Friday, March 11, 2016


Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: stolen ~ parrot ~ coconuts ~ excited ~ drum

They were submitted by:

I just wanted to say this is fiction. Sometimes I get a group of words that seem like they belong together and would be easy to take in a certain direction which means I have to go as far away from that direction as possible. ha. 


“Down at an English fair, one evening I was there
When I heard a showman shouting underneath the flare

Ive got a lovely bunch of coconuts
There they are, all standing in a row
Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head
Give them a twist a flick of the wrist
Thats what the showman said”

I’m not sure why that song plays through my head as I work my way through the flea market tables looking at this and that. Maybe it’s the blue and gold Macaw perched atop a fellow patron’s shoulder that triggers the association. The Lion King and that blue asshole Zazu singing in his little cage…

This blue asshole is tethered by one of its legs instead of caged with the leash attached to the turquoise belt buckle of the mustachioed, cowboy hat wearing gentleman it was perched upon. And instead of a catchy Monty Python tune, it was randomly belting out lyrics to Salt n Peppa’s Push It.

“Ah, Push it. Push it real good” is quite strange coming from a parrot, I think, but I continue on my way digging in dusty record crates and checking out tie dye mushroom incense burners.

Excited, my heart begins to drum in my chest as I considered the possibilities for the day. It is just shy of 9 a.m., early for me, and the infinite possibilities of a quasi-spiritual exploration of the heart of humanity in this dirt-floored market full of potentially stolen goods, other people’s trash, and hand-picked produce has me tingling.

But perhaps it is just the mushrooms kicking in.

A wave a nausea hits me hard and I know that must be it. All I have to do is power through that little bit of discomfort… Buy the ticket, take the ride. I look around me, every little speck of dirt standing out like my eyes have suddenly gained some sort of superhuman magnification power; I see everything so much more clearly than before, every detail catching my attention and holding it long enough to caress my brain before releasing me to enjoy the next tidbit of life. The hazy afternoon takes on a glow, and the crowd of sounds seems to separate clashing like Spartans in my brain and threatening to overwhelm me. My legs work, barely, and I manage to put one foot in front of the other while giggling at something I couldn’t possibly explain (maybe it was still that damned parrot). I stagger outside between two tables while a couple of wary hagglers work down the price of a beaten box of VHS tapes.

A few people who hadn’t been able to reserve inside tables have stands outside selling the same lost treasures, but the air out here is crisp, clean, alive. I can almost feel it rolling around in my lungs with every breath and for a moment I think I might cry at how amazing it is to just breathe. Then I’m giggling again lost in another moment flitting from this thought to that like a hummingbird feeding on the nectar of the day, finding its sweetness scattered among this field of human flora.

The giggles override all sensibilities again as I picture each person with limbs of green and a petal halo like that Daffy/flower hybrid in the old Looney Tunes cartoons. For a moment I wonder if maybe I’m seeing everyone’s true form. I am horrified and awed all at once until I see a patch of grass all by itself away from the clamor and the dirt, a solace of greenery waving in the breeze that calls me to it begging for my company.

Sprawled in the grass letting the sun hit my skin, I am a badass queen. Every pore soaks in the heat, and I feel alive in ways I never have in my entire existence. This is l I v I n, I think, and I dissolve into another fit of giggles picturing Matthew Mcconaughey in a petal halo saying Alright, Alright, Alright when I say yes to his Aerosmith invite.

Who is this person, I ask myself. It’s me I’m talking about. Who is she? I think long and hard about that while images of my life float in and out of my stream of thoughts. What does this girl want? Who will she be?

And I think to myself this girl wants to live not exist. She wants to get her hands dirty and her heart broken. She wants to love too hard and run too fast and lay in bed until late afternoon. She wants her stories etched into her skin like a fine art storybook, and she wants to be completely unafraid to be her true self despite everyone’s expectations. She wants to wear mismatched socks because who has time to match them and bathe in nostalgia. She wants to eat too much sugar and be a little bit fluffy, and she wants to love every inch of herself down to the very last dimple on her thighs. She wants to drink too much whiskey and indulge in other vices because life is short and when it’s all over, hair still purple, she wants to look around at her loved ones or her cats and say, my god wasn’t it beautiful.

I realize in the day glow cacophony of this day that she is me. I am her.

And I smile.

______________________________________________ Baking In A Tornado The Bergham Chronicles The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver Dinosaur Superhero Mommy Southern Belle Charm Not That Sarah Michelle My Brain on Kids Never Ever Give Up Hope Someone Else’s Genius Confessions of a part time working mom Spatulas on Parade The Angrivated Mom

Friday, March 4, 2016

New Definitions

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

If you had to describe your family what would you say?

It was submitted by:

Oh what a week for me to get this prompt. I think I handled this with all the grace I could muster though. 


Family is a difficult subject for me. I need to be upfront about that from the get go.

I’ve talked about my family, or at least my old family in the past on a few occasions on this blog. I talked about my father…the hellacious childhood he put me through (and not just me) and the way I found forgiveness after he died, closure for lack of a better term, in the pieces of him I see in myself. And I talked about my estranged relationship with my grandmother who did nothing but bring me down as a kid and young adult to the point where it was no longer healthy to be in her life or have her in mine.

I don’t really talk about my family in the present because I don’t really know how to express the way I feel these days.

For the most part, I am estranged from most of my actual relatives, blood relatives, and I am okay with that. It makes my life easier not having to deal with all the drama that a family like that brings to the table, and really I am just not the kind of person who enjoys faux pleasantries on holidays. Love is a difficult thing to fake.

My brother, mother, stepfather, nieces and nephews are in my life, but those relationships are fairly limited. I see them on holidays and we get together once a week typically for a family dinner at my mom’s house, but even those are strained these days for a myriad of complicated reasons that, for once, I probably shouldn’t discuss on a public blog. I don’t want to make things worse nor do I want to hurt anyone’s feelings which is pretty much synonymous for exactly how things go on those weekly dinners. I show up, give hugs, stick to myself, and leave as soon as dinner is over. The tension is often palpable, and I leave feeling anxious and hollow and foolish for having stayed in this town for as long as I have.

But…oh thank god there’s a but…

My kiddo and I are our own family most of the time which often includes one of my best friends in the world, one of my only friends in the area. We have disagreements and tension like any family. The kid has an honestly gotten smartass mouth and he has a tendency to tell some fibs at times, and oh god is he such a little messmaker, but he’s my everything. There’s no strain in that relationship. Even on the worst days and in the worst moments, I want nothing more than to see him smile even if it meant barfing a glittery rainbow of unicorn shit at his feet for his amusement. We can name all the clich├ęs right here and now and they still wouldn’t hold a candle to that kind of love. It’s like nothing under the sun…no romantic love can touch that mix of protectiveness, nurturing, nostalgia for the baby days, pride, love, and adoration. Nothing. Not a thing. That love makes all the dysfunction and tension oft associated with the rest of the family a bit easier to swallow.

He’s not my reason for waking up every day as I have heard other parents say. The beauty of life itself gives me plenty of reason to wake up, make my coffee, and gaze out the window over the kitchen sink, mug in hand, relishing everything being alive has to offer—the little things like sun-dried sheets and maple syrup and cola candy and cats purring on your feet while you write. But, he makes waking up that much better and a fuckton more fulfilling.

Add in the best friend that makes me laugh and shares my love of movies and music (even if he should read more!!), someone to hold my hand when I need it and give me adult conversation about politics and social issues and a post apocalyptic landscape. He’s lovely and bearded and silly when I need it sometimes to his detriment but he puts up with me and knows how I take my coffee and what I can and cannot eat and what my favorite bands are. Perhaps it is unconventional, but family these days doesn’t have a normal definition to most of the population. Family, now, doesn’t have to come with traditional blood ties and a cookie cutter image of nuclear and extended relatives. Family is what you make it, the people you choose to surround yourself with and love unconditionally. Given that definition, I think, despite the madness of my blood ties, I am one lucky lady.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there: Baking In A Tornado The Bergham Chronicles The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver Dinosaur Superhero Mommy Southern Belle Charm Not That Sarah Michelle My Brain on Kids The Lieber Family Blog Never Ever Give Up Hope Someone Else’s Genius Confessions of a part time working mom Spatulas on Parade The Angrivated Mom