The Couth Fairy

•June 28, 2015 • 29 Comments
Believe it or not, you don't have to work that hard to become one of these.

Believe it or not, you don’t have to work that hard to become one of these.

I don’t know about you, but I’m on a strict budget.

The money that comes in seems to be getting smaller compared to the money going out.

I’m no financial wizard, but I think this is called a recession, and it’s causing a depression in my bank account.

Yours, too, I bet.

Especially if you have children.

Little children.

Who need things.

Like food.

And expect things.

Like toys and money for their teeth when they fall out.


Oy vey! I was wondering when you would get to the point of this post. 


Nowadays, the greedy little brats, um, the darling little angels expect about $4.00 per tooth.

What? That's like $28.00 in dog money!

What? That’s like $28.00 per tooth in dog money!

I remember getting $0.10 for a regular tooth and $0.25 for a molar.

That means:

1. The Tooth Fairy only needed a normal coin belt for her nightly rounds, not a Brinks Security Truck.

2. I’m really old.

3. Something else, but I forgot because I’m really old.

Anyway, today’s parents and grandparents (let’s be realistic) simply can’t afford all these teeth falling out of all these toddlers hoping to spend their cash on the newest generation of something beginning with “i.”

Okay. When I was teething, my mom gave me a Milkbone. Yeah. a dog bone. I told you I was old.

Okay. When I was teething, my mom gave me a Milkbone. Yeah. a dog bone. I’m sure the parents of this babe will upgrade by the time these new teeth are ready to fall out.

Oh, who am I kidding, the parents/grandparents are going to buy those high-ticket items.

I say it’s time for the Tooth Fairy to retire.

Another fairy needs to take over nocturnal visits to your gap-toothed children. One who is a lot easier on the old wallet.

The time is ripe for the Couth Fairy to make her appearance. And I know where to find her.

She’s been sitting around for a long time and she’s just aching to get out and speak her fairy mind.

She's not your ordinary fairy.

She’s not your ordinary fairy. This pixie is posh.

Let’s give her a chance.

This is how she rolls:

1. She finds money barbaric. Instead, she leaves a note with a sweet suggestion on practicing gratitude or politeness folded on a clean surface beside the bed. If no such surface exists, she will place the note in the kitchen with an additional note about cleanliness.

2. She would never touch a bacteria-infested specimen from anyone’s mouth or risk touching hair. The mere thought gives her the vapors. Folded on your countertop will be recommendations for safe and environmentally clean ways to dispose of the enamel-encrusted biohazardous material.

3. As she flits about your home, she will leave notes on any decor or fashions she finds garish or crass. She can’t help herself.

4. All of her notes are on delicate parchment and written in perfectly legible cursive. No post-its. No printing. Heavens, no electronically communiques! Unimaginably uncivilized for a Couth Fairy.

What do you think?

Sure, at first your children/grandchildren might throw hissy-fits when they find suggestions about gratitude rather than the cool cash that their friends who have the uncouth, rich, afraid parents brag about getting for their fallen-out choppers.

But kids tend to have short attention spans.

And there are always medications.

For you, I mean. You have options.

Don't judge me. It's medicinal.

Don’t judge me. It’s medicinal.

Plus you have ideas for giving your home and wardrobe some culture.

For free!

What’s not to love about that?

Just give me the word and I’ll release the Couth Fairy on your casas (that’s “houses” in Spanish, but it rhymes with, well, you know…).

Get it?

Get it?

Oh, one more thing!

I’ll be persona non visabla around here for a while.

My mom, older sister and her husband are coming to visit. Coming from the soggy Northeast, they are looking forward to the hot and sunny Pacific Northwest.

Once again, I’m going to be a happy tourist, showing them the sites and won’t have time for blogging.

So, see you when I get back and recover from all the fun and sun.

Time will fly. It always does!

Time will fly. It always does!

Happy Independence Day (or whatever you happen to celebrate)!
Just celebrate something!




Lizzie Smiled

•June 25, 2015 • 64 Comments
Okay. This is an unfortunate oversight. What I'm talking about is way bigger than this.

Okay. This is an unfortunate and totally understandable oversight. What I’m talking about is way bigger than this.

I don’t know about you, but I feel misled.

That’s right.

The Pacific Northwest is supposed to be:

1. rainy

2. cool

3. rainy

4. damp

5. cloudy

6. wet

7. not hot

Have you seen a weather forecast for Oregon or Washington State for this weekend?

I didn't sign up for this!

I didn’t sign up for this!

My smart phone keeps giving me high heat warnings, and not because it (the smart phone) is having a power surge.

Apparently I moved to this area at the very same time that this area decided to become a freaking desert (not ever to be confused with dessert).

Unless you burn the smithereens out of your tasty dessert, then desert and dessert are easily confused...

Unless you burn the smithereens out of your tasty dessert, then desert and dessert are easily confused…

In case you didn’t know, I’ll tell you:

1. I am extremely (as in terribly, horribly, obnoxiously) light and sun sensitive.

I try to protect myself from the sun, but I simply prefer being out when the sun isn't.

Me when I’ve been outside for too long on a sunny day…I try to protect myself from the sun, but I simply prefer being out when the sun isn’t.

2. For some reason, my body has forgotten how to sweat, so when I get hot (and I do get hot), I get the symptoms of heat stroke rather than have moisture pop out of my pores.

3. If there are too many consecutive days of sunny weather (AKA “nice” or “beautiful” days), I get irritable, huffy, testy, cranky, surly, peevish, snappy, prickly, and generally cantankerous.

Okay. That’s off my chest.

It’s time for my weekly (weakly) submission for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction 100-word story.

The photograph that all the writers used to inspire their story was taken by Kent Bonham. Thanks, Kent!


My realistic fiction story comes in at exactly 99 words.

Lizzie Smiled

“I don’t like this place.”

“What’s not to like? It’s Paris. It’s almost midnight. And no chaperones!”

“Those are all reasons I don’t like this place.”

Mandy sighed. She loved her older sister, but, damn, Lizzie was such a burden since the “accident.”

“Come on, Lizzie. Mom spent big bucks on this vacation so we could have fun. She trusts us.”

“I don’t trust us.”

“I know. But I want to live a little…for once!”

Lizzie crossed her arms and looked up. “Get it back, Mandy.”

“That stinky garlic necklace doesn’t actually protect you. It looks ridiculous.”

Lizzie smiled.


I totally made this one up.

By the way, those two murderers who escaped are still on the lam. Where does this phase (“on the lam”) come from? Best I can tell, “lam” originates from some Norwegian word meaning “to beat until lame.” So the word came to be used as slang for “beating it” as in “beating it out of here.” Where did that phrase come from? Slang for the beating of the feet as people skedaddle away…

Yeah, that's how I imagine these fugitives are now that the Adirondack bugs have had their way them.

Yeah, that’s how I imagine those fugitives are feeling now that the Adirondack bugs have had their way them.

Enough of this. I need to find another place in the world more suitable for me to live in…

I know how you feel, Lorna. People judge us because we're timeless beauties who have it goin' on.

I know how you feel, Lorna. People judge us because we’re timeless beauties who have it goin’ on. And why are we such beauties? We avoid the sun.

Disclaimer: Except for the screenshot from my smart phone and the photo for the prompt (for which I gave credit), all photos were nabbed from Google Images for pure entertainment value.

Maybe it’s not the other driver you have to worry about…

•June 22, 2015 • 37 Comments
I'm glad someone thinks he's in charge.

I’m glad someone thinks he’s in charge.

Have you been on the roads lately?

Looks like the summer travel season is in full bloom.

Golly there are a lot of drivers, well, um…driving places, and in a hurry, too.

So I think it’s time for another PSA on how to be SAFE while driving.

I know. I know.

You know.

You’ve heard it before.

But do you do the things you’re supposed to do?


Do you not do the things you’re not supposed to do?

Okay, you got me.

Okay, you got me.


I thought so.

Well, I’m one of those drivers you may inadvertently swerve into and because I’m a Highly Sensitive Person, I don’t react well to surprises like that.

I’m apt to either overreact or freeze. Both of which will get both of us killed.

Or seriously late.

So here are some tips for YOU to follow as you head out for your family vacation.

I’m already a safe driver, unless you count that overreacting/freeze response thing when I get startled while driving…

1. Don’t text while driving even if you have a really big phone. One second of not paying attention at 65 miles per hour while driving is like 7 minutes of dog-trouble while your anxious pup is left home alone.

This cell phone's texts would be easy to read, but still not safe in the car.

This cell phone’s texts would be easy to read, but still not safe in the car.

2. Don’t fiddle with other gizmos in your car (GPS, sound system you’ve been meaning to figure out, electric seat controls, mirror ball, wet bar, whatever). Adjust, program, familiarize yourself with all necessary components before you put your car into “drive” and step on the gas.

3. Eat before or after you get behind the wheel…not during. You know you’re never going to let that french fry you dropped just sit there. You have to find it while you’re at maximum cruising speed and it’s still warm.

4. Don’t let your critters crawl all over you. Sure they want to. Yes, it’s cute. And it’s fun when it tickles. But it’s dangerous for everyone.

Need I say more?

Need I say more?

5. The rear view mirror is not for personal grooming. It’s for viewing what’s behind you, like traffic. Don’t use it to shave or put on make-up or look at yourself or talk to yourself. It’s just a bad idea.

Yeah. No. Don't do this, either.

Yeah. No. Don’t do this, either.

6. Try not to engage in any conversions that annoy, pester, or agitate you. If this means traveling alone and sending your family ahead via another form of transportation, so be it. At least everyone will be alive at the beginning of the vacation. An angry driver is an accident determined to happen.

7. Have a good idea of where you are going and how you plan to get there. If you know ahead of time that your GPS always takes you in the wrong direction, make sure you have plenty of time for side trips and backtracking. Make this part of the “adventure” rather than a source of stress. (See #6 about avoiding stress.)

8. Make sure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape. If you break down and cause a traffic jam on a major highway, the distress inside your car will be the least of your problems. Oh, and there’s the bodily harm issue (caused by any accidents from the breakdown and fights about the traffic jam). Just make sure you buy a new car before you travel.

See? I'm not feeling good about this whole adventure.

See? I’m not feeling good about the chances for this whole adventure ending well for anyone involved.

9. Secure all bottles and beverages so that they don’t spill or roll around. This is especially true for any open liquor bottles.

10. Don’t drive to the point of exhaustion. Sure, you want to reach your destination as quickly as possible so you can relax (hahahahahaha) with your family, but a sleepy driver is a sloppy driver. What am I saying? You’ll most likely have your family in the car! You’ll be wide awake from all the bickering quality time. Plus, you’ll be thinking about all the work that’ll be waiting for you when you get back from your vacation. That’ll keep you up all night.

So, have fun as you drive to your vacation destination.

Was that my exit? Don't tell me that was my exit! Freakin' GPS Lady! You're useless! And I really have to pee...

Was that my exit? Don’t tell me that was my exit! Freakin’ GPS Lady! You’re useless! And I really have to pee…

Just be safe so that drivers like me can rest assured that drivers like you won’t be swerving into me.

Because you know that if you aim your car at me, an accident will happen.

Let's get the heck out of here, Ralph, Lorna has finally lost her marbles.

Let’s get the heck out of here, Ralph, I’m feeling rather sensitive today and the traffic is getting heavy.

Because I’m a safe, but highly sensitive, driver.

What concerns do you have about driving/drivers/summer travel?



I Sent My Mom a Father’s Day Card

•June 19, 2015 • 18 Comments
Yeah. My dad left before he saw this daughter grow up to be a swinging somebody.

Yeah. My dad left before he saw his daughter grow up to be a swinging somebody.

My dad died when I was four.

Mom never found me another dad, so I was a girl looking for a father for a really long time.

TV dads were the only kind of dads I knew, and they were everything a girl could ask for: handsome, wise, good providers, stern but fair, and often funny. And, oh, they loved their kids. I wanted a dad like Beaver Cleaver’s or Opie Taylor’s dad; and I spent most of my life in search of the kind of father who only existed when the television was on and the reception was good.

TV dads were the best!

TV dads were the best!

My father wouldn’t have been a very good dad. He killed himself so mom could find somebody better, at least that’s what his suicide note said. He must have thought he wasn’t a very good father. But maybe he was a pretty good father in the protecting-his-family department. He protected us from him.

But that’s not what I wanted.

I wanted a father who was great in all departments. And so I started my search.

My grandfathers weren’t in the running because they were old and were already taken.

I didn’t have any brothers who could fill the job and my uncles had way too many kids of their own.

Sure, it's all smiles for the camera. But what happens when no one's looking. No thank you!

Sure, it’s all smiles for the camera. But what happens when no one’s looking. No thank you!


I had a 6th grade teacher, Mr. Bedard, who was a real possibility until I found out he was engaged to a woman who had a beehive hairdo and wore more make-up than Tammy Faye Bakker at a cosmetics convention. I figured my mom wasn’t his type.

My mom had a more, um, understated beauty.

My mom had a more, um, understated beauty.

When I was old enough to be noticed by boys, boyfriends provided a real possibility for father substitutes. My standards for a boyfriend were suspiciously similar the qualities of Sheriff Andy Taylor: tall, strong, dependable, exuding quiet authority, a good protector and provider, patient, funny and kind. That type of teenage boy was hard to come by, so I settled for a string of guys who thought I was pretty and who wanted to get in my pants.

When I was well into adulthood, I realized that my quest for a father was never necessary. My mom was both a mother and a father for my sisters and me. She may not have been particularly tall, but she was strong, courageous, exuded quiet authority, protected us and provided for us, was patient, generous and kind. She was a single mother when having a husband defined a woman.

And I thought I had it rough because I didn’t have a father. She didn’t have a husband.

Oddly enough, she never knew her father either. But that’s a story I told in a book I wrote called Never Turn Back

Cheers to you, Mom/Dad!

Cheers to you, Mom/Dad! You had one heck of a rough life, but you never let it get you down. Thanks for being the best parent and role model a daughter could hope to have.

I sent her a Father’s Day card and thanked her for her many years of double-duty.

The Best Real Estate Ad…Ever

•June 18, 2015 • 78 Comments
Sometimes you just never know what you're wandering into around here.

You just never know what you’re wandering into around here.

Ready for some more flashy fiction compliments of Rochelle and the Friday Fictioneers?

This week, the genre is historical fiction and the picture prompt is courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The woman can write and take pictures!


The Best Real Estate Ad…Ever

New Price! Motivated Seller!

Cleveland, Ohio. 4308 Franklin Blvd.

4 BD, 4.5 BA, 2,625 sq ft. 20-room historic sandstone Gothic castle built in 1860. One of a kind, rustic mansion with old world charm. Lots of character! Original everything! 1999 fire only adds to unique atmosphere and patina of wooden doors that close on their own! This is no drive-by listing. It’s a must-see property. A must-hear one, too! Listen carefully for babies crying. No babies. Just crying. It’s perfect for discouraging extended company.

Free pest control and exorcisms for one year.

$399,900 or best offer. Owner financing available.


This story (all 99 words) is inspired by one of America’s most famous haunted houses: Franklin Castle in Cleveland, Ohio.

It was built in 1881 for Hannes Tiedemann, an immigrant from Germany who made good in the US. Tiedemann may have gained significant wealth, but people, especially children, were dropping like dead bodies around him in his castle.

It is currently being subdivided for multiple occupancy. Makes sense. It is already occupied by several different souls already, right?

No, this is not the set for the Munsters. It's The real Franklin Castle in Ohio.

No, this is not the set for the Munsters. It’s The real Franklin Castle in Ohio. Maybe a color picture would have made the place look less spookier…

Do you believe in the paranormal? Do you believe in the normal? Think about that and let me know…


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