Rubber vs Glue – A Writing Prompt

“I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say, bounces off me, and sticks to you.”

Karen Craven, over at Table for One, wrote the above quote in one of her posts and it really struck a chord with me.  Next thing you know, we are exchanging ideas with Marc over at Sorryless and two prompts were born.  The second one is: “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys”.   Since we have no designated word count, nor any designated time frame, we each have gone with the one that inspired us first.  Karen has gone with “Rubber” and Marc, “Circus“.  Do go and check out what they’ve written.  They are both brilliant writers!

Rubber vs Glue

We visited Auntie Lou in Hamilton, a.k.a. Steeltown, quite often.  Sometimes without even planning it.  Like that time when there was a party at our house and there was lots of laughing and drinking and smoking and we were sent to bed but no one checked up on us so we snuck into the hallway and listened in on what was going on.  Daddy decided to call Auntie Lou just to say hey and before we knew it, we heard “Pack up, girls, we’re going for a ride!”  It was 10 o’clock at night.  Driving to Auntie Lou’s was a six-hour drive and we showed up on her doorstep at 4 o’clock in the morning.  Those were some crazy times.

One of the best times we went though, was when my cousin, Matt, Auntie Lou’s son, got married and we were all invited.  It was so cool.  We three sisters had matching long dresses but in different colours.  We were so pretty. So was Mommy in her long dress and Daddy so handsome in his tux.  I can’t remember much of the wedding itself except those dresses.

Since Hamilton was so close to Niagara Falls, the next day we piled into our car and some aunts and uncles and cousins piled into theirs and we all took that one-hour drive.  I loved going there.  Got to go up to the top of the CN Tower, had our picture taken by a weird printer-thing and of course, saw the Falls.  They were so loud.  Like thunder.  And we could feel the mist on our faces.  We weren’t allowed to go on the boat that goes right up to the falls but that’s okay.  Maybe next time.

As we were walking along, Daddy turned to me and said:  “Kiss me, Babe!”  And with a big smile on my face, I ran over to him and gave him a big smooch right on the cheek.  He then said:  “Nothing makes me sick!”

I stepped back, my eyes filled with tears and I just stood there.  I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  Daddy saw my face and said:  “Aww, come on now, Honey.  I was only joking.”

I let him hug me, laughed it off, and pretended to let the whole thing bounce right off me like a rubber ball.

Except it didn’t.  For years I pushed that part of that memory aside.  Or I thought I had.  I was convinced I had let it go.  But years later,  “Nothing makes me sick” would pop back into my head.  Stuck like glue to a part of me.  Reminding me I was not good enough.  I was lacking.  Chipping away at what little confidence I did have in myself.

Years later, I confronted my father with it.  “Do you remember, Dad, that time in Niagara Falls when you told me to kiss you and then you told me nothing made you sick?  Do you have any idea what that did to me?  How much that hurt me and made me feel so ‘less than’?”

“Oh come on.  You can’t be serious.  That was just a joke.  You can’t still be thinking of that today.”

He never understood that someone, who already believed she was an ugly duckling, could find such a supposed joke hurtful and he never did apologize for saying it.

But on his deathbed, I forgave him.  For myself.

And now, whenever I feel someone is throwing something at me that I don’t deserve, I repeat:

“I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say, bounces off of me and sticks to you.”





Vacation in Roswell, New Mexico – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday-Friday, my peeps!  You know it, it’s Friday Fictioneers time!  This week I’m doing something new.  Frank over at A Frank Angle, wanted to play indirectly by suggesting a collaboration of sorts with me.  I send him this week’s photo prompt, he then gives me the title or idea.  So voilà!  This here is the result 😉  I really did try to stay away from dialogue.  Couldn’t do it for this one. Hope y’all don’t mind!

Thank you always to Rochelle for keeping us in line – or doing her best to 😉 .  This week, she chose this photo from Ted Strutz.  Thank you, Ted, for allowing us to use and abuse it for this challenge!

Should this picture jump up at you and makes you think of something to say, then please, by all means, join our merry band of misfits and share it with us!  Click on Rochelle’s name for the rules and regs or click on the blue frog below to read more interpretations…

Add the frog to your blog by clicking here

Vacation in Roswell, New Mexico

“You have GOT to be kidding me.”  Shanna watched Charlie set up his camera and tripod in the middle of the field, using the car lights to see.

“What?  So far, we have done all the stuff you wanted to do:  Farmer and Artisan’s Market, Peco Flavors Winery, and we toured the International Air Center – ok, that was for me.  Still, can’t I just do this?

Shanna sighed.  “Yes, of course.  But c’mon, you know it was proven that it wasn’t a UFO that landed way back in ’47.”

“So they say, Shanna, so they say. Can’t hurt to look, right?”


Gratitude on a Monday – March 12, 2018

“Being grateful all the time isn’t easy. But it’s when you feel least thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: perspective. Gratitude can transform any situation, It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It’s the quickest, easiest, most powerful way to effect change in your life – this I know for sure.”
Oprah Winfrey, What I Know for Sure

I used to do my Sunday Gratitude, which then changed  to Weekend Coffee Share, which then became an occasional Weekend Share (because I had stopped participating in the Coffee one and when wanted to do it again, I realised no one was hosting it.   Mix in all of that my lack of stick-to-it-iveness and just plain laziness or easily-side-tracked-ness and you get one of these.  A Sunday share I started too late to finish on Sunday.  So had to change the title.  Again. 🙂  Welcome to my world of DADD Dale’s Attention Deficit Disorder.

In my defense (okay, okay, call it an excuse), François left Sunday for a two-week, sun-filled vacation.  Alone.  It was an already planned thing but I still spent part of my day moping and feeling all woe-is-me.  Then I spent another part of the day trolling the vacation websites, because, why not?  Why not also go away for a week to resource myself?  Then, I changed my mind and decided no…  save the moolah and go back to Tuscany in October.  Yeah, Baby.  Now, we’re talking!  We’re cooking with gas!  We have a plan!  And not just knee-jerk reaction brought on by envy.

Friday was my day to get things done.  Went to see Raffi to bring him our (the boys and mine) income tax papers and he did them right there on the spot!  The best.  I then went to my mother-in-law’s to empty her mailbox and collect any tax papers to bring to her accountant.  Did that but saw this beauty on my way.  I’ll definitely have to go back and get a better picture.  You know, when I’m NOT in my car.  Though I was not driving, I promise!

I then decided to go and visit Jean as my timing was good.  Saw this at another stop light.

Now I know we Canucks are a tough lot, and we Quebeckers really like to take advantage of clement weather, and all that… However.  It was only 4°C (40°F)!  These two must have had the heater blasting!!  Again, I was stopped at a stoplight 😉

Spent an hour with Jean, and she was happy for the visit.  She is much nicer in person than on the phone.  Did not once give me shit for “putting her there”.   She’s gonna get lucky with a second visit on her birthday with the boys later this month.  As traffic was going to be a bitch, when I left her at 4:30 I hightailed it to the Forum AMC Theatre, hoping to catch the 4:45 viewing of “Lady Bird”.  Managed to park inside, run up, get my tickets and buy myself a child’s portion of popcorn and drink (came with a little canister of m&m’s) for the ridonkulous price of $8.25, get a seat at the back and only missed the commercials and maybe the firest preview.  Woot!

I loved the movie.  Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe were great in their roles as daughter and mother.  A coming of age story that takes place in “no-where” Sacramento, California in 2002, it deals with the insecurities of pre-adulthood, of social class, of wanting more yet not ralising we love what we have until it’s gone.  That love-hate relationship that girls and mothers can share is something I’ve more heard about than experienced as my mother was (is) a very “non-invasive, figure-it-out-by-yourself” kind of mom.  At least from what I remember!  Will have to ask her.  Maybe I remember it wrong.  No wonder I’ll never be that type of writer who can describe in great detail their lives.  I’m so in the moment, I move forward and let go of what was.  Dunno if that’s a good thing or not.

Got home at 7 and ate some left-overs.   Vegged on the couch watching stuff I’d taped till a couple of Iain’s peeps came over .  Don’t know what was so funny but they were laughing up a storm.

They began playing drinking games and after a few, hailed me over to join them.  Not every day your son wants you around so you have to grab it when it comes!  First was some pyramid game where 10 cards are placed, ya, in a pyramid.  The rest of the deck is dealt to the players.  First card is flipped over, anyone with a matching card places it on top and names a person who takes a shot (or beer sip glug).  If you have two and give them both, the person takes two glugs.  Second row, same thing, one card is flipped only now each card is worth two and so on, going down to four.  That game turned out not too bad and the boys didn’t all pick on me and I was able to dish out a few myself.

They then decided I was the next “bus driver”, but took pity on my and only lay down 7 cards.  First card is flipped and I have to say if the next card in the deck is higher or lower than that one.  Jeez.  If you’re wrong, you take a glug and start over.  If you are right, you move the the next flipped card and do the same.  All is well as you go down the line and get them right but as soon as you make a mistake, it’s time for a shot and you START OVER!!  I did my part and figured enough was enough by 1 am.  Saluted the boys and I attempted to go to sleep.  They were still going strong at 3 am and I couldn’t sleep so I got up and wrote my Pegman Story!

On Saturday I woke up to big, fluffy, Christmas-like snowflakes.  Really? F*&?%!  Enough already.  It was pretty, I cannot lie… but. No.

After coffee and breakfast, Zeke and I made our way for a nice walk.  Always a good day for a walk as far as he is concerned.  On our way, I noted the hockey rinks are done for the season.  I decided we would go as far as my favourite willow.  I had stuff to do before François showed up so I couldn’t take more than an hour or so.

On our way back, we met Gus, an 8-yr-old Great Dane and Lou-Lou, a young pug.  So funny.  Zeke and Gus were getting to know each other and Lou-Lou was tugging at her leash, wanting to play with the big boys!  What a day to NOT have my camera.  Sigh.  I thought I caught a good pic of Gus and Zeke so we could compare their sizes but sadly, no.  However, got a good one with Gus and Lou-Lou and their humans!

And, because I like to torment you with food pics, I made Aidan really happy by announcing we were having Chinese Fondue for supper.  That’s one way to guarantee they (the boys) sit at the table for more than 15 minutes…

I think I’ve kept you longer than I should have.  But may I show you my new flooring, installed just this morning?  I’m telling ya, this house will be on the market by the end of the month!

Thanks for sticking to the end.  I promise next one won’t be so long (though I may have made that promise before, eh?)

A few of the 10,000 things that make me happy and grateful

31.  Giant snowflakes – even if they are in March
32. New flooring installed – one step closer
33. Being invited by my son to join him and his buddies
34. Fondue night – a time to chat while we cook our own food
35. Willow trees – they just make me happy

One With the Stones – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday to you.  Has “THE” storm started in your area yet?  They keep annoucing a doozie in so many regions.  I dunno.  It sure doesn’t feel or look like it’ll be that bad. Though it has started to snow here…  Let us all hope “They” have erred in their predictions.  Less of course, not more!!  While you wait and see how this whole scenario turns out, how about you read up on some 100-word stories created by Rochelle‘s rowdy gang of miscreants?  Better yet, why don’t you join us.  We’re mostly harmless…  This week’s photo from Sandra Crook – where does it take you?

Click on the Frog to read more stories and add your own!

Get a frog for your own blog

One With the Stones

Breathing in the salty air, Lily slowly wandered the grounds.  It felt so good to finally be strong enough to walk outside, without a chaperone.  She made her way to one of the benches, sat sideways, one leg bent in a v, arm crooked around the back of the bench and gazed quizzically at the stone garden.

“Do you like them?”  She nearly jumped out of her skin, not having heard me approach.  I was right behind her.

“They are quite odd.”

“They were created with people like you when they were well enough.”

“What do you mean by, ‘with’?”



Pride, Pleasure, Peeved

There have been times I’ve found myself in the midst of a group of people chatting, and suddenly start feeling “less-than”.  The conversation has turned to our kids.  And so starts the boasting session – as I like to call it:  My daughter graduated magna cum laude at Hoity-Toity U in blah-blah, my son was seen by a scout and now two universities are fighting over him.  My child’s work ended up in the hands of a guru of Doohicky and is now working for her.  Straight-A student. Valedictorian.  Winner of scholarship.  It becomes extremely difficult to not feel the pressure to “keep up with the Joneses” and try to show off my own kids’ exploits.  Except, there are none to mention.  What?  Do I not think my children are as good as theirs?  How can I even think that thought?  Then I feel like a total shit.  How dare I compare my kids to others?  I try not to do it with my own self and here I am doing it to them?  Not that they know this whole discourse is going on, thankfully.

After I’ve done chastising myself, I stop and think about the various good (and sometimes bad) things the boys have done so far… I know deep, sometimes DEEP down that they are good people.  They sometimes work hard, sometimes not so much.  They succeed at some things, and others, not so much.  They make me happy, they piss me off.  They do what I ask when I ask, I need to nag.  You know, like most humans/beasts borne of our loins.  We can’t always be on point all the time and can’t expect them to be either.  I know I sure as hell can’t.

So today, I am going to show off my son, Iain. (Total cheat… taken tonight instead of Saturday 😉 )

He’s a funny one, that one.  He is so like me at times, it’s scary.  Then, at other times, he is very much his father – on a lot of good points – sadly, not the neatness part.  That he gets from me.  But, with all that he’s inherited from his folks, he is also very much his own man.  He’ll spend hours watching videos, learning about a subject.  From exotic animals (knew all about the critters brought to my nephew’s birthday eons ago), to anything Bear Grylls, to guns (it must be a guy thing), to all sorts of things Russian.  Lately, he’s been alternating between watching Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares (hah!) and Cook with Boris.  How do I even know this?  Because sometimes he watches them while he snacks and he’ll even share by casting an episode on the TV.  Of course, once the snack is over, he just leaves me hanging.  Oh well, I’ll take each little moment as it comes.  He’s cheap in doling out “special Mom-Time…”

First he introduces me to some of his Russian – um – music on our way back from Andre’s last February.  He was sleeping in the car on our way home – felt like I was driving his dad home, back in the day – when he suddenly woke up and decided to connect his phone to my car, practically taking my hearing.

Then we have friggen vodka tasting sessions…. The boy spends a fortune on vodka.  He likes to sample all sorts.

This past Saturday, while François and I were out with co-workers, he decided to try his hand and Chebureki.  Why?  Because he watched this video.

Wow.  My kitchen. Wow.   Such a mess.  He had just finished frying his batch up and was eating his very first one when we arrived.  He shared with us.  Oh my.  Delicious!

But my kitchen. Wow.  Mess?  Doesn’t even begin to cover it.  Oy!  That said.  How proud am I of this man-child of mine who made the dough, prepared the filling, fried the chebureki…

I look at him, then at the kitchen, and back to him and he says “later” as he leaves for his room.  I decide to retire to MY room and leave him to it.  I hear banging around at 11 p.m.  Then nothing.  Hmmm.

I wake up the next morning.  Mess is still there.  I basically bust a gasket.  I bang on Iain’s door and get the response “There’s no more dish soap.”

François decides to go to the store to buy some because he sees that I am fit to be tied and he’s unhappy if I’m unhappy.  He is truly a nice guy.

When François returns from the store, Iain comes down, declaring he was going out to go “get stuff”.  I look at François and tell him that under no circumstances is he to touch the dishes.  Bloody hell.  I am NOT touching them either.  I loathe to wake up to a mess like this and I want to make us a pot of coffee.  I pile the mess into some semblance of order and leave the mess for Iain.

Said son returns and proceeds to clean up the kitchen.

It’s amazing how one can go from super proud and pleased to peeved beyond belief.






Out of Gas – What Pegman Saw

I almost didn’t participate this week and then a little window opened up 😉  I was going to go my usual “route” and share a memory but decided to try my hand at a real fictional story!


There is a road some fifty-three miles NNE of New York City with a strange reputation. This week, Pegman has stranded you there.

Volumes have been written about Clinton Road in West Milford, NJ, but you only need to write 150 words. The only limit is your imagination.

Feel free to capture your own streetview. If you’re not up to a weird tale, feel free to wander anywhere within the state of New Jersey for your story.

Once your 150 words are polished, you can share with other contributors using the Linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun!

Out of Gas

How far is the next gas station?  I look at my GPS, hit “nearest gas station”.  5 clicks.  Shit!  I dunno if I can make it.  I have to make it.  This is NOT the road to get stuck on.  Stop it!  Those are just stupid myths.  I’m being ridiculous.   Still.  I don’t want to be stuck here at night so I better start praying I make it.

I laugh at myself. How stupid to scare myself that way.  I’ve got a cell phone and a membership to AAA.  They are just a phone call away.  I relax.

The car sputters and I steer it towards the shoulder.  I grab my cell phone and dial AAA.  The phone rings and rings.  No answer. Really?  I glare at my phone and see it is still more than 75% charged.  I press redial when a text pops up:

“Where do you think you’re going?”


Disturbed to Centred

I am feeling disturbed.  Yes, I know, the video above is the Sound of Silence by Disturbed,  which is probably overplayed but I care not.  I love it.  And I also love the original. But today this is what I want. That type intensity that Simon and Garfunkel could never give.  They give me other stuff for another time.

I needed another walk today.  Had another sleepless night.  I swear, once all my mother-in-law shit is taken care of and my house has a “For Sale” sign, better yet, is SOLD, will I please, PLEASE sleep through the night?  I won’t be greedy… just a 6-hour stretch once in a blue moon without the need for any little sleeping or anti-anxiety pill.  Thank you, Universe.  I’m counting on you.

By the time I get my arse into gear, it is at least 1:30 pm.  No matter.  Time to get out!

Zeke and I made our way towards “my river”.  As we crossed the end of my street, less than a kilometre from home, we were hailed by Roxanne.  Lordy… When I saw her last summer, she was toting a little boy in a child’s seat on her bike.  A third son.  Today I found out the twins (I swear, born last year), Laurent and Logan are now 3 1/2 and Shawn (I didn’t ask the spelling) is going to be 2 on none other than my birthday!  How did that happen?  No, not my birthday date, the boys being so big so quickly.   We chatted, laughed with her mother (only 6 years older than me?  Wha??) who, I found out, has been divorced these past 5 years and thinks the dating life is over. Um. No.  Lady… get out there!  I told her she was the same age as my beau will be… Life is NOT over by a long-shot.  Gawd.  I hope I don’t get old before my time.

Kiss, kiss, and off to continue my walk.  I had been disturbed in my thought-process but not in a bad way nor by a long shot.  Was really nice to hook up with Roxanne.  Seriously.  She lives across the end of my street.  Life and all that.

I’m not yet feeling totally at one with the Universe when my cell rings.   Ugh.  Jean.  (Mother-in-law).

“Hello, Jean.”

“Is this Dale?”

“Yes, Jean, it is Dale.”

And then she starts.   “It’s your fault I’m in the hospital.”

“You’re not in the hospital, Jean, you’re in a home”

“Yes, it’s the third floor of the Jewish!”

“No, it’s the 3rd flo–”

“What did you do to make me come here?  I want to go home.  You have to get me out of here.  You put me here. You are so mean.”

I try to interject but frankly, she is not listening to me.  Doesn’t really matter what I say because she is totally convinced.

“The people here told me you put me in this place.”

I know she has dementia.  I know she is still in early stages so has moments of lucidity.  It doesn’t matter at all what I say because none of it will register.  Well, funnily enough, just like she was for the last 20 or so years, she registers what she wants to at times, I swear.  She was so aggressive, it took everything in my power not to tell her to take a long walk off a short pier.  Instead, I listened to her.  She complained I never visit.  I reminded her that I see her minimum twice per month whereas before we saw each other once per year.  Then her tone totally changed and she asked when I would come and visit her.  I said “tomorrow” and she said “ok”.   Tomorrow will be Monday because I can’t really tomorrow,  nor this week-end.  It won’t matter.  I’ll call her to say hello and she’ll ask me when I’ll come and visit her.  And I will say “tomorrow” and she will say “ok”.  I hang up and try to shake off the unpleasant feeling that has re-taken over my body.

We arrive at des Iles Percées park and I gaze at the marescent oak trees.  There are two of them in this park.  Why do they keep their leaves in winter?  I’ve googled it more than once.  There is no official reason that can be proven but there are a lot of hypotheses.  Though other types do so also, it is more of an “oak thing”.  Year after year, these two oaks refuse to drop their leaves.  At this point, I’m thinking I will write a post linking my mother-in-law’s memory loss with these trees.  So manymemories are still stuck to her but others flutter to the ground with the slightest gust of wind.  It is so hard.  I can’t even imagine what she is going through.  I so hope I never do.  It is a scary thought as there is Alhzheimer’s in my family.  My great-grandmother and one of my great-aunts had/have it.  My uncles died too young to know if they would have, my aunt, who just passed at age 81 had no signs and my aunt and mother seem to be ok.  I’ll be exempt.  Right?

As Zeke and I finally reach the park where I discovered “my” river, I’m feeling myself again.   The closer we get, the more I hear the kids yelling.  Dang.  It must be recess.  I choose to go to the west (I think!) bank of the river to avoid them.  Zeke loves kids and I don’t want to have to leash him.  Walking through the dirty  sno-cone-textured snow, I’m thinking I have the wrong boots.  Some of it makes its way in.  I let it melt.  I then, however, carefully place my feet in the already sunken steps taken by another (who hopefully had higher boots than I!)  I tried to capture the texture of the snow…sorry!  So hard to get a good pic on this sunless day!

I hear the bell as we approach the river and think, Yay, recess is over!  Nope. Somehow it was the official recess start bell so the rest of the kids came out.  We remained on the west side for a bit.  The sound of a river flowing is so soothing to me. I took a video (shared on Instagram) and this great pic of Zeke waiting patiently for me.

We walk all the way to the end and turn back.  The recess bell rings once again so we make our way across the little bridges and onto the east side.  Why do I insist on coming to this side?  Because it’s nicer!  I so enjoy taking pictures of this little river.  OK. OK!  It’s just a stream!  Still… It is called Ruisseau Sabrevois and goes through Parc Bois de Brouage, next to the de la Broquerie School.  But for all intents and purposes, I shall continue to call it “My river”, OK?  OK.  Where was I?  Yes, on the east side.  For some strange reason, the water sounds so much more thunderous on this side.  Drowns out any and all thoughts as I sit there, in that sno-cone snow, getting wetter and wetter (thank goodness for snowpants, is all I can say) and feeling freer and freer.

Before the wet seeps all the way through, I decide it’s time to make my way back.  By now I am feeling centred once again.  Leftover pici, a quick shower and a Skype chat with Rochelle and I sit down to write this post!  Iain announces he will make supper but “snacks” at 5:00 pm with a Kimchi bowl and a Ristorante pizza.  Right.  And what the hell time will he be ready for supper? (Really, Rog?  You had a bowl of pasta at like, 3:00 pm?  You can’t be in any rush to eat supper, can you?)

So, here I am, just before 7:00 pm, writing this post when my cell rings.  It’s my neighbour’s (ok, 5 houses down, neighbour) alarm company telling me they are dispatching a police cruiser as their alarm went off.  I tell them I shall go see what’s up and let them know.  Right.  Put on my boots and coat, grab their house key and off I go.  Waitaminute… is that wise?  What if there IS someone in the house?  Who am I to go snooping?  OK. Breathe.  This is CANADA.  I get there, the house is dark and silent.  I open the gate to the backyard, see no footprints towards the back door.  I call the company and tell them all is quiet and ask should I go in?  Get some inane, “Well, should we cancel the police?” answer.  How the fuck should I know?  I decide to put my on big-girl pants and open the door, turn off the alarm and go in.  All is quiet.  A walk around the main floor confirms there is nothing to worry about.  Hey, did the grandkids put all those stickers on the patio door?  Cute.  Gonna have to mention it to Parvin.  I tell the dispatcher to cancel the police, reset the alarm, lock up and leave.  False alarm.  I can breathe.

Get home and realise that Iain is too busy chilling with Luca so I make a quick pasta using his sauce.  Add some pancetta, chopped veg, his sauce and toss with pasta shells.  Voilà!  Supper at “l’heure des riches” (Rich people time) at 8:00 pm!

Come back to my post but end up chatting with my new buddy Marc(o) from Sorryless.   We have become fast friends (thank you, Frank!)  and chat about anything and everything.  He writes divinely and is very encouraging to me as well as being just the right amount of nudge.  Yes, I will find someone to tape my cooking videos!

The day has come to a close, it is almost midnight.  I don’t feel as disturbed and maybe I’m not fully centred but I am definitely working my way towards it.