The Stream

It was just a stream, really. A sometimes babbling, sometimes rushing section of water that crashed over, around, and between the moss covered stones.

The bank was slippery, treacherous to climb most days that he went, the water much too cold to swim in unless during the height of summer, and the woods surrounding the clearing became terrifyingly spookier as twilight neared.

So why was he drawn here, day after day? He had not played here in his youth. He hadn’t even known of the nearby town’s existence until moving to Maine from New Mexico two years before, armed with a brand new teaching license and an offer to teach eighth grade math.

Quite frankly, the enveloping verdance and frequent rain showers unnerved the poor fellow. Yet day after day her left his classroom, drove to his ‘historical’ farmhouse one town over, grabbed his bag and bottled water, and, occasionally accompanied by the cat, , made his way through the field and down the path to a large, almost hollowed out stone. Here he would sit during all but the worst weather, protected by overhanging vegetation as he graded papers, wrote lesson plans, or just sat.

Little thoughts and one liners were jotted down. Characters and plot ideas were placed on note cards, and all of it was unceremoniously shoved into an ever growing binder.  The time passed, though his twilight unease did not, and the young man began to hear the wind’s whispers and see the flitting wings in his surroundings.

Though he was offered better paying jobs elsewhere throughout the years, he would always stay in that same small school, with his ever changing stream.

Years later, with numerous best-sellers under his belt, the now older and much more famous man took the stand as a commencement speaker at that same small school.

“Life,” he said, “Does not always do what you think it should. Do not be afraid to face your fears, to do your best no matter what, and to go where you must. And Always remember that sometimes all you have to do is sit down, shut up, and listen.”

He then walked down the silent aisle, drove to his ‘historical’ farmhouse in the next town over, grabbed his notebook and bottle of water, and made his way home.

Vegan Butter

Have you ever wondered about people who choose to be vegan, or vegetarian? Have you ever looked at the ever growing popularity of those two life choices, and their corresponding menu options, and thought to yourself, “These people are crazy!”? I have, a lot.

As it turns out, I am learning more about plant based proteins, and fake meat, than I ever would have imagined I would need to know. You see, my mother has, among other things, a medical condition that causes her to have…shall we say, issues digesting meat proteins. It can get pretty ugly. So over the past few years, we have slowly found substitute meals that can provide the right balance of vitamins and proteins, without driving the rest of the meat eating lot (namely, my dad and I) to crazy run out in the street and bite random living things drastic measures. Basically, we cook a lot of soy and bean based things for her.

I have said all of that, to tell you a story RIPPED from the headlines of my life. Dateline: This Morning:

First, soy plants grow like this:

(http://naturescrusaders.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/mono-culturebig-farm-vs-organicrotational-the-rising-war/soybeansf/)

Then, soy beans are harvested and look like this:

(www.harvesttotable.com)

Then, the harvested soy beans go through all kinds of processes etc to be turned into ingredients for things like this:

(http://www.misssweetnothings.com/2010/04/earth-balance-buttery-spread.html)

All so that when my 18 month old decides to run into the kitchen, I can ask a series of questions that go like this:
“Are you in dog’s water?”

“no”

“Don’t get in the cabinet. Are in the Cabinet?”

“no”

“Are you pulling things off of the shelves?”

“No”

“What are you doing?”

“yummy, um um um”

My daughter, who is entirely too tall and prone to curiosity (I stupidly encouraged the Curious George phase, which is going on about 18 months now. Silly Monkey), has found the vegan butter in whichever stack of things we had it stashed. In the minute or less that it took for me to get across the room and into the kitchen, she had pulled the lid off of the butter and was, you guessed it, licking her butter dipped fingers. The good news is that it really does actually taste like a butter spread. The bad news is that my kid got the butter on my glasses trying to fight to grab the container back from me.

The finger raked box o’ butter is in the refrigerator.

Night

It is after midnight. I’ve been fighting with my daughter for hours, unable to lay her in the crib (or even readjust my position on the couch) without those big eyes immediately popping open and staring at me reproachfully. When I eventually bit the bullet and laid her down anyway, she cried and said ‘Mommy’ in that helpless little voice, so that I had to stand next to her bed and allow her to stare at me. She didn’t want me to rub her back or to sing (I know why…there is a reason I played in the band instead of choir). Finally, I walked out to get a drink, ‘Be quiet, I’ll be back soon.” Not soon enough, but it was a start. In the end, I just stayed out and ‘shhed’ from the next room.

The house is silent now, even the cat has given up her races for the night. The kid might actually be asleep. It is possible that she drifted off despite her best efforts, and maybe we’ll get to sleep in tomorrow. It is also possible, and much more probable, that she is laying silently in her bed, just waiting for a half thought of sigh of relief, or the tiniest inaudible squeak of a box spring to tell her that I am in my own bed and, therefore, must need to get up and get her again.

                                                                         

(cuter than my actual cat..who is kind of scary)

Link

FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

Dr. Wilson J Tyree’s books, Ministerial Musings, will be available for free digital download until midnight on Tuesday January 21st (2014)

This collection of writings comes from the heart of a veteran minister, husband, father and friend. “A Mower Went Forth to Mow”, first published by Gospel Advocate Magazine in April of 1995, calls preachers to cultivate the church’s “lawnscape”. “Unsung Songs” is a series of poems depicting the joyous and not so joyous sides of local ministry and daily life. And in “Ministry 101” Dr. Tyree takes the reader on a guided tour of 30 years of lessons learned in churches of Christ.
 
 You  never know who might benefit from reading this and you can’t beat the low low price of FREE so please let your friends, family, ministers, and random passerby know about this great opportunity. Have a Blessed Day, enjoy the book, and remember (As Dr. Tyree would say) Sharing is CARING!

Unfinished Stories

I was glancing through my four current notebooks earlier, searching for any already written, yet sadly overlooked, blog pieces. What I found was row after row, page after page, entry after entry of short blurbs and pithy conversations that may one day find their way into being part of a story, but are currently just “hangin’ out.”

The problem is, how do I decide which story to write, which conversation to finish? Each one lives in me, every scene plays out in my subconscious mind. I don’t have time for them though. No time for lemurs or llamas, college crushes, or even heartwarming stories of giving. My dragons clamor for attention, their grumbles and fairy alliances effectively silencing other, softer voices.

But those softer voices fight their way to the forefront at odd times. A bit of random people watching, stray pieces of sentences, or a new commercial sending me into a quick frenzy of scribbles, leaving partial scenes and half-formed conversations in my wake.

I never seem to get far with a new work though. My babies, my sweet dragons, have me well in hand. There may be no other stories until theirs is finished. Unless, of course, I figure out a way to turn them each into a blog post….

Until then, go on an adventure, write a story, read someone new, and above all else, Have a BLESSED day!

My life

I am a single mother. I do not receive child support, my child has never met the ‘other side’, and probably will never knowingly meet them. This is not how I imagined things would go. I never thought my fiancé would deny us and beg to have nothing to do with his daughter, but these things happened. I never thought that I would be living in my parent’s house at the age of 28, chasing a toddler and struggling to set up an online persona for my writing and my handmade items store; but this my life. I am blessed in that I have somewhere to be, a family that took us in when I couldn’t support myself, let alone an infant, on the salary I made as a waitress. I don’t know how other women do it with no support at all.

Yes there are days when I worry that my daughter will have problems because she only has one parent. Yes there are times when I wish I had someone to take a turn with at 2am because my toddler is breaking in new teeth. Yes, every day is a struggle, even now when I am ‘used’ to being a single mother living with her parents (can you ever really get used to that??).

However, everything happens for a reason…right? We now live back in the town where I attended high school and parts of college. I have new friends, and some old, that I can turn to, whereas the ‘friends’ I had when I got pregnant have all but turned their backs on me because I’m ‘tied down’ with a baby now. I haven’t been on a date in over two years, probably closer to three, but that isn’t really important in the grand scheme of things. Not when I have my sweet baby to snuggle me while she doesn’t take a nap.

Now maybe you know a little more about me. I hope that any of you who may need an ear, know that you can at least leave a comment for me!

May all of your frustrations lead to great accomplishments, and may you always remember that problems lead to solutions, and pain can lead to hope. Have a Blessed Day!

To Ink or Not To Ink

I was recently checking my profile on a popular social networking site when I noticed a post from my long-time friend, bemoaning her lack of fundage because she desperately ‘needed’ INK.  No, she does not have one of those fabulous old feather quill pens that required the use of an ink well (though that would be AWESOME!).  My friend adamantly feels the need for more tattoos.

As you may well be able to imagine, this sparked a slew of responses ranging from why(?), to what and where.  Then there comes THAT GUY.  You know the one that I’m taking about.  The one person who has such a set opinion on every matter that they have to tell you the ‘right answer’ no matter how you feel on the matter.  In this case, he opposes tattoos and even though my girlfriend has a few of her own already, his response was of course to ‘Don’t do it!  You’ll thank me later when they’re way out of style and everyone is stuck with them for life”.  He even likened tattoos to a previous generation’s disco clothing, which would be embarrassing for them to still be wearing today.

LET THE DEBATE BEGIN:

 

Style, LIFEstyle, FAD, Accessory: All of these words were batted around in an argument that is, obviously, a very personal one to most who become involved in it.  At one point tattoos as a lifestyle was so vehemently denied that the gentleman in question actually used anti-war protesters as an example of an actual LIEFESTYLE. (Which is where I came in…)

Here is my opinion, because honestly, how much more can I quote without just copying the entire transcript?

I have two tats and would eventually like at least one more.  They are discreetly placed and very personal to me, which is what I believe that a tattoo should be.  If you just get a smiley face on your finger or love on your ear in order to emulate your favorite celebrity, then I certainly do not envy you the upcoming pity party that you’ll be throwing for yourself in a few years.  However, if you get a ‘popularized’ tattoo like an owl and dream catcher because you’re part native whatever and Aunt Birdy told a tribal story that helped to change your life then WOOHOO, GO YOU! 

“Yes, some people have gotten tattooed because it has become popularized and almost mainstream in today’s culture. However, unless you are one of these “followers” who got tatted to match their favorite pop star, then your tattoos are a LIFE choice which should reflect your LifeStyle and/or your family’s lifestyle.”

The key here is in finding the deeper connection in order to create something you will love for a lifetime, and longer. 

Remember that the ink is forever.  Ancient mummies are still proudly displaying their tattoos even to this day.  (Isn’t that a lovely thought, HA)

Until next time, Love each other, Love your INK, and have a Blessed Week.