Archives for May 2011

Bursts of Light

This is a piece written in response to prompt #1 at The Lightening and The Lightening Bug. (click on the button on my side-bar to read the fantastic posts written in response to our first official prompt.)Write a blog post that focuses on either lightning or a lightning-bug. This post can be fiction, memory, or poem. Let these words and images carry your post to its destination.
 

 

I quickly reached over to the bedside table and turned off the lights.

I’d spent nearly an hour lying in bed reading a magazine, attempting to induce sleep, but it wasn’t working. Without the luxury of extreme exhaustion, falling asleep without the comfort of voices can be a challenge. My need for the sound of television is a hold-over from childhood where I lived in a house filled with the presence of a woman long gone. Voices kept her at bay or, at least, that’s what I thought. My sleep habit has endured for too many years to count. I’ve argued with parents, roommates and even an ex-husband about the television as a sleeping partner.

I lay in the bed at my mother’s new house thinking of these things while longing for the muffled sounds and flickering light of a television. Finally, exhaustion won and I slowly began to drift despite the energy that was rising. By that time I knew enough about myself to know I’m a beacon. It’s not the buildings, it’s me. I’ve come to know the feeling and I’m able to recognize when someone or something wants to make its presence known. Most are just memories being played again and again, but some are angry, some are confused and some are lost. Some were never even human to begin with. Sometimes I can ignore them. I pretend I can’t hear them or see them and they silently move on to wherever it is that they go. It’s the ones who refuse to be ignored that make me long for a television – a distraction that buffers whatever it is that causes my mind to tune in.

My mother’s new house – the one she was so proud of, the one they’d just built on the top of a hill in what was once a farmer’s field, was haunted. I didn’t tell her. My “ability” had become running joke in the family. You think every house you go into is haunted… David and I drove to upstate New York from Boston and, from the first time we stayed, I knew they were there. Three of them – a man and two women. He was very angry. His emotion was palpable. On that first visit I curled myself into a ball and buried my face in David’s back in the guest room bed. I tried to ignore them.

The burst of bright light happened just as David’s breathing told me he was falling into sleep. The room was washed with the blue-white light of a lightening flash. I told myself that it was storm but knew it wasn’t. It was late fall. There were no accompanying rumbles of thunder and the big windows confirmed the stars were shining. The yard was illuminated by a bright harvest moon. The flash came again, filling the air with a series of popping sounds and carrying their image into the corner of the room. The women hovered behind him silently, almost sorrowfully, looking down to where their feet should have been. He looked straight at my face and, wearing an expression of rage, he pointed angrily at the ground. His mouth moved in a noiseless tirade. I closed my eyes and pressed against David’s back, trying to shake him awake, but he wasn’t sleeping.

Did you see that? That flash?

Yes, that burst of light.

Yeah. Did you hear that sound…like bubbles popping?

This house is haunted.

It’s new.

Just don’t say anything…they’ll all make fun of me if you do.

A year later, I was nearing the end of my first pregnancy. I was alone for the visit and my mother offered the pretty guest room. My big belly and I slept on the couch. I pretended I’d fallen asleep while watching television. I had tried the bedroom, but he came with his women in tow, riding those lightning flashes, emitting a noise best described as impossibly large bubbles popping. He was full of rage. He pointed to the ground, angrily jabbing his finger at something unseen and mouthing something I couldn’t hear. On the second night, I finally asked my mother if she’d seen any bursts of light.

Yes, what is that?

Have you seen anyone? Anything?

Why?

Despite myself and the fear I’d be belittled, I told her what I had experienced.

It wasn’t until a later visit when she led me to a broken gravestone they found after the foundation was dug. She laughed sheepishly, explaining that my sister had forbidden her from telling me about the broken headstone because, of course, I’d immediately claim there was a ghost in residence. Instead of becoming defensive, I suddenly understood his anger and his jabbing points to the ground. I knew why he was angry.

Each time I went, he became stronger. He began appearing in daylight. One afternoon his form moved through the living room, easily identified by his broad shoulders and dark button-down shirt. Despite feeling foolish, I talked to the air, hoping to explain that the farmer who sold the field had knocked down their cemetery, plowed their headstones and scattered their bones long ago. My mother had asked around a bit and uncovered that sad revelation. One of the last times I visited before my mother sold the house, my friend Tiffany came with me for a weekend. I generously offered her the pretty guest room and its lovely view…because she doesn’t see dead people.

The Hill Field - Arthur Wesley Dow 1908-1910 courtesy National Museum of American Art

Roundabout Field Trip

Gwen’s preschool had a field trip today to a place called Ferry Beach. We were surprisingly kind of organized for an outing scheduled at nine o’clock in the morning. I’d packed up the beach toys, towels, a change of clothes for each girl, bug spray, sunblock, yadda yadda… it was all good, except that the woman who can drive around Manhattan with no real issues – the same woman who figured out that crazy maze of streets in downtown Boston, couldn’t find her way to a state park in southern Maine. In case you wondered, I’m talking about me.

In my defense, Mapquest told me where to go “at the second roundabout.” Well, the second roundabout never materialized and, thanks to the fact that Grandma and I were yapping away in the front seat, we missed the road that we were supposed to turn onto at the roundabout that doesn’t exist. Fast forward 20 minutes and we rolled into some town I’d never heard of. We were nowhere near a beach though, we did happen to pass a sign for Lake Bunganut which resulted in a thoroughly immature series of fictitiously named lakes such as, Lake Bunghole…home of Camp Dingleberry, etc.

We turned around and made our way back toward that invisible roundabout but since we were now thirty minutes late for the state park and not really feeling it anymore, I came up with another plan. The morning’s thick fog was still burning off and Kate was passed out in her car seat after a few minutes of intense finger sucking. I looked in the rearview mirror and watched my little Gwennie’s sullen face. It was clear that I’d disappointed her with my failure to find the roundabout. I saw that she was trying to maintain a strong front, but her little mouth always reveals her true emotion. Her lips had settled into a straight line, erasing that happy upward curve that they normally wear. She met my gaze and, for my benefit, feigned a smile that didn’t reach her eyes. Suddenly, I was the world’s worst mother.

Hey Cookie, why don’t we have a special day out?

Like what?

Why don’t we go take a ride on that train you’ve been looking at in the mall?

Personally, I don’t get the attraction but she’s been begging for weeks.

OKAY!

On our way back toward the Maine Mall, we spotted a place I’ve been wanting to explore. It’s full of architectural salvage and, frankly, resembles a glorified junkyard. Grandma and I were intrigued. Gwen was intrigued. We banged a Uie and hit that glorified junkyard hard. Have you ever watched American Pickers? It was kind of like that. We picked and rummaged and explored and Gwen was into it. Really. She found a giant life-sized Bugs Bunny, a decapitated mannequin head, two vintage gumball machines, a fantastic chair and a soapstone sink.

Right about now you’re probably thinking, what a terrible mother! She missed the field trip and brought the kid to a junk yard? Yeah. I did.

I also drove her to Snip-It’s, the Disney World of children’s hair salons  (in case you didn’t know), where three inches were trimmed from her long hair as she watched cartoons, blew bubbles and snarfed down copious amounts of Dum-Dum Pops.

Then we went for a ride around the mall on a motorized choo-choo train. That’s right. I drove to the Maine Mall and hunted down a parking space for the sole purpose of walking inside to pay $6 for a ride down the main corridor of the mall. Like a giant goofball I stuffed myself into a bright yellow train car and was pulled around the mall with Gwen and her beaming smile. Teenage girls laughed at me but I didn’t care. Cookie sat on the seat across from me and, with our our knees touching, she held my hand. She told me that I was the best mommy in the world and, with that declaration, she bought herself a pre-lunch Boston Cream donut followed by an afternoon in the sprinkler. Because that’s where the invisible roundabout took us.

Someday…Perhaps.

After two harrowing weeks of unabashed cursing, Kate finally stopped dropping the F-bomb. We followed the sage advice of those friends who dealt with their own little potty mouths and we ignored her. I’m not going to lie – it got worse before it got better. In her desperate attempt to get a rise out of us, she really let it rip. Sometimes she uttered it in such rapid succession that one could have mistaken her for a child possessed by something unspeakable. But I ignored it and, eventually, she just stopped.

It’s been nice to go out in public again without experiencing the accusatory stares of other mothers as they quickly shuffle their darling angels away from my petite flower. I’ve seen them and I’m onto their game. They make a show out of ushering their children out of earshot, but stay close enough to observe my little Kate and her filthy mouth. They stupidly feign interest in the ol’ granny pants hanging on the wall just to hear what’s going to happen next.

Mostly, they’re rookie mothers. First-timers whose lovely little balls of chub aren’t yet speaking. They’re still riding the “my child will never do that” high. And you know what? Your first one probably won’t. Mine didn’t. My second was slightly less angelic, and by the time we threw our third onto the pile, decorum had officially left the building. So judge away, Newbie Mommy, judge away…but do so carefully because karma just might come around and bite you on the ass. Hard. Look what happened to me.

Having left the terror of the F word in our wake, we’ve begun dipping our toes back into the public pool. Last Friday I took the girls to our local garden center to buy some plants and check out the frog pond. You know how it goes… kids + water = free entertainment. Kate and Gwen threw pebbles into the pond and squealed when they found a (fake) turtle among the rocks. Their excitement caused smiles and mutters of, “Oh, how cuh-ute!” as women walked past. Then Kate decided that it was time to wash up.

I fucky my hand, Mom! I’m fucky my hand! ….MOM! I FUCKY MY HAND!

I’ll admit it. I was letting that fake turtle babysit my girls while I mulled over what type of juniper bush was appropriate for our dry, sunny and bald hill. My mind was honed in on soil types and growth rates when the word “fucky” broke through my thin membrane of concentration.

I whirled around, entirely forgetting the juniper bushes, and saw my darling angel baby beaming up at me. She was ever so proud of her big-girl ability to wash herself in the frog pond, “See? I fucky my hand.”  My eyes widened and I performed a quick visual scan of the vicinity. Amidst the lilac bushes I noticed an older gentlemen watching with interest.

“Katie, say wash,” I instructed. “Wuh-wuh-wash my hands.”

“Yeah. I fucky my hand.”

My shoulders dropped and I let my head fall back as I gazed toward the heavens quietly seeking assistance with the developing speech patterns of my toddler. From the lilacs I heard chuckling, “Someday you’ll laugh about it. I promise.”

I found his eyes between the purple blossoms and they beamed with delight at the spectacle my little girl had created.

My Addiction

If you know me well, you know about my former addiction. If you don’t already know, I once had a serious problem. For years I unsuccessfully waged a war against my disease but in the end, it always won. I easily fell back into my habit and, with little resistance; I let it consume me over and over again. It wasn’t until I had two children that I was finally able to knock that monkey off my back. For the good of my family, we moved far, far away from the places that offered me an easy fix whenever I felt a moment of weakness. It was an expensive habit – my addiction to shoes.

I liked my shoes high and I liked them pricey. I don’t know why, I just did. Who am I kidding? I still do. My closet is filled with beautiful shoes that were just perfect in New York and Boston. I could throw them on for work or cocktails. It wasn’t odd to take a pair for a stroll through the mall where no one ever threw me the hairy eyeball for walkin’ around all fancy-like. In fact, the sales people who knew their shoes knew that they had a sure thing if I walked through their department. Like the pushers they were, they pushed their best stuff at me and fed my disease. I justified my addiction by claiming that my job required me to look a certain way. I was representing a major hotel company. I was attending the openings of W Hotels and their trendy bars. I needed my shoes, dammit!

Gucci courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue

Last summer, I put one of my favorite pairs of shoes on and simply walked around the house in them. I told them that I missed them and apologized for keeping them all boxed up in the closet. Then I walked into the garage, fired up the riding mower and bumped around our acre and a half wearing my Jimmy Choos and a pair of shorts. It was a bittersweet ride. I mowed my lawn in a pair of golden high-heeled sandals.

Jimmy Choo courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue

Like millions of girls before her, Gwen has inherited the gene that draws her to a pair of pretty shoes like a moth to a flame. Last weekend we went shopping together and, although she’s only 4 going on 16, she displayed great prowess on the hunt. I nearly burst with pride when she naturally gravitated to the shoe department as if called by some ancient beacon. Her tiny feet carried her through the department store along the precise route I would have chosen to reach the shoes as quickly as possible. I simply followed behind and nodded approvingly at her early and advanced display of skill.

Gucci courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue

Having reached the shoe department, she cast a distasteful glance toward the water shoes and those slip-on moccasin/sneaker things. Her footsteps led directly to the jewel covered thongs, shining patent leather and mini-gladiator sandals. Then, exhibiting the aptitude of a seasoned pro, she performed an efficient walk-thru of the shoe department to assess the situation. Without missing a beat, she looped back around to where she began, picked up the shoes that caught her eye and requested each in a little girl’s size 9.

Our arms loaded with boxes, we entered that most heavenly place of trying on shoes and imagining where they might be worn and with what?

She slid her feet into a pair of tiny wedge sandals and gasped, “Ooooooo, Mommy these are just like your beautiful brown wedges.” She pivoted her dainty foot and lovingly gazed at the shoes in the mirror resting on the floor. 

I’m going to take a little walk, tell me how they look.

And off she went, walking away from me with her legs looking a bit too shapely in that pair of wedge sandals. For the briefest moment, we rode straight through time and spent a split second in our future. She was no longer four, but instead, a beautiful young woman who seemed to have just left her fourth year behind. My throat tightened.

Gwennie, I think those shoes are bit too grown up for you… Mommy and Daddy don’t think that heels are appropriate for little girls.

Expecting some resistance, I had armed myself with a pair of gaudy jewel-crusted flip flops. The gleaming pink plastic gems distracted her. She kicked those wedges off and clamored for the sparkles. If anyone can successfully pull off giant pink jewels on her shoes, it’s a four-year-old fashionista.

She tried on precisely 15 pairs of shoes that afternoon and provided a commentary on each.

I’m not a big fan of the blue sandals.

Those ones look like boy shoes.

Those are nice, but they just aren’t my ‘thing’.

She finally narrowed her pile down to two pairs of shoes, and then very decisively chose a pair of fashion-forward gladiator sandals.  Exactly the ones I would have chosen if they came in my size.

Stuart Weitzman Kid's

Burning

I wrote this piece after a dream that I had a few weeks ago. I’m not quite sure what it is other than the movie that played through my sleeping brain. My brother is alive and well and our farmhouse never exprienced a fire of any kind. If anything, what I wrote is simply a metaphor for how I felt when we moved from our beloved farm and lived seperately from one another following the divorce of our parents.

Last night I dreamed of our farmhouse.

The white horse galloped past the fence, drawing my eyes beyond to the orange bloom of rising flames.

I began to move forward and watched fire lick the sky.

It raced through the field behind the house, coming to burn our memories.

In the yellow bedroom, my brother watched from the window.

Then, together, we soaked the house with water from a hose.

Tiny fires ignited at our feet.

We stepped back to watch our lives burn,

Defeated.

He turned and began to walk away.

Moving in opposite directions,

I watched as he was swallowed by the smoke.

We never said goodbye.

Knock, Knock, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door?

I’ll admit that I’ve been slightly too busy to really pay much attention to the fact that the rapture is happening today. In fact, it wasn’t until Wednesday morning that I noticed references to the rapture at all. What with Facebook and Twitter being my current source of all things news-worthy, I turned to David and asked him what was going on. Except it sounded more like this…

Why the hell is everyone talking about rapture?

Some mathematician figured out that Saturday at 6:00 p.m. the rapture will happen.

For real?

Well. He gave a date once before but nothing happened, so he re-figured his equations and found a mistake in his math. So now it’s this Saturday. At 6:00.

*Snort*

It was right about then that I began singing Rapture and haven’t gotten it out of my head all week long. As a kid, I could recite Blondie’s (lame) rap verbatim.

..Out comes from the man from Mars and you try to run but he’s got a gun and he shoots ya dead and eats your head. I seriously hope it doesn’t go down that way.

Monsters v. Aliens

Last night I enjoyed a glass of the loveliest Robert Mondovi cabernet sauvignon courtesy of Aunt Lorraine (the Faherty Aunt Lorraine, not the Hadfield-Butironi Aunt Lorraine). Okay, it was actually two delicious glasses. Don’t judge. It’s been a very long and dreary week here in Maine and that wine seemed like a little bit of liquid sunshine as it went down.

By the third half of my second glass, I’d begun seriously pondering the ‘what-if’ of it all. The combination of tannins and soft-oak nuances provided a moment of clarity. What if, in this post-Y2K era we’ve all become so desensitized to threats of The End that we’re not prepared for the real The End? Can you blame us? After all, The House of Yahweh predicted The End on October 14, 2000 and nothing happened. Marshall Applewhite’s alien spaceship ride to a ‘level higher than human’ never really panned out, did it? Though, technically, I guess we’ll never know, because those 39 ‘vehicles’ of the Heaven’s Gate cult committed suicide alongside their leader, ‘Do’ (aka Marshall Applewhite). Who am I to say that they aren’t enjoying the higher level as I type about the ridiculousness of their beliefs? But seriously…they were ridiculous.

Marshall Applewhite, Heaven's Gate

One of the classes I took in my criminology studies was dedicated to cults and mass suicides. We dove into the sociopathic tendencies of the leaders of those cults, Peoples-Temple, Heaven’s Gate and The Order of the Solar Temple. Taking into account the violent end that met the Branch Davidians in 1993, thanks to their self-proclaimed final prophet, Vernon Wayne Howell…er, David Koresh, I’m slightly skeptical about today’s rapture.

Criminology has left me cynical. I think God understands that and if, indeed, the rapture occurs as we sit down for dinner this evening, I like to think that we’ll be invited to take the ride to heaven. So, pardon me if I proceed as I normally would on this Saturday, May 21, 2011. I’ll write, love my family, pet my dog, clean some toilets and probably yell a little too.

The Tale of My Couch and That Private Post

I’ll bet you were wondering why I posted about my couch yesterday and then made it private, weren’t you? Well, I can assure you that you didn’t miss anything truly exciting. That post was intended for the representative of FURNITURE DESIGNER + HIS EX-PARTNER. It simply contained a series of photographs and two video clips of our couch.

Why? Well, because it just turned three years old and it is literally falling apart. We bought the couch through my good friend who is an interior designer at the same time that we bought this:

Bed

 

These:

6 dining room chairs similar to this, but with custom upholstery:

One of these:

One of these:

One giant leather tufted ottoman and finally, one linen bench ottoman to match the bed. I don’t have pictures of those and, frankly, I’m far too exhausted by the whole thing to bother posting pictures of my glorified footstools at the moment.

Yes, it’s true that we had a bit more money back then. We were moving from our tiny Boston apartment and needed to furnish this:

Then we were surprised by one more of these:

Remember that time I wrote about how three children and that house had sucked the pretty right out of me? No? Well, click on those words back there and you’ll find out why I’m so hideous. Not only did they all steal the last vestiges of beauty, they also sucked most of the money away too. My hard-working husband will entirely back me up on that claim.

 Anywho…fast forward three years and we’re now sitting on a busted couch from a high-end designer. The right-side arm always wiggled and the slipcover really never fit properly, but we dealt with it because the pleat that was pulling on the slipcover was on the back-side of the couch. No one saw it. Plus, I didn’t want to be a pain in the ass to my friend who had helped me order everything. I truly hate to ask people for favors. So much so that it’s a borderline psychosis. For example, my arm might be hanging off and I should go to the nearest hospital, but I’d rather bleed to death than ask someone to keep an eye on the kids so I can obtain proper medical attention. I’ve gone off subject entirely, haven’t I?

Where was I?

Oh right…two weeks ago I noticed that when I sat on the couch I was caving into the middle and toward the front. Then I washed the slipcover (of course following manufacturer instructions) and, as I was putting it back onto the couch, the entire room filled with the sound of tearing. The entire back pleat ripped apart and tore a hole in the heavy denim twill.

Fantastic, I thought, then began swearing at no one in particular.

With a sigh, I resigned myself to the fact that we were a couple of suckers who bought a pricey slipcover that was now torn. That denim twill that I’d picked because I envisioned years of durable wear was flayed open right in front of my eyes. I gingerly resumed slipcover arrangement, placed my hand on the front frame and realized that it was moving. I stood back, gave it a good look and realized that the whole frame on the front of the couch was sagging. The front board that is supposed to be holding the cushions up is completely detached from the frame.

Really? Well, that explains why I have the odd sensation of caving in when I sit down.

There you have it. One very unexciting post about my couch that recently turned 3.  Yesterday’s private, password protected post was for the eyes of the representative at FURNITURE DESIGNER + HIS EX-PARTNER because it contained pictoral and videotaped proof of my defective couch and its poorly fitting  (now torn) slipcover. I called to confirm her e-mail address the other day and was on the receiving end of a rather testy woman who seemed a bit put out that I needed her e-mail address again.

I didn’t even mention that the buttons on our tufted headboard have popped out. I don’t want to put anyone out.

Protected: Busted

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The Rain in Maine…

It’s been raining since Sunday. As I write, Tuesday is winding down and it’s been one heck of day. Not in a bad way. No, definitely not bad. But there’s something about days-long rain that evokes an odd disruption in my time-space continuum. By the way, I have no solid grasp on the real meaning of time-space continuum, but it sounded good when I typed it.

Under normal circumstances cloudy, drizzle-filled days bend me out shape. I become cranky and morose, but not this week. I’m waiting. Waiting for the mail to come. Waiting for that package of manuscripts from my fellow workshop attendees – complete strangers who are also waiting for the very same package. We will have one month to read and critique the work contained in those manuscripts then prepare a “thoughtful” two page response for each author in the creative non-fiction group.

Oh…my…God.

It began weeks ago. I’ve been fretting over the fact that my writing will seem glaringly amateurish in comparison to the others. I’ve imagined a group of faceless writers tearing into their manuscripts, enjoying the pieces submitted by fellow workshop members until, one by one, each will turn the page to the section holding my memoir and essay pieces. That’s when my imagination cruelly plays scene upon scene of faculty and authors laughing, perhaps even sneering, as they wonder about exactly how I was admitted. More than one will sit down and compose a scathing critique. That’s what my imagination tells me.

We are required to take a seminar dedicated to etiquette. Specifically, the etiquette of critiquing the work of other writers. In my Stonecoast materials, I have come across at least four reminders that we must be respectful and remember that not everyone shares the same writing style, religion, race or mental state. Okay, I lied a little back there – I added that mental state part because I truly feel the need to represent.

I’m dreading the residency workshops where we’ll engage in an open discussion about the good and the bad…and the bad…

Please don’t cry.

Nerves make me cry. The embarrassment of becoming emotional makes me cry harder and, eventually, I’m reduced to a sobbing mass of snot, red splotchy skin and swollen eyes.

Please, please, please, God…don’t let me turn into a blithering idiot in front of my MFA group.

Once, when I was about 9-years-old, I stood in front of an enormous audience in the 4H barn at the Washington County Fair. Of course, I’m exaggerating. The crowd was probably made up of about 25 people, but it seemed like I was opening at Madison Square Garden.

For some stupid reason, I agreed to perform a demonstration on the proper way to make a graham cracker strawberry Jell-O pie with Cool Whip topping. Fancy, right? Well, through the eyes of 9-year-old me, it was all very complicated indeed! Clearly, I had no real grasp on the situation because when I pushed through the curtains and spotted a room full of strangers gawking up at me, I wanted to cry. It was an odd reaction since, under normal circumstances, I was typically an overly-talkative kid. Yet, my voice was suddenly replaced with the shy whisper of another little girl.

With my head down, as if in deep concentration, I forged ahead and began to demonstrate my talent with graham cracker crusts, frozen strawberries and Jell-O. It was all fine until some old harpy in the front said, “We can’t hear you, dear.” That old harpy set the wheels of disaster in motion. My demonstration was paused while a 4H leader equipped me with a backpack-microphone contraption roughly the size of a Volkswagen and pushed me back toward the table.

I just knew that I looked like a freaky human/turtle hybrid. My face grew hot with embarrassment and washed with shame. The harpy sat looking at me expectantly and without any sign of friendly encouragement. My intention was to resume where I’d left off but, I was told to begin again.

As I drew air into my lungs to begin my spiel, the sound of my breath echoed back to me from the other side of the 4H barn. Despite growing increasingly flustered, I began speaking. My voice, sounding strangely alien and too young to belong to me, reverberated through the crowd and caught up with my ears. I was thrown off by that delayed echo of my voice. My throat tightened and I desperately attempted to swallow my way to safety. My pause, as brief as it was, gave me a moment to focus on the faces of strangers and their expectant gawks. Tears stung my eyes and it felt like an inferno was burning beneath my freckled skin. The old harpy shifted in her seat and huffily arranged her pocket book on her ample lap. Her tightly permed hair refused to move and her glasses threw sharp darts of light at my eyes.

Under her petulant gaze, tears began to flow and my frozen strawberries spilled onto the table in a gelatinous puddle. The unwieldy backpack-microphone loudly thumped the table as I turned, sending my body into an inelegant tail spin. Amplified by the microphone, my sobs echoed off the walls and danced in the air over the heads of strangers. My sobs mocked me.

I was nine.

Now I’m not.

Please, God, don’t let me cry. Send me a thicker skin.

A Few of My Favorite Things…

Sometimes I go on a little shopping trip in Nevergonnahappenville. You know…the kind of shopping trip where you enter Bergdorf’s via Internet and go bat-shit crazy, filling up your cart with Blahniks and Choos and Marc Jacobs? When I’m done with my faux shop I like to take a gander at the damage I would have caused if I’d actually entered my credit card information. The grand total is generally enough to make me gasp and move along. Shop over. Hey, look! Reality’s knocking and it wants to punch me in the face.

I used to do that a lot.

These days I sometimes find myself perusing one of my favorite websites for household objects – mostly small and less expensive reproductions of expensive old things. Tonight the kids were animals, Blogger continues to evoke feelings of rage and potential violence against my laptop, so I checked out and went virtual shopping. Still riding my Brimfield high, here’s what I bought.

Bee Skep – Farmhouse Wares  
Vintage style striped table runner – Farmhouse Wares
White enamelware pitcher – Farmhouse Wares
Numbered jars – Farmhouse Wares
Preserved boxwood wreaths – Farmhouse Wares
Cloche – Farmhouse Wares

You can find all of these items at Farmhouse Wares and take a moment to check out their blog here.