Monthly Archives: October 2014

Travel Theme – Autumn

Ah, yes. Autumn. When else would the house next door look like this??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, all right. I only traveled about twenty feet (forty feet? – I’m not good at estimating distances) to take this picture. But, in the right lighting, it’s reasonably scary. So there. 😉



Wordless Wednesday – October 22, 2014


Friday Fictioneers – Shell Game

Another super-short story inspired by the photo below. Want to see what other people made of the same picture? Here’s your chance. And, if you want to, add your interpretation!

still-life-with-dougShell Game

“So your husband sold these?”

“Oh, yes. Mounted collections. He was so proud of his finds – these are really rare shells, you know.”

“Uh-huh. Pretty pricey?”

“Well, yes. They had to be. His expenses were so high.”

“Uh-huh.” The policeman headed for the next room, and she trailed after. “Lots of equipment in here.”

“You need all sorts of computer stuff to run a business these days.”

“Printing invoices and stuff?” She nodded. “Who uses a three-d printer for invoices?”

“That? That’s just a hobby.”

“Profitable hobby. We’ll have to test these shells, but I bet they turn out to be plastic.”


“Fakes. Nice job programming that printer, though.”

* * *

Please let me know what you think of this story!


Wordless Wednesday October 15, 2014


Forced off track

UPSwampOne of the really useful tools for getting organized is the list. You know – lists of things to do, or lists of things to do later but not right now thank you because other things need to be done first, or lists of your favorite types of pizza…I’m good at getting off track. Let’s see, where’s my list of things to do on Sunday October 12 – oh, yes, write a post.

But sometimes the list abandons you, or you’re forced to abandon it. For instance, yesterday I was supposed to be busy most of the day making sure a book sale went smoothly. It’s a big deal, most years – my town closes about half the length of the main street to fill it with booths for authors and publishers and people selling food and used books, and schedules workshops for would-be writers and readers – and meanwhile, my church (which is on the main street) fills our front lawn with tables loaded with used books to sell.

Last Monday, all was well. Tuesday, the weather forecast called for rain all day Friday but okay weather Saturday. Wednesday, rain Friday afternoon and night. You can see where this is going. Sure enough, what really happened was that the rain started late Friday night and didn’t stop until the middle of Saturday afternoon.

Instead of making sure the sale ran smoothly, I spent Friday afternoon and evening phoning everyone who had promised to help and warning them there probably wouldn’t be any sale. Come Saturday morning, I was busy fielding phone calls from people who got up, looked out their windows, and wanted to be really really sure they didn’t need to come out and get soaked.

When you make plans and commit to them, you never know what might happen to destroy your best intentions. It might snow; you might get sick; a family member might get sick; there could be an earthquake, or a fire, or…well, fill in the blanks. The world is full of disasters large and small.

So lists are useless, right? Not so fast. Sure, you often wind up having to change plans and improvise. But not always. And it’s a lot easier to improvise if your lists helped you keep other parts of your life sorted out. Even I know that much.

Time to make my “stuff to do Monday” list. See you tomorrow.

A rhyming grumble

If summer weather stays late, we’re glad.
November in October, sad.
Dark noon, low clouds, wet feet, cold ears –
Enough! We need some tropics here.

*  *  *

It’s been a miserable day. Cough.


…is what WordPress wants to see this week. Romantic, maybe a little strange.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaybe a little like this.

Staying out of the quicksand

UPSwampAlmost a week and a half ago, I signed myself up with Write31Days to write a post every day during October – partly to get myself back in the habit of daily posting after a very sparse ten months. Write 31 Days asks you to choose a category for your posts, and since I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to make my life less chaotic, I picked “Simplicity and Organizing.” It seemed to make sense at the time.

Posting something every day still makes sense to me. Posting something daily about being organized? Not so much. I’ve tried to organize myself many times, and one of the ways I get off track and wind up lost deep in the swamp is that I spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing.

But to write a post, you have to think about your topic. Every day, you need to come up with something new and different; it’s not acceptable – it’s not interesting – to say “Well, I’m still testing the idea of organizing one room at a time, so I’ll just repost what I said about that yesterday.”

It’s time to back off a little. When I have something to say about organizing.  about things that work and about total failures, I’ll put up a post about that. (Maybe I’ll even plan to eventually write a total of thirty-one posts on the subject.) When I’m continuing to work on draining the swamp and either chasing the alligators out or giving them chores to do, I’ll write  – or post pictures – about something else.

Just call me a mutineer. Arrrgh.


Wordless Wednesday – October 8, 2014


ONE little triumph!

UPSwampAt last. For months, I’ve been sorting through the papers my mother left – everything from more than two hundred years worth of deeds to the family farm to old shopping lists.

And tonight, I’m finished. Some of it (*cough* deeds *cough*), I plan to keep. Most of it has been recycled. And I’m done. One piece of my life is organized.