Tag Archives: travel

Texture [CFFC]

Can you imagine the flaky texture of the coconut mingled with the sugary glazed soft yeasty donutty goodness in every bite? Mmm, this is definitely my favorite kind of donut, which I used to buy every Friday at the café in my office building, but they no longer have them. Probably a good thing, since now I just eat a Clif bar, same as I do every other morning. Rah, boring healthy things. If any nutritionists are reading, they will proceed to lecture me on how a Clif bar isn’t really healthy because it has too many carbs and we all should be eating egg whites, kale, and grapefruit for breakfast. 🤮

When my eldest and I visited Portland, OR, I had a brief flirtation with the gourmet donut phenomenon. They are tasty. We have a gourmet donut shop in Costa Mesa called Sidecar or something and I tried it. Yummy. But eventually I returned to the cheap, coconut donuts I’ve always loved. Runner-up is cinnamon crunch, which is not a plain donut dusted with cinnamon. God no. It’s a glazed donut with crunchy cinnamon nummies all over it that will crumble over your clothing and car, should you be silly enough to try to eat one while driving. I think Dunkin’ used to have them at the train station in Chicago, or else I’ve hallucinated the entire experience. I am getting old, and I’m entitled to my donut fantasies, TYVM. 💖

Hope ☔️ [flash 165]

Hope had planned for today so carefully, yet everything felt off-kilter. First, the rain had required that she hire a ride to the station, placing a dent in her meager stash of funds. But she couldn’t arrive at her new employer’s house looking like a wet puppy.

Second, as she had waited for the taxi under the portico, Mikey came out to say goodbye. She’d hoped to avoid him and any unnecessary sentiment, but he went on for a several minutes with another apology, asking her to please stay. She’d stared ahead stoically as the rain poured down, though her heart felt torn, and thank goodness the taxi pulled up.

Third, when she reread the leaflet in the taxi, the position didn’t sound as appealing as it had last month when she’d applied for the job. But it was done. No going back.

The train approached now, sounding its lonely tune, and Hope willed herself to quit feeling petrified and begin her new life.

~*~

Tell The Story Photo Challenge from Crushed Caramel

Song Lyric Sunday: No

One of my favorite songs where someone keeps saying “no” is “Please Come To Boston,” written and sung by Dave Loggins (1974). It’s kind of an ironic song for me to post, given that I was born in New York and lived in the East until I was 13, but I’ve never been to Boston. I had the opportunity to go once and should have taken it; I don’t know if it will come around again. Unlike the girl in this song, I would love to go to Boston (for a visit)!

Please come to Boston for the Springtime
I’m stayin’ here with some friends and they’ve got lots of room
You can sell your paintings on the sidewalk
By a café where I hope to be workin’ soon
Please come to Boston
She said “No – would you come home to me?”

And she said, “Hey ramblin’ boy now won’t cha settle down?”
“Boston ain’t your kinda town”
“There ain’t no gold and there ain’t nobody like me”
“I’m the number one fan of the man from Tennessee” […]

*

Updated with link to Jim’s prompt post 🙂

Before Cell Phones

We parted with enmity

And now he is gone,

Left without a kiss,

And sailed off at dawn.

I shall write him a letter,

Include a photograph too,

And stuff them in a bottle,

Toss them in waves of blue.

As he sails round the globe,

My love note behind him,

Fate may have to intervene,

For this message to find him.

~*~

My First Mystery

… award that is!

A big thanks to Kristian for the nom. He has a very entertaining blog and it’s hard to believe it’s less than a year old!

The Rules:

1. Put the award logo on your blog. ✅

2. List the rules. ✅

3. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog. ✅

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well.❓

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself. 🆗

6. Nominate 10-20 people. ⚠️

7. Notify your nominees. ⚠️

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, specifying one weird/funny question. 🚫

9. Share a link to your best post(s). 💤

Three Things:

1. I’ve never seen Titanic.

2. I’ve been wearing tights under pants because it’s so cold in SoCal.

3. I usually cry at other people’s sad animal stories, and sometimes at happy ones too.

Questions from Kristian:

1. Name something you like to see in a book, that makes you want to read further.

– A kitty or puppy.

2. What would make you want to stop reading a book?

– The author intruding with his/her political opinions in fiction.

3. If they produced the story of your life, what genre would it be?

– Medical: “A Cure for Insomnia” 💤

4. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

– NorCal.

5. What advice would you like to give to your ten-year-old self?

– Go to Northwestern!

As for the rest, my nominees and questions, I shall use this handy-dandy card from Rory. 😀

My Own Worlds (200 words)

My father was never lost; he just took the scenic routes. This infuriated my mother, who had created plans and made motel reservations. She would read the road map while Dad meandered along a new route in a strange state until she got a headache. Eventually, he’d get to where we were supposed to be, accompanied by a lot of shouting, his good mood disappeared and all of us starving. Luckily, we never had to sleep in the car.

In the meantime, I tuned my parents out by curling up in the back seat with books, immersing myself in new worlds with new characters. I let the scenery whoosh by my window unobserved. I wanted to escape into my mind, into a fantasy land where people weren’t screaming over maps and whether we were lost.

I was lost in a kaleidoscope of fiction. Sometimes the newly spun world was a doggie story and later they became mysteries. In my teen years, I got hooked on romance novels. Eventually, I began to wonder if I could create my own worlds of words, spin my own colorful tales for others to lose themselves in. It all began during those stressful driving “vacations.”

~*~

50-Word Thursday (sets of 50)

Three Things Challenge

Journal: Week 1

(Thanks to Nova)

1. I’m most looking forward to making progress on my novel.

2. Three goals for this month: edit everything I wrote on my novel in November, exercise daily, blog daily.

3. Today is quiet and productive; wish I had Diet Coke.

4. Looking forward to seeing my grandbaby again soon.

5. I don’t want to forget how much fun I had over the holidays when my whole little family was together.

6. This year I’ll be going up to NorCal at least twice.

7. My top three priorities are: work, health, writing.

8. Places I have visited so far this year would be… home and work! Target and the gas station. Costco for an eye exam and to order new glasses and sunglasses. Oh, and the restaurant that didn’t have hot tea. 🙄

2018 Wrap Party

This was an interesting year.

I gave up both Facebook and dating sites early in the year. Spent 2017 depressed about both, ostensibly for different reasons but ultimately the same ~ I had devoted a huge amount of time to the pursuit of long-distance friendships and local relationships via both those venues and the end result was similar: meh.*

What’s that BS about how you get out what you put in? Yeah right.

Anyway, I decided to splurge on myself by reclaiming my time and emotional energy, and this was a great gift. I’ve been so much happier and more productive since. In April, I released a poetry book that I finally had time to finish… and yesterday I just released another one. I hope you’ll check them out: All She Wrote (April book) and Monochrome (December book).

In June, it was my absolute joy to welcome my new baby granddaughter to the world. She brings total love and sweetness to my life, and I’m thankful for all the wonderful family time I’ve had this year.

At some point during 2018, a WordPress prompt site closed up shop. Zillions of us who love to natter on about nothing had the big sads. A handful of bloggers stepped up and created their own prompts, which was very cool of them… but then a weird thing happened. Instead of popping over to the site, grabbing the prompt, and writing to our same audience, we began to actually interact with these new prompters and their followers. We started to play more writing games and follow each other and turn into a supportive creative community of awesome!

In October, I was lucky to be able to take a week off from work to help my daughter in NorCal. Also, I got to bond with her new puppy. Last week I had an amazing time with both my daughters, their hubbies, and the baby. Family rocks!

On Thanksgiving, I had a super fun time with friends at the LA Zoo, and yesterday we went up to Simi to visit the Reagan Library. I hope to visit more museums and local points of interest in 2019. Though I was into movies for a while, I find lately I’m feeling rather indifferent toward them.

I have tons of books to read! Not literally, since most are on my Kindle. And now it’s time to begin integrating the mess I wrote on Ghosted during NaNoWriMo with my main novel document. Oh fun. After that, I have to write “the ending,” by which I mean the last third of the book.

And to wrap up the wrap, for the past 7 years, I’m beyond lucky and grateful and thankful that I get to share my life with this amazing lil dude. ❤️🐱❤️

*I treasure my friendships that transcend FB. Not talking about you great folks.

Lazy Poast

I swear I was gonna write a story or a pome today from the prompts, but I haz a wicked migraine due to the windy cold weather, so you get this. Like it or lump it!

Questions from the Queen:

1. What is something you always put off for as long as you can?

– Death (mine).

2. Has time sped up or slowed down for you as you have aged?

– Up.

3. What time period do you think you most belong in?

– Post-historical.

4. What book would have a completely different feel if it was set in a different time period?

– The Bible.

5. How do you like to waste time?

– You’re looking at it.

6. Have you ever killed time since reading or watching The Phantom Tollbooth?

– Don’t remember what that means.

7. You have two hours to yourself…how do you spend it?

– Plotting, planning, scheming, dreaming.

8. How often do you think about the Doomsday Clock?

– Not a lot.

9. Do you think we are nearing the end of times (for those who believe in it)?

– Not in a religious sense, but it’s definitely possible we could be close to a massive-casualty world war.

10. Armageddon is upon us…do humans survive?

– Probably some in remote areas for a while.

11. How will human’s time on Earth be up?

– War, famine, disease, no medical care.

12. What is your favorite quote about time?

– “Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.”

13. What is one song that makes you time travel?

– “In the year 2525…”

14. Speaking of Time Travelers… The Doctor (Dr. Who), Time Traveller (H.G.Wells, The Time Machine), Phineas Bogg (Voyagers!), or The Traveler (Star Trek: TNG): Who would make the better traveling companion?

– Idk these peeps. I’ll take my cat. 🐱

A Very Norty Christmas [an impish tale 1247]

Santa banished the Norty Imps to the dusty old storeroom. “You troublemakers stay out of my way until after Christmas,” Santa said. “I’ve got work to do and can’t be bothered with your shenanigans today of all days!”

The imps were sad for a mo, thinking they were going to be bored out of their silly heads for the next 24 hours, until one of them began opening the boxes in the back.

“Looky!” he cried. “Norty fings!”

He held up a black lacy bra and thong set. The other imps scampered to the boxes to find more norties. “A dildo!” “A norty book!” “A purple vibrator!”

“No one wants them anymore,” one imp said. “Everyone asks for iPhones. What can we do with these?”

“Send them to a church full of nuns!” another imp suggested.

The Norty Imps cheered and jumped for joy at the idea of a fun new tricksy plan.

One of the imps pulled out his iPad. “I’ll make a list with directions for the ‘deers.”

“Which ‘deers?” another said. “They’ll know the list ain’t all official like.”

“I know just the ones,” iPad Imp said. “Quick, help me break out of here. Who has the key codes?”

*

Ipad Imp approached the group of reindeer at the North Pole Starbucks who were all texting on their phones. “Hey, guys. Job for you.”

Sierra looked up. “Huh? I thought Santa gave out all the assignments yesterday.”

“This is a special late job,” Ipad Imp said. “He thought you might be suited for it, being so technically adept and all.”

“Oh yah,” Bruno said. “I’m totes into tech.”

“There you go then.” Ipad Imp grinned at the group. “I’ll just share my GPS file with you and Bob’s yer uncle.”

Giselle frowned at him. “Who’s Bob?”

The imp rolled his eyes. “Never mind that. Finish your drinks, go potty, and I’ll take you to the sleigh. We gots it all loaded up nice and full, ready to go.”

*

Roxy poked Clove with her hoof. “Dude, I think we should have arrived by now.”

They’d been flying for hours through the dark velvet skies. It was snowing now and Roxy was bored. Her movie had failed to load on her FlyPad. Annoying!

Clove removed his earbuds. “What? Are we lost?”

“I’m not sure,” Roxy said, “but this is taking forever. Ask Sierra if she downloaded the GPS update.”

Clove pulled Sierra’s tail and asked her. “No,” she said. “I forgot to check for updates before we left because of all the drama with my ex. But Bruno has the list.”

Bruno turned around. “Did someone say my name?”

“Are we lost?!” Roxy yelled.

“I took the scenic route!” he laughed.

Giselle began to cry. “I have a breakfast date with Noel.”

“Wait,” Sierra said. “Since when are you going out with Noel?”

“You guys broke up like a week ago,” Giselle sniffled. “So, why do you care?”

“Um, hello. We were only taking a break a week ago,” Sierra said. “That’s not being broken up.”

Roxy butted in, “Maybe we shouldn’t do this here?”

“Do what?” Giselle said. “Like why do I have to apologize for anything?”

“I don’t think she asked you to apologize,” Clove said. “But we’re really trying to find this church full of nuns.”

“Hey,” Noel called from the back. “I see a church.”

Bruno shook his head. “My GPS from the imp doesn’t list a church there. It’s supposed to be around the block.”

They flew around the block, but there was no church.

“Are we in the right town?” Sierra asked.

“Do I look like an idiot?” Bruno said. “Silver Springs, em eye.”

“Michigan, okay.” Roxy shrugged. “Let’s go.”

*

The hackers worked diligently in the abandoned church, hoping to have their entire evil scheme completed at 3am on Christmas morning. The world would slowly wake up to the fact that they were in charge and begin to understand the futility of resistance. Soon the ransom money would flow into their offshore accounts or else worldwide energy grids would become dysfunctional.

“Utterly brilliant,” Hank said. “Pure mad genius.”

Hugh nodded. “Almost there. Hester?”

“Capturing Japan right now. Another few minutes.” Hester looked up and smiled.

“The best thing is that we stay undetected until we decide to show our strength,” Hank said. “It really–what’s that noise?”

Hester went to the window. “I don’t see anything, but I hear clomping on the roof.”

“You guys,” Hugh whispered, “look.”

Around the old stone fireplace the air began to shimmer and fill with sparkling snow. Through the fog, six reindeer materialized holding gift bags in their mouths and with more gifts piled on their backs. They gently deposited these around the fireplace as the hackers watched in stunned silence.

“Where’s your tree?” one reindeer asked.

Another one said, “You don’t look like proper nuns. Roxy, aren’t they supposed to be all girls?”

“That one’s a girl.” “What about those two?” “Where are all the churchy things?” “Are you sure this is right?” “Lemme see that list?” “This says em oh not em eye.” “What?” “Missouri!”

“SHUT UP!” Hank yelled, pulling out a gun.

One of the reindeer began to cry. “Noel, help!” “What am I supposed to do?” “Okay, I’m downloading the updates.”

“Maybe we should just shoot them,” Hester said.

Hugh shook his head. “They may be on the endangered list. We don’t want to call attention to ourselves. Let them just poof out of here the way they came.”

*

Retired Lieutenant Stan the Dogwalking Man was very grumpy about the fact that Lucky McMuttface insisted on going out to do his biz in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. Stan suspected it was due to all the scrummy treats people had been surreptitiously sneaking to Lucky when Stan wasn’t looking. As they walked past the abandoned church on Third Street, Stan heard yelling and crying inside, which wasn’t right. He immediately texted his old buddies down at the station house and a minute later the street was filled with police cruisers.

*

Back at the North Pole, on the day after Christmas, Santa congratulated everyone on another successful holiday. “And I want to give a particular shoutout to my newest team, headed by Bruno, who cleverly managed to foil a group of criminals. The Silver Springs police department is giving all six of you honorary badges.”

“Ooh badges!” Giselle exclaimed. “Noel, could you fasten mine please?”

Sierra rolled her eyes.

As Santa’s elves and reindeer headed off to the post-Christmas party, he said, “Hold on a minute, you lot.”

Ipad Imp batted his eyelashes. “Do you mean us?”

“Don’t you give me that phony innocent look,” Santa said. “I know you Norty Imps had something to do with that mess in Missouri. What happened to the stuff in the storeroom?”

The imps began fidgeting and giggling, earning them a glare from Santa. “Knew it! Spill the beans, Norties!”

The imps began making farty noises, as they always did when commanded to spill the beans. This sent them further into paroxysms of laughter. Santa growled and stomped his foot.

“I’m warning you!”

Ipad Imp held up his hands in mock surrender. He controlled his giggles and said, “We donated the norty gifts to the police officers gag gifts fundraiser. That nice retired cop thought it was hilarious!”

“One day you imps will go too far.” Santa shook his head. “But today… let’s party! Eggnog and cookies await us. Merry Christmas!”