Friday, September 17, 2010

Thinking About Christmas Time

It was bright and warm on a crisp autumn day.
The dog would not return the ball.
Our kitchen counter has multiple invitations to play.
For my son, not the dog I should say.
I can almost hear winter's call.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tribute to My Dad's Storytelling

This is a speech I am giving today to a private audience.

This is the story of when I learned the importance of telling children stories.

When I was a little girl growing up in a small town in southern Indiana my dad was a volunteer fireman. When he went out on a call he would usually return home with a story that included a fire prevention moral. Did you know that a plugged in toaster can create a kitchen fire? Never throw water on a grease fire. It is important to keep your chimney clean. We would hear stories about the most ridiculous things people did to start fires. To this day I never leave a candle burning when I am not around.

There were times my dad came home without a story and only with a lesson. Use two fingers on infants that need CPR. Never ride on a motorcycle without a helmet. Always wear your seat belt.

Fast forward to when I am grown and have my own small child. My husband and I were lucky enough to be able to commute together for awhile. Our son was in the backseat during our morning drive when we saw smoke rising off of the road. I looked to the side of the road and saw a flipped car.

My father's stories came flooding back and took over my actions. I told my husband to stop the car and call 911. People are sometimes in shock during a crisis situation so you should assign someone to call 911. Get their attention by calling their name or pointing to them. Make sure they have a phone and tell them to call 911 before leaving to help.

I left my husband and son in the car and ran up to the flipped Saturn. I could see one person inside so I called out to see if there were more people inside the car. The woman replied that she was the only person. With an artificial calmness I assessed the situation and saw that she was stuck but not in immediate danger. She was responsive but could go into shock. She started to panic.

Do not move the injured person unless there is a chance the car might catch fire or become unstable. Keep them talking. She told me her name was Brie and she worked for Waukegan schools. Brie wanted to climb out the window but I stopped her. I kept reassuring her that the fire department was on the way. I almost came out of my calm and disassociated demeanor when she pulled out her bloody cell phone and we both realized she was bleeding.

My dad's stories were inside of me. Once the fire department gets there, get out of their way and let them do their job. A fire person came up with the jaws of life and I let Brie know that I was going to leave and let them get her out of the car. Someone else started talking to Brie and I left.

When I returned to my car my son told me that I had missed all of the firetrucks. My legs started to shake and my voice cracked when I let him know that I had seen them. I told my son, “When you are helping someone that is injured and the fire department arrives, you get out of their way and let them do their job.”

Without my dad's stories I wonder if I would have frozen when I saw the car wreck. Would I have stopped to help if I didn't have his rescue lessons allowing me to run on auto-pilot? I cannot know for sure but one thing I do know is that storytelling is an essential part of parenting and I am going to be one of 'those parents' that bore their children with stories.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Free Printable Coloring Pages For Artistic Children and Adults

This post was inspired by my son. I had drawn several of the common symbols I use in my artwork in line drawings. He asked if I had printed him some coloring pages. I told him that I had drawn these pictures and smiled with pride when he was impressed. He is too young for me to explain the meaning behind the symbols however he wanted to color, and add to my artwork. I have scanned these images in for other artistic children to enhance, color, or style.

If your child or you enjoy these free printable coloring pages I would love to see how they are used to create new pieces of art.

The first image is called No Protest. You will find stick figure protesters in a lot of my art. Sometimes these stick figures are holding signs that say no. They are never saying yes. Another symbol I use in my art are filmstrip boxes with various items or symbols in pictures. I have combined these two components into one image.

The second image is found in almost all of my artwork if you look close enough. It is called Bird and has had a guest appearance in my artwork for almost ten years now.

Please enjoy these free printable coloring pages for artistic children and adults!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Morbid Humor

There is a good chance that I will kill myself someday. Do not misunderstand, I am not suicidal. I am spacey. We are talking, 'wash the toaster off in the sink while it is still plugged in' spacey. I am pretty good at catching myself but you never know. (=

If the day comes where I kill myself in a morbidly hilarious way, I want to make as many people laugh as possible! I want to make even the kindest person fight a smirk while reading my obituary.

Here are two obituaries you can use if I happen to end up in one of these situations someday. No need to thank me for writing my own obituary, it is my pleasure!

In an attempt to surprise her family and save squirrels, Loki Morgan was installing a chimney cover when she heard a noise coming from inside the chimney. Loki stuck her head down to make sure she wasn't trapping any animals inside and got herself stuck. Unfortunately no one noticed her legs sticking up from the top of the house until it was too late. Loki will be missed but her love for animals will never be forgotten.

Loki Morgan had recently gotten over her refusal to use the plunger when a toilet got clogged. Loki will be remembered for the effort she put into learning new things in death as in life. She put her heart into unclogging that toilet, so much so that she slipped on the splashed liquid and cracked her head open on the bathtub. We know that Loki is looking down from heaven and proud that she succeeded in unclogging that toilet.

LM (=

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free Grocery Store Tape Influences My Life

Come back with me to a time long ago in a sticky place I like to call Southern Indiana. We had a grocery store in the town I grew up in. It was right next to the pizza place and the gas station. Of course this was outside the gated community in which I lived.

Don't get me wrong, we were the weirdos of the community. I mean what kind of family lets their daughters be shepherds in the staged nativity scene which was part of the Christmas celebrations each year. Shepherds were boys, not girls. There were a few other weirdos who lived in the gated community so at least we weren't alone. We were actually double weirdos to everyone who lived outside the gate but who is counting?

Getting back to the title, my life today is influenced by a give away tape my parents got for me at the grocery store. I don't remember much except that I played the tape and acted it out for my imaginary audience all the time. The part that sticks with me is when a squirrel or chipmunk - some high pitched animal - sang this:

Integrity means being fair in every situation. Doing what is right in every part of your day. We must do, we must do, what is right, what is right, in each part, in each part of our da-a-a-ay!

So there you go. I'm sure my parents had something to do with my strong since of integrity but to this very day I hear that song in my head.

LM (=

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Worst Mom EVER - close call but nervous..

I am good at a lot of things. I can do funny tricks with my tongue. I can make myself laugh on command. I am also pretty good with computers, applications, servers, and all that technical stuff.

I am not good at gardening. Last year I made my first garden and I thought it was successful because we grew veggies! The fact that maybe 6 out of the 20 or so plants we put in there lived was a baseline for improvement. This year we are only focusing on strawberries and they are twice as big as last year!

Here comes the worst mom ever part. When I picked my wonderful son up from school before Mother's Day he had a present for me. It was a little decorated pot with some sort of plant growing in it. (= It melted my heart.

Worst mom ever action number one: I sat on it.
I put it in the backseat but my son was concerned that it might fall over. I grabbed the plant and put it in the front drivers seat while I strapped him into his car seat. Instead of moving the plant to the cup holder like I had intended, I spaced and sat on the plant. Luckily it survived and the only problem was that it looked like I shit my pants because of the soil. (=

Worst mom ever action number two: I put them into a coma.
When we got home I doted on my son and we put the mystery plant by the window in the kitchen. I've been watering it and all was going well until one day I checked on it and both little seedlings looked DOA. I gave them some water and one perked up.

Worst mom ever action number three: I don't know what the hell to do with them!

Last year I tried to grow seedlings with my son and all of them bit the dust. I do not want his special mother's day present to join last year's seedlings in plant heaven. They are tiny. Do I put them in a bigger pot? Do I plant them outside? Am I giving them too much or too little water? What the hell kind of plant is it??

The real bitch is I tried to research how to do this stuff last year and they all still died. As important as this plant is to me, I just hate to spend the time researching again when I don't even know what kind of plant it is. Can anyone help me get out of being the worst mom ever? (=

LM (=

Monday, February 15, 2010

Funniest comment of the morning

I told my five year old son that the person on his shirt was Jimi Hendrix and he was a musician. My son got so excited and said, “Wow, I love musicians! They do tricks!” Then he turned to his dad and said, “This is a musician! He does magic tricks. I love magic tricks!”
LM (=