White night

Well, gotta go and be out done by my husband.

Well that just can’t stand! I’ll show him! I am also going to write a holiday inspired short story. Ha, that will show him for trying to give the holidays a little more cheer with his own fantastic shorts.

So, I give you, a White Night.

~~~~~~________________________~~~~~~~

Bethany stood back and admired her hours of work. The house was dressed to the nines and her back screamed with the ache of all the hard work she had put in. The fresh cut tree glittered and shone under the small fariy lights that Bethany had insisted would bring a more magical feel to the tree. Small acorns and pine cones lightly dusted with an iridescent glitter gave a dewy look to the natural ornaments. One of Bethany’s finest works yet. The Zandogas will be so excited when they get home. With that she turned and packed up her bag. The soft light of the new decorations gave a dreamy glow to the room and just as she was shoving her excess of glitter into her bag she saw a glint of light shine off something under the bookcase in the den.

She laughed to herself at how many trinkets she always carried and walked over to retrieve the hidden object. As she got on her knees she looked under and saw a small pair of green eyes. The Zandogas didn’t have any animals. Not with how strict and uptight the mother was. The eyes blinked slowly. Although slightly startled Bethany wasn’t going to look away for a second. She had been the one to argue the merits of a live tree and how the idea of an animal hitching a ride into the house was just silly.

“Come here you little whatever you are.” Bethany didn’t want to touch it but she had to try and get it out.

The eyes focused on her mouth and she got chills crawling down her spine as her voice was echoed back. “Come here you little whatever you are.” A small thin arm shot out and with tiny claw like fingers grabbed onto her nose.

The sudden movement to her face had her eyes slamming shut as her breath caught in her throat. She could feel the small claws latch into her nose tip as she tried to move or open her eyes again she found much to her horror that her whole body had been paralyzed. The claw never moved but she could feel the air around her shift and become cold. She wasn’t sure if the feeling of the floor below her was an illusion due to the loss of feeling or if the moving wind was just her imagination. She could hear small jingles if bells in the distance and small peels of laughter. She could smell a far off smell of fur and pine. Her body shifted from cold to warm as she felt the claws in her nose tip start to retract.

Time had passed slowly as she felt her body reawakening. Her eyes slowly fluttered open and she was caught by surprise by the lush room that surrounded her. Like a room right out of Country Living, plaid, sheepskin and dark wood composed the whole of her surroundings. She looked around for a weapon and exit of some kind. To the far end was a wall full of brimming shelves full of books and knickknacks. She ran her eyes over it as her heart started to quicken. There on a tall shelf was a sword in a glass case.

Bethany ran over and noticed that she was no longer in the clothes she had started the day in. In fact, she was now dressed in a great white ballgown with simmers and sparkles all over the place. She turned this way and that and saw her dress move and flow around her. She heard a click and by the time she spun back around there was still no sign of an exit but now there stood a tall slender woman, her head bowed apologetically.

“He is glad to see you awake and asks if you would need anything until dinner is called in two hours.” The girl spoke with Bethany’s own voice and kept her head pointed down as her lips moved. However, watching her talk had been more like watching a horribly dubbed movie.

“I want to know who the hell you are, where the hell I am And who the hell this ‘HE’ is!” She screamed at the pale faced girl. She noted that the girl didn’t shudder or move away. She just remained standing as she had been. Waiting.

The girl shifted her weight and pointed a long slender finger to the wall behind Bethany.

Bethany turned to look and as she did, she heard the faint sound of a click and spun back around to find the girl missing. A click came from the wall that had been pointed out as Bethany turned back around she expected to see another stranger. Instead a small alcove had opened above her bed. She slowly walked over and picked up the paper neatly tucked away with her name on the front in her mother’s familiar handwriting.

My dearest daughter. I know we had promised never to keep things from each other. I am sorry to say I must break that promise the night you read this letter. You see, you are not really my daughter. I found you, crying your eyes out on Christmas Eve in the middle of the forest. You had no signs of damage or any fear of the cold. You seemed to cry just for someone to find you. When you had your first period I was surprised to find a visitor in our house. He told me that who I had hidden from him was not mine to hide. He was ready to kill me right there, however, you came home crying and I think it startled him. He vanished before I could make anything more out of it. I thought I had imagined the whole thing except I would see him in the audience of your performances. I would see him walking into your school when dropping you off. I asked about him once and you didn’t remember anyone matching the description. He came to me last week, after my doctor informed me that I had two weeks left to live. The cancer had taken solid hold of me and I would be leaving soon. I was thinking of how to tell you when he showed up. He looked me over and smiled, your time with her is done, he said to me. He told me of his plan to bring you wherever you are now. He allowed me to write this letter as a final goodbye.

Bethany slammed down the letter on the bed with tears in her eyes. She was going to go see her mom right after the Zandogas’ job. Now she was meant to believe that her mother was gone? She heard another click and lifted her head to see a bookshelf swing backwards and open to a brightly glittering hallway. Bethany wiped away the tears in her eyes and walked over to it. As she walked down the hall it twisted and turned. She found herself looking at mirrors faded back into the hallway walls, then images started to float to the surface. There she was as a babe learning to walk. A picture of her first lost tooth. An image of her dressed up for a dance. Prom. Graduation. University walking across campus. Her in her dorm room after a shower. Then a small room came into view. In the middle was a small table.

Bethany walked in slowly. Her mind reeling in terror. Her finger tips felt numb as she reached out her hand to pick up the ruby red fruit in the center of the table. She had never eaten pomegranate before but she was familiar with the staining power and use in winter displays. She examined it and saw that the kernels inside were bright and extremely full of juice. Her stomach cramped with pain as she realized the hunger that gnawed at her. She sniffed at the fruit and only became more hungry. Using her fingertips she carefully removed one kernel. It was firm in her fingers as she lightly squeezed it. She placed it on her lips and took it in. The juice rushed forth from the kernel with a small pop. The sweet tartness filled her mouth and she almost moaned with pleasure at the single kernel. She carefully knocked out 5 more kernels and popped them into her mouth. The pure joy and shuddering bliss pulsed in body. She fished out another handful of jeweled kernels and ate them without thought.

“And now she is reborn, my Persephone.” A deep voice grumbled from behind her. “Now we go to the wedding. “

In which Kris loves wind

Kris here,

I wanted to follow up on Tina’s post from last week a little bit. She grew up in a state where tornado sirens are tested every week without fail. They’re tested for a dang good reason too. If you go to Oklahoma and you hear a tornado siren anytime aside from a Saturday, there’s a good chance you can see a gaggle of Oklahomans outside looking around for the tornado. That’s a bit silly though isn’t it? Tornado siren – oh there’s a tornado! Zoinks! All the normal people you speak with have reactions like “omg I would lock myself in a basement surrounded by steel and concrete and a 15 day ration of food tornadoes can go straight to hell.”

I grew up in Washington in the Pacific Northwest – it’s an amazing place and I love it, but I was always so sad we never had bigger storms. Don’t get me wrong, thunderstorms are dangerous and set of fires every year in multiple states, but they’re still awe inspiring. I had no idea my spirit animal was actually Oklahoma state until I moved there, let me tell you. I don’t actually like the college football or some of their weird obsessions. But when the skies darken to twilight at 1PM and the skies dye themselves a dark green or purple, then that siren starts wailing – you can bet your whole bottom I’m standing outside with everybody else just freakin’ stoked like WHERE IS IT!

Storms and earthquakes and acts of nature are amazing, but of course beauty comes at a price. These things can be dangerous – if not to us as immediate observers, then to people trying to fix downed power lines, ambulances rushing through hazards to get people to safety…like this time I was outside looking for a tornado that was relatively not far away from me, it was exciting and downpouring like a crazy monsoon all over my work clothes. I didn’t notice it stop raining because I was a hunter stalking my prey..a uh…a tornado. It made more sense at the time. Anyway, I’m just hanging around and my roommate at the time was like “Kris by the way come inside” and I was like “ha! No way I’m invincible!” Then all of a sudden some hail fell that was almost as big as my palm, too big to hold more than 2 in my hand. This stuff was literally vibrating my feet through my shoes from like 2 feet away:

(not my video, but this is a few blocks from where I lived)

I’ve got a plethora of monitoring apps on my phone and computer at all times just checking out the world around us and I definitely think I’ve infected my son with the sense of curiosity too. I probably should’ve saved Tsunamis and earthquakes maybe until he was a bit older, but it’s too late to turn back now! Since the “please don’t kill me” hail incident I’ve gotten a bit more cautious, but more interested than ever.

I’m definitely watching this hurricane season as it’s punched its way into our lives with all kinds of record breaking numbers. Harvey was a windy, rainy couple days up where we live now, but dumped 15 trillion gallons of water on eastern Texas – as much as 4 feet of water in some places – and Irma is looking to be just as strong coming up at Florida. Stay safe in those storms, and let’s remember to pitch in to the relief efforts wherever you can, just a little can make a big difference!

Texas, you crazy

When moving from Oklahoma to Texas I knew it wouldn’t be much of a change. Or so I thought. 

In Oklahoma I was treated to the majesty and grandeur of wild weather. Tornadoes, snow storms and earthquakes all on the same day! 

Texas was much more than what I was expecting. I instantly fell into a stupor of community involvement and a passion for learning about my new city.  A simple oasis of kindness and free expression. A place to bring out all the things that felt so hidden and hush hush back home. I fell into some hard times but I found an amazing and supportive community to reach out and remind me that I wasn’t alone. 

The weather here can get crazy. This latest on set of storms has brought many people from the gulf out toward my little town and I had the pleasure of sharing some of the kindness I got to them. We talked about the easy access library where their kids can find tons of books and videos to hold them over. The new laundry mat that has huge and cheap machines down the street. Oh, and the new delicious delivery Greek food place that just opened up!

So as I am lucky enough not to be effected by the storm by loss of home or blocked up roadways. I have been lucky enough to be affected with the hospitality and love that my community has shown me and that I can now share with those in need. 

Til next week ya’ll!

Tina out!

Notebooks: Getting started

Tina Here!

I love the feel of blank paper under my fingertips. I love how free and hopeful a new notebook makes me feel. I enjoy finding different sizes, some with lines, dots, or nothing at all. I love the bright wonderful textures that the covers display to the world about how wonderful or colorful the works inside of it might be. Each one of the pages waiting to be filled with your ideas and musings.

Kris however, doesn’t like the cost. So he gently pushed me down the path of finding out what it would take to make my own books. I have to say, at first I didn’t see a real point in it for me. Then the light of different stitches came to my screen. I can make a book look or feel different just by how I stitch it. I was in love and wanted to try right away. What did I need?

Well the short list is:

  • Video tutorials (Because what can’t you find)
  • Time (Long time or in pieces)
  • String (various, cotton, wax thread)
  • A Needle (curved, or not. Doesn’t seem do matter much)
  • And paper (I plan on making my own but for now just bought)

I found a wonderful Youtuber by the name of Sea Lemon who has amazing diy videos on her channel. She caught my interest in a video about how to make a copy cat journal of River Song from the Doctor Who TV series. Looking around she talks about making not just notebooks but scratchpads and custom covers for your books as well! You can find here here: youtube.com/user/SeaLemonDIY

With her videos making my crafting fingers itch with will to give it all a go, I headed over to amazon to get some of the tools she works with.

Here is my list of links and tools I got:

I looked into buying card-stock for backing and covers but found that with the amount of unused cardboard around my house, I could make book covers for years to come. I also went out and got duck-tape as my primary source of covering for my books because I liked the fun patterns and durability that it added to the books.

My books are not the prettiest things in town but I love the way they look. I have made them primarily for other people though. I have yet to make one for myself. Not sure why yet. Maybe more because I want to use them all as practice so I can make an amazing one for mine. Either way, I have gained some really cool insight and skills from making notebooks. I gave a really thick 400 page one to my son last year when I got started and he filled it up with drawings and comics and codes from his friends. He loves and cherishes it and asked me to make him another one for the up coming school year. So I had to comply. After seeing his big brother’s notebook, Niko wanted one too. Seeing them sitting at the table together and drawing or writing in their books makes my heart glow. So I would say this is 100% worth doing for the kiddos alone.

This project is fun to get started with and easy enough that you can teach your middle schoolers how to make their own. Get into it and check it out. I wanna see pictures of your own creations.

Road trip!

Kris here,

We’re going on a trip to see family this week (we’re on the road as I type!) and are unfortunately unable to rewrite the blog post that was carelessly ripped from our loving hands from a cruel Windows update (reinstalled OS.)

Please enjoy this brief hiatus while we go to and return from our trip and we’ll get hard at work replacing the posts that were tragically lost (RIP)

Have a good week!

Dang Ultimate Media Browsing (D.U.M…)

Kris here,

Sorry for the late release – some of us weren’t feeling well today and some others weren’t aware that we were feeling that way so the post gets written after we put the kiddo to bed. The youngest, we actually have two right now but only one is lucky enough to get to sleep around 8. Today I’m doing another installment of Dang Ultimate Media Browsing featuring the things I watch all day! A lot of people pick up T.V shows and binge watch seasons of something or another and go on to tell me alllll about why it’s hilarious and heart wrenching; unfortunately, I’m a stone hearted hunk of rock and I just can’t do any of these new-fangled cable televisions! So instead, I turn to YouTube to entertain me and teach me things in a hilarious manner. I think I’m partly drawn to it because the creators themselves are getting paid from the content they’re putting out there, and partly because they’re all so dang charasmatic how can I even stay mad at those cheeks!  I know a gigantic number of people spend even more serious numbers of hours on YouTube each and every second of every day so I know I’m definitely not alone – let me know if anyone has some fabulous channels I can check out and I’ll definitely do so. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites —

Minecraft:  Okay so I know billions of hours of minecraft are floating around and everyone is sick of it, but hear me out. Quit being sick of it. Now that the air between us has been aired, I was never actually a fan of watching Minecraft videos on youtube until I started picking up all the guys living their days out on the Hermitcraft server. I picked it up in season 4 last year, but they’re on to season 5 now. Every one of these guys are genuinely hilarious and animated in their own ways and I’m pretty sure there’s someone making something for everyone – they’re also super geniuses and make the most amazing things. Since this is more of a group of people, I’ll just link the official website – http://hermitcraft.com.

Of course, if you don’t already like Minecraft it probably won’t make you start, but if you do, well you’ll love it! Here’s a video from a few weeks ago with two of the guys setting up an aerial sheep service – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UVnLJLB4Fc

Game Theory: Game theory is my YouTube spirit animal. Just a guy spending way too much time using math and history to solve complex and artificial problems with the lore and consistency of your favorite video games. He’s also started up a film theory channel to do the same for movies, and has a streaming channel called GTLive. These videos are more fun than serious, but I can’t help but think he’s probably right a lot of the time. Here’s a theory about why Mario Kart 8 is Mario’s deadliest game – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWnCLXT9uMU

Good Mythical Morning: I’m relatively sure at least 50% of anyone reading my blogs is familiar with GMM, but just in case – it’s a long running weekly ‘show’ essentially featuring Rhett and Link. Also, it’s hilarious, they’re hilarious, their crew is hilarious and these guys have been going at this for a long dang time. My favorites of theirs to watch are generally the ‘will it’ series because I’m a sadist, but if they didn’t want me to laugh at them, they wouldn’t have sucked down an eggnog made of Cheez-wiz. “Will it eggnog” is an old episode from 2015 but it’s honestly made me laugh every one of the 5 or 6 times I’ve watched it for various reasons – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YhjDv1ipMY

Nerdy Nummies: Rosanna Pancino is an adorably energetic person bouncing around baking “nerdy” stuff like spider man cakes, video game cupcakes, and also doing some guest appearances with a lot of other YouTubers I watch. Her videos are usually pretty quick but always make me laugh, check out her making cookies with cookie monster last November – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YhjDv1ipMY

Vlog Brothers: John and Hank Green are fabulous guys with a huge reach in the YouTube community after a long, illustrious career. I started out watching them just because they were funny guys vlogging back and forth, but they’ve really put out some immensely insightful and considerate videos over the years and I appreciate what they do. John is also a young adult author with some extremely good books Tina and I read to each other a while back, while Hank plays music and does some touring to drop some smooth education on the nerdfighters of the world. I basically spent my 20’s watching these guys, and John’s inspired me a lot to really stick to writing when it started feeling like a waste of time a few years back. Not to mention the crash course series they created and the founding of Vidcon! Here’s a short video about Cheyenne, Wyoming – the one in your mind, not the actual place, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7XppUsqiEs

There are of course about 15,000 other channels on YouTube I’ve watched over the years, but these are definitely the top 5 in terms of watch time aside from the countless hours I’ve spent watching Pewdiepie, Markiplier and Jacksepticeye play horror games on youtube. But since one of these recently broke 50 million subscribers and the other two are hanging around 20 million, they sure as heck don’t need MY introductions D=