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It is Monday and once again I am participating in the Mondays Finish the Story flash fiction challenge.

Mondays Finish the Story

The rules for this challenge are to write a story that goes with the photo and uses the opening line provided. The word limit is between 100-150 not including the opening line. Today I took the liberty of going a bit over, as this story just had to be told the right way….Here is the photo and my story!

Pizza anyone? - Photo by Barbara W. Beacham

Pizza anyone? – Photo by Barbara W. Beacham

“Pizza anyone?” asked John. Those were his last words. Let me go back to the beginning of the day…

John, an avid pizza maker, returned home with a new wood-burning pizza oven for use outdoors. After reading the instructions on how to use it, he got it set up out back.

Then he went to work in the kitchen. He made his own pizza dough. While the dough was resting, he put together his own special sauce. Next, he got all the toppings ready. Once the dough was ready, he dotted the top with his chosen items. He slid the pizza into the oven.

We all sat around, drinking glasses of red wine, as the pizza cooked. When it was ready, he pulled the pizza out of the oven, and turned to us uttering those last words. You see, in a flash he, the pizza and the oven disappeared.

* * * * * * *

John looked around and found himself in a dark wine bar surrounded by grey beings, each holding wine glasses in their three-fingered hands. He saw people behind a bar, and a senior citizen band was playing music. Looking back to the smiling greys, he heard in his mind, “Pizza!”

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

If you would like to write a story that goes along with the photo above, then click HERE to join in!

Thank you for taking the time to read my bit of flash! I hope that you have a marvelous week! Be well… ^..^

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Today, Sunday, is dedicated to writing for Sunday Photo Fiction, which is hosted now by Joe Owens. This is a flash fiction challenge where you are to write a story using about 200 words. Your story incorporates the photo into your bit of flash. And, this is my story!

Totem Poles - Photo by Joe Owens

Totem Poles – Photo by Joe Owens

The trip was going to take us eleven miles out to ancient ruins. We were to get there by horseback. The mare that they gave me had a foal that was about four weeks old. She did not want to leave the baby behind. However, our guide took the reins and led me away.

I found myself following the others, zigzagging our way through a mostly dry riverbed. The air was hot and dry. We stopped to rest the horses along an area of the river where there were willows that gave us shade.

Continuing on to our destination, the hours drifted by. As we rounded a corner along the riverbed, the ruins came into view. I must say that they were impressive.

To get to them, we had to climb a dead tree that leaned up against the cliff. Cut branches made an ingenious ladder allowing us access to the ruins. I was amazed that I was climbing a tree the same way the people who used to live here did.

We listened to our guide as he spoke about the totem poles. “This is a wooéex’ totem pole. Now that we have you here, you will never leave…”

* * * * * * * * * *

Thank you Joe for hosting this flash fiction challenge! And, thank you dear reader for taking the time to drop on by for a quick read! Have a splendid Sunday and be well… ^..^

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In spring, what is so lovely about living in the Sierra Foothills are they beautiful green rolling hillsides! In summer they turn to gold, which is one of the reasons why California is called the golden state. I thought that I would share with you today some photos of the verdant green beauty of the Foothills!

Rolling green hillsides

Rolling green hillsides

A hay barn

A hay barn

Oak trees showing off their new leaves!

Oak trees showing off their new leaves!

A town nestled in the trees

A town nestled in the trees

Cows gobbling up the new greens

Cows gobbling up the new greens

Fencing criss-crosses a meadow

Fencing criss-crosses a meadow

Green as far as the eye can see

Green as far as the eye can see

Isn’t it just beautiful?

Thanks for dropping on by today! Have a splendid day and be well! ^..^

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Krista over there at WordPress has chosen the topic “Ephemeral” for this week’s photo challenge. The definition of Ephemeral is: Lasting a very short time.

Here is my take on Ephemeral…

What luck to catch this shot of geese landing on a lake…

Ready to touch down

Ready to touch down

Or, watching the hummingbird feeder at dusk and seeing ten at once!

10 Hummer's

10 Hummer’s

Here is a shot of a buffalo who is talking!

This buffalo has something to say!

This buffalo has something to say!

This is a fleeting moment: Catching a fox peeking around a tree!

Teenage fox in our yard!

Teenage fox in our yard!

There is nothing like observing bees. The day I took this photo, I felt lucky that I was able to capture the details of its wings…

Looking at nature up close

Looking at nature up close

How often does one make eye contact with a giraffe?

Giraffe face

Giraffe face

One final shot. This is one of the lions over at PAWS…Isn’t he a beauty?

Close up with a male

Close up with a male

So there you have it! Did I meet the challenge? :)

Thanks for stopping by today and be well! ^..^

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This is my entry for the Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This challenge requires me to write a story using 100 words or less. Today I am tying my story to two others that I have done. The first one is: The Wine Bar. The second: More!

Senior Band - Photo by David Stewart

Senior Band – Photo by David Stewart

The sun was setting in the park, and the senior citizen band was ready to play. The conductor raised his baton; and the music began. Notes flowed from each instrument.

Song after song they played. As the evening wound down, they finished the song “25 or 6 to 4.” Suddenly they could hear a humming sound. A light beamed down upon the gazebo, and in a flash, it was gone!

The seniors found themselves in a bar filled with grey beings drinking glasses of wine. Each senior heard the word, “Play.” And, so they did. The aliens raised their glasses!

* * * * * * * * * *

Thank you Rochelle for hosting this challenge and David for the photo that inspired this story! And, I thank you dear reader for taking the time to stop by for a quick read! Have an amazing day and be well… ^..^

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Spring arrived the other day, and this has turned my mind to what annuals I will be planting this year. We are limited here with what can go into the yard because of the deer and jack rabbits. We are also limited with the unimaginative selection available at the local Home Depot. Rarely do we see anything other than petunias, pansy, lobelia, and alyssum. When we made a day trip to Jackson recently, we stopped into the Lowe’s there, and I was amazed at the array of plants that they have. Why can’t our Home Depot do this too?

I had my camera in hand that day, not wanting to leave it in the car when we went in. So today, I am going to share with you a number of the stunning flowering plants they had available!

Taishan Orange Marigold

Taishan Orange Marigold

Blueberry Shake Bacopa

Blueberry Shake Bacopa

Kangaroo Paws

Kangaroo Paws

Gerboa

Gerboa

African Daisy

African Daisy

Columbine

Columbine

Helleborus

Helleborus

Anthurium

Anthurium

Fuchsia

Fuchsia

And finally, this stunner!

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Thanks for taking the time today to drop on by! Have an amazing day! Be well… ^..^

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Good day and welcome to Tasty Tuesday! For today, I wanted to share with you an easy beef recipe that takes about a half hour to prepare and then 8 hours of cooking time in the crock pot. The flavors are amazing, and the aromas that will fill your home while this is cooking will make others believe that you have been slaving in the kitchen! Here is a preview of this dish…

Preview

Preview

Looks good, doesn’t it? Let’s head into the kitchen…

Ingredients
6 tri-tip strips or 6 medium hanger steaks (I used a combo of these because of limited availability in the store)
1# cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 onion sliced and separated
1 TBS fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems and minced
1 tsp of Spanish paprika
3/4 cup of chicken stock
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup of flour
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS dried parsley
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Ingredients

Ingredients

The first thing that I do is get all of the ingredients prepped and ready to use. This cuts down the prep time of this dish, or any other.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 TBS of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms begin to brown.

Brown the mushrooms

Brown the mushrooms

Move them to the crock pot. Then add another TBS of oil to the skillet and heat. Add in the meat and brown on both sides. Remove the meat to a plate.

Browned beef

Browned beef

Add the remaining oil to the pan, heat and then add the onion, thyme and paprika.

Cook up the onions, paprika and thyme

Cook up the onions, paprika and thyme

Cook until the onions become translucent. Then add in the flour. Stir to coat.

Flour is incorporated in to the onions

Flour is incorporated in to the onions

Add in the chicken broth and sherry. This will be a bit thick. Add it to the crockpot.

The mushrooms and onions provide a bed for the beef

The mushrooms and onions provide a bed for the beef

To the crock pot, add in the meat and any juices that have accumulated on the plate.

Beef is added

Beef is added

Cover and cook for 8 hours.

After the timer goes off on the crock pot, remove the meat to a plate and cover with foil. The meat will be very tender. To the liquid remaining in the pot, add in the cream and cook on high for about 15 minutes.

Sauce

Sauce

Add the meat back to the crock pot and stir to coat the meat. I served this dish with green beans and baked potatoes! Check it out!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Thanks for joining me in the kitchen on this Tasty Tuesday! Enjoy your day, and be well…

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