Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Howie’s been feeling rather neglected lately. He decided he needed some attention and a present.

Yesterday, when I left work, I hopped in and turned the key. Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing at all. I asked Howie what was going on and tried again. Still nothing. I explained how it really wasn’t a good idea to be stranded in the parking lot at work all night and reminded him of the broken window glass we see when we get there some mornings. The third time he started and we came home.

This morning, nothing again. No matter what I attempted to coax him with he refused to make a peep. I ended up calling for a ride and enlisted help after work. Got home and he started right up. Ah. He wanted an outing focused on him.

Okay. Off to Pep Boys we went to get his battery tested. By the way, the service is not free if you bring the battery still ensconced in the car. No, it’s only free when you carry the battery in the door. I discussed this with a very nice man with a yummy voice who enlisted a not-yet-shaving child to check it for me.

Yep, Howie got himself a bright and shiny new battery. Only that didn’t seem to satisfy him. Two people tending his needs wasn’t enough. It turns out that the positive battery cable was melted to bits and extremely corroded. Ah, that explains the crayon smell! But it really isn’t safe so they recommended a new cable.

Fine. But they didn’t have one they thought would fit. Which meant the service manager had to be consulted. And him coming over to poke around got yet another technician involved to see what the fuss was about.

Bottom line. Pep Boys doesn’t carry the cable Howie needs so tomorrow I have to call his regular mechanic and set up some time for Howie to visit with him. But he did get extra attention when the manager personally taped up his melted wire so we’d be safe until the other place has an opening to see him.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blown Away

Alone in the dusk of my days
I mourn the loss
Of all I hold dear.
Tis the end of what-was
With no what-will-be to come

Heart hardened
Pierced by shards
Too tired to staunch the flow
All that I could have been
Seeping in to the barren ground
Drying to dust
Winds of time
Blow me away

The empty shell of me carries on
Mimicking what once was a life
Blindly grasping
At nothing but wisps
Memories scattered in the breeze
Until even my husk
No longer remembers
Who I might have become

© 2012 Barbara Huffert

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dinner is Served!

Why is it I can only make soups in full kettle amounts? I made chicken pot pie today. My freezer is stocked and my neighbors are fed. They always get the half a kettle that I don't have room for!

Next up, navy bean soup. Probably next Saturday. Stop by if you're in the neighborhood. There will be plenty!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Huge Drama!

As I mentioned yesterday, I was headed out to pick up cheesy ziti for dinner. Mission accomplished. I got it home and went about fixing myself a plate as there’s always enough for several meals in the container. I left the plastic bag used to tote the food home in on the counter while I stashed the leftovers in the refrigerator six whole feet away.

That fast Beau was up on the counter and got his head through the handle of the bag. Oh yeah, you can imagine what happened next. He panicked and took off running. Harry, who is petrified of rustling plastic since he was tossed away in a bag as a baby kitten, was in the dining room and instantly decided Beau and the bag were out to get him.

Okay, picture this. Harry screaming, racing in terror up two flights of steps until he hit the attic window and couldn’t go any further, Beau following along in a blind panic, bag around his neck tangled in his legs, me calling for him to stop, Kya and Quinn coming along behind, snickering since they’ve both been in Beau’s position. Yes, they all manage to do this once and then they learn not to poach the bags.

In the attic Harry was arched on the windowsill, making noises that belong in horror movies, not coming from a cat, threatening violence to all so I backed away to search for Beau. I found the bag snagged around the leg of a table that’s stored up there. Beau was way in the back, huddled between boxes where I couldn’t reach him, terrified. I’m sure Harry’s vocal emissions weren’t helping matters and nothing I said or did could coax him out. And of course, Kya and Quinn were still laughing.

After maybe fifteen minutes of failing to retrieve Beau and calm Harry, I gave up and went back downstairs. I’d lost interest in dinner by then so after a few bites I put the rest back into the container for tonight. Never a dull moment at my house.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I was out and about today after work, doing this and then when something dawned on me. Howie smells like crayons again. He did when I first got him. And then it wore off. Then he did again. And it wore off.

I can’t tell you how many times this has occurred. Or why. But it suits him so I think it’s kind of cool the way he does that. I'm sure it's yellow flavored crayons I'm smelling. What? You didn't know crayons have flavors? Sheesh. I thought everyone knew that! Time for you to go out and get a brand new box and sniff them.

Well, I’d like to stay and impart more wisdom but I’ve decided I need ziti so I’m off to the corner. If you're in Reading tonight stop in and join me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If You Can Read This, You Have a Strong Mind

Well? Can you read it? I can!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's Begun

Earlier this month, Reading swore in a new mayor. The last post he held was that of city council president. During his reign, he went out of his way to ensure that council was as resistant to everything and anything the mayor attempted to do. Or that’s how it appeared from my outsider’s point of view.

So now he’s mayor. What’s one of the first things he does? Pulls a stunt over the weekend that can do nothing but alienate city council. He’s instated a gag order on all city employees that, if violated, could result in the culprit being fired. None of them can discuss anything with any sort of media personnel without the express consent of the brand new communications director. Of course, exceptions will supposedly be made for the city auditor, city clerk, city council to a certain extent, and some things concern the police and fire departments. The new mayor claims his new policy is to form a mutually beneficial relationship with the media and keep citizens well informed but it seems that is in question.

Why? Well, until last weekend the position of communications director didn’t exist. The mayor created it all by his lonesome and appointed a part time, temporary staffer of his choosing. The problem is, as I understand it from this morning’s radio broadcast, that the city charter prohibits any new positions to be formed without the involvement and approval of city council. The member of council who made that statement, yes, to the media and, just my guess here, without consent of the communications director, is verifying that with the charter board so I’m sure this story will be continued tomorrow. I have the impression that such a position would need to be applied for with resumes and qualifications reviewed though that is just another guess from a tidbit I heard on the news.

Yep, silly me. I thought that perhaps this mayor’s formerly be one of the council might make a difference and things could begin to improve around here. Wrong!

Monday, January 23, 2012


I got out of my car at work this morning to the sound of a kitty crying. And crying. And crying. It was close but not that close so I started looking around. There’s only one other vehicle in the lot at that time of day and I was afraid he’d run over one paw or something, trapping the poor cat beneath the tire. So I slide all the way around the truck, dreading but looking anyway.

Nothing. Then I was afraid the cat had crawled into the engine to get warm and was stuck. I was about to call the truck’s owner to come open the hood and help me look when the cat cried again. It wasn’t coming from the truck.

So I called it. It cried. I called it. It cried. And then I looked up. Poor baby was perched on top of the pole at the edge of the lot. An old phone/electric pole. On of the thin ones that’s been there so long the top is rounded.

It turns out the kitty had been there since 8:00 last night. In the rain. Authorities had been called and no one was willing to help it. The best anyone could do was the Animal Rescue League who said call back at 11:00 AM. If it’s still there, they’ll help. My question is why wait so long? Are they hoping the poor thing will be so exhausted it falls on its own? Or so tired it won’t fight when they try to get it?

I’m told that the ARL did finally appear when it was confirmed that the poor thing was still up there. They got the electric company out with one of their baskets to help. It was snagged, hissing and complaining, and taken off to the ARL for safe keeping. Hopefully, it’ll decide it likes being warm and dry and adjust so it can be adopted.

I’m very happy they came because I spent the day envisioning it giving up and toppling off the pole. And no, this isn't the kitty but it gives you the idea what it looked like.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wisdom According to Harvey

One Year

It’s been a year since my great aunt, Irva died. In some ways, it’s still as hard and hurtful as it was on that day. She was one of a kind, a truly great lady in all nuances of the word. There will never be anyone like her.

All my life, no matter what was going on, I knew, without question or doubt, that Irva was proud of me. She was happy to have me in her family. Even when she had no option but to say no to one of my schemes, she did it in such a way that I knew she was still with me. She was funny and smart and classy with a devilish streak in her that showed in the least expected moments. She was strong and full of quiet determination. She was my Irva and I adored her.

She’s the only person who has read ALL of my books. Yes, even the first ones that are decent stories but so disastrous they should never see the light of day. She encouraged me in unimaginable ways. And supported me whether I was writing about kittens or bondage sex.

There are memories we made that are just ours, that no one else knows of since we’d sneak off on occasion and have adventures on our own. They’re the most wonderful memories! But today, they are also the ones that hurt the most.

Irva is in my heart so I know she’ll never be gone entirely. Only she’s not here and I miss her so tremendously. I wish you’d known her. It would help to be able to talk to someone who did. But there’s no one so here I am, on my own, fighting hard not to so terribly sad because I know she wouldn’t want that.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Releasing in print on Friday! Chaos is the second book in my Cosmic Connections series. It’s more fun if you read Questing first but it’s not really necessary. I have to tell you this couple may be the most entertaining of all my characters. They were a blast to work with. They argued inside my head the entire time I was writing their story, causing lots of laughter at the most inappropriate moments. It’s been some time since I’ve read this so I may curl up with the kitties this weekend and read it while it rains. Join me!


When Shane McKade wakes up, trapped in bed, handcuffed to his brand new cousin-in-law, all he’s interesting in is getting them free so they can indulge in more mind-blowing sex. The woman aggravates him no end when clothed so better to keep her naked.

Alyssa Campini couldn’t agree more. Ever since she spent time on the street, capturing young gang members on film, McKade has been a thorn in her side. His only redeeming feature is that he comes through on his promise to deliver twenty four orgasms in twenty four hours.

Things get complicated, however, when Shane is shot protecting one of Alyssa’s gang kids while she’s off photographing tornados with a team of storm chasers. With their lives at stake, both are forced to reevaluate just what it is they really have together.

Excerpt -

The clanking of metal against metal shattered the early morning silence. Shane McKade felt the stiffness in his shoulder and the pressure on his wrist as he tried, unsuccessfully, to lower his arm.

A feminine groan, followed by an extremely unfeminine string of obscenities, came from beneath the covers next to him. “What the fuck are you trying to do, McKade, pull my arm off?”

Shane’s brown eyes locked with luminescent green. He muttered his own set of obscenities. “Campini? What the hell are you doing here?”

“I was sleeping until you so rudely woke me.”

“This isn’t happening. I must be dreaming. Yeah, that’s it. I’m dreaming.”

“Why?” Alyssa Campini glared at him. “Is finding me in your bed so repulsive? That’s not what you implied last night.”

“Yes. No. Damn! I don’t fucking believe this.” Shane managed to sit up, relieving some of the tension on his shoulder.

Alyssa squirmed upward to face him. “What, exactly don’t you believe? The fact that we ended up here at all or the fact that I didn’t slink off during the night, as I assume, from your reaction, your other partners do? In case you haven’t noticed, that was impossible but if me being here annoys you so much uncuff me and I’ll go.”

“Uncuff you?” he said with disbelief.

“What?” she demanded, scowling.

“Me. Uncuff you. As in, you didn’t grab the key last night with the cuffs.”

His words sank in. “Where is it?”

“Over there, on the dresser, with my badge and cell phone.” He pointed to the other side of the room. “And, for reasons I’ll never understand, you weren’t happy to hook us to just the bed. No, that we could have managed. You just had to be thorough and loop the cuffs around the pipe too.”

“Why is that pipe there anyway?”

“It’s an old building, who knows?”

“Well? What are you going to do?”

“What am I going to do?”

“Yes, you. You’re the cop. Do something!”

“I’m the cop?”

“You know, McKade, this habit you’ve developed of repeating everything I say is getting old. It’s not helping. Can’t you pick the lock somehow?”

“I could if I had a paperclip maybe. We’re in bed, Campini.”

“I know where we are. Don’t you have something in your nightstand you can use?”

“I doubt it but shift your arm this way as far as you can and I’ll look.” Alyssa pushed her hand behind the pipe in order to give him as much leverage as she could. “Nothing.”

“Where’s your gun? I thought all cops slept with their guns under their pillows.”

“You watch too much TV. My gun is locked in my gun safe where it belongs. What good would it do us anyway?”

“You could shoot off the link between the cuffs.” Shane stared in disbelief. “Come on, McKade. Do something! You’re the cop.”

“You keep saying that like its significant. Yes, Campini, I am a cop. That doesn’t make me Houdini. You’re a photographer. Why don’t you come up with something?”

“Argh,” she growled in frustration. “This is all your fault!”

“My fault! You’re the one who snapped on the cuffs.”

“Well, you sure as hell didn’t stop me! In fact, you didn’t seem to think any of this was such a bad idea last night.”

“Yeah, well, it was different last night.”

“Why?” she demanded hotly.

“I don’t know. Maybe it was the romantic feel of the entire day or the moonlight on the patio while we were dancing or that you looked so soft and feminine in that dress.”

“Oh so that’s why you started kissing me.”

“No, I kissed you to stop you from biting my head off every other minute.”

“What’s your excuse for bringing me here?”

“Lust? Why did you come with me?”

“Your kisses had me hot. I wanted you. When I want someone and he’s willing and unattached, I see no need to be shy.”

“You, shy.” he snorted. “Now that’s a laugh.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Was Bad

Or perhaps I should say I am bad, since this is an ongoing thing.

People, as we all know, don’t like being told no. Especially not the people whose duty it is to make those annoying, harassing phone calls. You know the ones I mean. The ones where, once told no, the people calling can become abusive and sometimes downright ugly.

I work in an office. Part of my job involves answering the phone and dealing with such calls. Due to the nature of my employer, I get more than an average share of such calls. I don’t appreciate having strangers swear at me so I’ve developed an alternative to saying no.

There’s a meeting room next to my office which is unoccupied more often than not. As soon as I identify a call as one that could turn nasty, I very pleasantly and politely say, “One moment please,” and proceed to transfer them to the phone in the empty room. You’d be amazed at how long some of those people will wait before giving up. Yes, sometimes they call right back. When that happens I tell them the person they are seeking must have stepped away and cheerfully offer to try again before sending them straight back to the same extension.

This, to me, is the perfect solution. While giving the impression of being very helpful I manage to frustrate them and entertain myself. What could be better than that?

Monday, January 16, 2012


Over the weekend I was reading a book I wrote several years ago. It’s a sequel that is as yet unpublished. Unsubmitted, in fact. The characters have been whispering in my head recently so I decided it was time to look at it, to determine how much work it would take to make it ready for public consumption.

The good news is I still like the story. A lot! And the characters. The bad news, not that I’m sure bad is the correct word here, is that the characters contain way too much me. Even though all my characters in all my books are me in some form or another, I’m not entirely certain I’d be comfortable sending this pair out as is. I know, doesn’t make much sense and I don’t know quite how to explain it so that it does.

So I’m wondering. Am I just being paranoid? Would people who don’t know me extremely well have any clue how much of me is in them? Would anyone care even if they did figure it out? And why does this one bother me when none of the others have? I just don’t know. Nor do I know if I can revise things enough to calm me without damaging them.

I do believe the story would be worth it. I’m simply not positive I’m capable. Sigh.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today's Rant

As a general rule, I make an effort to have patience and be polite with people I encounter throughout my day. At least until they give me solid reasons not to be. However, I’m seriously considering making a change to that policy.

More and more, individuals standing in front of me are beginning conversations with “I need.” My reaction to that has always been “no.” Previously, I’ve given them a gentle reminder and the opportunity to rephrase their request. Now, it’s happening so often that my response is rapidly changing to an emphatic “HELL NO!” Along with a fear-for-your-safety-back-away-and-proceed-to-the-nearest-exit-with-all-due-haste glare.

When did all semblances of pleasantries and consideration vanish from our existence? Is it asking too much for an individual to offer some form of greeting prior to making demands on me? Or to say “could I please have” or “would you mind” instead of “I need”?

Apparently, it is. Perhaps it’s time for me to remind people that I have a sharpened pencil and I’m not afraid to use it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A New Lodger?

I was working away at my desk today when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked, expecting one of the resident squirrels, only to spy the hugest opossum I’ve ever seen.

It was sauntering happily around the yard, sniffing, digging up tidbits the squirrels have stashed out there. I thought it was going merrily on its way when it climbed up the fire escape and strolled across the roof next door but it came back. It wandered around the yard a few times, hopping up on a wall to have a drink. It then curled its tail around some dry leaves and scampered up a tree to get to the porch where it seems to have been starting a nest in the built in cabinet. Amazing how agile it is considering it looks fairly elderly.

Sadly for the possum the cabinet is now closed tightly and so far it hasn’t managed to reopen it. There are plenty of other nooks and crannies in the neighborhood where it could take up residence. When I left it was sitting up on top of the third floor fire escape next door so perhaps it’ll spy something it likes. We really can’t have it living on the porch but it would be pretty cool to have it swing by and say hi now and then.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Today's Tidbits

It’s Monday. Full moon Monday and I sure could tell today. People were weird. No, not me. Of course not. I’m never weird. Well, never any weirder than I normally am so you can’t tell full moon by my behavior. Hahaha!

It’s Farm Show week. And not snowing. Something dreadfully wrong with that. It always snows Farm Show week. Surprisingly, I’ve never been there. From what I understand it’s kind of like a huge fair. Only an hour away, free admission to the show and just $10.00 to park Hmm, perhaps I should sneak off for a day and go. I wonder if I could manage to have everyone thinking I’m really at work, just between buildings for an entire day. Nah, probably not. Too bad. I’d like to go but I don’t think badly enough to invest a vacation day in the expedition. Got better things planned for them.

I want a cat. The one that came in out of the storm. She’s still in need of a home and she is very, very sweet. And darn cute! She talks and none of my current kitties do that. I asked the ones who let me live with them and they said no but I’m not quite ready to give up yet. After all, I provide the food and that should give me some leverage. Shouldn’t it? I suspect they're hoping someone else will come along and adopt her before I push the issue.

The movie, The Mission, showed up here on Saturday. I suspect Beau ordered it because I sure didn’t though I have heard the soundtrack is great. Tried to watch it last night but I couldn’t. Kept getting distracted. By the soundtrack!

Did you see the urban mansions on yahoo today? If I were wealthy beyond reason I'd probably be off choosing one instead of rambling at you. They are amazing. No, I don't really need all that space and I could really care less about being part of that level of society but the materials used and the craftsmanship are incredible. I'd wander around in awe. And ooh, if I had one of them then that would eliminate part of the kitties' argument. But even though they could have three rooms a piece I still bet they'd all pile on top of me to sleep, just like they do now.

I have a dilemma. I want to write something new but the characters in the books I’ve already written but not revised in order to submit them have me feeling guilty for neglecting them. What to do, what to do?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Nights

I dreamed again
Summoning the demons
The creatures from beyond
Heavily fanged with curved razors for claws and eyes that glint with evil
They broke free as they tend to do
Slicing their way through the shielding walls of my mind
The swath of destruction they cut – unmatched by anything of this realm
They roam your plane
Killing all who attempt to stand in their way
Leveling a path
Leaving nothing living in their wake
They hunt in packs
Flushing out their prey
Slaughtering at will
Yes, I bring them
But do not assume I am unscathed
I am their portal to your world
And though they need me
I am not protected
Every coming leaves me more tattered, more damaged
And soon my mind will splinter
Rendering me useless to them
They will open me up once too often
And I will be broken beyond repair
Beware that day for when it comes they will be trapped here among you
With no means of calling them home
Live now in your happy ignorance while you can
Soon enough reality as you know it will cease to exist
Darkness, unabating terror will reign supreme
And no one, no one will be spared

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


The wonderful and talented Natalie Owens invited me over to her blog today. Please click here to stop by and say hello.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Today's Lesson - For My Buddy, Jake

Rutabagas. What? You aren’t sitting there, dying of curiosity about these veggies? Well, perhaps you should be. After all, you never know when such tidbits of knowledge might come in handy.

Rutabagas are commonly confused with turnips. It doesn’t help that they are called that in some parts of the world but I assure you, they are related but not at all the same thing. Turnips have been around forever and even grow wild in some cooler places in the world. You may want to study their leaves so you can identify them should the possibility of you being stranded in the wilderness exist. Rutabagas are a cross between a cabbage and a turnip that appeared around 1620. No, don’t ask me how that’s possible, since the two aren’t similar. It worked and I’m certain you can find all the gory details if you’re truly interested.

Turnips, when mature have edible foliage, bright purple tops, white bottoms and are two to three inches in diameter. They take roughly eight weeks to grow. Rutabagas also have edible foliage and purple tops, though the purple is darker. The bottoms however, are yellower and the bulb is larger, three to five inches.

Rutabagas are all-purpose vegetables. They can be eaten raw, on salads or sandwiches, roasted, fried, bakes, broiled or boiled. They can be mashed alone with salt, pepper and butter, or mixed in with mashed potatoes or even with carrots for added color.

Growing them is easy. Sow the seeds after other veggies are harvested, thin the plants to four inches apart and ignore them. Greens should be harvested when they’re about six inches tall, best when boiled with bacon bits and topped with butter. Rutabagas can be left in the ground long into winter as long as the patch is covered with a layer of protective hay during the coldest times.

So there you have it. Not something you necessarily wanted to know but not a bad bit of information to have.