We have reached the end of SFoxWriting‘s Alphabet Challenge, the letter “Z”. What a fun ride. My topic choice for the letter “Z”, from day one, was always going to be the zoo. I adore animals. The zoo in my hometown is pretty small. That doesn’t stop me from visiting multiple times per year. My husband and kids are big zoo fans too. We traveled from Michigan to San Diego over spring break a few years ago specifically to go to the San Diego Zoo. That was an incredible trip, except for the earthquake. Within 2 hours of arriving at our resort on a sunny Easter Sunday, we got rocked by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Fortunately the rest of the trip went off without a hitch.

A zebra haiku:
Stripes like fingerprints
Exclusive identity
No two are alike

Here are some of my favorite shots from the San Diego Zoo:

IMG_2417IMG_2402 (2)IMG_2415 (2)IMG_2428 (2)IMG_2372 (2)IMG_2435 (2)


SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “Y”


Six months ago today
She drew her last breath.
Her grace and her beauty
Unfazed by her death.

He sees her still
As he gazes into night.
She lingers there waiting
In a beam of moonlight.

Her palm extended
She beckons him come.
He cannot resist her,
His beloved phantom.

In the ray of light
They dance and they laugh,
They love and they sing
Like she had not passed.

But his truth lies where
The sunlight is burning.
His post-twilight visions
Merely a symptom of yearning.

Image courtesy of


SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “X”

So the letter “X” fell on my 40th birthday. I was tempted to post nothing but pictures of this date from different calendars all crossed out with giant “X”s. However, I’m not THAT mad about it. Besides, it was a lot more fun to write about my favorite place on planet Earth, my Xanadu, the cottage. My Dad has this amazing escape on a lake up north. There are no motors allowed on the lake. It is quiet. There is no cell phone reception. It is peaceful. We are surrounded by hills and trees. It is beautiful. We have fires and roast marshmallows. It is entertaining. When the silence needs to be broken, we ride ATVs or do some target practice. It is utopia.

Pure crisp air
Placid blue waters
Escape to serenity
It is here that I am found
When life goes astray
My Eden

IMG_1937 (2)

The beach house rules are easy to follow, and contain a few “x”s.


SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “W”

In all the galaxies
Universe wide,
Every star that lives,
Every star that’s died,
In all the worlds
That circle a sun,
Of those solar systems,
We occupy this one.
On all the continents
Across our planet,
In every country,
Countless do inhabit,
Generations past,
Or not yet conceived,
Every birth celebrated,
Or each death we’ve grieved,
Only you are you,
And this is your time,
An existence barely measurable
In the scope of mankind.
Do you consider it
When you look at the sky?
Do you ponder the unlikelihood
And ask yourself why?

Photo courtesy of National Geographic


SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “V”

Voodoo: One of many incarnations of African-based spiritual folkways rooted in West African Dahomeyan Vodun. Also, my kitty, the one in the featured image.

If you have read my short story titled Cooper the Cat, Voodoo is first introduced there as one of the surprises that Cooper had in store for us. I knew almost immediately after Voodoo was born that we would keep her. She picked me. She was the only kitten that didn’t run from my hand the first time we were allowed to touch them. On the contrary, she clumsily made her way toward it and played with my fingers. She was the runt of the litter. For a while, we weren’t sure she would make it. She was dropper fed for a period of time. Back then her name wasn’t Voodoo. Initially she was “Poe”. It felt a bit like a boy’s name so for a brief time we went with “Rogue” instead. It didn’t really suit her so soon after she got her permanent name, Voodoo. There is a potion popular to Louisiana Voodoo called “cure-all”. Jimson weed (which is highly toxic, so don’t try this at home), sulfur & honey are mixed and poured in a glass, which is rubbed on a black cat before the mixture is slowly sipped. Today our black cat is strong and healthy and a beloved member of the family.

Be wary a woman that kisses one cheek
And upon the other places two.
It is there she leaves her mark
On the victim of her hoodoo.

In your pocket place their hair
To give your foe a pang,
Or turn their picture upside down
And leave it there to hang.

Some advice for the cursed
Take bristles of a ritual hog.
Bear the bundle on your person
To protect you from the fog.

Perhaps not stamped by a hex
You simply lack good fortune.
Obtain a lock of a woman’s hair
And carry it as your talisman.


Image taken by Brian Page.