Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I Believe In Super Heroes

When I was six years old, my brothers and I often tugged towels off my mother’s clothes line and pinned them around our necks. Something marvelous happened as the tattered terry cloth draped down our backs. We became more than tow-headed children. We transformed into Super Man, Batman, and Captain Marvel. Our shoulders straightened, our demeanor grew noble, our fists found their way, in classic hero style, to rest on our skinny hips. Then, with impromptu capes streaming behind us, we raced off to save the world as super heroes.

As I grew older, I discovered a bitter truth—super heroes only lived in books and on the movie screen. They didn’t soar through the clouds and swoop down to rescue hapless civilians. They couldn’t stop wars, save humanity, or even pluck kittens from treetops. I stopped raiding the clothes line for capes. I stopped believing in super heroes.

More years passed, and I grew into adulthood. Children of my own came into my life as wee babes. As I cradled them in my arms, images of my magical childhood flickered in their blue eyes. I envisioned them racing across green pastures with homemade capes streaming behind them. However, life had a different plan.

We soon learned they carried a special gene, a mutated bit of DNA smuggled into their X chromosomes. They were disabled. There was no running, wild and free. There were no capes, no victories, and no magic. There were no heroes.

Instead, I saw a world full of villains who would mock and bully my special ones, Jokers who would torment and Lex Luthers who would apply cruel kryptonite. The world looked dark, and I cowered behind my fear.

But then, magic and wonder crept back into my world in the form of a teacher who spent hours at home each week hand-making greeting cards to mail to my son to help him learn his name. She didn’t wear colorful spandex or stand like a mighty warrior. Instead, she sported a bouffant hair style and dangling ear rings.

Neighbors and friends showed up with hugs and babysitting help. Siblings and grandparents rallied. Therapists and educators spent years teaching my sons to walk, eat, and function. More time passed and an amazing young woman escorted my sons to proms, parties, and school events. This led to friends who took them to movies where they all watched Iron Man and Captain America join with Thor and the Hulk to save the world from evil and death.

However, the greatest saving didn’t happen on the screen. It happened in real life. It happened a little bit at a time, person by person, as living heroes flowed into and out of our lives. None of them wore uniforms or leaped tall buildings in a single bound. None of them were bullet proof. None of them could fly. But in my mind’s eye, I see capes flowing behind every one of them, because I believe in super heroes. They are real. They love and serve and give, and yes, they save the world.

I believe in real-life super heroes.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Love Letter: Indoor Plumbing

Dear Indoor Plumbing,
I adore you from your underground pipes that rush water to my tap—to your outgoing drains that take away my cra… (clears throat) waste.

I love your shower when it’s melt-the-grease-off-me hot. You are always there when I send the kids to the pot. You help me wash my hair and scrub my pits, you even help me clear up zits.

You only failed me now and then, like when the kids used you as a garbage bin. We took off the toilet and cleaned out your plumbing. (Although, your smell then was particularly numbing.)

I abandoned you when we went out camping, but during the night I had to go tramping…away to the outhouse where creatures could lurk, and where I could hear my business go splurt.

There was no fresh water to spruce up the dishes, just me staring at a boatload of fishes. I scraped off their scales and scooped out the innards, but without you the clean-up was worse than my dinner.

When we returned home, I danced in the kitchen. I jigged in the bathroom. I garbage-disposaled some chicken. I hugged the hot water heater. I put a bow on the flusher. I ran through the house singing an ode to my washer. If you were a man, I would kiss you with passion, but since you are not, I’ll keep up your fashion. From Kohler to Kraus, I’ll update your look, so that when visitors come, they too will be hooked.

Then everyone will praise you throughout the whole land, but always remember, I am your true, biggest fan.

Your flushing…(clears throat) blushing love,

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ride 'em Cowgirl

Growing up, I always wanted a horse. The thought of galloping through the fields astride a mighty warhorse stirred my imagination. With a gallant steed, I could be like the heroes of old. I could win battles, earn glory—have adventures that didn’t involve doing dishes or babysitting. (Yes, I was the poster child for tomboys. That’s what happens when you grow up with four brothers.) However, I had one large problem. We owned cows, not horses.

Throughout history cows haven’t been known as mighty steeds. You don’t read stories where fair maidens or manly warriors leap onto their milk cows and plod off to battle. No. Cows are boring. They eat, chew cud, create cow pies, and get milked. They don’t have adventures. At least they usually don’t.

However, one day I decided if I couldn’t ride a horse, I would ride our cow, Babe. She was a pretty thing, tall and splendidly spotted. And, if she wasn’t quite shaped like a horse, I could pretend. I was good at pretending. So, I strode out to the field and clambered onto her back.

Babe did not like that. She did not like that at all. She went from being a docile cud-chewing mound of bovine into a powerful charging demon in one quickly belted, “Moo!”

We flew across the pasture. We soared over irrigation ditches. We careened toward the pear tree where I learned a very valuable lesson about cows. They don’t come equipped with brakes.
I hit the outstretched branches of that tree at full-cow speed. Babe, who fit nicely under the tree, kept running. I bounced off the branch and splatted on the ground, nearly as flat as one of the nearby cow pies.

That was the first and last time I rode a cow, but I didn’t quit wishing for my mighty steed. Even trees and splats can’t stop dreams. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Motivation Of FIRE

So, I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s National Novel Writing Month. And yes you write a book in a month.

And yes, it is possible.

And yes, those of us who do it are a bit cracked in the head. But we're awesome.

And yes, the first draft is a bunch of rubbish.

And I’m going to start one more sentence with and because my brain is shot.

Anywho, the other night, on day 21, I was at 34,171 words—before starting for the day. That meant before I could go to sleep I had to crank out two thousand words.

Let’s just say I was in need of some motivation. My hubby handed me my ipod. He found my ear buds. He did the dishes so I didn’t have to. He changed the laundry and put the kids to bed. (He is such a keeper!) But, I needed something more to get my brain juices flowing. And yes, I know I’m pathetic, but I have very stubborn brain juices.

So anywho, I asked him if I could have a reward if I wrote my words.

Our conversation went something like this:

Me: I need a reward to make the words come out.

Him: What kind of reward?

Me: I don’t know. What do I like that isn’t food? (Usually I’m all over food as a reward, but I’d already rewarded myself for breathing and other hard things several times that day and felt kind of full. And when you read ‘full’ you should really read ‘afraid of the bathroom scale’.)

Him: Um, you like art, and books, and fire—.

Me: Ohhh! Can I start something on fire?

Him (looking wary): Like what?

Me: Like my manuscripts! The ones I have to revise!

(Here is a picture of said manuscripts.)

Him (looking scared now): No.

Me: Why not? That would be awesome.

Him: You’ll burn the house down. Remember last time?

Me (smiling): Yeah.

Him: No.

Me: I’ll do it outside. In the culdesac. That’s far from the house. It will look cool in the dark with snow falling down. Yeah?

Him: No.

Humph. How mean is that?

I had to write my two thousand words without any cool motivation—like fire. NaNo is hard without fire.

I know you feel bad for me, because I can feel your pity. Or is that aimed at my hubby?

And no, I did not start my house on fire the last time I burned stuff. I just almost burned down the deck.

Anywho, how about you? Are you doing NaNo? If not, are you doing something else this month that pushes you to greater heights? What motivates you in your goals? Drop a comment and share. My hubby will thank you for new non-flammable suggestions. J

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Winter Bravery

I have brave friends. Really I do. How brave you ask? You be the judge.

Over the last few months I started biking with these friends. It was a blast. I got a work out as we labored up hills, I got a rush from the wind against my face as we barreled back down them. We even got honked at and cheered for as we biked down the the road with longboards strapped to our backs. I was a cool mom for awhile.

Then the cold came. It moved in and settled like a toothache, mean and throbbing. And it's here for the winter.

I promptly turned on my fire, grabbed a blanket, and went into hibernation. But not my friends. They'd text me early in the morning, all hope and excitement. It went something like this:

Their text: Going riding. Want 2 come?

Mine: Ummm. It's 25 degrees. I'm afraid.

Theirs: It will be fine.

Mine: Too scared. Need fireplace.

And another day:

Theirs: You coming riding?

Me: Don't hate me, but no.

See? They. Are. Brave. And me? It's official. I'm a hermit. A cold-fearing, whimpering hermit.

And then today I got this text: Going for some type of exercise this morning. If we go for a walk instead of a ride, will you come?

And me?



Maybe next time.


Where's my blanket?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


So, today's post is about surprises. The first one is--I posted. Yup. Surprise!

As you may have noticed I took a month off due to blog fatigue. But I'm feeling rested now and will be posting more. Yay.

And on to the rest of the post...

Kid A, hubby, and I went to a local high school's play this last week. They're doing Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

It was really good. They had a huge cast that even involved several local elementary schools' choirs and part of a junior high cast as well. See, huge. I'd never seen the play and sat laughing and tapping my feet to the music when an additional cast member walked on stage.

Who was this cast member you ask?

Only a real live camel!

One Hump Camel
One Hump Camel - Images - Pictures

Yes! A giant dromedary walked out on stage with all the kids. It towered over them while sauntering around the set!

As you might be able to see by my prolific use of exclamation marks, I was amazed! I was thrilled! I clapped! I laughed out loud! (I may have even squealed. But don't tell anyone. Shhh.)

But why was I surprised? It's not like I've never seen a camel before. I've been to the zoo loads of times. I've watched nature shows on TV. I have google. It's not like it was a new creature that the gods spawned right before my eyes, but here's the thing--I didn't expect a camel to walk out on stage. I was surprised. And it pushed an already good show over the top to amazing for me.

And it made me think about books. Ha! I bet you're surprised...or not. But, think about your favorite books. Don't they all have some kind of surprise in them? Some twist you didn't expect that took your mind and held it captive for a moment or two? All my favorites do.

I'm participating in Nano this year, which is kind of a surprise to me, but as I write today, I'm going to keep camels in mind. And I'm going to try to write one into my story--not an actual camel, but the whole idea of a camel surprise.

How about you, are you going to spring a camel on anyone today? You should because the world needs more camels. Just saying. *wink*

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How To Tell If Your Day Is About To Turn Ugly

Let's just say you were looking forward to a calm Sunday with your family, a little sleeping in, a little church, a little day off from the cares of the world. Sounds good doesn't it?

I thought so, especially the sleeping in part--until Kid D woke me up Sunday morning with this, "Mom, there's water dripping from the ceiling. Inside!"

That, my friends, is how you know your day is about to head south. Fast.

There are some things you can sleep through and deal with later like: the sound of cartoons in the other room, the sound of kids getting their own cereal, or even Kid D saying, "The cat threw up on the floor." The last one makes you groan, but at least you know it's not going to get worse, the deed is done after all. But you can't sleep through water dripping from the ceiling because it is going to get worse. A lot worse. And because it is not supposed to rain inside.

And that rain should never come from the toilet.

Toilet rain is just ugly.

And it doesn't get any prettier when coming through your basement ceiling in bucketfuls after collecting on the main floor bathroom like some sewage-tinged wading pool.

Oh, and water isn't that much better when it sprays out of your main water shut off valve in addition to spilling from the toilet. Just saying.

Sigh, I guess you could just say we have an affinity for toilets. And water. So much for sleeping in.


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