Monday, November 15, 2010

The White Volvo

We lived in Clarksville, VA when both Dennis and I got our licenses. At this pointin time my whole family drove Volvos. Sarah Margaret and Mom both had station wagons and Dennis got a 1989 White Volvo 240. We were a little disappointed in the looks of the car until we realized it had blue cloth interior...then we were even more disappointed. Another thing about "the white car" as we called it, was that is was stick shift. So Dennis and I both had to learn how to drive manual. I spent a lot of time in that car even when it was Dennis's and not mine, which it later became. The car also had some special little quirks. First of all, the Break Failure light was always on. This is not a good thing for a car. How was I supposed to know if my breaks were actually failing or is it was just an electrical glitch? Second, the air condition didn't work. Whenever I would baby sit Scooter in the summer his family would always comment on how warm he felt when he got out of my car. I always had to apologize for my oven of a car. Third, after Dennis hit a ginormous dog the front bumper would never stay in place. Some times I would be driving down the road and see sparks coming up from the front driver side. I would just pull over and click the bumper back into place and hope that it would stay this time. it never would though. Fourth, the odometer was stuck on 246,000before we even had it so there is no telling how many miles were actually on it.

Dennis had a knack for getting pulled over and talking himself out of a ticket. He seriously got pulled over a lot in our small town. The school cop and the town cops were on the look out for the white car. It was also just my luck that the other 1989 white Volvo 240 in town was owned by a drunkard who the cops were also on the look out for. Needless to say, I had to obey all traffic laws at all times because people were watching for my car. Throughout its life with the Craft family the white car had quite a few mishaps.
-Dennis once a hit a dog the size of a cow with it.
-Dennis tried to race someone "uptown", Clarksvillians know where that is, and shared some paint with the other car. There was a nice reddish scrape on it after that.
-One night Dennis, Whalen, and I were on our way to Camp Concord and we missed the turn in the road and came inches from smashing into a great big grave stone.
-We got followed by the school cop to someone's house after school because we had way to many people piled in the back seat and we had a flat tire which made the car swerve. The cop said Dennis was driving wreckless. Don't worry though, he talked himself out of a ticket.
-I ran over a poodle. The little guy didn't die though, thank goodness.
-Just when we were beginning to think this car would not die I proved us all wrong. One fateful night I was driving home from church and I was on Cow Road when a mama deer and her two babies popped out of the woods. The mama ran right into my car. The deer died and so did the beloved white car.

We were not sad.

Friday, November 5, 2010


In 2002 a movie came out with Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes called "Big Fat Liar". I honestly do not remember much about the plot, all I remember is that they had these cool gadgets called Cybikos that they would use to communicate with each other. It was like text messaging before there was text messaging. All I knew was that I had to have one. I pictured myself sitting in my room, or on the bus, or at school chatting with all my friends all the time. It was going to be magical. So on our next trip to Best Buy I went to check them out. Cybikos came in so many bright cool colors. Of course I wanted a yellow one, I always wanted yellow things. I also learned that not only did it let you communicate with your friends, but you could also download like a million games online onto your Cybiko and even raise a little Cybee. Which was basically a giga pet, just a little more involved and high tech. I really needed one of these Cybikos.
That December for my birthday all I asked for was a Cybiko. I thought it would change my life. I thought about it all day on my birthday until finally it was time to open presents. I ripped into the first box and screeched with delight at the beautiful new yellow Cybiko in my hands. It was finally mine. Then things took a turn for the worse.
Upon further inspection I learned that you actually had to be within a 2 mile radius of the person you wanted to communicate with. I was a little disappointed with this news, but I figured that would be fine because Corie and Sally were my neighbors. I quickly realized that even though they were closer than 2 miles, they did not have a Cybiko. I was so sure that after they saw mine they would get one for Christmas which was just a few weeks away. I could definitely wait that long. Christmas came and went and I was still the only person I knew with a Cybiko. Actually I was the only person I knew with two Cybikos. My original yellow one would not download the games or the little Cybee that I wanted so badly so Dad got me a new purple one.
I spent hours at the computer trying to get my data loaded and games working on the Cybiko. It never worked. By February I was pretty disgusted with my useless toy. Of course in February they came out with the Cybiko Extreme and Dad bought me one. He felt bad that I had wanted this gadget so badly and it didn't work, so he kept trying to fix it.
Now I had three Cybikos that basically only told me the time and had a calendar on them. None of them would communicate with anyone and none of them would play games.
I blame Amanda Bynes and Frankie Muniz for leading me to believe that this would be the coolest toy ever. They were very wrong. Dennis and Sarah Margaret made fun of me a lot for that one. Cybikos were the biggest disappointment of the new millennium for me. They did look really cool though.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Little Gem

I was recently home for Fall Break and I stumbled upon my 5th grade poetry journal.

I like to look at the cute pig
even though he's very big

I have a pet that's a dog
one day she ate a frog

I know a girl her name is Sally
but she moved and I met a girl names Ally

I saw a really pretty rug
but when I looked closely I saw a little bug

Animal Stable
One time I visited a stable
I met a pig
her name was Mable
She was very big

She loved to roll in the mud
Then she wasn't very pink
There was another pig who was her bud
When I looked at her she gave me a wink

I moved on and saw a cow
His fence was made of wood
I got a splinter and said "OW!"
It started to rain so I put up my hood

Next I looked at a hen
They were playing with a rooster
They are men
He tried to reach a high spot but needed a booster

Into the house walked Sally
We were playing a game and the score we had to tally
We were running races and we had to go far
Until someone ran into a car

Into the house came Sarah
For dinner she was having cheese sticks in marinara
The sauce was very red
and after dinner she went to bed

One day the sun was very bright
I said to myself I think I might
Go outside and play
since it is such a nice day
When I got out I flew my kite

Free Verse:
On Saturday morning
I like to sleep late
then I eat a big breakfast
I like homemade waffles best
Muffins are good too
I watch TV
Then I go get dressed
I look to see who is outside
Then I go out
and play too!

Why Do Dogs Bark?
Why do dogs bark
at cars passing
at people walking
at anything that moves?
They open their mouths
and just let it out
Sometimes dogs
bark at burgalurs
and that is very helpful.
Why do dogs bark?

As a little baby my mom carried me everywhere
she probably even carried me to the mall
because one day trying to walk
I ran right into the wall.

When I was five we moved
to a place called Chesapeake
soon after we moved we got a pool
but then it got a leak

Now I live in Richmond
it's an Ok place to be
that is the story of my life,
that is the story of me.

My name is Caroline I am a girl
my hair is straight it does not swirl.

I wear my hair in a pony tail
And to my friends I sent email

Some say I act like a clown
My eyes are a very dark brown

I like to be out in the sun
I play all day and have some fun

My favorite number is always three
My friend taught me to climb a tree

Some people think I am a fool,
But I think I am kinda cool.

Lai Verse:
Who is that I hear?
I don't think you're near
To here.

Lying in the dark
I hear a dog bark
It's you

You're my faithful pal
I will call you Tal
Come here.

in mud
live on farms
they eat gross slop

it is green
you walk on it

they fly
in the sky
skinny bird feet

I think there are a few observations to be made about my 5th grade poetry. 1- I am not an artist, but I did think that I was good at drawing dogs (I was wrong). 2- The only words I could really rhyme with are pig, big, bark, dark, fun, and sun. 3- I wrote about dogs a lot. 4- My obsession with pigs was evident in my poetry. Also, I think you should know that I got an A on my poetry journal! This leads me to believe that elementary schools should have higher standards.

PS I don't know why those pictures are sideways and I don't know how to fix them. sorry!

Monday, October 11, 2010

So Many Rodents...

Most kids have a pet hamster or two, it's pretty normal. Growing up we went through 2 hamsters, 4 guinea pigs, 1 ferret, and approximately 1,000,000 gerbils...well I guess it was more like 100, but still.
Our first guinea pig was named Squeaky, she squeaked a lot. One night we had a baby sitter staying with us and we were all out swimming in the pool. Suddenly, the unexpected happened: Squeaky stopped squeaking. We slowly realized that we did not hear our beloved pet chattering away from the kitchen. We ran inside but it was too late. Squeaky was a goner. We soon replaced Squeaky with Piggy (we were pretty creative with the names.) I honestly don't remember how Piggy died, so we can move on to Piglet. Piglet was a very cute little guinea pig and my 2nd grade heart really loved her. I always fed her so many alfalfa cubes. Piglet started to get sick so we took her to the vet (which Mom thinks is a waste of money for rodents). The vet told us that Piglets teeth were too long and she couldn't close her mouth. So we had Piglet's teeth filed down to solve the problem. Unfortunately, Piglet's teeth apparently grew at a very rapid pace because weeks later she was sick again. Mom refused to take her back to the vet. Dad held little Piglet a few weeks later while she died because she could eat or drink because she couldn't close her mouth. What a weird and sad way to die. My favorite guinea pig by far was Max. We was red and white and just so wonderful. Max's death was even weirder than Piglet's. We had him outside one summer day while we were cleaning the bathroom. It got really hot outside and he was out there for a few hours. Basically his innerds got fried in the sun. I cried a lot. That was the end of our guinea pig adventures.

Then there were the 2 hamsters; Whiskers and Peanut. Whiskers belonged to Dennis and Peanut was mine. These were very smart hamsters. They would always get out of their cages. We were smart too though. We discovered that whenever they got out of the cage they went always hid behind the dryer. I think it must have been nice and warm back there. So whenever we got home and they were missing, which happened pretty darn often, we just reached behind the dryer and put them back in their cages. I think Peanut should have been named Mike Tyson because one day we were playing with our hamsters and Peanut bit Whisker's ear off. Dennis was very mad at me, I had no control over my hamster. They were very resilient little guys though. We would even put them on the trampoline some times and bounce them around. They died of natural causes at the ripe old age of 4 which is very old for a hamster.

Next was the Ferret, Peppy. One day Dad went for a jog in the neighborhood and he spotted a sign that said "Free Ferret to a Good Home." That very same day we had a new pet. Peppy was crazy. We would let her out of the cage sometimes and she would run around the house. Whenever she came into the room I was in she would trap me in the corner and bite my ankles. I was terrified of that tiny little monster. Peppy didn't last long. She was quite the biter. We gave her away free to another good home. Thank goodness.

The last of the rodent adventures was the gerbils. I will make this as short as I can. We got two gerbils. The pet store dude said they were the same sex so they would not make babies. He must have failed gerbil anatomy class because we definitely had babies. I mean there were so many gerbil babies. For a while we would take them back to the pet store for them to sell, but then they couldn't take anymore. So we were stuck. Eventually we ran out of cages and we didn't know what to do. They were multiplying fast. We even had mutant gerbils because of all the incest. Some had no legs or tails, some were albino; we had come to a breaking point. Mom made the executive decision to get rid of them. So we dumped them out into our backyard and dumped out the rest of their food with them. There was an owl in the neighborhood so we figured we were just helping out the food chain. A few years later we were moving so someone had to come inspect our house before we put it on the market. He went under the house and came back with some interesting news. There was something bigger than a mouse but smaller than a rat living under the house. Gerbils. The had formed a colony under our house. We had them exterminated once and for all.

There is a Craft family rule now: no more rodents in the house. They were super fun to play with when we were little though. Even the gerbils were fun for a while. I guess the old cliche is true: you can have too much of a good thing. We had so much goodness we had to call a professional to come exterminate it.

Lake Gaston Vacation

I have mentioned in past posts that the Craft family did not always go on the most luxurious and exciting vacations. This was the case with our Lake Gaston vacation. Now, don't get me wrong, we all love Lake Gaston, NC. It's just that at least Sarah Margaret and I already spent a week there every summer at camp, so we did not have that anticipation that generally comes before a week of vacation.
We rented a little cabin on a creek called Pea Hill Creek. There is nothing in the surrounding area of Lake Gaston besides a few small towns with antique shops and BBQ houses. So we were fully aware that all our time was going to be spent in that little cabin or in the water. Upon arrival at the cabin we put the ski boat in the water and unloaded our bags. We went to the dock to check out the water and that is where we met our neighbor for the week, Junior. Junior had the most awesome looking wave runner and he promised to give us a ride! Vacation was looking up.
The first day on the water we discovered the perfect cove for tubing. Dad would fling us around and around in circles until our scramy little arms could hardly take it anymore. And then right when we thought we couldn't take anymore and the pain was greater than the fun that comes with tubing, he would steer the tube right into the middle of the cove where all the wake had been stirred up. We would all go flying. We named it Dead Man's Cove. The Crafts definitely frequented Dead Man's Cove that week.
One of the highlights of the week was a little companion we found to go tubing with us. Her name was Juniper the Junebug and yes, it was a real junebug. We caught it flying around the dock one day and just knew that the little beetle would love to hang out with us on the boat. So we stuck that poor bug in a compartment and velcroed the flap down. Juniper was stuck with us for the day. I like to think that she died of sheer joy and too much fun rather than drowning. I don't think Junebugs were meant for the water.
We tubed so much that week that our arms were rubbed raw and we were covered in bruises. Junior's wave runner didn't help the situation. He would just throw us off the back every time. That week I learned that I do not enjoy activities that just hurt. Dennis and Sarah Margaret would fly off the wave runner all day and zoom around Dead Man's Cove. I did these things a few times, but I prefered to just hang out and swim by the dock. It was a classic youngest child thing to do.
We didn't think it would be a great vacation, but it turned out great. We mayb have ended up with some scrapes and bruises, but at least we were better off than Juniper.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quick Memory

I just remembered this so I thought I would share it really quickly.

Whenever we were hungry we used to say, "I'm hungry as a mungry!"
I still am not sure what a mungry is, but it's a catchy phrase.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


When we were younger Dennis, Sarah Margaret, and I used to get a weekly allowance. Our allowance went up and we got older, so I had the lowest allowance. I was also the worst at saving money. Each Friday I got $2. I would spend Fridays trying to think about what I could buy for only $2. It never really occurred to me that I could save my $2 and have $4 the next week and then $6 the next. This was a foreign concept to me.
There are not very many useful things that can be bought with only $2. So basically, I had a ton of junk as a kid. I mostly bought whatever kids in the neighborhood were selling on my street (their old toys, pretty rocks, friendship bracelets, etc.) and pound puppies. I had a pretty large selection of pound puppies. It was awesome.
One day my whole perspective on spending my allowance was changed. Mom had taken us to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to run some errands and Dennis and I were wandering around the store. We ended up in the blanket section where we found something magical. It was the softest most wonderful blanket in the whole wide world, and there were two of them. They were chenille, which even sounded luxurious and expensive. Of course our first thought was that Mom would buy one for each of us. We were wrong. When we showed the luscious blanket to Mom she looked at the price tag and then looked at us and said, "Well, save your money." So I glanced at the price tag. The blanket cost $20! I was going to have to save my allowance for 10 whole weeks to get it. That was pretty unimagineable.
6 weeks later I had $12 and Mom was making another trip to Bed, Bath, Beyond. Dennis and I headed straight for the blanket section, hoping our blanket was on sale. Unfortunately, the chenille blankets were not on sale. However, there were some fleece blankets that were on sale for $10. I definitely had enough money for that, and they were very soft too. I made the executive decision to buy the fleece blanket and spare myself the luxury of chenille. Dennis did the same.
I guess I did not really learn a lesson about saving up my money, because I could not even wait 4 more weeks to get the blanket I really wanted, and to this day I continue to struggle with saving money. In this particular case I think I made the right decision. Even as I am writing this I am wrapped up in the most comfortable green fleece blanket; it is the same one that I bought at Bed, Bath, and Beyond that day. I bet the chenille blanket wasn't even that soft anyway.

Friday, September 17, 2010

As Long As You Love Me

The year was 1997, Sarah Margaret was in 6th grade and I was in 2nd grade. One day she came home with a note from a boy! This was actually not too unusual for Sarah Margaret. She was pretty popular at Great Bridge Middle School. This note was extra sweet though. We were sure that this boy was so dreamy and that he must have been a poet. The note said:

Sarah Margaret,
I don't care who you are,
where you're from,
what you did,
as long as you love me.

Girls, wouldn't you all love to get a note as sweet as this? Unfortunately, the magic was broken the next day. We were riding in the van listening to Z104, our favorite radio station, and all of a sudden the new Backstreet Boys song came on the radio. It sounded suspiciously like the Sarah Margaret's love letter from Chris. We could not believe our ears. Chris was not the sweetest most poetic boy at school after all, he was just some goob that listened to the radio a lot.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Margaret D'Corgi

This was the official name of my beloved corgi, Maggie. I only had her for two years, but they were two great years. When I first approached Mom and Dad and asked them if I could get a puppy they said I had to earn it. So I asked them what I could do. What Dad came up with was kind of weird, and I am still not sure how it proved that I was responsible enough to get a puppy. In order to earn my puppy I was not allowed to say any words that began with the letter "D" in front of Dad for a whole week. A week is a long time in fourth grade. Dennis became Brother and Dad became Father. I was pretty quiet at dinner that week, but I achieved my goal. Our family had only ever had labs at this point but I told Mom and Dad that I really wanted a Corgi and I had researched the breed and knew all about them and taking care of them. So we found a Corgi breeder in the Tidewater area and went to pick up Maggie.

She was basically the cutest puppy ever. She could only hold up one ear at a time so they were always lopsided. Once she was a little older my friend Kelsey and I took our dogs to Krazy K9's obedience school. Picture this- a corgi puppy and a 12 year old Basset Hound named Moe hanging out at obedience school with two 5th graders trying to control them. Maggie was full of energy and all over the place and Moe just wanted to lay around and sleep.

At the same time we had Maggie we also had two labs, Widgeon and Piper. Corgi's are herding dogs and are generally used for herding cattle. They do this by biting the ankles of the cattle and then dropping to the ground so they don't get kicked. Maggie spent many of her afternoons herding Widgeon and Piper across the yard. She would be running behind them biting their ankles all day long.

When I had Maggie I was in the peak of my awkward weird stage and we had just moved to Richmond where I didn't have many friends. I would always tell people that Maggie was my best friend, which is kind of pathetic. If Sarah Margaret and Dennis were ignoring me or teasing me I would go into the garage and curl up in the dog house with Maggie until I calmed down. Yes, I know that this is not normal.

In the end, Dad decided that Maggie barked too much and that she was annoying our other dogs too much. I had to give her away. On the bright side, I made real life human friends in my class after that. I guess there is always a silver lining.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Golfing Up a Mountain or Why I Will Never Play Golf Again

The Craft family is not exactly known for our epic vacations. We do not really go all out. Every other summer for the last 20 years we have gone to Jekyll Island, GA with the whole Craft side of the family. That means we have one beach house with about 18 people in it, but that is a story for another time. So on the years that we do not go to Jekyll Island we plan our own family vacations. One year we decided to go to Boone, NC and stay in a little cabin in the mountains. Since my parents have a time share we trade it around to stay in the vacation spot of our choice. These time share accommodations are usually less than desirable and this little cabin was no exception.

One night of vacation we decided that it would be fun to go play putt-putt as a family. Well in the mountains even in the summer it can get chilly at night. So, Mom made me wear a sweatshirt. Have you ever tried to play putt-putt up a mountain? It is not easy, especially for someone who already has a knack for sucking at putt-putt. Sarah Margaret and Dennis were breezing to the course (at least that is how it seemed to my annoyed 11 year old brain) and I was struggling to say the least. About half way through the course I started getting pretty warm in my sweatshirt. I took it off and tied it around my waist, Boy Meets World style. Mom immediately told me that I had to wear it or I would get sick. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. My score was about a 1000 strokes and I was hot. So I quit putt-putt while everyone else finished.

A few days later Dad thought it would be great to take Sarah Margaret, Dennis, and I to a real golf course and play 9 holes. None of us had ever played golf before. One thing about my dad is that he does not like to feel rushed; it makes him very anxious. Obviously as first-time golfers we were not very good. It was taking forever for the four of to even get through one hole. After a while a group of men came up behind us. Dad let them play through and then we tried again. After another group came up Dad was getting pretty antsy. We has losing his patience with my poor skills. I started crying and saying that I wanted to go back to the cabin with Mom. I clearly remember the next part of the story. I was crying and saying, "Golf is no fun!" Suddenly Dad looked at me and yelled, "Caroline! Golf is not supposed to be fun!" I dropped my club and walked back to the cabin.

Since that vacation I have not played on real golf course. I refuse to. If golf is not supposed to be fun I don't want anything to do with it. I have played putt-putt again, but I am still no good at it. To this day Dad says that yelling at me that day is one of his biggest parenting regrets. I could have been the next LPGA champion. I guess we will never know.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Phase

Everyone goes through different phases, especially in middle school. I was no exception. In sixth grade I went through a phase where I thought it was cool to wear my hoody backwards. That meant that my hood was in the front. [Sidenote- my favorite hoody was from PacSun. It was orange and it said "Pacific Coast Boy Watching Association" on the back. Very Classy.] In my mind all the kids at Chickahominy Middle School would see how awesome I looked with my hoody on backwards and do the same.

Unfortunately my new, cool look back fired one day on the bus. I rode in the back of the bus with Dennis and his friends who usually were playing jokes on me and teasing me. Still, I would rather ride in the back of the bus with the mean 8th graders than in the front of the bus with the nerds. One particular day I had my hoody on backwards and Dennis was sitting behind me. Suddenly he popped up over the seat and pulled my hood over my face. He then proceeded to tie my hood strings in a super knot behind my head. It was so tight I could not untie it and I could not pull my sweatshirt off from over my head. I started screaming and yelling at Dennis to untie me, but he and his friends were just laughing. Then the bus driver, Ms. Stith, came to my rescue. I heard her voice over the intercom telling Dennis to undo the knot and to leave me alone. Ms. Stith was my bus driving angel.

Dennis did let me go and he had to sit in the front seat of the bus for a week. It was great. Also, the next week I saw a girl wearing her hoody backwards at school. The only thing I can figure is that she saw me doing it and wanted to be just like me. After all, most people do.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's the Poop Again!

With a logo like that you know that the Doggie Dooley has to be a good product. They claim to be "The original pet waste toilet." So basically you dig a hole in the ground and place the Doggie Dooley in it. Then when you scoop poop from your yard you put the dog poop into the Doggie Dooley and it is supposed to decompose and replenish the soil in your yard. This is a great concept. The only problem is that it takes forever for all the poop to get back into the soil and in the mean time you have a stinky toilet in your yard. Also, when you have more than one dog, which we did, your Doggie Dooley fills up pretty quickly.
Nevertheless, when we lived in Roanoke Rapids Dad thought it would be a great idea to install the Doggie Dooley in our backyard.

One day my best friend Rebecca Watson was over to play. We were swinging in the back yard and just doing whatever little preschool girls do. We began to smell the Doggie Dooley and it was not a pleasant smell. We put on our problem solving caps and came up with a brilliant plan. We decided that the only way to get rid of the smell would be to get rid of the poop. It was fall, so we gathered leaves from the yard, ventured over to the Doggie Dooley, and hesitantly opened it. We were greeted with a giant pile of crap. It was gross. We had definitely found the source of the stench. So we put the plan into action. First all the leaves we collected were thrown on top of the poop. We made sure to add plenty of layers. Then the idea was to stomp on the poop pile until it had all gone out the hole in the bottom of the Doggie Dooley and back into the soil like it was supposed to. Unfortunately the leaves did not create quite the barrier between our feet and the poop that we had hoped they would. We proceeded to jump into the Doggie Dooley. Before we knew it we were ankle deep in dog poop.

Our plan was a failure, the yard still smelled like poop, and I ruined my favorite pink Keds. Bummer.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What's a Bassoon?

It all started with my grandmommy who used to be a piano teacher. She taught her children to play, and then my dad and mom decided that their children should learn to play piano too. So Sarah Margaret, Dennis, and I took lessons. I only ended up taking lessons for three years. In that time I had three different teachers. I hated piano lessons. We had lessons once a week and the three of us would all go in a row. That meant that we had to sit at the teacher's house for two extra lessons. It was so boring. Every other day of the week we had to practice for 30 minutes. Looking back, 30 minutes a day does not sound like that much, but at the time it seemed like an eternity. I spent the majority of my 30 minutes whining and crying at the piano. However, I did learn to read music which I am thankful for because that lead me to join the band in middle school.

In elementary school we started playing recorders in fourth grade. It was very exciting and I can still play "Hot Crossed Buns" with my eyes closed. Then, at the end of 5th grade the middle school band teacher came to our music class and we got to pick which instrument we wanted to play in band starting in 6th grade. I looked at the list of instruments and nothing spoke to me. Then I saw the word "bassoon" listed in the woodwind section. I had never even heard of a bassoon, so of course I put a check mark next to it and waited anxiously for 6th grade band when I would find out what a bassoon was and how to play it. There was only one other person who had signed up to play bassoon, his name was Matt Uhl. We became pretty good friends and even developed little middle school crushes on each other. One day in class I guess he was feeling extra romantic and this is what he told me: "If I could collect all the snot that I have either sucked up, spit out, or blown out of my nose, it would probably fill a stadium." He sure did have a way with words, but we were never an item.

After 6th grade I left Chickahominy Middle School and moved to Bluestone Middle School. The band director there had not had a bassoon player in 20 years. However, this worked to my advantage because he had to buy a brand new bassoon for me to play. It was beautiful. Also, he pretty much had no idea what a bassoon was supposed to sound like so he just gave me A's on all my playing tests in class. In 8th grade my bassoon playing skills took my all the way to All District Band. I made 4th chair. I know that sounds good, but only 6 people tried out and they took 5. The 5th chair guy had a bassoon with parts falling off of it and he could not play the music. I can't even imagine what the 6th guy sounded like. All District Band was a weekend event. We skipped school on Friday and learned our music all day Friday and Saturday, then our parents came for a concert on Saturday night. For band geeks, this is heaven. For me, this was torture. Also, on a bassoon you have to hold it up by sitting on a butt strap. I just happened to forget my butt strap that weekend. By lunch time on Friday my arms were killing me from holding it up all day. So, Friday night I borrowed a pocket knife and punched a new hole in my leather belt and fashioned my own butt strap.

Marching band started in high school, but you cannot march with a bassoon. So for parades I started playing the cymbals. I can play "O Come All Ye Faithful" pretty darn well on the cymbals. I also started playing bass guitar so I could join a punk rock band, which I have yet to do. Now I am learning the banjo so I can start a bluegrass band, which I also have yet to do.

When I changed schools in 10th grade I stopped playing bassoon. I was pretty good after playing from 6th-9th grade. And how many people can say that played bassoon for four years? I mean most people don't even know what a bassoon is.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Can Boys Do That Girls Can't?

One day, Corie Sally and I decided to ask Mr. Heath if there was anything that boys can do that girls can't. The only thing he said was that girls cannot pee standing up. So, of course we had to try it. He was right and we made a mess.

I revisited this dilemma much later on the spring before we moved to Clarksville. We were going to visit for the day to check on the progress of our house. We had been there all day without a working bathroom and I had to pee really bad. Dennis and I were roaming around in the woods near the lake and I told him about my little problem. He gave me two options. I could either use the Port-a-potty that was at the top of the driveway for the workers, or I could just pee in the woods. He said that like it was no big deal. Just to prove that peeing in the woods was no big deal he walked behind a tree and did it himself. Once again I decided to try to pee standing up. I told Dennis to turn around; I knew I would not be very smooth about this. Then I walked a few feet away. I was wearing wind suit pants so I pulled them down and kind of got in crab-walk position. It was awkward, but I really had to go. So then I started to relieve myself. I was very happy until I lost my balance. I just fell over, but I could not stop peeing. I was so embarrassed. Dennis kept asking me what I was doing, it probably sounded something like this: "ahhh, uh-oh, oof, shoot!" I told him what had happened and he just laughed at me. What a good brother. So I pulled up my now wet wind suit pants and started to problem solve. How was I going to make it through dinner and the 2 hour car ride back to Richmond in pants that I had peed on? Dennis and I decided that I should go down to the lake, which was still freezing cold from winter, and try to wash off my pants. I guess this kind of worked, but now they were just more wet. I did not want Mom and Dad to see me so I just walked back to the car. Luckily, when I got to the car I realized that there was a bag of old clothes in there that we were going to take to Good Will. Hallelujah! I just took off my wet pants and put on some old ones with a kool-aid stain on them that were too short. Everything was much better. Mom asked me about my wardrobe change, but I just shrugged my shoulders and told her I just felt like changing. She still does not know about my little accident.

We have a giant picture collage in our upstairs hallway. One of the pictures is of Mom and me from that day. I and wearing kool-aid stained high waters. I guess that is better than blue wind suit pants with pee on them. I have definitely learned my lesson though: Girls cannot pee standing up, at least this girl can't.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bed Time

Just like pretty much every kid, we had bed times when we were little. Since Sarah Margaret and Dennis were older, they got to stay up until 9:00. I went to bed at 8:00. This never seemed fair, but Mom's favorite catch phrase was, "life is not always fair." If I had a nickel for every time I heard that growing up... Anyway, I actually did not mind bed time that much. I always wore one of Mom or Dad's old t shirts to bed, which made me feel so special. Mom or Dad would come tuck us in and say our prayers with us. Every night we would say, "Thank you Lord for this day. Hear these words that I pray. Bless the people everywhere, help me Lord to always care. And please bless (then we listed every member of our family, cousins and all. I can say them all really fast now, just ask me sometime.)"

After I said my prayers with Mom and Dad they would leave and I would say two extra prayers on my own. I would also pray for a broken arm because I really wanted a cast. I am 20 and I have never had a broken bone though. I also always prayed for good dreams. I really did not want to have a night mare, but I was embarrassed to pray for this in front of my parents. The reason why I never wanted to have a nightmare was not really because it would be scary, it was because of what would happen when I was scared. I would go to Mom and Dad's room and ask to get in their bed. It was obvious that they did not want me there. I mean who would want a wiggly 7 year old sleeping in the middle of their bed? Sleeping between Mom and Dad was the worst. Mom would pull the covers up to her chin and hold them there. Dad snored so much. So I would just lay there squished between them, sweating because I was stuck in the covers and wide awake because of the disgusting noises coming out of Dad. I always decided that being afraid in my room alone was a better alternative.

I did have one dream in particular that was recurring and very frequent. It was short, so usually I would have this dream before my real dream. I can still remember it so vividly. A black cat and a red crab would walk up to the front door of a house. The cat would poop on the door mat and then they would both walk away. That was the end. I wonder what that means.

Another key element of bed time was my stuffed animals. I had to have certain ones with me. I still sleep with these same animals pretty much every night. I needed Ruff, Blankie, Flopsy, and Big Bear. I got Ruff the dog for Christmas from Grandmama Ruth when I was 5 and he has been my faithful companion every night since then. Blankie is the blanket that Grandmommy Craft made for me when I was born. I suppose that at one time it was actually a blanket, but now it is a ball of knotted yarn. There is nothing in the world more comforting than smelling my blankie. It smells like home. It is even better when it sits in the sunshine. Someone should bottle that scent- Blankie in the Sun. Flopsy is a pillow buddy dog. I put him under the covers at my feet. When I am sleeping I cannot stand for my feet to touch each other, so I put one foot on top of Flopsy, and one under him. Big Bear is a big bear. When I got him he was as tall as me. I put him in the bed beside me with his head on the pillow so it looks like he is sleeping there. I thought that if a kidnapper climbed in my window they would see Big Bear and think, "Oh, there is just a bear in this bed, not a child for me to steal." I was pretty logical.

One time Sarah Margaret and Dennis told me that vampires lived in the space between my bed and the wall. I told them I didn't believe them, but I did. That night when I went to bed, I didn't know it, but they were hiding in that space. Right before I fell asleep, they jumped out and scared me. It was terrifying. Also, they enjoyed doing dutch ovens in my bed before I got in it. A dutch oven is when someone farts in your bed and then slips out without lifting the covers. Then, when you lift the covers that awful smell come wafting out into your face. I did it to them sometimes too though, so it all evened out.

Overall, I enjoyed bed time then and I still do now. I hardly ever fall right to sleep, but I like to lay in the dark and think about things. Bed time is so relaxing knowing that the day is over and thinking about all the possibilities for tomorrow. Now, when Sarah Margaret and I are both home we get giddy thinking about bed time. I sometimes run and jump into my bed and take in a big breath of Blankie. It is just so wonderful.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'll be your best friend

As the youngest sibling, Sarah Margaret and Dennis could pretty much get me to do anything. All they had to do was say "I'll be your best friend" and I would be their little slave. They could trick me into doing extra chores and fetching snacks for them with those 5 little words. The kicker was that they were never going to even pretend to be my best friend. They still ignored me and wouldn't play with me. Is that how a best friend acts? Not according to Barney. But every time they asked me to do something there was the promise of my brother or sister thinking I was cool. It is kind of sad that it worked for them every time. "Caroline, go get me a glass of water, I'll be your best friend." Then I would jump up and go do it. Three hours later I would fall for the same thing.

Even though their bossing me around never made us best friends, things are different now. I do not do their chores for them and they don't tell me what to do. The irony is that now we are all best friends. So I guess the joke is on them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dog Breath

This is not me, but this little girl and I share a love of the song "Dog Breath." We used to sing it in Cherub Choir at Great Bridge United Methodist Church with Miss Helen. One of the highlights of my spiritual life at the time I think. I hope you love this song as much as I do. Also, I love that the guy calls himself How Weird.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Journey Through Orthodontistry

Most people wait until all their baby teeth fall out and come back in, then they get an expander by the end of elementary school and braces in middle or high school. My journey was much more long and complicated than that. I started off with the worst under bite. My bottom teeth were completely in front of my top teeth. I was still the cutest kid ever though. Even in this picture though you can see my jaw jutting out. So it was a priority to get that aligned. My baby teeth were slow to fall out. Everyone I knew at school had lost a tooth, and I was still waiting for that magic moment. It finally happened right before Corie and I were going to see 102 Dalmatians. I was not really sure was all losing a tooth entailed though, and I was worried I would have to miss the movie. My mom assured me that a hole in my mouth would not prevent me from going. I still thought that maybe I needed to lay down for the rest of the afternoon or something. But apparently losing a baby tooth is not a big deal after all. It was a little disappointing. After the one fell out the rest would not, so I had all four of my top front teeth pulled...on the same day. I looked like I had no teeth when I smiled. Cool.

Once these teeth were pulled everything began. I got an expander in Kindergarten to make my mouth wider for all those teeth that needed to grow back in. I had that for a while and it made me talk with a lisp. Then in second grade my four front teeth were fully grown back in. Yes, it took them that long. I got braces on those four teeth and I had the back 6 pulled soon after. Pretty much the only reason I got braces then was so that I would have something to attach my headgear to. That's right, I said headgear. It was bright orange plastic and was attached to my face by rubber bands connected to my braces brackets. Luckily, I only had to wear it at night. The downside to that was the rubber band coming out of my mouth made me drool so much. One night I refused to to wear my headgear and mom told me I could wear it to church in the morning instead. I never thought she would actually make me do it. She did. It was soo embarrassing! So I wore it every night after that.

Once my jaw was perfectly aligned and all my new teeth had come in. I got my headgear off and my four little braces and I was metal free for a little while. Then in 5th grade I got the full set of braces. It was really cool at first. I was the first of all my friends to get a real full set of braces. They all thought I was so cool and mature. The coolness wore off the first time they got tightened. Ouchies! Also, in 5th grade I was not as concerned about oral hygiene. My mom would have to force me to use the Water Pick and brush all the disgusting food out of my braces. I would always gag at the Water Pick in my mouth and be super dramatic about it. I remember one time getting pineapple stuck in my braces and barfing when it came out. I got this second set of braces off in 7th grade and I was the happiest girl.

But I didn't wear my retainer so I was only happy until 8th grade when I got a full set back on. I got these off at the end of my 10th grade year. I still wear retainer to bed every night, and I have a permanent one on my bottom teeth. I am going to wear these until I get married I have decided. Then, this mouth is going to be metal free!! I hope...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What's for dinner?

When I was in fourth grade, Mom decided to go back to work part time. She worked at the shipyard while we were at school and got home about the same time we did. During this time she decided that she did not have enough time to cook dinner every night and she would use this opportunity to teach us. Next thing we knew a new rule had been implemented. We each had to choose one night a week to fix dinner. There was a catch too: you did not have to help clean up after dinner if it was your night to cook. So we all three wanted Friday night so we could go outside and play sooner after dinner. Every Sunday we sat down and chose our night and told Mom what we wanted to fix. We could pretty much make anything we wanted as long as we included a vegetable. Then, she would go to Food Lion and get all of the ingredients we needed for the week. It quickly became apparent that a pattern was forming.

Every week Sarah Margaret would make some variation of english muffin pizzas. This was a very simple and delicious meal for the first 3 weeks. Then it just got old. How many weeks in a row can a kid be expected to endure english muffin pizzas and a salad? Dennis always chose something fancy. He was the only one who would actually look in the cook book and try something new. Surprisingly, it usually turned out really well. He would experiment with flavors and spices. However, this was not less work for Mom because she had to help him a lot. We always looked forward to Dennis' night to cook. Minus the fact that he usually had peas as his vegetable. Can you say barf? I hate peas with my whole heart. I either chose ham or burgers and always mac n cheese. I could not cook any of these things. I mean I was only in fourth grade. So my night was really just an extra night for Mom where I chose the menu and kind of helped her/ got in the way. I was ok with this system. Dad generally chose something pretty standard. One night he made the most disgusting concoction of canned vegetables. He said they used to serve it in his high school cafeteria. Gross. However, more often than not he would call on his way home from work and say he was running late and would not have time to cook. Then we would order pizza on his night. Mom would cook the rest of the week. Usually grilled chicken and sweet potatoes with salad or green beans.

Our meals were pretty predictable. This system of cooking did not last too long. I guess Mom decided it was not such a good idea after all and was even more work for her sometimes. Also, we needed more variety in our meals. Honestly, none of us really tried. It was a half-hearted attempt at cooking dinner. But what do you expect from a weird 4th grader, a 6th grade boy who just wanted to play outside, and a bratty 8th grader?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Good Conduct

We lived in Chesapeake, VA for my whole elementary school career. Sarah Margaret, Dennis, and I were all good students. Every year when we got report cards Dad would tell us that it is important to do well in school and get good grades but one of the most important things is good conduct. If we had good conduct, at the end of the year we got to pick out a special prize. Honestly, I had no idea what the heck conduct was, and it never occurred to me to ask. All I knew was that at the end of the year Dad would look at my report card and read my teacher's comments and decide whether or not I got to pick a prize. Luckily I got to pick something every year. I would hand him my report card and pray that he would see whatever it was that meant I had this mysterious thing called "good conduct".

The best part of the whole thing was going to pick out the prize. We would go to Waterside in Norfolk. Waterside was this indoor mall-ish thing with a few stores and a lot of restaurants. Also, there were boats docked outside because it was beside the water, hence the name Waterside. We never ate in one of the fancy restaurants. We always ate in the food court, and it was the most exciting thing ever! I could get any kind of food I wanted, and I always wanted Sbarros pizza. Where else could I get a slice of pizza that humongous? After we ate we would walk around to the stores. We went in all of them, but there was only one that I cared about. It was the nature store. Sarah Margaret and I always picked out our precious good conduct prizes in this store. Dennis always complained about the absurd amount of time we spent here.

This store had everything great. And by everything great I mean every stuffed animal you could ever want, and I wanted all of them. One of the best prized I ever got was a giant stuffed manatee. I named him Manny. One time I got moon rocks. That's right, moon rocks. How cool is that? Mom would never let me get one of those plastic sacks with the liquid in them that slipped out of your hands. Some people called them snakes. All my friends had them, but Mom was worried that it would fall out of my hands and burst all over the carpet. I also used these good conduct prizes to add to my pound puppy collection. Basically, it was like Christmas at the beginning of the summer.

By the time I learned what good conduct meant (it means good behavior), Dad thought we were too old to continue this tradition. I guess good conduct is not as big of a deal in middle school. O well. Sarah Margaret, Dennis, and I still bring up our good conduct prizes. If there is something that I really want but cannot afford by myself I remind Dad that my professors have not been complaining about my behavior, and that I should get it for good conduct. It never works. I will probably do good conduct prizes with my children, but I will make sure that they know what conduct is. That probably would have made the experience even more meaningful.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Boat Loads of Fun with the Crafts!

The Craft family has always been around water. Ever since I can remember we have had a boat. At first we always had a sail boat, then once we got old enough to do water sports we had a ski boat. My earliest memories of sailing are on Lake Gaston. We kept our boat at Eaton's Ferry Marina. The best part of Eaton's Ferry was buying a little bag of puppy chow to feed to the gigantic cat fish and carp that hang out by the gas tank. Usually our days on the lake were fun and relaxing, but one day in particular was very stressful. It all started when I had to go potty but Mom was too busy to take me to the bathroom. We had not even left the marina yet. She told me to go pee in the woods. So, like a good little girl I went into the woods. I remember taking my shorts off and putting them on the ground. Unfortunately, when I started peeing, or wetting in my family, I wet right onto my shorts. Oops. But I did have a bathing suit to wear for the rest of the day. So then we set out on the boat. The wind promptly carried us into a big section of weeds where we got stuck. Dad tried to use the motor to get us out, but the weeds just got all tangled around the turbines. Once we finally made our way out of the weeds, we decided to anchor and eat lunch and swim. I can still picture Dad standing on the bow of the boat holding the anchor, and swinging it out over the boat. Too bad he forgot to tie one end of the rope to the boat. All five of us watched our anchor sink to the bottom of the lake. No one wanted to say anything, we could all see how frustrated Dad was. We did make it back to the marina though, and we lived to sail another day.

Our favorite activity to do while sailing was rope riding. Dad would get a long rope and tie it to the back of the boat so it made a big loop in the water. Then, Sarah Margaret, Dennis, and I would put on life jackets and jump into the water. The rope would just slowly drag us behind the boat. It was very exciting for a preschooler. Sometimes it got too exciting and I would get acred and go ladder riding instead. I would just stand on the ladder off the back of the boat so Mom and Dad were still close by. On one outing I remember Dad let Sarah Margaret steer and he told her she was first mate. I immediately asked what my title was. They decided I would be the maid. I was so glad to have a title, that I didn't realize they were taking advantage of me. All day whenever someone wanted a drink or a snack I would run to go get it for them. I think Sarah Margaret's job was way better.

We did a few overnight trips on the sail boat too. Marg and I slept in the musty compartment in the bow of the boat. It was always very creepy how you could hear the water sloshing around outside. There were also a lot of pesky dirt dobbers down below that we had to kill too. Sailing was a fun family thing, but once we were old enough we decided we needed more speed. So we sold the sail boat and got a ski boat. I think Dad will own a sail boat again one day. Maybe next time I can be first mate. A girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Importance of a Valentine-or 9

This memory is one of my Grandmama Ruth's favorite of me. You know how Grandmamas tend to retell the same stories over and over? Well this is one of her classics about me.

My parent's had gone out of town so Grandmama Ruth had come to stay with Sarah Margaret, Dennis, and me. I was in first grade at the time. It was the week of Valentine's day and my class was going to have a party on Friday. (Side note: elementary school parties are the best. It's like the room moms need to show their superiority to the other room moms so they go all out.) We had made little mail boxes to put on our desks out of milk cartons so that we could receive all the wonderful Valentines that our classmates would give us. I feel like everyone harbored that secret fear that their mailbox would be empty on Valentine's Day...or maybe it was just me. Anyway, we decorated our milk cartons with paper hearts and crayon scribbles, they were all so beautiful and anxiously awaiting the cards and candy that would fill them. My teacher, Mrs. Daniels, sent out the class list so that we would know how many Valentines to buy and to make sure we would not forget anyone. Of course my class was too big for one box of Valentine's to be enough, so I had to buy two boxes and have so many left overs. I always wondered what to do with my left over Valentines, but in first grade I found a use for them.

I remember being at the drug store and picking out Valentines with arctic animals on them. The specific card I remember had a penguin on it and it said "You are so chill, Valentine." I loved them. So I laid out all my cards on the table and began the painstakingly slow process of a first grader writing every name in her class. I gave the cute ones to my best friends and the ugly ones to the people I didn't really like, or the boys who I thought had cooties. However, there was one boy in particular that I was sure did not have cooties and his name was Cody. So when I was left with nine extra Valentines and no one to give them to, I decided that they should all go to Cody. When Grandmama came in to see if I was finished she noticed the ridiculous number of cards with Cody's name and hearts around it on them. Being a wise woman, she asked me if I really thought that Cody would like me just because I gave him nine Valentines. I said yes, that would make him like me. Well I was right.

The week after Valentine's Day and our class party, Cody was chosen to be Student of the Week. In Mrs. Daniels' class one of the privileges of being student of the week was getting to sit on the big red couch during story time with one friend of your choice. Well every day that week Cody chose me to sit on the couch with him. I could tell it was getting serious when he gave me a ring that he had won in a gumball machine. It was lime green plastic with a shiny silver triangle on top. Unfortunately, before I could even put it on my finger he got embarrassed and threw it behind the couch. I guess that was the end of Caroline and Cody. O well. My nine Valentines were worth it for that one week of story time on the big red couch.

Sometimes people can diminish the importance of a Valentine, but if you think back to your elementary school parties I think everyone will remember how special they felt when they were going through their milk carton mailbox and reading all the little notes people had written. The ones with candy attached were especially exciting. Sometimes it takes nine Valentines just to tell someone how you feel. Grandmama still thinks it was a silly plan.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dandelions- The Craft Children's Cash Crop

Every Spring dandelions would start popping up all over our yard, and all over our neighbors yards. The little yellow flowers were everywhere! We also had the fluffy white dandelion seed pods in abundance. One year Dad had had enough. He did not want the pesky weeds in our yard anymore. He gathered us together and told the three of us that we would pay us $0.10 for every dandelion that we picked that season. The three of us happily agreed to that. So we went out into the yard to start picking. We soon realized that we could easily pick all the dandelions in our yard in one afternoon. That would not be very profitable. So we started picking the seed pods too and blowing them around of course. That way more dandelions would soon sprout up and we could make more money. Also, if we knew that Mom and Dad were not watching us we would go over into the neighbors' yards and pick a lot of their dandelions. At the end of every week Dad would count up our dandelions and pay us what we had earned. It was a great system. Not too much work and a lot of reward. $0.10 can add up quickly, especially when you are 9. All in all I made $30.00 that Spring. I thought I was rich. But really, 300 dandelions is not that many. I am sure I spent the money on something really important like Pound Puppies or a new Barbie outfit. Sarah Margaret and Dennis made even more money than I did. Dad did not offer us the same bargain next Spring. I guess he would rather have a few dandelions in the yard than pay us over $100 to pick them.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Boy Bands

Just like every other tween in the 90's and early 2000's, I loved boy bands. There were so many great ones in that time period. Of course there were Backstreet Boys and N*Sync, but then there were a plethora of other lesser known boy bands. Just to name a few: O Town, 98 degrees, Dreamstreet, LFO, 2gether, Hanson, Savage Garden, and I am sure I have forgotten some great ones. My personal favorite boy band of all time was, and still is, the Backstreet Boys. When the song "As Long as You Love Me" came out I was just so sure they were singing to me. N*Sync was amazing too though. My friends and I used to spend hours and hours singing and making up dances to the songs of these musical geniuses. Whenever I hear BSB or N*Sync dance moves that I committed to memory immediately pop into my head and it is all I can do to stay in my seat. At most of our sleep overs we took time to make up a dance and then record it. So in the majority of my music videos I am wearing pajama's, it is very attractive.

Sally had an N*Sync poster and one afternoon each of us chose our favorite band member. I chose Chris, the weird one, Sally chose Justin, the hot one, and Corie chose Lance, we didn't know he was gay yet. We lathered our lips in hot pink lip stick and then kissed the pictures of our guys leaving lip prints on their cheeks. If you are a girl reading this, you know you probably did the same thing. Another favorite boy band activity was to play "Sisters". It was basically house but we were all sistters instead of like mom and dad. In Sisters we were dating our favorite band member from whichever boy band we chose for the day. If we were playing BSB then I was dating AJ. For N*Sync I of course chose Chris, and for 98 degrees I was dating Drew. Yeah, I got around the band crowd. We spent about a billion hours of our childhood pretending to be college age sisters and dating celebrities. In the back of my mind I sincerely thought that that was what my life would be like when I was 20. Well needless to say, it is.

I went to 2 N*Sync concerts when they were in their prime. The first time during the song "Sailing" the boys fly out over the crowd in harnesses. Joey almost kicked me in the face. It was one of the best moments of my life. I was talking about it for weeks at school. Honestly, he was probably so far from me, but no one could convince me of that at the time. The second N*Sync concert was the most exciting. It was a surprise that our moms put together. Corie, Sally, and I were actually fighting because Corie was going to the concert and Sally and I were going to see Tarzan in theaters and we were all jealous of the others. Then while I was sitting at home crying a limo pulled into my driveway and Corie, Sally, Leslie, and I all got to ride in the limo to the concert. I never did see Tarzan, but I am pretty sure N*Sync was way better.

I only have been to one Backstreet Boys concert even though they are my favorite. I really think that I may be one of their biggest fans, besides their moms of course-just like the song says. I was in 10th grade and my parents got three tickets. I could not find anyone to go with me, so I went with mom and dad. That part was kind of lame, but the concert was amazing! Click 5, another cheesy boy band, opened for them and it was their Never Gone tour so they played all their old classics and new stuff. Definitely one of the best nights of my life.

Boy Bands played a huge part of my childhood. They taught me all about love and life and having fun. Seriously, the lyrics are like poetry... NOT! But I do still enjoy the occasional cheesy love song. Nothing beats "Quit Playing Games With My Heart" or "Tearing Up My Heart" when you are feeling a little down. Kids these days are really missing out if you ask me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Brownies, like the girls dressed in brown, not the yummy dessert

"Do a good turn daily" That is the Brownie Girl Scout's motto. Once a week a wore a brown skort, blue button up shirt, brown sash, and cream colored neck tie to school so that I could attend my Brownie meeting after school. This is probably the ugliest outfit ever. I loved it. I felt sooo cool on the days that I got to wear it to school. All my best friends were in my troop and at first we had a lot of fun. then my troop leader decided to have a baby and quit. Cool. So we all joined a new troop together. This leader was not so good. My favorite part of Brownies was the day once a year when each troop in the area would set up a display at the convention center and represent a different country. I remember being Mexico one year. We made a Mexican flag, cooked Mexican food and learned some Spanish for our display. Then, you got to walk around the convention center and see all the other troops and their countries. It felt like I was traveling the world. However, the year that I joined the new troop we got all of our food and posters together and drove to the convention center. Guess who forgot to show up. My troop leader. We were not allowed to set up our table without her there and she never came. I was devastated. This was when my disdain for Girl Scouts began to take root.

My best friends and I got into our biggest fight that I can remember at our Brownie meeting one day. We were always arguing about something, but this particular fight has always stuck with me. Corie, Sally, and I were sitting at the same table and of course our leader hadn't shown up yet. So while we were waiting I must have said something and Sally called me stupid. I immediately decided to retaliate by calling her a brat. Corie took my side. We were all crying and stayed mad at each other for a few days. Yes, it was a big deal.

One good thing about my troop was that my leader was too lazy to take us camping. All the other troops in my area would go camping, honestly I was not jealous. My brother was in Boy Scouts and I would hear stories of sleeping in the rain and eating nasty camping food. That did not seem like the activity for me. However, my parents thought I should give it a try. So they talked to a troop leader that went to our church and asked if I could spend the weekend camping with her troop. I found myself on a cot in a damp sleeping bag hoping creatures didn't eat me in the middle of the night. Also, I did not know any of the girls in this troop so I was kind of the weird intruder to them. Throughout the course of the weekend I had two near death experiences. At lunch on Saturday I choked on my hot dog but I could not remember the sign for choking(I feel like I should have learned that basic thing in Girl Scouts...) I just sat there thinking I was going to die until I finally got my hot dog to dislodge from my throat. Later we were night hiking with glow necklaces. I put my necklace in my mouth and it got caught on one of my braces wires. The necklace busted open and all the glowing juice got into my mouth. I was not sure if it was non toxic but during the course of the hike I convinced myself that it was poisonous. I was too shy to tell anyone about my situation though. It turns out that the magical glowing juice is non-toxic and I did not die. It was still a terrible weekend.

I had had it with Girl Scouts. I bridged over to Juniors and quit before I got any patches on that teal vest. It was one of the best decisions of my life.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Best Cat Ever/ Manipulating Dad

When we were young we lived in Chesapeake, VA (that little factoid is not really relevant to this story, it is just information). One Sunday morning in 1998 we arrived at church and found out that someone had left a box of about 5 kittens on the door step of the church. I guess they figured that Christians would be kind enough to find homes for the kittens. After all, what would Jesus do? I think He would take in a homeless kitty. So naturally, the Sarah Margaret and I wanted one of the kittens so bad. At this point we only had one dog and one cat at home, and our current cat was really weird and not fun to play with (RIP Chief). There was definitely room in the Craft house for another animal.

Four of the five kittens were black and one was a little white girl. We knew that Dad would only let us have a female cat, that has just always been a rule. He says boys make a bigger mess in the litter box, and they are not as nice. This explanation made sense at the time because this seemed to be true of the human boys I knew as well. Most of the kittens had been spoken for except for a little black girl kitty so we snatched her up and took to the sanctuary where Dad was. He obviously did not want another cat, but he needed to give us a logical reason. He said we could not get the kitten because she was black and we had already had a bad experience with a black cat. Her name was Carmen, as in Carmen San Diego. She pooped on the rug a lot and finally just ran away. Dad was also aware that the only white cat had already been claimed by a boy in my Sunday school class whose mom had already said he could get it. He said if only the cat was white we could have her. He thought the discussion about kittens was over.

Well Marg and I would not give up so easily. We immediately found Aaron, the boy with the only white cat. We explained our situation to him. Aaron was very nice to us and agreed to trade kittens with us. He did not care whether his kitten was black or white. With gigantic grins on our faces we ran back to the sanctuary to show Dad out accomplishment. Much to his dismay our new kitten fit all his criteria and he could not say no.

We went through many names for the kitten. She started as Apricot because she had orange on her ears and tail, but that is just too long to say all the time. Then, she was Boo because she's white like a ghost. Next was just Kitty, we were not feeling creative anymore. However, after we said "Kitty" enough in baby voice (because who doesn't talk to kittens in baby voice) her name evolved into Bitty. to this day Bitty is the best cat ever. She is actually curled up beside me right now as I am writing this. I think Dad would be the first to tell you that he is glad we tricked him into getting a kitten that day.