Mind the Gap: Miss Juanetta Takes On mini-fluffy GIF Interview!

What happens when a computer illiterate housekeeper like Miss Juanetta, meets an MTG (Mind the Gap) staff interviewer?

Say what?

I know, it is a strange question but let’s face it. If anyone can take on an MTG interviewer, it may as well be the housekeeper. In Miss Juanetta’s simple housekeeping world, computer technology moves at the speed of light. In her opinion, just thinking about the 8 minutes 19 seconds time it takes sunlight to reach the Earth is pretty darn fast!

Heck, only dust can move quicker than that! Let us bet she will have the MTG staff interviewer frustrated in no time flat.

Now, although Miss Juanetta spends most of her time keeping the planet squeaky clean, sometimes, she unexpectedly finds herself in the spotlight. Why this occurs is a mystery waiting to be solved.

This week’s Mind the Gap (MTG) writing challenge had a MTG staff interviewer, for example,  randomly stop her while she grocery shopped for the Toorich family.

The mission to interview a common housekeeper known only for her excellent cleaning skills and not her pathetic computer illiteracy is, as I said, strange, but a bit entertaining and educational at the same time.

Check out the impromptu interview:

MTG staff interviewer: So tell me, Miss Juanetta, are animated GIFs the stuff of junior highschool hijinks or, are they the political cartoons of the new millenniums? What do you think?

Miss Juanetta: Animated GIFs you say? Hmm, wait a minute…I am just a housecleaning lady that knows everything about dusty things and nothing about GIFs…let me Google it.

MTG staff interviewer: Never mind, I will tell you, it means Graphic Interchange Format and according to Wikipedia, “was introduced by CompuServe in 1987.” You, obviously are clueless about GIFs and pronouncing it varies with each person. If you like the sound of the word “gin,” then the soft “G” is your choice; however, if you love the word “graphics,” then, the hard “G” would be better.

Miss Juanetta: I see, so what exactly is a (says it in a soft “G”sound) GIF in plain English?

MTG staff interviewer: Are you serious? I just told you it is a Graphic Inter…oh, never mind!

This is an example of an animated GIF that would probably entertain junior high students …

English: An animated gif.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Miss Juanetta: Gee whiz, MTG staff interviewer, I think this animated GIFs is making me feel sick. I fear, if all animated GIFs are like your example, then, yes, GIFs are just fluff and for the carefree youth.

However, I think GIFs are improving and creative artists are really producing more than young dudes dancing about. For example, the Sunday Post host, Jakesprinter, uses the GIF technology not only for his Gravatar image, but in many of his post creations.  Other cool creative GIFs can be found here at GIFWICH.com.

Hi Jake!

So, to answer your question, MTG person, I believe GIFs is the new wave to communicate; but what do I know as I am only the fail-at-the-latest-computer-technology housekeeper, so yeah.

MTG staff interviewer: Well, kick me for a dummy…I think a got the wrong story and the wrong lady! I am out of here!!!

Miss Juanetta: *thinking* …this is so not happening to me, right?

I fear it is, so you better head on over to this Weekly Writing Challenge that explains everything you need to know about GIFs in the correct form, along with great contributors frequently being added to the mix.


This short story is in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge and Miss Juanetta and MTG staff interviewer are both fictional characters, the product of an imagination gone wild.

Thank YOU!


A Picture Is Worth Words and A Fairy Tale Vision

Once upon a time, a beautiful mother existed in my world. Our perfect family portrait had mother holding my baby sister, Molly, my father lovingly leaning gently to one side of his high school sweetheart, and me, on the other side of him. I was the five-year-old rambunctious, but always obedient son. We were the perfect family.

Aunt Polly, mother’s younger sister, and photographer for our family event, reminded us to smile and say, “Cheese” as she prepared to take our photo.

Unfortunately, the perfect family portrait setting went from loving and happy to chaotic and frightening. Mother’s long battle with mental illness, filled with medications, therapy sessions and occasional psychiatric hospital visits, were becoming more frequent and like a devouring cancer in mother’s brain, she finally succumbed to it not long after my fifth birthday.

I will always remember the day my once beautiful and loving mother left us. Father had us all ready for our perfect family portrait; Aunt Polly was ready with her camera. Perhaps the happy event flustered mother as she fussed about with our hair, her make-up and father‘s tie that would not sit right for her, to a point when suddenly, her world decided to shut down around us.

Why did she have to start crying and screaming obscenities at us?

Why was she so out-of-control that it took a team of psychiatric aides from Aurora Residential Treatment House to restrain her?

Why did father insist that Aunt Polly take our family portrait anyway, regardless that all of us, as our mother was losing her mind, we were also “losing” something as well: Father his loving wife, my sister and I, a beautiful and nurturing mother and Aunt Polly, an older sister who was always there for her?


I can understand someone leaving a family because they died, or leave because they want to start something new, such as a new family or new career or whatever. Nevertheless, checking out mentally is hard to understand.

How do you explain this family portrait taken moments before we were to escort my mother to her “treatment” room, with her mascara smeared across her face, her salon-styled hair re-done to the wild psychotic look?

Actually, I longed, many times, to cut this photograph into a million pieces, like the way mental illness tore my mother from my life.

I hated those hospital visits because my real mother did not mentally live there. Who was that woman, after the nurse’s treatment, staring blankly with glazed eyes at my sister and me? That was not my mother.

(Have you seen her? I miss mother so much.)

Father simply wanted a family moment–one that included his once lovely wife and mother of his two children–framed into the happy, normal family portrait. Instead, he got an incomplete, bewildered, and feeling enormously abandoned, family portrait.

WHY, God! Why put the evil demons that filled my mother’s head that left my sister, dad and I broken for so long?


The longer I scream, WHY, the louder the sound of silence in my head becomes. My therapist tells me over and over, as if to put a soft blanket on a sobbing young child, that in the United States, according to the Kim Foundation, 1 in 4 families are “affected by mental illness. “ She goes on to tell me the World Health Organization states, “over a third of people in most countries report (mental) problems at some time in their life.”

Am I supposed to feel better about this news? You tell me, how does one go on living sanely knowing the kids at school whisper, and sometimes not whisper, but blatantly say awful things about your mother? Things like, “His mother is crazy. She lives in a psych house.”

My mother’s disease deeply haunts me. Sometimes I feel there is nowhere to turn because any way I turn I see the photograph, the horrid faces we had, and my mother, no, the monster being dragged away by strangers.

I fear that my mother’s handicapped mind will slowly become the beast within my mind.

How I wanted to destroy that photograph many times over the years. The one photograph that reminds me of this fear of becoming a duplicate of my own mother’s life!

What stops my bony fingers from ripping that picture apart, I am not quite sure. Perhaps I fear losing the one person who meant so much to me…my mother. If I destroy it, I will not remember and I want to remember her. This distorted family photo is the very thing that prevents me from joining my own mother’s mental demons.

I look at the photo then quickly close my eyes to the fairy tale vision I long to have.

Once upon a time, long ago in a kingdom where light, goodness and sane thinking prevailed, my mother was the perfect queen who stood by her perfect king and both raised two truly perfect prince and princess.

In this kingdom, I no longer fear the loss of my mother or my mind.

* * *

Do you think mental illness is as common as diabetes or heart disease?

* * *

Find more creative contributors and information here at the Weekly Writing Challenge: A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words.

Weekly Writing Challenge: I Wish I Were-Your Young Star to Kiss…

I wish I were the young star you long to kiss in your loving embrace.

English: Two faces kissing with entwined art-n...

–Photo credit: Wikipedia

“…kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor…” 

I wish I were the young singer in the band
You and I would be
Entwined within the love of our own lyrics at hand
My thoughts holding on to the encore moment
All the while, you could whisper a request to the Universe

“…lift up your open hand and make the fireflies dance…”

I wish I were the young partner in your ballroom dance routines
You and I would be
Entwined within the love of our own tango and rumba dance steps
Your heart holding on to the graceful gliding moment
All the while, I could whisper a simple request

“Kiss me down by the broken tree house
Swing me upon it’s hanging tire…”

Lovers embracing on the beach at sundown / sun...

–Photo credit: mikebaird

I wish I were the leading young actress in all your stage plays
You and I would be
Entwined within our own steamy romantic scenes
Although you be ninety-two and I a mere decade away
All the while, our eyes could meet between the satiny whispering sheets

“…Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance

Silver moon’s sparking
So kiss me.”

I wish I were the young star you long to kiss in your loving embrace.

* * *

Now it is your turn…I wish I were_______. 

* * *

Photo credits via Zemanta

Lyric quote credit via alternative rock band Sixpence None the Richer: Kiss Me (video via You Tube)

Inspiration for I wish I Were taken from Weekly Writing Challenge: I Wish I Were:

Excerpt from Daily Post…”In honor of Daryl’s post, (If Hairs Be Wires, Black Wires Grow on Her Head) we ask you to finish the following sentence for this week’s writing challenge: “I wish I were.” … “The sky is the limit, so dream big and let us know what you wish for…”

Enjoy below creative contributors to this writing challenge:

Sunday Worship: A Family Affair or Not?

How do you normally spend your Sunday mornings? For some, Sunday mornings revolves around attending a church service and hopefully, a nice brunch afterwards at a local café. For some, however, the thought of having young children among the congregation, for an hour-long church service, is just as bad, if not worse, as a poorly prepared sermon given by a monotone preacher!

toddler, church, worship, family worshipMost regular churchgoers know about the babbling toddlers who insist on babbling alongside the preacher’s sermon. It seems no matter where you plant yourself in the church, the babbling toddlers find you and in the next hour or so, you wonder what to do.

Should you try to decipher the preacher’s sermon lesson as your head is uncontrollably nodding itself to sleep or simply give in to the toddler’s distracting babble and try your hand at understanding and translating the toddler dialect instead?

Hmm, as you ponder this great mystery, you may begin to wonder as well; maybe young children belong in the age appropriate children’s church instead?

I say, no! Children should be encouraged to attend Sunday services with their family from an early age. Having children learn patience through “uninteresting” events–no offense to any pastors out there– is lessons that may help to squish the, BUT…BUT… “I thought the world revolved around me,” syndrome!

One may argue, but why not offer an age appropriate Sunday service for the children. I simply have to disagree because this demonstrates to the children that one; you do not ever need to learn to be patient especially if boredom sets in! Second, families really should worship together. I love seeing a whole family take up the entire pew.

I know, you say it is hard to discipline and train kids to sit relatively still and remain relatively quiet. Yikes! As adults, do we sometimes have to practice such atrocities?

Of course, we need these skills and so much more the reason to have children become part of the Sunday church congregation to learn these waiting skills. This may seem unattainable but I know a young couple from church who believes in rearing their children in the church. They have a six-year-old boy, two-year-old girl and less than a year old baby just starting to learn how to stand. Their children do not go over to the nursery or children’s church. Every Sunday they worship together. Both parents actively supervise their children, quietly reprimand the older two if need be and the mom uses the baby sling and breastfeeding method to keep their baby calm.

I am not sure how much of the sermon the parents actually hears to gain any wisdom from it, but it may be just a passing season for them. During this lean winter months, they may find little to nourish their own souls but instinctively feed their growing family first. As the children get older, I suspect the solid foundation built will allow the parents to relax and hear more of the sermon. Once the children grow up and branch out on their own, the parents can finally enjoy the warm and lovely season, summer. In peace.

What do you think?

* * *

Do you feel children should attend Sunday worship with their family instead of an age appropriate children church services?


* * *

Inspiration came from this,  Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap.

A Splash of Color to Make You or Break You…

Have you ever had a random, foggy black and white kind of day?

fog, landscape, black and white, photograph

Splash of black and white color: brings in a foggy, random, depressed, slightly despairing mood…

Nothing life threatening but a mild sort of hazy feeling that traps you into an unfocused, lethargic attitude and, no matter how you try to be productive, the drive to pursue whatever is your passion becomes seriously lacking; the only solution seems to be found in frequent cat naps, like my house cat illustrates so beautifully here…

cat nap, bed, feline, photograph

…on the bed…

cat nap, couch, photograph

…on the sofa…

cat nap, floor, feline, photograph

…on the floor…

shy, cat nap, photograph, feline

…on a chair and oh, so shy…

Cat naps work well just about anywhere!

I wonder at times if this uncertain randomness is due to a black and white way of seeing the world. You know, it is either the way you want things to be or nothing at all–talk about thinking in extremes!

Take for example the effort one puts into publishing a blog post. Do you anticipate, as often as I do, how a blog post will turn out? I admit this is a grave fault of mine– over anticipating–and I really should grow up, be done with fretting and worrying over who will like or not like a certain post. For example, if a certain post gets very little traffic, I begin to worry.

Was it something I wrote…or maybe did not write…too long…too short…not enough photos…too many photos (usually never the case) or *gasp* simply poor writing technique?

Fret…worry…more frets…more worries.


Instead of all this wasted black and white way of seeing things, I should develop a more “grayer,” leading up to a more colorful thinking scale and allow the “perhaps” to play a more significant role. For example, as the extreme black and white thinking sets in, I can reason that maybe blog readers are busy with life outside of blogging.  I mean we all have a life outside of the blogosphere and maybe my thoughts can become a bit more colorful to include a transition into a more positive outlook on things. Further, perhaps a post would get less traffic because the subject at hand was in all honesty, just too damn boring or too hard to follow. That is understandable.

I should not take it so personable. Ideally, I should sit back, stay calm and reflect on the moment as I allow the grays and colorful thoughts to flourish in abundance.

stuffed animal, bro button, photograph, chilling

Splash of black and white with a slow transition into color: feeling a little better and no, I am not taking any of this personally…really…

Unfortunately, for all of you, I am still digging my way out of extreme black and white thoughts like, “Oh, no, my readers hate what I posted! They think it is all zombie crazy writing!!…”

zombie, despair, photograph, backslide, worry

Splash of bloody, screaming red color: you are now watching me backslide into zombie-ish kind of despair and worry…

AHHHH, SOMETHING IS WRONG…did I not use enough colorful adjectives??? Tell me…aahhhaahh…Oh, to hell with it all…I give up…go on, poke out my eye…I sacrifice it all for the love of my craft…farewell my dear friends…

…Wait. What is this?

Amazingly, the mist of gloom from my day has suddenly lifted, perhaps because I made the effort to clear my mind and write without a worry. How nice it is to witness the world in color, dive happily into the great Weekly Writing Challenge: A Splash of Color and finally accept whatever comes my way.

So long, black and white colors, be off with your splashes that left me in a slump and feeling like an eyeless zombie!

color, photograph, landscape, see clearly

Splash me in rich autumn colors: warm oranges, soothing greens and peaceful blues…the fogs been lifted…I can begin to see clearly once again…

* * *

What kind of colors surround you today and how has it affected your well-being?

* * *

As you may have guessed, the writing challenge this week was to “highlight a color in a story or event.” I chose to focus on the dominate colors that surrounded me the last couple of days. The type of weather we experience does seem to affect our outlook for the day…at least it happens to work that way for me. Enjoy more contributors to this writing challenge below:

Weekly Writing Challenge: Something Completely Different *EEK* BEWARE! A Halloween Ballad…

Here is a short ballad about a woman gone mad.
It happened because she fell in love with Cigam, the terrible nomad.
Molly, the charming sheriff’s wife
Found forbidden pleasures that altered her good life.

Cigum, Halloween, terrible nomad, seduction

I want your soul!! Bwahahaha…

No one could resist seductions from Cigum’s evil heart-light
An encounter Molly succumbed to while tripping in a house of fright
Bravely, the sheriff attempted protection to his Molly with a KA-BAR knife
But Halloween disabled his knife’s function and evil became Molly’s nightlife.

Molly now spends all her time drinking Cigum’s flowing poison
Contemplating how to rid of her lawman that keeps her idly frozen
For she desperately longs to live among the living dead
To be united with Cigum, the terrible nomad, and all his beautiful lunkheads.

This ends the short ballad about a woman gone mad.
Every year Cigum’s world grows stronger; soon the sinister world will be ONE!

skulls, halloween, ballad, photograph,

“We live for Cigum’s love…long live Cigum, the terrible nomad and all of his living dead!”

For here lies the sheriff, his wife Molly and god knows who
Now, how  eager are you to decorate and do up that haunted house for us to view?


* * * Reflections for, Weekly Writing Challenge: And Now For Something Completely Different:

>At the end of your post, take a minute to reflect on the experience of creating it. Was it easier than you thought? Harder? Did you learn anything useful? Will you incorporate the new style into your repertoire? Would you try this exercise again with a different style?<

Creating this ballad was harder than I thought because the Halloween/evil theme is not my usual subjects I like to write about. In addition, I learned that ballads have certain rhyming patterns like: AABB, ABAB, or ABCB.

Will I incorporate this new style into my repertoire? YES, and would like to try this exercise using a different style. Thanks!

Now, check below some wonderful and talented contributors to this challenge: