Friday, April 29, 2011


Crusty scales harden her bruised,
Corroding flesh
Callous upon callous
Repulsive, yet protective, Earth’s ancient cocoon
Crumbling away, piece by piece
Anguishing with eternal thirst

Somewhere in her core
In an inaccessible place
She dreams of waves
Lapping softly against her jagged finger tips
Teasing her gently
Tickling her impenetrable skin
As futile as a dandelion’s delicate dance
Upon an oily slab of rock
The soft, sensuous scent of salt
Cool, smooth froth spilling over her
The soothing whisper of an estranged friend

But she knows…she knows
It’s just a foolish dream
The wounded waves will never come
The throbbing thirst her only real companion
And in this knowing
She finds strength
To caress her own scars
To gather up her pieces
And make something whole
So when the winds come
It will not matter. She will be hard.
She will be numb.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Creativity-Deprived Blog

If you're growing weary of bittersweet love ballads, I would recommend that you NOT click on the following.  ;-)  The video itself doesn't offer much, but nonetheless, Clint and I both enjoy this song.

One of my blogging friends recently created a new blog just for poetry and other free, creative expression.  There is no way I could ever handle a third blog, but I have to admit that the idea of having a place for creative writing is appealing.  This particular blog is pretty much just a weekly log with the occasional contemplations about random stuff, but I have quite a few poems and such saved on my computer that, theoretically, I could put on here.  I wonder now why I never have?  I think I just feel really personal about my writing.  I don't know...maybe tomorrow I will post a poem.  I'll think about it more. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mary Had a Little Weedwacker

No time for a "real" post, but here's some quick rambling:

We got a lamb today! Her name is Lily. She is soooo cute. We pretty much bought her as a glorified weed-wacker. The dogs just adore her. They follow her around everywhere, and then she turns around and follows them everywhere. If they leave her alone for more than a few minutes, she baaahs unhappily and goes to find them.

Yesterday I finished reading my fourth novel from the Bookworm Challenge. I think I might actually stand a chance of conquering my list this year. Now writing the reviews, that's a completely different story. If I decide to actually write them, they'll probably be special, "one-word" reviews. As in, this book was "awesome," or "mediocre," or "sucked royally" (I might have to bump it up to "two-word" reviews for some of them).

Small group on Monday night was fun!  We stayed up pretty late that night, and then I couldn't spool down afterwards, so I wound up with virtually no sleep.  But sleep-deprivation is a standard for me at least a few times a week, plus I love entertaining, so I really didn't mind at all.  Steve told us this entire story of how he and Becky met, but he did so in such a "story-teller" fashion that it was almost like listening to a light-hearted, romantic little novel, complete with the exposition, rising action, and so on. 

I haven't painted in nearly two weeks.  I miss it...a I'm going to set everything else aside and paint some more on Friday.

Clint built a split-rail fence around our yard.  He also put in this arbor-thingie.  We still have to paint everything white this weekend to make it match the neighbor's fence (not exactly the kind of painting project I wanted to do), but once it's finished, I'll try to post a picture.  You can see part of the unpainted fence in the background above.

Well, that was all very hodgepodgy.  Goodnight.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter and Some

Easter Sunday was windy and chilly.  It seems to me like the last five or six Easters in a row have been breezy and cold.  At any rate, it was still a fun day, despite the weather.  And at least this year there were no earthquakes, and I didn't have to wear a pirate patch on my eye (like last year's Easter debacle), so that alone rates this Easter better than last's.  Although I wound up losing the egg-rolling competition, so maybe they're about tied.

We started the morning going to church, where we watched a drama/musical called "Bow the Knee."  It was a beautiful, moving performance.  When we first arrived to church, a couple of Clint's karate students snuck behind him and wrapped their arms around his neck in one of their karate-holds (I don't really know the names of the moves).  Then one of the kids pretended to pull out an invisible knife and asked Clint, "Okay, what's your next move gonna be?" and the two continued to play around in such a manner.  I was chuckling at their rowdy behavior as we took our seats.  We wound up sitting behind more of Clint's rambunctious dojo friends.  One acquaintance, a man about our age (married with kids), turned around and was chit-chatting with Clint, when he leaned his entire arm on Clint's leg, and allowed his hand to rest on Clint's knee.  At one point of the conversation, the man said (in a mischievous way that reminded me of Drew Carey), "Hey, this doesn't make you uncomfortable, does it?"  Clint said with a perfectly straight face, "No, not at all."  I chimed in with, "We've only been at church for four minutes and have already been accosted with invisible weaponry, and now some guy is feeling up my husband, so needless to say, it's been an interesting morning."  The man responded with, "Yeah, church people weird me out too."  Let the record show that, at this point, his hand was still on Clint's knee.  I was crying with laughter...on the inside, of course, cuz we're in church.  The outer-laughter would happen later once the service was over and I was safely in the car. 

After church, we did the normal Easter stuff.  Clint's entire family came over for a BBQ lunch and Easter-egg hunt.  We did our hunt indoors this time, because of the crummy weather.  We also did our annual roll-off, which Clint's sister won.  For the life of us, no one could remember who the reigning champion was from last year.  I'm such a scatterbrain because I just now read last year's Easter entry about ten minutes ago, and discovered it was me.     

On an un-Easter-related note, my dad was attacked on Friday.  He was driving home (in broad daylight), when the driver behind him began honking and pointing to his car.  My dad thought something must be wrong with his car, so he pulled over to the side of the road.  He had just started to open his door to talk to the driver of the other vehicle, when suddenly the man punched him in the left cheek without any warning.  Two other guys appeared, and they beat him to the ground.  They quickly hurried back to their vehicle and drove away.  The cops appeared a short time later and took a report.  They originally thought that it might have been an attempted car-jacking, but that theory doesn't carry a lot of weight, given that the men did not try to get into my dad's car.  Most likely it was some kind of random, senseless, gang initiation, and my dad was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He is fine; all of his injuries are superficial (black eye, puffy cheek, scraped up arms), but his pride is deeply wounded, and he is emotionally shaken by the whole thing.  I, on the other hand, am absolutely pissed and pretty much want to run those guys over with my car.

The only other thing of consequence that happened this weekend was an issue with baby spiders.  We never have spiders in my house.  We get armies of ants every summer, but for some reason, never spiders.  That's why I was surprised when last night, I went to close the drapes in our master bedroom, and as I pulled them closed, dozens of little tiny spiders came pouring over the curtains.  It truly was an arachnophobic sight, if you're afraid of spiders.  Luckily spiders don't make my heart race in any way, so I just stared at the curtain for a minute or two, trying to decide my next move.  Then I walked out into the living room and told Clint, "There's a bunch of baby spiders crawling down our curtains."  He said, "Did you kill them?" I said, "No, I don't do that."  He said, "Okay...what do you want me to do about it?"  I said, "I'm not sure...maybe find the source?"  So he went in the room and said, "Damn, there is a bunch of spiders!"  He killed as many as he could, but now I'm thinking there's a nest of them somewhere in my room?  Do spiders have nests?  Or maybe they came in through the window sill.  I thought it would be hard to sleep last night, knowing that a bunch of refugee baby arachnids were possibly still scampering around my room, but I ended up sleeping like a baby last night, so I guess my sub-conscience wasn't too worried about it.  But still...blechhhh, right?

Small group is coming over tonight, so I better go get some food ready!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Even I Can Make These!

On Tuesday of last week, my club, together with three other clubs, made blankets for homeless children.  It was by far the funnest service project I have experienced this year!  We arrived at the district office building at 6:00 p.m., where Kiwanis (the adult-version of our club) served us lasagna, garlic bread, salad, and cupcakes for dessert.  After dinner, we got to work on the blankets.  The blankets were fun and easy to make--and this is coming from someone who would probably die of starvation trying to thread a needle.  They were "tie blankets", so required no crocheting or sewing of any kind.  For something so simple, they came out very cuddly and adorable!  Here are a couple that my club made (I had to crop out the students holding them for liability purposes):

Our goal was to make thirty blankets in a two-hour period.  It was amusing, because every time a group finished a blanket, they would shout out "FINISHED!" and hold it up in the air.  Everyone in the room would stop what they were doing to applaud, and then the president of Kiwanis would holler out "That's TWO down--only TWENTY-EIGHT left to go!"  And so it went for the rest of the night.  My club happened to finish the thirtieth, and final blanket, so that was the biggest celebration of all:

Oh man do I wish I could show their faces.  It is priceless.  The coolest thing about the whole night was seeing people from all ages and walks of life working together.  I have a picture of a group of my seventh-graders working with this adorable eighty-some year old lady, another picture of my students cutting fabric with the superintendent, and so on. 

By the end of the night, I--along with my students--felt nothing but exhilaration over the night we had experienced.  The whole thing was just so fun and positive.  All thirty blankets were donated to a local homeless shelter, and the kids who receive them actually get to keep them as their own.          

P.S.  Completely unrelated, but sorry about the lack of words on my last entry.  Clint's mom is getting really involved with photography, and she actually took those pictures of us on Saturday.  I was going to include captions and descriptions with all of them, but ran out of time, and now I'm too lazy to go back and do it, so I guess that's that.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rolling in the Deep

I swear I'll write a decent post soon, but until then, I have to post some more music.  I just have's some kind of weird compulsion.  ;-)  This is a song that, upon hearing for the first time, I absolutely hated.  It has this sort of bluesy, down-South, gospel quality to it that immediately turned me off.  For about thirty seconds.  And then I fell head-over-heels in love with the song.  By the time I listened to it for the third time, it actually started to give me some of those "wow-this-is-a-damn-good-song" chills.  The way Adele manages to mesh southern soul with pop is refreshing and brilliant.  Even the video isn't half-bad.  It seems like a bunch of random images, but I think the producers were actually very deliberate in their choices.  The paper shapes, for example, seem symbolic of the world that she so carefully built; a world that seemed so real to her at the time, but was in truth an easily-ripped, unsubstantial whimsical fantasy.  The fact that she never once leaves her chair (along with her prim and proper attire) seems like her attempt to maintain her composure on the outside while inwardly she falls apart and fantasizes his reckoning.  Okay, I could go on and on, but I have groceries to put away, so here it is:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Homemade Chemical Peel

Clint is finally home!  Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, because I'm so happy to have him back.  Of course, in three weeks he'll be going to yet another tournament; this one in Oregon.  I'm thinking that maybe I'll invite Sarah and her kids to stay with me that weekend.  I'll cross that bridge once it gets closer though, because I really do love having the occasional alone-time with the kids. 

Trin's slumber party was insane last night.  It took me nearly two hours to clean the kitchen and dining room from all of the manicure/pedicure/facial mask wreckage.  The girls loved every minute of their pampering, although we did have a little bit of an issue with the facial masks.  We made our own masks from a "Princess Spa Cookbook" that Trinity owns, and the ingredients were very mild stuff, like oatmeal, bananas, almond milk...that kind of thing.  Yet almost immediately after applying the masks, the girls reported that their faces were burning.  Of course we immediately had them wash the sticky gook off, but their faces continued to feel hot--which eventually downgraded to warm--for probably a half hour after they washed them off.  I tried to put a positive spin on the whole thing; I told the girls that celebrities pay top-dollar for chemical peels, and weren't they so lucky to get them for free? Plus, as of today, all the girls were in awe over how soft their skin felt (that's what happens when you burn the first layer off, haha).  But I'm still half-expecting a disgruntled parent to call and complain that I tried to scorch their child.

Gotta go now...I'll try to post a few pictures of Trin's party sometime this week.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hubbyless Weekend

I really want to post another music video, but I'm forcing myself NOT to, lest I begin looking like some crazy, obsessed wanna-be music-video virtuoso.  So instead I'll talk about stuff.

Clint has been in San Francisco for a karate tournament, so I've been doing the single-mom thing for the last three days.  I don't mind at all.  It's fun having alone time with the kids, although I would never want to do this full-time.  Before he left, Clint stocked our freezer with TV dinners, which was very thoughtful given that I'm a hopeless cook.  But he also stocked up on eggs, knowing that I love making French toast and fried eggs on weekends since that's the one meal I can conquer with confidence.  Last night, the kids and I had our own little movie night, complete with fresh popcorn.  I didn't know how to run our popcorn machine since Clint always does it, but luckily Trin is an expert.  After movie night, the kids went to bed, and I stayed up playing "Just Dance."  I must have done around fifteen songs.  I let all three dogs in the house, and Moses kept plopping all 150lbs of his intrusive furry monstrous body on my feet while I was trying to dance, not to mention getting right up in my face.  I was laughing because the game still kept giving me "okays" on half of the moves, even though I was ferociously waving at the dog and trying to drag him out of my way instead of doing the proper movements.  It's obviously very lenient.  After all that, I collapsed on the couch with a bowl of Frosted Flakes and read "Lightning" by Dean Koontz until bedtime.

Clint doesn't return until tomorrow night, but I'm sure I'll barely notice his absence tonight since I'm refereeing Trin's birthday party.  She has her six "closest" girlfriends coming over for a spa-themed slumber party, and they will be doing manicures, pedicures, and facial masks.  I've never once been to a real spa or have had anything close to a face mask applied to my face, so the fact that females consider this "fun" is a little beyond my comprehension.  Nonetheless, we got the ingredients for the girls to make "banana bread face masks" and "pink peppermint foot glow," so Trin is all sorts of excited.  Teri is bringing over a bunch of finger foods and an adorable birthday cake featuring a hippo in a spa full of bubbles.  She also put together these amazing gift baskets full of hand-made soaps and such.  I'm so grateful to have her help, especially since my idea of a slumber party is simply movies and pizza.

This week was exhausting for the first half, and got a little easier through the latter-half.  My club finished our fundraiser and wound up giving out 1,688 heart links.  That's more than the amount of students we actually have at our school.  On Thursday night, Becky and I, along with our kids, went out to La Casita.  It was such a nice dinner!  The kids were so well-behaved, and Becky and I had a great time talking with each other.  When we left, Becky gave me a huge hug and said the sweetest words to me that I don't even want to cheapen by repeating--oh, I have to go for a sec--

Okay, a "sec" wound up being almost twelve hours.  I wrote all of the above this morning, and it's now almost 11:00 at night.  It feels so good to sit down and relax!  I currently have eight kids in my house, and I pretty much feel like whipped jello.  I just took a nice hot shower and got the girls settled down with Confessions of a Shopaholic in Trin's room, so I finally have a little alone time.  I'm going to go now though because I don't feel like spending my down-time chained to the computer.  I'd rather eat some pepperoni and read more Lightening.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Heart-Making Sweat Shop

There are many ways to spend a Sunday night, but my least favorite Sunday-evening-activity has to be bending hundreds of paperclips into hearts.  My fundraiser for Japan went a little better than I was expecting, and after only a day-and-a-half, we ran out of heart links.  So I rush-ordered six more bags, and meanwhile my club has been giving the kids plastic "kindness coins" as IOUs, telling them they can exchange their coins for heart links on Monday.  My shipment was supposed to be here by Friday morning, but it never showed.  I checked on its status earlier, and it's currently sitting in Nevada!  Arghhhh.  So Clint ran out and bought a bucket of 1000 colorful paper clips from Staples, and we have been bending them into hearts.  It takes about a minute-and-a-half for each one, and with only 1000 hearts to make, that comes to approximately...a gazillion trillion minutes until we are finished.  So, I decided my homeroom will officially be a heart-making sweat shop tomorrow.  I am also sending paperclips to four other homerooms (although two of the teachers don't know this yet).  With five different factories working for twenty minutes, I'm hoping that this will be enough to get us through lunch tomorrow.  Is it wrong to make the kids bend paperclips through the Pledge of Allegiance?