Siblings

Siblings…

Just when you think that you can’t take it anymore, when you are certain they can’t take it anymore, about the time that you forgot what they sound like when they aren’t whining/yelling/crying/screaming about the other one and right when you are about to pull out the big red marker and divide the house down the middle for them yourself just to get a break from it all…

…they giggle.

 

They make up silly games.

They play

They appear to be the best friends and sisters you hope they will remain.

But you know better.

You enjoy the happiness but you know, in your heart of hearts, that they are still siblings and it’s all fun and games until… “she’s looking at me!”

My Water

I had a glass of water until a cat took it.

Unlike a dog there were no liquid eyes begging for a drink.

The cat just claimed my water glass and dared me to oppose her.

Brazenly, sitting on the table, repeatedly dunking her paw and licking it off. 

As if there weren’t multiple bowls of water for the cats and dogs scattered around the house.

I had a glass of water. 

And then a cat took it.

One Red Notebook

Where do you keep your life?

Not the living, breathing, soul part (I’m not feeling that philosophical today) but the organizational part.

I know more and more people who keep it all on their phone. Personally I find this horrifying for a many reasons like…

  1. What if it spontaneously malfunctions?
  2. What if I break it?
  3. What if I lose it?
  4. What if I drop it on a gravel path and the screen shatters? (True story)
  5. What if I run it over with an F250? (True story)
  6. What if I jump in a lake to save my kid with it in my pocket? (True story)
  7. What if I forget it?

 

Instead I currently keep my life in a red notebook.

It has…

  1. Notes about what to talk about at an author program.
  2. To-do lists for marketing a picture book.
  3. To-do lists for writing a picture book.
  4. To-do lists for managing a capoeira group.
  5. Things to prepare for Thanksgiving.
  6. Three months of who’s spending which weekend with Granny.
  7. Notes from a meeting with publisher and illustrator.
  8. Notes from talking with stores about carrying my book.
  9. Notes from talking with schools about doing capoeira demos.
  10. E-mail addresses.
  11. Blog post ideas.
  12. To-do lists for the poultry
  13. To-do lists for the week.
  14. Things to remember. (That’s a good catch-all page)
  15. Lists of butterfly houses and exhibits in the Midwest.
  16. Lists of favorite winter/snow books.
  17. And notes on how to plan and serve Thanksgiving dinner to 45.

And no, while bullet journaling sounds great in theory, that’s not a thing I do.

I am not unaware that while this is a system, it is possible it’s not the best system. It also occurs to me that a red notebook is just as prone to flood, fire and forgetting as a phone. But, for all I write on the computer and share documents over google drive and set things up in shared calendars, there is a perceived permanence to writing things down in my own messy, illegible, misspelled handwriting that I’m reluctant to give up. It’s as though in my mind a to-do list isn’t a to-do list if it’s not written at two different angles with big bold scribbles when something is crossed off.

I keep my life in a red notebook. Where do you keep yours?

Tasting Memories

My cousin taught Ivy and I how to make deer hunter candy this weekend.

Only handed out to deer hunters during the gun season, the recipe is simple: equal parts of four ingredients, covered in chocolate, cut into slices and wrapped in wax paper.

We made the traditional treat together laughing and snitching bits as we did so and then, of course, we had to sample the final product. We wouldn’t want to give all those cold hunters a sub-par product.

I ate a few pieces but I still remember Grandma telling me I wasn’t to take any candy, it was only for the hunters. She didn’t reprimand often and her corrections stuck.  I still had a twinge of guilt when popping a piece into my mouth and it came with memories of Grandma’s scolding so vivid I could taste them on my tongue.

Some people scoff at tradition but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who tasted memories when we handed out that peanut butter treat.

Evidence of Early Writing Aspirations

I don’t remember wanting to be a writer as a kid. No keeping dairies, at least not for more than a day or two, or writing stories or anything else that required spelling.

But today my cousin and I spent hours going through old photo albums and letters from my grandparents house and there was a little story I wrote to them.

” Once upon a time, there was a cowpoy. He had a hevon. But he was very sad. One day the cowpoy came home with a surprise!! It was another hevonen!! And they lived happily ever after. Love Jessie”

I feel that in defense of my spelling it’s important to note that Grandma taught me Finnish words out of a Richard Scary book.  Hevonen is the Finnish word for horse and, while google translate doesn’t think cowpoy is Finnish for cowboy, I clearly did.  The only word I actually spelled wrong was hevonen and that’s far better than I’ve done so far on this post tonight.  As far as my formatting, that was clearly done by typewriter and I’m not sure I ever figured out how that worked.

In conclusion:

Maybe I have always liked telling stories. I’ve forgotten a lot in the last 38 years, (Like what year my brother was married  and, apparently, how to spell married). I could have forgotten that too. It’s completely possible.  And thank all that is good and true in this world for word processors and spell check.