Showing posts from September, 2013

Faire-y Tale

Lords and Ladies, gather 'round to hear a tale of a glorious day - a day beyond compare - the day a Garden Fairy, the Princess of Hearts, two Knights, and a Wizard sought out the company of the same at a grand Faire. 

Upon arrival at the Faire, the only thing the Garden Fairy wanted to do was Smite the Knight. After a brief conversation with the Dragon, who bestowed on her his blessing and a shiny necklace, she flitted from sparkly vendor to sparkly vendor to scary skull vendor to sparkly vendor, all the time growing more and more anxious to do battle. 

Finally, the moment arrived. 

If only Sir Knight had known the ferociousness of this bright, mirthful fairy.

Sir Coren had a go at a Knight as well. 'Twasn't long until the Knight fell to Coren's sword. 

The Princess of Hearts had some fun of her own. A fierce archer, she got a bullseye after just a few practice arrows. She had her hand at dagger throwing as well. 

Sir Zachary tried his hand at axe throwing and eating a huge …


I'm being held captive by a newly minted one-year-old. She is asleep on me and I really need to go to the bathroom. So peaceful, I hesitate to disturb her. Sleeping beauty's mom is on her way to pick her up, but I'm unsure as to whether she'll arrive momentarily or when I've reached my maximum threshold. Tempted to call her to check on her eta, instead my attention is abruptly riveted on this suddenly animated little one. Her mouth moves as if she's speaking and her arm waves, hand opening and closing and pointing and gesturing. Her eyebrows spring to life and a smile creeps to her eyes. She becomes my world for these brief moments - all else paling in comparison to this amazing performance. 

My camera is just out of reach - oh, how I want to capture this moment for her Mama! By the time I get the attention of another of the children in my house, there's only time for a few quick photos before she startles herself awake with a loud giggle. I'm now able t…

Screwing Around

Disclaimer: This is not a typical rannygahoots post. It may contain some questionable subject matter. Or the author of this post may just be losing her mind a little. Or a lot. 

I came to a realization while at my friend Jackie's house for the first time a few weeks ago. A huge realization. You see, my husband had given me directions there from memory, as he'd been there many times before. I realized I never asked him for specifics as to what he was doing when he was over there. He was "helping her out."

When I got home I asked him  and he said he trimmed her bush and filled her hole with wood. Great. Fantastic. Just what I wanted to hear. 

And then there's my friend Renee. He goes to her apartment more frequently than I as well. And when I asked him about that, he was honest about what he does there, using words such as bang, screw, and nail. He even admitted he got into her drawers. 

Confronting Jackie about this, after the gathering at her house was over and ever…

Relentlessly Connected

Apparently not having a smartphone has made me a horrible friend.

I'm not available 24/7 via phone, email, and social media. Even when I have my ancient Star Trek communicator cell phone with me, I sometimes let it go to voicemail if I've designated whatever activity I'm doing as phone-free time. I want to be in the moment with the people I'm with, not checking in with my phone every few minutes. I want to experience life as it's happening here in the real world, not in cyberspace. And no matter how much of your real life you post in cyberspace, it's not the same as the real world - my real world. 

It's not that I don't care about you. I do. But I don't feel the need to be relentlessly connected to you, to respond to your every text, your every post, your every phone call with the immediacy you may think it deserves. If it were a crisis, yes, of course I'd answer! I wouldn't hesitate to respond. But every worry, every bad moment, every cool th…

Blessed Mess

I sit, thoughts swirling around me, yet unable to grasp any of them to get them down on paper. I am full to overflowing with this blessed mess that is life.

Listening to my kids working together to pull off a super-secret surprise, gratitude for such wonderful children fills me. Even the less than lovely bickering that eventually sneaks into their covert plans fails to faze me. Love lives in those words and in the souls who speak them. 

Feeling the pain wracking my body, all sense of motivation to get anything accomplished tries to flee, but I won't have any of that. There is work to do, spirits to nourish, young lives to inspire and be inspired by, and a beautiful day just on the other side of the door. Unwrapping myself from my comforter - aptly named, by the way, as I find it very comfortable and comforting - I encourage my reluctant body into action. Strange, and somewhat amusing sounds emerge from my body in a mix of effort, pain, and trying not to use inappropriate words in fr…

Notes to Self

Do not let the small girly child wear a shirt that snaps up the front to church. She will spend half of worship unsnapping the shirt and resnapping it in interesting configurations, some involving the snaps on the chest pockets and shoulders. She may also announce, really loudly, that the snaps on the chest pockets feel like her nipples only much harder.Try not to agree to let children paint and then accidentally fall asleep immediately afterwards.Avoid posting about increasing chest pain on facebook without first explaining that it's psoriatic arthritis-related and not a heart issue.When you tell the kids you'll take them to Gramma and Papa's house in the afternoon, some of them will expect to leave the house at 12:01 pm and will ask you every three and a half minutes afterwards if it's time to go yet.Never underestimate the power of a nap. It can transform both a cranky child and a cranky parent. If your husband explains the importance of being able to deal with spid…


When Coren was two, I played a game among friends online in which we had to take the first letters of our children's names and write something about them. I'll never forget his...


This came to mind the other day when I thought about how much this amazing child has grown and how different, and similar, he is to that cuddly little nursling. I can still see that two-year-old in those cheeks and the puppy-dog eyes. 

If I had to come up with one of these works of word today, on his eighth birthday, it would be


Ok, so I had to fudge that last part a bit. But it's true. He's still cuddly - something I cherish. His thirst to learn everything he can about everything he's interested in is unquenchable. He can talk at length about dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, about Pokemon, about the worlds he creates in various online games and in drawings, and about the Lego creations he builds. Coren'…

An Ending

Fourteen years, six months, three weeks, four days. Five kids. And now it's over. Just like that. Two little words and it's over. 

Over that period of time, the relationships lasted anywhere from five years to over seven years, intertwining with each other to form fourteen and a half seamless years. 
The first year and a half as a couple was easy, after getting over some hurdles in the early weeks. Then we introduced someone new into the relationship and things got a little more complicated. Nearly two years after that, we added yet another to our relationship. Eventually the founding member of this relationship outgrew it and moved on, and shortly thereafter another new face joined to form this special bond. And another. 
Then one by one, they moved on to other things, no longer needing the bond that seemed so essential in the beginning. And now it's done. Over for good. The end of some of the most beautiful and intimate relationships of my life. 
Fourteen years, six months, …

A Day to Treasure

Perhaps it was inspired by the tag-sale-scored ship's wheel or the unique configuration of decks behind our house. Maybe it was just because my kids love pirates. However it happened, since Coren's first birthday we've had a Pirate Party at our house every year. 

I'm not sure if the kids have more fun decorating for the party...

dressing up for it... or spending time with friends the day of the party.
When asked what they like most about the party, some say following the treasure map or the clues... to dig up treasure (really!) ...
while others more greatly enjoy the treasure itself. 

What I treasure most is sitting, chatting with friends, sipping mulled cider, and watching the joy on the kids' faces as they spend an afternoon living inside the world of their imaginations come to life. It's truly a day to treasure.

Chronic Ailment Translator

Social media is going to be the death of me.

I've gotten into countless conversations over the past month where tone isn't clear because communication is happening via the internet, or where I'm talking with people who don't know me and read drama into simple factual sentences where there is none. This happens on message boards and facebook, via email and in chat rooms.

I've come to find that many people experience this - and moreover, many people who live with chronic illness experience this to the extreme.

A recent social media post elicited a response indicating that all I do is complain about my health, worry about things, and dwell on my needs and wants, totally lacking in gratitude for the wonderful things in my life. I was taken aback, as I try to see the blessings amidst the chaos whenever possible. Surprisingly, it's usually possible. The more I thought about it, the more clear it became how easily things can get lost in translation. 

Tone and intent are d…