STORY CUBE CHALLENGE #7 – VOYAGES 2 – DUE APRIL 15, 2018

 

A FRIENDLY VISIT

The STARS twinkle against the black of the night as I crane my neck to see the almost invisible PLANE fly overhead.  I track it by the roar of its engines and can just see the light from the cabin shine out the tiny windows. I raise my HAND and give my best friend a final wave as she flies across the country back to her home and family.

Her visit was a whirlwind of adventures. Being apart for more than 20 years we didn’t waste any TIME catching up, we practically melted our credit CARDS. We enjoyed laughter and tears watching live THEATRE at The Pumphouse. Our skin glowed from the BEE pollen facials we treated ourselves to while reminiscing about childhood antics. We ate out every night, except pizza night when we stay in and watched romantic comedies.

Last weekend we kicked off our shoes and left FOOTPRINTS in the snow from the kitchen to the hot tub while we laid back and soaked our aching muscles from our trek around Vulcan.  We didn’t see any ALIENS but had a blast touring the Visitors Centre and the Starship Enterprise replica.

As I watch the plane slip into the night, I know I will remember this visit for many years. I guess it is now my turn to visit her in Halifax.  This trip will be hard to top, but we will do our best next time we get together.

 

Cheryle – April 15, 2018

Story Cube Dice VOYAGES for Story No 7 due April 15 2018

For more Story Cube Challenge posts Visit: A ‘Lil HooHaa Story Cube Challenge #7

 

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FANTASIA – STORY CUBE CHALLENGE – MARCH 4 2018

Story Cube Dice Fantasia for Story No 4 due Mar 4 2018 Warrior Queen, Wishing Well, Mysterious Man Polling a Magical Boat (or Ferry Man on River Styx)

Troll, magical being, Golden Bird Cage

Singing Lyre, Ogre, Transforming Potion/Beer

Juliana, the Warrior Queen, stumbles on the roots running higgledy piggledy over the forest floor.  Her breath coming in gasps was difficult to catch.  For a moment she leans against an ancient wishing well the rough stones scratching her shoulder while she searches ahead for a glimpse of the river.  Seeing a glint of water off to the left of the trail approx. 40 feet ahead she knows she has a chance.

Behind her, she hears the troll crashing through the brush rushing closer every second she stands still.  With a groan, she lurches forward and pelts down the path toward the hope that the boat is waiting where the Ogre said it would be.

Bursting through the bushes and brambles she practically bashes into the brightly coloured bow resting against the bank. With a final thrust of her legs, she tumbles into the gondola, pushing the boat into the swift current floating her away from the small large eared demon pursuing her through the treetops.  The Ferryman deftly rows the boat into the centre of the river as Juliana settles herself on the cushions in the passenger bench.  Thwarted the troll and demon scream at her from the bank.

Taking a moment to breathe and slow her heart she surveys the contents of the cabin area.  Yes, everything is here, The Golden Bird Cage, the Singing Lyre and the Silver Sword.  The three items which fulfil the foretelling the coming of the New Age.  Sitting back contently she slowly sips a tankard of foamy rejuvenating potion.

 

Cheryle – March 4, 2018

This is an awesome, inspiring challenge.  Please visit all the participants at:    A ‘lil HooHaa Story Cube Challenge #4

 

 

 

STORY CUBE CHALLENGE 2 – JAN 21 TO FEB 4, 2018 – The Life of a Sports Writer

The Life of a Sports Writer

I want to be frank.  I lead a pretty glamourous life.  As a sports writer I get to see all the action. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I have to attend meetings, stand up and talk about what I have been doing, what articles I want to write, and occasionally I have to push my own point of view. Duke it out in the press room, so to speak.  I read a lot of newspaper articles to keep abreast of what’s happening where and who is up against who and when.   I cover the gamut from wrestling, acrobatics, Nordic walking events to community and school intramural activities.

I work for a small local newspaper, freelance on the side and have written a couple of books.  These jobs keep me busy and I skip all the way to the bank.  I can pay my bills and enjoy some of the finer things in life; drive a good foreign car, wear expensive clothes and spend my holidays somewhere hot where the water is warm, the days are long and the nights longer.

On a good day I watch a game, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, from the best seat available or if I’m very lucky, from a VIP suite with the owners and other press reps.  These are usually pretty sweet deals as they are catered and I can scarf down some wings and appetizers and enjoy a beer or two, before I head out to the sports bar down the street from my apartment.  I enjoy taking in tennis, curling or golf on the tube.  I can talk with the armchair critics and get their take on the players, teams and coaches.  The word of the man on the street always makes for good copy.

After the bar I take my notes back to my apartment, write up my article and sleep in my king-sized bed.  In the morning I email it to my boss.  Usually he prints it as it is but once in a while he makes changes, which drives me crazy, it makes be feel like I’ve been burgled, but what’s a guy to do?  It’s my boss.

I love my job writing for the newspaper, it gives me the freedom and the action I crave.  Sometimes it is a little like jumping off a ledge, not always knowing what the day will bring or what I will say before the article is finished.  Writing the books is more like bricklaying.  There is a formula, as long as I follow it I’m laughing.  All in all, as I said I lead a glamourous life and I love it!

Story Dice for Story No 2 due Feb 4 2018

ACTION CUBES

  1. Burglary – stealing
  2. Sleeping ? I’m not exactly sure what this Icon represents
  3. Fighting, Wrestling
  4. Bricklaying
  5. Reading
  6. Jumping or skipping down stairs
  7. Talking
  8. Walking
  9. Acrobatics, Summersaulting or skateboarding

Cheryle – February 2018

THE FIRST STORY from Story Cubes Challenge – January 7 – 21, 2018

Lily Loves Scotland

The iron key, heavy in her hand, slid easily into the ancient lock. Lily cocked her head heard it unlock, turned the knob and gave the wooden door a gentle push. Nothing happened.  She leaned in and pushed with more authority.  The door gave a loud slow squeal opening into the small stone cottage that used to belong to her Great Aunt Flora.

With her luggage in hand, Lily steps through the threshold into the past and her future.

The last time Lily stood in this sitting room she was six, preparing to return home to Canada after 3 months running wild in South Ayrshire Scotland. It was the year her mother died.  Her father sent her to Straiton to stay with her mothers’ aunt while he finished his work in Egypt before settling into a new position at Brock University as Head of the Archeology Department. When she received word her aunt had died last winter her mind instantly returned to the last kiss and hug they shared, then through all the years in between that day and the day she held the letter in her hand.

Time hadn’t moved forward in the 20 years since she left.  The room was exactly the same, except the fireplace was cold and an electric heater had been installed on the back wall.

It was late, she could re-acquaint herself with the rest of Rose Cottage tomorrow.

Lily woke to a crack of thunder; a flash of lightning and raindrops sliding down the bedroom window.  She would get wet going into the village for groceries.  Until then breakfast would consist of the 1/2 submarine sandwich she put in the fridge last night and the unused teabag she had in her purse.

During the 15-minute drive into Straiton, the rain stopped and the fulgent sun peeked out to brighten the day as she wound past lush pastures, grazing white sheep and rock fences. Rounding a particularly sharp corner she had a spectacular view of a stunning rainbow shining above Monument Hill.  The countryside colours were brilliant.  Her eyes couldn’t take in all of the shades of green in the grasses, trees and shrubs, or how the blues in the sky and sparkling in the river set off the rainbow like a jewelled setting.  What a sight to see on her first outing.

In no time she was in the village scanning for parking.  Lily had her choice of spots on Main street and parked close to both the fresh market and the pharmacy. Everything was within easy walking distance, her shopping wouldn’t take her long, she could begin the job of sorting through Aunt Flora’s things earlier than she thought.

The bell above the door jingled as she walked into the market.  “Good Morning Miss, how may I help you?” asked the smiling clerk as she wiped her hands down the front of her Kelly-green apron and stepped away from the floral arrangements displayed in the front window.

“Hello, thank you, I am just picking up a few things. I may need some help finding some items, I have a list” Lily replied pulling the list out of her purse pocket.

“Here let me see what you need”, the clerk offered as she reached for Lily’s list.  Lily followed the clerk to the back of the store where the clerk moved in behind the meat counter and selected the chicken, pork, ground beef and bacon Lily had listed.  Each item deftly wrapped in butcher paper, tied with twine then handed to Lily who put them in the handbasket she had picked up by the cash register counter.

The clerk, looked down at the list then quickly but briefly glanced up at Lily and said, “You’re not from around here, are you?  “I’m not being nosy, it’s your accent that gives you away”.  She moved up and down the isles efficiently filling the basket with cans, jars, boxes, fresh fruit, vegetables, tea, coffee, bread, juice, butter, oil, garlic, basil, ginger tea and honey.   Lily smiled, “Yes, you are right, I’m not. I’m Lily from Canada, I’m staying at Rose Cottage.”  “Oh, you must be Flora’s niece from Calgary.”  The clerk reached over and took Lily’s hand in hers ” Your Aunt, she spoke very highly of you. I am so sorry for your loss. She was well loved here and is very much missed – God rest her soul.”  “I’m Heather and it is a pleasure to meet you Lily” She smiled again and continued to fill Lily’s shopping list.

As she collected the items and placed them in the basket, she showed each one to Lily who nodded her head in agreement.  Picking up a package of tea Lily commented: “Everything is so different here, even the Tea”.  Heather giggled, “Oh yes, everything is very different here in Scotland, I have a cousin who lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario she says the very same thing about Canada every time she comes to visit my Auntie” Gently taking the package of tea the clerk turns the container over and points to the manufacturer.  “See this one, Wee Tea is grown right here in Scotland, it even won awards in Paris” “Imagine that tea from Scotland winning awards”.   She was so happy and proud of the home-grown tea, Lily grinned “That is so awesome! I’ll try the one you have in your hand.”  Heather’s smile stretched from ear to ear.

Wiping her hands on her apron she moved to the register with the basket “Well, that’s the lot. I’ll ring it up and see what the damage is”.  As she tallies the purchases and puts everything into crisp paper bags Lily wanders over to the front window breathing in the heady scents of the various flowers on display.  With a sense of accomplishment, Heather announces “There it is, a total of 50 pounds 30 pence”.  Lily looking confused turns and walks back over to the counter, Embarrassed, she apologizes “I’m sorry I forgot to convert my Canadian money into Scottish money.  Would you take Canadian cash?”  Reaching under the counter and bringing out the calculator, Heather laughingly responds “Oh yes Lily, I will calculate the conversion and sell the Canadian money to my cousin the next time she visits”.  “That works out to 85 dollars 40 cents Canadian.  Is that OK with you?”  Thank you, Heather, I will have to go into to Dalmellington and convert the rest of my cash – I appreciate you taking my Canadian money” “You are very welcome, it is my pleasure to help you out”.

She moves out from behind the counter hands Lily the two bags, picks up a small wrapped bouquet of jonquils pops it into one of the bags, reaches over and holds the door open for Lily, the bells jingling merrily.  ‘Welcome to Straiton Lily – I do hope to see you again soon”.  “Thank you for all your help this morning Heather, take care, see you soon.” Once outside the market Lily turns right down the sidewalk to the Pharmacy.

With her errands complete and ready to return to the cottage, Lily balancing two large fully stocked grocery bags, the aromatic bouquet of jonquils and a first aid kit inside a small handled shopping bag walks down the sidewalk toward her car.  Twenty steps from her car, she is stopped her in her steps by the sweet scent of cinnamon buns wafting out of the Buck Tea Room.  She can’t resist cinnamon.  It is her favourite sweet spice.  Five minutes later she is on her way back to the cottage with a cinnamon bun in a small bag.

Before she reaches the cottage, Lily pulls off the road at Tairlaw Linn, the Water of Girvan runs through the northwest corner of the Rose Cottage property. She was glad she wore her runners it will make it easier to walk down to the beautiful double waterfall. As she had done dozens of times during her Scottish summer Lily bends over and slides smoothly between the fence rails and follows the animal trail down from the road to the meadow and the stand of alders beside the river.  The air cool and crisp after the rain is full of the scent of wet earth, leaves and thistle. She takes it all in, breathes deeply and listens to the laughter of the water as it tumbles over the edge and splashes into the pool below.

Lily’s Aunt Flora died while Lily was in Thailand teaching meditation.  She didn’t learn of her Aunts death until she returned home and read the letter from her Aunts attorney, two months after Aunt Flora was buried.  Flora had left everything she owned to Lily; a few stocks; a large nest egg; and Rose cottage, including the 12 acres of property it sat on.  This waterfall was on that property. How many afternoons had she spent swimming in its deep pools before returning to the cottage for tea and sweets?

Sitting down on a fallen log Lily carefully pulls out and unwraps the still warm cinnamon bun. The icing generously slathered on the glaze is gooey, the glaze sticky in her fingers and palms. The bun is oh so delicious.  Her mouth waters as she eats leaving her wanting more.  It certainly makes up for the poor leftover sandwich she had earlier.  Savouring the cinnamon and sugar she licks and sucks every morsel from her fingers then knees down to swish her hands clean in the bracing water.  Too bad she couldn’t enjoy a quick dip today.  Something to look forward to when she needed a break to clear her head.   Returning to the car she allows herself to make plans to stop by again, next time with a bathing suit and a full picnic.

Back at Rose Cottage Lily unlocks the bright blue door and gives it a hard push picks up her groceries and once again steps into the home where she will discover the secrets of her past and the truth of her future.

1 – Globe – travel

2 – Scarab – death – funeral rites

3 – Flower – nature

4 – Abacus – ancient calculator

5 – Key – Access – secrets – truth

6 – Building – Cottage – Family

7 – Letter L – Lily – Linn

8 – Lightning Bolt –

9 – Rainbow? Waterfall?, River?  (Wasn’t quite sure what the icon was)

 

Cheryle – January 2018

PBC – June 2017 – Use a Different Lens

PHOTOBLOGGERS CHALLENGE – JUNE 2017 – USE A DIFFERENT LENS

Many years ago, I purchased my first SLR camera – A Chinon. I loved it!  I was in heaven snapping pictures in my living room, on the street, in the park, or off my balcony, where ever I was.  I barely learned how to use the ASA, F-stop and Aperture functions before developing the film became too expensive.  The undeveloped rolls languished in my fridge for 20 years or so.  A sad state of affairs.

One day, when I was feeling particularly unhappy, I swept into the camera store and walked out with a Nikon D60,  three lenses, a couple of filters, a charger, an extra battery, a cleaning kit, and a camera bag. I was in heaven.  The one and only time I treated myself to such an extravagant shopping spree.  I smile every time I think of it.

This month’s A lil Hoohaa – Photo Bloggers Challenge is to use a different lens. This technical challenge was the impetus I needed to finally start to figure out how to use my NIKON D60 in a mode other than “Auto” or what I call “Running Man”.  The Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8D lens I opted to use for this project has never been used previously.  It has lain in the camera bag sad and unwanted.  Not unwanted because it was considered inferior, unused because I was intimidated.  After all, it is a manual lens. In my mind, I could only use it if I knew what I was doing.  And I don’t.  So it sat inside its black bag, waiting for me to know what to do.

I enjoyed this challenge, more than any of the others I have participated in.  I learned a few things, I remembered a few things, and I;m anticipating future fun.  The photos look more 3 dimensional, the colours appear to be richer, the textures more touchable, and  f/11 is still my favourite f-stop.  I look forward to using this lens on a regular basis.

Anemone a

Anenome – 1/2000 sec f/14.50 mm ISO 3200

Columbine aColumbine – 1/60 sec. f/20.50 mm ISO 200

columbines spruce texture aTextures – Columbine blossoms, Spruce Tree & Peony leaves – 1/80 sec. f/11.50 mm ISO 1600

Rose bee aRose Bee – 1/400 sec f/5.50 mm ISO 200

 

Velvet Petals aVelvet Rose Petals – 1/30 sec. f/22.50 mm ISO 800

Cheryle – June 2017

Please stop by A ‘lil Hoohaa to see the rest of the entries for the

A ‘lil Hoohaa Photo Bloggers Challenge June 2017

 

 

 

 

Photo 101 – Photo A Day – Day 2 – Street – Wide Angle

Photo 101 – Photo A Day – Day 2 – Street – Wide Angle

Good Morning.   Today is an inside day so I selected one of the photos I took for the Photo bloggers Challenge presented by A ‘lil Hoo Haa at http://hoohaablog.com/ .  It is a fun recurring monthly challenge.  A theme is sent out early in the month and on the last day everyone posts five pictures they took during the month which represent their interpretation of the theme.  Last month the theme was “Winter”.

I hope this picture represents the Day 2 Photo A Day Theme:  Wide Angle aspect of the Street.

Winter About Town_Feb 06 2015_0093

Downtown Cowtown

Calgary bustles along Memorial Drive

While skyscrapers puff smoke

Proof they are alive.                          Cheryle  March 3, 2015

If I am going to learn anything about my camera and the technicalities of photography, I need to understand the language of the camera.  With that being said,  I am going to post the details of each photo.  I hope it isn’t boring to you.

THE TECHNICAL STUFF

f/stop f/11 Dimensions 3872 x 2592
Exposure Time 1/500 sec Width 3872 pixels
ISO Speed ISO –  400 Height 2592 pixels
Focal Length 55 mm Horizontal Resolution 300 dpi
Max Aperture 4.3 Vertical Resolution 300 dpi
35 mm focal length 82 Bit Depth 24
Digital Zoom 1 Resolution Unit 2
Lens Nikon DX AF-s

Nikkor 55-300 mm

1:45–5.6    GED  VR

Colour Representation sRGB
Lens Cover 58mm UV(c) lens cover Compressed bits/pixel 4

Much of the above is a  mystery to me.  It is my hope, with time and experience I will become fluent with what the camera is telling me.

I usually use my Nikon D60

6th Assignment – Blogging 201 – Writing Poetry Ballad – Heroine, Anaphora/Epistrophe

6th Assignment – Blogging 201 – Writing Poetry Ballad – Heroine, Anaphora

Day 6 and I am up to date with my assignments.  Yeah!  I completed my Ballad about a Heroine using the poetic device Anaphora.

This is my imagining of what a young Priestess would say about her Goddess upon ordination.  It is no way historically accurate or even a slice of history.  It is just me and some words.

Ballad – Heroine, Anaphora

-isis-greek-roman-sculpture-vintage-illustration-from-meyers-konversations-stock-vector-sculpture-of 91944878  edited              A Ballad for the Goddess

If I knew then what I know now

I would have

……….Hung my head in supplication

I would have

……….Danced naked in your presence

.

You have risen me from despair into hope

……….From disrepute into honour

.

If knew then what I know now

I would have

……….Picked sacred herbs until my fingers bled

I would have

……….Drunk poppy juice until the truth flowed freely

.

You have replaced my chains of slavery with freedom

……….Shown me the clues to great happiness

.

If I knew then what I know now

I would have

……….Plaited flowers and worn them in my hair

I would have

……….Sat in silent meditation on your virtues

.

You taught me the ways of love

……….To see you in the moon and the stars

.

If I knew then what I know now

I would have

……….Borne the lessons without struggle

I would have

……….Lifted my voice in joyous song

.

You have given me the strength

……….To face demons dark

……….To stand alone free from fear

.

If I knew then what I know now

I would have

……….Bowed down to you the day I was born

.

Cheryle Feb 23, 2015

 

Image from:    × Stock Vector Illustration:

Sculpture of Isis – greek – roman sculpture / vintage illustration from Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1897

  • Image ID: 91944878                      Copyright: Hein Nouwens