An experiment in which I randomly generate three words and attempt to write a short fiction using them. It’s 11:34pm and I’ve been up since 6am. Wish me luck!
Blue Skies Are Boring
The sky was angry. Well, it wasn’t just angry. It was furious, like someone pissed in its Cheerios. It looked like it wanted to go John Wick on the culprit. But it withheld its revenge, for the moment.
Why is it every funeral Jay ever attended involved inclement weather? Snowing, raining, the gods taking their wrath upon mortal man for his misdeeds. There was always something.
“Blue skies are boring,” Katie mumbled. She had her forehead leaning against the cool glass of the passenger door, staring at the clouds, and until that moment was silent. “Nothing to see in them,” she added.
Jay glanced over at her, then glanced back out the driver’s side of the windshield. He wanted to focus on the string of cars in front of him.
“You’re gonna have a mark,” Jay told Katie. She said nothing. “On your forehead, from leaning against the window. A big ole red mark. People will wonder if I bonked you on the noggin.”
Katie shrugged but he could see out the corner of his eye she tried not to smile. He liked it when she smiled. He hadn’t seen her smile in a few days.
The procession of cars slowly came to a stop, but then continued slower as they made the final turn to the gravesite. Cars lined themselves along the fence, and people in various shades of black climbed out, and made their way silently to the graveside.
Katie flipped down the visor and looked in the mirror. “Told ya.” Jay said. She punched him in the arm and he laughed as he feigned pain. They walked side-by-side in silence.
Mourners had gathered, sitting and standing at the side of the closed casket, settling in as the officiant waited patiently. When everyone had placed themselves he began to speak of the deceased like one would hope to be spoken of in this moment. Good deeds, a big heart, loved by many, good person. Missed but no longer suffering. Blah blah blah.
These were all the same, Jay thought. And the older you get the more people you lose. He’d been to more than his fair share. He’ll skip the next one. This one, however, he could not.
After the words were spoken and tears shed it was time to pay final respects, say their final goodbyes. “Would I be a fool to believe we’ll see each other again?” He thought as he watched people step up to the casket, touch it gently, and walk away. “I think I’d prefer foolishness.”
He took his step up, placed a hand on the cream colored casket. The subtle gleam of pink pearliness seemed to glow despite the low light. He spread his fingers there and pressed as if to leave a mark in its perfect surface. When he removed his hand, for a split second, a fog remained—the heat of his hand on the cool surface—but that was all.
He turned and walked away, and glanced back. The sight he saw shook him. The lowering of the casket into the fresh hole, surrounded by strangers ready complete the task. And Katie. Standing there, watching him go.
For the first time in days he let himself feel it. He choked back a sob, a tear rolled down his cheek.
Katie smiled, waved a small wave. She mouthed the words, “I will see you again, big brother.” Then she smiled up at the sky.
Jay felt the first big drops of rain pelt his head and he too looked up. When he looked back she was gone. “Then a fool I’ll be.”
If you read I would love comments and/criticisms. This was a whim of an idea. I literally thought of it five minutes before I started. This is also the first fiction I’ve written in a very long time. It took a darker turn than I imagined, but when your words include “funeral” why not? Also it took me an hour.
Growing up, taking care of our teeth wasn’t the number one priority for my parents. I might have mentioned such in a previous post. But I do not recall being forced or reminded to brush my teeth all that often.
Also, as a twenty-something adult I went to the dentist. Only because apparently I had a tooth coming in where a tooth already was.
IN MY TWENTIES.
Thinking about that now, it seems to be an issue in the family! My niece has a tooth behind her baby tooth that came in because she was “too scared” to wiggle her baby tooth. The fact that she’d already lost a tooth or two before that… and now my child, who has already had some dental work, as a tooth coming in behind another tooth.
But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about my terrible horrible no good very bad teeth. I am of course exaggerating. Mine are, well, here. I know one or two people younger than me that have gotten rid of their natural teeth all together due to pain.
When I was a kid, there’s was a point at which my dad was out of work so we were on government benefits. And my mom being the ambitious smart person she is, decided it was high time we all go to the dentist.
Us four kids, not herself. Lort forbid she take care of herself.
Anyway before freshman year of high school (jobs and insurance came and went. Eventually he found a steady job) I had a mouth full of shiny fillings.
Actually I had about three REALLY bad teeth. Like, the dentist barely had to tug to get the pieces of two teeth out. One tooth was filled, one or two pulled and one actually grew in where one was missing. When I went to have the tooth pulled to make room for the rapidly descending permanent tooth IN MY 20s, the dentist said I still had several baby teeth.
Now, it’s been a while since all these fillings (like, decades) so my numbers are off. But I currently have three fillings in my bottom teeth.
Here’s the problem: it never occurred to me that these fillings could get cavities. But decades of wear and not brushing like I should, well duh goober.
So all of these teeth probably (yeah they do) have decay, (I looked closely).
I knew I needed some work but it didn’t occur to me that it was getting desperate until I was minding my own business and felt something just floating around in my mouth at work.
So, I think, hmm that’s odd. So I fish it out, and lo and behold. A tiny chip of tooth about the size of a sesame seed. And much harder. I hadn’t bitten down in anything, I hadn’t been grinding my teeth (like my kid).
But it was there, as sure as can be. In my hand while people walked around me. It didn’t take long to find where it came from.
And guess what
It came from—that’s right! A FILLED TOOTH.
Now, if one has a flashlight they can clearly see a hole burrowed into my tooth UNDERNEATH THE FILLING.
Not only that, but after a thorough brushing AND MOUTHWASH I was able to fish out DEBRIS. There is already stuff getting in the hide-y hole in my tooth. The chip happened two days ago!
And tomorrow is Memorial Day. So I will not be able to get a dental appointment until after Tuesday. So I’ll be carrying mouthwash and dental paraphernalia around until somebody can yank it out my mouth hole.
The sad thing? It’s not usually that side that bothers me…
In order to be a good mom, you need to love your kids, care for them, provide for their needs, and show them you care. Understand they they have their limits just as you have yours.
You’re not a bad mom if you want some quiet time to yourself. And you’re not a good mom just because you don’t ask for that time, or you prefer not to have it.
But you also need to take good care of yourself in order to take good care of your kids. If you’re not in a good place physically, mentally, emotionally, you might have a difficult time caring for someone else. Especially when they might be able to see that.
Children are intuitive. They know things. They sense things. My kid knows when I’m depressed. She’s especially loving on those days. I check myself before I problems affect her or our relationship.
There is no such thing as the perfect mom, but I’ve met and experienced some pretty darn good ones. Well all have our flaws. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try our best.
HappyMother’s Day to all my mommas. New Moms, old moms. Moms that are biological, moms that aren’t.Step moms, bonus moms. Adoptive, Mom-in-laws. The aunts and grandmas who are raising someone’s babies. There are all kinds of moms.Out there. And I know someone thinks you’re a good one, even if you don’t think you are sometimes.
I bought a truck. I’ve never purchased a vehicle before. My last vehicle, the ‘Balt whom I’ve mentioned numerous times, was a hand-me-down from my husband. He gave her to me when bought his car.
A week ago today, I saw a truck for sale at a local lot. It was nice, older but a decent price with good features. However, no one wanted to provide a loan for it because of the mileage.
So they “found” another truck for me.
You see, I’ve always wanted a truck. The Balt was nice but she was small and light and had an aversion to staying on the road and not on the surface of standing water when it had been raining. She also had a decent amount of miles.
I also grew up in pickups driven by my dad. It’s nostalgia for me. And the thought that I could haul literally anything I wanted when I wanted to.
So I bought a 2012 Dodge Ram Big Horn. I still have no idea the significance of the Big Horn part, and there’s still some features I haven’t figured out yet. But I love driving her (her name is Olive Oil) and her color is “sagebrush”. For once I’m driving a vehicle that if something happens I’m not the one who will get hurt it’ll be the other guy.
I would never cause an accident intentionally. I’m a cautious driver. Just thought that needed saying.
Anywho, the day after I bought her, the “check fuel cap” warning came on. So I checked it. Not loose. Still attached. Light still on.
Two days later the check engine light came on. The next day I took her to a local mechanic and he plugged her in. It said it was the fuel cap. He said more than likely it’s a fuel leak. If it’s a particular line, it would require dropping the tank. That alone is $100 labor.
I haven’t even made the first payment.
And I gave up the ‘Balt for $250. so if something bad happens to Olive, I’m in a pickle.
See what I did there. I have to joke it’s my coping mechanism.
I’m scared do death that I’ve made a horrible mistake, an impulse buy I will soon regret. She’s a big truck and she’s gonna be expensive to fix.
My husband had this fear, that it was going to be expensive. But shout out to him for letting me make my own decisions without influencing them.
I am willing to haul things for truck repair funds. And I know she has the power to, I dunno, pull a tree out with a chain?
In 2007 I graduated from college with a bachelors degree in Elementary Education. There has only ever been two things I dreamed of being: a teacher and a writer.
I haven’t successfully written fiction, and by successfully I mean finished or even gotten halfway through a piece, in a very long time. I’ve done some very short fiction, but the last “chapter based” writing I did was a Handy Manny story (not fan fiction, I just had a small child), and that’s a whole other blog post.
After I graduated college, I decided it was a good idea to take a break (famous last words) and get settled into adulthood. Then I got married. I didn’t want my new spouse to have to pay my fast approaching student loan payment. The grace period was about to end and I didn’t want him to have that burden.
I’ve now been in retail for twelve years (in five days). In that time I was a substitute teacher for a short time while working retail. I also did not have my drivers license, so getting me to and from Sub gigs and my mail source of employment were my spouse and in laws.
At one point I became so exhausted that I couldn’t physically do it anymore. I’d go eight hours without eating sometimes. Debilitating social anxiety and fear of failure can be considered the main reasons why I’m still in retail.
Oh and at one point in all this I put in my application for teaching positions. I got an interview at the school closest to me. I BOMBED. It had been so long since I’d graduated and been in a classroom that I had NO IDEA what they were asking me. I knew I didn’t get it before I left the building. My child now goes to that school.
I took that very hard at the time and told myself I was going to give up. But had I really tried? I hadn’t done a single thing to do with education since I graduated, and the substitute work didn’t come until a few years later. How did I expect an interview to go well? Duh goober.
It has now been more time between the substituting and now than has been between the interview and being a sub. And I still want so desperately to be a teacher that I dream about it.
I’ve had dreams about being in a classroom before. But Mia think recurring dreams where someone found out that I didn’t pass some elementary grade and they won’t let me be a teacher until I go through school over again. And NOT EVEN COLLEGE. I have to go through elementary or high school again! *facepalm*
I told myself in October of last year that I wouldn’t still be in retail a year later. I think I even wrote a blog post about it. And now there’s only 206 days left before that day in October. And I’m gonna be super bummed if I don’t get the heck out of dodge.
Don’t get me wrong. Things at my current employer have improved. I’m much happier and much less stressed but I’m still struggling some with not feeling good enough or part of the click. But once in a while I do feel like I’m making some difference.
Lately I don’t really remember much of my dreams. They really have to hit me a certain way for them to be remembered. But with this one, no recurring dream, nothing I’ve ever had before, it just hit me the right (or wrong) way. It reminded me that I want to teach badly, I want more. But am I good enough? Will I ever get there?
Thanks for reading
In the dream I was wearing a dress that looked like my face mask that has a dinosaur puking a rainbow and like said mask it kept slipping down so I had to keep covering my chest with my iPad.
This was not just your typical run of the mill every six months check up.
About six months ago, I came home from work, and the first thing my child said to me was, “mommy I fell but I’m not crying anymore!” Well that’s great honey.*looks at daddy* what the hell?
Baby daddy/spouse goes on to explain that Child was being her usual self and jumping on her little indoor trampoline (best worst purchase ever) and was told to be careful. Minutes later she fell. It’s been some time so I can’t remember the details but she bruised her chin but otherwise did not complain.
A few days later I was checking her teeth. I’m a paranoid momma and I wanted to a: make sure she didn’t hurt them and b: she was still a member of the no cavity club.
When I looked at her teeth, the first thing I noticed were her two bottom front teeth. They each had a dark line! I thought, “dear lort she’s cracked her two front teeth!”
But upon closer inspection, it turned out to be, I believe, markings left by her trampoline bar, when she fell. She said they didn’t hurt and were fine. So I sighed, “this child gonna kill me.” And I continued inspections.
That’s when we came to the root of the problem (ha). I first thought it was a cavity, as it was dark, and encompassed a large portion of her tooth. But, panic setting in, I used one of my flossers and cleaned it out. She’d eaten a brownie before and that was our fake cavity. The problem was: her tooth, a back tooth, didn’t look quite right.
My first thought was, oh no, my baby has tooth decay.
Good Dental Hygiene Wasn’t a Priority
Growing up in a lower income family? We didn’t have regular dental care. We couldn’t afford for a long time the “extra” insurance that was dental and vision, not until much later.
I remember when we got most of our dental work, was when dad was out of work and we were “on true draw”. Mom utilized that government insurance and took us all to get checked. Lort knew when we’d lose it, or when dad would have a a job, so, get while the getting is good.
It also wasn’t a priority to keep our teeth clean. At a certain age it becomes “if you wanna keep ‘em, you gotta clean ‘em”. I don’t recall a lot of being made to go brush. So as an adult I really want to instill the importance of good dental hygiene in my child.
The Child Grinds
Have you ever met a six year old who grinds their teeth?
Welp. Guess what Dr Dentist notices EVERY TIME?! Yup. Girl grinds her teeth. It’s not as often as it used to be. But it still happens.
So when we showed up for an out of regular schedule visit, I don’t expect him to take one look and say, “oh yeah, it’s where she grinds, she chipped it.”
Dude says what now?
Like, when? Where? Where did it go? Did she swallow it? Why? Huh? Of course my child…
These I didn’t ask. But I did ask, is there any way to stop the grinding? Nope. If she keeps it up into her adult teeth, she’ll need a mouth guard for the night.
The only option was to fix it, until broken tooth leaves and her permanent tooth comes in. With a cap.
Now, girl normally won’t even let them take an X-ray. I knew capping would be a battle.
Today was (supposed to be) the capping. She wasn’t having it from the X-ray to the green table. I admire and praise the dentist and his assistant for attempting but my girl was just a struggle. And it was a traumatizing experience. For both of us! They got far enough to put the material on, but she started to panic.
She has been scheduled for a sedation assisted procedure.
This one time when she wasn’t even walking, she swallowed a dime. She had to be put to sleep and scoped. That was five years ago.
Needless to say, momma is stressed from today and stressed just thinking about what’s to come! Luckily it’s over a month away so I can mentally prepare.
Here’s hoping it all goes smooth.
Thanks for Reading!
She told the assistant that the tooth cleaning stuff tasted like birthday cake and smelled like pickles. What time she wasn’t freaking out, she was being adorable.
In my last post I talked about a journey to… not dying. And the reasons why I’m not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. There was a storm and flooding and I fear death and big rivers. Blah blah blah.
The point is that post was all about me doing things to keep myself alive and to make my life better. Though I know that Death waits for no man (or woman in this case), there are things in my life that I can fix or work on, that may or may not cause or contribute to my untimely demise (or depression).
The Reason to Live
My daughter. That’s it. That’s my only reason. It’s been settled in my heart and my head (both of which will have starring roles in the “problems” section) that if something were to happen to her, my life would lose all meaning and I wouldn’t need to be around anymore. But that’s a tale for another time.
Anyway, she is six, sleeps in the bed with me, is really great for your ego (typical “my kid” lines are “mommy I just love your hair” or “I just love your glasses” she’s even said “daddy I love your bald head.”). She’s amazing and young and learning and doesn’t need to lose me just yet.
And I don’t want to lose the joy I have being with her. So she is my reason. For everything.
The Physical Problems
I’ve briefly mentioned them in the last post, and I’ll go into slightly more detail.
Heart: I’ve had heart problems, seen by a doctor but as yet unnamed, for several years now. Three? Four? And I live in constant fear that I’ll have a heart attack and die. Post soon to come about heart attacks in women. Even now I have some mild chest pains. But is that my heart or muscle pain from raising my arms over my head instead of climbing a ladder? Dunno.
Head: I’ve had some dizziness and headaches pretty frequently lately and over the course of a few years. My mom, who passed away almost three years ago now, had multiple aneurysms. If she were here now she’d say: “yeah but they didn’t kill me” and also: “GO TO THE DOCTOR.” The very thing I would tell her. I know just because she had it doesn’t mean I will, but they can be hereditary. And also I’m paranoid.
Weight: you know what’s super annoying? When you call yourself “fat” and someone says, “oh, no you’re not”. But then you look at yourself then back at them, and go, “I have a number for my ophthalmologist” (had to Google that). I am fat, though. I am what modern science would call “morbidly obese”. I’m ok with it, I’ve been in this body for a while I’ve come to terms. I don’t want to be. But between work, parenthood and exhaustion I have no time to, well, anything.
Feet: while not an immediate “gonna kill me now” thing, I have very bad feet. Bad enough that I’ve wanted to find a secret corner at work and cry. They hurt terribly and I’m in a job where I’m on my feet for 6 to 8+ hours a day. Sometimes I climb stairs, frequently I climb ladders (lately I reach, explaining possible muscle pain). My feet are my number one source of pain, and I believe one of the reasons I don’t get much done.
Stomach: here’s another “my mom had it”. I have stomach issues. I’ve never been diagnosed with anything specific. My mom, over six years ago, so three before she passed, had to have a large portion of her bowel remove due to a blockage. She ended up on ventilator because she’d had some breathing issues during the surgery and didn’t come off for a very long time. I started having bowel issues several years ago. They’ve gotten worse over the years and I fear the outcome. She ended up with an ostomy (a whole in her side where poop could come out). She was strong and learned quickly (with the glorious and amazing help of my sister). But she also didn’t work in the public. I struggle enough with self confidence, I don’t think I could handle the transition to pooping in a bag. Not that I judge, she was an expert at her own changing process.
The Fixer Quicker Upper
Looking at that wordy list of issues, I can see the number one way to improve my problems and live longer (unless Death decides its accidental) is a lifestyle change. Healthy habits could lead to weight loss: less weight on my feet would improve them. No caffeine had been “suggested” (forbidden) for my heart issues. But man I love me a Pepsi.
Eating for better bowel health: self explanatory.
Clearly a lifestyle change, including healthier eating would improve several of my physical problems. My first step (even if it hurts) is a doctor appointment. I’m due some blood work anyway, and only a doc can check certain things.
But wait! There’s more…
However, it’s after 2am, my body isn’t physically capable of anything last 2:30, this post is already a mile long, and my kid is restless. I’ll be back for the rest of it later!
Thanks for reading.
Her favorite word is poop. She’s been known to say, “I love you poopy too.”