The Holiday Season is Here (Flash Fiction)

I came to a mind-numbing stop. Before me, aisles and aisles of reds, whites, blue, silver, gold, and the ever-present green. Christmas and holiday décor had taken over the part of the store where, just last week, I had grabbed my son’s Halloween costume off the rack. In fact, tomorrow was “trick-or-treat” day as my little ones called it. “This is too soon.” I panned left to right and back again. “What happened to Turkey Day?” Rubbing my forehead, I marveled over the shoppers

VTMAS No. 80: I’m THAT Friend

[Sorry, it’s been a while, here we go~!] I’ve come to realize that I’m THAT friend. Yes, the one you can’t take out in public without something weird or embarrassing unfolding. Granted, in my defense, it’s not intentional but at times it may seem like self sabotage. It happens enough times, that it definitely impacts my ability to make a decision on the second instance it may happen, which leads me to a double-hitter for this VTMAS. My friends are very aware that I enjoy goin

VTMAS No.77: Charmander’s Resolve

Another story about our beloved Charmander. If you’ve been following along, you should know how unique and full of personality this cat contained. If not, I recommend checking out VTMAS No.29: Charmander’s Quota, VTMAS No.25: You Broke It!, and VTMAS No.13: Meet Charmander the Cat. In this retelling, it was something that had happened with my cat in my absence. My mother and sister had bought themselves a new little dog. A Bichon who looked like a white, curly haired meat loa

VTMAS No.76: Adam’s Hair

I talk a lot about my days in FFA (Future Farmers of America). It was a great time in my childhood and I made some amazing, long-term friends. Even now, in our ever growing lives, we are spread all over and we still reminisce about those times at the fair or in the yard working cattle. This comes right back to a particular fair that produced a lot of stories for us all. It was a strange Wonderland and so much smaller, stranger than the other fairs we had experienced. Alachua

VTMAS No.75: Drive Thru Stalker

We all know I attract weirdos of all flavors. This one incident takes us back to my Senior year in high school in the days where I drove around town in my big blue Yukon. My vehicle became an instant icon and a one-of-a-kind truck in my hometown. If you saw a Blue Yukon, you just saw Valerie drive by. It was easy for anyone to know where I was going or had been for the day because of this. Note, this detail will come into play… At this particular time, there was a boy who had

VTMAS No.74: Link Wants Pretzels

Kids are naturally funny, but at times they are far more clever than we imagine they are capable of being. Both my little boys have a knack of reminding us we are in for a long wild ride. This story is a conversation that unfolded between my husband and our three year old, Link. We are in the process of Speech Therapy so we’ve had to crack down on making him talk. He can be notoriously lazy and crafty about the whole process. “Now, honey.” I was about to walk out the door wit

VTMAS No. 73: OMG! He’s Naked!

By now, you’ve probably realized that my husband is indeed a one-of-a-kind sort of guy. He’s been awesome, encouraging me to shoot for the stars, and despite the rough spots life has dealt to us on occasion, we’ve pulled together and overcome amazingly hard moments. To say our relationship holds an awkward humor between us, would be putting it lightly. The two of us can make a whole audience cry in laughter… and well, after reading VTMAS No.38: Gas On A Plane at an Open Mic w

VTMAS No. 72: Duke the Escapist

Another story from my Senior year in High School when I worked at the Veterinarian’s office. Granted, we worked with exotics, but that didn’t mean we didn’t have memorable dogs and cats. In fact, one dog always amazed me. His name was Duke and he was a large black poodle who was an absolute sweetheart. My first time with Duke was a rather interesting one. He had come in and I noticed something strange about his kennel cage: there was a chain and padlock on it. Naturally I was

VTMAS No.71: Link Wants M&M’s

There are time that our children get the better of us. Those moments where they say or do something so clever, it’s mind blowing to you. Often I find myself in that moment with a mixture of pride, confusion, and on occasion, embarrassment. Regardless, they make for some amazing shared moment among friends and family. On this one, Link, my three-year-old, managed to showcase this talent while Mommy and Daddy were no where in site. If you have been reading through these, you ma

VTMAS No.70: Our RockBand Band

Many of us so-called Gamers completely went nuts with Rockband when it first released. It was a cutting edge game that made it seem as if you could be the next Rock Star. To boot, if you dropped the cash you could have a drum set, but most of us stayed with the guitar. Even then, there was the occasional person who loved singing along to their favorites. What made it more compelling was the fact it was Multiplayer! That’s right! You could have a drummer, lead guitarist, bass

VTMAS No. 69: We Ruined the Shower Tiles

We discussed how we were the “on-site superintendents” for the add-on of a whole new master bedroom. The in-law’s were going “big” and if “VTMAS 40: Grandpa & the New TV” wasn’t proof of that, then well, let’s move on to Exhibit B… as in Bathroom. The bathroom was quite a work of art with high ceiling where she planned on having a nice hanging chandelier and the tiles were reminiscent of blue and white china. A huge vanity leading you into the huge blue deep jacuzzi-style tub

VTMAS No. 68: What Was That?

If anyone is close to me, you would know that we’ve been battling this whole weird ear problem with our youngest son, Link. The poor 3-year-old is sometimes partially deaf due to airborne allergies. It’s the craziest thing, so naturally the doctors have him on allergy medications in hopes of relieving the swelling happening in his ear canal and sinuses that make the world sound muffled to him. This was about a month into the regiment and we were seeing improvement. He was rea

VTMAS No.67: Baby the Cockatoo

If you haven’t read far enough back, you may not realize I worked a wide variety of jobs, internships, and even volunteered myself out often in my youth. One notable job was my time spent at the veterinarian office in Winter Garden, Florida. I loved it, and as my first official job, it became wicked awesome when I realized I had landed a job where we were frequented by exotic animals and birds. One bird that has forever left an impression on me was the shy and so kind cockato

VTMAS No.66: The Big Leap

I remember my Great Grandmother once telling me that the small section of Orange County that my family called home was once labelled Rattlesnake Ridge. Growing up there, I can attest to this being very true. An interesting thing about rattlesnakes is how girthy they become. They don’t grow too long, but rather thicker and fatter depending on what they’ve been eating, which can include rats to even raccoons and cats. On this day, I was just a little girl, maybe ten at most. My

VTMAS No.65: Cow in Reverse

Most of my close friends know I was a fanatic about cows. I raised them, showed them, and even enjoyed drawing them on occasion in my sketchbook. In fact, my reputation had grown so large, I was coined the nickname Cow Goddess and became a feature in a friends comic once. One of the most memorable steers I worked with was the Chapter Steer, Beethoven. Yes, that’s me and the big guy in the picture. Here he was only 800-900 pounds, but by the time fair season, he weighed in at

VTMAS No.64: Mysterious Squealing

Every now and again, I am reminded I am a human being that does not always process what I am hearing or seeing. This actually happened on my drive to a friend’s house for some Geeky Board gaming with good company. Literally, two days ago! Please understand, I drive a Golden Mirage and the poor thing is well over 100,000 miles, but hanging in there. As I embarked onto Interstate 4, I realize I hear squeaks, short and abrupt. First thought was, crap something’s wrong with the c

VTMAS No.63: Polly & the Rat

I’m starting to learn that when I suggest something out of humor, I must be cautious to whom I give these snarky bits of humor. As we know it, in “VTMAS No.31: Who Did It?” that my intended joke can go further than I could ever expect. Imagine my surprise, when this very thing unfolded in the presence of my Mother-in-law, Polly. She has a wonderful garden out back, a deck right out her french doors next to a huge camphor tree whose base is wrapped with a purple passion flower

A Fisherman’s Tail

“A Fisherman’s Tail” is a fun, quirky fantasy comedy centered around some old fisherman and one newcomer, Tad. What unfolds at the end of this pier is both reminiscent of the fishing gurus of today with a flair of magic and a sprinkle of old man humor. A favorite among listeners when read at open mics! Feel free to share, plan on smiling and giggling! https://www.inkitt.com/stories/fantasy/98402 The peach colored sun had broken away from the purple horizon when Tad made it to

VTMAS No. 62: Squirrel Tattoo

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com by tpa: https://pixabay.com/en/squirrel-wildlife-nature-animal-498139/ I feel like I owe you guys some more Tattoo Shop stories, so here we go! At this point, I wasn’t doing any tattoo artwork directly, but was working the front desk and designing custom work upon request. Keith had taken a customer and his girlfriend to the back after I had acquired consent forms and copies of his driver’s license. After a few minutes, Keith came back, catching

VTMAS No. 61: Swimming With Manatees

Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com by PublicDomainImages: https://pixabay.com/en/manatee-mammal-underwater-marine-387195/ Florida is a melting pot of weirdos if you want my honest opinions. It’s a place where natives like myself, who were bizarre on our own, mingles with the retirees and tourists from all flocks of life. Which leads me into this next story, or life event. As you have discovered, a famous local pass time here is fishing. We have the best of all worlds in this hobby