Tablets are, like, SO COOL!

Game of Groans

Think about an object, an activity, or a cultural phenomenon you really don’t like. Now write a post (tongue in cheek or not — your call!) about why it’s the best thing ever.


“I would, like DIIIIIEEE  without my tablet, you know?  I mean, it’s like, you can EVERYTHING with it.  I’m like, text? email? sext? group chat? and a lot of other things. Like, all my friends have a tablet. It’s like, the most important ummmmm—accesorie–acessory—accessorie—oh, I don’t know, but you know, it’s like, you HAVE to get one! You can, like, carry it in your bag or backpack so it’s always there when you need it, which is like ALWAYS   I mean, you know, I like LOVE my tablet!  I feel really sorry for people who don’t have one. I mean, what are their parents THINKING?  It’s, like, CHILD ABUSE not to get your kid a tablet!  I even use mine to do, you know, like, HOMEWORK!  And that’s why my parents got me one, so I can, like, get better grades.  Like in English, when I have to, like, SPELL things a certain way.  I mean, I don’t get why there are rules for spelling.  I’m like, just spell it the way it sounds, right?

Anyway, I think every kid needs a tablet.  It’s, like, a nec……necc. . . . .neccesitie?  of life! You can stay up with your friends all day and all night.  You can, like, flirt with guys you’ve never even met!  It’s so fun!  And I’m smart enough not to hook up with some PERVERT, you know?

Get a tablet!  You’ll reely love it!


Most is the new Up

_(Most)_____ is the new _(up)_____

Click over to your favorite blog, and pick out the 4th and 14th words (that aren’t “the” or “an”). Drop them into this phrase:

“_____ is the new _____.”

There’s your post title. Now write!


“Just tell me the truth!” cried the visitor. “All I want to know is, what is your most? Can’t  you understand plain words?  What is your most!  You must tell me!”

“My most what?” I exclaimed.  “You are the one who doesn’t understand!  Most needs something to modify.  Like, most loved, most tasty, most relaxing. . . .you have to give me some help here!”

“NO! NO! I’m talking about what is MOST instead of what is LEAST!  It’s not that hard!”

“Ok, just calm down. What do I have the most of? What is most compelling, what is least compelling?  Most really can’t stand alone, you know.  It needs something to modify, or if it’s used as a pronoun, as in “most don’t agree,” there has to be an antecedent somewhere, like Slobovians, which you’ve been talking about already.  And then it becomes a modifier again.  Look, do  you want me to diagram this for you?”

“Agggggghhh!  Why do grammar teachers have to make things so complicated? All I’m asking you is what is your MOST!”

“I can’t answer that.  I really can’t.  I don’t know what  you want to know about my MOST!  Do you mean, for instance, “She has more money than he does, but I have the MOST”?

“All right.  You win. We’re just not communicating.  I asked you a simple question:  What is your most.  You can’t give me a simple answer.  So I give UP! I don’t know why I have to give UP instead of give DOWN, but this language makes no sense anyway.  Goodbye.  I’m not staying where I can’t communicate!”

“Well, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you can’t communicate, but if you leave, I will be the MOST UP that I’ve been all day!”


Simply the Best

NASA is building a new Voyager spacecraft that will carry the best of modern human culture. What belongs onboard?


How modern? Who gets to make this decision?It’s important who makes the choices, because the world view of one person is going to be vastly different than another’s. I don’t think I can answer this one at all. Everything that comes to mind is at least two or three decades out of fashion!

I could go on a rant here.  I could talk about the way our US Constitution is being shredded; about the millions of babies we have legally “terminated,” about the complete breakdown of morals and standards that used to be universally accepted.  I could, But I won’t.

I suppose the most amazing advances of modern times would be in the field of electronics. There’s something new coming out every day, it seems.  It’s hard to keep up, unless you have piles of discretionary money sitting around waiting to be spent.

Along with technology, there are also advances in medical science. People are living much longer today than they were 100 years ago.  They’re not always cogent, because of diseases like Alzheimer’s, and it’s sometimes hard to know if we’ve really gained anything by living longer. The body keeps going, but the  brain no longer can keep up. Still, we’re seeing wonderful things being done for sick children, and even the treatment and rehabbing of veterans is pretty astonishing, if they can just stay in line long enough to get help.

Okay, you can see I’m feeling a little  blah about this prompt.  Cynicism has set in, and I’d better stop before I create more trouble than I want to deal with.

Dream, Dream, Dream♫

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it for us in all its ethereal glory. If no dream stands out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening detail out.


Maddie never could remember her good dreams.  They seemed to float away on a wisp of cloud when she woke up, to be carried away into the Neverland of dreams that never came true.

The bad ones, though, she never forgot.  She remembered dreaming of a terrible witch who was constantly chasing her. She’d hear the THUMP THUMP THUMP of the witch’s footsteps following her wherever she tried to go. The worst part was when she dreamed that she couldn’t lift her foot off the ground to take the next step, or that her fastest running speed was slower than a baby’s first tumbling steps. She would cry, and scream.  No one came to help her. It was always dark, and she was always alone.

Sometimes she would dream that she could fly, and then she’d be released from the boundaries of earth and gravity and could finally escape.  She would feel safe at last–until another kid of monster came swooping down out of the darkness, nearly grabbing her with its horrible beak–just before she woke up. Awake, her heart would pound like a jackhammer until she realized she was safe in her own bed and that the dream was over.

Once, though, Maddie had a wonderful dream. She and her friends loved to play wedding, and they had some discarded formal dresses their mothers had worn.  They would dress up, find flowers to carry, and march down an imaginary aisle to imaginary music, often to be met by an imaginary groom who was undeniably dreamy.

She had a dream about that one night.  It surprised her, because she was 21 years old, and she hadn’t been bothered by her nightmares for quite some time. This dream was no nightmare. It came complete with flowers, music, cake, and a handsome groom. As she watched the dream, in that twilight stage between waking and sleeping, she suddenly realized that it was the morning of her wedding day, and everything in the dream was exactly as she had planned it to be.

And they did, indeed, live happily ever after.

No Negatives Today

Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Tell us about something you know you should do . . . but don’t.


Aw, c’mon!  I’ve already shared with you way too many of my personal  weaknesses. I’m really not in the mood for more soul-baring today. You already know I’m overweight, don’t exercise enough, etc.  You know I’m procrastinating about writing the next Great American Novel because. . . . .well, because.

You know I hate housecleaning. And liver, and snakes. Not sure what all else I’ve told you.  Probably too much.

So let’s reverse the focus.  Things I could and DID do!  Yes, I like that much better.

I started two blogs (here and here) in the last three years.  Both are doing fairly well statistically, so I’m happy about that.  And they keep me writing almost every day.

I went back to school at age 50 and earned my master’s degree so I could do private practice counseling, and that’s what I’ve been doing since 2001. Love my work, most of the time.

I learned how to make a quilt.

I have a wonderful collection of teapots.

I’ve done some travel this year, once to the Gulf Coast and once to Slovakia.  Just got back from the latter on July 14.

I’ve been gifted with a couple of herniated lumbar discs this year, something that will likely be a lifelong situation. I’m so thankful for the helpful treatment available these day. This isn’t something I’ve done and am happy about, it’s just something that happened and that I’m learning to accept and deal with.

I’m getting a new kitchen. Progress is slow because Terry has his own physical struggles, and he’s done most of the work himself. And we’ve had good help  from some wonderful friends.

I’m watching my grandkids develop into adults. This is an amazing reward.  Of course,  we still have some who are pre-teen, but it’s just fun to see them all grow up.

The trip to Slovakia was my very first mission trip ever, and I loved it.  When I was a kid, no one was doing short-term missions.  You were a missionary, or you weren’t. If I were a teen, doing a trip like this one would have me thinking hard about becoming a missionary.

I met Dan’s fiance’s parents in Slovakia–Hungary, actually–and that was just a treat. Wonderful people. Maria had to translate everything, of course.

I saw enough of Budapest to make me want to go back 🙂  

I’m enjoying my Bible more than ever.  Studying in order to write/teach the Word is a whole different thing that reading just to read.

Ok, that’s enough. Dan just came by after spending his morning giving free massages to runners/walkers in a 5K event. Pretty cool.


Sorry I Broke My Own Rule!

Well, I Never…

Tell us about something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do.


The first thing that comes to mind happened not too long ago. My rule for myself is that I don’t accept a friend request on Facebook from someone I don’t know until that person has answered my message inquiring how he found me. I will go to the person’s page and message him, asking if we know each other (I’m old. I don’t always remember people) and saying that I don’t typically “friend” someone I’ve never met.  Generally, I don’t hear from that person again.

A few months ago, I got a friend request from a high school kid–at least, when I went to look on his page, that’s how it seemed.  I read stuff, looked at a few pictures, and decided to go ahead and accept his request. Seemed like a decent kid, and I was curious about why he wanted to friend me.

I heard nothing more for several days. Then one morning when I was checking email, I had several queries from family and friends about this person, who had sent them all friend requests. Apparently he accessed my friend list.  I have since learned how to make that information for my eyes only. I immediately unfriended and blocked him, and urged everyone else to do the same.

As far as I know there was no harm done, but boy, did I feel stupid. 

I know better. And I broke my own rule. Duh.

So, what I would tell a friend is this:  Don’t ever accept a friend request from someone you don’t know unless that person is friends withs someone you trust. Check it out carefully. Don’t be stupid, like I was.

I’m claiming temporary insanity.  That’s the only excuse I can come up with to explain such a dumb move.

You Win, You Lose

The Perfect Game

You’re set to play poker (or Scrabble or something else . . .) with a group of four. Write a story set during this game. Or, describe the ideal match: the players, the relationships — and the hidden rivalries.


Reenie had always loved word games. She hated strategy games, but at word games she won most of the time. She had been reading way beyond her age level since she first learned to read. Words were like candy to her, and she loved learning new ones.

All well and good, but when she played with opponents who were older than she was, it made her pretty unpopular when she won. She didn’t understand it. She lost regularly at Monopoly or checkers and no one got upset with her; however, if she won at Scrabble, she was  frowned at for hours afterward. Hardly seemed fair.

One lazy summer afternoon, she decided she would deliberately lose just so no one would be angry. Several neighborhood friends had gathered for an afternoon of games on the enclosed front porch, because it was raining hard. The porch was cozy, and they all looked forward to a couple of hours of good play.

The game started slowly.  Reenie drew  all vowels except for the “X” that was her final choice.  Uh-oh.  That was worth a lot of points, and she was the starter.  Should she put the “X” on the center square and make axe her opener?  Well, she had to use it, so she took a deep breath, knowing the others would be unhappy. And sure enough, the minute she put the “X” down, someone hollered,  “You cheated! How could you get the “X” on the first draw?  No fair!  You ALWAYS cheat!”

Reenie was, finally, completely discouraged. “No, I didn’t cheat!” Tears formed and dripped from her eyes, “I can’t help it! Every other letter I drew is a vowel, so I had no choice!  Why are you always so mad at me when we play word games?  It’s no fun for me, win or lose, because you’re all always mad if I win, and you make fun of me if I lose. So I’m done.  Go ahead and play without me!”

She left her chair and went inside the house, climbed the stairs to her room, and threw herself on the bed.  Her tears dried pretty quickly, but her heart hurt for a long time. She just didn’t understand it. At all.

Half an hour later, someone tapped on her bedroom door.  She didn’t respond, and the door opened just enough for whoever it was to peer inside.

“Reenie.  You’re awake.  Good.  Can I come in and talk with you for a minute?”  It was Rosie, a neighbor girl who was a couple of years older than Reenie. She came in and sat cross-legged on the end of Reenie’s bed.

“Reenie, I’m sorry you were upset.  I don’t think you cheated, and I don’t think anyone else really thinks so, either. It’s just that you seem to always be lucky when you draw your tiles, and you almost always win. It makes us feel stupid. We’re all older than you except for Kathy. We should be able to beat you, but you’re so smart with word games that we can never win.”

“Today I decided to lose,” replied Reenie. “I was going to put up simple words, and lose on purpose. And then I went and drew that “X” and I KNEW you’d all be mad at me. I don’t know what to do!  I guess I just won’t play word games any more. I’ll play checkers and other stuff that I almost never win, and then you’ll all feel better.”

“Well, yes, you could do that.  But don’t you think we’d catch on after a while?  Reenie, you need to understand that we don’t hate you or anything. We just don’t like to feel stupid.  No one does.”

“Well, then, what’s the answer?  It seems to me that if I win, I lose!”

“Look, the others sent me up here to talk to you. We all talked about what happened, and everyone knows it was wrong for us to accuse you of cheating. We all feel bad, and we want you to play. We’ve decided that it will challenge us to find a way to improve. And if you’ll play Scrabble with us, we’ll try to help you figure out the strategy games, okay?  This is supposed to be fun, not a battle. Come on.  Let’s go back downstairs.”

Reenie sighed, slid off the bed, and looked at Rosie. “Okay. That sounds fair.  Maybe we can turn this into a win/win.  Let’s go.”

Sincerest Form of Flattery

Last time we did this one I chose Jane Austen.  I don’t have the time or energy to do a re-run this morning, so here’s the original:  Well.  I can’t find it, but here’s a similar post. I suppose this one will be served up again soon, anyway:

The Doxology

Always Something There to Remind Me

A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place. Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why? Be sure to mention the song, and describe the memory it evokes.


Music frames my whole life. It has always been there.  My earliest memories are of sacred music, so I’m going to stay there for this prompt.

We attended the Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis when I was very young. One of my clearest memories is the sound of the pipe organ.  Not digital. The real thing.  I love watching for the opening and closing of the pipes as the organist pressed the keys.  The pipes stretched across the front of the auditorium, the biggest, deepest ones in the center and the higher notes cascading down on either side.

This was back in a time when children were expected to sit with their parents rather than to be entertained in children’s church. We were expected to sit quietly, to participate, and to create no disturbances at all.  And that’s pretty much the way it was. Church was important, a solemn occasion. There was laughter, but the over-all atmosphere was one of reverence.

The organist played until the pastoral staff came in and stood by their chairs on the platform. When the last man was there, she played a HUGE chord; the congregation rose to their feet, and we all sang
“Praise God, From Whom all Blessings Flow.”

It was overwhelming. It was reverent, solemn, and emotional. It was heartfelt. It filled up the auditorium. Until the very last notes faded away, there was a sense of expectation and worship that I have never forgotten.

I rarely hear that wonderful hymn of praise these days. In its place, we’ve put songs that are simpler in harmony, repetetive in melody and lyric.  Not solemn. Emotional sometimes, but just not the same. I miss that grand old hymn, and the atmosphere that went with it.