The “Elf on the Shelf”, named Flē, no longer “works” at our house. His days of spying on us are over. According to the “legend” and a children’s book from 2005, one of Santa’s elves will come to your home, get named by you, and will report back to Santa on how naughty or nice you’ve been. Flē was about 7 inches tall, skinny, with eyes that were always looking sideways.
We named our elf “Flē,” because it’s “elf” spelled backwards. So clever! Each night, Flē, came up with places to hide in our house and did silly things. We found him drinking egg nog in the fridge,and he hid in our shoes sometimes.
Apparently, Flē was living too close to the edge — of the shelf. He was found mauled by our dog, Ivey. His left arm was chewed off at the elbow and his insides spilled out onto the rug. It was sad, a but fitting ending. His name was FLEE, and he needed to do just that.
Last weekend, we had family road trip to Hockley, Texas, to watch my brother’s lacrosse tournament. I thought it would be fun watching lacrosse, eating out, and spending the night in a hotel. Unfortunately, we woke up on Saturday morning to find that the entire drive would be rainy and drizzly. The high temperature that day would be 42*.
After two hours driving towards Houston, we made it to the fields. Normally, a tournament is festive and fans wear their colors and fly their team banners. All we saw was miserably cold people bundled up in jackets like it was dead of Winter, District 12 in The Hunger Games. My brother started his game and the drizzle became a constant soaking rain coming from all directions. I was under a tent, with two blankets, shivering and feeling miserable. The game slowed down and it seemed like the teams were playing lacrosse under water. The final whistle blew and we ran to the car just to get our blood pumping again. I felt like a wet sock that had been left in the middle of the road for three days. In fact, we did see a sock left on the road but no one bothered to pick it up because we were so COLD and it was “every man for himself” to get warm.
My Mom cranked the heat on high in the car. My brother’s lips were blue and he couldn’t feel his fingers. We knew we needed to dry out before the next game, so we ended up going a wash-a-teria (laundromat). I’ve never seen so many industrial-sized washers and dryers in one place. We peeled off all of our wet clothes and changed into dry clothes. Our soggy layers plus my brother’s uniform tumbled in the hot stainless steel vat. The warmth and heat of the room finally thawed me. The even better news, some of the other team parents were also at the washeteria and we got the message that the rest of the day’s games were cancelled. Yay! Back to the warm, dry hotel and a cup of hot cocoa, please!
I am from
I am from the crowded pantry
From Captain Crunch and Blue Bell
I am from the pink bricks my mom will always hate
The sweet smell of cake baking
I am from the honey suckle covering the black fence
The Ash tree, not the biggest but the first to bloom in the spring
I’m from movie night and soda Friday
From Jill and David
I’m from sports and jerky making
and from pillow fights
I’m from “suck it up” and “you blew it bubsie”
And “just do it”
I’m from egg pie
I’m from Plano and Virginia
Spaghetti and ribs
From when my mom broke her arm
By falling off a slide
Old dusty photos
Scattered under the coffee table
Ready to be relived again
My great grandmother marked her 100th birthday last month in a convalescence home required to watch her 24/7. One afternoon, a nursing staff person came into her room and said, “Mam, oh Mam, let me see that ring on your finger?” The nursing assistant pinched the 1920’s diamond engagement ring from her left index finger. “Ooh, that looks dirty. You know what? I’ll have it cleaned and polished for you.”
That was probably the last time she would see her favorite ring. My great grandmother is nearly deaf and almost blind, so she didn’t see or know the name of the assistant who removed it from her finger. She felt so betrayed. The nursing staff did not believe her story until she had to tell the police. In just days, she became so depressed and cried about her stolen ring. She thought it was gone forever.
The very good news is that local pawnshops are required to photograph incoming jewelry and scan the driver’s license of those who seek cash for jewels. There was no exception for my great grandmother’s ring. The woman who pawned the ring also worked at the nursing home. She was fired from her job and arrested for theft. My Grandmother got her ring back on her finger that day! The criminal case against the nursing assistant is pending in our court system.
After the rains last week, our dog walking trails turned into streams of muddy muck. I started the hike with my dogs and within about fifty feet, the muck glued to my sneakers in grayish, brownish slimed clumps. I sighed. Had I only I listened to my mom’s advice and worn boots. Nope, like always, I went out the door without a second thought. My (formerly) neon sneakers quickly became the same color as the mucky trail, so I took a break at a bench to see if I could clear off the first layer of gook. Unfortunately, the muck was totally embedded in my treads and creeped around my shoe to the top laces. The dogs were thrilled to have muddy paws and seemed to seek out the puddles. I decided to tip-toe the rest of the way home and hide my shoes from my Mom. She still hasn’t seen them.
I walked barefoot into the office. The white tile floor was cold under my feet. The forest green walls created an earthy feel to the room. I walked past the window viewing the front yard. Before standing in front of the large brown desk. The desk took up half the space in the room. The side of the desk had stacks of papers on it. I eased myself into the old leather chair and spread out my homework, ready for work.
Halloween was yesterday; costumes,candy,and tricks! I didn’t have a costume however, I was too caught up in every thing else to even plan for a costume. ¡Ay no!
I rushed around the house trying to ring a plan together when, I ran past my brother. I took a double take and saw him dressed as a full fledged zombie. He had white pale skin and dark hallows around his eyes. He was terrifying. I knew the only way I was going to pull off a halloween costume was to have crazy makeup.
I made a beeline to my mom. It took several minutes and finally she agreed to help with me with my make up. Now it’s time to get some candy!
Last weekend, I attended the “11th Annual Great Pugkin Festival,” a fundraiser for Pug Rescue of Austin. This event attracts hundreds of people each year and at least as many pugs. The pug costume contest is the featured event and their biggest annual fundraiser. Pug owners do not lack creativity when it comes to dressing up their dogs, this is an all-out competition.
A large grassy field is marked off with little flags to create the oval arena for the contestants to parade their costumes. The crowd gathers and sit on the hills surrounding the arena. A staging tent is where people dress up their dogs. There is a special announcer introducing each contestant like it’s a circus. At the end of the oval arena, there are five official judges.
Christina PUGulara was runner-up in the costume contest as she was featured on a float, wearing a big blonde wig sitting in high-back, red rotating chair to imitate the real Christina Agulara on The Voice. A pug duo came out with one pug featured as Miley Cyrus in a plastic bikini with Robin Thicke; another pug in referee stripes. This duo was Furred Lines. There was the Incredible PUG spray-painted green (non-toxic) with rags around him. Pugcosso featured a pug as easel with a small boy with a paint brush. There were more than 50 entries, some filled with wagons of pugs in beards (Pug Dynasty).
The best costume was not just a costume, it was a mini-production of Pug Trek. Four adults were dressed up in Trek outfits and two pugs were in a large float resembling the Starship Enterprise. Are these people professional stage artists or set designers?
Each year, I look forward to this event because it’s fun and creative, but for helping dogs in need. Pug Fest 2013I better start thinking about a costume for the 10th Annual Pug-A-Ween.
I watched as the others gradually scrapped the algae off of themselves, the debris slowly floating in the crystal clear water before sinking back to the sandy sea floor. The defining sound of rock cracking created a thundering sound around me. Many of the rock figures stretched their muscles and waited for their orders, while others stood still, waiting patiently, silently.
When they were finally done with their ritual, they grouped themselves in a circle. Even with the rock and algae shaken off them they still looked like statues. I slowly breathed the salty water into my gills before starting the command; ” It’s been many years since the last time they called”, and we prepared our journey to the dry land above.
Taylor, Jason DeCaires. Underwater Sculpture Park, Grenada. 2011. Photograph. Grenada, West Indies.
What if you were in a world where dirt was not under you feet. Where the only thing under your feet was cold ,black sand. The only visible landscape is jutting pieces of crystal, tinted a blue. What if the whole world looked the same. You are in a world where the clouds always prevail against the sun. The sun is just a flickering white star, never penetrating the thick clouds above. What if you finally reached the end of the world; silent, cold, and alone. The last leaf on the tree, and only you are there.
Carr, Sophie. Waves, Iceland. 2013. Photograph. Jökulsárlón Beach.