Flash Fiction: By Design

The prompt this week from Carrot Ranch is “By Design”. My goal was to paint as vivid a picture as I could of “real” winter. Not the sort of chilly, once in awhile gray winter weather we get here in the desert southwest. So how did I do?

“Painting a Picture”

 The landscape was encased in ice, trees frozen in mid-motion. Snow gleamed pure white, too cold even for the stars to twinkle.  The cold poked and prodded, looking for a way into the snug cottage.  All was still.

Inside the fire crackled and popped from the newly added pine log before settling down to give a steady heat.  The flames danced to a happy song only they could hear.

I breathed in slow and deep, holding for a beat at the top.  By design peace flowed through me.  By Mother Nature’s design sleep settled over the great wintry outdoors.

Flash Fiction: Winner

This week’s prompt from Carrot Ranch was “winner”. I started with one idea and then tried a few others. I felt like my first idea didn’t really capture what Charli was looking for but I couldn’t seem to let it go! After quite a bit of tweaking this is the end result. Closer to Charli’s intent I think.

“Winter Growth”

Winter was descending, short cold days followed by long cold nights.  Distraction was needed.  No, not distraction… learning.  Yes! This was valuable time that needed to be used thoughtfully.  Much growth could happen in the cold with a little encouragement. 

So many topics beckon, but let’s be real, nothing that involves leaving the warmth of home will happen.  And yes, there it was, an on-line art class.  Collage: cutting and gluing bright bits of paper.  Abstract flowers and cats. Back to kindergarten and my simplest self.  Growing from the roots. My heart lit with joy, I had a winner.

Winter Part II: Desert Style

For someone who is in slug mode I am actually getting a lot done.  All the basics are being kept up with, laundry, cooking, bill paying etc.  But this past weekend we made it all about wintery fun, desert style.

Friday night we had a family movie night.  We got the movie “E.T.” from the library, pizza from Papa John’s and Reese’s Pieces from my earlier commissary trip.  I suppose this isn’t unique to the desert but it felt like such a cold winter night thing to do.

Saturday night we went to see our local minor league hockey team play (The Roadrunners, meep meep).  It was cold in the arena, there was ice flying and guys skating really fast. Felt like winter to me.

On Sunday we decided to venture outdoors.  Sure it is winter but we decided to brave the crowds and take a hike at Sabino Canyon.  We didn’t have to brave the elements as it was 70° without a cloud in the sky.  Well, we did need sunscreen.  It was too crowded for my tastes but it was nice to see the creek really flowing with snow melt from up in the mountains.  The sky was a gorgeous blue and there was a bit of a Santa Ana breeze.  It was really nice just being outdoors.

I suppose we could have hiked to the snow if we had started crazy early in the morning.


The creek was really flowing with snow melt, right over the road. (Only used by the tram and official vehicles.)


Sabino Dam dressed in it’s winter finest.                                                                                  

Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of my three part Winter series. 🙂

December Delight #15

Today is all about anticipation because tomorrow I am going to the NORTH POLE!  I will be taking the Polar Express out of Williams, AZ and getting to the North Pole via the magic tunnel.  I  think I am more excited than my son.  And there is so much to be excited about:

I get to wear sweaters and mittens and flannel pajamas with penguins on them. (Not all at the same time though.)

Riding a train with kids in Christmas jammies, hot cocoa and cookies, carol singing…all good.

We’ll spend Saturday in Flagstaff visiting Santa at the mall and getting our Christmas tree and taking a wintry hike.

Three full days of no cooking or dishes or cleaning or Christmas prep. Instead I get to enjoy simply festive fun time with my son in a place where it is actually winter.

I am even looking forward to the five hour drive.  I have popcorn and the Trader Joe’s box of assorted Joe-Joe’s for snacking while listening to Christmas audiobooks from the library.  We’ll stop for lunch somewhere fun on the north side of Phoenix,  after which we can start watching for signs of winter as we gain in elevation.


It’s Santa!  I know him!!


I’ll be back on Monday with specific delights from each day.  Enjoy the last weekend before Christmas!! ( I know I can barely believe it either.)