Writing Eclectic For Fun

Thinking about my blog and writing and I have come to the conclusion that in the present I write for self-expression and creativity. I do not have professional writing goals. I write about different topics that interest and inspire me. I create flash fiction and microfiction stories. I do consider myself a writer, maybe with a small ‘w’.  And that’s ok. I am a work in progress.


Insecure Writers Support Group #IWSG . Cohosts for May 2 posting of the IWSG are E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose, C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant!

Featured image by Natassa64 on Pixabay.com

 

Yard Birds

Amateur backyard birdwatchers my husband and I. We have noticed a little bird on our patio the past couple of days. It seemed pretty bold coming up to perch on our patio table chairs and tweeting its head off at us. It was making quite a ruckus this morning. I may have discovered why. I saw a pair of birds flying back and forth from the large Echeveria plant near the edge of our patio with pieces of wild grass in their beaks.  Are they building a nest inside the plant?  Is the bird on our patio standing guard?

Our little lookout could be a chickadee because he fits the discriptions with a black head. The sound he was making at us was like that warning alarm sound you hear in the last part of the little video above. Why are you sending up the alarm? We were minding our own business inside our kitchen when you happened to spot us.

I read that in California you are called the Chestnut-backed Chickadee.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee by VJ Anderson


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt is ‘Why/Y.’ Chickadee video by LesleytheBirdNerd on You Tube.

What’s The Matter With Happy Endings

I like happy endings to stories. I like to have things come out right in the end. You might think I am pretty naive. That is not real life you say. It is more important and worthwhile, even great writing, to tell it like it is. I can read the newspaper if I want stories about all the bad in the world. It is satisfying to have things work out positively. It gives us hope about life and the possibility of good in the world.

Once a month I participate in the We Are The World Blogfest sharing positive stories about people making a positive impact in the world. Seems like you have to search through the news nowadays to find these stories. One source I have is Gratefulness.org. and their monthly Gratefulness News. In it, I found a post about community health workers in Kenya who bring healthcare access to impoverished and remote areas, “Meet the ‘backpack midwife’ bringing healthcare for all.” Phillips Africa is the company that developed the backpack and is  “working with local government, Philips is developing a number of community life centres to support community health workers and midwives equipped with these hi-tech backpacks.”

This story reminds me of the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) of the 1930s, founded by Mary Breckinridge a public health nurse and midwife, in the state of Kentucky in the United States. Nurse midwives brought obstetric care to women in Appalachia by horseback, their supplies in saddlebags.

“The nurse-midwife carried all of these materials in her saddlebags because she was usually far from both her outpost center and the small FNS hospital; she had to be prepared for whatever she found. With the help of the equipment in those saddlebags, FNS nurse-midwives lost astoundingly few mothers. FNS was a great success by any measure….Kentucky, the birthplace of American nurse-midwifery, now houses Frontier Nursing University, which has provided graduate education to nurse-midwives (and more recently, nurse practitioners) since 1939. This university combines distance education and clinical work in the student’s own community to educate a significant percentage of American nurse-midwives.”-Midwives on Horseback: Saddlebags and Science

Check out the complete story by Dr. Laura Ettinger from the Smithsonian “Stories from the National Museum of American History.”

History of Frontier Nursing University with some great photos.

 

Mary_Breckinridge via wikimedia.org

Mary Breckinridge


Featured image ‘Crepuscular rays in Golden Gate Park’ by Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia.org

We Are The World Blogfest  #WATWB cohosts for this month are:  Shilpa Garg, Dan Antion, Simon Falk, Michelle Wallace , Mary Giese

We Are the World Blogfest

 

The Dark Path

So much time had passed since the night Rachel had done the banishing spell, a whole lifetime. She never regretted that choice. She had a wonderful life with Josh and had built a successful herb business while he ran the local bookstore. She still lived in the cottage her great-aunt and namesake had willed to her and loved the solitude it provided her out beyond the edge of town. She had loved the peacefulness but since Josh had passed she felt it a bit too lonely. Maybe that was why thoughts of Ebon filled her head during the Full Moon. It was definitely a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’. The next full moon Ebon was back in her dreams. His lovemaking skills were undiminished.

“I knew you would not be able to live without me for very long.”

“Not very long? It has been many years since you came to me.”

“Time has little meaning for me. I exist in eternities.”

“Don’t think I will summon you again from the dream world into the real world.”

“I can be patient Rachel. I have all the time in the world.”

Rachel was losing her will to resist him. She knew she had to take action soon or be lost to him forever.Then something happened that shocked her out of her complacency. She was working in her garden when she heard a rustle of leaves along the path to her house. She looked up to see Mabel Marsh walking toward her.

“Hi, Mabel. I don’t have your order of chamomile ready yet, but give me a few minutes and I can get it for you.”

“I’m not here about the chamomile, Rachel. I came to warn you about the killer.”

“Killer? What are you talking about Mabel?”

“Lucy Green was found this morning. She had been stabbed and someone had messed with her too. They found a thorn apple blossom in her hand.”

Thorn apple is also known as devil’s snare. Oh God, it’s happening again. Rachel’s mind traveled back to the time before, of the devil’s snare and murder. There had been several women killed the last time Ebon had been around.

“I thought of you living out here all by yourself. You gotta get yourself a good guard dog, Rachel,” Mabel went on talking as Rachel’s attention returned to the present.

“I know Mabel, you are right. Thank you for warning me. I will be careful. Let me get your order ready.”

Rachel finished with Mabel and waved her off. She knew what she must do now. There was only one person who could help her, Great-aunt Rachel. Her great-aunt was no longer among the living but had visited her on several occasions and been indispensable in the banishing of Ebon.

“I feel responsible for bringing him back after we banished him. What can we do now?”

“He is an old and powerful demon, dear. We will need additional help to complete this task. I am calling for two of my friends from the old coven. They are two of the most talented of my group. Ebon will not be able to overcome our magic.”

Rachel spent the next week gathering all the supplies her great-aunt had requested. She checked the basket to make sure she had everything. There was horehound, birch oil, salt, a black candle, asafetida powder, angelica, a ceremonial knife, and two golden incense burners.

It was the night of the full moon. As the sun set, Rachel began to assemble all that her great-aunt had requested on the dining room table. She was busy sorting through it when she felt a stirring in the air. She looked up to see Great-aunt Rachel and two other women appear at the other end of the room.

“We’re all here, my dear. Let me introduce you to my companions. This is Ravyn Ruthistle and Rosewillow Riverdale, two of the most talented women of my acquaintance.”

“Thank you all for coming. I know I could not do this without you.”

“It is our pleasure to be of assistance,” Ravyn replied. Rosewillow nodded her head in agreement.

“The moon is rising, we’d better begin,” Rachel’s namesake stated as she took charge of the little group.

“Sprinkle the horehound in the corners of the room Ravyn. Fill the incense burners with angelica and light them, Rosewillow.” She quickly took up the knife and began carving the black candle. The inscription was in Gaelic, Toirmeasc orainn tú go ifreann, with a sigil.

Zoso_John_Paul_Jones_sigil_interlaced_triquetra_overlaying_circle.svg

She noticed her niece looking at the candle. It says, ” We banish you to the depths of hell, Ebon,” she informed Rachel.

“I think we are ready. Everyone gather together. Rachel pore the salt in a circle around us. Now sprinkle the candle with birch oil and asafetida powder. Light the candle as we begin our chant.” All the women spoke in unison.

“We call you here, Ebon. Come to us this night. Come to us now!”

A ghostly image began to materialize in the room. As the women chanted the image became corporeal.

“I see you have a group of whores with you tonight, Rachel. What do you think you are doing? You have no power over me.”

“Ignore what he says and continue the spell,” shouted the great-aunt.

The group continued to chant.

“We banish you from our world forever, Ebon. We banish you back to your demon hell the place from whence you came.”

Ebon growled and hissed but the women’s words held him in place. “You will never get rid of me,” he snarled.

Ravyn reached into a pouch and threw a handful of asafetida powder at the demon. Rosewillow did the same. Ebon let out a howl as his image began to fade. Within seconds he was gone.

Rachel was exhausted from the effort. Her great-aunt and friends laughed and embraced.

“Don’t let yourself give into the dark side from loneliness, Rachel.”

Rachel awoke with a start. Was it all just a dream?


This flash fiction piece was created for the WEP Write…Edit…Publish April Challenge–Road Less Traveled. Sigil image via Wikimedia, ‘candle, lamp, room’ image by borkia via Pixabay.com

Word count: 1001

Full Critique

 

 

Shades Of Green

600px-Color_icon_green.svg via Wikimedia

Green, green, my pool is green. We lost our pool guy a few months ago and being not too handy at pool maintenance ourselves our pool has gradually turned a deeper shade of green. I checked out the 38 shades of green listed on wikipedia to determine a match and it was a bit overwhelming. I like some of names of the colors like asparagus. Cal Poly Pomona green,  and dark moss green might be close.

Moss_covered_rocks,_Beddgelert_Forest_-_geograph.org.uk_-_542866

Moss covered rocks by Philip Halling

I had to pick Cal Poly Pomona green because I live in California for gosh sakes. There’s even a Slytherin green, cool! Just added 2 packages of Shock this morning and did some quick research on pool care. I think we need to hire someone to take care of the pool again. It might cost us some money but I am yielding due to our lack pool cleaning capability.

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Green Lacewing

Haven’t seen any of these lacewings lately. I will have to monitor my pyracantha when it starts to bloom again.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘mon’. Color chart via wikimedia. Green lacewing by Gilles San Martin on Flickr.

Putting Leaves On The Tree

Passive is not my modus operandi when doing genealogical research. I have been doggedly pursuing leads on various free genealogy websites. I did not think I would find anything about my maternal grandmother’s family. I did not see much in Canada at first. My first attempts in Scotland came up empty. One reason was my grandmother always said she was from Glasgow. I couldn’t find any mention of my great-grandparents in Glasgow. There was one local genealogy group there that charges money to find your relatives. The idea of paying online in a different currency and using a credit card made me nervous. So I didn’t do that. Then I discovered FamilySearch.org, a free site run by the Mormons. And recently I found Scotland’s People.gov.uk which provides a bit of info free and will charge you if you want more. There are also some English and Canadian Archives. Family Search will give you access to documents like some death certificates, marriage and birth records, census records, and ship’s passenger lists.

SS Hesperian via Library and Archives Canada

Getting back to the hunt. I found them in Staffordshire, England and then traced them with Scotland’s People to Lanarkshire (Scotland), located documentation of my grandmother’s and one of her sister’s birth, found her two older sisters were married in Scotland, then traced most of the group to Halifax on ships’ passenger lists (so exciting!).  Turns out my grandmother was born in a parish not too far from Glasgow. Knowing the married names of the two sisters helped me find them in Canada. I discovered my great-grandmother’s maiden name, and I think I located her family in Staffordshire as well. I found my maternal grandparent’s marriage record in Nova Scotia and traced them to British Columbia where I discovered my mother living at 4 years old along with my great-grandmother. I found my maternal grandfather’s family in Nova Scotia and traced some of them to the US. It gets hard to locate people after the mid-1900s or so other than my immediate family records. The last published census in Canada is 1921. There was no census taken in England during the WWII years. There is an English register for 1939, and I found some info there. Ireland was the hardest with no verifiable information on my family.

This research is interesting, and it makes me feel a bit closer to my ancestors. I can imagine some of their hardships like traveling across the Atlantic in a ship with a baby without your husband, or as a little girl. Looking through lists of people’s families I saw that many people in those olden days died young. I wondered if there was an epidemic or did people die from hardships like overwork or not enough to eat. I wondered if some of my family were rogues.

Well, if they looked like Johnny Depp that might be ok.

Or were the places where they came from kind of dumpy.

I don’t want to be judgemental about any of my family. Let’s face it we probably all have skeletons in our closets.

I just realized today that Family Search.org automatically populated my family tree with A LOT of names I had spent time looking up by myself and on top of it they have birth dates and death dates which I had not found. I just haven’t discovered anyone who is still alive in current times.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt words ‘passive/aggressive.’ Featured image of Norman Rockwell Family Tree via Lori on Flickr.GIFs from Giphy.com