Friday, October 18, 2019

OctPoWriMo 2019: Day 17: Do You Remember?

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Do you remember when we had all our lives ahead
In times before hope was replaced by dread
Do you remember all the sunshine days
Back when life was a place to play

The best of people in the world was my brother
Over him I'd never have chosen any other
 In the times before everything turned gray
Back when life was a place to play

Your sister became someone broken within
Who had no idea how to repair her sin
Your sister still wonders if we can return one day
Back when life was a place to play

I would have chosen you as my friend regardless of blood
My love for you is real, my brother, my bud
Can we turn back although our hair's gone gray
Back when life was a place to play?


My brother is four years younger than me. I was there when he was born. He made his way into the world quickly.
As children, we were very close. But time, circumstances, and misunderstandings have driven us apart, something I would not have been able to believe could happen when I was a child.
Honestly, this is rather a vulnerable point for me and I would appreciate compassion if one feels the need to say anything.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Just one of those Lousy Days

The Curmudgeon's Club mascot still makes me grin from beyond the grave.

Sometimes even when you're living in the construction zone--er-- the house of your dreams and working for the biggest asswipe of a boss, but you can't help smiling because that asswipe of a boss is YOU, there are still days that are better once they've been eaten by the Langoliers.

This was one of those days.
I came away from my grand, high-tech work station...

Okay, it's my five-year-old computer sitting on a busted-up $40 shelving arrangement from Wal Mart in front of the old, dilapidated couch which is also my bed.

Anyway, I uprooted my ass from my workspace to go to the kitchen for something, only to see that there was water all over the floor in the hall.

I looked into the laundry room to see the drain hose lying on the floor spewing water.

I stuffed it back into the drain. It pulled back out.

I tried repositioning it.

No matter what I did, it still pulled back out.

The carpet will probably take a week to dry. It's going to be replaced anyway, but, like, not today. 

Resigning myself that I will have to put on my shoes for a week whenever I want to walk to the kitchen, I decided to try and make a "use up what you have left in the fridge" casserole.

Sometimes these are a success.

This one wasn't. 

The hamburger I had was touted as grade A, top of the line, the best. It left a lake of grease in my skillet. I think I prefer the less touted regular hamburger.

All of the ingredients were good but it just didn't taste that great. I opted not to make anyone else suffer through it.

Finding that I felt sleepy, I opted for a nap and had nightmares about creepy psycho children wearing Halloween masks invading my house.

Today was a terrible day.

I hope that tomorrow will be an improvement.


Carpe Diem #1765: Squirrel

I remember when
you took peanuts from my hand
in a world long gone


Remembering feeding the squirrels peanuts when I was 10 years old.
That is 44 years ago.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Carpe Diem #1764: Ants

Image by FRANCO PATRIZIA from Pixabay

have not seen any
ants marching through my pantry
dead hornet in sink


I've encountered most of the usual suspect home invaders out here on the Lone Prairie: flies, hornets, mosquitoes, but no ants yet. My son and I have found several dead hornets. I suppose they came in when we opened the window on hot days. The windows need screens, which is probably a project for spring.

OctPoWriMo 2019: Day 16: Harried to the Grave

Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay

it does not matter
matter one measure if
if you measure your time
time on an Apple watch
watch your time on an old
old beat-up analog tick-tick 
tick-tick the sound
sound as time is running out
out of your wasting life
life where triumphs come
come slowly and don't seem
seem to stick around at all
all the while your life is wasting
wasting away fast as a wish
wish you would stop
stop giving away 
away all your me time
time to see time as
as a commodity time
time does not come free
free time does not align
align with being a successful
successful mess who never
never ever stops
stops to wind her old watch
watch time slip away 
away until one day 
day when there are
are no more days
days are numbered from the first
first moment you take a breath
breath that leads to death
death comes for us all
all of us must fall
fall back into the time
time when time didn't matter 
matter meant nothing
nothing meant anything
anything was possible
possible dreams
dreams become schemes
schemes become obsession
obsession consumes life
life becomes lie
lie down and die
die and become
become as you were before earth
earth before your birth 


I was always one of those "I'll sleep when I'm dead" kinds of people. I worked long hours at physically taxing jobs. I worked long weeks filled with long hours. I was proud of being able to push myself well past the limits. 
My diabetes got worse, I had a small stroke, and I had a severe injury to the median nerve in my left arm. My ability to work long hours at physically difficult jobs was gone forever. At the point when I had a small stroke, I was fired from my job as a home health nurse.
I live with fairly frequent suicide ideation, but the actual planning levels are pretty low as a rule. After I was fired, I started making plans to commit suicide because I felt like the world's worst fuck-up, like without my job I was nothing. 
This is not going to be one of those "oh, but I'm so glad I didn't because I found God, got down to a single-digit pants size, somehow started looking half my age, married GQ Cover Model Guy, and now my life is a Hallmark Channel movie" stories. 
Still a crabby, fat, romanceless, agnostic, middle-aged, broke-ass curmudgeon. Still would be homeless if it wasn't for my son's kindness. 
But I am glad I didn't commit suicide because if I had I wouldn't have been able to help my son get this house, and I wouldn't have found me.
Me is kind of an asshole, but we're on better terms these days now that I've had the time to get to know her a little.
Also, I have a feeling that sometimes those Hallmark Channel happy crappy stories about pretty people hooking up and living happily ever after might even make some people depressed. Like, you know, me. I think some people may need to know that an old crabby fat bitch learned that old, crabby, fat bitches have something to offer too without changing one fucking thing about themselves.

WEP Challenge October 2019: Horrible Harvest

Hello, readers! I would like to introduce you to the stars of our story, Ghost Town Grover and Cactus Clem. Grover was a miner during his life and he now runs the Virtual General Store here at the Grover Hotel. His best friend, Cactus Clem, is a mutant Cactus Man who loves life out here on the Lone Prairie. If you would like to read more of their backstory before or after delving into today's story, please click here.

This story is meant to be light-hearted. It will eventually have illustrations. I appreciate general constructive advice regarding formatting, clarity, or any typos that Grover or Cactus Clem might have missed. 

I do not appreciate nit-picking, being told that ghostly miners, mutant cactus men, or historical hotels in ghost towns are stupid or that you don't usually read ridiculous Halloween stories with ridiculous characters. Since you have been warned that this is a ridiculous Halloween story with ridiculous characters, I assume that you will not continue reading if that sort of thing really is not your bag, Baby.

With the obligatory officiousness out of the way, let us proceed with our tale!

(AKA The Ornery Old Lady)

Howdy, Folks! My name’s Grover, and I’m a ghost who haunts the ole hotel in the little tiny ghost town of Grover, Colorado. I was born on the fourth of July 1840 in a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail, and I guess y’all could say that I’m about as American as apple pie. During my lifetime, I was a miner, and I traveled from California to Colorado seekin’ my fortune.

In 1909 when I was purty well retired from mining, I ended up in this little town that had the same name as me, and they’d just built a brand-new hotel. I lived in the hotel until 1910, which was the year I started haunting the hotel.

You see, it was my birthday and I’d decided that maybe I’d like to give mining one more crack before I laid the ole pick-axe down fer good. Now, I mighta had a sip or two of White Lightnin’ while I was walkin’ along pondering my future, and just as I was crossin’ the ole railroad track, I seen the strangest thing.

Folks, something came down out of the sky, and I near to fainted on the spot. I had been readin’ a scary book about monsters from Mars, an’ I was afeared that story was coming true right in front of my eyes! But then the ship took off, and I seen this feller standing there in the shadows. He walked up to me and he said in plain ole English:

“Say, Pardner, I’m awful thirsty. Would you happen to have anything fer a feller to drink?”

Well, when I got a load of that feller’s face in the light of the train comin’ down the track, y’all coulda knocked me over with a feather, ‘cause I was lookin’ right at a walkin’, talkin’ cactus man. Then everything went dark. A minute later, I was on one side of the track and my body was on the other side. That ole train done mowed me right down whilst I was standin’ there starin’ at the cactus man, who was swiggin’ down the last of my White Lightnin’.

“Say, this here is purty good!” the cactus man said. “Do y’all got any more?”

So, Folks, that’s how I met Cactus Clem and ended up haunting the Grover Hotel. Cactus Clem was an experiment made by a mad scientist who was traveling with them space men, but he was just so dang mild-mannered that they couldn’t use him for no invasion plan or nothin’ and they done dropped him off in the nearest open field. Grover’s got a lot of open fields, ‘cause it’s right out in the middle of the Lone Prairie, so if I was a space man who needed to drop off a mutant cactus man, I reckon I’d pick Grover too.

Anyways, me and Clem became the best of friends, and we had a lot of adventures together over the years. There was people who came and went in the ole hotel, and it got turned into a lot of different things. Me and Clem had it to ourselves for a long time, except for other ghosts who came by to visit and play poker.

Then one day this ornery ole lady and her son showed up. I tried to scare ‘em off, but they wasn’t scared of no ghost nor cactus man. The son liked to make woodcarvings, and the ole lady was a writer and a book reviewer, and sometimes she’d read to me and Clem. That was purty nice, except for ole Clem gets scared easy, and then his imagination grows about ten sizes too big, an’ all kinds of crazy things can happen.

One night near to Halloween, the Ornery Ole Lady read us the famous story about Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman, and you could just see ole Clem’s eyes getting’ bigger and bigger. The next day there was a meeting of the Ghosts of Grover at the ole town hall, so Clem went out on the Lone Prairie by himself. Just as I was heading back to the hotel, Clem came running down the street like he’d been zapped by lightning.

Clem ran into the hotel and drank up all the beer that the Ornery Old Lady’s son had brewed.

“Clem, I think that Sonny was saving that beer for his game night with his friends,” I said.

“I’m sorry, Grover, but I just seen the most awful thing!” Clem gasped.

“Well, what did you see?”

“It was terrible, Grover! It was a horrible harvest!”

“Clem, what do y’all mean by a horrible harvest?” I demanded.

“Well, I went by this big field out on the Lone Prairie, and I seen them out there harvestin’ heads!”

“Clem, ain’t nobody harvesting heads!” I told the big lug. “Maybe they was harvesting cabbages.”

“Grover, they wasn’t harvesting cabbages nor lettuces nor kales neither,” Clem insisted. “They was harvesting heads! Say, do you reckon maybe that farm is owned by the Headless Horseman?”

“Clem, you can’t grow heads,” I said. “It simply ain’t possible. Come on, you take me to this farm and I’ll show you.”

“I ain’t going anywhere near that place! What if they harvest my head?”

“Well, look, we’ll just be real quiet so they don’t see us. I’m gonna prove it to you that ain’t nobody harvesting heads.”

Folks, we went over to the farm, and for a minute, I thought maybe Clem was right. There were big round orange things all over the fields. Just then, we saw the Ornery Old Lady and her son talking to a tall, skinny farmer.

“Sonny, I hear your woodcarving skills are the best,” the farmer said. “So that’s why I want to hire you to carve the best jack-o-lantern from my prize pumpkin. Whatever you want to carve, I leave that up to you.”

“Clem, them things ain’t heads, they’re pumpkins!” I said. “Sometimes you’re the silliest feller, but I’m glad we’re pals.”

Yer ole pal,
Ghost Town Grover

Y'all kin read more Horrible Harvest stories by clickin' this here button.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday: Departing Autumn

a clam
torn from its shell
departing autumn
cold stabs the soul like a knife
I retreat inside my shell

~Basho & Cie~

The Hokku stanza of this Tan Renga was created by Matsuo Basho (1644 - 1694). The Ageku (two-line) stanza was written by me.