The day had been pretty busy. I dropped my ring off to get the pearl re-set then I drove a half hour north to pay rent for a jewelry space, all the while bribing my almost 3-year-old with the promise of going to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. She calls it "Chicka Play". But when we got close to Chick-Fil-A, it was madness. I mean, you would have thought they were giving away free food or something.
The traffic as we approached was intense. One guy decided to make the two lanes into three, and I found myself swerving into the curb to get out of his way. But I managed to wait out the near stand-still and turn into the lot and to my great surprise there was a parking spot.
I jerked the wheel and pulled in, which was no feat since I had to snatch at an opening in the drive thru line to make it into the place. Now that I was in a space and out of traffic, I sighed. "Okay girls, you hungry?" I mentally prepared myself for the difficulty of unloading both girls, holding one's hand while I carried the other and balanced the diaper bag. Finding a seat in the restaurant would be an entirely different story. Then my thoughts were interrupted by a woman loudly cussing out some "a**hole driver".
"Seriously hun, come look at this. They're on the line! What a moron!" I looked at my back window and sure enough, she was talking about me. She looked at my car and hers and, for the first time, so did I. I almost wondered if she was going to kick my car or something. "Who parks like this and just leaves it?! I hate people like that!" I confess, it was a pretty shady job, but in my defense, she had also parked close to the line. Her cussing continued and since there was no one else there to defend me, I opened my door.
"Ma'am," I said. "I'm right here. I can hear you." You should have seen her eyebrows shoot up and her mouth literally open. "And I didn't realize that my parking job was so bad. If you'd like to wait a minute, I can try to back out and pull in again. The parking spots here are pretty narrow, and this car on the right is pretty close to me as well, but there were no other spots--"
"Oh no no no, you're fine." she said, backing up. "He's already in the car," she gestured to her husband who had actually climbed in the passenger side door and crawled into the driver's seat. "I drive a big van too and now that I look at it, we are a little close to the side of our space too."
"Okay," I shrugged halfway wondering if there was a grizzly bear behind me or something. There wasn't.
"Have a nice day," she offered, going to the other side of her car. She even waved goodbye to me once they'd pulled out.
I feel there are a few things this story tells about our society. 1- We gripe and complain just for the heck of it. 2- We are rude to the faceless and nameless.
I mean, once she'd noticed I was right there, she became apologetic. She decided it wasn't a big deal. Okay lady, either it was a big deal, or it wasn't. I'm grateful that once she saw that I was a human who'd done an imperfect job parking, she stopped cussing me out.
What do you think? Do we all jump to criticizing strangers until they have faces? Do we complain as a recreation about things that don't actually matter?
One thing is for sure; I must not have looked 17 today. :)
Arrows got a new cover!! Personally, I'm delighted. There were a few things that bugged me a little about the last one and I think this cover design does a much better job capturing the feel of the book.
The reason for the new cover is because the artist who designed the e-copy cover no longer works for the publishing company.
Hope you love it, because I sure do. :)
Now, I know how many electronic copies I've sold and I'm hoping that many of you are holding out for the print. It's set to release in April, but there is the possibility that it will release sooner.
Check back for updates.
Let me know what you like about this cover.
It wasn't Brooklyn's exact birthday. It was a few days later, but since we're new to the area, we don't know a lot of people. But I wanted to do SOMETHING with SOMEONE.
A lady from church invited me over for a play date with some other women and I made cupcakes for the event. Getting frosted cupcakes, two kids and a diaper bag to the car isn't an easy feat because I only have two arms. Shocking, I know.
I had Brooklyn in my right arm, the diaper bag draped over my shoulder and the cupcakes in my fully-extended left arm. Adi followed me out the door and I managed to put the cupcakes in the passenger seat and then buckle the girls in. I walked back up to the door, pulled the the last five inches shut, locked it, and started back to the car.
Unfortunately my phone was still inside the house.
I mean, fortunately my phone was still in the house.
I unlocked the door and standing in my entryway were two of these.
That's right. Two pitbulls. Only the two inside my house had no collars. Granted, they had about the same innocent expression. But I absolutely lost my mind.
I screamed. I shouted. I may have accidently even cussed. I pretended that I was going to kick them. And they meandered out like I was the weirdest person they'd ever seen. Maybe I was. Maybe they usually sneak into homes and are greeted with T-bone steak and adoration.
I may greet many guests with steak and love, but not stray dogs.
Some things I am grateful for with this situation.
-My phone was inside.
-My children were not inside.
-The dogs didn't attack me.
-I didn't attack the dogs.
-They didn't poop or break anything.
-I didn't decide to leave my phone home and lock them INSIDE my house for 3 hours while I went to playgroup.
Oh, and on the way inside playgroup, Brooklyn bridged the gap between me and the cupcakes and caught one with her face. Happy Birthday!
I ran over a cat today.
Well...I didn't really run over it.
And it wasn't actually a cat...it was a tumbleweed.
Truth be told, I tripped on a tumbleweed.
This story just got boring.
Do you ever get so hungry that you can't even think straight? Well, I do. And the longer I go without food, the more indecisive I become.
I went into a cafe and bought two vitamin waters for $3.20. Then I realized they were both zero calories. That wasn't gonna do anything for my hunger. I drank one and then I decided I had to buy something with substance. I walked up to the counter at said cafe and said, "I'll take a sandwich." Hey, it's better than just saying, "Give me food please."
He asked which kind and I just took the first one he suggested since I was starving. (exaggeration...it'd been like 5 hours since I'd eaten).
He made it, wrapped it up, set it on the counter.
I said, "Thanks," and I took the nearest seat.
Immediately I was saddened to find that there was heavy chipotle sauce on this sandwich because I find chipotle to be undesirable.
(side note: Whenever I said a bad word such as stupid, or dumb, or called my sisters names as a child, I was administered a single drop of Tabasco Sauce. Now whenever I eat something spicy, I feel inclined to swear since I'm already being punished for it.)
Fortunately I didn't swear, I just took a few more bites of my sandwich when an employee approached me and said, "Excuse me miss, did you pay for that?"
Offended I replied, "Yes....no."
Actually I didn't. I never paid for my food. Looking like a thief and a dumb thief at that made me more embarassed than my smeared mascara (which I noticed about 20 minutes later). I took my sandwich and took a seat. Had I taken my sandwich to go, I probably never would have remembered that I never paid for my sandwich.
Feeling sheepish and apologitic I went up and paid.
He charged me for the sandwich and the two vitamin waters he saw on my table. Dishonesty cost me $3.20 today. I'm glad my integrity is worth much more than that.
Too bad the sandwich wasn't that great.
I recently chopped all my hair off. I mean, not ALL of it, but a significant portion of it. I love it. I really do love having a pixie cut. I think its reflective of my sassy, spunky personality and the low-maintenance part of styling it is awesome.
But I have to get it cut every 5 weeks. Or so they tell me. I don't know who "they" are.
Usually I'm a go-to-great-clips-get-a-15-dollar-haircut sort of person. However, since it seems a little more risky with short hair, I started calling salons.
I kid you not I had a lady say this to me, "Sorry, all of our stylists are booked. They simply cannot take on any new clients."
This makes no sense to me. Hair culture is something very new to me. This sort of a reply would make sense if I was looking for a therapist or a literary agent (cough- I am looking for an agent- cough), but for a haircut. I told her, "I'm just trying to get a haircut. I'm not looking for a long-term relationship."
Apparently I should have been.
The good news: I found a place that could cut my hair. I called on Wednesday and they had an opening at 2 on Friday. After that, the next opening for ANY stylist was in three weeks. I was itching for a haircut so I took the 2pm and decided I would have to find a babysitter.
Let me skip the boring parts.
Kids are with a friend. I'm sitting in the chair after the lady washes my hair and she drapes the vampire cape over me and says, "I'm a level 3 stylist, so my cuts are 49 dollars."
"49 dollars?" I swivel to look at her face instead of her reflection. "For a cut?"
"Yes. I'm a level three stylist."
Well EXCUSE me. I had no idea that cosmetology was that closely related to dungeons and dragons! Level 3 stylist. Who knew that was even a thing? I didn't say any of that. I considered leaving or asking if there were any Level 1 stylists available. But the kids were with a sitter and I was already here. The hassle of getting a different hair appointment might be worth the money. "I guess it's a little late to say no."
So she began and I started talking about my kids and my husband. She lowered her sissors. "I don't want to hear about your kids. I don't want to hear about your husband. This is your YOU time. When you come in here, you aren't a mom. You aren't a wife. You are just you."
I'm sure she meant it in the kindest way possible, but it wasn't a kind thing to say, regardless of intent. I'm defined greatly by my roles as a mother and wife.
I didn't say much for the rest of the haircut. Then when she was done cutting she said, "Hows this?"
I pullled out my phone and asked, "Will I potentially be able to style it like this?" Is the top short enough for me to do that? Because this is a sweet look."
"I can't make you look like Jennifer Lawrence, no."
I farced a laugh. "I'm just asking about her hair."
"What product would I need to get texture like this?"
She reaches over to her table, opens a pomade and rubs it in my hair. Four minutes later and with some blow drying, I looked more like this.
Yeah...those aren't the same hairstyles.....at all...
But it had been an hour and I didn't want wear out my babysitter. So I said it was fine and I walked with her up to the front.
She starts talking to her friend the cashier. "49 for the cut, and 19 for styling it, and this is the pomade that she wanted, and here's the round brush that I used."
The cashier smiles at me. "Okay honey, that'll be $119. How much of a tip do you want to leave?"
All I can think is 119....119...119. That's more than I've spent on my hair care in the last three years COMBINED.
Apparently blow drying my hair to look like Miley cost me 19 dollars and my question regarding which product meant, "Open a $20 pomade and use some in my hair so that I have to buy it."
The only one I argued out of was the brush. I guess I'M the bad guy cause I refused to tip her.
And I won't be going back.
Hence, Wanted: New Stylist.
I was thirteen years old when I saw this picture for the first time. It was hanging on the wall of my seventh grade chemistry teacher's wall. I don't know why he had it there- I see no correlation between it and chemistry. However, whenever I saw this picture, my mind wandered. I suppose I did what most people do when they see this picture. I asked questions; Who is she? What is she feeling? Why is she feeling it? What does she want? Is she scared, hungry, determined, etc? I wondered each time I went into the class and saw this picture. I wondered to the point of it driving me crazy so I had to find some answers.
This was pre-internet days, so there wasn't a simple way for me to find answers. So, I made them up.
I gave this girl a name, a back story, a purpose and then, each time I went into the class, the story continued and grew.
Very Presumptious of me, I know. But I did.
And I loved making the story. I loved how it drew me in. I loved how it made me feel. I suppose I liked the power in it- the power of storytelling.
And I have been writing ever since, though, I confess the stories are getting better. :)
Conversation I had today while at the immunizations clinic with my 2 month old:
"I can tell she's your first," said the random woman.
"Really?" I said.
"Yeah, it's obvious" She said assertively.
Then, trying to be as kind as possible with a splash of sass I said. "Well, you may need to work on your deductive reasoning, because she's my second."
Unamused or embarrassed or confused by her own incorrect assumption, she walked away.
With the talk of the Skunk Cabbage in my previous post, my first memory of skunks surfaces.
Back in Utah we were driving off the highway when I first scented a skunk. Then I saw it lying on the side of the road. I wanted it- to save it of course. I didn't think it was really dead. Yeah, it was roadkill but I still wanted it. Please bear in mind I was about ten and nowadays I don’t go around picking up roadkill. I got my sister to come with me. My mother knew we were up to something ridiculous but never would have let us leave the house had she known we were going to find that dead, smashed skunk.
We brought a black and white shoe box. It was perfect because it even matched the skunk. We approached the skunk and then realized that its tail wouldn’t fit in the box let alone the whole animal. Also, it was definitely dead. Greatly dismayed at this we began our walk home. Then we saw the boy that my sister liked. He and his friends were taking little gardener snakes and drowning them. I was furious.
“Leave those snakes alone.” I shouted. They were two years younger than me and that meant that they should listen and obey.
“Why should we?” They taunted dropping another one of the worm sized snakes into the water.
“You give me the snakes and I’ll give you this box and whatever is in it.” I said, holding it carefully as though the contents were of great value.
“Deal.” He handed over the rest of the snakes that were still alive and the bucket of dead ones. I gave him the empty box. “You cheat! Give them back!”
He didn’t like the box but it was more than fair. We buried the dead snakes and brought the living ones home. I even took one to church with me in my scripture case the next week to show him that I had been taking good care of them. Unfortunately my mother caught me peeking at it during the meeting and made me set him free.
I have a very reasonable mother. I didn't know it at the time.
From the days of my youth I desired to have a tree house. My dad always said I would get one and there were many times I doubted him because well, kids aren’t all that patient and I was certainly no exception to this. My dad was true to his world though and we build a tree house at 136 Sincerely Road.
It was awesome. I could climb up through the trap door and stand on the first floor. There was even a little attic area where I could store things. I loved it. I loved the view of the woods that I had when I sat up in the pine scented room. I loved running circles up there around the tree trunk. I had even decided that the four walls would be painted after Griffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravelclaw and Slitherin. One wouldn’t have to know me long to discover my fascination with Harry Potter. I had already begun saving money for the paint.
Meanwhile, I had a mission. I was going to find all the different types of fungus in the woods and put it in the attic. I would pretend it was food. Don’t worry though. As a young child I learned the hard lesson that fungus is not for eating. I once popped a mushroom from the lawn into my mouth. It was a dose of ipecac and several moments of barfing later that I determined never to make that mistake again.
But back to my fungus collection that I was definitely not eating. I wandered that small area of woods for hours finding bugs and plants of all shapes and sizes. I had never seen anything like them in Utah. There was this plant called Skunk Cabbage. I know I have some oddities about me. One of which is that I actually do not mind odor of skunks. At all.
But again, back to the fungus. Skunk Cabbage is not a fungus
I gathered all the types I could find in my backyard and set them on the floor of the tree house.“Lara that’s gross,” my sister said upon seeing the huge pile in our shared tree house
“No it’s cool.” I assured her and she didn't touch them.
The next day I awoke with a strange rash on my arm. This must be a recurring theme in my life. For a few years earlier I had to miss school on account of a rash of blisters in my name on my arm. I hadn’t previously known that I was allergic to milkweed. I just thought they were nature’s quills. I wrote all over myself. I wrote my name on my arm. Come morning, I had blisters spelling out my name and blisters peppering my arms and face. I wish I had a picture of the blister name today.
But no, this new rash was not of blisters. My mom put cream on it just as any good nurse does. It didn’t go away though. Funny how doctors can guess at things so well.
“Have you been in the woods?” He asked me when my mother decided the rash was sufficiently strange and needed looked at by a professional.
“Any chance you were in contact with fungus?” He turned my arm to examine it more closely.
“Yes.” My mother had made a point of not telling him about the collection.
“I think you have found a relatively rare specimen because it’s now growing on your arm.” I admit it was cool.
My mom made me get rid of the fungus collection.