May Madness: Maple

Once again I am using one post to do double duty. (Remember? Lacking Motivation.) This weeks 99 word prompt from Carrot Ranch involved searching for trees, or at least one tree. So here you go.

“The Red Maple”

She bought the house in winter and didn’t realize the tree in the backyard was dead until spring.  She had it removed at the end of the summer and told herself she didn’t want to rake leaves anyway.

As the year progressed she thought the yard looked naked and found she missed raking leaves.

In the spring she wandered around the nursery feeling overwhelmed until she saw a six-foot tall red maple.  Her tree.

She took her home and named her ‘Betty’.

Thirty years later her heart still contracted with joy as she raked up Betty’s jewel colored leaves.  

We’ll just pretend this is a maple tree, okay?

Til tomorrow…

May Madness: Madness

Does anyone know how to disable the stupid tips that keep popping up when you go to write a post in WordPress? I tried clicking through them all thinking once I saw them they would stop. But no.

Clicking on disable tips only does it the one time. The next post they are back!

I have googled my brains out to no avail.

They are driving me to MADNESS!

May Madness: Morning

This whole writing a blog post everyday seemed like a great idea….back in April! Of course today I don’t feel like writing. So typical. When I was thinking about the logistics of May my first thought was to write my post right after I delivered small child to school. But of course I couldn’t do that today as I had a 9:30a appointment and then wanted to run a few errands while it was still relatively cool out.

And then there is the fact that I am not a morning person. Never have been. During my career I worked nights whenever I could. My motto was: “It’s easier to stay up until 5:00a then get up at 5:00a.” I sleep so much better during the day. I was thinking that at 1:30a this morning when I couldn’t get back to sleep. And then I started wondering if I would go back to being a night owl when my full time parenting duties are done. Hmmm.

Anyway, my other thing is not wanting to fall into a rut. So while I do a lot of the same things each day, a routine of habits if you will, I vary what order I do things in.

So I guess what I am saying is you and I will get to be surprised together about when I post each day.

Til tomorrow…

A morning shot of our saguaro blooming.


Flash Fiction (Exhaustion)

I had my idea for Carrot Ranch’s 99 word flash fiction topic right away but couldn’t quite get it right. I tried four different versions before settling on this one. Still not sure it conveys what I am trying to say. But I will be kind to myself this week and just go with it.

“The 36 Hour Day”

Last night’s game had gone thirteen innings followed by a long flight across the country.  A 5:00p first pitch the next day left no time for a nap. 

The radio announcer found himself giving an involuntary snort of laughter over the airwaves. An unexpected foul ball in the booth started the infectious chuckling.  The announcers couldn’t look at each other for fear of bursts of mirth escaping.  Their words came out strangled with laughter.

Punch drunk with exhaustion the radio announcers lost it in the seventh inning.  Baffled listeners were confused, not recognizing sleep deprivation when they heard it.

May Madness

As happens sometimes I have decided to shake things up a bit. I have been disappointed in myself with my writing of late. Worry over my menopausal issues, the transition to summer heat and greater demands on my parenting patience and energy and have left me feeling quite apathetic. I feel the need of a challenge. A challenge all my own. And so “May Madness” has been invented. I will write everyday this month. First opportunity I have each morning. In an added burst of insanity I have decided to only address topics that begin with the letter “M”. Why? Cause alliteration is cool? Because I am weird? To up the challenge a bit? Yeah, that last one sounds good. 🙃

In mid-April this seemed like a great idea. And then I wondered what to do about a photo. My site is set up in such a way I really do need a featured image. What to do? Learn something new! I spent an afternoon listening to Cubs baseball (a win!) and creating powerpoint slides, saving them as a jpeg and then adding them to my media library. I decided to keep it simple with clipart flowers. Flowers suit the month of May. I could have used my own flower photos but for whatever reason I felt like using drawings.

So tomorrow the potentially maddening mission begins.

Flash Fiction (Beggars Can’t Be Choosers)

I am not sure if I was inspired to write this from the photo of a cute Westie-ish dog on Carrot Ranch or my spouse who always says “no beggin’ dogs at the table”. (While Charli’s topic was meant to have a more serious bent on choices I felt the need for humor this week. So I chose light-hearted and fun. Charli is right, having a choice is always a good thing.) Either way my wonderful dog Sherlock is the star in this week’s 99 word entry for Carrot Ranch. (Sorry for the slightly blurry picture. I was too tired to set up “the shoot” again and most likely wouldn’t have done any better anyway. My subjects were not particularly cooperative!)

“No Beggin’ Dogs at the Table”

I couldn’t catch the rabbit no matter how fast I ran.  Darn, I was hungry.  My twitching paws woke me up and I looked at the clock but I had never learned to tell people time.  My stomach gurgled. I yawned and stretched and then trotted through the house sniffing for small child.  Ah, he was at the kitchen table.  He smelt of peanut butter and yogurt.  I licked his foot but found nothing tasty there.  I was impatient but settled on the floor under his feet where food was sure to be dropped.  I hoped it was bacon.

Flash Fiction (Fire)

This week’s prompt from Carrot Ranch immediately made me think of a campfire. My favorite time of year to go camping is in the fall. I suppose this is rather a riff on a “Good Things” post. I closed my eyes and imagined my family sitting around a campfire up at Aspen Campground on the Mogollon Rim. (Alas, the photo is actually from a spring trip to the Grand Canyon, the best I could do.)

Autumn Camping Joys

Crisp air

Achingly blue skies

Trees full of red and yellow leaves

Crunching leaves underfoot

Legs pleasantly aching after a long hike

Sizzling hot dogs over the fire

Laughter as yet another marshmallow bursts into flame

Smoke scented air drifting up

Hands stretched toward the warmth

Darkness falling

Stars emerging

Ghosts stories making you glance over your shoulder

Crackling logs

Steaming mugs of tea and cocoa

Sparks snapping

That drying leaves smell

Bursts of flames from pinecones

Snuggles under a fleece throw 

The hooting of an owl

 Moonlight shadows

Feeling the joy of togetherness under a vast sky

Contentment

Flash Fiction (Eminence)

Eminence: a person of high rank or position or a lofty place

Here is this week’s entry for Carrot Ranch. There just may be a touch of fantasy in this scenario!

I dragged myself into the kitchen and apathetically checked the fridge.  Spouse and small child would be home soon and looking for dinner.  That was part of my “job”, cooking, meal planning, grocery shopping. I could feel the surge of pre-menopause hormones coloring my brain.  I wasn’t even hungry, why should I cook dinner?   I checked the freezer. The emergency frozen pizza had already been eaten this week. I started to cry and told myself, “enough”.  The eminences would have to fend for themselves this once. I retreated to the couch and a movie.  “Double Indemnity” suited me perfectly.

Welcome Spring

As luck would have it my son’s spring break actually falls over the first day of spring. Yeah! While the rest of the world looks to go to someplace warm for spring break I typically look for one last taste of winter before resigning myself to the summer heat of the desert. Through the wonders of technology here is a green paint chip poem to celebrate the First Day of Spring while I am off in Santa Fe! (The paint chip words are bolded.)

Spring 2019

I sip a glass of iced tea garnished

with a sprig of mint.

It is the first day of spring

and fittingly the first really pleasant day of the year.

Delightfully warm and sunshiny,

I consider my options.

The arboretum?

No leaves on the trees yet so that is a no.

A walk on the beach to search for sea glass?

Hmm, too windy.

There was no sense dealing with the 

prickly bramble patch without fruit to show 

for all the scratches gained.

A slog along the river bank to see the newly green ferns?

But it would be so muddy with the recent snowmelt.

Ahh,  I know just the thing.

I take a blanket out to my own backyard and lay in the sun near the clover patch.  I look for a four leaf clover until I find one.

How lucky for me to spend this glorious first day of Spring

in my own backyard.

Flash Fiction (Mice)

This week’s challenge from Carrot Ranch gave me the shivers!

*There may or may not have been an incident in a sandy location where a certain briefer may or may not have sat in the office with her feet up on a chair because she saw mice running around. Just sayin’.

 

“Guys listen up. This is the pre-mission briefing for flight 7044.” 

She went quickly but thoroughly over the slides. Tanker crews liked fast and funny.  No jokes today though, this was a new mission and she needed to keep their focus. 

To the great surprise of the pilots she suddenly stopped in mid-sentence and jumped onto a chair.  The entire room silently watched a mouse scamper across the floor and under the canvas wall.

The Lieutenant climbed down and resumed briefing the astonished pilots, picking right back up in the middle of her sentence. She had their full attention.