Use it or lose it [Daily Prompt]

It was an ordinary day, the kind of day that even you’re grandparents don’t even want to hear about. Nothing spectacular should have happened that day, however, time can be rewritten. So instead of my normal Tuesday (that would have brought me to a normal life of being a nurse) that was the day I met someone who would change the course of my life irrevocably.

Walking home after school with my little sister and brother holding each of their hands as they bickered back and forth in their twin speak was one of my least favorite chores. However since my mother had pointedly informed me that it was one of my official chores I did the task without much real argument. I swear the oldest child gets the worst chores, shouldn’t that be the other way around? The youngest should have the worse, and the oldest should get first pick. No, instead I’m stuck taking out the stinky garbage and in charge of cleaning the bathroom. C’est la vie.

Nearing our home I had had enough of the made up language, “So what homework do you have to get through today?”

Clara rolled her eyes, “Kindergarteners don’t get homework.”

“We have to finish coloring our pictures,” Christopher argued immediately after.

“Well yes, there’s that,” Clara added, “for those who didn’t get done during school today.”

She made a face at Chris, but before I could comment a pod that looked like a miniature Death Star appeared out of nowhere. In a ball of fire it crashed into the street and out rolled a guy covered in soot and ash. From a jacket pocket he produced what appeared to be a fog horn. He pressed some buttons on the side of the contraption and out spewed fire retardant. The odd boy started to circle the wreckage until he seemed satisfied with some unknown result. Finally, speaking to no one in particular, he laughed,“I thought we’d never come back from that one.”

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Don’t tell PETA [Dailiy Prompt]

An excerpt from my autobiography What I Think Happened.

… And that, dear reader, is how I came into this world. Now 395808_10100414093869530_219105223_nmuch of my life has been forgotten by the sieve of memory, but some moments in my childhood remain. Take my love for animals. Growing up we had a little dog and lots of cats and boy did I love those cats. What I didn’t fully understand is that they aren’t like people. While, at age 3 or 4, I loved being picked up and twirled around with my legs flying out in the wind, cats did not (and still don’t I reckon).

My older sister recalls me spending much of my childhood being covered in scratch marks. I’m not at all sure this is true, that or I’ve blocked it out. I have vague members of twirling the cats by the tail and them running as soon as I set them back down. They didn’t exactly stay for a chat. Apparently they like having their vertigo firmly in tact. Fools.

I loved my little kittens so much I wanted them with me all the time. Even when I went on our rocking horse. How convenient then that the horse should have a compartment under the seat in which to put things. I remember the cats didn’t mind going in, the first time. Is it so wrong to want to share experiences with your pets?

45646_780983251310_4446311_n I’m glad to say I did grow out of that phase in life, destructive love. It helps when you share that love (what has since replaced it) with an animal as high spirited and crazy as yourself. A couple years ago I went to the shelter and got a little spaz named Vader (well that’s what I renamed him, he was called butterscotch or something equally not fitting for a marginally black cat). Mainly because the force was strong with him. Namely the force to interact with me. To this day, although he too has mellowed out, he’ll allow me to still put on his Christmas sweater (which has long since become ‘un-stylishly’ short for him) and just sit in my lap for hours and cuddle. Smart cat…

Faith [Daily Prompt]

Today’s prompt probably doesn’t refer to Faith Hillfaithhill300, it would be much easier to answer if it did. Miss Hill doesn’t really play a crucial role in my life at all. Now I may not be the most religious person in the world (or I could admit flat out that I’m not) but it does have a very important role in my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t have faith in something outside of myself. Sometimes that’s what gets me through the day, the faith and knowledge that there is someone else there, even if I can’t see them. If I didn’t believe in something after this life then I’d have to face the very grim reality that the people I have lost in this life are gone forever. Isn’t it more alluring believing that you are never truly alone or that you will see your loved ones again? These are just a couple of the most base reasons I can come up with easily (since I’m running late to meet my family for Christmas). In summation (with out much evidence) faith does have an important spot in my life. I leave you with that and the George Michael’s song – enjoy.

41 days of Celebration: Days 23-36

Day 23: Friday, December 14: WHO Friday
I know, I know, not as good of a ring as “WHO Wednesday” but I realized I had forgotten an Christmas episode when I looked at how many there were vs how many Wednesdays there were during this season of celebration. I always forget this episode exists because it falls in that grey area of after a season but before the specials so it really is just a trick. Anyway instead of watching a movie Friday night I watched The Next Doctor episode. Only it was a lie! He wasn’t the next doctor (hence no Matt Smith) but 10’s hair was once again fabulous. Seriously, sign me up for that job.

Day 24: Saturday, December 15: War Horse/Tree Decorating
IMG_2910 Nothing says Christmas like carnage right? That’s what I found when I went to War Horse. That play is phenomenal. Who ever developed that deserves a gold star. I was shocked at how they were able to portray even a slight degree of the genuine terribleness (bad word, sorry) of war. *Spoiler* There was this scene where the horses were going into battle. There were the two main horses at the front of the stage and then a handful of others lined up next/behind them (they were standing parallel to the front of the stage charging the other side). As they are charging machine fire starts and bombs start to fly. All of a sudden you see the torso of a man fly off one of the horses. Very blunt, it put things in sharp focus and it was only a puppet. Only during intermission was my mind able to process that the back horses had never had actors on them, but it was too late. The die had been cast and the impression made. Spoiler over. Anyway, I really enjoyed the play although I don’t know if I could go through that emotional rollar coster again. It was quite tasking in that way, I cried twice, so exhausting.

IMG_2908Afterwards, once we returned home my sister and I set about decorating the Christmas tree. This was the first year we got a blue spruce (usually go with a fir of some sort) and it was fun getting something new. Although we did have to wear gloves to decorate it, the needles were pretty spiky, but the end result was quite lovely and new.

Day 25: Sunday, December 16: Cooking/Classic (Little Women)
IMG_3126It was a fabulous day of cooking, although I should have read the instructions more clearly. Then I would have known I was making five dozen sugar cookies. Ah well, the more the merrier, right? I also made Ninja bread men and bark. Two kinds of bark, one would have done, but peppermint and M&M were made and enjoyed. Later that day, after the cookies had been rolled and cooled I popped in Little Women which is always bittersweet. I enjoy the movie so much, but it is so very sad, bits of it anyway. This viewing of it was just the same in that regards.

Day 26: Monday, December 17: Mail out Christmas Cards
Christmas LettersI finally met my goal of getting my cards out on Monday!! Yes, later than I expected, but done…and before Christmas to boot. So that was a good ‘Christmas’ task done. The picture is a bit rough, decided to use the digital file for showing the inside and the lighting in my apartment is special so that’s why they don’t quite match up – color wise.

Day 27: Tuesday, December 18: Wrap family presents
PresentsLast year we tried to implement everyone wrapping with a different color, why I can’t recall. Since we all live apart that was pretty easy to do. I have been on a green kick (if the Christmas cards weren’t a clue) so I continued that onto the wrapping I did for my family. (Which worked out because only one other family member did green and she chose dark green.) I even decided to print out some special cards at work. I figured eventually my nephew will be in charge or handing out so I designed the tags to have both faces and names (since he wont really be able to read at first). Now if I can only remember where the files are next year…

Day 28: Wednesday, December 19: WHO Wednesday
Ah, one of the saddest Christmas Specials to date, A Christmas Carol. Well, both of Eleven’s are pretty sad (or make me cry at least). I really quite enjoy this one, it may be my favorite. Actually, I’m pretty sure it is, and I quite enjoy how it parallels The Christmas Carol (hence it being titled the same) but has it’s own twists (Like Amy Pond/Williams being the ghost of Christmas present). Anyway, continuing with the WHO Wednesday was the first of Matt Smith’s Christmas specials and he does it justice, of course.

Day 29: Thursday, December 20: Finish presents for my pals
IMG_3130I decided to get my gal pals gifts that could only be gotten (bad grammar I know, but not sure which other word to use, acquired?) in Story City. Oh what fun that was. I had already picked out little figurines for them but made them notepads at work to go with them as well. Finally finished the notepads and was able to wrap them too (it was a bit of a shoty job though, it’s hard to wrap hippos and pigs, and don’t get me started on eagles).

Day 30: Friday, December 21: CLEAN / photo booth props
I was hosting a holiday party so I needed to get things cleaned up. I had the food done (since I’ve been baking sweets all month) but did need to get the apartment ready. I also quickly cut out some photo props, although they pretty much went on used except one photo (below) since I had them out of sight behind the photo curtain, out of sight out of mind and unused. Brilliant Jamie, just brilliant.

Day 31: Saturday, December 22: Holiday PHoliday Propsarty
As stated above I had a party. My mom commented that she wasn’t sure where my oldest sister and I got these ideas about having Christmas party, but to me it comes to no surprise. My mom is the great instigator of bringing family together, especially around the holidays (hence we usually have 20+ grown adults at our house for a long Thanksgiving weekend. People on top of people for three days, but it’s family so you let it pass). And since friends are the family we choose why wouldn’t I want to bring them together. Okay stepping off my box now, I had a mini reunion with all of my friends (many from high school) and it was nice to be together and catch up for the evening. Shenanigans were had and memories were made, the best byproducts of any gathering, right?

Day 32: Sunday, December 23: Finish presents / ‘Cooking’ but no classic
Some how I still had last minute presents. It’s not like Christmas was a surprise or anything but I spent most of the day inefficiently finishing the design on some personalized planners for my mom and dad. Dad asked for a calendar, I did one further and decided to do a weekly calendar. Then I decided if I had all the work done it wouldn’t be that hard to then replace all the photos for my mom to have her own version. Took forever, granted I had the television on in the background which I’m sure ups my time by 50% or so..so there’s that. But it was worth it in the end because they loved them (I think, they certainly seemed to).

Bath CrayonsOh, I also realized that I had a TON of goodies. I guess I didn’t really keep count of just how many tupperwares I was filling while I’ve been baking over the last month. However that didn’t keep me out of the kitchen, oh no, I just didn’t make the Bon-bons and other miscellaneous things I was going to try. Instead I tried making home made bath crayons for my nephew. I HATE melting stuff in the microwave but it felt weird to put soap on the stove to melt so I tried it. I’m pretty sure these will crumble as soon as they hit the water but hopefully he can get one use out of them.

Day 33: Monday, December 24: Last minute wrapping / journey to my parents
I worked a half day and then headed home. It was a bit of a surprise that my eldest sister’s family wouldn’t get there until right before bed but that was no big deal, the rest of us had a mini-cribbage tournament. I did fairly well for never playing before, I got second (out of four) so that was fun. I didn’t do as well the following day in our six-person tournament. But that’s fine, I’m now a bit addicted to playing cribbage though, whoops.

Day 34: Tuesday, December 25: CHRISTMAS DAY IS FINALLY HERE!!!!
Typical Christmas:

  • Wake up semi-early (this year to a screaming/excited two year old)
  • Marathon unwrapping of presents
    (complete with the enjoyment that comes from surprising others)
  • Enjoy gifts
  • Take naps
  • Enjoy fabulous Christmas Dinner
  • Family movie (we watched Star Wars Episode 4 this year, that’s why my family is awesome)
  • Cribbage tournament

Day 35: Wednesday, December 26: WHO Wednesday
Although there was a new WHO episode premiered on Christmas Day (I believe) I didn’t watch that one, nope. I finished up with the old ones. (Not entirely sure if the new one is available in the states or not.) This week it was the The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe. Par for Doctor Who it was magical, simple (yet epic), dangerous and done in time for Christmas.

Day 36: Thursday, December 27: Christmas Vacation
Compliments of my sister, I know have a handful of Holiday movies. I decided I couldn’t wait until next year and cracked open Christmas Vacation. I haven’t seen this movie in forever and it certainly made me laugh. Good grief Griswolds, nothing ever goes right.

1984 – so glad I wasn’t alive yet [Daily Prompt]

1984-posterThe last time I read something that bit or stung me would probably be this summer with George Orwell’s 1984. I’m not entirely sure that it counts though since I didn’t actually finish the book. I kept waiting and waiting for that section that would take me in and urge me to devour the rest of the book. Instead I just kept forcing myself to go chapter by chapter until I decided to give up and read some fluffy piece. However there were lots of themes that made me think and I’m captivated by the Ministry of Misinformation and the extremeness of the society in which Winston lives daily. It’s not shocking he’s alone, in that world where children are encouraged to eavesdrop and report back to the government how could you ever trust anything when you can’t even trust your child. Crazy doesn’t begin to cover it.

Sculpting Nothing [Daily Prompt]

IMG_2755I’d feel sorry for any sculptors who came to be my personal sculptor, however if they were going to pick something from the last year to immortalize in stone I’d want them to undertake the random road trip my friend and I went on this past summer. That trip pretty much sums up how I feel like my life is: A rough plan of what should happen with some detours along the way, a little stress and a lot of laughs all stuffed into one week. That week was fabulous. My journey began in Story City with the first ‘leg’ of the trip going down to Kansas City to meet up with my buddy who then embarked on this trip with me (something we both had on our bucket list – to go on a random road trip). We hit up St. Louis, Indianapolis, Chicago, Naperville, Dubuque, and Cedar Falls before I returned home. That’s kind of a lot to cover in the span of a little under a week in the middle of summer in a car whose air gives out after about 2 hours of driving in the sun. (Allie and I learned our lesson, drive in the evening/night NOT the middle of the day. Who knew? Well, besides my brainiac sister).

It was hard to choose just one subject. I had three other jump in my head:

  1. Shedding Weekend – my immediate family re-sided and reshingled our back yard shed. This is of significance because we haven’t done a project like that for 15 years or so (if you’re doing maths that puts me around age 10 which may be generous. My family built a garage with a crew of husband, wife, & 3 daughters (14, 11, 8). It took us a couple summers to finish the monster but it’s still standing to this day so not so bad right? This project was a much smaller scale and we were much bigger. It was fun putting those old skills to use again, and we had two other adults to help.
  2. First birthday party – my nephew had his first birthday party this summer, and although not directly a milestone in my life it was nice to be able to experience it and be a part of it.
  3. My Best Friend’s Wedding – again not directly a milestone in my life, but one of my best friends was married this summer and I was honored to be included in the festivities. She was the first of my gal pals to get married so that’s special, right?

As always fun prompts. Check out what other people are doing over at the Daily Post

High time for gratitude and giving

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When I read the prompt this morning I was filled with curiosity to know what I would be doing/thinking about at noon today. As I sat around the dinner table with all of my immediate family surrounding me I was nothing but grateful. Getting to spend the season of celebrating Jesus’s birth with the people I love most in this world is the greatest gift I could ever receive. Although we did spend the morning exchanging the gifts we got one another. I’m very excited about the gift of time will be spending including a cribbage match that we will be playing this afternoon, I’ve never played cribbage before last night and I’m sure it’s going to be a super fun. We always play board games when we get together and although it may not be the same as murder train I’m sure the evening will play filled with laughs. So at this high noon I am filled with thoughts of love and gratitude for my amazing family.