Wednesday, April 30, 2008

First mowing of the year

It didn't actually happen, but my intentions were good. I pulled out the old self propelled hand mower, checked the gas, added some and went to pull the starter, nope. It was stuck. I actually got the wrench, the only one we have, and tried to unscrew the bolts to take the cover off. No good, Tony had to come with his muscle, as the bolts were painted over and he could only manage to loosen one. The other 2 were too deep in their molded areas & our wrench was too big. I am the fixer here & if I'd have been able to get inside, I may have been able to figure it out. Of course I could use the good ole John Deere ride on, but I am afraid of what that'll do to Tony's mind & heart. I am content with the manual one, if it'll work.

I did accomplish cleaning out my flower beds. We get the strangle of those long bladed grassy weeds. I'm not sure what they are, but they really do infect the soil with their well established root systems. I hate them because they are ever present. I am going to research the best way to get rid of them because I don't want to have to be constantly pulling them this summer.

Since I didn't get to mow today, our good hearted neighbor said I could use his ride on mower (not going there, I don't think the ride ons are the answer). Then he mentioned he had a manual self propelled one he's used only once. So tomorrow, weather permitting, I will be borrowing our neighbors mower to get our unruly grass in order. Hopefully by the weekend, I'll be ready to fertilize and de-weed the grass. Our unhealthy lawn will actually get healthy this year because I intend on taking care of it. Tony isn't a good lawn man, not at all.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Worn in Words

Nathalie would resign herself to the idea that it would never work. Poring over all the digests for the last 3 hours, she still couldn't find the one that mattered - the one that held all the answers.

"I know it was here - I saw the damn thing!" She was nearly pissed. "The old bitty promised!"

Nathalie remembered the look of the 94 year old woman with her yellow, cigarette stained teeth, cackling her speech like an old witch.

"My dear," the ancient voice wavered & cracked, "it isn't the answer. I promise you that. I haven't told you enough, have I? That you cannot make love happen, it does or it doesn't. Alas, young lady, the book does hold the key. The journal you can find at the old Marbler place. It will be in their library."

To Nathalie he remained anonymous, no name, only a face. She'd seen him several times & most often from a distance. She'd have it in her head for months - that he was the one! It was in his eyes - she'd seen it there.

Nathalie was a wholesome, but not quite beautiful girl. At least she didn't think she was. She always had the worst luck with men - they were either trashy & creeps or they just weren't. Fair skin and blue eyes, darkest black hair - does not beget the winning man, waiting for your care...she thought.

She had gone into the desk on last time, opened the bottom left drawer one last time, dug under all the files & papers one last time and there. It was there!! After her intensive search - she finally had it in her hands!

"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!" She was too excited, for sure the last came out sounding like ohmigodomigodomigod, no real discernation of words. After a few hops in circles with the book in both her hands, she had to think. "This is it! I found what?"

She plopped into the desk chair feeling good about the find, but not so good about messing with something she had no right to mess with. She slouched at the defeating thought. Nathalie wanted this so badly. She searched and searched, but now she thought maybe it wasn't such a good idea.

"Pros & cons, that's it - I'll write them down!" She took pen & paper & wrote. It took her about an hour, but finally she had something. "Now to tabulate." She said aloud, talking to herself was becoming a bad habit today.

"The pros win....hhhcuuuuchhhhhh." She cupped her hands in front of her mouth to make a wild crowd sound, to signify her victory.

She placed the book in front of her - it looked like an ordinary journal. An old leather bound, white cover looking worn & a little beige. It was rather nondescript. The early pages curled in the corners as she opened it. She felt something then, just a glimpse of something. It was as if someone had breathed through her hair.

The chicken scratch within was definitely hard to read. She thumbed through a number of pages & couldn't find the word love anywhere. That was all she had to do - that was it. With the thought of the one in her mind, the word love would give her all she needed. At least that was what old leatherface said, Nathalie thought.

"It's a very special book. I know you know from your aunts. They did tell too much," Arianna said. The smile always rested in her face. Like she'd lived a happy life, long as it was, Nathalie thought it impossible. "They were my best friends, nearly from birth. This was my promise to them - you get the book, and you shall, my dear, you shall."It wasn't long after that last conversation, the poor woman let go. Arianna hadn't been ill, not that Nathalie had known, but remembered the woman saying that she had been here too long already. At the time, Nathalie was unsure what that meant, she still was, really.

Nathalie spent the next several days searching and searching. She felt she'd been through the journal at least 100 times. Thouroughly! Incessantly, when she could! She was determined and she was becoming apprehensive that she never would find what she was looking for.

Journal in hands, opened with intent focus, Nathalie was walking to the bank. She had to make the deposit before it closed. She'd told Martin she would. Paying less attention than she should, she bumped her right shoulder hard into something. So hard she dropped on her butt even harder. She let go that little tight squeal - you all know the one - the tail bone squeal. And she couldn't breathe. Her eyes closed and she tried to catch her breath. She looked down and noticed the journal upside down. Her breath finally coming in, like through a tiny seive in her throat. Nathalie flipped the book over and all at once, the most intense connection to anything she'd ever felt, warmth rushed through her, a life flashed before her eyes. Sped into her mind like a fast forward film, lightning quick. Just as fast as it happened it was over. She felt a normal breath escape her and looked up. The sun was bright & she shielded her eyes. A hand reached down to her and she heard a voice, "Are you alright?" It was deep and melodical - Nathalie was thinking this was all too weird. She held the book open in front of her again. And...there it was. The page the book had opened to had it right there, plain as word. Love.

Flash Fiction November 2007 by AO

Boring & tired

Not much to report this past couple days. Not a whole lot going on. My daughter protested getting sick yesterday, as my hub was feeling a bit under the weather. She told us..."I am not going to get noukas." I kept hearing nougats. She proceeds to let us know about that guy, nucinex (mucinex). She wont have that! A little green man living in her lungs. What is commercial tv teaching our young ones? I'm glad she's just against it & not truly terrified that a little fat green man is living in her lungs when she's sick.

The way my kids hear things, sometimes I think I maybe talk too fast.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

She's so unusual

Looking at that word..unusual...looks odd to me. Maybe I just never really took a good look before.

My daughter is 4. She is my only girl after 3 boys, so I feel rather lucky to be having the experience of a girl. There are quite a few quirky things about her. The first and sometimes most alarming is her gas factor. Yes, she has gas like her father. If she took anything from him genetically, I think that's the big one (can gas be passed on that way? me thinks it's possible). From birth this child has been gassy. Not the usual painful infant gas (it never seemed to bother her much in that way), but audible farts, no joke. Before her, I'd never really heard an infant fart. We can see it & sense it, as mothers, but never did I hear until Maia. The fartiest baby I ever knew & now, the fartiest girl I know. She hasn't ever been shy about it and most often we all get a good laugh from it. Not, at least, until last summer. We were out to dinner and she farted. Both my hub & I looked at each other grinning, and she was laughing (so were the boys). Then I explained to her that farting was something we did in private. After that moment, each public fart, if she can't hold it, has been her mortification. She will cry, occasionally and I can't help but wonder if I scarred the girl. Don't get me wrong, she'd be much more mortified if she learnt that lesson the hard way later in her young life, but still...

The other day (last week) we had Polish sausage for dinner. She loves that - it's one of the few things she'll always eat in her picky stage. She had her fill & the next day...OH MY GOD! The gas was the smelliest! I swear it came from her dad & not her (and what is it with the men enjoying their "mixture", or is mine the only one who relishes it?). She was sitting on the couch at one point & the smell hit her bad, after she giggled the noise away. She almost cried because she thought it smelled so bad! I was laughing because it was sweetly sad & funny at the same time. Keep in mind, she was quite sleepy at the time and we all know most girls are a little more sensitive when they're sleepy (hell, all little ones are). Aside from the farting, she is mostly girly. She loves to have her nails painted, wear her jewelry & her dresses, plays with her Barbies, Littlest Pets, Ponies and stuffed animals. This year for her birthday, we asked her what she wanted. She said Transformers & Ninja Turtles... Yeah. My mom actually got her the mini Leonardo set with the bad guy, Hun. She was pleased as punch, but now Andy claims it's his Leo if he can't find his own. Heh. She doesn't care much if Andy makes his claim - she can just grab his cars & he's giving Leo back to her.

They do often say the funniest things and here I am talking about some of the yuckiest...more. She put her finger in her nose the other day & said she could "feel her brain". Of course I got a laugh out of it & explained reality to her. I shared it with my hub & her older brother, Kyle, among a few others. It's cute the things they say. Tonight, we were in the garage (I was smoking there because it was raining - I hate when they must follow, the whole reason I go in there is so they don't have to be around it) and she picks her nose & says she's touching her brain. Another giggle from me & her alike. Her favorite joke is:

"Knock, knock?
Who's there?
Banana who?
Banana that got flushed down the toilet."

I always play the gimme five thing with her, you know - gimme five, up high, down low, too slow? She & Andy LOVE that game, especially if they can hit my hand. I added an element to it, the "in the hole" element and then "thanks for cleaning out my toilet bowl". The hoots of laughter I got after that one were awesome! Well, she made up her own. Gimme five, up high, down low, fire in the hole! Whenever I hear that, I think of Stella from Over the Hedge - so I'm thinking she's thinking stinky stuff.

Yeah, she's so unusual.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta

As much as I think I don't want people reading my blog, maybe it would be cool if someone did besides me. Heh.

Had some storms blow through here tonight - nothing terrible, so far. I think most of the worst of them will break up before they get to us.

Back to the matter I spoke of above, I will participate in the Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta thing, as long as I can. I have plenty of favorite photos and more to come I'm sure. Since we're all winners...heh heh. I followed the link from Bottles, Barbies & Boys. I enjoy reading that one and by the looks of it, I'll have another one to follow with Candid Carrie. My favorite photo for this Friday (4-25) is my 7 year old. I think I have been a bit uptight in not naming my kids. I was thinking I would would be more brash, more candid and that was the case in the beginning, not so much any longer. I think I am an evolving blogger, if there is such a thing. My 7 year old is Andy. He's quite a goofball and a lot of fun. He seems to love the camera and be quite photogenic. That is one of the reasons I like photographing him. I took this one last Summer (late summer) and I had no idea how the sun through my window would affect all the pics I took that day. They were all quite wonderful. You should see what some of my earliest photos looked like - blurry, heads cut off. I was just bad. That was several years ago and I think I've gotten better over time (camera technology helps, too..heh). That is one of my many favorite photos.

What comes next, I don't know, but I am off to send my email to Candid Carrie. Thanks for this, I think it'll be lots of fun! I look forward to every Friday to come. Also, thanks to Bottles, Barbies & Boys, I'm glad I found your blog. Hope to see you around!

Join the fun!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

He's not digging the later nights.

7, that is. He is getting right pissed that he has to go to bed when it's still light outside. Tough break, I guess. He needs at least 9 hours or more. Otherwise, I pay the price after school, big time.

I went out this evening to have a smoke and it smelled like a combination of old dog shit & a wash rag that's a sink full of dishes away from the hamper. Not sure what was making the stink, but it was a bit nasty. Once in a while, I'd catch the wafting comfort of the inside of my house. Do you ever wonder what your house smells like to other people? I've wondered. I hope it smells good.

I'm not looking forward to the stormy season - not at all. I can't stand the big ones. I always fear a tornado. The idea of one gives me the heebee-geebees, creepy crawlies under my skin.

My daughter found a couple of "sleeping" lady bugs on the deck yesterday. She found them a home in a knot in one of the deck boards & decorated it with a couple of star erasers & one of Tanner the amazing pooping & eating Barbie dog's food (poops). Uber wicked decor for the dead bugs. I took a couple of pics & I will have to drop them in here after I've resized them.

That's all for now - I have to see who gets the axe tonight on Idol. Didn't watch yesterday, btu I caught the performances on you tube. I don't ever like the weeks the do show tunes or things like this. It's always rather boring, Kinda glad I didn't have to sit through it. Heh.


Monday, April 21, 2008

How do they do it?

The creative process is an interesting one. How it works for me is probably just as different from the next guy. If I sit to write a novel (which, I may one day, or not) the story comes to me from the beginning. I start to write it & it will break off into parts. I have to follow where it takes me of course, but the sequence isn't right. I will go back & rewrite & put things together, but I have to follow the flow.

I haven't ever outlined an idea, I have written character ideas, or sketches. None of them have ever flied, though. I have had a few really original ideas in the past. Then I wait, or stall & now those ideas have come to light in other stories. So none of it's original any more.

I'm one of those people with tons of ideas for stories, lots written down, even started, even half way done. Nothing makes its fruition, though. Except the things I write for kids.

Maybe if I air it out, tell the truth, the real deal...maybe I will be able to forward my vision. I know I am not an anomaly - I know there are plenty of people who think they can write. I think a fear of mine lies in that, fear that I can't & in the concept that I may find success. Both equally frighten me.

I have a strong will in most everything in my life. My will to write is misshapen right now, towards a more gelatin like goo. It has no real outline, it's lumpy & full of holes. It doesn't have a lively color. This is how I see it. I am a stalwart. It is purely my intention to be so. It is my doing and maybe, eventually, maybe my undoing. If I choose to remain, I will never know. That is an anvil over a huge water tank, suspended only by a tenuous thread. If I let that drop, without reshaping my will, then I will remain this way - unkempt & unfinished inside. Unknowing.

I should have written this out earlier, when it was much more alive in my head. I watched some tv & the goo, well, it's a lazy goo. Maybe I can better articulate what I am trying to say another day. Just not right now. Of course, I'm not literally articulating - not talking to myself. I do that sometimes. If I were, I'm sure my hands wouldn't be free to type, as I am also a gesticulator.

After rereading some of these posts, they feel rather, ejaculated, and prematurely. Aside from Then you Grew because that was me inspired. Some of my early posts are fully me, but still rambling. It's like I step into this blogging place & turn into a talentless goo ball, like the will to write I speak of. I dunno - maybe I have to sit at this keyboard typing for a few hours to actually produce anything remotely read-worthy. I could go ahead & post some of my little kid stories. I could, but how would that help me? How would that coerce me to move forward & reshape my ugly writing will? I dunno, but maybe I can just write something on here when inspiration hits. Maybe I can just do it here?

Some other thoughts - do good writers write down funny things they hear or think of? Do they write down extraordinary comparisons or metaphors they create or things they hear in every day life that seem they might fit appropriately in story some day? I have some things in my head, things I've heard from my own kids or people I know that I think would liven up some dialogue in a story, but I don't write it down. I may be risking losing that info, but I don't think so. For some reason, that stuff creeps into my mind when I need it to.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Then You Grew

And you were born
and you were itty, bitty and your love
was so big.
And you cooed
and you smiled and chewed on your toes.

Then you grew a little...
you got some teeth and learned a few words
one at a time.
And you babbled on and on
and so much nonsense came out but you had
so much to say.
And you crawled, then walked
and you wrote on the walls and learned
to use the big potty.

Then you grew a little...
your hair grew more and you needed a trim.
And you had more to say
and I understood and we talked together.
And you drew nice pictures for me
and colored and listened to stories and
used your own imagination.

Then you grew a little...
you rode your bike without training wheels.
And you went to school
and made many friends and
found new challenges.
And you went to birthday parties
and had sleepovers and still wanted me around sometimes.

Then you grew a little...
you wanted so much independence and
you were fearless.
And you were sophisticated
and you knew more than me and
you tried my patience.
And you wanted to grow more
and get a job and drive your own car.

Then you grew a little...
you got a job and finished school.
And time felt like so little
and you taught me so much.
And we are learning always
and now she is born and all is new again.

Then she will grow a little...
you will grow with her just as I grew with you.
And your heart will be full
and you will often swell with pride
and you will feel so happy.
And you will remember...

A bit of my own perspective. I was inspired to write this after I read the children's book Someday by Alison McGhee.


I was always a social butterfly growing up. I had many friends, but I never thought myself popular. I don't think I was, but I did have a lot of friends. The reason I am thinking about this is because as an adult, I don't have many friends. I still have a few old ones - the forever kind. Shelly, Nancy, Stacy and only a few others. Those I can call anytime & it's like there was never any time lapse between the time we'd talked before. You just pick up where you left off. I only have one new friend, Billie. She & I are very close. We have been talking for nearly 3 years on IM and the phone. We talk, most often, 5 nights a week on the phone. I have never physically met her, though. She lives very far away from me.

Around here - unless you are a social church goer (I'm a bad Catholic, remember?), it's hard to get to know anyone because so many people are too wrapped up in their lives. It's hard for me to put my best foot forward & make efforts. I have tried & it seems it's one sided. This is one of the reasons I believe society has taken a turn for the worse. People don't care about each other any more. Not like they used to. In the days when neighbors brought cookies to one another, made time & went out of their way for each other. Spent time talking, even if it was gossip, it was communication. Sure, everyone gets busy. Life is short & I think I'd rather be a little less busy & more full of friends. We can always make time. Even if it's 10 minutes. Those who say they can't, I just don't understand how life - especially around here, can be that full. This is a lazy small town.

I guess my biggest issue is that too many don't make the effort to blossom a friendship. I am a bit gunshy because I have been hurt putting my everything into a couple of friendships that got me no respect & hurt in the end. If I feel like I'm the only one that's trying to move the friendship forward, then I will back off. Maybe it's wrong, but if someone wants to really be friends, you'd think they'd make a conscious effort to do so. Why is it so hard to get to know people any more? I think many would find similarities they didn't think they would. In how we raise our kids, in what we have to deal with on the man front - among other things.

I shut down sometimes & don't make any effort, any time. Even with quick communication - email, IM & such. I just shut it all out. Why bother? Except with Billie - she's always there & I am for her.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

2 in one day

Yes! Odd maybe? Not really - or it shouldn't be. This is something I should be prolific in, because it seems I really have so much to say to no one at all! I've had few profile/blog views. Most of them are probably my own. As long as I have something to read...heh. (gaw...who wants to reinforce the issues in their life? double, even triple whammy)

I always say I'm not going to watch idol beyond the auditions because those are really the best part. I find myself growing fond of contestants, though, during the audition process. I am a lover of music - many kinds of music. This year idol came across an incredible pool of talent. These young people can really sing. I am very sad to say the voters got it wrong last week in not voting for Michael Johns. Kristy Lee had stepped it up the last few weeks, but she shouldn't have even been around this long. At this point in the show, I think it's bad to see any one of them go because they all deserve record deals based on the talent they have. My favorite is David Cook - I will buy his albums. He sings in a style a love & his voice soothes my ears. I can't wait to hear the music he will pen on his own. Of all the contestants left, his music is probably the only stuff I'd pay for. Maybe Carly's, too. It depends on which direction she takes. I wouldn't ever buy, or even download for free, the music of David Archuleta. The kid's a voice prodigy (well, nearly) but I can't stand his style. Lite music special. I hope he does win idol, though because then he's the one with the longest ties to the idol purse strings. David Cook needs another route to travel. I almost don't want him on the show so he can move forward & pursue the music, like Chris Daughtry. Enough boring...

The boys had a late start today, reverse half day. These are cool - I like being able to sleep in a bit. They have tomorrow off - a 3 day that should have been a 4 day weekend. Snow make up day on Monday. It should be a fun weekend. The weather is finally nice - even if it will be cloudy, we can hang out outside. 7 can finally drive his car.

I know as I post my journal shit, it will get hectic at times, just as it does for me. I hope I'm not too harsh on my hub. His fantasy baseball started on March 31. All has gone okay with that until last Sunday. He really has his priorities screwed up. And I am now the official black cat. How much eye white did you see with that eye roll? He claims that he doesn't believe in all that "superstitous bullshit", direct quote, but I am now a black cat. I am responsible for the hits the players get off of his pitchers, as well as the strike outs the batters attain and the lack of homeruns his team hits. I must be some kinda cooler. No team in MLB would want me at the ball field watching. Anyway, I was asked by my supafly friend if I was ready for the season. I now realize I completely forgot how bad it can get during baseball season. While I told her I was ready - I don't think anyone can be, especially not me.

I might need a season long vacation.

~ A

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Long overdue

Not that it matters..I've obviously neglected this page. I will have to be a more stringent blogger from here forward. Since I am going to be "studying" what I think I am here (on this planet, because my home planet has exiled me) to do...write...I may have more to share aside from family fun.

Kids are good - older now. 6 is now 7 and 3 is now 4. 13 is still 13, but we are nearer to 14. 7 didn't increase the maturity level once he turned 7. I don't know if I was hoping the day would cure the immature ails, but yeah, maybe I was. Aw, hell - I knew it wouldn't. Is there a magic elixir? It seems 7 will be repeating 1st grade, as it stands. This has been a saga for us. In the beginning of the year, I was dead set against this teacher he has. I had heard about her from several other parents in the community as a "meanie", even some went so far as to say she was insulting to some kids. None of this heresy comes with confirmation. People talk, rumors fly. I am very satisfied with her style of teaching and I think she understands my son. We have good communication and we both have been diligent this year in trying to keep 7 caught up. 7 is still behind, though he has improved a good deal, especially in the last few weeks. Though I want to be hopeful, I almost don't. That may sound awful or sad, but really - if I have to struggle with this boy & watch him struggle so profoundly at the beginning of the next school year & through the first sememster, I am going to be upset. He is a smart child and he understands almost all of what he's being taught. He does sometimes resist the new, well - more often than not. He will absorb it & refuse to move forward. He becomes obstinate - for lack of a better word. It could be a personality trait (gawd, I hope not - too much like his dad). He is a young 7 year old & seems to not care at all about his success, not in the immediate sense (I did it, hoo-rah--who cares.). We can be excellent cheerleaders & he just doesn't care, even gets mad sometimes if I over do it.

The first grade 7 goes to is 20 steps ahead of the one I went to & even 10 ahead of the one 13 went to. There is homework every night & watching math pages come home with words like "algebraic sentence" somewhere on the pages is alarming to me for first grade. They study, teach & learn in a much different way. It seems that the no child left behind laws have opened the doors to intense focus on rapid retention & repeat. This is all something I don't think will be as much an issue for 4 when she gets there. 7, like I mention, is just a very young 7. So all this repetetivity to ensure they retain this information, but educators are also throwing all kinds of stuff up to be retained. It isn't just a few select things, it's a plethora of stuff, a shitstorm of numbers, letters, reading pages..etc. Adding & subtracting of double digits - though my 7 isn't there, this is where the rest of the class is - in FIRST grade. And they time them, too, minute & a half.... It is all baffling to me. I have to roll, though - there is nothing else I can do besides homeschool & I honestly don't believe that would be a good solution for 7. So, 7 might do the first grade all over again & in his situation, I don't think that would be a bad idea. I know more & more schools are adopting stronger curriculums & more of this rapid fire teaching stuff. I can understand how this does benefit the students of the future, especially in the later grades.

4's birthday was lovely. She was exceptionally happy to be turning 4. A huge milestone in her eyes. We had a cake & sang, nothing big as the inlaws couldn't find a babysitter for Bopka, so they couldn't make it. It was just us & my mom. Very nice day.

That's that for now. I'll be around, as I am going to be reading much, learning more about what I want to do in life. Maybe even publish here some of what I learn or write. We shall see.



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