Just for fun

I was just looking through old digital photos, trying to find some pics of Calvin for a post about him, and I came across these.  I just had to share.

 glen

Doesn’t Jerry Lee Lewis look fabulous in blue?

jerry

I don’t know much about this guy except that I’ve been laughing about the poor fellow’s name since I was a little kid.

 englebert

I always did like Bing Crosby.

bing

Bill Cosby looks a little like Mr. Rogers, don’t you think?

bill

I don’t know about you, but I say Johnny Matthis has never looked better.

johnny

And isn’t Julie Andrews just adorable?  I could just squeeze her!

julie

 

See?  This is what it’s like in my house.  Crazy people live here.

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.

Video Monday: a kids’ creation

I’ve been posting a video every Monday and this week is no different. Well, it’s a little different. OK, a lot different. This video is not an interview with my children or anyone else.

This week’s video is a creation of 11yo Natalie, 9yo Becca (who had a birthday and is now 10yo) and 7yo Rachael. Last week, they begged to be allowed to make a movie. Since they’re fond of carrying expensive electronics around outside and I am not fond of letting them do so, I required them to first write a screenplay.  I wanted to be sure there was a plan to do more than just take videos of their backsides, drop the video camera in a puddle of dust (the only sort of puddle we have in Texas right now) and go jump on the trampoline.

Three hours later, I had a 3 page handwritten screenplay and they were in business.  Although I was pressed into service as camera(wo)man, I did only what they specifically told me.  The creation is entirely their own, from conception to final product.

Enjoy, and I hope you’ll let them know if you like it.

Tuesday poetry: Some of Mine

posted by Deanna

I wrote this poem on Sunday. It sort of popped into my head after we read the Nicene Creed during church, and kept niggling until I wrote it down. But it wasn’t only the Nicene Creed that made me want to write it. I’ve been reading a fantasy series lately and it’s really irked me how hopeless the worldview behind it is. You follow the good guys on their perilous quest, and they lose a few people, and right at the last minute they beat the bad guys by the skin of their teeth….and that’s it. See what I mean? There’s no higher good, it’s just depressing.

Thusly, I wrote this poem.

Happy reading!

I believe,

in only He

who made the stars

and spoke the sea.

Who formed the land

with one small thought,

and freed our hands

that we be taught.

I put my trust

in the great I AM,

the conquering king,

the slaughtered lamb.

By his love,

are all things stayed.

Your every breath…

The price is paid.

How rightfully

the Elder sing,

“Give glory to

our God the King!”

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

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.

Tuesday Poetry: More of mine

Posted by: Deanna

I wrote this poem after I dreamed it. It was really vivid and stuck with me for a lot longer than dreams usually do. I don’t know how weirded out some of y’all will be by the tragic parts of this, but you should remember one thing as you read it. If you don’t like this poem, you can just scroll down the page or go to another website. I didn’t have that option. Dreams don’t work that way. In my dreams, even when I squeeze my eyes shut, or cover them with my hands, I still see what’s happening.

Happy reading!

The Man Who Was

The man who was, I speak of he
who loved a girl, and loved the sea

Oh, what of it, if his skin was gray?
what if his eyes were strange as they say?

Someone cared, and someone hated,
because he loved, was not degraded.

Smiling Lass with heart so sweet,
loved him back with love complete.

Her hair was red, her eyes were gray.
Yes, his flesh was hard as they say.

But her love for him was true,
she loved her man and the sea so blue.

But someone brooded, and someone sent
a curse to them, in form it went,

great grey hunter, soulless shark,
sent to dampen their happy spark.

The sea was dark, the sky was low,
Lass said she would bathing go.

Oh, such sorrow, that fate decreed,
someone rots in hell for that deed.

For Lass went in and came not out,
a thick red mist and bloodstained snout.

The killer fled, his deed discharged,
The man, he wept. He cried so hard.

Cannot accept though knows it true,
his love will stay with the ocean blue.

The man who was, I speak of he,
who loved a girl, who loved the sea,

The sea betrayed him, his love so true.
Friend, she can’t come back to you.

Can you hear his lonely cries?
Now he’ll mourn her till he dies.

Deanna Coghlan

Megan Mondays

Posted by Megan

Today is my second Monday.  For today I have decided on short short story. This one my sibs found particularly funny. What do you think?

Chief of the gang

“So, you wanna’ be one of “The Gang”?

I nodded, “I’m only six, but I’m big for it.”

“How do you know if you’re big for it or not?”

“I heard Lilla say it to mom.”

“Yeah, whatever. You know what you have to do, to be one of us?”

I gulped. This was the scary part. Only truly cool kids could get in. “W-what? What is it?”

“Go over there, take that beetle, and throw it at Maggie Pearson.”

I gasped, I was only six, but for as long as I could remember I had loved Maggie Pearson with all the love in my boyish heart. True, she was ten years older than me, but that was how it stood.

“What, are you scared of an old beetle?” He sneered, he was so close I could smell his breath.

The rest of the Gang sniggered, and I blushed. The chief leaned over me; he was eight, and the biggest, meanest kid in the neighborhood.

“Scared? Of course I’m not!” I stomped over there, mad at the Gang for laughing at me, mad at myself for not proving how cool I was, and most of all, mad at the chief.

I picked up the beetle, but I knew I couldn’t do it. I was beat before I started.

Then, I had an idea, the chief must have known it, it was impossible for anyone watching my face not to.

“Do you like beetles?” I asked, and flung it at his face. He gasped and stumbling backwards, tripped over a rock.

I was on him in a second, pummeling him with my fists. I was big for six. “Stop! Stop!” he gasped, I stood up. He had surrendered, I was victorious.

The Gang stared at me, and then Tommy Berl stepped forward. “Your beat him, that makes you chief.”

And that my children, is how I became chief of The Gang when I was only six.

The Moral of this story: Throwing a beetle in your opponent’s face always helps in a fistfight.

Megan Mondays: an original short story

Posted by Megan

Lately I’ve been writing a bit, so Mom said when I write, I should post my short stories up here for y’all. I’ve only got three short stories up to date, but I may be writing some more. (I say may because if I say I definitely will, I certainly won’t) Anyway I’ve got enough to have three Megan Mondays, so here goes!

Brilla of Sern

Now it came about, in the village of Sern in the kingdom of Gohn lived a certain man, a tailor by trade. This man was neither rich nor poor, in wordly possessions, but all his life he held that he was most exceedingly rich in family. For, he was a kind man with a loving heart. Now it happened, in the fifth year of his marriage, that his wife bore him twins, a boy and a girl. The boy they called Yenc and the girl, Brilla.

Now the girl (It is chiefly her story with whom we are concerned) when she passed her fifteenth year was given great acclaim throughout the kingdom for her beauty. Each man, when he saw her would say unto himself, “Oh, she is not so fair as she has been named. She is neither plain, nor lovely.” But after he had seen her laugh or smile, a wondrous change was wrought in him, till there was hardly a man who had not sworn, that he and no other would take her to wife. And so it happened, in her seventeenth year, the young girl was greatly wearied with being treated by men with such great adoration that none could speak to her and by women, such jealousy, that never a one would look at her. She therefore went to her father, and said unto him, “Father, oh my father listen to me while I entreat you. I grow weary unto death by this life of loneliness; therefore let me put on the garments of a man, and taking my brother with me, go out among the farmers and goat herders. And if, in one year, I cannot find a suitable husband, I will return unto you, and declare to every man in the kingdom that never in my life will I become a wife to any man, be he rich, or poor.”

And her father, seeing that she would be dead nigh a year if she continued that weary life, gave his consent, but only if she herself consented to neither smile, nor laugh in the presence of a stranger (For he knew, that it was in this that her great beauty lay). Six months did she and her brother wander, then, on the tenth day of the seventh month, they lodged at the house of a certain man, a fur trader, known in well nigh the whole kingdom for his honesty in all matters. This man had a son, a lad in his eighteenth year, who was as perceptive as his father was honest. Now this boy saw that the girl was indeed no man, but a maid of high spirit. So it came to pass that he went to her brother, and told him what was in his heart, that he had indeed, by the sharpness of his eyes and mind, seen that she was no more or less than a lass, and grown to love her greatly, and begged of her brother to allow him to undertake the wooing of her.  Her brother, knowing indeed that his sister loved the lad back, at once gave him his consent, and they betrothed that very day. They then returned to the village of her birth, and were married within a month, to the great joy of both their parents.

Every woman in the kingdom rejoiced at their marriage, but every man said unto himself, “She could have had any man in the kingdom, had she so wished, and yet, she chose this. The ways of woman are spiteful as cats. Scarce a year will go by till she mourns for foolishness.”

But, indeed, never in the history of Gohn lived a man and wife so contented to the end of their days.

Tuesday Poetry: Something of my own.

Posted by: Deanna

Great. Late again. But hey, I’m getting closer right?

Today I’m showing y’all poem that I wrote about my notebook. Sometimes it almost seems as if my notebook is a person, and a friend more than anything else. It’s like I read about teddy bears once; they don’t talk much, but they’re great listeners. My notebooks are like people that know everything I think, and keep every secret I tell them, unconditionally. So sometimes I feel bad for not writing, because it feels like I’m neglecting someone real that has stood by me with great loyalty.

My Notebook

Sometimes dear friend
you may feel abandoned.
you may think that I’ve forgotten
your unwavering loyalty.

I wish it were not so.
you hold my secrets
you know me as no one else ever will.
but some times there aren’t any secrets to confide.

I may for a while record poem after poem
and then for interminable stretches
write nothing at all.

I cannot force the muse.
I only write when my heart is overflowing.
so dear friend and companion,
do not feel neglected when I cease to write for a while.

Because you know that at the first sign of trouble,
I will come running back to the solace of your pages.
With a whole new host of feelings to inscribe.