Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Why do I feel compelled to put everything on paper as if ordinary everyday events will somehow be interesting to people?  Who cares if my chicken named Maria died?  She didn’t just die; it was a cruel death at the hands of a miserable dog.  Well, actually, it was at the paws of a miserable dog.  She was a great chicken despite the fact that she left droppings all over the front porch.  But, we all learn to overlook such things as this when we love someone unconditionally.
Maria was a someone.  She had a name.  She had a personality.  She greeted me every morning at the door.  I still remember hearing her feet slapping on the porch as she rushed up to the door the minute she heard it open.  As soon as I stepped out the door, she would scrunch down to let me know that she was ready for me to scratch her on her neck.  Often times, she sat on my lap while I rocked her as I watched the horses run in the pasture.  She sat on my friends' laps too and never minded being scratched under her feathers.  I remember the first time I saw her eating with the kittens.  She was their mother, after all.  She raised them.  It was the funniest thing to see the look on their faces when Maria started to crowd in between them!  She shared every meal with them after that. The day she was killed was like any other normal day on the farm.  In fact, I was sitting at my computer writing just like I am now when I heard a thump on the window.  When I went to check it out I saw what I thought was a hawk hit my window, then I noticed it wasn’t a hawk.  It was Maria trying desperately to get away from a husky that had her cornered between our back yard fence and the house.  In her terror, she didn’t know that the window was closed.  I think she was trying to fly into our house for refuge.  Instead, she kept hitting the glass.  By the time I got outside to the back yard, it was too late.  She lay in a heap at the foot of the window.  The husky was long gone.  He didn’t touch her, just left her there.  I picked her up and noticed right away that she had broken her neck.  She gave one last sigh as if to let me know that she waited for me.  I cradled her in my arms and cried.  So, to the reader who would say, “Why didn’t you cook her for dinner?”  I say, no, she wasn’t just any chicken after all.  She was a mother to two kittens, she was the provider of our daily egg, she was a pet, but mostly she was a friend.  She was a super chicken.  A super chicken deserved a proper funeral with poems and flowers - which we gave her.  She rests under to old oak out front where she liked to lay her eggs.  So, in honor of Maria, I have posted her picture with her babies.  Goodbye my friend.  I will miss you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cat Scratch Fever

I sleep in the buff.  It helps with the hot flashes; all I have to do is throw the covers off when my body becomes drenched in sweat and let the cool breeze of the fan hit me until I start shivering.  I go through this ritual at least five times a night which is why I am so sleep deprived that I have the attention span of a flea, and I’m lucky if my brain fires on one cylinder.  On this particular night, I was awoken by the drenching sweats three times so, I finally gave up and went out to watch television at 2 AM.   Luckily, I had put on my bathrobe because Katie and her boyfriend returned home from a midnight run to Taco Bell shortly after I positioned myself on the couch.
They went into the other room to eat their tacos (weirdos).  Who eats tacos at 2 AM!  Anyway, I watched Swamp People for about a half hour and then decided to give sleep one more opportunity to overtake me.  On my way back to bed, I let the cat in.  As I got all comfy under the covers, my cat curled up at my feet.  In short order, my eyes began to close, and I was entering that state of half sleep/half awake.  My cat must have gotten bored with my bed, so he decided to meander around the bedroom.  In our bedroom, we have an antique desk imported from China.  Atop the desk sits an ancient Chinese figurine.
I think God likes to play jokes on me.  He never allows me to have more than two hours sleep a night.  There is always something that wakes me just as I’m drifting off into dreamland; the rooster crowing at three in the morning, the horses galloping and neighing as if they are about to be eaten by a cougar, Bill’s snoring...the list is endless.  This night, it was the cat.
Like I said, I was half awake when I heard the cat jump on something on my side of the bed.  I knew it had to be the Chinese desk.  The width of the desktop is only about eight inches.  The cat and the figurine could not both fit on the desktop.  My brain instantly went into high alert as I imagined the priceless figurine crashing to the ground.  I immediately bolted out of bed.  That was my first mistake.  On the wood floor next to my bed was my robe that I had just stripped off.  As my feet hit the robe, I skated across the room into my antique armoire.  Luckily, I slammed into the drawer side and not the mirror side.  It felt as though the knobs of the armoire embedded themselves in my left arm, but I didn’t have time to wallow in the pain - I had to save the figurine!
In the darkness, I made my way over to the desk.  I saw the shadow of my cat making his stealth move toward the figurine.  I quickly grabbed him off the desktop.  He didn’t appreciate my sudden interference.  His claws came out like daggers, and I felt instant pain over my left boob as he wriggled his way out of my arms.  I turned to retrieve him, forgetting about the pictures that I had stacked next to the desk.  My knee knocked over the stack of picture frames and, of course, I stepped on one of them causing my naked body to go flying across the room in the other direction.  As I crashed into my dresser, I began cursing up a storm.  I became determined to kill the damn cat.
All reason had escaped me at this point.  The cat had to die.  He was now in the game room on top of the pool table.  I ran after him and snatched him off the table before his lethal claws could scratch the felt.  His lethal claws did not scratch the felt; they scratched my left side - just under my left boob.  “You stupid cat!”  I screamed as I attempted to throw him out the door in the game room.  Unfortunately, the dogs came in to see what all the ruckus was about.  The cat, seeing the dogs, went berserk and scratched me on my neck as he escaped yet again.  The dogs ran out the open door.  I ran out the door to get the dogs.  I stood on the porch butt naked calling for them, but they were long gone.  As I turned to open the door, I realized that the bottom lock was engaged, and I could not reenter the house.  I went to the living room door that, thankfully Katie had left unlocked after her jaunt to Taco Bell.  I entered the house screaming at the damn cat.  “I’m going to get you, you *####* cat!”  He was sitting on the table right next to the door taunting me with his innocent, “I’m so cute and cuddly” look.  I lunged at the table grabbing his tail as he attempted to escape.  I unceremoniously tossed him out the door in one fail swoop.  He only managed to scratch me on my hand this time.  I turned from the door holding my throbbing hand.  Then, I heard it.  It was a little voice coming from the couch.  “Mom,” the voice said sleepily, “Ben’s still here.”  “What!” I shouted.  “Where!”  It was only then that I looked at the overstuffed chair next to the couch.  Ben was barely visible because he was swallowed up by the cushions sound asleep (or pretending to be sound asleep).
There I stood in all my glorious nakedness staring at my daughter’s boyfriend.  It felt like time stood still as I realized the absurdity of the situation.  I just crashed into furniture and ran around the house naked as a jaybird cursing like a drunken sailor. I locked myself out on the porch, lost the dogs and practically killed the cat.  During this whole time, the only person in the entire house to wake up was Katie.
The only thing I could think of to say was, “Why is Ben still here?”  “Mom!” Katie scolded, “You’re naked!”  Talk about stating the obvious!  Not only was I naked, but I also looked like something the cat dragged in (excuse the pun).  Or, maybe more apropos, I looked like I was on the losing end of a brutal catfight!  The scratches on my body were too numerous to count, my bed-head hair was sticking out in all directions, and my nose was bleeding.
“Tell Ben to go home.”  I said as I made my way back to the bedroom.  I went into the bathroom and sponged off my wounds, inspected my bruised knee and shoved toilet paper up one nostril to curb the bleeding.  Finally, I climbed back into bed.  “What was all the ruckus about?” Bill asked groggily as I snuggled up next to him.  “Oh, it was nothing.” I lied.  It wasn’t long before he began snoring.  Soon my eyes began to get heavy, and I started drifting off to sleep.  I had the strangest dream about two dogs chasing my neighbor’s cat.  In my dream, the cat was winning the fight, and the dogs were yowling like crazy.  Wait a minute!  I sat up in bed with a start.  “The dogs!” I shouted as I bounded out of bed.
Needless to say, I had another sleepless night. I found the dogs chasing the neighbor’s cat and got them back in the house.  Soon, I was back on the couch with Katie’s stinky feet on my lap.  Ben was still sound asleep in the oversized chair.  I turned on the television to the history channel.  The swamp people had long since gone to sleep.  The next show coming up was; “Out of the Wild - African Cats!” 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I've Used Everything You Gave Me

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “‘I used everything you gave me’.”
  • Erma Bombeck
“I used everything you gave me.”  That is what I want to say when I stand before God.  I’ve been struggling with God lately.  Perhaps a more fitting thing to say is that I’ve been struggling with the Holy Spirit.  I define the Holy Spirit as the little voice inside of you that nags at you and tugs at you like a tooth ache that won’t quit.  You ignore it.  You put it off.  You deny it.  You bury it, but it always resurfaces.  If you ignore it long enough it will resurface in the form of illness - knocking you off your feet until you are forced to acknowledge it again.  The Holy Spirit has been knocking me off my feet lately.  It’s as if the Spirit is holding out a beautifully wrapped present for me and telling me, “Just open it.”  Yet, I’m afraid to open it.   If I open it, I have to “do something with it”.  Don’t I?  Aren’t I expected to open this gift from God and use it?  I argue with the Holy Spirit.  I tell the Holy Spirit that, even if I open it, I’m not sure what the gift is.  Really?  So, those goosebumps you feel when you write are not real?  They don’t come from the Holy Spirit?  They are not from God?  God doesn’t nudge you to write?  Then who does?  The devil?   
You see, I stopped writing because I believed that I should put my energies elsewhere.  I believed that it was absolutely necessary for me to stop writing and start putting things for sale on Ebay because writing is not paying the bills and  Ebay helps pay the bills right now.  I’ve always looked at my writing as someday being my source of income instead of looking at my writing as God’s gift to me.  Whether or not I ever make a penny from writing is of no consequence. 
Someone named “Anonymous” on my blog just told me that I could write about a cup of coffee if I wanted to.  I probably could.   A cup of coffee is something that so many of us crave.  We have to have our morning Jo.  Our créme de la créme.  We crave coffee more than we crave God.  Ha.  Ha ha ha ah ha ah ah ah ah.....ah ha.  Ah Ha.  I just had an Ah Ha moment.  Aren’t I funny.  Craving coffee.  Craving my cup o’ jo.  Where is my coffee?  I forget.  I forget a lot of things these days.  I forget to  brush my teeth sometimes.  I forget where I’m going or how I’m getting there.  I forget my underwear.  Underwear!  Under where?  I don’t know because I forget.  I wish I could remember the sunny days of yesterday but they are becoming foggy like my brain.  Brain fog.  Brain mist.  Brain dead.  that’s what I am - brain dead.  I short circuited - because, after all, I’m short.  Short people don’t have far to go to short circuit.  I short circuited my brain and now I can’t write anymore.  I can’t even write about coffee.  Annonymous was wrong.  A non o mouse was wrong.  A nan-o-mouse was dead wrong because I am brain dead and I cannot even spell annonymous!  So there.  I showed you.  I can’t write about anything - not even a cup of coffee.  Because I cant spll and its hrd to writ wen you cant spll anymor.  I cannot think when my brain is short circuited and I am brain dead.  
So, what do I do?  Do I resuscitate my brain?  Do I walk through the fog?  Do I unwrap the present?  Do I just say, “Yes” to the little voice nudging me to write?  I know the answer.  I would be killing my spirit if I stopped writing.  I must trust.  I must have faith.  So, for what it’s worth, the blog is back.  Somewhere out there I pray that the stories I post will touch someone.  I pray that the words will be just what they needed to hear.  I will continue to write because one day I want to stand before God and say, “I used everything you gave me.”  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Goodbye for Now

I haven’t posted anything on my blog recently.  Mostly it is because I have nothing more to write.  I’ve run out of ideas and stories.  So, for now there won’t be any more postings.  Maybe down the road I’ll find my inspiration again.  Until that time, I will sign off of Snippets and Tales.  Thanks to everyone who read the blog.  It meant a lot to me.