Thursday, December 15, 2011

Angels Among Us - Harmony Part 3

She was a Dominion, an Angel of the Second Sphere so it was rather a surprise for Harmony to be summoned to the quick and very capable Serenity’s aid but when He spoke, no Angel dared to argue for if He stepped in, the situation was dire and this time was no different...

Harmony hadn’t glittered herself since she was a wee Third Sphere Angel-in-training - a Guardian Angel as humans liked to call them - but she was embarrassingly doing just that as she shivered gold sparkles with her every move around Brick’s hospital room. And in front of Serenity who was a Third Sphere Angel-in-training no less...although Serenity was hardly noticing much in her condition.

Serenity had spent so much energy protecting Brick in the accident that she’d contracted the Dullwing Flu, a virus no Angel wanted for it meant days of lying around, with every cough and sneeze draining them of their precious glitter. The poor wee thing had sneezed herself down to barely enough glitter to call for help so now it was up to Harmony to convince Brick this wasn’t his time. And as if she wasn’t busy enough this time of year, He gave her another mission...a next to impossible one...but if she ever hoped to make the high level of Seraphim she had better get on it quick!

Harmony knew Brick was tracking her every move as she flit about his hospital room. Perfect!

“You’re awake!”

“Am I? Who are you? Where am I? What happened?”

“My name is Harmony. You don’t remember?”

Brick sat deep in thought and then replied, “The last thing I remember was a beautiful woman standing over me.”

“Oh, that would be Serenity.”

“Serenity? Do I know Serenity?”

“You were in an accident. Serenity tried to save you.”

“What? I don’t...oh wait,” Brick said, “I was driving. I remember a snow plow coming right for me. I...what happened? Did he hit me? Did I hit him? Is he alright?”

“His name is Ronald Jackson. He’s badly shaken up; something went wrong with the mechanism and his left blade wing dropped and seized in place pulling him into your lane. As soon as he could he ran to pull you out of your car. He's is still here waiting for word on how you’re doing.”

Brick's mother had been seated in his room, whispering prayers and words of encouragement from the moment she’d been called to his bedside. When Brick opened his eyes and rapidly looked around his room, flicking from one thing after another, only to stare sightlessly Victoria’s way, she worriedly called for the Doctor, who arrived in time to witness the one-sided conversation Brick was having.

“Brick, Dr Marsh is here with you now. You’re going to be alright,” Victoria said to her unresponsive son.

“He's getting some colour back and is otherwise stable," said Dr Marsh after examining Brick. "We have him under close observation but we may need to go in and relieve the pressure on his brain."

"You mean surgery?"

"We may have to, Victoria. You may want to get Lisa here as soon as possible.”

Harmony shivered more glitter as she watched a distraught Victoria leave her son's room, before bringing her focus back to the task of preparing Brick for what was to come.

To be continued...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Angels Among Us - Harmony Part 2

Where was he?

Daddy wouldn’t have been late for something this important, but then Daddy cared about her happiness as Brick never had. Lisa would deny it now if anyone were to remind her that Brick’s appeal in the first place had been that he was so much like Daddy...but that was then and this was now.

Being late to sign their divorce papers was just another fine example of how Brick didn’t hold dear that which was special to Lisa. Maybe one day she’d find that one-of-a-kind love but until snowballs no longer melted here on earth she’d just have to be happy taking care of Daddy, just the two of them as it always was. Him, she could count on.

“I need to speak to Lisa Madison, it’s urgent”, she heard through the closed door. She’d recognize the voice of Victoria Madison anywhere, even after two years of separation. Hearing the unusual near-panic in that voice had Lisa opening the door and responding with the kindness she’d always been dealt at Victoria’s hands. The fragile look was a new one for the strong, silent Victoria.

“Victoria, what’s wrong?”

“Lisa, its Brick...there’s been an accident. Brick needs you.”

“Surely you as his mother can see to his care, Victoria,” Lisa gently challenged even as her heart did flip-flops.

“I tried explaining about the divorce, but while Brick is still married to you the Doctor needs your consent.”

“Consent? Consent for what?”

“Please, Lisa. You have to trust me! I’ll tell you more on the way to the hospital,” Victoria said as she urged Lisa on with her coat and out the door to the awaiting taxi. 

to be continued...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Angels Among Us - Harmony

He was about to become the jolliest of elves.

Brick Madison’s holiday season was about to get as bright as the snow-covered countryside surrounding him on his late afternoon drive to town. A little ink on some documents, a small price to pay, and he’d once again have control over his own life, his freedom, after spending the five longest years of his thirty-five year life married to Lisa.

Marrying Lisa Madison – nee Bonham, the woman he thought he would love and grow old with - had turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes he’d made. Had anyone told him, and some had tried, that marrying her meant marrying her Daddy he may have saved himself years of ‘but Daddy says’ and ‘but Daddy did’.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like his father-in-law, in fact Brick had enormous respect for Tom Bonham, but a marriage of two was tough enough, a marriage of three next to impossible, at least for him. Well, no point reopening wounds long healed, he thought as he rounded the last bend before town straight into the path of a wayward snow plow.

  It took probably seconds to swerve, go over the guard rail and flip to land wheels first over the embankment surrounded by pines, but to him living it felt like hours. His last coherent thought was of the brilliant, pink-robed angel atop the nearest tree enveloping him in sparkly golden light from her gentle, loving hands as her smile lit the ever-darkening skies.

to be continued...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Here In Spirit - conclusion

The vacant eyes stared out amidst glass jars of what she could only believe were once herbs. Admiring the workmanship of such a beautiful antique, Maggie lifted the doll from its shroud of white cloth. As its eyes blinked open to stare unseeingly, Maggie was swamped by the vision of a young, rash-covered, feverish girl hugging her doll tight as she lay delirious and swaddled in soft linens.

Maggie had forgotten that she wasn’t alone until her daughter’s scream brought her back to the moment, but in those moments when she was focussed on the scene unfolding on the edge of her consciousness, the idea behind Here In Spirit was born.

Try as she might, she couldn’t let go of the haunting feeling she had, prompting her and Thomas to research the history of the house and its former occupants and in so doing had unearthed the existence of six-year old Abigail, daughter of Agatha and Benjamin Harrison.

The hand-written notes - that only to the eye of the ignorant could be mistaken for spells - entombed with the doll and the jars of herbs they’d proven had once belonged to Agatha Harrison.

Agatha Harrison was a woman - a healer in the time of a scarlet fever outbreak, an illness she hadn’t figured a cure for before it struck the only child of the town magistrate – tried, convicted and hanged without ever having had the chance to explain or defend against the accusation of witchcraft, as was the practice in some small towns where, in 1861, such atrocities had not yet been put to an end.

Hanged just days before the disease had ravaged Abigail’s body and had her crying out for her mother to no avail. Death came for Abigail without even the comfort of her mother’s loving arms around her and the loss haunted Agatha’s every ghostly step, as the loss of his wife and his only child had haunted Benjamin’s. He’d buried his reminders of them deep in the recesses of the attic floor, sold the house, never to be heard from in these parts again.

Maggie and Thomas, realizing that Blayne was their connection to the other side, worked many a night to right a wrong committed over a century ago, to bring the Harrison family back together.

Finally free from the chains a frightened society had wrapped her in, Agatha was last seen standing on that Halloween night ten years ago, her husband at her side, happily waving goodbye as they held their golden-haired daughter safely between them. And that made spending every Halloween since sending up prayers for the Harrison’s, and the many other families they’d freed over the last decade, worthwhile for the Bardsell’s.

Every so often Blayne wished for a normal Halloween - like her friends had - but then she remembered the history she’d learned and how good it was to live in a time where people may think her odd, and yes, probably judge her, but she’d never be subject to such persecution as her spirit friends had known in their time...and for that she was truly thankful.

The End.

Happy Halloween! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Here In Spirit

Heads bowed, they murmured in unison.

How praying one night a year was truly honouring him – or her – was one of the many questions sixteen year old Blayne would like to ask, but as dusk was quickly approaching she also knew the value of the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality.

Halloween night was a unique experience in the Bardsell house. Maggie and Thomas Bardsell – owners of Here In Spirit, and Blayne’s parents – made freeing Spirits their life's work and Halloween was their busiest time of year. Trick or Treat - words Blayne had never uttered as her friends did, as her little brother did – was over for Blayne before it ever really got started.

She’d been six years old the day her mother searched high and low, only to find Blayne standing in the attic as if in a trance, pointing at the floorboards. “She said she wasn’t a witch,” Blayne said to her mother, “and her name is Agatha.”

Maggie could only call it trusting an instinct she’d been born with as, using herself as a human shield to protect her daughter from the unknown, she began tapping at the floor with an old tire iron lying nearby, prying loose the floorboards to expose the hollowed out compartment below. Uncertain just what she was seeing, all she could do for a moment was stare...until the scream let loose by her daughter had her shaking herself back into action. 

To be continued...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wish It of the Moonlight

Wishes whispered in the night will hold
Gods captured in their thrall,
For in the silence of the moon
your voice and thoughts more clear,
than the loudest cry in light of day
Spoken above the roar.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Case of Greed - Part Seven

The ensuing hysterics and finger pointing alone made for a better soundtrack than any drama Job could’ve hoped to hear on whatever that show was called...the one about age and restlessness that his mother watched. 

            Job would remember for years to come how Alec had proven to be an invaluable and mutual ally in their quest for justice for Philomena. It was Alec’s charade that had Holly placing the call a short while ago that brought Judge Wright, Kenneth Platz and Dr Price running like trained dogs to Alec’s office in record time; Alec’s insistence that they tap into the building security system that had the cast of characters unknowingly put on the audio-and-visually-recorded show that would be their downfall.

 “Smile for the cameras boys,” Job whispered. “Alec, are you sure you want to continue on with this? It’s not too late to back out; they don’t know they’ve been set up.” Alec’s response was what Job could only believe was a difficult choice since said bastards were some of Alec’s closest friends and colleagues.

 “Oh no, I want these bastards to pay almost as much as you do.”  It almost made Alec feel guilty that Holly believed she had poison streaking like lightning through her veins...until he remembered who gave those chocolates to Philomena.

“What kind of game are you playing now?” Ahh, the smarmy voice of Senator Platz was easy enough for Job to recognize even if they weren’t watching the ferret-faced man on screen. “Your need for attention is quickly growing stale, Holly,” Kenneth replied using his could-care-less tone that he reserved for idiots who opposed him and street urchins.

 “I need the antidote,” Holly said, “and don’t dare pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about Kenneth or so help me, I’ll ruin you!”

 “You’re losing it Holly, pull yourself together,” Kenneth said. Fondling the small vial he kept on him at all times, his mind started working overtime. He’d been looking for a way to dump Holly - she knew too much - without having her turn on him. “I don’t have the antidote; it’s not likely to be something I’d carry around, now is it?” He was elated. Things couldn’t have worked out more perfectly if he’d planned it this way.

 “ have to have always carry it!”

 “If you think you can call me away from my nice warm brandy just to -- wait, what did you just say?” Judge Wright turned and pointed at Holly. “Why would you need the antidote?”

“The question should be why would she expect us to believe that she’d be dumb enough to have eaten chocolates we’d laced with belladonna?”

 “That’s right Kenneth, keep talking,” Job and Alec whispered in unison. “Little does he know how much I want to see him hang himself,” Alec said to Job. 

Job felt more than heard the sighs of relief coming from the first floor security station where John and Jerry, who’d had serious doubts about where Alec’s loyalties lie, sat bearing witness to the scene unfolding in Alec’s office.

“Hold it,” Judge Wright held up a hand to stop Kenneth. “Let’s get something straight. There was no we who laced those chocolates, the two of you acted alone there.”

 “I didn’t know Philomena gave the rest of her chocolates to Alec until after I’d eaten a few!”

 “For God’s sake, Kenneth, first Philomena, now Holly?” exclaimed Judge Wright. “Where do you draw the line?” If there was an end in sight he certainly couldn’t see it.

 “There’s no one outside this room who knows your secret. Once it gets out there won’t be a soul around who’d believe you weren’t in on the plan...Judge,” Kenneth said. “That’s right; no one else has been smart enough to figure out why you really let the drug dealers off with a slap on the wrist. By the way, how is your son? Is he keeping himself out of trouble these days?”

Judge Wright had never regretted more than he did at this moment that he hadn’t been there to watch his son grow up, to teach him right from wrong. His wife tended to look the other way on his liaisons as long as he was discreet, but it didn’t bear thinking if she ever found out that a mistress from his past had bore him the son she couldn’t give him.  

“Give her the antidote so we can all go home! I’ll not stand by again and witness what Ms Townsend went through. I won’t do it,” said a very agitated Dr Price, who had been the only silent one in the room until now.

“I wouldn’t be so brave if I were you, Doctor,” Senator Platz responded. “You wouldn’t want the Judge here to have an accident before your case has its final hearing, would you?” Kenneth knew his threat hit its mark when the white pallor of Dr Price’s complexion went even paler.

Dr Price regretted more every minute this went on that he hadn’t trusted his lawyer when she’d told him he stood a good chance of winning the malpractice suit...the one Kenneth had convinced him would be his ruin. He was a doctor, a damn good one at one time, but he could see his life falling apart in front of him. It was long past time to find a way to bring this to an end.

Stay tuned for Part Eight (Final) of A Case of Greed

Thursday, August 25, 2011


'You have achieved peace when amongst the chaos you can still find serenity in your heart.' 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Learning Experiences

For those of you who don't already know, my husband and I have had a very busy spring and summer this year. It all started out with a flooded basement that has ballooned to many projects on the go; some immediate ones to correct the seepage problem, and other 'not so immediate but let's stop putting them off' projects.

Installing a sump pump was something I never thought I'd have to learn, but side by side, my husband and I (more him than me) installed one into the existing pit (thankful for that pit already being there!), correcting install issues to the existing pit so the sump could drain/work properly. This had to be done while we were in the process of cleaning up (not covered by our insurance), discarding ruined carpet (wall-to-wall) and a few other possessions, which prompted us to look at all the possible reasons/places where water could seep in...and correct them too.

With the help of our son and daughter-in-law to be (who thankfully live nearby) we removed a 10' x 9' x 4' (approx) garden and retaining wall, that we'd been told was putting too much pressure on one part of the house. In removing it we found a small foundation crack. At first we panicked, then we read up on how to repair it ourselves and realized we could do it. Job well done! No leaks!

While working there we decided this was as good a time as any to fix problems that existed since we bought the house five years ago, but had been putting off, like:

1)  the stone steps leading up to the front door that were very uneven,  (done!)
2) replace the uneven blocks that were at the front door with a wood landing (not finished yet - blocks and old stone underneath  have been removed, wood is cut and ready),
3) create a much narrower garden/wall (done with the exception of a few more barrows of soil to top it up)
4) with the extra 9' x 8' space leftover, we're putting in a new patio area (blocks bought, patio to be done),
5) move other garden wall blocks that were holding moisture up against the house (but not leaking in yet) in another area and create a whole new garden (done beautifully with many compliments from neighbours!) and
6) finish the deck we started last year (that'll probably be a late summer, early fall project).

I haven't even touched on the indoor projects we have planned now that we're on a roll. That'll be another blog post!

I will say it has all been a wonderful learning experience, a lot of laughs, some tears (mine) and frustration at times and it will all be worth it in the end. I may even post some before and after pics when we're done and when I've figured out how to post pics on here. lol.

Now that things are settling on the home front, I will get back to posting stories of the fictional kind.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Birthday Presents

We haven't even celebrated his birthday yet (this weekend),  but my husband had a good chuckle the other day when I told him what he bought me for my birthday (in September). Now, it isn't a usual thing for me to buy my own gifts, in fact, I've never done so before, but this time fate had a hand in it.

I received my Nora Roberts newsletter informing me that her next release, New York to Dallas (J.D.Robb) will be released...ON my birthday! So, to celebrate, I pre-ordered an autographed copy from Turn The Page Bookstore (Nora's husband's bookstore). I can't wait!!


They stand beside us in our time of need. Our faith in them knows no bounds. We admire how they hold, or held, themselves with honour.

Most of us have people past and present, entities we believe in, fact or fiction, who have made us who we are and will continue to influence our lives.

My most influential heroes past and present are: my father, my husband and our sons, God, Abraham Lincoln, Patanjali (a.k.a - the father of yoga) and Robin Hood.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Case of Greed - Part Six

“Well, aren’t you beautiful tonight,” Alec exclaimed, as Holly strutted through his office door. “I have a few things to wrap up before I have my car brought around so I took the liberty of chilling one of my finest Sauternes. Shall I pour you a glass to enjoy while you wait?”
“That’s one of the things I love about you, Alec, you think of everything. That would be wonderful,” Holly purred, eyeing the back of Alec like the cat that had the canary in its sights. “Take your time,” she said as he turned back to see her settling herself in his plush leather chair so not much about what she wasn’t wearing would be left to his imagination.
“I’ll try to hurry.” He fought hard to hide his glee a few minutes later when he looked up from his desk to see she’d not only noticed the plate of chocolates on the table beside her, but had devoured half the plate from the look of things. Time to set the stage for the finale, he thought. 

“It’s wonderful to see a woman feel comfortable enough to eat in my presence. It gets so tiring to take a woman to dinner only to have her order salad like it was the most expensive item on the menu and then just pick away at it. And I’m positive Philomena will be thrilled to know the remainder of her chocolates didn’t go to waste.”
What do you mean?

“Oh, Phil, being the giving person that she is, wanted to share her gift with the other Associates and our clients. Why, whatever is the matter, Holly?” Alec responded calmly as he watched her control start to waver. “Are you alright? I know they were a gift from you to her, but surely you don’t mind her sharing.”
“Oh my God, no,” Holly cried as she reached in her purse for her cell phone call and frantically dialled. “Kenneth?” When all she reached was his answering service she hung up in a panic. “I need to get to Kenneth,” she mumbled to herself, “He’s the only one with the antidote.”
“Kenneth? Antidote? What are you talking about?” Alec knew she was referring to Senator Platz, but he wasn’t through playing with her just yet. Not only was he thoroughly enjoying her discomfiture, but there was still the little matter of learning how and why Judge Wright fit into their game. He wanted to draw this out long enough for her to hang herself and her cohorts along with her.
            “Kenneth...rrr...Senator Platz. He’s a friend of mine.” At least she had the decency to blush a little when she said the last part.
            “Hmmm. Okay, but what do you need him for? And what’s this about an antidote? Antidote for what?” he inquired.
            “Umm, I mean medication. He has my medication,” she lied.
“Why on earth would my golfing buddy have your medication?” he asked. Completely enjoying this, Alec prepared to reel them both in. “Oh, you’re not looking so great, Holly. Let me try to reach him on his private line. If I can’t, we’re heading straight to the emergency room,” he said as he pulled out his cell.
“Kenneth, Alec here. Listen, I have an Associate here who is in urgent need of your help,” he said as he wandered down the hall to carry on his conversation in private.
Holly knew with the amount of chocolate she’d eaten, she had less than an hour before the belladonna would take over. Standing as close to the doorway as possible without being seen, she tried to make out what she could of Alec’s end of the conversation. Holly. Holly Ryan? You don’t know a Holly Ryan? Surely Kenneth wouldn’t play games at a time like this, Kenneth wouldn’t let her die.
            “Strange. I’m sorry Holly, you must be mistaken,” Alec said as he walked toward where she'd quickly re-seated herself. “Kenneth says he doesn’t know you.” He used the ‘divide and conquer strategy, knowing these two would sell each other out in a heartbeat. And like playing dominoes, all it takes is to tip one for the others to fall. “Maybe if you tell me...”
            “Doesn’t know me? Doesn’t know me? We’ll see about that!” Playing into his hands, Holly made the call that would bring the others out of hiding.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Election 2011 Results

I can't say I'm happy with Stephen Harper being re-elected as our Prime Minister, nor that the Conservatives got a majority vote, but I am happy that our (preliminary) voter turnout for 2011 is 61.4%, up from the 58.8% in 2008.
With the exception of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island, voter turnout remained the same or rose higher than in the 2008 election. More people voting means more voices heard...maybe.

On a personal level, I had hoped for another Minority Government, but I'm ecstatic that the NDP, not the Liberals, gained so many seats and are now the Opposition Party. Maybe Jack Layton will remind Stephen Harper that he is the Prime Minister of Canada, not the Leader of  'The Harper Government'. Or am I just dreaming the impossible dream.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Canada's Upcoming Election

I've noticed a trend over the last decade or so come election time, with more and more people of all ages passing on their right to vote. The question most often asked, 'who are you voting for?' has changed to 'are you going to vote?'.
I, for one, have passed on voting in past years because, like a lot of you, I've felt very uncomfortable believing in any one candidate enough to want to vote them in to run our country. 

The criteria a candidate needs to meet for me to vote them in really shouldn't be that hard to do.
I want a candidate who will listen to the people of Canada; ALL of the people, ALL of the time.
I want a candidate who will say what they mean, not talk in so many riddles it makes my head spin.
I want a candidate who will put our needs as a whole above their wish to run a smear campaign against each other.
I want a candidate who will honour the promises they made that got them elected in in the first place.

I want a Prime Minister who will, once elected; work with the other Parties to do the job of running our country on our behalf; respect the needs of every Canadian and carry forward that respect when they represent us on our home turf and on the World Stage; remember that he/she were hired by us and can be fired by us too.

When it comes to voting or not voting, I'm now looking at things from a new perspective. As a female born in 1962, I've never had to 'fight' for my 'right' to vote. My female ancestors didn't have that 'right to vote' handed to them on a silver platter as their male counterparts did, they fought long and hard to earn it for themselves and for future generations.

For that alone, I will at least do them the honour of researching who my candidates are and what they stand for, try harder to make a decision and on election day, I will vote.

Those of you who wish to research what the Party Candidates stand for, you can type their name, or their Party, into an internet search engine, it should bring you to a page or a link to their Campaign Platform.
Good luck!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Case of Greed Part Five

Success...she was so close she could almost taste it.

Stepping into Philomena’s position was the biggest hurdle she needed to fulfill her dream of becoming one of the richest women in the country, of living the life she believed she’d been born to lead. Holly played her part so convincingly for the last year, the part of the very efficient, now very sorrowful, assistant to Philomena Townsend that it was easy to see why Alec Longstreet believed her to be the woman for the job.

Holly-girl, you may only get one chance in this life to get what you want, with your looks you’d do best to pull out all the have to dress for success,” Holly repeated her mother’s advice to the woman in the black dress and stiletto heels staring back at her. “There’s no fool like an old fool,” repeating the old adage to herself, as pumped up with confidence at the image she presented, she mentally prepared to cross the next hurdle in her plan for success.

Alec Longstreet hadn’t looked twice at her, but tonight that would all change. Alec Longstreet didn’t stand a chance.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Case of Greed Part Four

John scanned the area ahead with a mixture of relief and dread when Jerry was nowhere in sight. “Perhaps it’s time to call your brother out of the bushes? He can join us in my office. Save the puzzled look, you Townsend boys all look alike,” Alec said as he watched Jerry slip out of the shadows to join them.

The pointed look, the almost imperceptible shake of the head as they walked into Alec’s office told John that the bug slated for here had yet to be installed. Whatever happened here tonight would not be recorded on their home unit.

“Are we alone here?” Alec asked Jerry. “Good,” he responded at Jerry’s nod, “let’s get this over with. Install the bug.” John’s head swivelled side to side trying to sort out what he was hearing.

“Which Townsend boy are you?” Alec asked.

“John,” he answered, none too happily.

“Well, John, don’t look so confused. Jerry and I had a long conversation earlier this evening. I want whoever did this to Philomena caught as much as you boys do. Philomena’s the closest I’ll ever come to having a daughter. Now, shall we talk about how, working together, we can achieve that?”

John knew Jerry would make a better thief than a Private Investigator, with his stealth-like ways, making him question how Alec knew about the bugs in the first place. “I’m sorry John, I was listening on the other side of the door, waiting for my chance, when I heard Holly what they’d done to Phil,” Jerry said as his remembrance of that moment, how hard it had been not to step out and blow his cover, crossed the features of his face. “A few minutes later I heard Holly saying her goodbyes. I followed to be sure she was leaving the building before coming back to wait Alec out. When I got back, Alec’s light was out. In my haste, I entered his office only to find him sitting at his desk in the dark, a gun pointed at me.”

“It’s not real,” said Alec as he pulled the toy gun he’d had trained on them out of his pocket. “I’m not a violent man. In fact, I abhor violence. My young nephew saved his hard-earned allowance to buy that for me after my house was broken into last fall. Trust me, after a long day of having to sort the bullshit from the truth, it’s good to have a reminder of what’s really important in this me.”

Despite himself, John found he could actually come to like this man in another time and place but he wasn’t convinced that this wasn’t all an act. A lawyer who won as many cases as Alec Longstreet did was certainly capable of keeping up pretences to gain ground, or in this case to give his girlfriend everything she so desired.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


We all know that what every soap opera has is a hometown bully or two. The vast majority of people who watch the soaps know that what they are watching is fictitious, but what’s a teenager to do when the life they lead closely resembles a story written for a soap opera?
For them, the bullying dished out to them is very real. They get up in the morning, go to school and get picked on, beat up, abused - verbally, physically, mentally and sometimes sexually, all in a day’s work for a bully.
Most of which was a fact of life for a lot of us growing up, but when I was a kid you went to school, got picked on, nobody touched you without a teacher becoming involved and you went home, free of it for the night. The bully didn’t have access to you once you were home. And with limited phone time and a parent sitting there the bully certainly wasn’t brave enough to call you at home to continue the torment.
These days there is no such thing as ‘home free’ with the electronic world we live in. Many learn to use a computer and a cell phone long before they’ve been toilet trained and once school starts, many go to school attached to a cell phone - that may or may not be attached to the internet. All of which gives parents a sense of relief to be able to quickly reach or be reached by their son or daughter, but it also gives bullies more access to harassing them. And since the vast majority go home alone that harassment follows them, making some down time next to impossible, but what’s a parent to do?
Should parents be tuned in non-electronically to their child to know whether they are being bullied or are the bully? And should they be teaching the social skills needed to prevent or deal with being bullied or being the bully? Should we, as a society, be standing up and saying enough is enough? Should the hands of our teachers and principals be untied so they can deal with bullying first-hand? Absolutely.
Should parents be taking cell phones away or giving limited access until their child has learned the skills needed to stand up to a bully? Or only allow internet use when the parent is home to monitor them? I don’t know. But I do believe that something needs to be done before it’s too late to save somebody’s child from turning to the life of a criminal, or ending the precious life God gave them because they see no other way out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Case of Greed – Part Three

“What have you got for me, bro?” asked Job.
“First, how’s Philomena?”
“She’s doing great...and not the least bit schizophrenic,” Job said with an edge in his voice.
“That comes as no surprise,” his brother, John, responded. John felt very sorry for all involved in this mess...more like very sorry for the world of hurt there was going to be by the time they were finished with the ones involved in hurting one of theirs.
“Here’s a rundown of what we have so far. We’re taking turns keeping watch over the offices of LLP; it’s been pretty quiet so far,” John said as he took his turn in the dark alcove across the street staring up at the lonely office with its light still on."Holly Ryan’s been in very good spirits for someone whose friend has been through such an ordeal and in an unsurprising turn of events, has been hanging so much onto Alec Longstreet, they’re practically attached at the hip.” Seeing how high up this deception went, as Alec Longstreet was the big L in LLP, did nothing to deter the Townsend brothers.
“You guys be careful.”
“We’re okay, don’t worry about us,” John said. The, us, he was referring to included himself and Cousin Jerry. Jerry may not have been born to their parents but make no mistake, he was their brother in every real sense of the word and had been from the moment John and Job’s aunt and uncle died in a car accident and their parents had taken Jerry in and raised him as their own. “Besides, it’s all quiet around here. For now, they think they’re safe.”
“Perhaps we should take a walk,” said the voice from behind him.
“Uh, Job? I’ll give you a call back,” he said as he slowly turned and stared into the face of Alec Longstreet.

Stay tuned for Part Four.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Message to Readers

I've had a few requests to continue A Case Of Greed so look for Part 3 on or before Tuesday (March 22nd) afternoon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Love Comes Full Circle

10 word exercise #8
Dynasty, hypocrisy, regret, contentment, issues, suave, interaction, in-law, examination, mechanic

Jason Mullens didn’t need the weekly cross-examination from Nancy’s family to let him know that once an in-law, always an in-law. He got the picture. But here he was preparing to walk into the lion’s den once again for Sunday brunch. Her father would take shots at him for everything from being just a lowly mechanic to how he wore his hair but what it all boiled down to was that he’d never be forgiven for having the audacity to marry the youngest daughter in the Laing Dynasty.
Daddy’s little girl, that was Nancy Laing-Mullens, and after ten years of marriage to Jason’s deep regret, his interaction with Nancy’s family was always, would always be, a sore spot between them. Not based solely on those issues, but he’d pretty much given up hope for any sort of contentment for either of them. It was time to move on.
“So, you come to the table with grease under those nails, son?” her father asked in the same derisive tone saved for criminals, the unlucky, who had to face him in court.
“No sir.” Jason bristled, but kept his cool. This wasn’t the time or the place for a confrontation.
“You prowling around again with that brother of yours? If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, he’s no good. The Mullen boys will never amount to anything.”
Since before he’d even met Nancy, Jason hadn’t wasted much time hanging out with his older brother, Garth, and it irked to think he’d always be tarred with the same brush regardless of how clean he’d lived his life.
Garth had been in court more times than Jason could count, and had always found a way to make the problem go away before having to do time…that was until he stood before the stiff face of Judge Richard Laing and was sentenced to two years for armed robbery.
“That’s enough. This has to stop.” Spoken so quietly, Jason wasn’t sure he heard correctly until he noticed that his look of stunned surprise was mirrored on the faces around the table of Nancy’s brother and sister-in-law, her sister and her mother.
Have you lost your mind?” Her sister, Angela, hissed as she elbowed Nancy in the ribs. “You’ll ruin it for everyone!
They say the eyes are the window to the soul and if that’s true, Nancy’s was crying out for something they’d both lost sight of. “No, I haven’t lost my mind. In fact, I’ve finally found it again. It shames me that I’ve let this go on,” Nancy said, making and holding eye contact with Jason, looking for some sign that it wasn’t too late. Seeing hope there, she turned to her father. “Not saying a word while you brow-beat my husband, talk down as if you’re better than him. Well, Daddy, not anymore.”
“Maybe you should leave and come back when you’re ready to be civil. No daughter of mine is going to talk like this to me; must be from hanging around with this white trash.”
“Suit yourself,” Nancy said as she pushed her chair out, preparing to walk away and give her marriage a second chance.
“Sit down.”
“Patricia, this is none of your…”
“None of my what? Concern? Business? You’d like to think that. It keeps us all under your control. Well, it’s every bit my concern; I know my daughter well enough to know that if she walks out that door now, she won’t be walking back. And Richard? If she walks, so do I.”
Mom!” Angela and Richard, Jr. exclaimed in unison.
“It makes me proud to know I raised one of my children to be the kind of person who’ll stand up for what’s right, not for what it will get her,” Patricia said as she looked at each of her children in turn. Noting the look of chagrin on Richard Jr’s face and the look that passed between him and his wife, Sally, she knew she’d at least started to reach him, but Angela would be another story.
Angela had high hopes of living the life where the worst she had to think of in a day was where she’d go for her next manicure. What she did to need a manicure was a mystery to Patricia.
In the beginning, Patricia had thought her husband to be very suave and debonair but after twenty plus years of marriage she was tired of the hypocrisy of having to pretend she was something she wasn’t, for she too came from what her husband so freely referred to as, ‘White trash’.
“When I get back, everyone had better have come to their senses!” Richard said as he stormed off, unable even in light of a family crisis to miss a tee time with his cronies.
With the kitchen and dining room put back to normal, having settled Angela’s histrionics to a dull sulk, and with promises to keep them all posted she said her goodbyes to Nancy and Jason, Sally and Richard, Jr. before seating herself on the front porch swing in the waning light of the afternoon sun. Sipping her tea she patiently waited for her husband to arrive home. The conversation for tonight had been a long time coming.
“I adore you, you know. You know that, don’t you?” She’d been so lost in thought she hadn’t heard Richard come home.
“Before you say anything, I never made it to the golf course. I made it as far as Rockford Park and have been there ever since…thinking,” he said as he sat beside her. “Thinking that for a man who has such a brilliant career, how could I be so stupid? When did I turn into such a snob? Can you ever forgive me for being such an ass?”
“Of course I forgive you,” she answered, snuggling into him, “but it’s not me you owe an apology to.”
“I know. The advice I give to all who pass through my court room is to ‘own it, take responsibility for what you’ve done and find a way to fix it’. Easy to preach, much harder to practice, but it’s high time I did, don’t you think?” And first thing the next morning he made through his rounds of apologies and hugs with more hope for the future than even he’d had in a long time.

The End

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reflections of an Empty Nester

“I don’t have time for that.”

My husband and I have recently become Empty Nester's. During a conversation I was having recently with a loved one, I found myself saying that same old phrase “I don’t have time for that” yet again when told some little tidbits of gossip being passed around.
Reflecting on my life, I realized that “I don’t have time for that” has been the excuse I’ve used for most of my adult life when faced with something, that truth be told, I just didn’t (or don’t) want to be a part of.
At one time I believed that, having married my husband at the age of nineteen and a year or so later giving birth to our oldest of three sons, or that, as a young, military wife who spent weeks – many times months – at a time carrying on a long distance relationship with my husband and being a temporary, stand-alone parent, were the reasons that I didn’t have time for things like girl’s night out, parties, or the gossip chain, but in my reflections of the past week I realize that it was really all about choices. Mine.
Was it my choice to wait by the phone for my husband’s call rather than be out with friends? Absolutely. Was it our choice for me to hold the phone up to our baby’s ear so they could hear Daddy’s voice when he was away? Absolutely, because it was important to me, to us, to make sure our babies knew Daddy loved and was thinking of them when he was away. And really, there’s nothing at all wrong with girl’s night out or partying until the rooster crows, and now that our sons are grown up, I’ve certainly enjoyed a bit of both. As for the gossip, well, all I can say there is, to each their own. For me, "I don't have time".
The reality is we’ve all been guilty a time or two of being party to he said/she said or he did/she did, and speaking for myself, it was during times of low self-esteem, low self-confidence that I didn’t - but should’ve - said, “I don’t have time”. So, from now on when this Empty Nester catches myself saying “I don’t have time,” I’ll at least admit to myself that what I really mean is, “I don’t wish to make time”.

At least if they’re talking about me, they’re leaving someone else alone.” George Potts

Still Writing...

Due to the events in our lives the last few weeks I've fallen a bit behind on posting here. I am currently putting the finishing touches on another 10 word exercise, and I should be ready to post it tomorrow.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Case of Greed - Part Two

10 Word Exercise #7
Diaper, syringe, documentation, coffee, staples, manifestation, night, cold, wages, politics
She had virtually no interest in hospital politics. Put a diaper in one hand, a syringe in the other and Claire was a happy woman. With the manifestation of the new breed of nurses, more concerned about wages than they were about patients, Claire Hanson stood out.
“How are we doing today, Mrs. Townsend?” Claire asked as she walked into the private room of Mrs. Philomena Townsend, carrying Kona coffee – one of the staples to a nightshift worker's evening -- for two. Philomena had been admitted to Hawaii General Hospital night before last and what with the background information Claire had been given on Mrs. Townsend’s case, she couldn’t say she blamed her for having that wild-eyed, distrustful look about her.
How on earth anyone could’ve diagnosed Philomena Townsend as a schizophrenic was beyond Claire’s grasp but she knew if anyone could help the Townsend’s it was Dr Walter Gaines, Claire’s boss, and long time friend of Philomena’s husband, Mr. Job Townsend. Dr Gaines was the leading expert in the U.S in the field of Psychiatry and would be, Claire hoped, Philomena’s saving grace.
Had it been a different time, different place Claire believed that she and Philomena would have been fast friends. They were both driven by hard work, strong ethics and the love of a good man.
“The chocolates tasted funny.”
“What was that?” Claire asked as she handed the packets of sugar and cream over to Philomena.
“I remember now. I told Job the chocolates tasted funny,” Philomena said. “My friend Holly is going to be so upset when I tell her that I got food poisoning from her gift; that they’re what caused this mess I’m in.”
Clearly, though Job Townsend was a husband on a mission discreetly gathering documentation to disprove his wife’s recent diagnosis by Dr John Price, he’d failed to tell Philomena the cold hard truth; that it was Holly Ryan he most strongly suspected of trying to do more than discredit his wife or that he hated to think on what would’ve happened had his chocoholic wife not stopped after only one bite of the belladonna-laced confection.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Case of Greed

10 Word exercise #6

Chocolate, candles, hurricane, beach, lei, disestablishment, fissure, schizophrenic, lava, tectonics

He wasn’t exactly ecstatic to leave discussions of tectonic plates, lava rock and fissures behind for the next two weeks but Job Townsend was taking his wife, Philomena, on vacation to Hawaii. It wouldn’t be easy to spend time in the state built on old lava rock and not be doing research, but the last thing his wife needed was to hear him talk shop.

She’d recently been given a diagnosis, a diagnosis that could end her career, of being schizophrenic, something he found hard to believe and had told the court-appointed Dr Price as much before walking out of his office holding a crushed Philomena by the arm.

Philomena Townsend had been on the cutting edge of some pretty dicey work at her law firm. The very rich defendant was attempting to claim disestablishment in the paternity suit the L.L.P Law firm had taken on on behalf of his ex-wife - a long-time client; a case Phil (as her colleagues called her) was on the verge of winning before her first and only, but very embarrassing, episode.

Standing before the judge and jury, primed for her closing argument, she went from Hurricane Phil to a puddle of tears leaving a path of destruction in her wake. When her world finally righted itself, it was to find Judge Wright banging his gavel, ordering her to be removed from his court room, and she was not to be allowed back in without an assessment by Dr Price.

Job had that ‘there’s something rotten in the State of Denmark’ feeling about the whole situation. He’d had to promise Dr Price that he would watch over her carefully and see that she got her medication for everyone’s safety to get him to agree to Job taking her out of State on vacation. With Job by her side, and the letter of permission from Dr Price, she’d walked through the doors of L.L.P Law and taken a two-week vacation...which they were only too happy to grant. All but one of her Associates treated her as they always had, with dignity and respect.

A lei hanging around her neck and the smell of the beach hanging in the air would go a lot farther than the medication Job left sitting at home on the nightstand. He placed the candles one by one about their room as his wife lay sleeping on the balcony facing the ocean, and as he lit the candles each in turn he pictured the fire he was about to light under the bottoms of the key characters that had put in motion the plot to discredit his wife.

One for Judge Wright, one for Dr Price, one for Senator Platz – the defendant, and saving the biggest and best for last, was for Ms. Holly Ryan. Ms. Holly Ryan, the Junior Associate and false friend secretly yearning to be in Philomena’s shoes, also the slime keeping Senator Platz’s bed warm and the one responsible for sending the box full of 'good luck' chocolate to his wife that when analyzed contained the hallucinogenic that set their whole plan in motion in front of witnesses.

Ms. Holly Ryan didn’t know it yet, but by the time he was done, it would take her and her cohorts a lifetime to be rid of that one bite of chocolate...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rumours Lie Broken

10 Word Exercise #5
Basket, rickety, yellow, anvil, alcoholic, snow, tremendous, candlelight, yarn, pizza

The candlelight glowing softly from the windows cast a yellow glow on the path I walked, guiding me through the deep snow to the beautiful two-story house. Where once stood a set of rickety, old stairs, there now gleamed newly painted wood. “Yes!” My now exhausted and beyond-cold limbs exclaimed. With the tremendous effort already placed on them to carry me and my basket of yarn this distance they were profoundly grateful not to have the added worry of falling through rotten wood.
I could see him sitting there as I looked through the window. I looked to the floor rather gauging the safety of knocking but before I could turn tail and run, the door flung open and there he stood. If the look in his eyes told me anything, it was that I’d just poked the proverbial bear with the sore paw. “What do you want? If you’re here for the church, turn around and save your breath. Well, SPEAK! I don’t have time for little church mice.”
The smell of pizza wafting to nostrils I had thought were frozen had been enough to warm my courage. “I’m not here for the church. My car broke down. Yours was the only light I could see.” A hit in the face with an anvil would’ve surprised me more than the turnaround old Mr. Farley took.
“Well, why didn’t you say so? Step on in here,” he said as he ushered me into his home, closing the door behind me. “I assumed the way you’re dressed, well...never mind that. I was just sitting down to dinner, come and join me.”
I couldn’t rely on the part of my brain that clanged warnings to me at times like that. It was too frozen to even clink. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I had to stay on my guard until my poor body thawed.
“Rumour has it that I’m an alcoholic. I’m not you know, so don’t worry your pretty head,” he said as, with perfect dexterity, he handed me a slice of pizza and a glass of what looked like brandy. “People around here don’t know squat.” That my brother was the cop who escorted him off the street not two weeks before to keep him from taking a drunken stumble headlong into traffic was a fact better kept to myself, but before I could come up with an appropriate response, he continued.
“I’m an epileptic,” he said. “A night in a drunk tank is not going to change that. And most people around here know very well that imbibing would work against my seizure medication.”
Well knock me over with a feather, I was not expecting that. I’d arrived there that night hoping Roy Farley would be sober enough to call me a tow truck but instead left feeling guilty for having believed the worst of a man I’d known nothing about, but for the lies from the rumour chain.
My two-year tenure with Mr. Farley proved to be more beneficial than once I thought, for I now live in that two-story house with an outlook on life as new as my surroundings. All because I’d befriended a gruff old man one stormy night, and soon after was hired to be his caretaker. 
Many of life’s lessons I learned as I watched age take over a once proud man; a man who among other things, taught my previously jaded self that anyone can tell a story but only you can decide what you believe.

The End

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What Price Vanity?

10 Word Exercise #4

Halcyon, Facetious, Epiphany, Cantankerous, Fishing, Amongst, Fortune, Resemblance, Beautiful, Haunt

Halcyon days were had by none while the cantankerous woman abided. Her desire to be the most beautiful woman in the world had her endlessly fishing for compliments. Very few wished to be in the company of this facetious woman. Those few who did did so hoping to one day share in her vast fortune.

Until the day, while staring at her resemblance in her mirror once again, she had the epiphany that changed her life; that amongst her followers was only one who’d stand proudly before her and call her friend. And, in a vain attempt to be liked, she gave away all but a few of her nicest finery to young women she believed would spend their time in awe and envy of her.

Why her past continued to haunt her, she could never decipher.

Monday, January 31, 2011

10 Word Exercise #3

Acknowledgement, green, heritage, squire, resolution, needle, assignment, measurable, fortified and landscape.

The only reading George Freeman had time for prior to his cruise on the Resolution, was to retrieve, then destroy, his next assignment. So it was with measurable relief he read, Heritage: A Knight’s Tale, simply for pleasure while aboard-ship.

The tale told of Robert Green, a squire who’d become one of King Edward’s most trusted knights, and his adventures riding the rolling landscape of Scotland assuring the King’s battlefronts were well fortified with enough men and supplies to stand protected against the enemy. And, right up to the part where King Edward knight’s him Sir Robert to reward him for being trustworthy, it was a story George could relate to.

There was little more than acknowledgement when an assassin, prepared to kill or be killed for his country, retired, as George well knew. What did he expect from an establishment whose needle on the dial of life was set to obscurity? Obscurity that, most of the time, he well understood was for his and his fellow agents’ protection.

Without it, he wouldn’t be retiring with all his limbs and faculties about him; he’d be dancing to the enemy’s tune. For that he was, and would always be, grateful, but once in a while something - fact or fiction - would tweak his desire for what others would consider a normal life.

Monday, January 24, 2011

10 Word Exercise #2

phosphorous, argon, kettle, Bunsen Burner (you may count this as 2 if you wish), anniversary, cocoa, November, date, numbers AND fire

The scientist in him couldn’t regret the amount of time spent lighting a fire under his Bunsen burner, but he knew the man, if he’d excluded his wife from his experiments, would. Oh, how he missed her. Lana had been the only woman, outside the scientific world, who was only too happy to listen to conversations that would have bored a lesser woman.
When he touted the benefits, and dangers, of phosphorous acid -- or similar chemicals -- instead of rolling her eyes as most would do, she’d found it fascinating to learn that something she used to kill root rot in her Winery’s greenhouse could be so beneficial...or deadly...depending on how one handled it.
Victor knew he was being maudlin today, but as this was the anniversary of a date he was not likely to forget, he felt entitled to be. On the morning of November eighteenth one year ago, while he’d waited for the kettle to boil for his wake-me-up cocoa, his wife was at her Winery struggling unsuccessfully to get air into her lungs.
Safety in numbers couldn’t save her, and like chickens to slaughter, the argon gas leak from a faulty tank claimed her life and the lives of her Bottling Attendants. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More Challenging?

If anyone wishes to make my 10 word exercise more challenging, please write 10 words in the comments below and I'll turn them into a story.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

10 Word Exercise

Recently in a writing forum we were given a ten word exercise. We had to pick ten words, then write a story start to finish using those ten words. 
Once the confusion many of us had - how to possibly use only ten words and tell a complete story - was cleared up, that the story could contain as many words as we wanted, as long as those ten words were in it, I got down to work.
Our forum leader was quite impressed with the story I wrote, sorry that I'm unable to post it here, and suggested expanding it into a children's book. Maybe I will, maybe I won't, I'm undecided at the moment on that particular avenue, but I truly loved the exercise. So much, that I've decided to do it once a week here on my blog. 
So here are this week's ten words, and story. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Bottle, Picture, River, Philodendron, Thimble, Water-skiing, Birthday, Woman, Boat, Picnic  

Sleep was elusive as the picture of the four year old child, and tears of a distraught woman pleading with them – owners of The Philodendron Detective Agency - to find her daughter, Lacey, kept running through their heads.
One minute the child had been sitting at the picnic table with the other birthday party attendees, holding her bottle of pop, in the next she was gone. A thimble found at the edge of the nearby woods the only possible clue.
The couple hoped, in taking their boat out on the river to do some water-skiing, to see their way clearer to solving the case they’d been working on round the clock when they spotted something bright red under some brush along the riverbank.
Drawing closer, they saw the girl, huddled, hugging a knitted doll, spilling tears quicker than she could tell her story.
“I saw Mrs. Kinsey walking up the path, carrying an armful of dolls. She gave me one as I ran to her. She forgot some cookies she’d made and had to go back, and asked me to help her. But when we walked through her door, she got scary. Her eyes got real big as she slapped at her chest and fell over,” Lacey explained. “I’m sorry I hid in the corner; I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t understand what she was saying so when she stopped talking to me I ran out, but I didn’t know which way to go. I want my mommy.”
This case had a happy ending – many don’t – as Mrs. Kinsey, having suffered a mild heart attack, was now recovering nicely in the hospital, while Lacey, a daily visitor, read stories to her about her adventures in the woods.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

The spirit of the season, for me at least, starts in October and lasts until the beginning of January. I am, as usual, sad that it's over but as I sit here this morning I have to ask myself what it is that makes me sad to see the season end. What could be sad about seeing the end to the long lines at store check-outs? Could I be sad at not being jostled around by the stressed out 'Scrooge's' of our day when picking up last minute groceries? Could it be sadness and disappointment at seeing the end of the sugar-laden treats that abound in our house?

And then it hit me.

I will miss that feeling of love, peace and happiness that pervades (most) at this time of year, the sometimes too sentimental messages spouted from every Christmas card, seeing my Christmas village that reminds me of simpler times, and happy times spent with family and friends.

And then it hit me again.

It's what I hold inside that makes or breaks the season as I see it. What's stopping me from keeping that feeling all year round? Why see things in a positive light, be quick to forgive and forget, feel free to say no to unwanted tasks or unneeded stress, only at this time of year? Why save the eat, drink and be merry attitude for the holidays? I don't mean I expect to see Christmas cards or keep my Christmas village up year-round, or eat my way through the cookie platter on a regular basis, but if I'm longing for simpler, more sentimental times, then why not work towards that all year? And that brings me to my New Year's resolution: to keep that attitude year-round.

To look at the positive side in every situation, to forgive and forget - if only to give myself peace, to say no when I feel there's too much on my plate - literally and figuratively, to say 'stop' instead of allowing meaningless gossip to reach my ears, to spend more time surrounded by, and showing appreciation for, my loved ones...and if I want to be sentimental in March, why not go for it?

In the words of John Lennon, 'Give peace a chance.'

So the next time I'm standing in the checkout line, I shall turn with a big smile on my face and thank the woman who rammed me with her cart unable to wait for me to pay for my purchase. When she wonders what I'm thanking her for, I'll say, well, for being in such a hurry to pay for my groceries too. :)

Wishing you all a happy and peace-filled New Year!