Hump Bear and Bleak Days

I wanted to kick about two unrelated topics with you this week. Both are of a personal nature. Neither one has anything to do with the other.

Here goes…


Hump Bear

Hump Bear

Marble is our one male cat inside. You can read more about his past here. Being fixed, it would stand to reason that some of his desires no longer exist. At least, that’s been my logic. After all, if you don’t have the equipment to do the job, you aren’t going to be spending a whole lot of time think about that activity. Right?

Well, I guess Marble is different. He still spends time contemplating sexual activities despite having the surgery done. No wonder Miya and Nutty run from him all the time.

Back this last fall, the teddy bear husband bought me when we lived in Cookeville [one town west of us] ended up on the floor. Neither husband or I thought much of it at the time. It was dusty and I hadn’t thought about it sentimentally for years. After all, husband and I have a good relationship without the materialistic attachments.

Marble eyed it laying in the middle of the floor and decided to latch on to it. A-okay by me.

That’s how it started out, but I think he might have gotten too fond of it.

He’s been humping the silly thing.

At first, it was a sporadic occurrence. Then it became a daily activity. I would just shake my head as I walked by this spectacle. So I’ve got a strange cat. What else is knew? However, as of late, this cat is humping that poor bear several times each day. Does he need a therapist?

My poor little teddy bear has become Hump Bear.


Bleak Days
Image provided by Stuart Anthony

Bleak Days

Most people around the globe peek at the weather, online, on TV, or in the newspaper. I consider it an obsession our society has had for a while. The same can probably be said about how we keep track of time too.

Here in the U.S., we’re having our cold months right now. In Tennessee, this time usually isn’t all that cold, though. Especially if you compare it to the northern states. The highs were reaching up into the fifties [Fahrenheit] until right before New Year’s Day. Yes, jacket weather but not cold enough to bring out the wool.

When the colder weather finally hit these mountains I live in, I felt a little apprehensive, although not about the temperature. I had been going through so melancholy and the thought of it turning into actual depression wasn’t something I wanted to deal with in any shape or form.

I started making plans that would, hopefully, keep the deep dark blues away. All this is, is preparing to do spring housecleaning in January. I’d forgo any intentions of getting serious writing done on my WiP in exchange for a clean house with a fresh clean springtime smell to it to chase away any depressing moods.

Believe it or not, this activity works for depression. At least it does for me. I remove everything from sight that reminds me of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Anything with black, rich orange, roasted brown, rich green, or rich red gets tucked away where I can’t see it.

I take a damp sponge to all of the walls, making sure I get the base boards. I spray Windex all over the windows, wiping them with a paper town. I deep polish wood furniture. I move furniture to vacuum and, with some pieces, rearrange so the rooms look a little different.

I even buy air freshener in one of the tea fragrances and spray the rooms afterward.

I made all these plans two days before New Year’s Day in preparation to ward off that nasty mood of despondency I thought sure would hit me January 2nd.

Although, it didn’t hit. It didn’t touch me. In fact, I don’t think it even put one foot in my yard outside. I woke up, greeted with a mood of smiles and wellbeing even though, looking out the window, it was clear that the days hadn’t changed. It was still gray and dismal out there.

As I waited for the coffee to brew, I gazed out onto the backyard, really not paying attention to anything that was out there because I was trying to figure out why I felt so good.

Did a giant-sized brick wall of gloom crumble for me in the middle of the night while I slumbered? Did I receive some divine wisdom that put all things right for me during one of those dreams I never remember?

Is it that the other shoe hasn’t dropped?

While I wait for the answers to these questions, I’m going to enjoy my days.


How are your first days of the new year going?

“When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.” ― Shannon L. Alder


Dissension and Relationships

Dissension and Relationships
Image provided by Alex Sar

A disagreement can break the bonds of an otherwise congenial relationship. Is the subject of debate that earnest? Are the words voiced so callous and bitter? Is the bias of one or both that contrasting? Yes, the topic can be that grave. One or both can utter words that knowingly or unknowingly devastate the other. Although the relationship may have been amiable for years, the natural change that all life is inflicted with can turn an exceptional rapport all out of alignment.

Some subjects are so controversial, I ruminate over the thought if they should even be discussed at all. Indeed, I’m well aware that there must be debates on issues that effect groups at large, and that this fact nils my muse of no spoken or written dissensions. Still, most of us within the world’s population usually don’t know enough about the facts of the matter, and don’t have an unyielding desire to search endlessly for those facts. What brought this to mind was an article I merely scanned online about the presidential debates that have recently started. Even if the general public reads the transcripts or listens to the entirety of these contentions, chances are there still isn’t enough known to argue the points made with any clarity. The concepts are bound to get distorted, which, as expected, will lead to misunderstanding, the core of many splits in relationships.

Do I spend enough time calculating my words when discussing a topic of controversy? I was brought up to speak my mind, with tact certainly, but straightforward just the same. There have been times when I’ve held back, knowing that my words would be hurtful and the point to make wasn’t of great value anyway. In recent times though, I’ve discovered that many people have become so delicate, I’ve had to clamp my mouth shut on so many discussions I used to feel I had liberty with in the past. It could be I’ve taken too much for granted. Who I’ve thought to be friends, and therefore understanding about my character, may be no more than acquaintances who I’ve assumed too many familiarities. I’ve been reading the classics lately, which has me pondering on general behavior. Throughout the ones written before the nineteen fifties that I’ve acquired, the characters don’t talk as freely with others, even within their own families. There may be a strong probability that I have misplaced my civilities.

When there is an issue full of opposing theories, should people of close relations even attempt to talk about it and weigh the different aspects of the subject? My father was a republican in the arena of politics. My mother is a democrat. I can only remember one election where they became altogether passionate about their respective candidates. That was the election between Kennedy and Nixon in nineteen sixty. There weren’t any fights, but there were a couple of arguments that get heated. From that time on, they decided to not talk with each other about any political issues and just vote according to their consciences. Maybe some of us, including me, have become too forthright in communicating to the point of becoming abrupt, and maybe even crude without realizing it. Moreover, there are those times when I, without any qualm, have used cutting words when feeling threatened unnecessarily. At those times, why I didn’t take better assessment of the situation is beyond my ability to figure out somehow.

The world is changing. Of course, it always has. Even so, in recent years, the changes have become more pronounced. We have the means to communicate at any time with anybody. Yet I find so many have so little worthwhile to say. Sure, we believe that what we convey is of the utmost importance, at least to ourselves. However, within minutes of expressing ourselves, we’ve dismissed the topic completely and have gone on to something else. Do we stop to contemplate our feeling and actions adequately?

Have we become a society of characterless beings? Do we try to prove our merit when it’s so minimal that it can be overlooked so easily? Is this a rationalization for the breakdown of relationships due to dissension?


My opinions in this essay are my own, and are not  intended to encourage or provoke the views of others. Most is of questions I feel should be reflected on with solemnity. Notwithstanding, your comments and views are welcomed.

“We can never establish with certainty what part of our relations with others is the result of our emotions — love, antipathy, charity, or malice — and what part is predetermined by the constant power play among individuals.” — Milan Kundera


Ruth’s Secret – part 4

Did you miss the previous parts of this story?

part 1 | part 2 | part 3

Ruth's Secret - part 4
Image provided by

Ruth was quiet on the other end on the phone. Clearly she was hesitant to tell Shelly the rest of what was going on. Ruth and Shelly had been a little more that boss and subordinate since Shelly’s promotion as lead worker within the division had gone through. They had become friends. They were careful not to let it interfere with work though. Friendships outside of one’s level, no matter how platonic they were, were frowned upon. The reasoning behind it was to avoid jealousy, which would interrupt the flow of productivity. Yet, who else was Ruth going to talk to? Her life was too busy for friendships outside the office and most of the other supervisors she knew were married and/or had children. There just wasn’t anything in common with them.

Finally, Ruth said, “Mr. Cooley — you know who he is, don’t you?”

“Yeah, the vice president of this idiot company.”

“Well, yesterday afternoon, after you had left, the photographer showed up here. I pushed him into my office and closed the door. Yeah, I was a little ticked off. He had my pay with him though. What was I suppose to do? Tell him I wanted it later at home? I doubt very seriously that he’d be happy with that seeing that he came all the way over just to bring it to me. I should have put it in my purse, but I must have had a brain fart or something because I just held the envelope in my hand. I showed him the way out and started to go by to my office. It was then that Mr. Cooley saw me walk across the aisle where your cubicle is, and motioned for me. Shelly, I got flustered. I put the envelope in your bottom drawer and went on to see what Mr. Cooley wanted.” A sigh of relief was heard.

Shelly swiveled in the stool and looked out the living room window as if the right thing to say was just outside. “Okay, that pretty much explains it. How long are you going to keep this up?”

“Until I’m out of financial danger, I guess. The job isn’t bad, Shelly. The photographer has no interest in me so I don’t have to worry about unwanted advances or anything.”

“Are you thinking of keeping this up?” Shelly asked with skepticism.

“I might — maybe until my looks start to fade.”

“Ruth, want to have lunch on Saturday? Or are you working?” Shelly said actually trying to make a jab at her friend.

“I’m free. How does noon sound?”

The End

Did you notice? I finally chanced the title of my blog. Any thoughts about it out there? 😀

Ruth’s Secret – part 1

Ruth's Secret - part 1
Image provided by
Adriano Ferreira @

Another short story for you…

It was a glorious Tuesday morning. Shelly decided it was warm enough to have her breakfast on the patio so that she could watch the birds pick at the grass to gather seeds. Even though the day was exceptional, something was gnawing at her deep in her gut. I wish I knew what was bothering me.

The feeling had started last night just before ten. Then she had thought she might be coming down with a cold. She had smothered herself in Vick’s Vapor Rub and went to bed. When she woke up, she immediate went to take a shower. The rub felt heavy and… well… yuck.

She didn’t feel there was any cold coming on. As she sat munching on cereal, she thought about the last time she had felt this same way. It was over three years ago. Her grandfather was ill. Because of his advance age, the doctor couldn’t predict when, if ever, he’d be well enough to go home. He passed on two days later in his sleep.

Shelly remembered crying for hours. It took her until after the old man’s funeral to realize that he was fine where he was now. Once attached to this idea, her mood did a complete turn-around. Now understanding there was more to this universe than just the span of life on this small planet, her outlook on what makes a life worthwhile changed.

Her cereal was getting soggy in the milk. She quickly ate the last of it and went inside to get ready for work.

Walking into the office of gray cubicles, phones ringing, and hushed voices, her working partner peeked around the corner just in time to see her. “Shelly, what’s wrong. You have a wrinkle line in middle of your forehead.”

Once inside their cubicle and sitting in her steno chair, Shelly said, “Aaron, something’s just wrong, but I can’t figure out what it is yet. Did you get the printout?”

Aaron looked at her bewilderingly. “What printout?”

This routine of Aaron’s happened most day. He knew what printout. He was just too lazy to go get it.

She sighed with great effort, stood, and made her way to the copy room. “And he’s wondering what’s wrong with me,” she muttered.

Returning to her desk with the needed hard copy, she sat down with the intention of putting her purse out of sight. She opened the bottom drawer and found an envelope stuffed with hundred-dollar bills. She sat there paralyzed with confusion. Finally, she slammed the drawer shut and put her purse under the desk. She glanced in Aaron’s direction. His back was turned so that he was facing his desk. Chances are he didn’t see a thing.

“Are you going to give me some of that printout, Shelly?” Aaron asked holding out a hand behind him. Without saying a word, she torn at one of the perforations and passes the smaller stack to him.

Shelly tried to work and keep what was in the drawer tucked away in the back of her mind. This part of her job was tedious so her mind would wander to other things, like the envelope hidden away. She would tap her pen on the desk to make herself come back to the task.

When the supervisor came around to see how her subordinates were doing, the sudden appearance caused Shelly to jump. “Ruth, don’t do that.”

Ruth stifled a giggle. “Didn’t mean to scare you. Is everything all right with you two?”

Writing prompt from Today’s Author.

Is this too obscure? You can find part 2 here. 🙂

Part 3 is here. Part 4 is here.

Exercise to Death – part 4

If you’re just getting in on the story, you may want to read the first three parts before continuing.

Part 1 is here. | Part 2 is here. | Part 3 is here.

Exercise to Death - part 4
Image provided by
Paula Bailey @

Lillian was horrified by what Kurt told her. She sat dumbfounded in her chair staring at Kurt. From what Officer Reynolds had said, it was obvious to her that the police didn’t have this information. Why would Kurt not tell the cops about his relationship with the deceased if he’s saying that he didn’t kill him?

“Umm… Kurt,” she said with hesitation. “Did you tell the police about your relationship with the young man?” She sat rigid in her seat with her hands folded in her lap.

Kurt sat back fiddling with his fingers. His reluctance was conspicuous. Lillian uncrossed her ankles, felt for her house key in her front pocket, and stood.

“I need to get home. I have work to do for my boss. If I don’t get it done, he’ll be over to wring my neck. Thanks for the coffee break,” she said trying to keep the quiver out of her voice. He didn’t say a word and didn’t even rise from where he was sitting. Lillian walked out the deck door and let herself out through the gate.

Weird. That’s the only word for it, she said to herself as she hurried around the corner.

Arriving home, she poured herself a glass of milk in hopes of settling her nerves. After taking a few gulps, she called Reynolds knowing that he’d probably bawl her out for taking such a gamble with her life.

“Officer Reynolds. May I help you?” he said into the mouth piece.

She gingerly told he what she had learned and how she had acquired the information. There wasn’t any sound coming from the other end for a moment. She thought she hear a chuckle in the next moment. This isn’t a laughing matter.

“Ms. Crow, you do know that you shouldn’t have gotten yourself so involved in this, right?” He didn’t wait for a reply. Good thing because she wasn’t giving one. “Mr. Marshall called us this morning and told us about his relationship with the man. In addition, because of his call, we were able to find the suspect. To set your mind at ease, Ms. Crow, he did confess to the crime.”

Sitting in the kitchen after her call to the police station, she stared into space allowing curiosity to race through her mind. Although the crime was solved, her questions about what happened still weren’t answered. Coming back into her present reality, she filed her enquiries in the back of her mind for later contemplation.

The End

Comments? Let ‘em rip. 😀