Mumbles… Tobacco

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Believe it or not I have never had a single drag on a cigarette, and I am so thankful for that.  I grew up in a home filled with smoke… both parents smoked; my mom was a heavy chain smoker.  I remember going on car trips in the winters encased in the car with all the smoke my parents produced.  Every once in a while, they would crack a window for a little fresh air.

As I got older, I had allergies flare and they took notice of when I was having issues and did stop smoking as much.  Then one day out of the blue my Dad just up and quit.  He never had any tobacco until the day he became a grandfather and then he picked up a pipe again.  Mom was a different story.

I recall many times she tried to quit but would last only a matter of hours before she was getting frustrated and short tempered and would demand Dad go to the store to get her a carton.  That all changed when she landed in the hospital for stomach problems, and they discovered emphysema… she was put on oxygen 24/7 and never smoked again for the rest of her life.

My sister smoked, my in-laws, my boyfriend… I should have enough second-hand smoke to make up for never having a single drag.  I will admit to a couple of hits of nicotine when I tried a vape a couple of times.  Having watched so many people struggle with tobacco, I am happy I never did have that habit.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – tobacco

Mumbles … Vilify

I need to write for the word vilify tonight… and I don’t have it in me.  It is such a nasty word about raking someone over the coals.  Lies and truths destroying someone’s life.  I can’t do it.  I have had people in my past hurt me in different ways, and to this day I still defend most of them.  It is just my nature to care forever.  So, we are skipping vilify tonight.

I do however have a question for you all.  A dear friend of mine just lost many personal irreplaceable objects in a fire.  You can replace the furniture and walls, but the pictures, memorabilia, keepsakes can’t be redone.  I feel at a loss.  I want to help my friend through this painful time, but I am clueless as to what I can do, if there is anything I can do.  Have any of you ever been through a fire or helped a friend or family member out after one?  Do you have any words of wisdom of something I could do?  Thankfully no one was home at the time, so no one was hurt, but the house is a total loss. 


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – vilify

Mumbles … Moratorium

To put a moratorium on something is basically to ban something…. this week it is a few Dr. Suess books.  I have mixed emotions about this.  Dr. Suess books have been a staple for kids for years, and often controversial.  He has dealt with touchy subject matter and taught valuable lessons.  I still think of the Lorax every time I see or hear about another wooded area being brought down… “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”

I am sure over the years I have read the books, or some of them, that they have stopped publication on.  I understand how some things that were acceptable years ago are no longer viewed right.  It all revolves back to the subject of censorship.

There is the argument of freedom of speech and the accuracy of the time period when the books were written.  It all has to balance out with what is right and what is offensive.  Ultimately this decision was made by the people who have the rights to the book, and I feel that is the closest thing to the actual author withdrawing the publication of their own book; that is different than some group standing up and saying a book should be banned from a library or a classroom reading list.

I have read banned books and will continue to do so.  Are there some I find offensive, yes, definitely.  But that is history… it is not a reflection of the current day and age.  What do you think?  Are you more offended by the book or the ban?


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – moratorium

(photo created at Canva)

Mumbles … Luck

“…If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.  Gloom, despair and agony on me…”  You have to be old like me to know that and you had to like a little country music and humor.  That was a regular skit on Hee Haw.  I think that part of the song sums up the week so far and it is only Wednesday.

Let’s start with the bitter cold of Monday.  My boyfriend went to go pick up some meds… battery said, “Hell NO!” He tried my car and it started fine.  We then tried to jump start the truck.  “Hell NO!”  So, we left to get the meds in my car and were going to address the problem Tuesday.

Tuesday came and went with no work on the battery problem.  My boyfriend really wasn’t in the mood as he had worked the early morning part of his shift and then was fired on his way to lunch.  I might add, that is after 23 years with this company.

Wednesday, he called the local Walmart that does battery repair… they were out of his battery.  So was the other Walmart in town.  Since he had half of his five-year warranty left, he wanted to stick with them so we ordered the battery online and supposedly will get it tomorrow.  This was all done while I was finding out one of my best friend’s significant others was just diagnosed with cancer.

I am kind of afraid to sleep and see what tomorrow holds.  I do talk to my therapist tomorrow and I do look forward to that release.  This is just a few bumps in the road.  I will keep going forward and do what I can to try to keep my boyfriend on the positive side of things.  This is not a sad country song, it can end on a happy note, I just need to turn up the music.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – luck

Mumbles … Acumen

Acumen.  Yes, another one of those words I have heard once in the distant past, but don’t use it on a regular basis.  Oxford Languages says it is “the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions, typically in a particular domain.”  So, someone might say I have crafting acumen.  Or more specifically rubber-stamping acumen.  What I would like to do though has nothing to do with acumen… it is catching up again, I can’t believe I got so far behind.  I took one night off so it should only be one night behind, but I have been so tired I don’t have the energy or the brain power to think of things to write.  I guess that is why I am just mumbling through this post.

Photo by Aidan Howe on Pexels.com

The good news is I did have a little fun for the one day I was absent.  We watched the Super Bowl (a sad game to watch) and then went to an area casino for a slot machine or two.  The first machine I picked I got a hit on the second spin of the wheels… won $115.  So, I put my initial money away and played on those winnings the rest of the night and the following morning.  I did lose some of it but coming home with an extra $65 was still a plus in my book.  I only do the slot machines, don’t know enough about roulette and have NO poker face. Do you play table games or slots? Do you have good luck at the casino?


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – acumen

Mumbles … Categories

What category would you pick if asked to come up with a category in like 5 seconds.  Back in my youth there was a game we would play called Categories.  It was a game where you would go in a circle snap your fingers two times and begin…

Snap, snap

“Categories” (said during two more snaps)

Snap, snap

(snap) “Dog breeds” (snap)

Snap, snap

(snap) “Go” (snap)

Then you would continue in the circle of people taking turns coming up with dog breeds or whatever the category was.  You always had to be ready with a new answer in just two snaps.  If you were deep in a category and running short on things to say, just say categories again and pick a new category.  It doesn’t sound too bad, but just two snaps is a very short amount of time if someone just said what you were going to say.

It was a fun game, frustrating at times, but it would almost always end in giggles as we stumbled over words trying to say something before the snaps were over.  The memories a single word can trigger are sometimes surprising. Did you have any games from your youth that you remember fondly?


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – category

(image from Google search)

Mumbles … Meme

When my daughter first introduced me to memes they were dominated a lot by “LOL cats” or maybe that is just what she often found and shared with me. Back in 2009 Pepsi released some limited edition aluminum bottles, one of those bottles had LOL on it. So it was an idea of mine to create our very own LOL cat with the cat we had at that times (he has since passed away). It was to be a picture used for our daughters birthday card. And since the “can haz” phase of memes was happening this is what I came up with…

My own personal LOL cat. Now I could search the internet for a funnier meme, but this one is special to me, especially since he is no longer with us. Do you have a LOL cat picture?


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – meme

Mumbles … Operation

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I am at a loss.  Serious case of writer’s block on this one.  Maybe it is because I usually say surgery instead of operation.  I just can’t get the words to flow, it all sounds forced.  My sister recently had an operation to replace her shoulder that she broke in multiple places.  But all I can say about that is I think she was lucky as I know it wasn’t long ago I heard the hospitals were near maximum capacity.

My dad had an operation when it was discovered he had blockage in a few places, so he got a triple bypass.

I myself have had an operation on my eye (lazy eye when I was very young).  A C-section for my daughter who refused to use the door out.  And then gall bladder surgery…. But that was the three little dots with the microscopic procedure.  And of course, the operations surrounding my breast cancer – lumpectomy, port implant and implant removal.

And then as a kid I really SUCKED at the gamer Operation… always got the red nose lit!

That is about the best I can do with a train of thought write… I didn’t cover my mom’s multiple operations for diverticulitis.  I have had oral surgeons work on my mouth… does that count as an operation?  I was put under for my wisdom teeth removal and a couple of teeth to make room for braces to straighten me out.

What about you… have you had any operations? 


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – operation

Mumbles … Epitome

“Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.”

– Elle Wiesel

To see the display of violence that took place at our capitol yesterday… I must speak up. I must say I fear for our country. I fear that evil has taken hold of the democracy I grew up in. I heard today there was talk of invoking the 25th amendment. I feel helpless here, unable to do anything to save the United States in the last few days of Donald Trump’s presidency.

But maybe that is not right. I have already done my patriotic right, like millions of other Americans did, by voting in the general election last November. And it has been registered and verified and certified and any other “fied” it needs to be. It was saved from the destruction of the rioters when someone grabbed the boxes it was transported in. It has been made official in congress that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be in power in less than two weeks now. I just hope we make it that long.

What happened Wednesday at the capitol cannot happen again. We cannot turn a blind eye to it either. We need to make sure the guilty parties are punished to the full extent of the law. I am still haunted by the fact that our president said he “loved” the rioters… how can he defend them when they attacked our government? Does anyone have the answer?


Written for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) – epitome

Mumbles … Lucky

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As we approach the end of the year, I look back on some of my memorable New Years Eve celebrations.  I know a lot of years Mom and Dad would have friends over and we would play cards and the house was full of laughter.  One year we visited family in Omaha and went to a bar my uncle liked, to see a band called Cry Baby (I will never forget that as they handed out tear drop stickers at the door).

As my family grew, my husband and I carried on the gaming tradition with my daughter.  We played Monopoly or cards and snacked on food until the ball dropped in Time Square.  And we always had sparkling cider so the whole family could toast the New Year.

One of the traditions I still carry out is something my grandma always used to tell me.  She would eat oysters on crackers every New Years to bring good luck.  I also carry out a tradition that started when my daughter was a little older, we began opening a fortune cookie after midnight to see how lucky the New Year would be for us.

Now a lot of my family is gone, it is just my daughter and my sister and her family.  My daughter has her own friends to celebrate with.  My sister and her boyfriend usually go out and I just never cared to be out on the roads with all the drunk drivers that night.  So New Year’s Eve is pretty quiet for me.  My boyfriend works a 7am on New Years Day so it will probably be me and Words with Friends for the night… a drink of sparkling cider and some oysters, watching the ball drop in an empty Times Square.  May you all have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

What are some of your favorite ways to ring in the New Year?


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – lucky