Monthly Archives: September 2015

5 Steps to Becoming Very, Very Frustrated

UPSwamp(Plus 2 things to do next, and 5 steps to actually deal with the problem.)

1. Decide it’s time to clean things up.

2. Realize you’ve got a lot of old papers with information that could be useful for ID theft; get a shredder.

(Step one and step two can be done weeks or months ahead of time.)

3. Shred and shred and shred and shred until the shredder bag is full.

4. Take the bag out of the shredder.

5. Spill a small mountain of paper shreds out of the bottom of the bag. Realize the bag is torn wide open.


What to do next:

1. Stare at the ripped bag in horror. State at the pile of shredded paper in more horror. Stare at the bag – you know, the torn one with equally large holes top and bottom; that bag – some more.

2. Take yourself off to look at email and funny cat pictures for half an hour, until you cheer up and your sinuses recover from the dust of sixty-year-old paper.

And finally,

1. Come back and stuff the torn bag into another nice big bag.

2. Scoop handsfuls of shredded paper into the new bag until you can’t pick up any more.

3. Tie the bag shut and put it with the recycling.

4. Get a broom and a dust pan (because you already know a vacuum cleaner won’t do a good job picking up shredded paper; you’ve tried) and sweep up the rest of the mess.

5. Grumble as needed throughout this process.


(This is Day 4 of Five Photos, Five Stories – also, it’s part of the Hundred Day Cleanup.)

Surprises everywhere (5 Photos, 5 Stories – Day 3)

TrikeRearViewJust an ordinary day and an ordinary trip for groceries. And there it was.

TrikeLicensePlateThe state of New Jersey thinks it’s a motorcycle…

TrikeFrontView…but I say it’s a tricycle. Either that, or a Transformer.

Pilgrims (Five Photos, Five Stories – Day 2)

pilgrims03A short night in sleeping bags on the floors all over an unfamiliar building. A cloudy morning. They don’t care – they’re off to see the Pope!

(Pope Francis spent this past weekend in Philadelphia, just across the river. Saturday night, my church provided midnight cookies, sleeping bag space, and a pancake breakfast for about 150 pilgrims; I’m told the Lutherans put up about 75 more from the same group. Very nice people, very happy, mostly young – which was just as well, because they were going to hike about halfway across Philly to get to the Papal Mass that they were looking forward to.)

What I Will Not See Again

201505WisteriaNext spring, I will not see these flowers.

201505WisteriaBeeI won’t hear the roar of the bees as they race to drain every drop of nectar from the wisteria.

201505HouseWithWisteriaIt will bloom here, on my mother’s back porch, but I no longer have any business wandering behind the house to see it.

This is my first post for “Five Photos Five Stories” – with a thank you to Jo Bryant of Chronicles of Illusions.

The Rules are as follows..

Here are the rules for the “Five Photos Five Stories” challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.
(Sporadic posting is alright if you’re unable to post each day.)

I’m going to modify the rules a little, though; instead of waiting to be nominated, if you’re intrigued by the idea or need a little push to get your blogging in motion, feel free to join in!


Wordless Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Fall Tanka – September 22, 2015

Summer. Gone so fast.
We wear long sleeves; we don’t swim.
No beach, no peaches.

We cursed your heat, but don’t feel
Hurt, summer; soon we’ll hate cold.

Friday Fictioneers – Safety

Just a touch of horror here – maybe zombies, or maybe fantasies running wild. It’s your decision…

Anyway, please let me know what you think of my story. It’s just 100 words long, and inspired by the photo below. Want more? Visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ site and you’ll find all sorts of tiny stories, all starting from this picture –


Nowadays people believe in good solid walls, solid enough to hold the monsters – the infected ones who used to be people – outside where they belong. Safety first, especially when you have kids.

But walls wear out. Sometimes you have to work extra for money to fix them. Megan hurried downstairs, finished at last, and found little Hannah peeking through one of the rusted-out holes. She grabbed the child. Hannah struggled to get back to her peephole.

“Want to see!” Were the eyes and the tiny voice changing already? Megan’s heart broke. She knew she could never trust her daughter again.


Wordless Wednesday September 16, 2015


Friday Fictioneers – Reflections

Another Friday Fictioneers short-short story. Believe me, 100 words is short; I always start out over the limit. This time, though, I trimmed it down to less than a hundred words, and I think it’s a better story as a result.

Don’t forget to go over to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ site, read the stories other people wrote based on this week’s picture, and – if you want to – post one of your own. The more the merrier.

But first, please read my version and let me know what you think of it!


Didja ever wonder what’s behind windows – you know, inside? I walk down this street pretty near every day, and I wonder. That one up there’s extra hard to figure out, what with the curtains and the reflections.

And it’s probably different now. No telling what’s in there. Not me. And for sure not my clothes, not since she threw them all outa that window. She always was trouble to get along with. Course, she said I was the one who was trouble.

Wait, she did the same thing to you?

And I always thought I was special.


Wordless Wednesday-for-another-hour, September 2, 2015