The Project

I’ve decided to try the 50 Word Thursday Challenge #31, offered this week at Tales from the mind of Kristian.

You are to write a picture to go with the following image. Your story must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50 word increments. (so 50, 100, 150, 200 or 250 words). Mine is exactly 200. And you must use the following line in your story:
“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

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THE PROJECT

“Can’t you just see it?”

“Nope. Nope. Never.”

“Hey, where’s your fighting spirit? This site would be perfect.”

“Do you have any idea how much opposition we’d face?”

“It may not be as bad as you think. Listen, Ashton, if you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”

“And moving all these graves… We can’t just pave over them. The descendants will howl.”

“I don’t know about that. People are tired of this old mess — they’d be delighted to see something attractive. We’ll set the stones along one edge and this can be the new Fifth Street Park.”

“Well, that’s one option… And the church would be easy enough to knock down. Someone’ll be delighted to salvage the beams and windows.”

“Now you’re talking. I’m positive that if we offer the City Council a high-rise hotel here, stressing the revenue potential, and throw the promise of a park, they’ll get on board.”

“Okay. I’ll draw up a plan and get an architect’s rendering to present. But you’re the spokesman for this project, Lance. You deal with hostile descendants, reporters, and feisty seniors from the Historic Preservation Society threatening us with their brollies.”

Empty Nesters Again

Good afternoon — or whatever time of day it is as you read this note. The storms and cold a few days ago have passed again and we’re enjoying a lovely summer afternoon. Crops and gardens are soaking up the sunshine; having soaked up last week’s rain they’re growing abundantly.

Last Thursday the last of our sheltered nestlings discovered the wonders of the wide world outside their cozy home. These are the barn swallow babies which have grown up in our garage. (It’s open along the top sides when the rafters join the sides walls, lacking the siding and finishing touches. (Next big project.)

I didn’t notice their nest until it was built, and since barn swallows are a threatened species and it’s against the law to tear down a nest finished and in use, I spread old vinyl tablecloths under it, parked outside, and left them be. They’re with us such a short time.

Four eggs hatched. Sadly, one baby fell to its death, but the other three are vigorous and are out exploring the yard as I write this. Now we can reclaim our garage while they devour the mosquitoes whose bites have given me red lumps and so much torment this summer. I’ve had some pretty severe reactions after being outdoors this summer, though I’m not sure if it was always mosquitoes or some other tiny creature.

For the past couple of months WordPress has been notifying me that my domain Christine Composes is about to expire and I should renew it. Like my original poetry blog, Swallow in the Wind, it was a neat name for the time, but I’ve decided to just let it go.

The only glitch might be that some of you may be subscribed to that domain name and been automatically switched to this site when I moved. If you stop getting my blog posts after August 13th, please resubscribe to christinegoodnough.com.

As I said, I brought several sites together here and am not sure how each reader will be affected, but I plan to post something every morning for the next couple of weeks so you can be sure that you’re still subscribed.

Wishing you all the best!

I Saw Myself

I haven’t done any writing prompts for awhile, but when I read this one — Prosery #2 at dverse poets — it connected in my mind with one character in a story I just finished, and also called to mind a real-life situation I once observed. Sadly, some people just can’t be loved out of their bitterness.

So I’m going to try working “I dreamt I was the moon” into a 144-word story.

I Saw Myself

I saw myself as the sun, drawing you into the light. I dreamt I was the moon, touching your emotions, awakening your desire to love. I imagined myself your guiding star toward a richer life.

I believed all your excuses, furious with those who’d wronged you. But instead of drawing you into the sunshine I was sucked into your gloom, not understanding how impenetrable — how willful — your darkness.

Hooked on you, I gave and gave…until our relationship broke me and I became just another burnt-out star in your black hole. I never foresaw the pain, the frustration…or that you’d leave so much darkness in me.

My father says, “Good thing he’s finally gone.” My mother sighs. “Now maybe you can start enjoying life.”

But I’ve been in the darkness for so long; it may take ages for my light to brighten again.

Down With Updates; Up With Golf

This afternoon I spent half an hour looking through a book of quotations that would say something along the lines of, “Stop changing things!” Or maybe something about curiosity scrambling success.

Hmmm… hasn’t that been done? I don’t know who said it, but I definitely agree with: “The cause of problems is solutions.”

You see, I was setting up a post, scheduling it for tomorrow morning. And the “Justify” is gone now from my tool bar. If I edit a published post, I can justify it, but not when I’m done the initially writing. Son I’ve posted this and then done the EDIT to justify it. 😦

Used to be, when I clicked onto my blog, I could hit the My Sites at the upper left-hand corner and the drop-down menu would give the choice of Posts > Write New. Since the newest system update, I have to click on My Sites, which takes me to Stats, where there’s no Posts option. So I go to the bottom and click on Site Admin, which brings the main Site Administration menu, where I choose Posts, and then get the choice of All Posts or Add New.

Hunting through my book of famous quotes, I came across this one by Douglas Rushkoff, which resonated with me at the moment:
“We are looking at a society increasingly dependent on machines, yet decreasingly capable of making or even using them effectively.”

Anyway, I did go ahead and write my post, and wondered if the “new Block Editor” might have a display that included Justify. (Now we need the quote about the danger of curiosity.) The new Editor has no buttons to do anything. The text is considered a block and that’s that. I wanted to insert a picture and can’t. It goes in its own block.

I’m sure there are writers who find this much improved over the system we’ve been using, but not me. I found this new Block Editor a pain — but how do I get back to the old familiar “Classic Editor”? I tried this and that, had about decided this was the end of my blogging life, but finally did figure out how to reverse the thing and go back to the old. So I did gain some knowledge through all this.

As Voltaire so aptly said it:
“One always begins with the simple, then comes the complex — and by superior enlightenment one often reverts in the end to the simple. Such is the course of human intelligence.”

And I’m hoping WordPress will go back to the simple one-click-on-the-side-menu for doing new posts.

I did come across a quote from Clint Eastwood, and maybe it’s the best advice for update-resistant sorts like me?
“When you’re not interested in trying new things, that’s when you should start hitting golf balls.”

Well, golf would be a completely new game for me and I might have trouble understanding birdies from bogeys. However, I’ve played croquet before and golf can’t be that much harder, right? You just hit a ball, eh?

Wednesday Morning Hello

Good morning dear friends everywhere!

I have neglected my blog for several weeks now, being occupied with digging up roots both literal and figurative. Now it’s time to give this site a fresh look and get back to regular blogging, much as summer days will allow.

Two weeks ago I finished planting my large outdoor pots and they are all abloom now. I also finished digging the quack grass out of my flowerbed and planted most of it. In my digging I discovered a bunch of iris corms surviving in the quack grass; I’ve stuck a few of those back in among the bedding plants. Though I really don’t really want them there, I hate to throw them away. I’d love to have oodles of flowers and bright blossoms everywhere, if only I had the time to look after it all.

The day I finished the main planting we got a nice shower, breaking our long drought, and we’ve been blessed by a few showers and one good rain since. The countryside is a lush green now, so good to see! Tiny weeds are popping up in my newly dug flowerbed — as one might expect.

The birds are singing from the trees all around us and a few have moved into the bird houses we have put up around the place. I really love our location here, right beside the woods! The windbreak trees planted before our time and the ones we planted when we moved here in Oct 2007 have all grown and branched out, giving us a nicely shaded yard.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been digging into family tree roots, discovering a few new things and verifying facts I already knew. Through birth, marriage, and census records I’ve followed the families of several great uncles, brothers of great-grandfather Sam, from Ontario to wherever else they’ve settled. Discovered the roots of great-great grandfather John Falconer and Jemimah Lyons over in Scotland, found out how they both came to Pennsylvania and married there, then went out to “the territories” to farm.

I tell people it’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. I work each group and section by itself and finally they’ll all come together to make my Vance & Harmon family history.

Sometimes it wants to depress me, seeing all this “born…lived…died.” However, this is life on planet Earth — I’m just travelling through. So I’ve re-resolved to spend my time carefully, choose the activities I enjoy, enjoy the work I must do — and get rid of the clutter.

I was to the Cancer Clinic at the end of May and learned that my white counts are all staying in the normal range, nothing to be alarmed about, no sign of leukemia. Something to be really thankful for!

I hope you are all enjoying the seasons you have, dear readers. If you’re travelling on holidays, I wish you a safe journey. I know some of you are coping with various health issues and wish you courage to cope. And I’m wishing all of you a special touch of God’s grace today.