Christmas Tree Me

For today’s post I used the photo prompt, provided by Madison Woods and a Christmas poem I wrote several years ago. Be sure and visit her blog  http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/ each Friday to enjoy her 100 word #Flash Friday story. Read the comments and follow the links to other stories ranging from excellent to sublime.

 

It wasn’t much to look at, kinda scraggly for a tree.

One side with a gaping hole and a flat spot on the other.
Mama just shook her head when she saw the fresh cut cedar,
but helped me stand it in a bucket filled with rocks and water

 

I cut a star from scrap cardboard and wrapped it in aluminum foil.
Then sewed a popcorn garland ten feet long, that wouldn’t go twice around.
From a box of ancient ornaments, I found a few that weren’t broken,
and a tangled strand of colored lights, some of which actually worked.
I dressed the tree the best I could, turning the flat side to the wall
and showered it with icicles while humming Christmas carols.
When at last I plugged it in the tree just seemed to glow,
as if magically transformed—no longer rough and flawed.
Sometimes I feel like that tree, full of holes and bent by sin
But God is still willing to choose me and take me home with Him
He’ll hang grace from every bough, add a star to hang above,
And when at last He plugs me in I’ll glow of the Savior’s love.

 

Peeves I like to Pet (part 2 of 2)

In today’s post guest blogger, Rachel Crofton, shares more about some of her favorite peeves. Rachel is best known for her essay Dodging Miss Daisy and is currently working on a memoir entitled, Raising Cain.

Caring for pets is a good way for a child to learn responsibility. Our son, Cain, was only four when he adopted “Leave the Light On.”
The poor little peeve was a gift from an elderly couple and appeared scrawny and malnourished when Cain first brought him home. How some people can be so cruel as to starve a pet is beyond me. If you can’t afford to feed a peeve you shouldn’t get one to start with.
It was so cute to watch the two of them play. They ran from room to room, Cain stretching on tippy-toes to turn on every light in the house. Bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, microwave ovens, it didn’t matter. Bulb were made to shine, and shine they did.
Our electric meter spun like a roulette wheel on steroids. Unfortunately, it always landed on red. When Brad saw the amount of the bank drafts he blew a fuse. Surely there was a mistake. How could there be that many digits to the left of a decimal point?
After a brief, but heated family meeting, it was decided “Leave the Lights On” had to go. Brad gave Cain two weeks to find the peeve a new home. I put an ad on Craig’s List offering a friendly, loving, house-broken pet peeve for only twenty dollars.
The president of a motel chain saw my ad and dispatched some fellow named Tom to pick up the peeve. From what I hear, it’s worked out well for both of them. Tom and “Leave the Lights On” have become virtually inseparable.
I just love happy endings, don’t you?

Burnt Offerings

Today’s post is inspired by the weekly photo prompt provided by Madison Woods. Be sure and visit her blog  http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/ each Friday to enjoy her 100 word #Flash Friday story. Read the comments and follow the links to other stories ranging from excellent to sublime.

Byron had heard people talk about smoking meat his whole life. From what he gathered, a person could smoke beef, pork, chicken, fish, or even cheese. The old timers even built little log huts dedicated solely to that purpose.
The very idea of smoking meat teased and captivated his imagination. How would it taste? Would it be as enjoyable and satisfying as his friends had said? Byron couldn’t wait to find out.
His attempts using papers proved futile. The meat kept falling out. Pipes wouldn’t stay lit. Then he saw the ceramic heater.

“Dude, wanna a hit of bacon?”

Peeves I like to Pet (part1 of 2)

Russell is busy working on the annual Gayer Family Christmas card. Rachel Crofton has graciously offered to sit as guest blogger for a couple of posts this month. Rachel is best known for her essay Dodging Miss Daisy and is currently working on a memoir entitled, Raising Cain.
Peeves make wonderful pets. You can take them anywhere. They don’t require food, water, or vaccinations, although I do recommend grooming them from time to time.
One of my favorite things about peeves is that you can have as many as you want. In fact, I have an entire kennel of them. Peeves love attention and like to come out for a playful romp at every available opportunity. Like other pets, regular exercise is essential in keeping them healthy and happy.
Hurry Up and Wait is one of my favorites. She likes to sit on the counter while I fix my hair and apply make-up. In the other room, my husband, Brad, is pacing like a lion who has just had its kill taken over by a pack of hyenas. How that man can watch a motionless fishing rod for two hours, or sit on a rock in the woods for half a day without seeing anything, is beyond me. But tell him you need five minutes to get ready before going out, and you’d think you were asking Richard Nixon to surrender the Watergate tapes.
I tell him, “Good things come to those who wait.”
Running on Empty is another of my high achievers. I hate pumping gas. The wind messes with my hair, my ankles freeze, and the scent of gasoline lingers on my hands for days. If there’s enough in the tank to get from point “A” to point “B” that’s all you need, right?
There’s a little icon on the dash that indicates when the tank is almost empty. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it, but the flashing red light seems to really annoy Brad. He immediately flies into a tirade about how we’re going to be late, followed by an extended period of prayer in which he asks for the fumes hold out till we get to the nearest station.
I really think he should plan better and allow more time, but the last time I mentioned it he glared at me with fiery eyes and clenched teeth. He doesn’t take suggestions well when he’s pushing a car in the rain.

Where’s Waldo

Today’s post is inspired by the photo below, provided by Madison Woods. Be sure and visit her blog  http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/ each Friday to enjoy her 100 word #Flash Friday story. Read the comments and follow the links to other stories ranging from excellent to sublime.

In today’s episode, Clem and Lester are enjoying the beautiful fall foliage.
Let’s listen in . . .

“You see that orange leaf up there?”
“Which one? There’s thousands of orange leaves up there.”
“That one right there. The one with the funny shape. Kinda looks like a heart, but with a notch tore out of the bottom.”
“I still don’t see it. What’s it located next to?”
“It’s right between them other two orange leaves, about half-way out that limb.”
“Has it got black spots on it, and a short stubby stem?”
“Yeah! Do you see it now?”
“No.”
“Right there! It’s the one wigglin’ in the breeze?”
“That’s not a leaf, you idiot. That’s a butterfly!”

 

Thanks Living

I plagiarized the title of today’s post from last Sunday’s sermon. Bro. Frank expounded all the reasons we should be thankful every single day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving.
He’s absolutely right. That’s why I keep the words ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE posted on my dry-erase board year round. It reminds me that I’m extremely blessed—and not just a little bit—but abundantly. Not only are all my basic needs met, I have enough extra to buy a few toys.
This time of year I like to get out my Russell & Connie action figures (not sold separately) and conjure up a few hunting adventures. These daredevils of the outdoors tackle enormous challenges and hardships in search of big game. Unlike me, they never come home empty-handed.
Their hunt may be long and hard, the terrain rough and treacherous—full of viscous beasts and beset with danger. Yet somehow, between wrestling angry alligators and extracting a decayed tooth from the mouth of a twelve-foot grizzly, they still have time for a few moments of tender passion.

Am I lucky or what? I’ve been blessed with good health, a multitude of great friends, and the love of a good woman. What more could any man want?
Thank you, Lord.  And Happy Thanksgiving to all! God Bless You!

Housekeeping Hints

Women live under a lot of pressure. There’s a high level of expectation as to how the home should be kept and decorated. From what I can tell, the cleanliness bar is set (and periodically readjusted) by one’s peers.
The best way to attain a passing grade from judgmental guests is to serve good wine—and plenty of it. Minor imperfections such as dirty dishes, clothes in the floor, and black-velvet paintings become insignificant dust bunnies bouncing harmlessly in the cozy confines of your humble abode.
You may think its bad now, but it was even tougher back in the old days. Cave women didn’t always good wine and liquor stores had not yet been invented. What’s a girl to do? Ugla is coming by this afternoon and the place is a mess. Dar’s loincloth is on the kitchen floor, cobwebs dangle from the stalactites, and the kids don’t look like they’ve had a bath in three moons. That Neanderthal witch will tell every woman within a two-day walk what a terrible cavekeeper you are.
Thankfully, your copy of Good Cavekeeping magazine arrived yesterday and you can keep Ugla occupied by discussing exciting new recipes for charred meat, roots, and wild berries.
If you’re still afraid she’ll badmouth your cave, hit her in the head with a rock. It works every time.

Golden Ghost Flower

The following 100-word Friday Flash Fiction is based on the photo prompt provided by Madison Woods. Visit her blog at 
http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/ to read her flash fiction for today and find links to other authors participating in this weekly event.

“What’s that?” Baxter asked.
“How should I know? Do I look like a botanist?” I replied
“No, you look like a smart-ass, and you smell like one too.”
“Well, it’s obviously a plant of some sort, maybe a flower.”
“You don’t reckon it’s an aphrodisiac do you?”
“Why don’t you eat it and find out? I’d enjoy watching you howl at the moon all night and running wild like you were chasing a bitch in heat.”
Baxter bent low and sniffed the plant. “It might be poisonous.”
“Could be,” I replied. “Let’s just hike our legs and mark it.”

Money Talks—an interview with Benjamin Franklin

Today’s guest is Founding Father, noted author, inventor, printer, and much quoted world traveler, Benjamin Franklin.
RG – Mr. Franklin, welcome to What’s so Funny? Our nation is going through a difficult economic period right now. You have a reputation for being very frugal. What advice do you have for the American people to help them cope with inflation and high unemployment?
BF – Thank you, Russell. I went through some tough times myself, especially as a young man. I wrote volumes of one-liners, proverbs if you will, on the importance of fiscal responsibility. People used to follow my advice and live comfortably. Today, too many Americans overextended themselves. They think the word “save” means buying at a reduced rate. One woman I knew went to so many shoe sales that she saved until she was broke.
RG – So, we should all adhere to the “penny saved is a penny earned” adage, is that what you’re saying?
BF – Absolutely, except now, with the devaluation of our currency and the fact that it costs more than one cent to make a penny, I’m rephrasing the quotation to say, “a Benny saved is Benny earned.”
RG – I know you have some interesting opinions regarding religion. Do you ever attend church?
BF – Occasionally I’ll visit a church, but you’ll never see my face in the offering plate. George will be stacked ten-deep in there, a few Abes, one or two Hamiltons, and maybe a Jackson on Easter. Ulysses and I stay parked firmly in the wallet until we get to Walmart or the liquor store.
RG – I’ve seen the T-shirt with your quote about beer and God. How does that go again?
BF – That was a misquote. People steal your words and twist them to make a few dollars for themselves. What I actually said was, “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” It means the same thing, but won’t fit on a T-shirt.
RG – Much has been made of your affection for the ladies, especially during your time in France while raising funds to support the revolution.
BF – Yes, I’ve been labeled a womanizer when in fact I was more of a flirt and a tease. Women control 90% of the money and 100% of the sex. Raising money for a fledgling country that might fail was not easy. The only way to get the money was through the women. In times of war, men are called upon to make sacrifices for their country. I did what I had to do.
RG – So, you were an eighteenth century James Bond?
BF – Exactly! Why do you think my picture is on the one-hundred dollar bill?
RG – Thank you, Mr. Franklin, for making time for this interview. I’m going to put you back in my wallet until we get to Walmart or the liquor store.

The Ice Woman Cometh

Here’s my 100-word Friday Flash Fiction based on the photo prompt below by Madison Woods. Visit her blog http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/ to read her story and find links to other author’s submissions within the comments.

Dan could barely keep his eyes on the road. The sun peeked over the horizon and bounced playfully from one tree to another, illuminating the mountain. Brilliant reds, oranges, yellows flashed neon against an azure sky. The forecast called for mid-seventies and sunny.
Carolyn had been quite playful this morning, teasing about some “big surprise” she had in store. The workday lasted forever.
What happened? His driveway looked like a war zone. Icy limbs draped their hideous arms over the narrow drive and tore at the paint on his car.

Carolyn’s smile greeted him at the door. “Surprise! Mother’s here!”
Mandie Hines Author

Horror, Psychological Thrillers, Poetry, Flash Fiction

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