Saturday, December 31, 2011

The PS Princess

    Cade and I went to a party.  "Why aren't you talking to all the strangers?"
    "What does that mean," I asked.
    "You're normally Miss Social, but this time you're hanging out in the back?"
    "I thought it might be fun to just watch the party.  I always blog about how I meet weirdos.  How cool would it be to watch someone else have a strange experience and blog about that instead.  Plus, I can write about our signals."
    Cade snorted.  "All couples have signals.  Other people might not find that interesting.  But whatever you want to do.  I'm going to join the party."
    So, he went to talk to his friend as I thought about how we have certain codes we set up in Hawaii.  For example, if he wants me to quiet down and look at something, he'll nudge me really hard in the back--I hate that one.  Or if I want him to get me a drink, I'll blow him a kiss and wink toward the drinks.  I'm not quite sure how these codes came to be, but they did and it's hilarious writing about it.  Another thing, a more obvious thing we do is talk about "PS people" because it cracks me up.
    "PS" stands for "painfully sexy."  At parties there are tons of people (male and female) who fit into this category.  PS people wear jeans that are WAY TOO TIGHT.  Maybe even hair that is WAY TOO CURLY.  These people can be attractive--but they've gone to so much effort it's gotten painful.  I don't care if you wear a size one, you can still find pants that are uncomfortably tight--and that's a bad choice.
    They'll usually be caught in heels.  One of the biggest notifiers of a PS-er is the way they walk.  If they're taking smaller steps than normal AND you think they're smuggling something between their butt cheeks, you know they're a PS-er.
    Still confused?  Let me clarify with some examples:

Here's an aspiring PS-er:

And this one . . . look at his differently shaped thighs. 
I hope he has some circulation left. 
Too bad, he's become a PS person:

So has she:

And this is as extreme as it gets. 
Why wear this anywhere; it doesn't look fun:

    Well, one of the girls at the party was gorgeous.  I took a sip of my drink and thought, at two o'clock there's an aspiring PS-er.  Plus, give it two more years and she'd be a full blown PS-er--that was interesting, right?
    So, the night went on and Cade visited with people.  I decided to sit off in a corner, drink my drink and watch.  I honestly was hoping to see something funny to blog about.  Then it happened, the aspiring PS-er sat by me and started talking.
    She was gorgeous--like I wrote before--well above average.  She wore a bunch of make-up, had implants and curly hair.  I felt strange sitting there in my hoodie and glasses.  "Ummm, hi," I said.  I'd wanted to watch people, not talk to them.  Why do I always end up as part of the flippin' story! 
    She talked about returning to college and dating younger guys.  There she was, probably ten years older than me and I had a better grip on life than she did.  I felt bad for her and the shallow conversation we had.  But I especially felt bad wondering if she could breathe in those pants.
    "What do you think the point of life is?" I suddenly asked.
    "That's a weird question," she said.  "Well, I think it's to be memorable."
    "And how can a person do that?"  
    "Well, if someone can make a bunch of money, then they'll be memorable.  That's why I want to be rich and famous."
    Things got quiet after that.  The meaning of life for me is totally different.  It's about who you are and who you want to be; how you react to the good and bad times--how you treat others, even PS-ers.
    And then, since I'm the queen of bluntness and there wasn't anything else nice to say, I looked at the woman and said, "You're such a beautiful lady.  It's rare meeting people as beautiful as you."
    "Oh . . . my . . . gosh."  She looked at me and stood.  "I should have known.  You're wearing a hoodie!  Oh, Hon.  I'm not a lesbian."
    "What?!"  Where in the hell did that come from?  Once again--why am I always part of the story!!!  "Well, great.  At least we have one thing in common.  I'm not a lesbian either."
    She put one hand on her sassy, tightly-clad hip.  "I knew you were in the LGBT community.  Deep down I knew the moment I saw you."
    "LGBT?"  What the heck?  She couldn't use acronyms too!
    "Oh never mind," she said.
    "I'm married," I yelled after her and a few people turned.
    "Then why in the world were you hitting on me?" she yelled back.  I just caught Cade's eyes before he started laughing into his drink.
    On the way home, I didn't say much to him.  "So," he finally broke the silence, "you staying out of the blog story . . . it didn't work too well.  Did it?"
    "No,"  I said.  "I'm never going to judge someone as being a PS-er again, though.  She judged me with an acronym, too.  She thought I was a LGBT . . . lesbian!"
    "Nice," he laughed.  "That's just epic.  You shouldn't have worn that hoodie." 

Friday, December 30, 2011

How to write a memoir . . . Continued

    This is a continuation from a post I wrote before Christmas:

How to write a memoir

     As you know, my first memoir is a journal.  My second one though, is an actual memoir. Today, I thought it might be fun to look at the differences between the editing process of both--in case you'd ever consider writing a memoir or trying to have your journal published.
    While editing my journal, I didn't want to change too much, but at the same time, I wanted it to read easier.  I remember changing this sentence "everything is going to be okay" to "everything will be okay"--things like that.  The journal stayed the same other than condensing and clarifying in areas.  It read horribly before the revisions, so I'm glad I made them.
    When I first started going through my journal, there were pages upon pages.  I went from 120,000 words to around 90,000.  I knew people wouldn't want to read about the time a dog stepped on my face and gave me a black eye.  Who wanted to know I used to push my best friend around in a moving cart.  So, things like that, which didn't move the story forward, got hacked.  Sure I left some hilarious things, but only those which moved the story onward (like the time I got sprayed by a skunk).
    Writing an actual memoir has been totally different.  "The Golden Sky" is the third book in a series.  The two books before it are "Bible Girl" and "Homeless in Hawaii."


    When I decided to write "Bible Girl," I knew I'd have to write an outline.  Sometimes with real life, it can be hard staying on course because other fun memories try taking over the story.  I researched and found that I prefer chapters that are around 2,000 words in length.  I also knew, most readers prefer books with consistently length-ed chapters.  That immediately gave me the idea that if I had 30 chapters at 2,000 words each, then I'd have a full-length book.
    It wasn't hard deciding on the 30 most important things to write about.  I ended up with 33 when I finished, though, since I'd left out some (painful, but) necessary things.  The book's about my life as a teenager and why I ran away to be a homeless street musician in Hawaii.  It's also about dealing with religion, what I really believed, facing betrayal and those who would stick by me even when everyone else didn't.

    Because of those themes, I knew the readers would need to feel the bond I had with my brother and other family members as well as my friends.  If I could do a good job building the foundation, then when I pulled it out (like really happened) the reader would feel what I'd gone through.
    The key to writing a memoir, for me, is writing from the heart.  My most powerful chapters are those which poured from my fingers.  Often times I'll blast a song that inspires me like "Lightning Crashes" by Live, or "Apologize" by One Republic. When I wrote those chapters I didn't leave anything out.  I was brutally honest, even if it did make me sound bad in parts.

    Writing is about telling a story and doing it well.  As long as that's your intent, I think your editor can help with the rest.
    Today, I'm editing "Bible Girl."  I have to fix the first chapter because after reading back through, I feel I tried sugar-coating things for the reader.  At the time I thought it would show how happy I was before everything turned sour, but in all honesty, I wasn't being fair.  This is a part of my life.  If I'm willing to share it with people, it needs to be real, not some fairytale that sounds good to me alone.

So, if you want to write a memoir, here's my advice:

1- Decide on the chapter length that you like.

2- Write an outline (keeping your chapter length in mind).

3- Be real.  Write from your heart.  Don't pick the rosiest part of your life.  People like conflict.

4- Have fun.  When I finally loosened up, my writing got a million times better.  I still have a long way to go, but at least I'm making progress.  When you can be tough on yourself is when you edit.

5- Hire a good editor--two if you can.  One for content and one for grammar.  Whether you're self-publishing or going traditionally, publishers like reviewing polished manuscripts.

6- Cut what doesn't move the story forward.  Even if it seems important to you, it can sometimes make or break a story.  Listen to your editor's advice.  By removing those 30,000 words from "The Golden Sky" it fixed the journal so it could become a book.  It became more fast-paced--the work it was meant to be. 

    Anyway, I hope you'll find these tips helpful.  I'm off to edit "Bible Girl" again. It comes out on 4/21/12 so I better get busy!  

    If you have any questions about this process, or things you'd like to add, I'd love to read your thoughts on this ;) 

    For my goals and others, please visit:

The Scribble Muse

Thursday, December 29, 2011

They almost killed the babysitter! Part II

    This is a continuation from yesterday. Before moving forward, I need to tell you some things that make this story even funnier to me.
    The Scribe and the Hippie have modeled for over ten clothing companies. (My old company got their feet in the door.) Anyway, the Scribe's been on greeting cards--seriously. The kid is beautiful, but she has NO IDEA. Instead of acting like the gorgeous doll she is, the child insists on wearing "boy clothes." She'd rather play mud football than pose for a camera. She'd rather go hiking than shopping any day. She ALWAYS has her hair in a ponytail--"like a toughie," she says. I guess that's why she's just my style.
    I know it's terrible when she puts cat poop on the teacher's chair or pulls wild pranks. (Like the time she used the "heartbeat setting" on the sound machine and told a bunch of kids we had a "Tell Tale Heart" beating under our house.) But sometimes those silly moments bring so much joy (after I've calmed down). I know God gave me the Scribe first because she got me through even when Zeke died.
    Back to the story from yesterday. The Scribe is a goofball--a gorgeous goofball. And she uses her looks to her advantage. I think that's how she finally convinced me to let her quit the modeling business! Or why the teacher hardly believed she put cat poop on the chair!
    Anyway, the babysitter sprinted from the house, and when Cade and I walked downstairs, the kid's backs were to us. The lights were off and the Scribe held a flashlight which seemed to be under her chin. I was pretty upset at this point. Even if my kids make me giggle and smile; sometimes that doesn't happen for a few hours after they've upset me.
    The Scribe talked in that moment.
    "It's so SCARY because they went on the train proving that children . . . never . . . really . . . die!" The Scribe said ominously.
    "Woah." The Zombie Elf trembled. "That's a bad choo choo!"
    Not only had she impersonated the babysitter on the phone--now she was scaring the children right before bedtime?!
    "Wait," the Hippie said. "That doesn't make any sense."
    "Of course it does. Just think about it. Have you ever seen a dead kid?"
    "Well . . . no."
    "Have you ever seen a dead person at all?" the Scribe asked.
    "Yeah, great grandma."
    "But she wasn't really a dead person. She was our grandma.  Plus, she wasn't a kid since real kids don't die."
    "I think they can," the Hippie argued again.
    "But you've never seen one?"
    "I don't like dead people. It's not like I hang out at funerals just to see what's going on."
    "But you've thought about it."
    "No.  I haven't!" The Hippie seemed ruffled.
    "If you did hang out there, you'd understand something all adults know. Real kids can't die. Adults tell you they can, but really all they do is fake the funerals and then ship the kids off on a train."
    The Scribe nodded.
    "But where does the train go?"
    "No one really knows."
    "Who drives the train?"
    "No one we can see."
    "That sounds lame. Why do the parents ship the kids off?"
    "Because they were bad--like the babysitter--or maybe they were extra cool . . . like Zeke."
    I don't know why, but at this point all of the anger evaporated from my body. I held Cade's hand and we kept listening.
    "Scribe.  I think everyone can die . . . even kids," the Hippie said.
    The Scribe finally talked again. "So what if everyone does die anyway? I don't think it's as bad as everyone says. Not all of Zeke died. For all we know, his spirit just took a ride to some amazing place."
    "A good choo choo train?" the Zombie Elf asked.
    "Scribe, we're good kids, right?  I mean, if you lined us up with all the kids at school, and put the best kids first, would we be first?"
    "It depends on who was judging us, but I think so," she said.
    "Then why's the babysitter acting so weird?  She'd put us at the end of the line."
    I realized at that point, they still thought the sitter was there.
    "Because some people know when they see awesomeness and other people can't even see it if they get surgery," I said and my kids turned to us. 
    "How long have you two been there?"  The Scribe seemed worried, shining the flashlight in our faces.   
    "Long enough."--that she'd dug herself out of trouble.  "So kids don't really die, huh?" I asked and turned on the lights.
   "Not really.  Maybe their bodies do, but their hearts and their spirits don't."
    I nodded.  And I'm still not sure why, but as we stayed in silence, a lump formed in my throat.
    "Zeke is still part of us . . ." the Scribe said more to herself than anyone.  "I tried telling the babysitter how kids don't really die, but she didn't want to listen. She freaked out and said 'dead is dead' and I'm weird."
    "She's the weird one," the Hippie said. "What kind of person screams when they see a little boy get naked?"
    "Well, he did try peeing on the tree," the Scribe said as the Hippie turned beet red.  
    "Mama, I did something terrible," the Hippie said after a moment.
    "What," I asked.
    "Well, I heard that girl being rude to the Scribe, so . . . I told the Zombie to pee on the tree."
    I bit my lip.  
    "And," the Scribe chimed in, "when you thought you were talking with the babysitter, you were really talking to me."
    Would they be in the front of the line?  Maybe if they were judged purely on repentance.  
    "Are you really mad?" the Hippie asked.
    Cade and I looked at each other and I found the thing about the tree so funny my eyes bulged from holding the laughter in.  Who cares if that sitter ran from the house; we didn't want her coming back anyway.  She said 'dead is dead' and screamed about pee--that's practically a crime where I come from.

    Later that night when Cade and I went to sleep, we had a good laugh.  "At least they know how to stick together."
    "And give their brother orders."
    "They're smarter than you'd guess," Cade said.
    "Yeah, no kidding.  That Scribe is smarter than some adults.  She's right, too.  Zeke will never be gone from my heart.  Not really."
    "You were right, too."  Cade smiled.  "Some people will never be able to see awesomeness.  I'm glad I'm not one of those people."
    "I'm glad I'm not one of them, too,"  I said and leaned in to kiss my husband. 

    For more info about Zeke and my book, my eBook is listed as 99 cents HERE on Smashwords and for kindle it's 2.99 HERE on Amazon from now until January 6th (the Epiphany), .

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

They almost killed the babysitter! Part I

    We got a babysitter last week, and the darling girl said it would be fine if we went out for a few hours.  But I worried because although my four kids are awesome, they can be pretty wild at times.
    We'd only been gone a short while when I decided to call the babysitter on her cell to make sure everything was okay.  From the tone of her voice, I should have known what she faced!


    "Is this Jess?" I asked.
    "Of course," she said in a strange voice--as if she'd been drinking.  
    "Ummm . . . I know we've only been gone an hour, but I wanted to make sure that everything's okay.  Are you all right?"
    The girl giggled.  "I'm absolutely fabulous.  These kids are great!  Especially that Scribe.  She's so helpful; I've hardly had to do a thing."
    "Are you sure you're okay?  We have to turn off our phones for the movie and . . . "
    "Of course!  Go for it.  Have a blast.  How hard can it be taking care of four beautiful kids, especially when the oldest one does all the work for me?!"
    So, that was awfully strange.  I hung up the phone and turned to Cade.  "Maybe we should go back.  She was acting weird."
    "Oh, you're just reading into things.  Plus, the movie's about to start."
    I listened to my husband then, even if my mommy sensor pulsed as if on fire.  It wasn't until we got home that I really worried.
    We walked through the door and the babysitter grabbed my arm.  "The night's been terrible--TERRIBLE!  How do you watch these kids day in and day out!  I couldn't get a hold of you and then your boy got naked and tried peeing on the Christmas tree!  I'm leaving."
    She ran from the door and I yelled after her.  "But when I called you, you said everything was all right."
    "No I didn't," she said.  "You never called!"
    After she sprinted from sight, I sneaked down stairs and heard the Scribe telling ghost stories to her siblings.  That's when I knew what had happened!
    "She's in deep trouble," I told Cade.
    "Oh, yes, she is."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to Grow a Candy Cane

    Today the Scribe and the Hippie both woke up at the butt crack of dawn (do you like how I added that--it's practically swearing--Lola that was for you).  Anyway, the Scribe set up her easel--the gift Fishducky gave her.  (She's been painting all morning.)  The Hippie sat next to me and asked in a very sweet voice, "What are you going to blog about today?"
    "Maybe my gig last night.  Or the time I played the violin at a celebrity's party.  I'm not sure, though.  What do you think I should blog about?"
    She paused her DSI and smiled.  "People don't want to read about the violin.  You should write about . . . me.  Why don't you write about the magic tree and the year the candy canes grew."
    "Oh."  I laughed.  "How could I forget that story!"
    So, this is for the Hippie, my blonde, curly-haired princess:

The Year the Candy Canes Grew     

    I was pregnant with the Zombie Elf. All the Scribe, the Hippie and I wanted for Christmas was a tree, but since Cade worked out of town for weeks at a time, I didn't think it would happen.
    Then, to surprise all of us, my dad showed up with the most beautiful, real tree.  I hugged him because he's better than Santa.      
    After he left, the girls asked what we could put on our tree.  I raided the pantry and the house; we didn't have much that year.  Our ornaments were in one of the many boxes we'd packed in the garage.  The only things we really had were some butterfly lights the Scribe had around her room, various sizes of candy canes (about a million of them) and a couple packages of popcorn.
    "This is a magical Christmas tree," I whispered.  "Why don't we do something special.  Let's put candy canes, butterflies and popcorn on it."  Among others, I had those tiny candy canes, the ones banks give out.  Those were the only ones I took from the pantry as we put them all over the tree along with some strings of popcorn.
    "Are you sure we should put butterfly lights on it . . . for Christmas?" the Scribe asked.
    "Of course," I nodded, "those are Santa's favorite.  It gets so cold where he lives; he hardly ever sees butterflies."
     "Oh, that's awesome."  
    "And it is beautiful," the Hippie agreed.
    So, a day and a night passed and by the time I could admire the tree, all of the candy canes were gone!  The girls went to sleep, and like an elf in the night, I put more candy canes on the tree.  They were a little bigger than the bank candy canes--still red and white.  I didn't think anything of it until the girls woke up the next day.
    "The candy canes grew!" They said to each other.  
    "Plus, we ate all of them and now they're back."
    "What do you think will happen if we eat these ones?" the Hippie asked, and the fun began.
    Each day they'd eat a few candy canes and every night the Mama Elf (me) replaced the missing ones with new, bigger or more colorful candy canes from the pantry.  
    It was hilarious and those girls had more fun than you'd believe.
    Now, Christmas Eve came, and I wanted to cry.  Like I wrote before, we didn't have much money that year, just a bunch of candy canes, hot cocoa and radio music.  
    I remember getting up really early and praying by the tree.  "God, please help my girls have a good Christmas."  When I opened my eyes, I saw all those colorful candy canes and butterflies on the tree, that's when I knew what must be done.
    Have you ever had a brilliant idea, something Steve Jobs would have been proud of?  Well, that's what I felt happened to me.
    I found what money I could, bought some discounted lawn decorations as well as some toys from the dollar store.  That Christmas Eve, Cade smiled as we wrapped the gifts.  "You really think they'll believe your trick."
    "Absolutely."  I smiled. "This will make their Christmas unforgettable."

    When my girls woke up on Christmas morning, "Santa" had done a number on our front room.  Huge lit up candy canes hung from the tree.  Popcorn strings were everywhere and a bunch of presents (they had no idea cost a dollar each) were under the tree.
    "It's the Christmas miracle!" the Scribe said.  "The candy canes grew really big this time and then they turned into lights!"
    "Yeah," the Hippie nodded, "I sure hope Papa will buy our tree next year, too."

    It still makes me happy because we had no money, yet it's one of the most memorable Christmas's I've ever had.  Thank goodness for candy canes and thank goodness for a father who always knows how to be there when it counts.
    Thanks, Dad!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Tooth Fairy Didn't Show up!

    The Hippie lost one of her front teeth a few weeks ago.  She knew the other one would fall out soon and she'd be "toof-ess" as she said. But she refused to wiggle it until Christmas Eve.  That's when all hell broke loose!
    "I need the guide!" the Hippie told her sister, the Scribe. 
    That cracked me up because "the guide" is nothing more than a silly book.

    They sat and read it together.


    "The tooth fairy must be loaded," the Hippie said.  "Can you imagine how much change she has?  There are millions of kids in the world.  So, that's at least a million dollars!"
    I giggled--softly so they wouldn't stop talking.  
    "Can you imagine the gifts she'd leave on Christmas Eve!" the Hippie said.
    "You know what," the Scribe said, "you're totally right.  I'll get your tooth out, even if it kills me."
    Have you ever seen a kid tie string to their tooth and a doorknob?  Have you seen them tie it to a dog?  Have you seen them run around the yard screaming because the dog won't slow down AND the tooth won't come out?
    I have . . . it wasn't pretty.  But somehow, at the end of Christmas Eve, the Hippie's tooth was out and she looked stunning without her two front teeth.  "That was a crazy day," the Hippie said.
    "No kidding.  Sleep good darlings," I told them.
    "Daddy works construction," the Zombie Elf said as I prepared to walk from the room.
    "Yes, Honey."
    "This is Daddy's old pillow."
    "Yes, Honey," I said.
    "This is Daddy's old blanket."
    "YES, Honey."
    "Daddy helped the Hippie pull out her tooth today because Daddy's strong.  That's why Daddy works construction."
    "GO TO SLEEP!"
    So, I shut the door and my four babies fell asleep.
    "What should we give the Hippie?" I asked Cade.  "This is scary.  She's expecting something huge."
    "Didn't you know," Cade smiled, "the tooth fairy doesn't work during the holidays.  Don't you think it would be easier for Santa to sub since he's visiting everyone anyway?"
    "Oh, yeah!"  I nodded.

    The next day, it was no surprise when the Hippie found this under her pillow on Christmas morning. 


    What cracks me up about this, is that the Hippie seemed more excited about finding Rudolph's bell under her pillow, than getting a DSI!
    "What's in the package?" the Scribe asked her sister.
    "Three dollars," the Hippie said. "But I wonder how much dentists charge for fake teeth."
    "Why?" the Scribe asked.
    "I've only been toof-ess for a day, but I want my two front teeth back."
     "People always talk about the real meaning of Christmas, and now you know what it's all about," the Scribe said.  "All you want for Christmas are your two front teeth, your two front teeth.  All you lost for Christmas were your two front teeth . . . And now that really sucks."  
    "Don't make me punch YOUR teeth out," the Hippie said, and I laughed so hard it was hard to breathe.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Hotel California Style!

    We were going to play Pachelbel's Canon as a Christmas tribute, but then decided it wasn't us.  So, here's our tribute:

Cade and me playing "Hotel California"

And one more with Roar (Gertie's husband) playing 
"House of the Rising Son" with me.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

If it's cold, be naughty . . .

    Remember how my laptop and washer broke? Then, to top that madness off, our van's window stopped rolling up yesterday--too bad it was about 20 degrees at the time. Well, last week I shipped off the Ipad2 from my book launch, and I have to admit it felt surreal.
    The funny thing about it is that I have a dinosaur phone. I got my first laptop this year. We just don't buy a lot. Anyway, I didn't want to tell anyone, especially my father, that everything's falling apart.
    "So," he said, "how's your laptop working out for ya?"
    "Ummm . . . it's hanging in there."   That was a lie, though; Santa wouldn't be pleased.  My laptop won't even turn on!
    So, time went on and just after I'd shipped the iPad2, my family had a Christmas party. I couldn't believe it when my dad gave me, as well as my brother and sister's families, each an iPad2.
    I started crying when I turned to Cade. "I didn't know what we'd do without a laptop. I thought I'd have to quit my blog."  Because for me, that would be the end of the world.
    "And now you won't have to quit anything." Cade smiled so big; I saw his molars.
    After that, I went up to my parents and told them thank you.
    The Hippie walked over to me later. "You must have been awfully good to get something like that."
    "And the great thing is," I whispered, "it's for all of us."
     Her eyes lit up, but she'd obviously been thinking about something else because she changed the subject. "Mama, did you know, not everyone wants to be good for Christmas?" 
    "And why's that?"
    "Aren't some places of the world really cold--like Russia?" she asked.
    "They must be really bad over there where it's cold. I keep thinking, if I lived in Russia, I'd do almost anything to get some coal." 
    So, remember this: If it's cold, it's okay to be naughty.  
    Now winter terrifies me! 

    On a side note, someone hired Cade and me to perform at a party on the 26th.  We've been practicing like crazy.  Anyway, we decided to make a vlog of our version of Pachelbel's Canon; we'll post that on Christmas.  I'm so excited to see what you'll of it.
    Here's some of our other music if you haven't heard it before:

5th Side

    Have a wonderful Christmas Eve! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

What do you think about the Virgin Mary?

    Do you know Melynda from Crazy world?  If you don't, then you should visit her.  She's one of my favorite people--ever.  Here's her site: Crazy world
    Anyway, we had a "silly" disagreement and thought it might be fun to make a vlog out of it.  Here goes, oh and if you'd just like to read the conversation instead, that's below the video.

    Elisa:  We're here to talk about the Virgin Mary.

  Melynda:  Indeed.  We have some disagreements.

    Elisa:  That's right.  I think she was ugly.

  Melynda:  And I think she was probably semi-attractive, which was what kept Joseph around.

    Elisa:  Just 'semi,' huh?

  Melynda:  Well . . .

    Elisa:  Just 'semi.'  Noted.

  Melynda:  It's not like she could put some mascara on.

    Elisa:   Exactly, because she needed some.  
    Dude, she had the heart of a saint!  Would God make her beautiful, too?  That seems awfully unfair.

  Melynda:  Maybe she was beautiful on the inside and out.

    Elisa: Ya, I don't know.  I got nothin', but that's still what I think.

  Melynda:  So that's her opinion on that one.  The other thing we have a disagreement on is whether or not Mary suffered through childbirth.

    Elisa: I don't think she did.

  Melynda:  And I think she suffered.

    Elisa:  But God wouldn't go ahead and strike her down with ugliness AND pain during childbirth.

   Then Melynda pulled a face that I LOVE because it always gives me the giggles.

  Melynda:  I've been trying to explain to Elisa that life isn't fair.  And if God wanted things to be fair, He would have spared a lot of people some ugliness.

    Elisa:  Too bad the Virgin Mary wasn't one of them.

  Melynda:  So, I think she was attractive and she suffered during childbirth since that's a normal process.

    Elisa:  You don't think, that if God could come down and "gift" her a child for Christmas, that He wouldn't spare her some pain.  That's the least He could do.
     (P. S. I know Jesus made Christmas; it's called me being silly.)

  Melynda:  No, I think he let her be in pain.

    Elisa: Let her?

  Melynda:  Let's say she was the "virgin" Mary, and her -----(cherry) wasn't broken.  That means she not only went through childbirth, but she lost her virginity all in one night.  Which means that any kid who comes after that is a piece of cake.

    Elisa:  Dude, that's crazy.  I'm so glad that didn't happen to me.  Yeah, not a good thing.  
    So, we just wanted to ask you: do you think the Virgin Mary was pretty; do you think she went through pain in childbirth, or do you think she had it all?
    Merry Christmas.

  Melynda:  Merry Christmas.
    Ride your asses to Bethlehem.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

An Angel Saved Christmas; A Christmas Miracle

    For some reason I've had a hard time getting into Christmas this year.  November was so amazing with my book release.  For more information about that, how I've donated proceeds, and a chance to win a copy of my book, please go here: The Golden Sky by EC Stilson

    This year has been incredible--the most memorable year I've ever had--maybe even more so than when Cade and I were homeless street musicians in Hawaii.  From skydiving to visiting the Bahamas; from blogging each day to getting a book published.       
    Many tiny miracles happened so my book could be in print.  On Zeke's birthday, November 18th, I went to his grave and left a published copy of his book there.  It was my final way of saying goodbye.  I can't describe how that felt.  It was so bittersweet.  At the time I had a romantic notion that God and Zeke were guiding me.  I'd somehow leave the book and then the right person would find it and read it.  Silly idea, I know, but that's still what I hoped for.
    After returning from his grave, I wrote a metaphorical story about it on my blog.  That one tribute took so much out of me.  I cried and cried at the computer because I was finally saying goodbye--after years.  You can read that story, about an old house and a woman who's finally ready to move on.  Here's that link: My final tribute--for Zeke
    Anyway, November moved into December.  Cade and I started fighting really bad.  My blog didn't see any of that because I cope with laughter.  Then the washer broke; my laptop died; one of my best friends found out she needed to leave the state.  Then to top all of that off, two days ago, Doctor Jones could have gone blind from putting chemicals in her eyes.
    I sat on my bed and thought about how bad life sucks sometimes.  Seriously.  I remember when Zeke was dying.  The whole experience was terrible, but somehow I got through.  I prayed after remembering, because God had been the one who helped me the entire time.
    "God," I prayed.  "I'm worried about everything.  It's Christmas and my life is falling apart.  I don't know what I'm doing anymore.  Please give me some sort of sign that you love me and we'll make it through."
    The Scribe knocked on my bedroom door.  "Mom?  Are you okay?"
    "Fine," I said.  "I'm fine."  I cleared my throat, then wiped the tears from my eyes.  "I can be strong," my voice came out as a whisper.  After all, it wasn't like Zeke was dying again. 
    I swear I can be such a pansy at times, though.  Once my Aunt told me I'm her hero.  I nearly laughed.  Can you imagine me being someone's hero, yet I crumple when a washing machine breaks?  What's my power, acidic tears?
    Anyway, I went downstairs and hopped on the repaired laptop--that cost more than my life is worth, practically.
    That's when the tides changed.  I read a message on my facebook author page: EC Stilson | Facebook.  

    This is what the message said:
     I loved your book and I left you a message here on facebook when you get a chance, you are a very busy woman!!! Thank You so much for sharing. May your family have a very Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring you a lot of Joy. :)

    I ended up giving the woman my e-mail address and you'll never believe this next part.
    I'm crying again as I write this.  Sometimes God's goodness is so amazing, so overwhelming it's hard to process.  We don't think He sees each of us and our needs, but He does.
    Here's the e-mail she sent to me (which she generously said I could share with you):

    Hi, I am sure you do not know me. You see Zeke's grave is right next to my sister's grave.
    I did go out to put some Christmas decorations on my sister's grave and Zeke's, I have been putting a little something on his when I go out there as well, and I came across a copy of your book. I did take the copy and I will pass it on to my sister and my mom as well. It touched me in ways that you will not know. I am so glad you let us share in it. I cried when I read the part when Zeke passed as well as many other times. You are a very strong lady, and I am glad you wrote the book. I am sure you will help many moms and dads that have walked in your shoes.
     I hope my sister is up there enjoying Zeke as well as a lot of your family members are. She loved children too.
     I just wanted you to know how I felt and to let you know that I will continue to leave things on Zeke's grave if that is OK. I feel even closer to him now that I know his story.
     We lost my sister to Breast Cancer at the age of 45, and I was very close to her.
    Once again, I just wanted to say thanks. You are very talented. God bless you and your family. Take Care

    This meant so much.  Not only had she read the book, but she'd been leaving things on Zeke's grave.  We live a good distance from him and just the thought that someone visited him when I can't--that was a blessing!  

    Here's part of my response:

    The fact that you got the book and read it seems like a miracle to me.  It's just amazing how things work :)  I'm so thankful that your sister's grave is next to my little boy's.

    Here's her last response:

    I felt the same way when I saw the book there. It was like it was there for a reason and I am so glad I was the lucky one to have picked it up. I am so glad you will let me leave things on Zeke's grave, I feel like he is part of us now too. What a great little boy and mom to have touched so many people and you still have a long way to go.

    Reading that e-mail, I realized something important.  There's a difference between letting go and saying goodbye.  After all, when you say goodbye, you know you'll see each other again.

    If you're struggling this Christmas, or just struggling in general, please know how much God loves you.  It's amazing the miracles that can happen, if we just hope and pray for them.  Thank God someone found the book; thank God He's watching out for all of us.
   Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What's the number to poison control?!

    I had a TERRIBLE day yesterday (which did end up being all right).  But at the beginning, I was terrified.  Do you remember those days when I've written about how the kids practically blew up the washing machine or left me for dead, but then things turned out hilarious?!  A few people commented, saying something like "if that was a good day, I'd hate to see what happens on a bad one."  Well, here goes--get ready for a bad one.

    P. S. If you're here from google and looking for poison control, don't waste time reading this!  Hurry, call the poison experts:  1-800-222-1222 

    So, the day didn't start completely bad.  I did some math and discovered some wonderful things; it just so happened AND I DIDN'T KNOW YET that Doctor Jones was playing with the fish tank chemicals while I was working.  Here's what I was so excited about that I didn't notice what was going on with my baby:
    In one month, my book raised over $200 for those suffering with infant loss this holiday season. It's amazing how hard times can bring so much good if you search for the best. Because of my book, I've been able to donate $760 to this cause so far. Pretty exciting if it will help just one person.  
    For more info about my memoir, a new review went up today.  Here's that link: Family Reviews: The Golden Sky     
    Anyway, checking those numbers was pretty amazing, until I heard the Hippie scream upstairs.  Then, the Scribe screamed.  The Zombie Elf started laughing hysterically and I bolted from my computer and the laundry I'd been "working on."
    What could they be up to?  My heart pounded as the screaming continued with Doctor Jones wailing louder than the rest.  Things must have been bad.  Silence is a sign of the dark side, but screaming is even worse!  That's when I saw Doctor Jones.  

    She'd taken algae killer and practically dumped it into her eyes.  Her face was dark green from the dye.  I put her in the tub and called poison control.
    "What's the name of the product?" the woman asked.  "Who's the manufacturer?"
    I told her and it turned out, there was 75% formaldehyde in the stuff and that can cause clouding and even blindness!
    "Put her in the tub," the woman said.  "Wash her eyes out repeatedly, then take her to the E. R. at once."
    I did what she told me and felt like a terrible mother.  What use were donations to honor Zeke's death, if I couldn't even keep Doctor Jones safe?
    As I drove to the hospital, I called a friend.  "Has something like this ever happened to you?" I asked.
    "Yeah.  Kids can move so fast, especially when you have four. Just breathe. I'll pray for her."
    So, I continued on and the whole time I thought about how darling my baby is.  Here's a video I took of her last month.  She's such a ham.  She can be so serious and yet so silly sometimes.  It just broke my heart thinking of her little dyed green eyes. Seriously--even the whites of her eyes were light green from the stuff!

    So, we got there and they took her right in.  
    "You want the good news, or the bad news first?" the doctor asked after many tests.
    My hands clenched.  I kissed my baby's forehead.
    "The good news," I said.
    "Turns out she is very lucky.  You flushed her eyes so well, all of the chemicals are gone and her PH is normal.  There is no damage and she'll be okay."
    "So, what's the bad news?" I asked.
    "She will have some irritation for the next couple days, but I have some drops to help.  The other thing is . . . and I don't know how to tell you this . . . I think she'll be green for Christmas."
    "The dye they use for the formaldehyde is awfully strong.  I can tell you've washed off as much as you can."
    I turned to my poor, darling baby, who smiled at me like this:

    We had to go shopping later, and I have to tell you, I've heard every joke in the book.  
    "What?" one lady chuckled, "did she want to be the Grinch for Christmas?"
     "What a cute little Smurf," another woman said.
    "The Green Lantern, how epic."  A little boy laughed.
    "No matter what color she is, she's darling!" a cashier had the balls to tell me! 

    Then, after we finished shopping, my sweet mother, who I expected to console us, started laughing so hard.  "If you put her in front of my Christmas tree, she'll blend right in!"
    "Yeah."  I finally smiled.  "I guess she would."
    So, I'm laughing about it today.  Thank God Doctor Jones is all right and this will be a Christmas to remember.  The time my kid dyed herself green for the holidays--ug!  
    Like my father-in-law said yesterday, maybe I won't ever run out of things to blog about.  Plus, I just need to make it one more month and I've blogged every day for an entire year.
    I wanted to ask you the same thing I asked my friend, though; has something like this ever happened to you?  Did your kid ever dye themselves green?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How to write a memoir

    Writing a memoir is not easy.  Once a friend told me I'm not like other writers.  "Writing memoirs is easy," she said.  "You don't have to plot things.  You just write what happened.  How hard can that be?  Writing fiction is much harder . . . that's what real authors do."  Her comment made me laugh inside though.  For someone who couldn't write a memoir, she sure knew a lot about them.
    In a sense, she was right (I didn't have to plot things), but in so many other ways she was wrong.  By writing a memoir, I took everything about myself and put it on the line.  I wrote about people I love . . . people I hate.  
    My first memoir, "The Golden Sky," is actually my journal.  It's there for everyone to see my strengths and my weaknesses.  Another person said she didn't like some of the choices my main character made.  I guess that's because I didn't sugarcoat anything--tough luck the main character is me.
    My book has been published for a little over a month; strangers, friends and family have read it.  I've received amazing letters in care of Wayman Publishing.  I've gotten e-mails and phone calls.  Some people are upset they weren't in my journal.  Some "friends" feel terrible about the way they treated me, Cade, even Zeke's memory.  Sure, their names have been changed, but they know who they are.
    I thought about apologizing to those I'd written about, then I changed my mind.  "The Golden Sky" is real.  Sometimes, just like my blog, life is hilarious, fun, even when it's kicking you down, there's always something good to take from the situation, and that's what my book is about.  I had no money.  My son died.  I kicked my husband out.  But, I had a daughter to fight for, a family who would support me (even while moving my furniture when I was away) and I also had those strange people (like Miss Priss) who always seem to be a part of my life.
    So, is writing a memoir easy?  No.  But I think it's absolutely worth it.  
    Just last week I received two e-mails that made me feel like Christmas came early.  Here are two quotes from them:

    "I was so often struck by how completely real and raw your pain and sorrow was throughout the first parts of the book.  And I went along for that ride, Miss Elisa, I really, really did, through the ups and downs - God, it still feels like my heart is in a vice when I think about it - it was just so drenched with your pain, soaked with your soul, that it was impossible not to.  
    "You are such a beautiful writer - and freakin' funny.  There were points where I was crying and laughing like a crazy person at the same time (again, subways, I really didn't get any stares).  Your soul truly is in each word- you've folded it up so it would leak into each one of these pages.  It's so brave of you to share these pieces of yourself with us.  Brave because you are exposing a part of your life that was pure hell on earth - but I have to tell you, it's one of the most inspirational pieces of literature that I've ever read."  

    That e-mail meant the world to me, especially because I'd just gotten a phone call from a family member who thinks it's terrible I'd put so much of my life out for everyone to see.
    The next e-mail made me cry.  Do you remember how I decided what to accomplish in life?  If I can do anything, any one thing, I want to be called a 'good shit' after I die.  Well, one of the Vietnam Vets read my book.  Here's what he sent to me (talk about the best thing ever):

    ''If ever our country is in danger of being 'over run' by  the enemy.....I would pick 'you' to be fighting next to me are one tough woman''!!!!.....You take care..................

    If you've thought about writing a memoir, I encourage you to do so.  Everyone has a story.  Everyone has something special to share.  Although it's been hard, it can be worth it and so rewarding too.


    From now until January 6th (the Epiphany), my eBook is listed as 99 cents HERE on Smashwords and for kindle it's 2.99 HERE on Amazon.
    P.S. Remember my book launch? How Cade and I purchased an iPad2 to give away to a lucky winner? Well, last week someone won. Her named is Robin Murphy!!! Congratulations.  I hope you'll love it.

P. S. My laptop still isn't fixed. I'm on my mom's computer. Thank goodness for mothers ;)

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Baby said "no no"

    Why do people always tell me what to do?  Miss Priss wants the garbage off my porch.  Cade wants his favorite meals AND his pants actually washed.  And now . . . to top all that madness off, the baby told me "no no."
    You need to read the whole story, though.  Let's back up.
    Doctor Jones, my one-year-old princess refused to go to sleep.  She was so tired; her eyes looked puffy.  
    Why won't she act like the angel babies on google? 


    Anyway, so I rocked the kid.  I even sang.  She patted my face.  "Good, Mama."
    Oh, so now I was doing what she wanted!  
    She sang with me as we swayed.  That kid could tame a giant.  I couldn't quite tell what she sang, just that it actually sounded in tune.
    Then, the closer we rocked to her crib I heard her singing ever so gently, "no, no, no, no, no, no, no."
    So I backed away from the crib.  She patted my face.  "Good, Mama," she sang.  We rocked some more, until my arms almost fell off.  
    I approached the crib again.  "Hush little baby don't say a word.  Mama's gonna buy you a--"
    But she didn't want to listen to the song!  She didn't even obey the words.  Instead, she sang right along with me, louder the closer we got to the crib.  "No, no. NO. NO. No."
    I backed away and her voice became a wisp.
    "You know, if you were my first kid, I'd be totally wrapped around your finger.  You're just too smart.  But fortunately for you, I have three other kids to take care of and YOU need to go to sleep--like one of those angel babies on google."
    So, I sang again, going closer to the crib.  The whole time, she sang "no" with me, louder and louder.  Then, softer as we backed away until we both started giggling so hard I dropped to one knee.  
    I put her in her crib after the giggle-fest ended, pulled a blanket around her tiny body and patted her on the face.  "Good baby," I said.
    I leaned down so she could pat my cheek and tell me, "good, Mama," like she had earlier, but instead she cocked back her hand, gave me this strange look and hit me across the face.  "No. No no no," she sang and closed her eyes before a huge smile played across her face.  "Good, Mama," she said and rolled over--giggling!

    I'll never forget it. Sure, she hit me, but it does prove the kid is smart.
    You know, she just might end up being like the rest of them.  I'm a bit scared, though.  She's awfully young, which means she has a head start!

On a side note:  My laptop is dying.  I've been borrowing a friend's computer (she's SOOO nice and visiting from out of town).  Now she's going home and I'll miss her.  Anyway, I'll be without a working computer, so I'm taking my laptop to the computer geniuses today.  Hopefully they'll fix it soon so I can read your amazing blogs ;)

P.S. I'll be back tomorrow, even if it is on the library's computer!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Funny Christmas Letter

    Have you ever gotten a crazy Christmas letter?  You know the kind, with the family updates that make you feel like pond scum.  I normally love Christmas letters (real ones that aren't there to serve us lesser beings with a reason to be depressed).  But the other day, Miss Priss graced us with a gift that she left in the EXACT spot where the trash had been!
    If you don't know what I'm talking about, go here: A Dog Got into the Trash
    Anyway, she'd attached a Christmas letter to some cookies.  The paper practically shone because she'd gloated TOO MUCH!  That woman is mean, but in such a nice way.  We didn't eat the cookies she left, since I was terrified they either had laxatives or Viagra in them.

    Well, Fishducky must have met  someone like Miss Priss.  Check out this AWESOME, beautifully sarcastic letter she gave out one year.
    Thanks for sharing, Fishducky.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Ugly Christmas Sweater

    My oldest girls, the Scribe (who's ten) and the Hippie (who's seven) love fighting with me.  They aren't terrible fights where I get black eyes and lose hair.  Well, maybe I've lost hair.  No, they're the sort of fights I really hate.  Physical pain--no problem, I had four of my five kids without pain killers.  
    But these fights drive me nuts. They're useless and pointless.  They're about clothes!
    When it's summer, the Hippie thinks it's appropriate to wear wool sweaters and snow pants.  In the winter she'd prefer miniskirts and tank tops.  "What are you doing?" I asked the other day.
    "You don't want me being like everyone else.  Do you?"
    "If it'll keep you alive, then yes!  There's half a foot of snow out there.  You can't go to school in flip flops."
    "Yeah, I bet I could?  I'm tough enough."
    That kid thinks she's an oracle, a superhero--or something.  Could she wear flip flops . . . yes.  Should she--ABSOLUTELY NOT!  "That isn't a good idea," I said, pointing at her.
    "Yes, it is," she said.
    "No, it isn't.  I know you don't get it now, but you'll understand when . . . you're ninety-two."  

    On a side note, everyone in this family knows about being ninety-two.  People get completely wise at ninety-two; at least I think so.  Ninety-one-year-olds might think they have it all.  Even people in their late eighties might have false hope.  They're wrong, though.  True wisdom doesn't come until the age of ninety-two.  I realized this truth after meeting Opal, that fiddling hound, who was pretty wise.  That story is here: I Went Underground--Fiddler Style   Anyway, she was the ninety-two-year-old fiddler who kicked my ars.  If I can just make it that long, then maybe I'll get wise and be good enough at fiddling to finally show her up in Heaven. Oh well . . . dreams, dreams.

    Back to the story: The Scribe is even worse about her clothes than the Hippie is.  The Scribe is sneaky.  At least the Hippie tells me what she's doing.  The Scribe, on the other hand, will put a massive shirt over some grungy top she knows I hate.  Then, once she's at school, she'll take the sweater off and strut like she owns the fourth grade.  Once I even caught her! "Why are you wearing that?"
    She pulled me aside and whispered, "Because I'm a tomboy.  This is the stuff you have to wear if you want the boys to play soccer with you."
    That was strange.  The Hippie would rather show some skin--in outfits that DO NOT match--while the Scribe just wants to hang out with the boys, play soccer and paint.
    "Fine, I'll let this slide.  But I'm taking you shopping, and you need to start wearing the things I buy for you even if you think they're ugly."
    She cautiously shook on it, the deal of doom.
    I took my girls shopping later and while at the store, I found the cutest sweater.  "That's kind of . . . ugly," the Scribe said.
    "Is not!  It's awesome.  You're wearing this tomorrow."
    I bought the sweater although both my girls seemed mortified.  The point remained, I got it from some teen store.  I even saw a cute girl wearing one.  That had to be neat, right?  I could be a cool Mom--damn it!  Plus, it had Rudolph and Clarice on it.  You can't go wrong with Rudy and Clair, seriously.


    "You're wearing this," I said morning after morning.
    "But that's a picture from a baby show AND the nose lights up."
    "That's what made it so expensive . . . So, you can glow in the dark like when Rudolph guided the sleigh."
    She just stared at me.
    "Plus," I went on, "Would I like a baby show?  I LOVE that show."  I paused and got to the heart of the issue.  "I'm only twenty-eight, Scribe . . . a young mom!  You treat me like I'm sooo old, like I've expired."
     So, the battle raged every day for weeks until I finally gave up.  Fine, if they wanted to look like grungy, bratz girls, let them.  
    I wrote my blog at 5 a.m., drank strong coffee and hoped for the best.  My girls woke up making me nearly shake with fear.  This was a big step--letting them pick their own clothes--what would they wear?
    But of all the days for me to give up, the girls came down the stairs and shocked me. The Scribe's shirt blinked with its red light shining in our previously dark world.  The Hippie wore a wool sweater she'd once professed to dislike.  So, I did what any good mother would do, I made them pancakes.  We danced and sang.  We smiled and laughed.  We even used syrup!
    It wasn't until the end of the day came that things unraveled.  I waited for school to end.  After the bell rang, my girls came closer  and hugged me tight.  "This was the best day ever.  You two are growing up.  You didn't fight with me about clothes."
    They both smiled in this weird sort of way.  "Yeah, Mom," the Hippie said, so tender it looked like tears of guilt lined her eyes.
    "Mom," the Scribe said, "we have something to tell you."
    "Yeah?" I asked.
    She rubbed her hands together as if thinking of a way to get out of trouble.  "We're glad you're happy.  We've been talking; we don't want to fight about clothes anymore.  We don't want to look bad, but we don't want to fight either."
    "Great," I said.  "I, for one, think you look awesome!"
    One of their friend walked by at that moment, he hit the Scribe's backpack and gave her a thumbs up.  "You sure know how to win at everything.  That was the perfect pick for ugly sweater day.  Congrats on winning."
    I paled.   It was hard to speak.
    My girls looked sick, too.  
    "You wore these clothes, for UGLY SWEATER DAY?" I asked, my voice going higher with every word.
    "Yeah," the Scribe said.  "The Hippie didn't win in her class, but I did.  I guess I should thank you.  I won a candy bar."  She fumbled with her backpack.  "You want it?"
    "No thanks." I groaned.
    The Scribe pulled a sad face.  "But I was serious.  We don't want to fight about clothes anymore."
    "Why?" I looked in the rear view mirror.
    "Because you were so happy, we even got syrup."
    I snorted.  "You really won the contest?"
    "Yep," the Scribe nodded.  "I never thought having such an ugly sweater could be so epic."
    "Yeah," the Hippie agreed.
    "I always knew it would be."  I nodded, lying as I tried sounding like the young, COOL mother.  "Ugly sweaters are in style right now.  Seriously, they are.  I saw it on the news and everything."

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Dog Got into the Trash

    First off, if you read my post yesterday (Why can't I get into the holiday spirit?), you already know that I put some garbage on my porch to make Miss Priss angry.  Well, shortly after writing that story, a dog got into the trash.
    We still haven't found the criminal mastermind, but we do have some suspects.  Just judging them on looks, which one of these dogs do you think did it?

1 Rolly
Definitely a lover of junk food.  I wouldn't put a crime like this past him.

2 Blondie
Sometimes it's the innocent ones you have to look out for!

3 Ewok
The name says it all.  Plus, look how spry this dog is.

4 Paris
I know I shouldn't be so partial, but if they were in a lineup, this dog would go free. 

    Seriously, who do you think is guilty?!  I'm voting for number three.  You can't trust anyone who can jump that high.

    As Cade helped clean up the terrible mess, he looked into my eyes and laughed, "God done this to ya."
    "How so?" I asked.  
    "Well, it's just fate.  The funniest things happen to you.  Seriously, you finally get the balls to stand up for yourself and a dog gets into the trash.  I know you don't think it's funny, but it kind of is."
    As Cade talked, Miss Priss ran past, smiled AND WAVED.  
    Oh, she makes me angry!
    One of these days, I swear we're going to have a girl fight.  I don't care if it's at the post office or the grocery store.  We might even arrange it, with judges and everything.

    Anyway, I had a much cooler story to tell you about the Scribe and an ugly Christmas sweater, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.  Today, I need to know which dog you think is guilty.