Sunday, September 2, 2012

In honor of the Hunger Games sequal, Catching Fire... Birdy.

Monday, May 21, 2012


     "Liisa, my mother agrees. Will you marry me?" I stared, dazed, at the blurry figure.
     I'm so tired.
     Was that the prince? It sounded like his voice... but that would make no sense! I didn't remember seeing anyone else in the hall! Of course, I might have let my fogged mind forget who was here. For all I knew, I could be surrounded by couriers and lords and ladies, all waiting for this Liisa girl to answer. That must be it - and I must remember to berate myself when I'm fully awake for being a country bumpkin.
     But I'm so tired!
     Actualy, I was surprised that I was allowed to watch the prince propose (if that's what he'd just done). I had been so incredibly grateful when good Queen Christa had allowed my sopping, shaking, bedraggled bones to enter her warm, dry fromt hall (where I was standing at this point in the story as well), for only two pencils, no matter that they were nice, graphite-and-wood pencils that my father had made. "Please," I had gasped, trying to ward off the rain with my hands since my shawl had gotten too heavy and wet to be of any use miles ago. "I've two pencils. Will you please let me stay the night?" The queen's eyes had widened at the mention of my two pencils, though I wasn't sure why. Maybe they were really,really expensive, and I had just gotten used to them always being on hand in my dad's shop.
     I wonder what sort of tric keeps this vast hall warm... Could it be the low ceiling? Or maybe low ceilings were just the fashion in palaces. I wouldn't be the one to know - this was the first palace I'd been in. Whatever the case, I'm not the sort of the person that the royal family would willingly usher to such a joyous personal occasion.
     Plus, I'm so tired...
     "Liisa - please answer!" The prince's vioce sounded almost hysterical, and I faintly realized that it must have been a while since he had asked her the first time. I faintly wondered why the Liisa girl didn't answer. I clenched my left fist, digging my fingernails into my palm in an effort to wake up.. I focused blearily in the direction of the strained voice, and saw the prince's anxious face staring at me - a silent plea. I realized I was under the scrutiny of the rest of the crowd - yes, there were quite a few people watching - as well. Lucky me.
     I'm so tired.
     What did he want me to do? Tell the Liisa girl how amazing it would be if she married the prince? I didn't know the Liisa girl or the prince! How was I supposed to convince anyone of anything?
     I realized that I was clenching both fists now, in an effort to keep my focus. I probably looked mad about something. In my befuddled state, I figured that I'd better explain to His Majesty's court.
     "I - "
     Oh, but that wouldn't do. It didn't even sound human! I swallowed - but there was nothing in my mouth to swallow but my own thick tongue.
     Sleep. I need sleep.
     But for some weird reason, the prince wanted me to help the unknown girl say 'yes.' I swallowed again, uselessly. "I'm sorry, Sire... I don't think... that... " I halted. An expression of shock and sadness had spread across the prince's face, as if this was the first time that one of his subjects had told him that she didn't think she could help. I really was sorry - he seemed like a nice enough person last night: smiling at me, picking up my bags when they fell out of my feeble grip - never mind that they were burlap and covered with mud and leaves - even helping prepare a bed! I hadn't expected a bed at all. Since I had grown up in a fairly poor woodcutter's house, my bed tended to be either a pile of wood shavings or nonexistant. I had tried to say that I would just sleep in the servants' quarters, or even in the stables, but that Prince Charles had personally set about to making me a bed of mattresses upon mattresses, pillows on top of pillows, and colorful blankets and quilts rivaling each other for my attention! Then the good Queen Christa herself had come in, rearranged the pillows a bit, bade me good-night, and snuffed the flickering candle.
     I tried to sleep - I really did! But every time I tried to turn over, I got trapped in the blankets, and I was afraid of tearing the delicate fabric. Does the king have to take lessons about the proper way to turn over in his bed? Plus, there was nothing to supprot me, and the one time I did manage to drift to sleep, I had a dream worse than all the nights that I had been caped beside a murky stream, or up a tree, or in some stranger's hut, while my unknowing benefactor was away. Night after night, my dream self would stand there, in the chilly night, and watch a fire. Night after night, the fire would slowly eat at the topmost wooden logs, then find a small barrel of oil and rush over those beams with a new ferocity, devouring the clay around the doorway. Night after night, I would silently scream as my father's howls of agony wafted past my ears, just loud enough for me to hear while I just stood there, on a patch of dirt, staring in horror as my home was engu.fed.
     Night after night, I would wake up shivering.
     Night after night I would sit on the cold, heartless dirt, rocking and moaning Daddy! Oh, daddy! You said you would make it! You said you just needed to grap a knife - taht the one knife would be all that it took for us to start again, even as the fire took away your livelihood - Oh, daddy, why did you go back?
     That night, in the palace, I saw the house burn, felt my hands clench the only things left from my father's lovingly built, completely wooden house. Two pencils, the small knife that I had been using to sharpen them when the candle's flames leapt a bit higher than they should have, Daddy, I had a knife in my hand. You could have used my little knife! Why did you have to go back into hte house?
     But in the palace, my dreams created a new horror: I was drowning in a vast ocean of feathers, even as I heard my father's screams. When I'd woken up, panting, and stared at the feather-quilts lying around me, suffocating me, I had shuddered and carefully extricated myself from the twisted cocoon. Grabbing a comelier quilt, I'd walked to a beautiful window seat and settled into it, only to notice a small figure bundled on the hearth. Thinking it to be a dog (did King Stanley allow pets?), I'd stumbled toward it.
     There had laid a young girl. She couldn't be more than ten. She was sleeping peacefully, but her lips were chapped, her hands worn, and I knew that she must be a servant who was supposed to be tending to my needs. Maybe I could apply as a servant here in the palace... Irritated and bleary, I sifted that thought into the back of my mind. For now, I might as well make some use of all the mattresses and blankets. Scooping up the young girl, I staggered to the bed and plopped her in the middle of the mound of pillows. I then tucked a soft blanket under her chin, and stared at her as she slept, wishing I could rest that easily.
     My last coherent thought before I passed out, sitting on the wide window sill and watching the first of the sun's rayse peeking over the mountains, was that I hoped the serving girl wouldn't ger in trouble for sleeping in the bed.
     Jerking myself back to reality, I found the whole court muttering, staring at me openly, and muttering some more. Suddenly, I felt foolish. I could still try to help - I suppose...
     "I;m sorry, Sire - I don't know what I was saying. Of course I'll-" and a whole riot of noise pounded upon my ears. I stepped back, stunned. Was my help really that important? Then the king stood and boomed, "The gentle young woman before us has agreed! Rejoice!" I thought about nodding in acknowledgement, just to seem more formal or something, then rejected the idea. If I allowed my head to dip, it wouldn't stop dipping until it hit the cold, marble floor. Better to stand stock still.
     I really need some sleep.
     I was still confused. Then suddenly, it cleared up! I was in a dream! In the morning, I would wake up, forget the whole thing, like I forgot all mildly pleasant dreams, and find myself on the window ledge. Or maybe I had imagined that part too, and was actually still in the tree bough from the night before. Though if that was the case, then it wouldn't be the night before, it'd be the same night...
     My brain was too befuddled to finish that train of thought. I just stood there, uncertainly, sort of looking for the Liisa girl, but mainly concentrating on making sure my heavy eyelids didn't lower. Then someone grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the chattering crowd into a narrow corridor. Wait. That was... the prince! Maybe... maybe the Liisa girl had left for some reason. But that didn't make sense. Surely everyone was watching the prospective bride-to-be! Then I remembered - everyone had been watching me, except, apparently, the prince. He must have noticed that the Liisa girl had left, or he wouldn't be pulling me out here. Yet...
     "Where is she?" The words left my mouth, sounding exactly how I felt: confused, slow, and heavy with drowsiness.
     The prince whirled around to face me, a lopsided grin on his face. "Where's who?"
     "The Liisa girl/"
     "What - did you find a servant with your name? I know there's a gardener with mine. I tried to convince my mum - eh, the Queen - but you can call her my mum, or even your mum if you like - though I supposed you'd want to call your mum 'mum' and not my mum," his face was a bit red with embarrassment, as he tried unsuccessfully to find a diplomatic way out of the situation. "Anyway, I tried to convince - her - that I should chance my name at the coronation, but she didn't agree. What do you think?"
     At which time my brain became so overloaded that I made some vague excuse to go back to the room that I'd slept in last night, and stumbled away.
     When I next woke, I found a frizzy-haired man looming over me, patting a soft hand on my forehead. It took me only a moment to realize that he was the palace physician. When he saw that I was awake, Sir Veer (at least, that's what he said his title was. But there was no one else in the room, and I was pretty sure that 'sir' meant 'knight'. Then again, the little sleep I had snatched hadn't taken me completely out of stupor.) Sir Veer asked me to open my mouth, count to twenty, and do a bunch of other stuff, which I did automatically while pondering if all physicians' hands were so smooth. Surely in a village, where I had come from, a physician would also have to farm, or something else, to keep up his income. When I muttered something to that affect to Sir Veer, (he had asked me to say whatever I was thinking) he looked at me strangely and rang a small bell that was resting on a bedside table. I heard him murmur something about me being delirious, and having an abnormally high fever when a servant (the one from the night before) came scurrying in; then I fell back to sleep.
     I'm not tired anymore. I shouldn't be - I've been in here for three days, and for most of it I've been as bored as my dad got when he got a request of 300 of clothespins that he had complete. The servant girl, whose name, I discovered, was Rose, has cared for me for almost the entire time, and seems to be the only human to believe my story. The royal family still believes me to be delirious. Apparently, good Queen Christa had thought I'd said I was a true princess that rainy night, when I had offered up my pencils. How strangely people hear things! And my inability to sleep in such a comfortable bed (that I had considered suffocating) that apparently had a frozen pea underneath its many mattresses... Well... they considered it a sign of sensitivity that only a true princess could have. They were under the impression that I had been so excited when the prince had proposed to me (calling me Liisa... I still don't understand that part) that I had worked myself into a fever, literally. I can only hope that I won't have to stay on this confining bed for all eternity, and someone will believe my sanity. maybe it would have just been better to accept the story they fed me without resistance. I believe not.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another day at the park.

Here are a couple pictures  from our day at the park on Wednesday. (which by the way the Janes and Paschals are always there on Wednesdays from 3:00 on, and the Harpers and Craftons are there occasionally too).

Oh, and by the way the pictures of Brook are when we covered her in flowers because she was dead (like Rue)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Things I really love right now. . .

Just wanted to share with you some things that I really love right now. . .

madewell spring 12
I love these colors! For some reason I usually tend to stay with cool colors, this is a perfect match!
Fav vintage color!
This sewing machine is amazing!
goaty goat goat
I have wanted a goat since I was seven. Last year my parents convinced me to get a rabbit instead of a goat. And then magically we had 15 rabbits. . . .  we still have 4. If any wants a pet rabbit we would be happy to supply one (no joke). But I still want a goat.
The Wind Singer, William Nicholson
Amazing trilogy. Its at the library. Read it.
The Ruins of Gorlan.jpg
Great book!
ashley g -> portland
Ashley G
Ashley G Print. Hehee. Cute.
Ashley G. on etsy. Love her!

I got this book at a flea market a while back. Cutest book ever!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Doctor Who Puppet Pals

Most of you know about Harry Potter Puppet pals, so here is a Doctor Who version! Cracks me up every time :)


Friday, April 13, 2012


 I posted this in our original blog, but I thought it was simpler to simply transfer it over here. So... here you go! ~~~~~~Fleeing      The grass is soft against my pale, bare feet. My hands are clenched: not in anger, but as a ward against the cold air. Though the spring is pleasant, its nights are still filled with a settled, silent chill that sends shivers creeping down my neck, into my arms, and across my back, wrapping around to engulf my lungs in a tingling but clamped embrace. I feel as though an invisible claw is squeezing me just enough for me to feel, and loathe, its presence.          My legs begin to move, swishing forward, chasing each other across the ankle-deep grass; a soft rhythm is forced upon the ground: a rhythm that even I, its creator, cannot hear. Each bounding step leaves a new mark upon the ground. There is a long stretch of footprints – places where the early-morning dew has been pulled from the smooth grass onto my small feet. I continue to run, I refuse to slow, or falter, or let weariness seep from my weak legs and aching chest into my brain. I have only one conscious thought: I must run.          The black sky is as vast as the field upon which my feet are so softly and rapidly pressed. The huge, white moon stares down at me stoically, indifferent to my plight. It is my burden. It is why I must run. The light by which I can see the mud that cakes my feet is the light that allows any creature, man or beast, to see my white dress, my pale face, and my dark hair that glints with every footfall.          The night has become colder: a blanket of chill wraps around me, whispers into me. I can hear nothing but my own uneven gasps and the Thump Thump Thump Thump Thump of my quickened blood sweeping through my ears in methodical rushes. As air is forced from my throbbing lungs, it freezes into crystals, which wash over my face and melt upon my brow, my nose, my flushed cheeks – making my whole face so numb it becomes a mask: unfeeling and unmoving.          I stumble and fall. My momentum pulls me forward into a tumbling roll until I slide to a stop. I cry out in shock. I can feel nothing! I heard my arm crack, saw it bend halfway up my forearm, yet I feel no pain. A wild dementia fills me. It chases away my hope like a wolf chases a rabbit: quickly, with scorn for the diminutive size of its prey.          Lying there, trembling against the crumpled grass, I let my shoulders sag, stop trying to push myself up with my feeble arm. Shadows lurk at the corners of my eyes; even the moon has dimmed to a blurry grey. I hear voices behind me. My original urgency rushes up my spine, the thoughts swirling through my head, drowning out all others. I must not stop. They’re after me, I must not stop. They’re after me, I must not stop. But another thought rises through my thickening brain. I cannot move! I had stopped. I lost the iron will that has grasped my body for so long, and do not have the focus to move arms and legs. I will be caught. I am no longer able to feel dread. My body performs an involuntary shudder, and my thoughts become a distorted cacophony of lights and sounds.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Dilemma 

If you're looking for something to do with your Easter eggs on Easter Sunday, I have just the thing.
Once you've finished hiding and finding your eggs, there are normally a few that have been cracked.  Take one of them and find a partner.  With your partner, throw the egg back and forth between the two of you the way you would in a water balloon toss.  Do this until the egg is completely demolished.  Keep doing so with your eggs until you've done so with all of the cracked eggs.  Once those are gone, you can do the same with the ones still intact.  These will last considerably longer, and you might want to step back a few paces so you don't stand there throwing the same egg for an incredibly long time.  Do so until you are bored, then you can merely throw the rest of the eggs out.  Warning: this game is extremely messy, especially when you get down to the yokes.  Be sure you are not wearing nice clothes and that it is okay with your parent/landlord that the yard has egg bits all over it.  To avoid tension, pick up as many pieces of egg as possible.  To save time in the end, pick up pieces of egg after each round.  
Have fun!