How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE


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100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #141

To join in the fun, check  out

http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week141/

This week’s prompt is ‘but there are so many seeds’ plus 100 words

100wcgu-72

SEEDS

Morgan paced, red lips set in a thin flat line. Clickety-clack, click. Three steps forward; two steps back. “How can she get away with this?”

“The public won’t have a clue.”

She whirled a scarlet nail towards her daughter, eyes black as onyx. “But there are so many seeds of half-truths and outright lies here.”

“This book is trash! Forget it.”

“Grievous insinuations—still, she didn’t name names…”

“So. Is it true about Warren Beatty? Who’s Cesare?”

“Ssh.” Morgan peered over her shoulder. “Where’s your father?”

“Why are you whispering?” Alexa jiggled flawless, penciled brows. “Spill.”

“Nothing to tell.” Arms folded, Morgan raised her designer chin.


27 Comments

Only Two Weeks Until Christmas

Are you still scrambling, as am I, checking off lists and / or scratching your head? Are you in a panic for that one stocking stuffer—something unexpected and special—the icing on the cake?

What the heck do you get Aunt Mary, or Betsy, or Uncle Phil? They have everything, right? I would like to make a suggestion.

First of all, sit down and take a deep breath. Feel better? I thought you might. I do not have a crystal ball and anyway, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I’d likely drop and break it before I learned to read the messages within, but YOU can work some magic.

It is no mystery I am proud to suggest you click on over to http://redmundpro.com/book-store/ftp5/ and order copies of any one or all of the sizzling Flash Anthologies you’ll find at your fingertips.

Hurry. Time’s a-wasting and Christmas will not wait. Give the gift of laughter, bewilderment and surprise: small morsels wrapped inside as few as 50  and as many as only 150 words.

Go. Make your favorite people happy. If you wish to buy flash ebooks, use the code GIMME10 for 10% off through this month. Don’t forget #1 is always free.

OF SPECIAL NOTE:  Many of the authors of these anthologies donate their payments to MAGIC Foundation. http://magicfoundation.org which works around the world with children with growth and genetic disorders. True, yes?

Hurry while there is time. Check the right-hand bar on this page for a preview of all the lovely covers. There are now five to choose from.  Get them all. The latest is Finding the Path, but don’t stop there.


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Between the Covers

When you need help, who do you turn to? The natural response might be a friend.  Friends don’t always have experience in the help you need, although they mean well. Then there are DIY manuals with instructions. They read like guidebooks: dry and tedious.

I read a book last weekend I wish had been available two-and- a-half years ago. I wish I’d had it to turn to then, but it is available now, and everyone should read it.

I want to introduce you to a book by Red Dwyer titled, “Killing Us Softly.”

KUSsCover-200x300

 Click here to read more

She writes with reflection and directness about her own experiences when cancer arrived uninvited into her household, took over her life, and stole her husband’s. She explains the best ways to handle circumstances you cannot avoid and how to preserve precious energy as best you can.

This is not a handbook but a chronicle of an insurmountable life experience shared with the Reader: this is what happened; these were the difficulties; for best results this is what works. Honest. Direct. Exact.

Red Dwyer is a no-nonsense sharer of truths. Killing Us Softly is divided into segments which are easy to understand. If you wish to flip through the chapters to choose any particular section, all the information is arranged in an easy-to-follow layout. Or, like me, you can read this informative book from cover to cover in two sittings. Anyone who reads it will gain indispensable facts from between these covers.

I tried to stop after a couple of chapters but I became so caught up in the writing, I couldn’t put the book down until the end.

The author doesn’t collapse under the weight of her undertaking; she intends to celebrate her and her husband’s married life together until the end. She creates memories—happy ones—for her husband, her family, and for herself. How does anyone do that under the circumstances? How does anyone manage a large family, tend to her husband, research his illness, write and create happy memories too?

The words of wisdom interwoven in the story: what works and what doesn’t, are worth the read alone.  Emotional reactions, doubts, confusion in an alien world all need to be addressed. Red Dwyer has lived all of those situations and shares her experience in a straightforward manner.

I highly recommend this read. Check it out; you won’t regret the time well-spent.

Red Dwyer is also the Promoter, Publicist, and Publisher of Redmund Productions and the blogger at http://TheM3Blog.com.


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Hear Hear. It has Arrived!

When I’m excited, I jump up and down, although I shouldn’t because my knees are no longer elastic and can’t take the shock. Another idea is to celebrate, but how is anything fun when done alone? I know! I’ll share the good news with you, my fellow bloggers.

The mailman delivered my copy of Flashes from the Bistro. I opened the package and sat down as soon as I turned the first page. Then another and another. I grinned, shivered and giggled out loud. Hooked, that’s what I was. I had to tell you where to find these unusual visualizations of the twenty-six authors within.

The vinaigrettes in this anthology consist of as many as 150 to less than 50 words. No, you won’t find recipes or tips on how to run an eatery, but minute stories to tease, unsettle, and entertain instead. Some of the stories are delicious, while others are a little dark yet impossible to resist, and you’ll find twists and turns where you least expect them.

I can describe the gems inside, but I want you to be surprised firsthand. You see how my enthusiasm is hard to contain?

ftpfbsc

Click here to take a leisurely tour.

In addition, you will find other books by various noteworthy authors. Go now. Check it out. You’ll be delighted, I’m sure. See a format you like?

Don’t forget to check out the free book bin on your way out.


42 Comments

Move Over Oprah

I’m too easy—and maybe simple too. The absolute truth is I know I’m easy to please. Maybe not quite that easy, still, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

When I was much younger, I could never make up my mind about anything—so many choices you see. Also, because anything was possible, I had a problem making up my mind. I drove more than one cashier in the variety store insensible with impatience while I chose penny candy on the occasion I had a quarter to spend. That’s all behind me now. These days, I don’t need much other than the basics. In no particular order, I also enjoy wine, books, a phone and, of course, access to the Internet (which is iffy around here of late).

Now what excite me are the little things.  Allow me to borrow a cliché: Do small things amuse small minds? Nothing’s wrong with my mind; I prefer an uncomplicated life now: quiet and unassuming.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Permit me to spill my guts. My latest discovery is the humble can opener. I used to have an electric one in my last house (attached at eye-level over the sink), but when I moved, I decided not to deface my awesome new kitchen cupboards. I stuck it out with an old-fashioned manual opener until it became too blunt, I suppose, and cranking on that useless device made my eyes bleed wrecked my fingers.

I kept forgetting to buy a new one. A few weeks ago, I chucked the rusted old pain-in-the-wrists and bought a new one: Starfit in white; under $10.00; works smooth as butter; slices off the whole top of the can, not just the lid; painless to use—and whisper quiet. It was love at first sight.

Starfit

Starfit

And now, every time I need to open a can—which sad to say isn’t often—I smile and turn pink with pleasure. I pat my new domestic-device-friend and we get the job done.

See what I mean? I’m easy to please, and when I’m happy, I’m over-the-top ecstatic. If only everything in life was this simple. Sigh.

I cannot afford even one of Oprah’s favourite things, but do I care? I prefer the simple life now. Should Oprah want one as well, they can be found anywhere.

< * >

What should you replace but keep putting off?

< * >

Please note:  This is not a paid endorsement. I’m just sharing my enthusiasm.


48 Comments

Plan A, B, and C

What’s going on with my fingers? Have I somehow rubbed off the prints we’re all endowed with at birth? I know you can’t see them, but I always pictured these invisible lines as working the way the rubber fingers we wore at work (on our forefinger), to flick through lots of paper, or to count piles of money.

Here’s a crazy idea. Maybe these little digits need a light sanding. You know, like roughing up old walls to help new primer or paint stick? Don’t mind me, when I’m desperate almost anything is worth a try.

Some days, I have no problem at all. My attempt to turn the page of a magazine, newspaper or the pages of a book is successful; other days I’m all thumbs. I pinch the page at the bottom corner and rub using my thumb on the top side and my forefinger and middle finger on the bottom. Nothing.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Plan B: I wet my forefinger (I lick it when no-one’s looking—don’t tell) and try again. By now I’m not only frustrated, I see red. Why won’t the stubborn pages separate? I don’t swear as a rule yet a string of words I’ve never heard before spew out of my mouth and surround my head like a blue cloud.

Time for Plan C, the last and most ridiculous endeavor: blow at the bottom outer corner of the paper. For no particular reason, and a surprise to me, on occasion this works. I haven’t resolved why, and this also makes me wild.

In a coffee shop not long ago, I opened a novel to enjoy with my Java. I noticed a man close-by, reading. I don’t like to intrude but sometimes I’m uncouth. Seeing a stranger anywhere, with a book in his or her hand or underneath an arm, is enough excuse to strike up a conversation, “Whatcha reading?” This time I didn’t get a chance, though.

This man—about my age, maybe a day or two older—appeared immersed in his hardcover. Darn if he didn’t experience the same challenge of turning pages as I have. How is it he was familiar with my Plans A, B and C? As he blew the pages apart, I almost laughed out loud and had an urge to clap, but I restrained it. I may be ill-mannered by asking total strangers silly questions, but I wasn’t about to call attention to myself. It was a comfort I’m not the only one with this affliction..

I’m still stumped why I can’t turn pages more often now than in the past. Are my no-longer-agile-fingers to blame, or can I use the excuse it’s the paper’s fault?

A light bulb just went off: the next time I’m in this fix, I’ll stick my fingers into the jam jar before I pinch the pages. I’m positive this will work. Why hadn’t I thought of this before rather than struggle through all my hit-or-miss Plans?

Do you have an answer to this dilemma?


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Flash in the Pan: Galley

Trina rushed towards the restaurant, checking her watch. Swollen clouds ruptured three blocks from her destination. As she click-clacked up the sidewalk, soaked, her heel caught and the concrete whooshed up to meet her nose.

“Let me help you.” A firm hand grasped her arm, but too late. Hose ripped and knees bleeding, she turned towards the husky voice.

“I’m alright. You can let go now.” Trina shook off the warm fingers and swayed to her feet, clutching a package to her chest.

Probing eyes examined her. “You’re a mess. Let’s get you cleaned up.”

“No, I’ve an appointment at the Galley Pump Bistro. There,” she pointed.

Chin down, his shoulders shook. “Me too.”

Trina glared and hobbled forward, one heel missing, rain dripping from her eyelashes.

The Maître de bounced on his heels. “Mr. Dave Eagers’ table, please.”

I’m Dave Eagers.”

She turned. “Are you sure? I—your manuscript.”

pages-of-the-book

~ * ~

The word limit for Galley is 150 words. I used all 150. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for the rules and join us.


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You Light Up My Life

Quick—no cheating. How many lights are on in your house? Forget the ceiling, think lower, say eye-level or thereabouts. Can you believe this list?

  1. Nightlight in the bathroom
  2. Nightlight in the kitchen
  3. Clock on the stove
  4. Clock on the microwave
  5. Digital Clock radio and alarm in bedroom
  6. TV black box
  7. DVD player
  8. Stereo (light on whether in use or not)
  9. Cordless Dirt Devil in the laundry-room (at the ready when required)
  10. Printer (always on)
  11. PC Woofer (always on)
  12. Modem (on most of the day)
  13. PC Tower (on most of the day)
  14. PC Monitor (on most of the day)
  15. Cordless phone home base (always)

Some time ago, I heard talk one might save on hydro if TVs and PCs and their supporting hardware are unplugged when not in use. When might that be?

I see only three items in my list which are not in use all day long. I might be tempted to unplug them, but I need to know the payoff to me first. Would I remember to disconnect on a regular basis? Supposedly, most electronics now have a snooze mode when not in use (in limbo during coffee break), but I’m not sure what that does exactly. No-one explains when you buy all the new-fangled electronics how much energy you are saving when they are in sleep mode.

Recently, a full page in the newspaper advertised it’s possible to save 20% off your hydro bill. Call us and we’ll show you how. What’s the big secret? Why not include the tips in the same ad?

When I started this post, my intention wasn’t to talk about hydro savings. I wanted to count how many current electronic necessities in our lives are always ON: with tiny red, green or yellow beacons.  Why do I need tiny lights, I’m not working in the dark.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

  1. Even when I shut off my PC, why don’t the monitor, woofer/ speaker and printer shut off too? They’re all plugged into the same  power bar and CPU. Aren’t they?
  2. When my stereo (which I never use anymore) is off, a red light stays on anyway. Always.
  3. Since my DVD player and black box are connected to my TV, why do I need to manually power down each separately after the television is off?

See what I mean? Why do we need all these little lights when B is connected to A as is C etc.? Seems to me there must be a better way, especially IF by shutting them all off means $$ in your pocket: one button, one switch.

Excluding my TV, DVD, and radio, almost all the above are in use from morning until night—at my house—I know at yours too, right?

~~~

I want to confirm there is more to me than my interest in Flash and Bog Hops and commenting on blogs. I worry about life, the price of eggs and hydro. I  volunteer, take classes and look after my grandkids. Sometimes, I even participate in social activities (at least a couple of times a year–when I find time). I’m a go-go-go grandma. My days vanish in a flash.

With all these machines to lighten the load, do work faster, and have more time on my hands, I find I have less. I’m retired to heavens sakes!

And life costs more.

And I am technically challenged but I do have bright ideas.

And I’m always scrambling to find time to read!


22 Comments

Let’s Cut the Crap!

A blogger wondered today where / how the backstory to my blog’s name, Let’s Cut the Crap, originated. Perhaps I had a post titled as such, she inquired?

No-one else has asked before. Now that I’ve brought it up, let me explain. At this point in my life I don’t have time to beat around the bush. I’m not here to sugar coat anything I post. If interesting insights into my life strike me, I’ll laugh about them here. So far, only my knees give me a headache. The name struck me as attention-grabbing, as well as coming off as no-nonsense.

Shortly after our exchange, I read an interesting article and by golly I have a post titled as such now. This is it.

I found the following post, mid-day, because unexpected free time fell into my lap. My jaw dropped after only a few paragraphs. By the time I was half-way through reading, I knew David Gaughran’s post must be shared with all of you.

http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/publishers-behaving-badly-part-ive-lost-count/

Are you ready for this? I may not yet have experience with the big publishing world, but I realize the new reality for writers is developing into a cutthroat game of who gets the money. It’s all in the article.

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You will notice I’m posting mid-afternoon on Friday, something unheard of here. Today is the end of March Break for my grandchildren as well as for their other grandmother.  They have all gone swimming leaving me with an unexpected afternoon of freedom. Maybe I’ll manage to do some catching up or grab a book and disappear into its covers. Eh?

 


16 Comments

Hot Flash x2

“There you are. Everything okay in here?”

Janie’s delicate lips quivered. “I broke-ted my storybook. Look.” She wailed brokenhearted, and clutched the book to her heaving little chest.

Vicky scooped up her daughter. “Don’t worry, honey. It was an accident. Mommy will fix it.”

MB900440659

 The word limit for Brokenhearted is 50 words. I used 44 today. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for rules and contributions.

~ * ~

“Thank you for coming in, Mrs. Walsh.”

 Martha’s heart pounded like a jungle drum.

 “We interviewed you last October?”

 She nodded and patted her graying hair.

 “Good news. Hotel Bianca would like to hire you as Head Housekeeper.”

Martha clapped her hands then dropped them, her face creased with delight.

MB900045255

 The word limit for Elated is 50 words. I used all 50. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for rules and contributions.

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