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What’s in a Name? – SoCS and #JusJoJan 2023

Welcome to day twenty-eight of Just Jot It January for 2023 combined with SoCS. Today’s prompt from Linda is ’throw in the towel’.

Did you know there is a fingernail polish color named “Throw in the Towel”? I wonder what mood might inspire me to wear it? Do women buy products based on the name? Well, perhaps not totally but it sure does help.

Take my daughter for instance. She wears the same lipstick color everyday. It is called “Sorry Not Sorry”.

My sister loved to go to the casinos in Cherokee to play the slots. She always had a manicure before going and loved to wear “Royal Flush Blush” polish on her nails. I don’t know if it was her or the polish but she always had good luck!

It made me think I should come up with a line of colors just for women of a certain age (my certain age). I could see a nice blush pink I would call ‘Hush I’m Napping’ or perhaps a black and blue evening polish I would label ‘My Aching Knees’.

I think I might be on to something.

Written as part of Linda Hill’s SoCS and JusJoJan 2023

Blog, SoCS

Count On It – SoCS and #JusJoJan 2023

Welcome to day twenty-one of Just Jot It January for 2023 combined with SoCS. Today’s prompt from Linda is ’count on it’.

You know that old saying “if anything can go wrong, it will”? That’s how I feel about myself and medicine. If there is a side effect, no matter how rare, I will experience it. You can count on it.

Dizzy? Check.

Drowsy? Check.

Hives? Check.

Intestinal distress? Check.

Nausea? Check.

And most recently, hair loss? Check?

This is why I try everything before resorting to medication. I do appreciate the new disclaimer, though. It goes something like this:

‘There are possible side effects from this medication but your doctor has determined in your case the benefit far outweighs the risk.’

Written as part of Linda Hill’s SoCS and JusJoJan 2023

Blog, SoCS

Just Imagine – SoCS and #JusJoJan 2023

Welcome to day fourteen of Just Jot It January for 2023 combined with SoCS. Today’s prompt from Linda is ’once upon a time’. It inspired a fanciful piece.

Once upon a time there was a kingdom nestled in the mountains. The Kingdom of Habitable was ruled by a Princess of great distinction. She was not necessarily fair to gaze upon, but her kind spirit and sense of fair play was the envy of the kingdom. The Princess was quite content with her life, but her aging father insisted she should marry to carry on the lineage that had ruled this kingdom for centuries.

It was easy for all the royal subjects to consider that all was well within their walls as the Princess did rule fairly and equitably. But just near the walls that protected the kingdom were the unincorporated lands. The most reprehensible being the small village of Uninhabitable, a once thriving village that had fallen into drought and disrepair.

“The King has called you to his chambers.” Princess Emmalina’s father had been confined to his bed after collapsing on his throne one year ago on a cool September morning.

Emmalina nodded and started down the narrow hallways that would lead to her father. Her mother died as the Princess was born so she never knew a mother’s touch. Her father had always been kind, but he was not a gentle man.

“Please sit, my daughter.” The Princess knew this was not a request but rather an order and bowed in obeyance. “I shall announce a grand ball with invitations to all the eligible men in the village. You must marry.”

The Princess knew she must comply, but thought how to make the entire idea more palatable to her. “My king, my father, I do understand but you know I have two left feet. Perhaps I can offer an alternative?”

Her father raised the bushy grey eyebrow over his left eye. “I am listening.” She was not wrong in her self assessment. He loved his daughter but she was not graceful any more than she was beautiful.

“I would suggest an invitation to all the eligible gentlemen to attend a prestigious horse race on the palace grounds. I would look quite smart in my riding habit and it would give me an opportunity see how well these men care for their steeds. Else how could they care for a bride – especially a Princess bride?” She knew her father would concede because he quite liked the idea of new festivities rather than the tired traditions of palace balls as much as she did.


It was a crisp May morning as the Princess took delight in seeing the preparations unfold below her balcony. Her long black hair had wisps of grey but they were well hidden in the long braids intertwined with pale yellow ribbons. She had no desire to find a husband but she was filled with anticipation of the races. The muscular steeds were so powerful. Imagining their strength as they ran full speed made it hard for her to breathe.

Life was much different beyond the palace walls.

“Lunden! We only have two days to finish our preparations. This is our opportunity to shine.”

Luden’s father would do anything to improve their status. Anything but work that is.

“Father, I have no interest in these games. I do this for you.”

“For me? I am sure the Princess has no interest in marrying me. But you!”

“I am equally as sure she will have no interest in me. I have been a stable boy all my life, and as a grown man, I am still a stable boy.”

It was Luden’s lot in life. After his mother disappeared, his father could barely function. No one knew what happened to her, but Luden hoped she died a tragic death. It would serve her right for leaving them in such a state.

“You are an acceptable man. Not handsome, but not ugly. Your muscles speak when your features cannot. The Princess is not exactly a ‘fair’ maiden, so you have a chance.”

Days later they approached the palace grounds. One thing Luden had going for him was recognition. He was well known for his skill with horses. He had even been brought to the palace years earlier to assist with a troubled birth in the palace stables. Of course he had never been this close to the royal family or their quarters. He was immediately stricken by the vast difference between their wealth and his poverty. It made him angry to be a part of this.

As the day of games and races drew to a close, Luden sat to finally rest and drink from the horse’s water supply.

“You are a fortunate man, Luden.” Luden looked up confused. He knew Bastion well as he attended his stables frequently.

“How do you see me as fortunate? I am exhausted with a long night of travel ahead of me. I have been so hard at work I did not once set an eye on the fair Princess.”

Bastion laughed loudly. “Are you daft? You have been in the presence of the Princess all day.”

Luden was confused then the picture formed in his mind. The woman in the riding habit that weaved her way in and out of the stables all day was the Princess?  “That was her Royal Highness?”

“Not only is she the Princess, but I was sent her to tell you she has requested an audience with you.”

Luden smiled. He was not attracted to this woman in the least. She was tall and a bit awkward. She was not beautiful at all. He did respect the way she responded to the animals. What if she had chosen him from all the eligible men there today? Men with more countenance than he would ever have. How does one turn down a Princess?

As Emmalina waited, now dressed in a gown, she hoped this stable boy had not gotten the wrong idea. He was strong, and so gentle with the horses. Not an attractive man of course. The King would be furious but he would simply need to wait for another heir. Or…perhaps she would write a proclamation abolishing the centuries old idea that a bloodline made one fit to rule the kingdom. She did not feel the need nor have the desire to marry. But a friend? A friend might just be what she was looking for.

Written as part of Linda Hill’s SoCS and JusJoJan 2023

Blog, SoCS

Why? – SoCS and #JusJoJan 2023

Welcome to day six of Just Jot It January for 2023 combined with SoCS. Today’s prompt from Linda is ’out of the box’.

Why is it always so much easier to take Christmas decorations out of the box than it is to put them back in the box? It’s also more joyful I think (although I do like to see the house clean and clutter free again). I is especially challenging for those boxes I make an effort to maintain the original packaging. I end up with little tiny styrofoam tidbits all over the floor!

My daughter hates taking toys out of the boxes these days. Every minuscule piece is fastened to the packaging as if it were priceless. My granddaughter loves Barbies now and that doll has more accessories than you can shake a stick at. Why DOES Barbie need a tiny water bottle or a tiny cell phone? She definitely cannot hold them! The cat does love to try and steal them whenever possible, though.

What about those open box sales? Let’s think about it. If the box is open, my guess is the item has been out of the box. So ‘open box’ is a misnomer. Display models have definitely been out of the box so the risk is known. I think that ‘open box’ marketing phrase might not be 100% honest.

When I was in the corporate world my entire team had to do a lot of out of the box thinking. Our sales team liked to sell customers on functionality that was not fully developed. Once delivered, those unsuspecting customers expected things to work as promised. Ai yi yi! (How DO you spell that?)

Oh, and by the way. I just spotted a Christmas decoration I failed to put back in the box. I guess it gets a new home until next year.

Written as part of Linda Hill’s SoCs and JusJoJan 2023

Blog, SoCS

SoCS – What Once Was

Linda Hill has just completed another year of SoCS! Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work making these prompts available to all of us. I wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year, Linda. Want to join in on SoCS? Head over to Linda’s blog to get the scoop on how to participate.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “new/knew.’” Use one, use both, use them any way you like. Bonus points if you use both. Enjoy!

Thursday, before we left Charleston, we decided to drive by the location where my husband’s mother had her condo. First a little background.

Mom lived in an area known as West Ashley in Charleston. This place brought her the greatest joy and the most pain of her life. When she moved back into Charleston, she chose and decorated her condo with pride, having no way of knowing what would lie ahead. She loved to entertain and we visited her there often.

Charleston itself is only 3ft above sea level. Stormwater runoff and drainage has always been a challenge, especially considering how much the city has grown in recent years. (It is estimated 33 people per day move to Charleston.) Add to that the fact the city is surrounded by bodies of water, well, the flooding potential is great.

Things went well for years. Then new subdivisions were built behind Mom’s subdivision. So many houses, condos, etc., all to support the increased demand for housing. Was the drainage implemented by the city’s urban planners designed correctly and was it adequate?

One night, they went to bed, and the next morning woke to find at least a foot of water throughout the condo. This was the first of four floods she experienced and this one was the least impactful.

All in all, Mom survived four floods on her property. Each time the damage was worse, and the losses more. They had to be rescued at least once by the fire department. The flood waters rose quickly. Every time it rained, she paced the floor wringing her hands in fear. The high water mark was 36 inches from the floor.

When the condos were new, I wonder if someone anticipated the future and was hushed or if they kept their concerns to themselves. I wonder if the city planners knew when they approved the inadequate drainage and authorized new construction in such a low lying area what the flooding potential was.

These floods broke her. I have vivid memories of sitting in her front yard in lawn chairs while a lifetime of belongings were paraded out in front of her, an 84 year old woman, for her to approve them being thrown into a dumpster.  Very little of her belongings could be salvaged. Flood waters are not clear water, they are dangerous and contaminated water often containing gas and diesel, raw sewage, bacteria, and pesticides. It was heartbreaking.

Eventually after years and years of fighting, FEMA and the city bought all the properties and demolished them – it was not enough money to find a new place to move, though.  Mom got her settlement the month she passed away. A sad end to a long and heartbreaking fight.

Now, other than the broken lamppost and the abandoned electrical boxes, you would never know anyone ever lived there.