Monthly Archives: December 2022

Holiday Traditions

Whether you were celebrating Christmas or another occasion, I hope you had a great holiday, as always it was hectic here.

It starts Christmas Eve when I wake up and start making my most reqeusted Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Garlic Bread recipe. Think of it as an Spinach and Artichoke dip with cheese where the dipping is already done for you. My outlaws insist that I bring two loaves with me. The recipe can be found here.

Being Italian they insist on doing a huge seafood feast for dinner, no meat on Christmas Eve. Not sure what the logic is because fish and seafood are flesh too but I’m not complaining – no meat it is. The feast includes baked baccalĂ  (cod), pan-fried sole, fried shrimp, calamari and a seafood salad that includes shrimp, mussels, octopus, scallops, etc… I am also tasked with making a shrimp dish that has become a tradition of sorts. The recipe can be found here.

Because we spend Christmas Day at my parents we open the gifts at Gina’s parents on Christmas Eve. They always go crazy overboard, I mean ridiculously so, spoiling my son. To get an idea of how crazy, the only other person besides us and her parents is her sister and when we were leaving Christmas morning I filled the back of my Ford Escape so that I could not see out the back window and I will have to do that again on New Years Day with the stuff we left behind. Nate loves it though so I guess that is all that matters.

From there we pick up my kids from my first marriage around noon and head to my parents for the standard Turkey dinner and gift exchange. It is usually a house filled with 20-25 people and although it’s very hot and hectic it is nice to see family. The usual Christmas dinner that includes turkey, ham two giant serving bowls of mashed potatoes and just about every vegetable the supermarket stocks. All delicious but by the time you have a bit of everything you are stuffed like a turkey.

Once dinner is finished there comes the traditional lighting of the Christmas Pudding. My father douses a mound of this pudding fruit cake thingy with booze and sets it ablaze to the annual oooohs and ahhhhs of all in attendance. This year he went light on the booze and as a result nobody lost their eyebrows, although if you watch the video you will see my brother-in-law try and burn is finger off!

The Christmas Pudding

The best part of Christmas this year happened after dinner as we were all sitting around unable to move, spaced out in tryptophan heaven. My son decided to compose an original piece on Grandma’s old out-of-tune upright piano. Notice the quality of tone in his voice! 🤣

Christmas Is the Best

Needless to say, Boxing Day was pretty much a write-off. We just spent it relaxing and recovering. Now its just waiting for 2023. I must admit I miss the days my uncle (now deceased) would pull the bagpipes out at midnight and pipe the old year out the back door, the rest of us in tow as he marched around the house and piped the new year in the front. Such are the holiday traditions that bind us together. I hope you were able to fulfilled all the traditions you hold dear with the people you love this year.


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Five Word Weekly Challenge (2252)

The Challenge

Welcome to Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, five words will magically appear on Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.

The Words

Happy New Year from Greg’s Blog and Five Word Weekly. This week, the word selections are inspired by the beginning of the new year. Although the challenge does not adhere to a weekly theme, the group of words presented may occasionally share a common thread. You as the author can write about anything without being bound to a theme.

cocktail | beginning | resolution | calendar | season

Click here for rules and guidelines

The Retreat

The Retreat

It couldn’t have been more perfect. He had managed to hit every note for our 13th anniversary. It was odd, he wasn’t very good at dates, gifts, or surprises. In fact, he’d forgotten the last three anniversaries and remembered only one of my last five birthdays. I swear he’d forget Christmas if I didn’t remind him.

I guess I shouldn’t complain. This place had everything, massage, nature, food and drink, recreation, and relaxation. Then there was the zen Kamasutra love thing he orchestrated. It had lasted so long that we had to order room service just to replenish our spend shells. I know I said it already, but it was perfect.

He eyed me with that smug masculine air. You know the one where he knows he’s nailed it. The kind that would buy him enough romantic capital to blur indiscretions of the past and leave plenty of extra to spend on the fuck ups yet to come. He wasn’t wrong I’d bitten down hard – hook, line and sinker.

Our last night here, sitting at the best table on the lakeside deck, candles lit as we sip our second spectacular bottle of red. The sun was setting over the lake, painting the sky in a mix of orange and gold, and the air was filled with the sound of crickets singing, when suddenly the lake began to ripple, and then like a raging fire something broke through the surface tension.

Rising from the water, maw gaping as it crawled onto the beach. It may have been the light, but its silhouette seems larger than life. Doug sunk down in his chair, that smug look morphed to fear. Sweat had begun beading on his forehead and his hands were visibly shaking. I was trapped like a deer in the headlights.

It was coming right for us, or should I say Doug, its fangs bared in the throes of a terrifying guttural roar. A barrage of indiscernible sounds growing louder and more aggressive with each step closer.

It produced a weapon that had been concealed in the dark as it entered our sphere. With a final lunge, it drove the pointed rod through Doug’s neck. The impact was so violent that his chair stuttered sideways until it caught on the deck boards, spilling his frame onto the floor. His face contorted in pain and terror as he lay on his side, paralyzed and gasping for air.

Its eyes bulged and as if it were spitting venom growled, “Really, the fucking week I’d planned, you brought her? In one motion she pulled the harpoon from his neck and as his limp body rolled onto its back she drove it through his heart. He drew one last breath and fell still except for the blood seeping from his wounds.

Then like Jekyll into Hyde she transformed into almost ordinary. She surveyed the mood of shocked onlookers seated around us as she picked up the fallen chair. Sitting across from me, our eyes meet for the first time as she swallows the last of the wine left behind in his glass. She was his mistress and his killer, but at that moment I wanted her more than anything I’d ever wanted.


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T-Shirt Wisdom Tuesday (2251)

Welcome to T-Shirt Wisdom Tuesday. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Every other Tuesday I will post a quote that I’ve seen printed on a T-Shirt or think should have been.

Happy Holidays! May everyone have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Check back weekly and see what witty, funny, or plain old ridiculous T-Shirts wisdom I’ve been able to find or come up with. Suggestions are always welcome.

Left-handed Slight

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Left-handed Slight

I learned something new today. When writing a post using the word sinister from Fandango’s One Word Challenge I came across a piece of information that I was not aware of. It came as a surprise to learn the Latin origin of the word sinister means “on the left side.” In English, the word and its derivatives have taken on negative connotations. This would seem to mirror the belief for hundreds of years that lefties were associated with the devil’s hand, demonic possession, or evil. Even more interesting is the fact that dexter, the Latin word meaning “on the right side” and its derivatives have come to be largely seen as positive words in the English language.

The fact that lefties were looked down upon is not surprising information. We’ve all heard stories of lefties being forced to use their right hand. In the late 1980s, my lefty sister had broken her left arm and her grade school teacher attempted to force her to use her right. My mother, who worked as a volunteer in the school office, was aware that righties were always given consideration in similar circumstances and ensured the principal rectified the situation.

It was the etymology of the word that I found interesting and thought I’d share. Here is the excerpt from Merriam-Webster that caught my eye…

“Sinister.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sinister.

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5. Revenge: The Beast 2

5. Revenge: The Beast 2

Lilith remained obscured in the shadows. Studying the creature for a tell, anything to gain advantage. Watching as doomed suitors offer wealth and sacrifice in exchange for favour. Each left retreating, begging for mercy in the flashes before receiving a final, brutal verdict.

She expected something sinister in its fiery red eyes. Instead, she glimpsed something she understood, a loneliness shrouded behind the beast’s perpetually shifting facade.

Disarmed for a moment, it sensed her in the darkness. She wasn’t ready, but it was time…


The Revenge Series


Credits and Additional Information

Five Word Weekly Challenge (2251)

The Challenge

Welcome to Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, five words will magically appear on Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.

The Words

A Merry Christmas from Greg’s Blog and Five Word Weekly. This week, the word selections are inspired by the holiday season. Although the challenge does not adhere to a weekly theme, the group of words presented may occasionally share a common thread. You as the author can write about anything without being bound to a theme.

excitement | cocoa | feast | polar | goodwill

Click here for rules and guidelines

The November Blahs…

Frozen Pines by Greg Glazebrook @ GMG Photography

The November Blahs…

Every year when November rolls around and the days get shorter, I begin to feel the seasonal blahs seep into my bones. To be clear, my symptoms are not so severe as to fall into the spectrum of Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) and normally clear up as my body adjusts to its new reality. This year has been different though, I haven’t been able to shake them as quickly as in the past.

As the brilliant colours of early fall begin to fade, the lack of natural sunlight and the monotony of a monotone world begin to set in. I start to feel sluggish and well quite honestly just blah. This is part of my normal adjustment to the coming winter. The shorter days and longer nights coupled with the waning intensity of our sun messing with my natural vitamin D production is always the biggest contributor. Normally as the calendar turns from November to December I’ve adjusted, life gets colder but it goes on just fine. So what is different this year.

Could it be the relatively dreary start to December? It seems to me even the little sunlight we get at this time of year has been almost exclusively blotted out behind a veil of thick cloud cover, with rain and more snow than I can remember seeing this early in the season. I have had to shovel out at least four times already this year when we would normally see three or four storms a year.

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4. Revenge: The Riddle

4. Revenge: The Riddle

Gaze averted, her eye catches something engraved in the brimstone.

A beast indebted offers servitude,
A stitch of time and don’t be rude.


The Revenge Series


Credits and Additional Information

Five Word Weekly Challenge (2250)

The Challenge

Welcome to Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, five words will magically appear on Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.

The Words

periodic | beta | outreach | cauliflower | copper

Click here for rules and guidelines