Elf vs Hulk

Elf On The Shelf’s Costly Christmas Caper

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Once upon a time there was a little elf named Olivia.

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Not surprisingly, Olivia the Elf loved Christmas.

One year, Santa sent her a magical little elf which she named Melfy.

Elf On The Shelf, Christmas Elf, Holiday Tradition, Elf, Elf Mischief

Melfy had a great run for approximately two years before he mysteriously disappeared.

Unbeknownst to Olivia, her parents ordered up a new elf and secretly replaced Melfy.

(That was back when all the Elf on a Shelf elves looked the same.)

Of course, the moment the new Melfy arrived, the old Melfy decided to make an appearance.

And so Olivia’s parents made the executive decision that Olivia’s little elf brother, Evan, was now old enough for his very own elf.

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Evan the Elf named his magical elf, Dragon.

Melfy and Dragon had tons of fun for several years.

They wrestled super heroes, and even survived a fire.

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Well, not really a fire, but Melfy’s collar got burned and Dragon’s chin looked like he was attempting to grow a goatee.

That’s what happens after a day of hanging from the chandelier…literally.

Stick to the shelf, elves!

The battle scars served to differentiate the gender neutral elves, so all was right with the world.

Until…the family moved to Puerto Rico without their belongings and Olivia and Evan’s parents realized their faux pas.

New elves couldn’t be ordered because they don’t make them with unique burn marks.

Although the thought crossed their mind to burn two new elves, it was too risky.

What if they burned the left collar instead of the right?

What if the goatee now looked like a full beard?

So…two new elves arrived this year.

Meet Annabelle and Winston.

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They arrived with a letter from Santa, explaining what happened to Melfy and Dragon.

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Congratulations Melfy and Dragon on your recent promotion!

And, thank you for warning Annabelle and Winston to be very careful where they hang.

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I hope you enjoyed the tale of Elf On The Shelf’s Costly Christmas Caper.

If you don’t think it was costly, do the math.

Each elf costs $35!

The Snoop Dog Rap: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

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This week’s writing challenge: The Best Medicine is an invitation to “Poke fun at yourself, write a limerick, find the absurdity in a real-life situation, come up with some groan-worthy puns, sketch a comic, put some fictional characters in a farcical situation — all’s fair in comedy.”

Obviously I don’t have a humor blog, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use this photo I took on my recent trip to The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington D.C.!

New to the neighborhood, walking down the street

Wondering ’bout the neighbors I’ve yet to meet

Got my dogs on the leash, poop bag in hand

My sneakers on my feet, to avoid the sand

Loving the weather, loving the breeze

People so friendly, bless you when you sneeze

Pet owners walking toward other owners

Business suits, runners and even stoners

All give the nod, the slight shake of the head

Says it’s damn early to be outta bed.

Size doesn’t matter, we’ve all heard it

‘Cept when your dog drops a tiger sized sh*t.

photo credit: littlemisswordy

photo credit: littlemisswordy

Pooping tiger released the dragon

Looks to me like you shoulda brought the wagon

No worries, no laughs, wait a minute ’til it’s cooled

All us dog owners have been schooled

By the big breeds, small breeds, the growlers and the barkers

The shy types, sweet ones, and even the stalkers.

We all bow down to our four legged poopers

Embrace our role as human scoopers

Scented bag in hand no match for this steamer

We just keep smiling like we won a Beemer

Well behaved, highly trained, Chihuahua that goes insane

The mangy brown one or the golden-haired mane

The executive, the artist, the homeless man

The bus driver, the banker, and the UPS man

The competitive show dog or the lab who farts

We immediately connect cuz they’ve stolen our hearts.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

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ESCAPE: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE DISTURBING

Social Media - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Escape. A word that stirs up an endless array of meanings, both at a standard level and a deeply personal one. The mere sound of it whispered softly in one’s ear can ignite the senses of sight and sound propelling us down a road of movie credits, song lyrics, and novels – each a story all its own.

                                                      EACH A STORY ALL OUR OWN.

As I sit here eyes on my computer screen ready to share my thoughts on this week’s photo challenge: Escape, I realize for many the computer screen is a form of escape…a portal by which we connect with others through a social media peephole of photos, status updates, pins, blogs, and tweets.

The Good

For myself as a writer it is a common means of escape. The irony isn’t lost on me as my fingers fly across the keys, rushing to free the words in my head.

My own surroundings – ocean waves crashing the shore and a vision of blue waters as far as the eye can see – there are those who would consider this very setting an escape.

The runner whose escape begins the moment she ties her running shoes and heads out the door, each mile taking her across more than just a physical distance.

The Bad

Images flood my mind of prisons – the physical, the mental, and the emotional cells that hold us prisoner against our will.

A former athlete confined to a wheelchair.

An addict held hostage by the blinding need for another hit.

A young mother trapped in the vicious cycle of an abusive marriage.

A mental health patient stuck in a system of doctors, diagnoses, treatments.

A celebrity smothered in the adoration and attention of overzealous fans.

The Disturbing

And, then there are those images that need no words…themselves a disturbing depiction of the word ESCAPE.

Escape

 If I haven’t scared you off, tell me what good, bad, or disturbing comes to mind when you hear the word escape?

Identify Your “Training Wheels” And Smile!

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We’ve all met at least one person who treads a little lighter than the rest of us, who grabs life with both hands, experiences it to the fullest. It’s not that they are irresponsible adults. It’s just that their approach to life in general is different from most grown ups. They don’t allow themselves to get caught up in the details. They don’t over think. They just breathe in life’s moments, filling their lungs with each experience, and letting every inch of their body feel the joy life offers. Is it a personality trait inherited from some gene passed down to them from a life loving parent? Or, is it something they learned along the way?

As a kid, I remember being fearless. Yet, now I over think riding a Roller Coaster as I imagine endless frightening scenarios all of which leave my two children motherless in the end. As I climb aboard, buckle my seat belt, then check and double-check it, I’m silently berating myself for being so careless as to agree to this irresponsible joy ride. I am a mother for goodness sake, not some free wheeling teenager doing pop-a-wheelies on her mountain bike (ah those were the days). Nevertheless, I settle in and after a quick plea bargain prayerful talk with the man upstairs, I make a conscious decision to enjoy the ride. It isn’t long before the cars pick up speed, I feel the wind in my hair, and the sheer exhilaration of feeling free! In that moment, nothing can stop me and I feel like I can take on the world!

My kids: cooling off and smiling from the inside out after a long bike ride. photo credit: littlemisswordy

My kids: cooling off and smiling from the inside out, after a long bike ride.
photo credit: littlemisswordy

Do you remember the first time you learned to ride a bike? It’s that same feeling I’m referring to here. No matter how we approached that bike for the first time, the end result was the same. Once we got going and felt the wind in our hair, we could take on the world. There was no hiding our smile as it traveled from our mind to our face, until it took over every fiber of our being and shone like a Fourth of July sparkler beckoning the world to smile with us! Why do we reserve that full body joy as something to be experienced only by a carefree child?

When I taught my oldest how to ride a bike, her little brother was her biggest cheerleader as she fearfully gave up her training wheels. Olivia approached this challenge in her usual fashion. With much detail, she proceeded to delineate each and every way she could fall off her bike, and each and every injury that was possible. I gave her some space, addressed her concerns accordingly, and eventually she faced the latest challenge in the life of a six-year-old — with determination and a few meltdowns. On the other hand, Evan watched Olivia the first day as he circled her on his Spiderman bike WITH training wheels, and like a good brother and little knight, cheered her on at the appropriate moments. However, on day two he adamantly demanded I take his training wheels off.

Evan’s approach to learning to ride a bike was much different from his sister’s approach. Fearless and with complete faith in his abilities, he not only wanted to go fast but didn’t want me to hold him back. Not a single thought to consequences, injuries, etc. he quickly progressed to riding without assistance in a mere thirty minutes. Their approaches were different, but their end result was the same. They both experienced the same sense of freedom, wind blowing in their face, head tilted back, smiling with their entire body.

This left me thinking about how we approach life. What are our “training wheels” and how much do we depend on them? Training wheels aren’t a negative thing, but definitely aren’t meant to permanently carry our weight. Do the training wheels in our life show up in the form of our friends, our family, our career, our doubts, or the dreams we’ve put on hold? Why do some of us hang on to our training wheels longer than others? Is it because they’ve become so much a part of us that we don’t even realize we’re leaning on them? Are we too afraid to remove them even for a moment for fear of failure? Are we allowing our training wheels to hold us back from that sense of freedom?

Wouldn’t it be great to experience that smile from the inside out…the kind that makes you literally jump for joy just like when you were a kid? Whether it’s a roller coaster, a bike, or life, inevitably the moment arrives when we have to ride all on our own, feel the exhilaration as we pick up speed and confidence, tilt our heads up to the sky, and welcome that cool breeze on our face.

 Weekly Writing Challenge: Truth is Stranger than Fiction

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

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It was a hot, blustery day and his penetrating gaze was making me even more uncomfortable. I saw him eyeing me the moment I arrived, but dismissed it as curiosity to see someone not of his kind around these parts. He dared to make eye contact with me, and I took that moment to take him in as well from his large eyes not seeming to miss a single detail to his leathery skin and slow manner. I spent the morning slowly wandering the neighborhood, his neighborhood, taking in every detail of his environment. I felt the heat scorch my skin with every calculated step I took as I tried to place a comfortable distance between us. I was definitely a foreigner in these parts, and not accustomed to his forward ways. No matter which path I took it wasn’t long before I felt a presence, and turned to find him mere steps behind me once again. Did his kind not understand the concept of personal space?  Every step forward took me down another path of beautiful scenery and a newfound appreciation for my strange follower’s home. There was a calm and beauty all around me, one only experienced when nature surrounds me. I got caught up in the scenery, only realizing he had closed the gap between us once it was too late. I panicked and dropped my purse. A true gentleman would have picked it up for me, but this was no gentleman. I reached for the bag, and as I rose I realized I couldn’t move. He had me caught in an animalistic embrace common to his kind. I was taken aback until I realized he meant no harm. His actions might have been quite forward of him, but he only meant to welcome me to his home…the zoo.

Alligator

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Pearl Jam meets WrestleMania

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Photo Credit: deviantart.com

Photo Credit: deviantart.com

As a mom, there’s nothing sweeter than seeing your kids showing each other some love. Those moments when they are hugging each other and smothering each other in sweet smooches is priceless. However, on more than one occasion that loving moment can quickly turn into a full-blown scene the likes of which WrestleMania can only aspire to achieve. The eerie thing is how quickly it can take a downward spiral into the depths of screaming and torturing. I have witnessed my two children perform this incredible feat several times and each time sit in awe (after I have intervened and sent them to their separate corners) at how two human beings can so quickly fluctuate from love to what I know in my heart is not hate but paints quite the picture of all things hate. There is nothing worse than being in public when the love fest begins because I then find myself holding my breath waiting for the tables to turn, especially when some complete stranger takes an interest in the two little angels love for one another. I can’t even enjoy the compliments being expressed to me, the perfect mother of these cute cherubs (truly you would have to be perfect or deranged to be able to raise children who never fight), because I am holding my breath waiting for my kids to reveal their true selves and in turn my true self since they are a reflection of me after all. I find myself repeating that moment’s mantra “just breathe, just breathe, just breathe” and hearing Pearl Jam in my head.

How many times in our lives do we hold our breath waiting for the worst? How many moments do we miss out on because we’re too busy worrying about the other shoe dropping? How many genuine messages of love and admiration have we skipped over because surely there must be something more to it right? Surely, there must be some ulterior motive behind someone’s compliment or kind action? They must want something right? There’s no way they’re just being nice. It will surely morph into WrestleMania at some point, so why enjoy the moment? Why bask in the glory when something terrible must be right around the corner? We’ve seen the pattern, been there done that, we know how it ends.

BUT

What if something really great is around that bend? What if something nice is actually followed by something nice or maybe even nicer? What if this time is different? How will we ever know? And how can we enjoy the moment if we’re so worried about what’s to come? I say, show ‘em your best smile and remember to just breathe.

What song or mantra gets you through those moments when you need to remember to just breathe?

There’s Something Strange In The (WordPress) Neighborhood!

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littlemisswordy

Some strange happenings have been occurring all across the WordPress arena lately. It is all mysterious enough to not only get my attention, but if I was a Great Dane with a speech impediment let’s just say my van would be sporting a “Don’t Bother Knockin” sign and I’d be calling for back up.

Here are just a few Twilight Zone-ish events:

1. Someone didn’t find Ad-libb3d funny, and had the audacity (great word) to insult him. Who doesn’t find Ad-Libb3d funny? What are you from Mars?

2. My reader format was abducted by aliens and replaced with another life form that is nowhere near as friendly.

3. That same reader used to show a blogger’s sweet smiling face (or mug shot depending on the blog), but they have all been shrunk to pin heads!

*Side note: that’s why I started this post with a BIG ASS PHOTO of myself. I was thinking of inviting you guys to join me for BIG ASS PHOTO FRIDAYS in hopes of getting the WordPress gods attention, but that might be too “in your face” no?

4. Anka over at Keeping it Real found a silver lining in the WordPress reader. She did! She even posted about it. Now, no one has seen or heard from her since. You should go check on her.

5. And, Strawberry Shortcake I mean Becca over at 25toFly is flying so high she’s revealing all kinds of secrets over there. She’s not even under duress, and get this…she wants the rest of us to spill the beans too! Gasp! Go see for yourself!

If anyone has any information related to these incidents or witnessed other strange happenings, please come forward in the comments section. I’m sure it’s nothing. Probably just some meddling kids! Although, if Ad-libb3d’s commenter is really from Mars this case may be solved!

In the meantime, I’ll play along with Strawberry Shortcake, I mean Becca and share a little secret with you guys. Here goes nothing!

Everyone remembers their first concert right? The excitement of circling that date on your calendar, the feel of those tickets in your hand, and endless hours of conversation with your friends about how it was going to be an epic night! You chose your outfit carefully, not wanting to look like it was your first concert…didn’t want people to think you were trying too hard. You located the seats in the seat chart in advance, envisioning how close you might get to the stage. And you dreamed of being the lucky concert goer who gets chosen to go on stage or even better BACK STAGE!

Come on, we all had these fantasies about our first concert! I chose my outfit, held that ticket in my hand, FLOOR SEATS! I even waved a cigarette lighter around at just the right songs. It wasn’t epic, but it was definitely a night I’ll never forget. When my husband  and I shared first concert stories he laughed so hard he almost fell out of his chair. And here’s my moment of truth. My first concert was Neil Diamond. What? Did I mumble? Neil Diamond! Yep!

No wonder Mr. I attended Depeche Mode whose opening act was Nitzer Ebb laughed so hard he cried. I guess back then I was more Little Miss Nerdy than Little Miss Wordy!

What was your first concert?

Caffeinated Leap of Faith

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coffee

Picture this. You have just been served a steaming cup of your favorite coffee. You know, that cup you’ve been tasting since you opened your eyes to the tunes of your local station. Lifting the cup to your lips and inhaling that powerful aroma will make your senses awaken to a brand new day full of possibility, and everything will look just a little brighter with some caffeine in your system. For most of us coffee drinkers, that first morning cup is key to starting our day. That’s a lot of pressure on a little mug, even if it has carried the title of “World’s Greatest Mom” for six years and counting.

I personally, am a hold the hot cup in hand for a few minutes, taking it all in and allowing it to cool just a tad for fear of burning my tongue. However, I have been witness to some who can not wait one second before taking a gulp. Not only am I in awe of these folks, specifically that their tongue can be submitted to such temperatures without even a flinch, but I also wonder if that’s how they approach life in general.

Coffee Drinker A: Are they the kind that are all about instant gratification, impatient, the “I Want It Now” generation? Are they the kind who don’t think before they leap/drink? Can they not be bothered with strategic planning and cost analysis or are they simply fearless, live in the moment kinda folks who will always take that leap of faith no matter the situation?

Coffee Drinker B: Based on my approach then, I guess I might be categorized as too fearful to make a move, the kind who has to analyze everything before taking a step/sip. Or maybe I just like to savor the moment, commit it to memory before moving on in case what’s coming down the pipeline isn’t as pleasant. I’m definitely comfortable in this category as I’m sure to avoid getting burned.

An interesting and totally random thought…the caffeinated approach to life. Think about it when you pick up your next cup of coffee or as you’re standing in line waiting to be rewarded with a steamy, grande, two sweet n low, skinny latte…oh wait that’s my order. Nevertheless, I guarantee you will observe both types of coffee drinkers all around you.

How about you? Are you Coffee Drinker A or Coffee Drinker B?

Of course, if you’re not a coffee drinker, then it’s a moot point. And, I just basically wasted 2.3 minutes of your life or however long it took you to read this random thought. Cheers!

Holiday Sharing Blogger Challenge

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Challenge: Write a post that mentions other bloggers while also mentioning some of your own posts as well. The trick is to incorporate it into your post in a meaningful way. It can be in the form of a story, a letter, a conversation…get creative! Then post a link to your post in the comments below. Don’t forget to link to the bloggers and posts you reference so everyone can reap the benefits of just a few of your favorite things. Give the gift of sharing and share this challenge with other bloggers!

A Blogger By Any Other Name…

Photo credit: just-call-me-frank.blogspot.com

Photo credit: just-call-me-frank.blogspot.com

I’ve only been blogging since September 11 of this year. I had been jotting down some random thoughts and sharing them with a few folks, but that day I was compelled to share my thoughts with a wider audience in a formal way. Maybe it was the significance of the date since my first post here was about the meaning behind the red circles on our calendars. Maybe I just wanted to be around more people like myself, who have thoughts or a moment of joy we need to share in order to de-clutter our brains for more stuff. Regardless, I started blogging and never looked back becoming so familiar with other bloggers that I refer to them by “name” even when conversing with friends and family.

For example, I love to share my Milk Duds story with other people and always mention that Chatter Master had an equally sweet story about Milk Duds which is how she found me. Speaking of treats,when I told my girlfriend that Keeping it Real Mom’s son knocked over and shattered a wine glass while reaching for a Halloween sweet, she audibly gasped. The sweetest part was his apology and her beautiful display of patience to the incident. I would have pulled out my Emergency Contact list because I’m a control freak like that. Although, I have exhibited some patience of my own as I waited for Coastal Mom to rejoin us while she worked on her book. It’s okay I was still eating, still praying, still loving while Sass and Balderdash was still looking for a job, Ad- libb3d was still writing jokes, and Creative Liar was well still lying but in a creative way that would make us all proud.

This arena of ours provides a courage by keyboard that encourages our right to share, our right to learn and even our right to bitch because let’s face it parenting is funny, motherhood is an art, and we brave, smart, bold people have every right to help the world see things from our mom’s eye view or whatever your perspective may be. I’ve got a story and you’ve got a story or fat lies and fairy tales or an organized chaos of thoughts that should be heard. No matter what we are sharing, we are touching people, making them smile, making them laugh, making them angry and leading them to that special point when crazy meets exhaustion and you feel like your shoes are on the wrong feetall while watching a clown on fire like a train wreck of thoughts on the run you can’t peel your eyes from.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t know what to call most of you other than your blog names, and to me they roll off the tongue like the name of an old trusted friend. Funny how that works. I’m sure most of you refer to me as little miss wordy when you spend countless hours enlightening/boring folks to tears with my musings much like I share Charlotte’s musings too. Strange how you can feel like you know someone when you’ve only seen glimpses of their lives float across your screen, and you don’t even know them by name. Well, except for Danny Breslin and Cristian Mihai who are the king of states but also the opposite of Madonna, and went the route of embracing their real names. If those are some form of stage name guys, I’m not gonna be happy. I’ll have to explain to everyone that I now have no clue where all those sticky notes and quotes I shared with them promising a new free life came from. They’re going to tell me to piss off and there goes the celebration. No daddy drinks or shanpagne all around! I’ll be the sadder but wiser girl. It’s okay…I’ll take it like a grown up.

What? You Like My Blog? Piss Off!

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“Nice shoes.” “Great hair.” “Love your outfit today.” All fine compliments, and all compliments that would bring a smile to our face, brighten our day, make us stand a little taller. I’m five foot two and half and I’ll take any opportunity for a little more height, but it’s more than that. A compliment is a positive thing to be shared and received in a positive light. You wouldn’t respond to any of these compliments with a “Piss Off” or a “How dare you?!” would you? Okay, well if you would then maybe you should stop reading and check out my top posts on the right side bar.

In the blogging world there are awards. I’m sure you’ve seen the One Lovely Blog Award or the Very Inspiring Blog Award, to name a couple. When I first started my blog, I was fearful the blogging world would be an extended gripe session for those whose friends banned them from Facebook, a larger canvas for those from Twitter who couldn’t describe their gripe in 160 characters or less, or those from Pinterest who just didn’t think one photo would do their gripe justice. Well, Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong, I mean Little Miss Wordy was so wrong!

In the short time I have been blogging, I have encountered some really kind, friendly, positive people who just happen to be extremely talented too. They are positive folks who go out of their way to welcome, motivate, and encourage each other. They share their thoughts, their knowledge, and even their tips for a more successful blog. That’s right! These folks are willing to share their followers and ultimately the spotlight. Not something we often see in our daily lives is it?

Which is why I was surprised when I saw a newbie blogger (even newbie-er) than myself, ask what such and such award meant because they were just awarded one. The response posted in the comments read, “it doesn’t mean anything at all…just like a chain letter.” Well, that’s encouraging (no really it isn’t)! The award may not be the Nobel Prize (no really it isn’t), but it is still a compliment.

It means someone did something every blogger/writer looks forward to no matter how long you’ve been blogging or what your ultimate goal is in doing so.

A) Someone actually read something you wrote.

B) If they are giving you an award, chances are they chose to follow your blog and have read multiple posts.

C) They like your writing so much they have taken the time to go through the award process just for you.

D) Did I mention they actually read what you wrote? Let’s not kid ourselves, if we didn’t want others to read our writing, then we would just keep a diary, with a key, and lock it and hide the diary under the floorboard in the closet, and guard the key with our lives. 

Let’s be honest here. When someone hits that “like” button on your post it makes you smile, unless you’ve had one too many Botox visits. When someone chooses to follow your blog, it makes you feel warm inside unless your Depends are leaking. And when someone decides something you wrote is worthy of being Freshly Pressed, I imagine you feel all the above and then some, unless you’re dead inside!  A compliment is a compliment!

So to those who have decided my blog is worthy of these awards, I say “Piss Off!” (no not really)!! I say THANK YOU from the bottom of my little writer’s heart for taking the time to read my thoughts, my stories, view my amateur photos, and encourage me to keep sharing! To the rest of the blogging world and readers out there, I say “like” my posts, leave your comments, share my writing, and follow me…there is no greater compliment!