Monday, July 15, 2013

A Conversation Worth Listening To

We need to have more honest conversations like this. We need to stop being coy about the impact of racism on our society and speak candid honestly like this.  All the blather about someone using the "N" word 30 years ago is a way to pretend we are dealing with our deep-seated bigotry and it's impact on the people who are on the receiving end of it. It's pretend doing something Conversations like this can actually change people. Or at least that's my opinion.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I know I said I would be back soon.  I meant it, but somehow it was easier to STOP posting than to start back up.  Guess I'm still not ready, but I thought this was very funny and makes a good point at the same time.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Self Esteem and Other Things


I WILL leap back into the void and do Wordzzles again soon. I have just needed a break. I've been obsessed (without entirely knowing it) with the parole hearing for the boy (now a man) who murdered my older sister. It's over. He was denied. He will have another hearing two years from now, but for the moment it is resolved.

I hate sharing commercials and I don't particularly like Dove as a product, but I think this ad is PROFOUND so I'll give them some free advertising (not that many people visit these days. I imagine even the faithful few have given up the ghost). Still. I want to share it because I think it's really thought provoking.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The First Lady Speaks

I so admire this woman.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Taking a Break

Well, since I never came back to finish up last week's exercises and it's 9:00 PM and I haven't done anything this week, I think perhaps a wee break is in order. Not sure when I'll be back. Maybe next week or the week after or in April.

My apologies.

UPDATE:  Of course on the week that I decide to quit for a while, someone else had planned to participate. I received this in my email from Gabrielle at Wild Goose Scoops Moon.   It's a tribute to Le Chat, Henri of You Tube fame and I think it's quite brilliant. For those who have missed it, here's a link to Paw de Deux.


J’entend les mots
Du chat Henri
What is this life
But rank ennui?

A bald cadence
Where obsessions reign
Stupid, ancient
Glorious ,vain.

Of gross demeanor
Futile now as
Hearts grow leaner

The knife is sharp
The keys are flat
According to
One weary cat

Why all this bother
To salivate
Cold fish again
Predictably late.

A frizzed red ribbon
Catnip filled mice
Glittery balls
Meant to entice

Charisma, swag
So overrated
Moi, je prefere
What’s understated
But I grow tired
Of all this rhyme
Perpetual  iamb
And metered time

The languid rays
Of morning light
Disturb a nap
Bring back the night!

J’entend les mots
Du chat Henri
The stars go darK

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 236

Late again. I seem to be losing my enthusiasm for the task. Maybe it's winter blahs. I've posted the mega and the mini and will finish the 10-word after I have some supper... or tomorrow.  Sorry about my blahs and the weary heart of a lonely wordzzler.

Words for this week's 10-word challenge:  ennui, stars, salivate, charisma, perpetual, stupid, measurement, triangle, obsession, bother  And for the mini: gross, glorious, red ribbon, keys, sharp

My mega: 

Call it jealousy, but it really bothered her. Lucinda Jones could not understand for the life of her how that gross, odious and incredibly stupid woman Gracie - who went by the stage name Charisma and alternately (and perpetually) sang both sharp and flat, but never actually on key - had managed to find her way onto The Stars Have It and even to make it past some other contestants to the "red ribbon" phase of the competition. Ridiculous, unless "it" was a penchant for pretentiously overdone ennui, an obsession with her measurements and own image in the mirror. The woman had no talent and less brains, yet for some reason men salivated over her as though she was some glorious treasure. She had already been caught in more than one love triangle, but instead of making her the pariah she deserved to be, it seemed to increase her reputation as some kind of glorious celebrity. Life, Lucinda thought, was unfair.  Jack, her husband let her tirade run its course, smiling. Lucinda, my love. What do you care? Your talent is the real thing. I chose you over Charisma and so will any talent agent with half a brain and business sense. She's a flash in the pan. You are a gifted artist. You win across the board. Don't envy her. Pity her. 

My mini:

Looking at the keys hanging on the big red ribbon, Amanda Gross could not believe her good luck. She had entered the Sharp Estate win your own home contest on a whim. It had never occurred to her that she might win and now here she was, owner of a glorious new house.... and a car too. And a check for $100,000. Life was looking pretty darned good.

My 10-word:   Coming soon


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  elements, eyes, splatter, pragmatism, slate, foreign, smog, mustard, sand, copper

And for the mini: gratitude, animal speak, kissed by the moon, octapus, bargain

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 235

OK.... Someone else is thinking of joining in this week, so I have no more excuse to not do my own exercises.... Just as I started to work on these, I got company, so I'm running later than I had planned to. Sigh. Will post the first two and add the 10-word later.  LATER turned out to be 300 am. But I did it!

Words for this week's 10-word challenge were:  perplexed, imagination, chandelier, ball of yarn, carpenter, crocodile tears, shape, drop, pouring, the last straw   And for the mini: gambol, scarf, red peppers, puzzle, praise

My mega:

Miranda Carpenter didn't know whether to laugh or cry as she watched the her 16-year-old cat - aptly named Red Pepper for her not so mild temperament - gambol happily around the room turning her favorite scarf back into a ball of yarn. It was a perplexing puzzle to her why Red had not only not mellowed with age, but seemed to have grown in imagination and destructive creativity.  She had tried yelling, she had tried pouring on  praise for good behavior, she had tried spray bottles. Red Pepper seemed impervious to any and all kinds of discipline. She also seemed impervious to aging. She was in magnificent shape.  Miranda was pretty sure that her late husband Fred had secretly encouraged the old cat in her antics, though the last straw for him had been the morning he walked in to the dining room as she dropped gracelessly from the chandelier bringing it down with her in a shattered heap. He loved to tell the story, though, replete with crocodile tears, since he had quite hated the gaudy baubles which he found ostentatious, so even at her worst, the old cat had served his happiness. Because of that Miranda herself was prone to forgive the old monster almost anything... even her favorite scarf. "Come here you old scamp," she said, grabbing the big cat and hugging her close. "You are a scoundrel, but you always made Fred happy and for that I love you and forgive you anything. I can hear him laughing when I watch you play and that makes me feel less sad that he's gone. Thanks for that, my old friend. I love you."

My mini:

Standing at the altar in her wedding gown, Gambol Grace Johnson felt joy sweep over her. She had spent her life trying to live up to the silly name her parents had given her, but knew she had failed. They were, good, kindhearted people who had hoped to inspire in her the sense of adventure and self-confidence that they craved but did not themselves have. They lavished her with praise and rejoiced in her eccentricities and it puzzled them that she had not become a traveler or adventurer, but instead a banker whose most eccentric act was to wear a scarf decorated with red peppers. But then she had met her husband George - the adventurer her parents had always dreamed of. George had somehow managed to flick the switch on the daughter they had always dreamed of and having sowed her tame oats during her younger years, she was not free to fly. Best of all, George had helped her parents take their own baby steps into a more daring life. She knew she was blessed. He was her Angel and she knew that with him the future was going to be a joyful journey from now on.

And the 10-word:

When carpenter and handy man, Frank Wilson had hung Miranda Weathersmith's chandelier 3 years earlier, marriage had been the furthest thing from his mind and in his wildest imagination Miranda would not have been on the short list of eligible women. She would not have been on any list. He had detested her since they were children. She was one of the smart kids, the kind who had made him feel insecure and foolish and out of shape. When his mother had insisted that he drop by and help her out with some home repairs, he had been furious at her meddling. He knew what she was up to and trying to fix him up with Miranda had felt like the last straw. Then, when he arrived at her house and she opened the door, she had seemed very different that the girl he had resented all those years. She had a ball of yarn in her hands and a young kitten and she seemed surprisingly beautiful to him. It perplexed him that he had not noticed how pretty she was until now.  But when he had cut his hand and she had tended to it ever so gently, shedding tears at his injury - and not crocodile tears, very real ones - everything had changed. He had been consumed with love. Two years later they married and now they were about to have their first child. His mother - in a rare burst of good grace - never reminded him about how lucky that last straw had been for him.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  ennui, stars, salivate, charisma, perpetual, stupid, measurement, triangle, obsession, bother

And for the mini: gross, glorious, red ribbon, keys, sharp

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Voting Rights

Please consider reading the article and signing this important petition (there's a link at the end of the article).  Petition

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wordzzle Apology

Apparently, I'm not going to do the wordzzles this week. Moving the day does not seem to have worked out as I intended. I half forgot and half just don't want to do it. Since it's now Sunday afternoon and my resistance remains more than firm, I think I'll just plan to do this week's words next week. I'll repost them below..   I apologize. I just really can't seem to get myself to do it. Even guilt isn't working.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  perplexed, imagination, chandelier, ball of yarn, carpenter, crocodile tears, shape, drop, pouring, the last straw

And for the mini: gambol, scarf, red peppers, puzzle, praise

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Change Mandatory Sentencing Laws

Our prison system is in need of major reform. Thought this was worth sharing.  We have TWENTY FIVE percent of the world's prisoners. 25%. And we do nothing to rehabilitate those lives while they are locked up. Crazy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 234

Friday has snuck up on me once again. I think that starting next week, I'll go back (way, way back) to posting on Saturday since that seems to be what I'm doing in any case.  For tonight, I'll put Mr. Linky and next week's words up and post my exercises tomorrow (hopefully).

SATURDAY, 5:30 pm:  Done. This was a touch batch of words. I think next week's may be worse. Time will tell, I guess.

Words for this week's 10-word challenge:  wonderful,  open to interpretation, war and peace, grow, glowing embers, hummingbirds, a loaf of bread, careful, snoop   And for the mini: signals, spelling, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours, snow storm, grace

My mega:

Grace Torgenson carefully removed the freshly baked loaf of bread from the wood fired oven, savoring the smell of the bread and the warmth of kitchen in the chilly house. She added a couple of additional logs to the glowing embers and watched them slowly blaze into flame. Despite the cold and inconvenience, she was secretly thrilled to be trapped in this old estate by the unexpected blizzard. Negotiations with the two embassadors had not been going well and they each had threatened to bolt at least once over the course of the previous two days. She was hoping that they would take discussions of war and peace more seriously without the distractions of electricity and telephones. She felt a bit like it was divine intervention that even the cell phone signals had been blocked - at least for the moment - by the massive snow storm.  Snooping through the cabinets in the kitchen, she found a set of china plates decorated with hummingbirds and placing the sliced up loaf of bread on one of them, carried it out to the next room where she found the politicians and their staffs gathered. "Good morning, gentlemen. A little sustenance to see us through. There's more in the kitchen, including an effort at coffee, which I can't promise will be palatable. But I tried. Here is the situation. On the down side, we are trapped here for the unforseeable future. On the up side, there is nothing to distract you from making an effort to come to some agreement. We have choices. We can see this as a dreadful inconvenience or as a wonderful opportunity for you to grow closer to an agreement. I opt for the latter, myself.  Let's put another log on the fire, break bread together and begin spelling out what each of you truly needs to come to some kind of agreement for the good of your own people and the rest of the world. What I'm going to say next may be open to interpretation (or not), but you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. My staff have taken custody of all the wood and food in the house.and I have the keys to the kitchen, so from now on, you can either work together or get hungry and cold together. My staff and I will be warm and well fed whatever you gentlemen decide. If you think I am kidding, you are mistaken. Enjoy your breakfast."  Telling the story years later, she admitted that it had been an enormous gamble on her part and that she was stunned by her own temerity. It was something about the house she said and her sense that the storm had been a divine intervention. In any case, whether she had been right or wrong, it had worked out and the resulting treaty was so much better than anyone had expected, that even the ambassadors had forgiven her.

My mini:

Grace Spelling looked out at the after math of last night's snow storm and was  happy to see her handsome neighbor, shovel in hand, waving from across the street. She had a terrible crush on him, but was never sure whether he felt anything in return. To say that he gave mixed signals was to put it mildly indeed. Bounding across to her door, he beamed happily at her. "Would you like me to clear your snow for you, Grace? Glad to do it for you on a 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours," basis. I shovel show and you make me some hot cocoa and a hearty breakfast. Do we have a deal?" "Sounds like a double win for me, George" she smiled, her heart beating a little faster. "I get my snow shoveled and good company to share a meal with." "Okee Dokee," he responded, with not a hint of flirtation in his voice. Sighing she turned back into the house and began to prepare a meal that she hoped might open his heart as well as satisfy his stomach.

My mega:

Sitting in front of the glowing embers of last night's fire, Grace Spelling - well it was Grace Anderson now -could not believe how wonderful her life had become. Pulling the curtains aside to snoop bit on the world outside, she was elated to see three hummingbirds feasting on the bougainvillea flowers. For such a long time George's every sentence had seemed alternately warm and open, careful or confusingly open to interpretation. She had felt like he was interested in her - he made it a point to always seek her out and talk to her and to do things to help her, but somehow he managed to do so in a way made her want to tear her hair out with frustration. Then, the morning of the big snowstorm last winter, he had shoveled her snow and come for breakfast, something had changed. Over coffee and bacon and eggs, they had talked politics, war and peace, economics, the environment and continuing over lunch and then dinner had moved on to politics. He had gone back across the street briefly to get some ingredients for dinner and had walked in carrying two bottles of wine, while reciting the words that would glow in her heart forever: "A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou..." from the Rubaiyat of Omar Kayyam. Once he had opened up to her, George Anderson proved to be possibly the most romantic man on earth. Their love had continued to grow after that snowy morning and six weeks later he had asked her to marry him. Six months later, here they were on their honeymoon, awash in the poetry of love and beautiful surroundings. She loved that there were hummingbirds outside the window. Native Americans thought of hummingbirds as bringers of joy.  Looking over at her new husband as he slept peacefully in their bed, she thought she was awash in joy already, but still, she thought, there can never be too much joy. She would name their first child joy, she thought, placing her hand on her belly. She was sure, somehow that last night they had made more than just love. Nine months later, she was proven to be right.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  perplexed, imagination, chandelier, ball of yarn, carpenter, crocodile tears, shape, drop, pouring, the last straw

And for the mini: gambol, scarf, red peppers, puzzle, praise

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 233

Well, it has been an odd week in which things didn't happen on their traditional days, so I have been caught off guard by Friday once again. Assuming that the big blizzard does not take out my power (probably won't), I'll put my exercises up tomorrow (Saturday). It was nice to have a second wordzzler last week.

SATURDAY UPDATE:  I'm sick. I'll live, but I'm feeling really miserable, so I may postpone my posing until tomorrow.... or at best later today after I've taken a nap. My apologies for being later even than usual.

LATE SUNDAY NIGHT:  Sunday came and went and I totally forgot about Wordzzles. Tomorrow, hopefully, I will remember. Apologies.

6:15 MONDAY EVENING: Finally.... 

Words for this week's 10-word challenge:  whiskers, three days, banana, strength in numbers, all year long, large tree, good housekeeping, there are no accidents, recorder, stain   And for the mini: smooth, partridge, snarling, tragic, lotion

My mega: 

All year long, Samantha Partridge had struggled to win the Good Housekeeping and best Christmas tree award from the Banana Beach Country Club ladies. She knew in her heart that they were awful women, unworthy of her desire to please them, yet she wanted so badly to "belong," that she had saved and slaved, chosen an especially beautiful and large tree,spent three days decorating it to what she hoped was elegant perfection. Her family had spent weeks living in a state of tortured warnings and reprimands and been forced into frequent and frantic servitude. There was not a spot or stain or flake of dust anywhere. The night before the judging, over the protests of her husband, they had dined out and spent the night in a hotel. "I want to make sure there are no accidents," she had told her grumbling spouse, as she covered her face and body in an assortment of lotions and creams to ensure that her face and hands were smooth and unblemished.. "Strength in numbers," she had said, gathering the family around her next morning. They arrived home just as the committee pulled up. "You all have your video recorders charged and ready to document the big event?" she whispered anxiously?  Alas - although the scene WAS recorded for posterity - it was not the moment of glory she had dreamed of, but rather a tragic nightmare of wires and ornaments strewn around the room and a snarling and rather exhausted cat - Whiskers by name - struggling and pinned beneath the giant tree which had finally gotten its revenge after several hours of feline assault. Needless to say, Samantha didn't win the award that year, but it turned out that the Country Club ladies were not such snobs after all. Since Samantha's tree had been the last on their list, the were able -with a lot of laughter and good humor, to help the family restore the fallen tree to at least a bit of its former glory.  In the end, she did much better than first prize. She made a number of friends and the Committee created the first annual Whiskers award, which was granted in future years to others whose aspirations of glory met with unkind ends. 

My mini: 

Fred McMurphy smoothed a heavy lather of shaving lotion on his face, bellowing "come on get happy" (he had come of age with the Partridge Family and associated them with romance) - in a very loud voice, totally oblivious of the snarling dog just outside the bathroom door and the very unromantic and somewhat tragic end his new relationship was about to experience. 

And the mega:

There are no accidents was a message the new puppy had apparently not heard or had no interest in learning. All year long, the family had worked on her and finally at Christmas time, she had let her husband persuade her to get a puppy for the kids, but cute as he was, in only three days he had managed to undermine her sense of peace and tranquility and all her years of good housekeeping. She knew it made her a bad mother and maybe even a bad person, but she hated this little dog. Her son had named him Whiskers, but she had several other names for him, none of which were appropriate for polite society. The little monster had a penchant for pooping on her carpets which now bore permanent stains which no amount of scrubbing would remove.Yesterday, he had managed to get himself up onto the counter where he had first pushed her freshly baked banana cream pie onto the floor, eaten half of it and tracked the rest through several rooms. He had gotten hold of the beloved recorder she had had since childhood and gnawed the mouthpiece so that it was no longer usable (plus it had dog saliva on it). That had been the last straw for her really, which was why he was tied up to a large tree in the back yard. George and the kids might have strength in numbers, but unless - and even if - they were willing to do the laundry, the cooking and the housework themselves, this particular dog was going to have to go. An hour later, when she went to take him some water and food, he greeted her with those big eyes and a wagging tail, and tried to snuggle up against her, she felt her stance weaken. "You get one more chance, you little monster and you had better shape up. We'll take you to obedience school and if you learn to behave, you can stay. If not....  That had been 15 years ago.... and now she sat holding the little body that had become so dear to her -especially after the kids had left for college - grateful for all the joy he had brought to all of them. Her husband sat beside her also weeping. They had decided to bury him by the big tree she had exiled him to those many years ago and get a little stone dog to mark his place. "You were the best worst dog in the world, you little monster. I don't know how we'll manage without you, but thank you for the time we had. I love you." Then she nodded to her husband, who began to dig.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  wonderful, secretly, open to interpretation, war and peace, grow, glowing embers, hummingbirds, a loaf of bread, careful, snoop

And for the mini: signals, spelling, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours, snow storm, grace

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 232

Once again Friday snuck up on me and I'm late posting even the framework for the Weekly Wordzzle Challenge. Since I'm the lone wordzzler, it doesn't make much difference I suppose, but I still apologize.

3:00 PM Saturday:  Done. Happy to note that I am NOT the lone wordzzler this week. Yippee!  Off to read what Smoke has written.

Words for this week's 10-word challenge were: wishing well, truck, chicken, coaster, flowering tree, bacteria, matches, colorful, port   And for the mini: swirl, bear with me, stretcher, muffin, gratitude

My mega: coaster port 

Lying on her stretcher in the ambulance, Maria Montoya spoke silently to her guardian angel. "Bear with me," she said, if my gratitude is tinged with annoyance and confusion. "When I went to the wishing well and asked you to help me 'run into' the handsome truck driver from "We Make," I did not mean it literally."  Out loud, she asked, "Is the other driver OK?" "Yes, I am," said a deep voice which made her head swirl and her heart beat faster. "Didn't I see your picture on the dating site? I think you some kind of colorful name like Flowering Tree or something. My sister put me on the site, by the way. If I'd posted myself, I'd have used the name Coaster which is what my friends call me (long story).  I would never have named myself Stud Muffin. Name's Port Wilson, by the way... You're even prettier than your picture. I was going to contact you but I chickened the end. I seem to have gotten some kind of bacteria that makes me run at the mouth. I can't stop talking. Sorry  Think this was divine intervention?" "Yes," Maria laughed. "I think it was. I'm Maria Montoya." In the years to come, over the course of a long and happy life together, they would laughingly tell people, "Our meeting was no accident."

My mini: swirl, bear with me, stretcher, muffin, gratitude

"Bear with me,"  Missy Wilson, spoke into the phone. I have to sit down. You have my head swirling, big brother. Did I hear you right?  You hit her with your truck, met her lying on a stretcher where you recognized her from the website? And now you're calling me to express your gratitude and invite me to your wedding? Well, butter me a muffin and call me magic! Didn't I tell you! You owe me forever! I'm so happy for you, but aren't you maybe rushing into things a bit? Divine intervention? Really? You both think that? I have to meet this woman. Bring her over for dinner tonight? She's in the hospital? I'll bring dinner to her, then. I love you Coaster.

My 10-word:

On her way to the hospital with a massive meal for her future sister-in-law, Missy Wilson stopped off at the Flowering Tree Wishing Well to express her gratitude for a wish granted and make another one - that her brother's new fiance would be one of those matches made in heaven kind of things. "Coaster, is such a good man," she crooned to the spirits of the well, "he deserves to be happy. Please grant him a happy future with this woman. And please make sure the truckload of chicken and potato salad I prepared for her is free of bacteria and tastes good and nourishes the body and the spirit. And please let her like me", she added.  Missy Wilson was what some people called "colorful."  She was not everyone's cup of tea. Luckily for all of them, her new sister-in-law was equally eccentric and had as big and loving a heart and an imagination to go with it. Angelic intervention in this particular case had not been limited only to Maria and Port. There was a bright future looming for all of them and the circle of creative people they would gather around them over the years.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  whiskers, three days, banana, strength in numbers, all year long, large tree, good housekeeping, there are no accidents, recorder, stain

And for the mini: smooth, partridge, snarling, tragic, lotion

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 231

Posting on time this week! It's a miracle! My theme seems to revolve around generosity for some reason. Funny how the words take us (well me, since I'm the only one who plays these days) in specific directions some weeks.

Word for this week's 10-word challenge: King Arthur, seriously, pigeons, spectacular, opening, languish, regulations, paper, generosity, snow   And for the mini: fragrant, emeralds, twisted, strife, pearls

My mega:

The sound of a pair of pigeons cooing on the window sill had drawn his attention away from the pile of papers and regulations with which he had been deeply absorbed. Looking out the castle window, King Arthur gazed at the gnarled and twisted branches covered with snow and thought that Winter had it's own spectacular beauty. Even so, he seriously longed for the fragrant beauty and generosity of Spring and Summer when his people were relieved of some of the strife and struggle of simply surviving the cold and hunger. His father would  have found it un-kingly of him, but he and Gwenivere struggled with a significant guilt that they languished in such extravagant comfort, dressed in warm robes covered with emeralds and pearls and dined on lavish meals. It was on one particularly chilly night, that Gwen had come up with the idea of opening the castle to 100 citizens two times each winter for a small feast. They had struggled with a system for selecting guests which would be as fair as possible and not breed discontent in those who could not attend. In the end they had come up with a system which honored 10 specific peasants for acts of kindness or deeds which honored the kingdom. Those 10 could invite four guests each and then the remainder of the guests were chosen by lot. The event had been a great success, giving the people something to look forward to and allowing the King and Queen to know and learn about the citizens of his kingdom. Many in the aristocracy were horrified by this breach of traditional social norms, but Arthur did not care. He loved his people... and he loved his wife, who was made happy by this small sharing of the abundance which came with being royalty.

My mini:

It wasn't that Jack Jones didn't love the beauty of emeralds and rubies and diamonds and pearls. He found them awesomely beautiful. As a young man he had visited the Tower of London and - somewhat against his will - been dragged to see the Crown Jewels. He remembered wishing he could stand and stare at them forever. They seemed alive to him and for part of his life he had dedicated much energy to acquiring such treasures. But when he learned the twisted tales of violence and strife that went into mining and marketing these exquisite objects, he lost all love for them - well he lost the love of acquiring or even possessing them. Though their beauty still delighted his eyes, they now had a fragrance of blood and death about them that he could not get over. With a mixture of pain and gratitude, and after much thought, he donated his collected gems to an organization that worked on behalf of those victimized by the blood diamond trade.

And the 10-word:

Arthur King - whose friends lovingly called him King Arthur because of his penchant for taking rules and regulations rather too seriously for their taste - was also known for his spectacular generosity. He had not been born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but through a mix of good luck and hard work had amassed an enormous fortune manufacturing artificial snow. Some might have languished in idleness and or horded their assets, but Arthur looked for every opening by which he could share his good fortune. He helped one young woman start up her own business designing wrapping paper and stationary and backed her not only with cash but with moral support and encouragement. Hearing his neighbor's daughter expound on her love of golf, he helped her mother open "Pigeon Putt," a miniature golf course that served the community. Since Arthur had always loved miniature golf, there was come consensus that this was less generosity on his part than a way to give himself a big present and make someone else happy at the same time. Those were only two examples. Anyone who came to him with a dream, had a good chance - albeit with a hefty dose of rules and lessons on how to run a good business - had a good chance of getting a leg up from this kind man. Almost all of them succeeded, offering Arthur a return on his investment which he then passed on to some other new dreamer.  When he died at the age of 100, the community mourned his passing and declared his home a landmark, renaming it Camelot in gratitude to a man whom they considered to be their own "once and future king."


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  wishing well, truck, chicken, coaster, flowering tree, bacteria, matches, colorful, port

And for the mini: swirl, bear with me, stretcher, muffin, gratitude

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 230

Oh, my!  I completely forgot about wordzzles. Since it's very late at night, I will just post Mr. Linky, etc. and do my exercises tomorrow.

Saturday Afternoon Update: Not feeling well... may have to wait until tomorrow.... maybe later. Not sure. Sorry.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON:  Finished at last. The last one is an introduction (of sorts) to Angel's new "friend" (not so much), Chloe.

Words for this week's 10 word challenge: growling, mercurial, flakes, purgatory, forward, careful, glowing, orderly, passionate, working   And for the mini: brigand, bluff, buttercup, fabric, feature

My mega:

Brigand and thief, Francois Flakes, was brilliant, charming, mercurial and totally unpredictable. Young barmaid Buttercup Benedict thought he was magnificent. She looked forward to his visits to the inn with passionate intensity, in a kind of purgatory of hope and despair. The anticipation of his glowing presence and handsome features made working at the inn more bearable. When she tried to understand the depth of her attraction to him, she was somewhat puzzled by it. It wasn't just that he would sometimes bring her flowers or fancy gifts. It wasn't the rich fabric of his clothing or the lavish way he spent money, though it was always lovely to be on the receiving end of his generosity. It wasn't even his growling ability to call the bluff of bigger, gruffer men who often viewed him with a mix of envy and admiration. In the end, she concluded that what drew her careful, orderly, cautious self to Francois was his intelligence and his free spirit, which sang a siren song to something inside her that longed to break free. She would have been flabbergasted had she known that Francois had seen and been drawn to her secret self and was doing what he could to quietly free her from the propriety in which her spirit had been so tightly wrapped by her parents and the society in which they lived. Several year later - when he asked her to marry him - he would share with her the joy he had taken in watching her blossom and would paint for her a vision of a life worth living. And in the days and years to come he made it so... gave her a life rich in adventure and joy and learning and most importantly, love.

The mini:

Brigand Francois Flakes, laughed with delight when the shopkeeper brought out the exquisite gown he had ordered for his future wife - well, if she accepted his proposal, that is...  The fabric was patterned with buttercups as a tribute to his beloved's name, something he hoped would delight her as much as it delighted him. He wanted the proposal to be as romantic as possible so he planned to take her for a picnic on the bluffs. The occasion would feature a lavish meal (served in a big tent), a troubadour to sing her praises, the presentation of this dress, a ring and his smitten heart. He was dreadfully nervous, something he wasn't used to feeling, but he need not have worried; Buttercup already adored him and the thoughtful creativity of his proposal was the stuff of fairy tales. She was his. 

And the 10-word:   This is a somewhat ungracious introduction of Angel's new companion whose name - at the moment - is Chloe.

Alphonse Smith was working through the mystery of how a normally orderly and careful person like himself had ended up in a miserable and seemingly endless purgatory with this growling, passionate and mercurial cat he had adopted after his sweet girl Flakes had died. For himself, he would have been content to move forward alone with Flake's sister, Snow, but she had seemed so lonely and unhappy that he had felt it would be selfish to force her to live with only him for a companion. His friend Fred had offered such a glowing description of the newcomer... "She's very sweet and loving. Seems truly gentle.'  On what planet, Alphonse asked himself... and then had to admit that she was fundamentally sweet.  A bit wild. Young. Everyone said it would work itself out. He hoped so. Meanwhile, everything felt very unsettled and he felt guilty that he was not loving this newcomer as he should. He still missed Flakes. He missed his peaceful kingdom. He missed his vision of himself as kind and loving. This too shall pass he told himself and hoped that it was true.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  King Arthur, seriously, pigeons, spectacular, opening, languish, regulations, paper, generosity, snow

And for the mini: fragrant, emeralds, twisted, strife, pearls

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weekly Wordzzle Challenge # 229

Sorry about the extra week off (without even politely mentioning that I was going to take it). I have not been at my best on multiple fronts. Slowly crawling out of my Self-Pity Pit.  New kitty has not been at all open to making friends with Angel, though we seem to have had a breakthrough last night. They spent much of this morning chasing each other around with minimal hissing. A good sign and at least Angel isn't bored. New kitty is named - at least for the moment - Chloe. Her middle name is probably/possibly Marigold. Still to be determined. I might also call her Gloria instead of Chloe, but...

Not sure if I will do this now or tomorrow. I thought I'd post the bare bones so I have no choice but to do them at all. Computer is acting squirrely at the moment. My screen jumps around every so often for now apparent reason. Now it has stopped again. Sigh.  I will post this much and come back later today or maybe tomorrow and do my exercises.

Saturday, 6:30 PM:  Finally finished. Not too thrilled with these. A bit out of practice.

Words for this week's 10 word challenge: children, drastic, guns, preparation, moved, knit, spare, lesson, blanket, wink   And for the mini: escape, plastic, gravity, sarcasm, giggle

My mega:

Raven's heart was breaking and she was moved almost beyond her ability to bear it as she watched children - who should have been laughing and giggling, playing and learning - instead standing in the cold wrapped in blankets and parents weeping over the deaths of 20 children and 7 adults.  She was impressed by the people of this peaceful close-knit community, who- thought they had not been without preparation against intruders - had not even conceived the idea of something as drastic and unfathomable as a boy with semi-automatic guns shooting his way into a grade school with the intention apparently of letting none escape, of sparing no one. She couldn't help but wonder what would of the mind would let someone do such a thing? Was he seeing children? Was he shooting at something else because his mind was sick? She was moved by the gravity of the President's response, by his clearly genuine intense grief. Would the country finally learn a lesson or would they/we let the plastic shills on FOX News and the NRA sell fear and stupidity to the minions whom they kept in a state of constant paranoia. Seemed to Raven that they were the truly evil ones in this story. It seemed impossible that they believed much of the nonsense they spewed and she was sure they winked at one another off camera, amused by the effectiveness of their personal pact with the Devil. She was grateful for the brilliant wry sarcasm with which Jon Stewart called them on it and only wished that he was not mostly preaching to the choir. Still, this time things seemed different. Maybe we would finally draw the line of "tolerance" at a body count of 20 six and seven year-olds. Maybe there was hope.

My mini:

It was with a mix of irritation and good humor that Principal Johnson addressed a group of giggling 13-year-olds and their science teacher.  It has not escaped my notice," she remarked
soberly (but with a twinkle in her eye) that you have been doing practical experiments on gravity using plastic bags full of water dropped from the roof. While I appreciate your enthusiasm for learning - would that it happened more often - I suggest that future experiments include safety precautions to protect innocent passers-by. I know," she continued, with just a hint of sarcasm, " that you would never have intentionally targeted someone who could give all of you detention should she so choose." Turning to the young teacher who was torn between laughter and terror, she said somewhat curtly, "See me in my office at your next free period."  Then, turning on her heel, she said, "Good day, children," and headed to her office to dry herself off.

And the 10-word:

"Spare me your left wing drivel about how learning to knit sweaters and blankets and sing kumbaya  is better life preparation for our children than gun lessons." Kitty Wink, shouted at the assembled parents who had gathered to discuss safety after the recent school shooting. Knitting her brow in angry frustration, she continued, angrily, "This situation calls for drastic action. We meed armed guards - and I think our teachers should carry too. What's wrong with you people, that you don't care about protecting our children, What's wrong with you? I just want my girls to be safe," she said finally, moving from anger to the edge of tears. "I just want my kids to be safe."  "So do we all," her neighbor Jenny Sanders, replied. "We just don't agree about how to accomplish that. I don't want guns around my children. That doesn't seem to me to be the way to keep them safe. I understand your fear. I'm frightened too. I just believe that if we work together, we can find a better solution than turning our schools into armed camps. Let's use our imaginations and our common concern and look at all possibilities available to us before we just leap at one that seems to me to be the most risky. Can we do that?"  "I don't see the point," Kitty replied tiredly, "but I assume I have no choice."  Although the gathered parents remained divided, they all appreciated the calming tone that Jenny had lent to the conversation and the meeting proceeded in a more amiable and productive way. Eventually, they formed a committee to study security and came up with a number of solutions that didn't require guns but that left even the most fearful parents feeling more secure about their children's well being.


Words for next week's 10-word challenge:  growling, mercurial, flakes, purgatory, forward, careful, glowing, orderly, passionate, working

And for the mini: brigand, bluff, buttercup, fabric, feature

Thanks you for playing.  Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.