Posted in humor, stream of consciousness writing, Writing for healing

I’m So Important!

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Have you ever wondered what the side effects are of endless picture -taking, self broadcasting, and constant talking on the phone?

It’s all about ME-dia!

Here’s ME and my take on modern people and social *ME dia.

ME in the morning, ME at night, ME in my nightgown, ME in a fright. Me during fight night, ME in a book, ME in a magazine, ME at a brook. ME in the afternoon, ME at the store, ME and my sister, ME getting sore. ME in dress up clothes, ME as a bum, ME at the laundromat, ME eating dim sum. ME in the evening, ME and my mother, ME with the babysitter, ME and my brother. ME and my father, ME and my kids, ME and my hot booty, ME telling fibs. ME with my grandfather, ME right now, ME in the can, ME herding cows. ME in the shower, ME as a model, ME as a movie star, ME wearing flowers. ME on the run, ME on the lam, ME as a hero, Me as a flim-flam man. ME in a Dr. Suess book, Me as an artist, ME in the aftermath, Me farting gas. ME in my robe, ME in sweats, ME doing yoga, ME strumming frets. ME without make up, ME playing pool, ME doing algebra, ME as a fool. Me being silly, ME being serious, ME teaching classes, ME half  delirious. ME at the mall, ME with my friends, ME with my husband and that’s the end. ME with my cousin, ME with my lover, ME with my smartphone, ME under cover. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME,ME, ME. Me as a prisoner, ME being free, ME as a dilettante, ME as a she. ME as a goofball, ME as a spoof, ME  as an acronym, ME as a goof.  ME at the ocean, ME at the beach, ME at the grocery store, ME as a leach. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, it’s important to be ME.

I hope you get the message, I hope you understand, I hope you get the story line, I want attention on demand!

ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME.

ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME,

ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME,

ME.

I think there’s a country song about this ME topic. Yes, there is. I just found it. It is called “I Wanna Talk About Me” by Toby Keith.

 

Copyright © 2015 by Susan E. Rowland

 

 

 

Posted in humor, memories of houses, poetry

Ode to a Junk Drawer

 

junk drawer messy

Writing201 Day Eight

prompt: drawer

form:ode

device: apostrophe (speaker in the poem addresses another person or object)

 

Ode to a Junk Drawer

 

The place where collective clutter is dumped

Why do you get such a terribly bad rap?

Doesn’t everyone have a junk drawer in the kitchen?

I’m most happy to admit ‘tis one in my own life.

Like a place where wayward thoughts and orphaned paragraphs reside,

Where batteries, paper clips, coupons, pliers and chip bag clips hide.

 

Oh little junk drawer, what would we be without you?

When children need an extra unopened toothbrush pack,

Or Dad is looking for a piece of tape and the way to finish a project with glue.

You hold such treasures, I’m always amazed to regard your myriad secrets,

Cleaned popsicle sticks, pens, and a favorite antique sealing wax,

Mom found the perfect tool for the job, right down to some yellow colored tacks.

 

Oh little junk drawer, how you long to be organized with care,

In one fell swoop on spring cleaning day.

We gathered all your contents sorted and arranged so well,

Scissors, a couple of good forever stamps, and a tiny travel pack

complete with comb, nail clipper and emery board,

A gift from Aunt Mildred, I continue to hoard.

 

junk drawer clean with magnifying glass

 

Journal prompt: Do you have a junk drawer in your house? What do your drawers generally look like, if you are willing to share. Write about the contents.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in animals, humor, wilderness, writers

Lizzy, Horatio, and Bella

head shot copy.jpg 2

She’s back! My little friend didn’t die.

Lizzy came around yesterday to check for blueberries. If you remember,  I thought maybe  Ms Kingsnake had stalked and eaten her. Or him. I don’t know. I watch the creatures I don’t pick them up. The gender thing is a mystery.

The reptile sexual identity topic reminds me of another story, a true tale of an iguana I named Horatio. One day Horatio scampered onto the back porch and hung around by the screen door, watching.  Part of his little toes had been bitten off. But he had spunk.  And he had the prettiest bright blue patch on his throat. At first he scared me, but then we decided we liked each other.

                                               horatio close up

 Horatio became a beloved low maintenance, rather dapper outdoor  pet. He came around daily on a regular schedule. Soon, he went out and got himself a girlfriend whom I named Hortense.  They showed up together  for lunch  with Hortense always hanging back in  shyness.   After a while Horatio and Hortense stopped coming around altogether  and I feared the worst. Months later during  spring cleaning we found the two iguanas curled up together at the bottom of a terra cotta pot. They had not survived. The clay was too slick and smooth for them to crawl out.

As we settled into our lifestyle here, I survived college, started a little book business,  and Jesse’s life was saved by an expert medical team who fixed his heart. We had it goin’ on. Then one day another character showed up.

                                                                                 bella nice shot with her babies

Enter Mama Javelina, (Yayassu tajacu), or collared peccary.  I named her Bella.  Bella strutted into the back yard with her stiff legs, pointy hooves and distinct style. She grazed the perimeter of our plot which is about an acre of fenced land. When javelinas make an appearance other critters take notice. Dogs go crazy and wild pigs can do serious damage to dogs…and sometimes people. You don’t want to mess with Mama Pig, or any wild boar for that matter. Bird seed on the ground and a pan of water must have attracted her to the area behind the back porch.  She wandered in, snorting and rooting,  piggy-toed and poking. She swagged in busy and unafraid with her two little ones trying to suckle-a woman on a mission.

Then, just as boldly as she had entered, Bella strolled out of the open gate without so much as a snooty  goodbye.  With her babies in tow, down the road she sauntered in  search of  food.  Yes, javelinas are dangerous. Don’t get me wrong.  I didn’t encourage her. And before anyone goes all bacon on me, I didn’t feed them. I give the original inhabitants of the Sonoran landscape a wide berth.

                                                                  Javelina-Backyard-2 (2)

 On another note, about humans and animals…. and…reptiles too.  The collage below is one of my SoulCollage  ®   cards representing aspects of  my journey. Briefly, part of the process is to describe parts of your life with an “I am” statement. “I am one who observes with detachment and passion.” What I love about living in the country is the freedom to be among the creatures without disturbing them.

                                                                                     collage final jav and wh ma rec

Above symbolism of my collage: the detached observer is the  male side, the animus,  (man reading  ) representing the non-emotional, the scientific.  The  commanding curious and over-protective part represents the anima, (javelina) and is the female archetype. Both are observing of the other.  If all this sounds like mumbo-jumbo, it is. It’s basically Jungian psychology.

Discussion: I was going to include some personal anguish over writer’s ego in this piece. When I was writing about Horatio years ago, my blog got “scraped.” Two years of work got lifted and so did the names for some of my characters. Copying equals flattery but then it becomes plagiarism. There is nothing new. Everything has already been done. It’s all variations on a theme. But  really….pilfering names? Come on! Get your own names! Sigh.  One person in my writing group actually used the name I had picked out for my main character, along with some other phrases. The person said, “Oh I like that. I think I’ll use it.” And so she did. And ouch, I bit my tongue.

I have tons of pilfering stories, but they are being maturely pushed down into the discussion section of my little funky blog here. I came, I saw, I vented.

 I was in college during the Horatio years and, as always, journaling and taking notes. A particular instructor didn’t like people taking notes, especially women over 50.  During class the teacher sauntered back to where I had written something (privately), walked back to the front of the class and presented my exact words as his own psychology theory. Now I know better. If you like it, put a ring around the copyright symbol.

 What does that have to do with desert creatures? It’s a competitive life. I decided not to go more deeply into a personal rant because the victim role just doesn’t suit me anymore. Life goes on!

Over and out.

Happy journaling!

Copyright © 2014 by Susan E Rowland

This is a work of creative non-fiction

Posted in blog challenge, humor

Prickly-Tongued Final Farewell

cat in the hatSo I guess the REAL last WordPress writing prompt is about spices and flavors and…ohmygosh…tongues. Picky tongues. What flavor could you do without?

No. Nope. Nada. Niet! Thank you though. We already wrote about flavors. And tongues…uh…mmm…no.
Instead I give you,
Slip of the tongue
Off the tongue
Hold your tongue
Bite your tongue
Tongue in cheek
Silver-tongued
Tongue-tied
Cheeky remark.
Slippery slope.
Makes me tired.
Some things are better left unsaid.

It is now June 30th and this is my last -for reals- blogaday post. Time to move on, brothers and sisters. Come by and visit sometime.

Back to work.
Ciao!

 

Posted in humor, inspirational, social commentary

To Whom it May Concern: Language Alert!

Blog Challenge /Daily Prompt. Write a “to whom it may concern” letter.

June 20, 2014

To Whom It May Concern,

Isn’t it funny that nobody uses that phrase much? Or even, who pays attention any more? I mean like…really? Have you even watched the news lately? Grammar has gone to the birds. Nobody says “whom.” Um…seriously? Where is the grammar Ann Landers when you need her?

Or, for example, witnesses tell a news reporter about a burglary: “Me and Tony were just standing there like watching and this guy just drives up in a van and um, starts taking stuff- it was like so scary.”

Another thing…the favorite new phrase everyone uses constantly is “as well.” It’s all over the place.  Now every other sentence in the news, weather reports and common conversation includes the “aw” trend.  For example, “there’s a cooling trend in the counties up north, as well.” So what’s wrong with that you ask? Nothing. My point is, why even say the phrase at all? Just say “there is a cooling trend up north.”

Here’s another: I shudder over the ridiculous word, “transparent” It rankles me silly. I just heard, “companies must be transparent.” Can anything be more ludicrous? Companies must be like Saran Wrap, or any other terms you may have learned in high school art class. What’s next? Translucent? How about opaque? It’ll be, “ Mr. Smith’s opaque answer overshadows his previous transparent statement about profit margins.”

I’m worried about our old phrases being tossed by the wayside. What happened to “get a life?” I guess everyone got over it.

Have you even noticed that NOBODY ever said “it’s huge” before the Tiger Woods scandal? Well they didn’t. You didn’t notice until I said something. Admit it. This language trends thing is huge. How cool is that?

And another thing before I get ready to close, nobody….absolutely NOBODY said “look” before President Obama started making speeches. You heard it right here, from me, little ol’ Sue Rowland pecking away at home on her PC. Check out how many people start their sentences, with “Look.” Politicians beware, you are language trendsetters. No, Anthony Weiner, we’re not talking about you. Do not say “look.” Now at least some variety is emerging with “listen.” No, Bill O’ Reilly or  Rush Limbaugh or Carl Rove, not you. Listen, just stop talking. .

A couple more:
Count how many times people say “absolutely” in one day. I mean, really, who does that?

Or how about medical terms for describing the economy? It’s time to stop the bleeding. What is up with that?

How about “a ton?” You wouldn’t pass eighth grade English, fool. Apparently, it doesn’t matter.

So, whomever ends up reading this assignment for WordPress, if you are out there, please teach more grammar and push for individuality and originality in speaking styles, as well. We should absolutely make this language awareness thing go viral and it will bring a ton of attention.

Sincerely yours,

I’m Just Getting Started in AZ

Copyright © 2014 Susan E Rowland

Posted in humor, inspirational, stream of consciousness writing

Used and Misused, Blog Challenge Wed June 11, 2014

Blog challenge-Wednesday, June 11. You’re stranded at the airport for 6 hours without any electronic equipment. What do you do next?

I see everything. My surface is grazed by the heels of the rich and famous as well as common folk. I’ve been hit with steel, plastic, rubber, nylon, coated Teflon and chipped with all the colors of the rainbow. My co-workers and I are visited by women from the US, Netherlands, Europe, India, Asia, Africa, Australia, Canada, South America.

I’ve had drinks spilled on me and toothpaste mushed into my face. Kids scream at me and then wipe their boogers in my crevices. I’ve been felt by the most reverent and pious, to the disagreeable, rejected and rude ones. I’ve even been kissed by a lady who cried out, “we made it! I’m safe. I’m alive!”

It’s all the same to me. All in a day’s work.

Your feet kick at me, not to mention, some people think they can push past me with their sides and elbows, then with their rumps. I win over elbows. I laugh at their bottoms. I’ve seen all shapes and sizes of every kind of tuckas. Round, plump, narrow, over-worked, lumpy, tender, soft, forgotten, and implanted. Sleek, elegant, pampered. All of ’em. None can withhold their secrets from me. It’s just this power I have.

The workers here are the most aloof, yet they talk a lot. I’ve heard all their stories– about secret love affairs, who was late, who broke up, got married, who is in jail, which husband got strung out, owes money and was fired. Four regulars are pregnant. I’m familiar with the one who brings candy and gum for the others. I like the ones who indulge in a little bragging about their kids who made it to college.

I know who worked the longest days, turning into months, then years, without time off. I’m aware of who came all the way from Bosnia and managed to bring the whole family along with cousins, second cousins as well as a couple of stowaways. I’ve heard broken hearted women, new widows, and betrayed sweethearts, sobbing alone late at night. I’ve  observed the old and tenderly frail, ever vigilant to their calculated steps. But what can I say? I’ve been fixed and replaced a few times in my career. I’m about due for a makeover.

My favorites are the sweet ones, the quiet types; they are tirelessly unassuming. Today it is Susie, who, by chance, is near me for about 360 minutes.  She walks by briskly at first, in to do her thing. I catch a whiff of her scent, light musk with a hint of ambrosia…not too strong, but clean and enticing. I watch her as she hangs out at the Starbucks for hours, sipping green tea. She fervently writes longhand in a spiral notebook. She reads for hours. I want to call out to her, but she’s lost in her book. Then she gets up and walks around, I lose track of her. People rush past me over and over. Then there is a slow spell, and then a couple of big rushes.

Then I see her again. Back to the Starbucks. This time, she has coffee. Sometimes she looks around and watches people. I wonder if somebody loves her. There has to a special someone. I can feel it.

But what would I know? I am just the door to the ladies’ room at terminal four, Anywhere Airport, USA.

Copyright © 2014 by Susan E Rowland

Feel free to share-but add credits please.

Posted in humor, inspirational, journal prompts

Blog Challenge: You Win

 

Blog Challenge Five…or is it Four?  Write About a Loss.

How about my mind? I still have some of it, I think.

The blog challenge started Monday. Now it is almost Friday  and 100 degrees in the evening shade. It’s a TMZ teenage world…”throw shade on them.” I can’t keep up.

So, for this blog challenge thing, there was a trilogy assignment in there somewhere. I missed it because I don’t read directions. I’m one of those types who fumbles through the constructions then when it’s all in pieces I go back and recoup. If they’re in English.  And I do rely on my husband because he has a nice SLOW mind. Without him, I’m toast.

There are over 100 creative and beautiful souls in the blog challenge class, but I forgot… I don’t like challenges. I’m not sure how to navigate through it all. Everyone online now has a Phd in coding and IT. I can’t keep up no matter how many platitudes people send me or how many classes I take. I give up. You win.

And I want to add the loss of my eyesight to this assignment. How do people read all this stuff?

Can anyone tell me how to respond to over 100 people without having to hire an assistant?

One headline that flashed in my face read “Does your online presence suck?” I guess it does.

This while we are losing our elders such as Maya Angelou and the last Navajo Codetalker and Maxine Greene and people are stabbing and shooting each other  in colleges and shopping malls. You guys win. I am sure my online presence does suck and that I am not “driving traffic to my blog.”  I don’t need to herd people to my site for personal adoration.

Oooh there’s a PBS special on right now with James Taylor and Carole King. Insta-calm.

So for now, I mourn only the loss of my over-crowded head…and my simple non-IT mind.

I give you my paint. And my special LOVE ray powers.

abstract 1 like the ocean

 

Posted in humor, inspirational, memoir, Mother's Day, parenting

Everybody UNH!

mother as a young woman

Here is my schmaltzy Mother’s Day tribute.

My mother had a fun spirit. Even though she suffered a traumatic brain injury at age 46, she always taught us to make the best of things. My memories of her are filled happy spots…before my awkward teen years.

One time we went down to  big river in rural Michigan to ride in a canoe. I was beside myself with excitement. I must have been about eight years old and my older sister, just over nine and a half. We were out in farm country close to where Mother was raised and not too far from the University of Michigan. I don’t remember exactly where now; I just remember the splendid woods, the birds, and the sprawling meadows that seemed abuzz during summer. Queen Ann’s lace, buttercups, and Solomon’s seal grew in the thick woods. Once in a while we would come across a jack-in-the-pulpit, with its green and purple stripes,  a visual treat tailor-made for a little girl who loved to read My Side of the Mountain  and The Yearling.

We found the campsites and landing dock where Mother arranged to rent a canoe from the groundskeeper. Then we set out for our adventure. The water lapped on either side of the boat as we paddled along negotiating the rapids and trying to work out our river rhythms. We navigated around some bends and turns, making our way downstream, merrily, merrily. We were getting the hang of it, our focus on the waterways temporarily keeping two girls close in age out of fierce competition.  I felt safe and secure in the middle of the canoe, with my sister in the bow, and Mother steering from the back. My knobby knees would slip and hit the centerboard once in a while, but the joy of the outing replaced any concerns over shin damage.

Every once in a while I would glance back at Mother, her dark brown eyes shining with anticipation. She had long slender arms, and a willowy frame.  Her strong hands firmly held the paddle. Her black hair lay soft and lovely just above her  shoulders. She seemed to know just how to keep her daughters occupied.

Suddenly the water became still and shallow, and we slowed to a stop. The narrowed  river crevice had us trapped. The canoe was stuck on the rocks. It bobbed and tipped. We could not move. We dug our paddles into the rocks on either side, pushing and poking trying to dislodge the canoe. Nothing worked. We were unable to move the boat, stranded out in the big creek. We could give up and try to walk out and leave the boat. No time to pout. Mother never let us pout for too long over anything. She quickly came up with a plan.

“Ok girls, on the count of three, push yourselves with a big nudge. I want you to rock forward with all your might.”

Andrea and I braced ourselves forward, ready to push with our little tushies, determined to get the canoe off the rocks. Mom gave the command.

“One, two, three!”

“Everybody UNH! Everybody UNH, One, two, three, four, everybody UNH!”

Andrea and I joined in the chorus, bumping ourselves forward to each count.

“Everybody UNH! Everybody UNH!” Mom cheered us on in her best Michigan pep rally voice.

Little by little, we made it out of the log jam with those great big “oomphs.” We continued on until we found the loading dock a long mile downstream. We kept up our fits of girlish laughter as we climbed out of the canoe, safely on land again.

kisses for my mother

sue playing with sticks in childhood

Posted in humor, inspirational, journaling, poetry

Grateful Paint: Post 22

MAJESTIC

Continuing on with the gratitude journal. Had to resurrect some old work into a new format because this is my busy season for selling books and the day went by too fast.

I am grateful for paint

my steadfast friend

fresh from the tube

and full of surprises.

I can take you anywhere

without need to feed or spend too much

on storage.

We always fit together so well.

You  are so faithful

more than a woman could ask for,

except when you dry up.

I totally understand.

The pencils and pens are more than happy to fill in.

Art, you are my pun-shine.

If I ever get too old for you I will surely suffer.

Journal prompt: Do you do any drawing or painting? Write about how art may, or may not, help your writing.

Copyright © 2013 art and poetry  by Susan E. Rowland

Posted in humor

Nice People: Post 19

I am grateful for nice people today on day 19 of the gratitude journal.

Sitting at the computer
Aching back
Trying to understand
Stiff fingers
Someone in another country
Is polite
speaking clearly
nicely
I can smell the curry.
Five more steps.
The hubby and I sit anxiously at the keyboard.
Re-set
10 more steps
Try again…
As I wipe the sweat
Not computing
Nothing clicking
Not connecting
I am an effing GRUMP
BREATHE!

Back up try again,

10 more steps.
Ya gotta be kidding!
I am not saying how much this machine cost
Anxiety
Gripping
My head into a big knot
POP
Server not connecting
Error
Fork it.
They are still nice.
Will try again in a few hours.

I am going to eat this whole plate of spaghetti with extra sauce and enjoy every bite.

copyright 2013 by Susan E. Rowland