Friday, July 30, 2010

Saved Symphony

Anticipation heavy
With fury and fervor
A symphony arrives
First, low rumbling, then
The cascade begins,
Rain dances in crowns,
its impact
for a split-second
reflected back
Want to capture the crowns
And save them
Not for a rainy day,
For the steamy day
When I'll toss them about
To relive the storm

For more Flash Friday 55, go see g-man's comments. That's where you leave your link, too.

Thanks go to the amazingly gifted Jane at Aging Mommy. She wrote a wonderful poem about a storm as a symphony. I stole her idea and made my own. Here's hers. (At the bottom of the post, but don't skip it! She writes with humor and honesty.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red Faced @ Life is Good

Red-faced. Embarrassed. Chagrinned. That's me. I made a colossal blunder recently. But, the first step to getting over that sort of fiasco is to make light of it, try to see the humor in it, and then just keep on swimming.

I've been working on my writing a lot this spring and summer. I've read books to hone my craft, I've brainstormed, written drafts, edited, and published posts. Last week I was working on a GMC chart. Goal, motivation, conflict. Both external and internal. The charts look like this:
Character GMC's

Chrystal Bane-Howard



They help you get a handle on what makes your character tick, and gives richness and depth to them. I've been toying with finally writing a novel, since it's a long-term goal of mine. And times a wasting. So I had filled out this chart for the possible wife character (Chrystal), and another for her slime-ball husband (Dan). Their motivations and goals were not exactly...admirable shall we say. And I sent it to a writing buddy for critique. Thought I sent it to a writing buddy.

So I get an email from myself containing this chart. Hmm, that was stupid. But I send a lot of emails to myself when the recipients are a group of people in the bcc. I must have been on auto-pilot. I didn't think much of it, no harm done. Re-sent the email to my buddy. It's not long before emails start pouring in.

I'm confused. What do you want me to do with this file?”
Did you mean to send this, please explain.”

Then the phone rings. It's The Swede.

I think you sent me a file by mistake.”

It's at this point that I go to my sent folder, and realize with dawning horror that not only did I send it to myself, I also filled in the bcc. As is habit for many, many emails I send daily. You see, I'm the coordinator for our church's prayer chain. I sent my file TO THE ENTIRE PRAYER CHAIN. OMG! I mean, people get email by mistake a lot, but this file wasn't regarding tame subjects. These characters were committing adultery and murder and phony works of philanthropy. I'm simply mortified.

Immediately I go to damage control mode. Lots of people only check their email once a day. Maybe they'll get my explanation without even opening the file. There's at least some hope. I send out a self-deprecating apology, asking that they just delete the file. And pray. (Appropriate, right?) I know what you're thinking, “Well if she's that embarrassed by what she wrote and who saw it, maybe she shouldn't be writing that.” Yeah, I hear you. But I happen to believe Christians should read widely and variedly, and discern for themselves what's appropriate or not. It's just that a lot of these dear pray-ers are of my grandparent's generation, where a lot of stuff just wasn't said out loud. And certainly not by church-goers. So it's while cringing that I await what the senior pastor will say. Because of course the entire church staff is on this list.

He apparently, though, was a bit behind in his email. Almost a week later I get his email. I recognize the subject line he's replied to. This is what I've been waiting for.

I'm not quite sure what you want me to do with this.”

I write back, peddling as fast as I can, tell him about the damage control I did, about people's reactions. And wait for his reply. It's not long before he puts me out of my misery.

That's SO funny. Please give my regards to Chrystal.”

So folks, the moral of the story is this. Don't send emails on auto-pilot. Ever. As for me, I think I'll print copies of what I've written and hand them to my writing buddy. Better safe than sorry.

This post is part of Alphabe-Thursday. We're going through the rainbow, one color at a time. Head over to our hostess with the most-est, Jenny Matlock for other great posts featuring the color RED.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Do You Still?

He'll always be
A persistent ache,
though the ragged edge
has healed,
one tiny sliver
at a time.
Like a stone,
caressed by
incessant waves,
whose edges get
smooth, over time.
Now, when she allows
the memories,
they're an embrace,
not the stab of regret
that used to come.
Wistful, she can still see
his gaze
hungry eyes
feel the giddy leap
of her young heart.
Again, warm hands,
mapping the lines and curves
of her body,
the long
s l o w
which left her
reaching for more.

She sighs.
They once
no thought to resisting.

But now
Does he sit there like this,
In a rumpled bed
and remembering?

This is a magpie tale.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mourning After, part II

Today I have the privilege of partnering with the amazingly talented Brian Miller at WaystationOne.  He wrote the first half of this story, so jump on over there to read the beginning, then come back here for the end.

It's been two weeks since he died, and I'm drowning. But I knew that someday I would. After all, there's penance. Penance for sins so great we cannot breathe them out loud. I look at my treasure. This living, breathing proof of my husband, Will's love. A love that I didn't think I ever deserved. And I know it's all my fault his daddy's gone. How am I going to raise this precious child without him? I can't even breathe.

I met him accidentally. I know people say that, and then believe that some higher power arranged it, but not me. I know it really was an accident. I mean, how many times does it happen that you're in a car crash and the paramedic turns out to be the love of your life? I gave up believing such nonsense at an early age. But there he was. His kindness calming me, his reassurance actually believable.

Mom? Mom? Aren't we going to play”

I shrug the thoughts away, the blanket of them too heavy for my child. We play. I tuck him in.

Evenings are always the hardest. Without his presence, I have no compass. I'd been a silly girl to believe in redemption. In a love so overpowering that the past melted away. “It doesn't matter what happened before we met. What counts is from now on.” I'd actually begun to think it might be true.

I can't sleep in our bed. We'd loved so tenderly that last morning, and I can't bear to go back there without him. Instead I haunt the couch, and try to endure the vacuum my life has become. But the chill always comes, creeps into my bones. Evil. But tonight's chill is different. Tonight Josh said, “Daddy is right there!” And I haven't been able to shake the feeling of a presence, even though I was able to so calmly say, “Well of course, he'll always be with us, honey. In our hearts.” Tonight the chill has weight, and form, and makes me uncomfortable in my skin.

I see it again. I'm in that room, monitors beeping, doctors discussing me in whispers as if I weren't right there, didn't have a voice. Or a choice. “It's either her, or the child. We can't save them both.” Unable to speak, unable to cry out in protest, I fade away.

They saved me. As for our first child, my unborn, precious, miraculous child, he was gone. And I know that's why they took Will. To pay for that, they took him. Took my north, tied these chains of grief around me, and shoved me into this darkness from which there is no escape.

And the dreams have started again. It's always the same. I see our unborn child running towards me, about six years old, golden hair curling, slightly damp at the temples. His little legs sprinting across that meadow, into my eagerly waiting arms. He doesn't see the presence behind him, doesn't see the hooded figures with icy breath, skeleton hands, quickly catching up to him. I know that if I reach him first, he's mine. But my feet always get stuck in the mire, and I never get there in time. He's always just one step out of reach when they snatch him up, take him away. His piercing scream of terror echoing, “Mom! Mom! Help! Don't let them take me!” No words come. I want to say, “I'll find you, I'll rescue you!” But I have no mouth. I can't even scream.

I always fight sleep. Most nights I end up in the hall outside Josh's room, as if I could guard him from that evil by my physical presence. Eventually my body gives in to the sleep, and when I awake, I'm curled up on the hardwood floor.

Mom! Mo-om! Wake UP! Daddy is taking me to the park!”

I'm startled awake. Sunlight dances in through the sky-light, haloing his perfect little face.
Ah, umh...”When?”

My vision clears and I see Josh. And Will! Propped on his hip is the six year old from my dreams. Will reaches for his son's hand, and I'm suddenly wide awake.

No Josh! No!”

He takes his daddy's hand, and as the three of them turn and walk down the hallway, I'm paralyzed. Just like in my dreams. I'm screaming, screaming, trying to speak, to run, to stop it from happening, but as always I'm stuck.

I don't know how long I lay there, but I know what I'll find when I get up. Finally, I move. Terror and grief are stuck in my throat, thick like paste, but I can't stop myself. I open the door to Josh's room. And of course he's lying right there. Not moving. Stone cold to my fingers.

His eyes flutter, my heart clenching in a fist of hope, “Mom, I saw dad, and another little boy. He said everything is going to be okay and that he will always love us.”

I pull my son to me, threatening to smother him in my embrace, as I soak up the last cold vestiges of my husbands touch.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Centus #12 Going Home

Driving six hours is a long time on the road. Six hours spent singing car-aoke and taking in the picturesque scenery, but mostly reminiscing about the good times. But those days were long gone and my mind was in a different place now. Or was it? My pulse quickened as I passed the road sign which read "Medford 27 miles."
Despite what I'd been through, the thought of my cozy room at my Grandmother's house made me smile. But it's not easy going home again. Not when you left with high hopes, big dreams, and return penniless, and barely hanging on to your hard-fought sanity. I take the turn to Bedford, and despite my misgivings, I find another smile. This town that I grew up in, where my sweet Grandma was my mother from the age of 3, hasn't changed much in twenty years. And then I'm there. She's on the front porch. “Welcome home, honey!” “Hi Gram!”

This is Saturday Centus, and once again I'm trying to contain my verbosity to 100 words past the prompt.  If you'd like more info, please visit Ms. Jenny Matlock at "off on my tangent" for the full rules and more great takes on this prompt, which was in bold italics above.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Maybe Her Name is Alice

sometimes I see her
watering her tiny, tattered lawn
her bathrobe
just as tattered
having long since lost
it's vibrant colors,
so faded, it's more of a shadow
than a garment
and barefoot
(Have you ever seen an 80 year-old lady barefoot)
her toes, squishing
newly watered grass
her hose
sending the rainbows
my way

This is Flash Friday 55.  Tell a story in exactly 55 words, then head on over to g-man and tell him about it, leaving your link in his comments.  You'll find more 55s to visit, too.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

T is for Teacher @ Life is Good

I have a lot of stories about my eight years as math teacher, track coach, team leader, committee member, and the three years that I also was allowed to teach English. (I never got my certification in English, though I was pretty close to a minor. For middle school it doesn't have to be official. They just accepted the courses I'd tested out of doing AP English and Literature, and my creative writing and lit stuff in college (“stuff”, isn't that a great, specific word for an English teacher? LOL) (Though of course, as you know, my training did not include rules about using parentheses. Probably good, because I'd be breaking just about every one of them.) With so much to tell, this post was already two pages long before I even arrived at my middle school. I've therefore chopped all that and will tell you one story that to this day never fails to leave me in fits of giggles when I go back to it.

We had nine periods one year. Yes, each is shorter, but you have all those transitions to work through. Regardless, even I, the self-proclaimed math nerd, would not have wanted math ninth period. It was going on March, and we'd just returned from spring break. During spring break they re-wax all the floors. My classroom was part of a former “open classroom design”. I remember this trend well, as it was how I spent my own middle school years. However, bright minds had finally caught on to the fact that middle school kids are easily distracted. I know, really observant, right? So there was a temporary, moveable wall between me and the social studies teacher. When I wanted to dismiss my kids, I had to peek out the door to make sure he'd already dismissed his, as mine had to traipse through his classroom to return to civilization. It worked fine, though. Mr. M and I were both schedule oriented people. (Please hang with me, this background is crucial to what happened.) So here we are, ninth period, newly waxed floors, dividing MOVEABLE wall. Just trying to sum up so you know what's important.

My classroom was very structured. As is math. As am I. We'd completed the five warm-up questions, graded our previous homework, and were just getting to the lesson of the day. I have no recollection of what that lesson was, though since it was March, probably geometry. I'm at my over-head, doing examples, and I've just about had it from him. “Kyle” was one of those smart-ass kids who pushed every envelope edge and button he could. But he was smart, and funny, and gosh-darnit, I really liked him. However, he'd made one rude comment too many (though they were clever, still rude) had distracted one infatuated girl too many, and it was time for action.

Kyle, get your books and switch to that seat back THERE.” I pointed to the wasteland. I had a table at the side of my room which my blind student needed for her braille machine and her aide. When she wasn't in the class, it was my “you have been banished from the rest of us decent folks” seat. He picked up his books, snarled at me, and went marching exaggeratedly towards the back. As he's getting ready to turn the corner behind the rows of desks, he encounters the newly polished floors, and with one of those exaggerated, giant stomps, looses his footing. With a thundering THUD he slides like a baseball player into home plate, and hits the temporary wall, which starts to sway. I'm talking big fall, big thud. The entire classroom ERUPTS in laughter. I mean, picture this. This popular kid, who just got told where to go by his favorite teacher (yea, he told me that, AFTER this incident) ends up being taken down ALL the notches, and is lying on the floor, books scattered. As for me, I'm gone. Dissolved in the biggest fit of giggles I've ever had.

Mr. M comes to my door. “Is everything ok? We heard a huge thud. The wall was moving.” He then notices the laughter all around. And the red-faced boy at the quarantine table. “Hey Mr. Hotshot, guess karma caught up with you!” The class again dissolves into laughter. But they calm down soon. Me, not so much. I don't know why exactly I wasn't able to pull it together, but each time I started to return to the lesson, the image of his fall played again in my brain. And I started giggling again. “It's not that funny!” “Can we have some more examples?” But they hadn't seen it from my perspective. Most of them just heard the thud, turned around, and saw him lying there. They missed the snarl, the stomp, the karma. I just gave up. “We'll catch up tomorrow. No homework tonight!” “AWESOME!” “What are you going to do tomorrow, Kyle, to get us no homework?”

This is alphabet soup week at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. We've been asked to stir it all up by posting either an old post which we want more readers for, a post for a letter we missed, or just another take on a letter we've already done. I decided to take T (for Tina the teacher) and post what I'd been thinking of when we were on vacation. Please head over to Jenny's and taste some more of the “soup”.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


My life is as grey
As depression.
I'm sinking, sinking,
Can't get a grip
The ladder, out of my reach
And with each day,
Further and further.

My pit used to have one
Each day I'd crawl
Through the mire
Through the muck
Scratching, and
Digging, and
Desperately grasping
For that ladder
Which kept being
Further and further
Out of my reach

There were days
Where I'd see it
I can see it!
Maybe I can get there!
But then

Painful, and
Would smother me
With its inertia
And I'd sit
Trying to breathe

But today?
I take a deep breath,
Look once again,
And there it is.
I found the ladder.
I reach.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cold Fire

The fire is out
The ashes cold
It's been too long, since
Fire burned
Bright, and
and consuming.

I do remember when
We ran through the waves
Chased the tide
Built the castles,
Watched then drown.

Now I'm cold
And tired
Can't remember the fire
or the waves
or the fairy-tale castles
Of a young girl's dreams

I stare
At the ashes
Of a very cold fire
And mourn.
We've lost
Who I thought
We would be.

I'm trying my first magpie tale.  Each week we get a picture to inspire a story or poem.  There are some amazing poets and writers in this group.  Check it out!

Finally, Some Progress

I'm so relieved to be able to give you a health update! If you're new to my blog, you can find the beginning of this story in Bed Rest, and in O is for Oxygen.

Since I last whined about my troublesome lungs, I've been to the pulmonologist twice, and to the allergist, twice. Mr. Lungs was of no help whatsoever.  He just had me take a bunch of expensive breathing tests in order to say what my primary care doc had already said, post-infectious chronic reactive airway disease.  But Mr. Allergies finally found some answers! He of course discovered my allergies to every single pollen, something not news to me. I've just never bothered to know exactly which, I just know that each spring it will be hell, and year round, still pretty bad. I've been on Claritin for years. He also found me allergic to cats, which was a huge surprise. I've had cats since my childhood, growing up and into adulthood. I guess they were contributing to my mostly seasonal allergies. I'm also allergic to dust mites, but we don't have them in Colorado. He said. I'm not so sure about that and the thought of them eating my dead skin cells in my mattress gives me the heebie jeebies.

However, this news didn't explain my feelings of tightness in the chest, nor the trouble getting a deep breath. But he had me try Singulair for my lingering cough, and it's magic! I no longer cough AT ALL. Which is an unbelievable relief! I've been coughing for five long months. But it didn't help with the breathing thing. However, he wasn't giving up, and with further examination (which included a LOT of “does this hurt” “YES!”) he has diagnosed me with costochondritis.  In brief, it's an inflammation of the joint where the rib bone meets the cartilage which connects to your sternum.  It causes those feelings of tightness, and an inability to get a deep breath.  He thinks this was caused by the whooping cough infection, and then just never got better since I was still coughing, aggravating those connections with each hack, hack, sputter, wrap my arms around me, try to stop coughing episode.  He's put me on a very low dose of prednisone (to give you an idea, I was on 90 mg when I first got whooping cough, this is 5 mg.) AND IT IS WORKING! Breathing is easier, moving is easier, I can go up and down the stairs without getting dizzy. I can walk to the mailbox and back without getting winded. I can't tell you what a relief this is! These may sound like small tasks, but to me they used to be huge.

So it's with great pleasure that I can now answer, “Better, thanks!” when asked how I'm feeling. I'm not to well yet, but certainly finally on my way.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Over Easy

Hes' coming soon!
She melts the butter in the pan,
Drops in two eggs
She's smiling.

He's coming soon!
Don't burn the toast,
He doesn't like that.
She slathers the bread
With homemade jam.

He's coming soon!
The table is carefully set
Her best china
Table cloth chosen with care
His favorite color

He's coming soon!
She arranges the breakfast
In a smile
Eggy eyes
Bacony grin
Toast, in halves, for ears

He's coming soon!
She knows it,
But she waits
Still alone
Food long cold, and
Her wounded heart
Has a deeper cut.

I started this as a Flash Friday 55, but realized she needed more words to tell her story.  This is fiction, but it comes from my heart as I grieve my beloved Grandma.  As I wrote this, I thought of all the lonely Grandmas out there, who long for that little grandson to come home, even though he's long gone to college.  I miss you so much, Grandma Vivian.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Centus #11 - Dreaming of Dorothy

I can't believe it's Saturday Centus again!  I love this themed writing meme hosted by the fab Ms. Jenny Matlock at "off on my tangent".  If you'd like to join us, head over there for this week's prompt and the full rules.  To sum up, you get 100 words to write your short, short story, inserting the prompt words intact anywhere in the story.  Then just link up to Jenny's, and we'll come read yours!  It's great fun, and I've found so many great blogs to follow.  This week's prompt is in italics, the rest is mine.

I heard it again, despite my closed office door, slithering through the cracks of my partially opened windows and assaulting my tired ears.

♫ “Somewhere, over the rainbow...”

That was just about enough. Emily had been singing the same song ALL morning.

For pete's sake, Emily, can't you sing anything else? You're driving me crazy and I have a deadline! How am I supposed to write with you serenading the entire neighborhood?”

Sorry, mom, but the audition is tomorrow. You know I want to be Dorothy.”

Sighing, I left my office. The deadline could wait. My daughter needed my attention.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Love Knots

Her wares are carefully spread
The colorful scarves
Waving their welcome
In the humid breeze

Her fingers fly
In practiced rhythm
The yarn unfurls
With her tug

Another scarf
Taking shape
In the puddle of rainbow hues
At her feet

They come
Hands rifling
They choose
Her love will now
Hug another
She sighs

OOPS.  I've had this up all day with no credit to the meme host.  Sorry about that g-man.  This is a Flash Friday 55.  If you'd like to try this, give it a whirl, then visit the g-man and tell him about it, putting your link in the comment.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Z is for ZZZ's @ Life is Good

Wanna grab some zzz's? I do. I've always been a fan of the nap as a favorite pastime, and usually have slept pretty well at night. Lately, though, since my chronic illness, I've started thinking more and more about sleep. And naps. To me, there are three levels of sleep. The catnap, the planned nap, and the going-to-bed-for-the-night sleep.

I'm an excellent cat-napper. I know that a lot of people can fall asleep in the car, or watching TV. No problem. That's JV cat-napping. But can you fall asleep at work? I did. Not that I recommend this, mind you. It's just that my body is very good at the power nap. Give me ten minutes, and I can be asleep in thirty seconds, and refreshed when I wake up. This particular incident happened on a lazy, hot afternoon. No, it wasn't donuts or Wendy's, this was during my glamorous job at the liquor store. I was working the day shift, had finished all the stock work, and my required two cases of “ringing”. (To save money, all Bud cans were bought by the case, and we put our own six-packs together with those plastic rings. There's even a special tool. But it's mind-numbing work.) I settled myself on the stool by the drive-up cash register, and waited for customers. Wasn't long before I was nodding off. I tried valiantly to stay awake, but my body won. WHACK! My head hit the window. There was a car sitting there, and its driver saying, Miss? Miss??? I have no idea how long I was out for, but man, that was embarrassing. And I had a lump on my head for a while.

Planned naps are much more satisfying than cat-naps, though. Throughout my life, my napping has ebbed and flowed according to my kids' schedule. And alas, there were many years when they were too old for naps, but too young to be left in front of the TV for me to nap, so I suffered. Napless. This isn't true anymore, so I'm again indulging in naps. Besides, one of the many doctors I've seen for this lung crap said get more rest. I am taking that to the bank. Naps are best when you slip onto your own bed, with a fan for white noise (and heat relief in my case), and strict “do not disturb” instructions. Some naps are so satisfying that I wake up completely disoriented as to time, day, and where anyone else is. Ahh, refreshed for cooking a good meal and hanging out with the boys without yawning the evening away.

But even with a nap, there's still the need to get a good night's sleep. I've slept in tents, campers, on picnic tables when the rain wouldn't stop, and on the floor at a friend of a friend's house when the snow kept me from going home. I've done couches, during childhood been forced to sleep with my Sissie who is in constant motion, or now that I'm an adult, with one of my sick children. But the very best sleep is in my own bed. We have a Tempur-Pedic clone from Costco. It's amazing. Firm, yet giving, so good for bad backs (The Engineer's.) And I only need four pillows. Yawn. This is making me tired. G'night, sleep tight! 

This post has been brought to you by the letter Z.  I'm an Alphabe-Thursday student and Ms. Jenny is our teacher.  Head over to her "off on my tangent" and enjoy the fun!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I see him on the corner,
Holding his sign
Be-bopping to music
Only in his mind.

A simple soul,
A little boy
In the grown man's body,
Brain not quite whole.
His smile, contagious
His work ethic strong.
He waves his sign, all day long.

I think of his mom
Wonderful schemes
Plans for her child
But he's not what he seems
A child forever,
Shattered dreams.

But he's happy on his corner,
Holding his sign
Be-bopping to music
Only in his mind.

I've seen him many times since this particular sub shop has three locations in our town.  Once he was taking his break inside the store, and I overheard a conversation between him and a co-worker.  "Get out of here, Charlie.  Go wave your sign."  

"Not yet.  Charlie gets a break.  Charlie gets his coke.  Charlie has three minutes." 

"Well don't hang out here, we've got customers."

"Charlie can help."

"We don't want your help, Charlie, just go."

"Charlie has two minutes left." 

He finished his break, picked up his sign, and went outside.
The workers then threw some nasty comments his way about his intelligence, his speech, etc.
I'd say it would be the rude co-workers who lack the intelligence to deal with anything different.
You go, Charlie.  I'm rooting for you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Camping Therapy

My brain is fried
My neckline damp
Too hot outside
I long to camp

Lovely breeze
Cooler air
Want to freeze?
Come meet me there

We'll sit around the fire
Late at night
The stars to admire
Not a TV in sight

Whispering secrets
Sharing the calm
Perhaps some regrets
This time is a balm

A simpler world
The clocks put away
My tension unfurled
I just want to stay

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meet Our Newest Family Member

She's here! She's finally here! My cousin GorgeousGirl just moved in with us. We have been waiting a long time for this, and the whole family is excited. AND she brought her adorable Yorkie, Ajax.

We have a strange family dynamic going on with succeeding generations. It all started with me being born when my Aunt Risky (her mom) was 16. GorgeousGirl was born when I was 16, and then Jake was born when she was 16. Weird, isn't it? I was so excited when she was born, my very first cousin! I'd waited a long time for one. Aunt Risky worked part time, so on Friday's, we got GorgeousGirl.

It was so neat for me, who grew up playing with dolls a lot, to have “real” baby to take care of. I remember walking her around, trying to soothe her, her tiny arms wrapped around my neck as she cried and cried. When she got too big for me to carry for very long, we'd sit in the soft chair in the family room, and I'd walk my fingers up and down her arms. “Tickle my arm some more!” I was hard leaving her behind when we had to move from MD to CO when I was almost 18. (Not to mention how it totally sucks big time to move for your senior year...)

After that, we only saw each other on yearly visits to the Briarpatch, and occasionally at Christmas. She loved make-up and would want to practice on me. An expert with nail polish at the age of seven, she gave great “manicures”. She would style my hair, and put eye-shadow on me. But as she got older and moved in with her dad instead of Aunt Risky, we rather lost touch for many years. It wasn't until she was an adult that we reconnected. Joyously. We began the yearly or so visits again, and of course, she came for a visit at age 16 when Jake was born. That's tradition.

My kids adore her. She's to them what my Aunt Risky was to me – the daring one. The one who lets Jake drive her jeep up and down the Briarpatch driveway. The one who takes them out on the jet ski. Who takes them snowboarding. Who'll go to the pool with them the third time in one day when all the rest of the adults are tired from skiing and just want to sit in front of the condo fire with a glass of wine. She's infinitely patient with them, and truly seems to enjoy them instead of “just giving you a break from them”.

It was probably five years ago that we light heartedly began talking about her moving in with us. It started with the fact that our guest bedroom is quite pink, which is her favorite color. But there was either a boyfriend, or her horse, or something else keeping her in MD. This spring she was at a training conference for her job and met some CO counterparts. (The cosmetic company – yeah, that's what she does, grand right? - has stores all over the country.) 

 She visited them when she was here for one of our snowboarding vacations and the idea just seemed to take root. Before long she had her transfer, started packing, and planning the move.

On Thursday, she arrived with her jeep, her dog, and a trailer worth of belongings. Most of them equipment for the outdoor sports she loves so much, and CO can so easily accommodate. She's part of our family in a more personal way now. And she's does my eyebrows. What more can a girl want?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Friendly Neighbor (Saturday Centus #10)

It's Saturday Centus again, only this week Ms. Matlock has made it even harder.  We have to write in romance style...but at least we get 200 words this time.  If you'd like to join us, you can find the full rules here.  This week's prompt is in italics.  The rest is my mine.

When I turned around I was startled to meet a green eyed gaze. He was tall. And his brawny muscles strained against his tight-fitting t-shirt. “Well hello there, Freckles!” His voice caressed and caused a shiver to run down my spine.

It's Kate, not freckles.”

And sassy, too. I like that.”

Do you have a name?”


And what are you doing here, Mr. Sawyer?” I tried valiantly to hide my attraction.

Skip the Mr, if you would. It's just Sawyer. I moved in next door. And now I'm really liking this neighborhood.

Ok, so his grin was definitely contagious, and those eyes. This could be big trouble.

Welcome then, Sawyer.”

Can't you do better than that?” Without warning he crushed me to his chest and planted his lips on mine. I made a feeble protest and a half-hearted effort to push him away. But the allure was too strong, and it wasn't long until my arms were pulling his head in closer and I deepened the kiss. I felt myself being swept away by the passion he ignited, but luckily I felt a tug on my shirt. We pulled apart guiltily.

Mommy, why are you kissing that man?”

Friday, July 9, 2010

The New Kid

Moving aside the new curtain
he peers.
Through his window.

They all seem to know.
Unspoken rules,
and instinctively follow,
that pecking order.
King, pawn.

He yearns.
Mom encourages.

But she has never had to be the one
Who peers.
Through his window.

Maybe tomorrow.

In my time zone, it's still Friday...And this is a Flash Friday 55.  Visit the g-man and let him know about your post in the comments.  Lot's of great 55s out there, so please join the party!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Y is for YellowBoy @ Life is Good

YellowBoy is an amazing kid. I gave you a brief introduction in one of my first posts, and I shared about his passion for cooking in E is for Eggs, but he's been waiting almost the whole alphabet to get his own post. He declined being featured earlier when the letter of his real name came up, preferring instead to wait all the way until Y.

So let's tackle the subject of yellow first. As a toddler, if someone sat him down in front of some crayons and asked him to color, it would be all yellow. Seriously. For several years ALL of his art from pre-school and Sunday school was monochromatic. In yellow. When I asked him why, he responded rather indignantly, “It's my favorite. That's why I use it.” But what about the other colors? Don't you need them, even if they aren't your favorite? “Why? All I need is yellow. Everything should be yellow, Mom.” And so it began.

He sleeps on yellow sheets, in a yellow room. 

He wears predominantly yellow clothes. This is his laundry pile from last week. 

This is his winter coat.

(Note also yellow bandana, and yellow gloves.) Sissie even found him yellow shoes. He was thrilled, but I don't have a picture of them. . He loves fleece blankets. In yellow. 

And even yellow weapons. 

He calls himself the Yellow Ninja.

Of course there's more to him than a passion for a certain color. He's also creative. He made this armor completely by himself, using cardboard and duct tape.

And as you know, he likes to cook. “I think I want to be a chef, Mom. And have my own restaurant. And the whole menu will be mix and match, for the picky kids to find something they like.”

He's learning piano.

Not only creative, he's a compassionate person, too, very considerate of other's feelings. He'll plop down on the couch next to me, “How ya' doing, Mom. Anything you need to let out?” He'll share how he's feeling, both mentally and physically, in great detail. “I feel like there's this bubble of energy inside of me, and it wants to pop.” “My throat feels like jabbing needles, and then when I swallow, it's like scratchy glass pieces.” None of this, “It hurts!” from him. And he likes to ask random questions. “Do you think we could make cars that run on water? It would be cheaper than gas.” “Do you think you'd be able to swim in milk?” (He's a huge milk fan. I have to restrict him as if it were pop, or he'd drink a gallon a day.) “Do you think I could make a perpetual motion machine with magnets?” “When you take a Tylenol, how does it know it's for your throat and not your toe?”

He's a natural born actor. He does an amazing fake french accent. He cracks me up with, “How about some lemon pepper chicken, cheri?” while winking at me in his French persona. Wish I could record it for you. It's rare that you'll see him running around without being in character. “Mom! I'm a ninja squirrel, and I can fly!” This drives Jake NUTS because his animal antics usually involve trying to eat his brother's foot, or arm, or ear. Complete with animal noises.

He's a good friend. He made this picnic for the neighbor kids one Saturday. 

I was gardening, he wanted a backyard party. I told him it was fine, as long as he did it all. He cooked hot dogs, I relented and made my famous popcorn and he served his famous lemonade. (He gives everyone his recipe, when given the chance.) He does very well with younger kids, easily joining in their level of play. They adore this. But it's hard for him to keep track of his things. “I don't remember who I let borrow it.”

And he's deliciously goofy. 

And will sometimes surprise you.  I was taking pictures of the newly completed rope ladder for the tree house when he just ran up and into the camera.

But he's growing up. When we were in Ocean City, MD for our recent vacation, he got a dragon henna tattoo. 
(Please note the yellow crocs.)   

I see the little boy slipping away. He much prefers Dad these days, and is old enough to stay home with just Jake. But he's still a cuddler, and I treasure those moments. Pretty soon he'll be a teen. But maybe with his sunny, YELLOW personality, perhaps not a sullen teen. A mom can hope.

This is  Alphabe-Thursday Y.  Check out the other great Y posts at the fab Ms. Jenny Matlock's.

P.S  Don't worry, not leaving out his brother.  He had his turn in Just Call Me Jake.