Monthly Archives: October 2014

Weekly Photo Prompt: Descent

Photo Prompt: Descent—This week, show us your interpretation of descent.

You’ve seen this shot of a hot air balloon that has burst into flame and that is plummeting toward earth once before, but it is so perfect for this prompt that it is appearing for an encore performance. I guess I should mention that it was unmanned!DSC08029

Searching for a place to land on Candelabra Island, Peru.  I believe these are cormorants but I’m open to correction! One lonely pelican seems to have gotten in with the wrong crowd.DSCF1193

Peru Desert, descending to an oasis.DSCF1251

More Peru desertDSCF1264

Amazon Sunset.  Does the descent of the sun count?DSCF1721

During the rainy season, flying termites descend by the tens of thousands, entering houses  under sliding glass doors, through keyholes and hairline cracks.  They swirl around any light like dervish planets, then chew their wings off and worm their way into any vulnerable wood.  I think they mate somewhere along the way as well, or perhaps they chew their wings off in frustration over being those wallflowers left without a mate.  At any rate, I was dumb enough to leave my pool light on and the next morning awoke to find thousands of insects such as these, pinned upside down by their wings in the water.DSC06940

Those nimble few who had managed to chew their own wings off then stood on their detached wings or the wings of others as they helped them to chew their wings off.DSC06939

Once free of their wings, they either swam to safety, found spare wings to use as flotation devices or swam off to aid other termites held captive by their wings in a crucifix position.  It was both ghastly and fascinating and a huge cleanup operation!DSC06938

Another Candelabra Island, Peru descent.DSCF1151

Thousands of white pelicans winter on Lake Chapala, Mexico, where I live. These are a very few making a landing after their descent.DSC08786


Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah?!!

This is hilarious. Just when I’d decided to give up on prompts, they give us one that inspired this!!! I’m reblogging it!  Please don’t forget to read my day’s blog as well!  Judy

Random Brain Musings

[Daily Prompt]
Trick or Trick

It’s 8:45 and the bowl of candy next to the door is empty. The 30 full sized bars had been swept up much faster than I thought. How many kids are in this neighborhood? Maybe they brought friends this year and I miscalculated. I should turn out the front light so that the universal sign for “I’m done with Halloween” is recognized and there will be no further knocks at the door.
Damn it, just as I get to the switch the doorbell chimes. I can see four kids dressed up standing on my porch with the bags in hand. A ghost, SpongeBob, what I think is an attempt at a lady bug, and behind them towering over the others, The Grim Reaper.
“I’m so sorry, I ran out of candy.”
“But your lights are on, are you sure you aren’t just hiding the last…

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The Prompt: Trick or Trick—It’s Halloween, & you just ran out of candy. If the neighborhood kids (or anyone else, really) were to truly scare you, what trick would they have to subject you to?

Hallow E’en

They pound upon my door and wait outside my wall.
One climbs a tree to peer within. I hope he doesn’t fall.
I cower here within my house. Perhaps they’ll go away.
Though I am not religious, eventually I pray.

Their little voices raise a pitch. They start to bay and howl.
There’s a flutter in my heart region, a clutching in my bowel.
I purchased Reese’s Pieces and miniature Kit Kats
just for all these masked and costumed little brats.

My motives were unselfish. The candy was for them,
for I don’t eat much candy in efforts to grow slim.
And yet that bag of Reese’s, those small Kit Kats and such
called to me from where they were sequestered in my hutch.

It started with a whisper, hissing out their wish:
“We would look so pretty laid out on a dish!”
I knew that they were evil. I knew it was a trap.
I tried hard to resist them, my hands clenched in my lap.

I turned up my computer, listening to “The Voice.”
Those candy bars would not be seen till Halloween—my choice!
My willpower was solid. No candy ruled me.
(If that were true, no kids would now be climbing up my tree.)

Yes, it is true I weakened. I listened to their nags.
I took the candy from the shelf and opened up the bags.
Their wrappers looked so pretty put out for display
in one big bowl so colorful, lying this-a-way

and that-a-way, all mixed and jumbled up together.
No danger of their melting in this cooler weather.
I put them on the table, then put them on a shelf,
so I would not be tempted to have one for myself.

When people came to visit, I put them by my bed.
Lest they misunderstand and eat them all instead.
Then when I was sleeping, one tumbled off the top.
I heard it landing with a rustle and a little “plop.”

I opened up one eye and saw it lying there
just one inch from where I lay, tangled in my hair.
Its wrapper was so pretty—foiled and multi-hued.
Some evil force took over as I opened it and chewed!

This started a small avalanche of wrappers on the floor
as I ripped & stuffed & chewed & swallowed more & more & more!
This story is not pretty but has to be confessed.
My only explanation is that I was possessed.

They pound upon my door and wait outside my wall,
but I have no candy for them. No treat for them at all.
Surrounded by the wrappers, bare bowl upon my lap,
I think I’ll just ignore them and take a little nap.

I hear them spilling o’er my wall and dropping down inside.
I try to think of what to do. Consider suicide.
They’re coming in to get me. Beating down my door.
They are intent on blood-letting—the Devil’s evil spore.

I guess it’s not the worst death a gal could ever get.
I’ve heard of much worse endings than death by chocolate!


Photo-a-week challenge: Livestock


Right after my husband Bob died, I moved to Mexico.  Every morning, I would take a 2 hour walk on the dry lakebed shore of our rapidly drying-up lake.  Immediately, I started to find hearts everywhere.  Small plastic hearts, stones in the shape of hearts.  Once I found a flip-flop used as a fishing net float that had been distorted into a perfect heart shape by the tight rope that held it to the net.  The strangest category of hearts that started to pop up with regularity, however, are pictured below.  Look carefully and you’ll spot them.  For the rest of the story about “Finding Lost Heart in Mexico” you’ll have to read Chapter 21 of my book, Lessons from a Grief Diary. How’s that for shameless self-promotion?

IMG_0004 2 IMG_0001 2 IMG_0005 2

Oh, and another thrown in for good measure (Don’t look for a heart in this one):


For more livestock pictures go Here

Other excellent livestock pictures are Here

Midnight Light

Midnight Light

I wear darkness like a second skin.
It is the cloak that hides my midnight sin
as I make my way, barefooted, through my house.
Silent, lest I wake my dogs or spouse.

This way I know most well and so I bridge
in seconds that long gap between my bed and fridge.
Pull open that snug door and hear the plop
first of the rubber gasket, then the top

of the carton that has been my goal.
Spoon out its richness without benefit of bowl.
This darkness both of me and of the night
something the fridge dispenses with its light

as tears of joy and guilt and pleasure stream
down cheeks distended with this chocolate dream.
For minutes, I stand caught up in the hold
of this trio of pleasures: chocolate, creaminess and cold.

Until some motion jolts me from their grip.
I feel its pressure at my shoulder and my hip.
My spouse rolls over, shattering my dream
of midnight tryst with frozen cream.

Its chocolate savor is one that I try to keep
as I roll over once again to seek my sleep.
Whatever course my next dream serves, I’ll try it.
For I’ve already been one long day on this diet!

The Prompt: Trio No. 3—Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must mention a dark night, your fridge, and tears (of joy or sadness; your call).

Shell Game

The Prompt: In Retrospect—Yesterday you invented a new astrological sign. Today, write your own horoscope — for the past month (in other words, as if you’d written it October 1st).


Shell Game: Cancer the Crab Horoscope for October, 2014:

The hermit crab will come out of your shell during this month without the usual impulse of wanting to retreat back inside in response to the frustrations of a too-busy world. Variety is the spice of life, but too many things done often lead to none being done well. This month there will be a tendency to schedule too many activities and to become overextended. Vital matters will be overlooked as you attend to the matters of others. As you do even more than your usual amount of scurrying around, you should take care to schedule time for rest and relaxation lest a too-busy schedule cause your crabbiness to become more obvious than usual.

For the busy Cancerian, October is the month to do all those things neglected for too long such as wills and other legal matters. Time to clean out those garage shelves and to dip into boxes unopened for too many years and to sort and discard.

Time spent with an old friend might lead you to make faulty decisions regarding travel. This month it would be better to stay closer to home, lest you regret plans made hastily with too little research.

Creativity will be on the upswing as you deal with collaborations on many fronts and move to complete projects begun long ago and left unfinished for too long.

On the romantic front, semantic differences will be largely to blame for a misunderstanding with a loved one. The clarification of old issues again brought to light may cause pain as each struggles to see the world from the other’s vantage point. The forward-thinking Cancerian will remember that there is no gain without pain and take comfort from the fact that towards the end of the month, the growing pains accompanying this period of rapid growth will ease for both of you.

Sign of the Chameleon

images(stock photo: borrowed image.  No attribution given)

The Prompt: Custom Zodiac—You’re tasked with creating a brand new astrological sign for the people born around your birthday — based solely on yourself. What would your new sign be, and how would you describe those who share it?

The Chameleon: (June 21—July 22) Colorful souls born under the sign of The Chameleon have the remarkable capacity of adapting to the world around them. The multidimensional chameleon has a broad spectrum of interests and talents and is often the favorite son or daughter. The Biblical story of Jacob giving his youngest and favorite son Joseph a coat of many colors perfectly illustrates, however, how what starts out as a blessing might often evolve into a curse. Luckily, however, those born under the stars of The Chameleon will have the ability to change diversity into blessing. Thus does the chameleon constantly adjust with the world to bring himself/herself from danger to safety, danger to safety.

Chameleons are often given the gift of prophecy and clairvoyance. It is perhaps their precognitive dreams that enable them to adjust more quickly to the vagaries of their environment and that serve as a guide through life’s travails. The Chameleon sometimes lacks focus and in spreading himself too thinly may become a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.

Chameleons often have a hard time finding a balance between their own needs and the needs of others, which leads to a constant rebalancing between selfishness and self-sacrifice. Regularity will never be the norm for the chameleon as he shifts between isolation and over-extension. All too ofen, his colorful world includes the colors of black and white—extremes that can cause him to have bipolar tendencies. Fortunately, his tendency to change hue with the situation causes him to rarely carry his shifts in mood to their extremes.

(Now, go see: This Answer to the Prompt)

Home Repeat Home

The Prompt: Doppelgänger Alert—You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?


Home Repeat Home!

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
be it ever so humble, there is a place like home!



WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

Cover Art

The challenge was to supply the cover photography and name for a book.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA Mexican Retiree’s Guide to Sloth

The Inept Photographer’s Guide to Beach Photography

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinding A Direction in Life

PB & Jellyfish

Natural Recipes
for Long Life and Happiness

Pond & Garden

DSC07920Filling her Shoes
(Confessions of a Birkenstock Stepmother)


Beach Love Affair