If We Were Having Coffee… 1/20/19

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If we were having coffee I would invite you in quickly, to get you out of the cold. Snow and blustery winds have made this a good weekend to stay in with a warm beverage. This snow storm was a bit unexpected, it was supposed to track further north and spare us. Instead we got about 6 inches of snow and way more sleet and ice than I am comfortable with. My kids are loving it. I am staying inside where it is warm and I have everything I need (phone, laptop, netflix, treadmill).

If we were having coffee we would have much to talk about. It has been awhile since we’ve seen each other! I’ve not been keeping up with my coffee dates, so sorry. We would chat about work and the kids. It is funny how so much time can pass but the conversations feel the same.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how I am so thankful for this 3 day weekend. There is no work tomorrow because of MLK Jr. day. It is such a relief that I have an extra day to relax. And to give the crews time to make the roads safe to travel.  The peace of mind I have knowing I do not have to drive tomorrow is huge.

If we were having coffee I would also tell you that my favorite season is upon us… cadbury mini egg season! They are in the stores! Our stores still have the disappointing tiny bags but I know the big bags are coming soon. Cadbury came out with these new shimmer eggs. Pretty, but they taste exactly the same (which is awesome, of course). Dear Cadbury people, work on having mini eggs on the shelf year-round rather than introducing these new gimmicks.

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Until our next coffee date, I leave you with a picture of my younger daughter whole-heartedly enjoying her snow day. She is going to kill it on the slopes next month.

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Weekend coffee share is hosted by Alli over at Eclectic Alli. Join in and have some coffee with the other participants here.

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Bombs away

” Battle stations stat! Weapons ready!”

It was near. They could hear it sidling, tentacles rustling along the ground. It suddenly came into view as it let out a low, otherwordly, groan.

“Fire!” They shot at the creature but it shrieked and raised up, doubling in size.

Wide-eyed, the battalion scrambled. “We need more power! Get the bomb! Get the bomb! Throw it!”

Bobby closed his eyes and lobbed the bomb at the beast.

********

Mother came running at the sound of shattering glass.

“My door!” She glared at the three sheepish boys.

They would rather take their chances with the alien.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Written for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Check out the other 100-word nuggets of fiction here.

 

Jar of Regrets

 

In the quiet, empty house, Michael read the notes with growing dread.

He had never appreciated the jar exercise. Just another silly thing the marriage therapist suggested. Jill had faithfully poured her heart out on the colorful scraps of paper and stuffed the jar full. Michael never understood it and he never read them.

Until now.

The notes in the bottom of the jar were lengthy and hopeful, conveying wishes and needs and things Michael didn’t know. The notes scattered on the table were curt and agitated, obviously more recent.

The last paper he read said it all: DONE. GOODBYE.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Priya Bajpal

Written for Friday Fictioneers, thanks to our lovely host Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. See the other 100-word stories here.

 

Waiting

For the Just Jot It January challenge.  Today’s prompt, Memento, comes from Tara at Daisy Smiley Face.

 

My day will come, I know it.

I’ve been here so long,

waiting patiently.

She used to hold me lovingly,

touch me with great care.

Those days long past were mostly good,

but there were also tears.

Can’t have one without the other, it seems.

She will come back to me.

Her favorite momento,

I wait for her to want me,

to need me,

to get lost in the memories that I hold.

 

 

The house that 2018 built

You don’t know how many times I have thought that I should just quit this blog.  It has been an embarrassingly long time since my last post. As the months roll by, it gets harder and harder to motivate myself to create new content. Easier to just give up, right? Kind of like exercising… but I’m trying to get back to that, too.

The new year is always a good time to evaluate and prioritize with fresh eyes and renewed spirit. I can’t promise 2019 will be any different than 2018, but for at least today I feel like I have a clean slate.

I’m not sure exactly where the wheels came off last year in terms of my blog. I think life just gets busy. My head gets cluttered, my anxiety increases. One of my daughters started high school in the fall. Man, did that blow up my schedule. Marching band ensured that we had no free weekends between mid-August and the beginning of November. She had her first Homecoming which required dress and shoe shopping and a very busy day of (between band duties at parade/game and transformation for the dance). My younger daughter started middle school last fall. Much like with the older, it has been an adjustment. I’m not sure why 5th grade is the seventh circle of hell, but it 100% is. The school, the teachers, the kids, the hormones, the attitude – sucky, all of it.

We also cut our cable last spring, becoming one of those streaming-only households. For the most part, I love it. However, I think it is bad for my writing. Before, with live tv, I would just turn it off when there was nothing on. Now, between netflix, hulu, and amazon prime, there is always something on. More content than I can probably watch in my lifetime. I have discovered more tv series and movies and have binged, binged, binged. Eight seasons of Shameless? Yes! Eight seasons of Weeds? Absolutely! Rewatch Schitt’s Creek for the umpteenth time? Bring it on! I’ve also abandoned radio and switched to podcasts during my (long) commute. With radio, I could daydream and build plots and characters in my mind. The podcasts keep me focused and engaged. Again, bad for my writing but wonderful for my entertainment (and makes me hate my commute much less). I have 60 podcasts on rotation, but my favorites are Lore, The Moth, My Favorite Murder, This Podcast Will Kill You, and Pod Save America.

Basically everything brewed into a perfect storm that obliterated my already-shaky writing routine. I doubt I can reduce my podcasts, but I vow to work on my netflix addiction. Oh, and I have to teach my daughter to drive. She gets her permit in 7 weeks. I’m planning a ski trip in 6 weeks. It is girl scout cookie season. This is why I make no promises for this blog.

Best wishes and warmest regards for 2019 (seriously, if you haven’t seen Schitt’s creek, you really should). Hope to see you soon.

I’ll leave you with my #topnine #bestnineof 2018

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Up All Night

 

Did you know that if you go without sleep long enough that you could hallucinate?

I actually did already know that before this weekend. Having two children, I have went through the newborn phase (and the sleeplessness that comes with it) twice. When my second daughter was a baby, I hallucinated so much that I thought my house was haunted. Being that my daughters are 14 and 9, though, those hazy days are far behind me. I’m also much older. My old bones love sleep, crave it even. I can’t tolerate sleep deprivation like I used to.

This past Friday night, I took my daughters and a group of friends to an overnight lock-in at a local university recreation center. I had twelve girls total ranging in age from 8 to 14 ( I know, I promise I’m not crazy). It was an awesome time with an agenda that included swimming, crafts, zumba, basketball, volleyball, soccer, racquetball, wall-climbing, movies, and a self defense class. There was no enforced “lights out” (though there was a “quiet room” for those that wanted to get some rest – and I use the term “quiet” pretty loosely) so the girls were allowed to have free reign of the place all night. We ate pizza at 11pm and we had doughnuts at 4am. Check out time was 6am.

Some of our girls did lay down and rest for a couple of hours. Several of the girls (my two included) stayed up all night. I stayed up as well, since I was responsible for these girls. Not one wink of sleep was had.

The hardest hours were between 2am and 4am. It was hard to concentrate and my brain felt “buzzy.” I had to wander the gym to keep myself awake. The sugar infusion at 4am helped quite a bit. Of course, at 6am I had to drive home and the cold air gave me a jolt. Due to unfortunate scheduling, we had another event Saturday morning until 2pm. So, all told, I was awake about 36 hours straight. I woke up here and there between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, each time confused and disoriented. I would see and hear things that I would promptly forget when I awoke again. I had no idea what was reality and what my addled brain had invented. That time has been sucked into the abyss of “the lost hours.”

Sadly, I had more to contend with than just exhaustion. It turns out that kids can really wind themselves up for such an event, but they eventually come crashing down. Hard. And their over-tiredness turns them into cranky monsters. They were difficult (at best) Saturday and Sunday and my well of patience was bone dry. Let’s just say it’s a good thing they are cute.

By Sunday afternoon/evening, we all felt more human. They turned back into normal children and my senses/memory became more reliable. Here in the bright light of Monday afternoon, my brain synapses are firing like it never happened. Though that doesn’t mean that I will be signing up for another all-nighter anytime soon.

 

photo by Unsplash

The Lost Branches

I hit enter and watched the little leaves pop onto my screen.

I did the DNA testing to learn about my ancestry. Just out of curiosity, really. Now I was staring at several names – not-that-distant relatives – that I had never heard of.

The next day, grandma held the printout in her weathered hands. A scowl crossed her face as she scanned the names. I waited eagerly to hear the stories that I could see dancing through her mind.

“Ah, yes,” she muttered. “That’s Beulah and her kin.”

“And…?” I prodded.

“Sometimes the family tree just needs some pruning,” she spat.

 

100 words

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Let’s Think Positive!

Reasons why my day is going better than a trip to the dentist (AKA Let’s think positive!)…

Sunshine after days of gray and gloom. It’s still cold, though..

A relatively quiet work day so far after being stupid busy yesterday

Taco Tuesday

I’m making friends with my new-to-me car. It’s my husband’s car. I’ve started driving it in an effort to save money on my costly commute. It’s a hybrid. A Honda CRZ to be exact. It’s a bit like driving a tic tac box but it is red and zippy.

I have plans tonight and will conveniently miss the State of the Union address. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t watch that trainwreck even if my calendar was as empty as Trump’s brain. But at least I have a legitimate excuse to not tune in.

My plans tonight involve High School Information night for incoming freshmen. Yes, my almost-14-year-old daughter will be in high school in the fall. There will be registration packets and loads of information about curriculum, grading, graduation requirements, scholarships, transcripts, summer school, standardized testing, etc. Doesn’t that sound like fun?! I’ve already received her fall marching band schedule which has thrown a gigantic wrench into my weekend free time (what free time?) in September and October. And I just know I’m going to get roped into the Band Parents Association. I don’t think I’m ready for any of this. Wait… I think I feel a cavity coming on…

 

Written for Daily Prompt

Work in Progress

This is the wonderful business opportunity? You can’t be serious.” Arms crossed, Maria wrinkled her nose in disgust at the dilapidated building.

“I know she needs some TLC…,” Mike began, mind reeling with potential.

“Our car can fit through the gaping hole in the wall! And that terrace is a death trap!”

Mike used his charm. “I was in rough shape when you found me. You took a chance and that turned out okay, right?”

Her eyes softened. “I guess,” she joked, “but you’re still a work in progress.”

Mike patted the wall and whispered, “Let’s get you fixed up.”

 

Word count: 100

PHOTO CREDIT: Sandra Crook

Happy weekend! This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.