jennifermayormaynot

stories from a super mom to the third power

Illustrations, Girl Scout Cookie Season, and Peruvian Death Rattle

I know I missed the month of December on WordPress, but definitely not in the real world. At least it didn’t miss me. It hit me head on, full strength. While gearing up for Christmas and Cookie Season and the switching of my youngest to a new school, my household was attacked by a vicious week long stomach bug. We survived that and had a crazy, draining, but fun Christmas. On the 21st we had our Girl Scout Christmas party and while there I received the initial sketches for “Muck In My Cup”. Of course I was over the moon about it. Then just after Christmas we all came down with what is know around my house as the “Peruvian Death Rattle”, a severe respiratory infection that causes one to whistle when one coughs. It’s awful. I still haven’t gotten over it and it’s been about three weeks. I was so sick I forgot that Cookie Season started on Jan. 1st! But today I got an email with the final illustrations for my book. I am so excited. I can’t wait to share “Muck In My Cup” with all of you. Girl Scout Cookie Season is in full swing now, the book is coming along nicely, now if I could just get rid of this “Peruvian Death Rattle”!

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The Little Plant That Could

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Some time ago I posted about my hanging herb garden. It did very well initially, and I was pleased with the outcome. Eventually though I had to move my plants to larger pots so that they could continue to grow.

We had a horrible storm one day and the shelf my plants were on blew over. All my beautiful herbs were twisted and crushed! I tried replanting them to get them all going again, but one by one they all turned brown and died. I gave up on them and sat the pots of dirt on the work bench behind the tool shed, completely discouraged. I didn’t even have the heart to plant something else in them, I just left them there.

A few months of monsoon type rains went by and one sunny day when there was no rain I thought I’d go out and plant something with my daughter. We went behind the tool shed to get a pot to plant in and much to our surprise there was this gargantuan monster basil plant looming over the aloe plants that were sitting back there. Ok maybe it wasn’t that big, but it was about 3 ft. tall! It had managed to survive all by it’s lonesome back there with all the rain we had.

I’m thrilled. The basil was my favorite plant anyway, we use it in all kinds of recipes. I have since moved him and given him better soil and a name. Henry is doing just fine now.

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The Great Letterbox Find That Wasn’t

I recently learned about letterboxing through Girl Scouts. My daughter is a brownie and there is a badge for it. I didn’t know what it was so of course I did a little research into it and fell in love. I’ve always loved stamping and scavenger hunts, and this is a mix of both. I’m still new to it though, and on Labor Day my family and I took a friend and her children and went to find a letterbox in our city. We went to a park and followed the clue. We looked all over.

The box wasn’t there.

It looked like the park had recently been mowed and trimmed up. Where the box should have been was completely bare.  We were disappointed, but decided to go find another one nearby.

We didn’t find that one either.

When we arrived at this particular location at a large pond, there was actually a sign saying there was an alligator in it! We steered clear of the pond and went to the box location and it was completely under water from all the rain we have had recently. We searched the area but to no avail, it was either submerged or floated away. Disappointed again, we moved on to a third box that was hidden near a monument.

Sigh, no good.

The monument was actually in the corner of someone’s yard! So my friend goes poking around near this person’s yard, taking a compass reading and trying to find the box, when the guy comes out of his house. He pretended to need something out of his car, even getting his wife to come out on the porch and stare at us, making us very nervous. The box location was supposed to be in the bushes in the median in the street, but it looked like all the shrubs had recently been replanted. And the people were still watching us,  so we gave up.

Turns out the guy watching us was the one who planted the box. I received an email from him later through the letterbox network Atlas Quest. We gave up after not finding the third box and took the kids to play in a nearby park. At least they had fun looking for boxes.

The moral of the story? If you have letterboxes, please maintain them! Check on them often and make sure they are in good condition and most importantly still there. I really love letterboxing. I’m hoping to find more in my area as time goes by. I also hope to plant more around the city, I’ve already planted one with the Girl Scout Troop.

For more information on letterboxes and to find boxes in your area:

http://www.atlasquest.com/

http://www.letterboxing.org/

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When You’ve Done A Line Or Two

“Everybody knows you live forever, when you’ve done a line or two.” It’s a lyric from my favorite album, and I take it as in the literary sense. My birthday is tomorrow and I’ll be 28. Which was feeling old. Kinda like, where’d 20 go? 30 is coming up way too fast for someone who never considered what it would feel like to get older.

I always wanted to be published before I was 25. That came and went. I’ve had stories for years, but never made much progress on them. This summer before I turn 28 however, I finally got off my butt and decided to really push to get something published. Hopefully Muck In My Cup will be out in time for Christmas.

Now nearly every day I’m writing and writing and writing some more and it’s exhilarating. Whether it’s this blog, or children’s stories, or my one not so kid friendly story, I’m writing. Something has occurred to me in this burst of writing the past month or so, writing keeps you young. I feel great! I no longer feel like 30 is looming over me. Maybe 30 is just another number. It too will come and go. What matters is how I feel, how I write. Because everybody knows that you live forever, when you’ve done a line or two.

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Mouse In My House

I know it’s 4:00 in the am. I am very tired. But inspiration has struck in the form of two tiny fury ears and a tail, and not the kind you want in your house. This is much the same format as Muck In My Cup. I’m just kind of looking for some feedback. I don’t know what keeps me up more, the inspiration to write, or the damn lurking mouse.

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There’s a mouse in my house!
I saw him from the corner of my eye.
There’s a mouse in my house!
And I want to know why!

There’s a mouse in my house!
I can hear him scurrying around.
There’s a mouse in my house!
I insist that he be found!

There’s a mouse in my house!
He’s eaten more than the cheese.
There’s a mouse in my house!
Would someone catch him please!

There’s a mouse in my house!
And I want him caught now!
I want him out of my house!
But the question is how?

There’s a mouse in my house!
I’ll set a trap with some bait.
To get that mouse out of my house.
Then I’ll sit and I’ll wait.

There’s a mouse in my house!
I know, I’ll get the kind with the door.
Then that mouse will scurry
around my house no more!

There was a mouse in my house.
I caught him and took him outside.
So he can go back to his family
and the place where he resides.

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Muck In My Cup

I’ve always loved to write, ever since I was a little girl. I would write little poems and stories and make little doodles to go with them. I have been fortunate that my family has always encouraged and supported me. I never felt like I was supposed to become a writer, I always felt like I was a writer.

Back in November of 2011, I wrote a poem called Muck In My Cup. It was brought about when I left the dinner table and my nephew (it could have been my niece, but I’m pretty sure it was him) drank out of my cup and got chicken in it, ruining my tea, as most three year olds do. I showed the poem to my friends and family and everyone loved it. Everyone could relate to it. So I decided to make it into a book.

Reccently I started the publication process and sent in my manuscript. I also wrote and designed the back cover of the book. Im so excited!!! Now all i have to do is fill out all my paperwork. Hopefully Muck In My Cup will be out in time for Christmas.

Wish me luck!

There is muck in my cup.
I was only gone a minute.
When I came back,
it had floaters in it.

There is muck in my cup.
It has ruined my tea.
I want to know who did it.
Because it surely wasn’t me.

There is muck in my cup.
And I think it’s disgusting.
Next time I leave the table,
I won’t be so trusting.

There is muck in my cup.
I just got up to check the baby.
Did you drink from my cup?
I don’t know. Maybe.

There is muck in my cup.
Someone must confess!
Who slurped from my cup
and made all this mess?

There is muck in my cup.
The culprit will be found out!
And I think it was you,
Without a doubt!

Yes there is muck in your cup.
I admit, it was me.
But you don’t understand,
I was sooo thirsty!

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Writer’s Aggravation

“I’m 7!”

“Well I’m 8!”

“Well I’m almost 9!”

This is what I hear coming from the other room. In this room there is now arguing over a racing game between two 7 year olds. You see I was trying to write a post. Several different posts in fact. But I can’t seem to write anything now.

I have Writer’s Aggravation.

There are five children and they are all about me, making noise. Noise that interrupts thoughts like a gong in my head. And then there are also attacks of the physical nature, when I am run over by my 5 year old’s Weeble Moble Camper. I feel like the Grinch “Noise, noise, noise, noise, noise!!!”

I was going to write a post on getting older, one on my daughter’s “agenda”, and then I maliciously thought of one post as a demotivational poster featuring one of my kid’s friends. I couldn’t even focus on that.

Don’t get me wrong. I have fussed, I have gotten onto, even threatened the children with sending them home, but it’s summer and they’re bored and it’s hot. So I’m trying to be kind. It’s been a trying kind of day.

Just now I hear my son say “I don’t know about this…” and I look over and the boys are climbing 4ft of stacked pillows. Sigh. I’m going to nail them to the chairs.

As the Cheshire Cat says, “We’re all mad here.”

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25 and Then Some

My parents are awesome. Just ask anybody. My Dad can sing, play bass guitar and drums. He’s a master craftsman. He makes models and movie props like light sabers from Star Wars, from scratch. He even once made a life size coffin for me at Halloween. My Mom is a Girl Scout co-leader. She used to run her own wedding cake and catering business. She advocates for children with special needs. They both have a wicked sense of humor and are always willing to lend a hand.

 

Jan 1986

 

This September they will be celebrating 26 years . I intended to have a big get together with family and friends last year for their 25th anniversary, and send them on a hot air balloon trip in Tallahassee, but my plans fell through. We had some unexpected things that came up, and I couldn’t afford the celebration. So this year I’m trying something different. Money is still a little tight so I’m trying to raise funds through indiegogo.com. It’s a platform that uses crowdfunding to fund your project, whatever that may be. My parents are really wonderful people. I would like to give them a really wonderful gift. Any contributions or sharing of the link would help me out a lot. I appreciate any support you guys can give!

 

http://www.indiegogo.com/project/badge/119412?a=675541

 

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“zombies” Is Worth 54 Points

I love board games! My kids in turn, love board games. Yesterday I was playing Scrabble with my oldest, Jade, when I played a very awesome word.

“zombies”

And it was worth 54 points!

I know to some of you this may be no big deal, but to me this is the biggest and most valuable word I’ve ever played. I know, I know, I said I loved board games, I didn’t say I was good at them. I always lose at Chutes and Ladders. Kain doesn’t always play the entire game of Monopoly, but Jade will, and she’s a very shrewd business woman. I’m lucky if I can get all of one color and there she sits on the other side with an empire like the Hiltons. I find Clue to be nerve wracking and Battleship, well, no one has ever exclaimed “You sunk my battleship!”

What kind of board games do you play? Who do you play them with? Are you a go all night just so you can beat the other person by not falling asleep kind of player? Or are you more of a play it quick and get it over with person?

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Hanging Herb Garden

I’ve always wanted an herb garden. The idea of fresh herbs in marinades, soups, and stews makes my mouth water. But my green thumb isn’t really that green, and I don’t really have a space to grow anything. Or so I thought. I always wanted a little garden box in the yard, and that has been my downfall for many years. I recently saw an article in Birds and Blooms magazine that totally changed my point of view. Literally. The article was for a “hanging garden”, with the herb placed in a vertical shoe caddy. Then there was a vertical garden on a trellis. A HA! I can do that!

I started with things I already had:

a wire trellis
9 empty water bottles
9 1in x 2in baggies
9 safety pins
yarn
Miracle Grow potting soil
hole punch
sautering iron
paper and marker
(herb seeds were bought later)

I took 9 empty water bottles and cut off the tops and made holes in the bottom for excess water to drain with the sautering iron. I also punched 5 holes about half an inch from the top of the cut bottle with a hole punch. Once I had the bottles prepped, I filled them with soil.

Then I threaded the yarn through the top holes so that I could tie the bottles to the trellis. After that I took some colorful paper and a magic marker and made tags for my plants. I put the tags inside the baggies so they would be waterproof and attached them to the yarn with the safety pins.

I planted the seeds after that and tied my bottles to the trellis outside, watered, and waited. And waited. (Rather impatiently I might add.)

After about two weeks I had little sprouts! I was so excited!

So far the oregano, thyme, and rosemary are still a little on the small side, but I can wait. On the other hand the basil, cilantro, and sage are getting really big. If the plants keep growing the way they are, I should have plenty for my soups and marinades and plenty more to save too. Speaking of saving, I learned a new way. Cut up you herb into small pieces, stuff it into an ice tray, pour a little water over it and freeze. Then whenever you want some for a recipe, just pop out a cube and toss it in the pot!

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