© 2018 by jules gissler - "Live Your Magic". Proudly created with Wix.com

FeBruArY FraNciNe

FeBruarY FraNciNe…this is her month!


She oozes with every shade of pink and red until February 15th! She displays VaLenTine loVe HeaRtS in every manufactured item imaginable.


Her home is blinding with pink & red decorations and her favorite love music serenades her from her portable boom box. Valentine plastic window decals decorate her car’s windows, and a giant, lacy heart dangles from her rear view mirror. (A guy named Tim gave it to her in 1983, however, his affection only lasted 17 days.)


Pink and red supplies adorn her office desk, and, of course, her magnetic calendar has a countdown until the love celebration.


As for decorating herself, she dyes her hair shades of the Valentine colors and is dressed in pink and red with matching shoes and heart-shaped jewelry to compliment each outfit.


All this hoopla is sort of a type of hocus-pocus in hopes of conjuring up her Mr. Right. Francine waits patiently. Her horoscope reminds her that he’s right round the corner.


She deeply believes, one of these Valentine’s Days, he will show up. It will be true and right and he will adore her yearly celebration. But most importantly, he will adore her.


Here’s to February first, and the 13 days that follow in this month of love, and of course, the never-ending hope of FeBruary FraNciNe.

CriCkeT HoLLie

The Ponytail. Cricket Hollie always dons a ponytail.


It is tight to her head and proper looking. In fact, this is her hairstyle of choice every single day.


A ponytail can be worn countless ways; high, low, medium, tight, loose, banded at the bottom, or throughout. You can even throw in a bit of braiding to subtly beautify it, and to really be on the turn...there is the side ponytail. That one reminds me fondly of "Cissy" from the late 60's television show, "Family Affair".


The Ponytail is like a pair of jeans, you can dress it up for a chic affair, or dress it down for a quick run to the grocery store.


They also aren't discriminatory. Toddlers to the elderly wear them, and men sport ponytails too.

Cricket Hollie wears her taut ponytail every day. It is a mindless "do", and the bonus is that she never has had a bad hair day in her life!

OpHeLiA BriDgeFoRtH

On March 2nd, today, Miss Ophelia Bridgeforth was feeling Spring-like. However, she lived in the state of Minnesota, where today, and the last 8 weeks to be exact, spring wasn’t springing. It hadn’t even poked its head out to test the weather. But Ophelia had an itch, a large itch to see brown grass turn green, baby buds on trees, and flowerpots bursting in blooms.


Ophelia couldn’t afford a ticket to Arizona, and take vacation time because of household repairs...of course, due to snow. Although, she did the next best thing.


She thought hard on her springtime ideas, and was determined to make them grow. So instead of a vacation, Ophelia scraped off her windshield, and drove to the local craft shop. There, she bought supplies.


She drew, cut, and pasted an Ophelia spring of pink flowers. She sprayed a gardeny scent room freshener on her paper flowers for that “sort-of-spring-like” smell. Her living room rug, now, wore a sparkle of green, plastic Easter grass. This she scattered from 8 bags purchased from an early Easter display. For spring snacks, Ophelia squeezed an orange-grapefruit drink, and baked lilac shortbread cookies.


To bring it on home, she dressed in her favorite spring outfit, and played springy 70’s music like “Brand New Key” by Melanie.


All of this hoopla was to note her very own indoor spring.


Ophelia thought it, and made the indoor pink paradise come alive.


So on this winter / spring day, know that whatever your thoughts or dreams may be, do them Ophelia style, and they will happen — Ophelia will tell you so.

VaLeRie BeNNinG's BootS

Not your average snow boots....VaLeRie BeNNinG always displayed her panache for fashion at work. Her colleagues at Dern’s Financial expected it.


The majority there, were suited in grey or navy, with a pop of red to break up the conservative atmosphere. Valerie, however, always chose statement jewelry, hot pink tights, or a psychedelic headband.


Valerie, forever, needed to parade her unique style and working in her bourgeois office was not going to douse it.


Her favorite groove to show off her “Valerieism” was with her shoes...her winter boots to be exact. These boots, as shown, would brighten any dreary, winter day, especially in the sea of everyday navy and gray suits.


At Dern’s Financial, Valerie’s accessories, especially her snow boots, were the Conga Line at a very dull party. —Thank goodness for the Valerie Benning’s of the world. 

FeLiciTy ToWnSenD

Frozen in a state of weakened nausea, Felicity whammed into a shocked trance as she watched her arch enemy, Britta Hollingsworth, flounce across the floor in a duplicate gown.

Felicity’s gown was supposedly designed solely for her.


“The Evening of Starlight” was the coveted “by invitation only” yearly, gala. After years of brown-nosing, Felicity had finally made the list. It was supposed to be her introduction to her new scene in life.


Now, she was on the front page of embarrassment. Of course, her designer, Melba LaRue’s career was about to come to a stilling halt..



ThOrtOn JaMeS

Thorton James was a rescue dog from Georgia. You couldn’t detect a southern accent in his bark, but it seemed his barks were drawn out a little longer than a dog’s bark from the west coast.

He went from the city life of Atlanta, to a tiny southern town when he was rescued. Life was slower paced in Summerville, and everyone knew each other. Because of this, Thorton moseyed around the town without a leash and got his fix of that gushy, enveloped, southern love from the shopkeepers and passers-by. He then would return home, where Miss Wynn would dote on him some more.


Endless affection was abundant for Thorton James now, and he hoped the same dog fairy would find the rest of his pals that he had to leave behind in Atlanta.


Thorton James… the rescue dog with the southern bark. 

EmMa AmAnDa

EmMa AmAnDa...E.A. for short, pulls out her Christmas tree pin every December 1st.


It is her yearly tradition that she began four December’s ago, after her mother rose to the world of glittering stars sparkling with kindness and love


E.A.wears this pin that had been her mother’s, and her grandmother’s before, every day until Christmas Day.


A bit of the enamel has been chipped, but that doesn’t matter to her. She wears it close to her heart and feels both her mother and her grandmother’s affection.


During those 25 days of December, a permanent smile curves on Emma Amanda’s face. 

BrEn...short for BrEnDa

Bren...short for Brenda--- had the perfect hair-do, ----except for one, tiny strand of hair. This strand made her go crossed-eyed with frustration. It was like an annoying gnat-- always there tickling her forehead, obstructing her view, and destroying her perfect coiffure.--- the hair strand.

GoRdoN LeMeRe

GoRdoN LeMeRe...”Gord” to his close friends. He lives in San Francisco, but is originally from Idaho-the potato state.


He is an architect, a cool guy. He wears his thick hair, tasseled, in all directions. This makes the women who catch his eye, only hope to know his deep secrets.


Nevertheless, Gord doesn’t let many women into his heart. He stays mostly to himself, and to his small group of tight friends. However, there is one brown-eyed girl that caught his attention.


Michelle, is her name. He only knows this by seeing it written on her daily coffee mixture at Philz Coffee Shop. This is where he first fell into her volcanic eyes. It has been 2 months of 5 work days, of morning coffee at Philz on Minnesota Avenue.


Gord is strong in his coffee bean choice, but weak in approaching a woman that makes his heart freeze. Yet, he knew a move needed to be made...on the soon-side.—GoRdoN. 

ScArleTT ReMiNgToN

ScArLeTT ReMiNgToN was a 3rd grader. They just lined their homemade Valentine boxes on the long shelf in their classroom. Mrs. Adler instructed them to use an old shoebox and go crazy with their imagination.


Scarlett liked this homework. She painted her box red and made an overly large pair of lavender lips with a slot where the lips parted. This was a slot for her long awaited Valentines, especially the one from her crush, Jacob. He was the so-called “bad boy’” of the class and was constantly in trouble. Scarlett had a soft spot, a very soft spot for him in her third grade heart.


On that day, she would reveal her deep liking for him on paper. She had to choose wisely. Flowery Valentines wouldn’t do, so she convinced her Mom to let her buy a single valentine for Jacob instead of one from a pack. Her mother abided, and Scarlett chose Spiderman, a Super Hero, for he definitely belonged in that category.


She signed her name with a tiny heart and in pink ink. She also sealed it with a piece of chewed-up bubblegum. Scarlett thought he would think that was boy-cool.


It was time for them to deliver their Valentines. She pushed it slowly through the slit. Now, her feelings would be locked in his shoebox until next Wednesday. She sighed.


February 14th, the noted day of love, Scarlett Remington’s heart would be exposed to bad-boy Spiderman, Jacob Johnson. These next 6 days would be the longest days she could ever imagine with a few sleepless nights included.

Ms. PiM, the shoe with zinG

Ms. PiM the shoe with zing!


Ms. Pim was created by a woman named Aggie Elizabeth. She was on the design team, and was timid in her own personal dress. However, as most of us discover, somewhere in the depth of our soul, lies that let loose mentality. It is our choice whether we act on it, or just let it lie there and get musty,


On Friday, August 17th, 2017, Aggie Elizabeth bounced her frisk out and into her design. Her sassy shoe was the essence of verve and pizzazz. It was fashioned to accentuate any woman’s wardrobe, and announce her presence.

Ohhhhhh the stories this shoe would tell. It’s too bad it can’t blab, but maybe it’s for the best.

Ms. PiM…the product of brazen zest that burst from the darkness of Aggie Elizabeth’s soul. This shoe not only breathed splash in it’s own wooden sole, but of course, to any woman that braved to wear it.

MiStY AlBy

Misty Alby has what someone would refer to as stiff or inflexible hair. It never moves. It is thick, and it is also curly. It takes her a good hour to straighten every strand...and orderly hair is her hairdo of choice.


However, after her intense hour of straightening, Misty's hair, of course, wants to do its natural thing of swaying, bending, curling, or frizzing. The slightest hint of air moisture would free her hair to do so. But Misty has jailed her hair into smoothness, and to preserve her sleek coiffure,


She douses her hair with 4 coats of "ZaZa's Solid Beauty Spray". It is indeed powerful, and after use, her hair does not move, shake, or toss. In fact, her whole body would have to toss to have movement. It's an immobilizer in spray form and Misty's godsend.


And so, with starched hair in place, Miss Misty Alby attends to the day ahead with global confidence. 


Pearl was adopted when she was three-years-old by an older woman oozing with love named Agatha Spelt. -Agatha also oozed sugar. Her sweets were well-known around town. Whenever there was a need for a dessert, Agatha volunteered. Because of all this baking, Pearl bumped around the kitchen at an early age. She gathered hours of practice and insight by baking beside her mother and licking many spoons. -Agatha taught her daughter that the most important ingredient was her passion for baking. She inspired Pearl to also create on the edge, and stir in the unexpected.

She attended the esteemed Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco. After graduation, she worked in the bay area. Pearl followed Agatha’s creative approach to baking and her artistry flourished.

Pearl poured so much of her passion into her baking that there was never time to share it with any admirers that crossed her path. -Agatha became ill and Pearl returned to Davistown to care for her. With Pearl’s mastery of baking, she immediately landed a job as head pastry chef at a local resort. On weekends, Pearl cared for her mother and baked, and baked and baked some more.

Although Agatha’s health was failing, her love of sweets never halted and she guided Pearl in perfecting her recipes into delectable masterpieces. By living with her mother, and not paying the high rent of San Francisco, Pearl saved her money for her dream bakery.

Shortly after her mother died, Pearl emptied her savings and bought a space With the help of her friends, Pearl’s was born. -Pearl, without exception, greets her customers wearing a cap with embroidered flowers and her name. Agatha sewed this cap before she passed away. It’s not a perfect fit, but Pearl feels her mother’s warmth when she pins it on her head.


Life is good—her pastries are prized by many, especially the Everything cupcake, which led to a TV crew filming her for a trendy show, “Travel & Dine”. The only ingredient missing in her life was a special guy that adored Pearl and all her passion for baking. …And that's when she realized she had developed a crush on her mailman, Fizz.

RosaLyn BeRt

RoSaLyN BeRt...and her painted shell HoLiDaY HaT, with felt candy canes, won a disappointing second place. This was, of course, behind SissY AnNe & her ChrIstMas TrEE hat who won the coveted, blue ribbon.


However, a buyer from Saks Fifth Avenue was present at this contest. She was extremely impressed with Rosalyn’s creativity and painting skills. She pulled Rosalyn aside.


The woman whispered in her ear that she envisioned a grand Christmas display of her painted shells in their windows next year. They would discuss the details of the scene later, but guaranteed that Rosalyn and her windows, would definitely be the envy of Barneys, and the other department store displays.


She slipped her a card and ended with, “Call me. “ and gave her a sly wink.


Rosalyn Bert...her 2 nd place hat prize, just became a golden, 1st place- plus. 


Bethany opened her PR agency, “Word Addiction”, about 3 years ago in Davistown. The valley city was her hometown. She returned shortly after her divorce because she needed a blanket of familiarity.

Sometimes she feels the walls of a smaller town—especially with the dating scene. But then there is Jim…he is a few years older. They had gone to different high schools. Back then, she once chatted with him st the refreshment stand during a rival basketball game. He had dark molten eyes…at least they melted Bethany. She also remembered his strong voice. He seemed to care about what she was saying, even though the topic was buttered popcorn and Sugar Babies. They never bumped into each other again and she forgot about him until recently.


Bethany had a dinner date and the night ended at Jim’s Music Venue. There, she caught Jim’s eye when he welcomed them at the door. He didn’t recognize her, and since she was on a date, she didn’t remind him about the Sugar Babies.


Her date was quickly forgotten, but Jim’s eyes camped out in her thoughts the next few days. Maybe she should take a chance & stop by his music hall. It could be a casual sales call. She would suggest they wander to Pearl’s Bakery to see how others promote their businesses. Of course, the 3-block walk would give them a perfect amount of time to see if there may be dancing hearts in their future.


She swung by on Tuesday, wore extra lip-gloss and a large floral print dress that echoed hipness. Jim greeted her at the door and Bethany introduced herself. There was no acknowledgement that he recognized her. He seemed preoccupied, even though her floral dress and glossy lips were shouting to be noticed.

She was flustered and wobbled her words. Bethany put her card in his hand. Instantly it ignited her in a shower of “chemistryatic” sparks. She pulled her hand quickly from his and gave a manufactured smile and said, “Please call me and I will have crowds lined out your door”. He shot her a quick glance and said, “Will Do”. -She slid back into her Kia shaking her head with disappointment. "Why am I still dateless?" She whined. "My dating mojo has dried up like a raisin..."

MaViS MaRtiNi

Mavis Martini was a mysterious gal. She kept to herself at the office.


She was an insurance agent, and wore buttoned up clothes that matched her buttoned up personality. Mavis was one of those co-workers that the other co-workers pondered about. —Just who was Mavis Martini underneath that muted appearance?


Well, I do know one secret. Under those buttoned up cardigans, flared a colorful, fairly large, tattoo of a she-devil.


Is Mavis Martini truly a hellcat? ...We may never know.

DiNa, also known as JuJu

DiNa, also known as JuJu, has always aspired to experience her 15 minutes of fame in life. She has cultivated considerable attention by being a pattern mixer.


No solid colors for her, it is all about groovy patterns. The more patterns she mixed, the better. Big patterns with small patterns, and stripes with polka dots. Floral with check, and check with paisley. They all happily harmonized.


JuJu carried her fondness for pattern onto her eye shadow, nail polish, hairstyle, and even her shoulder tattoo. You would think a person would become dizzy just glancing in her direction, but she had the opposite effect.


Her “pattern-itis “ brought on an absurd calmness to others, and they became entranced in her presence. In fact, the other day, JuJu was approached to walk the runway for an edgy designer at the famed fashion week.


Rivio, the designer, saw JuJu’s magic first hand as passerby’s eyes locked on her patternicity. She would be a brilliant tool to capture his audience.


JuJu was beyond flattered at the invitation. This would be a sort of debut for her self-expression. Of course, she accepted.


Now her focus was on her pattern mix. It would be her 15 minutes of fame...maybe 17, if she strutted on the slow side...JuJu.


The StoRy of PeArL'S CruSh, FiZZZZZZ 

Fizz always wanted to be a mailman. When he was 10, His mom let him trail their mailman, Gus, for a few blocks. Being a young friend of Gus, and seeing his passion for delivering letters…well, it rubbed off on him. 

Fizz did become a mailman, and proudly wears his uniform of blue. He thought it might also attract the ladies. However, if it did, he would probably pass out. Fizz has always been a little on the shy side, but has the heart of a storybook romance. He has had a couple of lady friends, but has yet to find the one that makes his heart pound strong. And fairy tale or not, that is what Fizz is waiting on. 

Fizz also has a sweet tooth. Cupcakes are his weakness. He used to buy them at Pearl’s Pastry Shop while on his mail route, but his route changed. Someone named, Melissa, handed out samples of their newest cupcake last week. It was loaded with everything Fizz liked—it was almost as if it was made just for him. 

Fizz has been craving that cupcake daily, but has been too busy to make a special trip to buy one. However, today was the day. Fizz finished his route early and decided to stop by Pearl’s.

As he stepped inside the bakery, the bell jingled. Fizz walked toward the case where the girl stood that had given him the sample. She greeted him. “May I help you?” She asked. “Yes, Fizz answered, you handed me a sample of the most amazing cupcake last week. I’ll take one of those, please.” Before Melissa could speak, the owner, Pearl, (this would be the Pearl that has the crush on Fizz) interrupted. “Well, hello. I believe you used to be our mailman and a fine mailman you were. I’m the owner, Pearl. That cupcake is my newest creation. It’s called the ‘The Everything’. Because it’s your first, it’s on the house!” Fizz nodded and replied, “It’s my lucky day, and I must add that that cupcake has everything in it I love—it’s almost like you made it especially for me!” Pearl glanced down and then looked straight into Fizz’s brown eyes. She barely whispered, “Perhaps I did…” Fizz’s heart pounded…strong. For the first time in his life, he thought his heart was about to explode.

VeRoNicA FeLadoRy

Elly-Anne was wondering what a “JuLeS” line of jewelry would look like if I did a cOLoRFuL version....Miss VeRoNicA FeLadoRy was so kind to volunteer in modeling a few pieces.


Veronica is always thrilled to make a statement, especially with color, and so she was a bit ecstatic when I called her with the invitation. Veronica even abandoned her Wednesday morning massage and psychic reading.


Thank you, Veronica, for trimming yourself with a peek at the JuLeS jewelry line.


Hank is Jessie's wingman. If Jessie starts a conversation with a woman of interest--Hank nods to whatever Jessie says. He stands across from him until he gets the double wink. That is Hank's cue to move outside the triangle and let whatever it is that Jessie does best, happen.


Hank really doesn't care for happy hours, but they have been best friends since elementary school, and this is what a best friend does.


Ted's was the new hangout in Baybridge, according to Jessie. It was obvious by the overflowing crowd, so this is where they will be stationed for the next couple of months...until a new social headquarters opens.


As Hank got the cue and was moving out of the triangle, he noticed an aqua daisy behind a cute girl's ear...


Kip stops by Pearls Pastry shop almost every Friday after school. On Friday’s he sort of finds a few extra dollars floating around his house. The truth is that his older brother gets paid on Thursday’s, cashes his check, and it just sits on his desk waiting for Kip. Kip doesn’t feel too bad about slipping a few dollars. He calls it “payback” for all those hard socks in his arm over & over, year after year after year. It is war-wound money. 

The dollars pay for the “Everything” cupcake and it is money well spent. It’s not exactly the cupcake he can’t live without, but it’s Melissa Hudson behind the pastry case. He chooses the “Everything” cupcake because a cupcake with everything segues into talk-time.


Each Friday when he orders, he asks Melissa what exactly is in this cupcake that he is about to eat. Melissa weakly smiles, because she has recited the ingredients to Kip somewhere around 53 times in the past few months, but she continues to tell her cake story. The pretzel in the cupcake is always his “go to” question to keep their conversation running.


Kip is oblivious if a line is snaking behind him. He pushes on with his questions to hear Melissa's voice and her answers. She could speak Dutch backwards and Kip would hang on every word. Anyway, he finally hands over his brother’s money. 

All this is because Kip has a deep crush on Melissa. She is an older woman, a Freshman in college, and Kip, only 12, with a crackling voice of change. Although she wouldn’t date him now—he figures when he hits 20 everything will smoothly connect. The age-thing won’t be an obstacle any longer. Age just blends together. 

So for now, he settles for the Friday cupcake and their repetitive chats. ...However, one day she will see what a cool guy Kip Denison is, and Kip is confident he will be her everything cupcake. 


He was visiting NYC from Montreal. He had brought his mother to the city so that she could have a change of scenery. He was very close to her, and took her on several trips during the year. Daniel had never married, and was in his mid 50's.


After a day of shopping & spoiling his mother, she settled in for the evening. He decided to take a walk in the neighborhood and look for the wine bar he hadn't found the night before. His friend had recommended it and said they had a unique menu and wine selection. --- Daniel was about to have an encounter with Amanda.

MaRgoRy WiLcoX

In the heated passion of their New Year’s Eve kiss, MaGoRy WiLcoX closed her eyes tight. When the celebratory kiss ended, she tried to open her eyes. The glue from one of her false eyelashes, had sealed her left eye shut.


She fled to the bathroom and left her date bewildered about his kissing ability.


Margory doused her eye with steamy water and tugged at the lashes. It dropped into the sink. Her tortured, blood-shot eye barely stared back at her in the mirror.


Margory, a confident gal— stripped her right eye lash off for eye unity, and returned to her date.


That night, she vowed never to buy off-brand lashes, especially at a drug store that for some odd reason, was going out of business.


And to you, in this new year, continue to take risks, but avoid the more obvious off -brand decisions that may lead to a sore eye!



SiMpSoN & GuS

They were rescued about a week apart by neighbors. They became acquainted through the backyard fence through their barks and sniffs and instantly became yard buddies.


They met face to face when they were on a walk one day, and that solidified their friendship.


When they weren’t together, they sniffed through the fence and carried on their dog-bark conversations. Their walks and park play became a regular weekly event. "Neighbors" you could call them—"best buds for life" they would call themselves.


Simpson & Gus…the rescue pals.


SaUsiLitO is her name, “Saucy” for short, and indeed she is a bit on the “saucy” side. She wears her rollers in preparation for the Thanksgiving venue to be held at her house, and the chic hairstyle she will unveil. Her table, of course, is vibrating with glossy color instead of the traditional fall hues. Bouquets of blossoms and fruit embellish her home with fragrance.


As expected , her menu is also not ordinary. She seasons with a hint of cayenne, and Serrano peppers, and the cocktail served is fluorescent orange with a lime slice & a mint sprig.


Sausalito’s music choice will be newly discovered artists...fresh music is what she names it. I could go on with the details, but I think you can envision the rest.


Thanksgiving for Miss Saucy will not be typical on this traditional day, except for her infinite gratefulness for her daughter, family, and bountiful friends. “Saucy”...the new untraditional—traditional Thanksgiving. 

FraNciNe'S Indulgence

A creamy, chocolatey whiff of a sandwich cookie. This was FraNciNe’S indulgence for a late afternoon pick-me up.


There was a time, 6 months ago, when she actually ate the cookies instead of whiffed them. However, 10 pounds later, and the announcement that her daughter was getting married, halted that gratification. The wedding would also be taking place this summer, at an outdoor venue where a sleeveless dress would be perfect.


So for now, a whiff will do for Miss Francine or maybe two. 

JiM the ReScue DoG

Jim was told he was a rescue dog-- whatever that means.


He did know he has a real home now, which means he goes on walks and wanders around freely from room to room in a house, and can hang out wherever he chooses. That's cool. He also gets treats, and plays ball with a person named JoAnne with curly, blonde hair. She cuddles with him and scratches his ears. She always gives him compliments. He tries to give her compliments too, but Jim doesn't think she totally understands what he's saying. They live together in this house.


JoAnne is quickly becoming Jim's best friend. 

ThE CoWboy BoOt

The CoWboY BoOt. --Was this boot worn by a roDeO QueEn and then found in a seConD haNd sHop, where "Della" purchased them, and then wore them with her Dolly Parton costume ---to a HaLLoweEn PaRtY?-- I'd love to heAr what you think this CoWboY BoOt's StOry is? ! 


Belinda was feeling a bit blue today, and hoped it didn’t show....


LoiS choose the spinach salad for her entree at the annual women’s luncheon. A spinach leaf found a comfortable home around one of her front teeth and settled in.


After lunch, photos were taken for their promotional material, which included the front page of tomorrow’s paper. Lois applied her scarlet lipstick and gave her best beauty pageant smile.


And then it was the next day, Lois sat at her breakfast table with a cup of coffee and her paper. Much to her embarrassment, there she was, front and center, in color, with a smile that looked a little gappy ...and not the attractive kind.


Fortunately, she was able to have the marketing department, doctor the photo for their remaining use. However, damage was done, and for a couple of days, Lois was forced to hear and feel the vibration of snickering around her small town.


A lesson was learned on photo day... and a 5 letter word she’ll never forget...floss. 


It was a mobbed, Friday afternoon, Happy Hour. Marita was gazing at the guy on her left out of the corner of her eye. Well, actually a little more than her eye corner...because she has two eyes... so that would be a two-eyed corner stare. --- Nevertheless, his presence was well worth her view.


He was handsome,--a rugged-scraggly, kind of handsome. He smelled like musky-dark chocolate, and lime. This guy made her heart stop doing its heart job for a minute or two. Her side-stare was very concentrated, and continued much longer than her usual, quick glance.


The handsome-rugged-scraggly guy, of course, didn’t even notice Marita’s silent invasion. He slid his drink toward himself, turned, and vanished deep into the crowd.


-In consequence, Marita stared at the guy on her right, out of the corner of her eye…


This is Gladiola's son, James--Jimmy--Jim.

Jim owns Jim’s Music Hall. His taste is eclectic with the music he books. Most recently his neighbor’s daughter, Jenny, recommended a heavy metal band called “Shock Wire”. The music is pure, but the lead guitarist, Sift, and his vocals, were what caught his attention. Jim described his lyrics as genius.

One Thursday night when they were playing, Jim chatted with Jenny, also known as “Flame”. He had discovered her recommendation of this band was more than a casual suggestion. Flame was captivated with Sift’s voice and his very presence. She locked herself in her seat from the time they were setting up, to the time they were taking down.

Sitting down is one thing Jim has not known the past six months since he opened his music hall. He’s been working long hours to make sure it becomes an established venue. He also has experienced some health problems and is cutting out red meat. Because of this, he decided to perfect a vegan Sloppy Joe recipe he borrowed from Melissa, who works at the ski & sun shop, in town. 


Jim has some followers for his Sloppy Joe, and particularly noticed a girl dressed in elastic yoga clothes. She eats there every Thursday night. This is the “amen brother” for return customers, and so he scouts for more recipes that he can tweak into a “Jim’s Special”.


All this has bound Jim to the music hall. He is caught spending little time with his mom, Gladiola. In fact, he just realized her idea of Saturday night Square dancing was her edge to spend more time with her son. Maybe he should reconsider her suggestion…but how do you stretch from heavy metal to square dancing.


Someone named Bethany from “Word Addiction”, a PR firm, dropped off a card the other day. Maybe he should contact this Bethany…


Gladiola and her husband, Harry, belonged to a square dancing club about 17 years ago. He even surprised her with a cowboy boot brooch to wear on those special Saturday nights. Gladiola, now square-dances to occupy her time at her retirement community, Valley Hill.


Harry, who always had her heart, although she was infatuated with Dean Martin, left her without a dance partner a little over 2 years ago. Her son James, who goes by Jimmy, or Jim, used to visit Gladiola regularly. He is now overloaded with the music hall he owns. Gladiola understands his heavy schedule and only hopes for a phone call now and then. She told her son many times that he should offer square dancing once a week. Jim selectively ignored her request.


Marcy, her dance teacher, absorbs the empty space that Jim occupied and Gladiola is grateful for Marcy’s kind heart. The attachment between Marcy & Gladiola is mutual.

BaRbaRa DoRthEa "Bunny"

Barbara Dorthea was her given name, but "Bunny" became her name of affection.

She was in her 50’s now, but she still wanted to be as hip as her high school daughter, Megan. Why not borrow her daughter’s blue lipstick for the day and give it a go.


When applied to her lips, for some reason, the trendy colored lipstick did not offer Bunny the coolness that she anticipated. When she picked up her daughter and her friends from the coffee shop, her daughter, to no surprise, was socially devastated. 

GaRtH the TuRkeY

Garth the turkey---was once an albino. The others thought he was an odd swan. Garth had been jeered most of his life.


So what--that others get confused by his appearance. Garth isn't confused. He knows who he is--that's all that matters.


Garth has ran with his uniqueness and made himself even more extraordinary. He dyed his white feathers to a more celebratory style. Why not? It works for Garth. 

ArLeNe PiMbLeGraSs

Today was the day that ArLeNe PiMbLeGraSs had to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles. She needed to renew her license, which meant a photo retake. Being a prepared woman of today, and wanting the absolute best photo possible, Arlene had her hair styled at the hairdresser so that each curl would lay in line. She also stopped by Linly’s department store for a free makeover, so that her makeup was flawless. Arlene dressed in her favorite powder blue blouse. It made her blue eyes dance. Lastly, she wore her great aunt’s pearl drop earrings, they gave her that sophisticated look—at least she thought so.


Arlene was ready for her photo. Her number was called and she was asked to stand against the backdrop. Eyes wide open, teeth flossed, fresh lipstick applied, she was more than ready for the camera. “Click!” and it was done.


She waited for her copy. The clerk okayed it and slid it to her view. “Egads!” She screamed. “I have 45 chins!” Her comment did not phase the clerk. “I need a retake!” she demanded. “We don’t do retakes lady”. “But look— this obviously is not me,” she added. He glanced at her, and then at the copy, “It is you.” he replied, “You may go.”


Seven years Arlene must live with this photo. This was not a good day.

JuNe MaRiE

June Marie was an elephant on the edge. She had always envied the colorful birds of the bush, and so, instead of wearing stormy, grey skin, she made a fearless statement by using her elephant body to express her splashy personality.


June Marie painted herself in an ever-changing color palette of flowers. ---The rest-- didn't follow, but admired her adventurous spark, and looked forward to her elephant skin pageant.


Life would be rather dull without the June Maries' of the world! CheErS to June Marie! 


She pinned the enamel alligator close to her heart...he gave it to her. Mitch was his name, curiously her precious dog's name also. They met playing tennis at a postcard-perfect resort. He wore a mustache, and she teased that she would pay him a dollar if he shaved it. The day turned to night. Before sunrise, he had to cab it to the airport. Meg snapped a selfie of them to remember...and he handed her a book of matches with his number and smiled. Today, a year later, the matchbook appeared...should she call?

The EnCouNter

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