Stuck Together

escaping bride 3
Photo credit: favim.com

Since I home school, I decided to participate in the Writing Fiction class in 2014 that my daughter was taking.  I thought it would be fun to periodically post some of the short stories that I wrote during that time.  For this particular writing exercise, I had to write a scene in which two people were stuck together and find a way to get them unstuck.  Here’s what I came up with…

As soon as the words were spoken, she knew that the bond could not be broken. Just two little words had sealed her fate. Such simple words, “I do”. Anguish overwhelmed her and her body grew weak. Shock and bewilderment showed upon the faces of the people that had gathered around her lifeless body; which was now collapsed in a heap of white chiffon splayed across the soulless earth beneath her. Indeed, this was the beginning of the end. The end of a life that knew no boundaries, the end of a life who knew no despair, the end of a life that had only beautiful dreams of a future and a hope that couldn’t be contained.

The moment she awakened, she suddenly remembered what had happened and she screamed as if she had just seen a ghost. When in fact, what she was really experiencing, was the haunting fact that she was now married to one of the most ghastly men in all of London. Through no fault of her own, she had been condemned to this fate. She had been kidnapped from her home in Scotland, brought to London, and forced to marry a man who had practically raped her with his eyes at their first introduction. He was repulsive in every way possible and his vile behavior was completely unbearable. The way he looked at her, filled her with such fear, that she lost her composure whenever he was near.

She had to think of a way to break free from her tormentor, but how? She had no idea how to get back to Scotland even if she did succeed at escaping and then there was still the fact that she was legally married to this wretched man. The only solution was plain and clear. She had to find a way to kill him, before he completely destroyed and ruined her life. Another problem was that everyone around her was against her. She couldn’t trust anyone or could she? She had seen a poor maiden beaten half to death for stealing scraps of food in the kitchen just before the wedding day. Perhaps she could make friends with the girl and persuade her to help her escape. It was a long shot, but considering the circumstances, it was probably her only choice. She had seen the girl come and clean the ashes from the fireplace every so often. So, she decided to wait and see if the girl would make an appearance.

It was late afternoon by the time the girl showed up. She had been lucky that her husband had not come into check on her yet. The marriage had still not be consummated and she wanted to keep it that way. From her bed, she watched the girl carefully sweep up the ashes. Rebecca knew that the girl was oblivious to the fact that she was there watching her, so she quietly cleared her throat as to not alarm the girl too much. The girl immediately picked up her cleaning supplies and was about to hurry out the door when Rebecca called to her. The girl stopped and looked at her with large frightened eyes. To disrupt the lady of the house would not be tolerated and the girl knew it. Rebecca tried to reassure her that she only wanted to talk and told the girl not to be afraid. Then Rebecca proceeded to explain to the girl her circumstances and asked the girl for her help. The girl agreed and carefully led Rebecca through a secret passageway in the wall.

It was cold and damp once inside and almost too dark to see clearly. The girl quickly pulled Rebecca along down the steps and seemed to know the way as if she had been there many times before. At the end of the passage way, Rebecca could see a faint light coming through a small crack in the wall. She peered through and noticed that they were in a space adjacent to her husband’s study. She quickly pulled back as she noticed her husband pacing the floor of the study. His back was towards her, but she didn’t want to take any chance that he might notice her. There was a small door that led into the study and Rebecca thought of a plan. What if she could sneak up on her husband and strike him from behind with a blunt object and then hide his body in the secret passageway so that nobody would find his body until she was long gone.

Finally with her mind made up, she slipped quietly out of the small door, grabbed a candlestick that was on the mantle and struck her husband from behind with all the strength she could surmise. Immediately the man’s lifeless body collected at her feet and the servant girl came running quickly over to help. They both worked quickly to drag him into the secret passageway. Safe at last, and with the bond of her captor finally broken, Rebecca escaped into the night and never looked back.

 

Prom… this time of year?

IMG_4079I know I’ve been elusive lately, so I decided to share my day.  Here’s a snapshot of what I was doing this morning.  That’s right!  Taking pictures of my daughter Amy who was celebrating prom in her own way today.

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Since we homeschool, our kids don’t have the same opportunities to go to dances and regular high school functions.  This didn’t stop my daughter from arranging her own mock prom though; and she had quite an exciting day.

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When the two arrived home from shopping and dinner, they were surprised to find a huge fireworks show going on just behind our house.  I guess somebody knew it was their day!  She is all grown-up… I’m feeling a bit sad that she will be leaving for New York next month.

IMG_4092My second baby is leaving the nest and I will miss her more than she probably even knows.  Life is short… enjoy your children while you can, they grow up way too fast!

Our Latest Adventure

Just wanted to share our most recent trip to the park with all of you.  It was quite muddy that day, but at least there weren’t too many bugs lurking about.  We had a blast despite ending up with mud caked to the bottom of our shoes. 🙂

Monroe 7This was the start of the path leading into the woods from the children’s play area.  Every time I see a path like this, I feel inspired to write something  about it.  The woods were so tranquil and quiet.  The only sounds that could be heard were the faint rustle of the leaves in the wind and the birds merrily singing nearby.

Monroe 5Along the path, we spotted this tree off in the distance.  I wanted to get a closer look, but it was so far off the path and with the ground being so muddy, this is as close as I could get without getting stuck forever!  I wonder if an animal lives here.  It sure seemed like a cozy little place to snuggle up and take a nap.

Monroe 4These plants to the left, covered almost the entire forest floor.  Not sure of their name.  They were about 3 ft. tall, with tiny white flowers at the tips, and because of their height, it made it impossible to veer off the path too far.

Monroe 1Here’s a better view of the flowers that were perched at the top of each plant.  Like I said, I am not sure what these were, but they were a beautiful sight for sure!

Monroe 9   The trees didn’t quite have all of their leaves yet, so you could really get a good view of the entire forest and all of it’s hidden secrets that laid scattered about.  I enjoyed watching the butterflies fluttering by, and my girls were looking for curious things to collect.  I think the only thing we really collected though, was about 2 inches of mud on the bottoms of our shoes!

Monroe 11   This was the end of our journey through the woods and I decided to take a picture of the sun peering through the trees as we made our way back to the play area.  It is always hard to leave such a peaceful place behind and I felt a bit sad when we had to leave.  The good news is, that we can go back another day and have another adventure waiting for us once again!  I am already excited just thinking about it!

Handmade Art Journals (Updated)

For those of you who wanted a bit more information about how to make the art journals.  I have taken some pictures of the insides of all three journals.  Each one is unique in that we all wanted our journals for different reasons.  To begin, we started with sets of different scraps of fabric (the fronts and backs of the material didn’t match).  We sewed the sets of material together and left one side open for the stuffing.  It worked best for us to make the pillow for the spine of the book first, because then all of the other pillows could be adjusted to the size we needed for the overall book.  After stuffing each pocket, each one was made into a mini pillow.DMC floss  After all of the pillows were made, (mine had 17 pillows total) we embroidered each pillow the way that we wanted to, using unseperated DMC floss.  This is the longest part of the whole process, but it’s also the part that is the most fun, because you get to be really creative and make whatever patterns or pictures that you want on your pillows.  The next part goes pretty fast and involves sewing all of the pillows together in the order that you want them.  wpid-img_20150419_115721.jpgIt’s kind of like putting a puzzle together.  It took us several different tries before we got the layouts the way that we wanted them.  Once they were all sewn together, we ended up with this.  Then we proceeded to add the fun details, like snaps, buttons, ribbon, etc. to really make the journals our own unique creation.  wpid-img_20150419_192916.jpgAmy added snaps to her journal since she had some overlapping fabric that stuck out too far.  She ended up putting snaps on the front and the back and then added a ribbon to keep her journal securely closed.  Her little mistake actually enhanced the look of her journal and made it even better in the end.  I chose to used a button closure on my journal and Brianna decided to leave hers open and not put any type of closure on hers at all.  To finish, we added the paper to our journals.  Amy wanted to use her journal for writing, so we use lined paper for hers and sewed rings onto the inside spine to hold the paper.  wpid-img_20150419_193013.jpgI used heavy multimedia paper for mine, since I wanted to use mine for painting.  wpid-img_20150419_192705.jpgI decided to sew my pages into the spine by taking approximately five pieces of paper at a time, folding them in half, and then sewed down the middle of each stack to attach them to the inside.  I used an awl for making the holes in the paper before sewing them in and it worked beautifully!  Brianna chose a lighter drawing paper for her journal because she likes to draw.  wpid-img_20150419_192741.jpgI again used the rings for hers so that she could remove the pages and add more later if she wanted to.  As you can see, the insides are a bit messy looking, because you can see the backside of the embroidery.  The concept behind these books, is to use fabric in colors that is completely random and not the normal colors or patterns a person would typically choose.  This was a challenge for me, since I like everything to be perfectly organized when I work on a project.  It was quite freeing to work on these journals, knowing that they were suppose to be a hodgepodge of various fabrics and colors.  It’s the first time I ever made something that didn’t have to be perfect, and I think that is one reason why I love my journal so much.  It didn’t stress me out to make it!  wpid-img_20150419_192523.jpgHere is the final look inside my journal.  I hope this update gave you a more detailed look at what it takes to make one of these.  If you have further questions, please let me know.  I would love to help you design your own journal.  So if you are interested in the help, just let me know.  If you want to view the original post about these journals, go here.

Handmade Art Journals

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Today I wanted to share something a little bit different, than what I normally post.  There are so many beautiful artists on WordPress.  One unique artist in particular (Golnaran),  suggested to me that I share some of my artwork.  Art has always been a passion of mine, yet in recent days, I rarely spend my time doing any kind of art.  I have many things that I am passionate about and unfortunately I only have twenty-four hours in a day like everyone else.  In other words, some of my passions must be put on the back burner for another day.

Autumn painting a Christmas ornament.
Autumn painting a Christmas ornament.

For now, homeschooling my girls takes up most of my time, along with taking care of my two English Mastiffs.

However, since it was brought to my attention that others might be interested in seeing my artwork; I have decided to share a few things with all of you every now and then.  The following pictures are of some handmade journals, that my daughters and I created a couple of years ago for their home economics class.  My sister was visiting quite a few years ago and taught me how to make one of these.  And so of course, I fell in love with my journal and wanted my girls to join in the fun of making one for themselves.  I wish I had taken pictures as we went along so that I could have shared a tutorial with all of you.  If I decide to make another one, I will definitely capture the process the next time around so that if anybody wants to learn how to make one, I will be able to show you how.

Click on the images below for a larger view.

Amy’s writing journal

Brianna’s drawing journal

My painting journal

Switching Themes

Photo credit:  www.lifehack.org
Photo credit: http://www.lifehack.org

Well… I have decided to take a chance that WordAds may eventually grant me the honor of being able to use ads on my page.  I have to find someway to make a little bit of money, since I am a homeschooling mom after all!  So, today I finally chose a blog domain and now I am going to change my theme so that it will be compatible with WordAds.  Wish me luck!  I will let you all know when I am done.  Sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.  Hopefully this doesn’t take me too terribly long!  🙂

Update!  (12:49 a.m.)

Phew!  I am finally done making changes!  Let me know what you think.  🙂

Oh Christmas Tree (Homeschool style)

Making candy trains!
Autumn and her candy train

My daughter Amy and I wrote this song together as part of a homeschooling project years ago.  Every year, I find myself singing this tune along with the silly words we wrote and remembering our first year of homeschooling.  We had such a fun year and had a really awesome Christmas party where we strung popcorn alternating with wooden beads and hung them on the Christmas tree.  We also made Christmas trains which is a tradition in our house each year.  I love creating new traditions with my children.  Last year instead of giving stockings filled with gifts, we decided to give decorative boxes filled with gifts instead, to signify more closely what the Magi brought to Jesus.  We also put messages to each other in the boxes during the year when we want to say something special to someone.  Then on Christmas day, we read through the notes and see how we were each thought of throughout the year.  This year our church provided an advent book for us and we have been having fun reading through the family devotions each day.  How does your family celebrate Christmas?  Are there any traditions that you would like to share?  We would love to hear from you!  Merry Christmas!  ~The Cooks

Sing this as you read it, so much more fun that way!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

The kids are screaming in the cars
The moms and dads aren’t getting far.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

The cat is sleeping on the floor
The dog is pooping by the door

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

The presents are all by the tree
I’m hoping that they’re all for me.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

There’s popcorn all strung up around
And lights aglow don’t make a sound.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

The Christmas cookies look so good
I ate much more than I should

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

There’s baby Jesus in the hay
As we sit quietly and pray

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

I’m wishing for a falling star
And hope to see one from afar

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

The stars are glowing in the night
We all can’t wait for such delight.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

The stores are all locked up real tight
While kiddies sleep away the night.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

We give our praises to the king
And hear the heavenly angels sing

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

The icicles are melting fast
As we all toast to New Years past.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches.

By, Michelle and Amy Cook