Friday, July 30, 2010

Friends who lie

I've been lied to. Again.

For years now I have endured a tenuous relationship with someone who claims to be my friend. Eager to help me out, though often gets me into even hotter water.

The first lie was annoying. The second was a little frustrating. The third made me look at my husband and wonder how we had acquired such an annoying acquaintance. Meanwhile I wasn't quiet. My friend and I had words. I tried to fix the problem. I was determined that either we fix it or dissolve the relationship.

Yesterday I was about to call it quits. It's lie made my daughter late for a party. Now, let me tell you this, anyone that knows me knows it's all about my kids. They're my life. My joy. They rock so much more than my friends and are so much more important to me. So when a friend betrays my family?

I get ticked!

All the way to the party I was griping about my friend, and my daughter and I talked about whether or not it was worth it. The friendship, not the griping. I felt totally justified to gripe. Alas, we came to a conclusion. Either accept the friend for the lies and learn to work around them, or let 'em go. Let my friend go? Could I do that? Was that the best way to work out a relationship? Or should I work a little harder and try and change my friend. Again.

I knew what would happen. I'd only be betrayed again. But we'd been together so long and my friend really did offer me an immense amount of help. From time to time. In fact, I never notice a problem with our relationship until I need it the most.  I rely too much on it and forget that it lies from time to time. So who is my friend, that I would put up with such nonsense?

My oven.

Yes. My oven lies to me. Often. The first time I realized the clock was slow I got annoyed. The second time was a little more frustrating because I was telling my kids the time and they kept correcting me. Of course I realized the error and blamed the oven. It still made me look bad though. Incompetent somehow. And then yesterday it made us late for a band party/rehearsal. Bad. Very bad. I got really frustrated that I couldn't rely on a digital clock to keep time for me. A DIGITAL CLOCK folks. Aren't those things supposed to be

The countdown for cooking seems to work fine, so it isn't until I forget that the actual time on it runs 10 minutes slower than all the other clocks in the house that I get frustrated. Aargh. It did get us to thinking though about how the same thing applies to friends and relationships. If we find out that we're being lied to over and over again, do we end the relationship? Replace our friend? Or should we try to fix the problem and work things out. After all, they have so many other good qualities or we wouldn't have stayed with them for so long.

So what do you think? Stay or go? The friend, not the oven. I've already decided to keep the oven. For now.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I've still got time

I love that line from the movie The Incredibles. The superhero is totally late to his own wedding because he's so busy fighting crime. Yes, while he is making the world a safer place for his future family, he's putting it in jeopardy at the same time. I mean, if the guy can't leave work to make it to the most important day of his life then what hope is there he'll ever make it home on time for dinner.

Anyway, I'm not here to talk about work related difficulties and how awesomely cool the hero really is. I mean, face it folks...after leaving his hero status behind he puts up with the most horrendous job in order to continue providing a safe and secure environment for his family.

Now THAT'S the kind of superhero I'm talking about. And yeah, I have one of those.

I get to write because I'm married to a superhero. Seems appropriate since I'm such a dare devil, huh? And yeah, he's pulled my butt out of the fire more than once. And yes I have the scars to prove it. Want to see? Uh...wait...forget I said that. But really, which one of us wouldn't do the same for someone we love. I have. Oh you better believe our marriage is give and take. Together we're more singed than that bag of microwave popcorn I once burned. (It was the microwave's fault, I swear.)

But honestly, there's this little thing called time that often steals away our dreams and makes life a little more troublesome for us all. Unless of course you're using it wisely. Which I don't always do. Today that changes.

I've decided that I'll dedicate one hour to each thing on my list today. ONE HOUR. The kids are the only exception. They always are. They get whatever time they need. But with an hour do you know what I can do? I can not only GIVE myself an hour for things I had been cheated out of, but at the same time give myself a limit so that I don't steal time from something else.

Ironic, isn't it? That limiting myself would give me more time. But alas, it is true. I spend far too much time on the internet and not enough on my French homework. C'est la vie!

If you want to see how I'm going to use my time then check out my Dair to Dream page. It's chocked full of all the dreams I have that stand even the remotest chance of getting checked off. And even a few that seem impossible, but I'm going for anyway.

How about you? Do you have some dreams of your own? I'd love to hear them. That way we can root each other on. And who knows...maybe we'll each find something new we can add to our own list.

That is, if you dair.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Truth or Dair?

Yes. I know I spelled it wrong. But that's what happens when you spend your life living on the edge and feel utterly compelled to answer every challenge you're ever issued (which of course only perpetuates the whole living on the edge deal). And if you're still in doubt, you can talk to my husband. He's responsible for me taking on a lot of those dares. Especially the one that involves my name. Of course by now I'm convinced it was meant to be.

I was born a risk taker, surrounded myself with others like me (can't help the family I was born into), and then married the biggest one of all. Hey, he'd have to be to marry me, wouldn't he? Nah...he agrees that it wasn't really a risk for either one of us. You at first sight and all that jazz. Risk be hanged.

Having kids was another no brainer, although some have still questioned my sanity at having so many. Until they meet them, of course. My kids rock! I mean, I think kids in general are awesome, but I'm convinced that I was blessed with some of the best.

Which is probably why I feel so driven to write for them. Their struggles, their joys, the way they light up the room with a box of matches and a little...nevermind. That story is best left in the vault of my mind...and my nose. Whew.

But...there's still plenty of other stories I'm willing to share. One of which is so close to being finished I can practically taste it. Mmmmm...the sweat, the tears, a little chocolate--wait, I was talking about what I could taste, right? Not the first few chapters of my book. Hahahaha. I guess you'll just have to read it to find out.

That is, if you dair.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Treasure Tuesday--Le Chausette Rose

Today’s edition is brought to you by guest authors Kjersten Adair and best friend Courtney Guidry, who were no doubt inspired by the huge pile of laundry on my couch and today’s Treasure Tuesday prompt. Hope you enjoy their debut story!


“Hey, Mom, have you seen my other shoe?”

Mom glanced up from her book. “What?”

“My shoe. I’m going out with some friends. We talked about this, Mom.”

“Right…uh..I think it’s in the laundry room.”

“Thanks!” Isabelle turned around and ran straight into her older brother. She glared at him. “Oscar, what are you doing?”

“It’s called ’standing’ genius. Not that it matters to you. I thought your life didn’t revolve around mine.”

“It doesn’t.” Isabelle rolled her eyes. “So move.”

“Make me.”

Isabelle did, by shoving him into the laundry basket in the hall. She made her way into the laundry room, ignoring the string of four letter words coming from behind her. She quickly found her shoe and was just starting to turn around when she heard her brother issue a few other choice words.

“Hey, what’s this?”

Isabelle turned to find Oscar amongst the overturned basket and holding up a pink sock and a bright smile on his face.

“Found it,” he said, jumping up from the scattered mess of clothes and making off with his prize.

Isabelle recognized it immediately. “Hey! Isn’t that my fuzzy pink sock?”

Oscar laughed and kept walking. “Ha! No. This is mine. It’s been missing for ages.”

Isabelle ran after her brother and snatched the sock from his hand.”

“Moooooom!” Oscar yelled.

Their mom barely glanced up. “Quit arguing.”

Isabelle quickly headed for her room, annoyed, but sock in hand. Suddenly it was gone, and she turned to find Oscar standing right behind her. “Give it back!” she said trying to grab it, but Oscar moved it away every time she was within reach. Finally she got so annoyed she raised her fist and punched him straight in the face.

He staggered back and Isabelle took the opportunity to snatch the sock away; leaving Oscar on the floor clutching his eye. Isabelle went to put her reclaimed sock back in its proper place, but stopped short when she heard the doorbell ring. “Crud,” she thought. “I’d better hurry. I don’t want to keep them waiting.” She quickly grabbed her purse and threw the sock in her dresser drawer, pausing briefly as something else caught her attention. She dropped her purse and pushed aside the socks to better find the object of her distraction.

Underneath the rest of her white and blue socks were her long lost pair of soft, pink fuzzy socks.


Next week’s prompt: You wake suddenly to find yourself in a dark room with a single shining light focused on you.

Pay it Forward

Not the movie, although I wholly believe in the incredible power we have to change lives. Especially as writers. I’m talking about the Circle of Friends Award and the From Me to You Award.

And who do I have to thank for my recent “win” (although the real win comes in the privilege in knowing her)?
Shelli Proffitt Howells. Shelli is writer extraordinaire, sounding block, and invaluable friend that I have had the enviable pleasure of knowing. Of course you can get to know her too if you visit her blog A*Musings. She has a wealth of knowledge and encouragement waiting for you, so go check her out!
As the rules go, it is my turn to pass along the two awards to five more bloggers, link back to the giver of the award, and awardees know you’ve given them the award. Shelli, had you not chosen me I would have sent these to you first (although I guess I wouldn’t even have them to give you if you hadn’t chosen me first–which just tells you how awesome she is folks!)
The others I have chosen have likewise been stalwart and supportive in my efforts to join the writing community, and have finally convinced me that I am a writer.
Liz Adair at Liz Sez
Tanya Parker Mills at Fiction that Bridges Cultures
Wendy Jones at The Ear Wax Tastes Like Crayon
Joan Sowards at Haunts Haven
Aprilynne Pike at Apparently!
Thanks again to Shelli and all those who have given me so much help along the way.
P.S. Until I get published hopefully this acknowledgment will suffice.


  • Shelli says:
    You know it is well deserved! Thanks for your kind words; see, that’s why I chose you — you always know just what to say to make me feel good. Now I get to go take a peek at the other blogs you’ve chosen.
  • Thanks for the mention and honor, Karen! You’ve been a real help, as well. Writers need to stick together.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Treasure Tuesday--What's that smell?

Sarah crawled out of bed, ignoring the cold floor as she pulled her tattered blanket and stuffed giraffe along towards the door. Sam had sent her back to bed more than once, but it wasn’t just the noise keeping her up anymore. There was a strange smell tickling her nose and making the tiny hairs on her arms stand on edge.

Her feet were silent as they found the top of the stairs, her nose wrinkling up even more now that she was out in the open. She moved cautiously down the stairs, the smell growing stronger as she went. Sam caught sight of her halfway down and jumped off the couch quickly, the look of embarrassment on his face almost as much as the anxiousness.

“Sarah,” he groaned, shooing her up the stairs. “Why can’t you just stay in bed? I mean it’s bad enough I’ve got to babysit, but–”
“But I smell smoke,” she said, wrinkling her nose up again.
“What?” He whipped his head towards the downstairs and took a deep breath, his eyes widening in recognition. He pushed Sarah the rest of the way to her room and then ran down the stairs, yelling to his friends the entire time.

Sarah stood in her doorway pushing her giraffe against her nose, attempting to block the smell while consoling her favorite stuffed friend. She could hear the windows being wrenched open and some of the kids running outside. The smell was getting stronger now, and no matter which way she turned she found it was the same. Her head flipped around at the sound of the pipes coming to life, the quaint but old house allowing just as much noise as draft to creep in.

Her parents never ran the hose during the winter, but there was no mistaking that familiar sound. She pulled her blanket around her face, wrapping both nose and animal up tight. Her parent’s voices soon added to the many others, and sounding even more upset than her brother Sam’s.

Sarah crept back into bed, but was only there a few minutes before her mother came in to check on her.

“Am I in trouble?” Sarah asked, hiding her giraffe so that at least one person wouldn’t get yelled at tonight. “I know I got out of bed, but–”

“No!” her mother exclaimed, taking Sarah in her arms and hugging her close to her chest. Sarah smiled as relief spread through her body, knowing her giraffe was safely secure beneath the blankets. Her mother always hugged her too tight. In fact, she was struggling even now to breathe when she noticed the air wasn’t quite so smelly anymore. “You didn’t do anything wrong,” her mother assured her. “In fact, you did something right. Your brother was too busy with his friends to notice the smell, and there was a spark from the fireplace that caught the roof on fire. I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t been here to warn him. He’s very grateful. We all are.”

Her mother tucked her back in and kissed her forehead, offering another one to her giraffe which he accepted gratefully. Her mother’s kisses were always soft.

Sarah had almost drifted off when a light knock sounded at her door and Sam poked his head inside. “Sarah? I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have gotten upset, but when….well….when my friends act like you’re cooler than me I guess I get a little jealous. Next time my friends are over, would you like to hang out with us?”

Sarah smiled and held her giraffe out to Sam. “Can Sam come to?”
“Your giraffe’s name is Sam?”
“Yes. He’s my very best friend. Just like you.”
“Love you too, Sarah.”

Next week’s prompt: A pink sock comes through the wash and sends the whole house into a hissy fit.

1 Comment

Shelli says:

Awww, that was such a sweet story! I enjoyed it. Have you thought of submitting to The Friend? This would be a great story to try your hand at getting it published.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tough Love

Six years.

It only took six years for our tree to grow.

And it all began with: one stick, lots of sun, even more water, and lots of love (well, as much love as you can give a stick). For six years we’ve watched our sweet little apple tree blossom and grow. And blossom and grow. And grow. And grow. And lean. And um….lean further, each hurricane passing through beating a little harder against our poor struggling stick. One that refused to be righted, but still hung on. And 5 1/2 years later it was still a stick; but with a bunch of other ones attached and holding a token amount of leaves. But…

No apples.

Frustrating, you ask? Um….very. So much so that we had finally given it up for lost and decided to start over. That is, we tried. First we stood alongside the poor decrepit tree and asked, “Why? Why hadn’t it grown. Hadn’t we done our part? Taken care of it? Nurtured it the best we could? Even given it some friends to hang out with and encourage it’s growth?” But alas, it had refused to give fruit. Disappointed and more than a little upset we still could not bring ourselves to cut it down. So we took the last course known to experienced parents.

We threatened it.

Yes, that’s right. We stood in the yard and gave the tree an ultimatum. If it couldn’t get its act together by the next spring it would have to go. Making way for a tree that would serve its intended purpose. I mean, this tree was struggling so badly it couldn’t even give us some decent shade.

That’s when we witnessed a miracle. While we were grieving the loss of a beloved family member our tree grew. And grew. And grew. We watched the blossoms arrive…then explode…followed quickly by fruit. We would run outside each new day and marvel that amidst the struggle of death, we were witnessing life!

Was it actually happening? Yes. Our beautiful stick had finally decided to become a tree. An honest to goodness, bushel full of apples producing tree. They’re as big as our fists now and are almost ready to harvest. Not to mention the beautiful branches that are so gorgeous that they served as the background for my daughter’s photo shoot.

As I marveled at the transformation I was reminded of the importance of talking to plants. Talking though, not yelling. But then I realized that the same thing applied to parenting, and that sometimes a little time and the occasional tough love is just what the doctor would order. And he has, in our home, many times. And the results have been remarkably the same. Watching our children blossom and grow into their full potential as we patiently nurture, instruct, and on occasion call them to repentance. Reminding them of their divine potential and how they’re not living up to it.

There are even times when I have seen a parent make the hardest choice of all and set their children free. But without that push, they would never find the courage to stretch themselves and discover what they’re truly capable of.

So the tree lives. And we have apples. And in relation to parenting, we’ve been thus blessed with the knowledge that with a little patience and prodding, there’s always hope. But hope that may need a little tough love to help it along.
Our beautiful…leaning…tree.


  • Shelli says:
    I have a beautiful, huge butterfly bush that likewise toppled over. I probably should have gotten rid of it already, but I can’t give up the butterflies and hummingbirds that love it no matter what. So I keep telling the landscapers to cut a little here, a little there, trying to get it to at least look kinda normal. I should let go of my perfectionism and just let it be.
    Great analogy to parenting, especially for parents of teens. Boy, that’s tough! I’ll let you know in a few years if mine end up producing fruit.
  • I think more importantly though, as parents we need to allow kids to make mistakes along the way, even if they’re big ones. Often times we try to fix the mistake before it happens but how does that teach the child how to work through a problem they’ve created? When we allow them to make those mistakes when the time comes to set them “free,” they will be better equiped to deal with the real world and the mistakes that come with being human.
  • Barbara Butler says:
    July 17, 2010 at 6:14 am
    The tree is beautiful, the story is right on, grow apples, grow! I love fruit trees, and you are correct, this is a lesson learned on tough love. Not having any children, I feel I should not give you any advice. However, I adopt every kid around that will give me a smile and a hug, and if it came to that, tough love would be what I would use. Not being related to the children in my ward, I still become a little tough with them if it proves necessary. And you know what? These same kids seem to really like me.
    From a childless grandma.
    barbara b
    Karen says: You’re so right Barbara. All of us have the potential to make a difference in the lives of others. It just takes a little bit of time and love. Thanks for sharing!

  • Susan G. Haws says:
    Nice analogy. On the straight plant talk it makes you wonder if I should be more firm instead of pleading to make my plants thrive.
  • Jolene says:
    Love your leaning tree. Gotta have something with character.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Treasure Tuesday and the Merciful Witch

“You can’t!”

“I must. There is no other way.”

“You could leave. Run away. I won’t follow you, I promise.”

“Promise? But you also promised to destroy me. So which am I to believe?”

“I–I changed my mind. Please. I was wrong to accuse you. Surely you believe in forgiveness. Please have mercy.”

“Hmmmm. Mercy. Such a rare thing these days. Everyone is so concerned for their own well-being; in acquiring more. Rising over one another. It’s despicable. Why can’t we all just live in peace?”

“Peace? You turned my father into stone.”

“Because he called me a witch. Of course I am, so perhaps my actions were a little harsh. But he wasn’t merely referring to my powers. It was my disposition he despised. But you’re right. Mercy is a far better course and I suppose you did not personally do me any harm. Very well. I will not destroy you, but I cannot have you following me either. Therefore I shall simply turn you into an animal. Any animal you wish. You may live in peace and perhaps gain a better appreciation for creatures who are different than yourself.”

“You can’t–”

“Please stop telling me I can’t, when clearly I can. What you mean to say is that you wish me not to, just as I wish your father would have simply allowed me to dwell in peace. Instead he hunted me down and forced me to renounce myself or be destroyed. What is it about being different that is so appalling to other people?”

“They fear what they do not understand.”

“Well said, which is why I am giving you a second chance. Now choose.”

“Any animal you say? Then I choose a horse, so I can carry you away and be your friend. For truly you are lonely and have not been treated well.”

“My! What a delightful creature you truly are. Perhaps there is some good in you yet. Come. Carry me away. And perhaps in time, you will heal my lonely heart and convince me to set you free.”


I hope you enjoyed this latest installment, where I experimented in story telling using nothing but dialogue. :) And a little moral thrown in for good measure.

Next week’s prompt: You wake up in the middle of the night to a strange smell and feel compelled to seek it out.