Echoes of Meow

"Meow?!"  I don't think that she is hearing me.  she just lays there.  

Let me try. Stanley reaches out his paw and touches her face.  "Meeeeeoooooow!"  Eyes open to see both Stanley and Salvia sitting on the pillow.  Salvia gives slow blinks, "Meow?," then he jumps off the bed and runs downstairs to the kitchen. 

5:45am says the clock as Stanley cocks his head sideways then runs after Salvia. "Meeeeeooooow!" comes from the kitchen as she lays in bed staring at the ceiling.

Stanley and Salvia patiently await the filling of the bowls and another minute goes by.  "Meow?!" comes wafting up the stairs once again.  She isn't coming and I am hungry his look tells Stanley. Maxie enters the kitchen to see the boys sitting there wanting breakfast.  Maxie saunters to the stairs, tap, tap,tap, she can hear the cat's nails on the stairs.  

"Meow, Meow", in a higher pitch is heard.  She decides to sit up and give a yawn.



"meow, meow"

The breakfast symphony begins.  one after another building into a crescendo of voices that ends when she reaches the bottom of the stairs  and Lisban vomits a hairball onto the bamboo flooring.  

 The morning ritual of Kitty Cat breakfast.

the Zaftig Vegan

Be Balanced Hormonal Weight Loss (BBHWL) center there it is again.  After several weeks of passing by it when I am working in PA and DE, I decided to look it up and see what it is all about. The first item on the website is "Don't let Menopause debilitate you"; "well, maybe this is something", I think to myself.  

I hate the entire gym experience.  It is costly, it is miles to drive, the people are rude in-spite of the advertising stating that they are friendly and non-judgmental and the places geared towards women are, in all honestly, whimpy.  The weights are governed and the programs are boring.

I decided to check out the BBHWL and have an open mind.  The counselor was nice enough and explained the program.  It all started with homeopathic supplements to increase fat burning while regulating the estrogen and progesterone followed by sleep monitoring, food tracking and stress reduction.  So far so good, I do a lot of these things already.

First week check in was great, now onto the food tracking part.  She explained the menu options but wait, menu options?  Yea, the protein selections are not vegetarian friendly, forget about vegan friendly.   

After two more weeks and another check in, she says," you haven't loss any weight because you are deviating from the menu."

"I don't eat any of that, I follow a vegan diet."

"well, there are eggs and you can have as many apples as you want to," she explains pointing to the Menu listing.

"vegans don't eat eggs and I can not live off apples," I say back in a clearly irritated voice.

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If the creek don't rise

My husband's golf buddy, Joe, is always saying, "God willing and the creek don't rise...." especially when it comes to making Tee Times for the Senior Men's golf group.  God willing and the creek don't rise then we will play on Monday.

Monday rolled around so Eddie waited by the door for Joe to pick him up.  Joe is always early, really early.  If Joe says he will be there at 8AM, you better be ready by 7:30am or you get left, that is just the way Joe is.  True to nature, Joe arrives at 7:25 and is waving at Ed to hurry it up because that Wawa sandwich with coffee is waiting and there is another 40 minute drive to the course.

I was skeptical that they were going to play.  Senior men are basically fair weather golfers.  They are retired  and can play any time that they want so why would they play on hot, cold or rainy days and with the clouds already moving; I was sure it was going to be cancelled.  

After a couple of hours, my phone rings and Eddie is telling me that Joe cut his hand fishing for lost balls in a water hazard.  Since these guys only play on Monday and Thursday, the entire course is theirs so they tend to waste a lot of time looking for lost balls.  Not their balls, of course, but other people's lost balls.  They then trade them like pokemon cards amongst themselves.  Anyway, the point of the phone call was that they were running late coming home.

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Wild Goose Chase

It was a brisk morning.  The dew was still on the grass and the morning mist just starting to burn off with the rising sun.   I stood on the hill looking out over the fairway.

Breathing in, I set up my stance then exhaled and swung.   The ball sailed 160 yards out into the fairway.

"Not too bad", Eddie says as he walked to the golf cart.

We drove down the path and grabbed the clubs for the next shot.   Walking out to my ball, I had to dodge the droplets.  As I lined up my next shot, I saw them gathering on the green, Canadian Geese.

After a couple more shots and a whiff, which we won't talk about, I spotted my ball laying among the small flock, disgarded feathers and droppings.  I approached with my putter.

"Shoo!", waving my gloved hand at them.  The geese barely gave me a glance as they continued to scavenge for the seed that the greens keeper must have laid the night before.

I yelled at them, "SHOO! GET OUT OF HERE!".  One in particular honked at me and lifted his wings.

I raised my arms at him and ran in his direction, yelling, "SHOO! SHOO!".

The large bird stood his ground. He honked and charged in my direction.  I let out a scream and retreated back towards my husband who was lollygagging at the cart. Eddie dropped a ball in the rough* and lobbed it onto the green which caused the birds to scatter.

"go putt", he sighed waving his hand towards the green**.

DISCLAIMER: I would like to state for the record that most golfers are not cruel to animals like the recent events in North Carolina. Most golfers enjoy being in the outdoors and care for the animals. That is a big appeal of the sport. It is absolutely despicable what those bipedal troglodytes did to that opossum. I hope that they are brought to justice.

* ROUGH is the area of grass that is off the main golfing strip known as a fairway. the grass is longer and harder to hit from.
** GREEN is the putting surface where the hole is located. It is very slick and tightly packed.

Kolchak Returns

August 29, 6:18pm

They say it is the moon shining on the mica in the sand that causes the glow however, here at the Superstition Spring golf course, it is something much more ominous.  

It started when some men were playing a twilight round.  The sand trap appeared to  give off a faint yellowish green color.  One of the players hit his ball directly into the middle.  As he lined up to hit the ball, the sand swirled around his legs and he started to sink.  He yelled out to his fellow players but it was too late.  By the time they reached the trap, nothing was left but his cap and club.   The men ran to their cart and drove away.  

This is just the kind of story my grandfather, Carl, would have investigated and the kind of story the police all too casually would forget.  After another strange disappearance on the seventh hole, the Independent News service was called to shed some light on the story. 

I discovered that the fertilizer the greens keeper used was GMO sourced  and when this mixed with the sand then heated under the blazing Arizona sun; the molecules would bond together and move.  It was creating a new life form.  

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The glow of purple

it is Thursday and I drive across the bridge with the glow of purple to my left.  I take casual glances and see the entire sky over #Lamaramore emanating a purple aura,  The stadium lights are always purple but the city has a positive and energizing vibe especially since the city government has changed all their exterior lighting to be purple.  Even if you are not a football fan, you can't help but get caught up in the excitement. 

So, I wonder, what will I wear on purple Friday?  I only have 1 solid purple shirt and I think it is in the laundry basket.  I better do a load of wash when I get home.  

Until the first weekend of February, Baltimore has been renamed #Lamaramore.  Superbowl fever is in full swing, Christmas, what's that?  The wonder child of the NFL, Lamar Jackson, is breaking records and making Baltimore, MD proud.   Yes, once again, Baltimore is named the murder Capital of the U.S. however, right now, the city is happy and for a couple of weeks, the shootings are down. 

Lamar Jackson he throws, he runs and he breaks records.  He just broke the current rushing record by a quarterback in american football.  

Until recently, Michael Vick held the record of most yards rushed by a quarterback at 6,109.  Lamar broke it by 5 yards.  Woo hoo!  

Who is Michael Vick, you ask.  He was a quarterback for 3 different NFL teams.  He held multiple records including the one that Lamar Jackson broke last weekend.  he was a star American Football player.  Yay!

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a human, a dwarf and a half-elf meet in the woods ....

Bearson stood in the clearing  at the edge of the forest, he was fidgeting with a glass disk that he was traded in exchange for some light security work if you want to call it that. He was hired by the blacksmith to keep an eye on his daughter.  Torren did not like the attention that his daughter was getting from the local boys and Bearson was to discourage this behavior.  

After running off the boys, Torren gave Bearson this glass disk as payment.  It was really pretty because it shimmered in the sun but other than a paperweight, Bearson was not sure what to do with it.  As he stood there memorized by the spectrum of light, he was startled by someone hurdling out of the bushes a couple of feet away.  He dropped the disk and pulled out the dagger strapped to his thigh  when he realized it was Thodora, one of the people that he was waiting for.

Thodora laughed so hard that she nearly fell over, "it never fails to make me laugh. Humans are so easy to sneak up on." 

Bearson was strapping the dagger back in when he saw Thodora taking an interest in the disk.  "where did you get that?", she asked with raised eyebrows.

"It was a gift and I wanted Aegis to look at it.  Do you know when he will be here? and, DON'T even think about pilfering it, Thief!", he sternly  responded as he picked it up. 

Thodora gave him a large dwarvish smile as she pointed to the horizon, "sun is setting.  he should be here momentarily. You know that he prefers the dusk."

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It is hard to walk off the silence

9AM Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. Weekly staff meeting. interior office with no windows.

The boss drones on about something as I shuffle my notes awaiting my turn around the table to provide updates on the project and discuss any foreseeable issues. The office phone rings interrupting Anna and per her normal charming demeanor, she picks it up then slams it back onto the receiver.

"As I was saying ...." when the phone rings again and this time noticeably perturbed, she picks it up.
"We are having our department .... What?.....What do you mean? ...." and she runs out the office door as we sit around the table and look at each other in confusion.

Anna walks back into the room with a blank expression and no color in her face. "dismissed, everyone is dismissed." I slowly stand up from the table and she looks me directly in the face, "what are you waiting for? get out! The pentagon is on fire and we don't know who will be next!"

Everyone freezes in place for a brief moment in time then we run to our desks. I don't know exactly what my co-workers did after that but I ran down 3 flights of stairs and out of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History where I stood on the south steps facing towards the Potomac River. I felt sickened and horrified as I watched the black smoke rise into the sky. All I could think was to walk to the hotel where Eddie was laying over a couple of blocks from Union Station.

Running to the front of the building, I stopped so suddenly that I almost lost my balance, Constitution Ave was pandemonium. Just like something out of a post-apocalyptic movie with cars bumper to bumper, horns honking, people on foot running in all directions and there goes a cab down the sidewalk. I quickly made my way to the Holiday Inn where I found Eddie sitting on the edge of the bed inches from the TV. We sit and watch in horror as the highjacked flight 93 is reported to have crashed in Shanksville, PA. As I shout," Where the hell is Shanksville?", the news reporter states that it is outside of Johnstown and I frantically search for my phone and try to contact my friends.

"do, do, do, we are unable to complete your call at this time...." is all I hear.

The CSX radio is going off and Eddie is being told to go directly to Union Station. Trains will be double stacked and people need to get out of Washington. Speculations from the news stations are saying that the White House is the next target with possible transportation terminals.

Eddie grabs my hand and pulls me out of the hotel room and we briskly walk 3 blocks to the station. railroad cars are being moved and I stand and watch as trainmen, Eddie included, get trains ready for the onslaught of people that will be flooding the station. After a couple of hours, pacing the platforms and horrified at what might be happening next, there was nobody. Maybe 50 people on six train cars going to Baltimore when we find out the media is telling everyone to stay where they are and don't flee the city.

7AM Thursday morning, September 13, 2001. I cautiously disembark from the train at Union Station

The 16 block walk to work filled me with dread. There was nothing. no cars, no planes, no animal sounds just the wind. I walked fast trying to think of something other than the dead silence and that is what it was DEAD silence. The burning smell lingered in the air and people died.

My Enemies are all too familiar.

"The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between Orange and Green and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood." — Thomas Francis Meagher, the concise history of Ireland.

The young, Protestant man comforts his wife as she strains in labor.  This will be their first baby.  Irene was born on a calm night in Killaloe, Ireland in the one thousand nine hundred and eighteenth year of the lord.  

When Irene was a young girl, her father decided that the family needed to emigrate to the United States.  Irene continued to grow into a beautiful young woman then in her late twenties she met a handsome and eloquent man with the most beautiful blue eyes.  With his family belonging to the Lutheran church, Irene's father gave his blessing when Edgar proposed marriage.   In 1948, their son, Dale, was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

Beckie was a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in the mid-sixties. She was a person that enjoyed living life to the fullest.   Her maternal grandmother moved to Pittsburgh following the exit of  Slovakia from the Austro-Hungarian empire and merging with the Czech Republic.  Beckie grew up within a Slovak community and attended the Byzantine Catholic church in Latrobe but once she graduated high school, her parents decided to move to South Jersey. A very Italian and Roman Catholic area.  

Beckie was introduced to Dale by one of her art school friends.  Dale was a high school graduate, a couple years younger and thinking of joining the Marine Corps.  Combat units had just started entering Vietnam and Dale figured that enlisting was better than being drafted.  

The Fall of 1966 rolls around and Beckie is fighting a battle of her own.  She does not enroll for the third year of college because the rabbit done died and her life was about to change.  Dale and Beckie's wedding was planned for December.  She would be six months with-child and Dale just completing bootcamp.

Irene was furious and would not condone such a blasphemous union. To her, her only son was betraying the family.  Edgar wanted his son to do the honorable thing but he could certainly understand his wife's anger. Irene refused to attend the wedding and out of duty and respect to his wife, neither did Edgar.

Edgar loved his granddaughter.  They were best friends and Edgar happily assisted Beckie whenever she needed him; which was frequently since Dale was off fighting the war and her parents were hours away. It wasn't until Edgar died from heart disease, Dale was heading back to Vietnam for a second tour and Beckie gave birth to another daughter; that Irene welcomed the children into her home.  She could not deny these innocent girls especially the older one who had the most beautiful blue eyes.

This story is fiction based upon family history as I know it and yes, I have my grandfather's eyes.