Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Snow surprise

Sasee Boy, aka: Buddy, heard me getting his treats. He was stunned to find them in a plate of snow.
He looked at the plate, then me. I observed. He finally touched the snow and was surprised. He looked at me as if to say, "Are you kidding me?" I waited him out and he finally scooped out his treats.
The plaque hangs on the front door during January. It reads, LET IT SNOW... Some place else!

 Kitty boy is lucky he no longer has to fend for himself or search for food. We found him in our back yard five years ago when he was three. 

He has a cozy life. He has a slew of toys, but he is a lazy boy and seldom swats his toys, chases balls with bells, or attacks his catnip mice. He prefers the crook of Bill's arm.

Sassy sits in front of Bill's chair until he invites him onto his lap. This big fat cat flops over, lays in the crook of Bill's right arm, and snuggles in. He will indicate by moving into different positions where he wants to be petted: under his arms, on his belly, back, head, under his chin, and on his nose! He is our BIG spoiled baby. After his massage he turns around and snuggles between Bil's knees to snooze. 

With a couple of inches of snow outside and chicken and dumplings in the crock pot, I'd say this is the perfect way to spend the day. 
South of our town the snow is 4-8 inches. No thank you!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Cough, cops and a canine officer.

 Well it has been a week!

My sneezes turned into snorts, the snorts turned into coughs, and I slept three days away.

Charlie ran out of the bathroom at his house and his mama stopped him. "Hey, short man! You come back here. You cannot leave the bathroom with out wiping your butt, and washing your hands."

Charlie said, "Mom, mom it's okay. It wasn't the poops it was gasoline."  I laughed until my chest and snotty nose cleared up.

Before I took to the couch with my Kleenex, water, and cough drops, I saw four police cars across the road at a vacant property (owners died a while back). A canine officer and several cops were checking the perimeter of the property and barn. They left shortly thereafter.

A few minutes later the caretaker arrived and noticed the barn door open. He called the police again. They returned lickety split, did a rerun of the four acre fallow farm. They were ready to give up the search when the caretaker yelled, "The prowler is INSIDE the house. I have him on my intruder camera. Oops, he cut the feed."

So they beelined into the house through the back porch which the window had been kicked out of. No luck flushing anyone out on first floor, so they yelled, "Releasing canine on count of three."

The prowler/intruder came down the stairs and was taken into custody. He appeared to be a youth and they found his backpack in the barn. It is likely the charge will be trespassing, and because he may be a juvenile, charges will be reduced. Who knows? All that excitement wore me out. 

I'm awake and alert after my long snooze, and I am very happy to report I am on a roll in January: six writing acceptances! 

I hope your 2023 is off to a good start.




Sunday, January 15, 2023

What would YOU do?

Are you good at improvising or thinking out of the box? I like a challenge and enjoy finding solutions to problems others might readily give up on.

When children are stuck indoors, you can still offer lots of winter activities. No coats, no mittens, no boots.
The snow is gone, the weather was too cold to play outdoors, and Alex and Charlie's mom forgot their car seats. So, stuck inside, we improvised. I drew snowmen figures on paper plates with arms in  different positions. We skipped around singing, "Ring around the Rosie, pocket full of posy, snowmen, snowmen, STOP LIKE THIS!" 

The boys stopped in these poses, laughed and skipped some more as I held up snowmen cards, one at a time: touching head, ears, tummy, back, the floor, bent over, arms raised, arms extended out to sides, on hips, elbows bent. Great physical activity.

 
 We used cotton balls for snow balls, tongs to pick them up, to make groupings 1-10, and then blindfolded, they used tongs to transfer cotton balls into a container. Oh the laughter and cheering.

The boys have been wanting to play with trucks and tractors. I would have brought snow inside if we had any (I am not wishing), instead I got out the kiddie pool and clean cat litter, and they played for an hour.

If you are a writer, how do you improvise? 

If you get off track do you swerve back on topic, or proceed with a new idea?

If you miss a submission deadline, do you give up or send elsewhere?

If the topic is cooking, can you come up with an item other than food that can be cooked? Think about that. Not everything cooked is edible.

I sent a story to a call out about Love Stories and Food.
I supposed most entries would be about romantic love. I wrote about the love of a best friend and how we baked together. 

How do you improvise or think out of the box? Bet you do so more than you think.

On Friday, the boys were so anxious for their mom to arrive. They threw themselves on her and both tried at the same time to share with her these activities they particpated in. 

Charlie laughed loud and said, "Alex, did you hear Mom? She just said, 'Holy gracious!' "

Alex said, "Huh uh! Mom meant, 'Holy mackeral!' "

Charlie cackled, "No way, Mom don't say that. Mom says, Holy 
shit. "

Wide-eyed mama panicked.
I turned my head.
Papaw improvised. "No way, boys. It's, Holy SHIP!"

They really thought they had learned something. 

We adults couldn't stifle the laughter.


Tuesday, January 10, 2023

A third of the month is gone. Don't pass up an opportunity.

WEDNESDAY CLUB is having a no entry fee, poetry contest with three prizes. You must live within a fifty mile radious of St. Louis, MO. 

You may choose any topic/theme. 

No email submissions, snail mail only, but worth the effort if you want to take the chance of winning. 

1st prize $500,
2nd prize $300,
3rd prize $150.

Oh yes you can!

Choose your pen name (a must) and sign each poem with it. Submit two different poems

Two copies of  each poem on their own sheet of full size (copy) paper.

Type poem, then your pen name and sign with pen name. 
Do not add anything else. No identifying info at all. 

Do this also for poem #2. THEN after completeing these four typed pages, include one additional page with your real name, address, phone and your email. 


NO cost! No chance to win if you don't enter by Februaury 1, 2023. 

And if you do win, let me know, so I can brag about your good fortune. 

Catherine is not the judge. She is collecting the entries.

Mail to:

Catherine Rankovic
Original Poetry Contest
3901 Sand Glade Trail
Pacific, MO 63069


Thursday, January 5, 2023

So far so good

 2023 has started off great: permissions from Chicken Soup for two stories for an upcoming humor book, a request from an editor to write an article, and a nice little nugget I found in Writer's Digest, for a possible submission I may be able to finally get out there. 

Wishing all of you good health and happiness. Write on!


Monday, January 2, 2023

Overdue at sorting through

On New Years Day I usually take down the tree. Instead, I cleaned out kitchen cabinets and packed up odds and ends: glasses, old mugs, and lidless, spaghetti sauce-stained plastic storage containers. Headed for a recycle bin or donation box.

We purchased oblong-shaped, glass, freezer-to-oven, kitchen storage containers with locking lids. Not a big deal really, but it really made me feel good to know the crap in my life will no longer tumble out when I open a cupboard.  

Today I tackle the tree. I will miss being silhouetted only by colorful Christmas tree lights as I sit in the livingroom before dawn meditating, praying, expressing gratitude.

I decided to get lit in other ways. Instead of exposing myself to glaring television light, local news crime statistics, and muting the TV fundraising appeals for abused and neglected dogs and suffering people, I decided to flick the switch. No noise no images. 

Just a growing stack of magazines: AARP, Writer's Digest, AAA Explorer... with interesting covers and enticing headlines.

I flipped through Writer's Digest. As a freelance writer for 25 years, I often think I already know this or that, so I skim or skip articles. What caught my eye this time was not the headline, but the opener by Estelle Erasmus: "This is my last "All About the Pitch" column."

What would the author have to impart as her final tips?  Nothing I didn't already know about pitching.

I did find a nugget. The interview subject was the editor-at-large of a privately-owned publication, whose mission is to publish relationship stories. 

BINGO! I have a piece I've been trying to home for two years. Spurred on by my critique partners, but discouraged by a lack of places to publish this genre, I shoved my essay into a junk basket. Another stray piece in another of my collections.

 I'm going to polish my article today and see if my pitch pans out. Then I am going to tackle my kitchen pots and pans and see what I can cook up to freeze in my new storage containers. 

How about you? What are you storing? Do you have orphans in electronic files or hand-held folders you haven't visited in a while? Is there a new topic you might like to tackle? Don't collect wanna bes or might have beens. Get in there and sort through your possibilities. 

Thank you to my readers from around the world. Wishing all a healthy, happy, blessed, and prosperous new year.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Three day celebration

Despite the brutally cold temperatures and cyclone bomb snowfall that hammered the Midwest last week, we made it through unscathed. No burst pipes or power outages. We were thankful for a warm home and lots of fuzzy blankets to snuggle under as we watched Christmas movies.

During this horrible deep freeze I ran inside and out all day long with food and water for the birds and squirrels. 
Our back yard motion detector spotlighted an animal and illuminated our bedroom at 3:00 a.m. I dashed to the window and caught sight of a big orange cat with a fluffy tail climbing over the fence. Feeling sorry for it, I hurried outside, shivering in my nightgown and slippers. I tossed a handful of cat kibble.

At 7:00 a.m. when my husband woke up, he checked the outdoor video camera on the computer.
"Honey, come here! You have to see this fox that visited us about 3:00 a.m."

Next time I will put on my glasses before mad dashing to the window and out the door. 

This was our best Christmas ever. We celebrated with my daughter and her family, my son and his family, and Bill's two girls and grown grandkids who came from near and far.

We had a delightful holiday, especially with the great grandsons. Liam, eight-years-old was so happy with his Pokemon gift from us. Imagine eyes wide as saucers, and you get the picture.
Alex, five, greeted us at the door and tried to make a  few last minute Santa points. "I have been good all day and I even cleaned my room, today." His good behavior paid off. He received many gifts from his grandparents and great grands on Christmas Eve that made him squeal with delight. Christmas morning brought more exciting presents. 

He made a forever memory at the farm. Oldest grandson Kyle invited Alex to ride in the enclosed tractor to dump bales of hay for the cows and horses. Alex wants to be a farmer so badly. This was a dream for him.
 

And Charlie, who is four, jumped on Papa Bill's lap the minute we arrrived and he shouted, "I'm gonna get your nose!" Then he pretended to eat Papa's nose. Bill had more fun roughhousing with the boys than opening his gifts. 

Kyle's & Abby's house and heated garage overflowed with family and friends. When we played Rob Your Neighbor, Charlie was miffed when somebody "stole" his cake pop maker. He ended up with it anyway.

We ate an abundance of food, had an abundance of fun, and counted our abundant blessing for three days. I hope you had a good holiday, too.