Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We’ve been adopted by a pair of once feral cats!

May 29, 2017

We have always said there was an invisible paw print on the wall in front of our house letting lost and abandoned animals know it was a safe place.  Over the thirty years we’ve lived here, we’ve had several dogs, puppies, cats and kittens and one even a domesticated rabbit find their way to our house.  Many of them stayed and adopted us and gave us much love and pleasure for the remainder of their lives.

In the past seven years there has been a slowing of our visitors.  We’ve had several deer hounds find their way here and with the help of the wonderful people at Hanover Animal Control got them back to their owners.  Once in a while, we wondered if the paw print had been washed off, but we had a full crew of cats and dogs many with special problems due to age or injury so we were glad not to have to turn anyone away.

The last few years have been very difficult.  Three of our dogs and three of our cats and our bearded dragon died due to chronic or sudden illness.  All were elderly but it is still very hard to lose them and they left big holes in our hearts. Strangely after these losses, the paw print seems to have reappeared.

There was a neighborhood cat who was abandoned when our next door neighbor moved.  Another neighbor was thought to be watching out for her and her brother but as we have learned this year, she was never spayed and has never had shots.  They said, she wouldn’t let them near her.  She started wandering across our yard more often over the last year and a half.  She is a cat with ATTITUDE!  If we were walking the dog and she was on the side of the road or sitting anywhere near, she’d stay perfectly still and give us a look that clearly said, this was her space and she wasn’t moving for anybody.  She’d hop up to our birdbath to take a drink and sit with her back to us.  Then she’d strut across the yard making a point of not looking our way.  We started looking for her and calling her Foxy Lady and saying hello.  Last year about this time, she had a litter of kittens.  We saw them up around the neighbors once they were several months old.  As they got bigger, she started spending more and more time around our house.  I could empathize.  There were many times when our boys were teenagers that I’d have liked to run away for a day–or more.

Then she started coming up on the back stoop and sitting on the railing tapping on the mud room window.  That is where Zeke, our dog sleeps and it was driving him crazy.  So one night, I went out with a box of cat treats that our cats could no longer eat due to one having renal failure, one diabetes and one obesity. I sat down on the top step and talked with her, tossed her a few treats.  She listened, ate the treats and gradually followed the treats up the steps until she was eating one step below me and she allowed me to pet her.    Once.  Then she quickly ran back down to the bottom and the steps and gave me her look.


Soon she was sleeping on our porch in one of the wicker chairs or on the glider.  Then one of her kittens joined her.  Slowly they became friendlier and came for treats and would come into the house, briefly but would freak if we closed the door.  Our plan was once they became used to us, we’d take them to the vet for shots and to be spayed.


Olivia is the younger one and she is a mouthy little cat.  It took her a long time to let us pet her.  By the time they both would let us pick them up, we realized they were getting rounder and rounder.  Yep, both were expecting kittens.

Foxy had her litter the beginning of April while we were away visiting our son at college.  She had hidden them we think under one of the sheds until just a week ago.  They are definitely feral.  Once they were more mobile, she moved them under the back of the house in the crawl space.  So they can drive Zeke crazy at night.  If they caught a glimpse of us, they’d scoot back under the house.

So we are slowly trying to get them used to us and more domesticated so they can also get shots and be adopted.  The life expectancy for outside cats around us isn’t good.  Foxy has beaten the odds so far (supposedly she is 11) but she is the exception.

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There are four kittens in Foxy’s litter.  Two black and whites, one black with a tiny spot of white on his chest and the striped one.  Have no idea what their sexes are yet.

Olivia had her litter when we were at our son’s graduation the beginning of May. (Coincidence?  I think not.) We haven’t seen them yet but are hoping they will be out in another week.


This is Adolph (see the moustache).  Pretty sure he is the father.  He is truly feral and runs if he even sees us through a window.  Which is why this picture is so blurry.  Hopefully we will be able to trap him and get him neutered too.  We have seen him watching the kittens while Foxy eats so he is participating behind the scenes.

And yes we have been feeding them.  After all they have kittens to feed.

Any body need a kitten or two?

Lost Corgi’s Happy Ending

August 10, 2016

IMG_0072This is Cher. A few weeks ago, a VDOT worker found
her wandering at the corner of our road. Since a number
of large trucks were on the way, he called animal control
because he was afraid she would be hurt. In the meantime, Ed
arrived home and called me to see if I knew who she belonged to.
I had never seen her before but we took her up to the porch so she
would not be hurt. While Ed drove around to all the neighbors to
see if they had lost a dog, Luke and I gave her some food and water
and sat with her on the porch. I called nearby campgrounds and motels
to see if anyone had reported a lost dog. We had no success and the
animal control office arrived and took her to the shelter.

We kept asking around and calling animal control to check to see if her owner had been found but a week went by and she was put up for adoption.  She is a sweetheart and we wished we could adopt her but two of our dogs are elderly and in ill health and not accepting of new dogs right now.

Today, VDOT was back working on our road.  The gentleman that first found her came over and told Ed he had adopted the sweet corgi and named her Cher.  He said who ever dumped her had not taken good care of her.  She was not neutered, they found three tumors, had an infection and her teeth were so badly decayed they all had to be pulled.  Her new owner connected with a Corgi rescue group who paid for all of her treatment.  She is now spayed, the tumors have been removed and she is on antibiotics for the infections.  She lives happily with her new owner and his pet bunny.

It’s wonderful to know there are people out there who care enough to rescue and love abandoned and neglected animals.


March 4, 2016

First a note:  This isn’t in scene order.  I’m working on the scene that follows The Memory Painting but wanted to get up a post today.  I got this idea as I was hunting through things in our house looking for missing things for our sons.

Sue blew in the door and stomped her feet.  She thrust a large bottle of Merlot at Ivy and began shedding scarves, gloves, coat and boots.

Ivy raised her eyebrows at the size of the bottle.  “Are you planning on having a party later?”

Sue snorted.  “Not unless you have more people coming to help.  I thought after a day of going through things and packing up, we might want to chill out with a glass or three.”

“Once you see the amount of stuff stashed away in here, you’ll probably wish you brought a case,” Ivy said.  “I think my mother saved every margarine tub they emptied in the last fifteen years.  And that’s in addition to owning every kitchen storage container ever invented.  I’ve filled four bags for recycling and six boxes for charity and I haven’t even started on the bottom cabinets in the kitchen.”

“Is that where you want to work today?”  Sue dropped her hobo bag on top of the clothes she’d piled on a chair.  Ivy hid a grin.  It was nice to see that becoming a hot shot lawyer hadn’t changed her friend’s basic nature.

“No.  I can do a cabinet or drawer when I break from working or while I’m watching TV.  I’d really like company tackling my dad’s study and my parents’ room.  It feels wrong to go through their things and I need you to push me if I stall out.”

Sue rubbed her hands together.  “Goodie.  You know I love looking into other people’s private spaces.  It’s one of the reasons, I love being a lawyer.  I know all the secrets even though I can never tell anyone else about them.”

Ivy laughed.  “You always were nosy.”

“Hey, nosy is a good character trait for a lawyer.”  She tucked her arm through Ivy’s.  “So where shall we start–the study or the bedroom.”

“The study.  There are shelves of books to go through and all my father’s files.”

“Dibs on the files,” Sue said.

“I was hoping you’d say that.”  Ivy led the way into the darkly paneled room.

An hour later, Sue slammed the last file drawer.  “I don’t think I’ve ever gone through a more boring office.  Or a more organized one.  He has every receipt filed and cross referenced.”

Ivy shrugged her shoulders.  “What did you expect?  He was an accountant.  And a little obsessive compulsive about keeping things in order.”

“Do you want me to start on the bedroom or help you finish with the books?”

“The bedroom, I’m almost–” Ivy bumped into a stack of the boxes she’d already packed.  She grabbed for the teetering boxes and dropped the books in her arms.  They fell and as she lunged for them, the boxes crashed down.  She groaned.  “Nothing like making more work for myself.”

Sue grinned as she walked out of the door.  “Have fun.”

Ivy huffed out a breath and settled down on the floor beside the pile of books and boxes.  “Not my idea of fun.  Fun is getting out of the house and building a snowman.  Fun is…” she moved a box and stared at the edge of a fifty dollar bill hanging out of one of the books.  She pulled it out and held it up to the light.  It looked real.  She rubbed it between her fingers.  Felt real too.  But what was it doing in a book.  Ivy looked at the spine.  A biography of FDR.  She riffled through the pages and she held the book upside down.  A twenty dollar bill floated out.

She laid the two bills to the side and picked up another book.  No money fell from that one or the next but three twenties and a ten fell out of the fourth book.  She sat back and looked at the two shelves of remaining books and all the boxes she’d already packed.  If her father had been hiding money in books…she shook her head.  When had he started doing that?  And why?  She doubted she’d find the answers to those questions, but she was going to shake every book in this house to see what else he’d squirreled away.

She started to call Sue and then smiled.  No, she’d go through at least the boxes on the floor and see how much she found.  Sue would be sorry she’d called dibs on the files then.

She was almost finished with all the books from the fallen boxes when Sue called her name.  Ivy glanced at the neat piles of bills beside her.  Most were fives, tens and twenties, but she’d found a couple more fifties and even one hundred dollar bill.  Time to let Sue in on the treasure hunt.

“Ivy, I found something you should see,” Sue said walking into the room.  She stopped short and her eyes widened.  “Where did all that money come from?  Did you find a safe?”

“It was in the books.  Not every book but a lot of them so I’m rechecking all the ones I’ve already packed.  Want to join me on my treasure hunt?”

“Oh, yeah.  I love treasure hunts even more than finding secrets, but I found something in the bedroom I think you need to see.”

“More hidden money?”  Ivy stood and stretched the kinks out of her back.

“No.”  She took Ivy’s hand and pulled her out of the room.  “I’d gone through the dressers and bedside tables.  Nothing very interesting, but I separated things I thought you might want and packed up all the clothes.  Then I looked under the bed.”

“Don’t tell me you found the monster that hides under beds,” Ivy joked.

Sue didn’t laugh and Ivy frowned.  “Is it bad?”

“I don’t think so.”  Sue pulled lifted the lid off the long clear box.

Ivy stared at the papers in it.  Papers and pictures.  She dropped to her knees and lifted some out.  There were pictures she’d drawn in school from preschool on.  Cards she’d made for her mother and father for holidays and special occasions.  Notes from teachers praising her artistic efforts.  Tears filled her eyes.  She hadn’t thought her parents cared about her drawings.  They’d always tried to steer her toward a more practical career.  Like accounting or nursing.

“This was on top.” Sue said and held out a heavy piece of drawing paper.  It had been torn in half and carefully repaired.  “It’s the one you did in tenth grade isn’t it?  The picture of your brother.”

Ivy took the portrait she’d drawn from pictures and memories.  “I gave it to my mother for her birthday.  She yelled at me.  Said it wasn’t him, nothing like him.  Then she tore it in half and ran to her room crying.  That’s when I decided to leave as soon as I finished school.  All I did was make them unhappy.  She ran her fingers over the softened edges.  It looked like it had been handled many times over the years.  Handled with care.  Her chest ached.

“She cherished it, Ivy.  And not just because it was a picture of Donny.  I think she loved it because it came from you.  That and every other picture here.”

Ivy stared at the ugly plastic box.  It had been fun finding money hidden in her father’s books, but Sue had found the real treasure.  At least for her.  Proof that her mother had cared about her, at least a little.  She was barely aware of Sue leaving the room as she sat on the floor with the picture in her arms and cried for the parents and the closeness they had never been able to achieve.

Don’t miss Keziah Fenton’s beautiful and thought provoking blog.









February 6, 2016

I am calling this one later for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s late.  I should have written and put it up yesterday and it’s later in the story.  It’s late because I wasn’t sure exactly what the next scene would be and had to think through some ideas.  I also had the joy of spending yesterday with my niece, her husband, my two absolutely adorable grandnephews and my sister-in-law.

It’s interesting writing a story using the prompts.  I do find it spurs my creativity.  It is also “seat of my pants” writing because this wasn’t a story I had planned to write and I only have a vague idea of where it is going.

Today’s scene doesn’t have any prompts because I had used those we came up with this week and Keziah Fenton’s scene used the words in yesterday’s post.

So later in the story….

            Jake tossed his keys onto the table by the front door and hung his jacket on the oak coat rack.  It had been a long night.  Some people in Virginia freaked at even the mention of snowfall and any accumulation meant accidents.  Lots of fender benders and cars in ditches.  A few injuries serious enough to warrant a trip to the ER, but thankfully, no fatalities. 

            He’d driven by Ivy’s house before coming home.  There was a light on in the back of the house.  He hadn’t stopped.  He needed sleep before he saw her again.  He wanted—needed—to be alert and focused when they talked.  There was something she needed to know.  Something that affected both of them equally.

            He walked into the bedroom, toed off his shoes and flopped onto the bed fully clothed.  Snow still fell outside, but soft light shone through the uncovered bedroom window and glinted off the piece suspended in front of it.  Blue, green, white, brown and crystal chips of glass floated in a web of multi colored strings.  It swayed in the heat rising from the vent below the window and some of the glass clicked together.  Back and forth, meeting and pulling apart.  Light and shadows flicked across his face and he closed his eyes thinking of dreams lost and dreams found.



Scene 4–The Closed Door

February 3, 2016

     “Your brother’s a cop!”  Ivy held her cell phone between her ear and shoulder while she painted the canvas with quick slashes of blue paint. “How the hell did that happen and why didn’t you tell me he was living here now.”

      “ “I don’t’ want to talk about your brother.  I don’t want to hear what he’s doing and I don’t care where he is.” ” Sue said.  “Sound familiar?  I don’t remember you telling me you had changed your mind on any of that, Ivy. If you want to know how and why he left hockey and went into the police academy, you’ll need to ask him.  Then you can tell the rest of us because he hasn’t.  We’d barely recovered from the shock of learning he’d been a cop in Buffalo for three years when he took the job here.”

            Ivy stepped back from the canvas and decided it was enough.  Switching her phone to the other ear, she carried the brush to the sink and turned on the water to rinse out the paint.  “You should have told me, Sue.”

            “And give you another excuse to could put off dealing with your parents’ estate?”  Sue snorted.  “I’d have been a bad friend and a worse lawyer if I’d let you do that.” Her voice softened.  “It’s time, Ivy.  You can’t move forward until you have put the past behind you.”

            “So you keep saying.”  Ivy set her brush in a ball jar bristles up.  “I still think having a moving company come in to box everything up and move it to a storage unit would have served the same purpose.” 

            “You can still do that if you want.  No one is stopping you.”

            Ivy freed her phone and rolled her shoulders to ease the stiffness.  “I’m here now so I might as well go through it and get rid of anything I don’t want to keep.”  She looked around the arid landscape of her mother’s kitchen.  Beige.  Everything in here was some shade of beige.  Her gaze went to the canvas on her easel and the bright orange Gerber daisy in a sunny yellow pot she’d placed on the kitchen table.  Well, not everything.  Not any more. 

            “I’ll be there bright and early Saturday morning to help,” Sue said.

            “Thanks, Sue.”

            “Look, my next appointment is here.  Don’t worry about Jake.  Unless you plan on robbing a bank or spraying graffiti on the train overpass, you won’t even need to see him.  Bye.”

            “Bye,” Ivy said and stuck the phone in her pocket.  She hadn’t told Sue Jake had come by the house today. Or about his insistence on talking to her.  She wandered down the hall and stopped beside one of the closed doors.  She’d been here almost a week now and she still hadn’t been inside.  She touched the knob and a shiver passed down her spine. 

            Feeling like a coward, she spun around and walked to her old bedroom.  Reaching down into one of the boxes littering the floor, she pulled out a stuffed giraffe.  Ivy cradled it in her arms and sat on the edge of the bed.  It was a souvenir from happier times.  She’d been nine when her brother won it for her at the county fair.  He’d groaned when she pointed to the bright purple one with lime green spots.

             “Are you sure that’s the one you want?  Mom’s going to hate it,” Donny warned her.  “The pink and white one would match your room better.”

“Pink is boring.  I want him.”

He shrugged his shoulders and handed her the giraffe.  It was half as tall as she was but she hugged it tightly and insisted on carrying it back to the car herself. 

              “So does your new friend have a name,” he asked once they were settled in his pickup.   

“His name is Magners.”

            “Magners?”  He swiveled in the seat and stared at her.  “Where did you come up with that?”

            “It’s the name of that stuff you and your friends like to drink and he looks like a Magners to me.”

            He looked at her and then at the giraffe and started to laugh.  “Magners.  Yeah, he looks like something you might see if you drank too much of it.  Just don’t tell Mom and Dad where you got the name, ok.”

            Neither one of them had ever explained the name to her parents, but looking at Magners had always made Donny burst out laughing.  Even at the end, when the cancer was killing him, she’d bring Magners with her into his room and he’d smile. 

            “I guess that’s why I’ve dragged you all over the country with me, you poor old giraffe.  Every time I look at you, I hear Donny laughing and remember the fun we had that day.  He never blamed me, you know?  He told me that.  He said it wasn’t my fault my bone marrow didn’t match his.”

            A tear ran down her cheek and plopped onto the rubbed plush neck.  Keziah Fenton’s story.















The Next Scene

January 29, 2016

Ivy wondered if she was hallucinating.  Jake hated her art and the piece he said he bought had sold for more than a thousand dollars.  Now he’d taken her reflexive step back in disbelief as an invitation.  She narrowed her eyes.  Maybe that was why he had said it.  To throw her off, get through her defenses.  She had no way of knowing if it was the truth. 

            He glanced around the room and she winced.  There were full and partially full boxes stacked in the hall and the living room.  In practically every room, but she had no intention of letting him go any further.

            “Looks like you haven’t been here long,” he said.  “You haven’t unpacked.”

            “I’m packing, not unpacking,” she said.  “My parents’ things.  I have to get a lot of stuff out of the house before I can stage it to sell.”

            His brow furrowed.  “So you aren’t staying.”

            She shrugged and glanced around the room.  Her mother had gone for blue in a big way in here.  Light blue walls, navy slipcovers on the upholstered furniture, blue and white porcelain vases and cobalt blue glass.  Individually the pieces and the colors were fine, but combined with the bland maple of the furniture, it was just…she sighed, boring.  Traditional, staid and boring.  It had matched her parents’ personalities perfectly. 

            “I don’t know what I’m doing yet, but I can’t live in this house.”  Her breath caught and she turned away worried about what he might see on her face.  Every minute she spent here, she could feel her parents’ disappointment.  Their resentment.  The weight of it had almost broken her.

            “I’m sorry–,” he began.

            “For my loss,” she laughed.  The sharp sound of it cut the air like a knife and her throat ached.

            He shook his head and touched her shoulder.  She stepped away from the warmth of his fingers.  “Their loss, Ivy.  You filled this house with sunshine and joy, but they were too blind and too angry to see it.”

            “I tried.  I kept trying.  When my father had the stroke and mother was too decrepit to take care of him, I offered to move back.  They preferred strangers to their daughter.”  She walked over to the wide picture window and fingered the navy and white print drapes.  A squirrel ran across the lawn and scurried up into an oak tree still hanging to a few brown leaves.   Snow dusted the ground and the black fur of the small shaggy dog chasing after it.  The dog jumped up and down under the tree practically turning flips while the squirrel sat on a branch and chattered at it.  “See that dog out there?” She pointed and looked over her shoulder at Jake.

            He walked over and nodded.  “She belongs to the Johnsons.  Her name is Misty and she thinks she is a hunting dog.  Always chasing squirrels and rabbits.”

            “She chases that same squirrel up that same tree five times a day.   She’s never going to catch it, but she wears herself out trying.  Sometimes, it’s better to stop.  To realize you are never going to catch the damn squirrel, so you might as well give up and move on.”  Ivy shook off the melancholy that settled over her like a shroud every time she let her defenses down.  “I need to get back to what I was doing before my painted dries up.”

            He smiled and the dimple on his right cheek flashed.  “You’re painting again?”

            “NO!”  She inhaled and slowly blew it out.  Painting pictures was as futile an endeavor for her as chasing the squirrel was for Misty.  But unlike Misty, she knew when to give up. “I’m painting a large canvas to use as a background in one of my pieces.”

            He cocked his head.  “Glass on canvas?  How is that going to work?”

            “Not glass, crushed beer cans.”  She smiled at his grimace.  “I wash them out first.”

            “Glad to hear it.  So what kind of thing are you creating with the crushed beer cans.  Guess it’s not one of your mobiles if you’re using a canvas.”

            “It will be a picture of daisies.  Bright, shining, daisies.”

            “Your favorite flowers.  You always said they looked happy.”  He smiled and she smiled back for a minute remembering the good times. 

            “Remember when—” they said simultaneously.

            “You first,” she said at the same time he said, “Ladies first.”  Before either of them could say anything more, something vibrated and he pulled a phone out of his pocket and checked the screen.

            “Sorry, Ivy.  I have to take this, it’s the chief.”

            Chief of what, she wondered as he walked away from her, closer to the door.  As far as she knew, there were no chiefs in ice hockey.  Or any other sport for that matter.”

            “What?  When?  Right, I can be there in five minutes.”  He slid the phone back in his pocket.  “I have to go, Ivy.”

            Of course he did.  She shrugged her shoulders.  “No problem.  I have things to do, too.”

            He opened his mouth, shook his head and opened the door.  “I’ll call when I can.”

            She watched him walk down the steps and over to his car.  He left clear footprints in the light snow. “What chief?” she called as he opened the door.

            “Chief of police.  There was an accident and I’m on call. See you.” 

            Mouth open, she watched him drive away.  A cop?  Jake was a cop?  The bad boy jock was a cop in the town he couldn’t get away from fast enough.  Shaking her head, she closed the door.  Hallucinating or dreaming.  She had to be doing one or the other.  There was no way Jake Carter had grown up to be a cop.

Can you pick out the words we used as prompts?  Go check Keziah’s blogs for Wednesday and today and see if you can figure it out.  I find it fascinating that we get such widely different stories using the same prompts.

Keziah Fenton’s story

Writing Prompts–More of Jake and Ivy’s story

January 22, 2016

Keziah’s entry in challenge

Words for today: pieces of string, broken glass and David Bowie


Jake pulled up in front of the house where Ivy had grown up.  He’d made some calls and discovered this is where she was staying.  It would have saved time if Sue had answered his questions, but his sister insisted on maintaining her policy of silence regarding anything to do with Ivy.  After five years, he knew better than to batter his head against the wall of neutrality she’d erected in an effort to maintain her friendship with Ivy without damaging their familial relationship.

He grabbed the plastic container she’d left at the rink last night.  She’d slipped out while he was breaking up a fight between two of the kids.  After the game, he’d discovered she’d gotten the name and number of a local towing service from one of the parents.  The owner of the service was a relative and had been glad to pick Ivy up at the rink and before going to tow in her car.  He’d even given her a lift back to her house.   Anything to help out his niece’s coach’s wife, he’d said when Jake finally ran him down this morning.  Sometimes people in this town were just too damn friendly.

Jake walked to the front door frowning as he noticed the overgrown bushes on either side of the front porch.  Someone could easily hide behind them and not be seen until it was too late to call for help.  He’d bring his hedge clippers over and correct that as soon as possible.  Probably not today, he thought as snow began to fall.  If this storm dropped as much snow as the forecast predicted, he was going to too busy to prune bushes.

He rang the doorbell.  Waited and then rang it again.  She was home.  She had to be.  Her car was still at the repair shop and he’d already checked to make sure she wasn’t with Sue.  What did she think, if she didn’t answer the door, he’d just leave the container and go away.  He pounded on the door.

“You might as well open up, Ivy, I’m not going away without talking with you,” he yelled holding his finger down on the doorbell.  “IVY.  ANSWER THE DAMN—”

The door swung open.  The sound of David Bowie singing “Heroes” blasted out.  “Stop yelling, Jake.  You’ll have the neighbors calling the police complaining about the noise.”

He held a hand up to his ear.  “What did you say?  I can’t hear you over the music.”

She rolled her eyes.  “Ha, ha.”  She reached for the container.  “Thanks, but you shouldn’t have bothered.  Mom probably has forty of those things.  I’m trying to get rid of them.”

Her hand brushed his.   The way his body tightened you’d think she’d touched his groin.  God, she was sexy.  The pants she wore hugged her legs like a second skin and he ached to slide the oversized shirt she wore over her head so he could see her curves.  It looked like she’d filled out in all the right places over the last few years.  Not that there had been anything wrong with the way she’d looked before.  She’d always been his wet dreams come to life.


He jerked his gaze back to her face.  “What?”

“Either give me the container or take it away with you.”

He raised an eyebrow.  “Aren’t you going to invite me in?”

She shook her head and several rich brown strands of hair drifted out of the messy knot on the top of her head.  He almost drooled.  “I’m working.”

He smiled.  “I already figured that out.”  He brushed a finger over her cheek.  “You have a little blue paint right here and a David Bowie album is turned up almost to the point of pain.”

She flushed and rubbed at her cheek.  “Then you know I’m busy.”

This time when she reached for the container, he let her take it.  “We need to talk, Ivy.”

“It’s been five years, Jake.  We’re divorced.  There isn’t anything to talk about.”  She started to close the door.

He stopped it with his hand.  “I bought one of your pieces.  The one you called “Lost Dreams” made out of pieces of string and thousands of bits of colored broken glass.”

She froze, her eyes wide.  Then she stepped back and he walked into the house.

Writing Exercise with word prompts

January 20, 2016

My friend Keziah Fenton suggested we try doing a story with writing prompts for our blogs.  The prompt words for today were ivy, hockey, tires, baking and club.

Here’s what I came up with.

Ivy gritted her teeth and leaned forward over the steering wheel as if that would make it easier to see the country road in the driving rain and sleet.  What had possessed her to accept the invitation to a jewelry party of all things?  She didn’t even wear jewelry because unless it was 14 K gold, sterling silver or platinum, it made her break out in hives.  And to make it impossible to pretend sudden food poisoning or flu, she’d been talked into baking her decadent dark chocolate cupcakes for the refreshment table.  Her BFF was going to owe her big time for this.

A horn blared and a dark pickup blew past on her left spraying her windshield with muddy water decreasing visibility even more.  Her knuckles whitened and her jaw ached.  The car hydroplaned and she eased her foot off the gas.  The tires caught the pavement again and she blew out a breath.  Maybe she’d make it in one piece after all.

Headlights flashed into her eyes.  She flinched and her hands jerked on the wheel.  The right front tire hit the edge of the shoulder, blew and the car went into a skid. The next few minutes stretched and blurred as she labored to correct the spin and pull off the road.  She managed to shift into park and hit the emergency blinkers before she started shaking.  Sleet pinged on the roof and windshield.  Her hands cramped and she realized she still held the wheel in a death grip.  She carefully unclenched her fingers and let her head fall back against the headrest.

Something hit the window beside her and she jerked.  Light blinded her.

“Ma’am?”  Knock, knock, knock.  She wasn’t sure if the pounding came from outside the car or inside her head.  “Ma’am, are you alright?  I’m calling 911.”

Outside.  She shielded her eyes against the flash of light and lowered the window an inch.  “No, don’t.  I’m ok.”  The light played over her face.

“Ivy?  Ivy, is that you?”

Oh, hell.  She recognized that voice.  Five years wasn’t enough to erase it from her memory.  She doubted a lifetime would be long enough.  She closed her eyes and prayed he’d just go away.

But of course, he didn’t.

“Open the door, Ivy.”

“I’m fine, Jake.  Thanks for stopping to check.  You can go now.”  She pressed the control and rolled the window back up.

To her surprise, he left.  She watched in the side mirror as he walked to a pickup truck pulled behind her car.  She ignored the ache in her chest.  She’d had five years of practice ignoring it.

Unwilling to watch him drive away, she unhooked her seat belt and bent to retrieve her purse from the floor of the car.  She needed to call to let Sue know what had happened.  She could either change the flat herself or call AAA.  Either way she was going to be late.  Best case scenario, she’d get there in time to serve the cupcakes.

She was punching in Sue’s number when a dark figure appeared on the passenger side of the car.  Her mouth dropped open as a thin piece of metal slid down the window.  Seconds later, Jake was sitting on her passenger seat bringing the scent of wet wool and musky male along with him.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?  You can’t just break into someone’s car like that,” she said.  A penlight flashed into her eyes and she cursed.  “Stop shining lights in my eyes.”

“Just checking your pupils in case you hit your head in the accident.”

“I didn’t have an accident.  I didn’t hit my head.  I have a flat tire which I am perfectly capable of changing so go away.”

“Do you carry two spare tires?” he asked raising one eyebrow in a way that used to make her insides melt.

“Of course not.”

“Then you are shit out of luck because both of your passenger side tires are flat.”               “Then I’ll call AAA.”

“Ivy, I’m not leaving you sitting here alone waiting for a tow truck on a back road.”  He checked the time on her dash and winced.  “I’d wait with you but I’m already late.  I’ve got a white cloth I’ll tie to your antenna and then you can come with me.  You can either wait until the game is over and I’ll give you a ride home or you call someone to pick you up.”

Of course he was on his way to a game.  Sports always came first with Jake.  “Well, I’m late too, and I have people waiting on me.  It’s not that far so if you insist on not leaving me, you can drop me off on your way to the game.  I’m sure your friends will fill you in on what ever happened before you get there.”

“Nothing can happen until I get there.  I’m the coach and there are ten kids from the youth hockey club waiting at the rink for me to come so they can play hockey.  I think disappointing a group of 8 year olds trumps not making it to my sister’s jewelry party don’t you?”  This time he raised both his eyebrows.

God, she hated it when he was right.  “Fine.  You win.”  If it wasn’t impossible, she’d think Sue had set this whole situation up.  She grabbed her purse and they both got out of the car.  She stopped to open the back door and lift out the container of cupcakes.  They’d just freeze if she left them in the car.

Neither of them spoke until they were in the warm truck and he’d pulled back onto the road.  “What’s in the container?” he asked.


He grinned and shot her a glance.  “Chocolate decadence?”

“I didn’t make them for you.” But she’d thought of him when she made them.  She’d been thinking about him way too much since she’d moved back to her home town.

“Ivy, we need to talk.”

Yeah, they needed to talk.  There were things that had to be settled.  She sighed.  “I know.”

He pulled into a well-lit parking lot and came to a stop.  Silently, they left got out of the truck and walked into the building.  A group of boys and girls all suited up and on the ice already cheered.  “He’s here.  Coach Jake is here.”

“Sorry, I’m late guys,” he said.  He motioned Ivy to the seats and she sat down leaving a few empty seats between her and the other adults watching the ice.

“She your girlfriend?” one of the kids asked.

“No,” he said.  He looked straight in her eyes.  “Everyone, I’d like you to meet Ivy.  She’s my wife.  And she brought cupcakes.”

You Know You’re A Writer When….

October 30, 2015

Source: You Know You’re A Writer When….

Funny and all too true. Check it out.

White Christmas in Virginia

December 30, 2010

View off our deck

Snow falling Christmas Day

Bay House with Christmas snow

Snow on Christmas was magical.  Snow at the beach blows my mind.  Which is why my husband and I drove an hour and a half just to take pictures of it.  Unfortunately we forgot to check the batteries in the cameras.  One was completely dead and the other on it’s way.  So we weren’t able to wander and snap as many as we’d wanted.  Still, this is priceless.  A white Christmas in Virginia is a long time wish come true for me.

I've heard of ice boats, but iced boats?

Back view of the cottage


Looking across the creek

Looking down the creek