The Games People Play

Photo by Anna Tarazevich

I have a morning routine as I enjoy my coffee. It Is broken into segments and one of those is games. I have a set of word games I play every morning before the day switches into high gear. There is an order and a method to my madness.

  1. Wordle (fast, easy, and out of the way)
  2. NYT Spelling Bee (I play the free game only)
  3. NYT Crossword (Saturday’s puzzle is always the most challenging)
  4. Waffle (another fun and fast word game)
  5. Octordle Daily Sequence (eight puzzles revealed one by one)
  6. Daily Sedecordle (sixteen simultaneous puzzles)

I do always do these six In the same order every morning. I get through them fairly quickly. Of course sometimes I ‘lose’ but not often. I have learned not to sweat the small stuff.

I grew up playing Scrabble. Our family loved it. My children always hated it when I broke out the Scrabble board. No one in my family is fond of board games much these days, especially Scrabble! Our grandson loved board games that required strategy like Catan or Risk when he was younger. We always seemed to lose to him.

I play the word games for me. Sometimes I stumble onto words I do not know, but my knowledge of how words are formed helps me solve the puzzle. It is my mental exercise to start the day.

Am I the only one?


One Liner Wednesday – Be Kind

You can’t fix yourself by breaking someone else.

On that note, I try to remember to be generous with understanding, to listen as much as I speak, and to learn from our differences. Tearing someone else down takes me with them. Let’s be kind.

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us each week by Linda Hill. Pop over to her place to get the rules and read the contribution of others.


If It’s Not One Thing…

It’s always another…the best laid plans and all that rot…

Sunday evening in the middle of the night I had another vertigo episode. It is always unnerving, especially in the night. It is the first time I have experienced it since my physical therapy eliminated it. They did warn me that it does recur in some percentage of patients and they do not know why. I think mine may have been stirred because of the high pressure we have been experiencing. I was experiencing sinus blockage, too, and they can be related in my experience.

I had to cancel my plans to have coffee with my friend for fear I shouldn’t try to traverse the winding roads across the mountain. I was really looking forward to seeing her, but hopefully we will reschedule soon. I still feel a little off kilter, so I am continuing to take it easy. Yesterday was a wash.

I am working on a fictional piece and I am finding the research so fascinating. So much so it is slowing down my writing. Just when I think I have learned enough to properly ground my piece, I discover another intriguing detail. This is the first historical fiction piece I have attempted and there is a certain obligation I feel to historical accuracy. For those who specialize in this genre, I salute you!

As promised here are a few photos of hubby’s kayak, built at the Wooden Boat School in Maine. These are just a very few of the steps in the process.

There is still sanding, more coats of epoxy and varnish, seat and footrest, hatch cover, etc., yet to finish.

In the next three days we are predicted to have more hot weather. I have enjoyed our brief respite from the heat. The ability to open the doors and enjoy some fresh air has really been nice. Our A/C has only come on once in the last week or so. It has been very pleasant sleeping weather.

We purchased some fall vegetable starts and replenished our herb garden. I think I enjoy a fall garden the most. It won’t be long until we are making hearty soups full of fresh green veggies.

I am trying to listen to an audio book for the first time in ages. I checked out the kindle version of Reign of Terror by Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny, but could not seem to get started. So, I am trying this to see how it goes. I am very picky about the person who reads an audio book so the jury is still out. I recently read Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton which I loved. It was a fun fast paced read for me. I also read The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams – recommended to me by my friend. As a lover of words, I truly enjoyed it as well!  It is a lovely historical fiction piece. Now, what are you reading?

There is not much else to write about so I will close for now. I am taking it easy again today. Hopefully this vertigo thing is behind me. I hope you all have a good day.


Blog, SoCS

SoCS – Does This Ring True?

It’s Saturday morning and time for SoCS again hosted, as always, by the lovely Linda Hill.

If you want to join in, head over to Linda’s and get the scoop on the rules. Here’s the subject for the day.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ring.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Bonus points if you use it as both. Have fun!

I always read Linda’s prompt on Friday afternoon. This helps me toss ideas around in my mind before I start to write. It does not always work in my favor. Take today’s word for example – ring.

I first thought about my Tibetan bowl. I remember teaching my grandson how to make it sing. He was so enthralled with it, we bought him one for his birthday when he was oh so many years younger. It has a calming effect. But see – I’m thinking of sing – not ring.

Moving on, I thought about the song “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. But there wasn’t much I thought I could say about that off the cuff. So I decided to sleep on it.

This morning I woke up thinking about Sing Sing – the prison in New York. Why do I remember that so well? It must have been mentioned in a lot of those B gangster movies we watched as a kid. RING NOT SING! What is wrong with me?

My mind eventually went to gangsters then. The stoolies couldn’t keep their lip zipped. When they decided to ‘sing like a canary’ they ended up wearing cement shoes. Do you see a pattern here? R-I-N-G, Maggie! Get with the program.

Once my mind takes a detour, it ends up on a one way street with no opportunity to turn around and right my path. 

Trying….ring, ring, telephone ring. We don’t own a traditional telephone anymore. I guess my cell phone rings, but it is usually a ringtone which for me means a song that reminds me of that person. My ears ring almost constantly. I hate that. 

I wonder why they call a boxing ring a ring? It is a square not a circle. I could look it up, but my mind wants to remind me of the movie “Sing” that my granddaughter loves so much.

Good grief. I’m just going to stop here and enjoy my coffee. Maybe I should not have thrown my hat in the ring this morning.

Blog, throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday #56 – Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost?

Remember those first loves and the rush that went along with the first kiss? With those first loves usually come some of our earliest heartbreaks.

This week’s prompt is: First Heartbreak

I will give you some questions to help you along. Or, free write if you would rather. You can either respond in the comments or link back to this post. My response will follow.

How old were you when you had your first heartbreak? (For some it might be well into adulthood and that’s fine, too!)

Who broke your heart – first names only?

Do you remember how the breakup happened?

Did you have a ring or token of your love? Did you return it?

Did you think this was true love?

Did you play any sad songs to soothe the pain? If so, do you remember the name of the song?

If you were an adolescent, were your parents sympathetic or were they of the “it’s only puppy love” school of thought?

How long did it take you to get over it all?

Do you remember this person fondly or is it someone you prefer to forget?

After all was said and done, was it for the best or did you remain longing for a love lost?

My first real heartbreak was when I was 17 years-old. My sister was in the Air Force and stationed in. Charleston, SC. Over the summer, my parents and I traveled to Charleston to see her. Over the weekend, we drove out to Isle of Palms to stay for the weekend. I remember it well. We stayed in a huge old white three story house with lots of bedrooms. It was an early mix between a boarding house and what would become what we now know as a bed and breakfast.

My sister invited some of her Air Force friends out to spend the day at the beach with us. There were three guys if I remember correctly. I have a perfect mental image of myself at the time. Young, thin, with long brown hair. I remember wearing shorts and a halter top and a wide brimmed hat. We spent the day dividing our time between the ocean and the beach.

As the day went on, I found myself falling for this tall, dark, young Italian man named Pete. By the end of the day I was head over heels. We walked to the boardwalk and there I experienced my very first ‘adult’ kiss. I felt like I might die right then and there. I was smitten. As the afternoon faded everyone decided to shower and change so we could all go out to dinner, sans parents.

My mom was quite the character and always had an edgy sense of humor. We were all sitting on the sprawling porch when my sister’s friends pulled up, got out of the car and approached us. At first my mom did not recognize them now that they had showered and changed out of their swim trunks. When she finally recognized who they were, she laughed and said, “Sorry. I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on.” Everyone laughed except a couple of very prim and proper ladies sitting on the porch.

We all piled in the car and drove to what I think was a Shakey’s pizza parlor. On the ride back, I sat by Pete. I was overwhelmed  with feelings I had never experienced. That evening, back at the beach, we sat on the steps and he sang to me – “Tell Laura I Love Her” is the song I remember most. What a wonderful voice he had. We sat on those steps as night fell and the stars came out – then he had to go.

We left the following day and went to my grandparents’ home in Virginia. When we arrived I had a terrible sunburn. I was blistered, but all I could think about was Pete. My sunburn was so bad my grandmother had me lie on the bed upstairs. She brewed strong tea, cooled it, and soaked towels in the tea to use as compresses on my back. I laid on the bed all day and cried my eyes out. Everyone thought it was the sunburn, but it wasn’t. It was a broken heart.

I never saw Pete again, but I did talk to him years later when I was in the Air Force. The Air Force had a personnel locator service so people could find each other after they were separated by a change in duty stations. I managed to get his phone number and called him. I can remember the conversation as if it were yesterday. He was shocked to hear from me. He was touched and surprised that I called and was truly surprised to learn how I felt about him a just few years earlier.

Years later I am glad it was what it was and we never saw each other again, but I definitely did not feel that way then. It will always remains a beautiful unblemished memory of my first ‘real’ love and the pain of my first crushing heartbreak.