Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, Chicago, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Quilts, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #38 Bag Lady

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week. My personal goal is to do this for 1 year.

Question:

How do you keep yourself organized?

Bag Lady

Pre-pandemic and quarantine, many of us had lives and in some cases very busy lives.  As an active senior citizen with a variety on interests, I had my fingers in a large variety of pies and enjoyed every minute of it.  My solution was tote bags.  Not only did I make my own, at many events and functions I received them as a participant.  It also told me what day of the week it was.

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Monday, I was going to one of my quilt guilds and based on what project I was working on, I had a tote bag with all my items in it.  Throughout the week, if I came across a pattern or some fabric that I was not going to use, into my quilt tote to take for the sharing table so others might take the items home.  Also, during the course of the meeting some of us worked on small hand held projects to pass on or share with others.  I also made sure that this was right by the front door on Sunday night so I did not forget to go to the meeting.

I taught several different crafts in my community so based on what I was teaching that week I would organize by tote bag. If it was flower arranging, the containers and oasis and tools in one bag, for making bracelets it was beads and wire and another type of tools required.  If I had a special request from a student I would make sure the items went into that bag.  For work, it was a whole different group of items in my tote bag.  Gym days, another tote bag. Not included are the bags  I took to the grocery store to cut down on the use of plastic bags.

For many years now I have driven a pick-up truck and this means no trunk, if I had a trunk some of these bags would have been left in the vehicle until needed.  On really good days, I walked out with three separate bags for my current days events.  I did make sure bags were different colors and styles so I did not arrive at the gym with only my jewelry making supplies.  Now that could be a whole new direction to this story.

Posted in 2020, Airplane, Challenge, kathy70, Quarantine, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge # 37 1/2 Continued

This is the 2nd half of my blog about cravings and that was all centered on food cravings, I also have nonfood cravings.  The first that comes to my mind is  solitude.  I don’t think of myself as a writer, I have always thought of myself as a creative person and a craft person.  I like to write when no one is around to distract or disturb.  My crafting is just the opposite, a former Girl Scout leader, Sunday School teacher and room parent I used crafting with all.  I have also over the years taught many crafts in a variety of settings.

For a number of years I have worked directly with the public in telephone sales,  customer service and direct sales.  All of these required one on one contact with the general public, while trying to achieve what they needed along with my companies requirements or quotas.  Some of these positions required a solid seven  to eight hours of customer contact.  That’s a lot of talking!!  Some required a certain volume or dollar quota of calls handled each day.  All I wanted at the end of the day was “no talking.”

To this day, if I have a busy week, I need a day with no requirements.  A day for my writing or reading or watching TV or some solitary craft project.  I can feel myself getting testy or short with others after a little bit.  It does not make me feel lonely or abandoned or isolated if I don’t talk to people for a day, it revitalizes me.  I can also feel this as much as a physical craving for a certain food.

Another thing that I crave is travel both near and far.  This year is going to be tough with all the restrictions.  I have easily agreed  to a trip to a nearby by town I used to live in as a quick diversion to classify as my current travel.  It saddens me to think the I will not travel outside the US at all this year and no idea how soon into next year things will open up.

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Take a look at your schedule or menu or closet or storage and see if you have any cravings that surprise you.

Posted in 2020, 99 words, Challenge, kathy70, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

My Heart Screamed One Yesterday

July 16, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that expresses the phrase, “scream inside your heart.”

This is part of the 99 word challenge from Carrot Ranch.

 

Hear the manager screaming before you ever get into his office,  “production is way down this week”  or  “why is my department not showing a profit” these concerns all seem to blend and repeat.

Down the hall my office is filled with  people trying to tell me why we have taken a hard hit in the wallet and how thing should improve.  I want to slam my fist on the desk and scream until they hear my plan, but I can only scream in my heart.  I am Black and I am a woman, the rules change for me.

Posted in 2020, Challenge, Food, kathy70, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge # 37 Food Cravings

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week. My personal goal is to do this for 1 year.

Question:

What do you crave?  How often do you crave it?

Food Cravings And Then Some

My first thought is to food cravings and I start going over in my mind all my food cravings.  Next it jumps to other cravings and I am thinking this could get interesting.  But, let’s start with food.  I think I have a permanent craving for chocolate anything, it does have some seasonal items, but mostly just chocolate.  I am also pretty sure that it is included in all categories of food groups.

I may have a few weird tastes, the first that comes to mind is buttermilk.  My family will not even touch it, unless it is in pancakes.  I just like a tall glass of cold buttermilk.  As a child I can remember going to the cheese factory and getting a fresh glass of buttermilk, this was the real thing,  created by what was left in the churn from turning milk into butter.  About every other month I can hear it calling me.

Soup in general is about a once a week craving all year long.  I have a few seasonal soups that I like, but anytime I purchase a rotisserie chicken I anticipate some kind of chicken soup in my future.  I mostly make more than I can consume in a week so it gets put into individual portion containers in the freezer.  I am always happy if I can reach in to find 4 or 5 varieties of soup.

I have a longtime relationship with oatmeal as well.  For over 20 years I ate oatmeal every day for breakfast as a way of simplifying my life.  As a single parent of 3 with 1 full time and 2 part time jobs I needed to take some control.  This was an easy choice, put a scoop of regular oatmeal and 2 of water in the micro as I walked out to put on my make-up my breakfast was done when I came back.  No thinking, no debate and very little effort this worked for me.  I still have cravings for it even though my life is not as hectic.

Last food craving is for home made corned beef hash about every 3 or 4 months.  Cook a corned beef brisket that will be more than we can eat just for the leftovers.  Mix some onion, potato and green pepper with the beef throw in a few spices and fry to get a little crispy in a cast iron pan.

Writing this is making me hungry it has been about a week since I had buttermilk and almost as long for a bowl of soup.  The oatmeal was 2 days ago and the hash was yesterday, we also like to find restaurants that make their own and will try that out.  I will take a second look at other cravings I have which are not food related.  It’s always interesting to look closely at some aspect of your life that you probably take for granted.  Now back to my chocolate craving…

 

 

Posted in 2020, 99 words, Germany, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Spam Is Not Just For Eating

This is my submission for this week in the 99 word challenge.  This week the prompt was  Monreal Dorf which is the name used by someone trying to enter spam sites in the regular submissions from everyone else. Monreal is the name of a small town in Germany also the name of a soccer player and a line of clothing.  Dorf is the German word for town and is the name of a region in Switzerland.  It’s also a name used by Tim Conway in a comedy bit. 

 

Had she missed the opportunity to go jump in the lake?  Would they ever invite her again?  Living in this hamlet in Germany I knew or was related to all of these people but  removed emotionally.

Could the village you are named for turn on you when you try so hard to compete. The water may have refreshed but I have only submitted 324 versions of our stories. They must understand I only create spam to help. Pandemics may come and go but  our “art” will survive.  Monreal Dorf will revitalize this village when her dreadful spam is known worldwide.

Posted in 2020, kathy70, Quarantine, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

is racism now a pissing contest

how did you get here?  how did i get here?  can we be here together?  are we better together?  can we ignore our past? will we ever move forward?  does my like have to become your hate? how can i stop hurting?  is there a way i can help? do you want my help? i want to apologize.  will you ever accept me?  how do we show we are different?  can i just get a good night of sleep?

This is a small corner of my brain right now.  I am not sure I will ever recover from this trauma playing out in the world, I am not sure I should recover or can.  The killer illness was a drop in the bucket of our own manufactured disease.  Thankfully the curtain has been pulled back and some of us are really looking at ourselves.  What the heck is she talking about???

My fervent hope is that we never stop talking about the current events in the world and our part in this.  Sunday Morning had an interview with the grandson of Teddy Roosevelt and he said yes that statue of my grandfather should come down.  Should we cry out over a flawed history that has been spoon fed to all.  I worked with a woman who told me in her high school if you put down on a test that the South lost the war you failed that class.  Should this be allowed to survive or shoved behind the curtain again or ripped out by the roots and tossed on the rubbish heap.  Never. But. Yes.   Can we talk about this, show the flaws, let each voice be heard but not louder than any other.  True explanations not whispers help us.  We must admit that if we have not been on the receiving end, we must have been on the giving end.

This has been a learning time for me, a time of loss, a time of exploration, a time to reprogram my brain.  Like everyone else.  I need to stop the noise in my head, I can’t wait to spend time with people outside my tiny sphere, I am craving travel to new places.  I would love to never hear about how slavery is no longer so let’s just get over it or my families slavery was worse than your families.  My poverty is poorer than your poverty.  One thing that can’t ever be erased is that most forms of racism are based on an external thing that gives no indication of the person inside.  Yes, sometimes it’s not that blatant, but more than any other type it is blatant.  All I have to do is look at your skin or your eyes or your hair or clothing or address or church and my opinion is already formed.  Now is the time for my primal yell to the heavens. Let’s make this stop.  It is time to cut off the head of this monster.

 

Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, Computers, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Sewing, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #36 Shopping Spree

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week. My personal goal is to do this for 1 year.

Question:

Do you prefer online shopping or in-store shopping?  Why?

A Shopping Spree

Let me start by explaining that this group was formed in September of 2019, no idea of a world wide pandemic was even a concept at that time.  All these questions were  simply looking at a changing world.

Fast forward to 2020 and this question takes on a whole new meaning and resonates with people who never even considered online as an option.  (Note to self, check with my non computer comfortable friends and see how they are shopping.)  Needless to say, my response to this is very different today than last year.

In today’s world for almost everything but fabric and shoes online shopping is the new winner for me.  I tend to spend less online because I can hop from screen to screen and check out all the prices,  I can also do this at 3 AM when I can’t sleep because I am worrying about the pandemic.  I am not a drunk shopper which some 3 AM shoppers are so no surprises arrive two weeks later.  Some friends are on both ends of this scenario, they will remain nameless.

Fabric is hard for me to buy online.  A friend once said it was fun to watch me in a fabric store because I shop mostly with my hands.  I walk down the aisle with my hands  touching on both sides and my second reaction is to color or pattern.  So I have to be backed against the wall to buy fabric online.

The other thing is shoes.  I have wonky feet and had one surgery and don’t really want more so I do wear the comfy granny type shoes.  My granddaughter is the queen of online shoe shopping, before her wedding a shoe box arrived every other day it seemed. She ordered a variety knowing she would not keep them all.  Some had to be shipped back but some had returns to their local store.  This is a good thing to check when shopping online.

How do you feel about online shopping?  I’s a bit sad to see the changes in the brick and mortar shops.  I would like to see a world where a mom and pop local store could expect to fill a shop and have walk in traffic.  It has been a while since I have been in any remote locations where they have those 10 foot by 25 foot shops that a single person can operate.  There is no mall where that fits, if they have a kiosk the rent is usually out of range.  So maybe online is the only answer now????

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2020, 99 words, Challenge, kathy70, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Blossoming

This is my submission for this week in the 99 word challenge.  This week the prompt was blossom.

The way watercolors blossom on the paper is magical, an extra drop of water changes everything.  Staring at the blank page like a writer seeing magic in the water drops  I’m watching.

Soon I will leave this place and find my true home. This planet is scheduled to reverse it’s course so I can jump off.

Where I land will be like that water drop in the watercolors.  My landing will change the climate and structure in this new place but will it change me?  Without a parachute to guide the spot will be a surprise.  Here goes nothing.

Posted in 2020, 99 words, kathy70, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

One More Rescue

This was written originally for the 99 word challenge, last week.  Somewhere in my pandemic mind I forgot to post it to their website.  Since all writing is good exercise for the brain I thought I would share this.  The prompt was, I got life.

 

The day started like most others in this little town, waking to go to work or school, getting the lunch ready and eating breakfast.  A large boom sounded in the hills and we felt the earth move like it was becoming liquid.  I reached for a counter to steady myself and my knees failed as I hit the floor.  We were having another earthquake.

I walked our street that evening, workers were removing rubble from a building.  Urgency in their actions.  Stretcher passed from one to another with a covered form as the cry arose, “I got life here.”

Posted in 2020, Food, kathy70, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Happy July 4th

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For many years this is a holiday I enjoyed the most.  Usually we have pretty nice weather and good food and I don’t need to buy gifts  for everyone.  The main requirement in my book is that everyone wear something patriotic and I have a chance to see fireworks.

Stay safe and have fun. This year will be different.