Monthly Archives: September 2013

Travel theme: Through

I’m playing along once again with Ailsa’s weekly photography challenge, presented each Friday on Where’s my backpack? This is a collection of “through” photographs I’ve taken this year.

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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Challenges, Monday Mix, Photography



Lunchtime, April 15, 2006

photo“Hi, Dad! How’s your weekend going? You’re doing yard work? I’m not surprised—it’s a nice day for it. It’s been a long week here—if you’ve got time, I’ll fill you in.”


The Trifextra: Week Eighty-Six challenge was to create a 33-word time travel story, titling the piece with the time/date to which we have chosen to travel.


Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Challenges, Sunday Best



Sweet reward

100_1594Okay, so I’m motivated by chocolate

It’s been a long day. In fact, it’s been a long week.

Moving is not for the faint of heart. For the last twelve days, the hubby and I have been trying to make our house look like a home once more. The furniture is the easy part. It’s the little stuff that takes so long–is this the best cupboard for the coffee mugs, how should I organize the closet shelves, where should I hang this picture, should this knick-knack go in the living room or the bedroom, do we really need all these blankets?

I’m wiped.

The hubby took a well-deserved break from home-making this evening, going with a buddy to play poker. I could have taken the night off, too, either A) going along to the poker game, or B) curling up on the sofa with a book. But no, I opted to work three more hours after the hubby departed.

My actions were not completely altruistic.

I bought myself a Hershey bar during this afternoon’s grocery run.

You see, a Hershey bar slathered with Jif peanut butter, washed down with a cold glass of milk, is one of life’s greatest joys. If the promise of that gooey delight is dangled before me, I can be motivated to do all kinds of onerous tasks. So tonight’s three extra hours of shuffling “fluff” from one room to another flew by as thoughts of my sweet reward swirled in my head.

I figure half a dozen peanut buttery chocolate bars should be just about enough to inspire me to sort out my half of the office tomorrow.


Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Six Word Saturday, True Life


What the heart wants


As the evening breeze cooled the sweat on their bodies, Ali reached across Ryan’s chest with a contented sigh and pulled the corner of the blanket over them both.

With just a look, he could make her heart run wild, a power he’d held since his arrival on her daddy’s farm two years ago, yet in all that time Ryan had refused to acknowledge her lust or admit his own.

Until this afternoon, when the single cupcake Ali had carried to the barn to announce her eighteenth birthday had instantly dissolved his willpower—he’d grabbed her hand and an old horse blanket and pulled her through the fields until they were well away from the barn.

Now, as a shadow fell across her face, Ali realized more than the breeze had been rustling the barley around them. This was not the way she and Ryan had intended to inform her daddy of their new relationship.


Thought I’d take a stab at Five Sentence Fiction, a weekly challenge hosted by Lillie McFerrin. Her word of inspiration this week: “wild.” The photo and the sentences are mine.

five sentence fiction


Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks…

100B1311Question 259 (The Complete Book of Questions by Garry Poole)
What’s one of your favorite summer activities to do with family or friends?

In the summer, I love going to minor league baseball games with the hubby…it’s the best “summer” activity we do because it stretches from April through September! Great seats for little cash, steaming hot dogs, cold Coca-Cola, peanuts in the shell, better-than-average chances of catching a foul ball–it’s hard to beat minor league baseball for cheap thrills.

Before we moved overseas, we frequently went down to The Diamond to watch the Richmond Braves’ (triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta club) home games. Unfortunately, the Braves left Virginia the same year we did, and I feared that when we finally came back to the States to roost, our summer fun would be over. Luckily, the Flying Squirrels (double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) moved into the vacant stadium for the 2010 season and appear to be making themselves quite at home. There were only two weeks left in the Squirrels’ schedule when we returned to Virginia last month, and with everything else on our agendas, we weren’t able to get to The Diamond for any of their final home games. But it’s only six short months until opening day…and steaming hot dogs and cold Coca-Cola and peanuts in the shell and better-than-average chances of catching a foul ball.

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Deep Thought Thursday, On Me, True Life



The tale of the un-genki benki

broken benjo

I’ve always been a sucker for unique antiques. Anything unusual, in purpose or design, catches my eye. I like to imagine its history, its story, then envision ways I can repurpose it. So when I saw a hand-painted blue and white porcelain benki (squatty toilet) at an antique vendor’s stall in Japan, I just had to have it, even though I wasn’t yet sure whether it was going to become a planter or if my cat was going to have the world’s fanciest litter box.

When we got ready to move from Japan, I had the benki, encased in a plastic bag (it was once a toilet after all), stored in the spare room. When our belongings arrived at our next post in England, I expected to find the benki among the other miscellaneous junk I was unpacking from boxes that originated in the spare room. Imagine my surprise when I pulled it out of a box of dishes in the kitchen! I was incensed.

It was a Japanese toilet. The packers were Japanese. They pulled it out of the plastic bag before packing it, so they had to know what it was. People who change into completely different slippers when entering the bathroom so as not to contaminate their house slippers surely would not pack a toilet in the same box as dishes. What were they thinking? Did they think I didn’t know what it was, so I wouldn’t care that a toilet rode 5900 miles next to my dinner plates, separated only by a few thin layers of packing paper?

Apparently, even if it wasn’t hygienic, they knew what they were doing, because the benki arrived in England intact.

The packers in England, despite never having seen a benki, instinctively knew not pack a toilet with kitchen items. They wrapped it in bubble wrap all by itself. It went into a crate with boxes and furniture and a bike, and had no chance of contaminating my dinner plates on its 3600 mile journey to the US.

Apparently, even if it was hygienic, they did not know what they were doing, because the benki arrived in Virginia in pieces.

I am very sad. Not just because I now have neither a planter nor the world’s fanciest litter box. I’m sad because I equate buying antiques to rescuing unwanted pets from an animal shelter. When I choose a piece and make it mine, I become its guardian, its voice, its guarantee of continued existence. I once held a very unique piece of Japanese porcelain in my hands, prepared to show off its beauty and tell its story to an audience on a whole new continent, and I failed to protect it. I feel as guilty as I would if a cat I adopted ran out into the street and got hit by a car.


Posted by on September 18, 2013 in True Life, What's She On About?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

100_1189"Bad weather always looks worse through a window." ~Tom Lehrer

We only had one day of un-sunny weather on our seven-day transatlantic crossing last month. On that day, I was trapped inside as the upper decks were closed due to strong winds. I took this photo of, ironically, a windbreak through the sea spray that had collected on the glass pane of the door to the forward observation area on Deck 11.


Check out more entries in the Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post.