Thursday, May 23, 2019

Frame: A Six Sentence Story

She was more than a little irritated when the doorbell rang just as the maids were serving the soup course, and when the butler led the two men, both dressed in overcoats and hats in an effort to ward of the damp chill of the night, directly into the dining room, her irritation was obvious.

The two men approached her where she was seated at the head of the elegantly appointed table as the butler hovered near the door, and as they drew nearer to her, conversations around the table hushed and spoons were held in mid-air.

"Mrs. Woodruff, I'm Detective Harris," said the taller of the two men, "and I'm here to inform you that you are under arrest for the murder of one Mr. Clark Farley."

She looked into his face, frowning slightly as she struggled to comprehend his words, while around the table, each of her guests sat, frozen, their soup forgotten. She pulled her eyes from his and slowly turned them on her dinner guests, moving from one to the other, until her eyes rested on the only person at the table who was still cheerfully spooning up broth, seemingly oblivious to the drama unfolding in the room, and her mouth dropped open as her eyes widened.

"You," she hissed as Detective Harris took her by the elbow and began leading her towards the door, "you framed me," as the sound of her heels clicking slowly across the floor was replaced by the gentle clink of a silver spoon against fine china and the soft slurp of soup as it was being happily consumed.

Linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge's Blog for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "frame"

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Watery Thankfuls Plus A Few Others

It's still Sunday (barely), so, without fanfare, here are my Ten Things of Thankful:

1. Tuesday was a rocky night. We had severe thunderstorms all afternoon and evening, and those spawned tornadoes. Welcome to spring in Tornado Alley! Fortunately for us, the tornadoes skirted around us, and we got nothing more than gallons and gallons of rainfall, high winds, and lots of lightning and thunder. 

2. Okay, so others weren't so lucky. So far, the National Weather Service has confirmed there were 26 tornadoes in southwest Missouri. Fortunately, there were no deaths, and while there was damage to homes and businesses, the tornadoes went through mostly rural areas that were not very populated.

3. Mother's Day programs at preschool were this week. I'd like to say no one cried, no one threw up and no one wet their pants, but I would be lying. I can say no one threw up and no one wet their pants, so two out of three ain't bad.

4. My terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad kittens made a gigantic mess in the living room Wednesday night while I was trying to write my Six Sentence Story for the week. One broken snowglobe, one shattered picture frame, much glycerin water, glitter and glass all over the wood floor, and one very displaced tablecloth later, I was able to turn the whole fiasco into a pretty decent Six Sentence Story that you can read right here.

Part of the carnage was MY PICTURE.

5. My husband fished off the dock today and caught this:

Check out the size.
And check out how FREAKING CREEPY it is.

We have fished in this lake my entire life and never before has anyone caught anything that looked like it, so I posted it on Facebook to see if anyone could identify it. My childhood friend Nancy said it was a fish. We all need more friends like Nancy....

6. My son, another friend's husband, and my cousin all came back with sculpin, which I never heard of before. We all need more friends (and relatives) like them, too, especially since I was wondering if this creature was actually a sign of the apocalypse.

7. My daughter said it looked like the baby version of the creature from "Shape Of Water," which was EXACTLY what I had been thinking. Great minds....

8. When there is heavy rain in the area, it eventually finds its way into the area lakes. That happened this week. Several years ago, the water made it into my parents' lake house, and this was not a good thing. We kept an eye on the lake levels all week (I'm really good at sandbagging, but it's not something I ENJOY being good at), and glory, glory, the Corps of Engineers kept the water from rising too high! The forecast for this next week is for thunderstorms and heavy rain....

9. The lake upstream from our lake is so full, they have had to run water over the floodgates of the dam. When the flooding was very, very bad several years ago, they had all ten floodgates open as far as they could go, which is 3 feet, I believe, with over 70,000 cubic feet per second going over the dam (that equals nearly 539,000 gallons per second). There are only 5 floodgates open currently, and they are only open a foot each. That's just over 5,000 cfs, which is still enough to be impressive. My dad and I drove to the dam to see it:

The view from the south side of the dam.
I don't know the official name for this road
and lookout, but it used to be knows as
Lawn Chairs and was a party place

Me and my daddy

This is from, kind of obviously, below the dam
next to the fish hatchery. The water is loud
as it pounds over the dam. It's 200 feet from
the bottom to the top here.

This is from the Table Rock Lake side of the dam.
The water is 200 feet deep right here. Well,
more than that, or it wouldn't be going over
the floodgates (which you can't seen from
this side, as the openings are underwater).

10. A bird has built a perfect little nest in the wreath on the front door of the lake house. It is fortunate for this bird that we don't use that door and instead use the one in the carport. I got a chance to peek in the nest and count 6 eggs when I looked through the blinds and mama birdie saw me and FREAKED out, zooming out of the nest and into a nearby tree. She's getting a little more used to me peering at her through the blinds, and she doesn't fly away, but she does give me the stink eye. I'm pretty sure she's a house finch, and it's going to be pretty cool to see those six babies hatch, even though I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of bird poo to wash off the door by the time they all fly away.

Six little eggs.

If you look closely, you can see
mama birdie glaring at me.

Always count your thankfuls.

Ten Things of Thankful

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Stable: A Six Sentence Story

I was sitting in my room in my big, comfy chair, working on this week's Six Sentence Story (a tale about Joseph and Mary being told the only place to stay was the stable, and let me tell you, Mary was NOT happy), when there was a tremendous crash from downstairs.

"Those kittens are HORRIBLE," my husband said from across the room as I got up to see what they possibly could have done to make that big of a noise; Nora Pearl, formerly Dammit Nora until the addition of two VERY BAD kittens to our family, making anything she did in the past look amateurish, followed me downstairs.

Finn and Lewis were innocently lying on the floor just inside the living room; I didn't buy their act for a second as I walked into the room and found what appeared to be a magic trick gone horribly wrong. Where there was once an antique walnut table draped with a lace table cloth and with three framed photographs on it, along with an Easter snowglobe and a stone rabbit, there was now a completely bare table. The table cloth was on the arm of the couch next to it, the snowglobe was on its side on the floor, the globe broken and glycerin water, glitter, and glass shards strewn about the wood floor, and the photographs were on the floor, one of them with shattered glass; the stone rabbit sat on the floor, unscathed, and said nothing.

"DAMMIT, YOU TWO!" I yelled as I began the clean up process, wiping up the water, picking up shards of glass, vacuuming the glitter, checking the photos for damage, repeatedly removing all three cats from the scene of the crime, Finn and Lewis looking SHOCKED and AMAZED at the devastation; but innocent though they tried to be, the rabbit and I exchanged glances and Nora looked smug: we all knew the truth, and that was that these kittens are not only lousy magicians, they are the NAUGHTIEST CATS I'VE EVER OWNED IN MY LIIIIIIIFE!!!

Bare naked table. Not supposed to be that way.

Dead snowglobe. Can you SEE all
the glitter on the floor?

Under the table. At least the floor
lamp remained upright.


Finn surveying the damage, like he's
NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE. That piece of lace
is the tablecloth. Yes, that's exactly where
I found it. I wasn't wrong about the magic trick....

Lewis pretending to be worried.

Table put back, EMPTY this time,
while Nora and Lewis inspect my
clean-up job.

Linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge's Blog for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "stable"

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sinks Are Not Just For Washing And Other Thankfuls

I gave myself a week off from the Ten Things of Thankful last weekend, not because there was nothing to be thankful for, because we know there always is, but because I was just plain ol' lazy. So there. I threw my own self under the bus.

Here's this week's list:

1. Fresh, clean sheets on the bed. 

2. Having help putting the fresh, clean sheets on the bed from not one, not two, but three cats. Why not take a five minute process and turn it into twenty minutes of cats under the sheets, cats over the sheets, one under and one over, wrestling with each other, all three between the mattress and the fitted sheet? It's FUN....

3. Dual uses for sinks.

Nora Pearl


4. Seeing my preschoolers outside of preschool. Saturday, as part of my other gig at the photo studio, I was working at a girls' softball league photo shoot. One of my favorite preschoolers was there with his older sister, and the look on his face when he saw me was priceless! 

5. Seeing former preschoolers anywhere and getting hugs. At the same photo shoot, I saw over half a dozen former preschoolers, ranging in age from 5 to 15. I so love watching them grow up!

6. I found a necklace I have been looking for for AGES. It was a single pearl on a gold chain. The pearl came from a pin and earring set my grandpa brought back to my mom from Japan in the 1950s. My mom never really cared for it, but she kept it tucked away in her jewelry box, and when I was in college, she had the pearls from the pin made into some other jewelry. She gave me this necklace and a pair of pearl stud earrings made from the original pin set, and somehow, I've managed to keep track of them ever since. That is, I kept track of them until I let my daughter wear the necklace for something (it's been so long ago I don't even remember what it was. Prom, maybe? Two years ago?!). I was trying to straighten up her room (a futile attempt) and glanced at her dresser and there, in a plastic shoe box with a bunch of bracelets, hair ties, and other jewelry, WAS MY PEARL NECKLACE! I am THRILLED!

7. I also found a t-shirt in my daughter's room that I didn't even realize I was missing until I found it wadded up on the floor. 

8. And a gold bracelet that has been missing since high school days. Every time I would ask for it, she would say something vague about it being in her backpack yet never produced it. I was checking the pockets of purses I was picking up off the floor and putting away, throwing out trash and hoping to find money (I didn't), and inside one of them was the bracelet. You may now see why we have always said she was part raccoon....

9. Really good doughnuts.

10. Sleeping with the windows open. Our window of opportunity (no pun intended) for this is very small. We go from spring to full on, hot, humid summer by the first of June, and it lasts until late September, but while it lasts, open window weather is a delight!

In everything, give thanks.

Ten Things of Thankful

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Memory: A Six Sentence Story

My keys disappeared.
My grocery list's gone.
Where my glasses are, I do not know.

I can't find my phone.
Left my jacket at work.
Oh, where did my memory go?

Linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge's Blog for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "memory"

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Point: A Six Sentence Story

"Tell me," he whispered gently into her ear, his breath hot and laced with whiskey and cigarettes. He stood behind her, holding her close to his hard body, and she closed her eyes, her lips parting for a brief moment before she shook her head almost imperceptibly.

He held her tighter, stroking her hair, and still, she remained silent.

She heard him sigh with disappointment, taking his hand from her hair a moment before she heard the soft click and felt the point of a knife against her throat, barely touching her at first, then becoming more insistent as she stood there, knees shaking, heart pounding.

"Tell me where you hid it, or I'm going to draw a pretty picture on your pretty little neck, from here" - and he touched the knife point to one side of her neck - "to here" - and he lightly touched the knife to the other side of her neck - "and I won't stop until I get an answer."

Her voice sounded far away and foreign to her own ears as she spat back, "Go ahead and kill me; you'll never get your answer that way," and she heard the knife drop to the floor.

Linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge's Blog for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "point"

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart

This week, we had hot, humid, windy days (80+ degrees, which is high for early April, low for June, but since it's April, then high) and then freeze warnings, icy cold rain, and even some snow. Wheee, doggies!  Makes me miss living in Ventura, where the weather was so predictable: pleasant, pleasant, rain, mudslides, pleasant, June gloom, warm, warm, warm, Santa Ana winds and wildfires, pleasant, pleasant. 

The silver lining to this cold, wet weather is that the grass is greening and the leaves are popping and the flowers are blooming, and in a month, we're going to be hot and sweaty.

Now on to the thankfuls:

1. We took advantage of one of the hot, sunny days to try a project at preschool that my assistant teacher Melissa found on Pinterest. The kids traced the shadows of zoo animals onto paper for "Z" week. The wind was a problem, as it kept blowing the giraffes over, but all in all, it was a success, especially for the first time we tried it. Here they are, hard at work:

2. A week or so ago, my kids got to use their watercolors to paint these spring flowers. They LOVE to watercolor, and they turned out so well that I hung them out in the hallway:

When I arrived at school Monday morning, I found this note taped to my door from a member of the congregation of the church where our preschool is located:

I'm touched that someone cared enough to post us a note, and I'm leaving it up there FOREVER, or until we take the pictures down!

3. Look at this sammich. Don't you wish you could take a big ol' bite of it right now? Melissa and I went out to lunch this week. We don't get a chance to do that very often, as we both have busy lives once we leave preschool for the day, but when we do, we do it right!

This is the Your Mom sammich from Tropicana,
if you ever find yourself in Joplin. And if
you do, call me and I'll join you here.

4. Homemade pizza.

5. Homemade banana bundt cake.

6. Leftover pizza and bundt cake for breakfast.

(Guess what I made this week....)

7. Umm, I'm thankful he kept his tail dry?

Nora is inside the shower as the water
runs and warms up enough for me to get
in, which is our every day routine.
Lewis has decided to join her but can't
get all the way in, because Nora isn't
budging, knowing the sweet spot to
play with the water yet not get soaked.

8.THIS GUY! This is my children's favorite teacher of all time. He came down with flu-like symptoms and was taking medication, then began having difficulty breathing and was taken to the ER and on to the ICU. He was diagnosed with severe fungal double pneumonia. Long story short, after 27 days in the hospital, nearly all of them in the ICU, he posted a message on Facebook! He's still got a long recovery ahead of him, but GLORY HALLELUJAH, my heart has been bursting with happiness to hear from him! You won't find a student, past or present (along with parents and co-workers), who does not love, respect and admire this man. Extra thanks to his wife for keeping everyone updated with his condition, and continued prayers for Chris, along with his wife and daughter. 

4 years ago, when I helped Chris
move his stuff into the new high school
that was built after the tornado
blew away the original one.

9. The last one counted for two, at least.

10. In spite of the freeze warning, it really is spring!

Give thanks with a grateful heart!

Ten Things of Thankful