Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Lights

There's something about Christmas lights that acts as a cup of hot chocolate to my heart. Their dancing brightness in the night is laughter released to be seen rather than heard.

The rides home from relatives' homes were, to my young imagination, strolls through art galleries. Here and there were houses that seemed to be of gingerbread: lights bordering windows, doors, and the edges and corners of the roofs like carefully placed gumdrops. Occasionally the choice and placement of lights created the illusion of glowing icicles. My favorite displays were when I could see the tree lit up inside. These were the houses that seemed the most real, as if the absence of a tree whispered that it was a dream and not a thing of substance.

As is our tradition, my sister and I set up our tree the day after Thanksgiving. Life moved on and we returned to work for a few weeks more. Every morning I woke up and dressed before the sun lifted her sleepy head and dared to open her shining eyes. I curled up in the armchair with a warm cup of tea in my hands and absorbed the sight of the tree illuminating the darkened room. It made a bubble around me, a little world all my own. It was small, but still an early morning sanctuary.

I know it's a few days late, but Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy 115th Birthday

"What are you reading?" I looked up at my mother, blond hair with touches of brown brushed my shoulders. I was maybe four or five, perhaps six, but I had already been filled to the brim with an appreciation for books. I also knew that it wasn't likely that she'd even hear me ask. Books would do that to her, pull her from herself, leaving her deaf to the world. It wasn't so today.

"It's about a man who goes to another planet where sin doesn't exist, and he has to keep that world's Eve from sinning." She looked down at me for a moment before falling back under the waves of the story her pages held.

My mind was filled with images of a star traveler on a barren wasteland of a planet, perhaps Mars. To his left I could see an Adam, Eve holding his hand and standing slightly behind him. Miles past them were buildings where civilization had sprouted. To the traveler's right was a skinny little apple tree and a snake. I was sure it would make a great story and promptly forgot about it.

Last year, I picked up C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy. I hadn't ever really been able to stay focused when reading the Narnia books, but these three books were a far different story. I devoured Out of the Silent Planet and started on Perelandra. I don't know how far I was into Perelandra when I remembered a short conversation with my mother what seemed like ages ago.

Before last year, I firmly believed that such a thing as a favorite book was impossible (excluding the Bible). I liked Out of the Silent Planet very much, but Perelandra made me want to scream, cry, and throw up all at once. Since then it has been my favorite book, and Lewis my favorite writer.

C. S. Lewis was born one hundred fifteen years ago today. Seven days ago was the fiftieth anniversary of his death. His death was overshadowed by American President John F. Kennedy's assassination, which happened the same day.

Happy birthday to the writer that made such an impact on my life and my religion.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sound of Mind

It's looking at me, the blue bug. It glows. That's why they don't ever listen to me. Plenty of things glow. Lightning bugs. Lightning bugs... lightning... bugs. Bugs. The bug is still looking at me, even after six hours. It always watches me after I wake up. Does it watch me while I sleep?

I shudder. It scuttles a little closer. I glare at it. I know this routine, this dance, and I do not like it.

Footsteps. There are footsteps in the hall. I don't break eye contact. It happens more quickly when people are near. The bug doesn't want them to see it.

Voices. Oh no, not voices. I guess it decides it has risked enough for today.

It lands on the inside of my left elbow and burrows in in the blink of an eye. I squeeze my eyes shut and whimper. It has happened so many times; I handle the pain better, but it still hurts beyond belief.

The people in the hall come through my door. They are the ones who don't believe, who never never see.

"I'm just going to give you some medicine to help you sleep, okay?"

I start to cry uncontrollably. I don't want to sleep. I don't... I don't want to wake up.

I am sound of mind. I can operate on my own. I'm normal. Sound. Of. Mind. Sound... mind. The sound in... mind. The sound in my mind... the click click click of the bug...

I'm not crazy.

You believe me.



You don't.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Sunshine

Both of my parents are English majors.They corrected my sister and me when our grammar was less than satisfactory. They did keep in mind our age and how much we could understand at the time; for this I am thankful. However, that does not mean that we did not have our share of grammar blunders or misunderstandings.

Sometimes my mother would put me on her lap and wrap her arms around me, singing "You Are My Sunshine". I'd lean my head on her chest and listen, picturing images of clouds, sky, and rain.

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You'll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away."

This was all fine and dandy. I thought it was a lovely song, and half of the time I had no problem. It was when she sang the second verse that I hated.

"The other night, dear, while I was sleeping, I dreamt I held you in my arms. When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken, and I hung my head and cried."

I tried to show that I didn't like it. I wouldn't sing along. I held very still. If she ever did pick up on those signals, she probably thought that I didn't like it because it says she cried. A grave mistake. You see, I didn't know the difference between hung and hanged. Every time my mother sang about bending down her head and crying, I pictured her in the closet held up by a coat hanger around her neck, dead.

I joke around with my mom about having been traumatized by grammar now, but, truthfully, it really has helped me to remember which is which. Grammar is truly important in this world of communication.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Am Not Afraid of the Vacuum Cleaner

Well, I'm not. My father, however, is convinced that I am. He does have reasons for thinking so, but those reasons are wrong.

Dad's reason #1: I close my door when he starts vacuuming.
My reason #1: I am almost always at my computer, listening to my music. I close the door so that I can still hear my music.

Dad's reason #2: I leave the vicinity when he starts vacuuming.
My reason #2: It honestly depends on what I'm doing. Usually I'm already in my room, but if I'm in the area being vacuumed and don't need to hear much at the time or recall an urgent errand, I actually stay put and curl up on the furniture to keep out of the way. Sometimes I think my father might have selective memory.

Dad's reason #3: I would run upstairs when he started vacuuming when I was little.
My reason #3: Know what? I was genuinely afraid of the vacuum cleaner when I was little, but I'm not now. I have come to a more reasonable understanding of the world after several years.

Why I was afraid of the vacuum when I was little:
1. It was loud.
2. The cats were afraid of it; presumably, they had good cause to be.
3. It ate things, toys, beads, and I'd even seen it try to eat my sister's hair.
4. I was told repeatedly not to go near the lawn mower when it was on. It would cut off my toes. The vacuum cleaner is basically a lawn mower for the inside. I was being smart and safe by running away.

If I had seen very many AI films at that age, I probably would have had vacuum nightmares too.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bygone Morning Rituals

In lower elementary, every day started in the same promising manner. My mom would put our clothes on top of the heater and go upstairs to wake up my sister and me. By the time we were out of bed, our clothes were warm, as if straight from the dryer. Breakfast was served in a little white bowl with ivy vine decorations on it. It was plain white rice, but it wasn't nearly as boring as one would suppose. I would take my spoon and dig a trench across the middle. It was for a road or a canal. I'd pat the walls smooth with the back of my spoon. Sometimes the walls were structurally unsound and collapsed. I decided that there were little rice people casualties, and mercifully disposed of their bodies. Some days we'd have toast, cut diagonally. I always ate the ones with the round corner first. My sister always ate the ones with the pointed corner first. I always had a glass of water, and my sister always had a glass of milk. I often mentioned to her that if people don't drink water, they die. She never paid attention to my heartfelt warnings. When we got to school, she'd walk me down the halls to my classroom and give me a hug by the door, if no one was around.

These days, I have to get up, find clothes, and fix food on my own. I recognize that my mother had some mystical ability that allowed her to get both of us ready in only an hour. We dragged our feet a lot and stopped to chatter at her quite often. I'm surprised she didn't make us fend for ourselves. I know she was tempted to sometimes. I'm glad she didn't.

Also, I have just blogged! Hah! I need to work on that. I started to do the weekly quotes to make sure I blogged more often. It's not working that well, so I may stop posting those. I don't know. That will be in deliberation.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Quote 9

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." Jimmy Dean

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekly Quote 8

"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." Wayne Dyer

Friday, July 19, 2013

Spider Slayer's Log: Kara Smith

Day 1: Preparing for rest, a nemesis was discovered about a foot from the end of the bed. After the initial shock, he was smashed with a flip-flop, which was left beside the bed in case of other emergencies.
Total Spiders Killed: 1

Day 2: Around midday, as I was folding laundry, a spider had the guts to dash into a folded towel. While my sister found it humorous that I would have to refold it, I had no qualms about shaking the spider out and unfolding the towel in the process. I crushed the exoskeletoned offender with a coaster and refolded my towel. He wouldn't have the guts to do anything again, especially since he doesn't have guts at this point.
It was in the evening. Jake had come over to visit and was getting up to leave when I saw another one. It was a big brown grass spider, not far from where Jake had been sitting. Jake, being the brave older brother that he is, hurried to the next room and left me to kill it with his shoe. It's odd sometimes to be reminded that he's more scared of them than I am.
Total Spiders Killed: 3

Day 3: I was in the bathroom around seven in the morning preping for a shower. I didn't notice it until I almost stepped on it. It was a brown recluse because what else would it be. I darted to the sink counter, where there were a range of bottles and jars that would do very well, but by the time I had a weapon, it had crawled down the heat vent. However, while it did scare the wits out of me, I must have stepped on it a little because it had left a leg on the bathroom floor.
Total Spiders Killed: Not enough, not nearly enough

Day 4: No spiders encountered. They're plotting. I know it.
Total Spiders Killed: Unchanged

Day 5: About two in the afternoon, I set out to make chocolate pudding. I took a mixer thing out of the bowl, so that I wouldn't pour milk and powder all over it, and grabbed the whisk. I was about to put the whisk in place when I saw him. He was big, and he was a spider. He was also a brown recluse that couldn't climb back out because the sides of the bowl were too steep. I was in shock and completely terrified for a moment, but a song poped in my head, and by humming it, I was able to calm down enough to think clearly. I was not about to put my hand in there with it, even on the premise of killing it. Instead, I sprayed poison on it, in the bowl I was about to make pudding in, and waited for it to die. Once it had stopped twitching, I dumped it in the trash and set about washing the bowl. It was about then, as I was scrubbing like the bowl was coated in spider webs, that I realised which song had been in my head. Lead Me To The Cross by Newsboys. It was from the album In The Hands Of God. That made me feel happy. My Father and Lord loves me and reminded me that he wouldn't let anything hurt me if it wasn't part of his plan by putting a simple song in my mind and heart.
On another note, the pudding turned out great.
Total Spiders Killed: 4

Day 16?: I was in the bathroom, about to brush my teeth, when a spider apeared beside my bare foot. It was a brown recluse, and it was missing legs. It had three on one side and two on another. I'm fairly certain that he was the one that menaced me on day three. I crushed him with a can of hair spray. It was fairly satisfying. I wiped him off the floor and the can, and felt a small sense of closure.
Total Spiders Killed: 5

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weekly Quote 7

"After a storm comes a calm." Matthew Henry

I apologize for not having given you a proper post in a few weeks. I'm going to try to post something more interesting than quotes by the end of the week.

Kara, over and out.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weekly Quote 6

"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Sir. Isaac Newton

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekly Quote 5

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." Helen Keller

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Want To Believe

You remind me of the babe,
walk this way
listen with your heart.
It's bigger on the inside
my Precious,
you're a wizard.

I'm a leaf on the wind,
no one knows the wonders I've seen.
I had bad days,
it always comes back to the duck.

use the force,
beam me up,
dial the gate.
I want to believe.

Reference sources in respective order: Labyrinth,Young Frankenstein, Roar, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Serenity, Farscape, BBC Sherlock, Fringe, Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, and The X-Files.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Weekly Quote 3

"Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things." -George Carlin

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fairy Tale Fathers

There are a lot of fathers in fairy tales. Most die pretty quickly, or their wives die, and they don't remarry very well; sometimes they'd remarry poorly and then die. Of the commonly known stories the best father I can think of is Hansel's and Grettel's. Taking into account that it is a fairy tale, one really can't hold him accountable for marrying a monster the second time around, but despite this common occurrence, he still stands out. He doesn't die or completely submit to his new wife's will. While he did eventually give in to her nagging, he resisted it for as long as he could, which is more than we're told the other fathers ever did, and when his children came home he embraced them with joyful tears. Depending on the version, he either kicked his spouse out or she died for unspecified reasons before the children returned, which I find a little suspicious, but either way, nothing would convince him to leave his darling children ever again. I assume that includes any charges of murder, vandalism, or theft that were never brought against the two little delinquents (in some versions they returned home with riches from the witch's house that ensured their financial security after that).

Here's a fairy tale, one that may be more true than you might believe it to be.

Once, not so terribly long ago, a youth fell in love with a beautiful young woman. He wasn't a prince, and she wasn't a princess. Neither one was the child of a poor woodsman or tailor, but the youth still saw her for the clever beauty that she was, and still is. He tirelessly wooed her, and one day they were wed. They lived happily for a few years and had a child, which did not dim their joy in the least. She was a golden haired little princess that was mostly quiet and observant. Not long after their daughter reached three years of age, they had her sister, who was a little bit louder to be perfectly frank. To this day the youth lives happily with his family. He works hard to support and feed them, and they love him as he loves them.

Happy Fathers' Day. I love you Dad.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekly Quote 2

"In silence man can most readily preserve his integrity." -Meister Eckhart

Monday, June 3, 2013

Something To Keep In Mind Through The Week

I know that the start of the week can be hard, so I'm going to try and post a quote at the start of each week, just something to help us through said week. I will probably post Sunday evenings most times, as I don't get on the computer early enough most mornings to post on Mondays.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Fairy Queen's Maid

Once there lived a girl named Daisy. She had golden hair, green eyes, and porcelain skin. Her father was a wood cutter, and he loved her very much. Anytime she went to play in the forest, he cautioned her to be careful and not to wander too far. He died when she was seven. Now, Daisy had a brown tabby cat that she loved with all her heart. The day her father died, she wept and wept, but her cat pawed at her arm and said, "Get to your feet, Child. You must find your way in the world, or there'll be no food for either of us.

"But Kitty," the young girl sniffled, "I have no skills with which to make my way."

"Hush now, pack your clothes and any food you can find." Kitty said, "I know where we can find work, but it may take a few nights to reach. When you're packed, go to sleep, for the path may only be seen in moonlight."

Daisy did as she was told and soon was fast asleep. She awoke to the calling of Kitty and hurried to her.

"It's time to leave. Are you afraid?"

"No, Kitty. I am not afraid."

With that, the two slipped into the night, following a moon milk silver path. They silently stole past the sleeping doe, the hunting wolf, and the singing insects, as they entered the woods. It was hours before either spoke, but Daisy finally did.

"Kitty, where is it we will find work?"

"At the Fairy Queen's palace, Little One," Kitty purred.

These words Daisy took to heart, for the Queen of fairies was said to be the kindest and most beautiful being. No human had ever found her palace, but Daisy trusted Kitty more than anyone else, so she picked up her pace and followed the cat as diligently as ever. For many more hours, they walked.

"Oh Kitty!" Daisy finally burst, "I am so thirsty. Please let us rest for a spell."

"Dear child," the cat responded, "we mustn't stop yet. A little bag of water is in your pack. Drink from it."

Daisy did as she was told, and not long after, they reached a little glade.

"Here we will rest." Kitty said, and rest they did, until the next day's sun set in the west.

"Wake, Child. We must be on our way."

They walked for hours and hours in silence until Daisy cried out to Kitty, "Oh Kitty! I am so hungry. Please let us rest for a spell."

But Kitty replied, "Dear child, we mustn't stop yet. There is food in your pack. Eat of that."

Daisy did as she was told, and not long after, they reached a second little glade.

"Here we will rest." Kitty said, and rest they did, until the next day's sun set in the west. Then they awoke and continued on their way. They walked  for longer than they had either night before, and Daisy began to be afraid that they would never stop. "Oh Kitty," she wept, "I am so tired. Please let us rest for a spell."

"Dear child," Kitty whispered, "we mustn't stop yet. A little farther, I beg you."

And so Daisy continued on, weeping, for her shoes were worn to tatters and her legs could barely support her, but it was not long after that they reached a third little glade where Kitty told her to rest. It was when the next day's sun was high that Kitty woke Daisy.

"Child," she purred, "we are nearly at the Fairy Queen's palace. We must now follow the path lined with rose bushes."

In moments, they reached the palace. There they were given baths, food, and a good night's sleep. The next day, they had an audience with the Queen, who was as lovely as any story and more. She had the longest golden tresses, that rivaled the sun; violet eyes, that inspired song; and a smile like every mother's. Upon hearing of Daisy's predicament, she insisted on being of help. It was thus that, as long as Daisy helped the maids wherever she could, she would be provided with food, an education, and a place to sleep. Kitty was also provided with food and was allowed to sleep with Daisy, if she kept the mouse and rat population to a minimum. They lived there happily for many years, and Daisy grew into a beautiful young woman.

She was out in the forest one day, gathering berries, when she saw a magnificent grasshopper caught in a web. Her heart ached with sympathy, and she cut him loose.

"Thank you fair maiden," he said with a bow, "What can I do to repay you?"

"Nothing is needed," the sweet Daisy replied

"Then take this crown, for I am the King of grasshoppers, and when you need me, put it on your little finger, and I will be there."

"Thank you very much." Daisy took the crown, put it in her pocket, and continued along.

The next day, she was sent to the fairy market. On her way down the path, Daisy heard a frog crying at the bank of a pond

"Whatever is the matter?" she asked.

"I was playing with my silver ball, but when I threw it into the air, it became lodged in that tree above us, and now I can't reach it."

"Oh." Daisy said. She looked up and spotted the ball. It was just out of her reach. Refusing to give up, for a weeping frog is the most heart wrenching sound, Daisy picked up a stick and poked at the ball until it fell to the ground, where the frog happily reclaimed it.

"Thank you so much!" he croaked, "As heir to the amphibian throne, I vow that, should you ever need my assistance in return, you need only drop a pebble in this pond."

"Thank you," Daisy said, and she picked up a pebble and slipped it in her pocket.

A week later, she was tending the fire in the great hall after everyone else had gone to bed, when she saw something moving in the flames. A salamander had become trapped when a piece of wood fell on top of his tail.

Taking the poker, Daisy lifted the wood just long enough for the salamander to crawl out.

"Many thanks, I don't know how long I would have been trapped, if not for you," he gasped.

"It was the least I could do." she assured him.

"My kingdom and I are in debt to you," he said, "Take this piece of charcoal, and, if you ever need my help, throw it into a fire."

She graciously accepted the gift and slid it into her pocket. It was months before she ever needed any of their help.

It came to pass that the Fairy Queen called Daisy into the throne room.

"Dearest Daisy," the Queen said, "my cousin seeks a bride, and you are kind, beautiful, and true to your word. I do not know of a better bride. If you are willing, he has set three tasks that you must complete, for his bride must be worthy."

"I would love nothing more." Daisy replied, for the Queen's cousin was rumored to be a true and wise gentleman.

"The first task is to raise an army that is small but large. He will be here in the morning."

Later in the day, Daisy related all of this to Kitty, who softly replied, "Call upon the Grasshopper  King. I have a plan for you."

So Daisy placed the crown on her little finger, and Kitty explained her plan to him.

The next day, the Queen's cousin was greeted by an army of grasshoppers, riding steeds of mice. They numbered in the thousands, and he consented that, although they were small, they certainly made a large army. He then set the next task: to bring forth a wonderful sound from an unconventional orchestra. She had two weeks time.

Daisy didn't need Kitty's advice this time. She hurried down to the frog prince's pond and dropped the pebble in.

"How may I help you?" he burbled, for his mouth was still partly underwater.

"I need your finest musicians to play a song at the palace of the Fairy Queen in two weeks time. I hope I'm not asking too much."

"Consider it done."

And indeed, in two weeks, everyone in the palace was drawn to the windows by the sweetest sound. The fairy children rushed to the courtyard and tried to dance like adults. The adults closed their eyes and let the sounds wash over them.

"Well done," the Fairy Queen's cousin told Daisy, "Tomorrow, you will answer a riddle."

The next morning, Daisy was brought to the throne room.

"Tell me," the Queen's cousin began, "What burns in our homes, out of our homes, and is not fire? What has a heart and a mind, but is rarely seen?"

Daisy thought and was at a loss until she felt the charcoal in her pocket. Then she laughed. "The answer is that which is lost in legend, the salamander."

After she returned to her room, she threw the charcoal into the fire and thanked the Salamander King for his help.

The morning of the wedding, which was to be a grand affair with fairies, grasshoppers, amphibians, and salamanders in attendance, Daisy stood by a window alongside Kitty.

"Are you afraid?" Kitty asked.

"Yes, Kitty. I am very afraid."

"You needn't be, for I will be with you always."

And she was.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Letter to Fitted Sheets

Dear F. S.,

While I admit that you do seem difficult to manage at first, you truly are a friend.

I pulled you from your temporary home and fluffed you out. What pains had gone into folding you? Instead of landing on my mattress like planned, you settled on my head. I burst into laughter. Was it the weather or the general good day? No. No such dry and logical grownup reason as that. You'd tickled my childhood, memories of pillow and blanket forts, of making a cave from blankets on the bed by use of the fan, of secret B.A.C. meetings with my sister, though I have by now forgotten what B.A.C. stood for.

I just wanted to thank you for that cool wave of joy that flooded through me when you touched the crown of my head. While you were not specifically in my childhood, you called my attention back to those happy summer days. Thank you.

Your friend and ally,

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Most Sincere Letter to Pinterest


We've gotten to know each other very well in the last few months, and I find you to be more amiable than facebook. I haven't been as amazing a friend to you as you are to me, but that's because it's difficult with you being a website and all. Even so, I find that I spend inordinate amounts of time with you. If you were a person, we'd probably get along quite well.

It's just, well, I need to spend more time doing things instead of looking at pretty pictures. It's not that you're without your uses. I'll still visit for artistic purposes and practical household advice, but even though you can steal hours of my day, you can make me smile. I promise to still visit.

Yours truly,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

If My Feet Were My Children, They Would Be Taken By Social Services.

You laugh now, but after this week, I'm fairly certain that title is accurate. First was last Saturday, a blow to my right foot (A is for April. B is for Bee.) and then there was Monday, to balance it out.

I was walking from the kitchen to my room. It is something I have done so many times that I can often do it with my eyes closed (I get bored.), but Monday night I slammed my toes into my mother's hope-chest, and I had my eyes open. As with all times when any foot is slammed into furniture, the foot's owner briefly considered amputation. I managed to limp to my room, preserving my dignity the best I could, by leaning heavily on silence and my right foot. I plopped onto my chair and became a little befuddled when I noticed a piece of plastic or tape stuck to my little left toe. I swung my foot onto my lap. That was no plastic. That was a lovely, thick slice of skin from my little left toe. ...Ow. I tried to see if it went down between my toes where the blood was, or if it was from the tip of the toe. I couldn't tell, so I limped to my mother to file a verbal injury claim. She inspected it, but was also at a loss as to which part of the toe the hanging skin was on. I went to the bathroom and sat on the floor with my equipment. Band-Aids? Check. Neosporin? Check. Why I didn't think to take a wet Q-tip and clean off the blood is beyond me. I rubbed the medicated cream on the side and top of the toe and applied Band-Aids to both parts. It throbbed terribly, but I'd survive.

As I had bandaged my wound I had started to feel warm. By the time I had gotten back to the kitchen to take care of the cat's litter box, I was having trouble seeing out of my right peripheral vision and felt unbearably hot. I also felt light headed. My mother said she'd finish my chores and told me to never become a doctor if this was how my body reacted. I managed to drift off, but I continued to frequently wake up and have trouble going back to sleep. About 2:30 a.m. I went to the bathroom and sat in front of the toilet, taking deep breaths. I didn't throw up, and once I was certain that I wouldn't, I went out to the garage and grabbed a Barf Buddy. I'm so glad that I had that foresight. Around half an hour later, I woke up and felt my mouth making more saliva than normal, a warning sign. I grabbed Barf Buddy and threw up then rushed to the bathroom and threw up some more. I waited awhile to see if I was done before I cleaned up and moved to the kitchen, where I sat at the table with a glass of water and faithful Barf Buddy. I texted my mother two words. "Threw up." A moment later she was there, despite the fact that I woke her at three thirty in the morning. She expressed concern and told me not to try going to work the next day. I was perfectly fine with that. My head was throbbing like nobody's business.

The next day I slept on and off, occasionally eating crackers and sipping on ginger ale soda, doing my best to ignore my aching head and throbbing foot. My mother thinks I had a 24 hour bug, but I'm thinking migraine, triggered by extreme toe damage. Alright, maybe not extreme, but painful. Considering the temporary loss of peripheral vision, which is one of my warning signals for a migraine, and the fact that at no point did I have a temperature, my theory is looking pretty good.

 I have since learned that the loss of skin was at the end of my toe and that the blood on the side was just the blood that had flowed out of the wound. It is perfectly fine, just like the bottom of my right foot. After this week, one question really needs to be brought up. Should I keep on at least socks, shoes if I'm out of the house, since I seem to be a bit accident prone recently? The answer is probably yes, but I probably won't. I am the fairy child. If the weather is nice and I'm not going in public, there is no way I will be shod.

My Wil-O-Wisp

It's national poetry month and I've finally written a poem. I don't know where it came from. It just... came. This poem is for all children who have left their parents early.

and listen,
my little wil-o-wisp.
Can you hear
the tree frogs?
The night birds?
They're singing for you.
They sing
to welcome you
into their realm.

at the stars.
They wear their best
for you.
Will you dance?
Will you dance with them?

Go my child.
Dance among the stars
to the night music.
I will follow
in my time.

One day.
One day I will follow.
Till then
dance among the stars.

A is for April. B is for Bee.

A wild Blog Post has appeared! Okay, geeky attempts at a jokes are over for now, probably.

I have been slacking off as of late in regards to my blogging. That much is fairly evident. Maybe it's because I haven't been able to think of a story, or perhaps I've simply been unable to conjure a poem, which is sad, since it is poetry month. Saturday, I sat at my computer and looked outside at the bluejay and the cardinal in our dogwood. I could read more webcomics or go out. What I should do is blog, but I can't think of anything, certainly not anything good. Out it is then. It was thus that I grabbed my camera and slid barefoot into the grass, and thus it was also that you should be provided with this post.

The summer after my fourth grade year, my mother brought my sister and me to Great Grandma's house. She had great, big (okay, great, big to a fourth grader) goose berry bushes. I loved gooseberries. My sister doesn't share that taste. Either way, we both searched thoroughly alongside our cousins. There were thorns, but we were careful. It was when we were playing in the yard that the most exciting part of the day took place. My sister was stung by a bee in her palm. There was great distress, and I got to watch my mother take care of her battle wound. I was at once fascinated, jealous that she got to be the first of the two of us, and embarrassed that she was making such a fuss (even if it did hurt a lot). At all points the phrase "summer after fourth grade" says a lot in way of explanation. Although if we had been older, I probably still would have been fascinated. She stayed in for the rest of the day, but my turn would come many years later. (Although you really should have guessed that by now.)

I have spent a wonderfully large amount of my life out side and a good chunk of that barefoot. If I were native to Tolkien's Middle Earth, I would, quite possibly, have been a hobbit. So it was Saturday that I slipped outside barefoot and trotted over to the flowers I saw, camera in hand. I took several pictures, a handful of which were "photo bombed" by Spirit. She was following me around. After some time I decided to bring something outside. I've always liked pictures that have something from the inside world in the outside world. Enter Rosie, a honey colored teddy bear that I made a "dress" for while watching Frankenstein when I was too young to be very interested. She is the closest thing to a traditional stuffed bear that I have. I posed her around and in a tree and took more pictures (and one of those was also "photo bombed" by Spirit). I picked her up and started to head off for another part of the yard. A few paces from the tree, I was "stabbed" on the bottom of my right foot. I figured it was a thorn. I was, after all, not far from the climbing rose (which doesn't really climb, more of makes a slight curve up then hugs the ground again as if it were afraid of heights). I hobbled a little ways and sat, twisting my foot to see the underside. Nothing really stood out among the grass that was stuck there, nothing except the thing a little closer to the arch than most of the grass. I pulled on it and realized that it had a clear bit attached somehow. Finally, I pulled it out. Low and behold, it was no thorn. It was the back end of a bee, not just a stinger. There was some exoskeleton and the clear stuff was probably some kind of bee gut. My theory is that it was already dismembered when I stepped on it, otherwise there would have been a whole lot more or less bee.

I limped inside and taking a cloth, cleaned it off. After all, there's no point in getting an infection. Then I limped off to find my father and casually ask if bee stings required any special treatment. He was a lot more worried about it than I was. I showed him the little red spot, and he sent me to find a large bandage. Maybe two or three minutes after the initial penetration of skin, it started to hurt a little, if hurt is really the best word for it. It felt different at any rate, odd maybe. When we looked at it agin, it was a red spot in a white circle, which, I was informed, was the poison. We applied the "magic" ingredients, put on the bandage to keep it on my foot, and pulled on a sock to keep the bandage on. After all that, I sat and tried to think of how to describe what it felt like. The best I've been able to come up with is, "a little less than a dull throbbing."

I am perfectly fine at this point. The only evidence is a dark spot under my skin the size of a pinhead, like a splinter.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Siblings' Day 2013


It's a blog post! In for-warning, the writing may not be like most of my posts. I normally make a point of not listening to music while I write. It messes with the rthym and emotion of my words. However, my brother, Ace, is listening to his music audibly, and if I must have slightly off writing, I'd rather have it because of my music. We have different tastes. While he likes much of my music, I don't really like a fair amount of his. It's the same way with my sister. I love all her music, but she doesn't like Owl City or Tenth Avenue North. While we all have our individual tastes, we still claim each other for whatever reason. Well, in my sister's case, we don't have a choice, but I think that if we did I'd still like her. What her choice would be is debateable.

Today is Siblings' Day, so I figured I would write about my sister. I might write about my brothers in following years. Ace would certainly be an interesting entry, but on to my sister. It's hard to think of what story to tell. When she possibly saved my life? When she almost killed me? I don't think a story is right for now.

She was my example growing up. I aspired to be as smart and beautiful as her. I'm sure she hated that, even though she did use it to her advantage since I could get away with more things than she could. She's three years older than me, and I bawled my eyes out once she was out of sight on the road to college. In a sense, she's a part of me. The reasonable part that has a few odd but much loved quirks.

So happy Siblings' Day, big sister. I love you, and your cat misses you a lot.

Readers other than my sister: Go. Go give a hug to your brother or sister. Hold him, her, or both close and apologize for that argument last week. If you don't have a sibling, hug a pet or your parents, your kids, your spouse, or even yourself, if you live totally alone, because time forces us all apart in one way or another, but we'll all meet again at some point.

Take care,

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Meatloaf

Two olive eyes glare at me. I guess they're really more like spots. They belong to it. It being the thing my father keeps speaking of eating. We know all too well that he won’t. It’s obviously years past its expiration date. It’s at least eleven years old, the eleven year old meatloaf.

 I don’t recall when it started to lose the pan shape. Sometimes it looks vaguely square, but more often than not, it just... is. Shape is hard to describe once hair sprouts, long hair. It’s not all the same color. There’s orange, white, black, but mostly a variety of browns, ranging from a beige to a dark chocolate. Oh, did I mention that it has legs?

 It stalks around the house sometimes. Often, it follows me, making... noises, but it will also sit under my desk chair when I’m working, or just lounge on my bed, which is mostly what it does. In the night, I can hear it rumbling from somewhere in the dark. Waking up with its longest hairs up my nose, or in my ear, is not a favorite sensation.

 We’re not exactly certain if it is intelligent. Dad says it has the IQ of a tongue depressor. If it is remotely sapient, I believe that The Meatloaf is secretly plotting to take over the house, possibly the county. It might be interested in using us as a food source. It tastes me once a month or so, but its motives are unclear at this time. I’m certain it goes through the papers I leave out while I’m at school. It would, quite possibly, be unstoppable, if it had thumbs. 

We have lived peaceably, The Meatloaf and I, these many years. While it has sprouted teeth, nothing much comes from biting me or rubbing its drool or snot on my bare toes. I feed it because, honestly, I’m afraid of what it would eat if I didn’t. It will attack or even chase after our pets, and I will swat at it. Every once and awhile, I try to talk to it, but either it doesn’t understand or doesn’t care.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Improving The Day

Work has not been that great today. In the last two hours or so, I just wanted to throw things at my coworkers, preferably bananas. I fall asleep for ten minutes after my shift is officially over, then leave for home with a red shape on my forehead where it had pressed against my desk. I toss my paraphernalia on my bed, pull on my jacket, pick up my camera and mp3 player, and slip out the front door. It feels like October. The air is cool and lightly numbs my cheeks. I sit under the walnut tree and think. Tenth Avenue North drifts around in my head. I get so stressed sometimes. A breeze plays with a few loose curls, and I stand up. It isn't really blue today, the sky. It's more of a subtle grey, a calm neutral without the sun glaring at me. I step onto the path that encircles the lawn and runs alongside the fence and start walking. Lil-Bit dances in front of me, beside me, behind me. The silly little kitty won't let me pet her, but doesn't go far. Soon, Spirit, Sir. Sir-A-Lot, and Sparkle Spit join her. There's always one in sight, usually two or three. It's like they're watching me, making sure nothing happens to me. It reminds me. It felt like there was no control at work, no rules, just chaos, and that's never really true. There's always a steady hand that I can trust to lead me. I just have to reach for it and not let the world around me force me to let go, even for a moment. Christ is my corner stone, my foundation. This is a beautiful world, I just have to open my eyes and see it.

I took this the eleventh of February. I stepped out that morning and was entranced by the dark shadow of trees in front of the sun. I took the picture, but was a little surprised by the circles of color that the camera captured. I think it's pretty though.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Prayer

I'm sitting at my desk, comfort songs playing from my speakers, as darkness tries to push its way into my room. I should, probably, log off my computer and curl up with a notebook and pencil and write something, but something tugs at the back of my mind. No. I won't get off yet. I need to write something, not anything, but something. I've read through the posts of the blogs I keep up with, and one whispered in my ear. I have no idea what it whispered, just that I must write. The blog was My Faith Journey. I need to write out some of my thoughts, and my journal isn't where this needs to be right now.

I am me. I'm not special, I'm not particularly pretty, I procrastinate far too often, and I don't have one specific talent, one specific gift, but you know what? I can make a difference. I can be the difference. I'm not talking about in the lives of others, although that is important. I mean the difference in my own life, my own world. It's not much, but it's a start.

I don't have complete control over what happens in my life. There is no way for me to completely eliminate the falls I take, but I can stand back up, with help. Every single time I fall, Christ is there to lift me up. All I have to do is turn to him and ask for help. We often forget that prayer is so needed, so important to our spiritual lives, even though much of the music we listen to (okay, that I listen to) reminds us.

"When your heart breaks, He'll hurt for you. Dreams are out of reach, He'll pull you through. When you lose hope all you gotta do is get on your knees again."
Newsboys, On Your Knees

"Oh I'm on my knees, so I'm on my knees. It's a battle that we can fight."
Manic Drive, Mountains

" 'Cause I'm on my knees, begging You to turn to me! I'm on my knees. Father, will You run to me?"
Tenth Avenue North, Hold My Heart

But it's not just in music and Christian literature that we find reminders that prayer is how we reach out and ask the Lord for help, it's all over the Bible. I really like Psalm 142.

1 I cry aloud to the Lord; 
I lift my voice to the Lord for mercy. 
2 I pour my complaint before him; 
before him I tell all my trouble. 

3 When my spirit grows faint within me, 
it is you who know my way. 
In the path where I walk 
men have hidden a snare for me. 
4 Look to my right and see; 
no one is concerned for me. 
I have no refuge; 
no one cares for my life. 

5 I cry to you, O Lord; 
I say, "You are my refuge, 
my portion in the land of the living." 
6 Listen to my cry, 
for I am in desperate need; 
rescue me from those who pursue me, 
for they are too strong for me. 
7 Set me free from my prison, 
that I may praise your name. 

Then the righteous will gather about me 
because of your goodness to me.

It really strikes a cord in me. David knew how hard it was. A lot of the time, we just read through the Bible and think that he had a perfect life, but this really shows that sometimes he felt alone and unnoticed. I have several Jr. High/High school journal entries that echo verse four, and I honestly believe that we have all had times like that, but then we have verse five. It's a surge of strength. Here David turns to God to lift him up and hold him, which is what we all need to remember is one of the wisest things we can do.

There you go. When you feel like giving up, falling down in tears, turn to the constant, to God. It actually helps to do that before the tears part too.

Remember: He has a plan, and He loves you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I stand a few yards to the side, watching. The other third graders are going around and around and around. It's a merry-go-round, and I've never been on one. Maybe when I was younger, but if that is the case, I had been too young to remember. The spinning metal structure slows, and my friend jumps off. Eventually, she convinces me to get on. The world whirls around me as the chant pounds in my head, called out by many voices.

"Faster! Faster! We need another master!"

It slows again, and I move to get off, too slow. Before my weight is fully off, the merry-go-round jerks back to life, and I tumble to the ground. Small gravel rocks cling to me, pressed into my exposed skin, as I push myself up. My friend jumps off and hurries to me as the others continue to spin and spin and spin.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm good," I mutter, swiping at the yellow-orange dirt on my clothes. My knees are a little scraped, but they seem fine.

My friend takes me in with a quick glance, "Let's see if we can go to the nurse."

"I'm fine." I glance back down at my knees. There's no blood, even if they sting a little now. They're fine.

She gives me a look and takes my wrist, gently pulling me across the playground, away from the continually turning merry-go-round. Our teacher looks at me and says to go ahead inside. Confused, my knees receive a third look. There certainly is a fair amount of blood now.

Many years later...

Curled up in pajama pants, I trace the outline of a faint scar on my left knee, and I remember. I remember its story.

Monday, February 18, 2013

An Update On Your Blogger

Hello. I haven't really given you a proper blog post for a while. You can blame Pinterest. It is the ultimate procrastination tool, even when one does not intend for it to be. I really need to write more.

My sister recently put Red's album Release the Panic on my MP3 player, so occasionally as I write this I'm mouthing the words and dancing a little. Don't laugh at me, you do it with your music sometimes too.

This last week, I have been slightly ill. It's just a lot of snot, so I went ahead and suffered through work. A lot of tissues have been sacrificed, but I am breathing through my nose more often and actually sleeping through the night now. It helps to have kitties to cuddle, but not so much so when their fur gets up my nose.

Soo... It really looks like I'm not giving you a proper post today either. I'm sorry. I'll try to work on a short story, poem, or letter for you guys.

Post Script: Who would google "ode to celery"? I just noticed that that has happened a few times, but I guess I really shouldn't find that so odd, considering that I wrote one.

Have a good week!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Good-Night Moon, Good Morning Spider

The summer before last, I became very good at sleeping for twelve hours. When I woke up, I would lay there and look at the Lady of Shed-lots. She has always been my bossy, little guardian. When I went to bed each night, and the blankets settled on my legs, triggering thoughts of spiders crawling around on me, she would be there next to me, giving me a look that clearly said I was imagining it. She gave me a sense of safety.

One morning I woke up as I always did, but a few moments after I opened my eyes, I felt something. It was most definitely not the settling of blankets. I could feel the fall of several individual little legs on my left thigh. I froze, except for my heart, which inevitably quickened its pace. My arms were outside the covers, and I cupped one hand over the spider, keeping the blanket between it and my hand. It couldn't run away now. Arachnid and human stayed still, so that, for a moment, I wondered if it was really there, but no. The feeling it's legs coming down on my skin had been far too real. Beside me on the bed, was the Lady of Shed-lots. I felt a pang of betrayal as she gave me the same look as always. She was supposed to protect me! Although, in truth, a cat outside the blankets could be of little effect against a spider under the blankets.

Without much reason, I somehow made a quick movement and ended up out of the bed, whilst leaving the spider behind. I grabbed something, threw back the covers, and smashed the little abomination. Within my memory, those last two sentences are a swift blur, but the moments leading up to it, an eternity. I picked up the remains in a tissue and dropped it in the trash. I went to my mother and told her what had happened. I'm not sure if she really believed me at first, especially since when she asked what kind it was, I was unable to tell her. I left and returned a few minutes later, with the dead spider bits in tissue. She identified it as a brown recluse, and it had been a rather big one, before it was rendered in the two dimensional.

By all reason that spider should have bitten me. It should have bitten me when I trapped it on top of my vulnerable skin. It should have bitten me when I was asleep. That night I had gone to bed in a night gown. What if it had been on my leg, and I was in full pants? What is the probability that I would go to bed in the only sleepwear that this could have happened with? The only reason I have ever been able to come up with is the only reason I will ever need. It wasn't in God's plan for a brow recluse to bite me on the thigh that morning. As the lions did not harm Daniel, the spider did not harm me. For some reason, He wanted to scare me, and putting a spider in the bed with me was a pretty good way to do that. He kept that spider from biting me, just as He put it there. Things have changed a little because of that too. I tuck in one side of my covers under the mattress so that the blankets don't touch the floor to provide easy access for spiders, and I don't trust the Lady of Shed-lots to keep me safe anymore. His plan is a mystery to me, but I'll continue to trust in him.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The College Kid

I have recently come across a conversation I had had with my sister, after her first visit home from college. I had jotted it down in a notebook.

My sister: I want real food.

Me: Well, there's meat thawing, but...

My sister: Cheez-Its.....

Me: That's not real food.

My sister: Cheez-Its.....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

On The Killing Of Spiders

Spiders are not good, but I think we already know that.The issue with getting rid of them is that often you have nothing to kill them with nearby and no bug killing spray. Actually this isn't true. The following is a compiled list of objects that are great for killing spiders, organized by common location.

The Bedroom: The worst place to find spiders.

Shoes- Flipflops work best. They don't have crevices that spiders could accidentally end up in instead of being squished.

Books- If you are able, hardbacks work best. You can wipe the spider guts off right afterward. With paperbacks there's a chance it might soak in. If your hardback book has a dust jacket, take that off. No use ruining it.

Tissue Box- The sides and bottom are great for smashing arachnids, as long as the spider isn't in the box.

Jewelry Box- Only use inexpensive, not antique ones, okay?

The Bathroom: A room filled with bottles.

Bottles- Most bottles in bathrooms are made of plastic, which means it's okay to slam them against the wall in the name of spider killing. Just be sure to use the sides as most bottles have a dent in the bottom.

Toilet Paper- Unused. Definitely unused. This method is a little unsettling once used. You can feel the spider pop under the weight of your hand through the paper.

Bars of Soap- I recommend this as a last resort, and you may want to cut off the part that smooshes the spider.

Air Freshener- Yes, it is possible to drown a spider in this stuff.

Faucets- If the spider is in the tub or a sink, it is entirely possible that you can drown it/ squish it with, what to spiders is, high pressured water, or simply force Itsy-Bitsy down the drain.

The Living-room/Entertainment Center: When you dearly wish you hadn't opted to sit on the floor.

DVD Boxes- It's doubly satisfying if the face of a disliked actor is on the side you use for spider squishing. "Ha! You get spider guts in your face!"

Coasters- As long as you don't absolutely slam it down on the spider, you should be able to avoid breaking these, as my father once did.

Cd Cases- They're flat and hard. Could you ask for a more reliable mode of spider exterminating?

Remotes- If you want too, you could.

Magazines- Especially helpful if the spider is on the ceiling or simply too high on a wall.

Durable Game Systems- Hey, a spider is a spider. Do you really want to take the chance that it will turn into more spiders?

The Kitchen: Mmmm! Want some of this cream of spider?

Dishes and Cups- Please only use the plastic stuff, it's not worth a perfectly good plate or glass to kill one spider. Plastic is just as effective, but paper plates aren't too useful for really big spiders.

Not Knives- Trust me. It's too small a point to get a spider. They are too fast and little.

Cutting Boards- Most cutting boards, these days, are made of wood or thick plastic. Take that you eight-legged abominations!

Cookbooks- Here, Mr. Spider, have a taste of this recipe!

The Blender- Look, if a spider is in your blender, sometimes the only thing you can do is slap on the lid and make a spider smoothie, but I wouldn't recommend drinking it.

Pans- Big, flat, and they make a satisfying clanging noise. Sounds good to me.

The Stairwell/Hallway: Where there are, virtually, no weapons.

...- In this place, the best course of action is, whilst screaming like a little girl, running back the way you came, grabbing a weapon, and racing back, full kilter, to destroy the spider. Do not stop screaming until you are absolutely certain that the spider will never move again. This helps in the intimidation factor. Although, if you plan on using dangerous chemicals, I wouldn't recommend inhaling.

The Study: Just another place that spiders don't belong in.

Papers/Notebooks- They're in abundance, you can't argue with that.

Paper Weights- Hard, with a flat bottom. Unless you have a fan on or an open window, they really aren't useful for much else.

That Memo Your Boss Gave You That You Need An Excuse To Lose- "Sorry Sir., just let me look... Ah! Here it is! Oh... that's why I threw it out. Look, it has spider guts on it! There's even a leg!"

The Keyboard Keys- If the spider crawls in the keyboard to hide, and you are willing to take out the keys and clean afterward, by all means, press a lot of keys hard. I'm rooting for you.

Reference Books- If you have nothing else, there is not much of a choice, but please, be careful with them. They are, after all, books.

The Utility/Laundry Room: A likely place for spiders.

Cleaning Agent Bottles- Remember the deceptive arch often found on the bottoms can often spare the life of a spider, if a human warrior is unsuspecting.

The Washer or Dryer- If a spider is in an article of clothing, throw it in the washer or dryer. Run as many cycles as you want, just remember to empty the lint filter.

Other Things: These are found in different rooms, depending on the occupants' whims.

Cleaning Sprays- If the toxic chemicals don't kill it, you can drown it in the stuff. This includes but is not limited to window cleaner, carpet cleaner, and furniture polish.

Pill Bottles- They're a bit small, but still effective, if you can pin a spider between it and a hard surface.

Fly Swatter- Not just for flies, and they allow for the use of excessive force.

Hairspray- Either the spider will be poisoned, drowned, or stuck to the wall to starve to death.

Vacuum- While it might be considered cruel to suck a spider into a confined space with large amounts of dust and no amount of food, it can also be cruel to your sense of security to leave a spider in your home.

Spider Killing Tips: Just to be helpful.

At the very least, wear socks- Spiders can't bite through socks, much less shoes.

Have a partner- I cannot tell you how many times I have had to run to another room to get a suitable weapon. Having someone watch the spider while I left the room, has sealed the fate of many an arachnid that might have lived, simply because it moved while I was gone.

Be careful with flammable materials- Hairspray and other non-spider friendly chemicals tend to be highly flammable. This means don't use them if the spider is standing anywhere near an open flame or is in possession of a lighter or flamethrower.

Always be aware of where there is poison- The poisons can not only kill spiders and most other bugs, but it can also hurt people and small animals.

Keeping spiders away- The easiest trick, with spiders, is to not give them something to find in your home. The fewer bugs in your home, the fewer and smaller the spiders will be. Simply cleaning up after a meal, being aware of crumbs, and washing dishes can cut back on the number of bugs in the house.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

Finally, there has been snow. Large flakes that drift lazily down to Earth. Most of them melted once they hit the ground, but a few have stuck, giving gravel driveways the illusion of white rivers with milky bogs on either side. Still, if I peep through the windows, the grass is stubbornly green. In the morning, each emerald shaft has white filigree edges, and the sun rises from among the bare crooked trees as a song bird from the thicket.

Each year people look at the next 365 days and see it as a new slate, a blank piece of paper on which to draw their fates, but looking out my window, I see it as the same paper as before, only the pencil has been sharpened and I have a new eraser. What we do one year is invariably tied to what we have done in the years past. How would we know what to draw, if we didn't have the past drawings to look back on? Sure, we've also made mistakes in the past years, but that's why there's an eraser, to fix things to the best of our ability. Some things just can't be fixed. They're drawn in pen, often by someone else, and the only thing we can do is use that drawing to create a better, bigger picture.

So, your pencil has been sharpened, you have a new eraser, and there's a little more room on your paper. The only question is what you will draw.