The Letter “P”

Pick a letter, any letter. Now, write a story, poem, or post in which every line starts with that letter.


Prudence pranced down the pave pathway, picking pretty posies.  Pretty soon she came to a tiny cottage adorned with pinks, petunias, and phlox.

Prudence pounded on the portal, praying to be let inside. Patience, the little old lady who lived there, opened the door a crack.

“Prudence, what are you doing here?  Public schools are still in session. Perhaps you’d better get back to class.”

“Please, Patience, just let me come in and put my feet up for a few minutes.  I’m parched, and I need a cup of your pure spring water.”

“Perhaps you’d better tell me why you’re not in school today,” said Patience, as she pumped the pure spring water for Prudence.

“Patience, I just didn’t want to sit in class on such a warm, wonderful spring morning,” pouted Prudence. “Pupils need a break now and then, and today I decided I’d take one.”

“Putting yourself first only makes trouble for you later, Prudence,” lectured Patience. “Principals know how to deal with truant pupils!  Put a move on, now, and putter just as fast as you can back to the playground!”

Prudence sighed. Putting her cup on the countertop, she hoisted her bookbag and, looking very bored, plodded out the door. “Patience, I thought I could count on you!”

“Prudence, it is always best to put your studies ahead of playtime!”


Traveling Style?

What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?


Well, let’s see.  I don’t like to sleep in the car. I don’t enjoy hiding behind trees and bushes when nature calls. I like to know I won’t have to eat tumbleweed  or roadkill. I do like my creature comforts.

There is that in me that likes the idea of just pointing the car in a random direction and seeing where it leads me, but I wouldn’t be happy if it lead me to a place that doesn’t leave a mint on your pillow.

I guess that puts me in the category of wanting to have a plan.  But just a general plan.  A decent place to stay; it doesn’t have to be luxurious. Decent food available, again not over the top price-wise. A comfy bed. Apart from those things, yeah, I’d like to wing it a little bit. That’s why day trips are fun when you don’t have a clear destination in mind.

Just don’t take so long getting there that I end up sleeping in the car. 

I would be extremely unpleasant.

And you would be extremely sorry.

Moon Madness

When the full moon happens, you turn into a person who’s the opposite of who you normally are. Describe this new you.


Malia sneered at all the hoopla about the romance of a full moon. By the light of the silvery moon, harvest moon, and all that other sentimental garbage meant nothing to her. All she could look forward to when the moon was full was a radical change in her personality that had people looking at her sideways, and avoiding her in the corridors of her building.  Even her loyal little dog stepped carefully around her then.

Ordinarily a pleasant, calm, and friendly person, Malia could feel herself morphing into an emotional monster as the moon became full and round.  Oh, nothing happened outwardly.  Her face stayed the same; she didn’t grow fangs or facial hair. She didn’t howl at the moon from the top of a hill.

She just turned inward. She didn’t want to talk with anyone. She wanted no company, no drop-in visitors. Even her family was not welcome when the full moon glowed in the night sky.

During the months when there were two full moon, Malia just wanted to disappear.

She didn’t understand what happened to her, or why.  All she knew was that when the moon was full, she was as ornery as a hibernating bear disturbed from his slumber. She could–and did–slap out at people with her words. She made the timid cry. She made the confident avoid her.  Her husband had learned to just wait it out. As the moon waned, so did Malia’s alter-ego. Things would go back to normal, pleasant, and peaceful for 28 days.

Then, look out.

No Pets

Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?



We don’t have a pet any more.  We chose not to mostly because a pet needs companionship. A dog does, at least. Because I’m home very little, and Terry tends to be in and out all day, we felt a dog wouldn’t get the attention it needs and deserves.

We do, however, have a doggie-in-law.  We’ve enjoyed this little guy for about 14 years now, and he’s showing his age more and more often. He’s a Maltese-dachshund mix, with a pretty little Maltese face and a long daschsund body.  We gave him to our daughter as a Christmas gift 14 years ago, and he’s is definitely her dog. In this picture, however, he’s found a cozy spot near our son-in-law’s feet.

He’s very affectionate, as Maltese do think they belong on a lap and never on the floor. He’s very mild-tempered, although the dachshund agression can come to the surface under certain provocation.  He’s been a part of the family for so long, I can’t imagine going there and not being greeted by the little guy.  These days, he’s mostly deaf, and a little slow to realize someone has come to visit.  He comes to get his little head scratched, and then he wanders off to a quiet place for some more sleep.

Dogs are great.  We had two while the kids were growing up, and they were well-loved. We still laugh at the funny stories we remember about our Springer spaniel, Tick.  What a nut!  He kept us entertained, and we still miss him.

Book Jacket Blurb

Write the blurb for the book jacket of the book you’d write, if only you had the time and inclination.


Newly widowed, Mona  begins her trek through the dark valley of grieving. She  is a smart, capable woman, but she discovers that some family members seem to think her brain died when her husband died. She has to deal with their well-meant but unneccessary attempts to direct her life for her.  Friends also mean well, but when they immediately start trying to set her up with Mr. Right, she has to  put her foot down.  As she walks through the details of widowhood, including finances and learning to deal with all the tasks her husband had covered, she finds both strengths and weaknesses she hadn’t  known she possessed. Her faith plays a major role in her recovery from the loss of her best friend. and eventually she establishes herself as as a secure, confident woman who can deal with whatever life sends her way.

Too Hot to Handle

Do you love hot and spicy foods or do you avoid them for fear of what tomorrow might bring?


I enjoy moderately spicy foods. If the food makes my eyes water and my nose run, it’s too hot for me.

I’m developing a taste for good Indian cuisine. My first taste of it was in the South of England over 20 years ago, when I ordered curry at a rural pub.  It was fabulous, and I had asked for mildly hot, so I could enjoy the flavors. Since then, my daughter married a young man who grew up in Kenya.  Lots of people from India there, and he grew up enjoying the real thing. He and my daughter enjoy preparing different recipes, and I’m learning to enjoy eating them 🙂

My poor husband, on the other hand, prefers his food completely naked. No herbs, no spices, and go light with the salt and pepper, please. If I serve tacos, he omits the mild salsa.  No curry for him. No hot, spicy anything. I’ve compromised by learning to  cook for these different tastes in one pan.  I bought a divided skillet so that I can season my portion and not affect his at all.

The things you do for love.

My List

Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

The only list I really keep up with these days is my grocery list.  It hangs by a magnet on my fridge, and I keep it going all the time.  I usually have something to add to it the minute I’ve put away the latest stash of groceries.

Aside from that, when you’ve lived as long as I have, your lists are in  your head.  You develop routines, and when you don’t follow your routine it discombobulates your whole day.

I remember my mom describing how my dad would dither at bedtime, putting everything in its exact place and going back to make sure of it. Over and over again.  Yeah. See, that’s because  you can’t remember what  you just said or did. You can remember what you ate on the Fourth of July 50 years ago, but you can’t remember if you put your keys in the front pocket of your purse, so you dither.  You check, and if you don’t see them, you go look for them.  Same with your glasses, the grocery list, and your list of prescriptions if you’re going to the doctor. You know you meant to do it. . . .

And it’s really aggravating when you don’t see your keys in your purse, and you spend all kinds of time dithering around looking for them; you go back and dig around in your purse again, and they were there all the time. Sigh.

So as you age, build time into your schedule for dithering. And don’t apologize too much.  It happens to all of us sooner or later.

Ditherers of the world, Unite!

Ocean Musings

Write 500 words on any topic you like. Now remove 250 of them without changing the essence of your post.


I love the ocean. I spent a week down in Gulf Shores, AL last week, and I didn’t want to come home.

The weather forecast when we left was dismal, but it wasn’t nearly as bad in actuality.  We got 4-5 hours on the beach every day except Monday.

And here’s what I love about the ocean:  Surf sounds; changing colors of the water from grey to blue to green; rhythmic motion of the breakers; the vastness, making me realize how small we are; the utter relaxation of the sun, even on a cloudy day; the soft, sugary sand; the endless breeze that tickles my nose with the scents of the sea.

I could go on for a long time, but I’m beginning to realize I might not have five hundred words to say about the ocean. Isn’t that strange?  I mean, people have been writing about the ocean for centuries. Poetry, prose, stories.  Others have made it into art–painters, photographers.  We love pictures of the ocean in all its moods.

I think I love it the most when it’s stormy—that is, of course, when I’m in a safe viewing place 🙂  I remember how much I loved watching the huge waves breaking over monolithic rocks off the coast in Oregon. The wildness of it, the incredible strength, always kept me spellbound.

A particular highlight for me was our trip to Bar Harbor, Maine, several years ago. We went on a whale watch, and I don’t know when I’ve ever been so amazed at anything else in the realm of huge animals. So graceful, so strong.  I could have watched them for hours on end.

Well, there.  I did write 500, then pared it down to 290.  Close enough.

Religion and Politics

“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

Because most of us feel pretty strongly about whatever we believe  regarding  religion and politics, I can see the wisdom of not bringing up those topics with someone you’ve just met or don’t know very well.

However. Big however. To avoid those topics, we are often reduced to talking about the weather (boring), books we’ve read or movies we’ve seen (the other person may not read or go to movies), sports (I don’t care!) or our children/grandchildren (they don’t care!)

So how do you get to know someone well enough to be able to talk about things that really matter?

Carefully, I guess. I think nearly everyone we’re likely to meet is appalled by the slaughter  being committed by Radical Islam, for instance. But you have to be careful not to lump all Muslims into that category, in the same way you shouldn’t lump all white people into the racist category.

Is anyone listening yet?

Maybe it would be okay to discuss history or hobbies or pets.  I’ve found the safest thing is just to get the other person talking about himself. Where was he born? Are his parents still alive? What kind of education does he have?  What work does he do?  What does he like to do to relax? Does she have hobbies you may share?  Children?  Grandchildren?  What were her favorite books, growing up? What does she dream about doing with her life?  Does she have any deep-seated phobias?

You’d be surprised how willing people are to talk about their phobias.  Spiders, snakes, mice, water, heights, elevators–it’s an endless list.  There can be some really interesting conversation around these things.

And eventually, as you get to know someone better, you’ll find yourselves talking about matters of faith and politics because, after all, those are two of the most fundamental things that influence our lives.

Roy G. Biv—All the Colors of the Rainbow

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image.

Image result for sunset at the shore on the Gulf

I didn’t see this. It was too cloudy while we were down there. We did see some pretty sunsets, though, even through the clouds.

And that’s about all I have to offer this morning.  It’s gloomy, wet, and cold here this morning and I want to go back to Gulf Shores. Even when it rained, it was warm!