Writers: A Challenge

Naturally Weird “In Five Words”

Mushrooms. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

What you see before you are mushrooms growing in several different spots here in my apartment complex. We’ve had far too much rain recently and the ground opened up and spouted Earth’s funky looking fungus, so . . . I took a couple of photos.

I am not a lover of mushrooms, not even the edible kind. I don’t care for the texture or how they feel when chewed. Ick! I’ve always found them naturally weird. So, that’s the challenge. Tell me about something you think is “naturally weird” but using only five words.

Here’s mine:

mushroom invasion
perfect funky
fungi


What about you, writers? Can you handle this challenge? Be creative. Flaunt those skills. Tell me all about what you think is naturally weird but use just five words. Let’s do this, beautiful people!


Feel like dancing? I do too. Outkast, Morris Brown

YouTube

Originally shared on Medium.

She Rides Shotgun

Jernee, riding shotgun, post a Groomer’s visit on Saturday, July 10, 2021. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Not to beat an already dead horse regarding Coronavirus COVID-19, but it appears, normalcy is trying to sashay its way back into our lives—at least, this is taking place in many cities and states in the United States of America. New variants, notwithstanding, people are venturing out more. They are making plans to seal deals on various flight tickets and jet-set their way into post-COVID happiness. I won’t lie to you; I feel a deep stirring in my body to regain my shoddy confidence and get back to traveling. However, the kind that involves flying is not yet on my list.

I am interested in loading up my car with various selected items, encouraging playlists, a full stomach, my partner-in-crime; my dog, Jernee, and whisk away to the majestic mountains of Western North Carolina for a few days or a week. The beauty of nature and its luring embrace is calling me. I much prefer a scenic drive to my places of interest as opposed to the “friendly skies.” If I can get there in about one to six hours, I will make the drive to that destination. And with a buddy who sleeps most of the drive to that place and hasn’t the verbiage to “backseat” or “passenger seat drive” to accompany me, it is usually something to which I truly look forward.

According to Julie Hall, APR:

More than 47.7 million Americans will take to the nation’s roadways and skies this Independence Day (July 1–5), as travel volumes are expected to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, this will be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record, trailing only 2019. Overall, just 2.5% fewer Americans are expected to travel this year compared to Independence Day in 2019. This represents an increase of nearly 40% compared to last year, when total travel fell to 34.2 million.

AAA Newsroom, June 22, 2021

With those estimated numbers, many Americans have moved from isolation and are back to what they find to be most appealing—the freedom of living. I have been toying with the idea of rising from the deep and heading toward the surface just as many others, but a familiar fear still hovers over me. My plan: to go about things slowly regarding this transition but eventually catapult myself back into a familiar world; a pre-COVID-19-like world . . . baby steps, though. Baby steps.

Jernee, my four-legged companion, is easy to please. As long as I accompany her, she will travel to the edge of the world if it means she can still have her daily walks and favorite treats. I mean, with those additions to an already spoiled life, why not? Having her beside me as I tackle the come-hither calls of an adventurous world, awaiting my attendance and participation, is welcome. I don’t think I could get the look of sheer contentment from anyone else in my car as I sing loudly to my favorite songs. No one else would be willing, I’m sure, to appreciate my sometimes alto, sometimes tenor, singing voice. But Jernee?! Jernee glances up toward me as if this voice of mine was made for her and for her only.

Another point from Julie Hall’s article, explains:

“Travel is in full swing this summer, as Americans eagerly pursue travel opportunities they’ve deferred for the last year-and-a-half,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “We saw strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and the kick-off of summer, and all indications now point to a busy Independence Day to follow.”

AAA Newsroom, June 22, 2021

Traveling was on an upswing as we headed into the Fourth of July weekend. The travel bug had bitten me at that point, but I did not take the plunge. I still played it safe here at home with my favorite cuddler—oh, but I dreamed about blazing a few trails. The next holiday on the calendar for which many intend to travel is Labor Day. With September just around the corner, I long for a hike or two or three in the fresh mountain air but first . . . I have to get there. If I were a guessing person, which on most occasions, I am, I’m willing to bet Jernee is ready for a bit of adventurous action too.

Wouldn’t it be grand if I could actually interview her regarding this topic—regarding any topic? The mind of a dog has to be an exceptional place. I create an internal dialogue between myself and Jernee sometimes. I am not ashamed of this; it’s entertaining. So, on those semi-long driving trips we used to take, that internal dialogue could look a little like this:

Jernee: “Mommy, are we there yet?”

Me: “No, sweetness, not quite.”

Jernee: “How much longer?”

Me: “According to Google Maps, 1 hour and 23 minutes.”

Jernee: “That precise, huh?”

Me: “Well, what were you expecting? A guess?”

Jernee: “Not really. I thought you were going to just reach on over here and hand me another treat.”

Me: “Touche’, sweetness. Touche’.”

I tell myself the trips I’m meant to take with my favorite road dog are waiting patiently in the near future. All I have to do is to succumb to their welcoming arms once again. Regardless of when those road trips will take place, there is one thing of which I am certain, my traveling buddy will ride shotgun. It’s the perfect place for a traveling woman’s best friend.

Two Things

Today, I had an appointment to get my nose re-pierced and to get my sixth tattoo. I loved every minute of each appointment. There was minimal pain (I have a high pain threshold) and I got a chance to have some great conversations with both artists. My piercing tech was Leigh and my tattoo artist was Nick. Both are at the infamous, Art Attack, here in Winston-Salem, NC. I’ve gotten a leg tattoo from this spot 3 years ago; the owner Mark, did it.

The facility is clean. The environment is a welcoming one. The service is quick and your ideas come to life in their hands. They take care of the art you have in mind before they modify your body for the rest of its life. Below is the latest addition; a lotus tattoo. Why a lotus, you ask? Because I always feel like my best self when I come out of the muck. And the nose re-piercing needs no explanation–it’s self-explanatory. It was time that I get it redone. I missed it. I’m just giving you guys a bit of silly with my satisfied smirk.

Lotus Tattoo Photo #1. Photo Credit: Nick at Art Attack
Lotus Tattoo Photo #2. Photo Credit: Nick at Art Attack
Selfie . . . In the car, headed back home. Silly Tre w/ her re-pierced nose.

Here’s hoping each of you is having a great weekend so far. I am hoping to rest for the bulk of the remainder of it and breathe in the goodness it will provide. Peace and blessings, good people.

Unwell

10 Words

Jernee, sitting near my workstation–my brave girl

sweet, sweet girl
battling digestive issues
ever close to me


Jernee was having a bad day yesterday. The poor girl has a history of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, so her belly had been acting up from the early morning hours until a little after 1:45 pm. I am so happy she’s feeling much better now.