Someday We Will!!

Guys!! Guess what came in the mail today??

That’s right: bills and advertisements.

Okay; also Pam Webb’s new book!!

Modified Address

The generous and highly intelligent (and talented, modest, gifted, amazing…) Madame Webb gifted me a copy after I left a comment on her online book release. She even addressed the inscription to my mother, whom I gave the book to today.

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The book is about what activities the grandparents look forward to doing with their grandchildren.

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So perfect. Thank you, Cricket Muse!

 

(Click here to pick up a copy from Amazon!)

Going Postal, VII

Continued from “Going Postal, I,” “Going Postal, II,” “Going Postal, III,” “Going Postal, IV,” “Going Postal, V,” and “Going Postal, VI.”

“Are you listening, Mr. Mennet?”

Marty jerked his head up to squint at the broad. She didn’t look happy; she never did. Probaby could do with a lift. She frowned again; maybe some mesc and a don juan. Maybe Freddy’d consider…

“Mr. Mennet!”

“Yeah!” She did that thing of letting air out from behind her doctor getup and looking at the lights above. What was ever interesting about the lights, did she think?

“As I said, you’re being released, due to risk of contagions…”

Marty couldn’t stop from grinning. He tried. He didn’t want the eager all over his face or maybe they’d send him back. Back wasn’t bad but out was better. He twisted his mouth like he was sucking a wad to wipe the smile.

Mizz Case Worker droned on; he caught a word or two: “tracker,” “check in,” “job restrictions,” “travel restrictions.” He flipped his head up and down when she stopped reading her paper to check if he listened. Of course he heard. He was getting out ’cause the feds crowded the joint with innocents like him. He would’ve been catching the chain awhile ago if Larry hadn’t snitched last year.

“Mr. Mennet!”

“Marty…”

Mr. Mennet, it is imperative that…” She caught his eyes leaving her face. “Nevermind. Do you have any questions?”

He flexed his fingers and wiggled his toes in their government shoes. Questions? Nah. Maybe. “Where’s my stuff? -No, wait. Where’m I going? Half-way?” She let masked air out. She was a f***in’ coffee machine, wasn’t she?

“As I sai-” Eyes roving again. “No, Mr. Mennet. You’re to be released into the care of family-”

“Fam’ly? Who??” No one’d talked to Marty in months. The last blood who’d answered had been old Aunt Carol, too sick to loan him anything.

“Well… that’s skipping ahead of procedure…” *Sigh* “You find someone to call.”

He squinted, thinking.

“Otherwise…” He swore a smile pulled at her flat, fat face above the mask. “You can’t be released from custody.”

“F-” Her face scrunched; eyebrows scowling. “Um, I mean- damn.”

Air again. She stood, tilted her head, scrunched her papers in those blue-gloved fingers of hers. “I suggest you think about all of your options and have a list ready, or you’ll lose your place in the consideration process.” She left.

Marty listened to the echoes the closed door left behind her exit. He slumped in the plastic chair. She might still be watching through that fake-mirror wall. “Damn,” he repeated.

Continue on to “Going Postal, VIII.”

 

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

How Much is That Love in the Window?

One inch of glass was all that stood between them. She’d measured, knuckling her finger and squinting with her face against the cold, cold window. Still, one inch between her and her Tomàs meant little.

Some days -well, nights, really- she’d leaned a sunken cheek against her side and felt those serious, warm lips from his side. Her weak heart fluttered.

“Come away, child,” they told her; dragged her.

Stretching, grasping; she used what little strength she could muster. To stay. To keep watching.

To keep loving Tomàs, the paper boy on the corner who never turned her way.

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©2020 Chelsea Owens

Coming from a sad place, for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt this week:

April 23, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about distance dating. It can be any genre, era, or setting. Who is dating, and why the distance? How do the characters overcome, accept, or break up because of the distance? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 28, 2020. Use the comment section …to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

The Final Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

One day, after reading newbies’ usual attempts at poetry and also feeling bored out of my mind at a son’s Tae Kwon Do training, I introduced the Terrible Poetry Contest.

This will be hilarious, I thought, And so easy. Too many writers churn out cliché sonnets and frenetic free-verse, so entrants will love it. As a bonus, I’ll be able to demonstrate what not to do in a funny way!

Despite my confidence, I realized the need for a follow-up explanation right after. Despite that, I routinely reminded contestants to tone down the talent. Despite all that, many contests produced FANTASTIC and clever results.

You’ve been wonderful. You’ve been terrible. I’ve loved it all. Thank you.

With happy memories and enough bad poetry to keep us giggling, I’ve decided ’tis time to discontinue. This week is the last terrible poetry contest of them all, nearly a year and a half after we began.

  1. Topic: A bittersweet farewell to something completely ridiculous.
  2. Length: You choose.
  3. Rhyming: For old time’s sake, rhyme in the worst possible places.
  4. Make it terrible!
  5. Rating: PG or cleaner.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (May 1) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Please let me know if your pingback or poem do not show up within a day.

Have fun. Seriously. And tell your friends. Let’s go out with a parade!

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Photo by Wendy Wei on Pexels.com

Alas, Poor Ramen

I thought you
were
but

Ramen. and MSG, of course

but
then

i

saw

you didn’t have MSG
after i tasted you, you aren’t coarse,
So, my
Tangled Mass oF dreams
Sunlight steaming, through crying raindrops

against

my

sink

course

And tears
I put you down the drain

with the eggs and fridge stuff that stunk
alas, why do I throw away what I love??
and then I ground you up

Poetically
Of course

©2020 Chelsea Owens

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 4/24/2020

Congratulations, entrants. These were awful. You didn’t come around to hear only that, however; you came to learn of the winner.

And that is:

Dead Mans Chest

by Obbverse

I saw her here
I saw her there,
It would appear
I saw her everywhere.

In the school bus
I sat and stared,
I dreamed of us
As if she cared.

In my fevered mind
I looked suave and cool,
She seemed obstinately blind,
Friends said, kind of cruel.

Then, as we passed by
A look, though fleeting
Registered in her eye-
Two pupils meeting.

So it came to pass
With one come-hither glance
That Delilah of a lass
Led this fool a merry glance.

She had her fun
At my sad expense,
Fair heart I’d not won-
Her warm heart a pretense.

She left me distraught
That devils daughter,
Without a second thought
Wrenched at my aorta.

My teen dreams shattered,
Much like my pride,
Left bowed and battered-
Something deep inside me died.

Now I’ve a busted heart,
Broken in twain
The only good bloody part-
It won’t break ever again

Congratulations, Obbverse! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Once again; you, our poets, are TOO GOOD for such a contest. Too clever. Too metered. *sigh* Obbverse won for his poem being terrible (of course) but also reminding me of many novice poets who are not attempting bad poetry and are sincere…

So, well done! As to the rest of you, try harder(?):

The umbrella

by Bruce Goodman

I wish to tell you about my favourite thing,
With a hey-nonny-no,
It’s about my umbrella I wish to sing
Hey ding a ding, ding.

I stick my umbrella up a lot
With a hey-nonny-no,
Whether it’s raining or not
Hey ding a ding, ding.

The other day it hosed down
With a hey-nonny-no,
Just as I was leaving to go to town
Hey ding a ding, ding.

Suddenly a gust of wind blew it inside out.
I started to twist and shout.
What the hell is this all about?
I was getting wet. No doubt.
I hope I don’t get gout.
Hey ding a ding, ding.
My love for my umbrella was just recently awoken.
Now it’s broken
And I’m soakin’.

—–

Witches (not) in Britches

by Richmond Road

The witch she mixes potion

Bats’ wings and eye of newt

Tears of angels, toes of frogs

Old wine and rotting fruit

She casts her spell, she leaves her smell

She takes off with a slop

“She’ll not get far with that,” I say,

“It’s not a broomstick, it’s a mop.”

—–

Ode to an automatic lawnmower

by Doug Jacquier

Boris, as we called him,
made short work of our lawn in
no time at all for many a year,
his whirling dervishing music to my ear.

But one fateful day
his brain faded away
and chaos reigned on our green parade
as anything but lawn was flayed.

Boris charged and snapped dragons at full pelt,
(all the while how his innards smelt)
and mounted kerbs uncurbed
as he rose to the occasion so recently suburbed.

Just when I thought his madness was expended
and his carnationage had ended,
he climbed the bean poles, snicker-snack,
and gave the peas no chance, alas, alack.

There was nothing for it but the mortal blow
as my axe cleaved poor Boris’s fevered brow
and he shuddered and turned turtle
‘midst the burgeoning lemon myrtle.

—–

Artificial

by Dumbestblogger

Stepping on land mines is not nice
But Walter has a way with strife
It seems absurd
But please believe
Now Walter has an iron knee

—–

Dust Bunnies

by Matt Snyder

electric fan seemingly whirring about

cool breeze on my face (ah choo)

oh the dust, the build up

i really really need to clean you

take of your grate & left you plugged in

using this can of air on you much to my chagrin

i can’t seem to get close

so i move in further

shit i cut off my nose !!!

—–

Five Feet

by Trent McDonald

It was just five feet
Oh, so very sweet
Down the fairway
With a single play
Then a chip shot
Within five feet of the pot
It was my day!
Five feet
Creating victory from defeat
Sink it and I win
Endless rounds of gin
If I miss the hole in the ground
I buy round after round
Five feet – I can’t miss
The ball needs just a little kiss
Just five feet, for heaven’s sake!

And that’s why my putter
Is at the bottom of the lake….

—–

When She Was Around

by Fishman

When she was around she did lots of useful stuff, sometimes did it in the buff.

Did some cooking and some cleaning;
I never did totally get her meaning.
Thoughts were dull and sort of unstudied.
Conversations were often somewhat muddied.

I probably shouldn’t have said anything because she was nice to have around.

One day in June she said, “Goodbye”.
I smiled and grabbed the remote ‘cuz it was nearby
You woulda thought I’d have felt a little blue
but in fact I sort of felt brand new.

I was alone, read and listened to some P-Funk,
found it wasn’t so bad, who woulda thunk.

—–

Usefulness

by Gary

Face it I am a muppet
As useful as badly worn glove puppet
The youthful sporting body is sadly no more
Now this used body constantly needs to visit the drugstore
I just can’t bend over without making a groan
I can only move thanks to heaps of cortisone
Once brimming with dreams of adventure and success
Now I’m wracked with anxieties and filled with stress
Everyday is filled with mistake after mistake
Always sweeping up the stuff I carelessly brake
Increasingly covered in dust
With a bank balance which has gone bust
These days definitely more rounded in the middle
Watching life fly past featuring only as a second fiddle
No more than a terrible poetry bard
Maybe it’s time for me to visit the knackers yard

—–

Underpants

by Ruth Scribbles

Always always
Make sure they are clean
Or, you know what I mean?
You never know
What the situation that will show
When an accident you have in your pants

—–

THROW UP

by Christine Bialczak

If throw up is bad
then why does it work
to get out that tad
of that poor tummy quirk.

Vomit is awful
so is the flu
Throw up in a bucket
not right onto you.

Maybe you’ll feel better
but maybe not yet
I don’t care too much
no pity you’ll get.

—–

Thank you all.

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Obbverse: Here’s a badge you can post as proof of your poetic mastery:

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©2020 The poets, and their respective poems.

 

Tour of Utah: Arches

I’m the sort of person who could be next-door neighbors to Leonardo da Vinci and neglect to bring him a plate of cookies. Ohhh- I might do so when he first moves in. I’d definitely bring him one at the birth of his child(ren). I’m certain I’d also wave whilst driving to carpool when I saw him out painting his house.

On the whole, though, I’m not good at appreciating and utilizing resources I live near to. This is not the case for my blogging friend, Lisa, who not only lives in the paradise of the French Alps, but takes beautiful walks and hikes.

Since spending so much time indoors recently, I’ve resolved to change. I’ve resolved to GET OUT once getting out is safe and to visit what is right next door (figuratively). In the meantime, I’ve resolved to ‘visit’ the places virtually. I will use this as a guide for where to go once going is a good option.

So… first on our list is Arches National Park.

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I’ve hiked around the area twice, I think. I remember seeing a photograph of my family from when I was a child. We stayed in a motor home (RV) borrowed from my grandparents and hunted for our Easter eggs in places like the shower, compact fridge, and foldout table.

My memory’s fuzzy since creating and caring for children, but I’m fairly certain Kevin and I returned to Arches as newlyweds. We encountered a boisterous family group from Utah and a much smaller family visiting from France. The large family thought teasing the French couple to be quite funny. “Yep; I’m the dad,” one of the men said. “These,” he gestured to cousins, daughters, and his wife, “Are all my wives.”

The French couple had one or two children, as I recall, and joked right along. Oh, how I wish I were proficient enough in a foreign language to understand subtlety and humor.

All of this tells you nothing about the park itself.

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Arches National Park is located out in the middle of nowhere, very near to a very small city named Moab. A college roommate of mine came from Moab and explained that (polygamy or no) they were all related. “My family tree’s like a family wreath,” she joked.

Strangely enough, she ended up marrying a local and they still live there…

To get to the park, you drive and drive and drive and drive. If you were a tourist, the drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport to Arches National Park is 3 hours, 43 minutes (thank you, Google Maps).

Once you arrive, you realize you have driven and driven and driven and driven …out in the middle of nowhere. It’s hot (unless it’s winter). It’s dry (we are a desert). It’s red. It’s windy. It’s also slightly radioactive, but they don’t really want that in the brochures.

You and I will need sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, good hiking shoes, and lots of water. We’ll eat rattlesnake for food -or, also remember to pack in food.

The park is BIG. According to Wikipedia, it’s about 76,000 acres. It contains “more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches.” And, yes, those arches are really cool to look at. You just have to hike to them (good thing we brought hiking shoes).

The trail to Delicate Arch, the one you’ve likely seen pictures of the most, is three miles roundtrip. With a toddler, that takes about 6 hours. After that, you pick him or her up and hike the rest of the 2.5 miles without complaint.

The area has neat-looking land forms and geological striations visible from the road and the Visitor’s Center as well. Not bad, eh?

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I recommend trying to find lodging nearby so as to enjoy the hikes and area on a fresh night of sleep. RV companies rent vehicles out for limited-time use. Locals have Bed and Breakfast options. One of my neighbors offers an on-site, parked RV for paid use as well.

Supposedly, this link will bring you to a virtual tour of Arches National Park.

—————-

Last week’s schedule, a little closer to home:
Thursday, April 16: “This and That and a Blogging Schedule,” a mix of thoughts and ideas for a blogging outline.

Friday, April 17: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to DumbestBlogger! We’re working on the special prize, I promise!

Saturday, April 18: Announced the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a humorous end to a useful object. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, April 19: “In the Mind of Crazy Rhyme,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, April 20: An inspirational quote by the internet.

And, another update about home life c/o COVID-19.

Tuesday, April 21: “Going Postal, VI.” Gotta love “Lucy.”

Wednesday, April 22: Today.

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “Mom Time in the Closet.”

Photo Credits: Tom Gainor
Josh Soriano
Natalie Chaney
Stephen Leonardi
Jake Nackos
Jaxon Lott

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Going Postal, VI

Continued from “Going Postal, I,” “Going Postal, II,” “Going Postal, III,” “Going Postal, IV,” and “Going Postal, V.”

*Tick* *tick* *tick*

The kitchen clock pecked at Carol’s attention from its wall perch, a room away. She frowned and tried to focus on her TV show and her loop count. Once the clock hands touched eight and three; she’d sighed, put Ron’s supper in the fridge, and shuffled to the sitting room.

“I Love Lucy” was meant to block the ticking. The waiting.

The Corner to Corner crochet was meant to block the cold. The chills.

Maybe winter still hung around. Maybe she’d picked up a little something from her job at the airport.

Carol took a shaky breath. She’d been finding breathing harder than usual. No matter; a little eucalyptus and lavender could cure that right up. She’d be sure to mix some into the humidifier before turning in.

*Tick* *CLICK* *tick*

Nine o’clock. Where was that man? Carol had half a mind to suggest Ron go back to machining, maybe even try retirement. They could do it, now that they’d both been working a good long while and had almost paid her cancer bills. She’d been in remission for two whole years. His itchy nature could be satisfied with projects ’round the house, surely. She’d bring it up again, once he’d eaten some supper and settled down in his recliner.

A noise scramble-scritched at the door; his key in the lock. The front door opened with a screech and Ron stood against the dark spring night.

He coughed. “‘Mornin’, Care-all,” he said, smiling. He always smiled when he made that joke.

Carol looked cross, her usual response. “Now, Ron. You know it ain’t mornin’ and I ain’t yer Care-all.”

Closing the door behind him and locking it, he smiled the smile she’d loved since the day they’d met. He cleared his throat. “Reckon I picked up a cold somewhere,” he said. “Gotta get a drink.”

“All righty, Ron.” She looked down at her stitches as he walked past her to the kitchen. “Yer supper’s in there, too!”

She heard his big footsteps all over her just-mopped floor and hoped he hadn’t trailed in any mud. Once, he’d trailed in dog poop and she’d made him wipe it all up. She sighed; just another part of his job she’d rather do without.

Lucy and Ethel were stuffing chocolates in their mouths on the TV. Carol laughed to herself; good old Lucy.

Carol started a new row.

Lucy stuffed chocolates into her uniform.

Carol finished the row and started a new one.

“Had to report to the city today,” Ron said, coming from behind with his food. He coughed again, against his shoulder. She watched him settle into his old recliner, both creaking and moaning.

“Oh?” Credits ran down the screen and her finger held the loop.

He selected a carrot, whirled it in mashed potatoes and topped it with some hearty roast beef. “‘Said I needed to not deliver to wrong houses.” In went his fork.

She made a noise like their furnace when it didn’t want to spark. Ron caught her eye; he had such nice eyes. He nodded, swallowed, and smiled his sideways smile. “Well! Don’ that beat all!” she exclaimed.

“Ye-ep.”

“Well! …Well!”

He helped himself to the rest of his supper.

“Watcha gonna do, Ron?” Some warning about staying inside flashed on the TV. Holding her stitch with one hand, she switched the screen off with the remote.

He shrugged. “‘Could always work with Marty.”

Carol dropped her stitch. She faked a laugh. “Right.”

“I might be serious.”

She looked at her hands, pretending on finding her yarn again. “Well …it’s a good thing he’s not outta prison, then.”

Now he laughed, but it wasn’t his happy one. “Right.”

Continued with “Going Postal, VII.”

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

4/20/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

It took me three tries to get the accurate date today. I went through the same exercise yesterday (Sunday, apparently) and again for that-day-that-comes-before-Sunday. Once the boys and I decided the phones and computers had the correct date, I realized we’ve been staying home for a month and two days.

Time flies when you’re looking back. It i-n-c-h-e-s when you’re looking forward.

Speaking of, Utah’s state governor announced that we’ve graduated to less-stringent measures. The state parks have opened to non-county residents. By May, people could sit inside a restaurant to eat. To combat that sedentary option, he also anticipates the re-opening of gyms. Furthermore, elective surgeries will resume. He stressed the importance of still maintaining social distance and rocking the mask.

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Word is that the world will adopt a currency of toilet paper and surgical masks.

The announcement came after our county’s mayor extended her Get Yer Butt Back Home order till May 1. After the governor lightened up, however, she has renamed her order to Stay Smart, Stay Safe.

Utah’s Coronavirus crack team said we need to approach the reopening as a dial, like on a dimmer -not like an on/off switch.

Word must’ve not gotten around, because a posse protested two days ago.

Protest

They’re not social-distancing. I mean, obviously. (© The Salt Lake Tribune)

I don’t get it. Then again, I’m not out of work because of all this.

On the plus side, I’ve decided to count my blessings:

  1. We are not living through the pandemic of 1918, when we didn’t have Amazon.
  2. We’ve got the internet, which allows our connecting to others, working from home, and playing or watching games and shows.
  3. My family and I do not live in an urban area, in a multi-unit apartment building.
  4. Our local stores offer grocery pickup.
  5. If food gets scarce, my LDS upbringing means I have enough dried black beans to get us through at least two months. It won’t be pretty, but we’ll have regularity and protein.

Amazon is great, as is grocery pickup. The only problem is costs are rising. I needed to replenish our regular household cleaners this last week, and couldn’t believe how expensive they’d become.

Either everyone is panic-buying, or people do not use soap during non-panic-buying times. I’m just glad I’m not desperate. I also know how to mix some of my own all-purpose cleaners. If worse comes to worst, we’ll forage for bits of bark to replace the soaps. Actually, I have boys. We’ll all just start smelling of a more-natural musk.

In better news, the boys’ school released a video of each teacher reading a small line of encouragement. Home life looked good on them; some of the guys were going Rip Van Winkle with the facial hair. We drove past their school after this week’s grocery pickup this morning, then ‘visited’ a favorite teacher of theirs.

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Pretty much the state of things.

My boys seem resilient and unaffected. When I suggested that my pre-teen might video chat with his friend, he asked, “Why?” Only when I said they could arrange for playing chess online did he consider it a good idea.

Their conversation went something like this:

Hey.

Hey.

So… what’ve you been doing?

*Shrug* Staying home.

Yeah. Me, too.

So… wanna do chess or something?

Okay.

…When can you?

Ummm. Probably Wednesday from 1-3.

Okay.

Okay.

Actually, for accuracy, you need to read it with an awkward pause after every two lines. I’m not sure if it’s a guy thing to be so verbose and animated but …yeah, it’s a guy thing.

For me, I finally caved and installed an app called Marco Polo. My friend told me about it awhile ago but I hated the idea of recording myself. That, and my phone has never been the top of the class. My reward after install was a video she’d recorded that day, over a year ago. I cried watching it. Since then, we’ve made videos back and forth a few times.

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Yes, we look exactly like this; and not like we’re calling from the closet, in the dark, after not showering all day.

They’re a bit longer than my son’s conversation with his friend.

What have you been able to do lately? Is the weather warming or cooling? Have you called a friend, or maybe just played chess with him?

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Other Photo Credits: Mika Baumeister
Rubén Rodriguez
Tai’s Captures