Zut alors! #AtoZchallenge

Goodness, this was a difficult challenge. But hey, bring on the next one!

Things I’ve learned:

  1. I am very good at coming up with excuses for not writing.
  2. The first half of the month was much easier than the second.
  3. I never had any idea what I was going to write until I sat down and started. In other words, don’t not write ’cause you have nothing to stay–start writing and the words will come!
  4. Wish I had thought about structure a bit more. Happy to have now seen this blog post.
  5. I’ve got a lot of work to do. I don’t know if I’ve been working on a crime story, a ghost story, or what but I think I have to keep writing about these people and that place until I find out.
  6. People are very kind with their interest and comments. I was totally shocked to actually have people reading this! Thank you!

See you all next year?!



Yelling down Valleys #AtoZchallenge

The police have come and gone. They’ve taken photos and notes. They have nodded gravely. They’ve listened kindly. Yet why do I feel like I’ve not been heard?


They wanted to know if I knew of anyone who had something against me. I said I did not. “Are you sure?” said Officer Whitmore and I swear he looked at me like I was lying. “No,” I repeated, “I do not.” I am not lying.

Urbino stayed by my side the whole time pressing himself against my leg and growling occasionally. The officer looked amused. “Nice pup”, he said “Too bad he couldn’t wake you up last night. Do you always sleep so soundly?”

I looked at him. He seemed to be suggesting something. “Did you take any pills?”

“No,” I said pulling my cardigan around me tightly “I do not drink and I did not take any pills”.

He shrugged. “Weird that you didn’t hear anything. Looks like there were a few people here. Can’t believe they didn’t make any noise.”

So, the police are gone now and I’ve locked up the house. I need to get away from people for a while. Urbino and I are walking through the hills and in the valleys. “I belong here” I yell into the vale. “This land is mine too.”

I hear a rumble back. Thunder? Distorted echo?

I don’t know what’s going on and I’m going to have to spend a lot of time working this out but they cannot stop me. I have work to do.

X? #AtoZchallenge

I woke up this morning after an unusually heavy sleep. I had not had anything to drink last night nor had I taken any medication. But I was very tired and went to bed at 9PM. Urbino was at my side.

I woke up this morning at 9AM and Urbino was licking my face. Don’t know how long I would have slept if he hadn’t woken me. I let him outside and took him outside to the gated area of the yard. When I returned to the house I found a large red X spray-painted on  my front door. Red paint which had dried but left drips like blood. My car too–vandalized with the same mark.

And the trees, not all of them. But those I had planted –not the ones that had been here for years but mine. X’d…all of them.

I’ve called the police…I’m waiting now…with Urbino by my side.

W is for Wassail #AtoZchallenge

A Wassail is a ceremony, a festival, a pagan ritual designed to promote the fertility of orchards and to protect the trees from evil spirits.

I’m all for that.

I’ve been to Wassails. They take place in January at the time of the full moon. You have a bonfire, you have cider, you sing, you dance, you chant. You have a great time.

You sprinkle cider on toast and hang it on branches. This encourages birds to visit which is apparently a good thing.

Apparently there is a local Wiccan community who might be willing to help me out with this. I’ll need someone to write and perform the chant. Or lead the chant since all of us (who can I get to attend?) will be performing the chant.

Do I sound like a fool? Don’t answer that! I’m trying to do so many things at once. Learn about trees, learn DIY skills, learn about dogsl–Urbino has my heart, but dog-ownership has a lot more to it than I thought it would.

I want community. I want friends! There, I’ve said it. Will a Wassail bring me friends? Or just a massive headache?

V is for vendetta?#AtoZchallenge

Donna here. She bought a dog. Pretty much because I said to.  She got it from Carly, who, like everyone I know, I went to high school with. Carly’s poodle, ‘Gaga’ had a litter which he was having a hard time getting rid of because people can be so damn snooty about a dog’s pedigree.

Fortunately, the Queen Bee isn’t. She just wants something to love who will love her back.

She kept talking about this storm the other night and how violent it was and how scared whe was.

There was no storm.

Either she’s crazy or things are getting weird up at the Vedder place again. Who can I talk to about this? It’s like we’ve all agreed to pretend it never happened. Could the victims be coming back for revenge? Most of them who disappeared were people you really wouldn’t want to meet anyway. Could they be back? Is she in danger?

U is for Urbino #AtoZchallenge

Urbino is his name. Being a goofy dog is his game.

Yes, I have a dog. He’s black, shaggy, young, and well, “goofy” is the only word for him.

Ever since that night of the nasty thunder, lightening, rain and wind, I’d been thinking of getting a dog. I mentioned it to Donna (who hadn’t heard any of the storm down in the town and had no idea what I was talking about) and she said she had a friend who was looking to get rid of some puppies. An hour later and I’m the proud owner of this yapping ball of fur. Mind you, I’ve never had a dog before. Never wanted a dog before. I have no idea how to properly take care of a dog but I must say…I’m smitten.

He’s such a happy thing! He makes me happy to be around him. I have no idea what kind of dog he is. Donna’s friend, Carly, said he had no idea either. The mother is a poodle, but he said “She’s a bit fast” and he doesn’t know which dog in the neighbourhood , in his words “knocked her up”.

The name comes from one of my favorite paintings, a portrait of the Duke of Urbino by Piero dells Francesco. What can I say? The dog kind of looks like the Duke!

We will brave the thunderstorms together, Urbino and me.  We will be best friends.

T is for Thunder, and …Terror? #AtoZchallenge


Ok, today’s entry is going to be short. I’ve a terrible headache. We had an amazing storm last night. Thunder, lightening, heavy, heavy rain and howling wind like you wouldn’t believe.

I will be honest with you, dear readers, I was terrified. Alone in this house, with the wind making ungodly noises and being sure the roof was going to be torn off any moment. And the thunder! You wouldn’t believe how loud the thunder gets as it bounces off the mountains and down through the valleys. It was really like the mysterious figures in Rip Van Winkle playing ninepins in the mountains.

This morning, I’m exhausted and I have a headache. But I’m pleased to report there’s not much damage to the orchard. A few branches have come down from the older trees but no trees themselves destroyed. That is a relief. I was out at first light checking the trees, the rabbit fences, and of course my roof. All damage is minor.

But the fear is not going to go away soon. Am I really cut out for this life? Am I really going to be able to make it on my own? What did I not like about NYC again?

Maybe I’ll get a dog.