Human:  Gibbs! Get off of Ziva!

Gibbs:  Hey baby, what happens in the kitty bed, stays in the kitty bed.

Human: *rolls eyes, walks away in disgust*

For other versions of “On Top” click here.

PS: It’s been a fast and furious week. I hope to be back with somewhat intelligent, humorous content soon. In the meantime, Happy Easter to those who celebrate and Happy Weekend to the rest.


Food for thought from Andra Watkins and the Washington Post. Very interesting. The challenge is to click on the link to the Post article and read through in its entirety without skimming or looking at ads for pretty sandals.

Originally posted on The Accidental Cootchie Mama:

I read an article in the Washington Post recently.  Reading Is Different Online Than Off.  Seriously. Click on the link.

I’ll wait.

Okay. Now that you’re back, let’s discuss.

Because I’m alarmed at the number of people who’ve said things like this to me lately:

Your book is the first book I’ve read in, like, FOREVER.

I feel guilty when I take time to read. It’s like I’m not really DOING anything.

My crazy life……if I have to choose between reading and sleep…….well, I choose sleep.

I’m a reader. Before I’m a writer. Or a friend. Or even, at times, a wife (as MTM will attest when he begs me to put my book down so that we can have COFFEE in bed.)

Several months ago, I became alarmed at my own reading habits. How I couldn’t get through a chapter without clicking onto social media or checking email. That…

View original 461 more words

Life 011

I’m feeling a little lopsided. It’s the crush of too much fun all at once…

like learning lines (Pardon? Oh yes, smashing!);

squeezing in pool time and yoga,

and learning lines (For heaven’s sake, someone stop her!);

an expected visit from brother,

which means severe house cleaning

and ridding the couch of cat hair,

and learning lines (Darling, whatever did you do?),

and there’s the job and looking for an apartment,

and learning lines (Well, whatever you do, don’t make a bloody scene.)

There’s not much time for anything else,

except to eat, sleep, go to work,

and learn lines (get…me..another…damned…drink);

Life 009

So, I’m benching myself from blogging this week.

I may read a bit, I may re-blog, but no writing.

Not until after Easter, when I come off the usual sugar-induced jelly bean coma,

and I learn lines (Put that thing down at once!)




“Ba de ya – say do you rememberpouringrain
Ba de ya – dancing in September
Ba de ya – never was a cloudy day”

A karaoke voice was singing the chorus loudly on a return trip from mom’s. I had been busy this morning, purging junk from a closet (smashed gift bows, crinkled tissue paper), before taking a Saturday drive to say “hello”, pay mom’s bills and deliver a spring jacket purchased for her earlier in the week. It began to rain before my black pair of Nike’s walked out the door.

Three hours later, I was on the way home. I had not intended to stay that long, except that I forgotten mom needed brandy and vermouth and Polident and Poligrip. Drat! So, mom sent me off to Target and the grocery store. Oh, and while I was out, orders were given to find her an Easter blouse because she wanted something new to wear. Thankfully, the latter mission was accomplished given there is really only one decent department store in the town where she lives.

Anyway, back to the drive home. It was pouring cats and dogs while shopping and the sky let out a thunderous boom at one point. The moist weather did not let up. The crashing of raindrops upon the car window increased in severity five minutes after I hit the highway. The view in front of me was similar to the picture accompanying this post. Perhaps worse. The speedometer read 25 mph less than the usual lead-foot speed of dry road. The gray of the rain, the gray of the sky had no separation. It mingled together, only interrupted by breaklights, headlights, and white dots on the concrete. Added to the mess was a stretch of road construction, where the lanes are made narrow by a series of jersey barriers. My fingers gripped tighter on the steering wheel and the usual comfort that comes with having driven for many years, allowed anxiety to slip in. It’s funny how, as I get older, bad-weather driving unnerves more than it did when I was in the fearless twenties.

The heavy pouring rain continued, while I heard the faint sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire on the car radio. “Crank it up!” the brain cells told me.


“Ba de ya – say do you remember
Ba de ya – dancing in September
Ba de ya – never was a cloudy day”

Apparently, the song was not written on a day like today. The voice sang louder, a left foot tapped on the floor, the driver of the car that passed on the left gave me a funny look (eyes on the road mister!), and the karaoke singer drove through the last of the cats and dogs.

I made it home in one piece…thanks to a song from 1978, an anxious, careful driver and a prayerful request earlier that day to keep me safe. I had to make it home safe so a return trip to mom’s can be made next Saturday and so I can return to the closet purging in a few minutes.

Which leads me to ask, dear readers, does anyone need a grayish-white Coca-Cola bear or a bag of craft moss?

(PS: A few seconds after I published, WordPress informed this was my 200th post. Wow, I’m a little chatty. Anyhow, please celebrate with me by writing a post of your own or having a piece of chocolate cake.)

Life 003

Dad served in World War II. He spent time in England and made it home safe,

to hug his mom, marry his wife, have two children.

Serving country in the military is monumental. It’s huge.

Every spring, the county veteran’s office presents family with a flag.

To mark the place of honor, the monument that sits in a Catholic cemetery,

for someone who loved country and life.

At ease, soldier…dad…you’ve earned eternal rest.

I’ll bring flowers as soon as the thawing puddles dry up.

For other monuments, click here


Life 019

I told the small group of men that if anything goes wrong, it’s Natasha’s fault. She dragged me into this.

Thursday evening was the first read-through of the murder mystery/dinner theatre/bachelorette party/improv madness into which I’ve been thrown. Well, I guess I did say, “Okay, I’ll do it,” without too much of a twisting arm. It was Natasha’s encouraging words (“You’ll have fun! You’re funny! You have good comedic timing! You can do it!”) that inspired me to drag both feet out of the zone of comfort. Additional help came in the form of another friend, who said “What fun!” and the boss I admire, who declared, “I can totally see you doing that.” Suddenly and without reason, I was excited to just do it. Kind of tingly, actually.

Natasha and I were handed the script. Our host gave a briefing of the story. Discussion of props, a note about the bride-to-be, and our character assignments followed.

I am Lady Luna Cee.

Luna Cee.

In between an over-the-top craziness at the office, mom stuff, and searching for a new place to live, I am now a thespian named Luna Cee. Appropriate. I also have quite a few lines. I remember Natasha dismissing my fear of forgetting lines by saying, “Oh, I think our characters are only in the second half of the show.” Wrong! Aristocratic Lady Luna is in both acts. As soon as I am done typing this nonsense, I will be retreating to the couch with the script, hoping that my recall is better than I recall.

I also have to speak with a British accent…like the Queen of England or Barbara Woodhouse or Eric Idle in a dress. Smashing.

I have a bit of work and studying to do.

I found myself truly enjoying the read-through as it progressed, becoming more and more comfortable as the pages of the script turned and Luna Cee’s role was defined. Reading through a second time, with a pizza break and blocking, gave the story life. The living room was our stage and we moved with screams and gunshots and coffee. (I am the screamer and the “other woman”, having an affair with the handsome Baron. Mother would be proud.) It was toward the end of the second read-through that I realized why Natasha had been involved in community theatre for 30 years. It’s fun. A car load of fun. During the coming weeks, as we learn lines (pray or shake your chicken bones for my memorization brain cells, please), I can bet the fun will continue.

The troupe meets again in two weeks. Along with practice, there will be costuming. I’ve been told I will be wearing a long, fancy dress, plenty of gaudy jewelry and a tiara.

What? A tiara?

A friggin’ tiara!

Splendid. The dog’s bollocks, I do say.

It’s all Natasha’s fault. Natasha rocks.

(Stay tuned…you can count on updates to this story.)




lovepuppiesLove people.

Hate liver.

Love in the heart

Hate not in the brain

Love peace

Hate war

Love puppies

Hate puppy poo on the carpet

Love rainbows

Hate natural disaster

Love life

Accept death

Love determination and growth

Hate boredom

Love friends

Love family

Love spirit, faith

Hate evil


(Weekly Writing Challenge: No rules. Just stick to the word count — no more, no less than fifty words.)


*I am so stupid* she quietly muttered to herself.

(Cartoon courtesy of Calvin & Hobbes)


Verklempt is a Yiddish word that means “overcome with emotion.” Pronounced “fer-klempt,” people use it when they are so emotional that they’re on the verge of tears or at a loss for words due to their emotional state.

I came across this word over 20 years ago, watching Mike Myers portray a caricature of his Jewish mother-in-law, Linda Richman, on Saturday Night Live.

I think about this word every time the National Anthem plays at a sporting event.

Every time the sky lights up on the 4th of July.

Every time the writers of NCIS or Downton Abbey kills off a favorite character.

Every time hormonal moments strike and dark chocolate is nowhere to be found.

Every time stress rules over the best of intentions.

Every time an adopted child is reunited with a biological parent.

Every time I am moved by love, death, or a heart-to-heart talk with a best friend.

Every time “How Great is our God” plays on Pandora.

Every time I talk to dad and tell him I miss his voice…over the phone…yelling at mom.

I can’t help it.

I do not hide verklempt. This girl is as transparent as they come.

So, if you catch me watching Bambi, or Love Story or Brian’s Song and my eyes are filled with emotion, feel free to talk among yourselves.

I just went to get a tissue.




Bridges 002

A bridge to where,

around the gray-board bend?

A pond? A street? A gravel road?

The local Subway?

A bridge can lead to anywhere (or to nowhere in Alaska).

It can be big and beautiful and famous…

The Mackinaw Bridge leads from upper Michigan to lower Michigan,

and the Sydney Harbor Bridge leads travelers from the North Shore to the central business district of the city.

(Right M-R?)

A bridge can be small and pedestrian,

like the one above, waiting for the dog-walkers and pedal pushers.

A bridge can carry a train or raise its levers to let the tall masts pass;

it can carry a verse to the chorus.

I walked across the bridge in the picture.

It led around the gray-board bend.

I found iron, water and light.

Bridges 004


A bridge can be a moment in time, when one crosses over to a new job, a new home,

or a new adventure.

The bridge to a new adventure begins tonight.

When I said yes.

Yes to walking across the bridge and stepping away from a safe comfort zone.

Stepping into the muck and fun of theatre.

I signed up for dinner theatre,

acting a murder mystery in front of a bachelorette party.

Learning lines.

Forty pairs of eyes staring me down.

What did I do?

What was I thinking,

when I walked around the gray-board bend?

Pray that I find the bridge to an excellent first-time performance,

or the bridge to the bar after the show.

The photo story was posted on May 3rd; however, I feel it appropriate for Photo Challenge submission. Simply replace “adventure” with “new beginning” and consider the action of stepping around the bend of the bridge into the latter.

Click here to step into the threshold of other challenge participants.




I went for a walk at noon on Monday. The temperature was 55 degrees.

Today, on Tuesday, the high is 35 degrees. Typical April, the roller coaster month of weather. The northern part of Wisconsin may get a snowstorm, 6-12″, starting Thursday night. Ouch!

The month of April is also shades of brown – grass that hasn’t turned green, dried leaves still clinging to the trees, and brown, muddy fields waiting for the seeds of corn and hay. I love April because it beckons new growth with its rain, but the colors of landscape are so boring! The former husband used to laugh at me when I would lament the browns of April (and November) and he would tease me with “but there are so many shades of brown…that’s color, right?”

“Oh shut up,” would be the reply.

I’ve since lightened up on the “April is too brown” lament and as I walked on Monday, I paid attention to color, texture, light and landscape. Found in the majority were the typical browns of April, followed up with a few crimson and green notes of new growth and an oddity here and there. Enjoy the walk.

Let’s start with a burgundy sign.

Spring Trail 012

I did not pass any horses, thank goodness, but a girl walking her dog asked if I happened to have a  baggie. It seems poochie pooped twice and she wasn’t prepared.

Along came the dark green of a pine, a rustic fence, a stripe of snow and a black-topped path. Onward and forward…

Spring Trail 002

Shades of brown on a tree caught my eye. I admire the leaves, although dead, for hanging on through the nasty winter.

Spring Trail 006

A non-babbling brook failed to babble.

Spring Trail 010

Don Quixote! Is that you?

Spring Trail 009

Leafless, vibrant crimson found among the browns. Rejoice!

Spring Trail 013

Look, mom! I see green grass! It’s green! Green grass!

Spring Trail 014

Could those shoes be any whiter? Quick, I need my sunglasses.

Spring Trail 016

Brown, green, water. Brown, green, water. Rinse. Repeat.

Spring Trail 020

Well, that’s cute and unexpected. I bet the dogs like it.

Spring Trail 019

And that’s it. Lunch time is over.

Walk is over.

The end.

That’s what author and fellow blogger Andra Watkins (a/k/a Accidental Cootchie Mama) has been doing since March 1st. Walking, walking, walking the 444 miles of the Natchez Trace. toliveforeverFifteen miles a day in all elements of wind and weather, while mom, dad, husband and friends joined her at various points of the journey. Andra was very close to giving up at one point, but found the courage and determination to carry on. Every day, the author of To Live Forever: The Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis” carried on and answered reader questions (via video) on her blog page. (Andra was kind enough to give me 15 seconds of fame on the fourth day of her journey by saying my name and holding up a roll of toilet paper. I was honored.) Andra gave her readers a history lesson in the Natchez Trace and the travels of the Corps of Discovery, and shared the embarrassing tale of her dad’s “I Took a Crap” tour. Hilarious! There are a month’s worth of posts and questions answered if you need something to do while the pot roast cooks in the oven.

Andra’s journey ends on April 3rd, when she finds the 444 mile marker and holds court at a book signing in Nashville. I have never met Andra, and yet I am so damn proud of her. She would be the rock star heroine in my book – the girl who kicks ass and takes no prisoners.

Please visit Andra’s blog to give her a “two thumbs up”, a “rah-rah” or a congratulatory gush the size of a novelette. And read her book! This Cootchie Mama certainly deserves it.