Tag Archive | United States

Flash Fiction: Why I Prefer Pepsi

(sept 2008)

 

This was for a collab contest on Barb & Friends. Anyway, no one dies, no one gets hurt, no one tortures anyone… Just a down home, feel good, supposed to be funny kinda story :p This proves I can write other things. Now that I have shown I have depth I am going back to death >:)

Why I Prefer Pepsi

The old shed sat back from the house, only a few yards from the cracking “trash-fire” that burned every Wednesday.  I and my cousin Annabell made our barefoot way to the dilapidated building, fighting early afternoon mosquitoes as we went.

“The smell always makes your eyes water,” she explained to me and nodded towards the column of smoke issuing from the tin chimney spout. “If it don’t it ain’t a good batch.”

I nodded my head in time to her words, trying to soak in as much as possible. I had a lot to learn and only a few short weeks until I had to go home.  Mom had said that spending my summer with our far away family would be educational, and Annabell was trying her best to see that it was.

The shed door stood open and Uncle Bo was sitting inside, one foot propped up on a dented gasoline can and yesterday’s newspaper gripped in his meaty fist.  My cousin Annabell was right; the smell coming out of the still was noxious at best and nearly knocked me over.

Uncle Bo didn’t bother to look at us as he said, “Ain’t ready yet.”

“But there ought ta be a whole bunch from the last batch,” Annabell argued. “We only have ’til Grandma gets back. Ya know she won’t le us have any if she’s here.”

“There was some left,” he agreed. “But ol’ Lady Cole was round this mornin’ and she traded some food stamps for moonshine. Ma’s gone inta the store ta get some vittles with ’em.”

Annabell did her best pout but Uncle Bo ignored her. When she saw she wasn’t getting anywhere, she tried again, “What about Granny’s secret stash? Ya know she always keeps a bit hid out.”

He shook his head again. “Heck no, Granny done took that with her! She needed it to start the trash fire, because we’re outta kerosene!”

Annabell continued to cajole him, but she didn’t get far, so instead she crankily imitated grandma, “When ya gonna fix this shed. It’s ready to fall in on us all.”

His answer wasn’t very convincing. “Ya’ll know I got a bad back.”

Before Annabell could express her disbelief, the neighbor woman, Miss Casteel, came wandering in. Miss Casteel had been a “miss” for about six months. Her husband had died a mysterious death and she was now working on making the most of her figure and stupid men, or so Granny  said.

As if to prove our matriarch’s words, Miss Casteel casually draped herself over an old barrel and gave Uncle Bo a lazy smile. “Well hello there. And how are you today?”

The man nearly injured himself to drop the paper and sit up straight. “Why hello, what brings you all the way over here? I’d offer ya some moonshine but we’re plum out, ‘cept for what I keep tucked away.”

“That’s okay,” She said quickly. “”I dare not drink. You know bad things happen around me when I do.”

Though Annabel and I had perked up at the idea of something “tucked away”, we quickly lost interest in the conversation. Miss Casteel was just trying to get Uncle Bo to fix her leaky roof, and he was dumb enough to agree; now that his back had been miraculously cured by a flash of deep cleavage.  But when he started hinting about coming round her place for dinner, the climate changed from hot to chilly.

“Hell, Bo, I’d rather have the moonshine!”

Uncle Bo was crushed, but Miss Castel sashayed home as if she didn’t notice, and maybe she didn’t.

It wasn’t five minutes before we saw Uncle Bo draw out an old coke bottle full of something brown. He took a hard swig, then lowered it slowly, his eyes on us. “I reckon ain’t no harm,” he muttered and held it out. “Who cares now anyway?”

Annabell grabbed the bottle and took a big drink from it. She smacked her lips, her eyes wide, and handed the coke bottle over to me. I stared at it for a full minute before I could bring myself to take a sip.

The taste of it took my breath away, but it didn’t burn until it hit my stomach.  Then, the burning felt like I was dying. Still, under Annabell’s watchful gaze I forced myself to take another flaming gulp. My head soon started to get really light and the burning went away. In fact, I couldn’t even taste the stuff anymore. With out a flavor, the moonshine wasn’t bad at all.

By the time Granny came back Annabell and I were having a good time.  I was sprawled on the dirt floor, shaking the empty flask and giggling. “Oops, now we need some more? You got any?”

Granny stared from one to the other of us and then kicked the chair out from under Uncle Bo. He hit the ground hard, and it set me and Annabell to laughing. She told him in a feisty manner, that she wasn’t giving him any more moonshine if he was gonna give it to kids.  Then she turned her fury on us.

After a lengthy lecture, none of which I remembered later, she hauled us both out of the shed by our dresses and set us to weeding the garden. We were too drunk to stand up right, and then with the hot sun beating down on us it wasn’t long until we were both too sick to crawl. When Granny thought we’d had enough she hauled us in the house and sent us to bed without supper; not that we minded much. The thought of food just made us both sick.

To this day I can’t look at coke bottles without thinking of that burning moonshine and getting queasy.  Needles to say, I prefer Pepsi.

Song playing at the moment – Drag – Placebo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

I finally made it back to the weekly photo challenge, which is put on by the great guys at the wordpress daily challenge blog. You can check all the particulars out here. While you’re at it, be sure to take a peek at other participants blogs!

I had a hard time picking a photo for this theme because broken items happen to be one of my favorite subjects, so you’re getting a couple. Oh joy.

broken 3

Broken headstone

coin school - light shadows and broken windows

broken window

broken by the tree

another broken headstone

and I shall stop there 🙂

Song playing at the moment  I’ll Give You Sympathy – The Rascals

Springfield Cemetery in Photos

(originally from April 2008)

Spring and cemeteries go together like… well, popcorn and butter. So, we went wandering around Springfield National Cemetery.

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Pretty

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Low light

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Daffodil

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Being a yank, this was weird to see!

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I forget what these flowers are. Are they Magnolias, maybe?

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Unknown Soldier

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I still love this shot

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symmetry

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I had to climb on a crypt to get this shot – she’s a very tall statue!

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white

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pink

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I don’t know what these are, either

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Magnolia Ghosts

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fence

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Still love this one, too

And that’s all for now!

Fav song of the moment – “Pray For Me”- SIXX:A.M.

Old Family Photos



I finally got around to scanning some of the old family photos. There are 90 plus in my flickr now, and loads more to get to some day, but I’ll only bore you with a handful.

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the crevelings - ethel, addy, dunno, dunno, william, dunno, della, tommy.jpg

My Great-Great Grandparents Addie and William Creveling. My Great Grandmother Della is the blonde girl in the front row sitting between her father and one of her brothers. The girl on the far left in the back is June’s mother (the lady we visited in Arizona is June) This would be early 1900’s.

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ethel and harry poush c1910

June’s mother Ethel and her first child Harry circa 1910

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Della and Joseph Moffet on their wedding day, My Great Grandparents.

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June (the woman we went to visit in Arizona), My grandma Josephine Moffet and her sister Wanda (who was born dark skinned and had to take a blood test to prove she wasn’t black, how stupid is that?!?)

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Joe Moffet - ridgeway missouri.jpg

Great Grandpa Joseph Moffet in Ridgeway Missouri – 20’s or 30’s

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chester, garland and  charlie hensley.jpg

Chester, Garland and Charlie Hensley – these are the children of one of the other Creveling girls from what we can figure.

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mike and pat creveling and harry poush.jpg

Pat and Mike Creveling (Della’s younger brothers) and Harry Poush who is June’s older brother by her mom’s first husband.

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Charley Hensley – from WW2, he was killed on the boat and both of his brothers would have been too, except they had just passed the Sullivan law and moved them of the same ship.

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His brother Garland

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the mutchlers - vernie, lucille, crystal, beas, raymond, harry, pat, agnes, mike, marie, lee, joyce, dean .jpg

This is my Grandpa Mutchler’s family: Vernie, Lucile, Crystal, Beaze, My grandpa Raymond (in the gangster hat with the cigarette), his dad Harry, his Mother Agnes (the babies are Pat and Mike but dunno which is which) Marie with the doll, Lee, Joyce and Dean.

***

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William and Addie Creveling (incidentally this is the same Grandma who raised June after her mother died – at some point though she took off and went out west to stay with her father for a couple years and cam back finally with expensive clothes that she then never wore but kept in the closet)

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wanda ,della and josephine july 1942.jpg

Wanda (my Grandma’s sister) Della and my Grandma Josephine in 1942

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bobbi, pinky and tommy 2.jpg

Bobbi DeGerald and her kids Pinky and Tommy – she left her husband and came back to live with the family, but I’m not sure how she fits in. EDIT: I’ve since been told that her husband, Walter, died of pneumonia and that was when she came back. Thanks for the info!

***

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June in the TB sanitarium

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wanda n keith wedding.jpg

Wanda & Keith’s wedding (they have quite a tragic history – for some reason my family seems to have problems with being happy…)

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josephine moffet.jpg

My grandma Josephine again

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aunt dick - dorrel and garland's mom - and keith .jpg

“Aunt” Dick and Keith – Dick is Charley, Dorrel, Chester and Garland’s mom – she’s the one we think was a Creveling.

***

olen hensley, wanda, and  dorril hensley.jpg

Olen Hensley, Wanda and Dorrel Hensley (I believe Olen is the father of all the Hensley boys but not 100% sure)

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fred jenny freeman josephine bonnie raymond june mike theresa.jpg

Fred (June’s husband) Jenny, Freeman, My grandma Josephine, my mom (in the green tanktop), Grandpa, June, Uncle Mike and Theresa when June came for a visit when my mom was a teenager.

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No idea

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And again no one seems to know who this is, though they keep passing the photograph down. It is currently hanging in my living room.

***

So there you have it. Some nice antique photos. Fun. Fun.

Fav song of the moment – “No Easy Way Out”- Bullet for my Valentine

Photos: Arizona Artsy

(originally from January 2008)

 

My mother and I were invited to Arizona for a week to visit my cousins Theresa and June. It was the first time I was ever out of the midwest (not counting babyhood trips), as well as my first time on a plane. I went berserk documenting it and, though I won’t share all the photos, there are some fun ones.

Just some cool photos

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At the zoo

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Just one more….

Photos: Arizona Palm Trees

(originally from January 2008)

 

My mother and I were invited to Arizona for a week to visit my cousins Theresa and June. It was the first time I was ever out of the midwest (not counting babyhood trips), as well as my first time on a plane. I went berserk documenting it and, though I won’t share all the photos, there are some fun ones.

You knew it was coming. Okay, you should have. it’s… PALM TREES!!!

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This looks like desktop wallpaper to me

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Baby

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Date trees. I like dates. Especially when they pay. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, bad joke…

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Kinda squirrely looking

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The close up!

More tomorrow! (I see you jumping for joy!)

Photos: Phoenix Arizona

(originally from January 2008)

 

My mother and I were invited to Arizona for a week to visit my cousins Theresa and June. It was the first time I was ever out of the midwest (not counting babyhood trips), as well as my first time on a plane. I went berserk documenting it and, though I won’t share all the photos, there are some fun ones.

These are some random photos of Phoenix. Almost all were taken from a moving car, so it’s a testament to the kodak camera. Unless labeled, I have no idea what anything is.

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The University of Phoenix

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Baseball field

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The whole world looks like Taco Bell….

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I eat bagged dinners by these guys, now! 😉

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Just a cool retaining wall

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Cheap apartments

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Even McDonlads looks like Taco Bell

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Downtown Phoenix

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I love the palm trees…. or date trees… or whatever they are

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the picket fence amused me.

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How do these people find Taco Bell!?!? Seriously, even Pizza Hut looks like it!!! LOL! 

More tomorrow (aren’t you excited?!?)

Fav song of the moment – Angel – Within Temptation

Photos: Arizona Rawhide

(originally from January 2008)

 

My mother and I were invited to Arizona for a week to visit my cousins Theresa and June. It was the first time I was ever out of the midwest (not counting babyhood trips), as well as my first time on a plane. I went berserk documenting it and, though I won’t share all the photos, there are some fun ones.

On the second day we went to see Rawhide

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Wild Horse Pass

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Rawhide

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Just a cool tree

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heading over the bride (the people in the background are not us)

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The sign

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snifty map

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if anyone wants to know what I envision when people say the wild west, or even out west or western days, this is it!

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There was some cool stuff in here

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Buggy

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the street

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inside the General Store

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awesome tree

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heh-heh. i could use some of that!

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cannons

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There’s the mission, now where’s the shootout?

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roaming goats

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Oh! There’s the shoot out!

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so we went to see the show

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Like any good western most everyone ended up dead.

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alas, we must be going back to the ranch 😉 (heh-heh)

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shame this was closed

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Okay, first we stopped for lunch and….

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June got a crown!

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No. we did not try the rattlesnake, but nice to know we could have, I guess.

More pics tomorrow! Oh boy!

fav song of the moment – Closer – Lacuna Coil

A Belated Snow Post

What do you know, a new post, not just a recycled one!

Like the rest of the US, we got hit with a ridiculous snow storm the first week of February. I say ridiculous because I haven’t seen snow fall like that since… well, it’s been more than ten years ago and I was in Iowa at the time. Being the chronicler that I am, I felt the need to record the joyous beauty *cough*hack*annoying freezing-ness*cough* that has been February so far.

Walking the dog in the storm:

I tried to upload that one at the time, but alas internet issues meant no could do.

and if that isn’t snowy enough for you, then perhaps you’ll enjoy some….

 

drifts

Drifts

pickup

Betsy is disappearing! Oh no!

a mountain on the bbq

The snow is getting deep?!?!

the same view a little bit later

same view a little bit later

frozen tire tracks

tire tracks

chunk of ice and frozen snow from under the fluffy snow

a chunk of ice that was under the snow

churned

the snow has receded; the top of the five gallon bucket is now visible again

leftover leaves

leaves and grass

buried

like an ostridge

snowing

And it’s snowing. Again.

how deep the snow still is

This is how deep the snow still is in front of my house

cool

a bladed parking lot at sunset

blue enough to make your eyes bleed

Blue enough to make your eyes bleed

abstract

Looks abstract (it’s a dead weed over snow)

for want of a shovel

For want of a shovel a dustpan was lost

awesome snow texture

Awesome snow texture at sunset

sigh

it speaks for itself

There are lots more boring, snowy photos on my flickr – check the sidebar over there for a link (you may need to scroll) ——–>

And that wraps it up for me. This was pretty darn random, so no random thing.

song playing at the moment – “Want You More” – Crash Parallel (their new album is out! Go check it out!! It’s awesome!!)

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