a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Flash 55 Plus A Stranger

A stranger stopped to help change my flat tire. I was jumping up and down on the four way tire iron without success. He made short work of it and refused money I pressed into his palm.  He said, “When you see my wife or daughter needing help, stop and help them. That's payment enough.”

Thank You, Mr. Spock

In 1966 I was captivated by a new show that was odd for some and revered by many. Being archaeologically minded and having written my first Sci-Fi novella at the age of ten it was a no-brainer that I became a fan.

I could finally escape into a world I KNEW was real.  Bones, Sulu, Lieutenant Uhura, Scottie, Captain Kirk and Commander Spock became my crew in a black and white world.  The first show took us to an archaeological out post and introduced us to the basic characters and the Enterprise's mission.

Many girls swooned over Captain Kirk but I, always wanting to be different, followed Spock's every controlled logical move.

Friday nights, at the age of eleven, became my night for an hour of tv.  Chores, homework, and any extras I may have been required to do were all finished long before the viewing time of 6:30 PM.

For three years I knew women could be in charge, all species are different and may or may not be able to interact peacefully. I learned how to appear emotionless.  I knew I could be a valuable member of this crew daring to go where no man (or woman) had gone before. I became pretty good with the Vulcan Salute but I never mastered the Mind Meld.

I often wondered why it stopped a month before we walked on the moon...

In three short years it was over but then there were reruns! I continued to be a closet Trekkie and watched every episode almost with reverence. Spin offs began and I devoutly followed those along with the movies.

My children were forced to watch Star Trek when we bought our first color tv.  They were not fans like me, a strong dyed-in-the-wool Trekkie.

I attended one movie in the theater with a friend twenty years my junior who was also a rabid fan. The lobby was alive.  People were talking my language!  I knew all the episodes and could converse enjoyably with all who wanted to talk.  The Menagerie was my favorite all time episode.  I felt uplifted and validated.  The lobby was filled with people like me!  Different ages but all with one thought in mind...where would Roddenberry take us next.

When Leonard Nimoy passed an age ended for me.  The shows have lost their luster. Even if Mr. Nimoy was blessed and cursed while being remembered as the half Vulcan Commander of the Star Ship Enterprise, he did great works.  He soldiered, he taught, he wrote poetry and books and acted in plays and produced.

His last tweet to his fans was "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"

Thank you, Mr Nimoy, for giving wings to my dreams. May those who remain Live Long and Prosper.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dad and Mom

Daddy was
My Irish sunshine
From Dust Bowl
The Great Depression
From hunger
And hard work
He grew
Into a soldier
I need no reminder of the cost
Husband, father
And oh, so much more

Parents gone while I live
in an old house
in the very heart of things
In the house they built
Midst the ashes and memories
of other old houses
The very heart of them lives
I like to say I have Dad's eyes
I hope I have their zest for living
I know I have their love of the land
And pray I have their heart

For dVerse~Poets Pub


No logic can explain away
The fear we feel on certain days
No words, no teasing, no commands
Change our fear of what's at hand

As a child I often wondered
Was I scared because I ran
Or ran because of fear
I couldn't understand

I only knew as a child
At dark I would not run
Because the faster I went
The more scared I'd become.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


In the past we busted ass
To dig that six foot hole
No more no less
The depth was blessed
Laws said
It must be so

My father feared
Being buried alive
I almost put a bell
In his hand so he
Would know I
Listened for the knell

No embalming
No pre-view of death
No stones were piled
Upon the grave
To keep
Wild animals away

For in the past
Graves didn't last
High waters
Wild animals
All took away

Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
I think in death
We may discover
It's not an ending
Simply an Other

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Version of Where's Waldo

Find the dogs is a game I play every day.
 Two are in the fossil field.
One near the rock
Two exploring here
One by the stump
Two smelling tracks
One in the foreground
One looking back
Finding water...can you find them?
Bonnie taking a swim.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Coulrophobia, A Fear of Clowns (Rated: Gross and Horrible)

For Magpie Tales with Tess Kincaid

John Wayne Gacy liked young boys
He played rough and then destroyed
Promises lured them inside
Gacy gave them a ride
And Pogo was filled with joy

Thirty-three he did whack
While forcing them on their back
Ropes or boards at their throats
Gleefully, cheerfully, he did gloat
No one knew he was a maniac

Finally caught way too late
Under his house graves did wait
Hauled to jail and tried for murder
Gacy was a multiple disturber
By lethal injection he met his Fate
Perhaps the most chilling image of Gacy of all
(Chicago Tribune)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Farewell to Phil

Guess who we're having for dinner?
You may know him by Phil
He's the ground hog
That saw his shadow
Some think he caused this winter chill

So a few of us got together
And stormed Phil's home
The snow had made us wild
We listened not to protests
Of Phil's poor wife and child

In a flash we had him skinned
Hanging up to chill
His wife and child
Stood and cried
Saying farewell to Phil

When all was said and done
We felt a little shame
There hung poor Phil
He was not to blame
No take backs in this game

After the crowd quieted
We build a huge bonfire
We divided poor Phil
So every one had a bite
Of the roasted sire

Guilt over came us
Gathering his family close
Tried to make it better
From his fur
We made them coats.

Linked to Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.


I would like to deem myself unfit for all the whining I've been doing.  I hope to redeem myself today by being grateful.  I'd be remiss not to mention all those in more dire straits than me.  I did miss the hot water at my fingertips but in the scheme of things it was nothing. We have ice and snow and cold temps but there are more that do not have what we do...power, food and shelter.  For those I hope things improve quickly. For those who have endured my computer, water, hot water, ice commiserations, please forgive me.  Thanks for listening.

Using some words from Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Freezing Friday with Fence

Thanks to wonderful friends this post is here and connected to fences.  As one friend pointed out to me, Murphy (as in Murphy's Law) is having a time at our place.  Hot water heater out, bought a new one, it's bad.  Have to return it before the roads get worse. Computer's in and out.  Lost our water pump because a salamander climbed inside the working parts of our pump, then I think the water froze. Water is restored but it's not far to haul. Slick as snot outside.  Schools have been closed all week. No mail all week.  Neither state nor county have the equipment to handle this mess.  It is not measured in feet here but the danger is just as bad since no one knows how to drive on ice.  More ice coming...and they are giving a possibility of tornadoes Saturday.  

I will try to answer emails when the computer is not in and out.  Have a blessed day.  Thank you, friends, for being there for me.  Stay warm and stay safe.
Winter made it with an inch of ice balls
and a little snow.
Yard fence
and fence wire.
Stay warm and safe.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hubby Has A New Toy

and a new hobby.  We live on a dead end road and have a lot of strange traffic. When stopped they "confess" they are lost.  We hear all kinds of excuses like didn't see the signs, or doesn't Joe, John, or Sally live here?  Our no trespassing and private property signs seem to have no affect. The huge Dead End sign posted by the county is ignored.

In the past we have had trouble with thieves and trespassers.  I believe this may be changing.

I'm not sure what Hubby calls his new game but he does enjoy it.  In his tv room he has full view of approaching vehicles and of course our dog alarms go off .  He watches nightly, obsessively, for someone to cross the cattle guard. He even naps during the day so he'll be ready for guard duty come dark.

First he tried a spotlight and that seemed to help some.  When you are in strange territory and a bright light out of nowhere hits your vehicle it kinda makes you think twice.

His new toy is a lazer sight for a gun.  He attached it to his varmint gun but hasn't used it for that yet, however, he has used the sight on trespassers.  He laughs manically at their reactions.  Just imagine this...you have driven down a dirt road for over a quarter, you're not sure where you are or if you do know, you are up to no good.  A bright green dot suddenly appears on the driver of the vehicle.  The only way someone would not know what this was would be to have totally lived with their head in the sand.

Some have been brave enough to continue, several have backed up and driven at break neck speeds in reverse to lose the "dot".  Our traffic has slowed immensely.  Word must be getting around!

And Hubby keeps on playing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Like A Rock

Hubby drives a Chevrolet.  We live down a long winding dirt road so a clean vehicle happens but not often.  WARNING:  Objects reflected in tailgate may be closer than they appear (self portrait).
Andrew drives a Ford and I drive a Chrysler so I guess you might say we are diversified when it comes to vehicles.

If you didn't know I like rocks, you do now.  Like a rock is just an excuse to show more rocks!
Even in the deep woods dirt daubers build nests.
Rocks aren't just a thing of beauty to me.  They are an open geology book. This is a solid rock but the weaker parts have worn away leaving it with a deceptively pebble-like surface.
I have too many questions and not enough answers.  Why is this one rock's surface so different from its neighbors?  They are all sandstone.  I probably will never know the answer but I keep asking.
One rock with three flat surfaces rising above the rest.  What geological event caused this rock to be created or eroded a grain of sand at a time?  I may never know cause the rocks aren't talking today.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Uncle Bill's Deer Stand

I saw the oak tree in winter clothing, the tree that has the biggest acorns on the farm. Standing at tallest point was the tree that Uncle Bill chose to hunt from when he wasn't busy urinating in buck scrapes or running the deer away from others.  He built a tree stand here years ago and the platform still lays in the forks of the tree.

Uncle Bill was the black sheep of the family.  There's always one in every family that doesn't do things exactly like the family thinks he should do.  He was born wild and seemed to want to stay that way.  He was excused from the military in World War II because he was needed at home.  Dad was already serving so Bill got out of that one.

Uncle Bill seemed to get away with a lot of things that "normal" people wouldn't even think of doing. He did grow up but then again, maybe he didn't.  He was a member of the carpenter's union in Kansas City and worked there all his working years.

Uncle Bill taught me penny ante poker, how to catch snakes and how to dress a logger head turtle for eating.  He always had a tall tale and disrupted life as I knew it when he came around.  He was a force to be reckoned with but like a moth to flame when Uncle Bill came, I could not stay away. Oh, the adventures we had!

My first swamp rabbit hunt was with Uncle Bill.  I got to handle my dog and carry the rabbits.  When we had our limit, we stopped at a well worn house and gave the elderly lady that answered the door our mess of rabbits.  It was no one Uncle Bill knew.  She was grateful and so was I.  Cleaning game with Uncle Bill always meant there would be more innards and fur on me when we finished than there seemed to be on the animal from the start.

He was an avid fisherman.  When snagging season was in it was not unusual for him to show up with two or three forty to a hundred pound spoon bill catfish, a nice boneless catfish.

In his retired years he was a die hard Kansas City Chief fan.  Unbelievably devoted he and Sharon tried to get tickets for every home game.  They rarely won but Uncle Bill and Sharon never gave up hope.  The next season was gonna be The Winning Season.

Today as I stood looking at this tree and remembering the dynamo that was Uncle Bill, I said, "They finally won!  I wish you coulda seen it."  I think this place and this time I said good bye to Uncle Bill. I also wondered if he was playing poker with angels or bluffing with the devil. Either place I'm sure Uncle Bill was in charge or causing trouble.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


The folly of secret keeping
bursting forth
from sealed lips

Sworn secrets
into open air

Wordle Fiction...Cave

Wordle  from Sunday Whirl

I tracked through woods hill and dale
What I would find I could not tell
Science held a fascination to me
I explored until I fell

Cracks and crevice unseen by me
Seemed to evoke a lost memory
Saintly angels appeared on cue
Watching my attempts to wrestle free

I was stuck. What should I do?
No one knew where I had gotten to
I acted as if this was on purpose
And studied the sky of blue

I was a little nervous
pebbles covered the entire surface
I climbed feeling lucky and worthless
The empty cave held no serpents

Although this wasn't fair
my ignorance had landed me there
the empty cave pulled my hair
As I climbed toward the fresh air

Although I used Sunday Whirl's words this was another attempt at Frost's form. I added an extra verse.  One of these days I might conquer this form.  Where ever you are I hope you're warm.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Sunshine And Fudge...

Best ever Valentine's Day.   Thought I would rub in the fact we have sunshine share our wonderful morning.  It is 67 degrees as I write this.  The temps will begin to drop this afternoon as the storm gets closer.

Today we were able to explore forgetting all those neck deep in snow while sending wonderful spring thoughts to those in the heart of this horrible storm.
Sunshine, rocks, trees and dogs were all part of our adventure as the soup and casserole cooked itself at home.
Visiting places I haven't seen in a long time on the back side of the farm.  
Guess what I found?
Amazing beautiful rocks
steep hills I refused to ride up
I walked while Hubby drove.
Blue skies promised us spring was close.

The exploring ended as we returned to the valley with a feather, a bone and a bucket of beautiful rocks.  I had not burned lunch which we enjoyed.  Marcy brought us homemade fudge for our valentine.

The wind is picking up as the front is heading our way.  Off to top off the water gardens and enjoy the beautiful weather before we get iced in.

Happy Valentine's Day!  Stay safe and happy.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Frost's Form

Our mission for today is to write using Robert Frost's form for dVerse~Poets Pub

It matters not what we write
We check if form is right
On paper I laboriously pen
Hoping I finish this night

I write the verse and begin
To see what comes from my blend
It's hopeless I can see
One more verse and it will end

I create the second of three
I almost finish this gleefully 
Mr Frost would not be glad
I've butchered his form so horribly

A fourth verse must be had
To keep the form true not bad
So I've added to my writing pad
To prove I am stark raving mad

Lawyer With Humor and Medical Update

My youngest daughter is now into her third month of healing after seven surgeries, a skin graft, and in home wound care.  She is still here with her six year old son, Z.

Today's visit to doctor was not what we wanted to hear...the bone may never heal.  On the bright side all the screws and wires are holding her bone together. Doc said the bone would not crumble so Maria can begin to test the foot a little at a time.

The man who was responsible for the accident did not have insurance.  It's true.  He didn't and there's nothing that can be done to help Maria with her lost car, lost wages and for right now, lost ability to walk.

You know what trouble I get into when I start thinking, well, I thought anyway.  I came up with a brilliant idea to show him as an unlawful and unsafe person. I compiled a letter to the editor for local newspapers.

That letter was some of my best writing, I thought.  I crafted it carefully making sure only facts were used.  I spun a tale that would make a repo man cry and a lawbreaker run for high country.

I decided to send it to my lawyer first to make sure the letter was not slanderous.  He replied it was a good letter and by no means was it slanderous, HOWEVER, he would not advise me to send it to the papers.  Why? you ask.  Well, my lawyer knows me and he said the man would reply publicly and, knowing me, I would respond and on and on. The lawyer said he could see no benefits for me or my daughter by publishing this letter. Then he made my day by saying, "Gail, you can never win a pissing contest with a skunk."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Rubbery Things

Thematic Photographic is actually an invitation from Written Inc 
The theme he chooses is the photography challenge.
We can choose from saved pictures or go hunting with our camera.
Place your link in his comments and check out others' photos.
Looked like fun and since I was completely wordless earlier today
I did some digging.
Ta daaaaa...my rubbers!
Camo rubbers when the valley flooded
My long wearing repaired boots that finally retired.
New boots on rubber tractor tire
Extra pair of spare rubbers 

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Easy Street Contest

I think a talent may be similar to a flame.  We can coax it to shine brightly or extinguish it.

Here is an opportunity to fan your creative flame.  The place for whetting your skills is called Easy Street, a magazine of books and culture.  The sentence contest is free and you can write up to five wonderful separate sentences.

Check them out.  They have much more to offer.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Android Commercial

Well worth watching.  Enjoyable with a lesson.

Clowns and Dolls

clowns and dolls 
fill the stairwell
another burst 
of  frantic work
vacuum emits no sound
wrapped in fleece
i seal glass
inside my wound
attempting to instill
values and ethics
i corral the cherubs
with resignation
we dress for the day
to tumble through
clowns and dolls
filling the stairwell 
Action Figures by Edith Vonnegut
Combined prompts

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Journey To Write

From a place no longer there
With people who no longer are
I journey into this world
                   into the light
   Free from the darkness
               I begin to write

Poetry Jam's Journey and Imaginary Garden With Real Toad's Your Poetic Eye

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Big C

A man drives up
drawing deeply on
his last cigarette
before he joins
the room of people
with one thing in common
The Big C

From young to old
they sit as if alone
not sharing
No comradery here

The words lay
in the middle of the room
no one wants to own them

I imagine
what might be said
"I lost my breast"
"Damn stuff took my balls"
"With only one lung I still smoke,
yep, one after another"
"Gotta die some way.."

They didn't get to choose their death
unlike suicides of great variety
Through little fault of their own
Cancer chooses them
as if a Grim Reaper's
bony finger of death
you by cancer
  and you
     and you
        and you

The room of silent people
solemnly wait for their trials
and their sentences
"Two months"
"Nothing we can do"
The Grim Reaper
stands here unseen
but they know
his name is Cancer

Poets United

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Admit...

some days words like discombobulated, perplexed, and befuddled all apply to me but I try.  I really do.

I make lists then lose them and try desperately in the store to envision that lost list. Most of the time I get lucky and remember what was on the list.  Other times I duplicate a list even if I've filled it previously.  This isn't unusual for me and its that very trait that saves me from boredom.  I can hide my own Easter Eggs.

With all the confusion around here with extra guests, catering meals and patient transport I have a little more trouble remembering what I NEED to do or what to purchase.

We ran out of crackers.  It's cracker season.  I asked Hubby to pick up crackers then I promptly forgot I asked.  I did a grocery run and forgot I had asked for the crackers.  So I picked some up at the first display and then forgot and went to the cracker isle and got more crackers!
I have crackers, three boxes ahead.  I have my antique cracker canister (purchased when I was pregnant with first child now 42...the only thing I could eat) full.
I even found some packages in the top of my three tier basket! I can see it all now.  I may never buy crackers again because in my mind I have imprinted an abundance of crackers.
I also forget where I put snacks!  I found a pack of Skittles in the pizza pan drawer.  I had forgotten I hid them as a surprise reward for smallest grandson's reading.  Well, SURPRISE! I found them.

As I was hiding the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Sponge Bob Gummies inside Pepe Le Pew's cookie jar I discovered Christmas Candy Canes!

Have you noticed my pattern?  Good healthy snacks are left in plain view while the not so healthy snacks are hidden.

I'm on to something here.  I think I subconsciously hide the sweet stuff where I won't be tempted. Maybe I'll look around to prove that theory.  Yep, just found a sack of M&Ms in my desk drawer.

If I wait a minute or two, I'll forget that and have a nice surprise later this week.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ground Hog Day

Our ground hog has no name
We don't call him "Phil"
We could call him
Bubba, Frank or Bill

Let's just say What's-His-Name
Saw no shadow today
And since we weren't hungry
We let him go his way.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Sunday Whirl with Magpie Tales...

Photo prompt supplied by Magpie Tales

The patron warned, "That place is a ticking time bomb."  

Ignoring the warning and laughing about a need for rescue, I attended with a certain amount of humility.

The place was thought by many to be haunted but I did not measure these rumors that had spread like wild fires in the canyon.

I waited in anticipation working myself into quite a state before the guests arrived. Do I act as if I believe?   

I thought perhaps I had fallen asleep and was dreaming.  As the sixties music filled the room I recognized Sharon Tate dancing with Jay her partner for the night. I saw others as though I were looking through a cloud  into the past.

My accommodating  host smiled as if  to say, "This is nothing...just wait".  My race to spend the day and night with my host seemed totally crazy now.  

I realized in my eagerness to witness the paranormal I had been tricked.  I must stay forever watching this repeating tragedy until I could "invite" someone to take my place.

My host laughed when leaving.  At last he was free.

Word prompt supplied by The Sunday Whirl Weekly Wordle

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