10/26/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

Where to begin, where to begin?

I’ve actually been shopping; in person, walking through some stores, touching merchandise and credit card machines and shopping carts. When I have my phone with me, I take pictures of the COVID-19 warning signs. I marvel that, not only are things so different than they were for all my life and my parents’ lives and their parents’ …adult lives, but things are now different by the week.

When in Wal-mart, use what you have. ©2020 Chel Owens

Take shopping at Costco, for example. Waaay back in March when we were going to quarantine for two weeks, I witnessed strict distancing measures, hoarding customers, and the removal of germ-spreading elements like samples or the food court. Months later, when I returned, they’d hung partitions at the registers and signs about shortages. Weeks after that, we all needed to wear masks and only so many people could enter. Still more weeks later, the food court options returned but the tables did not. Lately, they’ve been handing out samples again.

Look, but don’t touch. Definitely do not taste. ©2020 Chel Owens

You know -sort-of.

Like a delicate flower unfurling in springtime, restrictions are being lifted as we return to the way social life was for the past 100 years or so.

At least, that is how many are behaving. I read about people renting venues for their parties if such venues try closing, about parents sending nasty e-mails if their children’s schools want to close, and about how masking children will limit their breathing and cause staph infections on their faces.

On the other side of this divisive coin; I read about how wonderfully China is doing at containing their numbers and curing their people, about what certain politicians are not doing to stop anti-maskers, and about parents nobly keeping their children home (but also complaining about how they are being forced into the role of stay-at-home-mother by MEN).

Meanwhile, Utah’s case numbers are rising rising rising. Like, up to nearly 2,000 new daily cases on October 22.

You’d think that both sides could at least agree on that, but they probably wouldn’t agree on a turquoise shoe, gold dress, or whether they hear, “Yanrel.”

*sigh*

As a moderate, I see both sides. I feel both sides. I’ve even taken to debating a few of my Twofacebook friends over some issues -namely, that China HAS TO BE LYING about their numbers, that the governor of Utah can’t do much more than ask nicely, and that masks do not block oxygen intake and kill our children.

*sigh again*

The main problem, as I see it, is too much of a good idea. Not spreading germs is good; dressing everyone in a HazMat suit is a bit far. Socializing is important to mental health; ‘dancing’ at a crowded club is an idiotic thing to do. Limiting children’s spreading germs is good; hours and hours and hours on a computer is turning my children into crabby monsters.

We’re not ready to unfurl like a delicate flower unless we are willing to house those with adverse reactions to Coronavirus in our own stubborn homes. Likewise, we’re not taking reasonable steps when we treat each other like lepers and won’t even wave when greeted. Haven’t y’all heard of a Happy Medium?

Yep; you’ve released the political in me. In terms of actual news: Utah’s case numbers are terrible. Almost all of the public schools are doing an amazing job of keeping areas clean, tracing exposure, and enforcing the laws. People are participating in sports, dance, and other extracurricular events. Many employers that run computer-based businesses are allowing workers to remain home. I see pictures on my Twofacebook page of families taking vacations and of preparations for trick-or-treating for Halloween.

Ah, Halloween… maybe we’ll leave that political discussion for another time.

Remove your hats, hoods, sunglasses, and animals. Keep the mask. ©2020 Chel Owens

How are things looking in your neck of the woods?

©2020 Chel Owens

The ‘eadless Ratt’ler’s Back

Fire black and smoke all red, the sun shone ‘gainst the West.
Glint in eye an’ tale in head, Old Jack sized up his guests.
There warn’t much to impress ‘im ’bout the two who stared ‘im back:
City-boys, all barn and raised, with city-boy rucksacks.

“Ah’m tellin’ yuh, an’ ah don’ lie,” Jack told ’em, face set stern,
“You’d best watch out when sunset’s red, when sand feels like to burn.
“The ‘eadless ratt’ler’s comin’ out –Look! Behind yuh now!”
An’ shore enough, those tenderfoots, yelped like they’d jus’ learned how.

An’ Jack, jus’ laughed.
“Ah gotcha now!”

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

Told ’round a campfire for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt this week:

October 22, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a spooky tale told around a campfire. It doesn’t have to include the campfire; it can be the tale. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by October 26, 2020. Use the comment section [on the site] to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

The A Mused Poetry Contest 10/24 – 10/30/2020

It’s the week before Halloween here in the United States! Let’s look to amuse with some boo’s!

Here are the spooky specifics:

  1. Our Theme is What’s behind the mask? Did two socially-distanced first-daters face a nasty surprise? Perhaps the Phantom of the Opera revealed an embarrassing birthmark? You decide, and you write a poem about it!
  2. Keep the Length manageable, at between 3 and 153 words.
  3. Rhyme if your crystal ball tells you to, but don’t if it’s not in the cards.
  4. There’s no need for tricks regarding Rating. You can scare your victims readers and keep things clean.
  5. However you choose to cast your spell, my dear, ensure your Halloween brew is brimming with humor.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (October 30) to submit a poem.

Use the magic form, below, to remain anonymous for a week.

Otherwise, include your spellbook poem or a link to it in the comments. Drop a comment or conjuring crystal if your link-back doesn’t show up by midnight of when you cast it.

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Happy haunting!

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Photo by Ariza Chrisananda on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 10/23/2020

Phew! What a challenge! This week, poets needed to compose a diamante about a diamond-seeker; a swindler; a gold-digger. When I wrote up the prompt, I didn’t consider how DIFFICULT answering it might be. So, understandably, these entries were more clever and interesting than they were humorous.

But, the winner is:

Untitled, by Teleportingweena
gold
shiny rich
dig find shout
pan stream nugget money
hop skip jump
heavy metal
miner

Congratulations, Weena! You are the funniest poet for the week! I found this poem so entertaining because you answered the prompt literally. Very funny idea.

You’d do yourself a disservice to not read all the fabulous entries. Here they are:

Untitled, by Richmond Road
Morning
Soft Sweet
Waking Shaking Beginning
Birds Bees Flowers Trees
Breathtaking Remaking Forgiving
Victorious Glorious
Day

Untitled, by Ruth Blogs Here
User
Needy, greedy
Desires, conspires, covets
Meal-ticket gold-digger
Pretends, discards, repeats
Serially, imperiously
Fake

The greedy gold-digger, by Hobbo
woman
calculating, opportunistic
searches, researches, discovers
partner, mansion, yacht, diamonds
tricked, duped, imprisoned
handsome, undercover
cop

Untitled, by D. Wallace Peach
Youth
Luxurious addictive
Fawning fooling pleasing
Days week years boredom
Reconsidered discarded replaced
Younger other
Woman

Untitled, by D. Wallace Peach
Diamonds
Brilliant dangling
Tantalize beguile enthrall
Avarice dreams luxury ease
entrapped hooked convinced
blinding, devious
paste

Untitled, by D. Wallace Peach
Dwarves
Bearded snoring
Picking shoveling boring
White laundry stitch seams
Cooks cleans dreams
Sweet deadly
Liberty

Untitled, by Willowdot
Thomas
Lythe, handsome
Pleasing, flattering, dancing
Money, diamonds, bedroom, cars.
Coaxing, grabbing, ageing
Arthritic, Madame.

Untitled, by Deb Whittam
Freedom
Dazzling, Ambitious
Cunning, Conniving, Calculating
Locks open, Doors close
Seizing, Capturing, Arresting
Helpless, Defeated
Imprisonment

Untitled, by The Bag Lady
Slick
Sneaky smooth
Dancing, prancing, prowling
Man, prince, knight, nobleman
Entice, envelop, engage
Active, alluring
Playboy

Untitled, by Teleportingweena
Janie
Flashy Schemer
Flirt Swish Smooch
Shoes Jewels Clothes Money
Twirl Smile Wink
Coquettish Digger
Gold

Everyone Owes Them?, by Larry Trasciatti
Victims
Entitled Deceptive
Blaming Expecting Resenting
Sheep Sheepdog Wolf Poison
Crying Brainwashing Rewriting Terrorizing
Insatiable Obsessed
Unhappiness

Untitled, by LSS Attitude of Gratitude
Gold-digger
Sultry, Fake
Lying, Cheating, Scheming
Seductress, Jezebel, , Partner, Confidant
Caring, Loving, Holding
Honest, Charming
Soulmate

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Photo by emre keshavarz on Pexels.com

Thanks for playing!! Return tomorrow for next week’s prompt.

TPWeena, here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!

©2020 The poets, and their respective works

Saint John City, Part 2

Continued from Part 1

Ida stood, concern threatening to cloud her brow. She looked from floor to fridges to open aisle. Here, at the back of McClintock’s Mercantile, she attempted to gather her wits. At the least, she attempted to appear unaffected while those un-gathered wits felt completely unraveled.

Calm down. Calm. Down. Inhaling through her nose and exhaling with a soft whistle out through her mouth, she talked herself through a tempting panic. She, the great Ida Layton, could handle anything. She could certainly handle a person disappearing; Petey had to have gone somewhere.

She walked coolly forward. She studied a Get Well Soon card, its flowers a yellow and green shadow of what they once were. She turned the display this way and that, but a creaking spin was her only reward.

Returning the card and pursing her lips in an innocent expression of perusal, she stepped along the back wall. Bob had inherited the place from his father, and his father before him, and a cousin before him, and -rumor had it- that cousin’s mother before him. The shelves along the back betrayed the store’s age, sagging at their splintering plaster. Wisely, Bob set lightweight merchandise on these. No matter how casually she scrutinized them, however, Ida saw no evidence that the seed packets, balloons, tissue paper, or ladies’ hosiery had been disturbed. No fingerprints in the dust. No dislodged packages. Nothing.

She came to the furthermost corner. For a place of business so brightly lit and immaculately clean, the store’s back corner appeared dark and cluttered. When she glanced up, she noticed no light nor security camera. Odd, she thought.

Glancing down the aisles, she heard snatches of Bob and Sue attempting a conversation with old Mrs. Benjamin Wilson. Ida turned back to the task at hand. Her hands shook in excitement. She pushed aside a barrel-shaped display advertising Pepsi-Cola. She stepped over an old janitorial mop and bucket. At the back, she faced a cardboard cutout of some long-lost athlete with hand raised in greeting.

There, beneath the athlete’s armpit, shone the dim, straight outline of a doorframe.

Photo by Louis on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

A New Day

Back and forth. In and out. Sun to down. Winter to winter, for thirty years.

The children changed. The house aged. The horses and cows and chickens and that mean old goat -all ended up at slaughter; to be replaced by horses, cows, chickens -but no more goats. For thirty years.

She stood while the priest spoke about the dark shadow she’d known for so very long. This and that. Bless his soul. Rest in peace.

Veiled and black. Grey and old. No more back or forth, in or out, sun to down. Clouds clearing, she smelled the spring.

Photo by Ellie Burgin on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

Awakened in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt this week:

October 15, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about chores. It doesn’t have to be a western ranch chore; it can be any routine task. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by October 20, 2020. Use the comment section [on the site], read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

The A Mused Poetry Contest 10/17 – 10/23/2020

Welcome, one and all, to the A Mused Poetry Contest! Come, tickle your funny bone or leave us in stitches!

Here are the instructions for this week:

  1. The Theme is a Diamante poem about gold-diggers. Get it? Diamante is like diamonds? …Tell me you got it.
  2. I just learned about this poetic form from snooping around Ruth’s blog. Apparently, it’s a very easy, straightforward poem of sixteen words. You can write a synonym diamante or an antonym diamante. The words form a diamond, in the pattern of:

Noun
Adjective, Adjective
Verb, Verb, Verb
Noun, Noun, Noun, Noun
Verb, Verb, Verb
Adjective, Adjective
Noun

  1. This form does not Rhyme, but you can if you really, really want to.
  2. Keep the Rating PG or cleaner. I mean, why not?
  3. However you form it, make us laugh. Make us feel for the gold-digger, for his/her target, or for the gold that was dug.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (October 23) to submit a poem.

Use the form below to stay anonymous for a week.

Otherwise, for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Drop a comment if you try to link back and it doesn’t show up within a day.

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Indulge yourselves!

Photo by emre keshavarz on Pexels.com. Never trust the man bun.

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©2020 Chel Owens