BCAM: October 22nd

You don’t think about emergency money until you need it. Read this horror story.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: October 22, 2020

by Abigail Johnston

Did you know that Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) patients need to wait five (5) months after a terminal diagnosis to be eligible to receive social security? And then another twenty-four (24) months after eligibility for social security to receive Medicare?

Here’s how Adiba highlights the issue …

In 2019, for the annual Metavivor Stampede, I traveled to Washington DC with my husband and a large group other MBC cancer-havers from Florida to advocate for the passage of HB2178 and SB1374, titled the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act, which would eliminate the waiting periods for Social Security and Medicare for those of us diagnosed with MBC. There is already a waiver for those individuals with ALS (a/k/a Lou Gehrig’s disease) and it makes perfect logical sense to extend the same accommodation to other diseases. Eventually, I believe everyone with metastatic cancer should have the same waivers.

Continue Reading

Note:

Don’t forget about the Carrot Ranch Rodeo #3 Contest this week. You have almost 5 more days. Midnight Monday PDT (Pacific Daylight Time).

We are in the 3-week countdown to closing on our house and moving to Arizona. But no worries, I’m checking my website feedback daily for new entries. However, I’m taking a break for a week from blogging other than reblogging Abigail’s articles.

You can also enter by email at MarshaAlwaysWrite@tchistorygal.net. The form on the website does not format your entry or let you highlight the words from “Git Along Little Dogies.”

Git Along an’ Start Writin’

Carrot Ranch Rodeo Contest 2020

Rodeo #3: Three-Act Story

We live for stories, and as writers, we craft them in the written word. A story is about Something (plot) that happens to Someone (characters), Somewhere (setting). Even if it is only 99 words long.

Crafting the Story

Act I, the beginning, the story rises. If a story is about someone, we have to feel something for that character. When we care what happens next for or to this Someone, we come to the middle.

Act II shifts to fear, according to the Greeks. We can interpret this as the emotion that drives the writer and reader to worry about what happens next. Or be curious about what comes next. The driving emotion doesn’t have to be fear, but the middle holds an important shift or build-up of tension or expectation. The story is in motion.

Act III is when that motion comes to an end. The action falls; the story has arrived at an exit. A good ending is not canned, but one that lets the reader think about the story and the Someone long after the conclusion. A twist is when a writer ends with the unexpected, and it can be humorous or dramatic.

Theme Western Music “Git Along Little Doggies”

This week’s contest is based on Western Music, in particular this popular song, “Git Along Little Dogies,” first published in 1910, but mentioned as early as 1893. 

General Contest Criteria

Much like with Colleen’s Found Poem Rodeo Contest last week, you are going to use the song, “Git Along Little Dogies” to inspire your writing.

  1. Include a line of consecutive words or at least six pivotal words from throughout the lyrics in your entry. Use bold font or highlight the words to make it easier for the judges to see. 
  2. Feel free to include pictures from your research of the song that inspired you. 
  3. Write a story that has Three Acts (they do not need to be labeled).
  4. The story must have a discernible beginning, middle, and end.
  5. The story must be about someone, set somewhere, and something happens.
  6. The story can be fiction or BOTS (based on a true story).
  7. It can include any tone or mood, and be in any genre, and there is NO PROMPT.
  8. Make the judges remember your story long after reading it.

Contest Rules

Every entry must be 99 words, no more, no less. You can have a title outside that limit. Check your word count using the wordcounter.net. Entries that aren’t 99 words will be disqualified.

  1. Enter this contest only once. If you enter more than once, only your first entry will count.
  2. Do your best to submit an error-free entry. Apply English grammar and spelling according to your country of origin style. As long as the judges can understand the language, it is the originality of the story that matters most.
  3. If you do not receive an acknowledgment by email WITHIN 3 DAYS, contact Charli at wordsforpeople@gmail.com.
  4. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on October 26, 2020.
  5. Refrain from posting your contest entry until after November 24, 2020
  6. Entries must use at least six words from the Theme Song to qualify.
  7. Entries will be judged and a winner will be announced on November 17. The winning entries will be posted on a page at Carrot Ranch. There is a cash prize for the winning entry..
  8. Use the form below the rules to enter.

A Little History About Git Along Little Dogies

Do you love history like I do? Many recording artists have recorded the iconic cowboy tune since 1910, “Git Along Little Dogies.” Maybe you remember Roy Rogers’ 1940 version. A link to his video at the end of the lyrics may inspire your writing.

Center – Harry McClintock

You might want to listen to the first commercial version of the song recorded in 1928 by Harry McClintock on a Victor V – 40016 B. In fact, each of the recordings come from different eras and different voices. 

Sample story
Lonnie, Jack and Joe Hannah of the Sons of the San Joaquin

The Birth of the Sons of the San Joaquin

by Marsha Ingrao

Lon Hannah loved the Lord, baseball, singing, and people. Sunday evenings after church, a group of us went to Hannah’s Triangle in Ivanhoe, CA to listen to Lon sing. 

At his 80th birthday party, partygoers relaxed under the shade trees and sang cowboy songs. At about four, Lon’s sons Jack and Joe and grandson Lonnie mused, “What can we cowpunchers do to continue Gramp’s Legacy? Let’s become real cowboy singers like the Sons of the Pioneers.”

From then on, the Sons of the San Joaquin “git along” the trail performing and recording cowboy songs like Git Along Little Dogies.”

Git Along Little Dogies


Traditional Song Lyrics 

As I was a-walking one morning for pleasure
I spied a cowpuncher all riding along
His hat was throwed back and his spurs was a-jinglin’
As he approached me, he was singin’ this song:

(Chorus:)
Whoopee ti yi yo, git along little dogies
It’s your misfortune and none of my own
Whoopee ti yi yo, git along little dogies
You know that Wyoming will be your new home

Early in the spring, we round up the dogies
Mark ’em and brand ’em and bob off their tails
Drive up our horses, load up the chuck-wagon
Then throw the dogies out on the trail

(Chorus)

It’s a-whoopin’ and yellin’ and a-drivin’ them dogies
Oh, how I wish that you would go on
It’s a-whoopin’ and punchin’ and go on little dogies
You know that Wyoming will be your new home

(Chorus)

Some boys goes up on the trail just for pleasure
But that’s where they get it most awfully wrong
For you haven’t an idea the trouble they give us
While we go driving them all along

(Chorus)

When the night comes, and we hold them on the bed-ground
These little dogies that roll on so slow
Round up the herd and cut out the strays
And roll the little dogies that never rolled before

“Git Along Little Dogies, I’m watchin’ all y’all. Throw back yer hats and start a-writin.”

Contest Resources

The list of YouTube recordings at the end of the lyrics is not exhaustive. Listen to all of the different artists, or find additional recordings that inspire you as you write. 

Meet Your Judges

Norah Colvin


Norah Colvin is a lifelong learner and passionate educator. She believes in the power of education to change lives and is committed to raising awareness of ways to support and enhance learning.

Norah has spent her life learning and thinking about how children learn and how best to support their learning. Her own observations as learner, parent and teacher have enhanced understandings developed in both formal and informal study situations. 

She believes strongly in the need for learning to be self-initiated, directed and motivated, and the importance of timely and appropriate support for learners on their individual journeys.

While no longer working with children in a school setting, Norah continues to share her passion for education and love of children’s literature through writing.

Connect with Norah on her blogs NorahColvin.com and readilearn.com.au. She can also be found (occasionally) on Facebook and Twitter.

Irene Waters

Irene began her working career as a reluctant potato peeler while waiting to train as a student nurse. On completion she worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing her hospital career as a clinical nurse educator in intensive care.

A life-changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered she was no farmer she took on the Barrington General Store and running a five-star restaurant.

After retiring and renovating their house, she and her husband moved to Queensland where she completed a post-grad certificate in Creative Industries in 2013. She followed this with a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now she lives to write and writes to live.

Connect with Irene on her blogs IreneWaters19.com and Irene Waters Writer on Facebook and Irene Waters Photography on Facebook

Happy writin’. Questions? If contact form does not work, email me at marshaalwayswrite@tchistorygal.net.

Contest Entry Form

BCAM: October 17th

If you follow Always Write on a regular basis, then you will know that I am reblogging Abigail Johnston’s posts on her blog, No Half Measures this month for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM).

I asked how I could help, and that was one way I could help out, even though my reblogging button is not working now. This article has five wonderfully helpful tips for assisting those who are sick. so you don’t have to trip over your two left feet thinking up ways to be gracious. And now to Abigail…

“What Can I Do to Help?”

Those of us who are terminally ill often hear — what can I do to help? For all of you who are wondering how to help, read on …

Know first that it’s very hard for people to ask for help in general. I had to force myself as it did not come easy to me. I’ve always been super independent and wanted to manage without help but like I said before, it takes a village and help is always needed.

So instead of asking how can I help, be specific about what you want to help with and when.

1. EVERYDAY LIFE – Tasks like childcare, grocery run, rides, meals, other type of errands is always helpful. Ask specifically how to help with each task.

2. GOOD COMPANY – Join for hospital visits, doctors appointments, hang out while in treatment; although covid makes all this hard right now. Being a patient, always, for the rest of your life is so boring so making a fun day out of it with a friend helps a lot. Continue reading

2020: An Historic Year of Views Outside Our Home

#Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge Outside of Your Home or View.

The world will remember the year twenty-twenty with twenty-twenty clarity. For Cee’s Black and White Challenge this week, I decided to choose one picture outside our home for each month that I had a picture beginning in January.

January, 2020

I got carried away with January’s photos.

Playing with Photoshop near midnight makes some people act strangely. Puppy Girl still acts the same with a Threshold Filter.

Puppy Girl loves these cool damp days. She explores the dry creek bed Vince created nearly twenty years ago as though she had never seen it before.

Each year Vince adds a new touch to the house. This year he outdid himself starting with this pathway created from the left-over cement he took out of the garage when he created the cabana sixteen years ago or so. Puppy Girl does what she does best. I added a bit of a green filter to this photo. January is the only month I’ve seen moss growing on the concrete.

February, 2020

On this February morning we could almost see each individual snow flake on the mountainside. By August we didn’t have mountains. For this shot, I shot blind by raising my hands as high as I could and shooting. It wasn’t a professional shot, but I got above all the fencing and the neighbor’s buildings across the creek.

March, 2020

In March Moji relaxes and enjoys her breakfast with the elephant outside the room. This table is right outside our dining room, and we rarely use it except to feed our cats where we can watch them eat. I love the shadowy patterns on the patio.

April, 2020

Who knew this would be the last April picture I would photograph the outside of the home where we have lived and completely renovated continuously for almost twenty years.

May, 2020

In May through June we completed the garden project we started last year, including the addition 1966 dump truck as yard art. We had lots of time to work because of COVID and sheltering in place. It never seemed like a hardship during those first few months. We were way too busy to even care too much when our air conditioning unit died. We did not know that COVID would make finding a replacement more difficult than finding toilet paper.

June, 2020

By June the temperatures climbed into the 100s. The plants did not seem to mind as long as I watered them every day. I preferred to do that early and stay in my office and look outside at them from the house. Unfortunately we did not have air conditioning during the month of June. So Vince installed a window air conditioner in the living room and it was bearable if we did not do much. We were still sheltering at home.

July, 2020

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At the end of July, a company out of Porterville, CA installed the air conditioner that had gone out on May 2. They neglected to hook the condenser pipe to anything inside the attic, and water poured into the attic for several days before it soaked through the ceiling of our spare room. The process Service Master took to dry out the room, remove all the drywall, bit by bit, bag it up and purify the air to remove any possible sign of mold lasted another month and a half.

August, 2020

August and September brought forest fires our way. Parts of our neighboring town, Three Rivers, had to evacuate. We were more fortunate. Our air conditioning now worked which was excellent since the air outside was not fit to breath. It fell from the sky in chunks and turned the sunrise a bright red. You can barely see it trying to peek through the smoke.

September, 2020

My husband is a perfectionist worrier, which I count as a blessing. Since the installers had done such a poor job with the condenser pipe, Vince called in a roofer and another air conditioner installer to make sure they had not damaged the roof or created any other damage that might cause more leakage once it started to rain. They both said, “Uh, yeah, this wasn’t done right. You have some issues.” We could see the hole in the roof and the fact that there was a large gap between the air conditioner and the roof. So in September the roofers came and worked. We didn’t need to keep sheltering at home, the world came to us.

October, 2020

During the course of events that careened through our lives, we decided to fulfill a longtime wish and move to the high desert. We both loved Prescott every time we visited, and in October we sold the home into which we had poured twenty years of our dreams.

As a part of the sale of the property, we had to insure that the septic and leach lines worked properly. That meant some more work to the outside of the house. I couldn’t even watch, but Vince took a video. Warning: It’s not black and white!

Thank you Cee for offering us this opportunity to share a little bit of our lives with you and those who follow you.

To my readers, please visit Cee and don’t forget to check out some of the other great entries as well. #Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge Outside of Your Home or View

Lens-Artist #118: Communication – Right from the Horse’s Mouth

Anne Leueen and Baisini the Horse host this week’s Lens-Artist Challenge #118. I’m super late getting in my entry, but when a horse encourages you to enter, you have to oblige even if you are tardy, right?

Manny, from California, and Justin Beaver, from Queensland, meet up again in Hawaii after years on the road and miles apart.

As a blogger, a photo blogger to be more exact, an insatiable drive impels us to communicate. We hope for someone, but definitely putting ourselves out there in the world.

Do you remember how hard communication was when you were in middle school? Yet having friends, sharing secrets, laughing, and listening is how we all learned to communicate. How sad we are that children can’t enjoy this intimate kind of communication without risk. Our schools are distance learning until further notice.

High School and clubs gave students further chances to learn to communicate. These FFA students, Edith and Rogelio, went to the National Competition with their FFA projects and came back to present at a Kiwanis meeting as if they had been making presentations for years. (Which they had been.) Aren’t they adorable?

While I don’t want anyone to get sick and die of COVID or anything else, I wish there was another way besides Zoom to insure that students would not have to miss out on these opportunities for the rest of this year. They can never make it up.

Learning new skills in communication doesn’t stop when we age. Our friend Jack Pizura decided he would learn how to paint after he turned 80. For a while he poured himself into communicating his ideals and what he loved through his art. He showed his paintings in a local restaurant and explained the meanings of some of them in case we missed the nuances. Yes, I had missed the hidden meanings on all of these, but I loved many of his paintings and enjoyed the evening.

These band students had a chance to play during a veteran’s program last year. Every time people assemble they communicate. They plan, they practice, they goof off, and make friends for life. All canceled this year.

In small schools students mingle frequently with the community often during programs. They are a community asset and it is their responsibility to perform and do their best.

The number of badges on this young man’s sash communicates that he has already taken many steps to become a leader. He prepares to lead the flag salute at the Woodlake Veteran’s Day program.

At our Kiwanis meetings, experts and professionals inform us about how their profession contributes to the well-being of our society. On this day the chief of the emergency room from Kaweah Delta Hospital and one of his staff members met with us at 6:30 am to tell us about care at our hospital. That communicated concern and going the extra mile (literally – Woodlake is 20 miles away from the nearest large town, Visalia, CA.)

I want to go out with a bang. Why is that? Because I am glad I live in the United States, in spite of the turmoil we have had, the COVID scare. We have come through so much.

"The bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there." -Francis Scott Key

We look to the skies for a sign. These fireworks give proof that we enjoy freedom for yet another day.

Tomorrow I will go back and enjoy others who joined in this week’s Lens Artists’ Challenge and I hope that you will do the same. Looking ahead to next week, Ann-Christine of Leya will lead the challenge, so be sure to visit her site on Saturday, October 17th at noon.

If I’m still slow next week too, my excuse is that I’m still in the moving process. We are counting down to November 14th. I packed one more room up and secured a moving van to move 20 years of accumulated stuff. Negotiating between companies took all day!!! I still don’t know for sure that I made the right choice, but I paid money, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

In case you have to move in the near future, you can check moving company’s reputations beyond YELP at the Department of Transportation website using the company’s DOT ID number. This was helpful communication because all I talked to were brokers and they all had nice things to communicate about their companies. Yelp did not always agree.

Don’t Forget

You have until next Monday to submit your Double Ennead for the Carrot Ranch Poetry Contest.