March 15: Flash Fiction Challenge

Charli at Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction: March 16, 2018, prompt – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about carrot cake. It can be classic or unusual. Why is there cake? How does it feature in the story? Go where the prompt leads.

My husband loves carrot cake. He tries to reduce his sugar intake and he thinks that carrot cake is unlike any other sugary cakes. 

Here comes my story:

Carrot CAKE

“What do you want for dessert, Mimi? Do you like carrot cake?”

“Noop! When I want to have dessert, I have dessert.”

“When do you mean? Carrot cake is dessert!”

“See, Nancy. My mom grows carrots. When she makes carrot cake, she is very generous to put triple portions of grated carrots into the cake mix. The cake tastes just like carrots, you know! When I eat cake, I eat cake. When I eat carrots, I eat carrots. I just don’t eat carrot cake.”

“Oh, no wonder, Mimi! Here, try my carrot CAKE that doesn’t have the carrot taste!”


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Carrot Ranch: Flash Fiction Challenge – Raven

At Carrot Ranch, the March 1 Flash Fiction Challenge is Rave. The challenge is to write a flash fiction in 99 words, no more, no less.

Raven’s Eyes

“Do you have any water left, Dave?”

“I still have some. Take a sip. Your lips are badly chapped, Ben.”

“We have been lost in unpaved hiking trail for five days.”

“We only have water enough for two more days! I hope we could locate water soon!”

“Look, Dave! A raven is circling in the air and ready to dive down.”

“It spotted a dead deer and wanted its share. I think.”

“And the deer was drinking water!?”

“That may be our hope for water, Ben.”

“We could reach down by nightfall.”

“I hope this raven saves our lives.”


Charli Mills: Carrot Ranch – March 1 Flash Fiction Challenge

The Story of St. Valentine


I posted this story on Valentine’s Day 2017. Somehow I don’t have a reblog button, so I repost it.

One common story about St. Valentine is that at one point in his life, as the former Bishop of Terni, Narnia, and Amelia, he was under house arrest with Judge Asterius. While discussing religion and faith with the Judge, Valentine pledged the validity of Jesus. The judge immediately put Valentine and his faith to the test.

St. Valentine was presented with the judge’s blind daughter and told to restore her sight. If he succeeded, the judge vowed to do anything for Valentine. Placing his hands onto her eyes, Valentine restored the child’s vision.

Judge Asterius was humbled and obeyed Valentine’s requests. Asterius broke all the idols around his house, fasted for three days and became baptized, along with his family and entire 44 member household. The now faithful judge then freed all of his Christian inmates.

St. Valentine was later arrested again for continuing to try to convert people to Christianity. He was sent to Rome under the emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II). St. Valentine refused to renounce his faith and Christianity and was executed outside the Flaminian Gate on February 14, 269.

Another variation of the legend of St. Valentine says he refused to sacrifice to pagan gods, was imprisoned and while imprisoned he healed the jailer’s blind daughter. On the day of his execution, he left the girl a note signed, “Your Valentine.”

The romantic nature of Valentine’s Day may have derived during the Middle Ages when it was believed that birds paired couples in mid-February. Although the exact origin of the holiday is not widely agreed upon, it is widely recognized as a day for love, devotion, and romance.

Whoever he was, Valentine did really exist, because archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to St. Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.

In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church removed St. Valentine from the General Roman Calendar, because so little is known about him. However, the church still recognizes him as a saint, listing him in the February 14 spot of Roman Martyrology.


Weekend Writing Prompt #36 – Begin

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #36 is “Begin.”

Word Prompt: Begin

Photo Prompt

I used to hand write journals for years. Then I had laptops at home and in the office, it was so easy to flip them open and move my fingertips. In addition, my husband bought me an iPad, I could take note and email the notes to myself. With auto-correction of the spelling, I totally depended on the technology. Occasionally when I do need to write, my handwriting doesn’t look like my calligraphy anymore.

The beginning of this year, I started my old habit again. When I have my coffee and quiet time in the morning, I hand write my thoughts in a new journal.

Surprisingly, I pay more attention to the spelling, because the paper and pen don’t have the auto-correct ability.

I used to be a “phone directory” of the family. I memorized a lot of phone numbers. Right now, I  am not confident if I remember my husband’s cell phone number correctly. Perhaps I should begin to memorize phone numbers again!

What do you think about handwriting notes and memorizing phone numbers!

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #36 – Begin

White Christmas 2017

I have problem with my new laptop, was not able to do anything with my blog for days. I feel like I’m cripled. The battery stopping charging right after Christmas. I had to wait until coming back to California to take it back to the store. The laptop is only two months old, so it is under full warrenty. I’m using my hugsband’s desktop computer.

I have some backtracking to do.

We had a white Christmas. When we were still in the air on Christmas Eve, looking down to Portland area, we saw a blanket of snow. I was so excited, because I haven’t had a white Christmas for 30 years. The snow only last for one day.

We open the gifts on Christmas day. Mercy and Will got many new board games from Autumn. She knows mommy and daddy love to play games. My husband and I learned one new game each day while we were in Portland for the whole week. My daughter went back to work after maternity leave. I had a chance to watch Autumn all days on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday was Mercy’s birthday, so we went out in the evening for dinner and had cakes and pie for dessert. Then went home to play a game.

Mercy had Thursday and Friday off becuase she only went back to work part-time. During her days off, she went to the gym and started working out and getting back in shape. Friday evening, Lynton and I watched Autumn so that Mercy and Will could go on a movie and dinner date. They had such a good time.

We left on Saturday, but in the future years, we’ll go back to see the baby every four to six weeks. It’s such a joy watching her growing up, learning to grab things with both hands, looking at herself in the mirror and smiles, and started cooing and laughing. We don’t want to miss any of these precious moments.


SoCS December 16, 2017 – Winter Bloom

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “contrast.”

The Southern California wildfires have been burning for 13 days in Ventura County to Santa Barbara County. Residents described the neighborhood as “war zone.” This is the third largest wildfire in California history. Wildfires have devoured more than 116,000 acres. Smoke stretches 1,000 miles across the Pacific – the distance between New York and Miami. 2017 has been the most expensive year for US wildfires, with damages topping $10 billion.

My heart is heavy for the people who lost their homes and all their treasures. I do pray for rainstorm pouring in this part of the world, to stop the fire and clean the air. Some residents came back to their burned homes, putting up Christmas trees and decorations to bring some cheer to the neighborhood.

CNN – December 17, 2017

The fire zone is about 120 miles from our city, but it surely affects the temperature in this area. In contrast to the past winters, the last two days were in the 80so F during the day. The birds were chirping as if it was spring. The flowers in my garden have a burst of growth.

I would like to present these flowers to the residents who lost their homes in the sense of hope!

Linda G Hill‘s SoCS December 16, 2017

Share Your World – December 4, 2017

Cee’s Share Your World – December 4, 2017

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?

I don’t like to do dusting at all. The house gets dusty so quickly due to the drought and winds.

Image result for dusting the house images

We don’t have enough rain in southern California to clean the air. It gets worse when Santa Ana winds appear. The winds are strong, extremely dry and down-slope winds that originate from inland affect the coastal southern California. Santa Ana winds are known for the hot dry weather in the fall, but they can arise at other times of the year. These winds, which can easily exceed 40 miles per hour, carry the dust for miles and drop them anywhere on the way.

I’m in the middle of writing this post and found out that the Santa Ana winds just caused several wildfires in southern California. The winds are blowing 50 to 70 miles per hours. The fire broke out in the middle of the night last night and was burning at nearly an acre per second. About 150,000 people in Los Angeles were affected by evacuation orders for the Creek fire near Sylmar and Lake View Terrace. One horse escaped from the fire and fell into a crack upside down. It was kicking the wall for hours until it got the attention. The firefighters were able to break the wall from inside to rescue the horse. It was given the anesthesia and taken to the hospital.

A friend’s son and the family live in the fire zone. His wife took the girls to drive 120 miles through local streets from Ojai to Fullerton City to stay with my friend. In the meantime, my friend’s son stayed behind to take care of his students and their families.

Smoke billows over Ventura on December 5.
CNN – Ventura fire, CA – December 5, 2017
Firefighters work to put out a blaze engulfing homes in Ventura. The fast-moving fire forced sheriff's deputies to scramble into neighborhoods and knock on doors to warn residents to evacuate.
CNN – Ventura fire, CA – December 5, 2017

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

I am a volunteer counselor. I’m passionate about helping people with emotional needs. I feel alive when I listen and focus on what they are going through and help them process their struggles. Many ladies, who sought help, expressed that I was the first person who listened to them. The counseling helped them to process their grief, anger, abuse, and other kinds of sufferings. At the end, they were able to experience self-forgiveness, forgiving, love, and a new life!

I got my master’s degree in counseling. I did full-time counseling for two years. Then my life took a turn, and I became an educator – a teacher and a school district administrator. After I retired from my education career, I decided to do some volunteer work that makes a difference.


How many times have you moved in the last ten years?

I have been living in my current home for twenty-five years.

garden 4

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I appreciate the privilege of being alive which is not something I take for granted.

Three of my friends are battling with the complications of long-term illnesses. One friend started with lung cancer and cancer has gone to the brain. Another friend started with a heart problem and is now battling with lung problems. Yet another friend who started with the brain tumor a year ago, the news today was that the family requested setting up the hospice at home.

Image result for being alive images

Cee’s Share Your World – December 4, 2017