Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Scribe's Blog Backfired

If you've been reading my blog, then you know my oldest daughter, The Scribe, has a "blog" too.  Well, not really, but that's what she calls it.  For weeks she's been writing one note a day and then putting them into the same locker at school--too bad she doesn't know who the locker belongs to.  It's actually been a good thing though because every time she writes a "blog," she writes two copies, one to drop in the locker and one to keep so she'll remember what she wrote.

I've been quite impressed by this whole thing.  It shows a lot of determination for a little nine-year-old.  Plus, it's been fun reading things she wouldn't tell me and doesn't know I'm reading.

Anyway, here are the back stories if you're interested:

"The Scribe" Started A Blog!
The Scribe Wasn't Kidding

Now, before I go on, I have to remind you of two important things . . . 

First off, my daughter has gotten to be good friends with the girl she put the "kick me" note on.  They're either the best of friends or bitter enemies.  But I have to admit that I've never seen The Scribe have more fun with any other friend.  When those two get along, they play for hours, laugh and giggle.  But when they don't get along--I'd rather be in Antartica on its coldest night.

The other important thing to remember is that there is a kid in my daughter's class and he insists on calling her "Mama."  The Scribe DOES NOT like this child.  He follows her at recess, in the lunchroom, on the way to the van.  He's like a lost puppy and I think the poor kid is in love with The Scribe.

Do you remember this?
When I got there, the room flew as a ball of chaos.  Kids ran around.  They threw paper and cracked dumb jokes.  I saw The Scribe and another girl glaring at each other from across the room.  Then a disheveled little boy ran up to my daughter and said, "You're a baby!  A . . . B-A-B-Y."  Well wasn't that fantastic--he's in third grade AND he can spell.

The Scribe folded her arms.  "Am not!  You're the baby."

The boy's eyebrows crinkled in thought and he tapped his pointer finger against his bottom lip.  "Fine.  I guess I am a baby, but if I am, that makes you my Mama!"  He feigned baby cries, becoming one of the best actors I've ever seen.  "Mama!  Mama!"  Even though he teased my daughter, I have to admit that kid's pretty witty.

So, now that I've practically killed you with back story, I wanted to tell you about how The Scribe's Blog Backfired!

I picked these two pictures because The Scribe reminds me of a cross between this:

And This:

Yesterday, after I brought the girls to school, I sneaked into The Scribe's bedroom and read the new blog entry.

Name: #9

I am going to talk more about my life.  Yesterday, a guy was mowing the lawn.  I like that guy.  He's cute and nice.  Someday, I will marry that guy.  When he mows the lawn it is a good day.

I gasped as I read it.  Could she be in love? She's nine!

I turned the page and read on.

Dear Mom,

I paused.  It was addressed to me?  Really?

You've been looking at my blogs!
That last blog wasn't true.  It was a joke.  A very funny joke.  It was fals fals I tell you.  I know what you've been doing.

And that's exactly how she spelled "false" as "fals, fals."  So, she wasn't in love with the lawn mower boy.  That made me stop.  If I didn't have the correct blog, then what had she brought to school?

My phone rang just after noon.  I'll give you one guess who it was . . .  Every time my phone rings, EVERY TIME The Scribe is at school--and my phone rings--it's always her or her teacher!

"Mama?" The Scribe whispered urgently.  I knew it was bad because she usually only calls me "Mom."

"What, honey?  What's wrong?"

"Can you come to the school for a minute.  I . . ." she broke into a sob.  "I'm having a bad day.  I don't want to go home though, I don't want you or my class thinking I'm a pansy . . .  I just need to talk to you about my blog.  I'll meet you by the front doors."

I rushed over to the school.  The Scribe waited, squatting by the front bushes which was odd in itself, but especially strange since they usually make the kids wait in the office.

She ran out after seeing me.  She looked from side to side as she ran, like she'd been hired at a secret spy or something.  "I'm supposed to be in lunch," she whispered.  "But I snuck a call on the phone and met you here instead."

"Won't they wonder where you are?" I asked, whispering too for some dumb reason.

"Well, I checked in with the lunch people and then left when the ladies weren't looking.  Anyway we don't have much time.  I just had to tell you, 'I'm sorry.'  You were right.  I never want to tell a boy that I like him again."

Last year, The Scribe and I made a deal that she won't have a boyfriend until she's sixteen.  That means, she can't hang out with boys and she definitely can't tell them she likes them.

"I didn't listen to you, Mom," she went on.  "I put a note in that locker . . ."  She suddenly looked toward the door and pulled me behind a tree.  "Have you ever had a weird feeling?" she asked.  "Have you ever just known something?"

I nodded.  "Yeah, I guess you could say that."

"Well, yesterday when I was writing my blog, I got this strange feeling that I knew who my blogs were going to . . .  I just knew they were going to Kobe."

"But how did you know?  Have you seen him by that locker."

"No," she looked sad, "I just had this feeling.  So, last night, I wrote a blog and I told him that I love him."

"You did what!" I nearly screamed.

"Shhhh."  She put her pointer finger to her mouth.  "Do you want to hear this story or not?"

"Fine," I whispered, playing along even though I knew we wouldn't get in trouble since I was there with her.

"I wrote the love blog and put it in his locker.  I wrote my name at the bottom and everything.  I just didn't put his name on it, in case it wasn't his locker and it was Dylan's or something."

I could have laughed, but I tried keeping a straight face.

"Anyway, after the bell rang, I walked into the classroom and guess who had my blog."

"Who?" I asked breathlessly.


"The kid who calls you Mama?"

She nodded and tears filled her cherub-like eyes.  "He thinks I love him, Mom.  He's so stink'n happy.  It was harder to sneak away from him than it was to get away from the lunch lady!  But that isn't the worst part."  She really cried then and actually threw her arms around my waist.  She started talked about the "kick me" kid--her best friend.  Apparently they weren't getting along again.  "She saw Ryan reading the note," The Scribe said.  "I thought we were best friends, but she saw him reading that note . . . and she took it from him . . . and read it to the whole class.  Everyone thinks I like that baby!"

I hugged her as deep cries racked her dramatic little soul.  I patted her on the back and I know it's horrible, but as I patted her I thought, I can blog this . . . this will make for a great follow-up blog.

Needless to say, The Scribe is very happy we're leaving on a cruise tomorrow.  She doesn't want to go to school for "forever" as she put it.  She did finish the day out yesterday and I nearly busted with amusement when Ryan walked her to our van, opened the door and as he shut it he said, "I'll see you on Monday . . . Mama."

So, The Scribe won't be writing any more love letters for a long time.  Last night I asked her how she was doing.

"I'm not good," she replied.  "Now I can see why some of your friends hate blogging.  It can make things go all wrong."

Or all right, I thought.  I know she'll laugh about this when she's older.  She's always getting herself into these crazy situations where she meets the strangest children and then has amazing stories to tell me about them.  She's a hoot and I love every minute!

Anyway, we're leaving tomorrow.  I hope you'll like the interviews I have set up for next week.  I interviewed my brother, Grandma Gertie, The Hippie and The Scribe.

I'm excited to read your comments and visit your blogs when I get back.  Have a great week!  And remember when you blog, sometimes public love letters aren't the best way to go.


Friday, April 29, 2011

To Implant or not To Implant

Thank goodness I'm not referring to hair--my heart goes out to any woman who needs hair implants.  It also makes me think of Roald Dahl's book The Witches, where true witches have no hair and always wear gloves.  Anyway, I'm getting off track here.

This post is about my "friend."  Let's call her . . . Pacha.  "Why Pacha?" you ask.  Because Pacha sounds very sassy--like someone who wears big boots AND knows how to make soup.

My friend Pacha, wears a size one pants but has A minus boobs to match--literally.  She's very athletic.  She'll take almost any dare and she's always been against breast augmentation.  By the way, isn't that an ugly word?  Augmentation.  It sounds like they pull out an ironing board and iron your boobs to death!

Anyway, "Pacha" was always against artificial boobs, until one day nine years ago.  She was pregnant.  For the first time in her life, she'd gained a bit of weight.  Outside the birds chirped.  Sunlight wafted through the windows.  The house smelled like pumpkin soup, because as stated above, anyone named Pacha likes soup.

Pacha began walking down the stairs.  She patted her round belly and cooed to the baby.  She didn't expect it to happen.  She didn't expect a life-altering moment, but that's when it happened.  As Pacha descended those stairs, her boobs bounced--actually bounced.  Her life had forever changed.  She felt like one of the birds outside, like she could fly.  She smiled for weeks after that because she'd felt her baby kick and her boobs bounce!

So, now Pacha, that soup-loving dare devil, is done having children.  She's done breastfeeding and her boobs are back to an A minus--literally.  She can't get that first bounce out of her mind.  God gave her boobs, for nine years of pregnancies and breastfeeding she was made of gold.  But now . . . she's done and her boobs deflated until they were as flat as melted cheese.

I have a question for you, oh lucky people who own a set.  What would you do if you were Pacha?

Would you smile proudly.  Go out and buy a sword and a mace.  Be glad that you're one of the only women on this planet who was born to be Amazonian.  Heck, Pacha wouldn't have had to lop off her right breast; you can't mutilate what you don't have!  I bet she could shoot an arrow with the best of them.  Pacha could even kill an Orc . . . because she has no boobs and she's just like Goldie Hawn.


Or (if you were Pacha) would you buy a push-up bra, one of those nice watery ones that make you feel like a walking aquarium?  Would you lie to the world because you're a wuss who likes water!

Would you get fake boobs, because you're obsessed with Tigger?  You're so addicted to bouncing that you can't get it out of your mind?

Or finally would you drink caffeine like crazy since someone told you it can make your boobs swell?

Please give me your advice.  Poor Pacha.  She's feeling superficial and contradictory.  At least she still loves soup.  She loved the fact that when she went sky diving she was extra aerodynamic.  Would she lose part of herself only to gain bouncy perfection?  Is this a stupid thing to be concerned with?  Thank you for your help, all of you.  You are truly the best blog gurus I know!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Hippie Had a Playdate and I Had a Dream

The Hippe cracks me up.  She got ready for her playdate, dressed in her Sunday best, had me do her hair.  Her best friend is one of our neighbors and they see each other all the time.  I couldn't understand why this certain day had to be so special.

When our neighbor knocked on the door, The Hippie ran downstairs in a flurry of taffeta.  "Oh hello.  Isn't it wonderful seeing you here.  Would you like to come in for some tea?"

"Sure."  Her friend shrugged.  They both have light blonde hair and could pass for sisters.  The Hippie asked if they could have sprite and popsicles so they could stir the popsicles into their sprite.

"I guess," I said and the "tea" party began. 

Now do you remember me saying how The Zombie Elf had strep?  Well, at that very moment while The Zombie Elf and Doctor Jones (my one-year-old) were sleeping, I started feeling very sick.

"What's going on in the kitchen?" The Scribe asked.  "They're being awfully girlie."

"They're having a tea party.  I bet you could play with them too if you wanted to."

"No.  That's girl stuff.  I'll just work on my blog."  I can't believe that kid.  She's still writing paper "blogs" and putting them into the same random locker at school.

So, with all that going on.  I rested on the couch because I was really feeling quite sick. 


I closed my eyes and before I knew it, I was dreaming.

The air was sweet, like a bursting pomegranate.  Leaves dotted the forest floor.  I wore the most beautiful dress, made from white muslin and the finest lacy, ribbon trims.  I ran, knowing something waited behind me.  The place exuded perfection but no matter how hard I tried shaking the feeling, something was wrong.

I looked through the canopy above me, where sparse rays of sun shot through.  That's when I started running, hoping I headed east.  I hurtled past bulky trees and mangled bushes.  My feet hit the packed earth and the cold air stung in my throat.  I knew where I wanted to go, even though the place hurt more than the worst moments in life.

I saw the tree on the back of my lids, remembered its spindle-like limbs and dying bark.  I turned a corner and skidded to a halt because before me rested the tree of life.  I hugged its bark although it scratched me as I dug my nails into its sides.  I cried as I hugged it.  "It's been so long," I sobbed.  "I buried it here so long ago, but now you're dying because of me."

I knelt at the base of the tree.  My hands yanked at a bush and tore at the ground underneath.  I delved deeper, further into the ground, until my bleeding hands hit the top of a small box.  I shook as I pulled it from the ground, blew the dirt off and dusted it gingerly.

I hugged the box to my chest, in the same way I'd hugged the tree of life moments before.  I opened teary eyes and held the box up.  "I missed you . . . more than you know."  My fingers flipped a latch.  I saw the dirt-lined wood and slowly lifted the wooden lid.

My heart dropped as I looked at the contents. They weren't what I had hoped for, but were exactly what I'd feared.  In the bottom half of the box, in an orderly little pile, lay Zeke's ashes.  I poured them into my right hand, stared at them as I knelt in the dirt.  I didn't care how much mud painted my white dress, or that my hair hung in ragged clumps.  Tears made clean trailing on my ashen face and a few of my tears mingled with the ashes in my hand.

"I miss you," I sobbed.  "For the time we had and the time we lost."  I held my hand up and as I looked at the dying tree, I blew Zeke's ashes toward it.  Every ash, every piece of my son, floated and then clung to the bark of the tree, restoring life.  By the time all of the ashes swirled delicately into place amongst the bark, the tree of life looked anew.  I stood and patted the tree.  "Thank you dear friend, for trying to bring my son back.  I'm sorry I asked so much of you."

I walked away, back in the direction I'd come from.  The box lay empty, sprawled at the base of the magnificently vibrant tree.  The whole forest felt different as I walked along.  I couldn't help thinking that it reminded me of a healing soul.

I woke up after that. The Hippie and her friend had gone through half the bag of popsicles.  The Scribe had written a very long blog and the babies still slept.

"Are you okay, mom?" The Hippie asked.

"I think so," I said, but I felt cold and achy all over. "I just had the strangest dream."

"What was it about?" she asked.

"It was about Zeke, about me letting go of him one last time . . . about a forest that represented a healing soul."

I went to the doctor shortly after that.  I don't have strep, but I have a bad sinus infection.  I'm on an antibiotic and I am feeling better today.  I need to get better before we leave for our cruise on Sunday.  Oh and that reminds me, I wanted to tell you that I have all my blog posts pre-written for when I'm gone, and that my awesome brother will be guest blogging two of the days next week.

Do you ever have weird dreams? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Sagget Lover Returns

The Zombie Elf has had strep four times in the last two months.  Needless to say, we've seen a lot of The Sagget Lover.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm referring to our pediatrician.  I swear the man hates me and even though our personalities don't mesh, we try getting along for the health of my children.

He's a cantankerous man and I try showing him the happy side of life . . . too bad it only makes him grumpier.
So, yesterday I took The Zombie Elf to the doctor.  We're going on a cruise next week and he CAN NOT be sick.  I made the kids seven outfits each.  My children tried on the clothes--so excited--but when my son suddenly spiked a 103.0 fever, I knew I had to bring him to The Sagget Lover again.

When that cantankerous doctor walked into the room, I couldn't believe his thumb.  He had a big, blue cast on it, which I thought was ironic considering the post I put up yesterday about A Thumb-altering Moment.  I tried not to stare, but it just filled the room like a fat elephant.

You know how some guys can't look you in the eyes and they just stare at your boobs instead . . .  Well, that's what I did to him.  I mean--I didn't stare at his pecks.  I couldn't pull my eyes from his thumb.

"I assume, you'd like to ask me how my weekend went," Blue Thumb said.

That's normally where I'd ask him how he was doing, but I was so excited to tell him about my date with Cade, I couldn't hold my happiness in.  "No, actually.  I wanted to tell you that I went Sky Diving.  No biggie," I said nonchalantly, still studying that massive thumb.

"You went Sky Diving."

"Sure did."

"I knew it," he said.  "So you're one of those kinds of people."

Now, The Sagget Lover can make anything sound bad.  He has this way of taking my perfectly happy balloon and trying to pop it.  But no matter how hard he tries, I'll never give him that satisfaction.  "What kind of people are you talking about?" I asked.

"Oh, just people that would jump from a perfectly good plane."

I slapped him on the back.  "It was fun!  Plus, that little plane was scarier than jumping.  It was kinda refreshing thinking that if the plane went down, I already had a parachute strapped to my back."

He groaned and rubbed the sore part on his back.

"You should go.  I bet you'd be the best sky diver ever.  You'd fall so fast it would be good for you."

"I'd fall so fast?"

"Sure, at least as fast as I did."  K--so I'd sounded like an idiot.  He raised a brow and I shrugged.  "So, would you ever go sky diving?"  I wanted to call him doctor grump, but I restrained as my boy smiled and talked to him.

"It's not allowed on my life insurance.  I actually signed a paper saying I wouldn't go."


"Ummm . . . not really."  He rolled closer to me and looked down patronizingly.  "I'm what they'd call a responsible adult."  The man was cracking me, actually pissing me off.  I've known him for over four years.  I've taken him in stride, even made him smile a few times and yet he'd started to crack my resolve just because he hates people who are good at falling.

That's when I'd had it.  I glared at his thumb, I know I shouldn't have, but I did.  "So, what happened to you this weekend?"

"I thought you'd never ask.  I got ran over by a four wheeler."

"A what?"  I didn't think he was serious.

"A four wheeler.  I got ran over by a mosquito abatement officer."

I started laughing.  That man has such a dry sense of humor.  "That's a good one!  I've never heard someone come up with something like that on the fly.  Nice."

His face went limp.  "I'm not joking."

I tried clearing my throat.  "You're serious.  Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry.  You really got hit, by a four wheeler?"

"Run over, but yes.  Are you done laughing now?"

"I'm so sorry."  He was upset--that man who hates parachutes, was actually miffed.  I tried thinking of something fast.  "So what exactly happened?  I totally thought you were kidding."

"Well, I was riding my bike . . . when this mosquito abatement officer just barreled into me.  He rolled over my thumb and broke it in several places."

"I cut my thumb in half on a table saw once.  Thumb wounds suck."  I showed him my thumb, and apparently it was his turn to laugh.

"You really got it good, didn't you?" he asked.

"I sure did."

After he diagnosed The Zombie Elf with strep once again, I got up to leave and when he saw how hard it was carrying The Zombie Elf and Doctor Jones, he actually offered to help me out.

"I've got it," I smiled and he smiled back.

So, the cantankerous man laughed AND smiled.  I'm sure I offended him several times throughout the conversation--by telling him he'd fall extra fast, or by laughing about his four wheeling trauma.  But at least it ended well.

Anyway, The Zombie Elf has strep again.  If he has it one more time this year, he'll need to get his tonsils out.  At least he should be feeling good for the cruise.  We leave on Sunday.  It's super busy getting everything packed and ready, but I'm really excited.  Disney World here we come!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Thumb-altering Moment

I was sixteen, the only girl in woodshop. I remember being proud to say that I could cut white oak to a half of an inch (which isn't good at all, but still made me feel awesome.)

One day I went into woodshop. I goofed around with one of my friends. It seemed like the perfect day until I stepped toward the table saw. I don't know if it was my severe lack of concentration, or the fact that I was just having way too much fun, but when I put the board up, I didn't realize my thumb was too close to the blade.


I felt a tickle. The saw kicked the board off the table and in slow motion, the woodworking monster pulled my thumb into its blade. I wanted to jerk away, run from the room, but no matter how hard I yanked, I couldn't get my thumb from the saw. Now, all of this happened in a matter of seconds, but to me, it seemed like forever.

An intense heat crept up my arm. It wasn't until the blade hit my thumb's first knuckle, that I heard a loud crack and was able to tear free from the saw's blood-lust. I stepped back and watched as the two sides of my thumb flapped. I stared, moving my thumb slowly. Everyone else stared to, even the guys behind me who were getting splattered with blood that the saw sent their direction like a sporadic sprinkler gone wrong.

"Oh my Hell!" the woodshop teacher screamed.

I held my thumb back together. I prayed for the throbbing mess. That's when I started singing to my bloody classmates. I sang a song from church--my favorite song.

"I'm trading my sorrows. I'm trading my shame. I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord."

Everyone gawked at me and the blood pouring from my hand.

That's probably why I sang louder. "Though the sorrow may last for the night  His joy comes with the morning."

"Let me see it," the teacher barked. I let go and my thumb flapped to the sides.

"It's my left thumb," I said, nearly shaking.

"It's the worst injury we've had in fifteen years."

"But, it's my left thumb . . . that's the hand I hold my violin with." I burst into another chorus of song as the shop teacher wrapped my bloody hand in some shop towels.

The pain got so intense I felt like my arm might ignite into flames and then fall on the ground.

"I didn't get to finish my project," I told my teacher sadly.

Someone took me to the office, I don't know who, but after I got there, I remember being scared. Don't get me wrong, there are much worse things than losing a finger. I can't imagine being deaf or blind. I can't comprehend living without a leg or an arm. So, I'm not saying this was some massively huge catastrophe, but at the time--to me-- it was terrible. I asked if they'd call my mom and my best friend.

Tiffany came to the office and talked to me. I tried to act brave. I joked and laughed, saying I hated that thumb anyway; it was always in the way. I was tired of it "stickin out like a sore thumb and not being green enough." I went on and on because I was terrified I'd never play the violin again.

My sister came after that and rushed me to the hospital. They said if we'd been a few minutes later, I would have lost my thumb, but at the time even though I'd completely cut through my distal phalange, they could put metal where the bone had been. The doctor said I'd probably never have a nail again, that I'd never feel past my knuckle, that I wouldn't be able to bend my thumb. The list went on and on until my dad got a great idea.

He cleared his throat like a true Viking Warrior would. "Ummm, Doc. I don't know if you can do this, but give her my big toe."

"Excuse me?" the doctor asked.

"Give her my toe. This girl would die if she couldn't play the violin. She's not saying a word, but I can see it in her eyes."

"Sir, if I take your toe . . . you might walk funny for a long time. It helps you balance."

"I don't care. Like I said, she's not saying a word, but I can see it in her eyes."

Tears poured across my cheeks. Would he really give me his toe? But the more I thought about it, I worried--his toes are man toes--Viking toes. I looked at my weird thumb, then to my father's foot. Was playing the violin worth a limping father and a hand with a man toe? I shook my head.

"Dad, I love you, but you can't do it. You just can't." I didn't want a man toe on my hand--that would have been weird! So many thoughts crossed my mind; if the Doctor took my awesome father's advice, would my Viking father etch my name into his walking stick--or would he use a walker and end up holding that and bitterness against me? Would my hand stink like a smelly pair of feet? Would I ever find someone to love me--the woman with a man toe on her hand?

The Doctor chuckled after a moment. "We wouldn't want to do that anyway. We need to see how your thumb heals up first. Our bodies are amazing things. We should just wait."

So two months passed and by the time I started physical therapy, half my bone had grown back together, some of my nail came back-- albeit ugly--and I couldn't feel the last inch-and-a-half of my thumb let alone bend it.

I put new passion into my music, something I should have done anyway. I learned how to hold my violin in a different way and somehow I got even better.

A few months later someone called on the phone. "Elisa?" It was my woodshop teacher. "I have a surprise for you. It's waiting in the classroom."

I rushed over to the school. I couldn't believe my eyes when that angel--that master of woodwork--showed me my completed project. He'd stayed after school every day, just to finish it for me. I hugged him. "This means more to me than . . . thank you so much. I'll keep it forever."

And I have. It's sitting in The Hippie's bedroom. She loves it, but has no idea where it came from or how much it means to me.

So, it was a crazy experience, one I'll never forget, especially because I got a free end table and my Dad loved me so much he tried to give me a man toe.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Easter Elf

The Hippie got into the Easter spirit this morning.  She disappeared upstairs for about an hour and when she came back down, she cheered with excitement, "The Easter Elf came to our house!  I swear he's been here."

"The Easter Elf?" I paused, was he like the Easter bunny, but with elf ears and a pointy nose?

"Oh, he's a great guy.  I know he's been here because he left a bunch of notes in our rooms."

We all went upstairs and discovered The Hippie hadn't lied.  Notes rested all around our clean rooms.  She'd straightened the entire upstairs and that's when I could not wait for her to see the little plants in the backyard.

So, remember how she's been planting eggs?  Well, like I wrote earlier, Cade found some eggs The Hippie had planted and in the middle of the night last night, he replaced them with grapevines.  When we showed The Hippie and The Scribe, you would have thought they'd gone Sky Diving and lived--they were that happy!  Their little eyes lit with wonderment.

"The Easter Elf," The Hippie squealed.  "He's real.  He really is real!"

I chuckled and after that, Cade and his dad hid some eggs for the kids.  We'd invited his dad, and Grandma Gertie over for the day--I think they're in love!

Anyway, The Hippie and The Scribe held a meeting as their daddy and granddad hid eggs.

"Whoever finds the most eggs, wins," The Scribe said.

"Wins what?" The Hippie asked. 

The Scribe stroked her chin.  "Hmmm . . .  How about a playdate with whoever they want?"

"Sounds fair!"  They shook on it, not even noticing that I'd listened to their verbal contract.

"Ready . . . set . . . go!" I said. 

Doctor Jones (my one-year-old screamed with Easter-love.)  The Zombie Elf stomped on an egg and my oldest girls ran with excitement.  That's when something strange happened.  Not only did they find eggs on the ground, they started trying to dig up the ones they'd buried MONTHS AGO!  Let me tell you my horror when Grandma Gertie and I turned to see this:
and this:

I'd never thought a simple egg hunt would lead to so many holes in my yard!

"I'm gonna win!" The Scribe yelled.

"I'd like to see you try!"  The Hippie shot her a glance of victory as she delved her hands into the ground.

I gasped and covered my mouth.  "Can you smell anything?" I asked Gertie.  "Will the old eggs be colder?"

"I don't know, Hon.  Maybe throw out the ones that are covered in dirt."

I tried to act nonchalant, but inside I did a freaky pee-pee dance.  If they found any old eggs, I just knew I would die.

"What happened to all the eggs?" The Scribe suddenly asked The Hippie.  "They're all gone.  Did you find any?"

"Nope," the words drifted from The Hippie's mouth.  "This sounds like the work of the Easter Elf."

I nearly died of laughter and happiness--they hadn't found any old eggs--life seemed golden once again!

So, at the end of the hunt I couldn't believe it when the girls got eighteen eggs each.  The Zombie Elf (my two-year-old who is no relation to the Easter Elf) found three eggs and Doctor Jones came in last place with one VERY BIG M & M filled egg.

Now that I know that The Easter Elf actually did find all the eggs my children buried, I feel so happy inside.  Jesus died for my sins, He rose from the dead and I don't have to deal with any more rotten eggs.  Life is good.

How was your Easter?

Oh and here's one of the Easter dresses I made.  The Hippie wanted a fairy Easter dress and The Scribe wanted a pirate-like Easter dress. 

Here's The Hippie's dress:

Happy Easter!

Today is such a beautiful day.  Isn't it amazing what Jesus did for us?  I already wrote an Easter post--pretty prematurely--here it is if you're interested:  Flirting With Death

Anyway, I'm excited because The Hippie has still been planting eggs like mad.  She's constantly grabbing apples, eggs, grapes--anything she think will grow into a tree--and planting them.  Well, last night Cade went and bought some grape vines to put where she'd planted four colored eggs! 

The Hippie is such a hoot.  That darling just wants to have a green thumb, which is sad since nothing she plants ever grows.  I can't wait to see her face today.  We're going to call it the Easter miracle.

I'll post more tonight after I find out what the kids think of the miracle and the new clothes I made them.  I'm really excited! 

I hope you'll have a fantastic start to your day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Went Sky Diving With Edward Cullen and Jim Croce

I went skydiving!  (The video’s below)  Sorry to just throw that at you, but I’m pretty excited!


So, yesterday was one of the best days of my life and today is awesome too.  I’m sitting in a place called “The Alaska”--which is fantastic since I’m not even in Alaska, but it feels like it.  The cabin has a jetted tub that sits in the middle of the room by a fire place and a bear rug . . . Thing.  The cabin even has A PATIO--which is almost as cool as a new pair of boots! 


The woods here are amazing.  I made Cade go outside for pictures at sunset last night. 


I had so much fun taking pictures of him.  That guy is wonderful; he thought of everything.  He packed an overnight bag with new clothes and my camera.  He had the Alaskan staff stock the fridge with chocolate strawberries.  Sparkling cider snuggled in some ice by the tub.  Candles flickered everywhere.  The guy even sprinkled rose petals on the floor before I walked in.

I’ve never seen him be this romantic and when I walked into the room, I cried.  He laughed so hard, “Do you like it?”

“I flippin’ LOVE it!” I sobbed turning into that character in Bedazzled when he sees the beautiful sunset.


“You know, I told one of the guys at work what I had planned and he said he wished he was married to me.”

I wiped my eyes and laughed.  “Those guys are hilarious!”  I suddenly dropped my purse and threw my arms around Cade’s neck.  “Thank you!  This has been the most wonderful day--except for the flooded toilet.”  We both laughed.

You see, earlier yesterday everything seemed to go wrong.  I wrote my blog, then as soon as I heard Cade lurking closer, I moved faster than a super villain and straightened my hair like a master.  I went to try on a shirt Cade gave me, but I got stuck!  It was one of those awesome push-up bra tank tops--that would have made me look like I had a set!  When Cade came into the room, I didn’t see him; my arms were stuck above my head and in a muffled scream, I said, “Help me!  Help.” 

He saved me, one rip at a time and that’s when I heard the zombie elf giggling amidst a volcano of noise.  We ran into the bathroom--which was overflowing with disgustingness.  Anyway, after taking care of all that, we finally left the house around 1:00 and I still had no idea where we were going.  It was killing me so much, I even looked through Cade’s recent calls--what can I say, my last name should be Holmes.  But Cade is too smart for me.  He didn’t name any of the recent contacts and when I went to call one of the numbers, he caught me with his phone.  “Caught ya!  I knew it,” he said.  “That’s why I called from my friend’s phone.”

I didn’t wear the tight shirt--big shocker--instead Cade had me wear some “warm clothes” that actually fit.  We headed North and when we stopped in front of the sky diving place, I nearly pooped my pants!

I’ve always wanted to go sky diving.  The energy in that building was amazing.  The eclectic group of people seemed like a society formed from daring necessity.  We had a ball talking to everyone.  It wasn’t until we got paired with our tandem instructors and video people that I got nervous. 

They paired Cade with Jim Croce--a man who died in a plane crash, and me with a guy who I thought looked like my version on Edward Cullen.  I’m not a huge Twilight fan--let me send that thought in the wind.  I thought Edward was obsessive, overbearing, controlling.  If I could pick one literary character to NOT go sky diving with, it would be him or Captain Ahab!  There’s something about jumping from a plane--with a vamp--it doesn’t bode well.  It’s like facing death TWICE!


To top things off, my cameraman looked like a preacher I always knew growing up.  It wasn’t until the video guy started dropping the “F” bomb that I questioned his faith.

“Are you related to any pastors?” I asked the “F Bomber.”


“Well, you look like a very successful one I used to know . . .  You could probably make a good living, if you held services before people jump.”

He laughed so hard.  “Even though I swear a lot.”

“You could still do awesome.  Pass around an offering plate, tell people this might be their last moment and you’ll be golden!”

I watched a few people jump before me.  When my turn came, that’s when I finally got nervous.  This is just a dream, I closed my eyes and instead of jumping, I just leaned into the wind like when I let go of Zeke’s ashes for the first time. 

I kept my eyes closed for a couple seconds of the sixty-second free fall.  It was beautiful!  I was a bird--that had no wings and couldn’t fly--but still I was a freakin’ bird!!!  That’s when I opened my eyes and forgot about everything except God’s beauty.  My cheeks flapped as I thought about how my teeth might freeze and then fall from my face.  The world looked beautiful from up there in the frigid--teeth chattering weather.  I almost cried thinking about God’s awesomeness and the fact that a little spit dribbled from the side of my mouth and probably into my instructor’s face.

After he pulled the shoot, he let me do a few turns and then we landed.  I ran up to Cade and hugged him.  “You jumped with Jim Croce and you survived!  That was sooo awesome!"

“Wasn’t it!” he hugged me back.  “Of course I’d make it.  You know our song, Time in a Bottle, you know who wrote it . . . right?”

“Croce?” I asked.

“Yep,” he smiled, “today was our day.”

“Happy anniversary, man,” a guy said to Cade and slapped him on the back. 

We started  walking toward the hanger and I turned to Cade.  “Were you nervous?  Did you have a hard time jumping?”

“You wanna know the truth?”

I nodded.

“We got up there, and something with the pressure or something.  Anyway, I was strapped to Croce, who could hardly speak English and all the sudden I had to . . .”  Cade looked around and whispered, “I had to fart.”

“Oh my gosh!” I giggled so hard.

“Well, I held it, until I had to jump from the plane, and I think it gave me an extra boost.”

“So you abandoned the plane AND a bad fart?”  I laughed so hard, my side hurt.  “Cade, I have to, I want to blog this sooo bad.  Can I?”

He looked at me and chuckled, “Sure.  This is your day.”

So, we had an amazing time.  I think the Hanger Hippies were surprised I jumped.  Before we went into the plane I saw a man with dreadlocks and he was saying, “Do you think that girl will actually jump?”

That’s why I waved to him when we walked back into the hanger.  I set my gloves and helmet right by him and smiled, “That could get pretty addicting!”

He scoffed and slapped the counter.  “You know what Kevin said about you?” he asked.


“He said that normally skinny girls are hard to dive with because they end up being so light, gravity will flip the both of you upside down.  But he said you went out of that plane easier than any skinny girl he’s dove with and it was one of the best tandem jumps he’s made.”

That made me grin.

“You’re a natural,” he said.  “You shocked me today, and you’re a natural.”

So, I did it.  I’m a natural faller.  Me and gravity . . . We get along. 

I unclogged a toilet.  I ripped a new shirt.  I became a bird and I went to Alaska all in one day.

I’m just excited today because Cade ordered a breakfast and it’s coming straight to our cabin.  I can’t wait.  Biscuits and gravy, here I come!

Friday, April 22, 2011

An Unexpected Visitor

I'm typing in a hurry.  Cade set up our anniversary surprise for today.  He bought me some new clothes (which I'm supposed to wear.)  He got me some cute jeans and a shirt as well as a spring dress.  I'm supposed to be straightening my hair right now, but since that doesn't sound fun, I decided to write my blog really fast instead.

P. S. I CAN NOT WAIT to find out what Cade's been planning.  He seems pretty excited.

So, yesterday I got a call for The Scribe's teacher.  Do you notice a trend here?  Why is it always about The Scribe.  The Hippie has only called me once--in two years!  The Scribe or her teacher must have me on speed dial.

"Hello?" I said.

The teacher sounded panicked, really worried.  "Ummm . . .  Elisa?"

"Yes."  The woman talks to me so much, she even knows my voice!  "Is everything okay?"

"Well, I think your daughter has been visited . . . by Aunt Bea."

"Who's Aunt Bea?"

"You know, Aunt Bea?" she said.


"She doesn't have an Aunt Bea."

I heard a groan on the other line. "She's . . . Her granny's in town."

That lady had turned from the best teacher to the worst physic ever.  "Actually.  Her grandma isn't in town.  I don't know why you've called, but--"

"Look, all the kids are in the room . . . I don't want them to know what I'm talking about.  She's got the painters . . . she's surfing the crimson wave."

I gasped.  "Are you trying to say that she started?"

The teacher sighed.  "Finally, we're on the same page."

"She's only nine."

"Well, sometimes it happens.  There's already one other girl--in this same class."

I slumped on the couch in my front room.  "Are you serious?"

"As a heart attack.  Anyway, your daughter's a little freaked out.  I gave her a P-A-D," she whispered.  "I hope you won't be mad, but I had to tell her a little bit about the facts of life.  She's just so terrified."

"What did you tell her?"

"Just about . . . Aunt Bea."

So, now The Scribe knew about The Birds and Aunt Bea's!  It made my heart sink.  How could this be happening?  Nine is way too young for such a spunky kid to go through that.  We said our goodbyes and hung up the phone.  Less than ten minutes later, I got another call.

"Mom?" a weak voice said on the other line.  "I'm in the nurse's office, just feeling bad for myself.  I've been lying here . . . for . . . forever.  So, you have to do this once a month?"

"It's gonna be okay, Sweetheart, but I want you to be tough.  Don't let this get you down.  You can still do anything you want to do, just be tough, Sweetie."

"I always thought boys were cooler.  Now I know why!"  She sighed into the phone.  "I know about life now.  I told some of the girls in my class.  I think I'm the popular kid now, except that some of them didn't believe me."

She actually told them!  I worried then, thinking her teacher will be getting some calls.

"Well, I better go.  I'm gonna lie here and then try to go back to class soon."

"Call if you need anything," I said, already knowing she would.

"O-kaaaay," her Eeyore voice tailed off sadly.  "I'll talk to you . . . later.  I wish . . . I was a boy."

So, after a very dramatic day, The Scribe called home again.  Excitement poured from her voice this time though.  "I'm okay, Mom.  I'm okay.  I talked to the nurse and she said it's usually more that just a drop of blood."

I put my face into my hand.  Had a heard her right?  "A drop?  You just said a drop? A DROP!"

"Well, yeah.  I told my teacher I was bleeding, but when I told the nurse how much . . . anyway.  She said I'm okay."

That child is going to kill me!  Turned out all she'd suffered from was a case of constipation and a pity-me attitude.  I'd worried for her for a good chunk of the day!  That child had rested in the nurse's office forever--for a drop--A DROP?

When she got home, she smiled and then looked thoughtful.  "I'm glad I got rid of that band-aid.  That was horrible.  I can't believe people wear those."

"What did you do with it?"

"Oh, I just flushed it down the toilet."

I nearly choked on my coke.  So, she'd hogged the sick bed, clogged a toilet, freaked me out on my anniversary (which thank goodness we're really celebrating today), and learned the facts of life all in one day.

"Wow," I said, "all in all you had a pretty exciting day!"

"Especially when I told the other girls about their monthly gift."

I snorted, just thinking about "gifts" and the single drop that had caused all the drama.

"I can't believe you do this every month, Mom.  If every month is like today . . . I don't know how you live.  Today, well today was horrible!"

I shook my head and laughed.  The Scribe is such a goofball.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's my ten year anniversary!

I love how I'm announcing my anniversary, but I'm excited.  Ten years is over a third of my life.  Ten years ago we could play music in the airport; Michael Jackson was still alive and I DIDN'T HAVE STRETCH MARKS!  So, I'm glad my marriage is doing good, we've been through some very hard times and are still here to tell the tale!

So, as a fun memory, I thought I'd post an excerpt from my journal--the book that will be published at the end of this year.  I'm hoping to have it out by Zeke's birthday (Nov. 18th) as a birthday present.

If you're wondering who Zeke is, then check out these links:


Do you remember when I wrote: Everyone Has A Story?
Well, that girl opened my eyes so much, that I started going to the mountains by myself at least once a week.  I loved it up there.  It was beautiful and peaceful, the perfect place to be alone.  But after I met Cade, everything changed.

Keep in mind that I was nineteen when I wrote this; it's not hard seeing how young I was.  Zeke was alive and we'd just visited him in the hospital.  

Here's that excerpt:

I still can't sleep, so I'm in the kitchen writing for awhile.  I hope Cade is doing okay.  You wouldn't believe how tired he looks; he even has black circles under his eyes.  Before I gave birth to Zeke, Cade had a hard time breathing.  He breathed into a brown paper sack.  There I was, the one in labor and Cade kept playing with that crazy brown bag testing how many times he could blow the damn thing up.  That guy makes me smile, even in the hardest times.  When he held me tonight I remembered how I fell in love with him.
  The night I met Cade he wore a big, black, biker jacket.  His hair hung long past his shoulders and he was as sexy as Hell, really he was.  He didn't say a lot, but didn't have to.  I just hoped I was destined to meet him.  He leaned next to an old, beat-up car and smoked into the wind.  He didn't care he breathed in his own second-hand smoke.  I don't know why, but I thought that was cool.  It was twice as dangerous and really edgy.  We talked for awhile that night and I guess when he went home he wrote a song on his guitar and the song was for me. 
         I dropped by his apartment at five in the morning the next day, just for the Hell of it.  I guess Cade was sleeping on the couch when I stopped by.  He'd stayed up all night playing the guitar and fallen asleep right there in the front room.  
         When he answered the door I looked at him and thought how gorgeous he was in the morning.  His eyes were big and bright and he seemed excited to see me.  I told him to grab his guitar since he'd told me he played.  I drove to a coffee shop, then headed straight for the mountains.  We sped along a super windy road.  I loved moving fast and Cade almost spilled his coffee a couple of times.  
         I pulled off at a nice looking place and we hiked up the side of the mountain together.  At one point we ran into a huge stream.  Cade insisted he could find a way to cross and I jumped in.  That water was Hell of cold, but just my style.  I didn't care how wet I got or anything because it sounded like fun and I wasn't born with patience anyway.  I made it to the other side pretty fast and told Cade to jump in, but he looked at me fondly and stifled a grin.  He walked up and down the bank and said he'd be right back.  After a few minutes he showed up next to me on my side of the bank.  I was soaking wet in the cold and he appeared as dry as the sun.  I laughed about it and told him he was missing out.  After all, there's nothing like cold water to wake you up in the morning.  
         “That's what the coffee was for,” Cade said and I smiled.  I'd never met anyone like him in my life.
           I packed my violin the whole time and itched to play it.  I always get like that when I'm in the mountains.  Nature and music go hand in hand, practically.
          I went up first and Cade followed me.  We traversed a steep part once; I caught him staring at my butt and I raised a brow.  His face turned a little red and I grinned really big when I moved back up the mountain.  I even swayed my hips while we went, just in case he looked.  After awhile we made it to this nice, flat spot.  I sat down without saying a word and played my violin.  Cade's jaw dropped and I thought I might have to screw the thing back in place or something.  I pulled out all the stops for the guy.  We played a couple of songs together.  I was impressed with his skills and that says a lot because I've played with a ton of musicians.  
          He showed me a song he wrote.  When the chords swam around us, I heard a crazy-beautiful melody in my head.  I played it because I couldn't help being a conduit or something.  Then Cade sang with his solid voice, and chills flew up my spine as something awakened inside me.  No one had ever made me feel like that.  He sang the same melody I played—note for note.  I stood because the music poured from me.  At that moment I probably couldn't have told you where I was.  I was the music, no kidding.
          We continued like that for awhile, playing the same choruses and melodies like we'd performed together since birth.  When we finished we just sat silently and looked at each other.  It was one of the weirdest moments in my entire life, not that I've lived that long, but still.  I had goose bumps running over my arms and they weren't because I was soaking wet.  That was when I knew I'd met the man I would spend the rest of my life with.  The man with the golden voice, the patience I'd always lacked and the most striking eyes I'd ever seen.  He was my future.  We got married three weeks later.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I was tried and they found me guilty!

I wrote a quaint little blog the other day about how I turned Satan down even though it seemed the stupid option. Here's that blog if you're interested:  Flirting With Death

But the fact remains, that blog was about a dream.  Yesterday when true evil presented itself, I chose poorly.


The story should start with a delicious piece of bread.  My friend makes THE BEST bread in the world.

People talk about fairy food and the food of the gods--those delicacies have NOTHING on Candiss' bread.  This bread has won awards--I'm sure of it.  It's so good I'd become a bounty hunter if her loaves cost a fortune; I'd dance on hot coals; I'd swim with sharks;  Hell, if I said something wrong, I'd even apologize to Cade if it meant having another slice of this amazing bread.

I tried making it once.  I had the vain hopes that I too could bake like a master.  Dear friends, the bread didn't raise, well it tried and then crumpled on itself like . . . Mary's Husband!  It's a sad story really and it happened two days ago, one day before the master bread maker visited my house.

The Baker's grace swept any thought from mind.  She practically skated through the front room and into the kitchen--that's how fluidly this woman moves.  She smiled kindly, "Hello, Elisa.  I've brought you some bread."

That level sixty mage, that princess in flip-flops!  She'd brought not one, but two loaves of bread.  She chuckled at my reaction.  "Oh, so you like this bread?"

Was she kidding? Who wouldn't die just to eat one slice?  She must have known she'd spoken rhetorically.  "Well, seeing as how it's better than manna," I said.  "Yeah I really like it."

We ate the bread.  We smiled and giggled like the Mad Hatter in Wonderland.  We smothered the pieces with honey and butter, but it was so heavenly--so good--we only ate one loaf and I knew The Master Bread Maker should take the other loaf home.

It was one of the best moments in my life.  Time passed quickly; before I even blinked, the sun had set and that bread made me feel as if the sun was still shining.  Who needed heat, oxygen, life, when that bread and good company were around.

The Master Bread Maker noticed the time, "Oh my."  She gathered her darling children--those bakers in training.  Our littlest boys are inseparable and I suddenly knew why; The Zombie Elf is trying to get The Recipe!

But as she drove away, I went back into the kitchen and noticed that steaming, magical, final loaf of MAGE BREAD!  I knew I should call The Master Baker--tell her she'd left some of her goodness behind.  I looked at my phone, then the bread.  I glanced at my phone, then the butter, then the honey and the knife.  That's when I made the poorest choice in history.  I called all of my children into the kitchen.  "Would you like another slice of bread."

They praised my name.  They danced around, hooting in merriment because I had stolen the bread!  For five minutes I was the best Mother in the world.  They said they loved me AND bread.  We told the story of Hansel and Gretel.  The Hippie suddenly stopped and said, "Hansel's bread must have been cucky.  If it tasted like this, I'd never use it for a crumb trail."  We all laughed at the simplistic truth she'd uttered and then we ate some more.  So I'm embarrassed to say that I called The Master Baker--AFTER MOST OF THE LOAF WAS GONE.

Guilt ate at my brain, like a starving money in the desert.  The bread turned to ash in my mouth as I discovered its perfection could only be tarnished by guilt.  "Candiss?"  I said sadly.

"Hello, Hello," she said in her chipper, sing-song voice.

I took a breath--I could do this!  "I hijacked your bread," I stumbled over the words.  "I mean, I didn't hijack it exactly.  I just didn't call and give it to you right when you left.  Now I feel horrible."

Silence hung like a dead man between our phone lines.

I went on, trying to save myself.  "It's just that I'm in love with your bread.  I didn't call you when I should have and now . . . now half the loaf is gone," I nearly sobbed then because only one piece was left.  I'd lied, but made it sound a bit better. "Can you hear me?  Half the loaf's gone and it'll never be the same again!"

Silence . . .  Nothing . . .  I knew then, she must cherish that bread as much as I do.

"Do you remember the dream I wrote about, how I defied Satan?" I asked, trying to save our friendship.  "Well, now I know it was just a dream.  I couldn't even defy a steamy loaf of bread!"  Tears filled my eyes.  The Master Baker remained quiet a moment longer and then suddenly burst with sound.

I worried she might go into labor.  I wondered what she'd say; if she hated bread thieves, or if she was flattered that I like her bread so much.  "You are so funny," she laughed hysterically, "I made it for you anyway!"  I know she smiled big.  "And you were soooo worried about it.  You crack me up!"

"You made it for me?  You really did?"  See!  She's a Mage--Aphrodite--a goddess in flip-flops!

So I thought I sinned, but was really just enjoying a gift from a friend.  I ate the last slice as I talked to her.  "Thank you, Candiss.  Thank you so much!  Did I mention that I love this bread."

She giggled on the other end.  "Yeah, I think I caught that."

"Can I tell you something else?" I asked.

"Ummm . . . Sure."

"We ate a little more than half the loaf . . .  I'm eating the last piece right now."

She laughed again.  "Oh you are hilarious!" she said and I knew she'll always be one of my best friends!

Here's her cooking blog if you have a chance to check it out.  I LOVE this recipe:
AFK Dinner

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Flirting With Death

I remember the dream well, because I had it so many times I've lost count.
A man died.  My heart throbbed when blood poured from his side and he looked at me one last time.  It was my fault, yet so much love filled his dimming eyes.  He knew he was dying for me--someone so unworthy.  His final breath left him, wavering like a shade in the stormy night.  His life disappeared with all reason as his head lulled no longer having a purpose.

The moon shone on his once strong face no longer marred with pain or intrigue.  I wanted to bring him back, do whatever I could, but he was gone forever.  He'd taken the blame and left me alone with my guilt. 

My heart shattered in that moment, more than when I'd seen them torture the man I loved.  I crumpled onto the ground and shivered in the coming rain.  No amount of crying would take away the ravaging sorrow.  I felt lifeless like the body near mine, as if existing in a world without God.

The fact remained, he'd looked at me last.  He'd died for me . . . died because of me and I felt dirty.

I clutched onto the dirt by my face, dug my nails into the ground, and fell asleep at the foot of the cross.

I don't know how long I cried, but when I opened my eyes again, sleep clung to my eyes.  A wall loomed behind me and a staircase spiraled far below.


I walked down the winding, stone steps--the only place to go. The hot granite stung my bare feet and I ran as fast as I could. No railing thronged the stairs.  Instead, the only support was the wall which sweated with a strange smelling liquid.

After an eternity of running down aged granite, and leaning against eroding corners, I made it to the base of the stairs where a desk waited. A "Welcome to Hell" sign hung crooked from the front of the gnarled wood.  It seemed such a funny room.  Moss lined the ground, Gothic trees grew in clumps.  And at the far end I saw a petrified door.

"This is a strange place," I said.  And the more I imagined what I hoped for, the more I saw.   It was inviting, as beautiful as Persephones' home.  I swooned over its glory, until seeing the creature at the gnarled desk.

He wore a black cloak that wrapped over his face.  "You've come.  We've been watching and indeed you are ours now," he croaked.  Huge horns protruded from the sides his hood and long-nailed fingers tapped the desk.

I stepped back, wanting to scream as the world around died reflecting the fear which ate at my soul.

"But don't worry.  The Master would have a word with you first."

"The master?" I asked.

"Our Lord.  The Prince.  Don't worry, you'll meet him soon . . . just walk through that door.  He always likes to speak to the living."

"The living?" I asked.

"Oh, yes.  You are very much alive . . . for now."  His finger ran across a large black book laying open on the desk.  Its old pages were marred by time as if they'd gone through a fire.  He scanned down to a name, highlighted in blood and I saw it was my own name.

I looked back, but the stairway was gone.  In its place sat a pile of ash staining the wasteland's air. A long trail of women stood beside the pile and beyond it as far as I could see.  They wore lacy black veils and dresses with bridal flares to their designs.  Even though they dressed as if mourning, excitement showed in their movements and smiles.  Their gaunt faces and flickering bodies made me run to the petrified door.  I clutched the door knob before turning to the horned figure at the desk.  "What are they waiting for?" I whispered. 

"Eternity . . .  They can't wait to come back . . .  See how welcoming death can be?"

A chill ran the length of my body as I opened the door.  The scene beyond it brought a moment from my past, relived in an even stronger beauty.

I suddenly understood the line of excited women.  Purple flowers bloomed at my feet and I gazed at the bright sun-filled sky.  I blinked and breathed with the same anticipation I'd seen on the women's faces seconds before.  "Maybe death is welcoming?" I said aloud as the door shut behind me and completely disappeared.

"It is a beautiful day," a strong voice said from the field at my back.

The man appeared so much like my lost lover, I could hardly believe.  "Are you . . ."

He nodded.  "I've been waiting.  It seemed like forever . . . without you."

"Have we both died, then?  Are you here too, in this strange place?"

"Yes, and we can live again.  I'll give you your heart's desires."  He held out his hand, unmarred by the nails I'd seen driven there before he died.

I smiled, but his eyes turned hungry and when I touched his hand, his featured distorted if only for a moment.  I shirked back.

"Don't be afraid, dear heart.  Death is a strange thing."

The sun shone, but the more I looked, it appeared like a metallic glow.  I picked a flower, smelled the lavender which seemed dusted with the scent of sulfur.  As I turned back, the greed on the man's face told me more than words ever could.  "And what is it that you'd want in return for my life and my heart's desires?"

"Just an eternity with you.  Promise, you'll come back to this place, and I'll never leave you again," he said.

His perfect face made my heart dip with pain.  I'd watched him die.  I remembered how he'd taken me in and showed me truth.

"Just an eternity with you?"  I asked.

"That's all and you can have everything, be anything, do anything."  Evil laced his words, something so fetid no amount of deception could hide it.  He pulled a necklace from his shirt.  "You see these?" he crooned.  "These are the keys to eternity now.  I can let you in at any time."

"I . . ."  He bent next to me and  my lips faltered.  He was so utterly perfect, so amazing, it seemed wrong denying him such a small request.

Even though, I wanted to believe his words, I'd already tasted the truth.  So in that metallic sun, I spoke as bravely as I could.  "I can't.  I won't come back."

"No?  No?!  How dare you tell me 'no'!"  The world cracked with the anger I saw on the man's vile face.  His features shifted and changed as he drew a dagger from his cloak.  "Did you see your name in my book?" he asked.  "Did you see it? You are mine!"  He held the dagger in the air and prepared to deal out my death.  "Once your name was covered with the blood of the lamb . . . once.  Did you see it?"

I stepped back, a shaky step.  "Yes, I . . . did."  I tried standing strong, but his face made my soul crawl with fear.  "It's still covered in blood."

"His blood has no power now!  His blood is useless.  He's dead and can't protect you ANY . . . MORE!  Did you hear me, you insignificant mortal?  He's dead!"  He cackled into the metallic light.  "Tell me you still love him, even though he's powerless and weak.  Tell me you still adore his perfect nature and flawed ideals.  Tell me you still loathe me even though I'm the only one who can save your soul now!"

He loomed, like a blackened tree.  His eyes pierced through my spirit, knowing every bad thing I'd ever done--every vile thought I'd ever had.  "We deserve each other, you and I.  We deserve an eternity together.  Imagine staying here . . . forever.  I'll give you one last chance, to save yourself from the ultimate pains of Hell.  He's useless to you now anyway.  What other choice do you have?  Just tell me you hate him.  Curse the name of Jesus and Hell will be more bearable."

The knife came closer.  My legs shook and I dropped to my knees and cried.  I'd seen the blood seep from my savior's hands and feet--the red pouring from his side.  A part of me died with him the day I watched Him at Calvary, yet I could never curse His name, even if it would lessen my fate in Hell.  I'd always love Him even if He'd lost all power.

"NO!!!"  I spat at the devil's feet.  "I will never curse His name.  Even if He won't save my soul, I'll never curse the name of Jesus!"

The moment froze.  I watched the confusion sprinting across Satan's face.  He couldn't understand, would never understand that type of love.  In his own world, the sky melted and folded in on itself as a light that passes all understanding ripped through the metallic sun.

Satan ran across the field, scurrying as fast as he could go, but the light encompassed him and he cried in pain.  I closed my eyes and peace curled around, overcoming my soul.

I stayed wrapped in that hope, the feeling reminiscent of Heavenly visions.  When I opened my eyes again, I rested at the foot of the cross.

Jesus was gone.  The light of a new day lined the horizon and I smiled.  Hell may have wanted me, but Jesus' blood was still my protection.

The cross drew my eyes; I saw the nails that had held my savior there.  My smile broadened because from a nail hung a massive set of keys--they were the keys to Hell.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Showdown with the Gunslinging Dog Lady

It was such a nice day yesterday.  For the past few weeks we've all taken too many April showers, but yesterday seemed perfect--no rain, no snow or hail.  

Cade washed his truck while I watched our four kids playing in the front yard.  That sounded like a great plan, until I saw THE DOG LADY.

This IS NOT The Dog Lady!

I actually "hate" this picture because it represents how hard it was finding one good picture of a tough female gunslinger!  Does this woman even look tough?  Are those guns toys?  They're awfully small!

Maybe she could conquer the West, with her panty hose!  Those water shooters won't help her at all.  Like I wrote in The Toughest Chick Ever post, "Unless she's a witch, or concealing some type of voodoo mind power, I'm not feeling very scared."

Note to everyone who read The Toughest Chick Ever: Today I'm going to watch A Long Kiss Goodnight.  I'm soooo excited!

So, here's the toughest female gunslinger I found.  Annie Oakley was a legend.  At fifteen she'd earned enough by shooting, she paid for her parents' farm.  She could shoot better than men twice her age and size--that was saying something in the West.

I love her because a few years ago, Cade and I performed music in one of her old hangouts (the attic of a casino in South Dakota.)


Well, when The Dog Lady came up to me, I wished I could be like Annie, someone tough and skilled.  The Dog Lady practically vibrated, aching for a gunfight.  Four dogs swirled around her--she stood as the eye of their horrific tornado. 

Those deep-set eyes never stopped looking me.  The wind whipped her auburn hair about like the tail of a ferocious lion.  The Dog Lady is huge--let me get that out of the way.  I don't mean overweight, I mean muscly and tall.  She's probably over six-feet, built like a savage bear.  I don't know why she insists on talking to me and still wonder if she's the reason my lumpy dog is getting out.  I wasn't happy to see her, and hoped she knew it as we stood staring.  We were like two gunslingers get ready to fight--duke it out over a canine!

"How are you?  It's a nice day."

"Yes, it is," I said.  "We're doing fine."  I did a little wave that meant 'move along,' but The Dog Lady would have none of it.  Was this the prelude--the showdown where her six shooter rested under her jacket--the prelude to the fight?  I widened my stance.  Ready for anything!  If she wanted to do this, I would be her worst nightmare.

Now, do you remember me writing how this lady is nuts.  She's a special brand of crazy and should patent her insanity because I've never seen ANYTHING like it.  She continued talking.  Cade sprayed his truck, almost getting me wet and I groaned.  I knew he thought the whole thing was hysterical--he's heard a lot about The Dog Lady for the past couple months. 

The whole time the lady stood there, she kept studying my children in a creepy--fascinated--way.  "You sure have . . . beautiful children.  They're something else, really they're gorgeous."

And she was creepy.  That was it!  I'd had it with the woman who thinks it's okay to bring random dogs to my door, let my dog out and try to be my friend!

I knew I should start the gunfight with my words!  We both knew we didn't like each other--at least I knew it, but Hell, I'm not the one that got my nursing license revoked!  I glared at her.  A sneer appeared on my face. The air hung thick with anger and I'd had enough of her wiles.  "You let my dog out!  Didn't you?"

She looked at me confused, deflated really.  I thought I'd sounded mean, but the point is that when I think I'm being mean, it still comes off as extremely nice.  "What?" she asked.

"You didn't let my dog out?"

"Oh no," she chuckled, "I came over here to ask you a question."

The Scribe and The Hippie roller skated around us.  The Zombie Elf chased them with a stick and Dr. Jones gooed in her walker. 

"Over the past couple months I've seen how sweet you are, I just knew you'd understand," she went on, still watching my children.  We had a ton of conversations, but I don't think I've been especially nice.  The woman is driving me nuts!  She looked at me and smiled.  "I've . . .  I've.  My husbands' been watching you too and I've come to ask you . . . if you have some eggs?"

"Eggs?  Ummm . . . sure.  I have some in the fridge." I shuffled my feet.  That woman is weirder than fashion in the 70's.  "How many do you need?  I'll get them right now."

She giggled so hard, the dogs around her stopped chasing each other and cocked their heads.  "Oh, no . . . not those kind of eggs, honey.  We're trying to have a baby."

Cade stopped spraying his truck.  The kids quit playing.  The dogs stayed cock-eyed.  The only thing that moved, was my jaw which nearly hit the ground.

"I want to buy some eggs from you.  You have good genes."

Was that lady for real!  Can people just walk up to each other and say, "Hey, how are you?  Can I buy your eggs?"

What the Hell!  I stammered, actually stammered, for once at a loss for words.  I heard everything in that moment--the wind, the panting dogs, Cade's muffled laughter. 

The Hippie skated up to one of those huge dogs and patted it into submission.  Most children would be terrified of an animal that stood up to their shoulder--not The Hippie though.  She's fearless like Annie Oakley.  "I hope you'll have a baby.  They're fun."  She smiled at The Dog Lady and then Dr. Jones.

"So?" the lady asked.  "Do you have some eggs?"

"I'm sure I have plenty, but . . ."  I thought fast.  The lady was nuts, and even though she fell off the crazy bus a few years ago, I needed to dish out a good excuse.  Then it hit me, like a fart in the wind.  A foul taste filled my mouth and I wanted to cry as I delivered the greatest gunslinging excuse known to a wo-man.  "I can't give you my eggs."

"Oh," the light I hadn't noticed before left her eyes as she watched my children, "I just want a baby."

"I don't know what you're going through.  I can't even begin to understand.  But I can't give you my eggs; the doctors say there's a certain chance that I'd have another kid with defects again . . . I had a son who died eight years ago.  I wouldn't want you to go through something like that."

Something magical happened as I spoke.  I think that nut-job and I actually got to be friends.  I studied her.  There was silence.  The dogs and kids kept staring at me.  Cade peered at me forlornly over the hood of the truck.  I felt so sorry for the crazy Dog Lady, so absolutely sad that I started crying.

"I can't give you my eggs," I said.  "'Cause some of my eggs might suck, but I'll pray for you.  Once I thought God didn't hear me when I asked him to heal my son, but the fact remains . . . He did hear me.  He walked with me every step of the way.  Looking back, I know that now.  He's there for you too.  We may not understand it, but everything happens for a reason.  Just trust Him.  He knows what He's doing."

She wiped her deep-set eyes and smiled.  "You know what, I don't know how to explain it, but I think you're right.  I think everything will be okay."

"I know it will be." 

As she walked across the street, the dogs whirled around her.  Cade hugged me tight and our kids started playing again.  I watched them and thanked God for our many blessings--including that I'd just been part of the greatest gunfight in history.   

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Day Like Cherries and Cream

I know this post may sound silly, but there are certain things that just bring life to my eyes and make me smile.  It's when I'm having a day like cherries and cream.


I remember being little and two of my favorite things were cherry taffy and hot chocolate with whipped cream.  We had a bay window and I'd sit in front of it.  I'd watch the cars and people go by.  I remember wondering what their lives were like and what made them happy.  Because I was so happy inside, I wanted them to be too.  I sat drinking cocoa and eating taffy.  My mom would always wrap me in a fuzzy blanket.  I'd snuggle up in that, rest on the ground and watch the little dust particles that the sun illuminated.  It was magical and that's how I feel today.

It's funny how things change though.  I still love cherries and whipped cream, but different things make me happier now--like a nice pair of boots or a push-up bra that makes me feel like I'm not a board.

If you haven't read these stories, you might not understand the importance of boots.  They can make or break a woman.  You can try wearing them, but if it's not meant to be, they can destroy you.  Boots are the ultimate test--many have tried--many have failed.
So, anyway, today is extra good because The Scribe took her reading test yesterday.  I got a call from her teacher.  "I need to have a meeting with you," she said.

That worried me.  The Scribe has still been writing her Blog!  They're really just notes she sticks in some kid's locker, but she still has no idea who the kid is!  After I hung up the phone, I just knew The Scribe had gotten into some type of trouble again.  If she's not putting cat poop on the teacher's chair, sticking "kick-me" notes on kids' backs or writing a blog . . . I never know what that kid will do next.

I walked into the school, a bit slowly in you want to know the truth.  Let's scratch that.  I sauntered into the school (that's better), worried for what the teacher would say.  When I sat down in the chair across from her, she said, "What have you been doing differently with your daughter?  Have you been reading more with her?"

"I guess so.  A friend of mine suggested that I take her on a date to the library.  She's been reading books while listening to them on tape."  It was a ballsy confession.  Maybe that teacher hates books on tape.  Maybe she has something against the library!  I couldn't tell.  Her face was impassive like stone.

"Well, I have some numbers for you to look at.  Two weeks ago, your daughter read sixty words a minute at a second grade reading level."

I crinkled my nose.  The Scribe is in third grade.  She's supposed to be reading ninety words at a third grade level.  "That's hard," I said.  "But I'll keep working with her.  I know she'll get it soon. It just needs to click, right?"

"That's what we need to talk about."  She pulled some papers from a file, set them on the desk and tapped them.  "Do you realize, that the past week, your daughter has been taking AR tests on books that are anywhere between a fifth and seventh grade reading level?"

"No."  That concerned me; she wasn't getting high scores before.  Maybe the books were too hard.  "I--"

The teacher went on before I could.  "She's gotten one-hundred percent on almost every test."

I gulped.  What was going on?  My day was turning from curdled milk to cherries and cream!

"I pulled her out of recess today and told her she had to read fast or she couldn't go play with her friends."

"And?" I asked, hanging onto every word like I'd gone skydiving and her words were parachutes.

"She blew through the second, third and fourth grade reading papers.  Then," that goddess of a teacher tapped on the page in front of her, "she scored one-hundred-six at a fifth grade reading level.  So . . . I brought you here to ask, what are you doing differently?"

"Resource is out of the question?"

"Absolutely."  The smile on her face should have been framed!

"Well she has been reading a lot of Hank the Cowdog."

"I've never seen someone progress this quickly.  Ever."

"Thank God for Hank."  I giggled.

"After she finished testing, I was shocked.  So, I asked her why she's been taking so many tests on AR books, you wanna know what she said?"

I nodded.

"She said she didn't want to miss the AR party so she's been testing on books she already read.  Some of those books are recommended in Junior High!"

I slumped into my chair; it was wonderful news, fantastic!  I've been to so many parent/teacher conferences that have ended poorly.  That time the teacher found cat poop was almost as bad as when the current teacher said The Scribe might need to be in resource.  The teacher stood up to tell me good bye and I suddenly shook her hand.  "Thank you!  Thank you so much!"

Things are looking up.  Despite the fact that the vet thinks our dog has cancer (unless she can gain weight), but we've been giving her milk every day and she seems to be gaining a little bit of fat.  I have a push-up bra and some boots.  My ten year anniversary is next week and I guess Cade's planning a big surprise (I'm sooo excited about that).  But most of all The Scribe is okay; now we just have a new set of issues to deal with.

I read the blog she wrote to drop in that locker today.  I know it's horrible, I read her "secret" blog notes, but she stuffs them in the front of her backpack, right where I can get to them!

Name #9

Do you ever feel like no one has enough attention for you?  Sometimes I do things because I need to spend time with people.  There are a lot of kids in my family.  I haven't been trying my hardest because then my mom helps me read and do more math.  It just makes me feel like she cares.

I really tried yesterday at school and now I think they're onto me.  Do you think I'm a bad kid?  Do you ever feel like you need more attention?  Maybe someday I'll meet you.  When I find out who you are, you can tell me.  I hope you're an only child that gets a ton of attention.

~The End~

So, it's still a cherries and cream day even though that note made me feel like a rotten egg.  It's amazing how much you can learn from children.  Today I learned that I need to manage my time better.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Toughest Chick Ever!

This story is about my friend, Jill.  Some guy is still stalking her and he's getting more ballsy with each passing day.

Before writing this, I did a search.  I typed "tough chick pictures" and it's funny what three picures showed up.  The first picture is of Sarah Connor.  No one can deny that she's one tough chick; she showed up for a reason.  I have to admit, I'd rather face Schwarzenegger himself, than fight this broad.  She looks vicious, and actually is. If not for the cigarette in her hand, the gun makes her look pretty feisty too!  Almost makes me want to change my name to S. C.--short for Sarah Connor!  Too bad I don't smoke and don't own a gun like that anyway.

The second picture makes me giggle.  This is of Trinity (from the Matrix) facing Angelina Jolie.  Now, it's not some character Angelia played, it's depicting the actress herself.  Does anyone--in their right mind--actually think Angie could take Trinity?

Let's take one more look at this.

Do you think this woman . . .

Could face Trinity, a gal who can jump buildings and slow bullets?  A woman who's heart starts beating by the mere pump of a hand?

Angelina's an awesome actress, but she could never master the whims of the Matrix!  Sorry Angie, that's a battle I never want to see unless it's on the runway.

But of the three pictures that showed up, this makes me laugh the most:

Does this girl even look worthy?  Unless she's a witch, or concealing some type of voodoo mind power, I'm not feeling very scared.  What I'm feeling is regret.  Of all the cool people that could have appeared as third, why this girl?  Maybe tattoos buy you a ticket on the tough train where you ride to Sarah-Connorville.  I'm not sure.  Maybe I shouldn't judge this girl by her appearance, but the sad fact remains that I could probably take her.  I'm not the toughest thing ever, but give me a violin bow and this tat-queen is going down--like when the Devil went down to Georgia--redneck style!

So, with all that out of the way, I have to tell you about Jill

We went to the store, but some of the kids fell asleep--shocker!  Jill offered to stay with the ones who slept and I went in with the ones who enjoy wreaking havoc.  We had a great time except that the little ones kept pulling things into the cart.  I didn't even notice half of the items, until I got to the check-out stand.

"Oh, I'm sorry," I blushed.  Why do children have to grab toys AND embarrassing things?  I'd gone to a male cashier--that was the first wrong move.  "I didn't mean to get this hemorrhoid cream . . . or this car . . . or this thong . . . thing."  I forced out a giggle, but he wasn't buying it.  "Fine!" I snatched the hemorroid cream.  "I'll buy this.  I've heard actresses use it under their eyes."  I thought he'd be proud that I bought something the kids had grabbed, but instead he just looked through me.  His baggy lids drooped and a gnarled sigh left his throat.

"Will that be all?" he moaned.

"Yes!"  So I paid and after walking past the sliding doors, I noticed something strange.  A black two-door Honda rested next to my van.  A man sat in it.  He stared at Jill, never pulling his eyes from her.  The guy looked like a nerd, the creepiest nerd I've ever seen.  He didn't appear like the cute movie nerds you want heroines to date, no he was a I-want-to-suck-your-innards type of nerd!  His lanky body seemed too tall for the car.  His eyes flickered over Jill, who's posture crinkled with worried.  I glared at that guy.  He probably still lives with his mother AND has smurf action figurines--the ultimate oddity!

I lurked closer, trying to be quiet, but the army of children around me vibrated with happy squeals.  That guy saw me and the instant he did, he glanced at Jill again and sped off.

I sprinted to the car.  "Did you see that?" I asked.  "It was the black car--the one your neighbors keep seeing!"

Jill shook as I loaded the kids into the van.  "He parked just a few minutes after you went into the store," she said.  "Like he knew I was alone with the kids.  Like he'd followed me and was watching us.  But I didn't have the keys, or my phone.  I was too scared to get out."  She drew in a shaky breath.  "He never got out of his car.  He just sat there, staring at me for a long time."

"It's okay.  I swear everything will be okay.  I got his plate number."

She turned, her eyes widening with surprise.  "You did?"

"Yeah.  Did you get a good look at him?"

"Not really.  I glanced over," she huffed, "but he kept staring, like he didn't care that I'd seen him.  I don't think he ever looked away."  She fumbled with a hole in the knee of her pants.  "Anyway, I didn't get a great look, but he reminds me of a guy I saw staring through my window late one night.  I was reading a book and when I looked at the glass by my door, a guy stood staring at me!  I called the cops.  They found big footprints in the snow, but no guy.  That was five years ago. . ."  She choked on a sob.  "There's no way it's the same guy."

"It very well could be," I said.  "I know you don't want to hear it, but you need to be prepared.  The guy in that car was tall.  He'd have big footprints too."

"But every time this happens, it gets worse and worse.  Someone's tried breaking into my house four times, Elisa.  Four times and now this!"

"So, you don't know the guy?"

"No, but . . . that makes me feel better.  I think I'd be more scared if I knew him . . . if he was an ex-boyfriend or someone I made mad . . .  I'd never forgive myself.  I feel like I'm putting my entire family in danger.  Even my friends."

"Well, he should be the one who's worried.  We know what kind of car he drives.  We know his plate number.  We even know what he looks like!"

Jill blinked and swallowed.  "Can I borrow your phone?"  I nodded as she grabbed my phone and dialed a number.  "Hey . . .  Can you do me a favor?" she asked.

I heard the woman talking on the other end.

"Do you remember that black car you saw last week?" Jill asked, then waited for a reply.  "It was a two door Honda?"  Jill gasped.  "Can you ask around and see if that's what the other neighbors saw to?"  She tapped her fingers on her holey pant leg.  "Thanks . . . no . . . no.  I don't need anything . . .  Yeah, he's supposed to be coming home soon . . . Thanks . . . bye."  She hung up the phone.  "She saw a car just like the one that parked by us."

Throughout the day, we found out that all the neighbors had different descriptions of the car.  Some said it was a two-door, some said it was a four-door.   Some said Honda, while others claimed completely different brands.  The only thing in common was that the neighbors had seen a black car near Jill's house.  As we drove home, we counted over sixty black cars.  At that point, we decided, "black" is not a very helpful color.

So, I guess the next step is for Jill to bring this plate number to the police station.  We're going to take some shooting classes.  There's a gun place near our town, and once a week they offer free shooting classes for women.  We've talked about it before, but after the other day, we want to start right away.  It makes me wonder though, why is this guy following her?  Was she nice to someone in a store?  Is a skeleton lounging in a closet she never knew she had?

I don't know why people do the things they do, but I can't wait for Jill to take these shooting classes.  If that guy breaks into her house, he'll have another thing coming.  Maybe Jill should get a knew name; she's always looked like a Sarah to me anyway.

On a side note, who do you think is the toughest chick ever?