Ho-ho-Hold up that present for a better view!

regional partay

Holiday exchanges – all in vogue

or à la rogue?

Flashy presents for narcissists?

Naughty Santas cannot resist.

What to all wondering eyes should appear?

More calories spread tabletop than we’ve eaten all year!


This was our lunch-time office party from last week. Hopefully, you’ll get some laughter from identifying some of the presents – maybe more laughter from the fact that you won’t be able to identify others. That’s a homemade mirror made from recycled coke & beer cans & bottle tops I’m holding in the center for your viewing pleasure!


Offered up in response to this week’s Trifextra writing prompt:

Charles Dickens, in A Christmas Carol, wrote “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.” We are giving you exactly 33 words to make us laugh out loud and spread some festive cheer.

– See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.fN0o2dUa.dpuf


Back into the Gender Blender (Always a Messy Place): JOdY-iSm #40



See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.r0zrrBeC.dpuf

Side bar: Lisa, one of Trifecta’s eliciting editors (please don’t mistake that for ‘illicit editors’), had a “tooth incident” at home this weekend – as in, her son lost one. In true Trifecta fashion, it was immediately deemed to be a creepy event!

At our house, such “creepy” incidences don’t come so much with “wailing & gnashing of teeth” as they come with a great deal of mishap & biting humor. Here’s a remnant of the latest incisor-edged event:

Even the Tooth Fairy has to deal with excuses!

Yes, even the Tooth Fairy has to deal with excuses!

Bee Czar

Honey B.
Urbanbees, CT

Our state – possibly even our world – may no longer be the bee’s knees.

Reports have been drizzling in for the past several months regarding the disappearance of bees. Honey has become as sparse as all sweetness in our region. While crops have ceased to reproduce, arguments breaking out amongst farmers have not, with stinging accusations about commercial pesticide and fungicide use.

Amidst this activity have come strange reported sightings of a new superhero bumbling around in our area. Witnesses claim to have seen a gigantic bee-like creature pollinating crops. Our state is even abuzz with rumors of an over-sized feral colony tending to a hive in an undisclosed location.

Hail Busy Bee! Let’s just hope he doesn’t come across the otherwise reported gang-related nemesis known as The Yellow Jacket, which could become a very sticky situation.

Photo of Busy Bee taken by our Friday Fictioneers photo-journalist, Jennifer Pendergast.
Copyright – Jennifer Pendergast


Concocted for Rochelle and her creative bunch over at Friday Fictioneers.

Unfortunately, I got stung on the 100-word-count this week, as every pollinated word tasted like honey on my lips and I couldn’t bring myself to allow anymore of them to disappear.

As much as I tried to keep this “faux report” lite & “punny” to go with the photo prompt, I hope you are able to hear my environmental concern between the lines.

To read Rochelle’s beautiful piece, as well as others AND to hear more about what scientists are saying about our shortage of bees, link onto the image to your left and check it out.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is to the theme of MASTERPIECE.

I couldn’t help but showcase the talents of my son & one of his female friends.

This first photo demonstrates his female friend’s masterpiece breakfast, showcased on Facebook one morning (with permission given for me to share here with you), and artfully designed to tantalize the tastebuds:

I've given this piece of art a tastefully simple title: "Pretty Pancakes"

I’ve given this piece of art a tastefully simple title: “Pretty Pancakes”

Not to be outdone, my son countered with his own masterful breakfast masterpiece – decorum of delicacy included:

And keeping with the simple, direct theme, we'll just name this one...er..."Awful Waffles"

And keeping with the simple, direct theme, we’ll just name this one…er…”Awful Waffles”

No, my son is not under the age of 8. Feel free to comment without regard to hurt feelings! LOL

Hope I started your day with a good breakfast (laugh),


A Cut & Paste Life

My life is like one gigantic disaster of a manuscript, full of honest mistakes and typos, never letting me get around to conveying what I really meant to do or say.  I view others’ life manuscripts as masterpieces in progress, but I’ve always underestimated my personal capability to come up with a suitable ending for my own. Oh, I’ve had plenty of conflict to fill in the pages, almost even a climactic moment or two – but never any resolution. I’ve tried to cut and paste from others’ lives, hoping I could come up with something…something…meaningful? Yeah, maybe meaningful. Envious would be better. I’m still just the man with no name, though, like I was trained from birth to have a dull and uneventful life. Okay, not uneventful – just full of events either not worth remembering or that I sure don’t want to be remembered by.

But people who are remembered get memorials. That usually means they’re dead. How meaningful is dead? Who wants to be remembered as…dead? That’s the advantage to a dull and uneventful life. If you’re living it, guess what? You’re alive. Less conflict equals less dead. Maybe I had some pretty good birth training, after all. I think I’ve underestimated my ability to create a good ending to my story – one in which everybody else should be envious. I just won’t become dead. Now there’s a masterpiece ending.



This story is brought to you by the prompts from Inspiration Monday at BeKindRewrite.

The Rules?

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.


No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:






A Clear Diagnosis

As the water drained,

I gave thoughtful diagnosis to the resultant ring encircling my exited sanctuary.

Stage IV was metastastic. Would’ve required comprehensive treatment. Thorough cleaning.

But Stage III?

…Clearly someone else’s problem.


Trifecta threw some words our way this weekend – 3, to be exact – then asked us to add our own 30 to them for a little community fun!

The words we were given to work with?

ring                     water                       stage

I had a couple of responses up my sleeve, so if you couldn’t relate to my light-hearted bathtub ring malignant metaphor above, here’s one that may really have a resonating ring to it:


We were once free, unrestrained.

Captivity taught us to perform on stage.

Daily, we enter that ring.

Occasionally, we get water boarded by others’ disapproval.

Release into the wild now?

Street urchins’ fates.


Would surely like to know which one you liked the best.

And if neither of them did anything for you, then challenge yourself to go play with those 3 words + your own added 30 & come join us for the Trifextra weekend challenge (link on the Trifecta image above)! 🙂

Chances are…it’s a Facetious Crack

My Dearest Professor,

What do I say to the man whose name has been in the forefront of my brain and sliding off my lips every evening for the past few months…as I painstakingly worked, reworked, and analyzed one statistics problem after another? Surely verbal murmurings could venture not to – likely should never – express such fixated thoughts and feelings.

In truth, you brought me to a level of satisfaction I never knew existed. You flung wide the door to that place of mystery where I only dared glance through its crack before. You made statistics exciting, useful and alive; and you now have me believing that I am an unadulterated researcher, daily inputting and critically analyzing mounds of otherwise desolate data.

I only hope you don’t forget my wistful daydream that I once shared with you – among the confines of a frustrated classroom of doctoral students. I’m still besotted by my little fantasy of serving as your assistant for at least one final semester (lest I drive everyone else around me mad, attempting to run data they probably didn’t want or truly never needed).

With all my heartfelt gratitude,



Yes, I truly loved our Stats Professor, now retired. (I think our class wore him down, though we all did adore him.) Amazing how I took a year of Stats as an undergrad (working every single problem in our textbooks), and more statistics in grad school (plugging lots of information into SPSS); but it wasn’t until I was in my doctoral program that the concepts finally came to life, became practical, had meaning – and everything I learned came together to serve the purpose they were meant to serve. So, yes…that part was exciting (for at least 5.7 minutes).

With that being said, my facetious little letter above is a humorous blend of different types of frustration, if you will (the sensual humor being purely fictional). We must all eventually acknowledge that there statistically exists a plenitude of liars in both categories. And for the record, in no way do I lust after anything statistics-related…professors included.   😉


Trifecta’s challenge word this week for creative writing is the 3rd definition of:


3a : a narrow break : fissure <a crack in the ice>  
b : a narrow opening <leave the door open a crack><cracks between floorboards> —used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left out <a player who fell through the cracks in the college draft> <children slipping through the cracks of available youth services>

Why So Serious? a.k.a. May I Wet Your Sense of Humor?

I apparently have a sense of humor as dry as the Mojave Desert, leaving me to wonder where I might get some laughter irrigation for those special occasions when I believe the insertion of humorous content possesses some level of cleverness, while others don’t always seem as enthusiastic to tolerate my insertion (of either the comment or maybe just my personal presence, in general).

Exhibit A – An Ill-eagle sense of humor:

We have a pair of bald eagles in our city, Elliott & Eloise, of which an Eaglecam was graciously (okay, stealthily) installed at their nest, so our entire population can gawk at the creation of eggs until and beyond they hatch and produce fledglings. Of course, early in the process, a crowd of  unseen stalkers simply gawked at Mama Eagle sitting atop the eggs this spring until something magical finally happened. One hatched — and then, a day and a half later, the other. Both eaglets have triumphantly survived this year! (which was not the case last year, unfortunately).  After hatching, we saw significantly more of the eaglets, as the pair of parents doesn’t hang out much now – just coming around to throw a fish in the nest occasionally. (Their nest is, consequently, on the golf course on our lake. Eagles obviously know how to pick out prime real estate.)

So anyway…one day I’m checking on the pair and notice that one of the eaglets keeps looking directly into the camera, very curiously – over and over again – leaning one way and then the other, to which I (most cleverly, in my own mind) wrote the riddled comment: “Which one is Truman?”

Almost immediately, I received a reply back from one of the round-the-clock nest-gawkers experts: “Jody, not aware that the chicks were named.”

Since it was obvious that my dry humor had turned arid, I quipped something back to the effect of, “Well, since I named this one, why don’t you go ahead & name the other one?”

At that point the truth came out. They had, in fact, been named – and she knew it! I was then directly reprimanded by the online resident expert with, “I believe the one to which you are referring is HB2.”

“Hmm, I like Truman better.” I added a smiley, but I don’t think it made her like me any better.

For the record, even hoity-toity nest-gawkers experts aren’t always correct. Prototypes HB1 and HB2 were last year’s failed attempts. This year, it’s the newer models – HB3 & HB4. R2D2 & C3P0 would be proud. HB0 might have a legally registered trademark complaint.

(Consequently, I hope it’s a two-way camera and this eaglet is having just as much fun trying to figure out what kind of birdbrains we are.)


He’ll always be Truman to me (as I’m pretty sure he is onto us).

 Life is serious enough already. My days come filled with serious challenges – often regarding the outcome of people’s lives. The lives of these eagles are serious too, as it hasn’t been that long since their species was on an endangered list towards extinction and even much less time since someone killed two of them in our own state.

I get it. Some people take their nest-watching (and other jobs) very seriously. But important work should never be done at the expense of robbing oneself (and everyone else) of the joy that life also brings. We need to install some laughter irrigation along the way. We need to share the oohs and ahhs of life, in general. We need the opportunity, too, to name our joys – because they can sometimes be so fleeting.

So, what if my Truman is your HB4? I can live with that. Just let me do it with a little smile. 🙂


Truman: The early bird gathers no moss! The rolling stone catches the worm!

Going to soar with the eagles!