Chicken Fried Vogue

For 15 years and most of her adult life, Bubblez lived in the suburbs of a major metropolitan city. She enjoyed taking her children to museums, parks, and dates at Starbucks. Then Bubblez moved to the country and her En Vogue attitude got chicken fried. Her yard is a park where the neighbor's rooster won't stop crowing, Starbucks is almost an hour away, and her large collection of fancy shoes is worthless. But, living in the acres of green has presented more opportunities for living "green" as Bubblez travels the path toward self-sufficiency (and bitches ((and prays)) along the way).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No Shoes On The Furniture

"Get your feet off the furniture, missy. Teenie! Are you listening to me? Right now. I want those feet OFF of my chair and back on the floor."

sigh.. Nothing. No response.

"Mom. Did you want something?"

"Ack!" I jump. "You scared me to death. Would you please not do that?"

Teenie suddenly becomes visible behind me. I tell you it does no good at all having eyes in the back of your head when your teenager is invisible. We need to put a bell on that child.

"So, did you want something? I thought I heard you yell my name."

I look toward the chair that I had previously been talking to. "You left your shoes on the chair," I say, and walk to the kitchen hoping to hide my embarrassment. 

"Moo, please use a plate. You're dripping grease everywhere."

"Not, everywhere Mom. Just on the table."

I set a plate under Moo's fiery red hands. "Cup them, sweetie. Like this." I hold my hands together like two clam shells. "Then the grease won't spatter so much."

"But that makes the bacon all curly. I want it flat. See, if I keep my hands all stretched out flat, it lays nicer. Isn't that better? Do you want yours more done, or is that good?"

"A little crispier, please. You did wash your hands before you started, right? Ok. Well, tomorrow let's lay some paper towels down, or something. Maybe Dad could make you some kind of box to hold your hands in when you're doing that. I love when you make breakfast, sweetie, but the kitchen's a mess. At least you stayed at the table. Thank you for not walking around while you were making that.
Where's Nik? Is he up?"

"He's outside playing with Fluffy."

"Oh my gah, you're kidding me. Nikpod!"

Running out the door, I see Nik sitting on the grass, his hands poised in the air like a puppet master.

"Look, mom. I taught Fluffy to sit."

  He dips one hand slightly lower than the other as if he was working strings, causing the skeletal cat beneath them to lower it's rear and sit prettily on the grass beside him. Nik twitches his pinky, and Fluffy turns her head to smile at me.

"Nik, please let that poor cat rest in peace. Did you dig her up, or make her claw her way out this time?"

"I used the shovel." Nik glances toward a small broken cross in the corner of the yard where a shovel is lying next to a mound of earth.
"I was afraid I'd hurt her if I made her dig. She's getting kinda old, Mom."

"Ya think?"

"We were just playing. I'll put her back. Come on, Fluffy." Nik stands and starts walking, one hand out to the side controlling the boney little cat beside him.

"Seriously, Nik. One of these days, someone who doesn't know you is going to see you doing that and get the wrong idea. I know raising stuff from the dead is pretty cool, and I definitely don't want you puppeteering the live animals, but I really would prefer if you'd limit yourself to action figures and harrassing Teenie with the tv remote, ok?"

As I turn toward the house, I glimpse, from the tattooed area on the back of my neck, a set of eyes peaking out from behind the barn. Nik is using our horse, Frederick, to spy on me. Whipping around, I catch him shove one hand in his pocket while using the other to leap Fluffy back into her hole. "Nikpod King! I just told you, 'no puppeteering the live animals.' Don't make me tie your hands together. Now, bury that cat and come inside. For crying out loud, son."

Opening the door to the house, the smell of bacon greets me, again, as it wafts through the air.  Sheldon brings me a cup of coffee. He slides his finger over a chipped spot on the rim, fixing it, before handing the cup to me.

"Thank you, honey. Nik was playing with Fluffy again and making Frederick spy on me, obviously planning to keep Fluffy out after I told him to put her away, and Teenie almost caught me talking to a chair. What a way to start the morning. Did you get breakfast? Moo made bacon. He's getting pretty good at it."

"I did, but when I asked if he'd make me a piece of toast, he forgot to shake his hands off before opening the bread bag and melted it." Sheldon smiles and shakes his head. "So, have you figured out what to do about Boots? How long does she have to stay out of school?"

"They said that she can go back on Monday if we come in today to clean, so I guess that's what we'll be doing. Great way to spend a Saturday, huh, scraping gum off of every surface in the danged classroom? I'm not sure that's punishment enough, though. I mean, I'm glad she wasn't suspended. Her teacher was seriously frazzled. If any of the other kids had been in the room when she decided to blow that bubble, she probably would have been kicked out for good. Can you imagine what a mess that would have been?" Sheldon smiles and chuckles softly at the thought of twenty gum covered kids. "Still, she knows she's not supposed to have gum at school, anyway. Nobody is, not even the boring kids."

"Bubblez, maybe we should think about homeschooling Boots. I think the school's been more than lenient after some of the accidents she's caused, and do you really want to go clean up tornado damage every time the kid catches cold and has to sneeze?"

 "Well, no, but they do like her, Shel. She's got the sweetest little singing voice, and Mr. Treble even wants to start teaching her how to play the trumpet. I guess as long as they are willing to work with us, and for as long as Boots is happy there, I'm willing to do whatever's necessary to let her stay."

"Boots on the trumpet? Seriously? Don't they think she'd be better off playing something that doesn't use wind, like a freaking piano or ukulele or something?"

"I was worried about it, too, at first, but Mr. T thinks it will help Boots learn to control herself. He said she could practice in the gym where there aren't any windows and she can't hurt anything until she learns to puff gently. I think this could really be a great opportunity for her."

I glance at the time on my watch. "Oh shoot. It's almost noon. We'd better get going or we'll never get that classroom clean. I'm taking Teenie with us. I told her I'd drop her off at a friend's house."

Shel nods as we both stand up. He reaches up and taps the ceiling light as we are leaving the room. The bulbs glow brighter. He flips the light switch up and down a few times, and seeming satisfied walks back to the kitchen for another cup of coffee.

Boots is watching tv in the living room. On the couch, beside her, lay Teenie's shoes. "Dog-gone-it, Teenie," I say only half under my breath.

The shoes slide to the floor and Teenie appears in a half sitting position on the opposite end of the couch from where her shoes had been. "Mom?" She looks at me expectantly, and a long audible sigh escapes my mouth. 

"No shoes on the furniture," I say, and grab my keys. "Come on. It's time to go."

Teenie lifts the remote, and the button clicks all by itself. "Ugh! Nik!"

I chuckle.

Boots sucks in a deep breath of air and catches her own shoes as they bump against her chest. "Be right there, Mommy."

I wonder, would it be gross to have her suck the gum back off the walls? Grabbing the band around my ponytail, I let my hair down as I walk toward the door. 


  1. I'm taking title suggestions. This title is weak.

  2. Very funny and creative. It reminded me of a screen play actually. Your family made fascinating characters, and I really loved the photos you added.

  3. Thanks. The kids and I decided that we were going to be the next big TV series. Lol