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!

-C

Holiday History: Independence Day

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No, not the Will Smith movie.

Day Four of Birthday Month Blogs

What is it?

The Forth of July or Independence Day—I’ve always thought it was silly to call it the Fourth of July, that’s the date. But apparently that’s an official name for it?—anyway, it’s a yearly celebration of our nations independence from a king across the ocean.

If you click on the Google Doodle for today (if you don’t know it’s the redrawn logo for Google that changes for holidays and such) it takes you to a page with info about July 4th, or Independence day.

It was on 4th July, 1776, when Congress signed the Declaration of Independence of the United States, thereby giving freedom of the country from British Rule.

Google Doodle History link

Two days previous, on July 2nd, they’d voted to declare independence from Britain.

How’d it start?

The Revolutionary War in 1775 started because the 13 original colonies basically hated the colonial governments that represented the British crown. It was because of the war, also know as the American Revolution, that the people in the colonies began to want independence from their current government. That’s what eventually led to the Continental Congress voting on independence, and then signing of the Declaration of Independence (penned by Thomas Jefferson).

Of course the British government didn’t appreciate all this nonsense and war continued. But that’s not what this post is about.

People began celebrating the Declaration Independence when it was first read in the colonies. This often consisted of holding mock funerals for King George III, in representation of the end of his rule over the colonies. Considering they previously celebrated his birthday, this was certainly a unique turn of events.

Modern Celebrations

While fireworks have been in use for many reasons since around 200 BC so they aren’t unique to the celebration of the independence of a nation. But they began to appear in 4th celebrations as early as the first anniversary of the signing of the declaration. There was a 13 gun salute from a ship, and the Sons of Liberty shot fireworks over the Boston Common.

The Forth of July didn’t become a federal holiday until 1870, and in 1941 it became a paid holiday for federal employees.

Politically the holiday has declined in importance, but, like all holidays have, it has changed. It has become more of a leisure holiday. Families and friends gather for barbecues and fun and games AND BRIGHTLY COLORED EXPLOSIONS.

Some may say it has become the official day for kid’s carefully curated sleep schedules (you know, because of school) to become totally out of whack as loud noises and bright lights tend to make everyone a tad unstable.

Y’all can thank the hubs for this one. No clue where he stole it from.

You also cannot forget the ever present retail connection to the holiday. Like all modern versions of holidays, there’s a heavy undercurrent to Independence Day celebrations. No holiday can be complete without themed sales and deals.

Having a backyard BBQ? How about new grill from Home Depot or Lowes? Or a new television so you can watch fireworks from the comfort of your own home?

Or how about you just go out and purchase your government sanctioned sky explosions? The average American can spend hundreds of dollars at roadside fireworks stands.

And cities and counties spend those Americans hard earned tax dollars, anywhere from $2,000-$7,000 for 10-20 minutes of KABOOMS.

And that’s not even the fancy shows.

Kinda makes you wonder if the 56 fellers that signed the Declaration of Independence thought we’d be celebrating their act by scaring animals and some small children by exploding chemicals in the air with fire?

And with the state of the country today, many people aren’t celebrating freedom. To be honest, I only went to our local celebration last night because The Kid wanted too. But she ended up getting sick and we missed the finale.

I also must mention, that the town I live in canceled theirs because, of course, a shooting locally. Three police officers and a K-9 officer were killed. Didn’t feel right to celebrate.

In conclusion

I apologize if my hastily written post is, well, hastily written. But I wanted to post it, and love to do a little bit of googling.


Source 1, source 2, source 3.


Thanks for reading.

-c

BMB: How I Found Out I Died. (Fiction)

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Day Three of Birthday Month of Blogs.

The day started out like every other. Woke up twenty minutes before my alarm, and barely dozed back off before the alarm finally buzzed. Got up, contemplating life choices for a moment before getting ready for work. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

I had zero customers ask me for help, which isn’t unusual on a Sunday morning. We don’t get many in before church.

I was able to get a lot more done on my ever growing list. This was in spite of all the cleaning up after other people I’d had to do. This too was not unusual.

Now, normally, when I have a lot to do, which isn’t unusual, I keep my nose in my own business and stay focused on what needs to be done. I don’t go looking for conversation when I need to be working.

I do, however, get distracted with tasks better left to a less busy day.

But I soon began to realize that none of my coworkers had spoken to me. I often saw them in passing, even if we are short handed on Sunday mornings. But not a one spoke to me. I quickly chalked it up (side note: I had to Google that to make sure I used it correctly) to either me being my grumpy self, or my running theory that no one really likes me. It was that or everyone was just as busy as I was.

When I used the radio to ask a question and no one answered, well, the radio has been wonky for a while. At least I can hear on it. Oh well.

When lunch time rolled around, I finished up some business and walked around to try and find someone to cover me. After a few minutes I saw someone from neighboring department. His keys worked on the locks in my area, so he was my usual coverage. I waved at him, signaling an L with my thumb and forefinger, and I thought he nodded.

I sat at lunch with my phone and earbuds, watching silly short-form videos. “I really need to quit this,” I thought to myself, for the hundredth time. But I continued watching, while the break room had people come and go, once again ignoring me.

When I went back out to the floor, the church crowded had begun to make their way in. This always made my job infinitely harder. Between helping customers and getting around them, it meant that my efficiency went downhill.

But no one asked me for help. I saw plenty of them ask my coworkers for help. They would struggle around my department a bit, even though I’d overheard what they’d been looking for and told them the exact location. When something was needed from a case, someone else got it. Phone calls were picked up before I got to them.

What was happening?

I stood for a moment, staring at my company provided device, not really seeing what was in my had but trying to work out in my mind what was really happening.

My paranoid brain thought it was a twisted torture intended to make me insane. Logic told me I was ridiculous.

Then this woman walked by. I didn’t notice her initially, she saw me first. She was older, maybe early to mid 50s. Dark gray hair, wild and curly and long. Clear blue eyes, eyes that belied her age. Gold wire framed glasses with big round lenses. And she wore a spectacularly shabby yet brightly colored dress.

She’d stopped right in front of me and did a double take. The most attention to have been paid me all day. “Well hello!” She said brightly.

“Oh, uh,” I stuttered. “Hello. Can I help you?”

“Nope.” She said, matter-of-factly. “But I can help you.”

After a moment’s confusion I replied. “Uh what now?”

“My dear, you don’t know?” She seemed sad. “Well, this can happen. It does quite often. I honestly think I’m the only one in this small town who has left their mind open.” She sighed. “It’s a shame really.”

“I’m confused.” I said finally.

“My dear,” she said, “what happened this morning? I feel like it was this morning. Still kind of fresh.”

“Nothing, the usual. I broke a jar of pimientos. Who puts glass jars on the top shelf?!” I said, exasperated. “Wait, why am I telling you this, I don’t know you.”

“I have that affect on the soul. You close yourself off a lot, don’t you? Don’t let your self open. Just go with the flow. So much negativity on you.” She scolded, then shrugged. “Oh well, too late now.”

“What are you talking about?!”

“Sweetheart, something happened this morning. But, I think you’re so used to a pattern, a routine, that you’re soul just went on about it’s day.”

“My soul? What do you know about my soul?”

“For one it’s tired. Had been for a while I think. But that’s not important. It needs to think about what happened this morning.”

“I—”

This morning? I woke up? Got ready for work. Drove here, there was a squirrel. But there’s always squirrels. I live in Tree City USA. There are small animals and birds everywhere. Stupid squirrel. Couldn’t decide which way to get out the road. It was too late to break so I swerved. “Oh.”

“There it is.”

“I, I swerved.” I mumbled. “I shoulda swerved right but I swerved left.” At least there weren’t other cars. “The River.” I said. “I knew those guardrails weren’t strong enough.” I said to myself. I looked up at her. “I’ve always been afraid of that River.”

“Yeah, it’s a scary river. Lotta people in there.”

“WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING HERE?!” I shouted.

“Muscle memory.” She said, nonchalantly.

“Mus-what?”

“You know,” she said. “When your muscles and your brain are so used to something that they do it without you having to think about it?”

I rolled my eyes. “I know what it is.”

“Yeah, well your body had done this,” she gestured around. “That your soul just went ahead and did it. Despite the fact that it doesn’t have to anymore.”

“So,” I swallowed hard. “I’m dead?”

“You’re body, yes.” She said. “Yeah it’s probably still in the River in your vehicle.” She said, nodding. “What do you drive?” She asked.

“Did, drove.” I said, correcting her. “Uh, a truck.”

“Nice, those gas prices though.”

“Heh, yeah.” I agreed half-heartedly. “So, what now?”

“I don’t know, dear.” She answered. “That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to do anything now.” She said, smiling. “But, I don’t recommend dropping in to see loved ones. At least not until you’re ready. Have some fun first.” With that she winked at me and walked away.

And that’s how I spent the first few months of my death making my favorite coworkers feel like they were slowly going insane.


Thanks for reading!

-c

BMB: Story Time

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Today’s Blog was going to be a “Draft Day” post, but to be honest, my head wasn’t in the game. So I thought I’d share a story from today.

But first some Backstory

I used to work with a woman named Patty. I can share her name here, cause reasons. Patty was, well, you know how people say, “Older people are set in their ways”? Well, Patty knew what she would tolerate and what she wouldn’t. Patty had good and bad qualities, as we all do.

Patty, once she learned that I had a degree in education, wanted me to get back into teaching. This was when I wasn’t so far removed from the profession that it would be like teaching a caveman how to twitter. She even provided a reference for me, for the single solitary time I interviewed for a teaching position (we all know how that worked out). Also, Patty was a teacher before she worked in retail.

Whatever Patty may or may not have been, she had a big heart when she opened it up to people. If she liked you, you knew it. Sometimes.

Anywho

I was doing some price changes retail related tasks when I heard a voice. “There she is.” I turned my head to see not one but two former coworkers. Lets call them Mildred Lane and Opal. If you know who I’m talking about that could be hilarious. Anyway, apparently these two were out and about running errands. If this is what retired former retail coworkers do then sign me up.

Anyway, Mildred Lane was talking about me when she’d said, “There she is.” Mildred Lane, who is Patty’s twin sister, had retired about a year ago because an injury that wouldn’t quite heal, I think. Opal, I think, had just had enough of Retail Establishment’s nonsense, and had retired about the same time.

Mildred Lane had something for me. She had found it when going through Patty’s things. You see, Patty, had always been kind of quiet about anything she was really struggling with, health wise. I think she was just raised to not talk about things like that. But after retiring (she retired a few years before these two had) her health went downhill quickly. I don’t know the details, but she passed last year.

While I wasn’t super close with Patty, and some of my memories of her weren’t always positive, there is one thing I will absolutely never forget about Patty. She LOVED my baby. She was so happy for me when I found out I was pregnant, she got us baby shower gifts, and she even got The Kid gifts for Christmas. One of her favorite books, “The Night Before Christmas” is from Patty.

One Christmas, during my first polymer clay phase, I made Patty this cat, modeled after what I thought her beloved cat looked like. He looks a little like a child made him but by golly I thought it looked good. And Patty seemed to like it.

But I knew what this thing was that Mildred Lane had for me. She’d been in the store just a short while after Patty passed. She told me she found this thing she had for me and needed to bring it to me.

And here she was, handing me a blue grocery bag with what I knew was a picture of my baby. Literally, a picture of baby The Kid. In a frame.

Baby The Kid, circa 1,000 years ago. In a Snow White dress. I still have that somewhere.

I remember the day the picture was taken, vaguely. I remember Patty asked me if she could take her picture, and she then proceeded to take it to the photo center and have a copy printed off. She’d told me she was going to frame it.

Now, I realize to an outsider this might sound kinda creepy. But at this stage I had known and worked closely with Patty for the better part of five years or more. She went from being someone I was a bit intimidated by (literally everyone for me for a long time) to someone “you just need to know how to handle”.

But the fact that Patty had a picture of my kid, framed, in her home, well, I think it would make anyone feel good to know that someone you know loves your child.

I told The Kid about someone bringing me something, and I showed her that it was the picture. She got a little emotional, I think. Even though she probably doesn’t remember Patty much, I have told her about her before. She said exactly what I knew she’d say. “I’m going to keep it in my room!” And she did. It is by her bed as she sleeps right now. HOLY CRAP ITS ALMOST MIDNIGHT.

Turned things around, a little.

I had been having a bad day. I had a bad day yesterday, and today had been shaping up to be about the same. This is both all my fault and not at all my fault. But when someone brought me a framed picture of my own child, a picture that someone chose to display and possibly look upon daily, well then, that pushed my day gently in the opposite direction.

I mean, it still sucked. But, slightly less.


Thanks for Reading.

-c

Birthday Month of Blogs

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Well, the background wasn’t supposed to be mint green but I’m tired now.

I swear I was going to think of a better name for it.

“Birthday Month of Blogs” (ok BMB for short) is going to be my attempt at blogging every day for a month. This is going to be difficult.

So why am I doing it?

I’m doing it because I paid… hold on… $186 for this website. That’s a Premium account, plus a domain (it has it listed separate) and G Suite. I paid the money, and I darn well better use it.

And this is the second year in a row! I think I’ve already blogged more this year, but still. The fact of the matter is that at the end of this year (all of these expire in March 2023) I will likely not renew. Despite the fact that I LOVE having a blog and my website, despite the fact that I would love to make a career of it, it’s just not sustainable.

I’ve attempted to turn this website into a blog and a storefront. I’ve also tried to set up a YEARLY subscription for $5. Oh, and it turns out you cannot monetize unless you pay… hold on…

Wait what

Ok. So, in doing some research for this post… tbh I was winging it this whole time… I have discovered some changes to my website host, WordPress. I need to look into these.

Anyway here’s the BMB Plan:

Expect to see the following posts and series’:

  • “YouTubers My Kid Watches: An Investigation” (series)
  • “Holiday History: Independence Day” (series)
  • “Randomized Fiction” (Fridays)
  • “Draft Day”
  • “‘The Wiser Moon – AP Harbor’ Album Review”
  • “Education Adjacent” (series)
  • And I can’t forget to include posts like this one that are absolutely bonkers and truly chaotic. I’m really at my best when chaos ensues.
I feel ya, Jean Luc, I feel ya.

I honestly love to entertain, whether you’re laughing with me, laughing at me, or just enjoying the emotional journey that I go on (my most popular post is about me accidentally forgetting to not renew a fitness app subscription). If I’ve made you laugh or even confused you, leave a comment. I could really use the dopamine.


Thanks for Reading!

-c

Y’all ever wanna go back in time?

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Like, not to the Victorian era, or to ride a T-Rex. But to, say, your teen years? Or college years?

Growing up, we weren’t poor, but we sure as heck were not rich. We did not go hungry, but we bought off-brand. We didn’t have central air or city water. We didn’t take family vacations and our parents didn’t buy us cars when we got our licenses.

I’m the only one in my family to go to college, and I didn’t know that my family (mom, dad, sister—brothers were working) had to do without and struggle to get me through it.

But sometimes I remember my room. I had a (used) queen sized bed all to myself. My room was open to whoever came up the stairs. It stayed hot in the summer and I had a big fan sitting on a table at the foot of my bed to keep cool.

I had a laptop that I got for college (layaway) and a desk I bought with my first paycheck from a job I quit in high school because my grades were dropping. By this time it was basically falling apart from moving it between rooms.

All I had to worry about in the summer was burning up in my room, what story I was gonna work on, and walking quietly past my dad’s room through the kitchen to get to the one bathroom at 1am. He got up at 3:00 to get ready and go to work.

Even further back, my sister and I would quietly clean the kitchen for our mom, who slept on the couch in the living room, because dad was way too warm and the bed hurt her hips. She used to sleep in the recliner. When her dad died I slept in it when she went down to be with her family.

And there was one time when my brother was sleepwalking and looking for a football (he played in middle and high school) and lifted the end of the recliner up. With mom in it.

My first nephew was born the summer before my senior year. I wrote my memoir for my portfolio about him. We were buddies. He’s TWENTY YEARS OLD NOW. he used to come up to my room, when I wanted to be alone and annoy me. But I loved it, really.

I remember recording him saying, “I love you, nanny.” For my mom’s ringtone.

I also remember when my sister’s chihuahua went into labor IN MY BED and her water broke ON MY PRETTY GOLD COMFORTER. We managed to get her downstairs, where she eventually had nine freaking puppies. Yes. She was massive before they were born.

Speedy. Can’t forget Speedy. Yet another “hey mom this dog was in the side of the road and I just couldn’t leave him” situation. My dude was scared of storms and loud noises. But an absolute amazing dog. Always happy to see you.

He’d follow us when we climbed this hills, way back behind the house my grandma, years and years ago, raised a garden. There was also a building, more like a shed, that had chicken boxes. That became our little clubhouse.

One time, my sister, an old family friend, and myself were up there “playing school”. Of course I was the teacher, and I remember being in the middle of saying something, looking up, and staring in the hole of one of the chicken boxes. They looked at me and I just pointed and IT WAS A FREAKING BLACK SNAKE.

I don’t remember if we went back up there after we high tailed it out of there like someone had lit fire under our butts. But I do remember screaming.

Even further back my brother decided to dig a pond. He put a fish in it that he’d caught. But failed to realize that it would dry up without a constant water source. It was beautiful back there. I wonder if that “garden” is grown up now. Are there trees where empty field used to be?

If I could go back in time, just to relive some of those experiences. I don’t know that I’d change a single thing. I don’t know that if want too. Maybe save a life or two. Prevent some broken hearts. Not mine, I didn’t have a broken heart, at least not then. I was often very lonely, a little depressed. But never had my heart broken. That came later in life.

I’d be a different person if my past had been more financially secure. I don’t know if I’d like who I’d be. I kinda like me now. I have my flaws—we all do—but I’m pretty cool with me.

I’m gonna curl up under my 20+ year old quilt my grandmother made. She had to replace the back when I was in college, and she cut off the cigarette burn made by my brother. I would have kept it. History and all.

He’s lucky the patches in it are mostly 70s polyester, or he woulda burned himself and my bed up. He liked my bed better.

Now, time to go to sleep and dream of days gone by.


Thanks for reading.

-c

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.

-c

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!

-c

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!

-c

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!

-c