My word for the year is “EMBRACE TODAY”. Duh, I need to stop worrying about a tomorrow I can’t control and enjoy what I have today:

  • no sick family members
  • sloppy joes, french fries and peas planned for dinner
  • books to read (I just started “Olive Kitteridge”!)
  • internet access to all my blog and Facebook friends
  • lovely weather
  • a freshly washed dog
  • Netflix, TCM and “Poirot” to watch
  • a clean, comfortable bed to sleep in

My list could go on and on but you get the idea. Stay safe and encourage:

Common Sense in Uncommon Times

*Picture is from an e-mail from the Vermont Country Store

Photo Friday: Spring

So I had this great idea to go over to Sabino Canyon on the first day of spring and look for flowers in bloom. When I woke up it was raining. So I thought, I’ll just go this afternoon. And then afternoon came and what I really wanted to do was sit on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watch a movie.

But I did take some pictures around my backyard earlier in the day when the weather was still looking iffy. And there is a very good chance I’ll have time in the next week to go on the hunt in the wild for spring blooms.

No buds on the chrysanthemum yet but we’ll get one more bloom before the heat sets in.
Clouds are moving east.
I finished coloring this so apt picture.
This is from an e-mail the Vermont Country Store sent out. I have adopted this as my motto for the pandemic.

Keep your focus!

Hey There



Just got the word, Census is shut down until further notice. Sigh. *********************************************************************

I just wanted to say I won’t be around much for the next 3 weeks as I am working for the census once again. My job has been modified slightly so I don’t have any contact with people. (We are leaving questionnaires on doors in areas where there is an issue with the mailing addresses.)

I confess I haven’t paid much attention to what is going on with the virus until recently. I was bummed when they cancelled basketball but still unconcerned. I was shocked to discover empty shelves at the commissary. But when they closed the libraries? That really brought it home.

I find it ironic that me, the stay at home girl, is now out and about while everyone else hunkers down. But it is just a few weeks.

How appropriate is this? I started coloring it before things got crazy.

Flash Fiction: Tapping (or in my case Taps)

The prompt from Carrot Ranch this week was tapping. The first thing I thought of was the playing of TAPS. Most people associate the melancholy bugle notes with funerals but I have been stationed on bases where they were played at 10:00p each night to signify the end of the day or the start of quiet hours. I liked hearing it.

Once again practicing my show don’t tell skills. The military is famous (or maybe infamous!) for it’s work hard, play hard mentality. Something I experienced a lot during deployments. These days I find myself thinking a day is really good if I have a nice mix of work, play and relaxation. Hopefully I reflected that a bit in this story.


I lay in bed, drowsy, waiting for my cue to sleep.  It had been a good day, one that I thought of as well balanced. I worked hard all day diagnosing and fixing a rudder issue on my F-16 and then beat the boss’s team in a volleyball match.  The chow hall had my favorite version of mystery meat for dinner.  I spent the evening cleaning my boots and watching the latest episode of “Breaking Bad”.

 Now the moon shown down and cool air rippled through the window.

And then I heard it, taps, the signal for lights out.

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Theme Reveal

In April I am participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is my Joy (sometimes Gratitude) List and each entry will be 53 words which is my current age. I mostly used my own photos but for a few I used stock photos. The posts will be Monday through Saturday each week for the whole month of April. I hope you enjoy!

But fun too!

Happy A to Z April!