Story-a-Day with Julie Duffy- Day 5

Her grandmother’s charm bracelet sparkled whenever she wore it. The sunlight always found a way to make it the center of her attention no matter what they were doing. I swear even the moonlight found a way to enhance the beauty of the bracelet.

I would sit captivated as grandmother told the story of each charm. Every experience she shared was magical. I wanted to have that kind of magic too. I wished for a bracelet of mine but my mother and grandmother said I was too young to have an expensive bracelet. I had to be patient.

Patient was not something I wanted to be. I wanted a bracelet now.

What could it possible hurt if I borrowed my grandmother’s bracelet ? She didn’t wear it when she was cleaning house and I’ll put it back before she’s done. She’ll never know. I couldn’t wait to show my friends. I’ll tell them all the magical stories, they’ll be so jealous.

I snatched it from the jewelry box and scooted out the back door. I put it on my wrist and skipped to the playground where all my friends usually were at this time. I climbed on the monkey bars, giggling as some of the charms created prisms on the cement. It didn’t take long for my friends to gather to check out my bracelet. I shared my grandmother’s stories and embellished some of my own.

Judy’s older brother asked if we wanted to go down to the lake for a swim. Yeah, that sounded awesome to all of us so off we went. The water was so tempting with the humidity I dove right in. We splashed and swam for awhile before coming out to dry off. That’s when I realized the bracelet was gone.

Where could it be? I looked on the shore. I walked into the lake but the bottom was so murky from all of our horseplay I couldn’t see a thing. My grandmother is going to be so angry, I told Judy.

Judy shrugged and said it’s only costume jewelry, no big deal.

I knew better. My grandmother loved her bracelet and all the stories. I just ruined everything. How was I going to tell her. I sat down on a rock looking at the lake as my friends all left for dinner. I needed to think about what I was going to tell my grandmother. She’s going to be very upset but once my father finds out I’ll be lucky if I can sit in a month let alone today.

What to do?


Story-a Day with Julie Duffy -4 and selling your house is not for the weak of heart, part 11.

Tying them all together.

It should have been a simple task for them but it wasn’t. Instead, every step taken toward our goal ends up being two backwards. She remembered her husband saying how worthless the word should really is. Grrrr. Why does everything have to be a hassle in their world?

The house that never stops giving, and people that push buttons continuously. The buyer withdrew again based on potential risks by the home inspection like our roof is showing age. Well, yes it is fourteen years old, it was replaced by the previous owner because it was leaking. He didn’t replace the inside rafters so they show water damage. But inside there is no water damage presently and there was none visible at the time. He also pointed all there was no barrier between the wood and the stone. Well, that is true. There isn’t a house in this development that has barriers, they weren’t required when this development was built.

Thankfully, the town occupancy inspector didn’t flag any of these issues so now it’s back to square one. Whatever that is? Our realtor is considering what he thinks should be our next step. All I know for sure I don’t want this buyer back in the picture. She’s offered, withdrew and then re-offered. I didn’t trust her and after seeing her in person I knew my gardens would never be loved as I hoped them to be. Gardeners know gardeners.

Reading the report, our house isn’t sloped enough, we sit on the highest elevation and never have standing water on our property but could possibly. Love all the possibilities, yeah lightning could strike our house tomorrow too!

Oh yeah, let’s not forget the carpenter bees buzzing around. Yes, the neighbor’s house has a nest in her roof but we’re penalized on the report because she has chosen to be neglectful. Seriously, we have no holes, no nests on our home. We did a thorough inspection after the pest guy commented on the bees. Brought it to the attention of the Architectural committee in our development. I think the HOA should absorb the cost because they do all the other pest management. What’s one more pest.

Do we write a rebuttal to the inspection or simply ignore it? Afterall, home inspectors make their money finding every possible flaw for the buyer. But seriously the things listed are ludicrous. All he did was give her an easy out. If she had seen the real beauty in our home she would have wanted it. Her loss.

Our electrical friend is putting the gfi needed in the kitchen this afternoon. That’s what the town inspector asked of us so we’re doing it. He was really nice unlike the buyers inspectors. I wonder does rudeness as an added bonus come with the inspection because he definitely had that covered and then some.

I pruned the rosebush on the back side because it was leaning into the neighbors walkway. I take my responsibilities as a neighbor seriously. They were budding last year at Mother’s Day but I don’t think they’ll be this year. The leaves are all a glorious red edge but no sign of new buds yet. I wasn’t sure I would have another season with them but looks like I will. I’ve shown pictures in other blog entries, the roses do really well here especially with the homebrew I give them regularly. Coffee grounds, chopped banana skins and crushed eggshells aka nitrogen, potassium and calcium all the things they need to flourish. I don’t believe in buying chemicals for my gardens, I try to be organic as much as possible.

Going to put some of the beer a friend left here last fall in aluminum pie pans to take care of the slugs that invade the hostas every year. I’m sure that’s not what Michelob intended for their product but it works for me. I’m not a beer drinker so she shouldn’t have left it either but she did so its not getting a new location. May have to put some out again after the rain clears out. If only the weather report was accurate but it hasn’t been yet this week and I don’t want the slugs to weaken my plants.

I did the six minute challenge earlier today with a bird picture. It was a stunning green with a red beak and a black mask around its eyes. None of the birds that come to our feeders in the back have that bold of a coloring except the American goldfinch with its vibrant yellow. Even the red-bellied woodpecker is dull in comparison to the picture chosen for the prompt. I love birdwatching. I was excited that we would have different birds to watch in Las Vegas area. I know we’ll get there just not with this buyer.

I will give Ms. Mediratta credit, sitting down to write 1000 words in one setting is definitely challenging for a woman who typically writes poetry. I know I will be thankful down the road for the experience but right now I feel like I’m pulling my hair out. One hundred and fifty more words to go. I know some writers set a time schedule and others a word count. I’ve always focused on the poetic feeling as to my ending. Not sure I can pull a poetic ending out of this narrative. Nor could I come up with a story I wanted to explore today as a response. Just too much stress coming from all directions.

Only good news of the day is James is doing better after his surgery. He’s not really into my scene/ beliefs but I did light a candle for him and ask the Goddess to keep him safe. That’s what friends do. I was reminded again today that all people come with good and bad. I’m very aware of that but I’m also aware of my limit or tolerance. I’ve been biting my tongue for a very long time even though this person did a very nice gesture when I was first had the health scare but unfortunately the things since don’t balance for me. It was also noted how judgmental as leaders we are if we don’t like someone how they need to go and why others haven’t been asked to leave who are mutually annoying well that has almost happened and may yet. But then there’s also the question who will take the group once I have relocated as in person leadership. Lots of things in the undercurrent, that are going to need answers. Among one of them is my needs versus theirs.

I look at the situation like a cut on my finger and see it as a metaphor for the world, how long do I let it bleed or do I simply bind it off and wait to see if time heals it.

Sorry my ending isn’t verbatim but it works for me. 1152 w/c

6 minute challenge

Cute Little Green Bird Computer Hd Wallpapers

A stunning green bird with a red beak and a black mask landed on my deck rail this morning. I said good morning and went back to sipping my coffee. He decided that I was harmless because he moved closer to me. I decided to ask him, “how are you?

He said, ” As a matter of fact, I’m irritated with the lack of variety of birds in this area. All that seem to come around your feeder are rather boring looking birds. None are vibrant like me.”

I spilled my coffee on the front of me before responding back. “What’s wrong with brown, gray, yellow, blue and black? I love seeing the nuthatches, chick-a-dees, blue-jays, crows, blackbirds, robins, finches, juncos, sparrows. “

“Ah, you’re a bird fan, but I bet you don’t know what kind of bird I am?”

” Are you a parrot?”

“Am I?”

With that he flew off, leaving me to wonder what kind of bird he was.

Selling your home isn’t for the weak of heart part 10 and writing challenge day 4

A woman picked up the radon test this afternoon. She says the home inspector will have the report and it could be six days before the report is finalized. This inspector doesn’t typically take this long but it is what it is. This waiting is annoying especially if the buyer decides to withdraw her offer because we’ll have to go through all of this crap again. Keep your fingers crossed.

Last night, I hosted a pre-graduation party for a great friend of ours. When we initially met him, he always ordered lemonade. We all thought he was underage but he wasn’t. He really enjoyed lemonade. So we did lemon-themed gag gifts. It was a memorable evening, that I’m sure none of us will forget.

Unfortunately, I overcooked again so we have lots of leftovers.

Writing challenge:

I’m doing the Julie Duffy story-a day challenge in addition to my personal one. I really want to get myself back on track by writing everyday. It’s easy to get caught up in the other crap.

Macavity and I have spent quality time together at the card table. I didn’t fold it after last night. I decided to do another tarot reading and then write there. He kept me company at first by watching and then snoozing. I don’t get it three car beds, the couch, our bed and he slept on the table.

Now I’m writing and he’s playing a mouse game on the iPad He does enjoy electronics. When he gets tired of the game he’ll watch the wildlife dvd. I think he misses Yeatsie.

There was a small yellow tabby in the corner cage with gold eyes in the pet store alone. Two other cages had black cats, one with white paws and the other with a white spot on his chest. They were very timid when I went to pat them unlike the yellow tabby. He bit my hand. I knew then he had spunk and I like that. He’s go personality. He came home with us a few days later. I would have taken him that day but the shelter was so slower than death processing his adoption. His shelter name was Zak, he became Macavity in our family.

Story-a-Day with Julie Duffy

Day 3 – Matthew Salesses Looks Back


This prompt comes from thinking about point of view and you could use it to write the whole story in two parts.

For the first part create a character who does something that you did during that week: e.g. go to the grocery store and you buy oranges. now. Now write about it in the third-person perspective and fictionalize it.

In the second part move your story 10 years into the future. Change perspective to make it a first person perspective. And it turns out that that non-momentous moment from your life (e.g. going to the super supermarket and buying oranges) ended up being extremely important to this character.

Don’t forget to include how the world has changed from 10 years ago to now and how the character’s world has changed, how they think of the world, and how they move through the world differently.


Jude hated grocery shopping for his mother but she made him feel so miserable when he suggested having her groceries delivered. Times have changed since Covid, why couldn’t his mother. He resented her being manipulative but didn’t know how to change things without having to get his own place. He didn’t make enough money working at the Arcade center but it did give the time needed to develop game apps so he could market them. He knew one of the games was going to make him wealthy.

He pulled the list out of his pocket, apples, butter, and Poise. He didn’t mind the apples or the butter but the adult diapers made his so uncomfortable because the cashier would always try to hide a smirk. He bet they made jokes about once he left the store. It was so embarrassing. Why couldn’t she have them delivered?

The apartment overlooks the Hudson River. It’s mind boggling. I keep wanting to pinch myself that I scored a job at Sony’s signature headquarters on Madison Avenue. I never dreamed I would be living in the big apple. No more minimum wage struggles.

Mom on the other hand still lives in Hoboken, New Jersey in the house I grew up in. I’m near enough but not that close. Perfect! I see her every other weekend, that works for me.

I opened my computer and then Amazon. I scroll to women incontinence products. Mom may resist coming into the internet world but not me. I look at the things, I wrote down after our conversation earlier, and clicked deliver. No more smirks or turned heads or chuckles when I leave.

I closed out Amazon and put my goggles on for testing of the latest game.

290 w/c

Story-a-day with Julie Duffy

Hills as green as emeralds sounds cliché but I’m at a loss for a better word to describe what’s before me as the car maneuvered the narrow roads. I wish he would slow down a bit so I could breathe in all the amazing vegetation but I’m sure his schedule isn’t as flexible as mine. Heck, a month ago mine wouldn’t have been either.

I can still see her face when I walked into her office and said I need two months off. She looked at me like I had two heads, went back to writing like I wasn’t even there. I said, “I’m serious, I need two months off.”

” No.”

“I figured it was a long shot but I had to ask.”

“Are we through, I have to get this done.?”

“No, I’m not done. I quit.”

The words I quit surprised me too but once I uttered them I felt like a weight had been lifted. I set my office keys on her desk, returned to my cubicle and then grabbed my personal stuff. I waved to a couple of my friends and left. I decided to drop them an email later because right now I wanted to get the travel agent’s office before closing.

I asked her to book me a trip to where W.B. Yeats and the artist Jack Keats found their inspiration.  The incredible scenic beauty of Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon are calling me. I read somewhere, these parts are known as Yeats’ Country. One of my favorites is the Stolen Child and it’s said that Glencar Waterfalls was the inspiration. The agent said Ireland has a lot of waterfalls, Glencar isn’t the tallest but it is one of the prettiest especially after it has rained.

Pretty is an understatement. The green smells sweeter than moss after a rain. I already feel like the green air has healed me from all the city toxicity. I will never underestimate the infinite vitality of green or Ireland again. I should have come sooner.

337 w/c

Glencar Waterfall, Leitrim, Ireland

DAY 3 Writing Challenge

Vic and I decided to enjoy a mid-afternoon siesta after a very long week. Macavity hopped up and snuggled against my leg but when I woke he had migrated to the center of the bed. I laughed because he was crosswise on the bed just like sleeping with a toddler. I’ve taken naps with my children and my grandchildren. They always ended up the wrong direction.

Macavity was sleeping so soundly I was able to take his picture and to slip out of bed for a restroom visit. He never even stirred when I returned to bed. I think this past week was exhausting to him as well.

After forty eight hours straight the wind finally calmed down. I think that also impacted our sleep more than realized. Macavity didn’t sleep in his usual spot by the window because the howling was crazy loud. I know it woke me quite a few times too!

Beltane Blessings to you and yours. Hope you enjoy !

Story-a-Day with Julie Duffy-1

Jack saw the cabin’s red metal roof among the white pines. How long had it been there? He had explored these woods for years but had never seen the cabin before. He was curious why there wasn’t any road access to reach it. “Curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back.” How many times had his Gram said that to him? Gram was the queen of clichés but he loved her anyway.

Jack decided there had to be an access road somewhere in these woods. He glanced at his compass and noted the direction of the cabin. He recorded the coordination on his cell phone before setting off. The pine smell reminded Jack of his grandparent’s tree farm. He helped his Grandpa prune the trees, thin out the weak ones and fertilize them. It was their livelihood.

He heard the water roaring in the distance. He usually avoided the gorge because he wasn’t comfortable with water ever since he slipped off one the rocks and fell into the rushing water. Grandpa pulled him out but not before he had been pulled under a few times. He avoided the river ever since.

He paused to check his coordinates and the time. Jack knew the woods were different at night and that a lot of people became nervous with all the animal sounds. That didn’t faze Jack. He chuckled remembering when Alice jumped into his arms when the coyote bayed a couple weeks ago. She smelled of lilac and her hair was silky against his chin. Jack wouldn’t mind having that happen again.

The water snapping against the rocks prodded Jack into the moment. He wandered along the riverbank looking for a shallow area to cross. There was no way, he was going into the water again. He stumbled upon the bridge. That wasn’t there the last time he was here with Grandpa. Who built the bridge?

He stepped on the bridge but then looked down. He couldn’t stop shaking. He felt nauseous. He quickly leapt and slunk to the ground. This is ridiculous, he thought. He’s a grown man acting like a coward. The bridge looked secure, no broken planks or missing rails. Jack shrugged. He stood up and stiffened his back as he looked across the bridge.

One step at time, Jack vowed. He wouldn’t look down just straight ahead. Grandma always said his curiosity would get him in trouble but it also helped him grow. Slow breaths, Jack said over and over as he slowly inched forward over the gorge on the bridge. He could see the cabin clearer now in the opening.

Day 2 Writing challenge

The World Through Her Eyes:

She was asked ,”Can beauty be found in chaos? How does one describe chaos? How does one describe beauty?

She knows chaos is a behavior or a situation so unpredictable it feels random. Just because it’s unpredictable doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. It doesn’t matter because beauty cannot be defined objectively. Beauty is a combination of qualities that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially sight. She likes the wind whipping leaves across the grass on a sunny fall day. The crackling of the leaves, the branches are magical to her. But not everyone observes what she does. How each leave surrenders to the caress of the wind like lovers veering into each other’s body as passions spiral. The energy revives her.

Life sometimes spirals because that the nature of the beast. In those moments, she embraced the chaos, and sought the hidden beauty that wasn’t apparent to others. They wouldn’t say shit if they had a mouthful but she’s different.

Some would say she’s a bitch for being so blunt, she won’t apologize for saying it like it is.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ― Bernard M. Baruch

6 minute challenge

I’m a bit late to the challenge but I find it interesting. I especially enjoyed the picture of the two cats snuggling. Okay, here goes.

“It’s okay, she tends to be quite grumpy without her coffee. I’m used to the human”

“She’s scary.”

“But once she’s put the coffee on brewing, she gets us breakfast and then adjourns to her chair. I’m not sure what she does with her eyes closed and the deep breaths.”

” I don’t know what she’s doing either. Breakfast was tasty. I’m going to stay with you until she’s drank her coffee, maybe even a second cup.”

“Once you get used to our human Mom, you’ll find she’s the best. It’s so much nicer here than the shelter place I was before..”

Yeah, I know what you mean. It wasn’t nice there at all. I’m really glad you’re my big brother, now.”

“I’m really happy you’re my little sister.”

154 words / 6 minutes