29 May 2010

*Green Thumb

Blake's Story (#8)

My name's Blake and, unfortunately, I'm Ty's twin brother. Most of the time we get along great, but lately he's been insufferable. When I was twelve I was glad to learn I wasn't the only person in the world who occasionally wanted to strangle a sibling. Though we are identical, Ty received all of the personable skills.

Since Ty's been reading over my shoulder I changed rooms. If he is going to demand I write this, I am going to do it my way. So first off, HA! Now let me get to the good part.

Ty and I have the same group of friends but there are days people completely forget that I am there. I was tagging along with Jake and Clint at the end of the thundering herd. Clint was still feeling grumpy about being Ophelia. Jake was trying to plan his next date with Samantha, still a touchy subject with the rest of the guys.

We passed by a greenhouse which drew my attention. While Ty was the life of a party in any situation, I could grow anything. I browsed through the planters and some tools. Happily geeky, I looked at the trowels, hoping to find one to replace my old rusty one. When my hand tingled, I dropped the trowel but from listening to everyone's experiences, I knew it was already too late. I was able to make it outside and waved to Clint and Jake.

The world bubbled for a moment and I was standing on what appeared to be a cloud. A large house was in front of me and when I turned, I let out a whoop. With a giant beanstalk behind me, and a giant house in front I knew where I was and it rocked.

I was Jack.

Out of everyone in the group, I managed to be sucked into the fairytale as the hero. This totally kicked butt. Now all I had to do was sneak into the house and steal the golden egg laying bird. A thundering voice halted me in my tracks. It was so loud I swear my eardrums were going to rupture and I lost my footing. Anything that could make that much noise, I didn't want to be near.

Without a backwards glance, I stumbled along the soggy ground to the plant. Plummeting was a fear of mine and being hundreds of feet into the air, brought my worst nightmare into a reality. It took nearly an hour to convince myself to even climb on the beanstalk.

When I finally reached the ground my legs collapsed under me and I sat with my back against the stalk, head between my knees. I hadn't ticked off any giant so I didn't see the need to cut down the stalk. Feeling a little better, I glanced up and started. Clint and Jake were staring at me. There was broken glass and I could see little planters covering the ground.

With shaky legs I stood and looked around. The greenhouse I'd admired earlier was completely destroyed and the beanstalk showed no chance of disappearing like all of the fairy tale consequences had.

A giant beanstalk definitely would complicate city life. But it was so cool looking.

26 May 2010

Appreciating History

First off, the reason why I'm posting late is because we're traveling. 4:30 in the morning is not my best thinking time. Yesterday was rather full with none writing activities, including an awesome Austrian restaurant. So now that I finally have a couple of minutes of free time, I'll sit down and write this but will have to post it when I have an internet access. So complicated.

My older brother really enjoys history (and is good at it). When we were younger I would sometimes come in to the living room and see him watching the old Battlefield documentaries. Hours upon hours of a distinguished voice explaining what the little red and blue arrows were doing on a obscure map. Not something I was interested in at all, except perhaps as a sleep aide.

Once he wrangled my into watching the end of the movie Gettysburg. I must admit watching the reenactment of Joshua Chamberlain ordering his men to “fix bayonets” and charge down the hill was pretty neat. But I didn't GET it. Not really.

I ask forgiveness from my history teachers and brother for my somewhat lax attitude on the subject. History is fascinating.

This last week we had the opportunity to visit Gettysburg. Standing in the trees, listening to our tour guide explain the situation was something completely different. I learned that Chamberlain's grand deeds were only a tiny fraction of the amazing and horrific events that took place over the three days of fighting. From the battle of Culp's hill to Devil's Den and the Slaughter Pen, to Picket's charge; I understand. I wish everyone the opportunity to stand on the fields and see a beautiful place that holds such importance to our nation's survival.

I may say I understand but I know I really don't. I can't even begin to imagine what these brave men, both Union and Confederate, had to go through for what they believed in. There is no way a sheltered person like me can ever truly understand but I can appreciate and respect the sacrifices.

22 May 2010


Clint's Story (#7)

“Dude, Clint. Are you coming?”

I frowned at Steve's rushed behavior but dutifully paid my portion of the check and followed the group out of the pizza joint. I hate pizza and I only come for the soda yet I'm always stuck with an equal portion of the check. Guess my friends pride themselves in the art of conversation.

As we headed down to the basketball game, I noticed an used cup on the sidewalk. I picked it up as we walked by and dropped it in a trash can.

“Clint. Always the do-gooder.” Tyson chuckled.

A field ahead had a group playing soccer and all the guys took of running. I stayed behind with Jake who is more athletic than me. You should see the drawings he does. As we continued on I realized my hand was tingling and looked down to see what was wrong. When I looked back up again, the city was gone. Instead I was in the middle of an oat field.

“What'cha doing here?”

A woman, probably three or four years older than me, looked at me. A rake was in one hand and her hair was pulled up and back, showing the continuous sunburned. I rubbed my arms, a sinking feeling in my stomach.

“Where am I?”

“This is my farm.”

“Right. And where exactly is your farm located?”


I rubbed my head. Everyone else got sucked into fairy tales, and here I was in the middle of Kansas.

“Would you like something to drink?”

Nodding weakly, I followed the woman into her small house. The yard had little grass and was filled with antique farming equipment. The inside sported a big screen tv and leather furniture.

“My name's Hannah.”

“Nice to meet you. I'm Clint.”

“Why are you in Kansas?”

After taking a deep drink of the lemonade I shook my head, “I really wish I knew.”

For the next week I helped Hannah with her farm. I used most of her Aloe Vera ointment and was impressed with my ability to look like a normal teenager. As we ate dinner one evening, there was a loud knock and the front door opened.

“Hanna. You've got to come home.”

A younger version of Hannah stood in the doorway. Probably around my age.

“No Beth.”

“Uncle Tito is going to take over the shop.”

“Why do I care?” Hannah asked.

“Dad left us the shop.”

“I don't want the shop, and you don't want the shop. Why can't Tito have it?”

Beth scowled and pushed a tear off her cheek.

“You want the store?” Hannah asked softly.

Beth nodded.

Hannah dropped her fork and rubbed her temples. “Why didn't you saw something at the funeral?”

I hastily finished the steak and followed Hannah and Beth out of the house. There was no vehicle outside and Beth was limping pretty badly. I caught her when she tripped and she murmured her thanks. We walked around to the garage and I stared at the flashy Porsche sitting with the rakes and hoes.

“Get in.”

I helped Beth into the front and crammed my long legs in the non-existent back. We flew into town. I'm pretty sure I left fingernail marks in the seat. The store we stopped at was a large Macy's department store. It was the biggest one I'd ever seen in my life, but that isn't saying much.

Even dressed in her work flannel and steel toed boots, Hannah commanded authority as she marched into the store. She greeted every employee by name and they all relaxed as she thundered past. Without even knocking, Hannah threw open the manager's office door.

The man behind the desk was thin and wiry. He looked at Hannah over his glasses when she approached the desk.


“We want our store back.”

“I'm sorry. The legal transaction has been complete for some time now.”

“You blackmailed dad into giving it to you. Then killed him.” Beth retorted softly.

Tito laughed, “We made a deal, fair and square. The store is mine.” He paused for a moment and said with a grin, “And it isn't my fault your father had a heart condition.”

Hannah muttered, “Fine. You want to play it that way.”

I was standing by the door watching quietly when Hannah turned around, grabbed my collar, and kissed me.

“Meet my fiance. It's in the agreement. I get the store as a dowry when I get married.”

The kiss was so surprising that I stumbled back and hit my head. Everything went black.

“Dude, Clint. Wake up.”

I opened my eyes to see the scruffy face of Steve leaning over me.

“Glad we found you,” Jake added as he proffered his hand to me.

“How long have I been gone?”

Steve ran his fingers through his hair and smile, “Just over a week. For the record you have been spending the week at Jake's house.”

“Thanks for the notice.” I murmured as I brushed a hand over my mouth.

“For being gone a week, you sure look good. Where were you taken?” Steve probbed.


“Kansas, like Dorothy.” Steve chuckled.

“More as in Lion King.” I grumbled, knowing Steve had seen it.

“Sweet, so you were Simba? That's not too bad.” Steve said.

Jake laughed and patted my on the back. “So you weren't even sucked into a fairy tale.”

I shook my head. “Shakespeare has got to be better than a fairy tale but I feel gypped.”

“What do you mean Shakespeare?” Steve asked.

Jake chuckled again, “Let me guess, Ophelia?”

“Shut up Jake.”

19 May 2010

Dinner with the Amish

So this week my husband and I are vacationing in Pennsylvania. I have been in the East before but never here. We came because of a graduation and we're having a great time with family.

Yesterday we had a wonderful time having dinner with the Amish. I wasn't sure what exactly to expect technology wise. When we first walked in I noticed a gas stove they were cooking on. Though they don't use electricity they use propane for a lot of things. They have running water and a water heater.

Dinner was amazing. I wish I could cook that well. There was a carrot casserole, asparagus, bread, potatoes, beef roast, custard pumpkin pie, rhubarb pie, chocolate cake. All so very yummy.

After dinner the father took us on a tour of his property. They have a cabin that they build so people can stay with them. My husband and I would love to come back with my family. The family was really nice and I hope that someday I can be as happy and satisfied with life as they are.

This vacation was much needed. I will just say at this time in my life I am able to pursue my dream of being a full time writer. I am so excited.

15 May 2010


Steve (#6)

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate attractive women but I've definitely had my fill of them the last couple of days. If I never see a bottle of perfume or a stick of lipstick again I will die a happy man.

So my group of wacko friends are even stranger than normal. It wasn't hard to realize that Ty and Brad were the one's behind it all. They told all of us to be careful but I had too much to do than worry about every little object I touched. On Friday I went to a party at a friends house. It was totally kicking and I managed to get one of the cuter attendees, whose name is Carol, to myself. I asked her to dinner the next evening.

“Wow Steve, you really want to have dinner with me?” She giggled and primped her hair.

I know, I could have done better but what can I say? All girls should be given one chance to date someone like me.

“When should I be ready?” She fumbled with her purse and dropped it, the contents spilled everywhere.

I knelt down to help her and grabbed her tube of lipstick. There was a tingling sensation but I ignored it. The rest of the evening was successful, and by the end I had three more dates set. As I rode my motorcycle home that evening I realized a car was following me. There was no reason a car should so I took a round-a-bout way home. By the time the car was out of sight, I was completely lost.

For the next two hours I drove around the fields. Rain poured down and turned to snow. I finally found an old farmhouse and took shelter for the night. From the moment I walked in the door I felt uncomfortable but I was cold and tired and collapsed on the couch.

I don't know how long I was asleep before a gaggle of giggling woke me. Seven pairs of eyes bedecked in liner, and power stared at me. The occupants of the house were seven cheerleaders on a training retreat. The first day was heavenly, they waited on me hand and foot and were constantly fighting for my attention. By the second day I had a head ache when I woke. Though none of them were overly perfumed the seven scents mixing together was unbearable.

Using the bathroom was a joke. I had a square inch of counter space to put my tooth brush, comb, razor, and deodorant. Every time I moved I knocked something off the counter.

By the third day I was glad when the hopeful boy who wanted Carol's attention came to the farmhouse.

“Steve, I'll fight you for Carol.”

“You'll what?”

“I'll fight you.”

I thought about it for a second as the seven girls prepared a cheer for my upcoming battle.

“I'll make a deal with you. You give me a ride home, and I'll personally introduce you to her.”

Carol was more than happy to go with the other guy since I had unintentionally stood her up for dinner.

One of these days I will find a beautiful girl who is willing to give me the counter space. That will be the day. I will forever ask to see the makeup case before I take the girl on a date.

12 May 2010

Origami Zoo

This has been the wettest, coldest Spring I can remember. I really hope that our garden survives the late snows.

I work with the children for my church calling and it’s wonderful. I only play the piano for singing time but have occasionally been asked to do more since there wasn’t a chorister several periods of time. I never realized how particular I was when children are being taught. I grit my teeth and fidget behind the piano some of the time.

A couple of weeks ago when we still didn’t have a chorister, I made a promise to the children that if they would memorize what they were suppose to I would bring a reward. The first thing that was asked was “what kind of candy/treat?”

I’m irked that children feel like they have to be given food. Feeling more determined than ever to do the right thing I went home and made fifty paper cranes over the course of the week. I’ve been making paper cranes for years and so it wasn’t hard to do it whenever I had a little spare time, like watching TV or movies. The next week all of the children passed off the song. I was feeling a little nervous about the whole paper crane idea. I know that some kids really like them and others, not so much. I decided to explain why I brought the prize I did. Since there are over twenty children I have no idea what everyone can or cannot eat or what their parents approve of. I pulled out the crane and they were all excited.

Since it was a big hit I decided that I could learn how to make other animals that I could use it as an incentive to learn the music. This last Sunday was Mother’s Day and the children were singing for everyone in church. There are a couple of children that really enjoy playing with the microphone on the podium instead of singing so I explained if they weren’t reverent or didn’t sing loud I wouldn’t be able to give them a turtle. It worked. This was the first time we didn’t have someone playing with the microphone.

I’m so glad that this new generation can appreciate the smaller things in life like Origami animals. (This way I can also memorize more patterns than just the crane. I often make cranes for little kids when I want something to do with my hands but I do get tired of just cranes.)

05 May 2010

I Live with a Pooka

My husband and I have an adorable pet cat. Well, some of the time she is adorable. The rest of the time she lives up to her name: Pooka.

Our cat is a long haired something, with pretty gray, white, and black coloring. My aunt and uncle rescued her from a feral colony when she was nearly half a year old. At first they thought she was deaf so we took her because she could be an indoor cat and not have to worry about it. She is not actually deaf; she had the worst case of ear mites the vet had ever seen.

She is small for a cat with really short legs. I’m glad she can’t jump very high. It means my kitchen counters are safe. In order for her to get onto our bed she has to claw her way up part way.

She used to sleep on our heads during the night. After tossing her to the end of the bed over and over, she finally learned to stay near our feet. Most of the time. She is our weekend alarm clock. Never fails. Six o’clock in the morning, she is at our heads meowing as loud as she can to be fed. Once she is fed, she comes back to get us out of bed. If we sit in the recliner, she’ll sit in our lap and won’t meow quite as much.

Pooka likes the bathtub. Not when it is nice a dry but right after someone has showered. It’s the same with the bathroom sink. She will climb in and just rest, not worried about her feet getting wet. She doesn’t like the rain or snow though. She has been outside during both and runs for cover.

Recently I was painting at home and had a large blending brush. When I was done, I put all of the supplies on a little end table. The next day, the large brush was in the middle of the floor. Not thinking about it, I put the brush back on the end table. Once again, the next day the brush was in the middle of the floor. When I picked up the brush the kitty rushed it, but I got it away from her and tossed the brush on top of our six-foot tall bookshelf. In order to get the brush she would have to climb to the back of the recliner and jump two and a half feet up to the bookshelf.

A couple of days later, the brush was in the middle of the floor.

I was a little fed up at this point and stashed the brush on a rollaway keyboard on an unused computer desk. Next day? The pictures from the top of the bookshelf were on the floor and some other items knocked over. I picked up the annoying little Pooka and showed her where I hid the brush. I should have known better. It was in the middle of the floor the next day.

My husband found the perfect spot to keep it safe. It is now taped to the pull cord of our living room fan. Every time we pick the little thing up, she tries to climb on our head to get it.

There is one thing to be grateful for, her favorite toy is the little milk jug ring from the lid. We have at least a dozen on our kitchen floor at all times. When people come over I always feel the need to explain why we have “garbage” on the floor.

Our little feline is very cuddly. It’s really nice to have her around when my husband has to work late or has classes. She isn’t afraid of strangers and puts up with children. Overall a very wonderful cat.

For those of you wondering what a pooka is I suggest watching Harvey. “’P O O K A - Pooka - from old Celtic mythology - a fairy spirit in animal form - always very large. The pooka appears here and there - now and then - to this one and that one - a benign but mischievous creature - very fond of rumpots, crackpots, and how are you, Mr. Wilson?’ How are you, Mr. Wilson? Who in the encyclopedia wants to know?”

Yes, I know. Harvey is actually not a typical Pooka. He’s too nice.

02 May 2010

*Edgar the Elephant - In the Far North

Intro: I feel bad for cheating on last week's story. I am struggling with how to write the next story, so I am taking a break. Here is another Edgar the Elephant story. It takes place right after the first one ends. I will add this as a disclaimer: These stories may take place in the real world but they are not realistic. If you have an issue with that, I would recommend not reading them.

Edgar the Elephant was cold. His feet were blue and his trunk had icicles. His co-workers donated scarves and blankets to try and help but even being all wrapped up, he was still miserable.

Working with the elves had been nice. When he arrived at the North Pole they immediately welcomed him.

His first assignment was to help build dollhouses. It didn't work very well since he only had one trunk while everyone else had two hands.

Next he was assigned to help paint the already built toys. Though he tried as hard as he could, his never turned out how it was suppose to. Elephants are color blind.

He went to help at the stables with the reindeer but he couldn't fit through the door. When the reindeer were outside, they were nervous to have such a large fellow around.

Feeling depressed about the whole thing, Edgar sat and drew pictures in the snow with his trunk.

An older elf saw and patted Edgar gently on the back. “I need someone big and strong to help me.

The elf led the way through the trees until they reached a clearing. A large tree was laying on its side and several elves were trying to move it.

Happy to be of use, Edgar easily picked up the large tree and carried it back to the house.

Once there, he helped decorate it and even put the star on top.

When it was all done, Edgar wished his new friends goodbye and headed south. Something warmer that didn't require hands would be nice.

The reindeer flew over head, sleigh in tow and Edgar mused. A job with wings sounded fun.