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Welcome to my little haven of creative writing, passionate ranting, and thoughtful learning.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Chiropractors, Kombucha and Halloween [October Learning]

How in October did I demand more from my life?

I didn't guys. This month wasn't really my month, beginning with my last remaining grandparent passing away the first week and ending with the combination of memories of my first miscarriage (Halloween 2014) and my parents leaving for their new house and new lives in Florida (16 hours away). But, unlike last year, I did not check out and I did keep moving forward despite things going wrong.

Therefore, while I didn't demand more or stop accepting crap, I did at least hold my ground, and I am determined to make November a better month.

Now onto the regular learning:


1.) Chiropractors are magical.

I've had hip and lower back pain intermittently at least since high school. I finally decided to go see a chiropractor to see if I could gain some insight and explanation, and I did. So now I'm seeing him every couple of weeks to be adjusted, and though right now there are moments I feel like I'm in greater pain, I can also tell where things are definitely improving.

2.) Kombucha

Ira at work started bringing it in to drink in the morning. We started sharing kombucha with a toast, and it's basically fermented tea. Some flavors are pretty good (blueberry has been my favorite thus far.) Others are the type you just shoot down and be grateful for the health benefits (spiced elderberry).

3.) Pale blonde is fun for a night, but could never be a permanent color.

For a Halloween party this year Nathan and I did a couples costume as Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter.



What did you learn in October?

If anyone is interested in sharing, I'm happy to turn this into a linkup!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mom Moments (Part 8)

Here's another giggle worthy post of things Jace has said just in everyday, totally unintentionally hilarious ways.


*I decided to try a peel-off face mask*
Jace: What's that on your face?
Me: My skin.
Jace: It's coming off?
Me: Yep.
Jace: That's really creepy mom. *Pause* Can I help??


Pulling into the parking lot at the doctors office.
Jace: You could park there.
Me: No, that spot says for doctors only, and your mommy is many things, but she is not a doctor.
Jace: Yeah. Do you need billions and millions of dollars to become a doctor?
Me: Well, you need a lot of money and doctors have to do like ten extra years of school.
Jace: That concerns me.


Me: Jace you got crumbs on you from your muffin, I need to brush off your shirt.
Jace: They're gonna think I'm a hot mess maker!


Jace: Are you broken?
Michael: What?
Jace: Are you broken?
Micheal: Well, I'm an adult, so yeah.
Jace: Good.

Elise: Jace did you fart?
Jace: Nope, that was Brendan.
Elise: Really? Cause I think it was you.
Jace: No, my uncle is always a stinky boy.



Saturday, October 15, 2016

Things I'm Loving {October}

Welcome to my third month linking up with things that I am loving. In case you don't know what exactly this is all about, here's the first post which helps to explain it.



Without further ado, here's what I'm loving in October:

1. The Lumineer's album Cleopatra.

Patience is such a beautiful and classic song.

2. Green tea lattes with vanilla bean scones for breakfast.

Healthy? Not really. Tasty? Heck yes. 

3. Red hair!

Fall needed something new, and the new this time was my hair. I love it, not too drastic, but dramatic enough to notice! 

4. Scentportables.

My car currently smells like "Beautiful Day" and Nathan's smells like "Mahogany Teakwood." And I got them on sale so they were cheaper than my usual Febreeze vent clips. 

5. New routines.

I created some new morning/evening routines.


6. Corn mazes, pumpkin picking and desserts, and fall traditions!


What are you loving so far in October? Feel free to link up below!



Friday, October 14, 2016

Halloween Flash Fiction: Week Two

Welcome to the second week of my Halloween flash fiction challenge!

_______


I left my teddy bears at the house. Bye bye bears. ‘Cause Mommy said last night we’re not ever going back to that house.


We just moved into the big house not too long ago. Like, before Halloween, and now it’s after Halloween. And now we’re driving away from it to a new house.


OCTOBER 1


It’s big. It’s a big, tall house, and Mommy says we’re going to live here now. I get a big bedroom now with my new big girl bed and I can pick the color we paint. I want red, because red is my favorite color. Mommy tucks me in and kisses me goodnight, and tells me how pretty my blue eyes are that look just like hers. But when I hear something and wake up, there’s no sun outside. But there’s a noise under my bed.


“Moooooom! Mommy! Mommommommommom!” I yell as loud as I possibly can.


“What Lainey? It’s the middle of the night,” she says in her I’m tired voice.


“There’s something under my bed,” I whisper, pointing underneath me.


She kneels down and looks. She tells me there is nothing there, and to just go to bed.


The second time I hear it, she looks again. This time she tells me that if I yell and wake her up again I better be dying. I’m not sure what dying is, but it sounds bad, so when I hear it a third time I crawl down myself.


“Hey you, be quiet, I’m ‘sposed to be sleeping.”


A little girl crawls out from under the bed. She’s just my size, and when she looks at me, she has my face. She’s like a mirror, but her eyes are my favorite color.


“Why are you under my bed?” I ask her.


“I live here.”


“No, I live here now, this is my new house.”


Other me looks confused and sad, and I feel bad because Mommy said making people sad isn’t a good thing and I’m supposed to do good things. So I ask her if she wants to play bears with  me because my bed has two teddy bears.
She crawls up on my bed with me and we play bears till we fall asleep. When mommy wakes me up in the morning I’m in my bed all alone, and when I tell mommy about the other me, mommy smiles and says something about imaginary friends.


OCTOBER 15


Other me won’t meet mommy, and I only see her at night. She’s fun to play with, but Mommy keeps saying she’s imaginary, whatever that is. Mommy is acting really funny. If I walk super quiet into the room she jumps and screams instead of laughs. And she’s on her phone a lot talking to Auntie Taffy about whatever freaky things are and she says the freaky things happen in the house. One time I heard her tell Auntie Taffy that she saw herself chasing her, but then she saw me and shooed me out of the room.


OCTOBER 31


Today is Halloween, but mommy isn’t taking me trick or treating. She says she’ll buy me candy tomorrow, but it’s not the same so I’m mad and sitting in my room. She’s putting stuff in boxes again, and talking about another new house. She comes in to put me to bed, and tells me not to be scared, this is our last night here. I don’t know what she is so scared of. Other me told me that she doesn’t want us to leave. But I don’t know what to say, so we just play instead.


As I lay down to sleep, I hear mommy yelling. Then she screams, I get up and try to open the door but she locked me in. After the scream it’s all quiet, so I guess she saw a spider. Or a mouse, ‘cause mommy really hates mouses. Maybe I’ll dream about mouses, because I think they’re cute.


TODAY


Mommy woke me up today by telling me to get dressed and get in the car. I remember when we’re driving that I left teddy bears in the house, but I don’t tell mommy because I know she doesn’t want to go back.

I look at the ceiling mirror as mommy drives, and then I see her looking at me. Her red eyes look funny in the sunshine.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Creating Routines

Losing my grandmother, combined with the impending move of my parents to Florida, and the hunt for answers to my future (my temporary position does eventually end, which means I need to figure out my next move), all resulted in a flair up of depression.



Since I research everything and grew up in the age of technology, one of the tips that resonated with me most was the idea of creating a routine to follow. Literally having something written down to define what I need to do.

Work is covered, between the hours of 7:30-4:30 Monday through Friday my days are scheduled out, meetings are calendared, and if I get lunch I eat and read my book. But the morning and evening, those needed some help to not feel so aimless.








I tried to find calming backgrounds and my plan is to print them and get them displayed in my room.

I'm also going to set alarms for the times I've outlined, which was another tip that I read.

Now, creating a habit is supposed to take 21 days, which would mean needing to follow these for three weeks. So wish me luck!




Friday, October 7, 2016

Halloween Flash Fiction: Week One

I've challenged myself to spend time and energy on my writing, and a couple years ago my good friend Catherine did a flash fiction challenge in October. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I thought I'd copy bits of it, and every Friday in October I will be posting a piece of flash fiction that would fall in the genre of horror or Halloween.

And be easy on me guys, I haven't put this much focus on my creative writing since I was in college, so some of these might be a little rough. However, the goal isn't to write perfection, it is to write, and to better myself with every draft and prompt.

Enjoy!

__________________________________________________________


“I want to be batman!”


“Okay,” her tired voice answered. This was the fifteenth costume idea that had come from her wild five year old. Fifteenth? Fiftieth? Halloween was tomorrow evening, trick or treat was merely 24 hours away, and James did not have any kind of costume.


“We can leave for Target after dinner, I’m sure they’ll have a batman costume for you.”


Wrong. She was so wrong.


“But mommy, I just want to be batman!” the wail came from James.


“Honey, I get that, but the only Batman costume in this entire store is for a twenty-four month old. You are not two, you are five, so it is not going to fit you. I’m sorry, but you have to pick something else.”


“I don’t want to pick anything else, I just want to be Batman! I wanna be Batman, I wanna be Batman, I wanna be Batman.”


Knowing better than to use reason on a five year old who had been denied his way, she purposefully pushed the red cart out the doors and straight to the SUV, telling herself she’d figure it out in the morning, even if it meant sending him out in Batman pajamas with a makeshift mask.


James got home the next afternoon from kindergarten and ran straight to his room to pout. Still angry, she thought, wishing for days where his anger faded within minutes.


Moments later he bounded out, “This costume is awesome mom! It’s even better than Batman. Like, a million times better. No, a trillion times better. No, it’s a bazillion times better! Look at me, I’m a dead skeleton, check out my blood mom!”


It was way too scary for her baby, but he was so happy, bouncing up and down in his blood stained skull mask and bloody bone ribs, that she had to smile. She certainly hadn't bought it for him, and it hadn't come from the box of costumes of years past. It had to have been William, and thank goodness for that.


“You are terrifying sweetheart. Scariest skeleton I’ve ever seen in my whole life! Daddy must have gotten this costume for you, we’ll have to call him later and tell him how much you love it. But it’s time to hop in the car, do you have your pumpkin bucket to get candy?”


“Yes!”


Driving she asked, “What do you say for trick or treating?”


“Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!”


“No. Trick or treat, and then thank you.”


“Oh, yeah. Can I still say the smell my feet part?”


“I guess, but remember to say thank you. Got it?”


“Yep. Trick or treat, smell my feet. Trick or treat, smell my feet. Hey mom, my mask is starting to feel kind of tight, can you fix it?"

"Not while driving, I will as soon as we get there."


Upon arriving at the trick or treating neighborhood, James had himself unbuckled in record time, ready for the first house, and checking out the costumes of his competition.


“I’m way scarier than that monster. And that other skeleton, look mom, he doesn’t have ANY blood, I have lots. And, ooh first house, bye mom!”

He'd clearly forgotten about the costume being too tight, he was too interested in trick or treat.


Two hours, and several pounds of candy later, they returned home, James insisting he was wearing his costume to bed. The costume kept looking more and more bone-y, but she blamed it on the dark and let him go. He ran into his room with his two chosen pieces of candy, and the rest went to the kitchen. The phone rang, William was calling.


“Hey honey, sorry I couldn't be there, how did trick or treat go? Thanks for texting the pictures.”


“Oh it went great, he has more candy than he should eat in a year. And thank you, by the way, for getting that costume for him. I never would have thought he’d want something so scary, but he loved it.”


“Um, I assumed you had picked up the costume today, I’d never seen it until you texted me the pictures.”


“You’re kidding, you thought I’d buy him a bloody costume? I still see him as a baby, I’m not ready for him to be scary! Where the hell did it come from then?” She wandered into James room, he was laying on his bed, no blankets covering him, with his mask still on. His two pieces of candy still clutched in his hand, still wrapped. She couldn't see the rise and fall of his chest, worrying her. She reached down to pull the mask off, but it no longer felt rubbery. And it was wet, slick and wet, and when her fingers pulled away they were dark red.

Tossing the phone aside she reached to pull up the edge of the mask, but there was no edge. There was no longer black in the mask, the black was now spaces, and suddenly the skeleton stood. A demonic voice rasped from the skull, “Goodnight mommy.”

Thursday, October 6, 2016

There

I have a pathological need to be sincere and honest. For example, I can't comment "Oh what a cute baby!" when in fact the baby looks like a wrinkly, angry red blob.

To that effect, I cannot say I had a great and close relationship with my maternal grandmother. Grandma wasn't like papa, who was pure laughter and joy, she was a little bit, well, mean. She said what was on her mind, whether or not anyone wanted to hear it, and whether or not it was even true.

My first Thanksgiving coming home from college, I went to see her, admittedly well on my way to the freshman 15. Her first words, before even saying hello, "My God you've gotten fat." That was her, she didn't care if she insulted you on every level, she was going to say exactly what she thought.

But yesterday, at the news of her sudden and unexpected passing, I went through old scrapbooks and pictures. And she may not have always been nice, and she may not have been particularly "grandmotherly" but she was there.



Every birthday dinner we had at the house, she was always there. Complaining that the cake was too sugary, but always at the table. From childhood birthday's with Minnie Mouse, and teenage friends coming over thinking we were so cool.


She was sitting at the table every Thanksgiving dinner, the only one with a cup of coffee, then sitting at the counter and watching mom, Moey and I hand wash and put away the mountain of dishes.

She came to every 4th of July picnic to watch us all on the go karts, came to the Trumbull County Fair just to sit in the stands and watch them prepare the track, she even came to my first drama production where I had a minor role and even dropped a line (she also pointed out that dropped line later. Again, no filter.).

I think that was her way of showing love. She wasn't affectionate in her words, she sometimes slammed doors in our faces, hollered, or even threw food. But then later, she would get over her anger, and she would show up and be present.



And it's hard for me to accept that we will no longer have her presence. She was such a staple, she was just always so there, that for her to not be just feels wrong.

Rest in peace gram, enjoy being with papa once more, I'm sure he's been waiting for you and missing you too the last 11 years.