Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Rainbow Snippet for March 24-25

In this weekend’s Rainbow Snippet I’m sharing a bit from
Jackson Bordeaux and Ronnie Larue’s story. Jackson has no
clue he has weretiger in his genetics. He’s also never met
anyone quite like Ronnie.


After a time Jackson lost his nervousness shuffling to a local
band’s newest single. The small, dark, sinuous creature looked
fantastic in the disc jockey’s strobe light, standing out from
the masses like a polished diamond in the dirt.

As if by accident in the throng, he brushed his pelvis against
Jackson’s thighs. The response almost immediate, sparkling
irises told him Ronnie noticed.

Flapping his collar as if overheated, Jackson continued to sway
pulling out tucked shirt tails. Ronnie emitted a near giggle, the
sound somehow complimentary and sweet, and oh, boy,
Jackson knew he was in trouble.

I hope you enjoyed it and check out what others have shared.
Have a good weekend!


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Darla's Discoveries and a Quiz Answer - March 22, 2018

Yesterday I asked about a kitchen gadget and got some fun responses. Today I will share its purpose as well as a tip in caring for the accompanying tool.

The rubbery tube pictured below removes the skin of garlic cloves. You simply insert individual cloves and roll the tube using very light pressure.

This is Amazingly Efficient
On that note, why are the garlic bits called ‘cloves’ and not ‘lobes’ when there is a clove spice? That actually confused me a moment writing this as if I had the wrong term. ~grin~ Anyway, rolling it back and forth removes the skins super fast, as long as you keep the tube dry. Be sure to skin all your cloves before rinsing the tube clean (this delicate thing never goes in the automatic dishwasher).

While I realize that’s a tip in and of itself, I figured out another useful one regarding the garlic press after SO cooked a recent meal. When I went to cook something else garlic-based the next day, I found the press in the dish drainer with dried bits of garlic skin stuck to the shiny outer left hand portion (below).

This is More Dishwasher Safe; We Seldom Bother
At least the internal parts were clean. But thinking those less tasty flakes might end up in my food, I cleaned the press again. The bits were really tough to remove as I tried to hurry beneath a cold tap.

The lesson learned here is not only to clean garlic tools once you’re done with them for the day, but make sure your effort is thorough. Let’s hope dear SO got the message.

Oxo Brand Tools are the Best!
Do you like garlic?


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Quiz for the Day – Another Gadget

After Pam Jackson shared a kitchen gadget on Life Through My Eyes, I took a photograph of a related one to share. Then that blog post never got written until now, weeks later.  This might tip you and your followers off, Pam. ~grin~ Fortunately, the photos were easy to find.

This is a single use tool, but one which I’m grateful we bought. Can you guess what it does? I’ll be back either later today with an update or post the answer tomorrow.

Totally Tubular, Isn't It?
How do you prefer your food, herbal or spicy?


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Minor Announcement and a Pretty Picture

I don’t believe I have ever written a post with so many tags before. And the first might be misleading. I want to formally announce that I will not be taking on the A to Z Blog Challenge this April.

As dear Annie of McGuffy’sReader reminded me, there is still time. And I even started out with plans to share music videos (and you know I would have touted Palaye Royale along with some awesome My Chemical Romance and Panic At the Disco).

Then I considered stealing Annie’s theme and sharing snippets of my prose. But in the end time, despite my lack of outside employment, is a constraint.

It’s not so much the posting but reading new blogs, which I feel compelled to do in support of fellow challengers. I already follow so many folks on a near daily basis, I just couldn’t see adding more. Not when I really want to spend all my time writing.

In fact, I should shout out to all of you with links but fictional characters are calling. ~grin~ Anyway, best wishes to all who endeavor to run in this spring blog race. And with that I’ll leave you with something shiny.

Drummer Emerson Barrett of Palaye Royale in Studio
I Cropped the Rude Gesture Toward a Brother
Do you have any special plans this spring?


Monday, March 19, 2018

Spark by a Musician (from an Obsessive Music Geek)

Marilyn Manson Image Courtesy of Fan Pop
To quote Annie of McGuffy’s Reader, the bright spirited blog where she created Sparks Mondays, “I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. Together, we can light up the entire world!” 

Before I share Marilyn Manson's quote, let me share the inspiration. Yesterday my writing track was what I named “Marilyn Manson Singles” on iTunes. There are 37, not music released by the band for radio play but rather B-sides and rare finds.

I have four additional categories: one for studio albums and compilations, talking (interviews), live performances, and ‘oddities’. That last was named for some weird early experimentation but generally is just repeated tunes from having bought many singles for their rare and cool B-sides.

That said, here is a quote from Brian Warner (aka Mr. Manson) that caught my attention. As I like to tell folks, the man is wicked smart (when sober).  ;)  I snagged this from Brainy Quotes.

"Don't ever empty the bucket of mystery. Never let people define what you do. It's not about zigging when you should zag. It's not about doing something unprecedented and unpredictable. It's just about never being a word, or something that is not in the process of transformation."
- Marilyn Manson

Did you know he scored the brilliant soundtrack for the original “Resident Evil” film?


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Rainbow Snippet for March 17/18

Wow! This month is flying by. I’m really having fun joining so many talented LGBTQ+ writers at RainbowSnippets. Here’s a steamy little m/m snapshot from my BloodMoon series.


“If you’re afraid to… you know…, there are other things we could do.”

“Other,” I echoed, gulping, “things.”

“Yeah, lots,” he agreed, grinning now through glittering autumnal strands.

Stunned by what reflected sunshine did to his ivory skin, I gulped again, seeming to signal him. He swooped around and suspended himself above me, all that hair a fragrant privacy curtain. Nickolas brought his lips to my ear, where his tonguing around the shell made an obscene sound.


I hope you enjoyed it and check out what others have shared. Have a good weekend!


Friday, March 16, 2018

The Day that Keeps on Giving

I’m trying to keep a stiff upper lip, as those kindred spirits in Devon are wont to do. And it’s not that hard considering all my blessings. But today has not been a favorite.

After I blogged in bed (yes, one of those blessings) I learned that plans changed. Our contractor was coming by the house, delaying our visit to a local garden center. That was okay. I had a backup plan.

Besides giving me more time to write, the delay until afternoon formulated another idea. I’ve been craving chicken wings and maybe some guilty slices of Buffalo chicken pizza from an area restaurant.

I suggested leaving at two o’clock for vegetable seed shopping, then swinging by that local sports bar for an early start to dinner. The plan seemed ideal. We like eating out when most folks are back to or still at the day job.

Well, I hadn’t realized that college basketball playoffs started already. I should have known better, having published an inspirational newsletter tying the sport season to lawn care telemarketing.

Don’t ask.

But that was years ago (some of my favorite in the working world, I might add; non sports fan or not I got to do some creative stuff). That said, we walked into a standing room only place and immediately left.

Later, I consumed a satisfying bowl of my home cooked Irish fish stew. But darn, I craved that combination Thai plus Donkey kicking hot sauce with their perfect breading. Oh, well. We weren’t about to wait an hour for food, anyway.

Then, watching YouTube broadcasts after dinner, my ears began to itch. It’s not unusual. Finding flakes of wax sticking out of them was. You see, after getting my plugged ear flushed I’ve been determined not to stick anything smaller in my ear than my elbow (thank you, dear folks, for reiterating that caution).

Careful wedging out two chunks from each slender ear canal opening using my tiny pinky fingernails, I then flushed them with a mild peroxide and warmed sterile water solution. Not surprisingly, nothing came out at that point.

Any suggestions for chronic over-productive ear wax production? I bet you don’t get that question everyday. ~wink~ Be well, all!


A Day in the Life

This morning at 6am I woke with muscle cramps. That was not unexpected, and one or two naproxen sodium tablets usually handle the discomfort, so that was fine. Except I didn’t have a glass of water in the bedroom.

I went into the bathroom, shutting the door so as not to disturb SO, and along came our cat Jezebel wanting canned food. She has become adept at opening the sliding pocket door, the little jerk. So, giving up on the idea of peace, I palmed the pills and headed to the kitchen.

The first thing I found there, after putting down food for two pesky beasts, was that the Brita water pitcher filter needed changed. Okay. Fine. The cats’ water bowl needed changed out, so I decided to take care of it right away.

I pulled out a replacement, rinsed it as directed, and refilled the pitcher. Then, not once but twice, the little triangular widget that covers the pour spout fell off and landed in the kitchen sink. The second time I washed (and hopefully sanitized) it, I left the widget on the sink for SO to fix into place.

Meanwhile, the digital bit on the pitcher refused to reset. Three times I held down the switch, watched the green light flash three times, and still the thing flashed red when I poured water. ~sigh~ I put it in the refrigerator planning to ask SO to take care of that, as well.

Now I needed to refill the soap dispenser in the kitchen. Passing the kitchen island, where SO left a greasy piece of aluminum foil, I found a dead centipede stuck in a smear of oil. Grrr…

Then, on my way to the bathroom to get the soap I slipped in… Can you guess?

I found a hefty pile of vomit, dry kibble bits and a juicy hairball, piled right in the middle of the main path. At least a hairball made the mess legitimate and not a result of gluttony.

Now the clock reads 7:15, the nasty foil is thrown away, SO fixed the Brita pitcher, I cleaned up the puke, took my pills, started the dishwasher, and I’m  contemplating just going back to bed.

You just have to laugh. I mean, it could be a whole lot worse.

And SO got a chuckle. “You and electronics…”

How is your day going?


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Darla’s Discoveries - March 15th 2018

Tip #5: Rest and Relaxation on the Cheap

Adult coloring books have become all the rage. And why not? My mother discovered the peaceful joy of crayons long ago. She used to sit and color even if her grandchildren acted uninterested.

But have you looked at the cost of those things? I seem to recall one at my grocery store having a $15 price tag! No way would I pay that for something so frivolous. And the images inside were so detailed that it would have been near impossible to color inside the lines.

I’m persnickety by nature, so instead of relaxing me those books would ratchet my stress! No, thank you.

Instead, I went to a discount store and found a book designed for children. It cost a fraction of the price and includes way more content. There are even word search puzzles, which I’ve always enjoyed.

These Colors Caught My Attention
Do you like to color?

How's This for Fun?


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Epic Dreams and Chilling Nightmares

Yesterday morning I met a good friend, fellow writer Rochelle Bradley, at My Favorite Muffin. It was only the two of us this week, so of course we talked for two hours instead of writing. Regardless of that fact I enjoyed our time, and I proceeded to accomplish a lot alone at a different venue before returning home.

An interesting thing about her stories is how often they come in the form of a dream. She’ll flesh them out upon waking, of course, and add many details, but her sleeping mind creates amazing worlds and scenarios.

Sometimes I do that. Par for my course, I might turn one into a short story, such as the one in which I was a male zombie who learned he had far more humanity in him than the scientist conducting cruel experiments in the guise of saving her species. Maybe I’ll dig it up and share one of these days. It used to be on a now defunct fan fiction website despite not being related to the book series we honored there.

Last night was different. I don’t know why my brain needed to go to such weird places but I dreamed that someone deleted my Instagram and Twitter accounts. That happened in reverse, actually, after I found someone with a decided male Indian identity using my Gmail address for Instagram. ~shiver~ That was weird.

Worse than that was the final dream of the night (I did not want any more sleep afterward). I was tasked with cooking a rice based casserole. To me that was a sort of nightmare in itself as I’m trying to avoid huge carbohydrate bombs. ~grin~ However, when I opened the can of whole tomatoes I found a tiny kitten alive inside.

Even worse, I destroyed the helpless creature to get my tomatoes. I woke up feeling almost nauseous with a pounding heart. Ugh… What the heck?

I Need Some Palaye Royale Beauty to Cleanse my Spirit
Do you have memorable dreams?


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Another Use for Cheap, Plastic Peach Ribbon - A Darla Discovery

In response to all the great suggestions for how to use a huge amount of ribbon remaining from my wedding, I have to admit to not being very crafty. I don’t even have a Pinterest account because the last thing I need is another time sink. ~grin~ That admission aside, let me get to the point of this.

In the Outer Banks last autumn I found a local artist whose depiction of cherry blossoms caught my eye. It’s surreal like so much of the art on my walls.

Unfortunately, the double sided tape used to mount the piece in an area seafood restaurant got ruined upon removal from the wall. It had been therefore leaning against my bedroom wall atop a little table, which didn’t do it justice.The other day I took another look and decided that, due to the light weight, the small square canvas could be hung with a loop of ribbon stuck to the back using rubber cement.

I Let It Dry for an Hour

It worked! Sad to say, this is about as close to a cherry blossom I'm likely to get this spring. Our neighborhoods are infested with invasive Bradford pear trees.

This Really Brightens the End of Our Hall
Does your area boast any cherry trees?


Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Rainbow Snippet for March 10/11

Courtesy of Matias Rengel from Unsplash
It’s time again for more Facebook frolicking alongside the delightful LGBTQ+ writers of RainbowSnippets. Here are six sentences between a pair of lovers once more in turmoil.

Story snippet:

Stepping beyond my reach, he turned to face me on the third stair down. Nickolas crossed his arms over his chest, beautiful in this possessive fury. I could only gawk, open-mouthed. The silence between us lengthened to the breaking point.

“I have every right to defend you.”

“There is nothing to defend,” I pleaded.


I hope you enjoyed it!


Friday, March 9, 2018

Language Lesson

Photo Courtesy of Locuig at Pixabay
Wednesday evening, a friend withdrew from the brink of tragedy. He knows pain will always be there, but a lessening occurred after he shared this crisis, enough to give some relief. New photos actually showed this in his face, for which Im thankful.

He added that he didn’t want to read too much into it, which I took to perhaps mean two things. First, he probably doesn’t have true hope the minor improvement will last. In addition, I don’t believe he has faith in a higher power and considers the improvement a coincidence. He does have writing projects lined up for this year, so let’s hope that gives him the will to continue on.

Meanwhile, writing in my journal about him and his presumed lack of faith, I wondered if ‘coincidence’ has its root in ‘coincide’. Considering that the latter indicates parallel situations (no added proof or faith required) while the former alludes to happenstance, I found this interesting, proof I am also a language geek. ~grin~ No surprise there, eh?

Am I right about almost the exact same word having rather opposite meanings? Or is this incidental, anecdotal theorizing?


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Darla’s Discoveries - Tips & Tricks for Around the House

Tip #4: Battery Retrieval

The other day a fellow writer on Facebook saw my post about an Alphasmart word processor saving my writing day. She made a cute remark asking about this magical device that promotes word creation. I thought she was just being funny but later learned she really wanted to know more about the machine.

Used by Students in Between the Age of Typewriters & Cheaper PC's
So I proceeded to relay all the information that came to mind. Unable to remember how many AA batteries are required, I totally forgot for a moment that the shell is semi-transparent and tried to take them out for a count.

All I needed do was hold it up to the lamplight. ~rolls eyes~ And my wasted effort unseated the battery so that the connection became unreliable. I couldn’t keep it turned on and had to wrestle the battery out.

At that point I recalled how a lot of electronics provide a ribbon of sorts in the battery compartment to help a person unseat that first tight fitted cell. So, I made my own from a bolt of ribbon bought for my DIY decorated wedding.

Should I Worry about the Plastic Melting?
Can you suggest other uses for all this remaining ribbon?

I'll Probably End Up Taking This to My Grave

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Prayer Request

Today I learned that an online friend and inspiration suffering excruciating pain is near the end of his rope. Despite my usual attempt at sharing only upbeat or funny messages here, I wanted to blog about him but debated how to approach the situation.

While I contemplated the words my computer crashed – hard – giving me the feeling a higher power sent me a little message to hold off and think more about the matter. So I rebooted this laptop, went to lift weights and, upon returning, found an email from a wise friend (Annie I love you!). I put forth my concerns and received prompt reply.

Thus, at her gentle suggestion, I am requesting prayer and warm thoughts without naming this kind soul. If you feel inclined to join in, I appreciate it and believe God will have no doubt who they’re for. I feel more at peace just for sharing.

How are you feeling today? I hope the answer is wonderful!


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Most of the folks kind enough to keep reading this silly blog know my adoration of music in general and, of late, for the young musicians of Palaye Royale. Inspired by other introverts, I’d like to meet these reportedly super nice guys, who always man their merchandise table after their sets to talk with fans.

I hope to tell them how their music eased my heartache after Mom died. I’d also like to show my appreciation with some sort of affectionate token. It’s not uncommon for people to bring artwork, a favorite food, or something fashionable.

Boom Boom Room (Side A) Album Cover
See Their Beloved Dog at Lower Right?
At first I found three vintage items among my own jewelry, scarves, and sunglasses from my contact lens wearing days. But wisdom intruded. I’m not some little girl. I am old enough to have birthed these guys. So while I may be a ‘dirty old lady’ at heart, my intentions are pure.

Then I had a memory of seeing Remington Leith playing a trivia game. Given the name Goldie Hawn, he passed on the question. That saddened me. How could he not know this fabulous actress? And an idea was born.

Also a fan of their music, just not in favor of attending live shows with only one good ear, SO joined in my enthusiastic listing of movies. It started with “Death Becomes Her”, of course, and now includes a dozen others. I plan to insert the list within a letter of appreciation explaining how and when I found their music.

I think this is more practical considering their nomadic ways, long hours of boredom, and limited space. Maybe my originality will even make an impression.

Should I include the much maligned “Howard the Duck”? I liked that movie. Heh…


Monday, March 5, 2018

Positive Sparks - Monday March 5

To quote Annie of McGuffy’sReader, the bright spirited blog where she created Sparks Mondays, “I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. Together, we can light up the entire world!”

For this week I decided to share something by the amazing Henry David Thoreau. To my surprise, some were obsolete. But come on, he lived a long time ago, so it's understandable he was wrong about mankind cluttering the skies. Oh, well. This one from Brainy Quotes struck me as particularly poignant. Happy Monday!

Alas, I Cannot Take Credit for this Photo

Unlike my sorry self, have you ever read “Walden” by Mr. Thoreau?


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Not Even Ever

During rewrites, I tend to remove way more than gets added to tell story. Pruning tightens the tell. And one word that needs to leave my vocabulary is ‘even’.
A Must-Have Tool for Any Sensible Writer
Well, unless a surface is, well… not. At least I don’t use ‘was’ in every other sentence like a certain book featuring sparkly vampires. I refused to read that series, by the way.

What words in a story annoy you?


Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Rainbow Snippet for March 3/4

It’s time again for more Facebook frolicking alongside the delightful LGBTQ+ writers of RainbowSnippets. Here I offer six sentences of mild F/F.

Picture Courtesy of Comfreak at Pixabay


I couldn’t help remembering the first time we were intimate. That one-sided encounter started with her offering a shoulder upon which to cry. Breathing deep, I took in her comforting scent. My neck and shoulder muscles loosened while others less visible contracted.

“Come on. My arms are getting tired here,” she said, her joke gentle.


I hope you enjoyed it!



Thursday, March 1, 2018

Darla's Discoveries - Tips & Tricks for Around the House

Tip #3: Recycling

I’m sure it’s no surprise I treasure paper seeing as writing is my great passion. That said, grocery lists get recycled for the next shopping trip and sometimes I even fold down the sticky part of a used Post-It note to jot something down on the other side.

Watching SO turn paper tea bag wrappers into origami gave me another idea. I use them for little notes!

I Think a Heart or Smiley Face Sweetens the Message
Can you guess who ended up cleaning the turntable?