How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


The Uninspired Chronicles – Reboot

For rules regarding the Uninspired Chronicles, go to:

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When I have an idea clamped in my teeth, I can’t sleep. I switch on the bedside light every ten minutes. ON to scribble something I don’t dare forget. OFF again. Good night. ON again. OFF again. So I lose a little sleep now and again. It’s just not often enough to be worth it!

On the other hand, when I have a brain cramp, I entertain myself  in unusual ways. Some efforts never work. Some work once in a long while. You have to have a sense of humour every now and again. I do try. More today than yesterday etc.

These are a few of my favourite prods (yes I need prodding, so I prod when I must).

Will it be a nudge, a poke, an elbow or a push this time? Let’s have a look.

1. Free write for 10 minutes about the first thing that pops into my head:  onions, the Easter bunny, what my grandkids did lately.  Aanything will do no matter how ridiculous.

Ninety percent will be garbage but usually a pattern will form.

2. Try prompts. A box of randomly selected words from the newspaper waits on my desk. The work spinach again? Ugh. Stinky socks—stinky socks?  Must I?

Sometimes this is even FUN.

3. I keep an envelope of pictures:  interesting faces, odd objects, shapes. I stare until I go cross-eyed. Something will come sooner or later. Sometimes much later.

Other times I just get a headache.

4. If staring doesn’t work, I head to the kitchen to chop, slice and dice until I end up with soup.  At least I’ve gained SOMEthing as well as a sense of accomplishment!

Not what I wanted but beggars can’t be chosers. (Apologies for the cliche.)

5. Do a brain dump when times are good. Plan ahead for the blocked days. Having some of these is a miracle but having something handy might help when I need it. Save everything.

Where did I file that great stuff I dreamed up last month? Why can’t I find it?

6. Writing often seems to keep the ideas coming. Life gets in the way, though.  There isn’t time enough for everything I want to do each day. Maybe I’m just too disorganized.

If all else fails or even when it doesn’t, I turn up the music. Remember marching bands? They still  get my heart thumping and rev me up.

Tomorrow is another day. Maybe next time. . .

I am such a fraud!

When I’m bored and can’t bang my head against the keyboard anymore, I try online challenges (something for everyone). Another reboot: I am energized by exchanging ideas, opinions and thoughts with amazing bloggers.


100-Word Challenge for Grown Ups #36

Now for this week’s prompt. As you know Julia likes to be topical so she’s thinking Easter. However, she’s thinking a little outside the box! The prompt is quite simple but the trick this week is to prepare for NEXT week! Check this out at Julia’s Place.

You are to write a piece with the following:

….‘What was the rabbit late for,’ wondered Alice…..

Wonderland No More

Alice walked into the office. Hands clasped tight. A toothy rabbit behind the desk had one eye on his watch.

“Hello. Sit down. Let’s get to it. What are your favourite colours?”

“Pink and orange?” Alice looked puzzled.

“Do you like stripes, polka dots?

“I suppose…”

“The job’s yours!”

Eyes large as teacups, she stammered, “What job…?”

“Painting eggs for the Easter egg hunt. Stay here. I must go. I’m late.” And he was gone.

“What was the rabbit late for,” wondered Alice.  Face flushed, she stood up and stamped her foot. “I don’t like painting eggs. I want to go home!”


The Impossible Dream zzzzzz

Winter is officially here but hasn’t made much of an appearance yet. Oh, it made another windblown visit last weekend, but like the wolf that tried to blow the little pig’s house down, soon lost steam. This is the time of year I find it hard to get out of bed. Mostly it’s the cold when I throw the covers off. I shiver till I find my slippers and hope they’re where they should be so my feet don’t touch the freezing wooden floor.

It wasn’t cold this morning nor have I been especially tired lately. Neither was I escaping reality because of what today is. I had coffee with a friend later on who said that it’s Valentine’s Day every day at their house. They don’t need a special day to remember.  Neither do I.

No, it was something else. I only read until midnight last night yet slept like the dead. Though I’m supposed to be retired, I set the alarm to get up a little earlier today.  I had things to do and wanted to get an early start. I punched my alarm clock half a dozen times when it howled at me, coming closer to the surface each time. But it took an hour to truly wake up. I felt Dracula’s slumber in his crypt as the sun rose.

I think it was the dream. A particularly disturbing one.

An estimate arrived from a garage I’d never been to. Something to do with the electrical system in my car needing repairs. A diagram was included. It pointed out wiring in the ceiling that had to be replaced (ceiling? hmm). It was confusing but the punch line was the cost was a mere $8000.00. Even at $800.00 the whole idea was a stretch. What kind of larceny was this? The overhead light must have some wiring up there but…

While I was mulling over these sketchy threads of surreal chicanery, enter the boyfriend. Boyfriend? Where did he come from?

“What’s the matter? You look confused,” he said.

I tried to make out his face. Who was this faceless wonder? “I got this estimate…”

“Oh yeah. Last week when I took your car out it was acting up. I asked my buddy to have a look at it.”

That’s when the first alarm went off. I punched the snooze button but already I couldn’t get back to the dream. What a way to start my day. Happy Valentine’s Day!


Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

I LOVE the new features on appliances nowadays, especially my washer, dryer and dishwasher. Where was my head last night? Am I really starting to act like a  OLD broad? I didn’t say I was one. Not yet.

At 8:00 pm, I was just going to start my dishwasher but remembered to set a two-hour delay start because utility costs are cheaper off-peak from 10:00 pm until 7:00 am (my mistake). About two minutes to magic time, I couldn’t figure out why the darn thing hadn’t started. I opened the door. Everything was still dry—and DIRTY. The cycle hadn’t begun. Hmm. I closed it again. Looked at all the buttons and pushed Start again. Nothing. Horrors. An oh-oh moment. What if it’s broken? What already? It’s only been in use half a dozen months since installation. I started to pace. What could be the matter? I mean, really the matter? Dollar signs kept flashing in my head. Panic was setting in. I decided to leave well enough alone. Time for a cool-down. Maybe a glass of wine.

Who is working for whom?

The clock struck ten. A soft mechanical humming made me pause. And turn. I looked at the darn dishwasher in amazement. What just happened here? Then I had an epiphany. Oh damn. I had it set to start at 10:00 pm. and it knew what to do. What had I expected? That the computerized component should read my mind OR just start at the time set? Senior moments. Ugh! I HATE them. I wouldn’t want to compete with a 5th grader. Been there. Done that. Anyway, I hate studying.

To add insult to injury, this whole scenario could have been avoided had I been paying attention to ‘time of use’ energy conservation new hours. We have on-peak, mid-peak and off-peak time choices. Without my noticing, off-peak had been changed from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am. Duh.

My next thrill-seeking venture will be the new elliptical machine I bought recently. I’ve been waiting for a five-year-old to come along—but I don’t know any—to put the darn thing together for me because you KNOW only THEY can understand the instructions.


Inky Dinky Spider

I thought I was dreaming; perhaps in another dimension…

When’s the last time anyone you know opened up a jar of moisturizer to find a daddy long legs all curled up inside, looking as comfy as a snail in its shell? It happened to ME!

This was a new jar, used less than half a dozen times. Of course I SCREAMED and almost dropped it but being a frugal person, I realized haste would be waste. A good moisturizer that appears to be doing its job cannot be so carelessly tossed away just because some leggy intruder decides to take up residence. The question is: how did it manage to ’squat’ without my noticing? Where did it come from? Had it been there all that time, just buried beneath the surface without my noticing? It moved in at the factory, you say? Not a good enough reason!

I grabbed a Q-Tip, gritted my teeth, scooped the sucker OUT and flung it into the waste basket. Then, I scooped some more and managed to remove a broken off spider appendage (I think). I was even mindful—MINDFUL— not to waste more cream than I had to. And I don’t think I touched it with my finger. Yuck!

You’ll be proud of me because afterwards I just closed my eyes and slapped on that moisturizer before I could change my mind. You bet I wanted to scream but I pretended it all away. How cheap can a person be? All I can say in my defense is I took drastic steps for drastic measures…or something like that. Sometimes, you just have to grin and bear it. I guess I’m a grown up after all.

I used to think that darn children’s song was so cute. Well I don’t anymore!


Is There An App for That?

I LOVE my cordless phone. When I’m on the phone, I usually pace trying to get in my 10,000 steps for the day (chortle, chuckle, cackle). The more phone calls I get or make provides me with the most exercise. When I first got that phone, I tended to misplace it (and still do) in any number of weird places around the house. I soon learned to go to home base, push the locator button which caused the phone to beep and flash until I found it and turned it off. What’s not to love, right?

I take off my glasses all the time. I put them down and wander away. Because this mostly happens at home (in familiar territory) it takes me a couple of minutes to realize I can’t see properly. Then I try backtracking to find them but I can’t see well enough without them so I can’t. Why do I continually take them off in the first place?

Not only do I need my glasses to find them but I also need them to see period and to hear better when someone is talking to me. It would be nice not to waste so much time looking. Of course, I could use one of those glasses-on-a chain hung around my neck but nah, I’m just not ready for that yet. Why don’t they have an app for that? For finding my glasses? Surely that can’t be so hard to do.

Recently, I took the jacket off a new book I wanted to stick my nose into.  I then put the book down, forgot about it and couldn’t find it anywhere a few minutes later. There it was finally, on my dining-room table, a black covered book placed on a black binder. No wonder I didn’t recognize it. A thought flashed through my mind. Don’t I have a remote for that? I can sure be a tad silly but I’ve no control over what my mind wants to conjure up in a moment of desperation.

While I sat scribbling these ideas, my handwriting was so bad because over the years it’s turned to chicken scratch. I had lots of things crossed out, inserted; all the goobly gook before the cleaned up and finished copy.

I’m in the habit of forgetting I’m not at my keyboard. My finger itches to do what its been trained to do: to highlight and press the DELETE key. Whoops, can’t do that on a writing pad.

I find it amazing how quickly and totally I’ve become so dependent on a quick technical resolution: a remote for this and a remote for that, a button on my keyboard or the remote to start my car, or open and close the doors and so on.

I keep hearing this new phrase everywhere, “Is there an app for that?” or “There IS an app for that.” I don’t have an iphone or an ipad but I wonder if there will be an app for finding things I put down and can’t see for looking.

There’s a STAPLES commercial that comes to mind. I haven’t seen it for some time but they advertise their EASY button. It’s a big RED tabletop button (the size of an upended round cereal bowl) with the word EASY printed on the top. Shopping at Staples and finding what you want is as easy as pressing that button.

I could use one of those unless there is an app for that already and I haven’t heard about it yet. Couldn’t we all at one time or another?


Hello world!

Let’s cut the crap! None of us is getting out of here ALIVE (much to my surprise—I don’t THINK so!). I’m making the choice to make the most of it. Hopefully I’ll grumble, whine and complain all the way to…you know where: that last vacation in the sky (none too loudly). You CAN stand out in the crowd and make everyone else miserable OR you can try to look on the bright side. There always is a bright side, isn’t there?

I’m a grandma and keep busy looking after my two grandkids. I read voraciously. I like my bookclubs because they aren’t boring. We eat, drink and talk books (eat and drink are the operative words). I’ve started golfing. I try to exercise although I can’t always manage to squeeze it into my day. I enjoy my friends and family. What else is there?

I’m economical  by choice. I get riled when people act like we have nothing to lose. Money doesn’t grow on trees; neither do our seemingly endless resources. Call me cheap if you want to but if you don’t know the value of a dollar by your mid-thirties, in your old age you WILL be poor. How will you survive? Everything keeps going up except for body parts being tugged downwards by gravity. Only two things are certain in this life and even the best of us can’t avoid them: death and taxes.

My quest is to grumble as quietly as I can manage to as Mother Nature disowns me inch by painful inch. I’ll TRY to own up to what’s happening and try to own it but I hope to find some joy into the journey.