Boondock Ramblings

Randomly Thinking: Brutal cats, black and white pets, the neighbors’ water hose and other random thoughts

I had planned to complete this Randomly Thinking post two Fridays ago, but obviously I am behind. Part of the reason is a yard sale we decided to throw together the one week. Before you ask, it was a failure. Tons of work, aching feet, total exhaustion and almost no profit at all. I’ve now sworn off all yard sales. The one good thing about the sale was being able to meet so many interesting people.

First there was Bread Santa, then Chatty Motorcycle Guy, Negotiating Jersey Woman, The Grandpa Car Club, and a few other characters. I’ve decided to break the yard sale out into a separate post for either this weekend or early next week.

***

My son showed me this cool interview with Elijah Wood where he had to eat hot wings while answering questions. There is some language in this one, if you are offended easily. I am sometimes, so that’s okay if you are.

***


When I wrote my post about cats last week, I forgot to mention that six of my last seven pets have been all black or black and white. I have no idea why. Just worked out that way. In fact, the dog my family had as a child was also black and white.

***

I believe I have mentioned this before on the blog, but I have a corn allergy. That means I can’t eat anything with corn. Corn is in everything, of course, due to high fructose corn syrup being such a cheap and popular sweetener. Our neighbors gave us some fresh New Jersey corn a couple of weeks ago and my kids were ecstatic since they don’t have a corn allergy.

My son pretended to make a sword out of an ear of corn and I joked with him that if he ever wants to keep me out of his room he could just line his door with corn. He took it a step further and said he would make corn syrup tipped arrows. That’s when I told him I am never buying him a bow and arrow.

***

I watered my neighbor’s garden while they were gone. They have a metal water hose, which is very light, if you don’t drag the entire thing off in one pile and twist it up and then try to drag it all up the hill to water the garden, which then results in you having to untangle it all again to wind it up on the hose holder.

I ended up with this thing wrapped all around me, twisted different directions, and had to call my son for help to get untangled. My neighbors have a very lovely house, garden and backyard and I was petrified I would somehow damage it. While trying to untangle the hose, I knocked over their watering can and broke the top off of it. Luckily, I was able to fix it, but then I tripped and knocked a couple of bricks they had for decorations and I really started to panic. What else was I going to break?

My son agreed to help me water the rest of her lovely flowers, even though she hadn’t asked me to, and Little Miss said she wanted to help too. So, after we wound the hose back up, we headed toward the front of the house and when I turned, I noticed every single one of our animals was following along. The dog was off her lead, the all-black cat, Pixel, is allowed outside and the kitten had escaped and climbed up the neighbor’s tree in their front yard.

I felt like the Clampets in Beverly Hillbillies. My daughter was putting flowers that had “fallen off” the neighbors’ flower display in their fountain (“It fell off! It did!”), my dog was trying to get into their house to see if they were there, so she could beg a treat off them, and I was dragging the kitten from the tree all while hissing, “Get out of there! You are going to damage their beautiful tree!”

Next time they go on vacation, I’m going to suggest they ask someone else to help out. Someone who isn’t completely inept.

By the way, when they got home, they let me know the hose was so heavy and hard to untangle because I had left the water on and when water is going through it, it is heavier. Sigh.

***

Our cat Pixel sometimes brings us dead mice, or at least leaves them dead on the back porch. My mom said cats are bringing you gifts when they bring you a dead animal they caught, so I guess that is what she is doing.

The other day my son went to bring the dog in, and the cat decided she would come in too. I heard this from where I was sitting in the living room, “No. Drop the mouse. You are not coming in here with that mouse.”

She dropped the mouse.

Straight in my husband’s work shoes.

Sadly, she retrieved it later.  We were hopeful my husband would find the mouse when he went to put his shoes on later in the week.

The week after that, my son and husband were in the yard across the road from our house, cleaning up from the yard sale when my son said they heard high pitched squealing. They turned and Pixel came out of the bushes with a mouse in her jaws.

The Boy said it was awful and her eyes were wild. Worse, she dropped the mouse, smacked it around several times, playing with it, then caught it again and then started to eat it in front of my husband and son.

“I’m traumatized,” my son told me. “I will always hear the squeals of that poor mouse while she tortured it. She’s brutal.”

She came in later and cuddled with him, her brutality behind her.

***

The back of my ankle was cut a few weeks ago when the dog ran around me while on her lead and caught me, causing the lead to dig into my skin. I treated it every day for a couple of weeks and Little Miss enjoyed telling me that white blood cells were coming to help the cut heal. I have no idea how she knew that, but I was quite proud of her.

***

The Boy has become quite sensitive to the cold and when we visited my parents’ pool recently, he decided within three minutes the water was too cold and he wanted to get out.

Little Miss, 6, almost 7, announced to him, “You’ll be fine! You just need to get acclimated!”



***

The other day my husband told my son he was being dramatic to which my son replied, very dramatically, in a flawless British accent: “HOW DAAAARE YOU! I AM NOT DRAMATIC! I AM A PERFECTLY CALM PERSON, FATHER! I AM NOT DRAMATIC IN THE LEAST!”

For the record, our entire family is a bit dramatic at times, but none more so than my husband on some days (and me when it is time for my “time of the month”.).

***

My husband has started making comments about my son’s hair almost every day because it is growing long and curling in the front. My son had two bad haircut experiences and now refuses to go to a barber. My husband and I have agreed to let him be a teenager and express himself, but my husband still can’t resist trying to give him pointers about how to comb his hair.

“You know what I do with my hair?” my husband asked.

“Lost it?” my son asked.

There was a quick apology from The Boy who said he just couldn’t resist the slam because my husband left himself wide open.

***

My son and I were coming back from taking our dog to the groomers last week when a trashy song came on the radio. Within two seconds I knew that station needed to be changed and I did, much to the delight of my son who burst into laughter. He said my expression was pure “Mother Protecting Her Child From Dirty Lyrics.” He was right. That was one of the dirtiest songs I had ever heard, and it only took me two seconds to know it wasn’t going to get any better. And no, I have no idea who was singing.

So that’s my random thoughts for this time around.

How about you? What are some random thoughts or events you have had happen recently? Let me know in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: My sleep sheep keep talking to me, creepy creatures, and lucid dreaming

I have had this Randomly Thinking file started for two weeks but have not had enough material or enough time to put it together. Since I don’t have anything for Fiction Friday today, I figured it would be a good day to post it, though I usually post it on Wednesday or Thursday. 

So, without further ado, my random thoughts from the last few weeks.

***

My husband posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that he had been having trouble sleeping so he had decided to count sheep. I told him I couldn’t count sheep because when I do they just repeat all my worries and problems back to me as they jump.

 “Did you look at your bank account today? baa…”

“What in the world is going on in Israel now? baaaa….”

“You don’t have an ending for your next book and that book on writing you read said you have to have a beginning and an ending planned before you even start writing. Baaaa…”

“What’s with Donald Trump’s hair anyhow? Baaaaa…”

So, I just don’t count sheep anymore. Noisy little things anyhow.

***

I make oatmeal every other morning and I always try to put only the smallest amount in, so I don’t end up with too much. I am very bad at this measuring by the eye thing, I guess because every single time I still end up with a huge bowl of it. No matter what. 

“It expands, Lisa!” I yell at myself every time.

I mix it with peanut butter and a few (hundred) drops of maple syrup so it is sort of like a no-bake cookie.

***

About two weeks ago small grasshoppers and katydids started showing up in our backyard and Little Miss decided she needed to capture them and keep them in small containers so she could look at them or something. I don’t really know why she wanted to keep them. All I know was that my living room soon had four plastic canisters full of little hopping insects and that those containers didn’t keep them contained very well. 

I had planned to release them after Little Miss went to bed or the next morning but before I got that far, I spotted the kitten in the kitchen with one cornered ready to eat it. Neither the kitten nor the child seemed able to catch it, until the next morning when the kitten ate it in front of The Boy while he was waiting for his grandpa to pick him up for work.

Luckily, the grasshoppers and katydids have hopped off to somewhere else for now. If they show back up, I’m letting Little Miss that if she wants to look at them outside, that’s fine, but no more bringing them into the house where they can escape and possibly crawl on me at night.

***

Speaking of creepy creatures in our home, one night last week I thought I saw something fly in front of me while I was sitting in our living room. I have eye floaters, so for a moment, I thought maybe it was something like that. Or I was having a stroke. Instead, the dark streak I saw in my vision was a bat.

Yep. A bat.

It had somehow got into our house and was flapping around the living room, trying to figure out how to get back out.

I wish I could say I was calm about it all, but I was not. Not at all. 

When that thing kept flapping toward me, where I was sitting on the couch, I kept picturing its little face and then imagining it gripping my hair in a panic, getting stuck there and flapping around like a crazy person.

Little Miss knows all about animals, of course, so she was delighted by it all and kept running around, giggling and telling us facts about bats and how they fly by sonar. I didn’t care what they fly by. I just didn’t want that thing in my hair. She was very excited when the bat landed at one point and she got to have a good look at him with “his cute little ears.”

I called my parents in the middle of it all to ask how Dad had gotten the one that had been in my room one time and my mom suggested I put a blanket over my head, so I did. I placed a pill and blanket over my head and screamed anytime it came near me while my dad scoffed on the other end of the phone.

I don’t think the fact we had watched The Birds, the Alfred Hitchcock horror movie, a couple of weeks before, had helped. 

I was legit terrified and finally ran to the downstairs bathroom while my husband and son opened the doors and eventually convinced it to fly out our back door.

I spent the next week thinking I could hear bats crawling in the wall or squeaking, but so far, no more have shown up.

***

My children aren’t excited by this next piece of news, but I am. I ordered a large chunk of their curriculum two weeks ago and it arrived last week. I was so excited to open the boxes and check it all out. I wanted everyone else in the house to be excited too, but they weren’t. The Boy rolled his eyes. Little Miss grunted and the husband said, “Cool. Have fun.”

Oh, I will. I will.

I honestly can’t wait for September 1 to get here.

*** 

I was chatting with someone online about the ability to imagine scenes, people, or events in vivid detail, which made me think about vivid and lucid dreaming.

Lucid dreaming is when you recognize that you are dreaming and then you change your dream while it is happening.

I have been able to do this a time or two. The one time it stands out the most for me is when I had a dream about an elderly friend and his wife who passed away 13 years ago.

My friend, Rev. Reynolds is in the dream with a dark background and a bench in front of him and he says “Oooh, Leeesa (as he always pronounced my name this way in his thick Northern Irish accent), I’m so happy to see you. Come and give me a hug.” He gestured with his arm toward the bench after I hugged him. “Let me get Maud for you. You’ll want to see Maud.” Then he turned slightly like he always did in life when summoning his wife, “Maaaaud! Maud! Come see, Lisa!”

Usually when he gestured, though, he was suggesting Maud make me some tea.

In the dream, I suddenly realized I didn’t want to see Maud. Maud was dead. Maud might look like a zombie. I didn’t want to remember Maud as a zombie. 

Then, before I could stop it, there was Maud on the bench and her face was normal at first, then it began to slowly deteriorate into blackness on one side, decomposing before my eyes. I held up my hand and turned away. “No! This dream is going where I don’t want to go.” 

In a room that was more like a cave in front of me were “people” or figures sort of golden on the edges, staggering against each other and moaning but I was already turning away and saying, “No. I don’t want this dream. I’m going to wake up because this is not how I want to remember my friends.”

And I woke up and ending the dream.

What about you? Are you able to change your dreams? 

***

Every once in a while, as we will be eating steak at my dad’s and he’ll say, “It’s not too bad. For being bought off the back of a truck.”

 Either that or “Grabbed this up on super sale. It was probably about to expire.”

We never know exactly what to say. 

***

Little Miss attended a church camp last week. She and her little friend were the only children at the camp but had a lot of fun.

Some of her comments during the Bible lessons were hilarious, but also a little nerve-wracking for me. At one point the young lady leading the group was talking about the story of Joseph and asked, “What would you think if you had eleven older brothers?” 

Little Miss responded, “Oh man. That would be so annoying.” She then proceeded to explain how annoying her older brother could be at times and how there are times she just has to punch or kick him. Sigh.

The young lady then told the story of Joseph being throw into the well and Little Miss said, “I might punch my brother or something, but I wouldn’t throw him in a well. That’s crazy.”

Later the young man told a story and he said something about a golden scarf. Little Miss, however, thought he said golden skull so when the young man asked what the girls thought of the story she said, “Well, I think that’s creepy.”

“What do you mean?” the young man said.

“That man pulled out a golden skull . . .” Little Miss said.

I laughed and let her know that he had said “golden scarf” not “skull.”

“Oh good,” Little Miss said. “That’s much better.”

***

Those are my random thoughts for this week. I actually had another random story/thought but I decided to break that one off for a separate, future blog post, so next week keep your eyes open for the blog post about my son and dad finding the cat I had as a child more than a decade after he died.

How about you? Any random thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: Hot weather, outhouse races, and The Birds!

I have been writing down little tidbits for Randomly Thinking but have not had much inclination to finalize them. It’s either been too hot or too rainy or I’ve been too tired. But this week I needed some cheering up and figured others might too.

***

I read a short romance this past week and in the book the main character gets dumped and not just dumped anywhere. He gets dumped at church.

I sent a note to the author on Instagram.

“I’m not done with the book yet but Cynthia dumped Joe at church. At church. Girl is brutal.”

I told my husband about this dumping scene, and he asked if I planned to dump him during the upcoming weekend when he got baptized. I told him, “Absolutely.”

I was like, “Yep. As soon as they bring you back up out of that water, I’m going to stand up and pump my fists and say, ‘Yes! Glad you got Jesus because you ain’t got me! I’m out looooser!”

We’ll be married 19 years in five more days. I’m lucky he still appreciates my odd sense of humor.

***

Smalltown life is interesting. In a good way. Mostly.

A couple of weeks ago we attended the town dairy festival, because we live in a town where they still celebrate dairy (even as our dairy farms are being forced to shut down).

It poured the entire parade. The local high school band couldn’t perform so the parade was mainly fire trucks, a few floats that focused on dairy consumption, a herd of Jersey cows from a friend of mine being led through town, and the color guard. When the fire trucks came through we figured that was the end because that’s usually what is at the end of a parade around here — a ton of fire trucks from all over the area, blowing their horns and sounding their sirens. This time, though, the parade restarted. Like the color guard came around again as if we were in a time loop.

My son called out, “Oh no! They’re stuck in a time loop! You have to try to get out! Try do something you didn’t do the first time around!”

It was hilarious. To me and my family anyhow. I’m so sure those around us were that amused, but who knows. A lot of people have lost their sense of humor these days.

What I’m really looking forward to is the outhouse races in August. They are held during Founder’s Days. I’ve always heard about the races but never been privy to them. Privy. Get it? Privy . . . Yeah. I know. That was bad. But anyhow, I’m looking forward to the day and will be sure to take some photos of it for all of you.

They don’t race to the outhouse, by the way. They build outhouses and people carry them while one person sits inside and they literally race them down the street. I’ve lived in this area my whole life and have never seen an outhouse race. But now we live right here in town so it’s my chance. What a disappointment last year, our first year here, when the event was canceled due to You Know What.

There is also a contest where someone is crowned the winner of the toilet seat cover painting contest. The paintings are very professional, so don’t let the name fool you. They hang the winners up in the local diner. The one with the stuffed six-foot black bear that overlooks diners.

***

It’s been hot the last several days. Hot and muggy mixed with afternoon thunderstorms. Little Miss and I snuck off to my parents to enjoy the above ground pool by dad installed many years ago, originally for my son. We like to take Zooma the Wonderdog with us but it’s hard to keep an eye on her while we are in the pool. She likes to run across the small dirt road, into the field by the pond, which wouldn’t be bad if cars didn’t fly up and down the road extremely fast. I’m always worried she will get hurt.

I had an extra lead to keep her tied to the pool so she would be close to us but it turned out to be very short. I finally gave up and let her roam but then called for her every five minutes to make sure she hadn’t gone into the road.

She was hilarious because she would sit by the pool, panting, looking innocent, for the longest time and then I would go back to swimming with Little Miss, pop up a few minutes later and she was gone. She’d wander back when I called her though, always looking innocent, wagging her tail. I feel like she’s saying to me, “What? I’ve been here the whole time. Why are you looking at me that way?”



***

Speaking of heat, I told my husband the other day that he shouldn’t mow the lawn around 3 because it was the hottest time of the day.

“No. Noon is the hottest time of the day,” he informed me, very confident.

“No. Around 2 or 3 is the hottest time,” I informed him.

I looked it up online and found this answer from The Farmer’s Almanac: “The hottest time of the day is around 3 p.m. Heat continues building up after noon, when the sun is highest in the sky, as long as more heat is arriving at the earth than leaving. By 3 p.m. or so, the sun is low enough in the sky for outgoing heat to be greater than incoming. Sometimes the hottest time is earlier because a weather system moves in with cool air early in the day.”

It was nice to finally be write about something scientific for once.

***

We watched a couple classic movies this past week. One of them was The Birds. This was a movie I avoided watching for my entire life based on something that happened in my childhood. My mom was outside mowing the lawn one day when I heard the lawn mower shut off and she came running inside.

“The birds!” she cried. “The birds are attacking!”

She was swiping at her hair with her arms over her head and shaking her head.

“It was just like that Alfred Hitchcock movie! It was crazy!”

It turns out some barn swallows were swooping down on her while she was on the riding mower just like, yes, The Birds. She believes they were trying to protect their nests. Whatever was happening, her declaration forever solidified in my mind that The Birds was a movie not to be watched.

But I finally did watch it and despite the fact the birds were super fake, it was pretty traumatizing to see and did leave me very leery of any birds gathering. One day, several years ago, at our old house I walked out to the back door and the entire back yard, our neighbors’ roof, and their backyard was full of birds. Had I seen this movie before then, I would have been even more freaked out than I was that day.

***

We had our first real thunderstorm experience on the hill in our new house last Tuesday night. The storm raged for three hours. Lightening lit up the sky from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. and thunder rattled the house. It was absolutely crazy. We lived in a literal Valley before we moved here, so we were somewhat shielded from storms there. When we did get them, they were fairly quick and mild. We rarely heard loud cracks of thunder there.

The worst storm I remembered there involved insane wind and a tornado touching down a few miles away. Two hundred foot, hundred-year-old trees were ripped out of the ground in our town and scattered like matchsticks. Then there was the year it rained for a week.

The entire downtown flooded and destroyed homes and businesses. It was surreal. There used to be marks on the walls that marked where Hurricane Agnes hit in 1972. Those records were obliterated by Hurricane Sandy, something I thought I’d never see in my lifetime.

***

As I was preparing this post last night, we had a power outage, something that also happens more often where we live now. It’s sort of odd, though. We will have power outages after you would think you would have them. In the winter we had one after the major snowstorms moved through. Last week we had weird storms all week long and no power outage, other than a few seconds. This power outage came in the middle of a very hot day and wiped out power for most of our county (which is about 6,000 people. Yes. That is how small our county is) for about eight hours.

***

I made a mistake recently of asking someone I don’t know to review my book. Monday she messaged me cheerfully on Instagram that she had reviewed the book. She acted like it was something to be excited about. I have been trying not to look at reviews but I did, against my better judgement, and saw she had left me a two star review and proceeded to shred my book, inferring things that weren’t even there. I was a bit in shock that she had made it a point to tell me to go look at the review (essentially). I suppose she wanted me to know how bad and evil she thought my book was and I doubt she was prepared for the message she got back from me, asking her if she was so worried about me being a “bad Christian” how did she think she was being a good one by making sure I saw a mean review. The power outage was welcome because I was obsessing over this girl and what had made her think she was so above everyone else and was really considering messaging her again. It wouldn’t have helped anything anyhow. She felt how she felt and it can’t be helped. The outage made me take a breather and pray for forgiveness instead of figuring out how to blast her again.

***

So those are my random thoughts for the week. How about you? Any random thoughts to share? Let me know in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: I am socially awkward. Surprised? Yeah, me either.

Welcome to my random thoughts and events for the week. Enter at your own risk.

Well, it looks like I might make it to 25 days consecutive posting on this blog by Monday, but I’m not doing it on purpose now. I simply had these future posts ready to go. Next week I don’t care if I post consecutively or not. I have a lot of reading to catch up on, blogs and books both.


When I talk to my neighbors, I feel the need to apologize repeatedly for my social awkwardness, which simply makes me even more socially awkward. Someone help me. I need someone with a taser down the street who just zaps me when they see me talking to a neighbor, so I don’t any more of an idiot out of myself. Actually, the taser zapping me wouldn’t help that situation, would it? Never mind.


My 14-year-old son and I were talking about the differences between men and women in the bathroom. Men do not talk to each other in the bathroom under any circumstance. Women? Yeah, we often do. Or, I should say we used to. These days women don’t talk to each other out of the stalls or the bathroom. Since last year I’ve found most women to be very paranoid and unfriendly. But, back in the day, as we old folk say, women would chat right along with the women next to them in the stall, especially if they knew each other.

A conversation between women in the bathroom might go something like this:

Woman Number One: “I love those shoes. Sorry, I just couldn’t help noticing them.”
Woman Number Two: “Thank you so much. I got them at JC Penny years ago.”
Woman Number One, coming out of stall: “It’s so awful how JC Penny is going out of business.”
Woman Number Two: “I know. I used to love to shop there.”
Woman Number One: “Me too. I got the best perfume there.”
Woman Number Two comes out of the stall: “I did too! I have it right here! Let me wash my hands and then you have to smell it!”
Woman Number One: “Oh my gosh! That smells amazing! I used to have one like that. An ex-boyfriend gave it to me, and I didn’t want to ask him where he got it because then that would mean I’d have to talk to him.”
Woman Number Two: “Yikes. I hear you. There are some men I dated that I wouldn’t go near if they offered me a million dollars.”
Woman Number One: “Seriously. Did you get that purse at JC Penny too?”
Woman Number Two: “Ha. No. Speaking of exes, this came from my ex-husband. He probably spent a mint on it, but not as much as I make him spend in child support.”

And then they laugh and the conversation keeps snowballing from there.

My husband and son say that men get in and get out and they can’t figure out why we’d want to talk to anyone in a bathroom.


I took my mom to a doctor’s appointment recently and while there she ran into a young woman who works there and whose mom used to rent from my parents. The girl immediately kneeled next to my mom, who was sitting in a chair, and asked her how she was doing. In the next few moments, my mom transformed into one of those slightly nosey elderly ladies right before my eyes.
“I hear you have a new special someone in your life,” my mom said to the young woman.
“Why, yes, I do,” the young woman said.
“My husband was showing me the photos on Facebook.”
“Oh, I have some more here,” the young woman said and pulled out her phone.
The conversation switched to the young woman’s sister’s children and then my mom showed she wasn’t done grilling the young woman about her “special someone” by saying, “So, are you and this young man serious?”
I finally butted in. “Mom! You can’t ask that stuff!”
The young woman laughed and said, “It’s okay. We’ve been dating for about five years.”
My mom’s eyebrows shot up. “Ooh. I see.”
I knew what Mom was thinking. “So, you’ve been dating five years and he hasn’t proposed yet?”
Thankfully the young woman in question was called off to help a co-worker so Mom couldn’t ask the question.
A few minutes after the woman left my mom leaned over to me and said, “Well, I could have asked her if she was living with him unmarried, but I didn’t so . . .”
So, I guess I was supposed to be proud of her for holding her tongue this time.


The woman who took my mom back to her appointment that day, by the way, was a Victoria’s Secret model on the side, I swear. Tall, blond, and I couldn’t see her face because of the facemask but I guarantee she was gorgeous under there. I’d never felt more short, fat, and troll-like in all my life. Well, at least in a few years.


A bloggy friend had her own random thought-moment this week and had me snorting with laughter when she told me about it. First, she woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t find her husband, so she texted him but the text back was blurry so she thought she was going blind. Oh gosh, if she only knew that this is my life story. I worry about my eyesight all the time, especially after experiencing ocular migraines once or twice a year for the last few years. I’m always sure I’m a second away from going blind.
Anyhow, after she found the husband (who had to deal with some work issues remotely), she laid awake thinking about Taming of the Shrew and “as I was falling back asleep I realized that the title Taming of The Shrew had the same cadence and rhyme as Ten Things I hate About You, that Heath Ledger movie based on Taming of The Shrew.”
It’s scary how similar her and my brain works. No, really, it is scary.


I have a serious problem. I am obsessed with watching this YouTube channel I originally started watching for research for my book. It’s about dairy farming in Pennsylvania. I am fascinated by it. I can’t stop watching it. Help me.

The young son (about 24) runs the channel and sometimes he makes his dad talk too. Dad always looks a little nervous at first but then shares about whatever the son wants him to share.
Mainly the kid shows what he’s doing day in and day out on the farm.
I will say I have been able to glean a lot of information about dairy farming, some that I have incorporated into my story.


In addition to the YouTube channel, I’ve also been obsessed with trying to design my own book covers. I have known how to use Photoshop for years, but mainly on the basics. Now I’m trying to learn more than the basics and honestly, it’s making my head hurt. I won’t lie, I’ve also cried more than once. Yes, in the end, I may break down and pay someone to design my book covers, but I’m not some successful Indie author who can afford that right now, so I doubt that will be an option at this time.


You ever see those Indie authors who say they put one book up on Amazon and they immediately made tons of sales? Yeah, I’m convinced they are full of it. I have four books up on Amazon and so far, even with begging people to read it and buy it, I’ve made about $8 a month. It’s not as lucrative as some claim, but it is still fun because I’ve met some super cool people on this writing journey. At this point, I will take that over the money any day.

So those are my random thoughts for the week. Share some of yours with me in the comments, or send me private messages like my other bloggy friend does because random events and thoughts crack me up and I often need that during the week.

Randomly Thinking: The Scarewoman, mouthy first-graders, and creepy Christmas music

Welcome to my Randomly Thinking post where I share random thoughts from my week or the past two weeks. Read at your own risk.

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I’m still posting consecutive days on the blog, for now, mainly using posts I already had almost fully written or ideas I’d had for posts for a while. As of yesterday, I had posted 13 days in a row. I have no why idea I’ve decided this is my summer challenge but I want to see how many days in a row I can post, simply for the fun of it. I am guessing I will hit a certain number and do one of three things: decide to stop posting because it’s weird (and possibly annoying to people who follow me to keep receiving notifications of my posts), forget to post, or simply run out of ideas. We will see which comes first.

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My email host has apparently stopped filtering messages into my spam because at least once a week for the past month or so I receive emails from colleges and other places directed to someone named Ismael. Like, Call me Ismael, which is actually Ishmael and I hear was a horrible movie.

Anyhow, I hope Ismael gets a good college education, better virus protection for his computer, and a free trip to Europe, but his emails need to stop coming to me.

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Sunday my dad sent Dorothy the Scarewoman home with us. He’d been storing her in a shed on his property. That sounds creepier than it’s supposed to.

This is Dorothy:

  Dorothy was something my husband was given after a community fundraiser about 17 years ago. She was dressed to look like Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. I don’t know why she was part of this fundraiser or why she was given to him or why she was shoved in our garage and not thrown out.

I’m also trying to figure out why she was loaded up when we moved last year. She’s creepy and weird and we don’t have a purpose for her, or well, we didn’t until Dad suggested we put her in our garden to frighten the deer away, even though we do have a fence installed around it.

I shoved her in our van and brought our home, grateful the neighbors were outside doing yard work so I could warn them that there was a “scarewoman” vs a scarecrow in our garden. I hated the idea they might walk out their back door and have a near heart attack, thinking some woman was standing in our garden.

For the first day, it was me who was frightened, though, jumping every time I looked out the kitchen window and saw her there.

My son hates her with a passion and has asked if he might ax her to pieces soon. He’s really not as violent as he sounds.

I haven’t decided officially yet, but I may let him do it.

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My neighbors have built a small enclosure for their new Shih Tzu puppies and invited my daughter and our dog Zooma over to play with them the same night we warned them about Scary Dorothy. Their puppies haven’t been fixed yet so the one was trying to get to know Zooma a little too well, to put it nicely. I didn’t say anything about it to Little Miss, even when the neighbors scolded her puppies. Later that night, though, Little Miss said to me, “They really need to get their dog spayed.”

She’s watched too many shows about animals, especially that goat show where they openly talk about breeding goats. I did let her know the term is “fixed” for male dogs so I’m hoping she doesn’t march up to our neighbors soon and ask, “Has Louie been fixed yet?”

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Little Miss and I had a couple of tough days this week. She’s a very stubborn child and she knows it but swears it’s not her fault. I had to inform her a few times this week that she needed to watch her attitude.

That attitude especially comes out when I ask for her to give me my phone back while she’s playing Minecraft on it. So, one day this week I took the phone away and told her she needed to start watching herself and stop answering me with such an attitude. She has been responding with, “Just go make me a sandwich” when I ask her for my phone, which isn’t something we say, so I’m not sure where she’s getting it.

She cried a while, telling me I had hurt her heart by yelling at her, refusing to admit she had been very snotty with me.

Finally, she cracked and pulled a line out of my arsenal, “I don’t even know what tone I’m using sometimes. It comes out sharp, but I don’t mean it too.” (I say this sometimes when the kids think I’m mad but I’m not). “I mean I just say something and something in my brain flips this switch and attitude comes out.”

I suggested she work harder to flip the switch back before she opened her mouth. We hugged it out, had some lunch, (she was on a hunger strike for three hours until I apologized to her for scolding her for giving me attitude, which I was not about to do because I am also stubborn.), moved on, and so far she’s doing much better with her “attitude issues.” I feel lucky these little battle of the wills with her are a rare thing.

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Little Miss is in a lot of my stories this week, but, well, she’s a character. We had to go to a doctor’s appointment yesterday for my son (nothing major) and she noticed a spider crawling in a clear holder for papers. She pointed it out, concerned for its safety. She’s been on a love affair with bugs again, randomly picking them up outside and saying, “Well, this is a neat-looking bug. I wonder what it is.”

As for the spider at the doctor’s office, she let the doctor know that she never touches spiders. “I’m never sure which one could be a venomous species.”

She’s 6, going on 16, I swear.

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I have dry skin issues. My back can itch the worst sometimes. Our bathroom has a stucco wall and I find myself scratching my back on the corner of the wall that sticks out next to the tub. It feels amazing, but, yes, it is weird. I feel like a bear in the woods scratching its back on a tree.

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In closing, I’d like to leave you with this creepy Christmas song, because who doesn’t need a creepy Christmas song to perk up your day?

Those are my random thoughts for the week. What are yours?

Randomly Thinking: Aliens, smart dogs, and leg hair

Welcome to a post of my random thoughts. Enter at your own risk.

Every night when I let our dog out one last time, I lock both the outside and inside door. Honestly, I’m not afraid of humans breaking in. In the back of my mind, I keep thinking that locking the door will keep the bear from getting in. I know. It’s ridiculous. Bears don’t even have opposable thumbs. It is even more ridiculous because no one in the neighborhood has seen the bear this year. Plus, bears are not known for breaking into homes. There is always a first time, though.

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Every other day I walk past the fridge, open it, and take out the maple syrup bottle and take a swig, like it’s whiskey. I’m not addicted. I can stop anytime I want to.

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I think I’ve mentioned here before that our older cat, Pixel, likes to jump up on our bathroom sink and wait for me to turn it on so she can get a drink. She’s been doing this for a couple of years now, shortly after we adopted her. The other night, though, she’d had her drink when I brought our dog, Zooma, from outside and we went up to get ready for bed. Zooma walked into the bathroom and looked at the faucet and then me, like she was expecting something. I told her I hadn’t brought any food up and then it hit me. She didn’t want food.

“Is your water dish empty? No. That can’t be it. You can’t be that smart.”

Well, apparently my dog is Lassie because I went downstairs and her bowl (which she shares with the cats) is bone dry.

“What’s that Zooma? There’s no water in your bowl?”

Not only did I fill it to the brim but we decided we are buying another bowl so our animals have plenty of water when are too distracted by life to properly care for them.

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Interesting that the US government is claiming there will be information presented to Congress in a month about UFOs. This comes in the midst of people pouring over the Southern border, gas shortages, a senile president (in office after the bi-polar psychopath president), government officials trying to separate us by race, violence in the Middle East, people screaming at each other about who is and isn’t vaccinated, a pandemic (was it really, though?I don’t even know anymore), weird information coming out about who did and didn’t really die from SARS2 (yes, there was a SARS1), Republicans and Democrats always pointing fingers at each other and playing the victim (seriously, I’m about to file as an independent), and our government funneling money to a terrorist nation.

Distraction anyone? Because otherwise, why announce that a report is coming out in a month? And why suddenly, after years of saying there are no such things as UFOs, the government says there are? And why are all the photos and videos always fuzzy, even though we have millions of people with high definition lenses and cameras who have yet to have photographed these same UFOs so we can see them without the grain?

Lockdowns are being lifted, masks are being taken off, people aren’t dying in droves from a virus so our politicians (of both parties) need another way to control us and that control always comes via fear. Enter the aliens.

Slight of hand is a tricky thing.

So is gaslighting.

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I finally started watching Jonathan Creek on the BritBox app through Amazon. I’ll let you know what I think of it in a future edition of Sunday Bookends. I didn’t write Sunday bookends last week because I forgot and then when I remembered, I realized nothing exciting had happened that I could write about. I was even still reading the same books from the previous week.

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In my last Randomly Thinking post I joked that I was worried that our neighbor’s had installed some taller trees between our properties because of something my crazy family had done. It turns out that the husband ordered the trees thinking they were a lot smaller and when he got home from work he was shocked at their size. His wife said he told her, “I’m going to have to cut those down in a couple of years! They’ll be huge.” It totally sounded like something me or my husband would do – order the wrong size trees. By the way, our neighbors are absolutely awesome and we really do try to reign in our crazy so we don’t fighten them.

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 Quote from my son last night after he started coughing: “Dude, I just accidentally inhaled my leg hair.” That’s something I never thought I’d hear.

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Those are a few of my random thoughts for the week. What are some of yours? Let me know in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: Cats are falling out of the sky and other random thoughts

This is my randomly thinking post where I share random thoughts from my week, two weeks, month or whenver I get around to writing the post.

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This week’s Randomly Thinking is brought to you by kittens falling out of trees.


To explain, our kitten, Scout, likes to escape outside as soon as a door opens. I don’t like her to go outside because she is so young and I’m afraid she’ll be hit by a car. Our older cat seems a little savvier about the road and she was born an outside cat so we do allow her to go out. On Monday our kitten slipped out when we went out to collect flowers off the tree next to our house. The Boy tried to catch her while I went inside the eat a late lunch. A few minutes later Little Miss came in and told me that Scout had climbed up a tree. I wasn’t too worried because I had a cat climb a tree one time and he came down on his own an hour or so later.


When I got out there I still wasn’t too worried, but the more I watched her – about 20 feet above my head or so, I noticed the limbs of this small tree didn’t really have a lot of room and since cats don’t like to crawl backward, I had a feeling that to get this cat down we would either have to find a very tall later or she was going to fall off the tiny branches.


I called my dad to see if he had a ladder tall enough for my son to climb up and reach her (I mean, I wasn’t going up there and my husband was at work, but he wasn’t going up there either) and while we were on the phone she started to slide backward, couldn’t get her grip, and began to fall, bouncing off tree limbs on her way down. She did not do what cats usually do which is land on their feet. She landed on her side with a thud, and I rushed to her while she heaved breaths out with her tongue out and I thought she was breathing her last breaths.

She laid there several moments with me petting her, wondering if her back was broken because she wasn’t moving her back legs. Then, without warning, she darted up and tried to run into the bushes. My dad and I guessed she had knocked the wind out of herself. We got her inside and in less than 10 minutes she was running all over the house, showing us she had not broken anything in her fall and that she is a total pain in the bottom.

She’s also down to 8 lives so we have put her on notice.


I’m trying not to be paranoid but the day after our kitten incident, our neighbors behind us installed six or seven huge pine trees as a barrier between our house and theirs. We’ve been here about a year. I’m not sure what we might have done to offend them, but the man did wave to me on the way back from his daily walk so hopefully, the trees are just something they wanted for aesthetic purposes and not to try to keep us away from them. (If my neighbors ever read this, please know I am laughing as I write this. We have the best neighbors and though I do hope we’re not too crazy for them, I really don’t believe they were trying to put up trees to block our craziness. Er. Maybe? *wink*)


I had an eye doctor appointment Wednesday with the daughter of the eye doctor I went to for my first pair of glasses when I was 11, and then for years afterward. The original eye doctor passed away several years ago. Not only did his daughter take over his business, but his son is also working there as an eyeglasses specialist and has been there since I was in college or maybe before.

Everyone is wearing masks, of course, but I can still tell that this guy has not aged at all in 20-some years. I go there every few years and he still looks the same. I told my son this and he has now nicknamed him the Vampire Eyeglasses Guy. I may tell him that when I go to pick up my glasses.


Some women would consider this guy attractive. He has broad shoulders, very tall, dark, curly hair, and blue eyes. He doesn’t do much for me, but I used to watch women just fawn all over him when he told them how nice he looked in the glasses they were trying on. They thought he was flirting and I always figured he was simply trying to sell eyeglasses.


I am trying to write a flash fiction piece based on a love song and I’m having a horrible time. I have a few days to finish it. While looking for a song I fell into a country song rabbit hole on Youtube, listening mostly to old Collin Raye songs, which I cried over because so many of his songs are so sweet. I’ll post links to a couple that got me here.

I also re-discovered one of my favorite Travis Tritt songs, which always made me laugh way back in the 90s. Kids now, of course, would ask, “Why would she need a quarter to call someone?”


“You break everything lately,” my daughter told me one day last week.
She was right. In the span of two days, I broke the front of a drawer, the key fob for my van key, and the cover of my laptop. A few days before that I thought I broke the towel hanger in the bathroom, but my husband said he actually knocked that off the wall the day before I did. It turned out it just needed a screw tightened and it was fixed.
After my daughter announced this, my son asked me not to touch him so he wouldn’t shatter. I didn’t think that was very funny, but just in case I chose not to hug him that day.


My editing software tries to change my writing to be more inclusive now. It’s really annoying because when I write waitress, they want me to change it to server. When I had a character say, “That girl is hot,” they preferred I say that she is passionate or wonderful.


Here is a pet peeve of mine: websites that feature clothes for plus size women but show the clothes on models who are not plus size. Yeah. Not helpful. I’m glad that “fat shirt” looks good on the skinny lady, but what about this “fat lady”?? Grrrr


My son, husband, and I watched The Towering Inferno with Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and several other high name actors this week. O.J. Simpson was also in the movie but halfway through he disappeared after rescuing a cat. We assumed he must have died, but he shows up at the end, at the bottom of the tower. My son said, “Oh, hey there, O.J. How many women did you kill to get down here?”


My cats were extremely affectionate yesterday. I started wondering if maybe I have some horrible disease and I don’t know about it, but they do. It was probably just because it has been unseasonably cold here this week.
The kitten climbed on my chest four to five times, when normally she only climbs on me a couple times a week. She likes to curl up on my chest, even though she’s getting too big to do so. She might only lay down for ten minutes tops but it’s enough time to get her cuddle and pet time in.
So, after she was done cuddling, our older, fatter cat climbed up and kneaded my stomach and let me pet her for around ten minutes as well. Later in the day the fat cat, as I call her, came back again and dozed for a few minutes on my chest. I have no idea what was going on, but it was nice to feel loved by them, even if they did leave quite a bit of hair behind on my shirt.

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So those were my random thoughts for the week. How about yours? Leave me some in the comments.

Welcome to my random thoughts. Which are often weird and, well, random.

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My daughter and I watched the Spirit movie, which is about a wild horse. Some of her comments during it included: “First, that’s not how gravity works,” when the horse jumped a gap the equivalency of the Grand Canyon.

Then, when a horse who had been badly injured earlier in the movie shows up alive: “Oh, so she’s still alive. Great. So, it’s going to be one of those movies, I guess.”

She definitely gets this from me because I’m always questioning the realism of movies and books, even if I enjoy the movie or book

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Our pets have some interesting quirks. I think I’ve mentioned before that our older cat, Pixel, likes to have the water turned on for her in the bathroom sink. She started doing this at our old house and when we moved here, one of the first things I did is turn the water in the bathroom sink on for her to make her feel more at home. Every night when I go to bed she jumps up on the sink and waits for me to turn it on. However, it has to be turned on at just the right force, which is hardly any at all, or she will sit back and give me that “narrowed-eyed bored” look that cats give off when they are annoyed, tired, bored, angry and happy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood there tapping the faucet handle to get just the right amount of water velocity to please this cat.

We’ve only been in this house a year (a year this next week, actually), but already our dog has seasonal traditions, including chasing the bunnies in our backyard during the spring when we let her out on her lead. I don’t even know how she knows they are out there but she will start pacing and whining in the living room and by the time I get her to the back door she’s all tensed up like a racehorse before they’re let out of the shoot. She sticks her nose against the bottom of the door while I hook up her lead and zooms out across the yard as soon as I let her go to catch the offending creatures bouncing in the yard. Sadly, her lead only goes so far, so she never catches them. I let her off one time to give her a chance but she disappeared somewhere over the wood-covered hill behind our house and it took us 10 minutes to get her to come back. That’s not so bad if it’s during the day, but less fun when it is pitch black out and she’s pitch black as well. I’m never sure what else she will encounter out there in the woods (we haven’t seen the area bear yet this year, but I’m sure she’ll be back sooner rather than later.)



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You know what bothers me about headlines that say a political official “went off script”? That they’re admitting to you that there is a “script” and you are part of their “story.”

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My family uses a lot of mustard. When I buy mustard, I buy four or five a time and keep them in the pantry because I know some crisis shall befall my children if they reach into the fridge to make their bologna sandwiches and there is no mustard to put on it. I still don’t understand how they eat bologna or mustard. I’ve never been a fan of either.



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My husband and I are still trying to figure out what town council decided it would be wise to hire a group of dogs and a pre-pubescent boy to run the emergency department for their town. No, this isn’t something ripped from the headlines. Our daughter is back on a Paw Patrol kick. We also can’t figure out why they only have about six people in town yet need all that gear and technology. It has to be costing them a fortune. Not to mention those six people account for almost all the emergencies in town. Maybe it would just be wiser to lock those people up in a room to keep themselves from getting stranded in the ocean, falling into wells, or setting buildings on fire.

I had similar issues back in the day about Max and Ruby. My son loved that show but I could never figure out where Max and Ruby’s parents were and why these children, clearly under the age of 10, were living alone in a house while their grandmother occasionally checked in on them. Once upon a time I wrote an entire blog post about how frustrated the plot line of that cartoon (and book series) made me, but thankfully that blog is long gone and you won’t be subjected to that clear cry for help from a stay-at-home mom who desperately needed (needs) a life.

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My son wanted a medieval helmet so we let him get one. I don’t know why, but wearing it downtown to pick up a pizza with his friend made him very happy, so there we go.

My family has been trying to help me make my current work in progress more exciting.

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Stressed this week? Push play on this and take a deep breath.

Those are my random thoughts for the week. How about yours? Let me know in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: Medieval helmets, cats, new beds

One day this week, one of Little Miss’s friends called early in the morning to play an online game with her. Little Miss was still asleep but when she woke up, very bleary-eyed I might add, I let her know the friend had called.  

“Oh! I need to call her!”

 I said, “Why don’t you wake up some first?”

My child bounced her head off her pillow, face first, like she was headbanging, three times, lifted her head, blew her hair out of her face, and said, “Okay. I’m ready.”

I wish I had known that was going to happen because I would have recorded it. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

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Little Miss likes to sit on one of my husband’s shoulders, cross her legs, fold her hands together in a prayer pose and declare: “I’m your shoulder angel.”

If you have no idea what that means, I invite you to watch these two YouTube skits.

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We bought The Boy a new mattress last week. In related news, he joked with me last week that it’s my job to get him up in the morning because I’m the parent. I told him he’s going to be in high school next year so he needs to take responsibility and start waking up on his own. However, I decided to test his theory this week by barging into his room at 9:30 and telling him to get up.

“I don’t wanna..” he whined.

I reminded him of his challenge, and he said, “You bought me this mattress for a reason. I intend to use it to its fullest.”

He did wake up, but it took me another hour or so to actually convince him to leave the bed. 

For those who might be new here, we homeschool, which is why he is still home at 9:30 a.m. He often wakes up, rolls over, and starts his work without even leaving his bed. 

I wish I had a bladder the size of his because the first thing I have to do every morning is go to the bathroom. 

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Welcome to the unsolicitated advice portion of my post. I don’t care if you vaccinate or don’t vaccinate, but neither of those decisions makes you better than anyone else. Bragging about it, either way, is juvenile. Period. No, I have not seen anyone I know personally or in my blog world do this in either direction so I’m not “preaching” to anyone I know in real life or in the blog world. It’s based on comments I’ve seen on news stories or social media posts (though I’m only on Instagram and MeWe now so those comments are luckily rare). We all need to be more mature about things and respect people in their decisions. 

We all have our reasons for choosing how we take care of ourselves medically and I urge people not to assume someone is an “anti-vaxxer” if they decline a vaccine or that someone is a “pro-vaccine freak” if they get it. I’ve been guilty of these types of judgments in the past and even recently but I’m working on changing myself. I have a long way to go. Pray for me and I’ll pray for you about our tendency to judge others about a variety of issues. If you don’t judge, then simply pray for me! *wink*

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My son has been asking for a knight helmet for a while now. He placed one in the Amazon cart, but I noticed it didn’t have very good reviews, so I suggested he look for one with better reviews. I found one for him and the first review out of 900 was Deus Vult written over and over, so he knew it was the helmet for him. My son has been crying Deus Vult for a while now since his interest in medieval armor started to develop a year or so ago. If you don’t know what it means, it is Latin for God Wills It and it was chanted during the Crusades. 

Many of the reviews were quite creative, including a few that eluded to Monty Python, The Search for the Holy Grail, such as this one: 

“This magnificent helm saved my life.

 Alas, I was a wandering knight cast out by my cruel lord. I embarked on a quest for a spiritual goblet but disaster soon struck. My helm was stolen in the night as I stayed at a local inn. Soon after my squire forsook me and took the coconuts with him. “How now shall I traverse?” I thought. It’s not like coconuts grow on trees. I had already had the good fortune of having a pair of swallows drop one next to me. I’m not sure how it arrived but I’m guessing that they had a strand of tree bark that they fashioned into a….. never mind. I digress. The important thing is that I beckoned to the mighty Amazon and forthwith a new helm came and I defeated the French. I made THEIR fathers smell of elderberries!”

Then there was this one: Perfect for reconquering the middle east and reinstating the kingdom of Jerusalem.

Or this one: Seriously best thing I’ve ever bought. I now see the fear in heretics eyes as I retake the holy land. Deus Vult brothers and sisters of the crusade.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be searching Amazon for medieval helmets with my 14-year-old son, but there I sat reading the most bizarre reviews, at least by my standards, and trying to pick out a helmet he would like. Not a football helmet, but a medieval knight helmet. Yes, he’s definitely our child.

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When you have cats, you don’t even ask they there is a small red potato in the middle of your living room floor. You also don’t ask why there are socks on the steps or in the foyer or kitchen. Not anymore anyhow. Not after you came back after a showing of your house a year ago and found a pair of socks neatly laid in the center of your living room floor, as if you had placed them there, but you knew you hadn’t and didn’t make the sale. Then, in the weeks that followed, you woke up to more socks in the middle of the floor of the living room, dining room, or kitchen. In those weeks, incidentally, we didn’t have a kitten, so we know exactly who is the weird sock-obsessed cat.

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 I’m enjoying a fiction story that E. McD is sharing on Pen Wending is sharing. If you would like to follow this pirate short story, you can find the first chapter HERE.

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The Boy talking to me about video games: “Okay, so you have this comic based in Korea, and they’re going from earth two to earth one and they bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz .. zombie virus …. bzzzzzzz parcor bzzzzzz…… so yeah. That’s pretty insane, right?”

Me: uhhhh…yeah. Totally.

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Well, those are my random thoughts of the week. What are yours? Let me know in the comments.