The loss of a friend

Posted by Megan (13yo)

I recently lost a dear friend of mine.  I hadn’t known this friend very long but in the all too brief time we were together, we had become inseparable. When I found out about the accident, I felt a gaping hole in the middle of my heart. The washing machine, that devourer, had killed my friend. This friend was named Ipod Nano the Sixth.
” Ipod,” I sobbed.  I cradled his broken body in my hand, lifting his face to my cheek.  ” Say something to me! Anything! Even Kathy Matthea!” But no. It was not to be. My friend was gone. We held a private funeral, during which scarce an eye was dry, and laid him to rest.
I remained inconsolable for several weeks, then decided that it was time to move on. I would find another Ipod, another companion to fill the dark hours of loneliness as we drove an hour to church, or the grocery store. I found a new Ipod, but as I did, I realized no other Ipod could take the place of my dear deceased friend. I don’t dislike this Ipod. I haven’t even taken it out of the case, but having him around was just too painful.
I sincerely hope he will find a good home, among people who will understand him, instead of someone who will be constantly saying “If only…”.
If you feel that this Ipod would be a good match for your family, please contact me.  He is fluent in Jonathan Park and can recite the complete audio library from memory.  I am asking $150 to help cover the cost of adoption fees for the new Kindle that will (I hope) be joining me on my journeys to church, the grocery store, etc.
For those of you that already have friends in Ipods, please, remember, their time is limited. Try to appreciate them while they’re here. Also, try not to put them through the wash.

For sale: One sixth generation Ipod Nano. Brand new, and fully loaded with Jonathan Park.

Retail Price $199.  My Price $150.

Pieces of my fancy

Shamelessly stolen from 12yo Megan’s facebook page.  She’s quite a writer.  I know Meg reads this blog occasionally.  I wonder how long it will take her to notice that I posted this piece on her behalf?  ~Mom

If I lived in a world of my own, I would always wear black and white checks and ruby slippers.

People would still use typewriters in my world, and put records on, and drive old cars with red leather seats.

Girls would wear birdcage veils, and men would wear vests and shoulder holsters.

Everyone would have a library with a rolling ladder, and everyone would listen to Frank Sinatra.

People would call each other “dahling” and it wouldn’t be weird.

We’d have wicker strollers that we’d push our babies in while wearing high heels, and everyone would read Kipling.

How about you?


Monday Megan (on Wednesday): The Tale of Darren Dragon-Slayer

When father got back, he didn’t look relieved, as usual. He looked grim. His face was pale, almost gray, and as for his eyes, they were worst of all. They were dull, empty, like a lake that watches a storm pass just by it, without even raising a breeze. When Mother saw him, she turned pale, and said in a gasping sort of voice, “Oh Lan, the cow?” He looked at her for a second, then nodded, and said in a hoarse choking voice, “And the chickens.” Of course it was always a risk, but one never really expected it. Every day, every man in the town went to the marketplace and drew lots on whose animals would go. This time it was ours.
We had been under siege for weeks, but it seemed like years. We were under siege not from an army, but a dragon. Every man with a suit of armor that actually buckled (which was few indeed) had already faced it; the last had gone a week ago, and turned into overdone steak. The townspeople had discussed the unarmored men facing it, but had given it up as hopeless. So every day one more family was robbed of their living to satisfy the dragon’s hunger.
Well I’d had enough of it, I wasn’t going to stand by and watch any longer, waiting for hunger to waste us till we could stand no more, but died in the streets.
The first part of course was to find out everything I could about dragons. They were rare. A man was lucky to see one in a lifetime, or rather, unlucky. Very unlucky.
The best thing to do was go to what book collector’s house. He had been a secretive old man, talking to few except when he had to. But he had talked to me, and when he left to go to some far off country I couldn’t remember the name of (Hackelmoo???), he had left me permission read his books, providing it went unknown. He had a large library in a time when books were few and a man was lucky to own more than a Bible. Most of the men in our town didn’t even own these. They read out of their neighbors.
There was only one book on dragons which I could find. It was thick and dusty, sitting in a forgotten corner. I suppose I had better set in order everything I learned from it:
They had no vulnerable spots on their underbellies as the stories said except, in the rare occasion of losing a scale. Their eyes were the weak spot, but there was a catch to this, as I had expected. The fact is, it’s extremely difficult to pierce a creature’s eye when it’s made up entirely of pupil and therefore always watching you. They didn’t have any color in their in their eyes. They were narrow but wide slits perfect for spotting anything moving within who knew how far. The easiest way to kill a dragon is to extinguish its flame, everyone knew that, but was it even possible? And, if it was possible, was it realistic?
There was only one way to find out. I tried to bolster my failing courage. After all I was only a fourteen year old boy going out to fight a half legendary beast with knowledge I had scraped from an ancient book in a crazy old man’s library, a man who many people said was a sorcerer of the worst kind, that spent his time visiting through mysterious portals to other sorcerers.
There were no more swords in the city, except the sword of Sweeney. It hung in the town hall, and it was said to be extraordinarily sharp. Getting it was simple enough; all I had to do after that was get out of the town.
I managed it, by slipping past a guard and lowering myself down. I had always been known as stealthy, or sneaky as some people put it (the rude people).
So here I was, outside the safe, or, safer confines of the town with nothing but the sword of some half forgotten midget warrior. Oh boy was this going to be fun. Right, fun, think of it positively, you’ll be less scared. Yeah right.
I crept over to the side of the town that dragon was supposed to be roosting, or however the heck they sleep (the book hadn’t told me). Maybe they hung upside down from their toes. No, that was highly unlikely. Anyway, I crept over there, and started looking around. I found it, in a manner of speaking, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say it found me. It was about five to ten minutes before dawn, so all the people in the town had the pleasure of seeing me get chased halfway around the town, screaming like a newborn babe. Not the proudest moment of my life. I did however, at least have a plan.
The book had told me that dragons like a nice long run before a meal, but if they saw that their prey was getting ahead, they caught it in a spurt, rushing ahead. So I had reserved my energy for a final spurt right in front of the lake, hoping that its momentum would tumble it over the edge. That side of the lake was a bit of a cliff. And it worked. At least, part of my plan worked. Unfortunately I hadn’t thought of the fact that I would be directly in front of the dragon when it fell in the lake.
I was half dead when I had untangled myself from underneath the dragon and kicked my way up to the top of the lake. If no one thought that it was “a deed of bravery unrivalled by anything else in the land” or any rot like that, they at least thought it was moderately brave, and a few even thanked me.
And that my children, is the original tale of Darren Dragon-slayer, warped and exaggerated as it has become.

Hope you liked it!

Dolls and doll wardrobe for sale

[updated to add more dolls for sale]

posted by Meg …and expanded by Mom…at Dad’s request…

I have a brand new doll wardrobe for sale at $125.00! (retail value $285.00 and it’s on sale for $200.00 from Vision Forum right now) This is fifteen brand new doll dresses of all kinds, and remember folks: any sales will go towards Christmas presents for my sisters and family.

Includes the following in original packaging and brand new gift-giving condition:

Southern Lady Doll Dress •Maria’s Play Dress •Maria’s Party Dress •Regina’s Colonial Frontier Doll Dress •Priscilla Mullins Doll Dress, Cap, and Apron •Nan Harper Doll Dress •Dolley Madison Doll Dress •Sacagawea Doll Dress •Princess Adelina Doll Dress •Red Princess Doll Dress •Medieval Princess Doll Dress •Abigail Adams Doll Dress •Regina’s Pink “Go to Meeting” Dress •Elsie’s Day Dress •Elsie’s Party Dress

Also, other members of my family have some dolls for sale. All are new but from the clearance rack so they may have minor flaws and/or soiling, but we think they are completely suitable for gift-giving.  They will arrive in their original boxes.

  1. Liberty doll – Blue eyes, long brown hair, pink-checked dress.  $45 shipped.
  2. Old-style Liberty doll (made in Germany) – Blue eyes, long brown hair, pink-checked dress.  no socks or shoes. $40 shipped. PENDING
  3. Old-style Liberty doll (made in Germany) – Blue eyes, long brown hair, medieval princess dress.  no socks or shoes. $45 shipped. PENDING
  4. Jubilee doll – Brown eyes, long blonde hair, green-checked dress.  $45 shipped.  PENDING
  5. Jubilee doll – brand new, not clearance – Brown eyes, long blonde hair, green-checked dress.  $50 shipped.
  6. Fidelia doll – Brown eyes, long brown hair, yellow-checked dress.  3 available.  $45 shipped. 2 Available

To buy any of the above items, just leave a comment with your request.

Get more goodies directly from Vision Forum by stacking one of these coupons with the current instant rebate sale.

$5 shipping. Good on any size order. [Coupon code: 5SHIP] FREE airsoft handgun with purchase of $25 or more! [Coupon code: 25AIRSOFT]
FREE Joyfully at Home book with purchase of $50 or more! [Coupon code: 50JOYFUL] FREE The Mysterious Islands bluray DVD with purchase of $50 or more! [Coupon code: 50BLURAY]

Monday Megan’s: Wordweaver

Okay, I didn’t get this post up at noon like I usually do, but at least it’s still Monday, right?

Today- or, rather, Tonight, I’m posting a story poem (there’s probably a way better name for it than that, but cut me some slack, I’m tired.)

So, enjoy it! (If, that is, you can get my inane babbling out of your head.)


“Wordweaver, Wordweaver, wilt spin me a tale?”

But Wordweaver’s old; His ears are grown deaf,

And though he is kindly, can’t hear the request.

“Wordweaver, Wordweaver, old though ye be,

Canst thou but write a song now, for me?”

Wordweaver’s fingers were once nimble and spry,

Not so now, they are wrinkled and dry.
“Wordweaver, Wordweaver, if thou now died,

Who would be left to help woo me a bride?”

Wordweavers old, but his eyes are still bright,

They laugh at the merry youth in this plight.

Wordweavers feeble, and Wordweavers frail,

So Wordweaver gives him his song and his tale.

A new Wordweaver stands, the old one reclines,

Peace in his breath, and peaceful he dies.
“Wordweaver, Wordweaver, wilt spin me a tale?”

So a tale does he tell, aye, long does he sing,

He tells of a wordweaver, the wordweaver king.

Megan Mondays: Elephants on Parade

This story was inspired by a lesson in Mrs. Morecraft’s School of Elocution and Composition where Mrs. Morecraft gave us examples of interesting starts for storys. I hope you enjoy!

The elephants were on parade again. They always went on parade on Tuesdays, because king Broccoli was obsessed with parades. Parades and elephants. Maybe I should explain. Hugh (that’s the chief counselor) told me to write down what happened, so here it is.

Like I said, it was a Tuesday and the elephants were on parade at king Broccoli’s orders. And I was leading them. That’s right. Me. The kitchen boy. For some reason, animals had a strange tendency to do whatever I wanted them to, that’s how I happened to be leading them. They looked bored marching down the same streets they marched down every Tuesday, almost as bored as the people that dutifully lined the streets, and cheered half heartedly. King Broccoli was on the first elephant, just like usual, smiling benevolently. Everything was perfectly normal. Then, Broc (the first elephant) decided he was sick of routine, and the world was thrown into confusion. He reared like a horse, and then swung his tusks back and forth. The other elephants followed suit, people everywhere yelled and ran in circles. Then, everyone stopped, because king Broccoli was screaming in the highest pitch anyone had ever heard. Even the elephants stopped, and listened because it was the strangest noise any of us had ever heard from a thirty year old man, let alone a king.  After what seemed like an eternity, the windows broke in all the near houses, and king Broccoli opened his eyes and stopped screaming. Everyone stared at him, and then somewhere, a kid started laughing. It caught, and rippled around the crowd till everyone was laughing. King Broccoli sat on his elephant, fuming. I turned it around slowly, and started leading it back to the palace. Over half the people followed us, imitating him and jeering. We were about halfway there, when he lost it and started yelling like a madman, screaming that it was all my fault, and that he was going to hang me, chop my head off and flog me to death. Just about then someone started shouting “Down with the tyrant! Make the boy the king! Down with the tyrant!” the rest of the crowd took it up, and king Broccoli turned kind of white and sick looking. And so it was, that at the age of fifteen, through no particular merit of my own, I became the king of Ceggunt.

Megan Mondays:The Tale of Brennus

Here’s my fifth Megan Monday. Enjoy!

Listen now my child, while I tell you this tale of Brennus, the great bard and enchanter of thousands. This is the opening of his history.

Brennus was an orphan.  He’d lived on the streets for as long as he could remember scrounging up whatever he could get. And, occasionally, stealing. He’d always had an aversion to stealing, as if someone important was watching disapprovingly. It was, of course, a necessity for a boy of thirteen who had to fend for himself. So he stole. That’s what he was doing right now. It was simple, really: slip into a crowd and find either someone with bulging pockets, or an unwary basket of food.

He found money today. He sauntered towards the tavern.  As he reached it, the most magnificent sound he had ever heard poured into his ears. He shivered with bliss, and a man walking past stared.  A sudden resolve seized him, and right then he decided that he would make music like that. He hurried over to the music.  A skinny, ragged man was playing a harp badly.  One or two citizens loitered around, but none were listening.

“Please sir,” Brennus choked, “please, would you sell me that harp?”

The man stopped and looked him up and down. “By the looks of you, you don’t have enough money to buy food, let alone a harp. But then again, perhaps you do have some ill gotten gain.” Brennus blushed and started to mutter something, but the man cut him short.  “Well, you’re the first beggar boy I’ve ever seen who had the decency to blush. And I can’t say I’m not hungry.  How much do you have?”

The man sold it to him for a ridiculously low price, as even Brennus knew with his limited knowledge of such things. He picked up the harp. Oh lovely, beautiful harp! He stroked it, then strummed it gently. A man stumbled by, humming drunkenly. Brennus plucked hesitatingly at the strings of the harp, finding the tune to the drunk man’s song. There, that was it. Again he played it, this time faster. Next he added on a few notes, a few more, and a few more. Finally, it ended. It was hardly recognizable as a bar song. He looked up. There were people around him, and surprisingly, they didn’t look disgusted.

“Again, play it again!” a man said. “Probably a drunk,” Brennus thought, but the other people nodded, and murmured their assent. He took a breath, then started-not the same tune, but a different one. He picked the tune up faster this time, and expanded it rapidly. When the song was done, the people didn’t laugh or mock him. They applauded, and a few even threw coins. He stared, taken aback. He had never touched a harp before in his life, and he wasn’t anything near skillful. Well, he wasn’t about to protest. He played again, and again, till a huge crowd was gathered.  He began his career that day, a career that eventually took him to the court of the king and higher.

And that is the tale of Brennus. Or leastways, part of it.

Megan Mondays

So, this week along with my story, I’ve decided to take a poll. This poll is to decide what name best fits last weeks story.[poll id=”28″]

Anyway, here’s this weeks story. Enjoy!

The boy who stole the dragon’s scale

“But you can’t.” the girl said, pushing her thick hair back with the hopeless air of one pushing back the tide. It fell over her face again.

“I will.”

Bruck said this with absolute certainty, his jaw set forward. He had a jutting jaw, protruding even. And everyone knew, what Bruck Marten said when he set his jaw, he meant.


“I don’t know, but I will.”

I didn’t doubt him, not for one second. I was only a kid of seven at the time, but everyone in the whole town, heck, probably the whole world, knew that Bruck Marten could do anything he set to.

No one liked Bruck back then. He was a skinny ten year old, stubborn as a mule when he wanted to be. The only reason I followed him around so much, was this; one time he’d knocked down a kid who’d been trying to make me give him money “for his birthday” with his birthday five months past.

“What are you going to do Bruck?” I was almost afraid to hear the answer.

“I’m going to take a scale from old man dragon’s tail.” I stared at him, suddenly having doubts about his sanity. Then I realized who I was looking at, all doubt left my mind. “You’re a good kid.” He said, seeing that I believed him.

“I’ll tell you what you can do to help me, don’t tell anyone what I’m going to do. I wouldn’t have told her-” He gestured at the retreating form of the girl, “-except that I needed a candle and her father is a candle maker.” I nodded. “I’ll not tell a soul, even mother.”

“Good. I’ll have it tomorrow morning.”

I didn’t sleep that night, not a wink. When I came down for breakfast, my mother thought I was sick, and almost wouldn’t let me go out. Once I got out I ran all the way to town, there was a huge crowd gathered around Bruck’s house. Apparently, every man, woman and child in the town had turned out. I reached the front of the crowd after about a quarter hour of shoving, gasping and bruised. Bruck stood on the roof, in his hand was a dragon scale. Everyone knew what it was, old man dragon was the last of his kind in the world. For a hundred years kings had sent knights to fetch a scale from old man dragon’s tail. None had ever come back. It was a way of executing disfavored or disgraced knights. For a hundred years shadow-men* had vowed that they, and no other would take it. And now, a mere boy with nothing more than a candle, and a bit of imp** blood in his veins had done the impossible. He never told anyone how he did it, not even me. And no one ever found out, to the end of existence.

*Shadow-men (see imps)

**Imps are generally the same stature as humans, and bare a great resemblance but are nearly always built slimmer. The name Shadow-men is derived from the fact that imps are remarkably stealthy. Imps and humans frequently intermarry.

Hogan’s Handiwork

A church friend of ours recently started a business selling scarves, shawls and the like. These things are so unbelievably gorgeous! Unique, one of a kind scarves that you won’t see again. One of a kind, people! That means hurry! And here are pictures of the lovely creators themselves! So hurry over and grab yours, and remember, only forty-six days till Christmas!

Megan Mondays

Posted by Megan

This latest Monday Megan was inspired by that famous story written by Ludwig Bemelmans. I’ve been having a bit of trouble figuring out what to name it. Your opinion?

I knocked on the door a bit harder.

It was a door in France, Paris France. It belonged to an old house that was covered in vines.

My name is Stencil.  It would have been Tracer, but my brother got lucky instead of me. That’s him, always taking the best of everything, including the best cases, but this time I hadn’t let him. I had nabbed what looked to be the most mysterious mystery of all time.

I heard a footstep, so I pulled myself together to meet whoever the heck it was answering the door.

It turned out to be a plump, pleasant looking woman of about forty. “Hello ma’am,” I said in perfect French and with the perfect suavity that leads every woman I meet to eventually throw a heavy blunt object at my head out of sheer desperation.

“I’m here to see a certain Miss Clavel, who I hear runs this place.” She looked at me in a manner that anyone else would have thought was distasteful, but I knew she was only trying to hide her true feelings, so I forgave her.  “Who shall I say is calling?” “Stencil. Stencil Bullet.”

I sat in the lobby, pretending to read a magazine, while I mulled over what I planned to say.

I was here to figure out how this Clavel woman, always afraid of disaster, knew precisely when to run fast and faster. Fishy, isn’t it?

I heard a titter, and looked up. She was standing right in front of me, and had been for who knows how long. She was remarkably pretty for a nun, and I could only surmise that she had simply despaired of finding the perfect man, namely me and thus taken the veil.

The titters had come from twelve little girls.  They weren’t in two straight lines, but they were still recognizable.

I stood up quickly, spilling my magazine out of my lap to the floor. More titters.  “Ah, h-hello Miss Clavvil,- er Miss Clavel…Uh, I’m Detective Stencil, I’m here to investigate.”

She gave me a look that almost bored holes straight through me. In retrospect, I suppose that may not have been the best approach.  I mean, what woman likes to hear it insinuated that her nefarious plots are being picked up on? But I digress. She asked me “Do you have a warrant?”  Blast. Why are women so unreasonable? I tried to dodge the question.  “I just need to ask you and the children a few questions-” “Mr. Stencil I repeat, do you have a warrant?” “Well, not exactly, but–“”Then I must ask you to refrain from asking myself OR the children any questions until you obtain one.” She opened the door. “Good day sir.” I tried once more “My dear Miss Clavel, please do be reasonable-” She turned to the shortest girl, a squarely built little thug with red hair. “Madeline, go fetch the dog.   Mr. Stencil seems to be rather reluctant to leave.” “Oh no, I assure you Miss Clavel, that is completely unnecessary, I was just leaving-” I backed out as fast as I could, and the door shut firmly in my face. I cast a baleful look at the Madeline brat who was making faces at me through the window, and turned my back.

As I walked away, I glared back at “The old house that was covered in vines.”   It was so innocent sounding! Bah!

I shook the dust from my sandals, so to speak.  She was obviously hiding something, and I wasn’t about to comply with her fiendish wishes and get a warrant. She had probably poisoned the authorities against me anyway.

So, I would sneak in tonight, and get some incriminating evidence. I scouted the building and soon found the window that would be easiest to climb into.  It was right over a particularly strong tangle of vines, and would be exremely easy to enter.  I hung around for a few hours after dark to make sure they were all asleep, and then I struck! I mean, climbed. It wasn’t quite as easy as I had anicipated,but it was manageable. When I reached the top, I pushed the window open, or at least it SHOULD have opened. I pushed harder a few times, and then decided to climb down before my fingers got too cold to hold on.

When my extremeties were thawed, I decided to have one more go at it, and climbed up to the window again. It opened easily, and I told myself that I must have loosened it just before I had given up, so I climbed in and carefully closed it before turning around and getting the biggest scare of my life. Standing there in front of me was the odious little thug Madeline. She was bradishing a shoe much in the way one might imagine old Beezelbub himself to brandish his trident. “Uhm, ah-Hello M-madeline,” was all I could manage. Then suddenly an idea struck me. “Would you like a peppermint?” I fumbled in my pocket for a moment, then held it out to her.  For one, long, desperate, minute, I thought she might accept the bribe, but then, without taking her eyes off mine she opened her mouth, and in the most syrupy sweet voice I have ever heard, she called “Oooohh, Genevieve.” I was doomed.

I threw my bag of peppermints; she threw her shoe. She had a fine throwing arm, and a good aim. It hit me in the nose. I danced like a madman, half blinded with rage and pain. Then Genevieve came. She was without a doubt, the largest dog I have ever seen, a lean rangy mutt that looked to be half irish wolfhound. I only got the briefest glimpse of her before she cannoned into me with a flurry of claws and gruff snarls. She knocked me backwards into the drapes, and I grabbed them desperately and tried to wrap them around the beast’s head. They were longer than I’d calculated, and they fell over me instead of the hound. I was trapped.  Just then, Dame Clavel entered. You see, having been afraid of disaster, she had run fast, and faster.  But this time, instead of being afraid of appendicitis, pillow fights, or birthing dogs, she was afraid of burglars. So she had taken the time to grab her cattle prod out of the dresser.  Now, where a gentle young woman – and a nun at that – in charge of a boarding school filled with little girls would get her hands on a cattle prod, is more than I can say.  But there it was.  I recovered, and stood up dusting of my pants, and trying to regain a modicum of dignity. She smiled sweetly as if I were visiting for tea instead of burgling her home and assaulting the children in her care with bags of peppermints.  I had made an ass of myself, and we both knew it.  “This way, Mr. Stencil, if you please.”  She waved the cattle prod threateningly, so I went along.

Which pretty much explains why you found me barefoot, and stripped to my underwear on the street, begging you to untie the pink silk handkerchief knotted around my wrists.

The Moral Of This Story: Never burgle a house full of women.