Squash!

I’ve no doubt that if it was possible for a virtual blog to collect dust, mine would be a pathetic little pile of dirt by now.  Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about that!

Want to hear a story about squash?  You don’t really have a choice.

~*~

Once upon a cucumber harvest, Farmer Yedd was picking out all the ripe greens from his crops.  It had been a hard year, and the Yugoslavian immigrant had spent a modest fortune on the investment of twelve thousand, five hundred twenty-eight tons of cucumber seeds.  Now he walked slowly through his crops to investigate the earlier seasons’ outcome, holding a box in which to put any good products of the vegetable harvest.

Evening came, and finally the farmer arrived home.  He peeked in to the dining room, where the table had been neatly set with napkins, plates, juice glasses, and sporks.  Twelve hungry faces looked up at him.

“What is in the box?” one of the farmer’s nephews piped out.  “Is it something for me?”

A portly, elderly woman sitting next to the boy bopped him on the head with an organic wooden spatula.  “Of course it’s not for you!  If anyone deserves anything around her, it’s me,” she exclaimed with a thick Yugoslavian accent.  “Now son, what is in the box?”

Farmer Yedd sighed.  “Nothing is in the box because there was no harvest.”

“NOTHING!  What is that supposed to mean?”  The entire family went in an uproar, and looked at the farmer with heated accusation.  No harvest meant no money, and no money meant to house (and no lottery tickets, which Uncle Yutuski would miss sorely).

“I hate to break it to you all—and I understand that it might be hard to take—but I would have had a better outcome this year had I decided to plant Mongolian mushrooms.  The harvest stunk.”  He stared into the empty box in his hands.  “I suppose we’ll have to learn to live on little.”

It was another hard year.  Every time cousin Yori wanted to buy a candy bar, he had to remember the family code: to learn to live on little, or “LOL” for short.  Every time Aunt Yolanda craved prickled prunes, she told herself, “Now, Yolanda, learn to LOL,” and nibbled on her wooden furniture instead.  And every time Uncle Yutuski passed by the gas station sign that read LOTTERY in bright, neon letters, he told himself, “No, no, no!  You must resist and learn to LOL!  But then again….just this once couldn’t hurt,” and bought the ticket anyway.

Farmer Yedd went through everything he had that he didn’t necessarily need.  He sold his car in exchange for a bike.  He sold his silverware because he could eat with his hands.  He sold his armchair because sitting on the floor wasn’t so bad.  He sold his clothes because underwear was enough.  At last, after all his sacrifice, he was able to buy a new crop for a very special deal: squash.

Unexpectedly, it was the most prosperous year crop-wise that the farm had ever experienced.  The squashes popped out of the ground like dandelions and were just as numerous.  There was so much squash that the family didn’t know what to do with all of it—and the vegetables seemed to be magical.  They grew and grew until there was no more room among the squash crops.  They started popping up out of the floorboards, piling in through the windows, and raining from the sky!  It was wonderful, but after a while everyone grew tired of the squashes.  Farmer Yedd had already sold many crops and had all the money his heart could desire.  Squash for supper grew quite unpleasant, and the farmer’s family longed for the taste of cucumbers again.

“I’m through with this; I’ve had my fun and now I’m done,” the farmer said one day.  So he collected all the leftover squashes and placed them in boxes.  He placed the boxes on the side of the road for anyone to take freely.  And he went and bought twelve thousand, five hundred twenty-eight tons of cucumber seeds.

Two little girls were riding in their father’s car one bright, sunny day.  They saw the boxes of vegetables on the side of the road and begged their daddy for a squash.  (It was the next best thing to a baby doll, after all.)  So they brought the biggest one they could find home and gave him a face.  They took turns cradling him, feeding him, and throwing him at the wall to see how tough he was.  And they loved their squash dearly.

Back on the farm, the cucumbers didn’t grow.  But Uncle Yutuski won that lottery.

~*~

What’s the point?!  There isn’t one.  I just wasted your time, so I hope you are a fast reader.  Haha.  Hahahahaaa.  I guess there is a moral though, because if you try hard enough you can get almost any moral out of almost any story.  Let’s see….

  • Don’t be selfish.
  • Patience is a virtue.
  • If you burden your friends, you won’t have any.
  • Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
  • Look on the bright side.

This is sounding too much like something from Aesop’s Fables, isn’t it?

Alright, so this story does have a point because it is half-true!  Maybe all true—who knows?  Anyway, my little sisters found a squash on the side of the road and took it home to make it their doll.  Here are some pictures.

Meet our dear Mister Squashface.  He turned out to be a real player, if you know what I mean.

Mister Squashface is quite loved indeed.

Just two more things you can learn from the story, okay?  Learn to LOL, but don’t take it too far.  And squashes are magical, and they don’t like to be thrown at walls.

Till next time!!

A Tale of Two Circuses

Like many a past time, I have something of some significance to say but cannot find the right words to say it.  So here is a short story to illustrate what I have in mind.  (If you enjoy circuses, loons, and spoons, you might find this quite amusing!)

~*~

Once upon a time there were two ringmasters named Melvin and Merlin.

Each ringmaster ran a circus, and each circus was across the street from the other.  Both were extremely popular and were attended regularly by large crowds of people.

Melvin’s circus, “Cirque de Loon”, was famous for its ferocious aquatic birds which could be trained only by one man: Lardo the Legendary Loon Tamer!  People would come from all over the earth to watch him crack his whip, shout out commands, and have the birds sit in a row and squawk out the tune to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.  No man was like Lardo!

Merlin’s circus, “Cirque de Spoon”, was also quite famous; for Merlin himself had traveled deep into the dark Spoon Caves of the Amazon rain forest to bring back  hundreds of wild spoons.  These spoons could only be tamed by the Amazing Merlin!  People from all around the world would watch as he cracked his whip, shouted out commands, and balanced two hundred spoons on his head while hula-hooping.  Merlin was utterly unbeatable!

Now, there was another ringmaster who lived far, far away.  Nobody knew his name, but everybody knew that his circus was the best of the best.  Children would walk out of his circus exclaiming, “Golly, can we come back tomorrow?”

Fathers would walk out of his circus stroking their beards and exclaiming, “That was extraordinary!”

Mothers would walk out of his circus covering their child’s eyes and saying to their husbands, “Now, dear, you know I’m a lot prettier than those scantily-clad circus women, don’t you?”

All were amazed.

This ringmaster was, in fact, coming for a visit.  He had heard of Melvin and of Merlin, and wanted to see if they knew what it took to put on a real show.  And so, he sent them a letter.

My dear ringmasters,” it read, “If either of you has any skill in running a circus at all, now is your time to show what you’ve got.  I am coming for a visit in fifteen days, and—if what I hear about your performances is true—I am expecting the time of my life.  That is all.  Sincerely, ”

And that was all.

The two ringmasters were honored that this highly acknowledged somebody was coming to see their circus performances, but at the same time they were nervous—and the nervousness grew as the days passed.

Melvin was determined to meet his special guest’s expectations, so he worked everyone extra hard.  He closed the whole circus awhile so that he and his circus staff could practice all day and all night.  Lardo grew cranky and the loons squawked in aggravation, but would that stop Melvin?  Certainly not!

Merlin, of course, was also determined—-that, and very anxious.  Unfortunately for his staff, Merlin was always cross when he was anxious.  He whipped his performing spoons when they didn’t get their act right.  He didn’t let them take a break even when they started growling, which should have been an obvious warning sign that they were annoyed.

The day before the mystery ringmaster’s arrival came like a thunderclap, and Melvin and Merlin were pushy as ever.  They would not settle for anything less than perfection, and each man strove to make his circus superior to the other.  Melvin told his loon tamer to make the birds sing louder than ever, which made their voices sore.  “Squawk, not squeak!” he shouted in rage.

Merlin changed his act last-minute, because he decided that the one his circus squad had been practicing just wasn’t impressive enough.  The spoons had trouble picking up the newly-learned arrangements, and they got very confused.  Merlin only shouted more: “We must be the best!”

“ENOUGH!”  Lardo finally roared at Melvin after an extra-strenuous training session.  “It’s clear that these poor birds cannot squawk any louder; I’m surprised they haven’t lost their voices by now.”  He picked up all the ferocious loons in a handful and grunted, “We’re out of here.”

Merlin was glad when he heard the competition was gone, but he would not stop pressing his spoons on.  He skipped their meals because time was short, and soon they got very hungry and weak.  Naturally, as any pack of wild spoons would do, they turned on their master and gobbled him up!

There would be no big performance after all, and the last ringmaster returned to his own circus, his expectations crushed.

~*~

There are several morals to get from this story: for one thing, don’t overwork wild spoons because they will always turn on you.  But that’s not really the point.

The point is, high expectations will almost always lead to disappointment.  If you hold any expectations for this blog at all, you will most likely end up just as disappointed as that mysterious ringmaster was (and perhaps lose a lot of traveling money as he did, too).

So please don’t expect anything from me.  It will only make me nervous, and perhaps you will be tempted to quit on me or to gobble me up somehow.  ….Hopefully not.

A Giraffe and Her Blog

Do you like stories?  Listen closely.

~*~

Once upon a time, there was a giraffe.  We’ll call her “CJ”.  Young CJ lived in a quiet neighborhood and had a large, lovely family of giraffes, with two loving parent giraffes, three beautiful sister giraffes, and three brave brother giraffes.

There was Big Daddy Giraffe, who dedicated his life to his family and to preaching the good Lord’s many great teachings.  There was Mother Giraffe, who dedicated her life to raising her kids and spent most of the time picking up unpleasant things.  There was Baby Giraffe, who had already turned eight and was not really the “baby” anymore at all.  There was Little Giraffe, who enjoyed cooking, reading, and playing piano—taking much after her oldest sister giraffe.  There were the three brother giraffes, who were frequently together causing mischief (except for Middle Giraffe, who was sometimes content with his own solitude).  And finally, there was one more giraffe, the oldest.  She had had enough with her large, lovely giraffe family and was leaving for college!

CJ was sure to miss her sister greatly—after all, the two were very close—so she decided to record her daily activities for her in a blog.  (Big Sister Giraffe wouldn’t be leaving till August, but CJ just couldn’t wait that long to begin writing.  After all, now that school was over for the summer, what else was there for a giraffe to do than to sit down at 1:00 in the morning and blog?)

And so she began typing, despite how difficult it was using her hooves.

~*~

The moral of this story?  Don’t treat giraffes with racial discrimination: they could be very normal and have nice, normal families just like us!

The point of this story?  CJ is me.  With the exception of CJ being a giraffe; that was to illustrate the point.

It’s true: my big sister is almost eighteen and will be going off to college come August.  (Weird!)  Therefore, I have created this horrible concoction of words and HTML so that she can keep up with my goings-on here while she is supposed to be studying down in Oklahoma.

Let’s make this clear once and for all: I am not a giraffe.  I am a girl.

Enjoy the ride!