Dec 10

11 Questions, 4 Answers

I was reading a friend’s blog the other day and she had a neat About Me post called 4 x 11. It’s eleven questions and you give four answers to each one. Most of the questions were pretty easy to answer, but there were two which required some thought. Trying to figure out 4 names people call me besides my own was a challenge. I really don’t have any nicknames, so I just paid more attention to how people addressed me. As for the 4 sayings question, I asked my parents what I say a lot.

Here are the questions and my answers.

4 names people like to call you other than your real name:

  1. Aps – I really, really hate being called Aps, thankfully not many people call me this.
  2. Sug – It’s short for sugar, my dad calls me this a lot.
  3. April Lyn
  4. Cheryl – It’s my aunt’s name. When my dad talks about family he’ll sometimes mix our names up. It happens in reverse too, where dad calls Cheryl by my name.

4 jobs you’ve had:

  1. Retail Supervisor
  2. Senior Field Communication Coordinator
  3. Office Assistant
  4. Freelance Graphic Designer

4 movies you’ve seen more than once:

  1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  2. The Hobbit Trilogy
  3. Divergent & Insurgent
  4. Every Pixar movie

4 books you’d recommend:

  1. The Harry Potter Series
  2. The Hunger Games trilogy
  3. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  4. Uglies Trilogy – But skip the add-on book Extras it not very good

4 places you’ve lived:

  1. Connecticut
  2. Maryland
  3. Florida
  4. Germany

4 places you’ve visited:

  1. Texas
  2. South Carolina
  3. New York City
  4. New Orleans

4 places you’d rather be right now:

  1. London
  2. Scotland
  3. Ireland
  4. Australia

4 things you don’t eat:

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Bacon or any pork product actually
  3. Seafood
  4. Lamb, veal, or pretty much any meat that isn’t beef, chicken, or turkey

4 of your favorite foods:

  1. Mashed Potato Pizza from Fire Engine Pizza Co.
  2. Steak with baked potato, corn, and garlic bread
  3. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  4. Buttered Popcorn

4 TV shows you watch:

  1. Doctor Who
  2. Supernatural
  3. Sherlock
  4. Once Upon A Time

4 things you’re always saying:

  1. “I’m cold.”
  2. “Gryffin,” followed by either “get down”, “no”, “please stop whining”, or “you’re such a good boy.”
  3. “Do we have meals planned for the day?”
  4. “Whatever” – I say this when I am really annoyed and don’t want to deal with someone or something.

I stole this topic from my friend Rachel’s blog, Styles and Smarts. She stole that idea from Michelle over at Mich Mash.


Dec 01

Sounds of the Seasons

When it comes to the holidays, I think I look forward to the music most of all. I love Christmas music! On November 1st, the iPod gets loaded up and the holiday tunes start playing. There are only a handful of songs I don’t care for, like “Christmas Wrapping” and anything by Spike Jones. My favorites list includes all the greats, like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Johnny Mathis; but it also includes some more personal favorites, music from my holiday memories. My everyday music taste is mostly Top 40 stuff like OneRepublic and Maroon 5 so some of these artists might come as a surprise. However, I find with Christmas music, the older the better!


A Christmas Together by John Denver and The Muppets – As a child growing up in a Muppet loving family this is on heavy rotation during the holidays.


Christmas by Alabama – I’m not generally drawn to country music, but my parents are. I grew up listening to this album and the older I get, the better they get. Some of the songs are just so beautiful!


Once Upon a Christmas By Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton – Just like Alabama’s album, I grew up on not only Kenny and Dolly’s album but also their TV special. It was tradition to watch it every year… until the tape started to wear out. Thankfully, my brother managed to get it copied on to DVDs for all of us!


Christmas Portrait by The Carpenters – The “Christmas Song”… does anything else really need saying?


Brand New Year by SheDaisy – Some more modern artists make my list too. I like this album because the songs are different, catchy, and their song “Twist of the Magi” with Rascal Flats is excellent.


Merry Christmas With Love by Clay Aiken – The American Idol that should have been. I was a big Claymate during his season and when his Christmas album came out I knew I had to have it. It was even better than I expected, producing two of my all time favorite holiday songs “Mary, Did You Know” and “Merry Christmas With Love”.

There you have it, my favorite Christmas albums! Time to turn up the volume and get into the holiday spirit!


Nov 27

Apocalypse Now

Prompt: Pick five people from your fandoms who you’d want on your team during the apocalypse – zombie or otherwise.

The apocalypse, we all think it’s coming yet no one knows how.  There are a number of ways people think it could happen. It could be biblical, complete with the four horsemen. It could be chemical or medical where something turns people into zombies. Or, in my opinion, it will come in the form of a major sale on flat screen tvs. Every Black Friday, we get a glimpse of the end of days. And it’s not pretty.

I’ve assembled my team of heroes, albeit fictional, who will get me through the impending apocalypse.

1: The brains/builder: The 12th Doctor – I want with the 12th Doctor instead of the others because of his eyebrows. They are attack eyebrows. They’re a weapon all in their own. –  Doctor Who


2: The badass: The Winchester Brothers – This one might be cheating a bit since it’s two people, but they are brothers and they really are better when the are together. – Supernatural


3: The medic: John Watson – Sherlock


4: The provider: Albus Dumbledore – The Harry Potter Series


5: The cannon fodder/comic relief: Peregrin Took – The Lord of the Rings Trilogy


I’m  ready for the end of days, are you? Who would be on your fandom team?

Thanks to Rachel for introducing me to this fun prompt. 


Nov 20

If She Only Knew

She awoke to the sound of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” coming from the phone on her nightstand. She rolled over to check the number and saw it was unknown. She never answered unknown numbers. She heard the voicemail tone and decided to check it later. She rolled over, falling back to sleep.

A couple of hours later, she awoke to start her day. She decided to listen to the voicemail.

Hey Katherine, it’s you old friend 6MP here. You know, the chemo drug you were on. Sorry I turned toxic on you in the spring. I know it’s been about five months since we stopped seeing each other, but there are some things I forgot to mention to you when we split. During the next few months, as you purge me from your system, you are going to experience some… side effects.

First some sort of good news! All the hair you lost, it’ll start to grow back! But it’ll come in super curly. If you can find a way to manage it, I think it’ll look so adorbs! Might even look like Merida! If you can’t tame it, good luck, because you will look like Hagrid. Also, those 14” you donated last year? You’ re never getting them back. Have fun with shoulder length hair!

Now about your skin. You are going to breakout like a teenager on picture day. And anything you do to try and fight it will just make it worse. Totes my bad! Bright side, people will think you are younger than you are! Sorry, I know that isn’t helping.

Let’s see, what else. Oh, your joints! They are going to swell something fierce. I mean puffy to the point of visibility. Making a fist, not going to happen. Oops!

I’d like to tell you I had some awesome news for you about the Crohn’s disease, but I don’t. I may have put it into remission, but it is not going to stay that way. And it is going to suck! Again, my bad.

Lastly, you are going to show high liver counts for a good six months later. It’s just me working my way out of your system. It’s no big deal, so don’t freak out about it or go crazy doing a lot of tests trying to figure out the cause. It’s just me.

So, yeah, I’m sorry. I probably should have mentioned this when I last saw you. Hope your summer was a good one! Take care!

She hung up the phone and sighed. Most of this was not new information to her as she had spent the entire summer fighting breakouts, unruly curls, and swollen joints. She was also well aware the Crohn’s was out of remission. It returned kicking and screaming all up and down her abdomen. The worst part of all of this was the massive number of tests and medication changes she had to do trying to figure out why her liver counts would not normalize.

Merida vs. Hagrid

Merida vs. Hagrid

It had been a miserable five months trying to come off of the 6MP. If she had just had even a small glimpse of what was to come she could have been better prepared. She wouldn’t have had to cancel plans with her friends or sell tickets to events she got. She wouldn’t have been stuck in bed, watching the days of summer pass her by. If she only knew…Starrynightsig


Editor’s Note: This story originally started as an answer to the Daily Post prompt Bad Signal:

Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?

Nov 14

Blankie: A Memoir

I’m not sure where I was born or where I spent the early days of my life, though I do know I was hand created by someone. The first real memory I had was being inside a dark box, with the sound of excited chatter coming from outside. Suddenly, there was a bright light, though not so bright I was blinded, and the level of noise increased. I remember being held up and shown off to the sounds of ohs and ahs. I am 28 inches by 37 inches and yellow with tigers, sheep, and giraffes. I was a baby shower gift for Janet, who was currently pregnant with the person I would become so special to. I was not the most popular gift that day, and Janet didn’t plan to use me, but April sought me out. She picked me as her favorite. She wanted to love me.

During my early years, I followed April around from her different homes, as she traveled from Air Force base to Air Force base. I did the normal things a blanket like myself did, offered comfort, warmth, security. She slept with me every night and used me when she played with her dolls. She cuddled with me on the couch and took me with her to sleepovers. We were inseparable.

As the years went on, April started to grow and change. She didn’t play with her dolls anymore and I often landed under the bed, as she kicked me off during the night. Her bed was white with gold trim and very princess like. It was a twin size and when April hit double digits in age, her feet would hang over the edge. When we turned 11, there was a major change in our lives. This was the year she got a new bed. It was a full size, solid pine bed with a set of drawers under it. I was so excited for the drawers under the bed! That meant no more falling underneath it. But then the worst possible thing happened. April stopped sleeping with me. Was this the end for me? Was I not going to be loved anymore?

From that moment, and for the next few years, I hung on the footboard, left to collect dust and watch April’s life go by. She grew up; graduated from the eighth grade, then from high school. Soon, she was packing for college. Would she take me with her? As I watched her pack her things, she removed me from the end of the bed and threw me in the wash. Yeah! I was getting cleaned before I headed to Western Connecticut State University with her. How exciting, I was going to college, I was going to see so much! I came out of the dryer, all warm and toasty and I was folded. But I didn’t go in her suitcase, I headed into a closet. A cold, dark, and lonely closet, where I sat on a shelf next to the Barbie dolls and LEGO sets which went unplayed with. At 18 years of age, the end of my life seemed near.

Years went by before I saw the full light of day. April returned home from WCSU after a year, because she was a terrible student. She moved back into her room and I saw brief pieces of light when the closet opened, but I was never removed from my spot on the shelf. At the age of 21, April moved out of her room and into an apartment. As she packed, I was removed from the shelf and put in a box. I moved with her to the apartment, but I never left the box. After a year she returned home to her parents, but I didn’t go with her. I stayed in my box and headed into storage. I could tell it was storage by the unpleasant smell. I’d come to hate boxes as much as I had the dreaded closet.This whole process repeated itself at the ages of 24 and 28. At least she hadn’t gotten rid of me.

At 28, I was taken out of my box and moved into a wooden chest with the rest of her blankets. It was still dark, but I was with other blankets and the chest smelled nice. But something had changed. I heard April crying all the time and she is rarely got much sleep. This was not my April. She was not happy. The home we were in was warm, but it was a very unhappy place. April now lived the same life I did: sad, dark, and lonely. I started to worry about her. I heard her talking on the phone to her mom a few times a day, and the calls were very sad. One day we had gotten a visitor. Judging by the music in the air, it was Christmas time, and April’s mom had come to visit. April and her mom left the apartment one afternoon, only to return a few hours later carrying a lot of items. Since I was stuck in my chest, I was not sure what the items were. There was a lot of excitement and activity coming from them. Whatever it was, April was happy again. It was the happiest I’ve heard her in a while. What made her so pleased?

I saw a bright light, though not so bright that I was blinded, as the lid to my chest was opened. April pulled me out and held me up to show me off. I saw a bunch of bags all around the apartment and something gray sitting on the floor in a ball. April folded me up and laid me near to the gray ball. It began to move and walked over to me. Oh, it was a kitten. April patted me and said to the cat “This is your new blanket. Welcome home, Gryffin.” What was this? Was I getting a new owner? I heard April refer to the cat as her son, so I guess I was passed on to the next generation. Gryffin was warm and cuddly and I was reminded of when April was young. She was happy, which made me happy. It had been a long time since I was happy. And I saw the light. And I was warm.

Gryffin and Blankie

Gryffin and Blankie

It’s been 11 years since I met my new owner, and at the age of 39, I am still happy. I spend my days getting cuddled, chewed on, and just plan loved. My new playmate can only meow at me, and his nails are a bit sharp, but he is warm and playful. I won’t be wrapped around any of his toys and I won’t be used every night. But I am once again in the light. And I am loved.