Bathroom Art

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“Mother!”  Abbi tugged on her mother’s hand.  “Mother!”


“Mmmhmmm.”  Her mother didn’t bother to pull her nose from the novel she was currently buried nose-deep in. Slouched against the towering bookcases of the local bookstore, her mother looked like a frizzy-haired caterpillar in her voluminous tunic and huge frames.


“Mother, I need to go!” Abbi hissed, pulling her mother’s fingers until the joints popped.


“Then go.”  Her mother turned the page.


“I can take her,” the clerk volunteered, watching from the counter.  Abbi twisted and squirmed, gluing her thighs together.  The clerk adored her mother and after weekly trips to the store, knew that the longer her mother stayed entrenched in her novel, the more novels she would purchase.  Sometimes, Abbi felt the only way she would get her mother’s true attention was if she pressed herself onto blank white pages and bound herself up in hard pressed board and cloth.  Abbi pressed the fingers to the front of her dress.


“Abbi, ladies don’t hold themselves,” her mother chastised, never lifting her eyes from the words.


“Mother, I’m going to wet myself!” she whined, her cheeks hot and cold at the same time.  She shifted out of the path of the air conditioner to her mother’s left.  What was it about icy air that made one’s bladder want to loosen?


“I really don’t mind taking her,” the clerk said, louder.  The clerk really didn’t relish cleaning up a puddle of pity pee.

Her mother sighed and raised her annoyed eyes to her squirming daughter.  “Abbi, the bathroom is right over there.  You can go by yourself.  You’re six years old.”


“But”– Abbi bit her lip. Her eyes shifted toward the clerk.  The clerk pretended to stack and scan books, but her left ear was tilted toward them. “I’m scared of the bathroom,” she confided in the faintest whisper, barely louder than the flickering of her mother’s pages. “Please go with me.”

Her mother sighed, her sign that Abbi was being ridiculous and was to be barely tolerated.  “Let me finish this chapter.”  The clerk snickered and furious color flooded Abbi’s cheeks.  She might have to pee, but she still had pride.  “I’ll go by myself,” she announced, sticking her tongue out at the clerk.  The clerk’s smile faded.  “Are there any books you’d like me to pull for you, ma’am?” she asked, glaring as Abbi stormed past her.


The only thing that could rouse her mother from a book was the promise of more books.  “Oh yes.”  She closed the pages around her thumb and pointed.  “I need the new Charles Roberts, the new Chelsea Brooks, the third and forth in the Magnolia Tea Rose Mystery series…”


Abbi closed the door on her mother’s demands and flipped on the light.  The whispers started right away, soft and inviting.  “Won’t you come see us, Abbi with an i?  Won’t you come play?”

She hitched up her skirts, keeping her eyes trained on the floor.  The whispers became orders.  Playful orders, but still orders.

“You know we’re much more fun than any silly old book!  Why would you want to read about an adventure when you could have one?”

Abbi began to hum.  She flushed the toilet and washed her hands, careful to keep her eyes on her own terrified reflection.  Something shimmered in the corner of her eye, but she would not look.  Last time, she had barely made it out.

Abbi.”  They were singing now, so pretty and sweet.  “Abbi with an i, won’t you come play?  We miss you!”  The paint rustled and a breeze fluttered the toilet paper.  The water trickling onto her palms turned gold, flicked with glitter.  “We’ll let you win this time.  We promise.”

She scowled but didn’t respond.  A bunch of cheats, they were.  Drying her hands on the towel, she turned and twisted the doorknob.  It wouldn’t turn.  When she heard his voice behind her, she wasn’t surprised.

“Come on, Abbi with an i.  Or are you scared?”

This time, she did turn, folding her arms and narrowing her eyes.  The boy peered out of the wall-length mural, his sharp ears wiggling faster than the wings on his back.  “Ah, there’s my pretty girl!”

“I’m not scared of anything.  And I’m not your girl,” she sniffed.  You couldn’t give fairies ownership of everything.  You never knew what they would take.

“Some day, you might be.”  He held out his hand, his curled fingernails kissing the pads of his fingertips.  “Come on, Abbi with an i.  The pixies are having a party and the elves have missed you.”

Abbi considered.  “No witches or ogres this time.”

He nodded, but his lips teased with the blooming of a smile.  “This will be the third time  you’ve visited us, Abbi with an i.  Are you comfortable with the terms of our arrangement?”  Behind him, the flowers bloomed and trees rustled, drawing her in with their sweet scent.  She glanced behind her, then shrugged.  Her mother had her books, after all.  Pressing her hand in his, she followed him into the painting.


Later that night, after a successful day at the shop thanks to a group of retirees and a few buses of tourists looking for local cookbooks, the clerk stopped in the restroom.  She inspected the crow’s feet and etches across her forehead and grimaced.  Drying her hands, she turned and looked at the painting, as she did every night.  “Can you imagine children are afraid of you?” she smirked, returning the towel to the metal ring.  “I can’t imagine why.”

She traced the fairy’s face, her lips outlining his impish grin.  Next to him, a small girl in a blue dress was gathering daisies, her face turned to the yellow centers.  The clerk hesitated.  She went out and returned after a moment, leaving a book of fairy tales on top of the toilet.  “It was your mother’s favorite.  She bought it for you, earlier.”


The fairy didn’t stir.  Neither did the girl.  The clerk left for good this time, but didn’t turn off the light.


She didn’t want Abbi with an i to get scared, after all.


Stay tuned, Invisible Friends!  A new fun week awaits!  Have a wonderful Easter!






The Spider would like some spideycakes

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“What kind of a joint is this?”


I pause, holding my laptop over the counter.  In it’s usual spot, two little eyes peer up at me.  “Uh, hi?”


“Listen, I’ve been waiting for hours and not even a cup of dew drops!” the spider snapped.  “I want fly eggs, dragonfly bacon and spidey cakes.  To go, please.  I have a web to build.”


I set my laptop down gently in the spot next to where it usually goes.  “I don’t know how to make fly eggs and spider cakes.”


“You forgot the dragonfly bacon,” he reminded me.  “Well, there has to be a cookbook around here somewhere?  Or perhaps a snail?  Snails always make delicious breakfast for spiders.”


“Would chicken eggs do?”  I ask, opening the fridge.


“Do I look like a chicken?”  The spider scuttles to the side of the counter and drops down, repelling off a single strand of silver.  “Come on.  You’ve got to have some fruit flies, maybe a pillbug…”  He scurries between my feet and I freeze.  “You know, you have a remarkably clean tile floor.”


“Thank you.”  I shut the refrigerator door.  “What about peanut butter?”


“Do you have wheat bread?” he perks up.  “Sometimes they crush bugs in wheat bread.”


I’ll never eat toast again.  “I have a better idea.”  Gingerly, I raise one foot and tiptoe to the patio door.  Pulling it open, I gesture to the cool morning waiting.  “How about you dine alfresco?”


“Brilliant!”  The spider crows, racing across the tile and over the metal doorplate.  For a creature the size of my thumbnail, he crosses the ocean of tile in barely a minute and scampers out onto the porch.  His tiny head swivels to toward the grill.  “Ooh!  Do you think you could make me some grilled fly eggs and smoked caterpillar?  I’ve always wanted to try that for breakfast!”


I look at the grill, then at him.  “I don’t have any fly eggs or caterpillar,” I reply, sheepish.


“I have to do my own hunting too?  What kind of place is this?” the spider grumbles before letting out a lengthy sigh.  “Very well.  You wait here.  I’ll go shopping.” Before I can blink, he scurries off the porch and into the grass.  Shaking my head, I turn on the grill and go back into the house to make my own breakfast.


Something that isn’t eggs and toast.


Stay tuned, Invisible Friends!  A new fun tale tomorrow! 

A few wedding pictures….

Eight months and 18 hours of prep work….But it was a gorgeous day. 





Are we seeing a theme with the sunflowers?



Congrats to the newest Mr. and Mrs. Pope!


I’m surprised the kid didn’t fling himself from the wagon.


A dip for the kiss!


And we pose on the bridge….


And we pose while we walk…


Walking in…


Lana and Linda


I made Corney dance with me.


I made Danielle dance with me.


Everyone dance with MEEEEEEEEEE.


Fine, you can dance with the bride too.


World’s best aunt and uncle.


If I look like I was in pain, it was because I had professional make up.


Now onto Easter!

Thanks to Uncle Corney, Aunt Lana, Christine Wood and Bella Springs for the photos and for all the help!

The Day I bought the Dogs a Stroller

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I’d like to introduce you to Bear, the world’s laziest Chihuahua.


Bear doesn’t like to walk.  Every day, we set out for a walk.  Bitty is thrilled.


Oh, the injustice.  The agony.


Guess who is not?


Every day, it’s always the same.  We get halfway down the street, sometimes not even past the mailbox.  Bear stops, lifts his paw and gives me a look of pure agony.  I scoop him into my arms and inspect his paw.  “Does it hurt?” I coo.  “Does that feel better?”


There is nothing on his paw, no sticker or bur or scratch, but I kiss it and put him down.  Ten feet later, something extraordinary occurs.



“Can’t I just lie here and eat a pillbug?”

He stops, raises his paw and gives me a quivering nose.  I give up and take them home.





I will hunt you down and kill you.


Guess who isn’t happy now?




Image found here.

There was only one solution: a dog stroller.  Delighted with my brilliance, I went to the magical site of Amazon, pressed a button, and the stroller arrived a few days later.  I tore it open and put it together, thrilled to take the dogs on a walk longer than the mailbox.


Much to my dismay, no one but me was excited.


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In fact, they were rather miserable.


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They shivered, shook and whimpered.


Ben didn’t want to be seen with it.  “It’s not natural,” he grumbled.  “People keep looking for a baby.”


Bitty curled up in the fetal position.


Bear hyperventilated and nearly puked along the velvet interior.  Throwing my hands in the air, I yelled, “Ok, ok, fine!”  I took them out of the stroller.  They promptly walked two miles, including up a gigantic hill while I carried the stroller on my back the entire way home.   Once we’d returned, Ben gingerly approached as I took off the wheels, snarling and cursing under my breath.


“Maybe we should get a wagon,” he suggested.  “I could use that for gardening.  And it’s not a stroller.”


I threw the wheels at him.


The next day, I leashed up the dogs and left the stroller at home.


We made it five feet past the mailbox.


Stay tuned, Invisible Friends!  A new fun story for Friday! 





Tag, I’m it.

Charlotte from My Pixie Blog tagged me with some questions for her Liebster award.  For your amusement, here goes!

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1) If you could lay down your roots anywhere, where would you go and why?

I finally came back to where my roots are!  I’ve always loved the Hill Country in Texas.  It’s a bunch of artists, weird people, horses and cactus.  We get along.

2) What’s your favorite book of all time?

I have favorite books of all time– anything by Sarah Addison Allen, Madeline L’Engle, Roald Dahl and whatever is at the library that I haven’t read. 

3) What is your happiest childhood memory?

Waterskiing on the lake or going to Spicewood Day School.


4) Tell me about a tradition that’s been passed down to you, or one you’d like to have with your family one day?

My parent’s Easter Parties.  They were legendary.

5) You’re on a deserted island with a boombox, an infinite supply of batteries, and three CDs. Which ones do you choose?

Three Mix CDs burned from my computer. 

6) What’s your beauty secret?

Peanut butter and jumping on a mini trampoline. 

7) Do you have an achievement you are most proud of, and why?

I know I should say my books, but really it’s whenever I  can make Ben laugh with a story.


8) Who is your hero?

Mrs. McGill.  And all the women authors before me.

9) What is your favorite vacation destination?


10) Tell me your worst date story!

It involved a lizard, a mesh cage and a goofy boyfriend that worked at Petco.  There’s a reason I don’t like reptiles or men who can’t air up tires with four-foot lizards hissing in my backseat.

11) What inspired you to start blogging?

I wanted to tell stories and get a book deal.  I just can’t top telling stories!