Saguaro ‘N Seek

Pal spat into the wind, instantly regretting he’d done so. “Ware be Kid?” he growled as he wiped his face.

“Ware be you?” the wind answered.

Pal whipped around. He slid off the rocky outcropping he’d carefully climbed and scooted across just a few minutes before. His gun flew after him, landing stock first into a Saguaro and shooting its contents sky-high.

“Hey!” yelped the cactus, falling over.

Pal squinted. “Kid?”

“Nah, yer gramma.”

Pal laughed. “Welp,” he said, standing and walking over to his dusty, cactus-clad friend. “I guess you won this here round o’ hide ‘n seek.”

Photo by Sini on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

I’m sure D. Avery would object to playing games in the desert, but this came about ‘cuz o’ Carrot Ranch‘s prompt:

October 1, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that happens on the dusty trail. It can take place anywhere. Who is your character, where are they going, and why? Bonus points if they meet up with Kid and Pal from D. Avery’s Ranch Yarns and Saddle Up Saloon (they hit the trail so TUFF could take over the saloon). Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by October 6, 2020. Use the comment section [on Carrot Ranch’s 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.

Also, consider moseying over to The Ranch tomorrow, and every Monday this month, to participate in their TUFF challenge. The final submission will be at the end of October. There will be prizes!!

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 3/13/2020

Kids say the darnedest things! They do, and so do our terrible poets. But, who said their poetry the darnedest?

My Hungry Bum

by Ellen Best

“Mammm”, my bottom keeps eating my pants,
Makes my legs do a dance.
I is pickin dem out, but dae makin me shout. And me tears is now wettin me leg.
*Sniffs*

Congratulations, Ellen! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

Reading through these was painfully akin to dinnertime chez moi, with fewer gaming and (surprisingly) bodily function references. I chose Ellen’s as first because it sounds a lot like what a child would say. Hers wasn’t the only one to do this, but I felt she did so quite well and managed enough whiff of verse to pass it off as a poem.

If you’ve the appetite, here are the other esteemed entrants:

From bottom-burps to bogeys

by Doug Jacquier

The dinner table farce started

when the oldest one farted,

and the middle-un began piddlin’

and then the underling was chundering.

To No. 1, Mum said ‘Stop that at once!, young Beau’

And he said ‘Sure, Ma, which way did it go?’

To No. 2, ‘The table’s not the place for peeing you know’

He replied ‘But you always tell us to go with the flow’.

No. 3 didn’t speak but passed his plate full of sick

To the dog under the table, from whence came the sound of ‘lick, lick’.

Dad smiled at his wife and ‘Don’t be such an old fogey’,

as he extracted and ate a big bogey.

Translations for non-Australians:

Chundering = vomiting

Bogey = booger

—–

Untitled piece

by Deb Whittam

What? LOL, but I’m SITD
TMI OMG LYLAS
2moro, yes, 2moro
DBEYR.
IRL this is the TFH
J/K, MHOTY. SH
THX
TTYL
XOXO

—–

Airs And Graces.

by Obbverse

Aw, Mom, whats in this bowl?
I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole!
I don’t care what you say it contains
It looks like a pile of monkey brains!
I don’t believe that’s cauliflower cheese,
It looks even worser than carrots and peas,
And if it repeats the same as baked beans
Everyone here nose what that means.
I don’t wanna taste that gross goo,
It won’t taste a thing like tiramisu,
That snotty sauce, stinky chunky and thick,
It smells like farts and looks like a bowl of sick.
Mom, you can go ahead and reheat it,
But Mom, ain’t no way I’m gonna eat it,
Hot or cold, I’m only gonna leave it,
Mom, take it away before I heave it…

—–

Billy Dunnit

by Ted Strutz

“Billy dunnit.”
“Billy done what?”
“Billy dunnit.”
“Billy done what?”
“I dunno, forgot.”

—–

Untitled piece

by Gary

‘Apart from his girl like eye lashes, thankfully no sign of dad in me’

‘Of all the festive colours, my muppet Dad bought a black Christmas Tree’

On a packed French TGV ‘why does the food smell of wee’

To someone from Ireland ‘apart from the rain, wind and cold is it like Hawaii’

Shouting ‘he’s got rabies’ to a poor bearded man on a train

To a mum in the playground ‘my dad fancies someone called Shania Twain’

‘Dad it’s rude to say fart you need to call it a bottom burp’

‘My Dad is a muppet, funny but such a twerp’

‘I can’t eat that carrot, it looks like a willy’

‘That looks like sick’ the day school served chilli

To his nursery teacher ‘my dad let’s me watch Frankenstein’

‘My teacher broke a cup and said a funny word, what does F*** mean’

**** important note ‘my dad let’s me watch Frankenstein’ actually means ‘my dad let’s me watch Scooby Doo which featured Frankenstein’.

—–

Untitled piece

by Ruth Scribbles

“It’s raining because I put on my boots.” She said.

When grandma turned 80, the 13 year old quipped, “Wow, she’s over the hill twice.”

—–

Cute? Things Kids Say

by The Bag Lady

Guest for dinner, sort of a slob

Kids fascinated by the blob

Of food overrelished, mouth open wide

Children couldn’t believe their eyes

The oldest pipes up to my dread

“You must be really hungry!” he said

The guest must not have heard or ignored

As more helpings in cheeks he stored.

***

True story, 🤪

—–

THE CORONA WALK-BACK

by The Rhyme Doctor

Today I was walking
Tomorrow I’ll be crawling.
The Corona has come
And has got me bawling.

I went to the store;
There is no toilet paper.
We’ve all regressed
And now must use a scraper.

Backwards we’ve gone.
Alas, we start to stumble.
A child’s toilet seat
Will surely make us humble.

—–

Thank you all for playing along. You always brighten my day and liven up my night. Come back tomorrow around 10 a.m. MST for next week’s prompt.

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Ellen: Here’s a badge you can post, if you want, to brag (again):

terrible-poetry-contest

©2020 The poets, and their respective poems.

 

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 3/7 – 3/13/2020

It’s terrible poetry time, here for its 62nd week!

If you’d like some guidance, read my basic outline here. I also think last week‘s method of construction was an excellent one for bad poetry creation. Or, you can always have a friendly kindergartener invent one.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. The Topic is the cute (or ‘cute’) things that kids say. I’ll admit I’m more inspired by the parenthetical version after our dinner conversations lately. What is it with young children (perhaps just with boys) and potty humor? Do they really think meals are the best place to discuss vomit?
  2. We’re talking kids here, so the Length may be quite short (barely learning to talk) or quite long (talks your ear off about Minecraft).
    …Don’t make the judge suffer too much.
  3. Rhyming is optional, or entirely concerned with the word ‘fart.’
  4. It’s likely to not need much help in this department, but try to make it terrible. Make my young children giggle and start chanting lines from your poem whilst pointing at a brother in an insulting way.
  5. Kids sometimes say words they ought not to, but let’s keep the Rating an optimistic G.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (the 13th!) to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week.

If not, and for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Please comment if your pingback doesn’t show up within a day.

Reach for the kid inside and have fun!

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Photo credit: abdelkader ft

Guess What? I’m a Mommy …Again

I did it! Well -the doctors did. Yesterday, around 13:44, the obstetrics surgical team extracted my fifth boy.

He weighed 6 lbs 4 oz (rounded up) and measured 19 inches long.

I’m not allowed to go into labor, so we scheduled the operation at 37 weeks. All in all, this has been the best C-Section recovery I’ve had. I can only attribute that to the skill of the team, the healthiness of my body, and to the many prayers I know people offered on our behalf.

Because of privacy reasons, I dislike posting pictures online. Since I know he’ll change rapidly and you’re all DYING to see, however, here are two I took this morning:

Baby Five Top (2).jpg

“Hello. The world is bright and cold. I’m not certain I like it yet.”

Baby Five Full Body (2)

A pen, for comparison.

We haven’t agreed on a name yet, but I keep that information private as well. 🙂

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Adult Swim

“I can’t stand no longer,” I tell Mama, but she gives me That Look; so I wobble and watch the grown-ups flop around slowly like old, fat whales-

“Maahm,” I start. Now Janie shoots me The Look an’ it’s just like Mama’s -but I can tell that Janie wants ’em to hurry jus’ as much as me, ’cause up she goes on her toes then back down.

The whole line of us kids is bobbing and dancin’ -I think maybe the lifeguard sees; for, jus’ when I know we’re gonna jump, we fin’lly hear the whistle.

An’ we run.

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Finally delivered for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt this week.

June 20, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about having to wait. Who is waiting and what for? Think about how the wait impacts the character or the story. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by June 25, 2019. Use the comment section below 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.

 

Photo Credit:
Photo by Marc Richards from Pexels

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Really Big News of a Non-Writing Kind

I have not been feeling well lately. For about six weeks now, I’ve been nauseated and exhausted all day. It’s worse in the evenings.

That is because this week marks my twelfth of being pregnant.

Surprise!

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Frankly, this was a surprise for us as well. After four kids; yes, I know how it works. Just trust me that the pregnancy was a surprise.

I’ve also been on bed rest for the last 2-3 weeks due to a chorionic hematoma. Basically. Good times and all that. But, things are looking up and the included pictures are the latest as of today.

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—————-

Besides a baby, look what else I’ve made:
Wednesday, June 5: Wrote “I’m Not Soliciting Ma’am…

Thursday, June 6: Nothing

Friday, June 7: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Peregrine Arc!

Saturday, June 8: Announced the 29th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is whatever you wish. PLEASE ENTER! Please spread the word!

Sunday, June 9: Responded to Irene Waters’ reminiscence series with “Washroom Stories.”

And “No Girls Allowed at Dead Man’s Crick,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, June 10: An inspirational quote by Evan Esar.

Tuesday, June 11: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Six.”

Wednesday, June 12: Today.

I also posted at my motherhood site. I wrote “NeverEnding Laundry… Na na na na na na na na naaaa,” “A Bona Fide Reason to Cook with Your Kids,” and “Boy Mom Bathroom Haiku.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Surviving Teaching and Finding Joy

Not surprising, the amazing schoolteacher, Jennie, writes of her attitude shift in teaching and her subsequent ascension to perfect preschool teacher. 🙂

A Teacher's Reflections

Times have changed.  Teaching has far more demands than it used to.  Required paperwork, overcrowded classes, and lack of support begins to take its toll.  At first it all seems manageable.  That fire of wanting to teach keeps the motor running.  Then bit by bit, as demands and expectations increase, it becomes more difficult to keep the fire burning.  The love becomes lost.

Teachers are quitting.

Children have changed, too.  Their lives have less (or little) room for play. Most of their waking hours are structured – from school to sports to after school activities.  Oh, and then the homework.  Frankly, homework in the early grades should be reading.  Period.

Children are often coming to school feeling everything from anger to being overwhelmed. They may not know why, they just know they aren’t feeling happy.

Is it any wonder that America’s children are ranked 26th in reading  among the world?

View original post 530 more words

Picture Books Are Always in Season

“So …have you read King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub?”

“No.”

“Hmm. What about The Stinky Cheese Man?”

A sound of polite, incredulous aversion comes from the backseat. “No….”

I’m driving my male horde home from elementary school, plus the three children of a family friend. Their children and mine share a few interests, the main one being a love of reading.

The older girl pipes up, “We don’t read picture books.”

Her sister: “Yeah; I’m reading chapter books now.”

Which is fine, of course, seeing as how she is in second grade. She is the baby of their four children and they are all precocious. The only boy has already moved up a grade and is 2-3 grades ahead in mathematics.

Still….

Our Books

“I love picture books,” I say. “There are a lot of really good ones out there, so I like to go back and read them again.”

“Yes, that’s true,” the older girl acquiesces. I often feel I’m sitting at a British tea party with her, although she’s midway through fourth grade.

My boys, meanwhile, are each immersed in reading something educational like Captain Underpants or Magic Pickle. I’m not a fan of the graphic novels, but am fine with their perusal if mixed with a range of literature. That, and graphic novels include everything from less-than-desirable illustrations and potty humor to really well-done works like The Cardboard Kingdom.

I drop the friends off. Their mother comes out for a quick chat. “Your girls say you don’t have any picture books around anymore,” I say, in a friendly way.

“Oh. Yeah.” She laughs. She’s extremely intelligent, an excellent quilter, and one who does not seem to mind being a stay-at-home mother. I’m always in awe of her. “I unintentionally donated ours to the classroom and haven’t replaced them.” She sighs a bit, which is usually her way of segue. “They don’t really seem interested, so I probably won’t.”

To each her own, of course, but a little bit of me cries inside to hear it. Like my music preferences, my reading tastes cover many genres. -Except romance. Ugh.

Besides that, my collection of books is …sizeable. When I read Fahrenheit 451 in school, I wanted to be the old lady with the enormous library. I would feel torn between saving myself or my books. I …have a bit of a problem with control whenever I shop the book department in thrift stores.

D.I. Books

After a recent thrift store trip.

Which leads me back to picture books. I love picture books. I cannot imagine not having any in my house. I read to my children from them, and then from novels as they age (time permitting).

I also enjoy reading to other children. Last year I offered to read to my son’s fourth grade class once a week, to give the teacher a few minutes of preparation time at the end of the day. What did I read? The Jolly PostmanThe Sweetest FigBark, George; and Oh, Were They Ever Happy!

I remember visiting with the teacher once after we finished up. “Thank you for coming in every week,” she said. “It gives me time to get ready and I really appreciate it.”

I smiled. “Oh, you’re welcome.” Then, I hesitated, knowing most of these kids were beyond the target age for the books I shared. “Are you okay with me reading picture books? I know they might be a little young for them.”

“Of course!” she said. “They love them! I don’t think they’re too young for them at all.”

Our Picture Books

Most of our picture book library.

You may think I will ask whether you agree or disagree, but I know you are all smarter than that. Instead, what are a few of your favorite children’s stories? They can be picture books, graphic novels, beginning chapter books, or Harry Potter-sized novels. Which do you love, and why?

—————-

After fondly reminiscing, read what I posted this past week:
Wednesday, April 3: Encouraged cathartic ranting over bad bosses in “Just Another Perk of Working.

Thursday, April 4: “The Cure for Depression: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, April 5: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Molly Stevens!

Saturday, April 6: Announced the 21st Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is parodies of famous poems. PLEASE ENTER!

And, answered Peregrine Arc’s writing prompt with “Smells Like Reanimated Spirits.

Sunday, April 7: “Olympic Achievement,” a poem response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, April 8: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Nine.”

Tuesday, April 9:  An inspirational quote by Jodi Foster.

Wednesday, April 10: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. Highlights were “Just Don’t Buy It?,” “Moderate Momming,” and “Bedtime, a poem.”

 

Photo Credit:
Me

Children’s Songs That Don’t Suck

Some people are irritated by very specific things: nails on chalkboards, a supervisor’s voice, forks on a ceramic plate, or animals chewing with their mouth open.

For me, it’s children singing.

Now, now, now -don’t get up in arms and start defending anyone. Don’t ask me whether I’m a good mother, cringing whenever my offspring try to carry a tune. That’s not it at all. My real hate is when children sing what they ought not to.

Don’t believe me? Go listen to that devil’s creation: Kid’s Bop. Oh, wait. It’s spelled “Kidz Bop.”

Children singing off-key and innocently to pop songs would be my eternal torment. Actually -eternal torment would be facing a mundane chore like piles of laundry or dishes; and when I am literally folding the last sock or washing the last pan, something dumps another hour’s worth of work in front of me.

Wait a minute…

So, getting back to children doing terribly irritating things, I thought I’d save anyone else the trouble of torture by providing a list of songs geared toward young children that will not drive you completely batty (er… more completely batty).

1. Caspar Babypants
Did you ever listen to “Peaches,” “Lump,” or “Video Killed the Radio Star,” by The Presidents of the United States of America? If not, do yourself a solid and check them out. “Peaches,” alone is worth watching; I do so with my offspring frequently. Weird Al even parodied “Lump” with a song titled “Gump.”

That lead singer, whatshisname (Chris Ballew) went on to produce and sing a whole crapload of songs once he settled down and made mini hims. I like a lot of them; they’re cute, catchy, and have good lyrical and musical aspects.

2. Banaphone
This is an oldie but a goodie. I can’t allow the kiddos to replay this one as often as Babypants, but it’s still fun.

They also like the video, so win-win.

3. They Might Be Giants, for kids
TMBG has clever songs for all ages. The singer’s a bit nasally, but their lyrics are educational. Admittedly, we listen to much of the Apollo 18 soundtrack with our children as well; but those aren’t specifically for a younger audience (say, like when I mute that tiny cuss word at the start of “I Palindrome I”).

I respect a band that tries to keep things scientifically accurate. Like, releasing a new sun song when they felt the old one was misinforming.

4. Lots of classical pieces
My nerdy childhood was spent listening to the classical station on the radio and trying to be a snob of a higher degree. I listen to a wide variety of music now; and, by proximity, so do my children.

Still, music of this sort has the following advantages: clean, enlightening, traditional, timeless, and the YouTube videos don’t usually have some animated character dancing around and causing listeners to just stare at a screen.

5. Instrumental covers of awesome songs
Yes, the originals are better. For all the benefits I outlined above (like, no swearing or questionable video content), I will sometimes put these on to play while we’re cleaning the house.

And yes, these are not geared toward kids. It’s my list, though, so I make the rules.

6. Super Simple Songs
Now here’s a company who knows its audience. These are NOT songs to play if you don’t want small children staring at a screen, so maybe play it from computer speakers with the monitor turned off?

For a good half-hour or hour of needing to use the bathroom and text and adult, I am in favor of playing them as-is.

Super Simple Songs are almost annoying. I certainly wouldn’t pick them for an eternal playlist, but I will listen to quite a few without tearing my ears off my head.

7. Parry Gripp
If you have children, you have probably heard of “It’s Raining Tacos.” Don’t worry -I’m not going to suggest you listen to Parry Gripp all day long. I merely threw it on here because they’re fun, my spawn enjoy many of them, and I liked them back before they were annoying cool.

In fact, “Mr. Raisin Toast” was the first of theirs we listened to.

8. The Muppets
Again, these fall into the “watch it, too” category. But, you know -Sesame Street. Nostalgia. Subtle humor that doesn’t involve farting (always a plus when one has all boys, like me).

That’s about all I can remember for tonight. I’ll write another post about songs we all like (and are appropriate), in the mainstream music field. Besides those, do YOU have any to suggest? Don’t be shy; we’re always open to new songs and artists.