The Tree

(I was away last week, enjoying a vacation in Hilton Head, SC.  Came home with a horrible case of sinusitis, ear infections, laryngitis.  That’ll teach me to take a vacation!  Anyway, I’m back, and taking the week off while I recover from this ugly mess.)

stumpsPHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The little boy, hands stuffed like balls into his front pockets,  kicked his way through the wood, bark, and sawdust. His tree.  His friend, shelter, confidante.  It was hacked down and sliced like bologna,  because some kind of disease had made it weak. Sick. Dead.

Life just isn’t fair.

Stay Home!


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Have you ever had to stifle a cough or a sneeze?  Especially one that takes you by surprise?  They’re the worst because you aren’t prepared.

I’m sick. I don’t think it’s flu, because my temp is normal.  Just a slight spike yesterday, back to normal today.  Still, I have all the other symptoms. The cough is painful. So is my throat.  Ears itch. Nose is either stuffy or runny or both. Body aches. Well, maybe it is the flu. I should probably call my doc, but my normal temp is 97. No doctor has ever been very concerned if it goes to 99, but for me that’s a high temperature.

Well, anyway, back to stifling that cough and sneeze. On the airplane, flying home from a week on Hilton Head, the quarters are so close it’s hard not to breathe each other’s air. I kept tissues  in my hand the whole way so I could cover up with them, stifling my cough or sneeze. 9001-42856

I saw a couple of people on the plane wearing surgical masks.  I don’t know if they were protecting themselves or all the rest of us, but it’s not a bad idea, especially during flu season.

I think that I’m going to have to stifle my urge to return to work tomorrow.  No sense in sharing this misery with anyone else.

And please, if you’re a client of mine, PLEASE don’t come to see me if you have anything contagious! Stay home. Rest, Hydrate.

This too shall pass.

A Shocking Array


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Electric shock.  A shock of surprise. A shocking development. Shocking news. Going into shock.  A shock of blond hair.  Shock and awe.


Say the word shock ten times, fast, and you’ll be laughing.

You can shock someone with unexpected news, making them very upset or very elated.

Sometimes  I have felt the shock of a mild earthquake.  Since I grew up in the midwest, where earthquakes hardly ever happen, I had no idea what was going on when I experienced my first one in Portland, Oregon, when I was 12 or 13.  Yeah, that was a bit shocking.

You can turn white from shock, as the blood drains from your face.  Why doesn’t the blood drain from your feet, upward?  I guess that wouldn’t be draining, which carries the sense of down, not up. Still.

My kids used to think it was fun to slide across the carpet in the winter and then touch each other, creating a spark of shock.

Of course, falling in love can create a spark of shock, too, but of a totally different nature.

I think I’ve about worn out my options, so I’ll stop.

Spaceship Training?

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

“Zing, look!  That machine is like a spaceship, but they forgot to close the cover!  And each of those buckets has small human—children?–trapped in it. Listen to them scream!  We should help them!”

“Zang, you’re always so impulsive. Just wait.  We need to do good recon. Look, nothing happens–they just go around and around. ”

“I wonder why?  Maybe they are training the children for space flight.”

“Maybe.  It’s not a very good system, though.”

The machine slowed to a stop, and the children  dismounted. They laughed and chattered their way to the next ride.

A Brown Study


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I went to the study to study my study guide.  My studied concentration did nothing to clarify the information, and I fell into a brown study as I studied  material that made no sense to me.

So I studied on the idea of a cup of tea and the book I’m reading, and it seemed like a much better idea.


a brown study:  discouragement

A brown study.  What an interesting phrase.  Here’s a little description:

Brown does refer to the colour, but it seems that in the late medieval period it could also mean no more than dark or gloomy and it was then transferred figuratively to the mental state. A study at that time could be a state of reverie or abstraction, a sense of the word that is long since obsolete.

And that’s all I have this morning.

Ways to be Static


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Opposite of dynamic. To be dynamic is to move and grow, so be static is to stay still, to remain  unmoving. 1

Static, unmoving–but scary as all get-out.


Static is also what we get in our hair and clothing in the cold, dry winter air.  We used to enjoy the way our oldest son’s hair would stand straight up when he was a toddler, moving whichever way we moved out hands just above his head.  And I, for one, was very thankful to the folks who created the spray that cuts down on static cling. staticelectr


Static is also what you hear when there’s a poor radio or telephone connection.



It can also mean ‘angry or critical talk or behavior.” Just don’t give me any static.


Aromas I Love


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To bring or recall to the conscious mind.

I’ve slowly and almost completely lost my sense of smell. Too many sinus infections, nasal sprays, antibiotics, I guess.  So for me, it has to be the memory of aromas that I loved. Those memories are evocative, and almost always in a positive way.

For instance, it’s raining right now. When I was a little girl in Minneapolis, I loved the smell of rain on the hot concrete of the street and the sidewalks in the summer. It was unique, a smell I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed since then in exactly the same way. icoportf

I also loved the smell of rain when we lived in a southern Minnesota farm town when I was in high school.  The rich, earthy smell of the fields was intensified by the rain, which was always a welcome reprieve from the humid heat of August.

Winter rain was a new experience for me in both Portland, Oregon when we moved there from Minnesota, and again here in southeastern Pennsylvania.  I’ll never forget that it rained on Christmas Day the first year we were here, in 1974.  I couldn’t believe it. I had grown up in White Christmas Land, and rain was just not okay.

Other smells I’ve loved and now miss:  bread baking, roasting turkey, ham, or beef; freshly-cut grass; expensive perfume; roses; baby powder and shampoo; sheets brought fresh from the clothesline and put on the bed. Coffee.  So many other things.

I can still smell some things if I get them close enough to my nose.  Lavender, for one.  I love that smell. My daughter keeps me supplied with  lavender hand soap and goat milk soap.  I know  a lot of people thinks it’s an old-fashioned smell, but then so many of the things I’ve listed are also old-fashioned, I guess.

The memories all these things evoke are warm, wonderful, and welcome.  I miss my sense of smell.