How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week #152

Anyone can join. Click below for instructions:

The prompt this week is …that’s democracy… + 100 words


Good Citizens

Sam rolled his eyes. Though his mother had confiscated the phone, his thumbs twitched in his lap. He squirmed in his seat.

“You can’t break the rules. Are you listening?”

His kneel jiggled. “Whatever.”

“Wrong answer.”

He exhaled a loud, drawn out sigh. “How come I gotta do everything you say?”

“Daddy and I are the government. You kids are the people.”

“You do anything you want!”

“We make the rules, feed and clothe you.”

“That’s democracy? Police state more-like.”

“One week: no phone or TV and straight home from school.”

“That sucks!”

“Good citizens make strong countries. One day you’ll understand.”


© 2015 Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.   


Flash in the Pan – Figures

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

“What’s in the box Gramps?” Lucas bounced on the sofa beside him.

“Something special from when I was your age.” He patted the box and stared into the distance.

“Lemme see. Lemme see.”

“These GI Joe action figures were made popular 50 years ago this month.”

“Ew. You played with dolls?”

“You liked the Star Wars collectibles didn’t you?

“Yeah, but they weren’t huge like Barbies.”

“You don’t want these?”

“Sorry, I like Minecraft better.”

~ * ~

The Winter Quarter of Flash in the Pan is here. The theme: Boys and Their Toys. For the rules and how to join, click:

The word limit for Figures is 75 words. I used all of them.


How’s Yours?

For Christmas, my daughter surprised me with a Keurig (coffee brewing system), which gives me a choice of three cup sizes. My old coffee maker works fine, I wanted to blurt.

A sample box of a dozen pre-measured, prefilled cups came with it—Italian (dark) Roast—too strong for my taste. Since Keurig carry so many brands, I would have preferred a box of assorted coffee instead. In my notebook, I made notes about two dozen varieties I had to purchase. These are a few:

  1. Timothy’s Original Donut Blend  – a somewhat watered down taste of coffee, with overtones of molasses.
  2. Brown Gold 100% Peruvian Medium –  full-bodied coffee, with rich overtones of peaches. Yum.
  3. 100% Costa Rican Brown Gold, Mild – beautiful cup of coffee. No added notes but a ‘feel good cup of coffee’.
  4. Breakfast In Bed Woolfgang Puck, Medium – a full bodied coffee. Nice aroma, but with a slight aftertaste; still, not bad. This one proved disappointing. I had high expectations because of the brand. Nothing outstanding here. No notes or overtones.

Not that I’m a wine connoisseur by any stretch, but it struck me odd that I should make comparisons to wine when I wrote these notes. When I went back to the coffee supply store, what a surprise to see all the coffees had similar descriptions as above. Woohoo.

Thank you Microsoft

Thank you Microsoft

Why I’m not crazy about the new-fangled coffee machines is so many customers are now buying premeasured plastic pucks and cups. Throwing this plastic in the garbage drives me nuts. I found out if you rip the cups apart and remove the paper or fibre filter, they are recyclable. A bit of a bother, I know, but let’s face it we’re already too lazy.

Keurig also make a reusable cup you can fill yourself. I believe they sell separate paper  filters for these, but am  not sure. You fill these with any kind of coffee you like, perhaps a favourite you already enjoy. My problem is the machine makes only one cup at a time. You need to dig out the compacted grounds, rinse, dry and refill for next one. Somewhat of a pain if you have a friend over for coffee. For best results you must use ultra-fine grind coffee in the refillable cups or the end result I found disappointing.

Did I need a new coffee machine? No. Was I over the moon when I opened my gift? No. Once a cup is made I must drink it up or it will get cold. I hate cold coffee. It so happens that Kuerig coffees are delicious black and cold, but I still prefer mine hot.

I’m content with my old drip coffeemaker. I can pour a third or a half-cup at a time, and I get to drink it hot. My cat jumped up on the counter last week and knocked the coffee pot off because I set it, clean and empty, next to the drip coffee unit. It smashed on the floor. Instead of buying acomplete new unit, I replaced the pot for $2.99 at a second-hand store. Now my coffee is always hot again because my cheap little coffee maker has a burner, and keeps my pot hot.

The Keurig is nice, but too expensive for every day use. I like lots of black coffee each day.

What’s your story? How is your coffee?


A Matter of Taste?


When I was much younger, I noticed everything I wasn’t familiar with in my family environment. What I never saw on our table was salt. Other people I didn’t know, patrons in restaurants, for example, or specifically ‘diners’ from an earlier era in our household, had a special relationship with this particular shaker of white flakes. Too many food consumers snow-glowed their food before tasting first.


Ick. Yuck. Ack.

What if the cook had over-seasoned the food already? What if exactly enough had been added? Is a perfect meal ruined? How do you chow down once more salt has been added then is necessary? Necessary for whom?

It’s all a matter of taste I suppose—depending on whose taste buds you’re talking about.

That was then; this is now.

Decisions are sometimes on cloud nine…

Recently, I’ve discovered I use salt more often than ever before. To my defense, I do try the dish before ‘fixing’ it. When I cook, I am more aware of salt, and generally, am stingier with this seasoning since I’ve read about the bad side-effects, concerning the more mature population of our hemisphere. I’m not about to get technical on you—we all know about salt and hypertension. Right?

My taste buds don’t appear to have the same sensitivity to food they once had. Laziness has set in. Must I face the truth? Is more, better—salt, that is? Is this how drug addiction begins? A little today? Great! More next week, and so on?

I’m too tired to strive for perfection at this stage of the game—I never have before— why stress out now? I could use a break. OK? Thank you very much. A little salt won’t do me in, will it?

Hot Pepper Flakes:

Every so often, I like to spice up my soups, stews, leftovers, with a little heat. Enter—hot pepper flakes. Nothing heats me up from head to toe like hot pepper flakes—nothing! I do not need permission for my choice(s) of pleasure. Okay?


I had a stash of hot pepper flakes in my spice drawer and wondered if it was stale. I felt the heat had somewhat degenerated. One evening, when I served pasta at dinner, even my eight-year-old granddaughter agreed there was no UMPH left in the hot pepper flakes. The next day, I purchased a fresh batch. To my disappointment, I tasted no marked improvement in the taste when I brought them home. Why? Oh Why?

How is it my granddaughter has the same complaint as ME? She’s only eight. Why are hot pepper flakes going soft-core? Is the growing season so screwed up; this hint of the future is telling us something: No-taste? No-heat? No-flavour? Forget it?


This past summer, I haven’t been happy with garlic. The taste is not as robust as in past memory. ? I haven’t had that experience in a long tim of wakling out of an Italian restaurante. This is good and bad simultaneously.

Fresh garlic wants to be smashed before it gives up its armored coat. To my disappointment, garlic cloves have become easy-peasy—too indifferent lately who cares


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?


 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.


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?


 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?



Flash in the Pan X3 – Plus HOT Flashes x3

MH900400574Momma’s eyes flashed fire. Fists on hips and feet planted apart, she hollered, “How many times must I tell you?”

Mark hung his head, his beard wet against his chest. One eye peeked at her as he clutched the carton shamefaced.

“Such a waste of milk dripping down your chin. Say something.”

“I was thirsty?”

“As is everyone else waiting for breakfast. Lucky you only visit once a year.”

Click Flash in the Pan to check out this fiction challenge.

The word limit for Mark is 100 words. I give you 69.

~ * ~

Sarah dug in her purse for the errant twenty-dollar bill wearing a nervous smile. “I know it’s in here. Give me a minute.” Perspiration soaked her underarms. The more she clawed, the less progress her useless hands offered.

MH900341994“Hurry up, lady. What’s the holdup?” an angry voice grumbled behind her.

“Sorry,” she muttered and dumped the contents onto the counter to multiple groans.

“Honey, you left this on the front seat,” Brian called.

In a flash, Sarah scooped up her paraphernalia and ran towards him.

Click Flash in the Pan to check out this fiction challenge.

The word limit for Flash is 100 words. I’ve used 85.

~ * ~

MH900444437“Do I know you?” Pete asked the blue-eyed looker at the subway stop.

Drumming fingers on her purse and tapping her foot on the tiled floor, the brunette shook her head and turned away.

Pete scratched his head. My memory’s not that bad yet. He made a step towards her. She whirled on him. “Look, you’re just not my type, buddy.”

“Sandy?” Pete’s eyes popped. “I never forget a voice. I thought you were dead.”

“Pete? Where did you hear that?”

Click Flash in the Pan to check out this fiction challenge.

The word limit for Type is 100 words. I give you 81.

Hot Flashes

MH900425493A precocious three-year-old climbed from chair to counter, agile as a monkey. Bertie looked over her shoulder grabbing the handle on the cupboard door. She gobbled the chocolate in the blue package, leaving no trace of the Ex-lax she’d stolen.

Check out Hot Flash Trace for this fiction challenge. The word limit is 50; I used 40.

This hot flash and the two following have been inspired by

~ * ~

MH900234619Jack stacked another row of yellow Legos on the roof of his castle. He touched his masterpiece with loving hands. Just a couple more, he thought.

His mother walked in. “Jack, is that your eight-year-old potty dance? Get in there, mister.”

The Hot Flash is Dance this time. Again the word limit is 50, but I used 41.

~ * ~

The blonde roamed the aisles of the second-hand store as if lost.

MB900423153“Can I help you, lady?” the cashier called.

Startled like a mouse in daylight, Toni squeaked, “Do you have a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey in stock yet?”


Inspired by M3, this Hot Flash is Stock. The word limit is 50. I used 42.


Quickie Update – NaNoWriMo


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…


Flash in the Pan: Corner

Rain pelted all day. By 10:30, Rose fought a deluge. Lights flashed around the corner.

An accident, she thought.

The row of cars crept. An officer leaned in, almost nose-to-nose, bringing rain.

“Have you been drinking tonight?”

“No, sir!” she said, blinking, brow furled.

“Your car hesitated and weaved back there.” He pointed backwards.

“No, sir. Not me. It’s the rain—recital.” She blew air into his face.

“Go ahead.”

The asphalt appeared greasy; the streetlights shimmering.

Wikimedia Commons Car Crash

This hill is steep

Rose hydroplaned at the bottom, crashing into the cement light post.


Bleak night, altered black.

~ * ~

Click for the rules of this challenge.

The word limit for Corner is 125 words. I used 97.

~ * ~

NaNoWriMo undate:  I know at least one person who can do this in a DAY. My word count to date is 26,846, Day 13. Don’t forget I’m a NaNo VIRGIN (ha ha–sounds GOOD to ME), but, it’s only 8:20 p.m. here. Life insinuates itself, so, I might not be done yet– I have until midnight…