"Let's Laugh 5"

You Can't Trust Words

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You just can't trust those words today...
like 'way' and 'weigh' and even 'whey'.
They sound alike but spellings 'pique',
like 'peke' and 'peak', and then there's 'peek'.

So when you want a word to 'praise',
there's 'prase' and 'prays', and smaller 'preys'.
Now get a pen and start to 'write'
'bout 'rite', and 'wright', and being 'right'.

You know that you can just stand 'by',
or you could 'buy', or 'bye', or 'bi'.
There's 'due' and 'dew' or you can 'do';
and 'ewe', and 'yew' and always 'you'.

I row with 'oars', 'or' look for 'ore';
'for' travelin' time 'fore' ten -to-'four'.
I'm really 'fat', but 'your' 'phat' 'gait'
shows 'you're' no 'knight' at 'nights' dark 'gate'.

(whew, did you get that last one?)

So now you see words are a pain...
what do they mean when used again?

Author Notes Photowhisper thank you for permission to use your picture.

146 words

Chapter 1
Ted and Fred Take On Each Other

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Poor Fred was looking awfully blue
when Ted said, "Fred, what's wrong with you?"
"Oh, Ted," said Fred, "I'm just no good.
I have no pep - not like I should."

"So, Fred," said Ted, "what should we do?
You just seem bored, and I am, too."
"Well, Ted," said Fred, "I just don't know.
Just think of somewhere we can go."

They sat up in the maple tree
just thinking where they'd like to be.
"Hey, Fred," said Ted, "how 'bout what say...
we just take off - let come what may!"

"Wow, Ted," said Fred, "that sure sounds great.
We don't set time ... we won't be late!"
So they took off around the tree
to just go see what they could see.

They flew straight up and then back down,
then clipped the tree - flew 'round and 'round.
They scared the dog, buzz bombed the cat,
then flew off with the mailman's hat.

They chirped and choked and laughed with glee
while flying 'round the maple tree.
Then off they flew to have some fun
with cat perusing on the run.

Fred knew not where their flight would end
but he was glad 'twas with a friend.
While unbeknownst to them on high,
a hawk flew waiting in the sky.

He watched the antics of the two
deciding then just what to do.
That hawk, he flew out of the sky
and picked on them, they knew not why.

He badgered, threatened and cajoled -
for just one bird, he was quite bold.
But Ted thought, 'Oh, no, not today!'
He tried to chase the hawk away.

When Fred saw Ted in full attack,
he joined the frey, did not hold back.
They pulled out feathers as they flew,
that hawk was gonna need some glue.

They flew as fast as they could go
when all at once Ted yelled out, "Whoa!"
They landed on a barnyard fence
surrounding track that was immense.

"Oh, Ted" said Fred, "what is this place?"
"See, Fred?" laughed Ted, "it's called a race".
"Wow, Ted", said Fred, "this will be fun!"
They heard a shot and 'round they spun.

Just then a horse ran round the bend.
Close followed by eight of his friends.
T'was nine brown carts and their fast steeds,
but two were holding to the lead.

They picked the horses, ONE and TWO,
then made a bet and off they flew.
Ted liked his ONE with flowing mane,
while Fred's black TWO was fast as rain.

The horses knew not what to think,
the drivers had not time to blink-
with each bird on a horse's head,
wings flapping, squawking, off they fled.

Then chaos went right o'er the top.
It broke full force and could not stop.
The drivers lost their firm control -
to stop the pain because their goal.

Two horses running...carts in tow,
the jockeys rocking to and fro.
One horse went left, the other right,
went off the track! Oh, what a sight.

Four other horses followed suit.
Then one driver fell on his snoot.
Two more fell off up in the stand,
that's where their horses tried to land.

But one lone driver held on tight
as his steed sped off through the night.
The crowd was standing on its feet,
they saw where ONE and TWO would meet.

For neck and neck were Ted and Fred;
first one in front, then other led.
"I'm gonna win!" yelled Ted to Fred.
"Not on your life!" yelled Fred to Ted.

Spurred on by squawkings in their ears,
the horses ran, the crowds did cheer.
The drivers finally got control,
both neck and neck round the last pole.

The crowds were standing on their feet.
The shouting came, synced with hoof beats.
The whips came out, the drivers struck,
spurned horses on, 'twas up to luck.

The horses bodies went streamlined
with ears laid back, and eyes that shined.
Then Ted and Fred, they dug right in
and held on tight amid the din.

A photo finish...had to be.
With all the dust, no one could see.
Fred looked at Ted, "I think I won!"
Ted said to Fred, "No, we're not done!"

The cameras flashed with nose to nose
as from the crowds, a cheer arose.
Both Ted and Fred flew off in glee
to go eat worms up in a tree.

'Dear Fred," said Ted, "that was just great.
What happens next? Should we just wait?"
"Oh, no, I think that we should leave,
'cause this is time that people grieve."

This is the story of a race,
an epic contest to save face.
But when it all was said and done ...
it mattered not, 'twas all in fun.

Author Notes Picture from the internet, free horse buggy pictures.

Chapter 2
Never Too Old

By Barb Hensongispsaca

take me to dreamland
let me play...
I am old, not dead

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 3
Staring Party

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I look at her with morning frost,
my eyes just squint with ruptured glare.
Defy her thoughts at any cost!
'Why fore', I ask, 'are you still there?'

She just stares back through eyes so red,
escapee from a rubber room.
See how the mirror stops me dead.
Me? That's me? Now that's pure gloom.

Author Notes Raoul D'Harmental thank you for permission to use your picture.

The topic for your Lento poem is a thing or person you see every day.

To refresh your memory:
A Lento consists of two quatrains with a fixed rhyme scheme of abcb, defe as the second and forth lines of each stanza must rhyme. To take it a step further, but not required, try rhyming the first and third lines as well as the second and forth lines of each stanza in this rhyming pattern: abab, cdcd. The fun part of this poem is thrown in here as all the FIRST words of each verse should rhyme. There is no fixed syllable structure to the Lento, but keeping a good, flowing rhythm is recommended.

Chapter 4
Too Much Caffeine

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Carol Candy stubbed her toe,
Uncle Franklin told her so.
Sprained my eyebrow falling up;
drank spaghetti from a cup.

Washed the cat in the machine.
Took a bath 'till I was green.
Combed my moustache with a mop;
drove an airplane on it's top.

Ate some rocks to quench my thirst;
lost a race but came in first.
Took a trip to see the stars;
made mud pies from dust on Mars.

Typed a letter to my cat.
'Hit the road' with baseball bat.
Parked my car on Milky Way,
said goodnight to start my day.

Moon came out and kissed the sun;
trees grow short 'til they are done.
Pigs give milk until they're dry;
cloud poked rainbow in the eye.

Caught some fish while riding whales,
fried them up with jam and snails.
Fished for flowers with a pen;
poem's started - now's the end.

Author Notes I had too much caffeine at work tonight trying to stay awake and this one just worked it's way out.

avmurray thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 5
My Adventurous Family Trip

By Barb Hensongispsaca

We took a trip to Disneyland
where Mickey and his five piece band
escorted us around the park
while Pluto joined in with his bark.

Now this may sound just right to you,
but, getting there was quite a zoo.
We're talking 'bout a three day trip
where Dad and I both lost our grip.

Twin boys that were just three years old,
but, neither shy, they were too bold.
A time out could not do the trick
when John gave Jim a hurtful kick.

Their toys could never be the same;
their temper tantrums far from tame.
Jim wandered off when stopped for gas.
Both fought for first, not wanting last.

John never liked the meals we ate,
he threw his food straight off his plate.
Jim snuck a kitten in the car,
drove three hours that's too far.

When John went left, then Jim went right,
'twas very hard to keep in sight.
As John ran off with Snow White's crown,
Jim crayoned all the flowers brown.

John lost his shoe, I don't know where;
Jim bit a dog...that was a scare.
This was our trip we saved up for,
that was before we knew the score.

Our lives will never be the same,
it changed for sure and that's my claim.
My husband mentions round trip now...
my mind rebels, I wonder how.

I can't again, no trips for me;
that one was all I want, you see.
No more adventures ... I'll stay home;
I do not have an urge to roam.

Author Notes Picture from free download Disneyland pictures.

Chapter 6
The Targeted Trouble

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Thorasisist Thomas Twillogaway
theorized Terri Thompson's trouble
took two tantalizing twists
targeting tarnished tapeworms
twisting toward tangled,
taut, traumatized thresholds.

Two terrifying, tangible theories
test total trust transpiring twixt
Thoracisist Thomas Twillogaway taxing
terrified Terri Thompson, testing
therapeutic theories tracking
timelessly trapped tapeworms
traveling tragically together.

Tastefully tactful, Thorasisist Thomas Twillogaway
told Terri Thompson to take two tablets turmeric'
'til trace transferability transforms together
thickening ties, taming tortured tapeworms,
tempting transverse tears to tie together
to tame tireless trouble.

Thorasisist Thomas Twillogaway
transferred total trusted time
to television translating
trivial trichinae tears,
treating tracheotomy ties,
touting theatrical theories.

Terri Thompson, though terrified,
thought Thoracisist Thomas Twillogaway
the thoughtful therapeutic trusting tower.

Author Notes Anne thank you for permission to use your picture.

129 words

Chapter 7
Had To Get Help

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Times are hard and things are bad,
roughest month I've ever had.
Lost my job 'cause I was late...
had to go and tell my mate.

Unemployment sucks big time,
they're afraid to give a dime.
Had to sell my nice new car.
I still use my wife's so far.

Looking hard, can't find a job,
wond'rin' now what I can rob.
NO! NO! NO! Can't think like that!
Gathered pets to have a chat.

Told them now that food was nil,
they would have to help pay bills.
Gave them signs, collection cups.
Sent them down streets, sent them up.

What they came home with was wrong...
my bird got seeds for a song.
Dog had bones, the cat - some rats.
Wife came home from buying hats.

Oh, well, just what can I say.
I brought home some books today.
Writing paper and a quill ...
I still can write and that I will.

Author Notes MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 8
Life is Fickle

By Barb Hensongispsaca

There's one old thought by which I'm bound,
and it decides my acts today -
remember what goes round comes round.
So don't step off your course - don't stray.

If I insult someone I know,
this act returns to me twice fold;
cause fate returns the seeds I sow.
To keep the peace, my tongue I hold.

I get upset with things I've found -
then fate remembers how I act,
and sends it's cousin karma 'round
berating me for lack of tact.

The golden rule is still the best
thru years of trials in life I've found ...
treat others like your life long guest
or fate will charge right back around.

Author Notes MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 9
Life's Moves

By Barb Hensongispsaca

You have to learn to dance life's moves-
to do it right, you find your groove.

Prepare to dodge, to kick and flow
'cause life will dictate where to go.

You take one step, to start your day,
but be prepared for 'come what may'.

It's two steps forward, three steps back...
the way of life, just learn the knack.

Not hard to learn, go with the flow,
just learn the steps, it's back and fro.

Take two steps now, move sure and free;
but, be prepared to go back three.

Now sometimes you can beat the score,
'cause life will let you get to four.

But, be prepared, it's very rare
that life will let you stay right there.

Just when you think you've learned life's dance,
the rules will change...a game of chance.

You'll find the dance moves change again-
you'll wind up where you were back then.

Remember when you get off track...
it's two steps forward, three steps back

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 10
It Really Doesn't Matter

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Some days you feel so happy as
you conquer many things.
You feel one step ahead in life...
defeat what 'er it brings!

You have your ducks all in a row,
and everything looks neat.
Your house is perfect -so to speak-
and that was quite a feat.

But then you hear that tiny voice,
"Hey, Mom, what can I do?"
Two little hands start working fast
as he is helping you.

You start to feel that tension build,
your insides start to shake.
You're sweating as you watch his hands,
your voice begins to quake.

You catch yourself as you reach out,
to straighten up each move.
Your perfect house gets rearranged
to fit into his groove.

There comes a time in all Moms' lives
when children's thoughts come first.
You have to put away your plans,
their bubbles you won't burst.

Your stacks of towels lean left or right,
the cabinets open wide,
there's mud across your nice clean floor,
your face you try to hide.

"Hey, Mom, I'm hungry. What's to eat?
I'm here to help you clean.
I'll fold the clothes - I do know how,
the best you've ever seen!"

Sometimes your days are really stressed,
sometimes they're burden free.
It all depends on what you feel's
important, don't you see?

Just look into that smiling face,
your precious little boy,
and know that you have made his day
as you pick up that toy.

Author Notes I found the picture on the internet and remembered the little hands that helped after I cleaned.

Chapter 11
That's My Job

By Barb Hensongispsaca

A great garbage collector, I collect all kinds of things,
from smelliest of garbage to the perfect diamond rings.
As I go 'bout my business, I will always try to sing ...
"A great garbage collector, I collect all kinds of things".

One day as I was sorting through the garbage on my truck,
I had a tearful moment, I could not believe my luck.
She was so gorgeous sitting there just smiling back at me.
She was not real of course I knew, but, she was company.

Another day collecting and you won't believe my find.
I knew right when I found it, it was just one of a kind.
I still don't know just what it does; it's pretty as can be.
It's up is down, and, down is up. I hung it in a tree.

I have a little business, and, it is just right for me.
I gather all the garbage up that no one wants. You see.
Now even though they're beaten, rusted, black and blue and bent,
for me they are good presents that are first class heaven sent.

A great garbage collector, I collect all kinds of things.
From smelliest of garbage to the perfect diamond rings.
I go about my business I will always try to sing ...
"A great garbage collector, I collect all kinds of things."

Author Notes Browncat thank you for permission to use your picture.

A friend of mine runs the neighborhood dump, so this is for him.

Chapter 12
The Raised Tail

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I woke this morning to the smell
of bacon taking o'er my dreams.
It overpowered my deep sleep.
I guess bacon trumps Clint, it seems.

I tried to fall asleep again,
'cause Clint was waiting there for me.
But then another smell came through,
and Clint comes second to coffee.

The neighbor's breakfast got to me,
but I had nothing I could cook.
So I put on some coffee then,
and sat to read my fav'rite book.

I smelled the sweet scent of lilacs,
as I thought that a peaceful stroll
would put me in tune with nature
to feel good, I set this my goal.

I walked outside expecting to smell
the beautiful scents in the air.
I turned the corner just to find
a very large skunk standing there.

I backed away ever so slow,
but I saw my fate on the way.
The neighbor's dog had jumped the fence -
'twas running up wanting to play.

I found I could not move as fast
as that tail that went in the air.
The skunk got both the dog and me
as it turned around with such flair.

I heard the neighbor screaming as
his poor dog ran into the house.
I tried to think of the lilacs
as I yelled inside for my spouse.

He set out canned tomato juice
then proceeded to lock the door.
What a guy, I thought to myself
while under my breath I then swore.


My senses are now quite open,
my smeller is working just great.
I hear the neighbor still cussing.
The smell from his house won't abate.

Author Notes The picture was a free download from the internet.

This is a true story from a few years back and yes he did lock the door. What a guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chapter 13
He Loved Flowers

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Very caring, my husband bought me flowers all the time, not just on special occasions. When I was mad, he brought me the biggest bunch. Carnations came when he was out of town. Roses came on sad days. Lilies came when he forgot to call or was working late.

I found out he was sleeping with the florist. I was sad when he fell down the stairs. Now I take him flowers ... to his grave.

Author Notes 75 words exact

cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 14
The Last Flower

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have a little tale of woe
that I would like to share with you.
It's hard to tell a friend from foe
'cause sometimes you don't have a clue.

My husband gave me flowers each day,
he proved he was a darling lad.
The biggest and the best bouquet
would come whenever I was mad.

He brought me flow'rs when he was late,
more came when he was out of town.
Then if he missed a special date,
the roses came when I felt down.

Carnations were his flow'rs of choice
when e'er he left me all alone,
and lilies would replace his voice
when ever he forgot to phone.

Gardenias came when I was sick,
begonias then when I got well.
Small daisies are what he would pick,
He really loved me, I could tell.

But then one day he lost my pride,
he gave me flow'rs, I found out why -
he saw the florist on the side,
his love for me was one big lie.

I told the cops he slipped and fell
while he was going up the stair,
His flower love will never tell
of what I did ... I think that's fair.

So come and celebrate with me-
it is the reading of the will.
The only flowers that you'll see
are wild ones growing on the hill.

Author Notes MoonWillow thank you for permission to use your picture.

I was asked to do a longer version of the story line so I hope this is okay.

Chapter 15
The Poets Are No Help

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My love and I were bicyc'ling
through nature's flower bed.
I started riding next to her
so she'd hear what I said.

I chose my words so carefully
just like the poets do.
I let them flow right off my tongue;
her heart I knew I'd woo.

I tried to tell her how I felt-
of love I had for her.
Somehow, she mixed up what I said,
it all became a blur.

Compared our love to open sea
I said was deep and wide ...
just like the famous poets do,
their knowledge on my side.

I got so darned excited and
when talking 'bout my love,
I did not know I'd hurt my girl
'till she gave me a shove.

But why she shoved me, did not know.
I sounded, oh, so sweet.
I sugar coated everything.
My words were such a treat.

I knew she had misunderstood,
she thought I called her wide.
I'd never do that to her face.
'Twould be the day I died.

I tried again to tell my love
of passion that I felt.
I wanted her to understand
how she made my heart melt.

I told her that our friendship now
had gone on long enough.
Before I got much further in
she gave my ear a cuff.

I said "Oh no, my sweetest love,
you didn't understand."
Again she pulled away from me.
I tried to hold her hand.

She thought I'd found another so
she asked me who she was.
When queried why she thought 'twas true,
she told me, "Just because!"

I said, "My love, there's no one else
with which this body's lain".
She had a look upon her face,
then slapped me yet again.

I screamed at her, "Don't do that, girl!"
I yelled, "You're acting dumb!"
She turned around and bicyc'eld
on back the way we'd come.

I tried to tell her how I felt,
of love I had for her.
Next time the poets can stay home
'cause they caused quite a stir.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 16
Mom's Visit

By Barb Hensongispsaca

First of all, I want to wish all my FanStory fans, friends, acquaintances, Tom, and everyone else a very Merry Christmas (I don't mean to offend anyone but this is how I grew up) and a blessed New Year. I know it is early but not according to the stores and they are the ultimate holiday experts.

Second, I want to remind every one that keeping the reason for Christmas and the holidays real and recorded for the next generation is so very important. It's not toys and candy and Santa Claus and elves. It is for a special birth of a simple man who came to show us life.

I decided it was time to visit my daughters for Christmas. Since I had moved to Canada, I made the trip every few months if I could afford it, but I shied away from holidays. My girls always needed to be another place when I visited, so I made sure they did not feel they had to break their plans just for me.

I thought it was about time for them to remember their mother's face and the reason she was in another country. Don't get me wrong, I love them dearly and I know they love me, but I am a lecturer. Oh, I try not to be, but it comes naturally from my mother's side of the family. Most of you know this is true from the soap boxes I get on sometimes and you have to survive my tangents. By the way, have I remembered to thank everyone of you for your patience?

It was one o'clock in the morning when I left for a five hour trip from Canada to Ohio. I attended a Christmas party with my husband, and before you ask, no, I did not drink. My time of dancing on the table with a lamp shade on my head is long gone.

The trip usually takes five hours when the weather is good and the wait at the border goes smoothly. 'Smoothly' is the ratio of the number of vehicles trying to cross the border multiplied by the seniority of the border guard. You can always tell the difference between a new, gung-ho, all-pressed, by-the-books, haul-them-in-for-a-strip-search, fresh-out-of-training guard and a well-seasoned, non-smiling, eye-twinkling, four-question-routine, have-a-good-day passport inspector.

A well seasoned border guard checks the passport, asks if you have any fresh fruit, tobacco or alcohol, and "have a nice day". The new person asks everything from what you had to eat that morning to who won the World Series five years ago. You better get that answer right or you are surrounded and escorted to a parking place where your car will be totally disrupted. You are sent inside while this is going on to wait your turn to answer more questions. No one smiles. No one makes you feel welcome. You don't read. You don't open your purse. You sit and stare straight ahead until your name is called. Always feels a little like prison, but that is another time.

Anyway, back to my story. Of course there was snow and ice to contend with and that was a cause of concern. I did not put snow tires on my car. A normal five hour trip turned into a nine hour trip with a quick pass at the border and well-meaning thoughts from the seasoned border guard ... "You should have gone yesterday when the weather was good. Have a nice day".

I finally arrived at my youngest daughter's house, where I had a wonderful visit with her and her husband, one cat named Diesel and two beagles named Tater and Massey. Don't ask. Oops! You asked. Well Diesel is for the stuff that powers the farm machinery; Tater is just Tater. She is fat with a tiny head, just a little out of proportion. Massey is for Massey Ferguson tractors. My daughter's husband is a farmer. Yep...can't believe you missed the clues.

I had worked fourteen nights straight before making this trip, After going to the party and driving, I just wanted to collapse. My oldest daughter brought over her fiancee for me to meet. Charming gentleman. I found him beneath all the tattoos that covered his body. Don't get me wrong, they have their place. I even have three myself. One I was able to pass off to my mother as a black and blue bruise for the longest time. She despised tattoos. Anyway, he was charming as I said. Younger than my daughter, but her kids loved him and she was happy for the first time in a long time.

Since it was two weeks till Christmas, I left the presents and fought my way home past three jack-knifed semi trucks, four cars in the ditch, and a two hour hold up while the road was cleared of a disassembled car that hit a divider. When I arrived home, I got out of the car and threw up. I think there was a little stress there.

If you are traveling this holiday, please leave early, have snow tires, and drive for the weather. I want you safe.

Author Notes 889 words

cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 17
Did You Find Yourself?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I've friends on site that I won't name
but every one has right to fame.
I want to take this special time
to thank them for their help with rhyme.

So many on here have my back,
I'm glad their patience they don't lack.
There's one that keeps my meter right,
another keeps my flow so tight.

There's one that sings their piece to me,
another writes of being free.
There's one that talks of peace and war,
another bleeds hard to their core.

One writes of Knights and damsels fair,
and one of God and faith and prayer.
One writes of hate and group unrest;
one writes of wizard's jeweled quests.

One writes of love and sex and...things.
One writes of trust and diamond rings.
One writes of hist'ry, past and new.
One writes of kids who learned what's true.

One writes to just stir up unrest,
another writes of being blessed.
One writes some short but forceful things,
another to see thoughts it brings.

But one inspires more than the rest,
he puts my patience to the test.
He never rates me more than four
and tells me not what it was for.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 18
The Fur Flew

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, George was mad...just so upset.
His voice as loud as it could get.
He stomped his feet and pranced about,
he threatened to abuse this lout.

He had some nerve to take his space,
and George was getting in his face.
He hissed and spat, but this strange dude
was really just immensely crude.

George told him then he'd better leave
or his decision he would grieve.
This cat paid him no never mind.
He fussed right back, he was unkind.

Poor George was then beside himself.
He put his pride upon the shelf
and told this thief he'd had enough.
Push come to shove, he'd strut his stuff.

The fight was on, George did attack,
but as he jumped, he was thrown back.
He realized then to his dismay
that this strange cat, he could not slay.

A mirror held this cat so bold,
reflection made it seem quite cold.
He lost some fur, a claw or two
before he realized what was true.

Author Notes tailwaggers thank you for permission to use your picture.

I watched my cat attack a mirror thinking it was another cat and, of course, this came about.

Chapter 19
His Flashlight

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Six year old Johnny wanted only one thing for Christmas. He had written Santa Claus, told his mom and dad, and even mentioned it to God in his prayers.

Christmas morning, he found a package with a flashlight just for him.

Now he could see what the dark looked like.

Author Notes 50 words

David Ruhl thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 20
Standing on the Corner

By Barb Hensongispsaca


I was standing on the street corner just counting out my change.
'Twas something in my life I knew I had to rearrange.
I didn't have enough food saved to shovel in my face,
I know I have to change things now ... so please get off my case.

First verse:

My kids needed their money just to buy their lunch at school.
Forgot to get their change for lunch, oh, boy, was I the fool.
My kids were not too happy when they saw what I had packed...
three crackers and an apple and some water in their sack.


Verse 2:

My husband wanted bus fare for a trip he had today.
Misplaced the envelope I had for him I'd put away.
He had a look of shock to see me bent o'er in a crouch,
as I searched through the car seats and then underneath the couch.


Verse 3:

I went out to a fast food place for something mighty quick.
I ordered up a combo meal for just 6.96.
The waitress rang my order up, I didn't have enough.
I realized to my horror I forgot to add tax stuff.


I was standing on the street corner just counting out my change.
'Twas something in my life I knew I had to rearrange.
I didn't have enough food saved to shovel in my face,
I know I have to change things now ... so please get off my case.

Author Notes Alveris thank you for permission to use your picture

Chapter 21
The Neighbor's Surprise

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Brandon couldn't wait to get home to tell his mother about the new neighbors that moved in next door. To him, this was exciting news.

"Mommy! Mommy!" Brandon yelled as he ran through the front door.

"What is wrong, are you okay?" his mother asked.

"Oh, yes, Mommy!" he said, "I met the new neighbors and they have triplets!"

"How old are they?" his mother asked.

"I don't know all of them", he said proudly, "but one is my age!"

Author Notes 80 words

Thank you Linda Bickston for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 22
The Oil Bath

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I put my boys into their bath
then went to find my towels.
When I arrived back at the door
'twas greeted by their howls.

I bravely went into the room,
someone I would throttle.
They'd found my special massage oil -
poured in the whole bottle.

They looked like two bare, white, beached whales
as they tried to stand straight.
I slid my way into the room,
so glad that I could skate.

I tried to wash the oily towels
the washer would not run.
I'd have to use the small wash cloths
to try to dry my sons?

I felt defeated as I went
back in to dry my sons.
What I saw then just made me cry.
"Hey, Mom, look what we done!"

They'd gathered all my wash cloths up,
my towels and doilies, too,
to wash them in the oily tub.
They'd washed up quite a few.

The wash cloths dripped right down the tub,
a pond formed on the floor.
Wet oily towels swam with my sons...
I turned and shut the door.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 23
My Left Shoe

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, my sweet shoe, my beautiful left shoe.
When you are hiding, I go look for you.
Without you, my left foot gets very cold
with all the abuse that my foot gets dolled.

My left foot feels so lost when you're away ,
the right one is covered, what can I say?
You're needed so much to help keep it dry.
Where do you go when I need you, and why?

You keep my foot dry, and keep it so warm.
My foot will get wet if I walk in a storm,
My walk will look funny, I need you around.
I'll look high and low until you are found.

You're one of a kind except for your mate,
like butterfly wings, and both a size eight.
My beautiful left shoe, I need you with me;
without you we're not complete, don't you see?

Please never leave me, my beautiful shoe.
You're a joy to my life, my left foot needs you.

Author Notes tonya41 thank you for permission use your picture.

Meter is off to make it flow and give you a laugh.

Chapter 24
They Got Even

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I went on a vacation and
I did not take my cat.
I knew he'd be upset with me
and we would have a spat.

I thought he'd sit and cry all day
and wait for my return.
He'd run to meet me at the door -
I had a lot to learn.

I pulled into the driveway and
the music was on loud.
Instead of just one upset cat,
I walked into a crowd.

There was a "bride" all dressed in white,
and looking for a man.
A "pirate" with a black eye patch...
I think his name is Stan.

My cat played "Tarzan", flew with ease,
hanging from chandelier.
A fancy cat dressed in my clothes
stood posed before the mirror.

There was a little Asian dude
as cute as he could be.
And he would try to swat the air
like he would chase a bee.

And last but surely best of all
a football playing cat...
with helmet on he looked just like
a large outrageous rat.

He tackled everyone in sight
as I was watching there,
and sounds of "hiss" and cries of "yowl"
so justly filled the air.

The house was wrecked from stem to stern
with nothing in its place.
The walls were cracked, the floor was wet...
oh, what a huge disgrace.

The couch was made into a fort.
I could not find the bird.
The kitchen was a total mess,
the whole thing - quite absurd.

Author Notes MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture

Chapter 25
The Card

By Barb Hensongispsaca

black cats screaming
carved faces of dread
full moon brings shadows deep
into lives some fear will creep
ugly crawleys come out to play
we've entered into all hallows day


Author Notes Picture this challenge group. Come check it out in the clubs under community.

Chapter 26
Hey, Johnny

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Hey, Johnny, go get me some gas
and don't give me your kind of sass.

Gonna get rid of my rival...
it's the time of my survival.

Gonna see if she can float,
if so I'll sell her as a boat.

His car will be his fantasy
then he will come right back to me.

Author Notes photoman12 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 27
The Funeral Vultures

By Barb Hensongispsaca

At funerals, vultures come out.
They squawk and scream and run about.
They promise this and help do that,
they'll steal your coat, then steal your hat.

There's goods to claim? They're first in line.
They'd rob their kin for nickels ... dimes.
They take and then be on their way
to leaving you with nothing to say.

They brag they're friends, they're there 'for you',
they just create an ugly zoo.
They bring you flow'rs - cry on the grave,
declare their loyal, praises rave.

But, when it's done, they go their way
to con another of their pay.

Author Notes SLS Photography thank you for allowing me to use your picture.

Not everyone is like this but there are the ones that just go to see what they can get. I saw this at my mother's funeral. Promises made but never meant.

Chapter 28
The Feeling

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Alone, Jenny had the uncanny feeling that she was being watched. After checking every nook and cranny, she realized how silly she was. She showered then climbed into bed, but, again, the fear overwhelmed her thoughts. She looked around, as if she were expecting the beast from the black lagoon to drag her to his lair. Her heart beat wildly as her breathing narrowed. Terror crept deeper into her core.

When she looked out the window, she noticed an owl looking back at her. Relieved, she looked at the owl and said, "Who!"

The owl looked back and said, "You!"

Author Notes 100 words

David Ruhl thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 29
Thanksgiving With Ted and Fred

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Hey, Ted," said Fred, "what's wrong with you?
Your feathers' ruffled ... you look blue."
"Oh, Fred," said Ted, "I just don't know.
My get up just won't start to go!"

"Well, I know just what we should do."
"Oh, tell me Fred, give me a clue!"
"Just follow me," yelled Fred to Ted.
"'Twill cheer you up," was all he said.

They took off flying 'round the tree,
buzz bombed the cat - laughing in glee.
Deep in the forest, they flew on
until they reached a grassy lawn.

And there spread out beyond the bend
was food Ted thought would never end.
'Twas food laid there both baked and fried,
some raw, some boiled, some skinned, some dried.

The vegetables were fixed all ways
Ted said to Fred, "What is today?"
"Thanksgiving, Ted", Fred said with glee,
and we're invited ... you and me.

The humans had cooked up a feast
to share together - man and beast.
"Oh, Fred," said Ted, "this is so grand.
Let's both fly down and lend a hand."

But Ted misjudged and landed flat
right in the soup with splash and splat.
Afraid to even look around,
Ted noticed no one made a sound.

All eyes were closed, all heads were bent,
Thanksgiving prayers were heaven sent.
Ted looked at Fred, a smile he wore,
he knew what he was thankful for.

Author Notes eileen0204 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Chapter 30
Mr. vs. Mrs.

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Both sides experience dedication.
One side demands vindication...
the other lives in fabrication.
One promises participation -
the other shows inebriation.
The judge will see ramification
when one forces incrimination.
One may plead domestication
but the other wants termination.
One plans a celebration
'cause the other wants liberation.
The judge sees a complication,
both sides want clarification.
All they may need is communication
and maybe a little consideration...
definitely some co-operation
and maybe just some separation.

Author Notes Sean T Phelan thank you for permission to use your picture.

What a day in court...he said, she said.

Chapter 31
Ted and Fred Take On The Cat

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Hey, Ted," said Fred, "let's fly to town.
I'm feeling bored, a little down."
"Sure, Fred," said Ted, and off they flew.
"Hey, Ted," said Fred, "how 'bout the zoo?"

They both took off around the tree;
buzz bombed the cat and laughed with glee.
They headed toward the lights of town,
but, Ted veered off and then dropped down.

"That's fun!" cried Ted. "Let's try again."
He went where he should not have been.
The cat was on his haunches, primed.
When Ted dove down, cat watched and timed.

It turned into a real ballet,
cat shot straight up as feathers sprayed.
As Ted turned left, he felt a draft,
his front was fine, but, lost his aft.

While Fred cried, "Ted!", he flew to see
if Ted was in much misery.
Poor Ted had landed on the ground
then drug his butt around and 'round.

The cat was in his stalking mode.
"Hey, Ted," said Fred, "we'd better go!"
So off they flew, poor Ted in tears.
Fred laughed so hard as he flew near.

No feathers and Ted's butt was raw.
The strangest thing Fred ever saw.
The cat was prancing 'round with glee...
his prize - Ted's feathers, Fred could see.

"The zoo is out," Ted said to Fred.
"I think I'm going off to bed."
As Fred flew off, he laughed to see,
that cat still circling 'round the tree.

Author Notes GalliaG thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 32
The Arches of Temptation

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Big Mac
Filet of Fish
Quarter Pounder
French Fries
Icy Coke
Thick Shake
Apple Pie")

This jingle is like cake to me.
I can't drive by, must stop, you see.
Big yellow arches call my name;
the people seem so glad I came.

It's open when I get 'that' feel ...
I drive right through and get my meal.
Now, cold drinks are a buck a pop-
I can't drive by, I have to stop.

I'll have a sandwich - maybe two;
then pie or ice cream ... what to do?
Dear salad, oh, my heart you hold;
and French fries, you're good even cold.

Some items there for girls and boys,
I get them 'cause I like the toys.
The coffee's great, there's smoothies, too.
Expresso wakes you up, 'tis true.

But then, the milk shakes are divine,
I have to stop and make them mine.
I go 'cause my car knows the way.
It turns right in ... what can I say?

Temptation's hard, resistance nil,
I eat until I have my fill.
My doctor says I should resist-
I said I'd put it on my list.

("Two all beef patties,
special sauce, lettuce, cheese,
pickle, onion
on a sesame seed bun.")

Author Notes Picture is from free download from internet.

Chapter 33
Nature's Bowling Ball

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Ten flamingos - rhino's the bowling ball.

Author Notes Mr Jones thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 34
Here LIes John

By Barb Hensongispsaca


Here Lies John
We Lost John
When He Fell In The John
Using The John
Poor John

Author Notes SLLangston thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 35
My Muse

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Each time I write down what I say
my muse takes flight to have her way.
I write a child's sweet gentle song;
my muse grabs hold then all goes wrong.

What does start out with gentle words,
my muse will end with things absurd.
She changes things while I'm midstream
She speaks her mind, or so it seems.

She puts ideas in my mind
all times of day, new thoughts I'll find.
I have to write them down right then.
"Oh, someone, please, I need a pen!"

She'll talk to me within my thoughts
then flit away, it's all for naught
if I don't write things right away
they're lost among life's busy fray.

Sometimes I sit and she does, too;
I wonder what she plans to do.
We sit for hours to write one line
then she jumps in and all is fine.

There is a guy here on this site
who pushes her with all his might.
She takes his challenge with a smile
then makes me pen her words with style.

She's always thinking of new ways
to help me write down what to say.
She takes me where she wants to go
as I write down the words that flow.

She's like a gentle flitting bird
that flies among each written word,
she alters thoughts of words for me;
she'll change my course ... I'm up a tree.

My pen to paper, off we go.
She'll do her thing, of this I know.
I hope my friends will like her way
to challenge life, she's here to stay.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 36
My First Day

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I started my new job today;
I thought it might just go okay.
How hard is it to watch some kids?
Just let me tell you what they did.

First, Bob, who's only five years old,
picked all the flowers he could hold.
His sister, Jenny, cute as peas,
sang all the time but way off key.

Twins, Josh and Franklin, love football;
they broke all statues down the hall.
Our fairy dancer, Jennifer,
has tripped me twice ... I now watch her.

Our pilot of the house is Guy;
who broke his arm as he "flew" by.
Then Cowboy Dan climbed on the sheep,
who left him crying in a heap.

Our Lilly thought she could cut hair,
cut Sara's tresses ... now she's bare.
Her sister Sue tried on my clothes,
she cut them short to fit her pose.

I caught Rene chasing the cat
with Jimmy's heavy metal bat.
Don't know if I can now do this;
'cause my first day was not of bliss.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 37
Counting Sheep

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I realized so late one night
as I lay watching you in sleep,
'cause drifting off was hard to do
so I laid there just counting sheep,

why sleep was not a friend of mine
and would not come whate'er I tried ...
deprived of slumber, I felt woozed
my brain, I knew, was deeply fried.

Your orchestrated snoring was
not what kept me so wide awake,
though it continued each dark night
way on past every morning's break.

Your tossing and your turning were
an act of pure ballet's delight
especially when you combined
it with the times you sat upright.

And all the times you talked in bed
while interchanged with moanings deep,
would have me listen close to hear
if you told secrets in your sleep.

Those times that you went on a stroll
while deeply held in slumbers arms,
I had to walk along with you
to keep you from inflicting harm.

So counting sheep is what I do
to try to fall asleep each night,
but still I wondered why 'twas hard
to fall asleep before daylight.

My body changed as years changed me-
no longer were your thoughts so bold,
till one day our nice double bed
became two twins and nights turned cold.

I lay here as I watch you sleep
and know that I now sleep alone,
right next to you but cannot touch
'cause from our double bed was thrown.

I so miss being held by you
amidst your restless nights of sleep,
to be safe in your arms is where
I want to be when shadows creep.

Author Notes bd shutterspeed thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 38
Autumn Passing

By Barb Hensongispsaca

autumn's winds become
rumb'ling, grumb'ling colored sea
of last dying leaves

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 39
Scat, Cat!

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My cat
has sat
on my hat-
it's flat!

Author Notes Wolfdancer thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 40
His Spirit is My Muse

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My muse was finally on the run,
his lazy streak was almost done.
I stuck a fire where he would sit
then watched as he threw one huge fit.

When he calmed down, I said, "Now, look...
we have to come up with a book.
I've five new poems we must rhyme
and do it in allotted time."

My muse was not the least impressed,
and kind of looked a bit distressed.
He ranted and he raved a bit,
but never threw another fit.

Because he really loves to write,
upon this challenge, he would bite.
I told him what I planned to do.
There was a sequence I'd work through.

I grabbed his int'rest ... he was keyed.
Ideas flow for you to read.
So now he has his game face on,
it's one, and two, and three ... he's gone.

Author Notes GaliaG thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 41
A Fun Interraction

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I asked my husband, "Am I fat?"
He told me , "Girl, remove your hat!"
Then said, "Oh, no," from where he sat.
He gave my behind quite a pat.

I sat down then to have a chat.
My chair fell over on the mat.
My head hit pavement with a splat,
I wound up on the floor quite flat.

Fred came to see - he is our cat.
And in his mouth he held a bat.
"Eew, Fred, that's bad, so go 'way ... SCAT"!
He dropped the bat to chase a rat.

My husband tried to start a spat.
I gave it back, then, tit-for-tat.
He grinned at me, he's such a brat.
That's all I have to say 'bout that.

Author Notes MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.

I think I took too much pain medicine so you have to suffer but I hope you enjoy.

Chapter 42
My Fear Has A Word

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Decorated trees look like jigsaws,
red suited man brings chills that's too raw.
I know there's nothing to it...
I think I can live through it.
I suffer from Claus-trophobia.

Author Notes Elinor Rakowski thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 43
My Trial At Christmas

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Christmas is here, let's shout for joy!"
cries every little girl and boy.
There's always plenty food to eat,
and Grandma's cooking can't be beat.

First Grandma mixes stuffing up,
then stuffs the turkey with a cup.
She wraps the ham in honey sauce.
At Christmas time she spares no cost.

A green bean casserole she'll bake;
and don't forget the chocolate cake.
The corn she'll fix on cob and not,
with yams and gravy piping hot.

Then home made noodles, biscuits, too,
some cabbage and some honeydew,
sweet coleslaw that will blow your mind,
hot squash and taters ... all four kinds.

There's pies and cakes and jello molds,
some cookies that are sliced or rolled,
two salads topped with dressing light,
and marshmallow fancy delight.

But now a problem has arose,
cause Grams has gout in her big toe.
The supper now falls back on me,
and I can't cook a thing, you see.

I could just have it catered in.
They'll never know just where it's been.
All thirty-six plan to attend
and some will even bring a friend.

Her festive planning is complete
and everyone's reserved their seat.
But even with her helping me,
all things will burn and boil - you'll see.

I have no choice, I must go on,
so I will cook from dusk to dawn.
I don't know how the food will be.
I'll try and we'll just have to see.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 44
Oh, Dear, It's Here

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Now decorating time has come;
let's roast some chestnuts, drink some rum.
We brave the cold to cut the tree,
a lot of work, but it is free.

Find bells and balls, dust off the star,
should buy some booze, restock the bar.
Now check the lights, utter a moan,
untangle strands, find one that's blown.

The cat takes off up in the tree,
just batting everything he sees.
The village scene complete with snow.
Wrap all the presents - top with bows.

Still need more strands when said and done?
Tell kids that popcorn lines are fun!
Must find the ladder - hang the lights.
It's good hubby does not fear heights.

Reset the fuses when they blow.
Address cards to both friend and foe.
Take kids to Santa with their list,
now must check yours ... see who you missed.

A good spot found for mistletoe,
now see how far tinsel will go.
Buy flowers, make the windows bright
check outdoor lights, oh what a sight.

Bake lots of cookies, pie or two,
try new desserts that you'd like to.
Clean up the house and mop the floor,
dust things you've never done before.

Then plan the party - food and drink.
Christmas will come quick as a wink.
Rewrap the presents puppy found.
Replace what's chewed ... must shop around.

Retrieve the cat from in the tree,
move all to somewhere he can't see.
All is finished? Sit back, have fun.
Christmas coming. One day done.

Author Notes Joyous39 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Notice how we try to do everything in one day?

Popcorn lines are strands of threaded popcorn draped on the tree.

Chapter 45
Strong Coffee

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I found ambrosia yesterday
though some may say
'tis devils brew-
that may be true.

First taste is like pure turpentine
in pickle brine
but that will pass-
it gives you sass.

It wakes you up at early morn
though tired and worn
it perks the mind-
can't lag behind.

Straight hair becomes a piglet's curl
your thoughts then whirl.
Find you are blessed-
grows hair on chest.

Bug eyed and panting as you toil,
your innards boil
as you speed on
when day is gone.

Strong coffee gives you wings to fly
you laugh then cry
you crave some more ...
"Come on, just pour!"

Author Notes Anne thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 46
HIss and Bark

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My dog is one big drool machine,
he's never mean;
he loves to lay
around all day.

He's jealous of my honey's cat
who is too fat
to chase the mice -
they think she's nice.

They really do make quite a pair ...
they sit and stare
then hiss and bark
from morn to dark.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 47
The Vacuum Cleaner

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I know a lot of you have a vacuum cleaner that you take for granted.

Mine visits a couple of times a day. His name is Rusty.

As he bounds through the kitchen door, he proceeds to lower his mouth to the floor and inhale every piece of food that he comes across. If it is not food, he will shake his head, clearing the internal filter, then continue to the living room to savor whatever is on the carpet.

Does he stop there? No, he heads to the neighbor's apartments to assist them.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

99 words.

Chapter 48
My Trip

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I went to sea one sunny day.
There was a snow storm in my way.
The air was crisp as I breathed in,
I sailed around to where I'd been.

The moon was up, the sun was bright.
I knew I'd land where I would light.
The whales, they sang a mournful tune.
I slept till dawn, at least till noon.

The seaweed tasted mighty bad,
I drank green tea, 'twas all I had.
I finally reached where I had been,
I think I'll go around again.

I might just surf from break of day
and use the dolphins as my sleigh,
then when I'm tired, I'll get aboard
then onward through the miles I'll ford.

The stars will lead me on my way,
the siren's song will make me stay.
I left this morning on my quest.
Again I go 'cause sailing's best.

Author Notes catmal thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 49
It's Now Time

By Barb Hensongispsaca

OH, Lord, so far I've been so good,
I've done all things I think I should.
I have not thought things I should not,
and, with my fam'ly, have not fought.

I have not tried to change Your plan,
and, have not yelled at fellow man.
I have not even once complained,
or, cheated men from earthly gain.

I have not checked Your parentage
or flown into a fit of rage.
I did not take Your name in vain,
and I refused to cause You pain.

I guess I have to face the fact
that this is now the time to act.
I must get up, give me the power ...
I've been awake for one full hour.

It's time to crawl from my warm bed,
throw back the covers from my head.
Please help me now, give me your grace,
and help me keep my tongue in place.

Author Notes SCHATZLING thank you for permission to use your picture.

This is in response to Robyn's latest poem, 'Dear Lord, I Need Your Help Today'.

Chapter 50
Being Watched

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Just sitting there, wound deep in thought,
while contemplating what I bought,
I glanced a couple tables past,
did double take, my mouth agast.

For sitting there just watching me
a god as handsome as could be.
His eyes were fixed on me alone.
His beauty brought a stifled moan.

I looked around to just be sure
'twas me he watched, I felt his lure.
'Twas no one else as close as me,
my heart then soared, my mind ran free.

I blushed then felt demurely shy,
so honored but I wondered why
this man would pick me o'er the rest
to flirt with ... wow, I felt so blessed.

He licked his ice cream cone with care,
while watching me - my passion flared.
His tongue expertly moved about,
he wanted me, I had no doubt.

My pulse did pound, my breathing sped,
I knew he'd lay me in his bed.
I watched that tongue ... imagined where
he'd touch with it when we were bare.

I felt so moist, my body hot,
I bit my lip but I cared not.
I smiled that 'bring it' tempting look
while he just stared, my cold hands shook.

He seemed enthralled with only me,
he licked his fingers so I'd see.
My nether regions felt so wet,
I was as hot as I could get.

I planned how I would make him see
that he could not do without me.
I'd turn myself into a mink
then be all that this man could think.

He donned his shades as he arose,
my body yearned from head to toe.
I think I drooled as I observed
each muscle and each tempting curve.

He picked up something by his side
then came toward me in taunting stride.
But then my heart sunk with my pride,
my body cooled - my plans were fried.

He held a red-tipped, metal cane,
to find his way from whence he came.
I knew that he had not seen me.
Embarrassed? Yes, but just to me.

Author Notes MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.

Saw this action on face book and just couldn't resist a poem on it.

Chapter 51
The End of the Year

By Barb Hensongispsaca

So this is it, we're at year's end;
there's no time left to change or mend.
We'll greet the year with food and booze,
make resolutions ... what's to lose?

"I'll find a job ... I'll lose some weight.
I'll watch my tongue ... I'll start to date.
I'll get good grades ... I'll show I care.
I'll go see shut-ins everywhere."

"I'll not get drunk ... I'll not go broke.
I'll jog three miles ... I will not smoke.
I'll text much less ... I'll start right now.
I'll live my life ... but not sure how."

"Stop biting nails ... forget last year.
Not drink so much, (I need a beer!)
Be nice to mom ... I'll call her more.
I'll clean the house ... oh, what a chore."

"I'll see the world ... I'll gamble less.
I'll make new friends ... not make a mess.
I'll watch my coin ... save every dime."
I think that's it ... I'll change this time!!!

Author Notes avmurray thank you for permission to use your picture

Chapter 52
Found Peace in Terror

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Till I grow old and memory gone,
I'll n'er forget those days
when all my friends had turned on me
to show their evil ways.

There's talk about the innocence
of children 'cause they're young.
That never took away the pain
of words that bit and stung.

My twitches and my tics pronounced,
I tried to hide in vain;
but, phrases like"she's just a freak"
made me feel quite insane.

I could not stop the jerks and blinks
that worsened with each year.
Grade one my friends did not complain;
grade eight they'd not come near.

My books were knocked out of my grasp
so they could watch me twitch.
As I bent down to pick them up,
again my books they'd ditch.

I could not hide the clicking noise,
my tongue would not be still.
The laughter and the painful names
will haunt me ... always will.

When no one cared to be my friend,
I learned to walk alone.
But, though I'd hurt so bad inside,
I'd kept my face like stone.

The older kids would push me down,
then laugh when I would cry.
Then came the day I didn't care -
I thought of how to die.

But, God saw all that I went through
then He looked down and said,
'I've other plans for you, my girl,
that you can't do if dead.'

So now I 'click' when passing by
a very handsome lad,
he'll look at me and give a smile
as he thinks I'm just 'bad'.

I 'grunt' when having dinner at
a fancy eating place.
The chef is really pleased because
he feels a cooking ace.

I've learned to laugh at what I do
then others feel at ease.
Except when I yell 'damn' in church -
the pastor's smile will freeze.

Author Notes Simona-Hmilanska thank you for permission to use your picture.

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a disorder that affects the body's brain and nervous system by causing tics as sudden, repetitive movements or sounds that some people make, seemingly without realizing it. A person with Tourette syndrome has multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic.

Tics are actually more common in teens than you might think. You may know someone who has either a motor tic (sudden, uncontrollable movements like exaggerated blinking of the eyes) or a vocal tic (sounds such as throat clearing, grunting, or humming).

Tourette syndrome is a genetic disorder, which means it's the result of a change in genes that's either inherited (passed on from parent to child) or happens during development in the womb. As with other genetic disorders, someone may have a tendency to develop TS. But that doesn't mean the person will definitely get it.

The exact cause of Tourette syndrome isn't known, but some research suggests that it happens when there's a problem with how nerves communicate in certain areas of the brain. An upset in the balance of neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain that carry nerve signals from cell to cell) might play a role.

"Kids Health" - internet

Chapter 53
Everything Has A Weakness

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Do you have your survival kit?
Then grab a seat, let's talk a bit.

I have my garlic that I eat
to ward off vampires that I meet.

I wear my silver 'round my wrist
to keep me off the wolfen's list.

This works with wraiths who love your brain-
to eat when they drive you insane.

Dry matches, I keep stored nearby
'cause wendigos must burn to die.

This also works for changelings, too,
but move real slow when e're you do.

Just hide your sweets from trickster's grasp,
you'll know he's gone by his pained gasp.

A silver bullet through the heart
makes shape shifting a dying art.

My cross I keep on me each day
to keep the reaper's hand at bay.

Most days I let my mind go free,
it's so tulpas can not be.

A witch is easiest to kill
by any means ... what e'er you will.

My flashlight's great for daevas'
'cause bright light will insure their loss.

Some lamb's blood in a little vial
will stall a djinn for just awhile.

Scented herbs when mixed just right
will keep a poltergeist from sight.

A headshot sent to center brain
will kill a ghoul but leave a stain.

A siren lures men to their doom
a brass knife stops King Neptune's tomb.

And now for zombies, what a chore,
you must behead them at the door.

Befriend a priest to exorcise
a demon's hold - that's very wise.

It's diff'rent with the ghosts, my friend,
work with their minds to bring their end.

Now all this is just great to know,
but what of exs? They're my woe.

Author Notes SCHATZLING thank you for permission to use your picture.

Inspired by a discussion with my grandson.

Chapter 54
Where Is My Muse?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I realized one night as I tried to sleep
while laying awake and just counting the sheep,
why sleep wouldn't come by whatever I tried.
Deprived of good rest then my brain was so fried.

I had closed my door to my family and friends
(I just did not care if that one act offends).
I shut out the kids and then even the cat ...
shut down my mind to all wanting to chat.

I thought if alone then my writing would come;
but, my mind closed up, so I found that was dumb.
To birth all my poems, I needed the sounds ...
the laughter of kids, and the sights all around.

The birds in the trees even influence me,
they open my mind and allow me to see.
Ideas rush in then to fill my closed mind;
the thoughts then explode so I'm no longer blind.

I see before me the words that I must write,
my brain's finally working to my sheer delight.
To put it on paper, now this is the time
to block out the sounds while I get this to rhyme.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 55
Don't Say It

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I have pet peeves and so do you,
just listen close, I'll tell you true.
The one that bothers me the worst
I'll tell you all ... this is the first.

When I feel bad, just feeling down,
my smile resorts into a frown.
My actions show that I'm depressed,
too many things make me feel stressed.

I tell my friends what's ailing me,
then they respond with my pet peeve.
"I know exactly how you feel,"
oh come on guys, let's just get real.

This feeds my pet peeve to the max
which makes me feel so out of whack.
No one has walked where I have trod,
but I just look at them and nod.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 56
Spit Is Gross

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Another one of my pet peeves
is one that's common, I believe.
Ex-husband smoked a lot, you see
which made me angry as could be.

When morning came, he hacked a lot ...
he coughed up phlegm to clear that knot.
But when he hacked it up, you see,
it were where e'er it should not be.

The sink, the tub, waste basket, too.
That gunk stuck hard to all like glue.
T'was lumps of it on bathtub floor;
which angered me right to the core.

I'd brush my teeth, mind roaming free,
I'd go to spit and gunk I'd see
around the bowl just sitting there ...
somebody's butt I'd want to tear.

I'd go to throw some things away,
mistakenly, a bill to pay.
I'd reach inside to get it back
but find some phlegm my guy had hacked.

This piece was awfully gross, I know,
but this pet peeve is one of woe.
It'd be so nice, I would not moan
if he'd hacked in the bathroom throne.

Author Notes supergold thank you for permission to use your picture

Chapter 57
Don't You Just Love Drivers?

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I've made an observation that now truly bothers me,
so let me tell you what it is and see if you agree.
I got my license years ago, my teacher taught me how ...
a lot of driving expertise has changed from then to now.

A license from a popcorn box, does not give them the right
to say that they are drivers 'cause they do create a sight.
When drivers race around me as if I was standing still,
guess what? I meet them at the light located on the hill.

Before the light will turn to green, their foot is off the brake.
It seems they must be in the lead, no matter what it takes.
Their life is truly in their hands, but I feel so is mine,
they cut me off just missing me - they just can't see the line.

Then racing on ahead of me as fast as they will dare
they're only caught by the next light, while waiting for me there.
The light turns green and off they go at maximum full speed
while racing all the other cars to be out in the lead.

They honk at me if I'm too slow and they can't get around.
Then all I do is wave at them and never make a sound.
They honk their horn in attitude as they race 'round in flight
and seem to be so satisfied - they're first at the next light.

They spend their time just weaving in and out of cars each day,
while other drivers cringe in fear of this rough game they play.
The part I like is when these drivers fin'lly have to stop
because they've been pulled over by a quite unhappy cop.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 58
Post Christmas Lament

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, Christmas time is gone again;
my nerves call for a shot of gin.
I have to check my savings book.
Is there enough? Let's take a look.

This bill can wait a few more days;
move bills around, oh, what a maze.
I've robbed from Peter far too long,
Paul's pay's delayed and this is wrong.

The kids demanded lots this year;
I had to buy a lot of cheer.
I kept my kids content with me
when they saw what was 'neath the tree.

I started shopping months ago
to get them presents. Yes, I know -
but I knew they had to fit in.
Where DID I hide that shot of gin?

They had the best, ten gifts or more
from fashion's best department store.
I'd worry 'bout the bills this year ...
I had to buy them Christmas cheer.

They made their list ... redid it twice;
then gave to me, they weren't too nice.
I got them all the things they'd need,
but somewhere gifts had turned to greed.

Now, 'bout this year, I'll change my plan
and think more 'bout my fellow man.
It's time my kids learned love again.
Now, where is that darn shot of gin?

Author Notes Alveria thank you for permission to use your picture.

'Robbing Peter to pay Paul' is an expression used when we take money from one place to try to pay the other hoping we can still refill that spot before it is due.

Chapter 59
My Daddy Said

By Barb Hensongispsaca

My Daddy said, "Don't pick your nose
if anyone's around.
Don't throw a temper tantrum when
Mom's taking you to town.

Don't tell your Grandma what you think
when waiting for a treat.
Don't sass me when I'm real upset
or I will warm your seat.

Don't chase the dog around the room,
he'll throw up ... so will you.
Don't start a fight, don't run away
no matter what you do.

Don't hit a woman cause you can,
you'll answer fast to me.
Don't take your life, I'll bring you back ...
you'll suffer, do you see?

Don't scratch it if it does not itch,
remember if you do ...
act macho and self confident
cause people will watch you.

Don't take that thing out of your pants
to use where you should not ...
or you'll be paying money out
and that you have not got.

And never bait your girlfriend's hook
when you're out in the boat.
If she can't do it by herself,
then see if she can float!"

My Daddy was real smart, you see,
he had some good advice.
I never understood some things -
I'd never ask him twice.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 60
My Car Door

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Ex-spouse of mine, God bless his soul,
was doing things that took its toll.
He rubbed a peeve that was my pet
when he got my car soaking wet.

He drove my car when t'was with me
or on long trips, saved gas you see.
He rolled the window down to smoke,
said aired the car - that was a joke.

But, then on his return from town
he would forget, the glass stayed down.
In winter time, the snow came in
and summer found the dew within.

And, even though 'twas just a hair,
it still let in more than just air.
The rain, the snow, the sleet, the hail,
the smell of skunk that raised its tail.

I found some peanuts on my seat
a squirrel left with dirty feet.
There was a time I cracked the door
to see some feathers on the floor.

He'd never heed a word I'd say
till I got even one fine day.
I left his truck door open wide,
you'll never guess what got inside.

Author Notes Sean T Phelan thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 61
That's A Long Time

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, dear,
I need to think of things
which my ex says is quite easy
for me to do.

Reminds me of the radio program
that is titled,
One Minute In A Woman's Mind.

Some of the things they think of
as they go from one subject to another
is truly amazing.

Well, for me,
I think of what I have to do today.
I have to take my neighbors
in my apartment building
to the local food bank.

They are so different,
they are like children.
Both are over 40
and fight all the time.
It will be an interesting time.

Then I have to go to the doctor.
It will be the first time with this doctor
since I have moved to Ohio.

I hate going to the doctor for the first time.
All those questions on that paper they hand you
really tests the memory that is already taxed
from the rigors of surviving the last year.

I hope my granddaughter is okay.
She has a new counselor I hope
is able to reach her.

Oh, yes
the new doctor...

Bring your identification,
bring your medicines,
bring your history,
bring your...

Oh, well I think I have everything
I don't remember when I had
my gallbaldder surgery.
Oh, dear,
what year was my cataract surgery?

Well, I thought I was ready,
but since my ten minutes are almost up,
guess I have to go back to getting ready
for the doctor.

But then I have the dentist next week,
that is one that I truly dread.
Two lost fillings and

Author Notes Times up!

Chapter 62
An Interesting Job

By Barb Hensongispsaca

"Don't laugh!!! I see you hiding behind that door snickering. Hey, be careful, that hurts!"

I really love being a fireman sometimes, it is never boring because people will find almost impossible things to try. Some rescues are true challenges while others, like this one, make it very hard to keep a straight face.

I will never understand the unnatural lure of putting a big toe into the water faucet while sitting in the bathtub.

Author Notes 75 word story using 'don't laugh' in the story.

Chapter 63
I'm A Little Cockroach

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I'm a little cockroach, smart and strong.
You can not kill me, I'm lean and long.
When you blow yourselves up, that won't be wrong
I'll still be here singing my song.

Author Notes MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.

Robyn, here is my addition to your collection.

Don't to the tune of I'm A Little Teapot

I'm a little teapot, short and stout
Here is my handle, here is my spout
When I get all steamed up, hear me shout:
Tip me over and pour me out!

Chapter 64
Getting Old

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I'm sitting here on my back porch
a heat pad to my back,
I try to get some feeling in
my sacroiliac.

A bee has nothing on my sight,
he sees fifteen of me.
I hit a high of twenty-one
of him as he flits free.

My taste buds went some while ago,
my hearing left me, too.
My joints are bent so badly, I
look like a tree ... I do!

Since gravity took its firm hold,
the once good parts now sag.
My breathing comes along with me
contained in this here bag.

My once tight skin now sags at will,
I flap when e'er I walk.
My dentures rattle up and down
when I just try to talk.

My one foot turns out to the left,
the other to the right.
It helps me keep my balance though
I truly look a sight.

The sweetest man that loves me still,
for this and for my mind,
I plan on hanging on real tight,
he's loving ... and he's blind.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 65
Wild On Catnip

By Barb Hensongispsaca

my catnip stoned cat
hanging from ceiling by paws
a cat-astrophe

Author Notes Free picture download from internet.

Chapter 66
I've A Smelly Left Foot

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I've a smelly left foot, there's my right.
When they are naked, they are a sight.
But they keep me going in my flight
while I'm running with all my might.

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 67
My Cat vs. Your Dog

By Barb Hensongispsaca

The diff'rence between cats and dogs
is very clear to me.
To cats, they'll always be your peers
to dogs, you're toys, you see.

While cats will butter up to you
with purring and a rub,
a dog will rush with slobber drool,
you'll think you left the tub.

You call a cat, they make you think
that they are fully bored.
They'll hem and haw and fuss around
to make you feel ignored.

A dog, upon the other hand,
will wreck the house in flight
to scramble fast to get to you
if you get out of sight.

A cat will eat haughty and slow
like they were royalty.
Then rub your legs to give their thanks
and prove their loyalty.

A dog will seem they're starved to death
when eating from their dish.
They eat with gusto, food will fly,
like they just got their wish.

Where cats will play with what they find
located on the floor
or bat with one another as they
paw beneath the door,

a dog will need so many toys
that's way beyond your means.
Their teeth destroy each one in turn,
that is their goal, it seems.

A cat with food and litter box
can stay alone all day,
since they stay up most of the night
they'll sleep while you're away.

A dog, however needs your love,
each minute ... every hour,
or you'll come home to find a smell
that really is quite dour.

There are so many kinds of cats
from white to stately brown,
and each one comes from royalty
'cause each one wears a crown.

Now that's where dogs will differ from
your majesty - the cat;
because the dogs don't wear a crown,
they wear their jester hat.

But there's one thing they have alike
and both of them will show,
their caring love they have for us
and that we need to know.

Of quiet times of peace and rest,
as we lay down to snooze,
they'll lay as close as we'll allow
to pet them while they schmooze.

Author Notes swimmer74 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 68
My Insane Cats

By Barb Hensongispsaca

insane cats
give me the best of laughs
as they double-time around the house
when they
begin to race over my body
at two in the morning
then the fun's

Author Notes The picture is of my cats but I think Teri7 is rubbing off on me, because I just cant get the picture to straighten even though it is straight in the computer.

double-time means to run extra fast

This is a different form Chrissy710 discovered when doing patcelaw's spaceship form.
The count is

Be sure to center it when done. Anyone care to try?

Chapter 69
Sing With Me

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Tra La La and Fiddle De De.
Strike up the band and sing with me.
Loud enough for all to hear.
Sing right out and have no fear.

Tra La La and Fiddle De De.
Sun is shining, don't you see?
You sing off key? Don't let it roam!
Lasso that voice and bring it home.

Tra La La and Fiddle De De.
Pretend your wild and fancy free.
Don't be afraid, sing how you feel.
Happy or sad? It's no big deal.

Tra La La and Fiddle De De.
Just be as wild as you can be.
Singing will chase the blues away.
So come on, people. Sing today!

Author Notes MKFlood thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 70

By Barb Hensongispsaca

give me a little squeeze

Author Notes VMarguarite thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 71
The Acrobat

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I sat and watched a squirrel at play.
I laughed so hard, it made my day.
He jumped from tree to tree with ease.
while limbs moved gently with the breeze.

It seemed to me that he could fly
as he reached out to grab the sky.
He'd land with ease then fly again
to where he had already been.

The dog would bark, then he would freeze
which brought me laughing to my knees.
He'd clean his whiskers, then move on
to race the cat across the lawn.

He tried to make friends with a hawk,
but as he neared, that hawk would balk.
He'd squawk real loud then scamper 'round
and 'round that tree till he hit ground.

With tail held high, he'd climb the gate,
then jump to trees, just tempting fate.
He'd fight the blue jays for the nuts,
That was one squirr'l with lots of guts.

Author Notes Snapdragon thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 72

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Honey! Help!
Get in here right now!

Baby, what's wrong?
I'm coming!

I need your help!
Oh, hurry! Hurry! Hurry!

What is it?
Are you hurt?

Over there! On the wall!
Kill it! Kill it!

Where? What are you looking at?
I don't see anything.

What do you mean, 'where'?
Right there!!

Where? I don't see anything.
You mean this little black dot?

No, that's a paint drop!
Next to it!!
That thing that's moving!

OH, honey, that little spider?
It's dead.

What do you mean it's dead?
It is not!

Look, it is not moving...
it's dead.

Oh, I guess it is.
Well, get it out of here anyway.

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 73
Let's Roll

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Follow me, my love,
as we make our getaway.
No more kicking kids
or being left in the rain.
We are free! Let's roll our wheels!

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 74
A Sure Fire Knockout

By Barb Hensongispsaca

slow conscious driver
plus late-for-appointment jerk
equals mixed road rage

Author Notes Jayden T thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 75
I Put The Pedal To The Metal

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, this is going to be a wonderful trip. The stars are out and it is clear sailing for a ride and I am just cruising along. Can't wait to get to the four-lane so I can really open this puppy up and see what she can do.

People are so slow these days. I guess it must be the nice weather. But, there are too many slow turtles on the road. They need to get their gerbils fired up and moving a little faster.

The four-lane is just ahead and then I'll lose these slow drivers and just get in the fast lane and go, go, go. Yep, the on-ramp is just ahead, then these drivers will see just what a real car can do.

My car is the best ever made. Just got it off the lot for a trial run. I'm gonna take it to the limit and 'burn the carbon out of it', as my Daddy used to say.

Here we go, off the ramp and into the race. Okay, time to see just what this baby can do. I'm gonna 'put the pedal to the metal' just like my older brother taught me. He was the best. I loved to go out driving with him. He really made the wind fly.

Time to go around this guy in front of me. Looks like he is driving an old zebra. It may have racing stripes on the side, but he does not know anything about real driving.

Okay, Buddy, move over and let a real driver show you how to own the road. That old speedometer is really climbing fast. I can feel the car rocking from side to side, passing car after car. The wind has no control over me. I'm like a streak of lightning.

Oh, no! There is something wrong! I can't stop! My brakes are gone.

Thank goodness there is no one in my way. I'll just weave in and out if I have to till I slow down. I got this under control.

Great, the police are coming up behind me. Now, I'm in real trouble. Well, since my brakes are gone and I have an excuse for not slowing down, I think I will have some fun. I'll just speed up and outrace him.

Oh, yes, I am leaving him in my dust. Zowie, what a car!

Wait a minute, why am I slowing down? Mommy! I need another quarter!

Author Notes cleo85 thank you for permission to use your picture.

Chapter 76
The True Black Widow

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Oh, please, my darling, come to me-
into my love's embrace.
Just feel the passion in my arms
and look upon my face.

Come closer, dear, so I can hold
you tight against my chest.
I need you close to feel your strength
as in my arms you rest.

I offer you my love, my dear,
as I hold you so tight.
My body strains against yours now
as this seems, oh, so right.

I feel you push against my back
as I push back toward you.
Oh please, don't make me wait too long.
There's more we need to do.

Our union is so pure, my love,
just feel my passion build.
Together, we will find our place
as lust has been fulfilled.

Come let me hold you lovingly
to show you that I care,
You need to know it's not just sex
'cause that would not be fair.

You are the perfect mate for me,
now feel my legs entwine.
I capture you and pull you close
so I can make you mine.

You feel my breath upon your neck,
my jaws bite through your skin.
I end your life, so sorry love,
this game is one I win.

Author Notes booklotto thank you for permission to use your picture.

The female praying mantis will sometimes cannibalize her sex partner. In some instances, she'll even behead the male during the copulation. As it turns out, a male mantis is an even better lover when his brain, which controls inhibition, is detached from his abdominal ganglion, which controls the actual act of copulation. The male has to be quick or smart to survive.

Chapter 77
She Was Too Young

By Barb Hensongispsaca

Her thoughts turned to terror as she remembered her last visit to ... HIM. She remembered his masked face so she would not be able to recognize him. His hands were so large and unforgiving. She was sure her screams could be heard throughout the whole building, and yet, no one came to help her.

Now she was forced to come here again. She was only ten and knew she did nothing to deserve this. She was very careful and brushed everyday.

Oh, wow, all is good. He said she has no cavities and can go home. What a nice dentist!

Author Notes 100 words

Chapter 78
A Snail's Challange

By Barb Hensongispsaca

I don't know where I'm going and
don't know when I'll be back.
There's not a lot of things I need
so not a lot to pack.

Now if you're daring, come with me,
don't bother if you're weak.
I never keep a schedule,
three days could take two weeks.

I know your lives are filled with things,
come with me if you dare.
First, put your home upon your back
and shave off all your hair.

Now, get down on your belly, friend,
and please be debonair.
Then, slip and slide along the ground.
Yes, we make quite a pair.

Try not to get so far ahead;
no hurry that I see.
Watch out for birds, they're quite a pest,
enjoy just being free.

We do go places others can't.
Sometimes we're upside down.
Now most times no one knows we're there,
we do not make a sound.

Where e'er you are, just hang on tight
when windy, best beware;
if you let go, you're on your own.
You'll wind up anywhere.

It takes a day to climb a leaf
and then it bends back down.
Instead of being up on top,
we wind up on the ground.

I travel much too slow for you.
My life's not really set.
But I am free to be myself ...
life's good as it will get.

Author Notes CammyCards thank you for permission to use your picture.

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