Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Need a Laugh?

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I’ve been hard at work with revisions and need a break and a giggle.  Thought I’d share them with you.  Enjoy!

Love,

Cranky

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Stand Your Ground Or Shoot At Will?

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Florida is once again in the nation’s spotlight with a high profile trial.  George Zimmerman, facing second degree murder charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, will face a jury of his peers on Monday when opening statements begin. Zimmerman is  charged with the second degree murder of the unarmed teenager in a February 2012 shooting.

Although the judge has denied Zimmerman’s request for immunity based on the Stand Your Ground law, the defense attorneys will attempt to prove that their client acted in self-defense.  The prosecutors are alleging that Zimmerman is a racist and accuses the defendant of racial profiling.

The Stand Your Ground law gives people the right to use deadly force if they feel their life is in danger or they could suffer great bodily harm.  They do not have to retreat from the situation; they can “stand their ground” and use a gun, knife, or other weapon to defend themselves.  This law has split the nation and created controversy since it’s passing in Florida in 2005.  Other states have similar laws, but not all include the right to use deadly force in public places.

Advocates say the law is necessary as it provides citizens with the right to defend their lives in times of home invasions, carjackings, and robberies in public places.

Critics of the law call it the “shoot first” law and want to repeal it.  They cite the increased number of defendants using the Stand Your Ground law as a platform to condone what they claim is outright murder.  They cite cases where the self-defense law was used in cases inappropriately and resulted in the defendant being exonerated when they were clearly guilty.  A man who stabbed another man with an ice pick during a road rage incident is one such case.

In Florida, a task force examining the law has concluded that the law is “confusing” but also condoned keeping the law in place.  “All persons who are conducting themselves in a lawful manner have a fundamental right to stand their ground and defend themselves from attack with proportionate force in every place they have a lawful right to be,” the 44-page report said.

The majority of Floridians agree with the task force.  They want the right to defend themselves and they don’t want to face prison when they do so.  They do not deny that the law has been misused by a number of defense attorney’s and their clients. But they also know that the law has provided protection from prosecution for those who used self defense and were right to do so.  It is up to the justice system to decide if the law applies to a defendant and they must look at each case on an individual basis based on the facts.

Whether the law applies to George Zimmerman is up to the courts and the jury and they will decide if he stood his ground or shot at will.  We’ll have to wait and see.

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Writers Deux It With Words

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“PAS DE DEUX –  an intricate relationship or activity involving two parties or things”
Daily Prompt: Tagline
by michelle w. on June 19, 2013

Often, our blogs have taglines. But what if humans did, too? What would your tagline be?

A reader opens a book and prepares to join the writer in a literary dance.  The writer has set down the words, choreographed the setting, the characters and the plot for the reader to follow, step by step.  The reader is ready to be swept away with the story and joins the writer on the stage of words; dancing in time with the story. Together, they form a Pas de deux.

As writers, we open our imaginations, our thoughts and our views to our readers and invite them to join us in a one on one relationship for a short time.  We want to let them lose themselves in our fantasies, our stories or our poems.  We share our feelings in our words and when the words are right, the reader feels our emotions.  It is a wonderful thing when that happens.

So, if I had to pick a tagline for who I am, what I do and how I do it, I would choose “Writers Deux It With Words”.  For I use my words to invite the reader to join me in the dance.

And, we all want to dance, don’t we?

Photo credits: Lucinda Dunn and Robert Curran in Don Quixote. Photo Justin Smith

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Writing Links – 19 June 2013

Great source of writing links for daily motivation!

Writers Write

Links for 19 June

Daily Writing Quote

Daily Writing Prompt

Daily Writing or Reading Comic

Literary Birthday – 19 June –Salman Rushdie

Writing Article – Ways to Structure a Memoir

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. To find out about Writers Write – How to write a book, or The Plain Language Programme – Writing courses for business, email news@writerswrite.co.za

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Writers Write – Write to communicate

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Just A Hug!

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Da Ants In My Pants

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A few weeks ago, Danny and I took a good look at our lawn and found that there wasn’t a patch of green grass to be found.  We worried that the neighbors would start complaining about tumbleweed from our yard drifting across their green, lush, and cushy lawns.  We decided to turn our no man’s land of a front lawn into a wonderland of green.

Oh boy, I thought!  A great project for two old farts to take on in the summer heat of Florida.  For those of you who have not experienced the humidity in Florida, I can only describe it as life sucking heat that vacuums all energy from your body on impact.  But, not one to back down in the face of a challenge (and hating to be called a wimp) I was determined to work by my man’s side and accomplish this great feat of landscaping.

Our project involved getting the sprinklers system that has been on the fritz for the past three years fixed and raking up the straw that crunched when we walked on it. Then, we would lay down new sod and bingo…we would have our new lawn!  Easy Peasy!

We decided to split up the duties; I would arrange for the sprinkler repairs and schedule the sod delivery.  Danny insisted on doing the lawn preparation (I fought him tooth and nail on this for at least ten seconds).  He knows my tolerance for the heat and I believe he didn’t want me doing the more physically demanding work as I might pass out and he would have to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation (but that’s just a guess).

The sprinkler repairman came Friday and spent an hour getting half of the little buggers to spit out a respectable amount of water; he had another appointment and rumor has it that he will return tomorrow (after a five-day wait to finish the job). Can I pick them or what?  The sod was also delivered on Friday and we were ready to lay that sod.  I wore my lightest pair of shorts and a lightweight tank top and reported for sod laying duty.

Danny suggested that I don a pair of work gloves to which I responded “I don’t need no stinkin gloves.”  I proceeded to pick up those squares of sod and carried them (with a slight wobble) to their designated spot.  I was on a roll; I was one sod laying grandma making tracks across that lawn.

And, then it happened.  I looked down and shrieked when I saw the army of red ants parading up and down my arms.  Evidently, sliding both your arms underneath the square of sod proved easier to lift the sod, but left your arms an open invitation to the red ants lying in wait.

Now, everyone here in Florida will tell you that red ants have a plan when they attack.  They have a general who leads the army up the extremity and when he feels the time is right, yells “Attack” and all the ants bite you at the same time.  So, you don’t get a warning nibble or a chance to brush them off before you wind up with a multitude of welts.

I did the “Red Ant” shuffle, dancing around in panic as I brushed the millions (okay, hundreds) of ants off my arms.  What I didn’t know was that the ants had launched an attack on other regions of my body.  My legs were being chewed and some insidious little suckers even got around to biting my butt.  I ran into the shower, stripped and washed those little suckers down the drain.  As I dried off, I looked down and thought “This is not good!”  Welts covered my arms, my legs and my upper chest.  Even my butt had been bombed.

I put a long sleeved shirt on and jeans and decided that I might want to wear those “stinkin” work gloves after all.  I walked out to continue laying out the sod and did manage to get two squares down before I started to rip my skin off.  I felt like a thousand sparks were lit all over my body and I scratched until I was a red mess.  I started feeling dizzy and Danny marched me back in the house and ordered me to stop scratching.  Yeah, like that was gonna happen!

The next morning, after a restless night trying not to scratch myself bloody, I got up to find that the welts had now turned into nasty looking red bumps which sported a white top filled with ant venom.  Yuck!

Now, the bad news is that I have spent the past three days slathering on anti-itch cream and antibiotics.  The good news is I’m doing so in the comfort of the air-conditioned living room while Danny and his nephew are outside finishing up the lawn.

The moral of this story?  If you’re allergic to red ant bites, stay away from the sod. On the other hand, if you hate manual labor and soul sucking humidity, a few bites can get you out of the heat and get you a bit of sympathy too.  Hmmm…:)  Maybe da ants in your pants might be your salvation!

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To All The Single Moms

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To all of those, like me, who had to do it alone!

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To All The Dads

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I think this says it all!

Love,

Cranky

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Some Of My Favorite Dads

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Today is a day for remembering our fathers and I wanted to do something a bit out of the ordinary.  I wanted to pay tribute to some of those “other” dads that I grew up with and loved to watch on television.  So, let’s talk a stroll back down memory lane and say “Happy Father’s Day”  once more to those dads.

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Andy Taylor – The Andy Griffith Show

Andy Taylor was a gentle, loving dad who always seemed to have the right words to guide Opie along the way.  And, he was wise enough to only let Barney have one bullet for his gun.

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Charles IngallsLittle House On The Prairie

Charles Engalls was a dad who worked hard to give his children a home and a set of values that they could carry with them through life.

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Bill Davis – Family Affair

Remember this dad?  Bill Davis was the ultimate bachelor until three kids showed up at his door.  Who still has their Mrs. Beasley doll?

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Steve Keaton – Family Ties

Steve Keaton was hip, he was now and he was environmentally friendly!  What’s not to love?

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Tom Corbett – The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father

Tom Corbett had his hands full with his son Eddie, who was always trying to “set up” his dad with potential wives.

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Ozzie Nelson – The Ozzie and Harriet Show

I loved Ozzie for his mellow, laid back approach to dealing with life and his two sons.  And, if we were lucky, Ricki would sing a tune or two.

Now, it’s impossible to list all my favorite television dads, but I do know that I spent many delightful hours watching them and enjoying the way they interacted with their kids.  So, to all the television “dads” out there, I salute you!

And, I want to wish all the real Dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day!

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Swimming In Dangerous Waters

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The day I had feared had finally arrived.  The day had come when Danny, my SO, asked to read a few chapters of my novel.  Why did that request make my knees shake, my hands tremble and my stomach drop to the floor?

Because, my friends, when I started writing an outline for the novel, my characters were chosen based on people in my life.  I knew that I would be swimming in some very dangerous waters. Danny is all over the first chapters of the novel and he reappears in future chapters.  Although I changed the name to protect the not-so-innocent man in my life, no-one who knows Danny will have a problem recognizing him.

I knew the risk of using people around me as characters in my book.  They might not be able to take a joke, or appreciate the fact that I took their individual quirks and put them into print.  Some of my characters are a mix of different people.  I’ve taken a little creative license with their personalities and made them into the type of characters I needed to make my novel work.

But, how else does a writer find the characters necessary to make their novel interesting?  We can put all the events into place, but if the reader doesn’t like the characters, you’ve got nothing.  Readers need someone they want to cheer on or sympathize with.  The characters make the book; the events are their playground to strut their stuff.  And the best source of finding these characters is right in your own backyard.

So, yes, writing characters that use or resemble the people around you might have you swimming in dangerous waters.  But, it’s worth the risk because you know these people and can use them to your advantage.  Just be sure to change the names!

Danny read the first two chapters, chuckled in a few places and handed the pages back to me.  “Did you like it?” I asked.

“Yeah, but I’m not grouchy,” he replied, smiling.  Yeah, right!  Whatever!

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