Keep Moving #Odessa #Ukraine #AtoZchallenge

Im in Odessa, it’s the 12th of February 2022′ I wrote in my journal. This journal was helping me keep track of the days and the year.

It was not just the winter sky that was dark the next morning. We heard sirens going off throughout Odessa.

“The Russian Navy is there.” Someone pointed toward the port. “They will be here by nightfall.” People whispered all about the dining room of The Passage.

People we running all directions dragging bags and children into their cars. One little girl couldn’t find her mother and started screaming.

“What constitutes an emergency?”  I asked my husband.

“We will discuss it at lunch my dear.” He pointed to the number 3 on his watch.

I forgot that we were going to 1991 at 3pm.

I saw our housekeeper and gave her money. I whispered “buy some food in case…” I said as more sirens went off.

“I wonder if I made an inexcusable error all for a novel.” My husband said in his strained voice. “It was wrong of me to stay and put you in danger.”

“It is too late to wonder.” I said my eyes a little too misty.

Before we passed over the portal, we had seen people in the lobby fixated on the news. The ship had not yet reached the port, which we all knew was but a brisk walk to the Passage.

Fortunately, my husband was good with numbers so all Dmitre’s information was stored in his head.

As my husband gave Vlad all the coordinates, he felt around his pockets for the new phone.

“I took it and hid it back in 2022.” I crinkled my eyes.

“Oh, thank you. I forgot about technology here.” I could see the beads of sweat on his forehead.

“One more thing,” my husband indicated to Vlad. “The Russian Navy appeared to be readying to dock in Odessa when we were leaving.”

“Then we must be ready.  A meeting with Anatoliy must wait.”  Vlad walked off quickly to talk with his team.

“We got you some clothing that fits in a little better in this time period.” Valeria pointed to our closet.  “I worry about my sister in Odessa.”

“Everyone in Odessa is ready, Valeria. Don’t worry.” I tried not to think of the Russian Navy.

That night I made a checklist of what to keep in 1991 and stashed it into the small area with a hidden panel. We knew our room might be a place where meetings needed to occur day or night so we kept the door unlocked.

“You must find out how many and where. Our men will be ready to set charges on the ships.” Vlad turned to leave our room. “I must remind you. People are watching for you. Every time you must use your phone in a new and secret location. Move around the city carefully.

“Yes, this is a cat and mouse kind of game.” My husband waved goodnight to Vlad.

“So how will we keep moving in safety?” I looked at my husband.

“Tomorrow we will go on a picnic. Away from the city centre where the Russians will most likely be and we make a phone call.”


We were preparing to leave safety in 1991.

“Today we act normal.” My husband stood tall like when he was in dress uniform. “As normal as you can when the enemy is kilometers away.” He winked.

“I’m glad you have given this some thought.” I noticed a bulge in the back of his shirt. It was a Glock. “When was the last thing your fired that thing?” I pointed.

“This morning.” He patted his back then put on an overcoat.

“Well preparation is a good thing.” I held his arm.

“Training center is under the hotel. It’s open 24 hours. You should come practice.”

What are we doing? I wanted to scream as I watched the multicolored rug design in an aging hotel change.

This on-going story was originally written in 2007 in Odessa, Ukraine. I’ve tweeked it to arrive in 2022 but the elements of a multiaccess portal and a war (the original story had multiple wars) are original. The Passage that is central to this story is a real hotel built in 1880s. She’s seen alot of history stomp through her doors and I could feel the past while I lived there. I hope you see the tenacity of the Ukrainian people through this attempt to honor their bravery.


The Basics

Clearly Crazy


E- Eavesdropping

F- Friends and Family

G- Grumbling Titka

Hiding in 1991

I – Intensity

J- My Journal

How about visiting some fantastic bloggers in the A to Z Challenge!

Zest For Life #elderlyissues #atozchallenge


A ha so this is the last day of the April A to Z challenge.

How was it for you?

I looked back briefly on a few of my precious A to Z challenges:


One challenge  I had planned on illustrating a month of my dragon stories. I broke my wrist one month  before the challenge so my  dominant hand was useless. I started drawing with my non-dominant hand . During April I slipped on ice (again) so all of my arms and legs were out of commission. So with Co-vid  “Stay at Home” I could at least walk around and water my plants.

The picture below shows my dragon bowl that I drew with my non-dominant hand and then  the other 2 were with my mouth.

When I saw the word Zest I thought of the saying A ZEST FOR LIFE. For whatever reason I always think of the elderly patients who I have cared for since I was a teen.

So my last encouragement as you care for and love an elderly family member be a little zestful. Encourage them to dream with you. Go somewhere you can both go – an imaginary somewhere. Maybe the land of Zenony!!!

I’ve enjoyed this month and meeting or reconnecting with people.

Each of you are gifted and delightful!!!

For those of you new to blogging i hope you are encouraged to blog more.

I’m not sure what my personal blog will look like but I am trying to develop a blog for Steve Slack. Steve is a friend who hopefully (if this Co-Vid thing gets tame) will have some of his work published and at least one script is lined up for a movie.

I Smell A Rat #newcago #horticulture #pandemic #flashfiction #reading


New Cago was not a very cultured metropolis before the epi & pan demic. Kids were shoving things up their noses or in their veins. It made sense that there was no room for something for the mind to synthesize.

Then the libraries were closed. So most people read their cereal box for entertainment. But Lily kept a lovely assortment of classical and tasteful books.

Her favorite subject was horticulture.

I could read it and be out like a light at the end of a shift.

But after she died, I started noticing her hand writing and circles in the margins.

Hard not to notice what she had been researching before the wild fire epidemic.

Lil, this is bizarre- the night after you died circles started to appear in red.

One of her notes, ” good if given early but a little too much and they won’t wake up – ever.”

Another had lines through it and question marks. “I know this should work but I’m not seeing the results…” and another comment “why is this only working on a few people????”

And another one that rose the hairs on my back it read more like a sci-fi. “Subject should have demonstrated signs of immunity. I inoculated myself at the same time. If my research is correct, he will start to exhibit…”

“Oh Lil.   OH LIL!!!” I took my head and my hands wondering again if her research was the cause of her death.

“Death” some days it sounded so peaceful.

“Sam. Sam.” I heard a pounding on the steel grate of the door.

“Yeah coming. Hey Peely.” Here was the one good kid in the neighborhood.

“This is for you.”The errand boy that we were both so fond of handed me a box. Our eyes looked at each other then at the brown square.

I opened the box. It was that hat with rounded corners. “I’ve been looking at this for months.” The card underneath was in her handwriting.

“Peel, ya know what I hate most about this town?”

“Yeah Sam, I know. It’s so damned lonely.”

“and unpredictable.” My head felt like a pinball machine with the silver ball hitting every bumper and bell possible.

I looked in the envelope flap and saw the four names with the same prefix: R-A-T.

And that’s where we will start at cleaning up this mess Lil.’


Okay you caught me chasing a pandemic. I’m blogging about elderly issues, but sometimes I get sidetracked.

Reading is important for the elderly. One 90 year old (with Alzheimers) is reading one of his many favorites: a biography about Einstein. The only thing I can understand is the title and the pictures.

Keeping the mind engaged through reading and even the visuals in books is important. We can create new pathways even in an old brain.


How do you keep your mind active???



I’m revamping a Noir crime series I wrote in 2013. The story centered around crime in a metropolis called New Cago but the main antagonist was a deadly disease ( pandemic) lurking in dark corners. If you like Noir and you have time to read come back for more in the days to come. The stories do stand alone so they can be read in any order.

An Old Dilemma part 1

An Old Dilemma part 2

Whats the worst that can happen

Someone Needs to Survive


Looking ahead, without looking back (too often)


Thanks for following a cowgirl on her crazy life journey.

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