Articles written by Venus Bratsveen


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  • Writers Workshop

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Dec 28, 2023

    The girls teased Uncle Mike about his mystery lady all the way home. Mike took it all in stride. He had other things on his mind. Who was she? Why hasn’t he seen her before? He wasn’t buying her story about being in town to care for sickly parents. Why did she salt her ice cream? Nobody does that, except his little fish face. The girls noticed his distracted behavior and chalked it up to him being smitten with Asherah. They talked quietly in the back of the car. “I’m going back to the library tomorrow night. You have to invi...

  • A Journey Where the Place You Returned to has Changed

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Oct 19, 2023

    6 a.m. October 1st, 2023. The early morning autumn light gently filtered through my eyelids, waking me slowly, easing my foggy brain into another day’s existence. A languorous stretch produced the effect I hoped for- a furry headbutt to my shoulder as Tika rolled into my side. This was the magic hour; sleep slowly leaving my head, dawn lifting the veil of dreams and a rather insistent pup vying for my half-awake attention. I love this moment between worlds when nothing is required of me yet, just pet the dog and try to d...

  • Writers Workshop: The perfect Pasta Sauce

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Sep 28, 2023

    Nothing tastes better than homemade pasta sauce. No jarred sauced in the world can compare to fresh ingredients slow simmered for hours on the stove in your own kitchen. I’ve been making homemade sauce for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I mixed up cans of tomato sauce with paste and canned tomatoes, added spices, onion and garlic. I cooked it for an hour or two, then let it cool to be put into bags for freezing. At the time, I thought it was the best ever. Apartment living in the 80s didn’t allow for much mor...

  • Grasping at Straws

    Venus Bratsveen, Contributor|Updated Aug 10, 2023

    My husband and I love going to the movies. We both grew up enjoying a darkened theater, hot buttered popcorn and the thrill of the unknown unfolding before our eyes. We met and married in a small town in southern New Mexico. As adults living in Tiny Town, USA, there wasn’t a whole lot else to do on a sweltering hot weekend. Fortunately back then, the summer time was prime time for new movies to come out. As the years progressed and we moved to the booming metropolis we call Spokane, we still headed to the movies, r...

  • I'm Just Going to Stain the Deck

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Jun 22, 2023

    When perusing the treasures found at the Spokane Valley Veteran’s Thrift Store, I discovered quite a few cans of Cabot’s Australian Oil stain. Fifteen dollars for a gallon of stain that normally costs sixty or more seemed like a great deal. Our deck needed to be stained about three years ago and still hasn’t seen one ounce of the good stuff. It looked pretty rough. I bought six gallons of stain with the intent of finally getting to it. Proud of my purchase and feeling ambitious, I planned to stain the deck the next week....

  • The Family Portrait

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Feb 2, 2023

    Lizzy was a busy wife and mother of three. Three precocious children who never sat still. They even slept restless. Each morning Lizzy would wake her little angels, remake beds from scratch, sigh and get on with her day. Lizzy’s husband Carl worked as a car salesman at one of the local dealerships. He was a friendly, hard working and honest man who put in long hours and sold many cars and trucks. They were doing well financially and decided to invest in a Family Portrait Plan from a well known local photography studio. L...

  • A New Year

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Jan 6, 2023

    A new year inspires us with the hope of a new beginning and opportunities abound. We see this as a chance to try new things, strengthen our resolve to do better, do more, be more. Winter is waning and spring is just around the corner. With spring comes new growth. Is it any wonder our hearts quicken at the thought? A new year means new adventures, new promises or renewed promises to ourselves and others. As I write, the very thought of it makes me smile. What will I resolve to do or do better in the coming year? There are so...

  • Writers Workshop

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Oct 27, 2022

    If you’re lucky enough to have great cousins and lucky enough to spend time with them growing up, you’ll have a story or two that carries through adulthood and gives you a chuckle every time. This is one such story. My aunt and uncle loved to camp every summer. Like most of us, my family included, they started out with a tent, moved on to a pop-up and eventually to a sturdy camper complete with sleeping areas, kitchen and bathroom. Sometimes our families camped together, but most of my youth was spent in separate cam...

  • The Fair

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Sep 8, 2022

    The fair is a veritable smorgasbord, orgasbord, orgasbord, orgasbord, after the crowds have gone. So says Goose in the 1973 movie version of Charlotte’s Web by E.B White. And so it is, but not just after hours. My favorite childhood memories of the fair revolve around food and freedom the fair brings to us. Fair time, for younger me, was a time to run wild between the aisles of rides, games of chance and of course, food vans. All the bright lights, vibrant colors, larger than life imagery painted on the ride backgrounds m...

  • Luck

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Aug 25, 2022

    I love mornings like this. The sun was shining, a slight breeze blew and just a few people were walking in the park. Barker, my pride and joy mutt rambled along, sniffing the ground and chasing squirrels. As I ambled along, I noticed something shining out from under some leaves and dirt. I found a penny. I dug it out. It was shiny on one side, dull and dirty on the other. How interesting. I wondered what its story was. Maybe it’s good luck. I’m feeling luckier already. With a bounce to my step I continued my walk. It was jus...

  • All the Comforts of Home

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Aug 4, 2022

    In my travels, I’ve enjoyed places that had all the comforts of home and those that did not. Yet I still found joy in what I had. Perhaps it’s because I’ve gone without, lived poor, chose paying the rent over eating. It’s funny how strife shapes one. It can either make you more grateful for the smallest of comforts or resentful for the things one doesn’t have. I have always chosen to be grateful. That can be attributed to my upbringing. My parents taught us to be humble and grateful for the things we had. I don’t think I’m a...

  • Fog Bow

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Jun 2, 2022

    My morning walks with Tika, our 5-year-old Border collie rescue dog, are always my favorite time of day. We tend to go to one particular park to throw the ball, followed by a short walk. Each season brings its own beauty to the scenery. Summer mornings are warm, the sky is clear and sunrise is sometime before we get up! It’s a great season filled with long balmy days and cool clear nights. The solitude of our morning walk in the park is often interrupted by other dogs playing with Tika and, for me, a nice chat with said d...

  • Spring Loaded Action

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Apr 14, 2022

    Tika loves her walks in the morning. She follows me endlessly, ensuring I don’t get off-track and do something useless like grab a tea or say, wake up before rushing out the door to go to the park. Mornings are time for fast, goal oriented movements. Get dressed, throw some mouthwash in that trash can you call a mouth and get out the door. And so my mornings go. Every single morning, rain, shine, snow, sleet and or hail—well you get the picture. There’s no sleeping in for me unless I’m sick. I know this sounds whiny and it...

  • A Moment

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Apr 8, 2022

    How does the song go? “I close my eyes. Only for a moment then the moment’s gone.” (Dust in the Wind, Kansas- Eric Benet) Oh, but a sweet moment. There is a place I go to de-stress, unwind, and just relax. I don’t have to change out of my pajamas or comb my hair. I don’t have to drive anywhere. It’s my thinking place and I do close my eyes. This is a dreamy collection of several places that make me happy. I come here whenever I need it. It’s spring time in New Mexico. I’m walking in a forest edged meadow. The sun is warm on...

  • Molly & John, a Modern Day, Real World Love Story

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Mar 24, 2022

    In this day of technology first, it can be hard to meet actual people. Swipe left, swipe right, whatever that means and a little cyber-stalking goes a long way towards not finding someone you can truly relate to. This isn’t that kind of story. You see, both Molly and John are folks 50+ years old. Once you reach a certain age (one that differs for each of us but generally involves a renewed sense of awe and appreciation for the simpler things) you really get down to the meat o...

  • My Cheney

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Mar 10, 2022

    In 1975 Simon & Garfunkel reunited to perform a song called My Little Town. It’s a sad tone about a grimy little town with no future. The streets are dirty, the people dull, even the rainbow is black, devoid of color, light and life. I could relate to that place in my youth. My own east coast town of 80,000 residents was dirty, sad and spent. Life was a series of days completed with no major mishaps or joys. Let’s just say the teen years were rough. Looking back, I realize that I saw only the negative side of city life bec...

  • Holiday Spirit

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Dec 23, 2021

    Whatever you celebrate, be it a Christian Christmas, Jewish Hanukkah or the secular holidays of African-American Kwanzaa or Festivus (highlighted by the popular sitcom Seinfeld,) it’s undeniably a special time of year. A time when petty politics, disagreements and neighborly squabbles are set aside and replaced by a desire to do better and be better for each other. It is truly my favorite time of year. Recently, my company Holiday party was a wonderful example of just how giving people can be. It was a great party, catered b...

  • The Ritual

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Nov 4, 2021

    Sharpened axe and a killer instinct honed by years of dealing death. Slathered sunscreen and a brimmed hat secured with a strap. Tonight we dine on the blood of our enemies. Actually, tonight we dine on fried chicken, maybe some potato salad and fresh squeezed lemonade. I might bake a cake too. But first, its chicken chasing time. That’s the part I’m not too crazy about, but a must unless we want to go vegan. My chicken murder ritual consists of several parts. First, I prepare myself by protecting my ‘oh so fair’ skin with so...

  • Summer Breeze

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Jun 24, 2021

    Summer breeze makes me feel fine Blowin’ through the jasmine in my mind The refrain from a song by Seals & Crofts always heralds summer’s joys for me. I listened to it while writing this piece. “Summer Breeze” reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Now my mind drifts to 1972. I was nine years old and I remember soaking up sunshine & pool water at the Bern Township pool. I’m taken back to that delightful, simple time when anything was possible and everything was perfect. Reverie. I’ve just closed my eyes again Climb...

  • February's buttercup

    Venus Bratsveen|Updated Feb 27, 2020

    Sixteen-year-old Cheney High School student Mayah Spakousky brought in the season’s first buttercup by a female this past Monday, earning her $5 from the Cheney Free Press. The first boy to bring in a buttercup did so in January....

  • What you may not know about 'White Christmas'

    VENUS BRATSVEEN, Contributor|Updated Dec 26, 2014

    The Holidays bring to mind favorite traditions, events and activities that bring family and friends together. Some of my happiest memories are those of watching my favorite Holiday movies with my family. My all-time favorite is “White Christmas.” Recently I learned a few new tidbits about this beloved film. Washington native Bing Crosby recorded Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” in 1942. But it wasn’t until 1954 that the best-selling single was turned into a musical featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and...

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