How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE


#BlogBattle Week 13

Another week has whizzed by. I don’t believe it either.

This week’s prompt is …rope… + up to only 1,000 words

For details, check out

To Plant a Rose

Stubborn as cement, the clay refused to budge. Stella stamped her feet. In minutes, trails of perspiration had invaded uninvited places all over her body. Smacking the spade to the ground, she swiped her dripping brow, fascinated with the moisture collected there, then rubbed it against her shorts. Why does this have to be so hard? Either it rains buckets or doesn’t rain at all.

“What are you doing?”

Stella jerked to attention with a yelp, short of tripping over the shovel. “You’re awake.” She flicked an eye over her husband, The Mathematician, clad in slippers and ratty bathrobe, and flinched. At least he’d poured himself a coffee.

“What are you doing?” It’s hot already.” He tightened the belt of his robe, but exposed his salt and pepper chest.

“I need to plant this rose before it dries up…”

“So what’s the problem? Let me.” As her husband advanced on her, Stella shuffled backwards, eyes blinking, a hand to her throat. He drove the spade into the ground with surprising force, but it ricocheted out of his hands. The handle shot into his face. He growled and back-peddled, a hand to his cheek. “Forget it. Can’t be done.”

Stella covered her mouth and nose stifling overpowering giggles. “Maybe we’ll have more success if you tried a foot farther down on either side, or behind.”

The Mathematician rubbed tender hands together, which had never met a blister, now as red as his face. An engorged vein in his neck pulsed and appeared on the verge of exploding. He flicked sweat out of his eyes. “It’s too hot. I’m taking a shower.” He tightened the belt of his robe and shuffled down the driveway like an old man.

Stella smirked. I wonder why he thought to help today? His hands have only known a pencil at worst, or his computer at best. She bent to wipe her forehead with her t-shirt. Hair soaked through, she shook it hard, then picked up the shovel. One more try. This time the spade slipped into the earth with less resistance, though only half-way down the blade. She wrinkled her nose at the sour smell of the clay and repositioned a couple scoops of earth. Her third swing hit rock and bounced back in her hands. Ow! On her knees she felt with her hands for the rock to judge its size. “Too big to dig out.”

“Kinda hot isn’t it? Want some help?” The neighbor’s son on the far side leaned against the stone wall, which separated their backyards. Shaded by their cherry tree, he readjusted the red baseball cap he wore backwards.

“Hi, George. I think I’ll go in for a while. It’s hotter than an inferno, isn’t it?”

He wiggled his wiry black uni-brow. “I can loosen some of that clay with my steel spike. I’ll be right over.”

Stella wiped her face with her t-shirt again and wrung it out, sunk deeper over her heels. The 20-something neighbor’s son ambled up the driveway with what appeared an old-fashioned spear. “Show me where.” His cheeks dimpled as he smiled down at her.

Stella explained about the rock. “Anywhere here, either farther left or right. At least a foot deep and about eighteen inches wide.

George poked the ground looking for a soft spot. He stopped and cocked his head.

“What?” She reared up then, her brow pleated.

“I hit something. Feels weird.” He grabbed the spade and worked fast. Green plastic, like the corner of a garbage bag, poked out of the dirt. They gawked at each other. George scraped at the dirt by layers, but the handle slipped and the point ripped through the plastic. A putrid odor wrapped itself around them. They saw the rope wrapped around the garbage bag. “I think we need to call the police.” He stumbled away from the suffocating stench.

“What do you think it is?” Stella’s voice quaked.

“Don’t know.” George’s face and ears flushed crimson, his forehead glistened with dripping sweat, t-shirt soaked through. “Doesn’t look good.”

“Pull up a chair. I’ll make the call and bring out some lemonade.”

He sank into a lounge chair, and flung the spade to the ground.

* * *

They’d moved their chairs deeper into the garden. The cherry tree provided little shade now; the garage provided little more. Each slurped lemonade as the ice melted in the jug. Fifty-three minutes after the call, a lone officer ambled into the backyard. The cavity in the garden grabbed his attention. He passed beneath the arbor and the reek from the hole slapped him in the face.

Stella and George sprang up, her husband’s face a putrid green, rose slower. Everyone talked at once and then stopped. Stella told her story, ran out of breath, and George finished.

“What do you suppose it is?” She led the way to the hole, but stayed back from the smell and covered her nose.

The policeman, hands behind his back didn’t move any closer either. “Don’t worry. It’s not human remains. The odour is sweet like an animal, probably a dog.”

“You’re sure? Why bind the bag with rope?”

“Didn’t want to hold it, maybe.”

“What do we do with it? Will you take it away?”

“Me? Oh no. Call animal control or put it out for trash pickup.” He took out his notebook and pen, tipped his cap and was gone.

“The Mathematician found his voice. “I’m not touching that thing. Call animal control. I’m going inside.”

“I’ll throw more dirt on the hole to keep nosy animals away and cover the reek.”

Stella nodded. Thanks, George. All I wanted was to plant a rose. Creepy. Hope the cop is right and it’s not human remains.”

The End

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


100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week #173

Join us here:

Prompt:  …and so it begins… + 100 words


Where Were We?

Fran glared at her laptop screen. “The special’s gone.”

“What special?”

“The Groupon chicken breasts. I told you.”

“You’re. A. Week. Late.” Heather scowled over her bifocals.


“Look-look. My favorite pants are on Groupon, and cheaper than Walmart’s.

“Those burgundy things?” Fran wrinkled her nose. 

“No-no. The navy ones. Three pair should do. Where’s my credit card?”

“You use Pay Pal, silly.”


“And so it begins. You remember, I forget. I remember, you forget.” Fran raised her hand. “Waitress, two refills, please? Where were we?”

“I donno.”

“You weren’t listening?”

They frowned at each other, then laughed till tears lined their eyes.


© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles


100-Word Challenge for Jacqui

Behave Yourselves


Thank you Google.

Thank you Google.

My fickle pen rushes…

Morgan paced like a panther. “You know me. I do what I like.”

“You-know-me-I-do-what-I-like.” Wally’s sour mouth puckered.

Hey stop.

“You dare use that tone with me?”


You’re fighting? Behave yourselves.

“Sorry, sweetheart. I’ve had a dreadful day. Georges-is-unreasonable.”

“Sweetheart? You haven’t called me that in…we’re in agreement then. My choice of destination.”

What? Isn’t this sudden? You can’t change directions whenever you please.

“Destination? I-thought-I’d-explained-I-can’t…”

“Can’t or won’t? You work for me, remember?”

“But the project—”

Enough. I need a break from you two. My wrist’s shot and I have to pee anyway.


Flash in the Pan – Waitress

Sam marched into the boardroom dressed for battle: pressed suit, starched collar, and muted tie. He dropped a folder on the conference table, sinking into his usual chair. Members dribbled in.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“Hello, Sam.”

“Hi, George.”

“Morning, Lewis.”

Chairs scraped, water glasses clinked, papers shushed when shuffled.

A leggy brunette in a pinstripe suit and red heels materialized. The men rubbernecked as one.

“Coffee wagon?” Sam growled. “We need to get started.”

She stopped dead and crossed her arms. “Do I look like a waitress?”

“On your way dearie.”

“The name is Morgan Walkerton, your new C.E.O. I called this meeting.”

~ * ~

The word limit for Waitress is 100 words. I used all 100. Check out for the rules and join us.


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?


Curious Meets Crazy

I hate cold coffee and am forever reheating a cup in the microwave. Why does the mug handle end up in the back even when I place it facing out, or, no matter how long it spins to reheat?

My old washing machine ate socks; I became used to losing them and expected the loss. What changed? The new machine hasn’t gobbled any—even once—in four years. What gives?

When are you officially a senior? 50? 55? 60? 65? Businesses used to offer discounts on a wide range of products and services for customers age fifty and over. Once the demographic reports on baby boomers came out, perks dwindled, an inch at a time. Too many seniors are approaching age sixty-five. Why is this information a surprise?

McDonald’s offers seniors a coffee discount—size small only. Some ‘franchises’ don’t offer any reduction at all. Others give you the same price cut whether you order a small or a large cup. Why the differences?

Why do meteors fall through the atmosphere but don’t hit anything? I’m pleased not to hear of catastrophic damages, but why is it they never hit any cities or tall buildings? Why are burned remnants always found in remote areas? How lucky are we?

Why do I always want to do something else when I’m in the middle of any particular project? Even when I’m half-way into an absorbing book, another one catches my eye; I’m impatient to get into the new one no matter how exciting the current one I’m reading.

Why is my cat driving me crazy? I threw drop-sheets on my sofa to discourage her from playing Tarzan. She found an opening no matter how I draped, tucked or arranged the sheets to drag on the floor. She discovered a new game called ‘run under the drop-sheets and hang on the sofa underneath’. Alright! W-e-e-e-e. Will my sofa last until next Monday morning and her manicure appointment?


Swoon No More

Does anyone in this whole wide world dislike hate fruit flies like I do?

Fruit flies were everywhere yesterday, following me around it seemed. No fruits or vegetables anywhere. Why did they descend on me? Sure I ‘m apt to find a few in the kitchen during the warm summer weather now and again, as in past years, except last fall, we had hordes. I don’t expect a following to my favourite spot on the sofa, though, nor around my computer (which happens to be in my bedroom). No fruit or food in here either.

I smashed at least a dozen of the flying pests certain only one existed. As soon as I clapped one dead another one materialized. I couldn’t get any work done. And, one flew at my face. What? This made it personal. Did I mention I’m not dead yet and I can prove it? I’m like a frog—I’m so fast—but I don’t use a weird tongue to do the job. Who else is so talented to kill and applaud at the same time?

I half-filled a mug with sugar water and placed it on a side table by my desk. No captives to report in the past twenty-four hours. No race resulted, either,  to determine who craved my glass of wine first. I’m almost disappointed;  this is most unusual. You won’t believe it—I couldn’t either—a fruit fly in my COFFEE swam its last dead fly float! Have the fruit flies of the world joined AA?

Not so long ago, I remember house flies bu-z-z-z-z-ed. Of late, I notice they annoy the hell out of me but are mute. Fruit flies hung around my kitchen until last night but swoon over sugar water and wine no more. What’s happening? I thought technology was going to confuse me first not the silly bug world.

Tonight, a lone fruit fly came to visit. It had the nerve to land on the back of my wrist—bold as brass. Yes, I looked at it—for a millisecond, and let him have it. Later, a cousin or a spouse flew in.

How I hate washing my hands every five minutes but no trouble shall I have sleeping the good sleep yet again tonight.


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