Category Archives: Arbitrary Thoughts

Reflections on A to Z Challenge

What was it like to post an article everyday (except most Sundays) for an entire month? For me, this year was much easier than when I attempted this in 2018 and 2019 on my writing website, I feel this year it was easier mostly because I kept the doors wide open when it came to my theme.

In 2018 I did a series of posts talking about every aspect of a book I was writing at the time, titled The Manx (I still haven’t finished it). It takes place on the Isle of Man located in the middle of the Irish Sea. What a fun place to research! Now, all I have to do is actually go there. It sounds like an amazing place to spend a few weeks, along with Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

In 2019 I covered everything about short stories. At the time I was just starting to write short stories so by writing 26 articles on the subject I felt I would finish as the number one story teller of the century. Dreams are fantastic. I only completed through the letter R, but I was still stoked that I got as far as I did. That’s what great about this challenge, you can go as far as you want. You want to get all the way through Z, right? This year I did. Yay to me!

I still haven’t gone to the Isle of Man (it’s on my bucket list), nor have I finished the book. My short story library has grown and they are just waiting for that acceptance letter. I’m not sure if my stories are too weird for most publications or if I need an editor. Either way, I’ve had a blast writing them.

So, what happened this year with A to Z? I covered a wide variety of subjects. Did you like them? Want more? Did you hate them? If you said yes, they were awful, you absolutely must explain why. If you don’t all your socks will soon have holes in the big toe. I love comments, and my favorites from the month were from everyone who left them. Thank you. I give you all the blessing of never having an odd sock, ever.

I hope you all stick around and keep reading ArbitraryDustBunnies. You never know what might pop up!

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#AtoZChallenge 2023 Reflections

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Zounds! We’re Done!

It has been a month since the beginning of this mad adventure with A to Z Blogging Challenge, and I’m proud to say that I made it!! I hope you have enjoyed reading these daily musings. My goal for this challenge was to get into the habit of writing blogs again.

The last two years have been rough on getting anything done except packing up one house, living in a rental surrounded by boxes for nine months then moving again. It sucked all the fun out of everything else. Happily, we are now settled in our new home and I can get back to some of the things I really enjoy.

So, my plan is to start writing posts about once per week or so. It could turn into just once per month, but the idea is to write about something as often as my creative mind will let me.

I need your help. You have read everything from the April blogging challenge, and I hope you have read some of the others as well. Please leave a comment of what more you would like to read about. What was your favorite subject? Favorite post? Did you stick with me through the entire challenge?

Thank you, to each of you who stopped by this month to leave a comment or a like. It meant a lot to me. ZOUNDS! It’s been a blast!

This post brought to you by the last letter in this challenge, Z and by:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Z

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A Story by ChatGPT

Recently I have been hearing a lot about the AI trends and what they mean to writers and artists. I dabble in both so I have been experimenting a little bit with them. Today i was on ChatGPT and gave it this prompt:

Write a story using the words: Uncle, understand, umbrella, underground, and unfortunate.

Before we get to the story that was written, I want to say right off the bat that if this is the type of output writers are concerned about then I’m no longer worried. I haven’t fully tested any other platforms, but I do plan to check out Jasper with the same prompt (I’ll let you know how it works).

So, without further adieu I give you, “Jack and the Rainy Day”

Once upon a time, there was a man named Jack who was visiting his uncle in the city. Jack had always lived in a small town and was fascinated by the fast-paced lifestyle of the city. His uncle, who was always busy with work, had arranged a tour of the city for Jack.

As they were walking down the street, Jack noticed that the sky was getting darker and the clouds were gathering above. His uncle, noticing Jack’s concern, brought out an umbrella and offered it to Jack. Jack was surprised that his uncle had thought ahead and brought the umbrella with him.

The tour continued, and Jack was amazed by the hustle and bustle of the city. They walked through different neighborhoods, and Jack was surprised to see how different life was in the city than in his small town. After walking for a while, Jack’s uncle led him to a subway station. Jack had never been on the underground before and was excited to experience it.

Unfortunately, as they were standing on the platform waiting for the train, Jack realized that he had left his jacket behind on the bench they were sitting on earlier. As they rushed back to retrieve it, they missed the train. Jack was disappointed, but his uncle assured him that they would catch the next one.

While waiting for the next train, Jack’s uncle explained to him that life in the city can be unpredictable and that one should always be prepared for unexpected situations. Jack understood the importance of being well prepared and was grateful to his uncle for teaching him this valuable lesson.

As they rode the train back to his uncle’s apartment, Jack reflected on the day’s events and realized how fortunate he was to have such a wise and caring uncle. He realized that even in unfortunate situations, there is always something to be learned.

From that day onwards, Jack always carried an umbrella and was more aware of his surroundings. He grew to understand and appreciate the fast-paced lifestyle of the city and made sure to visit his uncle often to learn more.

This post brought to you by the letter U and:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter U

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Why Get a Tattoo?

After I turned 60 and survived breast cancer, I decided to get a tattoo. I never had one, but I always wanted one. With the help of my daughter (who has several) I found a great artist and together we designed a tattoo for my wrist.

For many, getting a tattoo is a deeply personal decision. But beyond aesthetic reasons, many people opt to get inked as a way of expressing their identity or undergoing personal transformation. For me it was a lifelong desire, but for others? There are a number of reasons.

A form of self-expression

For many people, tattoos are a way of expressing who they are or what they believe in. Whether it’s a quote from a favorite book, a symbol of faith, or an homage to a loved one, tattoos can be a way of communicating your values and identity to the world. This is particularly true for people who feel like they don’t fit into societal norms and want to show their individuality.

A means of empowerment

Tattoos have long been associated with outlaws, rebels, and other countercultural groups. But in recent years, tattoos have become more mainstream, and getting inked is now seen as an act of empowerment for many people. From survivors of abuse to people in recovery from addiction, tattoos can be a symbol of overcoming challenges and reclaiming control over one’s body and life.

Mark life transitions

For some people, getting a tattoo is a way of marking a major life event or transition. This could be a wedding or a birth, or it could be a milestone birthday or the loss of a loved one. By getting a tattoo, people can commemorate these significant moments in a way that feels meaningful and lasting.

Creative expression

Tattoos are a form of art, and for some people, getting inked is an opportunity to express their creativity and showcase their individual style. From intricate designs to colorful murals, tattoos can be a form of self-expression that is both beautiful and personal.

A few things to keep in mind before taking the plunge

The day I got my tattoo…

If you’re considering getting a tattoo, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you end up with something you’re happy with.

Do your research:

Before you commit to getting a tattoo, it’s important to research tattoo artists in your area. Check out their portfolios and read reviews from previous clients. This will give you an idea of their style and skill level and help you choose an artist that matches your interests and preferences.

7 years later.

Think about the design:

Take your time choosing a design that you love. Tattoo artists can help you with the design, but it’s important to come up with a concept that resonates with you. Think about the significance behind the tattoo and consider how it will look on your body over time. As you can see from the photos that mine looks so beautifully detailed initially. The ink has slowly bled into the surrounding skin and lost some of the details. My artist informed me that this would happen so I’m not surprised by the changes.

Be prepared for the pain:

Tattoos can be painful, so be prepared for some discomfort. Different areas of the body are more sensitive than others, so consider the location of your tattoo. If you’re concerned about the pain, talk to your artist beforehand and ask about any numbing creams or other options that might be available. For me, I did not have any numbing and boy did it hurt! The wrist is one of the more sensitive areas to get inked and I am so glad that it wasn’t an extensive design. The artist will be able to guide you to the least painful places.

Follow aftercare instructions:

Once your tattoo is complete, it’s important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your artist. This typically involves keeping the area clean and moisturized while it heals. Be prepared for some itching and scabbing, but resist the urge to scratch or pick at the tattoo. Keep the area moisturized (I used Aquaphor Ointment), and if you have any concerns during the healing process, don’t hesitate to reach out to your artist for advice.

Embrace the experience:

Getting a tattoo is a unique and personal experience, and it can be an opportunity for self-expression and creativity. Embrace the process and enjoy the experience of working with a talented artist to create a beautiful piece of art that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Getting a tattoo can be a wonderful way to express yourself and create a beautiful, lasting piece of art. With some research, preparation, and aftercare, you can ensure that your tattoo experience is positive and rewarding. Remember to take your time (a tattoo cannot be easily erased), choose a design that speaks to you, and enjoy the experience of creating something that reflects your personality and interests. I have not regretted mine for a single day and am thinking about the next one (hopefully before I’m 90!).

This post brought to you by the letter T and:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter T

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Quire, Quiddity, Quixotic, Qi, and Qat

Words that have the letter Q in them are worth the most in Scrabble (Z ties it). I went online to see what the value was (it’s been a while since I played the game) and I found some interesting trivia about Scrabble and the letter Q.

First off, there are lists upon lists of words to aid you in your quest for the high value tiles. If you have a Q on your rack you actually do not need a U to succeed. But, only 5% of the words that have a Q can live without the U. If you pop over to you will find several lists of using the letter Q without a U. I haven’t heard of most of these words, but if you are a Scrabble Queen you’ll want to keep this link handy. Want a full list of words with a Q anywhere in the word? has you covered.

Now if you want to learn from a pro about each letter in the game, head over to Will Anderson’s You-Tube channel (I linked to Q, but you can browse his channel for other letters). After watching his seven minute video (OK, I actually skimmed it), the biggest takeaway came in the first 60 seconds. Spoiler alert! Mr. Anderson rates the Q as the absolute worst tile to have out of all of them. I may have to agree.

I did find that Q is worth 10 points so if you have one, play it early. If it is left at the end of the game your opponent will gain 20 points. OUCH! If you find yourself stuck with a Q just remember two simple words: Qi and Qat. Either that or just trade it in and hope for an E.

This post brought to by the letter Q and:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Q

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Lately I have been languishing over the letter ‘L’. It is a simple little letter who, when not capitalized, is just a line. L, l, line.

So many lovely words begin with ‘L’; like, loyal, lucky, laugh, luscious, lavish and so many more. ‘L’ is also the first letter for some less than loathsome words; lost, lame, lonely, licentious, livid, lousy, and listless are just a few.

L is not quite the middle of the alphabet, but it is only a single spot away which leaves the poor L not the center of anything very lavish unless you’re talking about helix, agley, folio, igloo, or zilch.

As I ponder this lost little letter I am reminded that without it, there would be no lions, only ions, and any luck would turn into uck.

So, I am thankful for this little fellow of a letter.

It is as lovely as a lilac on a lonely road in Louisiana.

This post is brought to you by the letter L and…

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter L

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The other day a friend posted that one of their favorite words is kerfuffle because it was a party on her mouth to just say the word. So today, I give you:


Say it with me: Kerfuffle.

Say it four times, really fast: Kerfuffle, Kerfuffle, Kerfuffle, Kerfuffle.

Straight from Merium Webster

kerfuffle: noun

ker·​fuf·​fle kər-ˈfə-fəl 

plural: kerfuffles

a disturbance or commotion typically caused by a dispute or conflict

It’s not the only school with dress code issues; almost every week there’s a local story about some kerfuffle over what kids wear to school.—Belinda Luscombe

The Evolution of Kerfuffle

Fuffle is an old Scottish verb that means “to muss” or “to throw into disarray”—in other words, to (literally) ruffle someone’s (figurative) feathers. The addition of car-, possibly from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning “wrong” or “awkward,” didn’t change its meaning much. In the 19th century carfuffle, with its variant curfuffle, became a noun, which in the 20th century was embraced by a broader population of English speakers and standardized to kerfuffle, referring to a more figurative feather-ruffling. There is some kerfuffle among language historians over how the altered spelling came to be favored. One theory holds that it might have been influenced by onomatopoeic words like kerplunk that imitate the sound of a falling object hitting a surface.

Synonyms of kerfuffle Just click back there on that there kerfuffle link.

Here are a few of the synonyms that I thought were fun:
Be sure to check out the entire list of 95 synonyms. You’ll be glad you did.

I hope your day is not filled with actual kerfuffling, but if you say it enough times, really fast, as you walk through the mall, I’m sure the looks you get will make you laugh all day.

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter K and by:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter K


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French Fries Please

There was a time in the past when a french fry was a french fry. Mom would slice up potatoes and fry them for a fat, finger long, salt drenched potatoey treat. Today, you can get these scrumptious goodies nearly any way you can think of.

Where did the humble fry originate?

Don’t let the name fool you. Fries most likely came from Belgium, but it depends who you’re talking to. One legend says that the vendors in Paris sold deep fried potatoes on a stick along the on the Pont Neuf—the oldest bridge in the city. Although, Belgium claims to have invented them during a particularly rough winter in the 1680’s. the only issue with this story is that potatoes weren’t really a part of their diet at this time in history. Maybe we could just say that somewhere in a French speaking country the humble fry was born.

How do you take your fries?

Personally, I take my fries hot enough to almost singe the inside of my mouth, with plenty of salt and nothing else. Curly fires are pretty good, but don’t touch cheese to them. Many people I know have to have them drowning in so much ketchup that it drips down their chin. To me, you all are just eating ketchup with a side of fires. Then there are cheesy fires, chili fries, home fries, steak fries, tornado fries, and waffle fries. The possibilities are endless.

When in England…

Americans and the Brits laugh at each other for the silly way we have labeled things. In the USA the storage space on the back of a car is called a trunk whereas in England it is a boot. You can always leg it to the bus stop in England or when in America you just run. Biscuits there are cookies here. Fries are not immune to these fun differences. Here in the United States we have fries, and in England they have chips. What gets confusing is we also have chips, but we are referring to potato chips – those thin round crispy crunchy fried potatoes that come in a brightly colored bag. So, when you travel to England just leg it to the neighborhood delicatessen for some chips.

Who makes the best fries?

I hope by voicing my opinion here, I do not get inundated with hate mail. I have my likes and dislikes just like everyone else does, but in my most humble opinion, I don’t think Mom makes the best fries, sorry Mom. For me, french fries are one of those cravings that I drive out of my way to satisfy and, thankfully, that craving only hits every once in a while. Where do I go for what is my choice of best fry? Burger King.

What do you love about fries? Do you have a favorite? Tell us your french fry story in the comments, but be nice to me and my cravings for Burger King fries. LOL.

This post brought to you by A to Z Blogging Challenge and the Letter F.

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter F

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Arbitrary – adjective – defined as:

  1. based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.”his mealtimes were entirely arbitrary”Similar:capriciouswhimsicalrandomchanceerraticunpredictableinconsistentwildhit-or-misshaphazardcasualunmotivatedmotivelessunreasonedunreasonableunsupportedirrationalillogicalgroundlessunjustifiableunjustifiedwantondiscretionarypersonalsubjectivediscretionalOpposite:rationalreasoned
  2. (of power or a ruling body) unrestrained and autocratic in the use of authority.”arbitrary rule by King and bishops has been made impossible”Similar:despotictyrannicaltyrannousperemptorysummaryautocraticdictatorialauthoritariandraconianautarchicantidemocraticoppressiverepressiveundemocraticilliberalimperiousdomineeringhigh-handedabsoluteuncontrolledunlimitedunrestrainedOpposite:democraticaccountable
  3. Mathematics-(of a constant or other quantity) of unspecified value.
  4. ART
© KJ Scrimgeour

Today is the first day of A to Z Blogging Challenge. For the letter A I have chosen the word Arbitrary (happens to be the month’s theme as well). Tomorrow…the letter B. I think we need some bubbles or baubles, maybe some blunders or bungles. I’ll let your know tomorrow.

Until then, I hope your day is filled with wonderful arbitrary happenings.


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A to Z Blogging Challenge

It has been a few years since I joined in on this challenge and I’m looking forward to entertaining you with a month of Arbitrary things. We’re going to have fun!

So…what’s the deal with this A to Z thing you might ask? Well, it is an opportunity for a bunch of bloggers to gather through the month of April and are each challenged to publish one post per day through the month of April (skipping Sundays). In some way, each post is to be relevant to the letter of the day; April 1 = A, April 2 = B, April 3 = C, and so on all the way to the last day of April which = Z. A to Z.

Are you ready?? Enjoy the posts that will come to you in April. Like I said, my theme is Arbitrary, meaning I could post just about anything: a short story, hiking adventures, some tips for your garden, and so forth. We recently moved to Tucson so I have tons to share about life in the Sonoran desert.

Stay tuned. The fun starts on Saturday!

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