Thursday, November 28, 2013

Be Kind



To loved ones. To strangers. Even to those you may not particularly like.

I know I’ve rambled on this before but it bears repeating.

With Thanksgiving today it is the beginning of the holiday season.  A time of year that isn’t always easy for some. Moments that may trigger happy memories for you could bring ones to the surface for someone else that are vastly different.  And often, they don’t let it show.  Inside however, they might be torn to shreds.

Life can be hard.  Don’t make it worse by being thoughtless.  I’m not asking for much.  Just show a little kindness to all you meet.  And to yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving All.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Childhood Memories



When I was a wee babe my first room was in an old farmhouse.  It had a wooden tongue and groove ceiling.  And was creepy as hell.  To put it mildly.

My earliest memory is standing in my crib, screaming for help.  And no one coming.  There were “things” in my room.  Unexplainable things.  Evil things.  That came down through the hole in the ceiling.  It had a cover but often in the morning, it was moved.  My parents always tried to tell me it was squirrels in the attic.  They were mistaken, of course.  There were never squirrels any other time.  Or any evidence of rodents in the attic.  No, it was not squirrels.  It was “things.”

It’s been suggested that the hole was a fireplace flue.  Hmm.  I don’t think so.  The farmhouse was very small and the chimney was on the other side.  It’s not very likely that such a structure would have two fireplaces.  And there was no corresponding hole down through the floor so I’d say that idea is out.

If that weren’t creepy enough for a tiny tot this pair of taxidermied ducks hung on the wall above my crib.  Yeah.  Who does that?

The saving grace of the room was the windowsill.  It was about sixteen inches deep and safe.  I can’t tell you how many nights I spent on the windowsill.  It protected me from the “things.”  I went back there today, to take these photos and it was very tempting to crawl up on it.  Yes, there is still evil in that house and no, no one else seems to feel it.

What is wrong with those people?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Today's Lesson



Researchers have recently identified a new type of boredom, the fifth.  Oh you didn’t know boredom came in varieties?  Me either.  All this time I just thought I had ennui.  Apparently I was wrong.

Some types of boredom provide motivation while others are non-achievement oriented.  It is reported that unless you are boredom-obsessed, the differences are subtle.

So why should you care?  Because identifying which type of boredom it is that is being experienced will then make it possible to develop better strategies for alleviating it.  This could help deal with things such as attention disorders, poor learning skills or inability to function efficiently at work.  Ah, now you see the need, don’t you?

To recap:

1.  Indifferent boredom – a state of being relaxed and withdrawn

2.  Calibrating boredom – being uncertain or dreamy while receptive to change

3.  Searching boredom – emotionally itchy, restless and actively looking for change

4.  Reactant boredom – being motivated to find alternatives to a situation sometimes to the extent of behaving inappropriately

5.  Apathetic boredom – the newest kind, which mimics depression – being full of helplessness

It is thought that individuals have one type of boredom that sticks with them rather than switching between varieties and that personality may be a contributing factor.  Also each type manifests into different kinds of physical and emotional reactions, some of which may adversely affect one’s health, some of which may cause the person experiencing boredom to be a threat to others.

So there you have it.  Bet you’re glad you stopped by today.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Today's Photos from my Offensive Yard

Heather, just beginning to bloom.  In another week or two the white will turn pink which will last until spring

Unexpected iris bud, reblooming way out of season.  The yard spirits have been busy conjuring.

Primrose - If we don't have a long freeze this will bloom another month.

Osmanthus in all its glory. Covered with bunches of white flowers that send their delicate scent wafting on the gentle breeze.

Friday, November 15, 2013

For Sale



The Reading Royals minor league hockey club, last year’s Kelly Cup champions.

The team has been in Reading since its inception in 2000 and is currently owned by SMG, the management firm that oversees Reading’s entertainment venues and the Berks County Convention Center Authority.  Apparently they want out because attendance is way down and the owners aren’t making a profit.

Hmm.  Perhaps this is more because Reading’s economy is still so horrendous that less people can afford to go to games.  Maybe the owners should be helping figure a way to improve that rather than bailing on one of the good things the city has.

It was reported that they will attempt to find a private buyer that will keep the team in town.  Let’s hope they do.  Reading needs things to be proud of not more memories of what once was.

I was going to say I have twenty bucks and ask who wanted to go in with.  But now I have to use that as part of my quality of life fine for having the audacity to plant flowers in the yard.  Still, if you want to go together and buy the team, I’ll be with you as soon as I win my appeal against the city.  (See earlier rant for what I'm on about.)

I! AM! ANGRY!!!

I came home today to find a quality of life fine notice taped to my door. For the "noxious weeds and high grass" in my yard. There are neither in my yard but I suspect the inspectors wouldn't be able to identify a perennial at the end of the growing season if their lives depended on it. There hasn't been a killing frost so I haven't done my end of year tidying yet. And here's the kicker. To appeal you must first pay the fine. Oh hell yes, I am appealing! You've seen my flowers. And my strawberries. I'll be taking pictures with me. Pardon my rant but as I said, I am angry. Very, very angry!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

No Wonder



Today I once again understand why the post office is in such turmoil.

I had a very pleasant woman call to inquire whether a package was delivered as the tracking indicated.  She was checking because she was the sender and the box has been lost for over a week.  No, it was not.  At the time she called I had yet to see any postal personnel in my office.

Four hours later a very hateful, miserable woman from the post office called. She insisted that the package had been delivered this morning at a time when I know with absolute certainty that I was at my desk.  When I attempted to explain that she was rude and yelled at me.  She refused to listen, getting louder and louder as she told me in no uncertain terms that I received the package.

Twenty minutes later the mailman came.  He had the package in question earlier but was told to pull it from the truck, that someone called and said they’d be picking it up.  Hmm.  No.  That’s as untrue as saying the package was already delivered.  There had been no orange slip at any time saying someone there had a package so why would anyone think they needed to go pick something up?

Funny thing is when I sorted the mail the package was with it.  It had not been pulled and was not at the facility waiting for anyone to claim it.  Yeah.

The woman that sent it was pleased to know it arrived safely.  And the postal woman who called and was abusive?  All I can say is she’s lucky I don’t have her name because I would be reporting her.

Hope your day was better.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 - Maisey's Secret - An Excerpt



Maisey opened the heavy oak door and stepped into the silence. The tension was almost palpable. She wished there was an alternative to going on in but there wasn’t. She’d lingered as long as she could already. It was near suppertime and if the meal wasn’t on the table, waiting, there would be hell to pay though more often than not it went uneaten.
She tried to slip into the kitchen unnoticed but failed. It was her own fault for neglecting to unlatch the screen door before school that morning. They were in the study, glaring at each other and caught the movement of her passing by the doorway.
“About time, girl,” her Uncle Silas yapped, his voice even more nasal than usual.
“Late again,” Aunt Petunia slurred. “What a disappointment you turned out to be.”
“I was at the library working on my book report,” Maisey offered by way of explanation. It was a half-truth but she wasn’t worried about being caught out. Her momma’s brother and sister had already dismissed her.
Maisey prepared a simple meal. Things that could be easily reheated. As she cooked she wondered about her classmates’ lives. Several of them came from single parent homes. Others lived in multigenerational households. A few even had the traditional family, a momma, daddy and siblings. On the surface her situation didn’t appear significantly different. But it was a fa├žade. She doubted any of the other eight-year-olds in her grade were responsible for getting meals on the table at the end of the school day.
It was the norm for her. Had been for as long as she could remember. Her daddy was on the road the majority of the time and her monna couldn’t handle things on her own. They’d moved back home to Granma’s when Maisey was but four. When Granma got sick her aunt and uncle swooped in like turkey buzzards, staking their claim on the house before she was even gone. Since she passed they’d been at one another’s throats nonstop, each trying to evict the other.
The constant bickering overwhelmed her momma. She’d withdrawn deep down inside herself. Some days she didn’t even speak. Which left Maisey pretty much on her own, fending for herself as best she could.
It was okay at the beginning. Her aunt and uncle hadn’t paid her much mind. Not until they walked up on her carrying a tray to her momma. Once they discovered she could cook they demanded that she make their meals too. Occasionally they even ate them when they were still hot but more often than not they snuck into the kitchen later on and microwaved the leftovers separately. It was like they didn’t want to be caught eating or something. Too bad they left their dishes for her.
Momma didn’t eat much these days. She was pining for Daddy most likely. It was a year and then some since his last visit and that was way too long. Maisey used to wonder if he stayed away because he didn’t want her as part of their lives but then she realized that it was just his nature. Oh he surely loved them. In his own unconventional way. He was happy enough when he was there but it just wasn’t in him to settle down with them fulltime. He’d hang on less and less each time he blew in. She expected sooner or later he’d stop coming by altogether. She couldn’t help but worry what would become of Momma when that day came.
Maisey filled her momma’s tray and took it upstairs. “Momma? I brought you some supper.” No response. “Momma? Won’t you please eat some? Just a bite or three?” Again, there was no reply. “Well, I’ll just leave it here, should I? Maybe you’ll want some later.”
She went back down and stuck her head in the study where the tension had gone up another notch. “Supper’s on,” she said.
“What slop did you throw together tonight?” Aunt Petunia asked, pouring herself another tumbler of rye whiskey.
“Chicken and waffles, ma’am. Your favorite. And some of those early sweet peas I picked out of the garden yesterday. I know how you like them, Uncle Silas.” It was a challenge sometimes, keeping them balanced in her comments so neither would complain that she was taking sides. What she didn’t understand was why it concerned them at all. She was a child. What would it matter if she did choose one over the other? It wasn’t like she could be of any help to either of their causes.
Soon as Maisey ate her own meal she made up two plates, one for each of her kin, retrieved her momma’s untouched tray and finished up the dishes. Tidying the kitchen as quick as she could, she escaped to her room in the front corner of the house. No one else ever came up there. Not even Granma back when they first moved in.
She had thought it was strange. Until she figured out that something in that room weren’t right. In the beginning when she was still mostly a baby she thought her imagination was conjuring up things out of her nightmares. But then, as she aged, she realized that they weren’t just dreams. There was pure evil in that room. When she tried to talk on it with her momma or Granma they both told her to hush up, that she was talking foolishness. She knew they were wrong of course. If her notions were such nonsense why were they both too afraid to venture into her room?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lookee!

I just love friends who have tiny children in their families. Wee sweaters are such fun to make!

 

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's That TIme Again

NaNoWriMo!  National Novel Writing Month. 

If  you didn't stop by last year this is a challenge to writers. Write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.   I completed the challenge last time.  Indiscriminate Slaughter, a creepy tale of how everyone deserves to die.

This year's venture is Maisey's Secret.  The premise - Maisey's life has never been easy. Her family is dysfunctional with a capital D. And now there are Spriggans sneaking through the hole in the ceiling, trying to steal her. What's a girl to do? 

I've been watching old reruns of the Waltons.  When I hear Maisey's voice in my head it sounds like she lives down the road from them.  I only managed 917 words today.  That's 750 words short of the projected goal but it was only the first day.  Plenty of time to make that up.

I'm not at all sure where this tale will take me but I do know already that it will be an adventure.  You're welcome to tag along if you'd like.

Happy Weekend!