Haunted Groceries

I like ghosts just as much as they like themselves. Occasionally they put on a show, either for our entertainment and theirs (they’re bored perhaps, watching us dull humans), or they want to make a statement. I believe it’s more of the latter.

For instance–two of the houses I’ve lived in have had ghosts. One house had  the spirit of a small child who padded around in the middle of the night, ringing bells that hung on the inside of the doors, playing with my sons’ toys (he or she loved trains), or opening kitchen cabinets, playing with the mixing bowls, then walking away. The house I live in now has a spirit who likes to play with some sort of tiny ghostly metal ball in the attic, rolling it across the boards while we (try) to sleep. Or once when I was angry, she shoved my shoulder so hard I lost my balance. (And yes, a ghostly hand feels very real.) I told her to knock it off and she floated away.

Today I shopped at my favorite supermarket, the kind where the employees know my name, my sons’ names, and my husband’s job. It’s like meeting up with old friends every Tuesday (discount day). I stood chatting with two employees at the head of Aisle Nine when a package of candies flew off a hook nearby, as if thrown by an unseen hand. Laughingly, I said, “So you have ghosts here now.” One of the employees nodded her head and the other said, “We’ve always had them here.” Mind you, this is a store that is only twenty-eight years old, built on a horse farm. What spirits would wander a 24-hour, brightly lit, supermarket, where horses used to roam?

I must have looked bewildered because they began to regale me with stories of framed pictures of their coworkers being flung from the wall, or, like in the tossed bag of candy I witnessed, throwing a pizza or two at a passer-by.

So now when I push my shopping cart up and down the aisles, I’ll be watching the shelves and my head. I really do hope, though, that the people I meet there are all on this side of the grave.

The Blizzard of ’15

I am here snow 2

The snow is falling                                 

on the ground,

I think that I

have gained a pound.

Boots and hat,

and mittens too,

three wool sweaters–

it should do,

in case I’m shoveling

near the road

and a snowplow

dumps its load,

burying me

in tons of snow.

Will I be missed?

Will someone care?

Maybe I should

bring some flares.

But if you pass

a snowman here,

bring mulled wine–

I don’t drink beer!

–Anne Skalitza

AN ODE TO COFFEE

Listening to the music

from the radio next door,

my head is pounding;

can’t take it no more.

 

It ain’t so much grammar

the singers do lack,

but the incessant thumping

like a hard head-whack.

 

This poem don’t rhyme good,

nor does it seem sane,

’cause I need my infusion

of strong coffee today.

 

 

 

 

Creepy Dolls R Us

Doll

 

I love old dolls. I really do. As long as they don’t smell like throw-up and have a long crack running from their glassy eye down to their toothy grin.

One day as I was sorting through an old box in the attic, I found a dollhouse family  that I had played with many years ago. Time hadn’t been gentle, and now the long-ago cherished dolls sported slightly tattered clothes and resembled tiny zombies.

And thus a story was born….

TINY DOLLS

Ol’ Rustbucket Bites…

…the dust. Yep, my mini-van celebrated its fourteenth birthday by dropping a few pounds from its undercarriage. A screw here, a plastic bit there…. It was easy to know where my van had been by following the debris in the road. And I couldn’t outrun anyone since the transmission was acting its age, balking when I tried to coax it from one gear into the next. It bellied up to the gas pumps and guzzled fuel, then backfired a few times as, satiated, it rumbled down the road.

The last time I was at the car service center, my old friend, John (yes, we’re on a first name basis and exchange recipes), came out to the waiting area, shaking his head, looking sadly down at the clipboard in his hands, like a surgeon with bad news. My heart felt like it stopped and my stomach lurched. My hand flew up to my mouth and tears welled in my eyes. A hush took over the room as I sensed all eyes on me, everyone glad it wasn’t them John was solemnly standing in front of.

“Well,” he said. And paused.

“It’s not good, is it,” I said, hoping he’d yell, “April Fools!” Problem was, it was almost June.

“Well.” (Boy, he was sure stretching this one out.) “Looks like we have several issues here and, uh, your van is fourteen years old….” He cleared his throat and proceeded to list an encyclopedia of car jargon that I numbly nodded my head to, not knowing what in the heck he was talking about. Except for the word “thousands.”

I put my hand up to stop him, shakily rose to my feet, and took a very deep, long breath. “I’m headed over next door to the sales department. I’m buying a new car.” There. I said it. My days sitting next to the wilted plant in a room filled with other morose customers, waiting for the dreaded pronouncements on the condition of their cars, was now going to be a thing of the past.

Well, at least for a few months anyway.

My Main Character Cooks !

Stormy Deane, from my latest book, Looney Dunes,  doesn’t like getting herself dirty, either with dirt or food. In fact, she’s always on the lookout for the perfect apron that would cover her from neck to toes. She also loves meals that contain no preservatives and are made from scratch. It has to be easy, too, since she’s dealing with a house full of boarders, ranging from the quirky Whatts sisters to the cute guy, Carl, who just might capture her heart. This tomato sauce fits the bill.

Go here for the easiest, most delicious tomato sauce ever!