Mother Goose Begins Another Blog Project

In response to an overwhelming request for more stories about our brave servicemen and women and the families who support them, Mother Goose is honking for joy to announce the launch of a new project, Mother Goose Salutes.

http://mothergoosesalutes.wordpress.com/

The mission is over in Iraq (as far as we know anyway…), and I know that our country is drawing down and out of Afghanistan. We have troops and advisors around the world, but no new wars coming up after Afghanistan. More than a decade of war has left our nation tired and in need of healing and restoration.

But by the same token, we have thousands of veterans to care for now that the wars are ending. We still have families flying Blue Star Banners and praying for their soldiers and sailors and airmen and women. And now we have the new policy from the Defense Department lifting the ban on women in active combat duty. The higher ups are beginning to dialogue about a new Selective Service plan that might include women.

There are so many stories of heroes and so many local events honoring our Heroes. Mother Goose is running from person to person in the Chicagoland area telling them that military families have special needs and challenges. You can see the tracks of her big old rubbery feet in the fresh-fallen snow — she’s got so much ground to cover and so many stories to tell. The Goosemobile is warming up even now for an appointment to talk with a Gold Star Mother about her upcoming “Support the Troops” project.

Will you follow me on that exciting journey?

Will you join me?

Will you join me?

Are you afraid that Mother Goose will abandon her first love of telling heartwarming stories for the general public? Never fear! Mother Goose has been around for years and years telling those thought-provoking and tear-generating stories for all to hear. I’m not going anywhere far away, just another adventure around the corner.

With love and goosedown to stay warm today,
Mother Goose

Please Pass the Joy Butter

Quite recently, I was asked the question that all authors, bloggers and ordinary people love to answer:

“Why do you write?”

Those four words are deeper than you can imagine! To even begin to answer the question requires much thought and soul-searching. Most writers would toss it back and forth between their ears, and mull it into a warm autumn drink. They would then consider the options; they would weigh the outcomes and pontificate on the ramifications.

It took me about three seconds to answer…

I write to spread Joy Butter over the toast of ordinary, everyday life.

Eric needs a little Joy Butter on his rye bread.

The Lord said that we should pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Toasting the bread is good — getting it warmed and crunchy is a fine morning tradition — it’s completely palatable and nourishing. However, dry toast can be…well, dry! It can be just crumbs in your mouth, pretty bland and ordinary. But omigooseness when you spread a pat of butter over the toast….why it just makes a world of difference.

Do you have “toast” days?

Kinda of dry, kind of boring, kind of crumby…

Mother Goose is here with her Joy Butter, ready to add some flavor and smiles to your day. Please pass the Joy Butter!

Careena Takes the Wheel

The hot July pavement rippled with a distant aqua mirage, and Careena pushed me out of the way. “I will drive!” she screamed. The look in her red-rimmed eyes was terrible to behold — I meekly handed her the car keys. Her rampage continued. “Just get in and be quiet! And don’t forget your stupid seatbelt!” She threw herself into the hot car; all three hundred pounds of her flopped into the driver’s seat. She slammed the car door with a vengeance.

Looking around for someone, anyone who I might be calling as a witness to this scene if things got even more terrible, I carefully limped around to the passenger side of the four door sedan. Cars were flying by us, but there was no kind soul to call.

Through the passenger side window, I could see her mouth moving with the viciousness of a snake eating a mouse. “Get IN!” Careena screamed again. With tears rolling down my cheeks, I reached for the car door handle. Just one slight touch burned my hand and I cried out in pain and fear.

“Careena, it’s hot! I can’t open the door. I just can’t!” I sobbed out loud in hopes of sparking some small ember of compassion from this angry woman. Careena didn’t hear me, and she was already starting the car. Her hands were shaking and her head was bobbing crazily back and forth, and I began to think that maybe she’d just drive off without me.

I hoped she would. I would rather walk twenty hot miles down this dangerous highway in a midday swelter than get back in the car with Careena.

Using the bottom of my blouse as a potholder, I pulled on the door handle. The door opened and her voice violated my ears once again, like the sound of a cement-cutting machine in an alley. “What is your problem?” she shrieked. “Just shut the door. We’ve only got thirty minutes, and now I know we’ll be late because of your stupid driving. What’s wrong with you anyway?”

Gingerly, I fastened my seat belt, using my blouse again to protect myself from the hot metal. Seeing that I was secure, she grinned. Her grin was a maniac clown grin and for the first time today, I noticed that her thick lipstick was much too red for the rest of her face, and it was smeared on her large yellow teeth. Her lipstick only added to my fear and confusion. Why had I agreed to ride with Careena on this day of all days?

She grabbed the shifter with avenging power and slammed the car into “D” for drive. At the same time, her thick right leg raised a few inches off the plaid car seat and then with a loud grunt, she jammed the accelerator to the floor. Gravel flew out from under the tires and sprayed the dry ditch and small bushes along the road. The front of the car was momentarily overwhelmed by the back of the car and the momentum of this insane take-off shuddered through me.

“Careena! Stop it! This is so bad, so scary.”

The sound of the semi-truck’s air horn filled the inside of our little car, and she didn’t hear me. The truck blazed past us, and the ebb tide of its wake pulled us out of our lane and into the path of an oncoming car.

“Careena! Watch out!” I screamed through my hands which were covering my face and my eyes. When I lowered my hands, I realized that I was still alive, and Careena was speeding faster and faster. With the speedometer needle at 75 in the middle of rush hour traffic, I gripped the edges of the dashboard and waited for my early demise.

I saw the red lights up ahead as the traffic slowed, but Careena did not. Swerving to the left lane and swerving back to the right lane, she reminded me of an out-of-control sewing machine, humming along through the fabric roadway. Clicking along the cotton causeway. Spinning the steering wheel like a bobbin of thread along her thumbs and speeding along the asphalt material until the red lights were all around us, and she had no choice but to step on the brakes. And she stepped on them with all of her might, throwing me forward with only my shoulder harness to stop my head from slamming into the windshield.

When the traffic began to move again, Careena wasted no time in the continuance of her weaving in and out. My right hand clutched the door, and my left hand sat wounded in my lap, the fingers twitching slightly as though they were breathing their last. My left knee throbbed, and the pain spoke to me about Careena slamming me into the car when she had taken the wheel just minutes before.

Exits from the highway came and went, and still Careena drove on. I was reminded of the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow — the animated version I had seen so many years ago with the pumpkin-headed man with the flaming eyes. Beads of perspiration were building up on the forehead and beakish nose of Careena. She frequently took one hand and then the other off the steering wheel and wiped them on her dress, leaving trails of moist grime on the white silk.

“Careena,” I begged. “Please can’t we turn on the air conditioning? I’m wringing wet and so hot. I think I might die of this heat, Careena. Please?”

“No,” she screamed just twelve inches from my face. “I like the windows open. I love the wind in my hair and all the fresh air. It makes me happy and that’s what I need most of all right now is just a little happiness. Why can’t you just let me be happy? Is that too much to ask? Just a little fun and some happy times?”

I said nothing, feeling the sting of her venom for the umpteenth time that day.

She turned the radio on. “Hand me my phone,” she ordered. I found it on the floor by my feet and handed it to her. “Careena, you can’t drive and talk on the phone,” I said quietly so as not to upset her again. With horror, I saw that she was looking down at her phone and back up at the road and down at her phone and up at the road, with just one hand on the wheel. “Careena, NO!” I cried with all the energy and fight I had left in me. “No, Careena, please don’t text him while you’re driving.” She just grinned at me.

“I was just letting him know that we’re almost there,” she smirked and started to sing along with the radio. Then she looked at the numbers of the radio station. “Change that station. I can’t stand that song. Jeez, I hate that song.”

And I twisted the knob to get to the station she liked and the song playing reminded me of someone I used to know, and I just turned and looked out the window, trying to forget that Careena was driving.

Our exit sign flew by my face, and we turned onto a quiet street just past the 7 Eleven. “Careena, can we please just stop and get a bottle of water? I’m so thirsty, I think I’m going to die.”

“Be quiet,” she yelled. “There’s no time for that now. I can’t be late.”

We turned the corner too fast, the tires squealed and the brakes gave it their best shot We hit the curb anyway.

“Damn,” she said and then punched the accelerator again. I could see the tall steeple of the church just down the block. Careena at last slowed down and then slammed on the brakes when she reached the front steps of the church. Her long white veil which had been streaming out the window through the duration of the terrible ride finally settled into place over her head, over her face, down her shoulders and her broad, sweaty back as she got out of the car and walked with heavy purpose towards the open doors of the church.

I heard wedding bells ringing, clanging feverishly above me as I climbed slowly out of the car. I can still hear Careena yelling at me, “C’mon, this is my big day! Are you coming or not?”

Careena got us to the church on time…

I’m Posting every day in October!

Linda says, “A writer just has to write.” She’s right. Alright.

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now. I will be posting on this blog once a day for the month of October in preparation for National Novel Writing Month which is in November.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Signed,

Natalie
aka Mother Goose
aka Little Wife’s friend

And the winner is…..

ME!

For many days, I have been listening to the voices in my head. You know the ones — they say things like, “you can’t…”, “you’d never…”, and “don’t even bother…”.

Well, today I told them to shut up.

I rode my bike for thirty minutes — for the first time in ten days. The last time I rode was when Mark and I went to Maya del Sol for dinner which lasted until closing time, and us just riding tra la la down the dark streets of Oak Park at midnight. With maybe just a little too much wine in our heads…

But then I couldn’t ride for so many reasons: I had a broken spoke on my back tire; it’s just way too hot and humid; I haven’t had my shower yet; who cares anyhow, blah blah blah.

So HA HA I rode today. Take THAT Mrs.Resistance! Bam, punch, pow!

And did you know that Mrs. Resistance is having an affair with The Censor? He’s the voice in my head who tells me that I can’t write! He tells me that I’m so very average; he tells me that I have nothing interesting to say, and nobody wants to hear it anyway. He says my writing is such a bore. He also tells me that I just don’t even have time to write so don’t even attempt it.

Well HA HA Mr. Censor! Here I am writing for the first time in a month, and I bet there’s somebody reading this right now who is smiling. So take THAT Censor! Bam punch pow to you.

Hip hip hooray for me — today I win!

God’s sweetest blessings on you today, dear friend.

Trust Yourself Writing Challenge

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s Assignment:  I have 15 minutes to live.  Write the story.

I mostly want people to know that God loves them.  My whole life has been a search for love, I believe.  And I have been fortunate to have great love for these many years.  Love of family and friends has been my JOY.  But only in recent years did I accept that God loves me.  And I didn’t have to do a thing to earn His love.  He loves just because that’s who HE is, not at all because of who I am.

I also want to express my thankfulness for people who have stayed with me for so long.  My unconditional “fan club” of girlfriends and my sisters and my brother and my dad, cousins, aunts and uncles but primarily my amazing children.  And Mark too.  Thank you for understanding that even though I am not perfect, I am still likeable, even loveable.

I walk by faith and not by sight, and GRACE abounds if I just open my eyes and look at it.  I have no fear of failure anymore, no fear of the future, no fear of other’s peoples opinions of me.  I am learning to drop the regrets that I’ve carried for a long long time.  They are too heavy for me to drag along into the future.

I wish you the greatest blessings in life — love, peace and everlasting wonder about this Big Adventure.  Know that I loved you with all my heart and always believe in you.  When you stop everything to sniff a flower, think of me. When you hear a song about heaven, think of me.  When you look into the eyes of someone who loves you endlessly, smile and think of me.

Mediocrity at its finest!

So I decided to begin The Novel.  I wrote one page.  It was neither hot nor cold, so I vomited it out of my computer.  On to the next big thing!

I’ve been inspired lately by some really great writers and thinkers.  People who “poke the box” and people who believe that we should “love like there’s no tomorrow” and people who believe in the almighty power of prayer and people who know that we have abundant lives if we will just stop and notice.

So no more historical novel for me.  It was an interesting idea, but it’s not my cup of tea.  I like to write about people — THAT is my niche.  I love to dig into who they are now and dream about where they are going next.  I am looking for Jesus in everybody I meet.  Sometimes I make up people (and that’s really fun!) but the folks I meet are always more interesting than the ones I create.

Although I DO have a funny fictional character named Little Wife, and I might tune into her channel and see what’s happening over there lately.  Anyway, thank you for helping me to focus, and for helping me see what’s real and helping me to go for the GUSTO and BALANCE and PEACE and JOY of being who God made me to be.

Blessings on you today!  Love, Natalie

I Have a Novel to Write

and so I better get going on that — pronto — no more excuses, no more fear, no more delays.  A bird sings because she’s a bird, and a writer writes because that’s who she is, and there’s no getting around that.  Thanks to Suddenly Jamie for the little nudge this morning.

Hello world!

I’m just honking happy to be on wordpress.  Can’t wait to start! I am so excited to be telling stories and passing on some anecdotes that will amuse and enlighten my audience.  An audience of one is an audience nonetheless.

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