Prompt Fiction

Fiction: A Bump in the Road

“This is the first bad thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Blanche giggled as she looked at the other three women with her in the van. “I swear, any time I do anything bad, even just a little naughty, I get caught. Never fails.”

“When have you ever done anything bad? You’re like … perfect,” Cecile muttered from the passenger seat while squinting to read her iPhone in the dark interior.

“Perfect?” Blanche sputtered in surprise. “Hardly. Would a perfect woman lose her husband to a co-ed? I don’t think so.” She could feel her good mood deflating as an image of her husband having sex with the perky redhead from his sociology class popped into her head. Her shoulders hunched forward in defeat and without being aware of it, she slumped over the steering wheel as if trying to ward off any more disturbing thoughts. Her knuckles whitened as her grip tightened. Bastard.

“Hey now,” Erin said from the back of the van. She leaned forward to place a comforting hand on Blanche’s shoulder. “Remember our agreement? No talking about the ‘jerk who shall not be named.’” She turned slightly to give Cecil a warning look.

Cecile shrugged and issued a huge yawn. “I can’t believe you guys talked me into this. It’s,” she squinted at her phone again, “almost three in the morning. I have to get up in like, three hours!”

“Then don’t go to bed,” Erin said and sat back in her seat. “Just because you’re almost 40 years old doesn’t mean you have to act like it.”

Whitney snorted in amusement next to Erin.

“All right, ladies,” Blanche warned. She reached up to rub her forehead. She shouldn’t have had that fifth (or was it sixth? She honestly lost count) apple martini. She didn’t usually drink at all, but her girlfriends had talked her into going out and once out, it felt so good to dunk her depression into a pretty glass of liquor, at least for a little while. She could feel just a hint of that depression inching back into her mood, its icy fingers leaving cold streaks against her heat-infused cheeks. “There’s no need to pick on Cecile. At least one of us is acting our age tonight.”

Cecile sighed and ran a hand through her short, spiky hair. “I’m sorry. I had a tough week and there’s this new hotshot that thinks he can do my job better than me,” she balled her hands into fists and her entire body tensed.

Blanche shrugged and softened her voice to try and diffuse her friend. Cecile had a terrible temper and she didn’t feel like talking her off the edge at the moment. “Forget it, Cecile. We all have our problems. You girls were nice enough to help me with mine, I’ll return the favor this weekend. In the meantime …” her voice ground to a stop as the van suddenly jostled, swayed and jerked. All four women were rendered speechless for long seconds.

“What the … did I just run over something?” Blanche asked. “There wouldn’t be a speed bump on this stretch of road, would there?” She slowed down and glanced in her side mirror to try and see what she might have hit, but it was too dark to see anything.

“That didn’t feel like a speed bump to me,” Whitney said, her body twisted around so she could see out of the back windows. “I think it was an animal.”

Blanche pulled over to the side of the road and all three women looked at Erin.

Erin was staring out of the side window. “Maybe it was just a log or something,” she said in a very small voice.

“Should I turn around?” Blanche asked.

All of the women were silent as they mulled it over.

Cecile thought: “Great. This is going to take forever and I really need to get some sleep so I can make that jerk look like an idiot to my boss tomorrow.”

Erin thought: “Please, PLEASE don’t be an animal. I can’t handle that right now.”

Whitney thought: “Wouldn’t it be cool if it were a dead body?” She smiled at her thoughts and was thankful no one could see her expression.

Blanche thought: “I’m going to puke and everyone is going to watch. Swell.”

“We better make sure it’s not an animal or anything,” Erin said. “I couldn’t live with myself if we left an injured animal on the side of the road.”

“Right,” Blanche said, swallowing a dollop of bile back down her throat. “Let’s check it out.” She carefully maneuvered the car into a U-turn and slowly made her way back to the spot. She flipped her brights on to help them see. “I hate these country roads,” she mumbled.

“You were the one who wanted to stay off the main roads,” Cecile said.

“Well yeah,” Blanche snapped back. “I don’t want to get a DUI, thank you very much.”

“There!” Erin said while leaning forward and pointing to a dark shape in the road. “That must be what we ran over.”

Blanche’s foot eased off the accelerator and the van inched forward. The shape began to slowly materialize before their eyes as the headlights exposed it.

“Oh my God,” Cecile gasped. “Is that a …” she clapped a hand over her mouth in horror and Whitney finished her sentence for her.

“… a body?!”

Blanche’s foot jumped to the brake and the van jolted to a halt causing all three women to jerk forward in their seats. The vehicle was now only a few feet away from the object in the road. The bright headlights illuminated the shadowy object and all four women sat transfixed as they stared at a tuft of reddish-blonde hair caressing one thin, bare shoulder.

It was definitely a body.

The three words to use in a story this week are:

  • Bump
  • Knuckle
  • Transfix

Thanks for reading.

Can We Talk?

Our Educational System Stinks. I KNOW! Let’s Throw Some Money at It!


This is my response to the Momversation question: “Are we raising a nation of dumbasses?”

Oh. Where to start.

Let’s start with the video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(RSS readers – there’s a video. Please click over to watch it).

Readers that have been keeping track of my blog for some time will likely know my response to this – I feel like a broken record sometimes, but it bears repeating because no matter how many times you say it, people just don’t seem to get it:

Money doesn’t fix problems, it only makes it more complicated.

I agree with Daphne’s outrage about the money we’re spending in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – I think our mission in Iraq and Afghanistan was over a long time ago and apparently not even the White House can tell us what we’re doing in Libya (first declaring that “that Moammar Gadhafi has to go” and setting up the no fly-zone and then saying “”we were going to withdraw” even though Gadhafi was (is) still in power). It’s frustrating enough when America is called upon to serve as a Global police, it’s doubly frustrating when our own government can’t even define what our objective is in the mission.

So yes. I agree money is being squandered on these military operations. I think we need to bring our troops home and let these countries work out their own issues. (Especially since they’re not even thankful for our help to begin with and thwart us at every turn).

BUT. Throwing more money into our education system, right now, is like getting your junk piece of a car detailed when it refuses to start – making it look pretty won’t make it work any better. The problem with our educational system lies within the structure itself.

The entire system needs a complete and thorough over haul before we throw more money at it and hope that somehow fixes it – it won’t. First and foremost, we need to do something about the teachers’ unions. They have a tight stranglehold on our educational system right now so that we can’t really DO anything without running into grievances and lawsuits. As it’s set up now, teachers are in a position to choose to teach or not to teach. They can show up to work every day, refuse to teach our kids and not have to worry about getting reprimanded. They get paid whether they teach or not.

Granted, MOST teachers are not like this. A LOT of teachers are decent, hard-working, people with good intentions, but you and I both know that there are also some pretty terrible teachers out there that take advantage of the system and thumb their noses up at repercussions. It’s nearly impossible to fire a teacher, thanks to the teachers’ unions. Granted, having an organization that watches your back is a good thing, the teachers’ unions have gone too far – they have too much power. They know it, and they abuse it. There is no incentive for these bad teachers to perform to the best of their ability. Why? They’re going to get paid whether they do their jobs or not.

As with any industry, it’s all about competition. If we want good teachers in our schools, then we have to fire the bad ones and replace them with good ones. If teachers have to work to KEEP their jobs, then they will naturally do a BETTER job teaching our kids.

Motivated teachers = well-educated students.

We also need to allow the schools the ability to make their own rules and to spend the money they are granted for the areas they need it most. The government needs to get out of the way and allow the school boards to make those decisions. They know what areas in their district need the most work – give them the freedom to work on those areas.

Cut out wasteful spending. Reallocate funds and restructure existing programs, programs that aren’t working as evidenced by everyone’s complaints that our educational system sucks, and give that money back to teachers. Again, the more incentives teachers have to make more money, the better job they will do teaching our children. Give them an opportunity to make bonuses and it will be evident, pretty quickly, which teachers are motivated to do well and which are not.

Schools need to stop concentrating so much on state tests and concentrate on molding their lessons to help the students. Kids don’t all learn at the same pace, but since the states only grant money to schools who make a certain test score on performance tests, then naturally, that’s what the school’s focus on – making the grade so they can get the money.


As parents, we need to unite and take an active interest in our children’s education. Too many parents view school as a free babysitter and don’t stay involved in their child’s studies. They don’t teach their children how important school is and how important it is to take it seriously and to respect the institution. And bad teachers? At least for now? Until someone has the balls to actually REFORM our current educational system? Are part of the deal. It’s up to us, the parents, to stay on top of these teachers, to make them accountable and to teach our children how to deal with difficult personalities because assholes? Are everywhere and the sooner our kids learn how to deal with them, the better off they will be.

I’m so sick and tired of people complaining about how this needs more money, or that needs more money. Though money certainly helps motivate and inspire people to do better, it also corrupts and produces greed. No. Our educational system doesn’t need MORE of our money tossed at it (for now), IT NEEDS TO BE REFORMED. It needs to be scrutinized, dismantled, and put back together more efficiently. It needs a strict budget and priorities. After it’s been revamped, THEN let’s see how much money is left over that we can redistribute to areas that really need it.

I bet we’d ALL be surprised just how much money we’ve squandered away over the years as the unions have gotten stronger and at the number of regulations and hoops the government has implemented over the years.

Whenever we have a problem, we all need to STOP yelling for more money. Money doesn’t fix problems, it just complicates problems. A lot of our social structures are out of control because instead of fixing the problems over the years, we’ve just stuck a monetary band-aid on it and called it fixed.

You wouldn’t pay your plumber to stick duct tape on your leaky faucet, you’d expect your plumber to get in there and fix the leak. Same premise.

Wake up, people. Stop throwing money at our problems – WE CAN’T AFFORD ANY MORE FINANCIAL BAND-AIDS.

Abundant Life

Audio Teaching: The Passover: A Sacrifice of Grace

by John Schoenheit
The New Testament tells us that Jesus Christ is our Passover lamb. What should that mean to us as Christians today? What was the Passover, and how do we make it applicable in our lives? This tape by John Schoenheit goes into the book of Exodus and covers some of the more important verses referring to the Passover celebration, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the death of the firstborn of Egypt, and why Israel had to put blood on their door posts. It also shows how the Passover foreshadowed Jesus Christ, and how we can learn from his sacrifice and live sacrificial lives ourselves.

Click the arrow to listen.

Transcription | Related Topics

Check out Truth or Tradition teachings on:


Saturday Stuff

Don’t Bother

So, you blew it. I knew you would. I gave you one last chance to redeem yourself, ONE, and not only did you show up drunk, you showed up with your fly hanging open; it was no small feat to distract 15 six-year olds.

Happy damn birthday, right?

I’m done. So, dear John, the next time you feel like making amends?






Write up to 60 words, fact or fiction….

This is a themed writing meme hosted by Jenny Matlock. The goal is to write something that does not exceed 60 words (not including said prompt). The prompt is in italics above.

Home Movies

Surprise! It’s a Curio Case

This is one of those stories that Kevin and I joke about all the time. He’s convinced he DIDN’T surprise me that Christmas and I’m here to tell you, HE DID.

I had been collecting Precious Moments for quite a few years prior to this Christmas and I never had any place to display them. They stayed mostly in their boxes. So Kevin thought he would be clever and buy me a curio case to put them in.

I know! I married a very smart man. 😀

Only, how do you give your wife something that big? You can’t exactly wrap it and put in next to the tree. She would likely drive you crazy trying to guess what it was until Christmas Day. And can you really hide something that big? I mean, wouldn’t she likely SEE it and wonder, “what the HECK is that huge box doing there??”

Actually. Yes. That’s exactly what Kevin did. He bought it, and stored it in our extra bedroom. And the pathetic thing is? I never saw it!! Honest to God. I’m not just saying that because I know he’ll likely read this – I honestly never knew the thing was in our bedroom. And I think Kevin said it was in the room for several days.

So when I look surprised in this video? I was genuinely surprised because I had no idea it was even in the room.

(And sorry for the squeaky voice. I can’t believe I sounded like that. Someone needed to slap a “CALM DOWN WOMAN” sticker on my forehead).

(And yes. I used to wear Christmas sweatshirts. Hush).

Here’s a picture of the case, in “case” (haha) you’re curio (curious – okay, I’ll stop now).

I love this case. It suits me perfectly. It’s not too fancy, but looks classy. It’s functional without being overstated. It’s modern, without being bizarre.

I stored my Precious Moments figurines in it for 20 years. It’s only been recently (like in the past year), that I’ve taken them out, put them back into their boxes and stored them. It’s weird, but I sort of feel like I’ve outgrown my Precious Moments. I’m thinking about selling them at some point (a few of them are probably worth some money), but I haven’t been able to let them go quite yet.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out what to put in my curio case, so that’s why it’s a little bare at the moment. Since I don’t do a lot of shopping, I haven’t really seen anything I liked. Though Kevin and I were shopping at Kohl’s the other day and we both saw this cool bicycle that we had to have. It’s currently our favorite piece in the house.

(Though I don’t know, that flowerpot on the bottom shelf ranks right up there. Jazz made that for me in preschool and I just treasure it. The teachers asked Jazz what he liked about having a mommy like me, so his answers are printed on the petals. It’s really too cute).


Even though I loved having someplace to put my Precious Moments figurines, that’s not the biggest reason why I loved the gift. I loved it even more because Kevin paid attention to what I liked, what I needed, and took the time to find that perfect gift.

This gift was thoughtful and wrapped in love.

Those are the best gifts of all.

(Well, aside from children, but you know what I mean).


Obama Mystery Shoppers on a Mission to Make Doctors Look Heartless

So apparently, the Obama administration is collecting “evidence” via mystery shoppers so they can blame doctors when ObamaCare fails. I’m also quite certain that the “survey” is being put together so that the Obama administration will have sob stories to produce during the 2012 elections.

Mark my words.

The “official” reason they are even doing this is because there is an increasing alarm over the shortage of primary care doctors. And there’s a shortage of primary care doctors because the doctors know that if they take patients on ObamaCare, they will lose money because ObamaCare reimburses only a fraction of the cost and being the government, their reimbursement will likely be slow coming.

Anyone who thinks it’s a doctor’s duty to help them for FREE needs to wake up from la-la land. The real world doesn’t work that way, no matter how much we WANT it to.

Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.

The administration says the survey will address a “critical public policy problem”: the increasing shortage of primary care doctors, including specialists in internal medicine and family practice. It will also try to discover whether doctors are accepting patients with private insurance while turning away those in government health programs that pay lower reimbursement rates.

The government is predicting that 30 million Americans will gain health coverage when the new law (just typing that leaves a sour taste in my mouth) goes into effect.

‘These newly insured Americans will need to seek out new primary care physicians, further exacerbating the already growing problem’ of a shortage of such physicians in the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a description of the project prepared for the White House.

Here’s how the government deception, oops, program, works: The mystery shopper will call a doctor’s office and will ask to see if the doctor is accepting new patients and if so, how long will they have to wait in order to see the doctor. If the shopper is asked what sort of problems they’re having, the shopper is instructed to say they have a fever, are coughing up green phlegm with a little blood in it. In other calls, they will request an annual checkup or a sports’ physical.

I would imagine most doctors would be reluctant to see a patient already spewing blood and would refer them to an urgent care of the emergency room to begin with, but you know, that only makes sense and apparently this administration doesn’t understand common sense so, go figure.

The government is eager to know whether doctors give different answers to callers depending on whether they have public insurance, like Medicaid, or private insurance, like Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Access to care has been a concern in Massachusetts, which provides coverage under a state program cited by many in Congress as a model for President Obama’s health care overhaul.

In a recent study, the Massachusetts Medical Society found that 53 percent of family physicians and 51 percent of internal medicine physicians were not accepting new patients. When new patients could get appointments, they faced long waits, averaging 36 days to see family doctors and 48 days for internists.

Just another reason not to vote for Romney since he made the template for ObamaCare.

I wonder what will happen if (when) the Obama administration discovers that fewer doctors are accepting government health insurance? Will they MAKE them accept them? They can’t MAKE a private citizen, in their private practice DO anything they don’t want to do. I’m sure some doctors will comply with the “suggestion to take more government-insured patients,” but I’m betting MORE doctors just opt to quit their practice altogether. Why stay in a high-stress industry where you don’t get paid enough to recoup your expenses? Why stay in business if it’s more stressful to try and make ends meet because you’re not being paid enough to make your business stay afloat and just throw in the towel and give up?

And where does that leave us regular Janes and Johns? Fewer doctors and long, long, LONG wait times. Which means more people will not get the help they need and more people will either get sick and/or die.

Sounds like a heck of a deal to me.

And people being people? Will take advantage of the “free” health care and will request a doctor for every little sniffle because after all, it’s FREE! There will be no incentive to stay healthy because going to the doctor (one who will eventually see you), is FREE! Yippee!

Never mind that that “free” healthcare is costing what few taxpayers are left what little pennies they have left.

*sigh* Look. Our health care system is out of control right now. I will not dispute that. It’s expensive and there are indeed people who desperately need health care but aren’t getting it that have fallen through the cracks. But ObamaCare, which is designed to basically screw the doctors and make everyone pay for everyone else, is simply not going to work. It defies every economic factor – business just doesn’t work the way Democrats WANT it to work. It just doesn’t.

So what’s the alternative? For those that claim the GOP haven’t offered any alternatives … I’m here to say they have. The Republicans have been presenting these options from the very beginning but because it didn’t suit the lame-stream media’s agenda of making people more dependent on the government, they didn’t widely report these alternatives.

We have to clean up this mess and replace ObamaCare with something that will be fair to ALL people and that will not scare doctors away.

The question is – who’s got the balls to actually DO it?

ADDED: By the way, here is an article explaining just what is wrong with ObamaCare. This is coming STRAIGHT from the horse’s mouth – a doctor. If you don’t read it, you’re part of the problem. Half of the battle is staying informed.

Home Movies

Hot Rollers Used to Be How I Rolled

I used to spend two hours, every day, hot rolling my hair. That, of course, was back in the days BEFORE children because we all know that spending two hours on your hair AFTER children is simply not going to happen.

I totally bought into the big hair style. It was fun to roll it, fluff it out and then use a whole can of hair spray (okay, not whole, but half) on my hair to make it stay. It was doubly frustrating for me because my hair would look AWESOME for about thirty minutes, and then it would start to droop, fall and soon I would just look like I crawled out of bed and was too lazy to comb my hair.

But I’ve reformed. I’ve evolved from those big-hair days and now have I virtually no hair.

I’m nothing if not extreme.

Okay fine, I have hair, but it’s the shortest it’s been … ever. Some days I LOVE it. Some days I HATE it. But I’m learning to live with it, I think. It’s certainly a lot easier to take care of and it literally takes me two minutes to blow dry it in the morning.

Now THAT I can live with.

I just bought some hair wax the other day, but I haven’t played around with it yet. I’m not real sure what to do with it. I mean, I KNOW it goes into my hair, duh, but … then what? Do I scrunch it? Do I toss it? Do I spike it? I suppose I can do whatever I want with it, that’s what this wax product claims anyway.

I bought the cheap stuff. A lot of the wax were $15.00 and over. *blink* I was about to toss the whole wax idea when I stumbled across a can for $5 bucks. Knowing that you often get what you pay for, my expectations are suitably low at this point. We’ll see how it performs. But I would sort of like to make my hair look like Annette Bening’s, only with bangs, if possible.

I went and got my hair colored a few days ago. I wanted to wash the remaining red out of my hair. Red is okay, but I really want to go back to my natural color, which is more of a chocolate brown. (Okay, so it’s more of a mousy brown, but saying it’s a chocolate brown sounds way more sexy). When the gal rinsed me out and we sat in front of her mirror, I could tell, right away, I was going to HATE it. I could tell, even when wet, it was that clown-orange color – AGAIN. AARGH! My stylist could see I was not thrilled and suggested we put in an ash blonde color to tone it down. At that point? I was willing to try anything because I really don’t want carrot-colored hair.

It doesn’t go with my eyes, you see.

So, my poor stylist spent another 30 minutes on me putting in an ash color. But when she rinsed it out, I’m happy to say it did indeed take the remaining red out and it’s now that sexy chocolate brown.

I should rename this blog “The Hair Saga.”

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I’ve been busy digitizing our old home movies and capturing snippets to share with you all. Kevin and I were visiting my folks in this snippet and we were getting ready to do some sight seeing in Kansas City. Everyone was ready to go, but everyone was waiting for me to finish my damn hair. I’m not exaggerating when I said it took me two hours to get ready. After shower and makeup, I would hot roll my hair, and then have to sit around for about 30 minutes to wait for it to cool down. Then I would take out the curlers, fluff it, pick it, make it as big as I possibly could because I knew it would lose a lot of it’s body before the end of the day and then spray the ever-loving heck out of it.

Even though Kevin loved the big hair, I think he prefers not having to wait around all day for me to make that happen.

I also used to be pretty anal about not going into public without makeup on. I wanted Kevin to always think I was attractive and to be proud of me. (Which he will tell me, after reading this, that he always thinks I’m attractive, no matter what I look like – but come on, there’s sweet and then there’s REALITY). I was also feeling pressure to always look my best because Kevin’s mom is like that – the woman NEVER looks bad. I think in the 23 years I’ve known her, I’ve seen her without makeup twice and that was because she had eye surgery and wasn’t allowed to wear any. My MIL is also the sort of person who goes out into public wearing sequins, silver shoes and bright pinks and somehow, it looks RIGHT on her. So I was sort of trying to meet Kevin’s expectations, I think. Even though he would tell you that it really didn’t matter to him what I look like (then or now), I know that deep down he sort of compared me to his momma and I didn’t want to disappoint him.

Then the boys came along and *PFFT* – that perfect hair and makeup mentality sort of went out of the window because I didn’t have the energy to care. I routinely dropped the boys off at school in my PJ’s and oily, makeup-free face and didn’t give a hoot. I figured, you no like? You no look.

Now that the boys are teenagers, I’ve learned to compromise. I still make an effort to look nice every day, but I no longer freak out if I have to run to the store on “makeup free” days. (Which, granted, don’t happen that often, but they do happen).

And before any of you go all feminist on me and say, “HEY! Don’t feel like you have to dress up for ANY MAN,” let me just say, I try and look nice FOR ME, too. It makes me feel good about myself and if I feel good about myself, then I’m more confident and if I’m more confident, then I’m mentally equipped to handle whatever life throws at me.

I also want to look nice for Kevin out of respect for him. Just put the shoe on the other foot for a minute. I’d have a real problem with Kevin if he had a huge beer gut (a little pooch is cute, I think), never shaved, rarely showered and never bothered to put on wrinkle-free clothes whenever we got together with family. I can at least return the favor.

Just because you have a marriage license doesn’t mean you have a license to stop caring about your appearance.

But there’s a happy medium in there somewhere – it just takes a while to find it sometimes.