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GAH!!

So I am about 6 to 10 votes away from being safe in LJ Idol. I was all set to go home but I have to admit, seeing the voting so close I would really like to see if I can catch up and stay for one more week.

Please vote here.

Thanks for your help and I promise this is the LAST time I will talk about voting this round. :)

ETA: Update! I need 3 to 4 votes now!! It's so close!!

LJ Idol Vote

Hey guys. I am behind in the polls for LJ Idol but not too far behind. A few votes would keep me safe which tells me that some people liked what I wrote. :)

If you haven't voted and you think I deserve to stay I would appreciate your vote. You can vote here.

If I do go home I know it's because there is some serious talent in this competition and it was just my time to go.

Thanks for your support.

LJ Idol Home Game Entry-Blanket

"Here Penny, you can have this. I never use it anyway."
I looked up at the sound of my mother's voice and my heart leapt into my throat when I saw what she was, so casually, thrusting at me.

My Dad's blanket.

I raised my eyebrows at her, was she sure? She'd never given me anything of his, nothing. No matter how much I'd begged I was the only child who had nothing to remember him by except some old photos and broken brained memories. Nothing that was absolutely...him.

She shook it at me almost violently, "Here take it, TAKE IT!!! I don't want it anymore!". She tossed it at me, I caught it just before it hit the floor, fingers trembling.

I held it to my face, let the tears come. It still smelled of him, I could feel him in it.

I went back to the day it was given to him. Our 70 year old neighbor crocheted it for him as a gift. Not for his birthday, not for any special occasion, just because my Dad was always so nice to her and had admired the special blankets she made. Just because my Dad was a nice man.

My mother thought it was the ugliest thing she'd ever seen in her life. A zigzag patterned array of colors from dark green to almost fluorescent red, it seemed to be possessed of every last yarn scrap our neighbor had. At 16 years old I had to agree with her, it was hideous.

I can hear his voice now echoing in my mind as he ran his calloused fingers over the rough loops "It's just what I wanted Helen. I'll use it every day, thank you.". I can see the tears in her eyes as he hugged her and I laugh when I remember how she pshaw'd and waved him away, her Lithuanian accent hoarser and more noticeable than usual "It was nothing Robert. You're a nice man.".

He was a nice man.

As I drove home that afternoon the memories rained down on me.

My Dad wrapped in his blanket when Walter Payton, one of only a few men my Dad considered a hero, scored his 11th touchdown during Super Bowl XX. "Look at him Penny!!! Look at Sweetness RUN!!!"

My Dad wrapped in his blanket at Christmas, watching us kids open our gifts and smiling because he'd been able to bring the holidays to us for one more year. Smiling even though we weren't able to afford to give anything to him. Because his kids were all that really mattered.

My Dad sitting at the breakfast table at 5 a.m., sipping his coffee, the blanket on the back of his chair. Almost as if it kept him company before anyone else woke up.

My Dad rocking my baby daughter. The two of them under the blanket together as he cooed at her and told her she was going to grow up to be something special, just like her Mom.....

My Dad, thin and pale. Asleep under the blanket after his dialysis treatments. The filtered blood made his cancer wracked body so cold, the blanket seemed to be the only thing that warmed him. The strong, brown man I'd grown up with still inside of him, the blanket still kept him company.

The day she gave it to me he'd been gone for eight years.

He's been gone for 15 years now.....

...I still miss him.

When I first brought it home it was "Grandpa's Blanket". It was revered, it held a place of honor on my bed for the first year, even I didn't touch it except to wash it from time to time.

Soon though I found myself holding it to me, seeking his advice, his strength. The first time I let myself snuggle into it I felt closer to him, he was almost sitting beside me. I could hear him whispering "I'm right here sis.".

Now it's become "Mom's Blanket". I use it every day. I watch t.v. in it, I read in it, I snuggle my kids in it, I've made love under it. When I'm angry I scream into it, when I'm sad I allow myself to cry while it comforts me. I've laughed while it held me and allowed it to soothe me when I was feverish.

My kids have come to respect it as almost a guardian. When I'm sick I wake up from naps finding it draped over me. If we're having a family cuddle moment they don't hesitate to grab it. They even use it when they're sad or angry or just in need of some comfort.

When you're wrapped in it he's with you you see. And we've all come to realize that there just couldn't be a better adviser, a better protector, a better soother, a better Grandpa, a better Dad for my family...than my Dad.

As I'm writing this the blanket is covering my eight year old tom cat Tipster. My middle aged boy, my strong tiger, he's been sick and getting sicker....and it's been under the blanket that he's sought solace. If I'm under it he brrrs at me until I give him the 'tiger's' share. He crawls underneath it when it's not being used, his striped head and big green eyes the only visible part of his body as he alternates between watching the room and snoring softly. The other animals stay a respectful distance from him when he's in it, affording him an unusual peace.

I pet his head and I can feel the fever no medicine has been able to cure, the vet saying it's an infection that will have to run it's course.

I'm worried...and yet.... When we're lying under the blanket together, Tipster hidden in the crook of my legs, I feel the comfort that is my Dad. I see the smile, the rare goofy one that always preceded, "Don't worry sis, I've got this.". And after his nap my boy stretches, and slowly makes his way to the food dish. And his fever is lower and he walks a little stronger and he seems to be making a slow progress. And I answer the way I always did, "I know you do Dad." and I mean it.

And the blanket keeps me company.

Here's my Tippy this morning under my Dad's blanket
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Voting is Open!!

At the Real LJ Idol

The entries are heartwrenching this week, every one of them. The contestants are ripping themselves apart emotionally to write these entries, please read them, comment and vote. I don't have a favorite this week, I love all these writers very much.

Thank you for your support, we're giving it everything we have and we appreciate you reading.

LJ Idol Exhibit A-Look Deeper

What do you see when you look at me?
I am not what they say I should be
Do you know who I really am?
Inside
What do you feel when your hands touch me?
Am I everything you need me to be?
Do you love me?
Am I real?
Am I?
Look deeper and see
There is so much more to me
There is blue in my eyes, there is red in my hair
You trace my skin, it’s soft and fair
My hands on you are gentle
My fingers tremble
Do you feel?
There are flaws everywhere
Can you heal them with your touch?
What am I feeling?
So much
Where do I go when you kiss me?
What am I thinking when you hold my hand?
When you touch my cheek?
Look deeper and see
All there is in me
The scar on my hand
A mark above my eye
How? Why?
Flecks of silver in my eyes, strands of silver in my hair
Do you see?
Arms around me while I rest
Long red curls across your chest
Am I safe?
Your breath on my neck, I shudder
Am I remembering?
What do I dream when I lay in the dark?
Is it you, are you here?
Am I asleep?
Why am I crying?
What can you do?
What will you do?
Will you save me?
Look deeper and see
The layers of me
Do you see the pain in my eyes? All the time?
All the time
Can you feel my fear?
Do you dear, can you hear?
What’s behind my guarded lips? What are my secrets?
What are my shames?
Am I wrong?
Am I strong?
Am I stronger than my nightmares?
What have they done to me?
Have I told you?
Have you asked?
Look deeper and see
What I think I should be
How do I smile when I hurt so much?
Shiver but still touch
Why do I give when I have nothing for them?
Blood from a turnip
Still I try
I dance when it rains, I sing while I cry, do you understand?
I dream I can fly, I hope when there is no hope, can you tell me why?
I hope
I spin, toes pointed, legs stretched, fingers to the sky, where are you?
Where are you?
Why do I laugh in my sleep? How am I fighting the monsters?
They lie so deep
Don’t you know?
Can’t you tell me how?
Look deeper in me
You can’t know me
I run from you, you can’t catch me
I hide from you, you don’t find me
If you won’t climb the wall, how can you ever know?
So slow, never know...
I am not what you see when you look at me
I am not that girl, trembling fingers, secrets behind my guarded lips
I am someone you’ll never comprehend
Something you’ll never understand
I am Butterfly
Changing, dancing, cascading rainbow of colors
Everywhere
Always
I am Always
Look deeper...
Run with me, dance with me, catch me
Sing with me
Always and always and always
Save me
Please
I want you to be with me
I need you
I love you…
I lift my wings
You fall behind
Behind
Behind
Look…..
You love me
I know
My secrets are mine
The silver flecks in my eyes, the silver strands in my hair
My hopes, my dreams
My songs
My wings
You’ll never know
I’m going away
Can't stay, can't stay...
You’ll never see
I love you too I whisper
Now it's you who shivers
It will never be enough
I hold your hand
And there is no more
No more
What do you see when you look at me
Am I who you want me to be?
Am I me?
I'm going away
Do you know me?
Catch me
Do you love me?
Save me
Am I real?
Don't let me go
Look deeper in me
Look deeper...
Look...
Hurry….

In April of 2007 I suffered a breakdown. I was mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually drained and wanted to end it all. All my hurt, all my pain caught up with me and I spent weeks contemplating suicide, hoping that I would just fade away, praying nobody would notice. On May 18th I took a spirit journey that would change my life, my heart, my destiny...my soul. That trip literally saved my life. May 18th, 2013 it will be six years. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I can't believe I'm looking back. As the time gets closer I find myself a little more contemplative, a little more melancholy as I think about where I was and where I am now. This is my heart song to the me that was.

LJ Idol-Voting is now open!!

At the Idol website right here!

Please go read and vote. If you like my Cat in the Hat entry I'd appreciate your support. There are only 10 of us left and they are all REALLY PHENOMENAL!! I can't believe that I am a part of this group. Please read their entries too and vote for your favorites.

And you guys, thank you for helping me get this far. I didn't think I'd make it past the second week and I am just amazed by this. Thank you. :)
You all know the tale
Of that infamous cat
With his bag full of tricks
And his red and white hat

Poor Sally and her bro
Didn’t know what to do
When he came to their house
With Thing 1 and Thing 2

He made a big mess
And he clanked and he clattered
Didn’t care ‘bout the fish
Or the glass that he shattered

“Just some rainy day fun!”
He shouted with glee
“You’ll have a good time”
“Just try it and see”

But then he cleaned up
“Got it all”, said the flake
He didn’t know
He’d made a mistake

They watched him with awe
This cat in the hat
And when it was over
He said “That is that.”

He left them there standing
Their jaws on the floor
They thought it was over
But then there was more

Their mother came home
Oh what should they do?
Should they tell her about him?
And Thing 1 and Thing 2?
He shouldn’t have been there
Should not been about
Not in their house
When their mother was out
What they didn’t know
Because of his tricks
Their mom had seen something
The cat didn’t fix
She’d seen her dress
With the big polka dots
She’d seen it flying
Across several lots
With ribbons attached
And kite string in knots

But they were good children
They told her the truth
Then, much to their shock
She asked them for proof
And when they had none
She punished the youth
Then took a hot bath
With a shot of Vermouth
(Noone ever said
All parents had couth)

In the meantime, that cat
Went down to the bar
Whoville’s only saloon
The Whovian Scar
He bragged as he drank
He bragged
Bragged
Bragged
Bragged
And the more that he talked
The more people got mad
They were tired of his crap
The wicked old fiend
His tricks, they weren’t funny
They were really just mean
They were tired of his mouth
And him thinking he’s slick
They thought “He’s a jerk”
And a big lunatic
(I know what you’re thinking
And you’re pretty sick!)

So while he yakked
Like a big old blowhard
They all gathered round him
Until he was barred
He finally stopped talking
When he saw them all there
He pee’d just a little
Right there in his chair
But then he recovered
That cat, he was wise
He grinned at them all
He said, “What’s up guys?”
“How can I help you?”
“Just what can I do?”
“Would you like me to teach you?”
“The tricks I can do?”
“Then you can play games”
“On rainy days too”

Horton spoke first
“I do seem to recall”
“That a person’s a person”
“No matter how small”
“And you, crazy cat”
“Are the smallest of all!
The Grinch stood up next
“And that’s not all!”
“I think that YOUR heart”
“Is two sizes too small!”
Then one by one
Their feelings came out
How they hated his bragging
And hanging about
He ruined their reps
He sullied their names
With his dumb bag of tricks
And his lame little games
The more that they yelled
They just couldn’t stop
It was going to get ugly
They were going to pop

Suddenly there was silence
As the Lorax came near
They all listened closely
They wanted to hear
“I speak for the trees”
The fuzzy guy spoke
“And for those without tongues”
“Who you think are a joke!”
“You’re just a bully”
“I know your type”
He looked at the Things
“And they’re nothing but tripe”
“You’re rude and insensitive”
“You don’t have a heart.”
The cat jumped from his chair
“Now YOU listen old fart!
He’d had just enough
He knew he’d been dissed
That cat wasn’t angry
That cat, he was PISSED!

The Lorax just smiled
And gave him a bow
“We want you to leave”
“We want you gone NOW”
“You get just one warning”
“Before its half past”
“Get your tricks and your things”
“And get out of town fast.”
The cat looked around him
And saw them all nod
They were listening to him
That puttering old sod!
“What do you think?”
“I’m a schmuckity schmuck?
“I don’t give a shit”
“Not a fuckity fuck!”
“I’m not gonna leave”
“You kooky old loner”
And he sat his cat ass
On the stool in the corner
“And just for the record”
“I’ll be here each day.”
“Just to bug you sad sacks”
“Yup, I’m going to stay”
The Lorax, he sighed
Said, “You know what to do”
He looked at the Things
“I’d leave ‘f I were you”
He lifted himself
By the seat of his pants
And flew from the place
With a sad backwards glance

And so that’s the end
That’s just how it goes
What about the cat?
Well nobody knows
Or nobody says
I’m really not sure
But I will tell you this
Something strange did occur
About a week later
A package arrived
For Sally and her sib
A card was inside:
“We’re not all like that”
“He was just WRONG”
“You don’t have to worry”
“He didn’t belong”
“He’s gone from us now”
“We won’t tell you where”
“We’re sorry for your trouble”
“We hope that you’ll share”
And what was inside
Well, they got quite a shock
A red and white hat
And a long cat fur smock
They folded them up
And put them away
This wasn’t a game
They wanted to play

But there was a slight smile
On their faces that day…

Author's Note: I always hated The Cat In The Hat. Of all the characters Dr. Seuss wrote I just thought the Cat was a big jerk. It was with a lot of joy that I wrote this story. Forgive me Dr. Seuss. I got the idea from the Thing 1 and Thing 2 topic but I thought Bamboozled was equally appropriate.

Voting

I don't usually do this but I'm going to at least this time.

If you haven't voted in the Idol poll I would ask you to please take a few minutes, read the entries and vote for the ones you like. The poll is right here.

I am more than likely going to be voted out this round and that makes me sad but it makes me sadder that there are some really talented people who may also get voted out. Please read and vote.

Voting is open!

At LJ Idol Exhibit A . If you like my last entry I'd appreciate a vote. (If you don't know much about me it's a great place to start. :D)

The competition continues to get intense. All of the writers are REALLY good! Please read and vote for your favorites. There are only 16 of us left!! Yikes!