Sunday, January 30, 2011


Write about a gathering you hosted.

                Last night we hosted a gathering for the families that offered us so much support when Kai was in the hospital.  I realized that we’ve entered into a whole new arena with our kids.  The entire night, all of the kids, ages 11-6 played upstairs.  I worried that the kids from the other families would end up bored out of their mind without video games and beg their parents to never drag them to our house again.  Instead, the kids spent the entire time digging through our dress up containers.  They spent time rehearsing a play.  Then they performed it for all of the adults. 
For as much as I really love to get together with people, I often seem to avoid having people over to our house.  I worry that it is too small.  We don’t have a basement, media room, video games or (gasp) cable.   I don’t have all the perfect serving dishes like some of my friends or a go-to menu for fantastic meals.  None of that really mattered.  We just wanted to say “Thank You” to some really wonderful people, for their prayers for Kai, the afternoons watching Elizabeth baking brownies or having her over to play, letting our dog Pippi out when we couldn’t and even giving her a bath!  We wanted to say thank you for making us feel so protected and loved.  Having Kai in the hospital was scary, but it brought us many blessings; a new closeness with friends and the realization that kids don’t really care if you don’t have video games at your house as long as you provide superhero costumes and lacy dresses to run around in.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Clubbin' in the Kitchen

We have a station 93.9 fm that plays all of the teeny-bop and hip-hop stuff.  This is the stuff that music buffs wouldn’t be caught dead listening to while their other high minded friends were around.  This station is like many in varying states.  They recycle the same 100 songs over and over.  I am embarrassed to admit this, but I listen to this station often.    When put it on, my inner feminist often screams in protest.  “These lyrics are offensive and degrading to women!!”  I respond to this little internal tantrum by patiently telling her to hush-up for just a minute.  I just need to dance in my kitchen.  With that, the volume goes out and my inner feminist throws up her hands in disgust stomping off to pout in a corner. 

Recently, I underwent surgery on my abdomen for an “epigastic hernia”.  You know how people say, “Geez, relax!  You’re going to have a hernia.”  Well, that’s just what I did or didn’t do.  Did get a hernia, didn’t relax.   Apparently, I over did it on the exercise ball one day and tore some fibers that attach my abdomen muscles together down the middle.  The doctor assured me that there is so way to strengthen those fibers since they aren’t muscle.  I sighed in relief, as I live in fear of being called a wimp.  What I learned from that surgery is that having your abdominal muscles sliced open really does hurt like hell as your body recovers.  You really do use your abs in everything you do.  I thought working out would protect me from some of this pain.  But apparently, bodily trauma is the great equalizer among humans, in shape or not, it’s gonna hurt.

 More importantly than the pain, I realized how much I laugh and dance each day.  After my surgery, both of these were impossible for at least five days.  My husband has the wonderful gift of making me laugh in almost any situation.  I had to instruct him time and time again to stop being funny.  As a result, life hasn’t been quite as silly as usual.  Today, exactly two weeks later, I turned on our kitchen radio and danced.   The lyrics are still terrible.  My inner feminist still turns purple in protest, she may end up with her own hernia soon…but my hips shift side to side, my head bops back and forth and my stomach only hurts just a tiny bit.  I can almost believe myself as I sing along, “…the club can’t even handle me right now! …Put your hands up!”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


In what way would you like to be healthier on December 31 than you are today?

To be quite honest, I hope to be healthier this year by not worrying so much about being healthy.  I will drink a Diet Coke every now and then and not listen to the crumbling of my bones from calcium depletion.  I will eat a hamburger once in a while without arguing for the rights of the workers in the meat packing industry.  I will drink milk that is not organic without monitoring my body for an unidentified growth or an extra limb.  I will eat sugar in various forms of cakes, chocolates and cookies without cursing my lack of will power.  I won’t do it often enough to need support group, but the overall effort will make me healthier in spirit. 

Monday, January 10, 2011


Write about a number that's important to you, and why.

Numbers that are important to me right now, my weight, 135.2.  The number of pooping accidents Pippi is having a day right now, already one today.  Yesterday it was 2.  The number of minutes I can sit quietly in meditation without scratching my nose or feeling any other irresistible tickle- 3.  The number of child care and puppy care arrangements I need to still make this week- 1.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Five word story

This little story is almost 3 years old.  I found it while looking through my "Kate's Writing" folder on my computer.  I needed to look for something else today, as when I went to The One Minute Writer blog, she didn't have anything posted for Sunday. 

How this works is you take 5 random words, write them down, and then try to come up with a story. Elizabeth and I did this together one day.  Since she is 8 now; she was only 5 when we did this.  I am leaving all the colors and fonts as they are, since this is what she picked the day we worked on it.

Five Word Story
Elizbeht and Kate Kneifel

Pine tree

The pine tree stood alone in the forest and watched the snow drift slowly to the ground.  This was not the first snowfall of the year.  The pine tree remembers the first snow fall well.  On that day a strange thing happened.  The pine tree was enjoying the brisk winter day, when all of a sudden an exasperated toucan fell out of the sky and landed with a thump in the pine trees branches.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing there you nutty bird!” the pine tree yelled.

The toucan brushed the snow off his feathers and looked around him with a set of small marble-like eyes. “I apologize for my inappropriate landing just now.”  The toucan bowed to show his sincerity.  “You are certainly an interesting looking tree now aren’t you?  I have never quite seen anything like you!  I knew I shouldn’t but I thought just a quick swoop in to take a better look would be just fine.  But goodness, things often times end up more difficult than we originally think don’t they?” The toucan brushed a few flakes of snow off his grand yellow beak and peered into the pine trees dense branches.  “May I ask, just how is it that other birds manage to land on your branches without pricking themselves with these sharp little needles of yours. I seem to have had a bit of trouble. “ The toucan looked down at his multi-colored tuft of feathers and pushed out various pine needles that shock out at odd angles all over his body.  He watched with a wry smile they tumbled to the forest floor with a few swipes of his wing.

Without waiting for an answer to his questions the Toucan rambled on.  “I am originally from the rain forest, although I guess you knew that huh?  Probably don’t see the likes of other Toucans too often around  here I’ll bet.”
The toucan curiously examined the pine tree from the tip top to the very bottom. “ Mmmm, so you certainly are not an apple tree.  Outside of those lovely brown cones I see hanging from your branches, I do not see anything hanging from your branches.  I was so hoping to taste an apple on my travels.  They do sound just delightful!”  The toucan opened and closed his beak with a soft clacking sound, imaging the crisp juicy fruit.  Anything is better than a mango.   Goodness if I never eat a mango again that will be fine with me!”  He stretched his neck like a tired cat and took a deep breath of the cold winter air.

The pine tree had had just about enough of listening to this strange creature.  Apple tree?  Mangos?  Plus, this creatures voice seemed to be echoing throughout the entire forest, shattering the pristine quiet of the snowfall this early morning winter day.  What precisely did this rude little aviator want?
“Do you always talk this much?”  The pine tree asked.  He half expected the the toucan to be flabbergasted by such a forthright question.

Instead he looked up and said, “Oh yes!  Quite more actually.”