Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, nonfiction, postaday

Nano Poblano ~ NaBloPoMo ~ Day 12

Hello, people! The week is almost over with so let the fun begin!

As most of you know, I live in Canada, the province of Alberta. I’ve been here for almost fifteen years now. I’ve come to love this country and consider it my adopted home country. I’m originally from the US. I find the people very warm, friendly and adaptable.

So for today, for all my non-Canadian friends, I am going to list some little-known facts about Canada. Just in case you want to come visit, you will be informed…maybe not well informed, but informed none the less. 😉

 

Canada-Map-Political-City

 

  • Thirty-one percent of Canada is taken up with forests. Now for me that’s one of the best reasons to love this country!
  • Caribou (reindeer) live in Canada
  • Macaroni and cheese is the number one purchased packaged grocery item!
  • St Louis du Ha! Ha! is the name of a real Canadian town and is the only town name in the world that includes two exclamation points.

QC_25_haha

 

  • Canada is the best G20 country in which to be a woman.
  • Seventy-seven percent of the world’s Maple syrup is made in Quebec
  • 15,500 of the world’s 25,000 polar bears live in Canada
  • 130-km north of Winnipeg is the Narcisse Snake Dens conversation area, where each spring, tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes slither out from their dens for a few weeks from mid-April to early May. Fortunately, there are viewing platforms set up so you can watch them from afar.
  • There are million-dollar highway overpasses in Banff National Park which were built just for animals and have been used by grizzly and black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars, moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, wolverine and lynx. We love our wildlife and try to make it safe for them and people.
  • Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National park is bigger than Switzerland and it was created in 1922 to protect world’s largest herd of roaming Wood Bison, and the park is also home to the last known nesting site of whooping cranes.

BisonPaddocks

 

There you have it folks. Some interesting facts about Canada. Hope you enjoyed it!

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Humor, Mi Vida Loca, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, nonfiction, poetry, postaday

Nano Poblano ~ NaBloPoMo ~ Day 11

A Silly Little Poem

This is just a silly little poem

to keep the fears away

I hope you don’t mind

when I write silly little rhymes

handwriting

 

I don’t know what else to do

except write and wish

that life was easier

or at least a bit more cheerier

smilelaughuy0

 

 

Instead of darkness looming

there should be sunshine

The stars should shine at night

instead of me facing all these frights

scared

 

 

I’m getting too old, you know

to have all these worries

I should be resting and enjoying life

Not dealing with all this strife

stock-photo-funny-cartoon-of-a-crotchety-old-woman-looking-sideways-62010205-copy2

 

 

I wanted to write something deeper

with much more meaning and hope

Maybe I can after tomorrow

As I still have three weeks of Nano Poblano!

image137

Posted in Blogging, Humor, Mi Vida Loca, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, nonfiction, postaday

Coffee Time!

Now those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time know how much I love coffee. So, here is my annual post about coffee. Ah, enjoy while I sip my cup of joe. 😉

 

136476

 

Why It’s Called a Cup of Joe (probably)

Coffee is commonly referred to as a cup of Joe and though many theories are circulated on the origin of this phrase, it is unclear as to exactly when it was coined as well as why.

One theory is that Joe came about as a misunderstanding of the French word chaud, meaning hot which is pronounced similar to Joe.

Another theory is the belief that it came from Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels who banned alcohol on ships, making coffee a popular beverage of choice, but some believe that the coffee reference was in place long before he held office.

Some believe that the word was derived from the word Java, which is a place in Indonesia where coffee was exported from, or it may have come from the shortening of the word jamoke, another term for coffee.

Regardless of where the term came from, it is a fun and interesting way to say you’re having a cup of coffee.

Elektra-Belle-Epoque-Coffee-Machine

 

The little jewel above is sold for a whopping 18,000 dollars or so. Looks  high-tech and all shiny! Also, look at those tiny cups! Why I would be making millions of them every day. Those aren’t my size of cups at all!

 

Coffee-is-always-first

 

I’m pretty useless until I have my first cup of coffee. I can get things done, but it’s not a pretty sight. haha!

 

coffee-all-evils

 

Did you know that coffee was the first food that was freeze-dried? True!

coffeecake

 

Now for the best coffee cake recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1teaspoons baking powder
  • 3cup sugar
  • 1cup butter, melted
  • 1cup sour cream
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Batter: Sift 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat egg until frothy. Beat in sugar and butter until combined. Add milk, sour cream, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture a little at a time and mix on low until combined. Do not over mix. If the batter is too stiff add a little more milk.
  2. Streusel topping: Combine last 4 ingredients (make sure your butter for the streusel is chilled) in a small bowl and mix together, then set aside.
  3. Put 1/2 the batter in an 8×8 – inch greased pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 streusel over batter. Repeat. Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Topping with chopped nuts is also an option if you like nuts!

 

 

 

 

Do you like coffee? Love it? Hate it? Meh?

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, Monday Meeting, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, nonfiction, postaday

Monday Meeting ~~~ November 9, 2015

Monday Meeting

 

Today’s meeting is a bit late, but it’s still Monday so I did make it! I hope everyone’s weekend was great and the week brings sunshine and smiles to you.

Guess what I woke up to this morning? Snow!! About two inches of the white fluffy stuff was here and more was coming down. First major snow of the coming winter season. Of course, the husband and I had to go out in it this morning. We had to go to the hospital for his CT scan. We were there for three hours. They scanned his stomach and lungs for more tumors. We should know Thursday afternoon the results of the scan. The reason it took so long as he had to drink a liter of water with something mixed in it for his stomach scan. A big glass every half an hour for 2 hours. That’s a lot of water and a lot of sitting on their uncomfortable chairs.

At least he had me there to talk to. It was a long wait. Then they took him in to be scanned and injected him with their special devil’s potion of ink stuff. So he was full of it today. Ha, which doesn’t mean he isn’t usually full of something. 😉

All in all he’s doing pretty good, considering. I know he’s worried and scared, so am I, but he is handling it a lot better than most thought he would.

Sam got groomed last Monday too. The groomer I have is a wonderful woman named Tammy who runs a Mobile Dog Grooming trailer. I love that she comes to the house. Sure makes things easier on Sam. She took a picture of Sam for Christmas in an elf hat, fancy tutu collar next to a big box of toys. As soon as I can get a copy of it I will post it. She’s doing it for all her dogs and her customers as we don’t see her in December. She takes the month off to be with family during the holiday season. I can’t wait to see Sam in his Christmasy outfit.

Pretty boring week I had last week. Same for the weekend. Nothing much going on. Well, I mean there is always something going on, but some things I can’t mention as it’s not my story to tell. Let’s just say I’m so glad I don’t have kids and what kids we do have is the husband’s. 😉 Not that he needs the drama right now. Unfortunately, I can’t control everything he hears.

So that’s pretty much it for me for now. Next Monday will be a new update on things in the crazy world I live in.

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Humor, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, nonfiction, postaday, writing

Fun With Words ~~~ Palindromes

Hello, People!

Today I thought we would have some fun with words. Words have always fascinated me, thrilled me, confused me, and made me either laugh or grimace. Words are great to play with too.

101310 Frankd & Earnest Palindrome

Like palindromes. I used to try to do them when I was a kid. Nerdy, right? For those who don’t know what palindromes are, here is the definition:

A palindrome is a word, phrase, verse or sentence that reads the same backward or forward.

They have to make sense, though! You can’t just throw a bunch of letters together. It has to be a real sentence or word to count as a palindrome. Here are some to give you an example.

  • Madam, I’m Adam.
  • Was it a bat I saw?
  • Otto
  • Hannah
  • Bob
  • A Santa at Nasa
  • Ma has a ham
  • Olson is in Oslo
  • Todd erases a red dot
  • refer
  • Harpo: Not on Oprah
  • Rise to vote sir
  • civic
  • a nut for a jar of tuna

 

Funny-pictures-taco-cat-is-a-palindrome

 

Wasn’t that fun? How many can you come up with?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, postaday, stories, writing

Nano Poblano ~ NaBloPoMo ~~ Day 5

I was becoming desperate in what to write today. Nothing came to mind and I was running out of time to get it done. Then I found a place with all sorts of writing prompts on it. Yay! Saved by some random words as I decided to use the Random Word generator. Makes the old gray matter work a bit for a change.

If you are stuck and want some prompts, go here. They will have all sorts of help for you.

image137

 

My words that came up were: herbs, arouse, spicy, scream, dodge, prickly, beer, tempt. Below I  have attempted to use all the words in a flash fiction piece. Hope you enjoy. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Bret raised the ice-cold beer to his lips and took a long pull from the bottle. It had been a long hard week. He was tired and hungry, but he didn’t want to cook his own meal tonight. As his thoughts turned to what restaurants were close by, his nose picked up the spicy smell of something delicious. Must be his neighbor across the hall cooking again. The smell was enough to tempt him to open up his door and get a better sense of the aroma.

His stomach rumbled when he stepped into the hallway and picked up the smell of herbs and spices with just a hint of garlic in the air. Whatever she was cooking this night had his mouth-watering and his brain turning. He wondered what excuse he could use to knock on her door and maybe, if the gods were smiling on him tonight, get invited to dinner.

Bret had been trying to get to know his neighbor since she moved in a couple of months ago. A quiet woman, a bit prickly when he tried to talk to her the first week she was here. After that, he didn’t see her very often as she seemed to keep odd hours. When she was home the same time he was, all sorts of wonderful smells drifted from her apartment to his. She seemed to cook a lot, and what she cooked always smelled divine.

He was definitely a man who was ruled by his stomach. Bret enjoyed a good meal when he could get one. Most of the women he knew and dated didn’t usually have cooking on their resume. He went for the beautiful model types, who always seemed to be watching their weight. His neighbor wasn’t exactly in that category as she was a bit on the plump side. It wasn’t that she wasn’t beautiful, Bret thought. In her way she was, if you went for red hair, green eyes and a slight dusting of freckles along her cheek bones.

Music started to play from the neighbor’s apartment. Soft sounds of something jazzy. The picture of his neighbor’s body close to his in a slow dance began to arouse Bret in ways that surprised him. Was he attracted to his neighbor? He knew he spent more weekends home smelling her cooking than was normal. He leaned his long body against his door jamb and smiled ruefully. Now all he had to do was think of a reason to knock on her door.

Just as he was poised to raise his fist and knock, her door swung open. Her green eyes widened as she gave a small scream.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” Bret said as he stepped back a pace.

“I wasn’t expecting someone to be at my door. Can I help you with something?”

“I’m your neighbor,” Bret smiled as he pointed to his open doorway across the hall. “I couldn’t help but smell the heavenly smells wafting from your apartment. Can I ask you what you are cooking?”

“It’s a new recipe I’m trying out for my restaurant. It doesn’t even have a name yet.”

“You own a restaurant? No wonder whatever you cook smells so damn good.”

She closed and locked her door, smiled at Bret and walked around him. “I need some spices that I ran out of. Was on my way to the store. Not that I’m trying to dodge you, but I really must run as my dish is simmering and I don’t want to leave it alone for long.”

Bret thought here is my chance to get to know his neighbor. “It’s getting late. How about I walk with you to the store and you can tell me all about what it’s like to own a restaurant?”

She hesitated, then held out her hand toward him, “My name is Monique. I’ll be happy for some company neighbor.”

Bret closed and locked his door after grabbing his jacket and keys and walked down the hall with Monique. His thoughts were happy as he started to talk about restaurants and food.

 

NaBloPoMo_2015

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, postaday, writing

Nano Poblano Blog Hop 2015

It’s time for this year’s Nano Poblano Blog Hop! Fishy over at Fish of Gold started it last year and she has started another blog hop story this year. Thanks Fishy! I loved being a part of the blog hop story last year so thank you Rara for tagging me for this years story.

The rules are:

Nano Poblano Blog Hop Basics:

  1. Wait until you are tagged, then add a new post on your blog with these rules, the story so far, and who’s been tagged.
  2. Title and tag the post as Nano Poblano Blog Hop Story 2015.
  3. Add at least one sentence to the story.
  4. Pick another Pepper from the blogroll to tag (preferably one who hasn’t already been tagged).
  5. Add a link to your chosen Pepper’s about page (so they get a notification that they’ve been tagged) to the tagged list below.
  6. Pass the story along within two days of getting tagged.

 

Here is the story so far, with my addition in blue at the end.

 

nanopoblanohop

 

Eli stumbled into the compartment, flush and out of breath, and took the only available seat next to an old woman and a child. After months of planning, he suddenly had a bad feeling about this and stood right back up again, but at the same time, the train started moving.

There was no going back. As if to accentuate the point, the jerk of the train starting thrust Eli into his seat. Was he doing the right thing? Was he doing the wrong thing for the right reasons? Eli didn’t really know. What he did know was that the old lady had fake teeth that hadn’t been cleaned in a while, and the child reminded him of all the scary movies he’d seen about children. But that was besides the point. Eli was on a mission. Kind of.

He cringed, wishing he had planned this trip differently. The train ride lasted a full hour, plenty of time for things to go wrong when split-second timing was needed.

A droplet of sweat beaded at the end of Eli’s reddened face as he tried to catch his breath. Luckily, the old woman seemed to be busy telling the child a long and rambling fairy story. She hadn’t even noticed her fellow passenger.

Eli meant to keep it that way.

The child Eli had noticed was Rory, who was on a “real-life Thomas the Train trip” with his Gramma. Eli was right to note that Rory looked a little scary. The poor child did look a lot like Chucky from the classic horror movie Child’s Play…but then maybe that could be said of any three-year-old with red hair and freckles.

Rory, normally the sweetest of all kids despite his devilish appearance, loved his Gramma. Today though, her lack of a smart phone and insistence that “banana you glad” was the punchline to that knock-knock joke about fruit didn’t play well with his preschool-aged attention span. Especially on this long trip. Instead, he turned his attention elsewhere…

“GRAMMA, WHO’S DAT MAN?” Rory exclaimed, using his “outside voice”, pointing directly at Eli.

wpid-20151103_130425
THAT MAN RIGHT THERE GRAMMA! SEE? SEE THAT MAN?!
DAT MAN DARE, GRAMMA! SEE? SEE DAT MAN?!

That man was the conductor of the train and he had an announcement to make.  The passengers gave him the solemnity and respect fairly due to any person wearing such an official uniform.

He coughed sternly and spoke rapidly:  “There has been a minor delay and we’re going to disembark a little early while necessary repairs are made.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  Accommodations have been made for all passengers in the nearest town.  We think you’ll find the quaint, quiet rhythm of Bubbleville to be your liking.  The town is rich with, well– let’s call it history.”

Eli jumped when the conductor started to speak right behind him. At first he thought the kid had been pointing at him, which made him sweat, but the kid instead had pointed at the conductor. 

The passengers started to leave the train, Eli followed reluctantly. He had no choice. He had heard of Bubbleville and its ‘rich history’. It was supposedly haunted with the ghosts of its founder Mr. Bubbles, a mean and miserly man and some of the people Mr. Bubbles had done wrong. Eli wondered if the legend was true. He hoped not. What he needed was a new plan, as his was not panning out. 

Eli followed the rest of the passengers into the only hotel in Bubbleville. A dark, brooding place that looked more suited for nightmares than restful slumber.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The contributors to this wonderful tale are as follows:

Fish of Gold
A Disquieted Mind
SVM & TB Stories
Excerpts From Nonexistent Books
NotAPunkRocker

Rarasaur

And now me!

I’ve decided to pass this hop to the wonderful word slinger and all around great guy djmatticus! I’m sure he will add his own great twists to things. 🙂

 

 

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fiction, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, postaday, writing

Flash Fiction ~~ A Picture Prompt

Here is a flash fiction piece I wrote using this picture. I must warn you though, that for some reason my mind went to a dark place. It is something I usually don’t write…dark things…but it is what it is. So I’m going to post a….

***trigger alert for domestic violence***

http://imageafter.com
http://imageafter.com

 

 

A soft wind billowed the sails and pulled the boat slowly towards the far off horizon. The day was calm after last night’s ferocious storm. Inside the small cabin lay an exhausted figure sprawled out face down on the small bed. The body moved and rolled over. Two brown eyes opened and stared at the ceiling. They blinked a few times and one lone tear slid from the corner of one of them and slowly trickled down a pale face.

A slight, fragile looking hand wiped the tear away. No time for feeling sorry for herself. She had to get moving and take a tally of the damages to the boat from last night’s storm. As she was about to get up she felt a small furry body rub against her.

“We managed to live through the storm last night, Mr. Whiskers.”

A soft purr was her only answer. She shifted her body and sat up. Her eyes took a look around the cabin and saw a few things askew but otherwise much the same as before the storm. She walked toward the tiny bathroom and spotted her face in the mirror. A gasp escaped her as she saw her reflection. Her left eye was black and blue and there was a small bruise on her chin. Her shaking hands combed through her short black  hair. She looked a mess…but she was alive.

Her mind went back in time to the reason she was on the boat in the first place. Angry words, violent hands and pain was felt and heard once again. When the door slammed and her husband walked out, she made her plans. No more was she taking the abuse. No more was she going to lay helpless while he hit her. No more was she going to be a victim.

She packed a quick suitcase, grabbed the cash she had been hoarding, put Mr. Whiskers in his pet carrier and left. She never looked back. She was just thankful that her father had left her his boat when he died last year. It was his pride and joy. Now it was her sanctuary. Her get away vehicle. Her passage to safety.