Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Secret Santa Can Suck It - xJane

The Caretaker over at Shadow Manor is hosting her annual virtual gift swap. (Swap is real, gifts are not.) This year I drew xJane out of the abyss. I have to admit, I don't know her all that well, but from what I've read on her blog and her chirps on Twitter, I'm hoping she'll enjoy this. If not, well, consider this an apology in advance. And the receipt is in the bottom of the crate...

First up, a never-ending iTunes gift card. In honor of her Music Mondays, and the fact that a $15 iTunes gift card is just never enough.

Digging a little deeper, she'll find a tin of these tasty-looking steampunk cookies to go along with this steampunk kettle (concept by Michael Morarity.)
And lastly, who can host a steampunk tea party without a fabulous corset? She'll have her pick of any three from Corsets UK.
Their style categories include fashion, steampunk, and even vintage goth. I feel like this is just free advertising (which, hello, it is) but they're all so very pretty...
Merry Christmas xJane!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Urban Legends

High school wasn't my favorite. People who say, "These are the best years of your life!" are BIG. FAT. LIARS. Yes, there were TONS of fun times. But the best? I'd say no.
However, the fiction was AWESOME.
I saw Shadow Manor's post about urban legends over at Shellhawk's Nest and I thought, Maybe I should post about Hyrum. Halloween is definitely the best time...
So, here is the story, as told to me by my older brother, Mr. Bagley, Mr. T, and a few other great storytellers.

FYI: All places mentioned in this post are real. The happenings however are iffy at the least.
And this man has nothing to do with the LDS church.

Kenny owned a mine near Koosharem, Utah. He'd been mining it for a while and only found bits and pieces of gold. It wasn't much, but he had a feeling he should just keep going. One evening, after he had sent his workers home, he found what he'd been looking for. A gold vein running deep into the mountain. He cursed himself for sending his men home early. There was no way Kenny was going to leave now.
As he sat at the mouth of the mine, a large shadow crossed him. Jumping up, prepared to face a bear, he saw a man. The largest man he had ever seen.
Kenny thought this was his lucky day. He introduced himself as the owner of the mine. The man said he had come this way looking for work. Kenny smiled, looking at the man's arms.
"You're hired."
The giant smiled, shaking Kenny's hand, careful not to crush his new employer's wrist.
"By the way, I'm Hyrum. Hyrum Smith."

That night, the two men worked hard, filling buckets and carrying them out to a safe place. A few days later, Kenny celebrated with his family, a few close friends, and Hyrum. As he raised a glass to his his new help, Kenny's wife eyed him approvingly. The gold wasn't enough for her, and her greed for a new prize grew.

Hyrum continued to work for Kenny. With his size and strength Kenny's mine grew, tunneling deeper into the mountains. Kenny's wife grew more and more fond of Hyrum, lusting after him constantly. Kenny was so happy he didn't notice, and Hyrum was humble and kept to himself.

One evening, Kenny was away when Hyrum stopped by to speak with him. Kenny's wife bade him inside their cabin. Trying to seduce him, Hyrum refused, his integrity and loyalty ingrained in his large frame.
Infuriated that Hyrum would refuse her, Kenny's wife lied when he returned, saying that Hyrum forced himself on her. Kenny was furious and decided to get revenge.

He knew the vein in his mine was exhausted, but Hyrum did not. Kenny sent him deep into the mine. Setting up explosives the night before, he set them off knowing Hyrum would never be able to survive.
Kenny pretended to be upset and called for his other workers. They dug until they came to the place where Hyrum's body should have been. All they found was a boot with a bloody stump.
Workers noticed a tunnel off to the side. As they followed the blood, they came to a deep hole. Lowering ropes with lanterns, they were unable to see the bottom. Kenny told them enough was enough. Hyrum should rest in peace.

Trying to ensure his innocence, Kenny used some of his gold to purchase a headstone for Hyrum. He closed the mine permanently and had several of his men place the large stone at the entrance.
The next day, the stone was found at Kenny's cabin, broken in two pieces. The people of Koosharem were baffled. The only person that could have carted the stone from his mine to his home was dead. Wasn't he?
Kenny purchased another headstone and put it in the same place. Again, it was found at his home, broken.
Kenny decided not to waste any more of his gold, and months later, Hyrum was practically forgotten.

When the first snow fell, Kenny had to go away again and leave his wife home alone. The night he returned, he saw strange footsteps in the snow. One was a large boot print, the other, a plain circle. Like a stump.
His heart racing, he followed them to his door. It was slightly open and the lantern inside swung from side to side. Slowly pushing in, he saw his wife, strung up. Her heart was no longer beating, but she was still warm.

A week later, the people in town hadn't seen Kenny or his wife. When they went to his cabin, they found her, still hanging, and Kenny, lying cold on the floor. The doctor said he seemed to have died of a heart attack. He had no bruises, no lacerations, nothing that indicated anything else.

Over time, there were Hyrum sightings. One evening as a farmer was looking out over his flock, he heard the squeal of his wire fence being stretched and bent. When he looked out to the far side, he saw Hyrum, squatting near a post, watching the sheep with the same look a wolf gives a lamb. With the grace of a dancer, he leaped off the fence and ran at top speed towards a large ewe. He was swifter than the farmer expected. In less than a minute, Hyrum had grabbed the sheep and headed back the way he came in. Leaping over the fence, he slowed, turned around, and waved to the farmer. It seemed almost as a thank you. Turning back, he disappeared into the trees, the ewe's bleating growing quieter until it stopped abruptly.

A family came to their summer home in Koosh one day to a terrible smell. In their basement they found a pile of blankets. Littered around the room were bits of animals, empty cans of food, and several large boots, all for the left foot.

A group of scouts were on a camp out up Koosharem canyon, singing songs around a campfire when out of the woods came a giant of a man. He picked up a small boy on the end of a log and disappeared into the woods again. The leaders ran after them, calling for the boy. His screams grew louder as they gained on the giant. He seemed to have aged some since the last sighting. Finally he dropped the boy and disappeared, this time for good. When the leaders reached him, he shivered, unable to speak. The stench on his clothes was terrible, that of rotting meat. For days after the incident, the boy drew pictures of a pale face with icy blue eyes.

Once in a while, on quiet nights, you'll hear the dogs start to bark on one side of town, and slowly the barking will sound clear to the other side. That's just Hyrum, taking a stroll through Koosharem.

Locals know to keep a look out for mountain lions, coyotes, and Hyrum Smith.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Left to Burn

This hot grey fire in my chest
is alive, yet it sleeps.
I was taken before
and now you're spoken for.
Give me ice to douse the heat.

I see the fire in those sad eyes,
a heart that shouldn't yearn.
You said it died,
I know you lied,
and now we're left to burn.

I wrote this a couple of years ago, listening to Adele's Rolling in the Deep on repeat. I found it today as my 3yo was taking over an old notebook of mine and decided to share.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Late Nights

Last night, when I should have been asleep, I thought, "Maybe I should sketch everything out for my (get this) Halloween costume so that I don't forget anything." It's eleven at night, and I was worried about a costume for a holiday that is 7 MONTHS AWAY. Do you see what I'm getting at here?
Anyway, I sketched and made notes for about a half hour. I could not fall asleep until I was satisfied.

They are crappy, but here are things I've found online (cough-mostly Pinterest-cough) that are close to what I've been seeing in my head:

Curly-toed boots!
Aren't they just perfectly witchy?
Not what I expected though.

Striped Tights
A staple for anyone riding a broom.

Rag Skirt
Pretty and feminine, but not too much!
And I would probably add a tulle skirt under it,
just to add a tiny bit of volume.

Asymmetrical hoodie
Here is a VERY rough sketch of
what I'd like to make. ^
This is the closest I've found. ^
Her tutorial is a great start!
I think I'd be able to modify it
enough to make what I'm thinking.
I'd like to sew it so that the buttons are just decor
and it just slides on over my head.
Also, mine will be fitted under the bust
and then gathered over the bust
for a rouched effect.

Fabulous Eyes
Not the mouth. No zombies here today.
Note: Found on Pinterest by someone who found it on Tumblr which means
NO SOURCE and that bugs me.
If you know, let me know so I can credit them please!

I don't want any bugs getting in my eyes now, do I?
(Does anyone else think of Russell when they think of goggles?)

Owl studs
For luck! You can never be too careful on a broom.

And a ring too...
Perched and waiting.

Hair thoughts:
Messy side braid
Great for keeping hair out of the way.
Crimped hair
Adds volume and a bit of craziness
so it looks windblown.

And last, but definitely not least:

I love that she painted it black.
I think I'd get a crooked branch
and straighter twigs though.

Yep. It's the end of March and I just planned out a Halloween costume.
That's how I roll.

What have you been up to lately?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Random Daydreams

In my daydreams, I do one of three things:
1) Plan birthday parties. Seriously. I have my girls' Halloween/birthday party all planned. Since last year.

2) Plan cakes to go with said parties. Cupcakes, sheet cakes, smash cakes. I love them all.

3) Plan flash mobs. I was in one last year and it was sooo much fun. Not only did we dance in front of a huge crowd, we also held a humungous flag as that crowd sang The Star Spangled Banner on the 4th of July. Since then, I've been hooked.

I was watching this music vid on Pinterest (it's a beautiful thing, really) and it hit me as she tapped the two chicks with the chola brows on the shoulders. Wouldn't this make a really fun flash mob?
Have one person start out. They randomly dance around, but start strategically tapping people on their shoulders. After they go down, they come back up dancing. Wham-o. Dozens of strangers you once walked by with a shopping cart are now dancing in the aisles with huge smiles on their faces. It would be a good day, right?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Changing it up a bit.

As you can tell I've changed things up a bit. I tend to do that. I like an idea, I wear it out, and I pick a new one. Honestly, I haven't gone back to college yet because the only thing that sticks for me is writing. Like in a journal. Or on a blog. Or a status update on the Twitter.

Some examples of my not being able to pick something, anything really:
At one point in time I was really into cooking. I mean, I still cook. I just thought my calling in life was to work in a kitchen. If you could see my kitchen now, you'd know that did not last long.
Then, I thought I'd be a party planner. But my problem there is staying within a budget. More specifically, my own budget. I have three kids and one on the way, plus a husband. That's 5 parties per year that I plan and carry out on my own. I just over spend. A little. Anyway, I love doing it for my family, but for other people? That is a bit more complicated.

My point is that even though I'm a wife and a mom and many other things, I'm still figuring out who I am. I am filling in the blanks.
Today, I was a fashionista. Well, not really. I just had to buy a new pair of pants because I literally wear a pair out before I'll buy more.
Tomorrow, I shall be a baker. Because the brand spankin-new KitchenAid I got for my birthday is calling my name.

As is that recipe for Minny's chocolate pie. (The genuine recipe they used for the film The Help.)

Who are you today?
What inspired you today?
What will you do tomorrow?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Just Because

Over at Shadow Manor, she answered some of Pensive Pumpkin's questions. As a reader, I thought I'd answer them because I haven't posted for a while. There have been some issues and crazy things happen (which I'll explain at a later date) so here is a post, just because.

1. What is your favorite candy?
 I am a chocoholic, but I go through it in stages. Right now it's the Snickers stage. Last month it was chocolate mints. (like Andes)

2. What is your least favorite vegetable?
 On its own, without any other flavor, zucchini. In bread, meatloaf, etc. it is soooo good.

3. Do you play a musical instrument?
 Piano, until my brother told me I was terrible. So I quit. Ukelele is my goal. It just sounds so much more fun.

4. What's the worst injury you've ever had?
 A dog bit me on my throat. I only had a few stitches, but it was close to my jugular, so pretty scary. Although I was in a wreck in college and had staples in my head. It felt awesome to have that familiar ka-chunk, ka-chunk on your skull. Not kidding.

5. What's under your bed?
 Not sure. I don't look under it much. Maybe a few stray books and socks?

6. If you could publish one book, what would it be about?
 Mermaids. Or my biography in the fiction section. I'd rather people not believe that certain things really happened.

7. Do you believe in ghosts?
 I didn't. And then one day we were watching some ghost hunter show. I laughed and said how stupid they were and how fake the whole thing was. Then I went to take a nap. I could tell someone was standing at the foot of the bed and thought it was my husband, the presence was so strong. When I opened my eyes, no one was there. I screamed. My brother-in-law told me someone died in that house. Now I'm not sure.

8. What's on your mouse pad?
 We don't own one. We use a book or the couch or whatever we're close to.

9. What are you currently reading?
 East by Edith Pattou, Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo by Obert Skye, and The Peacegiver by James Ferrell.

10. If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?
 I'd love to be a camp counselor at Hellboy Camp. Or the person that sprays male models with the mist of water so they look sweaty.

11. What's your all-time favorite television show?
 When I was a kid I loved Nash Bridges. Not even kidding. Now, not even sure. Prime Suspect, maybe? She's awesomely hardcore.
Answer these questions on your own blog or leave some answers as a comment!
Am I the only person without a mouse pad, though?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Books, What Else?

I know I've already done a post on books that I love, but I've compiled a short list (this is short compared to what I wanted to do originally) of quotes that I love from books that I adore.
Just because.

“That's the trouble with loving a wild thing: You're always left watching the door.” 
Edith Pattou, East
(I believe this would have described my small self perfectly.)

“Always learn poems by heart. They have to become the marrow in your bones. Like fluoride in the water, they'll make your soul impervious to the world's soft decay.” 
(Honestly, I have a few poems memorized. They are ones I'm hoping my kids will have memorized. And their kids. And it will be because of me.)
“In a perverse way, I was glad for the stitches, glad it would show, that there would be scars. What was the point in just being hurt on the inside? It should bloody well show.”
Janet Fitch, White Oleander
(I used to be a cutter. I was never diagnosed in high school, but I think I had depression. This is how I felt about cutting. It did hurt inside. And I think I wanted the outside world to know I was in pain.)

“So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
(I once had a boy describe me as two opposite ends of the scale. I still hope when some boys think of me, they think of the quiet hurricane.)
“When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska
(Because I am a girl who loves books.)

“The upside to grief is it takes away your appetite. When people say you look good they really mean it. Nature's thoughtful that way.”
Barbara Park, Mick Harte Was Here
(This book, while extremely sad, is also hilarious.)

“It kills me sometimes, how people die.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

(Really, it does.)

“You do not question an author who appears on the title page as "T.V.N. Persaud, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., F.R.C.Path. (Lond.), F.F.Path. (R.C.P.I.), F.A.C.O.G.”
Mary Roach, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
(This book is interesting, funny, thought-provoking... Love it.)

“All children mythologise their birth. It is a universal trait. You want to know someone? Heart, mind and soul? Ask him to tell you about when he was born. What you get won’t be the truth: it will be a story. And nothing is more telling than a story. ”
(I was born on a very snowy day in March. It was the first day of spring, but you'd never know it by the blizzard outside. My mother woke early, not bothering to wake my father. She showered, got ready, and made sure the bags were ready before she woke him. Then she told him it was time. On their way to the hospital, they found my father's cousin, Carolyn, stuck in a snowbank off to the side of the road. She hopped in with them and went to the hospital. She looks at me still with an eye of nostalgia. She was there when I was born. When she sees me with my oldest, she gasps and tells me how much she looks like myself. My mother left when I was two and my father died when I was 8. Carolyn makes me feel connected to them in a way.)
“Do they sense it, these dead writers, when their books are read? Does a pinprick of light appear in their darkness? Is their soul stirred by the feather touch of another mind reading theirs? I do hope so.”
(All I can say is Amen.)
Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

“We wanted to define her, to wrap her up as we did each other, but we could not seem to get past "weird" and "strange" and "goofy." Her ways knocked us off balance.”
“A baseball bat could not have hit me harder than that smile did. I was sixteen years old. In that time, how many thousands of smiles had been aimed at me? so why did this one feel like the first?”
(Because it was the first genuine smile. At least, that's what I think.)
Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl

“It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper.”
“Do you like to slide?" His voice was eager.
Stair rails! Did he suspect me? I forced a sigh. "No, Majesty. I'm terrified of heights."
"Oh." His polite tone had returned.
"I wish I could enjoy it. This fear of heights is an affliction."
He nodded, a show of sympathy but not much interest. I was losing him.
"Especially," I added, "as I've grown taller.”
(Ella is one of my favorite heroines.)
Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted

Do you have any favorite quotes that remind you of you?
Any brilliant, sad, humorous quotes you recite often?