In like a Lion


With a little nudge from the Daily Prompt yesterday, I heeded their request but deviated slightly from their “rules”.  I’m crazy that way.  Remember when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it.

Instead of a notebook, I kept my iPhone close and was happy it was readily available to take these shots.  I woke early this morning to take my mom to a doctor’s appointment and as my eyes adjusted on the view beyond my window, my first thought was “are you effing kidding me?” After several days of gloriously warming spring temperatures, the looming month of March morphed into that predictable “in-like-a-lion” and the feline giant roared and spilled its vengeance across the landscape.


There were a few expletives that escaped my lips but as the caffeine began to course through my veins, I calmed down.  The sun struggled to free itself from the grasp of the horizon and cast whimsical hues into the clouds and the day became a little more beautiful.


Storm clouds have since saddled up and ridden in on that lion.  He is continuing to roar his introduction to the coming month of March and marking his territory with more snow.  After I say my ‘white rabbit’ three times tomorrow morning for the first of the month, I will be wishing for the March days that are more like the lamb.

Who else is ready for spring to arrive?

I get by with a little help from my friends


I have always been a very independent person. Even as a young child I would get angry when people tried to help me with things that were proving difficult for me. I seemed to get the sense, even at that tender stage of my life, that I was somehow failing if I couldn’t do it on my own.

Over the years I have been able to let some of that stubbornness go, not all of it, but enough to allow me to see how a helping hand can smooth the rough edges that I used to cut myself on repeatedly. As individuals, we are porous rocks. We are permeable and sometimes allow too many of the negative things in our life shape the person we become. We have bumps and impurities and we develop jagged edges to protect ourselves from unwanted encounters with anyone outside of our realm of comfort.

As we journey through life, we collect friends much like a beach collects grains of sand.  And akin to those grains of sand, our friends help smooth our rough edges.  They help transform that rough exterior and, with love and compassion, they help us to become more polished by eroding our jagged exterior and finding the beauty underneath.

smooth rock

(image courtesy of Google)

My beach stretches for miles.   The many grains of sand that comprise my shore come in all shapes and sizes and although some stay close to me and some remain on the periphery of my seascape they are all equally important parts of that beach.  I try to take as many long walks as possible along my shorelines and appreciate each grain of friendship in my life.  And though I may not make it to the outer boundaries very often, know that each of you, near or far, have contributed to the beauty of my shoreline.

The aptly named Murphy


The Daily Prompt has me intrigued, once again.  And knowing that this can be a fictitious post made me even happier.


Murphy had always thought his parents had named him poorly.  He wasn’t Irish, he certainly didn’t have a cool accent nor did not own a Claddagh ring.  He was sure his name had once been Jonathan, but he had too many accidents as a child to remember anything with any clarity.  He laid in bed pondering this inane moniker and realized the morning sun shone much brighter than it normally did at 6:00 am.  He glanced at his alarm clock the numbers burned into his eyes.  It was 8:46 am and he was already late for work.  He reached for his cell phone to call his boss, but the battery was dead.

He jumped out of bed, tripping over haphazardly strewn clothing and shoes and planted his face into the window sill.  He heard the crack and immediately tasted the coppery tang of his own blood.  His tooth lay on the ground surrounded by drops of his life’s essence.  He picked it up, put the tooth on the nightstand and made his way to the bathroom.

While spending his usual time on the throne, he balled up some gauze and compacted the hole where his tooth used to be.  He wondered if he should leave it there for the company photos they were having taken later that afternoon.  After wasting countless minutes reading his ATV magazine on the john, Murphy finally got up and toggled the lever on the toilet.  It wouldn’t flush.  His mother was going to be disgusted, but he didn’t have time to fix it.

He cranked the shower on and while he waited for the water to warm up he rummaged through the closet for his suit and lay it on the bed.  Returning to the bathroom, he opened the glass door of the shower and it slipped from its hinges shattering into millions of tiny shards of glass.  He could feel the tiny pin pricks in his feet with each step he took to reach the shower.

Once he had crossed the threshold of the stall, he screamed in agony.  He had forgotten to turn on the cold faucet as well as the hot and had given himself second degree burns.  He adjusted the temperature and lathered his hair with shampoo.  The bubbles trickled down his forehead and directly into his eyes.  He was momentarily blinded and fell through the open door of the shower onto the glass covered floor.

Ten minutes later, when his vision had somewhat returned, Murphy picked the remaining pieces of glass from the soles of his feet and his extremities and covered his burns with Polysporin.  His suit was still where he had left it on the bed and was now being used as a cushion by his two long-haired cats.  He shooed them from his attire and stared at the hairball that was once his clothing.   He dressed anyway, did his best to brush the hair from the cloth and headed down the hallway.  He was still getting the last of the big clumps of hair when he missed the top stair and fell head first, tumbling down the stairs like a rag doll in a clothes dryer.

He didn’t hear the sirens or realize the searing pain of his dislocated elbow until he was in the ambulance and they were en route to the hospital.  The ride was bumpy and each time the ambulance met with a pothole, daggers of pain shot through Murphy’s arm.   The ambulance sped along the road approaching a train track.  The track was clear and no lights signaled the approach of any oncoming trains.  The ambulance driver never heard the sound of the train’s horn over their sirens.

Murphy’s funeral is on Friday.

I’ll have the Number 4 with a side of humble pie


I have been somewhat remiss about thanking a couple of bloggers who I greatly admire and have nominated me for some awards.  I was tagged by TwinDaddy at Stuphblog in a game of blog tag, which I completely forgot to follow up on.  (Fail)

Edward Hotspur nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award – thank you for that, it is much appreciated.  And most recently TwinDaddy nominated me for the Shine on Award.  I am honored to be mentioned along with these groups of talented writers.

Although I may be lax in following up on the rules or answering any of the questions involved, the awards really do mean a great deal.  It’s not the bling on the side of my blog, it’s the realization that the people who took the time to nominate me enjoy the things that I choose to write about.  I may be getting sentimental, but being recognized by people who are plagued by the same writing demons means a great deal to me.


The rules that accompany these awards state that I am to link back to the bloggers who nominated me, which I have done, and to name an allotted number of bloggers to receive the mentioned awards, but I am going to alter my response.  Not only do I implore you to follow the two gentlemen who named me in their lists, but please take the time to check out the blogs I follow.  Whether it be writing, poetry or photography, all of these people have a passion for freeing the creative beast that haunts their dreams and follows them into their waking hours.

May we all find solace in our words or photos, may we find release in the freeing of our ideas and may we find kinship in our blogging community.  (And may I win the lottery so we can have a giant Blog Fest and some good wine!!)

Aurora Borealis – Trifecta Challenge


The night sky had begun to turn from cobalt blue to the midnight blue she loved so much.  The sun had given up fighting to keep the day alive and she sat on her darkened porch watching the stars dot the sky.  Quickly she slipped inside and began to doctor her martini with a bit of juice from the jar of olives.  She liked them dirty.

If the forecast was correct the bright dancing lights of the aurora would be lighting up the sky and the rippling curtains of greens and pinks would soon be undulating across the upper atmosphere.

She returned to the porch with her drink in hand and pulled a blanket around her legs.  She could see the sea-foam green colors beginning to emerge and the spectral portrait was phenomenal.  Colors intertwined like graceful ballet dancers in a black light theatre.

After only a few short minutes, the colors seemed to dissipate and the night sky lay bare, speckled with only a few stars and the memory of the illusory vision.  She finished her martini and closed her eyes, letting the night creatures lull her to sleep with their soulful songs.


(image courtesy of Google)

This post was written for the Trifecta Challenge:  On to the weekly challenge.

DOCTOR (noun)

a : an eminent theologian declared a sound expounder of doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church —called also doctor of the church

b : a learned or authoritative teacher

c : a person who has earned one of the highest academic degrees (as a PhD) conferred by a university

d : a person awarded an honorary doctorate (as an LLD or Litt D) by a college or university

a : a person skilled or specializing in healing arts; especially :one (as a physician, dentist, or veterinarian) who holds an advanced degree and is licensed to practice

b : medicine man

Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join us.

Opinions are like belly buttons


I have never had much faith in my ideas.  I used to think my opinion wouldn’t be worth the air used to expel my thoughts.  But I’ve come to realize through blogging that there will always be at least one person who shares my opinion.  Some of my thoughts may go against the grain and rub people the wrong way, but opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one.  Inevitably the words I put into cyberspace will resonate with someone and that, alone, makes the time it takes to write a post completely worthwhile.

There are days when I receive comments that completely argue the other side of the coin and that, too, makes the effort worth it because it always gives me another way of looking at a subject that perhaps I was viewing in too linear a way.  Those comments may help me to form an alternate opinion and see a point of view that I may have never considered.


(image courtesy of Google)

Sometimes the opinions I express quickly get the most profound reactions.  I could spend hours trying to piece together a meaningful post, one that comes from the depth of my writing soul, and it inspires nothing.  But a collection of sentences that I didn’t over-analyze and spend hours interrogating spurs discussion and controversy and keeps the comments flowing.

It’s difficult to know what will grab the attention of other people, but I can only write with the hope that my opinion matters.  And the most important person it should matter to is me.  I have to give myself permission to stand behind what I believe, whether the masses agree or they differ in that opinion.  Perhaps what urges me to continue in this quest is the love of a healthy debate – being able to hear arguments from both sides to come to a healthy consensus.

That is the true joy of expressing a thought.  Regardless of what thought it is, an opinion will undoubtedly weigh heavily on at least one person and make them think.  Maybe that one person will be me, and maybe it will be you, but whomever that person is, it was worth putting the words on the page.

What’s your opinion?

Those elusive birds


The Daily Prompt today truly got me thinking….and on a Monday that is slightly painful.  The challenge today is this – Clichés become clichés for a reason. Tell us about the last time a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush for you.

bird in the hand

(image courtesy of Google)

This may be a reverse approach to this challenge, but this is where my brain took my words.

Truly appreciating what you have without looking at what better things may come along may be easier said than done.  There is always the outward pressure of ‘what if’ that will make us ponder the value of what we have now versus the value of what may lay beyond.

We take the risk of upsetting the balance in our lives, that sure thing, to forage the unknown.  And perhaps the excitement of the mysterious is part of the allure.  Perhaps the elusive birds in the bush hold the key to something we have not been able to realize with the bird in hand.

It’s lofty to dream, but as long as we don’t let greed cloud our vision, each of us will always have that feeling of wanderlust.  It’s how we choose to act on that feeling that is important, and so far, I have never let that voracity interrupt the path that I have chosen.

Laying in Wait


iphone 019

Spring wanted to escape the clutches of winter,

it was waiting for its turn.

Through the clouds, touching the trees,

the sun had started to burn.

The opaque blue of the February sky

embraced the ball of heat.

Branches stretched to feel its warmth,

longing for a chance to meet.

Buried under mountains of snow,

blades of grass strained under its weight.

Buds of lilacs hidden in their shrouds

longed to achieve their beautiful fate.

But winter in its fit of rage

took hold of the sky again.

Suicidal snowflakes fell

and cloaked where spring had been.

Mercury fell and icicles formed,

the promise of warmth was gone.

Spring would have to lay in wait

to sing its beautiful song.

This one time, in Texas……


I have lived in Ontario for most of my life, but in 1998 I moved to Halifax to live with my best friend Sandra. I got a job at a bakery and, with the low-level of pay that was minimum wage, struggled to make ends meet. There was nothing left at the end of a pay period to allow for much of a social life so the internet quickly became a great source of amusement. Back in those days, there was a social site called ICQ and I met a myriad number of people from all over the world. One fellow in particular captured my attention and we developed a friendship that seemed to plant the seed for a greater attraction.

We wrote poetry and song lyrics together and would spend countless hours on the phone talking and singing together while he played guitar. We knew we had to meet face to face. My best friend and I decided we would spend our vacation driving through the States and that Austin, TX would become a stop on our whirlwind tour.

The hours we spent in the car, although amusing, were long and arduous and we would find creative ways to keep each other awake. Sandra knew the steel trap that is my mind stored movie quotes ad nauseam and she would give me a quote and I would quote back from the same movie. She made the mistake of asking me to do some scenes from Arthur, with Dudley Moore, and I began with the introductory theme song and continued to do the movie almost in its entirety. The sign for Austin loomed ahead as I came to the end of my monologue and Sandra breathed a sigh of relief.

The meeting with Danny went extremely well and he was excited to take me to his work the next day. His excitement had a child-like enthusiasm as he toured me around the facility. There are some details that I don’t recall specifically, but he was trying to explain the weight of something and handed me a concrete block so I could comprehend the comparison. I picked up the block and immediately dropped it at my feet. Searing pain registered in one of my fingers and as I looked down at the block, a small scorpion scurried along the ground away from the block. Danny’s shock registered immediately and the color drained from his face. He knew I had been stung and hurried me inside and grabbed his pack of menthol cigarettes. He began chewing some of the tobacco and placed a wad of saliva soaked tobacco on my finger to draw out the poison.


(Image courtesy of Google, but the resemblance is uncanny)

Hind sight being what it is, I should have gone to the hospital, but I’m here telling the tale so the worst never happened. I did spend an inordinate amount of time in a great deal of pain. My lips went numb for a few hours as the diluted poison surfed through my veins and my finger throbbed like a Fred Flintstone toe after being crushed by a boulder. Danny trapped the little bastard that assaulted my digits and after a few minutes of shaking the glass jar that was his tomb, the scorpion committed his own form of Hari Kari by piercing his own skull with his poisonous barb. Although I did feel a small amount of satisfaction watching the life ebb from his crunchy little outer shell, it didn’t alleviate any of the pain.

We said goodbye to Danny and to Texas. Our journey continued and we made more pleasant memories in New Orleans, South Carolina, and enjoyed the pain-free remainder of our vacation as we made our way up the picturesque Eastern Seaboard and crossed the border back into Canada.

Things didn’t work out with Danny. He couldn’t understand my vehement objection when he asked if I would move to Texas. I’m sure I stared at the tip of my violated finger as I broke the news to him. I’ll take mosquitos and black flies any day. Scorpions?  No thank you.

What is the strangest thing that has happened to you?

Hidden in the Woods – Trifecta Challenge


Here is my take on this Trifecta Challenge.

The clanking sailboat masts shouted with panic.  He wouldn’t look for long.   He could not abide the thought of any child discovering what he had discovered.  The woods were  now around the remnants.


This weekend we are playing another type of word game with you.  Below are photos from the 33rd page of one of our very favorite books, Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge.  What we want you to do is to scour the page (click to enlarge), choose 33 words, and reshape those words into a piece of your own.  Your piece does not have to tell an entire story.  We just want to see what you can do with this particular word bank.  Punctuation is up to you.  Use whatever you need, whether or not it appears in the photos.