Voices In The Dark

Grandpa told us stories. We never saw enough of him, but whenever we did – usually at Thanksgiving or Christmas – he’d always have a bedtime story for us, and it would always be about Jimmy and Susie Squirrel and their three little children, Lucy, Mary, and Chip – which just happened to be the names of my siblings and me. And somewhere, tucked away in my imagination, I am still a little squirrel child, with red bristly fur, acorns packed into my cheeks, claws that can grab onto tree bark, and a bunch of forest critters who are my friends. There is Mr. Bluejay, the town crier who lives in the top of our redwood tree and squawks his news to all below, whether or not they want to hear it. Then there is Horatio Frog, who lives in the pond at the base of our tree and swallows flies and tasty mosquito wigglers for breakfast. And sometimes, if we three squirrels have stayed out past our bedtimes, our adventures will bring us face to face with Rack Coon and his three children, Ty Coon, Coo Coon, and Nameless. My mother told me, years later when I was a
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FREE on Kindle, Jan 9-13!

“What? A free lunch?” you ask.  Well . . . all reviews will be greatly appreciated. MARY MARY QUITE: ON RAISING CHILDREN (AND OTHER MIND-ALTERING SUBSTANCES) is now FREE on Kindle. CLICK HERE to get it now Click “Buy” for $0.00 and check out. Ta da!  Happy New Year.  🙂 You can also copy and paste this link into your browser: www.amazon.com/MARY-QUITE-Children-mind-altering-substances-ebook/dp/B00NABNHQA/
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Twas The Season!

Church Potluck, Nov 23rd: Four slices of Janet’s pumpkin bread, three devilled eggs, a heap of roast turkey, two gi-normous spoons of stuffing, green bean casserole, yam casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, more gravy, extra gravy, pumpkin pie from Costco, whipped cream from a can, and three cups of Timmy Jones’ secret family recipe for eggnog. (Yum!) Thanksgiving: Two mountains of mashed potatoes with dual lakes of brown gravy, roast turkey, sliced ham, three spoons of Chris’s stuffing, green bean casserole, yam casserole, four pieces of chocolate fudge, and three slices of Maggie”s pecan pie, each with a dollop of whipped cream. (Beyond fabulous!) Family Gathering, Nov 30th: Joanie’s turkey stew to-die-for, with cheese dumplings and butter, fruit salad, carrot and celery sticks, olives and pickles, all followed by leftover pie, leftover fudge, and leftover cookies, topped with vanilla ice cream. (Woof!) Church Christmas Party, Dec 13th: Four slices of Janet’s cranberry bread, four delectable devilled eggs, roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, three spoons of stuffing, green bean casserole, yam casserole, a slice of pecan pie, a slice of pumpkin pie, a slice of apple pie, a fudge brownie, and three cups of Timmy Jones’ eggnog. (Whoopy do!) High Tea with
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How We Writers Get Our Kicks

When I was in first grade, Mrs. Rowleigh would tell us at least three times a day, “Now sit down on your little hinies.” (And for those of you who are like I was back then, and have never heard that word before, it’s pronounced, “HIGH-knees.”) Well in my family, we sat down on either our seaters or our bottoms. So you can imagine my confusion when on the first day of school, Mrs. Rowleigh told all of us to sit down on something completely foreign to my anatomy. In my short six years on the planet, I had never encountered a hiney (HIGH-knee), so I was stumped. At first I wondered if a hiney was some variation of the hyena family, and if perhaps there might be a stuffed hiney somewhere among the toy animals, one that Mrs. Rowleigh wanted us all to put our seaters on. I glanced at the stuffed animal bin, ascertained that it was bereft of a hiney, then looked back at my fellow first-graders, who by now were sitting down on the rug at the front of the room and looking up at Mrs. R for further instruction. So I, too, sat down on
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Christmas Shopping – Idiot’s Delight

You might think it’s strange. Because actually, it is rather bizarre. For whenever I go Christmas shopping, I adore jammed parking lots, revel in gargantuan lines at the check-out counters, beam at squalling infants, chuckle at irascible toddlers, thank rude customers profusely, compliment crabby sales assistants, and rejoice over products in great demand and short supply. It’s a kind of idiot’s delight that I adopted decades ago, when old Hunk and I were raising a passel of rascals and money and time were both scarce. I didn’t have a lot of cash jingling in my jeans, and I usually had to do a lot of shopping in a short amount of time. So that pretty much was a recipe for disaster at any one of the huge shopping malls where southern Californians flock like migrating geese (honking included), every holiday season. Everybody’s on overload, everybody’s stressed, and not very many people are having fun. After one particularly harrowing shopping trip in which a teenage girl driving a yellow Mustang darted in front of me and stole from me the one parking space left in the entire mall, I faced a huge moral dilemma. I could call in a missile strike
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