Sunday Share Emotions

livingroom1

Nevermind the boys in their PJ with their Easter baskets. Here’s what our living room used to look like.

Good morning! Now that I’m back on track with blogging, I’m a bit disappointed. No one came looking for me. No one missed me. I guess 3 days absence wasn’t very long though. I’ll forgive you. While you were waiting for my return I was busy flipping our living room. It was this greyish-brownish-beigeish color (bout the color of beach sand, which is where I spent 2 days, though not consecutively) with a hand-me-down couch and chair of a similar color. And a hamster table in the corner where the boys are standing in that top picture.

Now looky…

living room

All In A Dad’s Work
Challenged…

Confessions
Love…

Koumba Orsi
Fear…

Memoirs of the Quiet
Frustration…

Revisions of Grandeur
Compassion…

Cher Trudy
Pride…

 

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As a teacher on summer break, I have no “Monday”

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The Beginning

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Photo Prompt © Janet Webb

Read chapter 25 or start from the beginning

Chapter 26

Outside the courthouse, I could hear the rain pounding. My lawyer said parking lots were flooded.

Inside the courthouse, my handcuffs were as cold and hard as the rain outside. I sat before the judge, ready for my verdict.

“I hearby declare the defendant not guilty in the murder of Dempsey Baynart.”

My restraints were removed and I bolted from the courtroom. Brogan’s face lit, his arms wide as he leaped from Ione’s lap and into my arms.

“Mommy’s secret worked.”

“It did, buddy. He thought that big baby doll was you”

Ione approached me smiling. “Let’s get back to Nova Scotia, shall we?”

I couldn’t wait.


Not to be continued…

I hope you liked the journey. This is the last chapter of this series. It ran for 26 chapters. I highly encourage you to start at the beginning. Our character had quite an adventure. This was a fun challenge I posed to myself. Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting these photo prompts. I will continue to write my Saturday prompts, they just won’t be connected. A HUGE thanks to all who have been following!

 

What We’d Say to the World, in 6 Words

Say it to the world! (But keep it to 6 words please)

6 words speaking lede Stormtrooper takes a ride on Triceratops at the Smithsonian

I know, I know.

6 words graphicI heard about Pippa. Another one bites the dust. It’s why I keep extras in the Crush Bin. You never know when one’ll haul off and get engaged on you. Everyone from Summer Sanders to Paula Creamer to Cher Lloyd to Lizzy O’Leary to Elizabeth Davis to … well, you see what I’m dealing with.

I mentioned Pippa – she of royalty and extraordinary physical gifts – in my email to y’all about this month’s six words prompt.

Every month, I compile a post called 6 words. Ernest Hemingway inspired it. He claimed any story can be told in six words. No more, no less. I turn to bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends with a prompt, to respond to in six words.

View original post 674 more words

Good Morning Rain

It’s raining. I don’t mind it. Fresh, cool breeze wafting in the windows. The pitter patter of drops on the driveway and trees. Kids in the basement supposed to be cleaning up their toys but singing and playing instead.

I’m now on day three with no Coke. Chances are good I’ll have to start over tomorrow. We’re going to supper at Nanny and Pop’s house tonight and I love to have one with supper there. Almost three whole days without one ain’t bad.

Speaking of numbers,  have you looked at your stats page recently? If you’re like me, you check that page before clicking the notification bell. Right? How many views am I up to? How many visitors? Did anyone click my links? And my favorite, what weird search terms brought people to my blog? This month is was “thank you in south africa” from when I thanked South Africa for sending 300 firefighters to help battle the blaze in Alberta. The other was “prayer for dad coached” which should have led them to a guest post by none other than Eli, the Coach Daddy himself.

If you’re not watching your stats page, you aren’t blogging right. You’re not reaching your full potential. As long as you use your stats page correctly, you’ll find success. They aren’t just random numbers generated by WP. They are insightful reasons explaining why a post, or your blog in general, isn’t as popular as you would like it to be.

In this world, the one with the most is often the winner. Unless you have the most bowel movements or the most nose hair. We all want to be that blogger with the most followers or the most views or the most visitors. What’s the point of writing and publishing it online to the world if no one’s going to read it?

Those numbers, though a bit of detective work might be required, can tell you how you’re performing. If you see a post that does well, look at the reasons. When was it published? What tags did you include? Did you get more traffic from google than usual? What referrers brought people to your blog? It’s all on the stats page.

Confession: I don’t believe any part of this. Really. This is all hogwash. The stat are nice and they can be useful sometimes. But they don’t take into account that it’s summer vacation and not many are reading blogs at this time of year. They don’t take into account how well you write. They don’t take into account the audience you’re trying reach. There are so many subjective matters that can’t be measured when blogging. Like right now my stats page says that Thursday mornings are the most popular. You know why? Everyone loves to hear Crash and Bang explain their world in “Questions I Asked My Kids” episodes. And since I don’t post at regular times (I post when I get a chance to write) that stat changes more than I change my underwear.

The stats page is fun, don’t mistake me on that one. I enjoy seeing which posts do well, which ones bring the views and the likes and the comments. They subtly inform me when I need to get out to read and comment on more blogs (aka build community). I can’t expect people to come to me if I don’t tell anyone I’m here. That would be the equivalent of playing hide and seek without telling anyone you’re hiding!

So today’s piece of advice…

Use your stats page to guide your progress, but don’t let it be the only tool you use to measure.

Then hop over here and sign up for the Taboo Word Blogging Challenge!
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Good Morning Sunshine

How do you take your coffee? Or perhaps you prefer tea? Or orange juice? Or maybe just water? I’d like a Coke, but I’m on day two of cessation. So far no caffeine withdraw headache. But I’d still really like one.

I was hoping this morning’s run would summon my idea pallet. No summoning happened. Instead it was a quiet, foggy four miles with Crash cycling beside me. We set a goal of 34 minutes and beat it by 10 seconds. But it was never about the numbers. The scenery was picture worthy, but we were so enraptured by the it that I didn’t even think of it. I usually do my best brainstorming during my runs. This morning my brain was as quiet as Mother Nature. I was wracking my brain for some kind of juicy, meat and potatoes, awe inspiring post.

Sorry, this isn’t it.

The best words of wisdom I can come up with at the moment is

Nevermind the numbers.

What if your blog received one view every single day? No more, no less. Well, maybe less. Would you still write? Would you write differently?

Would I write differently? I’ve made my blog mostly about being a dad. Which, when I look back at previous posts, really isn’t any different than being a mom. Or perhaps I just write about being a dad like a mom would. With the exception of childbirth and breastfeeding, they’re nearly identical positions. While I wouldn’t mind the breastfeeding aspect, child birthing isn’t for me.

I think and I say I wouldn’t write differently if I didn’t get the views. But deep down inside, I think I would cater to my readers. If that one view was always from my “Month in Review” post, I would write more reviews. I would provide more stats than the MLB. If it was my short stories that garnered the view I would join more photo prompt clubs.

I know parenting (mostly) and I know humor (mostly) and I know writing from the heart (mostly). Writing what you mean and meaning what you say is more important than the numbers. Especially if you’re professing your love of pigeons. Crash’s posts get 5-15 views each time he blogs. He still asks to write posts. He’s working on his next draft at this very moment.  He also sees that I get 50+ views and he thinks he isn’t getting enough. I see others getting 100+ and I think I’m not getting enough. I’m sure those 100+ people see others getting 200+, 500+ or 1,000+ views and think they’re not getting enough. What would be “enough”?

We write anyway. We parent anyway.

So my advice today is ignore the numbers. Whether you’re blogging and hoping to become “popular” or you’re running and hoping become “fast” or parenting and hoping to “survive” ignore the numbers and do what you love to do. Do what you do best. Do what is best for you, your blog, your kids, your whatever.

Just do.

just do

And while your at, please join us for a new, fun blogging challenge.

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Sunday Share 7/24

Taboo Word Challenge
Shameless plug here. I’m hosting an easy blogging challenge and a chance for you to meet and get met by great bloggers. It starts September 1st. Thanks to the five who have joined already!

Kippers and Curtains
I was looking for this post a couple weeks ago. I found it! Enjoy the colors!

Faraday’s Candle
This stuff is amazing with what it can do with water!

Smorgasbord
How flexible is your tongue? I’m going to get Crash to read this on camera. Should be good for a few laughs!

Iron Mommi
Just another day? I think not…

Coach Daddy
Finding common ground in a crazy mixed up world

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The End

boat NY

Photo © Jan Wayne Fields

Read chapter 24 or start from the beginning

Reflecting, boating into NY, I was still shaking, nauseous, sweating.

It had been just the three of us on the farm.

“Give me Brogan.”

“If I don’t?”

The gun he pulled was answer enough.

I responded, pulling out a small silver switch box. “The car’s rigged, Dempsey. If I’m dead anyway, he’s better off with me than you.”

He moved toward the car when saw Brogan’s silhouette. “STOP!” I hollered. “You’re not getting him!”

“Stupid, bitch. Yes, I am.”

I flipped the switch. The explosion rocked my world. He turned the gun towards me. I flung myself at him. We landed hard on the ground. A second explosion rang in my ears. Dempsey’s body, limp atop me, muffled all other sounds.


Read chapter 26

This is a continuation of an experiment. Each week there is a 100 word short story photo prompt challenge posed by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. My challenge to myself is to connect these photos into one seamless story. I hope you have enjoyed the stories. It’s been fun trying to connect these stories. This certainly wasn’t the ending I was expecting to reach when I started this challenge. Thanks, Rochelle, for providing the catalyst for creation!

 

Go Ask Your Father: Blogging, Pigeons, Orange Balls and Slowness

We’re into the full swing of summer now. Well, unless you’re part of my harem who lives in Australia or South Africa or anywhere else south of Earth’s midriff. The kids have been home for a month now. I hope no one has gone to the beautiful, sandy beaches to drown the children who have been more abrasive than sand in your hoo-ha. Or taken a relaxing walk through serene forest in hopes they get eaten by a bear. Or just hung them from the clothesline to earn a few minutes peace and quiet. Hang in there. We’re not even half way through yet!

*Disclaimer: I’m only joking. I love my kids dearly and would never do anything to bring them harm. Piss them off, yes. But not harm them.

Can I write a blog?

crash74Of course you can, Crash74. But you’ll have to write it on paper first. I know it’s not fair. I know I just type mine without writing it first. You need to practice your printing though. Sometimes you can’t even read your own writing. So get your post written nice and neat and then you can type it on your blog. We’ll edit and fix your mistakes before you push that blue publish button (use one space after a period). I wish I had someone edit my posts before I decided to publish so quickly. Your first two posts were fun! Keep it up! By the way, he took the picture and made it his profile picture entirely on his own.

Do pigeons bite?

DW and I took the boys to listen to some live music down at the waterfront. One of the guys in the band grew up with DW’s brother, so they go way back. While we were there the boys pigeon_png3423discovered a determined pigeon. This pigeon’s determination ranks up there Rocky Balboa’s when he was in training for his fight against Apollo. This pigeon was collecting crumbs from the BBQs that had be held there for the past couple days. Oh, and the beer bash that took place the night before. Drunk people apparently drop tons of food. This pigeon would run away from the boys, but not before letting them get within inches of it. I think they even petted its back once. Having a bird of our own (a Quaker Parrot) the boys know birds bite. However, a pigeon’s bite isn’t so fearsome. While they do bite, it’s more of a sharp poke compared to the flesh piercing bite Piper dishes out. Had the waterfront pigeon bitten them they would have known it, but they would have been okay.

What are the orange balls on the wires for? 

That’s how you know the wires are males – they have balls. They’re big balls, too, weighing roughly seventeen pounds. Imagine those cajones. If yours are orange, though, you might want to see a doctor. The balls on the lines are orange so they are easily visible to low flying aircraft like small planes and helicopters. It also makes them more visible to birds. Other forms of increasing power line visibility include coils and hanging markers. They work much the same way as putting stickers on windows makes them more visible and thereby reduces the number of collisions. After all, the birds were here first.

 

Why does she have to go slow? She’ not allowed to run!

This question came from the smallest curious monkey. Nanny had just gotten home from the hospital that day. She’d had a surgery that they estimated to have a 5-6 recovery time. She ended up needing a second surgery. She also ended up being in for six weeks. She was relaxing in her rocker with her feet up on a stool. When she got up it was in slow motion and Bang wasn’t used to her moving that slow. Granted, Nanny doesn’t move quite like Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, but she gets to where she needs to go. We explained “Nanny just got home from the hospital and having two surgeries so she’s still a little sore.” “Oh.” he replied. “She’s not allowed to run!”

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PS. If you’re interested in a new blog challenge, check this one out. It’s bound to be a dandy!

Sharing is Caring: Let Me Share Your Post!

Get added to Dream Big’s “Featured Bloggers!

Dream Big, Dream Often

Sharin is caring

It is time for a brand new share link!  Take a few moments and leave me the link to your favorite and/or newest post and I will add you to the Featured Bloggers segment that publishes each night at 6 pm est.

You can leave more than one link, but I like to have a steady flow of new and different bloggers so I might not publish every link.

Anywho, help me, help you!  Leave your links in the comments.

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Science Questions I Asked My Kids

I’m going to tell this baseball story here. It was already on the radio, but I don’t think y’all listen to the the same radio station that I do.

Crash had a ball game last Monday and his coach sent another Dad and I a message asking if we’d coach in their place because they wouldn’t be able to make it. We’ve both played ball before. We have both coached before. We were confident we could this.

Anyway, the game was going well, albeit very slowly. Our pitcher was having a tough inning in the 3rd (it took an hour and half to get this far). Bad innings happen at any level. We certainly weren’t blaming him. The inning ended and our pitcher was mad, upset, near tears. The other Dad Coach did his coach thing and gave him a pep talk to channel his anger toward the ball during his next at bat.

So he gets up to bat and what does he do? He NAILS it. The ball goes sailing over the center fielder’s head! Did I mention the bases were loaded? He rounds first and Coach sends him to second. He rounds second and we’re all yelling “GO!” He rounds third and I wave him home. GRAND SLAM! However, in Mosquito League baseball there is a five run rule so only one run counted. But still… it was a grand slam! So what if we ended up losing the game by one run.

1. How do the automatic doors at the grocery store know when to open?

Crash: They have sensors above them and when they see you, they open.
Bang: There’s a camera inside the door and when the camera sees them they open.

2. Why do we have to brush our teeth?

Crash: So that we don’t get rotten teeth and cavities and get a needle and wooden teeth like George Washington.
Bang: So we don’t get gunks because the gunks make cavities.

3. Why is there a tornado when the water goes down the bathtub drain?

Crash: Because the water goes around in circles and then goes down.
Bang: It sucks all the things in and makes picture of a tornado.

4. Why are some eggs brown and some eggs white?

Crash: It’s the type of chicken.
Bang: The white ones are fresh and the brown ones are rotten, poopy eggs.

5. Where does the sun go at night?

Crash: Behind us, like behind the other side of the Earth. So when it’s night for our side it’s day for the other side.
Bang: Over far far far away to Canada.

6. How far away are stars?

Crash: Very. 56.7 million miles away.
Bang: thirteen thousand one thousand eighteen thousand miles away.

7. Why do we have to go to sleep?

Crash: So we don’t konk out in the middle of the day.
Bang: We’re hamsters and we have to sleep in the morning

8. Why are worms good for the garden?

Crash: They eat the soil and then poop and their poop is good for the plants.
Bang: They turn the compost into dirt.

9. Why do cows moo?

Crash: That’s how they communicate.
Bang: When they milk they moo.

10. Where do puddles go after it rains?

Crash: They dry up. They go underground. And if rains on plants it goes away almost instantly because the roots drink it up.
Bang: They get sucked into the sun and it makes night time.

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If you’re interested in a new blogging challenge, click here!