There’s A Monster Under My Bed…YAY!

:::Holidailies Prompt:::

Not a creature was stirring …


When I was little I used to feel sorry for the monsters in horror  movies.

If people weren’t trying to shoot them, they were burning them or pushing them off of cliffs.

So every Christmas Eve I would sneak treats and food into my room, put them on a plate and shove it under my bed because duh, that’s where monsters hide.


We used to have this little dog Blackie and one Christmas my Mom found him in my room halfway under the bed and from the sounds of it he was busy chewing on something.

She pulled him out and his face was smeared with gravy and frosting. He was chewing on a roll of Lifesavers candies from my Lifesavers Christmas Storybook.

He got loose and dove back under the bed.

She pulled him out again and this time he was dragging the plate with him.

I think most of the turkey was gone, but there was still a lot of goodies on the goodie plate.

Too bad Mom took it, there was still enough on that plate for a couple of monsters and a dog.


My Dad saw my Mom carrying the goodie plate to the garbage bin under the sink and he asked, ” What the hell was that mess.”

My Mom told him where she found it.

I was right behind her giving her the evil eye the entire time.

” Are you crazy?” He asked my six year old self ” what did you do that for?”

I glared at him too and stomped off.

They wouldn’t understand I thought. But had I told them I was leaving food for the Wolfman and the Mummy they probably would have understood.

This is why:


One Christmas I saw my Mom in the kitchen cutting up Turkey and Ham that she had just taken off of the serving platter. She cut it up and mixed in with our dog’s regular dried food.

When I saw her doing that I was surprised.

She wasn’t a pet person for the most part.

I asked her outright why was she giving the dog so much turkey and ham and she said, ” Because it’s their Christmas too.”

We’ve had several dogs over the years and she still does that.

Now days I’m willing to I will bet  the Wolfman would have benefitted from her generosity too.

Apparently this dog named Moose, who played the wolf that bites Lawrence Talbot, totally became buddies with Lon Chaney Jr. on the set of The Wolf Man and followed him around wherever he went.

Apparently this dog named Moose, who played the wolf that bites Lawrence Talbot, totally became buddies with Lon Chaney Jr. on the set of The Wolf Man and followed him around wherever he went.

So now I’m 51, I still love my Monsters and at Christmas I have this little plate of treats that I will set up on a high shelf where the dog can’t get it.

I’m a little disappointed when the treats are there the next day, because I was sure, I was positive that the creatures were stirring in my house.

Maybe next Christmas I think as I take the treats down from the shelf.

And then I say what I’ve been saying since I was five years old:

Maybe next year.


If My Eye Offends Thee

The Artist’s Eye

Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to? What does it say to you? Describe the experience. (Or, if art doesn’t speak to you, tell us why.)


One Summer I decided to learn about art, paintings and sculptures. So I studied the works of various artists-and found I  wasn’t partial to any at the time.

Then I took  class and ended up at a gallery.

It turned out that even though it was an Introduction class, most of the people in it could have taught the class themselves. Or maybe the ones who didn’t know about art kept their mouths shut because they were intimidated and were able to look really smart.

I’m sure I was coming across as one of the dogs who tilts their head to the side when you talk to them- but what the heck, I was there to learn.

As we went from painting to painting,  people in the class took turns impressing each other with their knowledge. It was hard to sort it out, but it sounded like they were saying the same thing.

I finally sucked it up and I volunteered some info about what I saw and wouldn’t you know it? I was looking at the painting I had read about the artist, I scanned the cheat sheet- I mean ” program” they handed out at the door but was told I didn’t understand what what the painting was ” saying”.

From that point it went on.

I had never been called stupid in so many classy big words in my life.

I felt like a door had been slammed shut in my face.

Fine, I thought. That’s just fine.

Pompous jerks- why on Earth would I spend my hard earned money to be called ignorant…excuse me ” a novice…ho ho ho. “

It was years before I went into another gallery again.


It seems fitting that after being banished from the world of art, I should be welcomed  back by this painting:


This is Lucifer by Franz Von Stuck.

He was hanging on a wall, in a place of prominence- or maybe it just felt that way on the day I saw it for the first time.

It was funny because people wouldn’t walk up to it and stare- they didn’t walk around it and stand in different spots on the floor to observe it the way you’re supposed to in order to see the painting from different perspectives ( I actually liked learning to do that ).

It was the biggest, loneliest picture in the room- given that I had no idea it was such a famous picture- but I knew I liked it because I understood it and I’m not going to eat it and  say  I’m wrong.

As I stood there admiring Lucifer, I saw the anger, the loneliness and the defiance of his situation. Maybe nobody wanted to be reminded how easy it is to be in that place. I don’t think anyone wants to be in that situation- and they probably don’t want to be at the receiving end of that anger burning in those yellow eyes.

Some of us have cast aside people we claimed to love, to care about. We have all held someone up and that dropped them to the depths of Hell and watched them burn.

If I were such a person, I don’t think I’d like this picture-because somewhere is someone thinking of you with the same exact look on their face.

I guarantee it.

Now there’s a thought that would scare the Hell out of people.


Since that day I have become a great admirer of Von Stuck. I love his paintings- the stories they tell, and I don’t really care if I’m ‘wrong’ or if I’m not seeing it the ‘right way’.

I’ve gone on to admire other works- but Franz is my favorite because he opened the door to a world that had been closed to me and my life has become a little richer for it.

Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach

Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach

As a writer I have learned that good stories take on a life of their own- that when someone reads your work and they  see it in their head, you know you’ve struck a chord and your story will live.

It goes out into the world and grows and spawns new ideas and other work.

If you’re an artist, isn’t that what you want?

Or am I not seeing this the ‘right way’?


Hark! Who Goes There?


:::Holidailies Prompt:::

Meeting people in cyberspace

Remember in the beginning of the movie  Invasion of The Body Snatchers people are insisting that their friends and relatives LOOK like their friends and relatives, but that something is off. It’s as if they’ve been replaced but a copy of themselves.

I think that happens in cyberspace.

Say I know someone in the ‘real world’ and meet a person who knows them from Cyberspace.

Their Cyberspace friend will comment how our friend seems ‘off”.

It’s like I’m hearing a variation on that line- it looks like her, sounds like her but something is different….

Well. I want to say. You don’t know the ‘real person’.

But I never do.

spooky mirror3

There seems to be a sense of purity when it comes to internet relationships, people seem to think there are no filters, there are no masks that what you are getting is someone’s true self-.

That feeling of closeness, that familiarity?

That’s happening in your head.

It’s a reflection.

scary mirror2

I think that cyberspace is a nice  place to visit, to explore.

There is a downside though.

Do you know what happens to the human body when it spends time in cyberspace’s  counterpart outer space?

Your muscles atrophy, your bones get brittle, your heart shrinks and you lose your sense of balance.

The same thing happens to you in cyberspace.

Be careful out there.

 disintegrating star

Take your Cockatoo to Work with you

You know what makes a great post? When people share something that is true and real and meaningful. Plus when the pictures are great? It’s a treat for your eyes and brain.


Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Patrick at work

This is my oldest son at work, he is a metal worker. Being autistic he is very good at the routine work on the machine and yesterday Mr. Swiss (in the background) and I had the pleasure of visiting him at his work place. Now can you see it, just on the left, yes – a cockatoo. I had heard about Otto (the name of the bird). He belongs to my son’s boss and is always present in the factory. When we arrived yesterday the first thing I saw was a large cage with a cockatoo on the way to my son’s department, so of course I took a few photographs.

Patrick at work

When Otto saw me, it was time for a show and he climbed up the bars of the cage to show his wonderful headdress. Later he left the cage and spent most of the time on his master’s shoulder…

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The Devil You Say!

10,000 Spoons

…When all you need is a knife might not be ironic, but it is unfortunate. Add your own verse, stanza, or story of badly-timed annoyance to Alanis Morissette’s classic.

No! No! No!

I hated this song when it came out, I hate it now and I will hate it in the future.

I’m not grammar Nazi ( I have friends who correct my spelling in the comment section of Facebook. Seriously? Who CARES. It’s Facebook. Facebook is like a stall in a public bathroom that you write on. No one is concerned with your spelling and writing skills as long as the poem rhymes and the graffiti is entertaining ) but this song wasn’t a list of  ironies- it was a series of bummers.

So if we want to go down that path, here is the ultimate bummer.

This song tells the story of the singer’s waking up one morning to the devil knocking on the door, telling him that “it’s time to go”.

I mean, your life could be going on just fine and when your ticket is punched the Devil shows up to take you away.

Not a fluffy winged golden haired angel or the spirit of a loved one bathed in white light.

But the Devil Himself.

I know.

It’s the ultimate burn.


The Turkey Incident


Do you have a hilarious holiday story? If not, make one up.

Our Dad had been a Chef and it was his job to roast the Christmas Turkey.

His Turkeys were great, they were perfect and he took great pride in his work.

The turkey  skin was golden, the bird was always seasoned and stuffed to perfection. I swear to God when he pulled it out of the oven it looked like something you’d see on a magazine cover or cookbook.


When I was 12 I had saved up my money and bought the most adorable little Alaskan Malamute puppy I named Sham.

I should have named him Godzilla because Sham grew up to be the size of a horse.

Not some regular horse.

Oh no.

He was Clydesdale sized.


Sham never liked being in the house when we were cooking because I think it was too warm for him.

But one Christmas  me and my brother and sister wouldn’t let him out when he asked because we were having fun with him.

Sham was a gentle giant and we had spent the afternoon trying to dress him up like an elf.

You know kids- our parents went to wrap some gifts for our family members that were going to be coming for Christmas dinner and we decided to power our way through the candy in our Christmas stockings and we forgot Sham was in the house.

My brother went to the kitchen to get some cookies and he came running back into my bedroom.

His face was white and I thought he was going to faint.

He couldn’t speak, he just grabbed me by my hair and pulled me down the hall to the kitchen.

All my brother could do was point

Sham was standing at the counter and he had this huge turkey in his jaws.

I slapped my hand over my mouth to keep from screaming.

My sister was right behind us and we piled on Sham and held him still while I pried his jaws open.

He dropped the turkey on the floor, I grabbed the cooling platter from the counter and dropped the turkey on it.

The  platter was made of wood had little spikes on it to hold the turkey in place. I pushed the turkey back on the spikes and burned my hand shoving the stuffing back in because some of it had popped out and oozed on the counter.

Me and my brother lifted the platter and put it back up on the counter.

” What are you kids doing?” my Mom called ” You’re to quiet!”

” We’re playing with Sham.” my sister answered.

I looked down at her in horror. ” Shut up!” I hissed.

I stuffed turkey bits in the little holes from Sham’s fangs and we ran back down the hall and into my bedroom.

” Hide him!” my brother said.

I threw a blanket over Sham and he layed down and we could hear him licking his chops under the blanket.

He fell asleep and the three of us sat there on my bed waiting to die.

The doorbell rang and the rest of our family started to show up for Christmas Dinner.

Then my Dad went into the kitchen to carve the turkey.


Dinner went off without a hitch.

Dad carved the turkey, there were a million side dishes and everyone said it tasted great as usual.

I wouldn’t know- me and my siblings didn’t eat turkey that Christmas.

Come on. It was in our dog’s mouth. It was on the kitchen floor at one point. We wouldn’t have eaten it for more Christmas presents or money.

Besides, every time we lifted a slice to our lips the other one would bark or pant and we’d start laughing so hard we’d start choking.

I don’t know if this was the funniest Christmas memory I have- but it is one of the best.

Now it’s tradition:

I give my dogs their own slices of turkey freshly carved and still a little warm

And I tell them it’s from Sham



Sham during the Year of The Turkey Incident

Sham during the Year of The Turkey Incident

Needs Must When The Devil Drives

Because the Night

Are you a night owl or are you the early bird? What’s your most productive time of day? When do you do your best work?


I can’t write- because I’m tired.

I can’t write because I’m fresh out of ideas.

I don’t want to write because I’d rather eat pizza and watch Cupcake Wars.


When you write that down and look at it, you’d think a writer come come up with better excuses than that.

The problem is I stopped writing and I got a little rusty.

So my excuses got lame.

They were so lame I never said them out loud.

I just did them.

Until the nightmares started.

In the blink of an eye

I was having dreams about being lost in abandoned buildings,  fancy grand hotels and empty streets

The signs on the buildings and street signs were a jumble of letters and numbers- which isn’t a surprise. When I dream I can’t read , everything is a collection of letters I don’t even recognize.

I thought I was looking for a way out of the dream. Maybe I thought I could walk through the right door, go down the right street and I’d be back in my bed safe and sleeping.


I would dream a man- sometimes I talked to him directly. Sometimes he would walk by me in a crowd or I’d saw his face in a picture hanging on a wall.

In the last ghost town dream I had he was walking towards me and as we passed each other he said, ” Needs must as the devil drives.”

I asked what.

He stopped.

” How would you like to come back here every night?”

” It’s daytime.” I looked up into the dream sky- which was blue and the sun was shining.

” You know what I mean. Lost in one place or another every night of your life until the day you die.”

” Lost in my own head?”

” No. Lost in mine.”

” This is my dream.”

He looked around.

I looked around.

” This.Is. My. Dream.” he insisted.

It was true.

That’s why nothing was familiar in these dreams.

I screamed myself awake.

Needs must as the devil drives- no matter how tired I am or how tasty the cupcakes look,  I write every night now before I go to sleep.

And when I dream, they’re my dreams.

For now.