Category Archives: postaday

A Zombie Story

Since today is Sunday and a new episode of The Walking Dead is on tonight, sharing the Spy’s zombie story he recently wrote seems quite appropriate. Well, it would probably be more appropriate to try and come up with a Sunday devotional. All Saint’s Day is in October, which is sort of about dead people…And zombies are dead…Ok, stop! Am I seriously trying to relate zombies to Christianity? I mean…that is pretty farfetched!

Or is it?

Or is it?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

This is not our church. Though I’m not judging. And maybe I should’ve gone to service here this morning just for material! We attend a more conservative (Lutheran) church and the sermons rarely involve zombies. So I will spare you a Spy Garden attempt at Jesus vs. zombies. Though it is sort of tempting.

The Spy’s zombie story is quite long: 1600 words!

The only thing I changed in typing this up were minor spelling errors. And twice I inserted my own comments in bold, for effect.

Enjoy!…

The Killing of the Zombie Werewolf by the Spy, age eight (written in fall of 2013)

One night I was walking in the woods. Then I heard a crack! I froze. Then I heard a big “grrrrrr!” I was really scared but I wanted to find out what it was. I started to get closer to the sound and when I got really close I saw two big red eyes. Then I got so close it started to walk toward me. I stepped back and it got closer. I could not tell what it was. But I could tell that it was a really big creature. I started to run and then I heard a giant “rarrrrrrr!” I was so scared that I tripped over a rock and started to roll down a hill and then I fell off a cliff and landed on my back.

I woke up about three hours later. I was still wondering what the animal was. I remembered seeing two red eyes. I was thinking so hard about it I could not feel the pain from falling off the cliff. When the sun came up I saw enormous footsteps. I started to walk after the footsteps. When I saw where they ended it was next to a big dead tree. There was a big hole in the tree and red blood came from the inside of it. I jumped down in the hole. I landed on a brick and I passed out.

I woke up six days later. When I woke up I was in a cage at the bottom of the tree. I saw a huge furry animal. I was right under a full moon. Now I knew what it was.  It was a werewolf. I was about to yell for help until the werewolf saw me. It ran to the cage and slammed into it. It opened its jaws and bit into the metal. I tried to climb up the tree and then I fell. I saw that the metal was starting to break. The werewolf could almost get in. I started to climb the tree again and when I reached the top I got out and ran. I spotted a rifle and grabbed it and I shot the werewolf. It kept running after me but slower. Then it finally dropped to the ground. I went to the werewolf and shot it again.

I was feeling really good about myself. I went to the road and found a 1971 Dodge Charger. I punched through the glass and it had a giant sound. All you could hear was “Beeeep! Beeeeep! Beeep!” I saw someone coming really slowly. I saw some blood on his shirt and I was pretty scared but not that scared. I hopped in the car and I saw a screwdriver and I made it go into the key hole. The car was on and I stepped on the pedal and I went so fast.  I ran over the zombie and he went flying. I stopped the car and backed up and ran him over again. He was dead. His brain was splattered everywhere. Then I smiled and slammed the pedal.

I drove up a hill and at the top there was a million zombies. I turned around and they heard me. They went running slowly after me. I thought that they were so slow that I turned back around. I ran over about 600 zombies. I was laughing so loud that it was louder than the beeping.

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH The car alarm is still going off?!

After that I stopped at a camp site in Atlanta. There was a bunch of people there with guns. There had to be a thousand guns. I got out of the car and they were pointing guns at me. I stepped back to my car and got out my rifle. I pointed it at them and said, “Put down the guns.” They said no and pulled the trigger. They missed me and I shot one of them. They surrendered and said, “Sorry for trying to shoot you. But we’re going to kill you anyways.”

I said, “Apology not accepted.” And I shot every single one of them. I took their guns and put them in the back seat. I drove out of the camp site and ran over some more zombies. It got really boring. I went for a little drive and then I saw another wolf but its arm was gone. I realized what it was. It was a zombie werewolf. I stepped on the pedal and then the werewolf zombie grabbed the car and threw it into the woods. The car landed in the middle of a giant mud puddle. I pushed the pedal and it could not get out. I pushed the pedal really hard and it finally got out of the mud. I drove out into the road again and the werewolf zombie was eating a man. I went the opposite way the zombie werewolf was. The werewolf zombie saw me and ran after me again. I pushed the pedal and it outran the zombie werewolf. It was so fast that I couldn’t even see the zombie werewolf.

I turned on the radio and the news was on. I turned up the radio and put a song on. Then zombies came running after me but they were running slowly. I turned around and ran over them all. I stopped at a gas station and filled up the gas in the car. Then I went in the gas station and saw some food. I realized I was really hungry. I ran to the food and put it in my car. I was eating gummy worms. I was going 200 miles per hour. I had “We will rock you” on.

HAHAHAHHAHAHA

The front of the car was busted so I fixed it up and then I saw a truck. It had a plow with spikes on it. I took the plow and put it on the front of the Charger. Then I got in the car

I imagine the 1971 Dodge Charger now looked something like this. And hopefully that infernal beeping had stopped!

I imagine the 1971 Dodge Charger now looked something like this.

Or this...

Or this…

And hopefully now that infernal beeping of the car alarm had stopped! HAHhahaha

…and the zombie werewolf was in the road. I ran over the zombie werewolf and it died. Its body was split in half. I drove over and over the zombie werewolf. It was shredded up into a million pieces. I drove back to where I killed the werewolf and I went to where I shot it and it was gone. I knew what happened to the werewolf. It was eaten by a zombie.

I climbed down the tree and I climbed through where the hole in the cage was. There was nothing but dead people. Then I left the tree and went home. The next day the earth was back to normal. There were no werewolves or zombies or zombie werewolves. There were a lot more people then when there was the zombie werewolf apocalypse. I was wondering why there were more people then when it all happened. I asked my neighbor, “Why weren’t there any people in the apocalypse?” They said because the apocalypse was so easy to survive that they all hid from everything that happened. I said “If it was so easy, why did you hide?” They didn’t answer and ran back home. I said, “Wait.” And they went faster. One of them went into a cage and threw meat in. I ran over but they were already gone and there was a zombie.

I went home. I turned on the tv and watched a movie then I heard a “grrgrgrgrgrgr” and I was so scared I ran for my life. I went out the door and got in my car. I stepped on the pedal and ran over a zombie. Then I got out of my car and saw 1,000,000, 000 zombies. I realized how many guns I had and got a mini gun out. I blew up a million zombies and there was still like 50,000,000 zombies left. The zombies were coming like a freight train off the tracks. I saw the giant bullets from the gun were gone. I went to get more ammo but there wasn’t any more left. I got out a bazooka and demolished all of them.

Then I went back to where I shot the zombie. It was gone. I went in the house next to the cage. The house was completely empty. I checked all over the house. There was no sign of a zombie. I went outside and looked in the woods and saw the zombie. It was split in half and burned. I saw that its guts were splattered all over. I wanted to know who the person who did it was. There was a track of car tires. I followed the tracks until they ended. They ended at a jail in the middle of the woods. There were zombies with their jaws off and their arms gone. They were in chairs and they were tied to scare crows. Then I heard a car coming there was a nuclear bomb attached to the top of it. Then I ran behind a bush and watched what he did. A guy got out of the car and he took the nuclear bomb out. He chucked the bomb and set it on fire. Then I ran for my life. I got to my car and pushed the pedal as hard as I could. I was going 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles per hour. I was slowing down the gas was almost empty. The then car stopped. I was next to a big giant pile of gas tanks. I got out of the car and filled up the car. I got back into the car and drove all the way to China. When I got there, there was 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 zombies. I took a machine gun and killed 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 zombies.

FINI

We had our yearly parent-teacher conference last week shortly after he wrote this. I met with his teacher and by that point had only skimmed through part of this story (which he wrote at school). I said “Uhhhhh yeah I think his story was pretty gory.” She cheerfully replied “Oh yeah, they were supposed to be scary stories, it’s all good.”

Then he got a glowing report on all fronts. Reading, math, behavior, all stellar.

I didn’t have to explain about why we let our kid watch The Walking Dead or his sense of humor or have any other awkward conversations about guns or gore. When you excel at academics and keep up social graces subversive expression is really quite charming.

It’s a lesson I learned in school and a lesson I’m glad to see the Spy is learning as well.

DSC_0809 (500x332)

Persimmons: Weather Lore

Persimmons are best enjoyed just on the cusp of rotten. It is a fine, fine line, one that probably reflects why you do not see persimmons at the grocery store. Unripe, they are hideous and offensively inedible. Overripe they are, well, rotten. But just before rotten they have a complex orange flavor that is slightly medicinal and weirdly artificial-tasting. They taste exactly like those cheap plastic sleeves of flavored ice (the orange flavor).

A Persimmon. Not-Quite-Rotten-Orange-Ice Flavored

A Persimmon. Not-Quite-Rotten-Orange-Ice Flavored

Normally we taste a few and let the rest fall to the ground and rot (plus the deer eat them). In a perfect world, we’d make preserves and sauces and other delicacies with complex flavor profiles by adding some calyxes of roselle. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Persimmons have a higher calling. They are meteorologists.

The persimmon seed: what will the future hold?

The persimmon seed: what will the future hold?

The past few years we have enjoyed the tradition of cutting into a persimmon seed to see what the winter will be like. A fork means it will be a mild winter, a spoon means lots of snow and a knife means cold winter winds will blow.

Get out the snow shovels!

Get out the snow shovels! (2013 seed)

I love winter, and snow is just so much fun and the more snow, the more wintering-garden pests will be killed off. I don’t really care what the weather will be in winter. Snow, no snow, cold, warm. It’s kind of like whatever, I’ll enjoy what I get. The weather changes drastically about every twelve hours in Missouri so I wouldn’t exactly buy a season pass to Hidden Valley on the sight of a spoon. I just think it is really fun to see the spoon, fork or knife (and we truly have seen all three!) in the persimmon seeds.

Note: If you do try and cut a persimmon seed be VERY careful. They are tough seeds so use a sharp knife and be very careful.

A green persimmon

A green persimmon

A ripening persimmon

A ripening persimmon

A not-quite-rotten persimmon

A not-quite-rotten persimmon…MMMmmm!

As for the upcoming 2014-2015 Winter? To be announced! The Spy collected a (specially chosen) persimmon seed for us to find out. Forecast coming soon!

94. How to Make Paper Snowflakes

Plain piece of 8.5"x 11" regular printer paper, fold over like so

Plain piece of 8.5″x 11″ regular printer paper, fold over like so

Cut off the excess. Now you have a square.

Cut off the excess. Now you have a square.

Fold vertically and horizontally

Fold vertically and horizontally

Cut along the folds. Now you have four squares.

Cut along the folds. Now you have four squares.

Fold the squares in half diagonally.

Fold the squares in half diagonally.

Again.

Again.

And again.

And again.

One more time.

One more time.

Now cut. Very little shapes out of the skinny triangle.

Now cut. Very little shapes out of the skinny triangle.

Helps to use sharp pointy scissors.

Helps to use sharp pointy scissors.

Then unfold and…

Snowflakes!

Snowflakes!

Then make more!

Then make more!

As I have cornered the blogging market on pom-pom making, so too shall Spy Garden be the ultimate source for making snowflakes out of paper. I’ve already posted the steps on how to make a snowflake once before (click here to see that post), though this version creates four snowflakes out of one sheet of paper (instead of one larger one as in the first tutorial) so it’s not completely the same. I am a sucker for white. I just love white on white. We’ve been watching Frozen Planet on Animal Planet which has lots of white on white. I’ve just learned that woolly caterpillars, aside from being mavens of meteorology, COMPLETELY freeze in winter. Then defrost in spring and do that for FOURTEEN years and then they turn in to moths, mate and die. It was a very cool segment. Beautiful cinematography. Amid the polar bears and the leopard seals, orcas, etc. I found the woolly caterpillar segment to be the most interesting and creative. And the fact that Alec Baldwin is narrating makes it really ridiculous and funny.

The snowflake tutorial images du jour were done by just throwing the paper on the scanner at the completion of each fold/step of the process. I love using the scanner for stuff like this because I am still struggling with capturing that crystal clear type image that comes so easy in natural light. Not that the images on the scanner are crystal clear but you know what I mean, it was a utilitarian approach.

I will keep (half-heartedly) trying and special thanks to Eliza for giving me some easy tips to try in my goal to learn how to take photos indoors. I think the best bet for indoor photography is to try on a very sunny day (i.e. take advantage of the natural light). We have an awesome winter in Missouri. One day it is 15 degrees, snows 10” then three days later it is 60 degrees. We have great southern exposure in our house so it’s getting brighter indoors by the day. It’s not like a deep, dark winter is coming and I won’t be able to tote a camera around outside! Indoor Photography Goal: Partially met, I’ve made peace with the fact that photography is all about the lighting and outdoor lighting is simply superior.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Exhibit B: And look! its even a grey, cloudy day.

Exhibit B: And look! its even a grey, cloudy day.

Here are some indoor experiments with ISO and flash and no flash…

This is the only LED thing we have. Not the biggest fan and prefer the "regular" warm white lights. But this star changes colors and is sort of fun.

This is the only LED thing we have. Not the biggest fan and prefer the “regular” warm white lights. But this star changes colors and is sort of fun.

Another view.

Another view.

A paper star (we made a few years ago). It is painted with gold paint.

A paper star (we made a few years ago). It is painted with gold paint.

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

This is a failed execution (blurry/bad lighting), but a good concept (views of art through the paper snowflakes):

DSC_3123 (500x337)DSC_3122 (500x332)DSC_3121 (500x324)

Me taking a(nother) terrible shot indoors:

DSC_3047 (438x500)

We collected the pine cones on our road and they are so fragrant and the pine sap is so sticky and aromatic. Very nice just the way they are. I’m not going to glitter them or bedazzle them. The snowflakes may possibly be the only Christmas craft of Spy Garden (but there will be A LOT of them). When I have a sunny day of southern winter light streaming into the house and I happen to be available to take pictures (until these conditions are met, I promise: no more shoddy “practice” shots on Spy Garden from this day forth!), you will see how lovely they all look hanging from the ceiling (with just white thread and a little piece of scotch tape). World’s easiest (and cheapest!) decoration with a big impact. I figure other “home and garden” type blogs (and Pinterest) is positively littered right now with glittered crafts and since Spy Garden marches to the beat of…the little drummer boy;)…this may be the lone Christmas craft of The House of Smoochie. Not that I have anything against glitter, but plain white paper is where it’s at. And with that,

We have the Spy’s Christmas lists to present (on white paper):

list (393x500)I like the “here is some cookies and milk, enjoy” So I guess his plan is to leave Santa this list on Christmas Eve. I mean, he is Santa, I guess he doesn’t need much of a heads up for these types of presents and probably has a couple 1971 Dodge Chargers in his bag, right?

There’s a Part II:

Cardinals List

Cardinals List

Sort of has an, “All work no play makes Jack a dull boy.” thing going on, eh? HAhaha

Let’s compare to a list he wrote eight months ago (I posted it back in April and its also typed up below for easier reading):

note1 (750x503)Scan (750x495)Scan3 (750x492)Typed:

Dear Santa: I want a four wheeler in 8 months. I also want a rifle. I also want a cowboy hat. I also want cowboy boots. I also want a horse. I also want a cowboy town. I also want a machine gun. I also want a Tommy gun. I also want a mini gun. I also want a hand grenade. I also want a cowboy vest. I also want an M16. I also want a tank. I also want a puppy. I also want a mini car that goes 1,000,000 miles per hour. I also want an electric helicopter. I also want an electric monster truck. I also want a real plane. I also want an electric motorcycle. I also want an electric space ship. I also want an ipad. I also want a million dollars. I also want a ham sandwich. I also want a Wii. I also want an xbox. I also want a cow.

HAHAHhahahahah