Challenge from Black Candelabra:

Black Candelabra: The Dewey Decimal System

This weeks challenge starts with a game. First, select four numbers between zero and nine.  If you like, you may choose two of a single number within this group of four. I chose 1970.

Next, create three 3-digit numbers using your selections from the first step. Mine: 170.

Next, visit this Dewey Decimal System website and find the subjects that match your three digit numbers.  If one of your results turns up “not assigned or no longer used,” you may create a new 3-digit number to replace it from the original four you selected.

Some results will be broad categories (diseases) and some will be more specific (Bible).  For any broad category you turn up, choose something specific within that category.  Specific topics can be kept as-is. 170 Ethics (moral philosophy)

This will leave you with three things that must be incorporated into your post this week.  However, this should not be an exercise in one-mention-and-done.  Elevate your three results to the level of setting, character, theme, or other major component in your post.

The number chosen, 1970, was the year my first child was born. This was a major year change for me, moving back to Urbino in Italy from Switzerland. We moved into a modern apartment outside the city wall. My pen friend, Ceri, in Cornwell sent me pamphlets telling me about what to expect in pregnancy, as there appeared to be no education available for new mothers. Being a foreigner, I felt like an outsider looking in.

People were friendly. It was not just the language barrier; it was far more than that. The doctor told me to eat for two, and when I asked about nutrients, he suggested eating lots of pasta and spinach. No mention of watching alcohol intake, or smoking less. Fortunately I didn’t smoke, and alcohol consumption was minimal. Pastries were a temptation that I couldn’t deny. So I expanded, even though the doctor had mentioned he thought my hips were too narrow to give birth to a baby, not very comforting words to a young mother to be.

My friend Martha, who lived at Via Bramante 70, (sorry, not 170) helped me feel part of the place. We walked and talked. Martha did not speak English, and so my broken Italian gradually improved.

My Italian husband was not happy with his new teaching position. Having worked in different countries, he now observed Italian culture from an outsider’s perspective and no longer agreed with the way things were done.

As it was expected, I suggested inviting his boss, the professor, home for a meal. Umberto refused, as he didn’t agree with the dishonesty that was prevalent at that time in the department. His moral dignity meant that he didn’t fit in, and he soon found his position untenable.

Baby Francesca was born in a fourteenth century nunnery that had been converted into a hospital. The twenty- nine steps to enter were symbolic of the lack of thought for its purpose. A summer thunderstorm announced Francesca’s safe arrival, followed by my mother, Martha, Massimo, Umberto and Robi all surrounding me in the hospital room with alcohol and strawberries ready for a party. Francesca observed with a knowingness, having been here before.

Umberto had been right about the Professor, as he’d claimed Umberto’s work as his own. Should he have tried to fit in and keep his head down? I think he was right to stick with his moral judgment and leave. Even though it meant selling our new white goods below their valued price, we had to continue paying for the goods well after we had left them behind, returning to Switzerland.

Invention preventing date rape:

The Daily Post, Circle of Five, Michelle W 

As a writer once said, ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with?                                                    Thanks for this great idea Nishad

If I was to choose four people to spend time with I think I would choose these four young men who invented a nail polish that changes colour when date rape drugs have been added to drinks.

Even though there have been discussions in the media of victim-blaming and not addressing the fact that date rape is still happening. I believe it is a wonderful invention and these young men should be praised for showing their rejection of such antisocial behaviour. What a creative and socially worthwhile project. Bravo to these inspiring young men.


Why ask if you don’t want to know:

Daily post: What question do you hate to be asked? Why?

Perhaps the question I most hate at the moment is, ‘How is the book going?’

I know that if they know me well enough, they won’t ask this question. The ones that ask usually have no desire to hear the answer, so I respond with a curt answer that tells them nothing.

Summer departs with a freak storm:

Saturday was still and warm, the last day of summer, perfect for sitting outside for lunch and the afternoon tea. Two of our children and families came down to share time with us. This is what I love, preparing food for family.

Liza, Mackenzie, Francesca and Hazel

Liza, Mackenzie, Francesca and Hazel

Relaxing in the warmth of the evening the power fluctuated several times and went off all together. I always enjoy lighting the candles and having a quiet time.

The stormy winds sounded like a mini tornado, and then the rain began. We went out the back to see that everything was all right and to experience the storm. It wasn’t until the morning we discovered how damaging the storm had been. We were fortunate that only one street tree dropped a branch without any major damage.


Tree branch blocking our driveway.

Tree branch blocking our driveway.

Walking up the street a block we saw how a huge tree had fallen. Breaking a fence, falling across a parked car and blocked the road. There was also a cement electricity pole broken in half. Electricity wires were ripped from quite a few houses, so they will be without power for some time. We’re lucky as the power came on early this morning. So the beginning of Autumn came with a bang.

Next corner up.

Next corner up.

If you look closely you can see the broken cement power pole and the tree down.

If you look closely you can see the broken cement power pole and the tree down.

Autumnal crocus

Autumnal crocus

Me time: What’s your ideal Saturday morning? Are you doing those things this morning? Why not? Michelle W. Daily prompt.


Most will know I just love getting funny e-mails. Here is another one playing with language:

Sign on a Gynecologist’s Office:
“Dr. Jones, at your cervix.”
In a Podiatrist’s office:
“Time wounds all heels.”
On a Septic Tank Truck:
Yesterday’s Meals on Wheels
At an Optometrist’s Office:
“If you don’t see what you’re looking for,
you’ve come to the right place.”
On a Plumber’s truck:
“We repair what your husband fixed.”
On another Plumber’s truck:
“Don’t sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.”
At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee :
“Invite us to your next blowout.”
At a Towing company:
“We don’t charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.”
On an Electrician’s truck:
“Let us remove your shorts.”
In a Non-smoking Area:
“If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.”
On a oMaternity Room door:
“Push. Push. Push.”
At a Car Dealership:
“The best way to get back on your feet – miss a car payment.”
Outside a Muffler Shop:
“No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.”
In a Veterinarian’s waiting room:
“Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!”
At the Electric Company
“We would be delighted if you send in your payment.
However, if you don’t, you will be.”
In a Restaurant window:
“Don’t stand there and be hungry;
come on in and get fed up.”
In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
“Drive carefully. We’ll wait.”
At a Propane Filling Station:
“Thank heaven for little grills.”
And don’t forget the sign at a
“Best place in town to take a leak.”
And best sign of all, on a Septic Tank Truck:
Caution – This Truck is full of Political Promises

By Pam Ayres: Fifty Shades of Grey

Something for my British blogging friends:


The missus bought a Paperback,
down Shepton Mallet way,
I had a look inside her bag;
… T’was “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

Well I just left her to it,
And at ten I went to bed.
An hour later she appeared;
The sight filled me with dread…

In her left she held a rope;
And in her right a whip!
She threw them down upon the floor,
And then began to strip.

Well fifty years or so ago;
I might have had a peek;
But Mabel hasn’t weathered well;
She’s eighty four next week!!

Watching Mabel bump and grind;
Could not have been much grimmer.
And things then went from bad to worse;
She toppled off her Zimmer!

She struggled back upon her feet;
A couple minutes later;
She put her teeth back in and said
I am a dominater !!

Now if you knew our Mabel,
You’d see just why I spluttered,
I’d spent two months in traction
For the last complaint I’d uttered.

She stood there nude and naked
Bent forward just a bit
I went to hold her, sensual like
and stood on her left tit!

Mabel screamed, her teeth shot out;
My God what had I done!?
She moaned and groaned then shouted out:
“Step on the other one!!

Well readers, I can tell no more;
Of what occurred that day.
Suffice to say my jet black hair,
Turned fifty shades of grey.