A Little Member


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


First thought:  Lion tamer in a circus. But I don’t know anything about that.

Second:  Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, which is one of my favorites, but I just don’t feel like it today.

Third:  Taming the tongue.  Now, there’s a topic I understand from first-hand experience as well as years of child-rearing, teaching, and counseling.



Hardest thing in the world to tame.  The Bible says, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” (James 3:5)

Can you imagine how much better off we’d be in all our relationships, in government, in world affairs, if everyone would just control his tongue?

Don’t read the comments on news events, because they’re usually full of profanity and personal insults.

Nothing is sacred these days. Sex, all flavors and varieties, is spoken of openly and with great vulgarity. Even personal hygiene is advertised on TV these days, for crying out loud. Honestly?  I don’t want to know that stuff.  There’s a reason for closing the bathroom door when you go in there! 

It seems there are lots of people who don’t know any other adjective but the F-bomb, and they use it as liberally as they use salt on their popcorn.  A simple sentence is bloated by the use of this language, so that, for instance, “We went to the store,” becomes “We blankin’ went to the blankin’ blankin’ store.”  Really?  Are you angry ALL the time, or just when you go to the store? 

Our little tiny tongues have set the world ablaze because we just can’t control them.  To make matters worse, the communication tools of today have made it easy to insult and offend people all around the world in a matter of seconds. 

The American West has been on fire this summer, especially in Montana. Every single one of those fires started with just a spark.  Maybe someone carelessly dropped a still-smoldering cigarette in dry grass. All it takes is a little spark to set thousands of acres to burning. There has been very little rain to damp down the ground, and the sparks find easy tinder when the wind picks up. It’s terrible. People have died, and homes have been destroyed. 

We do the same damage to people’s hearts and minds when we set them on fire with just a few words from an out-of-control tongue. 







Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


Interesting that this word should be the prompt this morning.  Earlier, while searching for an illustration for my Bible study blog,  I came across this:


Image result for cartoon: child on Santa's lap, "where are you in the Bible?"

Of course, Santa is not in the Bible.  My parents must have done a good job of helping us to understand that Santa was make-believe, like Mickey Mouse or Superman. I honestly do not  remember ever believing that Santa was real, and still I enjoyed that aspect of Christmas, knowing very well that it was just a fairy tale.

There were no presents under our tree from Santa.  He was not the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-present power figure in a red suit that filled the store windows. There were no elves, no Mrs. Claus, no magical toy factory at the North Pole. Still, we sang Rudolph the red-Nosed Reindeer  and Here Comes Santa Claus in the same way we sang other fun songs.

We never sang them, though, with the same attitude of expectation and awe that I remember when we sang Silent Night, Holy Night,  or Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem.  We knew those songs were from a whole different realm, one that was sacred and holy, and not to be reduced to fairy tale status like Santa Claus.

My mom and dad told us the truth right from the beginning. They never had to deal with the trauma of our realizing Santa was a hoax, because we always knew he was just a story.

Seems to me that what they did is a lot better than teaching kids to believe in Santa and then having them realize it was all a lie.


Saggy Baggy Skin


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


The Baby Boom generation is aging.  I was in the earliest crowd of post-war babies. I was 70 in July.  There are many of us, one of the largest age categories in the USA right now.  Maybe that’s why we’re seeing so many ads about creams and all other sorts of remedies for sagging jowls, under-eye bags, and crepey skin.

Baby skin is so beautiful, especially as the baby begins to plump up. Soft, smooth, elastic. So touchable, and those little cheeks just beg to be kissed. If you push on those chubby legs and arms, the skin comes right back and shows no sign of being touched.

We manage to keep that healthy skin for a good long while, and I’m sure there are others, like me, who didn’t even think about what would happen to our skin as we aged, and especially as we developed the scourge of our generation, Type II Diabetes.  Your skin dries out from your head to your feet. And dry means it doesn’t spring back. The elasticity is gone, The saggy baggy elephant has come to stay.


Remember that little storybook?  The little elephant didn’t know what kind of animal he was, and he was afraid his wrinkly skin made him look old. I read that book to my kids over and over again.  It never lost its charm.

I’m not so charmed now.

So now, probably too late, I try to take the time to slather up with lotion that smells nice and keeps my skin hydrated. Not trying to look younger, especially.  I just don’t want the saggy baggy parts to drag on the ground behind me when I move 🙂

Gold Bond has a whole new skin care line for people like me. I suspect it’s selling like hot cakes. Cream for turkey wattle necks; for bumpy arm and chest skin; for hydration, especially for Type II Diabetics.  Lots of choices, something for every body part.

I’d think it was hilarious if I weren’t so tempted to buy every single product  🙂



The picture on the right is supposedly the same woman as the left, only after she’d been using some magical product.  We can dream, can’t we?

Anyway, if we’re old, we’re old. Still searching for that elusive Fountain of Youth, when we could just be enjoying our grandchildren 🙂


Out of Step


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Fashion comes and goes, doesn’t it?  Sometimes it goes faster than we can keep up with.  I remember when I was about 14, a huge fashion fad was the shag hat. Remember?



I knew I wouldn’t ever have one. My mom and dad didn’t have the money to spend on something that would quickly lose its popularity.  But then, wonder of wonders, my boyfriend got me one for Christmas!  I was SO excited! It was white, but otherwise very much like this one.

I eagerly waited for the first day of school after Christmas,  placing my treasured new hat carefully, at just the right angle.  Walking to school, I watched for other girls and their shag hats.

Slowly, the chilling truth became obvious. The fad had passed. I was completely out of step with fashion. I was probably the only girl in my huge high school who was wearing a shag hat.

Story of my life.

But, you know, it didn’t take me long to realize that the only ones who could keep up with all the latest trends had what seemed like an endless supply of money, and they were always at the front of the line for the latest–passing–fad. And always looking for the next one.

These days, I rarely give fashion a thought.  I’m comfortable with the style of dressing I’ve developed over time, figuring out my best colors, lengths, and combinations to suit ME, not some skinny six-foot model who actually has a thigh gap.  I can’t wear what that model wears. I would look ludicrous.  Of course, sometimes so do they.

I’ve also learned not to pay attention to what other people think I should or shouldn’t wear. This has been a journey for me, but for at least the last 25-30 years, I’ve dressed to please myself and my husband. Everyone else can just go fish.

I have my own style, my own preferences and tastes, and I’m comfortable with it.  That’s a very nice place to be.




Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


“Do you deny that this is your Bible?” demanded the prosecuting attorney. He seemed SO angry!

“No, sir.”

“Do you deny that you read it a lot?  That you even presume to have a blog in which you claim to teach the drivel in this book?”

“No, sir. Only it isn’t drivel.”

“Just answer the question!  Do you deny that you have used this book in your practice as a so-called psychotherapist?”

“No, sir.”

“Are you telling me you didn’t know that to do so is against the law?”

“No, sir.”

The prosecutor seemed astonished, then delighted. “So you admit that you knowingly, purposefully, broke the law in using this Bible to ‘counsel’ people who came to you for help?”

“I did.”

“I’m curious, Ms. Turnbull, why you thought you had a right to break the law.”

“Is that a question? Do you want me to respond?”

“YES!  I am most intrigued to hear your response, although there is NO sustainable answer as to why you chose to deliberately go against the law of the land regarding this accusation.”

“I did it because God says I am to obey Him, rather than man.”

The prosecutor sneered, and allowed a small hint of a laugh to escape his lips. “So you would risk your life by obeying the one you refer to as God, flying in the face of political correctness, popular opinion, and the law itself.  Unbelievable.”

Turning to the bench, the prosecutor addressed the judge. “Your Honor, this—-person—has admitted her crime. I believe it is clear that she is insane and should be remanded to an asylum for the rest of her life.”

The judge pondered briefly. Addressing the accused, he said, “You do understand that I have the power to commit you to a mental hospital, a prison, for the rest of your life. Are you willing to rescind any part of your confession?”

“No, your Honor.  I am not.”

“All right. Your courage is impressive. I have no reason to believe you are insane. You have broken the law, you are in your right mind, and you are pleading guilty. You leave me no choice but to set you free to live out the rest of your life in a society that hates you and your kind.  I don’t believe you’ll last very long. Court is adjourned.”




By the Light of the Moon

It’s time for  another 100-word story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, this weeks photo prompt  is offered by Ted Strutz. Thank to our hostess and our photographer

“Is it time, Barbie?”

“Yes.  I’m sorry.  Can’t fight any more. Full moon tonight?”  The whispered words drained her energy.

“Full moon. Everything is arranged.” She watched as I gathered up her coat, pillows, and a warm comforter. I wrapped her up, lifted her in my arms.

“Thank you, Sweetheart.”

She slipped away from me under the light of the full moon. I held her for a long time.


Changing the Rules


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


I talked with a girl last week who was wondering how far she should go in pursuing a kid she’s interested in.  I told her to let him do the pursuing.  I said, “If he’s interested in you, he will let you know.”  She laughed. “That’s really old-fashioned. These days, a girl can pursue a guy and nobody thinks anything of it.”

“I don’t think much of it either,” I responded.  I do not believe that the nature of the male of the species, in spite of the many efforts to feminize him, has changed all that much. Testosterone exists. Give it time. If he’s interested, he’ll do something about it.

I doubt very much she’ll  follow my counsel.  She’s pretty determined to “get” him.  Seems to me that no self-respecting man wants to be captured by a determined female, but then maybe I am just a tad old-fashioned.




But shouldn’t a girl be able to let a guy know if she’s attracted to him?  Well, sure. That’s been going on since Adam and Eve.  Most girls know how to do this without swaggering up to some guy and saying, “So, how about we get to know each other, Handsome?” Honestly most teen guys I know, even in this age of woman-as-pursuer, would be extremely uncomfortable with such an obvious approach.

Girls, you don’t need to make a fool of yourself to attract a guy’s attention.  A glance, a smile, an open and friendly demeanor, will go a lot farther with most guys than  to be openly hunted.

Of course, there are guys out there who have no scruples whatsoever, and the minute they think you’re interested they’ll move in on you and BAM!  they’ve got you on a hook that will cause you a lot of pain. It’s exciting at first, because they treat you as if they were just waiting for you to let them know you were interested. It soon becomes apparent, though, that they have wandering eyes, to say nothing of wandering hands.

Well.  Maybe I should write a book about how the nature of the human male is the same now as it’s always been. We may try to change the rules, but  we can’t change human nature.

Anyway, what self-respecting girl wants a guy who just sits passively waiting to be cut out of the herd? Not me!

Be friendly, be observant, be smart. Let him do the pursuing.


Non-Athletic Me


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I am not, and never have been, athletic. I mean, I could spin a hula hoop as fast as anyone else; I could jump rope, and I played a mean game of tetherball because I have a good sense of rhythm.  I could play jacks. I could even slug a home run on a good day.  I was pretty good on roller skates. It’s not like a sat around doing nothing while everyone else ran and played.  I’m a pretty decent swimmer, too, now that I think about it.
But there’s a difference between enjoying athletic pursuits and becoming as good as a short body with short legs and arms could become. However, even though I did make the junior high girls’ volleyball team,  I was not known for my athleticism. I was the kid that usually got chosen last for whatever game was being played. I got used to it. There were more important things in life.
I despise watching baseball or football on TV. Bored. To. Tears.  Fifteen minutes between each pitch, instant replay run over and over again from sixteen different angles as refs blow their whistles and fans  behave disgracefully. I mean, really–half naked guys who really shouldn’t bare their chubby torsos, faces painted, beer in hand as they curse and swear when things don’t go their way?  Why would I want to be in the middle of that?  Ick.
Why does it take four hours to play one football game?  May as well go watch the grass grow.
 My mom used to enjoy watching golf on TV. Honestly. She really did.
There are sports I used to enjoy participating in, even though I wasn’t a star player, but I don’t really enjoy watching them–unless it’s the Olympics.  And even there, I’m glad they don’t have football–do they?– or baseball–right?–I don’t remember hearing anything about either game in the Olympics.
Now, basketball moves fast and is much more exciting. Even hockey, although the fights are a big turn-off. But I love to watch the ski events, swimming, gymnastics, skating, and so on. I admire the strength, speed, grace, dedication that I observe. There has never been, in my opinion, a more graceful skater than Michelle Kwan. And the speed skating is amazing.
For those of you who just don’t understand people like me, be comforted. There are more of you  than there are of me;  at least it seems that way.  I just go find something else to do when everyone in the household is glued to the football games on New Year’s Day. You are welcome to your love of the sport.  I’ll go read a book.

Westward HO!


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


Strangely enough, the very first thing that came to mind was “Circle the Wagons!”  Now, I haven’t watched an old-fashioned cowboy show in a very long time, so I’m not sure where this thought came from.  I do know that it’s still used as a sort of call to battle, or to be prepared for whatever is coming.

I also know that many in the younger generation would just give me a blank look, having no idea what the origin of this saying is.

Picture this:

As those long wagon trains crept westward, they were sometimes attacked by the Indians–sorry, Native Americans–who saw them as exactly what they were; a threat to the way of life enjoyed by those same Native Americans.  I won’t point out the revisionist history involved. Suffice it to say that the people who traveled westward didn’t do it for the sole purpose of pushing the Indians off their lands. Uh-oh, I did it again.

Anyway, circling the wagons gave a fairly effective protection to the travelers, who could shoot from  behind the wheels and the wooden bodies of the wagons. It must have been terrifying for those within the circle, though, if the enemy force was much larger.  We’ve tended to romanticize these events, but they were terrifying, bloody, and often didn’t end well at all.

Who were the people who piled all their belongings into these “ships of the desert” to find new homes far away from family and friends?  Oh, my.  All kinds.  Some were criminals escaping from the law, going to a lawless land where they felt safe from  punishment. Others were simply people who longed for wide open spaces, no near neighbors, excitement, land of their own.  Some were speculators, profiteers.  Some were missionaries, teachers,  women who were mail-order brides, with eager men waiting to marry them and relieve the loneliness of living in isolation. Men looking for gold, looking for land, looking for a way of life that seemed like Utopia.

“Westward, HO!” had become like a clarion call to many who were unhappy with the way-too-civilized life along the East Coast.

When I was a kid, westerns on TV were as numerous as cop shows and CSI’s are today. My word, so many.  Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Sugarfoot, Wyatt Earp, Big Valley, Laramie, Palladin–I can’t even remember them all.  My dad loved them, because they took him back to his own growing up years in the Utah desert, where I imagine he dreamed himself the hero of every Zane Grey novel he had ever read.

All this, from the word circle. And I didn’t even mention Ezekiel’s vision of the wheel within a wheel 🙂



Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


Because I’m feeling quite lazy this morning, I’m going to share some of Mark Twain’s witticisms with you to make you smile:






3. “It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.” – Mark Twain in Eruption: Hitherto Unpublished Pages About Men and Events (1940) edited by Bernard DeVoto

4. “A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” –  Mark Twain and I by Opie Read

5. “He was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie.” – “Brief Biographical Sketch of George Washington,” (1867)

6. “The only reason why God created man is because he was disappointed with the monkey.” – Autobiographical Dictation (1906)

7. “I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough.” – Speech (23 September 1907).


8. “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” – Draft manuscript (c.1881), quoted by Albert Bigelow Paine in Mark Twain: A Biography (1912)