How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas

Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year;

Pockets full of money and a belly full or beer…or wine if you prefer.  

Can it be five days till Christmas already? I popped in to wish my special friends in Blog World a Merry Christmas, a fabulous holiday season, and a Hap-hap-happy New Year. Here’s an Oldie but Goldie for a sing-a-long to put you in the spirit of the season if you need a nudge. I do. We have no snow and it’s warmer than usual for December.

Credit:   ChristmasTimeTV

My granddaughter dressed my tree this year, and even put the lights on—her first time at not yet twelve—because I’ve had tendonitis for the past six months and needed help. She took it a little easy on the ornaments, but the results are a colossal success and I’m grateful she was willing. This means we’ll have less to take down before my trip to Vancouver three days after Christmas. (Can’t let the cats have too much fun while I’m away or maybe cut themselves on broken bulbs, though they’ve been good as long as I took away the tree skirt).

Do you know anyone born on New Year’s Eve? This particular sister I’ll be visiting has missed birthday presents for 60 years.

Credit:  Sarah Robinson

I had no idea my cat Dickens, adopted last January, had FIV and gingivitis. I found out about his health conditions when I took him to the vet shortly after adoption. He’s lost so much weight in the past few days, I took him to the vet two days ago. He’s lost more teeth and his gums have been a bloody mess.  He’s on pain killers and antibiotics now and already his coat looks less mangy today. How I hate forcing kitties to give them medication. On the other hand, it’s a bonus not to bleed to death myself while fighting with them. The pain meds are thick enough to smear on a paw, but the antibiotics are thin as water and he’s not forgiving.

Dickens is the tan one; Lady G. is brindle.

Dickens is the tan one; Lady G. is brindle.

November had me chained to my desk. I’d participated in NaNoWriMo though I hadn’t registered. At the last moment, a friend challenged me and unprepared, I dove in, thinking no way would I complete the task ahead. Had it not been for Karen, I would have given up by day ten—my first brain drain–but she, the competitive type, kept me at it because no way was I pooping out first. Now I have a book of short stories to edit in the New Year and maybe, maybe, I’ll complete that circle too. I tell you to stay accountable. November paid off much better than last summer had workwise.

If I had not had your kind and generous support all year, I have no idea how I might have moved forward towards my long-time goal: indie publication. Thank you. Thank you for the jab in the ribs whether you had any idea or not. I could not have done anything without you, my supportive community, and I plan to return the favor again soon in 2016. I have been mostly absent since the summer, but it has been worth it. I appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness, each and everyone of you.

It’s been an unusual, but exciting year for me. Thank YOU.  Thank you. I had no idea what a wonderful world I’d entered when I began blogging four+ years ago. I am close to 500th posts. Close, but still a few to go.


Credit: gabychest

Or maybe you’d prefer a more honkytonk version:

Credit:  TheChiefEmperor

Happy New Year!

Hip-hip-hooray 2016

Hip-hip-hooray 2016


100-Word Challenge for Grownups -Week 157

Check out below, on how it’s done and come on down:

This week’s prompt is … at last we were free… + 100 words


A New Page

Trina had to pull herself together. I need a cold shower. She pounded on her roommate’s bedroom door. Quiet as a tomb.

“Sarah. Wake up.” Trina squinted at the clock down the hall. “Come on, kiddo.” She gave the door another whack and proceeded to the bathroom and turned the water on. Then off. Odd. She paused. Blinked. And retraced her steps. “Time to sober up.” She turned the knob. “It’s Graduation Day. Remember we said we were free to start… Sarah…? A new page for the rest of our lives?

“You’re so cold.”

Oh. My. God.

Where’s my cell? “I need an ambulance. Hurry-please!”

The End

© 2015 Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles All Rights Reserved


What’s a Hero?


“Hey, yourself. Where’s everybody?” Robbie rubbed his sunburned scalp.

Toe kicking dirt, pale-everywhere Jimmy heaved a skinny shoulder, then slumped. “I’m bored.”

“Let’s go swimming.”

“I hate cottage country. Can’t use my iPad.”

“Come on. We’ll round up some of the kids.”

A cement truck lumbered down the street, clouds of dust in tow. The boys sprang off the kerb and stared with mouths agape as it bounced off the kerb a foot too close. Jimmy cleared his throat first. “You see that? He almost hit us.”

“But he didn’t. Whoa. There he goes again. Something ain’t right.” Robbie looked up and down the country road. Not a soul in sight. “Come on. Let’s follow him.”

“Too hot.”

“Something’s wrong.” The bigger boy grabbed Jimmy by the wrist dragging him along, forefinger pointed forward.”

The truck ground to a halt with a screech and a lurch on the opposite side of the road, the drum still spinning.

“Come on.” Robbie let go of his friend and raced ahead. He grabbed the handrail and hauled himself onto the running board. He couldn’t reach to open the door. The driver’s face plastered the closed passenger window.

Jimmy wrung his hands. “Is he dead?”

“Shut up and let me think.” He pounded his eleven-year-old fist into his palm until his eyes protruded. A smile bloomed on his face.

“Where are you going? Don’t leave me…”

“Run to the nearest cottage and tell ‘em what’s going on. I’ll try to get inside and see if he has a cell.  Crap, no cell service here.”

“How ‘bout the CB radio?”

“Don’t know what he’s got. Go. Hurry. The other way.” He watched Jimmy change direction and ran around to the passenger side. As much as he strained, the handle was still too high. The engine growled and the drum clanged round and round. The truck cab shimmied like a nervous bride. Robbie jumped down scanning the ground. He raced to the other side and peered up. The driver’s face still decorated the window.

Sweat poured down his young face. “Aha. This’ll do fine.” He tugged and tugged. Nothing. It wouldn’t budge. “Are you kidding me?” The boy danced from one foot to the other combing the ground. He settled on two smaller rocks, which fit one in each hand. Palms down, holding them like bowling balls, he shuffled to the passenger side again. The rocks lined up side by side, Robbie sprang onto the running board, hung onto the handrail and tested his footing.

“Yes!” Chubby cheeks on fire, sweat dripped down his shirt. Nothing. “It’s locked. Are you kidding me?” He yanked and wrenched. “Open!” The door creaked and the boy scrambled to keep his balance. Using both hands and an elbow, he coaxed the rusted door wide enough to clamber up into the seat. Someone on the radio twanged a forlorn country song. He picked up the handset but it didn’t even crackle. He leaned forward and switched off the engine key. The cab stopped doing the shimmy. The cement drum creaked on.

Short of climbing into the unconscious man’s lap, Robbie braced both hands on the horn. It made a terrible noise but someone would have to hear.

A siren screamed somewhere. He peered in the side mirror. A police car and an ambulance grew larger in its reflection. Robbie scooted outside.

Jimmy jumped out of the police car. He wrung his hands like a girl. “Is he dead?”

“I don’t know, but his lips are an awful blue.”

“Step aside.” The paramedics rushed forward with a gurney.

“You did good, boys.” A policeman patted Robbie’s shoulder.

Jimmy beamed; Robbie slipped into a sitting position on the straw-like grass and stared into a void.

The policeman returned. “It appears you saved and captured a bank robber.”


“Who steals a cement truck for a getaway car?” Robbie’s mouth dropped.” You still bored, squirt?”


100-Word Challenge–The Contest

Meet a woman who never sleeps and writes until I’m sure she drops or simply pours another coffee and continues.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular “Building a Midshipman”, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

Lunch: 11am – 11:05am
Dinner: 5pm – 5:02pm


I got tagged by Tess over at How the Cookie Crumbles. She’s a regular participant in Julia’s One-Hundred Word Challenge for Adults. I’m not. I could never keep to the schedule, but Tess’s submittals are amazing.

So one week, I commented on her pithy submission. The next week, Tess formed her weekly challenge around my comment–and the race was on. I had to respond. Right? As my efriend Peter says over at Counting Ducks:

Yellow is the heart of green.

Understand? (You thought I wasn’t paying attention, didn’t you, Peter?)

Here’s my response to Tess (you’ll have to read the prior piece to understand my answer) and to catch up  from the beginning:

 * * *

She hung up, confused.

“What’s wrong?” Harry sipped his umbrella drink. Truth, he had shoes older than Collette. And better made. Still, a man had to try or he was dead.

“Oh, nothing… I guess…” Her frown said otherwise.

Harry bit his tongue, hoping to escape.

“Did I mention these folks love a drink? They’re coming over—said a bar’s a better meeting place than the school. I should have remembered that.”

That ticked Harry off. “Why’d you tell them you were here?”

But he knew why. He suggested it. He sighed. Life was indeed the greatest show on Earth.


If you’re in my Chapman Writer’s Group–you know who I’m talking about!


Anyone can join the fun. All it takes is 100 measly words to move the story forward. Contact me and I’d love to add you to (the organized)  list. The last person to contribute 100 words will receive a  $10.00 coffee gift card of your choice in Canada or the U.S. (if it is attainable).  Do I have your attention now? We have all summer long and b.e.y.o.n.d…and you may enter more than once but not consecutively.


100-Word Challenge for Grown Up – Week #134

Check out ‘What is 100WCGU?and


The Flock

“Okay, Health and Safety’s next.”

Feathers ruffle. The flock scolds. Chak. Chak

“Who’s he?” Stanley asks.


“Huh huh. That’s imaginative?” His head bobs and feet shift on the branch. “Huh huh. Dumb name.”

“Quiet. The Festival’s tomorrow at Gore Park. What’re the rules?”

“Huh huh. I know.”

Blackie gives him the worm-eye. “Out with it.”

“Huh huh. Beware of gum.”

“Peter. Stop preening. Why?”

“Beak sticks? You die?”

“Splendid. What else?”

“Huh huh.” Wings lift.

“Yes, Stanleeey.”

“Avoid plastic bags.”


“Huh huh. Tangles and poisons.”

“You’re ready. The Mrs. says chicks busting out today. Must fly. Till to-morrow.”


Dust to Dust – Part 3

* * *

Part 3

I decided I’m worth it and it’s more for my family’s benefit than for mine. I spent more than originally planned because I hadn’t taken into account certain aspects of my send-off. These are the Services and Supplies Section in Canadian dollars:

Table AB

Additional Services requested and/or Required:

Table C

Only my family will see me prior to cremation. A memorial service will be held instead. Whatever happens I figure I won’t look that great so why take the chance at a bad review? You must always keep them guessing especially if you haven’t seen your friends in a while. I have set aside money for a reception and a balance remain, it will be returned to my family.

As well, should you be a traveler, consider a Worldwide Travel Assistance Plan. I purchased mine for a one-time fee of $525.00 no matter how many trips I take. It can be expensive if a loved one is stuck with this additional cost. In my case, this covers the details of handling all the necessary documents, including consular services if outside Canada. One toll-free call can be made by family or funeral director to begin the process of bringing you home in the event of death. That’s all of it now.

Hope this is helpful when you consider your own prearrangement.


Flash in the Pan – Irrational

Home at last. Miriam hums and kicks off her heels, then checks the fridge. No real food. Sigh. Her cell emits a boisterous, You Can’t Get no, Satisfaction.

She unzips her gray wool dress and peaks at caller I.D. What’s Trina, want? I quit the group months ago. “What’s up? Rotten weather for driving. Book-club on tonight?”

“Not sure. Time will tell. Sam’s out of gas—stuck on Exit 42.”

“How can I help?” As if I care.

“We need your gas can. Meet Doris at the Upper James Sunoco station.”

morgueFile free photos

morgueFile free photos

“Dor-ris? What for?”

“She’s offered to keep you company.”

“This is irrational. You know she’s crazy, right? She hates me.”

“Bite the bullet this once, sweetie. Even Doris doesn’t remember why your conflict started.”

“And CAA?” Miriam grinds her teeth and drops the dress.

“Will take ninety minutes.”

“Doris doesn’t own a gun, does she? I don’t trust her.”

~ * ~

This is the new Fall Quarter of Flash in the Pan. The theme is Disturbed.

The word limit for Irrational is 150 words. I used them all again.

Check how to join:


Hot Flash – Reach

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“Yes!” Rita punched the air and squealed. Dreamy quarterback Sonny McClusky had asked her out. No use questioning her good luck.

“Rita, wait up.”

She had no time for Sue Ellen.

“Been trying to reach you. Sonny and the boys are up to no good. I heard they made bets.”

~ * ~

The word limit for Reach is 50 words. I used all 50.

For the rules to join the New Summer Quarter of Flash in the Pan, check out:


A Burning Question

I’ve been putting this off for months because I’m not technically inclined. Might someone help so I don’t blow up my blog?

Some of you know my e-mail hasn’t worked for almost a year (give or take) and I haven’t managed to have Big Brother listen and unblock it.

I’ve decided to get rid of the dud e-mail and use another.

My question is what will happen if I replace the dud with a new e-mail? At least I won’t need to scramble to another addy to respond to direct mail.


I try to stay ahead of disaster, kind of like preventative medicine.