How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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Flash in the Pan: Happiness

Helja threw herself into the white leather armchair, knees together, shoeless feet splayed. Her toes pushed deeper in the oyster-coloured wool carpet. A loud drawn out sigh blistered the silence.

“You should take up acting,” her husband said handing her a glass of scotch. “What’s the tortured exhalation about this time?” William tossed back his whiskey without removing black, quizzical eyes from her gathered eyebrows.

Ice cubes crashing together in her glass, Helja squinted up at him, her raspberry lips pressed together into a red hyphen. The magic is gone, she thought, yet I still find you wildly attractive.

MH900430534“I’m tired of  these pointless parties and phony kiss-kiss crap.”

“You didn’t mind when you married me.”

“I’ve learned a thing or two since then. Money doesn’t buy happiness like in fairy tales.”

Snatching a hand, William hauled her down the hallway. “I’ll give you happiness,” he roared.

~* * ~

The word limit for Happiness is 150 words. I used 146 words. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for rules and contributions.


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What the..?

My five-year-old granddaughter didn’t have kindergarten today. I needed to pick up groceries and cat food. When was the last time I took Lily heavy-duty shopping?

“Did you bring your grocery list, Babcia?” she wanted to know. I’d never known her mother to make one, I thought.

MH900448735“Of course,” I gushed. We’d talked about some of the most important items I needed to buy before we left home.

“Where’s the list?” Blonde-little-Miss-know-it-all stared me down.

My hands fumbled in my purse. Crooked fingers fastened onto the photograph-sized spiral notebook I’d decided to use, to alleviate lost grocery lists, to keep growing book wish lists, things to remember and do, etc.

“Here it is.” I thrust it under her nose.

“Eggs, salad, popcorn,” she announced, still not knowing how to read. When had she become so loud?

I picked up Romaine—the best of the worst in the pile. “Salad, check,” Lily shouted. We passed basil. I grabbed a package. “What’s it for?” she demanded. I explained, and she approved. Lucky it’s her favourite herb.

As we arrived in the snack aisle, Lily broadcast, “Babcia, right there. Popcorn, check.”

“Thank YOU, Lily. I’m going to buy two bags so we never run out. What do you think?” I blurted. Why do I need to validate myself? She gave me the thumbs up. Who is this child?

As we approached the refrigerated area, Lily’s eyes lit up, “Babcia,” she pointed. Eggs, check!”

Red wine vinegar and artichokes called to me so I backtracked to the proper aisle. “What is that?” she asked.

“ You remember the spread you liked on the Focaccia bread at your sister’s birthday party?”

“Oh, yeah,” she said with a dreamy glow in her eyes, her sweet lips puckered.

“I already have a bottle of red wine vinegar, but I need another one,” I said aloud. Why am I explaining this to a five-year-old?

 Cat food next. Two grocery stores with no luck regarding what I needed. A pet store later, more expensive, I know, but kitty gets to eat. Success at last.

 ~ * ~

MH900402619The point of this story is the lifting into and out of grocery carts. My featherweight granddaughter is killing my back. Add lugging twenty-pounds of dry cat food, then groceries, and stooping to hang onto my precious girl. These are no longer ordinary feats for me.  Add again, up and down the stairs at home to unload everything. I don’t understand how something I didn’t see (coming) crashed and almost pulverized me—at least today. Six or so months ago, my experience hadn’t had anywhere near a similar affect.

 Crap!

 Does this mean I’m starting to fall apart?

 Already? I’m not even that close to one hundred yet!


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Flash in the Pan: Lonely

“Come to the concert Saturday,” Pam coaxed, dark eyebrows arched and cheeks flushed.

A cloud of Rothman’s smoke obscured Susan’s face momentarily. She shook her head. “I’m busy.”

“Doing what? How long are you going to hideout? Come. It’ll be fun.”

Susan checked her watch again. “I’ll walk you out.” The phone pealed. “Excuse me.” The cell already to her ear, she dashed into the kitchen.

“Did I hear you giggle?” Pam leaned forward upon Susan’s return. “What’s going on?”

Eyes, green as a cat’s, blinked back. Making no response, Susan dragged on the last of the cigarette; her face blank.

MB900178793Toes tapping, Pam asked, “A new boyfriend…”

“Leave it alone. I’m fine.”

“Not Jack?”

Susan shrugged, opened the door and crossed her arms. “Well, I’m neither lonely, nor hiding.”

Pam stiffened.

“Bye.”

The door whispered shut.

~ * ~

The word limit for Lonely  is 150 words. I used 137. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for rules and contributions.


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Baffled and Bewildered

As far back as I can remember, I’ve used two (paper) calendars in my house: one in the kitchen to organize appointments; the other in the bathroom for thoughts, books and authors I’ve finished reading and stuff I need to remember to do. Old habits die hard. What can I say?

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 Every year, my local newspaper delivers The Milk Calendar (free—and with interesting recipes inside), but I am only interested in the large blocks of space afforded me to make notations on days an idea etc. strikes me. Last year I was lucky because I spoke up and someone had an extra calendar. This year, I broke down and purchased a second calendar at Walmart (only .97 cents—big deal). Had I asked around, I could have obtained a free one again.

 ~ * ~

 Earlier in January, I stood in line at The 99-cent Depot (who are they kidding?) to pay for a couple of plastic baskets to keep various stacks of paper sorted ($2.00 each). My eyes fell on a delicious shade of teal nail polish while I waited in line. For $1.25 I figured, why not, and stepped back to grab a bottle.

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Later, I was disappointed because the finish felt rough to the touch. The next morning I wandered up the stairs (early morning dark, seven-ish a.m.) to pick up the newspaper on the first landing. Yellow flashes of light caught my eye. I did a double-take only to be startled by my glow-in-the-dark fingers. First thought: ack—radio activity! On checking the bottle, no reference to anything but nail polish was evident. I lost no time in removing the colour!

 ~ * ~

 Christmas sales were still on when I dragged myself out of the house to pick up some necessary groceries at Walmart in early January (only because it’s close by). I wandered over to the shoe department afterwards, specifically to look at slippers. For $5.00 each I bought two different pair.

 One dark morning, while making a sleepy run down the hall around four or five a.m., I noticed sparks underneath my feet as they hit the floor. What? Radio active soles?  OK, I’m not totally nuts and I’ll be the first to agree I’m hot stuff, but really, what makes me so HOT to cause static electricity instantaneously? It’s not radio activity, right?

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 I’ve been programmed to embrace change most of my life, but it seems to be happening at an alarming pace. It’s easier to accept what I understand. Imported slippers and nail polish? Is my problem that I’ve been out of the loop the past bunch of years?

Ack.


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Flash in the Pan – Paranoid

The party was a success. Ursula scans the wreckage and shudders.

MH900444437“This is the last time I’m feeding my free-loading friends,” she mutters. Her cat slinks out from underneath the sofa.

“Meow,” Sputnik complains arching her back.

“Come to Mama, pretty girl. What’s this on your tail?”

‘You’re dead meat, Urs,’ the scrawled note reads.

Ursula remembers locking the door. Paranoid, she checks again.

But Spider wasn’t here…

~ * ~

The word limit for Paranoid is 75 words. I used 68 today. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for rules and contributions.


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What a Girl’s Gotta Do…

I’ve been cooped up way too long. I’m not saying I haven’t been out at all this year. I’ve met my responsibilities: picking up the grandkids after school, babysitting, and managing grocery shopping because the cupboard was bare—but with added effort.

To save my sanity today, I went shopping.

A new pair of boot-look shoes to go with my jeans with at least a two-inch heel has been on my mind for some time. Nothing I saw last year appealed to me.

This was a bad day to let me loose. At Marshall’s (yes, we have one this side of the pond of late), I went on a rampage. Not only did I fall (hard) for a pair of the perfect shoes (exactly as I dreamed), I ended up wondering around the purse department where I snapped up not one, but two, purses. No black bags for me. One was mustard—I know, I know—but it was so s-o-f-t. Athough not real kid leather, it was so bright and cheery! One stroke, one touch and I wasn’t about to let go.

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The second bag, which jumped out at me, was shiny, big, bold, and brassy turquoise. How could I say no? The heck with white or tan for summer and black or brown for winter nonesense. Isn’t that for boring folks? Certainly not for me ever again. I’m going for a new trend: whatever makes me happy—hopefully for longer than it takes to get home after laying my money down.

A third possibility grabbed my attention: a glossy tan number, which hung over my shoulder comfortably—just so. Lucky for me something whispered in my ear to try the zipper. I like purses with zippers because nothing can fall out and I feel secure that no sleight of hand might slip nimble fingers inside and slip something out. Thumbs down; the zipper was stuck. Anyway, who needs three new purses in one day? Not me.

By the time I arrived at home with two purses, a pair of shoes,  a refillable (Keurig) filter cup (that’s a story for another post), and a padded carrier for my notebook, I felt I’d made up for the past two-and-a-half consuming months.

The sun finally shone on me. My mojo did a little dance…made a little shopping love…and got down to it tonight today.

Now, I need a nap. Sheesh.


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Slam DUNK

When a lady takes to her bed, she wears feminine nightwear and smells like an angel. She arms herself with bonbons, Puffs tissues for her sniffles, something entertaining to read and a nice cup of tea. And lots and lots of pillows to add to her snoozing comfort.

Or so I’ve heard—someplace. Maybe I’m confused and lost in the wrong era.

If this is remotely true, I am no lady. The Puffs have been useless because I blew a hole through like I’d fired a cannon—and had to wash my face afterwards. Cheap paper towels were more up my alley. Bonbons, you ask? My taste buds went on a metallic vacation so I couldn’t enjoy them. Nightwear? Good old flannel-type PJs for me. Something to read, you wonder? My eyes have been much too heavy for reading; my sinuses are still under attack, and my face hurts like it’s been a punching bag.

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A sore throat is what started me down this road. Next came fits of coughing so deep, I’m surprised my lungs aren’t shredded to ribbons. My ears are still plugged and my eyes don’t care to focus for longer than it takes to grab my adult sippy cup. To do anything takes more energy than I can muster and I still sweat like a construction worker.

I’ve clocked more hours sleeping in this New Year than awake. I’ve no idea what’s been happening out in the real world for the past ten days.

Five days I’ve lolled in bed, but I’m getting fleeting thoughts about joining the human race again. However, I have a short attention span. It’s possible all that sleep has made me lazy . . . and my sinuses are still messed up.

Happy 2013 to me.

On the bright side, I had first-rate company assessing my every move. I drank gallons of water to quench my thirst and made a million trips to the bathroom, always escorted from and to bed. No amount of hacking or tossing dissuaded my protector from leaving my side. My Lady Gaga slept hanging over my shoulder to keep an eye on me.  For four days! Such patience and loyalty—from my kitty? Wow.

Now I face 600+ e-mails in my Inbox and am overwhelmed simply thinking about a catch up. Please bear with me. I’ll do the best I can, but my mojo is still broken and I cannot promise every single one will get answered.


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Goodbye 2012

Here’s another year whistling by and thumbing its nose at us. I’m not going to bemoan something I have no control over. As well I’m not making any New Year’s resolutions either. What I am going to do is break more rules. A couple of weeks ago, I had a stern discussion with myself.

Why am I getting up at 7:00 a.m., seven days a week? When is my retirement going to kick in? It’s been six years. Sure, sure, the cat needs to be fed, but, which one of us is more important? Hm?

I’m happy to say Lady Gaga, is trained not to bother me until her cat alarm clock goes off. Her inner clock is spot on. She becomes antsy about ten minutes before the alarm goes off. I’ve choked laughing when I’ve caught her many times, studying the large red numbers on the bedside alarm clock. When the buzzer goes off she flies straight into the air. Every morning. To tick her off, I sometimes go to the bathroom  before I feed her.

For the first time in a-g-e-s, I’ve collapsed back into bed and slept till ungodly hours afterwards. I hang my head in shame, but I promise myself more of the same in the New Year.

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What’s Ticked Me off This Year

Why is there no magic potion for crepe chest? I’ve most likely had it for twenty-five years but it’s bothering me now. What took me so long? I wonder if sleeping on one’s side contributes or accelerates this condition. I’ve tried flinging an arm behind my back. Pfft. I refuse to wear scarves or closed neck tops.

*

As you know, I don’t have a partner. I noticed a new development in my kitchen this past year. If I’m feeding only one person breakfast, lunch and dinner, where the heck are all the dirty dishes in my sink coming from? Loads of them and every day.

*

For years I’ve enjoyed highlights in my hair. I hate the dark colour against my blah-tinted mature skin. In November, I made an appointment for a trim two weeks before Christmas My hairdresser asked, “Are you sure you don’t want a colour?” I was so sure I didn’t but it was a big mistake. After my cut, what a rude awakening. I have grey hair? Where the heck did it come from? And all at once? Ugh.

*

Another rip-off came to my attention. I love spiral notebooks. I have trouble scratching anything onto the paper because I have arthritis in two fingers, but I like having one handy. How much thinner can the paper be made? At this rate, I can’t write on both sides of the page and anyway, I seem to scribble right through it and rip the paper.

Other than these few constraints on my valuable time, I’m hunky-dory and ready for the New Year.

MH900440952 Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.


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Flash in the Pan – Book

The pre-schooler colours with solemn concentration. Wispy blonde hair tumbles over her face. She peers up beneath dark lashes.

“Ga-mah?”

“Yes, sweetie.”

“Whatcha reading?”

“Hm, about a girl with indigo eyes, who likes to draw, and colour—like you.”

“Are you finished now?”

“Yes. Why?”

“I wanna show you somefing.”

Rachael dashes down the hall and returns hands behind her back.

“What’s that?”

“A new book—look! Mommy got it. Ga-mah? Read me a story?”

“Come,” Grandma pats her lap.

“Ga-mah, Can I have a apple first?”

“Of course,” Grandma waves forward. “Come.”


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Quickie Update – NaNoWriMo

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This is for inquisitive minds who need to know. Today is day 9 and counting down to zero for NaNaWriMo.

I’ve managed to stay in the game—still can’t believe it.  To say I am learning about keeping my balls in the air and scribbling in my notebook along the way, has opened my eyes in ways I could not have imagined. I have never attempted writing so grand a piece—I’m a short story enthusiast.

Writing something as large as 50,000 words has been daunting, humbling and informative. Eight days to go, and ONLY 5323 more words….

See you soon…