Monday, July 25, 2011

Writing 101

I was reading Kate Morton's "The Distant Hours" this morning and found a quote that I totally related to (pg. 16): 
"...he closest friend.  I don't have many, not the living breathing sort at any rate.  And I don't mean that in a sad and lonely way; I'm just not the type of person who accumulates friends or enjoys crowds.  I'm good with words, but not the spoken kind...."

Let me tell you a story.  Once upon a time long, long, ago--okay...well... maybe closer to 24 years ago--there was a young girl.  She was eccentric, silly, and had a huge imagination.  One of her favorite past times was to write stories.  She would  borrow her grammy's typewriter, use scraps of paper at church, or just on any page she could find she would write stories and draw silly pictures to go along with her stories.  She knew that sometimes the older kids or adults would kind of roll their eyes because she wrote so many and insist them being read... but occasionally they would laugh with her silly sense of humor and enjoy tales of bald headed princesses or super teachers or other strange marvelous creations.  Her poor grade five teacher encouraged her to write and was rewarded with almost daily stories placed on her desk... works done in spare time beyond what homework required.  This girl loved to act and sing... dreamedof the stage or book signings in crowded dusty bookstores.  She was going to be a writer of children stories or something else marvelous.  Unfortunately life sometimes puts road blocks in our way.  Snarls from teachers telling the girl she had no artistic talent, music teachers not letting her into a freaking elementary school choir because she couldn't sing as well as others, and other trusted teachers telling her she could not write eventually wore her down.  Recesses spent alone reading books deepened her solitude.  Harsh words of other children telling her she was fat and ugly.  Well meaning adults telling her drama and music were a waste of her time and she needed to focus on important things like physics and chemistry.  The girl was too soft hearted and took every comment to heart.  She wasn't tough enough to stand up for herself, but desperately wanted to be loved... so she hide away all the imagination and delight deep away and became a woman who was just a shadow of the girl she once was.  Never fear kind reader.  This story is not meant to be sad.  Sometimes are knights in shining armor aren't really knights at all.  Why do we want shining armor anyway.  Shining armor is untested and false.  Shining often means someone has been too busy admiring themselves instead of fighting the dragons that are needed.  This maiden was rescued by an unexpected slightly dented older knight and another maiden who was in distress.  Perhaps rescued isn't right... aide... they fought along side her until she once again started to see glimpses of what was.  Long story short.... I am learning to write again.  It may never be published... but perhaps with work it will make others smile once again.   Here are a couple things that I have written lately.  (Whew!  What a long intro!!!)

This one is an unfinished work about depression:
Darkness comes swiftly
No gentle descent into the black
Great hurtling leaps into the pitch
Blindness everywhere
No use reaching for warm flesh
Sure knowledge of singleness
Only the empty reaches of fingertips

Now for something different.  I wrote this when I was down at Echo Lake while watching Lex.  I know that it is a bit sappy, but I think it's pretty good for not having done much writing for several years.
Young girl jumps from crowded van
Dark braids flying as she runs to water
Mother's voice calling her back
Girl runs towards beach edge
Focused on the treasures she will place in her red plastic bucket

Years later woman sits at beaches edge
Memories flutter on silver ripples
Watching her own young girl
Running towards beach edge
Woman now focused on treasure she has found-- as young girl calls for her to come

Ok... now this one I find rather funny.  I wrote this last night around 3am when I couldn't sleep.  I had finally given up and taken a sleeping pill half hour before.  It's just a simple paragraph that I wrote it on my iPhone and I am going to transcribe it EXACTLY like I wrote it.
House quiet except for gentle whirling of the fan and quiet snores of beloved husband.  His warmth and rythmic breathing is a comfort, but still I found self awake.  Mind whirling with plans I hope to do.  Hoping not to be crushed by daylight's heavy pain.  Days where I long for the comfort of night and nights I dream of what might be.  But now head spinning with plans and ideas.  I glance at the clock.  If sleep does not arrive soon the daze of daytime will crush and blind my senses.  Memories of burning, ripping pain laughs at me from dark corners... I hate it.  I don't want it.  But I study the little blue pill.  It promises sleep.  Sleep tainted with oddness and fear but sleep none the less.  I swallow the vile blue promise.  Stumble to kitchen for snack, arrive safe.  Hoping to make sense as word and worlds begin to melt. I fight it.  Easier to jus lay amd embrace the fallen words,  Mybrain styst .... Fivknnm.  Fighr lost painovelovees

Anfw rgecdof.  Grugs.
Hahahahahaha.  I swear that is exactly how I wrote it and when I wrote it.... I was totally serious at the end and it made perfect sense to my drugged brain.  Let me explain a bit so you don't think I am some druggie.  I have had a huge problem with some stupid unknown pain.  Seen several doctors and have appointments to see more.  I was taking some major pain killers but for awhile I haven't been taking anything stronger than Tylenol for pain and Gravol for the nausea.  I don't take the sleeping pills very often... but I have nights where I don't go to sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning and sleep until 7.  Those days kill me and the pain is incredibly intense.  I have always been a creature who needs their sleep.  I will make it clear that I do not like taking meds but I do what I do out of need.  I don't write this as some sort of sob story.  I am not looking for pity.  I just want to be understood.  Whew!  (This was not my only writing experience after taking a sleeping pill.  When I was at the Lake I'd take one and then text Erv for awhile before going to sleep.  Some of the stuff I texted him was crazy!)

Anyway.  I also have started writing a novel.  I admit to only having a couple pages written down... and my sorry excuse for not writing more is that I don't have a word processing program.  I think the idea is a rather good one.  It is based on this really strange vivid dream that I had.  Which reminds me now of another dream I had years ago... better write that down before I forget.  I might never get everything written down.  But have no fear... the bald headed princess of years gone by will rise again!
Not my artwork, but it's about my skill level!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Best of Friends (Part 2)

There are a few people who I am lucky to call friends.  Members of my family and my dog are all included, but there is one person who I am blessed and lucky enough to call my soul sister bestie --Shannon.

Gorgeous picture of Shannon!  I stole it from her Facebook profile.  Mwahahaha 
Shannon and I weren't instant best friends the moment we met...Shortly after my little girl was born I started hanging around with a group of people I met at a church group.  Between my new baby and new divorce I was pretty lost and needed this group desperately.  Eventually Shannon went on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I didn't do anything half as noble but lets fast forward several years.  When I met my husband Erv we hung around a couple good friends of mine (Tina and Ammon) and Shannon.  When Tina and Ammon moved away Shannon and I ended up hanging around more and more.  I don't know what the exact catalyst for it all was but in an instant Shannon and I became best of friends.

Shannon is one of the sweetest, kindest, wonderful people I have ever met.  She is the first one to point out that she isn't perfect, but none of us are.  One of the things I love the most about Shannon is that she accepts me for all of my flaws.  She sees my bad tempers and use of naughty words,  my pain and frustration.... and loves me anyways.  I love the way she squeals when my husband does something silly or crude like put a cheesie up his nose or do a "Captain Morgan".  I am a bit socially awkward and like to spend a lot of time in my room.  Shannon isn't afraid to jump up beside me and join me in a game or watch a movie.  We go out sometimes... in fact we love to go to movies or out to eat, but we are content with the simple things like a DVD or a rousing game of Dragon Age.

I have always been a bit of a game geek.  It is a stress relief for me.  Even as a kid I would love to go downstairs to my dad's office and play "King's Quest" for hours.  Shannon and I have similar gaming styles.  We like to see and collect EVERYTHING.  I cannot even count the number of times Shannon and I have played through the original Dragon Age.... 12?

Anyway.  I could write an entire blog post (spoiler alert!) about Dragon Age but that is for another day.  Lately I have been having problems expressing myself, the right words just keep evading me.  So I will keep things short and sweet.  Shanshan-- my life has been incredibly blessed by having you in it.  You have helped me so much, and you are always there with your arms open whenever I have needed you.  I'm not much of the praying type but I thank Heavenly Father for you every single day.  Luv you Shanshan!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Best of Friends (Part 1)

Ok this is the blog post that everyone who knows me has been waiting for.... this one is all about...
Ta-DA!!! Ernie!  He's cute, he's orange, and he was my childhood best/imaginary friend.

For anyone who doesn't have any idea who Ernie is (he's the orange one)... here is a little bit of history.  Ernie was one of the creations made for the children's classic Sesame Street.  He was voiced by the  Muppetest Muppet Icon ever-- Jim Henson.
 Jim Henson working with Ernie

Ernie and his buddy Bert (voiced by one of Jim's best pals Frank Oz) were patterned after "The Odd Couple".  Bert was serious and rather dull (just my opinion) and Ernie was silly, and bright, and eccentric.  He played the drums, sang silly songs, outwitted Bert at every opportunity and stole my heart.

Now... my love affair with Ernie did not begin and end with episodes of Sesame Street.  I remember wishing I had an Ernie all of my own.  I remember even making the wish on a turkey wishbone.  Don't remember if I told anyone or not.  BUT I do remember sleeping over and my grammy's house while my parents went on a trip to Spokane.  I was laying in bed watching the lava lamp.  Side note:  How freaking cool was it to have a grammy who would turn the lava lamp on for you when you were kinda scared to sleep?!  It probably belonged to one of my uncles or something but still!  My grammy rocked.  Anyway.  My parents came home late and my mom presented me with Ernie.  It was love at first sight.  I thought about taking a picture of him (Yes yes yes I am 34 and still have my Ernie from when I was 5 or 6). But he looks soooo pitiful.  He's balding, his tummy and arms have been stitched together several times,  he's dingy, and his mouth has mostly peeled off.  He's just too special to be revealed to the outside world, so you will have to be content with a look-a-like.

Ernie became my constant companion and my ultra-ego all in one.  When going over Logan's Pass if I felt scared but didn't want anyone to know-- Ernie would faint.  When I was in the hospital to get my tonsils out Ernie helped me relieve some of my stress and tensions by eating my new crayons.  I must explain... noone at my crayons... if you looked at them they were still pristine perfect never been opened, but boy did Ernie ever get scolded!  Back when my Grandpa Campbell was healthy he use to tease me endlessly about Ernie.  He would tell me what a nice little guy he was and go to pat Ernie's head and then he'd pull his hand back quick and exclaim "The dirty little bugger bit me!".  No matter how many times that happened it totally cracked me up. 
I loved Ernie, and eventually collected many Ernie dolls.  None as special as that first one.  And eventually I donated most of them to a thrift store.  I kept my Ernie though.  Stashed in a box safely in storage.  And for a period of time he was eventually forgotten.  When my girl was young, we went through some hard times and I became depressed.  And then I started to become happy once again, but I felt guilty for being happy.  With the help of a friend and a lot of thought and meditation, I realized that it was going to be ok.  It was ok for me to be silly and happy and eccentric.  So it was then decided that I would add to my tattoos and then Ernie would always be there to remind me that it was ok to be me.
There he is.... tattooed on my right arm.  
I apparently am not the only Ernie obsessed person in the world.  There are a ton of Ernie related products in the world.  As a true Muppet lover I could never catch up even if I bought one Muppet item a day.  Here are a few of my favorites... oh...  any by the way I don't have any of these in case someone is looking for gift ideas.  Hint, hint.  Hahahaha.... just kidding.... maybe.
There are also a lot of... Ernie-like products out there that are rather offensive.  Like the latest trends in Zombernie:
Aren't they just rude?!  Sniff.  Even my husband has abused Ernie's good name by buying the t-shirt with the picture on the right.  People laugh and comment, but when I am near I point out the blasphemy!
I do have my Ernie related dreams though... I would like to actually be in the real Ernie's pressence:
No no no no no!  Not THAT Ernie.  That would be pretty freaky to meet an Ernie that size.... aww... who am I kidding?  That would be AWESOME!!!  More seriously the Ernie I actually mean is this one:
Can you just imagine me with my nose pressed against the glass?  Unshed tears misting my eyes as I am bathed in his glory?   I am pretty sure this one is in the Smithsonian in New York.  What would REALLY make it a special day would be to go to the museum and then go to FAO Schwarz and make a Muppet Whatnot!   Eeeeeeeeeee!   (That was my noise of excitement as I run and flap my hands around).  What is a Muppet Whatnot?  You mean you don't know?  Huh?  Where have you been?!  Really?  Follow this link and check em out.  Sooooo cool.

 FAO Schwarz Muppet Whatnots

 I could go on and on about Ernie, but the only way to really appreciate Ernie is to go watch some classic Sesame Street.  If you aren't a Muppet Freak like me and own almost every DVD they have released check them out on  Here is a good one to get you started.

Ernie and Bert Meet the Martians

So here ends part one of my blog entry.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I grew up as number three of four daughters.  My dad was a very busy man.  He worked in an government agriculture agency and he had a small barley farm.  Those were just his day jobs.  He was always busy helping neighbors and family.  And I admit that when I was younger I really didn't understand him. 
My mom and dad with my oldest sister Lynn
I didn't understand for a long time that the reason he worked so hard was his girls.  I didn't understand that when it was my birthday and he asked my mom what the cake was for, before he left to get back on the tractor, he was going to do the best he could to provide for us.  Now that I am older I see my memories through new eyes.  My dad was proud of us and loved us in a way that he didn't know how to express with words.

Lately I have been trying my best to take a moment to tell my dad that I love him each time I see him.  It wasn't something that I use to do.  I am paying more attention to the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles, the way his eyes get misty when I tell him I love him, and the way his hair matches my newest niece. 

I want my dad to know that he is one of my heroes.  I hope that I can work as hard and take care of my family half as good as he did.  He is a fantastic grandpa.  I am incredibly thankful that he has accepted my stepkids without hesitation.  We still have our differences and drive each other crazy but there is no doubt that we love each other.  Happy Father's Day daddy.  I love you.

My dad laughing and talking with my gorgeous little niece Taylor

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I would first like to remind my readers that my "Favorite Things" are in no particular order.  It isn't a countdown or a popularity contest.  It is more about whatever pops into my head that day.  Today is Erv's day, because he went and got me a turkey club from Timmy's just simply because I asked him to without asking anything in return.

On March 28, 2009 I did the one thing that I swore I never would do again.... I got remarried.  For people who know me they might roll their eyes and say "She got married AGAIN?"  Well... yes I did.  I wasn't planning on falling in love again.  In fact... Erv and I almost didn't date because I was still pretty shaken up over my last marriage, and still had feelings both happy and hurt from a couple of previous relationships.  The day that it all changed for us was Erv's birthday.  He was feeling wounded from my rejection and had no intention of talking to me when I brought over a Raspberry Too Tall Cake from M&M Meats.  It ended up that he invited me to go out to dinner with him and the kids... and the rest is history.

We were originally going to get married in some tropical place with me in a fancy wedding dress and just a few of my family members as guests.... but we had a few rough patches and then before we knew it was January and I was headed into the hospital for surgery.  My surgical experience was... rather horrid.  But the best part of my six days in hospital was waking up and feeling this great big bear paw of a hand holding mine. (His ring size is a 15!!)   He use to get in trouble for trying to sneak into my room before visiting hours started and he would always stay late.  When I got home from surgery there were many days that I would just lay on the bed and sob because I could not handle the pain.  The only thing that soothed me was having him hold my hand while he whispered reassurances that this would be worth it and we would get through it.  Two months later at a small ceremony at home including ordered in Chinese food we got married.

Erv is one of my best friends.  He is older than me but we still find a lot in common.  I think he understands me more than anyone else.  Even with my own siblings there are times that I feel like I don't fit in.  Don't get me wrong-- we have our problems and when we fight it isn't pretty... but there is never a doubt that we love each other.  I have no doubt in my mind that he loved me just as much when I was a size 24 instead of the size 14 that I am now.  He can be so silly!  He says that I am one of the strangest women that he knows... I just agree and say that I am the perfect match for him, and he agrees. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Hello people.  I have decided to join the blogging band wagon and start my own blog!  My sister Marty has a very nice blog that I love to check out, so I've been thinking about doing this for awhile.  The problem is that I worry my everyday babblings would be boring to anybody else but moi.  Really... what is the point of writing a blog if nobody wants to read it?

I have been having a really tough time lately.  Between life stresses and illness I have been going crazy.  Last night as I cruised the internet- trying to find the perfect Muppet Show t-shirt- I stumbled across a girl's blog that didn't have too much to say but posted a bunch of pictures and quotes that she found interesting.  That's when my brain kicked into overdrive.  Maybe I could create my own blog... and post things that I really like!  You wouldn't have to suffer through my daily whining about pain and nausea.... we could both take a little time out to think about some of the really great things in life, have a laugh or two, and focus on things to be thankful for. 

Soooooo..... the next hard part was deciding what my opening blog should be about.  It took me a bit of time to decide, but what would be better to introduce my blog than the whole reason I thought about writing a blog?  One of my favorite things in the whole world.... <insert loud "ta-da" here> is.... my baby sister Marty!

Check out my look of total adoration!
   I have often told the story of how I loved her before she was even born.  One of my earliest memories is sitting on the white stool by my parents washing machine and asking my mom when my baby sister was coming.  I still remember the pained, sad look on my mum's face as she tried to explain to 2-year-old me that there wasn't going to be any more babies in our family.  Well... she was wrong, and to this day doesn't know how the 3-year-old me often managed to take Marty out of her crib and bring her down the hallway.  Lots of time has past since then and now Marty is a grown, married woman with four precious babies of her own.  Love you forever and always Cookie! 
She's always there to TRY and keep me on the straight and narrow.....

...but is more than willing to have a lil fun!
She's my beautiful baby sister and one of my best friends.

Check out Marty's blog