From Scratch

BoilerDianne flipped through the album, rejecting anything that had either both of her parents or her siblings in it. She was hoping for a picture of herself and her father both, but she stopped at one of him alone. He was in a train yard, his face in profile and a hulking diesel engine visible in the background. Dianne slid her fingers under the clear plastic and pulled the photograph out. She held it up to the light, weighing it against her original idea.

On the one hand, she had wanted some image that captured them at a baseball game or sitting together at a fish fry.… Read the rest

Little Red Posting Hood

The first meme I ever heard about, long before I thought about participating myself, was this one called The Red Dress Club. It was inspired by something The Bloggess said. (That link is just a generic link to her, not to whatever she said.) Anyway, it was months before I jumped onto the meme wagon myself. And by then, The Red Dress Club had become Write on Edge.

It was only the second meme I ever participated in, and it was the first one that gained me any sort of a following. I really cut my teeth meme-ing teeth on Write on Edge’s prompts.… Read the rest

Game of Herb

JanaJessieJenny

Jenny's sister Jana on the left, me in the middle, and Jenny on the right

I was six and Jenny was five. It was our first year in different schools, and I hated being apart from her every day. So we spent our weekends together. One night, she informed me she had met a ghost. His name was Herb, and he lived in my house. Herb communicated with us via the First McGuffey Reader. Yes, that McGuffey Reader. My mother had scads of old books, and Jenny and I were precocious.

I’ll never forget the hard brown cover or the black ink picture of children sitting under a leafy bower.… Read the rest

Challenger

I was 9 years old on January 28th, 1986, in Mrs. McMullen’s third grade class. We had one of those awful pods where five classes had been crammed into a giant room, separated by dividers. But there weren’t any dividers that day. The teachers had pushed them all over to the wall so we could turn in our seats to view the tiny television set up over in Mrs. Davis’s room. We were all excited, because we were going to watch the space shuttle Challenger take off.

Now, some of you reading this knew where I was going as soon as you read the date.… Read the rest

Fast Food

Bread – that this house may never know hunger
Salt – that life may always have flavor.
Wine – that joy and prosperity may reign forever.
—  It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Let’s talk food. Specifically fast food. Though I typically don’t, I’ve been eating a lot of it lately. Holiday travel necessitates relaxation of all rules. (Not to mention, I knew when I started that I’d be taking December off from my diet to make it possible for others to live with me).

There’s a great deal of bread and salt (two of my favorite ingredients) in the typical fast food meal.… Read the rest

And so I write

I knew what I wanted.

I’ve been a writer since age ten. Initially, I just wanted a career (yes, I was thinking seriously of my future career then) where I could use the old Remington Rand manual typewriter. I loved the way it felt under my fingers, and I savored the letter-arm’s whack against the paper. Even now when I’m feeling completely empty, I type just to hear the clickity-clack of my keyboard.

My parents supported me. My dad is a musician, so they kind of had to by default. “Write,” they told me. “But have a backup.”

That advice has haunted me, still haunts me.… Read the rest

Post-holiday peace


The doorbell rang at half past four, and Scott and I were gone by quarter ‘til five, before the sitter could change her mind. Even almost two years ago, it was hard to get somebody to watch Sam. Not to mention that she was fifteen and being dropped off by her Dad, and it was snowing in central Alabama.

I don’t remember exactly where we went. Dinner at least. Probably a movie. Anything at all to recover from the holidays. I do recall wandering around Whole Earth (or whatever that store is) one of the few venues that hadn’t simply shut down because of a few centimeters of white precipitation.… Read the rest

Crash

I’ve had two car crashes in my life, both many years in my past now. The first one was one hundred percent my own fault. Trying to find the museum center in Cincinnati, I drove all around the base of Union Terminal without ever discovering the actual entry road. I had a passenger, a fellow student at the college of Mt. St. Joseph. We wanted the history museum. I can’t remember her purpose, but I was looking for newspaper images of the 1937 Ohio River flood for a short story I was working on.

I got turned around in this warehouse district.… Read the rest

8AM

Oct. 31 8PM

Trick or Treat

Nov. 1 8AM

The target

Because every good army has a blue finger-puppet dino vanguard

“Coast is clear. Car pulled out of the driveway.”

Meet our villain

“OK troops, let’s do this.”

This angry bird is not a happy man

“I thought they’d never leave this morning.”

The Wall

“Kids probably ate themselves into a sugar coma last night and couldn’t move.”

Up up up with a birdie

“Less talking, more climbing, troops.”

“To the victor go the spoils.”

This is the moment we wait for each year

“Dig in, baby.”

Oh, yes. I think I'll start here.

 

The carnage, oh the carnage

“Oh God, I can’t believe I ate that much. I can’t move.”

The humanity of it all

“What will they think when they find us here, your majesty?”

Princess Out

“Your majesty?”

_______________________________________________________
This version of what really happens to your kids’ Halloween candy every year was written in response to this week’s Write on EdgeRed Writing Hood Red Writing Hood prompt, which asked for an under 200 word story describing my version of 8 o’clock in tribute to David Wiesner’s  children’s picture book Tuesday.… Read the rest

Recipes

These are recipes from my grandparents.

Mummum wrote out this one in September of 2001, just before Scott and I got married.

Brad’s Favorite Butterscotch Pie 9-2001 [Brad was my grandfather’s nickname]

Butterscotch pie front of card1 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons of flour } mix
Add 1/2 cup of water
When thick add 2 egg yolkes[sic]
2 table spoons [sic] butter
1 teaspoon vanilla few grains salt

Butterscotch pie Back of CardCook allogether [sic] til thick. Pour into baked pie shell.
Cool whip topping
 

 

 

And this one a few years later

Great Grand Mother Bradshaw’s  coated [?] pecan haves [sic]
Coated Pecans Front of card (do you see how she couldn't tell she was starting on the unlined side?)1 egg white
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of pecan halves
Beat egg whie [sic] til it stans[sic] in soft peaks
over

Coated Pecans 2Fold in pecan halves coat each pecan well.… Read the rest