Tag Archives: family

Vanessa’s Curse [fss]

Cards magic girl

She was confused when she opened the letter addressed to her recently deceased father. Apparently, he’d been served with a lawsuit by the board of directors of the necromancy club for not being a real wizard and the judge had ruled in their favor. Her father had been banned from the club!

Vanessa had noticed her father faltering at times lately and using a few illusions to make up for it, but she’d attributed that to his ongoing health issues, along with grief over her mother’s desertion, both of which had sadly caused his early death at the age of 54. Even wizards weren’t immune from heart disease and heartbreak. But surely most of his show had been real. Hadn’t it?

Vanessa ran to her father’s study, breaking open the locked door with a mental image of a bull, and began rummaging through his desk. She picked up his favorite fountain pen and received a clear picture of him in pain, clutching his chest and gazing at a photo of her mother. She flung down the pen as if it were a serpent and resumed her task. Aha! Here was the original lawsuit, accompanied by a thick ream of exhibits, documenting instances of what they called “malicious and fraudulent deception to fool the audience and steal glory from real magicians.”

Tears trickled from her eyes as she collapsed into her father’s worn chair. Surely, the board was wrong! They’d accused him of having no magic whatsoever, and that simply could not be true. Vanessa recalled her mother saying the same thing when she’d left them to go live with the coven last year, and her father had explained that she was just angry because he hadn’t become as successful as they’d planned. But what if her mother had been right?

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with muggles! You’ve lost your magic! Vanessa remembered the hateful words her mother had spewed the night she ran off, while her father had stood there silently. Until today, Vanessa hadn’t considered that there was no response. She recalled the times when she wondered why her father was using marked cards and hoaxes instead of spells, and now she realized the magic had disappeared for him. But her mother had been wrong about one thing: Vanessa was no muggle.

She began to devise a plan to get even with her mother, the coven, and the nasty board of directors. She’d devise particularly cruel revenge for every necromancer whose name appeared on that complaint. And the judge! It would all be done in secret, however, for Vanessa intended to use ancient wizadry, not parlor tricks, in order to inflict the most misery upon the people who had ruined her father’s life. Magic was her legacy, as well as her curse, and she hadn’t called upon it much until now. They would all be sorry!

But she didn’t dare tell them the truth.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter 65, Emma’s Title Challenge, and Chelle’s Last Sentence.

TMP75: Blame Game

TMP monday peeve kitty cat

Welcome to my refreshed Monday Peeve! Unburden yourself of an annoyance and you’ll feel better afterward. Or not. Complain in my comments or crab in your own post. Doesn’t have to be on a Monday. You do you.

Recently I attended a couple mindfulness talks and they reMINDed me of how much I dislike blaming people for their own misfortunes. I’m not talking about telling a criminal he deserves a penalty; what I mean is when peeps tell migraine (and other) sufferers that they can control their disease, which mostly they CANNOT. This has been one of my biggest pet peeves over the years: people announcing that if I would only do this or that, my migraines would get better. NO, THEY WON’T. I have tried all the advice and the only piece that helps is avoiding alcohol, which I learned ages ago. I’ve been suffering for 45 years, and I do not need randos giving me “helpful hints,” which I basically take as an accusation that I cause my own pain by not doing tummy breathing or whatever useless thing.

Actually, the mindful gibberish was amusing in one way because they’d constantly contradict themselves by saying we can control our physical symptoms and then declaring that it was important to “let go” and not try to control things. I do feel better when I don’t think about how I’m feeling all the time and give up trying to figure out how to possibly feel better! I’d rather get lost in a book. That’s more of a “cure” than taking a walk, which all these peeps recommend but often gives me a headache. People actually make a living jabbering about this stuff and selling doodads to go along with it. (I did not spend any money on the talks, following up with consults, or buying amulets, etc.). I do agree with them however that we CAN somewhat control our moods by not letting annoying people into our lives, such as these mindfulness gurus.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Ring-A-Ding [socs]

Eye behind camera lens chess

Ring cameras are all the rage, not that I really even knew what one was before I started this post. I know, I know, it’s supposed to be stream of consciousness, but is Linda actually going to come over here and check up on me? I think not. Anyway, I am doing SoC now ~ I simply looked up the camera for like one second (OK, maybe 60) before writing. I’m so silly I thought “ring” described the view of the camera, making a circle around the doorway. I guess this is because I’ve seen some news clips of these cameras catching coyotes, bears, or other critters doing their night moves and the footage always looks circular. But no. Ring is a brand name, not an adjective. So I learned something. Well, I generally learn new things all the time, which is one of the advantages of not knowing much to start with, unlike everyone else on the internet who knows everything already.

As you may have guessed, I do not have a Ring camera, but I do have a Seal Team stationed around my door, so don’t even think about stealing my box of kitty litter from Target. I’ve been pretty lucky so far (jinxing myself here) in not having packages stolen. Back when I was married, however, someone from a cleaning service stole my lovely diamond ring (which had been my grandmother’s), but we took the cleaning company to court and won the case due to their negligence on background checks and stuff. I didn’t buy another ring with the money though, nor have I had a diamond solitaire ring of my own since. (I don’t count my mother’s because I never had it redone to fit me and ended up selling it.)

My daughters both have diamond rings (from their husbands), so I don’t want to go on a big rant, but suffice to say that I prefer man-made stones nowadays rather than contribute to the evil gem trade. Of course back when I knew nothing of this evil, I didn’t think about it, but I know now, so I do think about it. I have a few “natural” gems in my jewelry box, from the Before Times, but if I ever had anything new, I’d want it to be manufactured. I don’t expect anything new though ~ I feel it’s too indulgent to splurge on expensive jewelry for myself at this point in life, nor do I imagine anyone gifting me jewelry.

I consider the fact that I don’t have to agonize over how to tell my beau not to buy me a flashy diamond a real blessing. Also, I don’t have a beau, which is another blessing. How lucky can one girl get?

PS: I almost named my cat Ringo, but he really is more of a Gatsby.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Mommy

mom

I reach out to where she’s been
Her face shimmers in the mist
When dreams are closest to the skin
Reality and alchemy untwist

Her face shimmers in the mist
She arrives in diaphanous dawn
Reality and alchemy untwist
She’s dressed in clouds of grey chiffon

She arrives in diaphanous dawn
I smell her perfume in the air
She’s dressed in clouds of grey chiffon
My tears flow in deep despair

I smell her perfume in the air
It’s as if she never went away
My tears flow in deep despair
I begin another mournful day

It’s as if she never went away
When dreams are closest to the skin
I begin another mournful day
I reach out to where she’s been

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Pantoum written for the Skeptic’s Kaddish W3 20.

Lost Love

couple dancing sunset beach

Maggie takes the reins this week to continue the Throwback Thursday series. Today we’re talking about our first heartbreak, such a cheery topic. Well, it could be worse ~ we could be discussing our last heartbreak and then you’d have to read the ghosted crap all over again.

1. How old were you when you had your first heartbreak? (For some it might be well into adulthood and that’s fine, too!)

Twenty-two, which was only semi-adult in my case, as I was still living with and financially dependent upon my parents.

2. Who broke your heart – first names only?

I don’t use names with failed relationships, but let’s say it rhymes with shark.

3. Do you remember how the breakup happened?

It wasn’t exactly a breakup, since we weren’t an official couple. My parents were moving to California, and I thought I might stay in Chicago, as nutty as that seems now. Well, I was in love with Sharkie, my bestie and I were going to get an apartment together, and I’d just started a good new job. But (1) Sharkie took another girl on a camping trip because I didn’t want to ask for a week off so soon (imagine, me camping, lol!); (2) Bestie decided to keep living with her parents to save money; and (3) my parents bribed me with a new car to move with them. So I left.

Moving truck van boxes

4. Did you have a ring or token of your love? Did you return it?

Lol, no. He never gave me anything but pain. (Cue dramatic music.)

5. Did you think this was true love?

I don’t know what true love is, but I think there should be some degree of mutuality. He liked me, but that’s all, while I’d had a mad crush on him from the first moment he sauntered into class.

6. Did you play any sad songs to soothe the pain? If so, do you remember the name of the song?

Mostly I avoided “You Are the Sun” by Lionel Richie because we’d slow-danced to it in a Chicago bar at closing time, and that’s when my crush turned into something more. The song still gives me the sads.

7. If you were an adolescent, were your parents sympathetic or were they of the “it’s only puppy love” school of thought?

My parents didn’t know anything about it. I generally don’t mention my heartbreaks until way after the fact. I have this fear that I can’t express my emotions strongly enough in mere words and thus my feelings will be dismissed. It’s not an irrational fear either, since this has happened a few times.

8. How long did it take you to get over it all?

Not sure if I am, but the ghosted experience (and subsequent depression) tends to eclipse all other heartbreaks.

Ghosted novel

9. Do you remember this person fondly or is it someone you prefer to forget?

I remember him fondly and occasionally give him a google to see if he’s still working at the same place. Recently I viewed an updated photo and he looks better than ever. I don’t resent him for taking another girl camping when I couldn’t go ~ he made it clear early on, while we were just friends, that he was polyamorous, though we didn’t use that term back then. You always think you’ll be the one to change them…

10. After all was said and done, was it for the best or did you remain longing for a love lost?

I honestly think we could have made it work if I had been able to tolerate his wandering eye (and possibly he would have outgrown it). We had a lot in common and enjoyed role play, which most men do not. In fact, I’ve never met another man willing to do it, other than in bed (tmi, sorry). It’s not the only way to keep things interesting, but it works for me. The Sharkie heartbreak did turn out for the best, however, because my sadness over him helped motivate me to move to California, where I ended up having my lovely daughters.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Crisis Mode

Cat walking away explosion fire

I’m doing Lauren’s Throwback Thursday on a Saturday ~ hope that’s OK. I had a busy week, topped off by two (2) vaccines last night. One was for the flu and the other was the new bivalent Covid vax. Since I hadn’t had Moderna previously, I received a full dose, not the half booster, so as you might imagine, I have two (2) very sore arms this morning and am achier than ever. But hey the heat wave broke, woohoo! Alrighty, onto the questions. (This’ll be a looooong post.)

1. How well did you deal with a crisis in your youth or as a young adult?

I’m not sure I had any. I mean, of course when you’re young, every little setback feels like the end of the world, but I have to admit that overall I had a pretty uneventful early life as far as giant disasters are concerned. I hope I’m not tempting fate by putting this in writing!

1a. Example: Did you ever lose a pet or a family member?

Not early on. We had to put our dog to sleep when I was 18, which made me feel awful, and I tried to find a new home for her first, which made everything worse. I guess that was a crisis, but since I was in a flurry of moving and going away to college, it didn’t really hit me as hard as it might have. My grandma died right after I began college, but we weren’t close, so…

Much later, when I was in my late 40s, my mom suddenly became very ill and died less than 5 months after her cancer diagnosis. This was a huge shock to me and I’m still grieving over her. This was the worst thing that ever happened in my life (so far).

1b. Example: Were you unable to participate in an important event?

Only in the sense of no boys asking me to dances and such, but many of my friends were in the same boat, so I didn’t feel weird about it.

shrug woman

2. Were you involved with a sudden disruption to your normal life that resulted in stress?

We moved A LOT. Usually I considered this as an opportunity to start over and be a new person, but I see now it was disruptive to my early life and potential friendships. I’m not blaming my parents, since these moves were usually because of my dad changing jobs, and hey money talks.

3. Would you share an event or more about what role you took?

Interestingly, similar to Maggie, I had an epiphany about death and infinity. At age 11/12, it hit me that I would die someday, and since I didn’t believe in anything supernatural, I imagined my mind floating in darkness for eternity. It was terrifying, and I tried to talk to my parents about my fear, but they failed to understand at all (typical for them with my big issues). I feel like I didn’t sleep for a year because I was so scared, but I know logically this can’t be true. I do remember lying awake for hours, freaking out, and trying various tricks to calm down, such as making words out of words and imagining strings of numbers.

Infinity numbers pi math

This death/eternity vastness still upsets me, so I try to distract myself from thinking about it, but sometimes I get dizzy from the thought of it. I feel like I’m falling through space, forever. At least my aches and pains will be over then…

4. Were you the worry wart or did you let things roll off our sleeves?

I always freak out about everything, even now, but I can still see that almost all of it is relatively minor in the scheme of things.

5. Did you follow the example of your parents?

My mom was a worry wart, my dad not so much.

6. Were you able to discuss your fears and worries openly, or did you keep your concerns to yourself?

I had the ability to express myself, but after a while it seemed pointless because no one understood. My ex-husband (the second one) did seem to get me, at least at first, so that was a huge relief at age 26 ~ to finally talk to a person who understood my feelings. But later on we didn’t connect as well.

7. Did you have a good support system to deal with your worries?

No.

8. Do you, as an adult, still respond the same ways?

Pretty much. Stress affects my sleep, even if I try to talk myself down, and I usually don’t bother people with my silly fears, which are ongoing and unresolvable/irresolvable. I’m not sure which word to use ~ it seems they both apply. My fears are unable to be fixed, since they mostly involve hypotheticals, and also they can’t be separated into component parts to deal with (afaik). They are a tangled, spiraling what-if of doom. But playing word games still helps…

hangman game mouse cat

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

All the Feels [fpq]

Sunflowers

How are you doing? Seriously, are you okay? Feeling good? Just okay? Not so great? Why do you think you’re feeling the way you are? ~ Fandango’s Provocative Question

This is gonna be another one of my long rambles, so you might want to exit if you’re not in the mood for a big read. This isn’t a trigger warning, just a courtesy note for bloggy friends. Much like Mark Manson in the linked essay, I don’t believe that TW’s actually work, and now the rightwing loons have glommed onto this concept in order to ban every book they hate, which seems to be all of them. So thanks for that.

How am I? Well, physically I’m not doing that great, though of course things could be worse, and I’m sure they will be eventually. For now though, in addition to chronic back pain, I am also besieged with near-daily migraines due to the heat wave. It appears that the heat may subside this weekend, so hopefully I’ll feel better then. Exercise would probably be good for my back, among other benefits, but I don’t even pretend to bother during this heat. I just slog through the days, attempting to manage my pain, and at the end of each one, I try to feel optimistic about the next. It can be difficult though.

Despite that, I’m not in a dark place mentally over my daily life. Things are OK in my tiny bubble. My work is fine. My friendships are solid. I have food/clothing/shelter and an internet connection 24/7. I have successfully avoided any stupid romantic dating drama for several years. I’m always grateful for my two lovely daughters and adorable grands. When my kitty Gatsby isn’t being annoyingly loud, I’m thankful for him as well.

gatsby kitty cat love hearts

The rising prices have affected me of course, and I’ve cut back on some purchases, like random Amazon buys, and I drive a bit less, but it’s hard to see where I can do more, since I don’t live extravagantly to begin with. Most of the “helpful” advice from the electric company doesn’t apply to me at all. I don’t have a lawn to mow or water, I don’t need to charge a vehicle, I already do laundry in the mornings, we rarely use the dishwasher, we already have the A/C set to 78, etc. Despite my modest lifestyle, however, I just had the joy of paying SCE $141 for the last cycle.

I am concerned about the state of USA politics, which is utterly abysmal. I guess old people like me have a tradition of believing everything is worse than ever, but unlike some oldies I don’t pine for “the good old days,” since I don’t believe they actually existed except in fantasyland. Things were on a slight upward trajectory though until the magats crawled out from under their rocks and elected you know who and other disgusting racist magat creeps.

Sad face dislike thumbs down

Though reading the news can be stressful, I think it’s important to stay at least somewhat informed… and also make sure to vote against any magats on your ballot. I don’t want to dive into the weeds here, but suffice to say I can’t believe anyone still supports the ex-prez and his criminal behavior, or any other magat, and if he gets in again it will be a disaster for our country and the world too.

Please remember that I will delete nasty comments at my whim. If you disagree, do it respectfully and especially don’t insult other commenters. Thanks.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Discovery [fss]

Octopus treasure sea

Today she would find out if her entire life had been a lie. After waiting in silence all these years, she would finally discover the truth. Was it an act of rebellion to take this step? Perhaps. But whatever the news, she would embrace the information and react accordingly, since living in this shadow world had proven to be more stressful than demanding the answers to her questions. They had brushed her off repeatedly, concocting story after story until the details clashed and she could no longer trust anything they said. So now she was getting it straight from the source.

She took a deep breath and walked into the office. “So, Mr. Quinn, will I be having tuna salad or lobster for lunch today?”

The lawyer smiled and brushed an imaginary fleck of dust off the cuff of his shirt. “I’m afraid it’s not that simple.”

“I can’t see how not,” she retorted. “Either that fortune recovered from the shipwreck belonged to my parents or it didn’t. It’s an easy question to answer, and I don’t know why I’ve been kept in the dark by my aunt and uncle. I need to get on with my life, rich or poor.”

“The late Mr. and Mrs. Edwards did indeed have a vast fortune, and it was recovered ten years ago from their shipwreck.”

She sighed in relief. “Well, then!”

“But you are not their daughter.”

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter 62.

TGIF ~ Sand Dude

Selfie with rainbow sand dude

Happy Friday!

As promised, I have taken a selfie with my beloved Sand Dude. This little lucky charm has been on my desk at work since I began my job, over 21 years ago. My eldest made him in a craft class and gave him to me when I started working full-time. Isn’t he cute? I love his flaming fuzzy red hair and googly eyes.

Did you know that my TGIF is actually a prompt? I guess I haven’t made that clear. Feel free to write about your own lucky charm or something else on your desk and link back to my post. Or simply discuss your weekend plans. If you would rather only comment here, that’s fine too. My prompts are flexible and easy peasy that way. No Mr. Linky!

Speaking of… here’s some exciting news. Starting September 15, I will be hosting the dream theme at Mindlovemisery every other Thursday! I do hope you will join in.

Have a great day!

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Whiskers on Kittens

Kittens

Maggie delightfully earworms us today with “My Favorite Things” as she continues the Throwback Thursday series. These questions pertain to our adolescence… I’ll pick age 14, freshman year of high school, 1975.

1. Who was your favorite relative? Not to play favorites, but who was the person you connected with more than others? Aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, or parent? Why were you closest to them?

I wasn’t that close to anyone. My parents didn’t really understand me, though they tried and were very loving. We didn’t see other relatives enough for me to feel close to them. To this day, I don’t feel I connect with anyone that well except for my daughters. Luckily, they are all I need.

2. What was your favorite TV show? Share a clip if you can find one.

One Day at a Time, All in the Family, Match Game, Hee Haw, Columbo, Rhoda, The Carol Burnett Show, The Price is Right… and that’s not counting reruns of other shows. I wasn’t so picky then!

3. What was your favorite book or favorite family story?

I had recently discovered sexually explicit romance novels, and my favorite then (which I can’t bear now) was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss.

4. What was your favorite, song, record, or album. Feel free to share a YouTube video of it.

Probably my favorite album was If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot. I still love it. Note that its original name was Sit Down Young Stranger, but they renamed it after IYCRMM became a hit.

5. Who was your favorite teacher? What grade were you in and what subject did they teach?

Probably my freshman accelerated biology teacher Mr. G because he let me take care of the boa constrictor. Well, no he didn’t. He would have totally freaked out. He let me wash beakers, but the boa just happened to be in that room and I’d give him fresh water. I’d leave the cage open, if his head wasn’t near the door. Years later I understood that he could have moved much faster than me, if he’d been so inclined, but back then I liked to imagine some magical aura protected me. I have used the open cage door several times as an analogy to explain other parts of my life.

snake

6. What was your favorite subject (not teacher) in school?

Math.

7. Who was your favorite (aka best) friend? What things did you do together?

Elizabeth. We wrote poems, did math, and ate bagels with cheese.

8. What was your favorite way to pass the time?

Reading romance novels, doing jigsaw and pencil puzzles, and doing needlepoint while watching TV. Except for the snake, I was an old lady at 14.

9. What was your favorite holiday? How did you celebrate?

Though I identify as Jewish now, and have since my late 20s, I celebrated Christmas as a child. My dad didn’t care to observe his own holidays, so my mom observed hers. We put up a (fake) tree and decorated it, had lots of twinkling lights, baked tree-shaped cookies, made rum balls, and exchanged gifts. It was a lot of fun! There was no religious aspect to it, for us.

10. What was your favorite toy or possession? Doll, camera, radio, bicycle?

Probably a radio.

Headphones listen music

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.