Weekend Writing Prompt #227 – Ramshackle Housing

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  I do love the word Ramshackle.  Thank you for hosting, Sammi.  I couldn’t help but think of Cuba.  A place with such welcoming and beautiful people.

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Wealthy tourists in their country, we couldn’t help but feel how much we were part of the “haves” of society.  How did they keep their smiles?

As our tour guide explained the history, the importance of the cigar industry, the education for one and all, the poverty, the losing of educated people (doctors, especially) to freer countries, I could hear the mixture of pride and anger and love for her country in her voice.

We drove by their ramshackle houses built aside and on top of each other and I wished for them.  Better. More. Choices. Possibilities.

The Daily Wave – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning, my peeps! It’s Friday Fictioneer time and today we have this photo from J.Hardy Carroll to inspire us. As always, thank you to Rochelle for driving this train weekly! If you care to play along, just click on the frog below and add the link to your 100-word story. Easy peasy!


The Daily Wave

My train’s always on time. I pride myself on following the schedule. People count on me and I dare not let them down. Not in my nature, anyhow. So, I chug along, blowing my whistle calling the children to come out and wave. I tell you, it’s the best part of my day to see them kids running across the fields wanting nothing else but to have me return their hello. I sure wish I could bring them wherever they want to go. It’s a hard life for them with few options. But I ain’t allowed.

Where are they today?

I was reminded of my trip to Cuba. My kids and I took a short train ride and the local kids all came out running, waving to us passengers. Most smiled…

#WeekendCoffeeShare – A Busy and Fun Week


If we were having coffee, the first thing I would do, would be to tell you it’s very late so I’ll be having decaf.  Do you want full-test or decaf as well?  Here I am a Sunday night, 11:00 PM, writing this when I should be hitting the hay.  It’s been a most busy week and week-end and tonight I chose to sit on my duff and watch the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead with my boys and, after that, why not watch Into the Badlands?  It totally felt like that was the first time since having coffee with my sister, Lisa, this morning at 9:30, that I actually did sit down!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I got caught with my cellphone in my hand -wasn’t using it, mind, and got “gifted” with a $120 ticket and 4 demerit points.  Sonovab…!!!   This did not stop me from enjoying my sister’s Tocara jewellery presentation that evening and resisting buying more stuff.  Sigh… I shall definitely have to abstain from all future invites!


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had an exquisite Tuesday.  I booked our trip for Spring Break.  Just me and my boys.  Though I’ve resisted the whole Cuba thing till now, I did finally decide now was a good time to try it out.  We’ll be staying in Holguin at the Playa Pesquero.  Apparently, the food will be decent (the reason I’ve avoided going this long!)  On my way through the mall, I stopped off at the Videotron kiosk to find out if I was due for an upgrade.  Poor phone has not been the same since it went for an involuntary swim this summer.  And I was!  Woot!  At no extra cost to boot.  Still trying to get used to this HTC phone.  I had a Samsung and was told that HTC had an even better camera so I figured what the heck?  That evening I went on a date to a most delicious restaurant called Tandem.  Oh. Em. Gee.  I had a bison short rib to die for.  I’m still thinking about it!

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that on Wednesday, I had to drive all the way into town for a doctor’s appointment, wait a whole bloody hour before being seen.  Four hours later, I returned to almost the same area of town for a fabulous sushi and girl-talk with Patti.  Her daughters were not too sad that there was an overabundance and that they could have some too.

The rest of the week was work (Pier 1) and work (cooking).

If you are not too tired, I’d finish off with my Saturday.  The store was over-staffed; or rather, was under-selling, so I managed to take the day off and go to my goddaughter’s bowl-a-thon with Aidan.  Iain was working and could not join in the fun.  Actually, of the three sisters’ families, we each had a child who was away at work.  The rest all participated.  What a hoot and a half!  Ever been “disco” or “laser” bowling?  Wish I had been wearing at least one pale item of clothing.  I could have flashed as they did!

Our first two games went rather dismally.  I did managed to get scores in the three-digits, but nothing to write home about.  On the third game, Tracy and her gang had to leave to go to a family party so Lisa and I and families stayed behind and played for two people each.  Lemme just say that I was the leader!

After our bowling fun, the Kiakas clan came over.  Not bad, Aidan invited them over and they brought the pizza!  Was fun to just sit and chat and relax.

Of course, I totally paid for it today.  Lisa left around 10:30-ish and I had three meals to make!  I made stuffed meatballs, chicken piccata and beef stew.

Now that I may have left you hungry, I shall bid you a most wonderful week and look forward to reading your coffee shares!

Hugs and Kisses!


In my over-zealousness to get this post out, I totally forgot to acknowledge Diana, our hostess for Weekend Coffee Share (though clicking on the top image does bring you to her site)!  As well, I never mentioned that clicking on this link would bring you to all the other wonderful submissions!

I apologise profusely for my lack of manners.



Where Do I NOT Want to Visit?


Friday, November 7

Where is the one place you would never want to go on vacation that other people seem to love?


As one who wants to travel the world (!) I have trouble answering this one.  There are definitely places I am not inclined to visit and nor are most people… War-torn countries do not appeal to me.  I kind of like living and don’t feel the need to put myself into any precarious position just for the sake of saying “I’ve been there”.  Yes, disaster can happen anywhere but let’s face it, while there is a war going on, chances are more in favour of this happening!

I cannot truly say I will NEVER visit Cuba but it is very low on my list of places to visit.  You see, part of any good vacation in my books is food.  I have heard nothing good about the food in the resorts in Cuba – and going outside of the resorts is not a thing to consider (because that is probably where we would get good food).  Yes, one or two have said it’s not bad.  Hmmm…  Not bad is not good enough.  I will need more positive feedback before going.

I do hear the beaches are amongst the most beautiful, however.  It is a hugely popular destination for Canadians, Quebecers in particular.  It’s cheap. It’s not too far. It’s not on my list.  I just have so many other places to visit that ARE on my list!  At the top of the list has nothing to do with the Caribbean. (I love the Caribbean.  Have been there umpteen times.)

Way at the top is Tuscany – though after last night’s wine class, I am adding Trentino-Alto Adige to the list!  Maybe I’ll just have to take a year and visit the whole country.  Now there’s an idea…  I am obsessed with all things Tuscan/Italian.  I want to go and be a part of it, to experience it like a local.  Meet some Nonna who will bring me into her kitchen and teach me the how’s of real Italian cooking.  I keep threatening my family that I’m going to pull an “Under the Tuscan Sun” and stay there!  They will have to come and visit me!  One can dream, no?