Lullaby And Goodnight…

Nine-thirty. I trudged up the rain-soaked walk in the dark at the end of a 56-hour work week. The house was quiet as I slipped off my shoes near the coat rack, wiping away tears as I padded up the stairs and down the hall. I paused at the door and brushed off fresh tears before quietly slipping into our room, and there she was. Sleeping for the moment. Curled up in a tight ball under the quilt her grandmother had made for her and clutching her ever-present buddy, a stuffed lavender puppy named Cosmo.

Ken had set up her travel bed in our room so we would be able to get to her quickly during the long night to come. I set down my bag, pulled off my coat and knelt down next to her, bending to kiss her damp little forehead. Her long curls were slick with sweat and a third set of tears stung my eyelids as I kissed her cracked and bleeding little lips that no amount of salve had been able to obviate. (more…)

Vintage Jacqui – Of Markers And Marabou

Rain. It seemed as if it had been raining forever. It was nearly a year ago. Our then four-year-old daughter, Jacqui, sat plastered to the window, watching the relentless raindrops pound the soil in our front yard.

“Mom, can we go splash in da puddles?”

I peeked around the corner from the kitchen and glimpsed the black clouds and rain-spattered window panes. “No. It’s too cold and rainy outside.”

Jacqui looked at me with all the incredulity that my absurd comment deserved. “But Mom, if dere wasn’t rainy days outside, dere wouldn’t be no puddles to splash in.”

True. And I should have listened, but I had a dozen stuffy reasons to stay inside: It was wet. Too cold. Too much trouble. To Jacqui, my excuses meant one thing: Boredom. In the hands of a child, boredom can quickly escalate from pleas for relief, to unbridled silliness, to full-force, category five, cabin-fever hurricanes. (more…)

And They All Lived Happily Ever After… Until The Dinosaurs Ate Them For Breakfast…

Jacqui: Here Kyle… You be da knight.

Kyle: (Lying on the floor five yards away flapping a plastic pterodactyl) Rahhr. Ninoshar.

Jacqui: No, Kyle. No dinosaurs. We’re playin’ Liddle Peeple’s in da cassle. Not dinosaurs.

Kyle: (Hasn’t moved an inch) Oooooo! Ninoshar. Rahhr.

Jacqui: Ok Kyle… Here’s you. Da knight (handing him the miniature plastic knight in shining armor). Now, walk him to da cassle like dis… “la-la-la-la-lahhhh…” Den say, “Oh bootiful prinsesssssss! Lets go to da ball, OK?” Say dat.

Kyle: RRRRRRRAAAHHHHHHRRRRRRRR!!!!

Jacqui: No, no, nooooo! Knights DON’T NEVER make dinosaur noises at prinsesses! Not NEVER!! Too scary. Try ‘gain.

Kyle: NINOSHAR!!! RAAAHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Jacqui: Ok. You not lissen-en. Gimme dat fing!

Kyle: (Supersonic shrieking)

Me: Jacqui. No taking toys away. Remember the rules? You fight over something, it’s mine for the day.

Jacqui: (Sporting a saccharin grin) Oh, we’re not fightin’, Mom… I’m jess helpin’ him share. Da dinosaur wansta play by hisself right now I fink.

Me: (One eyebrow arched)

Jacqui: Oh, alright. *sigh* Ok, Kyle. Now pay da tenshun… Here’s you, da knight.

Kyle: Nononononooooooo! Ky ninoshar! Rahhhhr!

Jacqui: Fine! You play dinosaurs over dere, an’ I’ll play by myself den!

Kyle: (Finally recognizing the potential in Jacqui’s game, begins flapping the pterodactyl over the castle…) RAHHHHHHHRRRRR!!! RAHHHHHRRRRRR!!!

Jacqui: No! No Dinosaurs! Go way! Shoooo!

Kyle: (With a maniacal giggle swoops the pterodactyl in towards the castle, flinging the little People King and Queen from the turrets…) Peeples Waaaaaaaayyyyyy! (Followed by more maniacal giggling)

Jacqui: Kyyy-Alllll!!! NOT NICE!!

Kyle: Nah-neyes? Ninoshar nah-neyes!!! Ninoshar RAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRR!!!! (Begins stomping giant pterodactyl feet on poor Little People Queen’s plastic noggin)

Jacqui: Kyle! Noddy! You givvin’ da Queen a very big ouchy headache! OWIE!!

Kyle: Oooo. Owie? Uuun-Tiss? Mwhah! (Pterodactyl oh-so-gently pecks the flattened Queen on her plastic noggin with a prehistoric kiss) Aw bedder?

Jacqui: Well… Ok…. (eying the pterodactyl suspiciously) Fank you….

Kyle: OK! All bedder! Ninoshar!! RAHHHHHHHRRRRR!!!! Peeples YUMMMMMMMM!!! RAHHHHHHHRRRR!!!! (Pterodactyl swoops back in and begins devouring the still stunned Little People Queen)

Jacqui: No, Kyle!! Noooooooooo!!! (Grasping at the flapping pterodactyl) No dinosaurs eating my cassle peeples for beck-fass! Dere will be no-buddy for da cassle ball! Stawwwwwwwwwwwwpppp!

Kyle: AHHHHHHH!!! NOOOOOO!!! Mine ninoshar!! MIIIIIIIINNNNNNE!!!

Me: (Pitching a half-folded towel from my laundry pile at the epicenter of the escalating donnybrook) OK, a meteor just obliterated Jurassic Park Camelot. We are now time-traveling to the Mommy Revolution Era wherein all plastic toys are hereby banished to the closet until the dawn of a new day.

Jacqui: (Scowling, arms folded across her chest) Dat’s NOT how you play dis game! No banishing da toys!
Toys were banished to the closet forthwith and MY cranky little ‘Little Peeples’ were banished to the backyard for some fresh air. Now if I could just banish myself somewhere…

Eighth Verse… Cruddy As The First…

Well, my little pet pneumonia bug showed up again this week for another visit. Hadn’t mentioned it earlier, because I don’t know about you, but the topic has somehow lost it’s appeal for me. This will make my 8th round of it since October, but who’s counting? Which pretty much means there have been precious few days between the end of summer and now that I’ve been able to breathe in a manner that doesn’t resemble that an alien life-form from another planet.

Ken thinks my little germ friend has given up on the whole “just visiting” concept and has moved in for good. He says I may as well name the critter and be done with it. So I suggested Yersi. Ken stuck his head around the office door and gave me an odd look. I heard keys clicking on the computer followed by, “Oh, you’re just hilarious. I think not .” I dunno… I think it kinda suits… (more…)

Mommy Meltdown

Ever have one of those days where you just know you’re walking a tightrope? You know… the kind where one itty bitty little thing, no matter how stupid, is going to just pitch you toppling through space. That was me. Today. And I know when it comes down to it I have much more to be grateful for than to whimper about, but today I whimpered. Ok, I bawled my head off. I was a lip-quivering sniffling mess — and not just in the privacy of my own home. Oh no. That would be too tidy. Nope, I crumbled to sand in our church nursery and there was nothing I could do about it.

Actually, sand is a bad analogy. Unless it was soggy sand. Silt maybe. Guess I didn’t really crumble either. I deliquesced. Deliquesced into silt. What? Don’t look at me like that… sounds better than ’shlumped into sludge’. Well, it does to me anyway. Eight years of extreme challenges in our life, and you would think I would have been able to hold it together until we got home, but no. Not today. Today I fell to pieces. In public. (more…)

A Strange New Year

Here it is, finally. The first post of the new year. No resolutions were made, per se. Goals set, but none that need mentioning. However, here are a few things that have happened so far.

I decided to run an experiment at work. Where I’m usually “business casual” every day, the experiment was to wear a button down shirt to work every day, and see how long it took before people stopped mentioning it. It took my boss a whole 5 seconds to say something about me being “dressed up” on January 2. This experiment failed on day two (January 3) when no one said a word. Perhaps I’m not giving these people enough credit. Time will tell. The button downs will continue for the time being. (more…)

That Was The Year That Was

And thankfully, in a few short hours, this catastrophe of a year will be over.

It’s all to do with work this last 6 months. And the car wreck.

There were good things, so let’s just focus on them as we move forward and put the other things behind us.

To you all, thanks for still coming by even though I’ve tapered off over this last while. I’m hopeful that 2014 will give me more to write about here. Or anywhere, really.

If you’re going out tonight, be safe. And if you’re staying home, I hope you’re doing something fun. Either way, so you on the flip side of the calendar.

I Guess It’s Almost Thanksgiving

Ready for today’s WTF moment?

A little background first…

Remember that song “Friday”? Well, it seems the creators of that…interesting (is that a good word to use in this case?)…video have a new song and a new kid.

“It’s Thanksgiving”

I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of this song. I don’t fault this Nicole Westbrook girl for it, though. Nor do I fault the parents; I’m assuming the girl showed interest, so they looked for a way to help. I’m sure the experience of making the song and video were a good lesson. (more…)

Wishy Washy

I’ve taken the last 7 weeks off from blogging. It wasn’t intentional to take that much time off, but I needed the break. A lot of things happening in this part of the world, mostly personal and boring and not necessary to bring up. Suffice it to say that I’m working on making parts of my life more balanced against each other, rather than one aspect dominating all of my time and attention. To that end, I’ll be popping in once and a while to see how everyone is doing, and while I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to read every blog post, nor will I be able to comment on them all, know that I have missed you all.

During this time, I’ve been doing a lot of revising. I’m about halfway through draft two, and a quarter way through draft three. The second draft is taking longer than I expected, only because I’ve made one or two substantial changes that have ramifications across the entirety of the story. (more…)

A Little Bit Of Everything

To say that time is a precious commodity in my little part of the world would be a drastic understatement of facts. Truth be told, I find myself quite a bit over-extended most days, and the scales of time are heavily in favor of those things that have to be done and need to be done. Unfortunately, this leaves little time for things that I’d rather be doing.

Tuesdays in particular are jam-packed from the moment I wake until exhaustion sets in. However, I did read two chapters from A Clash of Kings last night. At least, I think I did. I’m about 150 pages into the 950 page installment, and I’m loving every second. I wish I could world build half as well as Martin does. (more…)