Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lucas, The Stinkbugs, and Carter

Lucas wasn't really sure what to do about these stinkbugs that were now falling back to earth and his back yard.  Suddenly he had a great thought:  “I know, I just need to find out what likes to eat stink bugs and then I'll be all set.”  He ran into the house to check out Google.

While he waited for Google to answer his question, he heard a big commotion in the back yard.  It sounded like ducks quacking.  “How weird was that,” thought Lucas?

He ran to the basement window to see what he could see.  Well, what he DID NOT see were any stinkbugs.  What he DID see, was a 6-year-old boy, surrounded by 3 ducks that were wearing tiny little green and yellow shirts.  Hmmm,...thought Lucas, I guess I better head out there and see what this is all about.

When Lucas got outside, he noticed that the boy had on a green and yellow shirt too and it said “Go Ducks” on it. 

“Hi,” said Lucas, “What’s your name?”

“I’m Carter,” said the boy, “And these are my ducks, Marcus, De’Anthony, and Dion.”

Lucas shook Carter’s hand and nodded his head toward each of the ducks.  They all quacked a hello his way. 

“Did your ducks eat all of the stinkbugs?” asked Lucas.

“You bet,” said Carter.  “They love stinkbugs.  I also noticed some pickles laying around so we each had a few of those.”

They boys both laughed at that.  Lucas was really liking Carter. 

“Hey, I was just about to make some Green Soup for lunch.  Do you want to stay and join me?" Lucas asked

Carter's face lit up.  "Green Soup is my favourite.  That would be great."

The boys left the ducks to swim in the pool while they got started on the Green Soup.  They got the split peas down from the cupboard and were starting to gather the rest of the ingredients when suddenly they heard a huge collision out front.  Lucas and Carter looked at each other with wide eyes, then ran out to see what had happened.

When they got out front, they were shocked at what they saw. 

In the middle of the road was a gigantic spider.  It’s legs were at least 6 feet long and of course it had 8 of them and they were all very hairy.  No really, I mean very hairy.  The big black hairy spider was right in the middle of a big car accident.  There were two smaller cars and three trucks all wrapped around each other, with that big hairy spider in the middle of all of them.  As Lucas and Carter watched, the spider picked up one of the trucks and crunched it with its powerful fangs. 

“Whoa,” they both said. 

The spider seemed to hear them and turned its attention toward the boys.  “Uh-oh,” Lucas said, “I think we better get outta here.”

“Yeah,” agreed Carter.  They ran back into the house and watched as the spider slowly crawled to the front window.  As the boys stood on the couch and looked out of the window, the spider creeped up and peered inside - all 8 of its creepy eyes staring at them.  It was enough to give the boys the willies.

“We ned a plan,” Lucas whispered to Carter.

“I know what we need,” said Carter.  “We need some big flies.”

Lucas smiled, “Absolutely!”

The boys sped into the back yard to catch some flies.  And what’s the best way to attract flies?  With poo!

Lucas and Carter gathered up a bunch of dog poo and made a fly trap.  When it was all set, they hid behind the shed and waited.  It felt like they had waited forever, but finally they heard, Bzzzzzzz, bzzzzzzzz, bzzzzzzz.  The boys were so excited.  They both peeked around the side of the shed and sure enough, there was a fly, caught in their trap.  His spindly legs were flailing and he was struggling, but the trap held fast.

Both boys grabbed their dog leashes (which they both always carried at the ready for just such occasions) and lassoed the fly.  The fly barely even struggled at this point, it was just too tired.  With a bit of finesse, the boys were able to get the leashes around the fly and lead it around to the front of the house.

They shouted for the spider, and saw it turn toward them.  The spider was starving and quickly gulped down the fly.  The boys ran into the backyard and snagged a few more flies to feed to the spider.  One after another.  But now it seemed like the spider was not getting full and they didn’t have any more flies.  They had to do something about this spider, and fast!

Lucas winked at Carter, closed his eyes and then started to chant.  The earth began to rumble and quake.  Lucas’ eyes whipped open and he and Carter stood together.  Before they even knew what happened, The Sandman erupted from the earth, grabbed the spider, gave the boys a salute and dropped back into the earth.  Whew.

He was gone and the spider was gone.  Woohoo.  Lucas and Carter dragged themselves back into the house and finished making their Green Soup.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lucas and the Ladybugs

Here is the next chapter of the kids' silly stories.  Enjoy (as requested, Carter).

Lucas was happy that he was able to help Alexa with her clown, lizard, and talking car problem.  The last time he saw her, she seemed so much more relaxed.

To celebrate, Lucas poured himself a glass of chocolate milk and went into the back yard to relax for a bit.  As he was enjoying the drink, Lucas noticed that there was a huge red cloud of something heading his way.  He could hardly believe his eyes.  He sat up straighter so he could get a better look.  As it got closer, he could see that the swarm was actually a big blanket of ladybugs, and from where he stood, they looked like the biting kind.  Yikes.

But that wasn't the strangest part about this bunch of ladybugs.  The strangest part about this group of ladybugs was that they were all eating pickles. Uh-huh.  Pickles.  You know those huge deli-style dill pickles that are so sour that when you take a bite your eyes go kind of cross-eyed?  Yes, those pickles.  The ladybugs were eating those pickles.

Lucas couldn't believe his eyes.  He had heard that beetles were big fans of artichokes (you know the kind that you marinate in a vinaigrette, not those regular canned ones or even the fresh ones), but he had never heard about ladybugs and pickles.  Definitely news to him, Lucas thought.

Well, I have to stop these ladybugs, thought Lucas, before they come down here and bite me.  What can I do to stop them? Hmmmmmm?

I know, he said, jumping out of the lawn chair, “ I just need to find the one thing that will get rid of the biting ladybugs.”

Lucas ran into the house and searched all over.  First he tried in the basement, but nope, he didn’t find what he was looking for.

Then he ran into the kitchen,…nope, not there.

Next he sped into the living room,…um,….under the couch? Behind the TV?,….nope, not there either.

He was starting to get discouraged, but he decided to try one more place.  His bedroom.  He tore apart his dirty clothes hamper, he whipped open his matchbox car carrying case, he looked behind the snow globes, and peeked next to the goldfish, Nemo.  But he found nothing.  Where was it? 

He looked around the room.  Hmmmmm. 

Aha, he yelled.  Here it is, under the bed.  Lucas grabbed the secret weapon and tore off outside.  By now the ladybugs had gotten so close that they were almost in the backyard.  Quickly, Lucas aimed carefully and then threw,…..threw what?

He threw a grenade.  What?  Ha ha ha.  Of course he didn’t have a grenade hiding under his bed.  That would be silly.

He threw,…..a pumpkin.  What?  Ha ha ha.  Of course he didn’t have a pumpkin hiding under his bed.  That would also be silly.

Oh no,……what he had was,….what he threw was,…. an fist full of stinkbugs.  These were the stinkiest stinkbugs in the whole land.  As the smelly stinkbugs flew through the air, they gobbled up all of those biting ladybugs before they could get into Lucas’ yard. 

Phew.  Lucas was so relieved that his ladybug problem was over.  Plus, he noticed that the ladybugs had dropped all of those pickles and now those pickles were floating down toward him. Mmmmm,..he licked his lips and felt his mouth start to water.  Oh how he loved pickles. 

As those pickles started getting closer, he had the great idea to run into the house and grab a plate.  Now, Lucas was sitting in the back yard, enjoying some gorgeous sunshine and chomping on some pickles.  He opened his eyes, feeling all relaxed, and looked up to the skies.

Oh no, he yelled.  Suddenly he realized that there was a huge group of stinkbugs with full bellies heading his way.  What was Lucas going to do? 

Stay tuned for next time to see what happens with Lucas and the stinkbugs.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review - Memoirs of a Geisha

And so another month has gone by and it's time for Kadie and Jenny's readalong linky party.  This month I read a bunch of great books that I enjoyed and ditched a bunch of books that I couldn't get into.  It was a real mixed month.


One of the great books, was Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.  I had seen the movie a long time ago, but didn't really remember much of it, so it didn't spoil anything for me.

Chapters Link

This was a longer read than I normally undertake, but totally worth the extra time to get through it.

The book starts off in a small fishing village with young Chiyo living her simple life. Her mother is dying, her father is old and there is noone to take care of her and her sister. When her mother finally dies, the girls are sold to the big city of Gion with big hopes for their futures. 

Initally, Chiyo is a maid at an okiya (Geisha home) but is still hopeful that she will become a Geisha.  There comes a day when she loses hope that this will happen and sits to weep beside a river.  A man (The Chairman) stops to ask after her and comfort her.  She falls in love with him after this exchange and believes that she is destined to be with him. 

 Chiyo wants to be a Geisha. Her life takes many twists and turns, even after she becomes a Geisha but she does not get close enough to what she believes is her destiny - life with The Chairman. The end takes a somewhat surprising turn based on some crazy behaviour by Chiyo (who is now called Suriya) but wraps up nicely.

I absolutely loved this peek into the world of the Geisha and Japanese culture. The tea houses and ceremonies are captivating. Suriya feels a little selfish to me but that doesn't take away from this story. A great read. I was captivated until close to the end, when I felt that the book started (oddly) to drag a bit. Definitely recommend.