Thursday, April 30, 2015

April: In Retrospect

I feel like this month has literally flown by!! It's so crazy how time flies. Seriously, wasn't yesterday, like, Valentines Day?

Most of April for me was spent at the high school. Dancing and singing and Mary Poppins-ing. Now that that's over I'm sort of like 'wow, now what do I do with my life?'

But that's okay, because the school year is winding down pretty fast and end-of-the-year panic is slowly setting in.

And there's the on-going conversation with Drummy Dude that's been pretty much incessant (except for, you know, nights) for about two weeks. The interesting part is that basically we've been talking about nothing nonstop for fifteen days. It's kind of awesome.

Lately, SW's been a little...sad faced. In a large crowd, she's her normal self, but every now and then I look over when she's by herself and she looks crushed. Y' all could pray for her if you feel like it.

Another thing you could be praying about... The Squirt and I have been spending basically all day at home by ourselves.


Because Mom is spending basically all day at our church.


She's working. Filling in as the administrative assistant until our church board finds a permanent one.

She's good. Really good. The whole church raves about how good a job she does, and heck, I tend to agree. But as far as I know (by which I mean, the last time we talked about it), she wasn't all that interested in taking the position full-time. The money is really helpful, I know that, and it's great to be able to afford to take day-trips to Cheyenne or Fort Collins just for fun.

Unfortunately, we have no available time in which to take those fun shopping trips because Mom's in the office from 8-2:30 Monday through Friday and the Squirt has ballet and I've got choir. We're sort of a little trapped here. A day-trip used to mean getting up at like 7 and driving to wherever we felt like going and hanging out, getting home around, say, 5PM.

Not so much anymore.

So anyway. Just please pray that, you know, God would either send along the perfect secretary or write on the wall and say 'yes, this is where I want you.'

I guess that wasn't super retrospecty, but, whatever. It's a little chunk of the stuff that's happening right now. So it counts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I realized that I've missed the past couple Tuesdays (or okay, maybe like all of them) so here we go.

20 Things I'm Thankful For This Tuesday

  1. Two little zinnia shoots
  2. Bananas!! 
  3. Orange jello in the fridge
  4. Talking to my big sis for a little bit
  5. My baby niece on the way (due in August)
  6. Night MOPS tonight and hanging out with some cool kiddies
  7. Cool weather reminding me that it's still April
  8. The first Amendment, however misunderstood it may be these days
  9. My nocturne by Chopin that I'm learning on the piano... I'm pretty sure he was drunk when he arranged it, but it's really pretty!!
  10. Pink pencils
  11. BFFS who talk me into auditioning for show choir...thanks, SW
  12. Just Be Held, by Casting Crowns
  13. To-Do lists
  14. Nail polish; I'm becoming quite the nail-painting fiend
  15. Denim jeans! I did laundry yesterday, and what to do you know, I really do have more than two pairs of jeans! 
  16. New music for our choir concert next month
  17. Listening to the Squirt's drawing utensils scratching away on her paper
  18. Reading about American Law before bed last night; that'll put you to sleep. Especially contract law...
  19. Today I'm going to plant some foxglove and hopefully delphinium and columbine!
  20. I'm kind of halfway figuring out the Aran cabling on my dad's socks, and then it's on to three pairs for friends. 
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 27, 2015


Last Tuesday, I went to Target and picked up some seeds and little flower pots. I planted two kinds of flowers: zinnias and sweet peas. I have a bunch of other seeds, but not enough pots. So I started with my two annuals.

Wednesday was our AWANA Awards night, you know, and all the leaders got pretty little yellow flowers. I'd tell you what kind they are, but I don't know. They're really cute.

So my garden right now consists of two mostly-empty pots and one unknown yellow flower.

I say mostly-empty because this morning I found a little green thing in one pot.

I sort of maybe squealed. Really loudly.

It was super exciting!! I've never had a whole lot of success growing things- I mostly only ever planted those little terra-cotta plant starters from the dollar section at Target. Apparently that's where Burpee sends all their dud seeds. :) I could not get anything to grow in those little pots. The one time I found a little shoot coming up, I got so excited that I watered it like every day, trying to get it to grow faster and not die.

It drowned.

I was crushed.

Then in 2010, the Squirt and I were in TLC's Seedlings program and we had our own little gardens. Which was great, terrific, fantastic, I loved it.

Mostly unbeknownst to me, all I planted was annuals. The little garden was all gone by October.

And also, a word of advice: don't plant nine tomato plants unless you want to be spending your whole afternoon picking green tomatoes in September because it's supposed to be -30* F.

Or maybe just don't plant nine tomatoes in Nebraska in May. Either or.

There's my gardening history. I love planting things and watching them grow and all that, I just haven't ever really gotten anything to stick around long.

Anyway. I wasn't expecting anything to be growing right now because heck, I planted six days ago and my zinnias aren't supposed to come up for 7-10 days (the sweet peas should take 10-14). But I check every day regardless.

I'm no professional photographer, or you'd be able to see the shoot a lot better. Or at least the gray slipper wouldn't have dared sneak in there. :)

But there she is. Little and green (looks yellow in the picture, but I promise it's green) and dirty, but pretty awesome.

I officially have a garden. Whoop whoop!!!!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Just Call Me The Walking Grocery Store...

When I first started taking choir at SHS, I quickly realized that there were some major problems there. The first one I tackled was SW's throat. She sings a lot and really well and puts a lot of strain on her voice. 

Cough drops. 

She wanted cough drops. 

I became a cough drop factory. She went through a bag of 80 in less than two weeks. But I loved it. Gifts isn't necessarily one of my top love languages, but I'm pretty fluent in it. If I can bring you something or buy you something to help you, I'm over the moon. So her throat was happy and I was happy and it was great. 

I've been out of cough drops for a few weeks, which is sad, but I'm going to get some more ASAP. Or perhaps ASAMBA. (as soon as my budget allows.)

The next problem I encountered was SW's vegetarianism/monetary status. One day I was sitting next to her at lunch as she was devouring a book...and I realized that the book was the only thing she was devouring. "Aren't you eating?" I asked.

"No money," she mumbled, barely looking up from the book (that's the thing with SW; when she's reading, she might as well be on Mars, so don't take it personally if she seems a little distracted.). 

"No money?!" I was indignant. "Here, I've got some." 

She shook her head. "Too late; they put the lunch away already." 

"Oh yeah." I pondered the problem for a while before we finally came up with a solution: ramen noodles. My mom brought some when she came to pick me up. Problem solved. 

Once. But not always. There are still girls at my table who just choose not to eat because the food in the cafeteria isn't that great. It drives me insane. A couple years ago my mom went on this crazy health-food kick and now I pretty much know more about food than, in my opinion, anyone should ever know. I will never look at a donut the same way. 

Anyway. It's been a few weeks, but I'm trying to get in the habit of bringing granola bars or cheese or something sustaining for people to eat. Feels like I'm a walkin' grocery store, and I love it. 

Okay. For this next part, we might need to backtrack a little ways. To like, Sunday. I was keyboarding with Drummy Dude and after second service worship we were just killing time. He started teaching me martial arts, because that's his thing, and it's kinda cool, actually. I think all of my threatening to beat people up worries him a little, so I had to promise that I wouldn't hit anyone. He cracks me up. 

Moving on. 

After the lesson (I'm avoiding the thought of what that lesson did to my reputation because what the heck, a girl's gotta stop caring at some point, right?), I texted him to say thank you and he was like sure, yeah, whatever. Then I went to set strike and was sans-phone for about four hours. I checked and saw that I had a message, just Drummy saying hi. 

Somehow we ended up talking about pretty much nothing the rest of the day. It was a little bit really weird, but totally okay. 

Criminy, ninth grade makes everything weird and okay at the same time. They should have put that in the instruction manual. 

Oh wait. 

There never was an instruction manual. 

O-kay then. Movin' on. 

So basically what ended up happening is that we've been chatting pretty much all week (wow, God, way to expand the comfort zone, there.). Today I was making Jell-O after choir, and talking to Drummy at the same time (I am so going to have to come up with something to call him here that Grammarly will be okay with... I'm sick of getting little red squiggly lines under 'drummy' every freaking time he comes up), and I was like, "you like jello?" because I was making it and thinking about it and it seemed like a reasonable thing to ask. 

He was like, "raspberry's okay" (after I told him what kinds I was making), and I attempted bribery. (heck, he's not a police officer.) When he asked what kinds I was making he said 'wat' instead of 'what' (he swears up and down that there's no h in what in the texting world, but I firmly disagree), so I was like, 'use your h's or no jello.' 

Then I felt bad because I like giving people stuff and he's stubborn enough that he'd probably skip the jello for the sake of proving that h's are completely unnecessary. "Just kidding," I added.

So now it looks like I'm the jello deliverer as well. 

Maybe it's a little weird. 

Who cares? Friends bring each other jello. Just ask SW. 

And like I say, a girl's gotta stop caring sometime.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Arts and Aliens

So. I meant to blog about praise team stuff today, because Sunday was awesome, but I recently found myself with a new friend and teacher. So I'll tell you about that instead. My penchant for threatening to beat people up is starting to worry Drummy Dude so he's teaching me self-defense.

Martial arts.

Yep. Martial arts. I have a theory about how this particular art got started. (I have theories about pretty much everything if you must know) See, I think that in like the 1400s, people were like really really really scared of aliens attacking Earth and UFOs and such, so they developed a self-defense system to combat the aliens' imminent attack. They called it 'martian arts' because it was art to defend them from the Martians.

Then in the 1600s, when no aliens had bombed them or stolen their children, they decided, "what the heck, future generations are going to call us crazy for making a defense system that was totally unnecessary" so they changed it to Martial arts, in honor of the Roman god of Mars, to avoid being laughed at in the twenty-first century. So no laughing, okay? Or else I'll get in really big trouble with Christopher Columbus (he started the whole thing, you know).

I was talking to Drummy Dude, because he's teaching me, and he says it all goes back to Shem, Ham, and Japheth. So I got to thinkin' and came up with an alternate theory, in case the martian one backfires or is disproven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

You know the Bible story about when Noah grew a vineyard, made some wine, got himself drunk, and went a took a nap sans clothing? Yeah, that one. 502 with a blanket. (it's an old Adam-12 episode that Squirt loves. Pete and Jim pulled over this drunk guy who claims he came from "Pismo beach" and left his shirt there. And his pants. And pretty much all other articles of clothing. It's a scream.) Only there wasn't any blanket. So Ham walks in and sees his pop takin' a nap and he's just like, 'whoa, Dad,' and leaves. Then he goes and finds Shem and Japheth and says, 'dudes, you gotta see this, Dad's off his conk.'

Shem and Japheth were kind of appalled at the idea, so they got really smart and did this the cool way. They held a blanket up between the two of them, walked in backwards, covered up old Noah, and walked out without turning around. When Noah woke up, he got pretty mad at Ham for not doin' anything about his old naked father, and Ham was cursed. I figure, Ham got mad at his brothers and challenged them to a duel. Being gentlemen, Shem and Japheth accepted, but they didn't want to fight and hurt Ham, so they developed a fighting system that was only self-defense. They probably really frustrated him when they wouldn't like kill him or anything, and he was like 'what the bloody heck are you doing' and they told him about this thing they'd come up with. And Ham was like, 'dude, that's tight, teach me,' and ever since then we've had martial arts. I don't know why they called it that.

So that's my history lesson for you today.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Music, Music, Music...

I feel like music took over my life last week. It was pretty much just insanity. 

Tuesday morning Mary Poppins opened at its first matinee for school kids. It was great. I loved it. Backstage was terrifying, but the show was great. 

The dressing rooms were similar to backstage in that they inspired deadly terror in my soul. Backstage there were A) a bunch of awesome stage crew people dressed all in black, creeping around with the potential to scare the daylights out of unsuspecting freshmen ensemble members, B) a certain freshman boy who just really really really scares me all the time, C) very little light. 

I may or may not be scared of the dark. I plead the Fifth.

In the dressing rooms, there were A) people in their, like, underwear and stuff (all girls, yes, but still. Underwear!), B) lots of girls who thought I was nuts for having no real desire to familiarize myself with other people's lingerie, C) major uncomfortable-ness due to said lingerie. 

I may or may not be the most conservative freshman in the Panhandle. Take a poll if you really want to know. 

So anyway. I didn't like being backstage, there were a lot of people in the choir room and loads of swearing happening all the time, and the dressing rooms ranked right up there with backstage as far as Least Desirable Place For Scotty To Be. Fortunately, once all the girls in my dressing room got changed (believe it or not, they seriously took like 20 minutes!!), it was relatively safe in there. No boys, lots of light, little to no underwear, and nobody creeping around in the dark. I didn't love it, but it was better than some other places I could have been. 

We had three matinees total, one Tuesday and two on Wednesday. All in all, they went pretty well. Then we were at opening night. 

I was at the school for makeup at five o'clock on Thursday. My makeup girl's breath smelled like goldfish, which is great if you like post-chewed goldfish aromas.She was really sweet and friendly, though. 

Costumes were awesome. I'm telling you, I was born in the wrong century, except if I was born in the Mary Poppins era, I wouldn't be here blogging, so that would be sad. 

Except for the boys and the couple of hairy spots for stage crew, the show was fantastic, I thought. SW might say otherwise, though, because A) she's been in lots of shows and she's probably got higher expectations than me, and B) her boyfriend said, like, nothing to her on opening night, which massively ticked me off. 

I mean, dude, you don't just go date some girl whose whole life is theatre and then ignore her on opening night. Like, no, I'll break your face. 

(for the record, nobody's face got broken.) 

And during Step In Time, the audience was fan-tas-tic. They were roaring with applause when Bert walked on the ceiling, and then they were clapping to the beat of the music and I was standing behind the curtain prepping to move the skyline off for the next scene, and I'm laughing my head off because there is nothing cooler than listening to a crowd of 800 people clapping to the same beat that you're singing to, y' know? 

Friday was pretty good. My family came, and my adopted aunt and gramma and cousins, and Annie and her mom and sister. I can't wear my glasses onstage, so I didn't have them on in the receiving line and my face was caked with stage makeup. When Annie saw me she sort of just stood still and studied me doubtfully until I held out my arms and called her name. 

OK, maybe it was more of a scream than a call, but I was really tired and really happy and thrilled to see her, so I have my rights to scream. 

Whatever sound I made, doesn't matter, because she finally decided that it really was me, and she came running. I held her on my hip for quite a while and we chatted about pretty much nothing while people left and her mom chatted with my mom. It was great. She was pretty concerned that I didn't have my glasses on, though, and kept looking at me with a little confused smile, like, 'my mom says you're Scotty, and you say you're Scotty, but you don't look like Scotty.' She's hilarious. 

Then, of course, this week our acoustic guitar player was unable to play, so our keys guy was moved to the acoustic guitar, and our worship leader sends me a text asking if I can play keys this week. 

I was like YES!! and then I was like 'oh...Mary Poppins...and cast party...and getting home at 11:30 Saturday night..and being at the church at 7 the next morning...yeah...uhh....

And then I was like WHAT THE HECK, I WANT TO PLAY and I did. The set was awesome- Days of Elijah, All The People Said Amen, Courageous, Lord I Lift Your Name On High, and Breathe. All of which I love. And I loved the team, too; Drummy Dude (on drums, big surprise there, eh?), Miss Queen (sings alto harmony and her voice is awesome), and our keys/vocalist/guitar/bass guy, who shall remain nameless because I'm totally exhausted from music stuff all weekend and I can't think of a cool cyber-name for him. 

I'll blog about everything else tomorrow. Adios.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Awana Awards

Last night was the AWANA awards night. The last night of the year. Kids and parents and grandparents came and the kids got prizes and candy and ribbons for completing their books or participating.

It was great. Afterward, there were snacks and a party-style shindig in the gymnasium. The kids loved it.

I'm a little sad. Part of me is like 'hey, we did it, the year is over, life can slow down a little.'

Part of me is like 'but it's over, and I'm going to miss those kids, and it was so fun, and now it's done.'

I mean, Annie and Bubbles and Messers Chicken and Duckie and Cowboy Kid and Elsa and Andy and Lief- they're some of my best friends and I'm really really going to miss them. Some of them I'll see at church, but not all. Some I might not see all summer. :-(

Annie was hilarious last night. First of all, she brought me an awesome thank you card (for her socks, which her mom says she loves).

And then when I was getting ready to leave she hung on to me so tight it took me forever just to get to the door. She was like, "No, no, Scotty! You're coming home with me!!" and laughing and being Annie-awesome

                                             Front of the card Annie gave me. Super cute!!!!!

 And the note inside. I cropped out the names, which, as always, have been changed to protect the innocent.

And the finishing touch, a little doodling on the envelope. 

I'm more or less braindead from doing three Mary Poppins matinees (and we open tonight- GAAAAH!!!!) so that's all from me for today. Au revoir.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Saturday night I had Mary Poppins rehearsal from like 7 to 10:30. In costume. I love it! I was so born in the wrong century. Give me London, 18th century and I'm over the moon. Skirts and lacy blouses and cute little hats and such...ahh. I'll post a picture soon, but not until after we open on Thursday. 

Anyway. Saturday. SW and I were chilling in the choir room between ensemble scenes when a parade of noisy seniors drifted in. One had glasses and a big camera hanging around his neck. He looked at SW and laughed. "Look at her- she tied her own bow way better than the rest of y' all and now she's reading. Reading. That's so nerdy. She's such a --nerd. Nerds are --, but I won't say that to her because she'd be uncomfortable." 

The rest of his friends laughed loudly.

I clenched my fists. If I could have I'd have socked him a good one, but I couldn't and I didn't. Because, heck, that would be dumb because he could beat me to a bloody pulp any day of the week, I bet. Instead, I fled to the restrooms and paced up and down, trying not to murder anyone. 

Because A) it's SO not okay to just start almost-cursing at people just because they're more decent and intelligent than you are. B) it's especially not okay to start almost cursing at SW. She's one of my bestestest friends and if you want to trash her when I'm around, baby, prepare for an explosion. If it happens again, I muttered to myself, heads are going to roll.

Anyone who knows me would know that that's really a pretty empty threat, because I'm not the fighting kind. For one, I'm not allowed to, and for two, I'd get kicked out of the musical, and for three, I'm  not strong enough. That's just my lot in life. I have a sharp tongue, but nothing to follow it up. 

But I was mad enough that I think if I'd actually tried to hit him, it might have hurt. That's pretty inconsequential now. 

You've heard the immensely overdramatic cliche 'trembling with rage'? 

Not so overdramatic, I guess. There's something about being ready to kill someone for trashing your best friend that made me literally shake. 

Wierd. But true.

I think my point is basically this: Where is the respect we should have for other humans? We are all made in the image of our perfect God, and yet we treat each other like crap. We swear at each other, we pretend not to swear at each other, we beat each other up over nothing. It was in no way right for that bloke to start picking on SW like that. It also wasn't right for me to decide that I was going to practice punching things and try to learn to fight so that next time I could defend SW. I shouldn't have been angry with him, but with what he did. I crossed a line. So did he. It doesn't matter who goofed more. 

Why are we so harsh on one another? Seriously, almost every day at school I hear somebody absolutely destroying someone else. Some days it's more than one instance. And it breaks my heart. People, why? Why are we constantly pulling each other down? No wonder teens have such a bad reputation- even actual teenagers hate each other most of the time. 

So I challenge you. This week, make it a point to encourage three people, however that looks. Maybe it's saying something like "Hey, you did a good job on your presentation today" or "You look really nice today". Maybe it's making cookies. (Or hockey pucks, as would be my case.) Maybe it's just smiling at someone that you haven't talked to before. I don't know. Just encourage three people. And then if you feel like it, leave a comment about what you did. 

Maybe we can start fixing this social mess we've created.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Musical Mania

SHS's production of Mary Poppins opens a week from yesterday!!!!!!!!!! 

I'm super excited. I'm just an ensemble kid, but it's thrilling. I've been in one other musical in my entire short life and I loved it. The insanity of running from one rehearsal to the next, the hysterical laughter during the bows on opening night... it's amazing. 

This year the high school is putting on Mary Poppins, as I've probably said a time or fifty bazillion. We're down to what, three rehearsals before our opening matinee on Tuesday? 

The Music Man is going mad. Absolutely out-of-his-head-going-nuts. 

In a really awesome way. He told us today that he has about three weeks of tech work to get done, three rehearsals in which to polish up the show, and at least some amount of sleeping would be necessary in there somewhere, I'm sure. 

He does so freaking much for us, it's staggering. He loses sleep over key changes that we can't make right. He spends half the night rehearsing with us and the other half working on sound and lights and all that jazz. So if you're reading this, Music Man, just know that we really, really freaking appreciate you. 

Rehearsals are getting long and a little scary. Stress levels are sky-high and we can all feel it. Lots of shouting and screaming and cowering in corners, but it's awesome. We worked on the bows last night and that was just, may I say, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! I love the final moments of a show. The only other musical I've been in was Seussical, and I remember standing on stage sweating, singing and dancing and just being absolutely filled with energy and joy because 'look at us, we did it, we made it through another night, it's like 10:30 and I should have been in bed two hours ago, but I am never, ever going to get to sleep tonight because I'm so excited.' 

I can't wait for Tuesday. 

I'm also scared to death. 

But the Music Man sounds like he feels that we're improving, so we must be doing something right!! If you live in the NE Panhandle area or anywhere remotely close and want to come enjoy a phenomenal night, you can pick up your tickets here

And please, please pray that God will be with us all and help us to honor Him. 

That's all from me, folks.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Oh boy! I can't believe it's been a week since I very sorry. Between rehearsals for Mary Poppins, Easter shenanigans, and general life happenings I've been insanely busy and blogging kind of got chucked in the backseat. But aha! It's Thursday, and I have virtually nowhere to go until 7, so here I am.

Yesterday the Squirt and I got to spend some time at the library. We walked over with Dad on his way back to work after lunch. That was amazing. I haven't been in there for probably three weeks and I was seriously low on reading material.

Except for the two huge books I picked up at Barnes & Noble last Saturday, of course. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hans Christian Andersen. Ahhhhh.

Anyway. At the library.

I was browsing around looking for books on law because two nights ago, at rehearsal, LarryBoy was hauling around a book for his American Government class called Street Law. I picked it up and started perusing. The first chapter was quite a drag, but other than the fact that nobody knew what Affirmative Action was (neither did I but Dad told me; perhaps I'll do a post on it sometime), it was a great read.

I got some funny looks, but hey, what else is new?

So at the library I thought I'd see if they had any books on the same topic. The lovely librarian lady strolled over to me and asked if I was finding everything okay. "Well, yeah, but can you tell me if you have any books on street law?" I asked.

Her eyes nearly fell out of her head and bounced off my shoes. "Street Law?" she replied.

"Sure, like about being a lawyer and what laws are and stuff. Lawyer stuff. You know." I was at a major loss trying to explain it.

"Oh. Um. Let me check." She hurried back to her desk and sat down at the computer. She typed a couple things, then looked up at me again. "Can I ask what you need to know exactly, so I know what we're looking for?"

"Well, I want to work a stint in the Marines and get them to pay for my law school. Primarily I want to be a Supreme Court Justice." I flexed my fingers, prepping to start CPR when she collapsed of shock.

Actually, she held out pretty well, considering. Most of the responses I get when I tell people what I want to do with my life are, um, rather, shall we say, stunned. "What? Do you  know what they do in the Marines? Supreme Court? Are you sure?"

The librarian lady managed to keep her eyeballs in their correct location and she continued typing. "Okay, here's one, how about Law 101? And I've got a couple biographies, or some..hmm...come on, let me show you."

We made our way over to the Adult Nonfiction section and she pulled down a book. "Here, does that look right?"

I beamed. "Yes! This looks great!" I read both flaps and the back cover and tucked it under my arm. "Thanks!"

"Any time," she replied before hurrying off to her desk, probably in search of some aspirin.

I can't say as I blame her. I mean, I don't really look like the Marine Corps type, and most freshmen girls probably ask for the latest novel over a book on American law. I get that. But I'm not most freshmen girls, so I have my own style.

It's not like I want to be a sniper or anything, though. Actually, I want to work in Air Traffic Control for the Marines Aviation branch. No killing people for me. Thanks anyway. I don't want to get shot at or shoot anybody. Just let me tell you where to be and where everybody else is and all that jazz.

New topic. I finished Annie's socks and handed them to her last night. They're pretty adorable, if I do say so myself.
I love them. All the material came from Hobby Lobby, clear down to the buttons. And Annie loved them too, which is even better! 

My new WIP developed out of an "Oops, Scotty, that probably wasn't smart." While we were in Loveland last weekend, we made a couple trips to Barnes & Noble, as previously mentioned. I picked up four books. Four big books. 

I love reading. We know that. But I don't normally buy four huge books in less than 48 hours. Usually, I'm pretty much too broke for that sort of activity. But this time was an exception. 

A really big exception. I'm a Fitzgerald fan, so when Mom found a book containing two of his major works and nineteen short stories, I was sold. I also love me some fluff, so Andersen was a great idea to me. (little did I know the true ending of the Little Mermaid...)

Then I had the brilliant idea to go see if there were any books on knitting. Bless my soul, there were!! So many patterns. So many ideas. It was terrific. Then I found that little orange book. Toe-Up 2-At-A-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. 

I'd just finished Annie's little socks and had decided that I was going to knit one big thing and use up some of the boatload of worsted-weight yarn in various hidey-holes around the house before I cast on any more socks. 

Thanks, Mrs. Morgan-Oakes. 

One of my major problems with socks is second-sock-syndrome. I get it really bad. Basically, what happens is that I finish one sock and think "hmm, that was fun, but I'm kind of over it now." 

And I end up with a really sad lonely sock for about two weeks because I really don't feel like knitting its mate. Not good. 

So my mom's knitting friend recommended that I look for a book on two at a time socks. If I knit them both at the same time, wha-la! Problem solved. There weren't any such books at the yarn shop where she works, though. 

There were lots of such books at Barnes & Noble. 

I never had a chance. That one big project I was going to make? 

Yeah, nope. My current WIP is a pair of Aran socks for my dad. The socks I first made him are really thick, which is great in the winter and not really at all in the summer. I must remedy that. So my first pair of toe-up 2 at a timers are Aran style and actually on my needles now.

Well, so much for using up some worsted. Oh well, it'll keep. 

When I get a little further on the WIP I may post a picture. But that won't happen if I don't do some serious knitting. So long.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Big Girl?

Last night at AWANA, we had a new little tyke join our group. First-time Sparkies are supposed to receive a little booklet called Flight 316 (like John 3:16, the Sparky key verse), but Fabio's (names are changed to protect the innocent) wasn't in our bucket yet when we went down to Verse Time. So, as the Student Leader, it fell to me to go upstairs and get one from the office. It's not a big deal, really; I know where they're kept and it's pretty much as simple as jogging up the stairs to the command post and pulling one out of the cubby. 

I had been working on a verse with Bubbles, so I finished listening to that one before I left. But Bubbles has lately been struck by a sudden inspiration to finish her book (which is awesome!) and she asked, "Hey, Scotty, what do I get if I say another verse?" 

I looked, and lo and behold, she'd get Red Jewel 4, and how cool would that be, huh, Bubbles? 

So in the last five minutes of verse-saying, she decided that she was going to learn this verse that she'd never seen before in her life and say it to me from memory so she could get Red Jewel 4. I told her to study it for a little bit while I went up to get the Flight 316 for Fabio. 

I got back to find Annie holding Bubbles' book, helping her learn the verse. I think it was Joshua 24:24 or something like that. Annie was so stinkin' proud that she'd gotten to help teach a verse!! 

So I thought, hey, let her finish the job. I stood behind Annie and listened as Bubbles recited the verse from memory with only her allotted two helps. Annie turned and looked at me and said, "I guess you've been there the whole time, right?'"

"Yep," I replied, taking Bubbles' book and signing the section. "There you go, Bubbles. Great job!" 

Annie just kind of looked at me for a second. I think she expected me to make Bubbles say the verse directly to me before I signed it. But heck, I'd stood there and heard the whole thing when she said it to Annie, so it counted, right? The only difference was who held the book. 

Then her face lit up. "Scotty, Scotty, when I get done with my review verses, can I help the other kids say their verse and sign them off like you do? Can I be a big girl with you?" she asked, jumping up and down. 

"Sure, Annie, when you get bigger," I said. "But you can help the other kids study for sure!" 

She was disappointed that she couldn't sign the verses too, but I thought it was sweet that she'd asked. I mean, we only have one Student Leader in our whole AWANA program, and I'd love to see other kids graduate out of Trek and be LITs in high school. 

I just think it was really cool that she helped Bubbles while I was gone and the other leaders were busy. All night she'd been asking to help me (and after a while I was at my wits end about what jobs to give her, because mine were all done), and I guess she found her own way. I think maybe next week I'll see if other kids want to 'listen' to each others' verses too, as long as I'm right there too, and then I'll sign them off. It's fun to see them working together and helping each other, and it makes them feel special and ready to say lots of their own verses. 

That's all for now. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bad Days

I must be going crazy. Pinch me or hit me with a two-by-four or somethin'. It's been one heck of a day and it's barely half over! 

It all started with the getting - out - of - bed - and - doing - something - with - my - life part. Normally that's not too big of an issue. 

But there's just something about a gun barrel halfway up your nose that would make you rethink the whole 'doing something with my life' and makes you really just pray that you get to keep your life, and if you should be so blessed, you'd put it in your sock drawer for safe-keeping, most likely. 

Yeah. You know what I mean. 

So anyway. I was in bed snoozing away, waiting for my alarm to go off at 7AM. I think I was dreaming about being attacked by a masked giant with a sword in one hand and a six-shooter in the other. (in the dream I wasn't actually doing too badly; I was fighting back with a knitting needle and a spatula.) 

But sometimes my dreams get a little too real for my taste, as I quickly decided when I felt a trickle of blood running down my neck as the masked man's sword grazed my skin. 

"Hey, watch it, that thing's cold!" I yelped. "And don't forget that I've got that little thing called a jugular vein up there in my neck and I could die if you cut it, so just, you know, be careful." 

"Shut up, numskull," the man growled. 

"Now that's just plain rude-" I started, but that was when I realized that there really was blood on my Hello Kitty nightgown and a gun in my face. I decided I'd better let him call the, pun intended. 

"Get up," he grumbled. 

"Well, sheesh, I know it's only 4AM, but you don't have to be so crabby about it. And a simple please would do wonders," I suggested. 

McCrabbyPants didn't care. "UP!" he bellowed.

I got up. 

Sorta. I tried, would be more accurate. I swung my legs over the edge of my bed and promptly ended up with one foot in my mom's stiletto (what that was even doing in my room, I will never know) and the other in my half-full laundry basket. "GAAAAUUUUHHHH!!" I shrieked, tumbling head over very high heel, smack into McCrabby's chest. 

He collapsed with a grunt (I'm tellin' you, he was just always complaining about something), managing to fall into my dresser and knock the lamp over, jerking the cord from the outlet with a startling hsssssssss, crrraaaassh, and crackling sound, followed by some very intense heat. 

The hssss was the sparks from the cord as they fizzled and landed on the carpet just ahead of the lamp, which, in its fall, created the crash. 

The crackling was, you guessed it, the carpet. 

Going up in some very intensely hot flames. 

Scotty, I thought to myself, it's gonna be a bad day.

I booked it out of the house and across the street to Mr. Weldman's. "Mister W! Mister W! Help! There's a cranky armed robber in my house and it's burning down!!" I screamed. 

Mrs. Adley from two doors down poked her head out the door. "The cranky armed robber is burning down? Scotty, go back to sleep. It's four in the morning." 

"No, no, no, Mrs. Adley!! Call the police!!" I shrieked. 

I turned back to Mr. Weldman' door and screamed again. "Mister W!!" 

Our dear, senile old neighbor had apparently believed my story, and, since it was an emergency, deemed a bathrobe entirely unnecessary. He stood on his porch in bright pink boxers, smartphone in one hand and unicorn Pillow Pet in the other, mumbling into the phone in a decidedly German accent. "Yesh, Meester Poleez? Vee haf an awmed wobbew at- mmm- Sammy, vat deed you say your addwess vas?" 

"It's Scotty, Mr. W. And the address- why don't you let me talk to them?" 

He handed me the phone and within moments the police arrived and the house was more or less not burning. Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto administered CPR to the cat and gave Mrs. Adley some aspirin, but other than that, no one sustained any injuries. 

Except the armed robber, who unfortunately had wrists considerably bigger than the handcuffs Jim Reed attempted to put on him, so he was a little squished and more than a little crabby. 

Well, at least he was consistent, right? 

The next tragedy occurred when I found a note from my parents on the porch. "Scotty- last minute trip to the Arctic Circle. Too cheap to pass up. Be back 2078. Love, Mom, Dad, and Squirt."

Well if that don't take the bloomin' biscuit, I thought. The Arctic Circle. Without me. That's just rude. But no wonder the trip was too cheap to pass up; anybody with tickets to the Arctic would definitely want to get rid of them ASAP, right?

I turned to Officer Pete Malloy. "Uh, Petey, old friend?" (well, come on, he's what, 83 now? That's not exactly young.) 

He glared at me. But over the past forty years I've learned not to take it personally. "My parents are in the Arctic Circle. Could you possibly drop me off at the high school for choir after breakfast? Pleeeaaase?"

The practically-decrepit officer turned to his barely-less-decrepit partner. "Eh, Jimmy? What do you say? Can we give the little lady a ride?" 

Jim turned to me. "Uhh, oh, I guess so. Get in the back." 

"Well, guys, there's sort of an armed robber in the back and he sort of already tried to kill me once today and-" I stammered.

"Get. In. The Back." Pete snapped. 

"Yes sir." I squeezed into the seat next to McCrabby. "Uh, we meet again," I offered, trying for a little friendly conversation.

The hulking terror beside me wasn't feeling quite so chipper. Apparently robbery is more exhausting than it looks, because he almost immediately keeled over on top of me and set to snoring loud enough to ruffle Pete and Jim's seriously thinning hair. I felt at least two ribs snap. 

"Guys, could we stop at the hospital for a sec? This, er, prisoner, is heavier than he looks, by which I mean, he's napping on me, and I think my ribs are busted." 

"Picky, picky. Give a kid a ride and she wants a whole tour of the city," Jim grumbled. (hey, if I was 72, I'd be a little grumpy about it too.) 

"Guys, really," I begged. "Just get this guy off me!!" 

We swung left into the ER parking lot. A couple of ambulance attendants bolted to the car and heaved the big guy out and onto a gurney, which instantly snapped into little matchsticks. "No, not him, it's me. I think my rib's broken," I yelled. 

They turned around. "Oh. Oops. Okay." 

I had to walk into the emergency room, since the gurney was busted. Talk about faulty customer service. They did a couple tests and wrapped me up in a full body cast. 

I couldn't make them understand that really, seven broken ribs were no excuse for mummifying a completely living high school freshman. Oh well. At least it got me out of standing up in choir class, since once I got sat down, it was pretty hard to get up in a casted body. 

So here I am, eating Cheerios and chocolate-covered Peeps. 

It's been a rough day. But it'll make more sense when you unscramble my word puzzle: