Thursday, September 30, 2010

B is Forever Blue

Forever Blue

Forever blue, a state of mind
In memories of the past
Where hope, a hard won battle,
Fought in indigo shadows they had cast.

Forever blue, a cobalt sea
Where storms have come and gone.
Sifting through debris they left
Casting aside demons still hanging on.

Forever blue, the clarity
Of a cerulean summer sky
Where the One who quelled the storms
Freely gives Grace upon which to rely.


Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dreaming, Again

I met my future self in a dream the other night.
I went to visit her. 
The moment I stepped upon the porch,
of her tiny home,
the door was opened wide
and I was greeted with warmth and love.
She was a lovely woman with an artist’s flair.
I entered her home to find quaint furnishings
where everything was neat and tidy.
There was even a comfy bed
wrapped in the latest Laura Ashley style.
It suited her.
Even her teeny bathroom felt just right.
We had a delightful visit.
I was sorry when I had to depart
for, you see,
my car was parked
in a tow-away zone after 4.
It was 4:05.
And yes, my Toyota was gone. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Microfiction Monday #50: Survivor

Martha takes her reality shows very seriously. Leaving her old life behind, she’s ready, and more than willing, to be voted off the island.


I decided to attempt something a little different today and participate in Microfiction Monday. It's a pretty good way to jump start the brain after being away from blogging and working the past 3 days. (Besides, I am sure my complaining about the Carolina Panthers, every single Monday, is getting old!)

Microfiction Monday is a weekly meme where you design a story, in 140 characters or less, around a specific picture. For more information on Microfiction Monday, and to read other stories, please visit Susan over at Stony River.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Flash Friday 55: Ode to Jerry Richardson

What is wrong with this scenario?
You purge your team of high salaried veterans.
The offensive and defensive lines, along with special teams
Are full of untested rookies.
You make sure you have a “throw away” season
In preparation for a possible NFL strike.
And you had the nerve to raise season ticket prices?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A is for Anorexia

(Image courtesy of Google Images)

Looking in the mirror 
at the fat girl looking back 
mocking me 
making fun of me 
in all my beastly glory 
and I hate her 
because she is not perfect 
which is unacceptable
causing tears
and anguish
and pain 
that will not go away  
and I try to 
stifle that hurt
by withholding food 
for food is love 
and food is acceptance 
and I cannot 
and will not
accept the fact 
that those curves mean 
I am now a woman 
when I never had 
the opportunity 
to really experience 
the way a child should 
for I was forced 
to grow up too fast 
and knew too many things 
other little girls 
should not know 
and I just want that pain 
to go away 
so maybe 
if I get smaller 
I will be rid 
of the imperfections 
that make me unlovable 
or better yet 
I will become invisible 
for I am not worthy 
to be loved 
the way a woman 
should be loved 
so I might as well 
just fade away 
to the point that 
I am able 
to be just be 
and possibly
the real me 
that has 
been hiding
in fear
for far 

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Quilt

Some of you may or may not know that I am a big fan of All Recipes. Before I discovered Facebook and before my blog I was a part of "The Exchange" (now called Recipe Buzz). Many of us foodies and like minded individuals congregated there to exchange ideas, hopes and dreams. It was there that the idea for The Quilt was born. Those of us that wanted to participate would piece together a block that represented us. These blocks would then be made into a beautiful tapestry from the world over.

Admittedly, as with all good intentions, sometimes things go awry. An original drawing was held. Allegations of impropriety ensued, followed by wounded feelings and bruised egos. The only solution that all could agree upon was to send the quilt, which represented the beauty of friendship and community, to All Recipes headquarters in Seattle, WA. It was there, a year later, that a new drawing was held. The winner of this work of art? The 5th Sister!

I found out this news while sitting in my husband's hospital room last week. It was like a ray of sunshine, from the heavens, in the middle of the tempest that was our week. I believe I cried when I realized the full impact of what just happened. The love and care that went into every single stitch of this work of art was heading my way when I needed it most. I wanted to shout the news out to the world but could not until it was made "official" by All Recipes.

The quilt arrived by Fed Ex yesterday afternoon. It was packed with care and attention to detail. When I opened the box and pulled out the quilt I was awestruck. Photos do not do it justice. I poured over every single square remembering each person and the joys and heartaches we shared in our little community. I am humbled by the sheer magnitude of this gift of love.

I promised I would share photos so that those who participated would be able to see their blocks in this beautiful mosaic of friendship. My plan is to proudly display this quilt in my home. Please enjoy the photos.

(There's my block!)

I would like to give a shout out to Annie (aka "Kitten") who put together this labor of love. She did a fantastic job and I will be forever in debt of gratitude for the generosity of her time and spirit that went into this undertaking. This quilt will be a treasured heirloom now and always.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Musings: September 20, 2010

Have you ever been so glad to begin a new week? I would kind of like to forget that last week happened all together. 

First came the worst "cold" I have ever experienced. Truly. I totally lost my voice. The throat pain was searing. The fatigue immense. It was worse than the flu. I say this because at least with the flu at least you are forced to rest. A couple of days in bed and voila...feeling better. As you will see I did not have the luxury to ride this one out. (Although I am feeling much better, the virus has decided to linger in my lungs.) 

Munchie Boy came down with the same virus early last week. It was 10 times worse than anything I was suffering. Poor kid missed almost an entire week of school. He required breathing treatments. It took days before his fever broke. When he lost his voice he wrote me a note that said "This is the WORST WEEK EVER!" And it truly was. 

For you see, during Munchie's illness, I was forced to be an absentee mother. Tuesday evening Mr. Sister was complaining of not feeling well. Mr. Sister doesn't complain so I took him to urgent care to be checked out. They did an EKG because his heart rate was slow (we're talking in the 30's) and irregular. We were sent to the emergency room and he ended up being admitted for observation. The next day an echo-cardiogram showed a strong healthy heart. The stress test indicated a problem with the "conduction", aka sinus node. The question is "why"? The answer is "We don't particularly know". Mr. Sister is feeling much better and that's a plus. He goes back to the cardiologist in a month. 

All this added stress was particularly hard on Bethany...who, getting over the illness herself, had to take care of Paul. She was one tough cookie this past week and I am really proud of her for stepping up to the plate. 

And what would a "Monday Musing" post be without a letter to my beloved Panthers? I think they now know how pitiful and pathetic they are this season. Nothing I can say or write will make them better or bring me satisfaction. The only bright spot yesterday was the time I got to spend with Bethany at the game. 

And now it is now time to begin our Monday: wake the kids, make lunches, etc. Here's to the hope that a better week ensues! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Temporarily Closed

I am forced to take a temporary break from blogging while I deal with personal family health issues. I will be back as soon as feasibly possible. In the meantime, prayers and positive wishes would be greatly appreciated. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sensational Haiku Wednesday: Food

  • Toppings of Goodness!
  • Bubbly, cheesy sensation.
  • Devour with delight!
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • Join the fun!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbits: September 14, 2010

You know, although I was ill, I was grateful to be at work this past Sunday. It saved me from wasting a couple of hours watching the Carolina Panther's pitiful performance against the New York Giants. Pbbbbffffttt to those of you who think Matt Moore is "all that"! (I know, I know, my beloved Jake Delhomme threw an interception and lost his home opener against Tampa Bay. However, it sure wasn't a walloping like the Panthers took)


When I say I am short...believe me, I am short. Here's a photo to prove it:


Things that made me smile these past few weeks:

The pygmy goats at the nearby field

The return of our Canadian friends


My birthday dinner at Brick House Tavern 


Street musicians in Boone

Trying on silly hats with my family

Munchie Boy being Munchie Boy

And true to life advertisements


Well off to start another busy day! 
You know, speaking of which...I think I'm busier now 
than when I home schooled my kids! Imagine that. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Musings: September 12, 2010

Image Courtesy of Google Images

I am ill.

I have lost my voice.

Munchie Boy now has a sore throat.

So....Monday Musings will become Tuesday Tidbits.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flash Friday 55: Let it Be

Image courtesy of Google Images and Rebellious Arab Girl

Why is it difficult to find time to just be…

To live in the moment…to appreciate the here and now?

Instead we dwell upon past hurts, resentments;

we long for a future when, surely, everything will be better.

We allow the “busy”ness of life to be our excuse.

Alas! I must go…carpools and chores await!


I am participating in Flash Friday 55, a meme hosted by our very own Mr. Know it All (aka G-Man). The purpose is to write a story or prose in exactly 55 words, no more, no less. Care to join the fun? Just link up in G-Man's comment section.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rainbow Summer School: Violet

I am participating in Ms. Jenny's Rainbow Summer School, where we study the colors of the rainbow. This week's study is color violet. This one was difficult for me for there were so many directions in which one could go: fruit, wine, flora, etc. I chose to use this color as an endnote to the wonderful Rainbow Summer School led by our dear Ms. Jenny. I thank you for taking the time to read my effort.

Jenny Matlock


Little Miss Violet (sensitive, shy, seriously sweet)
Took her place along the back row, in the final seat.

She spies her comrades of color, all ahead of her
Nervous about her essay, wishing she could defer.

There’s Sir Red, so commanding, boisterous, completely proud:
He sat up in front and drew the large crowds.

Next came Madam Orange, full of warmth and happiness,
Basking in the glow of her own awesomeness.

In the third row sat Old Yellow, the original ‘fraidy cat,
Shivering, shaking...hiding beneath a humongous hat.

Next in queue? Why Ms. Green, in all her splendorous girth,
Communing with Mother Nature on matters concerning earth.

Poor dear Blue, diminutive, devoted, yet depressed for sure
Sat praying for healing and wholeness, waiting for a cure.

Followed by Prince Indigo, regal is how he feels,
Ruling the royal land on his side of the color wheel.

Miss Violet looked on, filled with trepidation and awe,
Concerned how she would compare with the wonder of them all.

“Ahem, Ms. Jenny, I believe it’s my turn now.
I’d like to get this over with if time would allow.

My color is often called purple, mulberry or plum,
I’m also known as pomegranate or cabernet to some.

I’m fruity in taste and pleasing to the eye,
And in my “crystal stage” I am a scientific dye.

I am the color of Advent and of the Lenten season, too.
I symbolize preparation and penance for those sitting in the pew.

In the psychic realm of the paranormal types
I am the color of their auras, or so it is hyped.

In Hinduism I’m the seventh chakra, the crown to be exact
Where spirituality and intuitive knowing are said to interact.

So you see Ms. Jenny, and to those that came before,
Yes, I am a color, but I am also so much more.”

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Truth: Dear Mrs. S.

Dear Mrs. S.

When I sent Munchie Boy to charter school I did not expect to be the one receiving a homework assignment. But I dare say that I am impressed to see you take a personal interest in all the children you teach. Of course I would be happy to oblige and tell you a little bit about my son.

Munch was born nearly 12 years ago one month premature. His little lungs needed a bit of time adjusting so he required the assistance of a ventilator his 1st night in his new world. He spent almost a week in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He was such a small baby, around 5 pounds, and put up so much fight his 1st week of life.

His 1st year was quite a trial...his inability to nurse/feed properly, followed by reflux so severe that it was matter of routine for him to spew his entire feeding, led to a condition called failure to thrive. He had also suffered a birth injury to his neck resulting in a condition called torticollis, which is a tightening of the neck muscles along one or both sides. I had to perform painful physical therapy on him several times a day. But Munch was a trooper and despite the weight loss and the pain he persevered. By his 1st birthday his reflux and torticollis had resolved.

It was at this point we discovered that, due to his torticollis (which made him favor laying his head in one position) and his reflux (which necessitated me laying him in an upright position in his car seat which was perfect to keep him immobile while he digested his feedings) he developed severe plagiocephaly (distortion of his skull). This required cranial banding. To be fitted for these bands was a heartbreaking process where his entire head had to be molded with plaster. He went through 2 helmets the following year and the results were so amazing that, when he graduated, he was a featured case study in the journals of cranial sacral therapy.

At age 18 months Munch stopped talking. He was saying a few words such as "uh-oh" and "mama" and "daddy" but all that stopped. At first we thought it was his big sister talking for him but by age 2 we realized it was something more. He was evaluated by the county and was found to be severely developmentally delayed. We implemented all the appropriate programs: speech therapy where we learned signs, physical therapy and occupational therapy to work on his core strength and daily living skills. And again, he persevered and continued to show progress as he diligently met milestone after milestone.

At approximately age 5 Munch had been on the waiting list quite awhile for testing/evaluation of possible Autism. His evaluation led him to be diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. His "score" was 10 and 10 was the minimum score to be on the spectrum. His official diagnosis was PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Delay Not Otherwise Specified). Mr. Sister and I made a decision that we would not treat him any different and kept our expectations for him high. But we also felt we should avail ourselves to the programs that are out there to help children like Munch. He went to public school for 4 years: Bright Beginnings pre-K, Kindergarten (practice year to get programs in place such as adaptive PE, speech therapy, etc...) Kindergarten a 2nd time around where he thrived, and then 1st grade. At that point he had been pulled out of class so much for these programs that it was hindering his actual school work. Enough was enough and I pulled him out of public school to home school him.

Munch has been home schooled for the past 4 years. He thrived and has done very well on all of his "end of grade testing". Home schooling allowed him the time to complete his work. I was also able to assist his tendency to be very literal in designing a curriculum that suited his needs. Again...hard work and perseverance paid off!

Through the years we've tried several different sports for Munch. He did fine in Karate. He loved diving in which he showcased his bravery and love for all things thrilling. Finally, it was his choice to try swimming and that is where it seems he has found his niche. For the past few years he has been swimming for the Mecklenburg Aquatic Club...his stroke techniques are near perfect but he presently remains slow, although he's finally starting to show signs of speed. He is consistently beating his "personal best" with each meet he attends. I have no doubt that as he grows and continues practicing his speed will catch up to his technique.

Munch never shies away from an adventure and his life, thus far, has taught him that perseverance pays off. He is unique, has an unusual sense of humor, is sensitive, kind, and has developed a strong sense of self confidence. I am certain that if we had him tested again there would be no way he would be diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. In my opinion his developmental delays are long gone, though his handwriting is abysmal. I firmly believe that the situations he has thus far faced has made him a stronger individual and has prepared him for whatever life may hold.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Centus: Scarlett Fever

Jenny Matlock

I am joining Jenny Matlock and gang for her Saturday Centus. Each week we are given a prompt, a phrase in which to design a story or poem around. We are limited to 100 words, not counting the prompt. The prompt is in bold in the story below. Enjoy.


It was a dark and stormy night within the depths of her very soul; that night she had to say goodbye to Scarlett.  Scarlett was no ordinary friend. Scarlett could work miracles... she could mask pain and make her forget her past. Scarlett could make her feel brave and confident when, in reality, she was frightened and insecure. She was dependant upon her which encouraged Scarlett's increasing selfishness and control.  There could be no friends nor gods before her. Scarlett insinuated herself into every situation and opportunity that came up. She began to hate Scarlett and her dependence upon her. Scarlett was a very toxic friend indeed.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Flash Friday 55: Recent Conversations With my Son

Hey Mom!
Hey Munch.
I got famous.
How so?
I walked into Science and 2 girls said “Hi Paul”.

Hey Mom!
Hey Munch.
When can I start dating?

Hey Mom!
Hey Munch.
I know you’re not suppose to “do it” until you’re married.
That is correct.
Well, what if you’re engaged?
*Heavier sigh*


(I think his puberty is going to be the death of me!)

I am participating in Flash Friday 55, a meme hosted by our very own Mr. Know it All (aka G-Man). The purpose to to write a story or prose in exactly 55 words, no more, no less. Care to join the fun? Just link up in G-Man's comment section.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rainbow Summer School: Indigo Eyes

His indigo eyes pierce my heart;
The chambers divide, fall apart.

The half with pain, woe, and loss
I lay down at the foot of the Cross.

The other, filled with promise and love,
I raise in thanksgiving to God above.


I am participating in Ms. Jenny's Rainbow Summer School, where we study the colors of the rainbow. This week's study is color indigo. I chose to use this color to illustrate my current faith journey. I realize it is simplistic but my brain has been on strike this week. Regardless, I hope you enjoy my attempt. 

Jenny Matlock

Sensational Haiku Wednesday: Secrets

Join the fun!

Sequestered; hidden
within the catacombs of
subconscious thoughts, dreams.

Secret images
of a long forgotten past
waiting for escape

when the veil's removed.
Open, exposed by day's light,
demons forced to flee.

Reacting to pain
is best buffered by one's faith.
"Please, Lord...give me strength!"


For more haiku hijinks
please visit Jenn over at You Know...That Blog?
Next weeks theme: Belong(-ing)


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