Caelyn & Warren: An Arynthel Origin Story


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She pulled on the muck boots left by the door leading out into the back garden. It had rained the previous night so the already messy garden was wet and muddy. She didn’t want to collect the eggs from the chicken coup, she was still sleepy and the big rooster was out and he doesn’t like people. But She did what she was told, and stepped out the back door.

The boots squished several inches into the muck as she walked, causing her to have to take bigger steps. She held her dress hem up—she hated dresses—so she didn’t get mud on it. She sloshed and squished her way to the hen house, keeping her eyes open for that mean old rooster.

She made it safely to the hen coop, unlatching the door and squeezing in before letting any hens out. Inside she began reaching for eggs and placing them gently in the pockets of her apron. Her mother had sewn it specifically for collecting eggs, from an old dress. “Waste not, want not” she always said.

She picked up an egg, and it felt different than the others. She looked at it before putting it in her apron. It looked blue, and dirty. She shrugged and thought nothing of it, and shoved it in a pocket.

Coming back out in the mud she had to walk much more slowly this time, being cautious not to break any of the eggs. Halfway back to the house, she heard that mean old rooster crow. “Oh no,” she moaned. She hoisted the apron up as best she could, taking wider steps in attempt to cover more ground. She heard him screech again and turned to look.

He was running at her, somehow the mud wasn’t a challenge for him.
Thinking on her feet she gave up on the boots and stepped right out of them. It wasn’t hard, they were sized for a man she was but a child. She felt the mud squish messily between her toes as she began to slide. She lost her balance and landed with her hands in the mud. Instead of trying to fumble her way back up, she grabbed a handful of mud. And just like when she threw rocks at the ripe apples in the tree in the front of the house, her aim was always true.

The handful of thick mud slapped the rooster right in the head. He toppled backward and flapped his wings in anger. “I can’t wait to cook at eat you!” she screamed at him. She launched herself up out of the mud, gained her balance quickly and rushed to the door. She’d just gotten herself inside when she heard him pecking aggressively at the wood door.

She stuck her tongue out, even though she knew a rooster couldn’t see through a door, and turned around to see her mother glaring angrily at her.

“Caelyn! Look at you!” her mother said. “You’re an awful mess!” She sighed, rolled her eyes, and shrugged. “Can you collect eggs without turning into a mud golem?”

“IT WAS THE ROOSTER!” she groaned. She untied the apron gently and put it in her mother’s outstretched hands. Her mother rolled her eyes, a twinkle in them despite the serious face.

“What in the devil?!” Her father walked in. “What happened to you?” He asked her, looking at both of them “And where are my boots?”

In attempt to distract him, she walked over to her mother, who was placing the safely gathered eggs into a bowl. “Pa, look at this!” She pulled the unique egg out of the pocket of the apron and showed him.

“It was in the roost with the other eggs.”

“Hmm,” he took the egg gently and looked it over. “Wonder how it got there.” He said. “It’s definitely not a chicken egg. Best throw it out, I’d say. There are birds who will leave their eggs in another’s nest to raise.

But it’s not been kept warm so it’s likely no good.” He handed it back to her and stood. “Still, I best go check the coop to make sure nothing else can get in or out.”

“Kick that rooster for me!” She told him.

She did not throw the egg out. It looked a little dirty, but she liked it. Something about it seemed special. She took it to her bed, wrapped it in an old rag, and set it on a shelf where her small siblings couldn’t bother it. By then her mother called, “Come dear, lets get the mud off before you start sprouting weeds!”

Later that evening, just before bed, Caelyn had practically forgotten about the little blue egg. When she climbed into bed, she saw it on the window seal. “Oh! I forgot about you!” She told the egg. She got it down and held it in her hands. “What will you be?” She asked it. She remembered what her father said, it had not been kept warm. So it might not become anything.

Every day she checked the egg. Held it in her hands. In the mornings when she woke, between chores, and before bed. And she’d place it in its nest of rags every night. A few times she had to shoo away her younger siblings. And one baby brother ran to their mother. “Momma momma!” He cried out. “I want a baby egg for keeps!”

“Shush Jonah Junior!” Caelyn groaned. She’d tried desperately to reach him before he’d gotten to their mother, who sat patching their father’s britches.

“Caelyn?” She asked. “What’s he on about?”

“I don’t know,” she said sheepishly. But she couldn’t meet her mother’s eyes, so she knew it was a lie. ”I kept the egg Papa told me to throw out.” She confessed. “I couldn’t just throw it away!”

At that moment Papa walked in. “What’s all the ruckus, now?” He asked, shaking off his jacket.

Caelyn looked at her mother, hoping for a reprieve from punishment, that her mother would keep her secret. But she wouldn’t be so lucky.

“Our eldest child has kept herself a friend.” She told him, reminding him of the little blue egg from a few weeks before.

“Don’t you understand that egg may not hatch?” He said kindly. “I don’t want your heart broken over a lifeless egg.”

“I know, Papa.” She said sadly. “But I must try, I couldn’t just throw him out!”

“Him?” He asked, eyebrow raised.

“I dunno.” She shrugged, “I just assumed!”

Both parents chucked and looked at their firstborn. “Okay,” Papa said,

“In the unlikely event that that egg hatches, if it comes out as something dangerous, we must get rid of it appropriately. But, anything else, it will likely find you to be its mother and will be your responsibility.” He told her firmly.

“So I can keep it?!” She was elated.

“I hope it’s a dragon!” Jonah Junior gigged.

Just a few days later, Caelyn had to pull yet another child away from her window seal nest. “But its making noises,” her little sister said.

“It’s what?!” She asked in disbelief. She climbed up and stared down at the egg, and sure enough tiny cracks had begun to form. She picked it up gently and held it. She could feel small movements inside, and see whatever was inside pushing its way through the cracks. It didn’t take long for all her siblings and her parents to be in the room standing over her as she held the egg.

“Well, that’s a surprise.” Her father said. She beamed up at him, until he broke the news. “It might take a while for it to fully hatch. You cannot hold it the entire time.” He told her. “Best put it back in a warm safe place, and go on about your day.”

“Ah,” she sighed, disappointed.

“You can come back and check on it later.” He told her.

She did as she was told, forbidding her siblings from even going near her bed, where she tucked in her precious egg, and checked on it, it seemed, every few minutes.

She even ignored that mean old rooster when she went out to collect eggs.

Several hours later, at bedtime, when everyone else had crawled into bed, Caelyn sat in her night gown, cradling the egg in its rag nest in her lap. She whispered to it quietly, “You can do it,” she said. “I’m not leaving you.” Soon she could not hold her eyes open any longer and she dosed off with the egg in the crook of her arm.

Just as the sun rose the next morning, she woke and looked down at her egg. A large crack had formed, and all that held the egg together was the thin white membrane inside the shell. Whatever wa inside was pecking—because it had a beak—rapidly at the inside.

Caelyn sat up and gently held the egg. The animal inside began to wiggle and push the halves of the shell apart. “You can do it!” She said. “Come on!” She encouraged it to move and keep going. Within a few moments, her entire family was awake and watching the event in awe.

Soon, out pushed a tiny pink, thing. “What is that?!” One of the children asked in disbelief. “Looks like a chicken with no feathers!”

It made tiny chirping noises as the family looked on. “Based on the shape of its very tiny beak,” Papa said, “It’s a bird of prey, of some type.”

“Does that mean I have to get rid of it?!” Caelyn asked in shock.

“Uh, not necessarily.” He told her. “But your not gonna like what you’ll have to do to feed it.”

She did, in fact, not like that she had to collect worms and other small bits of meat to feed her new featherless friend. She was also able to find caterpillars and Mama let her have scrambled hen eggs to feed them.

And soon, he began to grow feathers, black feathers that started fluffy and fuzzy.

But the most striking thing of all about her new friend, who they learned was a raven, was that he had oddly piercing blue eyes.

“I never imagined a bird could look so lovingly at a child,” Mama once said, as she watched Caelyn feed the blue eyed bird. “Or a girl love a bird as much as she loves this one.”

“Ravens are smart, if not mischievous birds,” Papa said. “If she’s good to him—and she is—he’ll be good to her.”

“What shall I call you?” She asked the clever bird, who hopped around now, waiting for food. He tilted his head and looked at her in his curious way. “Warren,” she thought aloud. The first name that came to mind. “Mama, was that the name of the brave knight at the story you told us? The one who saved the land?”

“Hmm? Oh yes.” She replied.

“Then he shall be called Warren.”

For more about the #PretendFantasyNovel see my facebook group!

Thanks for Reading!


Just practicing for next month bro. Thanks for noticing

All your body are belong to government


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If you don’t get that reference I might be old.

I could not, nor would I ever want to imagine my life without my child. I know what it was like before. I remember thinking I might never have her. I also know without a doubt that if something ever happened to her it would end me.

But that isn’t what this post is about.

This post is about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

While we did struggle to conceive, and we did require some help having a child, we were lucky that we struggled as little as we did and the help that we needed allowed us to conceive relatively naturally.

But we were EXTREMELY LUCKY that we did not have any miscarriages. There were points at which, during the process, I thought terrible things like “I’m not even able to miscarry. You can’t miscarry without pregnancy.” Looking back now I feel like a terrible person, especially remembering what people I love went though.

My mom’s very first pregnancy, for instance, ended in a miscarriage. From the stories she told me, and even up into her 60s, she was absolutely devastated. Even now, the gravity of a miscarriage compared to being unable to conceive at all is so extreme.

And now, with the overturning of Roe v Wade, and knowing the only treatment in some cases for a miscarriage can be considered an abortion, and that women who desperately wanted the child they lose, could be prosecuted for their loss—I just—.

A woman who is losing a child she wanted so desperately, who gets turned away for treatment because said treatment is an abortion, that woman could lose her life. This woman who was on vacation in Malta had to travel (while suffering an incomplete miscarriage) to have an abortion.

But no, it is the life of the non-viable pregnancy that is more important. Since, after all (currently in some US states), if said woman lives through the miscarriage, she could be released from the hospital into police custody.

Oh yes, and don’t forget about the woman, or child as is sadly the case more often than it should be (since once is more often than it should be) who is raped. If the victim falls pregnant with her rapist’s child, and that woman doesn’t wish to have to relive the trauma with more trauma, her only option is to have an abortion. But alas, she could go to prison, while her rapist, who could even be a relative, goes free. And then said rapist could sue for custody (This woman lost custody of her child to her alleged rapist).

Yes. There are more abortions than just miscarriages, or rapes. There’s also the devastation of getting pregnant only for your joy to be shattered when you learn your child has a genetic condition where it may not live to be born, or perhaps only a few moments of suffering before it passes in your arms.

Or when your child will be born and live but with special needs far beyond your means. Perhaps life supporting machines and tubes. Because insurance in the United States (just like gun laws and human rights) is garbage.

I’m a grown ass adult and I know that if something happened to me tomorrow, and I needed special machines and equipment and chairs or even limbs to live a normal life, I would not want that burden on my husband (he’d do it I know he would, but I wouldn’t be happy knowing he’d have to). Plus, it’s all so expensive.

Oh. And you cannot forget the number one reason why this whole situation is absolutely absurd. There are people who know nothing about you, who know nothing about medicine, who want to control what you do with your body.

But not if you’re a man.

But once you, a non-man, has said baby the government so desperately wants to protect, they want nothing to do with you or the child.

Until it’s time to vote.

I can probably name every single family member who has the opposite views from me. And luckily for each of us not a one of them probably reads this blog. As such, they are entitled to their opinions, as am I.

Of course, if you ask they will probably say they “don’t support murdering babies.” Well, neither do I. But I do support that a woman has a right to her own body and a right to make decisions in her bests interests.

Just like I have a right to my decision to not have any more children (don’t worry I have to take birth control or I risk cancer. Also The Kid and exhaustion are my backup birth control). Or the right to lose weight or not. Or quit caffeine. Okay that one is complicated I have a problem and it’s hard to quit.

I wouldn’t think of trying to force a man to do anything with his body he didn’t want too. Why should a bunch of strangers with more power than they deserve be allowed to chose what happens to my body?

If you’re not outraged by that idea, you’re wrong. Or a dude. A male dude. Dude is gender neutral.

Gonna make “the melatonin is kicking in.” My sign off.

Thanks for reading.


My goal for today was to spend as little money as possible


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If you do not know, I work retail and have for quite some time. And I tend to spend money at said place of employment. I buy my lunch there.

So when my paycheck hit my bank account. Well…

So I told myself I would only spend money on water or Gatorade. So the first thing I did when I walked in, before I clocked in, was buy a bottle of water. I’d meal prepped for the next three days the night before, so I was ready for the challenge.

But as I was waiting on my equipment for the day, I get a FaceTime call from The Hubs. The Kid was not acting herself and just wanted to sleep.

I informed my boss that I was leaving to be home with her.

The good news? I successfully spent very little money today.

Some background before the bad news.

Two days ago (Tuesday night) The Kid was complaining about her tooth hurting. I thought maybe she’d gotten something stuck in it, so I tried to look and didn’t see anything. She’s also quite squirmy. The more the evening went on the more it bothered her. I was off the next day (Wednesday) so we took her, as a team, to the dentist.

We thought she maybe had a back tooth coming in (it’s a top molar that’s bothering her) turns out, she has a chipped or cracked tooth (she’s a grinder) and she has a canker sore.

The dentist, who we are fans of, he’s great, sent us home with some medicine for the sore, and called in some antibiotics. He said she had some inflammation so it was to be safe.

We sent her to her grandmothers instead of daycare Thursday, and that evening we noticed she had some facial swelling. This morning (Friday) as he was getting her ready, The Hubs noticed her lethargy, and so I came home.

The bad news is that we took her to her regular doc (the dentist wasn’t in today) and she has some drainage, white spots all over her gums. They wrote her a stringer antibiotic, and were hoping to kick it soon.

She seems to be doing ok, and is playing now. And I’m sure she’s happy that she’s gotten to sleep in mom’s bed for two nights. Mom’s not thrilled, to be honest, but the snuggles are nice.

Almost falling out of bed… not so much.

But I do plan on sharing my recipe for my meal prep. It’s the best tasking thrown together just came up with thing I’ve ever made. The Kid even liked it.

Anyway, that’s all I got for now.

Thanks for Reading!


My Child is currently obsessed with going to Build-A-Bear.


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(Image stolen from internet)

I blame YouTube Kids TBH.

She sees a thing and wants said thing. She’s had it in her head before, but it’s been a while. I’ve had to explain to her multiple times in the last 48 hours that it costs money we don’t have.

It goes without saying that she has, at least once, said, “But were RICH!”

I wish kid. I wish.

I understand that kids her age don’t really understand how hard money is to come by, or inflation and gas prices. But she’s just repeatedly reminding me how broke I am.

Even though she’s had some trouble the last year or so, she is an amazing kid, and she deserves all the things she wants in life. I just don’t have the means with which to give them to her.

But here’s how silly my child can be. She asked, when we were supposed to be going to sleep, if they (Build-a-Bear) has unicorns. Unicorns are the be all end all for her. I said I don’t know, probably. I told her if I were going to Build-a-Bear, of course I’d want to make one, I wonder if they have T-rex’s. She said, but what’s your favorite animal? BESIDES a TRex. I said, I dunno, a bird probably?

So we insisted that we look at their offerings. We saw a lot of animals, including a TRex and a velociraptor. We had to search for it, but we found a unicorn, and she loved it.

My hope and goal is to save up enough to take her to Build-a-Bear for her birthday. It’s toward the end of the year, so maybe about six months is enough time. The closest location to me, I believe is in Charleston. it would be an amazing thing to be able to give her.

Thanks for reading!


Some Realizations


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Just a personal reminder.

  • Not everyone likes you: you are not everyone’s cup of tea. Despite the ferocity with which you attempt to be who each individual wants you to be, you will never be liked by everyone. You can stop adapting their phrases.
  • People come and go: there won’t always be people to stick around in your life. This is not referencing death. This is: people have their own lives and it won’t include you.
  • Family isn’t always a “be all, end all”: just because there is blood, there is not always bond.
  • You are not “on that level” with anyone: you might think you’re close enough to someone to be on their list of people who need to know things. But you, most likely, are not.
  • You can’t make something out of nothing: if you think you have all the ingredients for something special, you’re probably missing something. And that thing cannot be made without the right ingredients. Friendships, relationships, bread, hopes, dreams. They take work. And sometimes the involvement of another person. Not bread tho. Mmm carbs.
  • You cannot control everything: you can control yourself (mostly. Leg cramps are a bonkers way for your body to tell you you’re not the boss) and sometimes your kid. But there’s a whole mess of people and things in the world that are not under your control. Just sigh and move on.
  • The most important person to love you is you. If you cannot love yourself, how can anyone else?
  • Self care is important: sometimes it’s a good face mask and a warm bath. Sometimes is a cool room, two blankets, and a midday nap. Sometimes it’s a secluded place in the middle of a forest where you can scream your guts out. Take care of yourself, regardless.
  • You are to blame for your mistakes: maybe you made some bad decisions. Like “taking six months off and getting a retail job instead of looking for a teaching job and now your stuck in retail because nothing else pays what you make now, even a job in a school setting”. Or maybe you stole something I guess? Or you decided to impulse buy a truck after getting your hair done because you suddenly had confidence and said truck is slowly deteriorating and you’re stuck with it for four more years? I dunno. But you know who to blame.
  • Find a shining light and hold on to it: perhaps it’s the one thing you love above all else (The Kid), perhaps it’s a hobby that brings you joy, a pet that is always happy to see you. That thing, whatever it may be, can bring you out of a dark day. And it’s a glorious feeling.
  • There is ALWAYS someone who will listen: a close friend, a sister, a stranger on the internet (Put A Finger Down trend on Tick Tack is a perfect example). There will always be someone who will listen. So you don’t always have to horde your problems to yourself. Someone will take your problems from you and give you kindness back. Why the heck do you think I come here?

Over the last month, I’ve had my back go out (basically three times), I’ve had a head cold and laryngitis turn into severe sinus issues, steroid prescribed by a doctor gave me almost constant muscle cramps and pain for three days. I’ve felt like I’m not good enough, fast enough, or doing anything right at work. Not to mention the fact that it’s been impossible to scream-sing to the music in my truck because my voice has been out (listen, it helps me relieve stress ok).

And you can’t forget that TeacherTok (is that a thing) just reminds me of my failures and how badly I still want to teach even though I know I never will. I am slowly coming to that realization.

The Pretend Fantasy Novel is moving so slow, mostly because of everything else draining my battery. I’m exhausted.

And here I am, so tired I’ve got one eye open because the other wants to drift off to Pluto, typing out a “train of thought” blog in order to vent. At 11:00pm.

I come here with my nonsense because (a) I pay for it. But (2) putting it out into the void, even if no one will read it, helps. I’m sharing it with, well, the imaginative friend that’s always there. It’s not just in my head anymore. It’s… somewhere.

There are so many things I could say. But I won’t. Because even if I haven’t had my melatonin, I’m about ready to fall asleep. So goodnight my friends. Until next time. Maybe it’ll be better!

Thanks for reading!


I got too much stuff

No body reads these. I know that. It’s silly to think they do. And yet here I am. Stressed and posting.

I got too much stuff. I’ve got beading and jewelry supplies. I got books. I got books for teaching/education, books for reading, children a books. I’ve got notebooks and binders.

I’ve got lip balm crafting supplies and paper crafting and vinyl crafting. I own two different Cricuts. I have totes of things I haven’t used in ages. I have clothes, mostly dirty.

I hVe piles of things. I have no room for all the things I have.

Whenever is m start going though it all I start to get stressed and overwhelmed and want to just throw it all away. But I don’t want to throw it away because it’ll pile up in a landfill somewhere and we don’t need more of that.

I’m overwhelmed.

I can’t find my airpods. Again.

Im broke.

I’m tired.

And I’m still sick.


Hi, Robin!


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This post is about how sometimes we do things to make other people smile, because it makes us feel good.

My own mom died four years ago. I miss her terribly and I think of her constantly. In my dreams she’s almost always alive. Sometimes she’s sick. Sometimes she happy. Once in a while she’s mad at me.

I work with a girl named Abby. She’s a good kid. She friendly and fun to talk too. Abby doesn’t drive so her mom brings her too and from work, and has been for ages.

Abby’s mom’s name is Robin. Robin reminds me of my mom. She’s friendly and always seems bright when I see her.

Turns out she has been parking behind me for ages. Abby and I work the same shift, so we get off around the same time. Nine times out of ten, I’m late, but once in a while I see the both as I’m leaving work.

It quickly became a silly inside joke that Robin always parks behind me if the space is open. So I told Abby one day, “You know what? I’m gonna use my Cricut, and I’m gonna make a sticker for the back of my truck that says, ‘Hi, Robin!’“

Abby said she’s get a kick out of it. I don’t know if Abby thought I’d actually do it.

But I did. I cut the sticker about a week ago, when I was making my own earring cards. I already had the Cricut out so I figured I’d do it.

I remembered to put it on yesterday. Abby didn’t work yesterday. I saw her today.

“Abby, let me show you something.” I showed her the sticker on the truck. She laughed and said her mom would love it (Robin likes frogs). I told her to be sure to let me know her reaction.

This evening, I was talking to my nephews, who showed up at my work, and Abby walked up. Apparently, she had something to show me.

Robin and videoed herself reacting to the sticker. The video was basically of the back of my truck and the sticker, with her giggling and gleeful in the background. I think all three of us were ecstatic over the whole thing.

Of course, some random stranger is gonna wonder, “why in the world?!” But it’ll be our inside joke.

Here’s the kicker.

Yesterday, I gave my mind permission to dwell intrusively on my past mistakes and failures. The combination of that and having been sick for a week or more, and back issues for three weeks, I was most definitely in a bad place.

I was to the point where I was being short with The Kid, and looking back, even hours later after she’d gone to bed I felt terrible about it.

To be honest I just wanted nothing more than to crawl in a cave and never come out. That way all the things that trigger me wouldn’t be a factor.

But then, the next day, I made someone happy. I made someone smile. I did that. I can do something, and that something, is make someone smile. It’s a little thing, yes. But it’s something, and despite still being sick (I have medicine now), I made my entire evening.

So, go out. Make someone smile. I bet you’ll feel good too.

Thanks for reading.


Over the last few days I’ve been in a rough place.


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Well, more like months but probably years?

Lately though, between a combination of back issues, illness, and other factors, I have emotionally and mentally not been in the best place. Not to mention that I did something I told myself I wouldn’t do again.

For anyone concerned that last thing has nothing to do with physically hurting myself or harming anyone else in any way. It’s just a thing that causes me dismay that I promised myself I would avoid.

Side note/Life Hack: if you can’t get at a good angle to see under something use your video feature with flash on to look. I found my off brand mucinex.

Overthinking things and letting my mind hope and wonder, but also knowing that I’m probably not strong enough to fight against all the things coming at me at once, makes for a harsh internal climate.

And you DO NOT want to know how many times in the last three weeks I’ve wanted to cut off all my hair. Myself. We’re it not for my young child I would be intentionally bald. She likes my hair.

In the last three weeks my back has gone out about three times (really it’s just been the once but it’ll feel better then get bad again). I’ve coughed so much my head hurts and my chest hurts, not to mention the coughing until I gag.

Also and this is slightly more funny than the rest of it, my voice is kinda fine but kinda not, to the extent that my child asked me at one point to stop singing to the music we were listening too, because—and I quote, “it sounds bad.”

I personally found it absolutely hilarious that when I hit the high notes my voice was basically nonexistent. But also the force required to speak is exhausting.

Over the last few days I’ve consumed my weight in ibuprofen and cough medicine. Multiple people at work have told me I smell like a cough drop so at this point it’s probably coming out in my sweat.

But I did finally finish a short story related to the #PretendFantasyNovel. It’s currently up but password protected until the group members have had a chance to read it.

It might end up being available to all in a week. Or I might keep it just between us.

Anyway the melatonin is taking over and I’m gonna let it. Gonna go dream about millipedes on my pillow. Goodnight

Thanks for reading!