Friday, June 20, 2008

She Will Be Mist

I dreamed about Ma last night. For a while, it was like she was alive again. She clucked and cluttered around me like a mother hen--a really small mother hen, if you can imagine, with a really large chick. "Look how big you've gotten, my little Melly! Are you taking care of yourself? Are you minding what Mr. and Mrs. Appleton say? Are you not giving little Jay too much trouble?"

"Yes, Ma," I told her.

"You're going to need new clothes for school. Oh, how I wish I had a needle and few bolts of denim to make into jeans! Your father wouldn't let me make you pants, as if somebody might confuse you for a boy. As if anybody would even see you!"

"Ma?" I spoke softly, worried about what I had to ask her and how she might reply.

"Yes, Melly?"

"I'm moving out of the barn. Off the farm, too. The Appletons are building me some kind of shed."

"Yes, I know," she said.

"So...does that mean I won't be able to see you anymore?"

Ma laughed, just like she used to when she got to a funny part in a book she was reading. "I'm not a ghost, Melly. That is to say, I'm not confined to the barn like some kind of haunting spirit. I'm with you, in your heart and in your head, wherever you go."

I wiped tears of relief from my eyes. "Thanks, Ma. I miss you sooooooo much!"

"And I miss you."

It was a perfect moment until I tried to scoop Ma into my arms to give her a gigantic hug. As soon as I touched her, Ma turned to mist and floated away in all directions. I guess she really was a ghost after all!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shed Some Light

Mr. and Mrs. Appleton came by today. They sat in the folding chairs Ma and Pa would use while I stretched out on my stomach with my chin on my fists, so we were just about eye-to-eye. The Appletons look much younger than Ma and Pa ever did. Mr. Appleton is a few inches taller than Pa, but very skinny. Mrs. Appleton is shorter than Ma and plump like a pear. I guess it was Jay's bad luck to get stuck with all their shortest and skinniest genes.

"Mrs. Johansson approved the plans for your new shed," Mr. Appleton told me. From the tone of his voice, I could tell he didn't like that old witch from Child Welfare any more than I did. "We're pouring the foundation this afternoon. It cost us a fortune to get a work crew on such short notice, but Mrs. Johansson was insistent."

Mrs. Appleton shot her husband a disapproving glance. "The cost of the shed is irrelevant. Melly needs a place to live and we are her guardians now."

"I already have a perfectly good barn," I told them.

"We're not building you a barn, dear," said Mrs. Appleton. "When we get done furnishing and decorating your new space, it'll look just like any other teenage girl's room."

I perked up a little. "Can I bring my cows?"

"No," Mr. Appleton stated.

"Then what about just Tinkerbell?" I sat up and looked around the barn until I found my the two-year-old heifer munching on hay in the corner stall. She is the only cow who stays indoors with me during the summer. She's more pet than cattle.

"No," Mr. Appleton said again. He seemed a bit shaken by the way I scooped Tinkerbell into my arms and held her in the crook of my elbow.

"Melly, dear, you have to understand," said Mrs. Appleton. "Mrs. Johansson thinks it's unsanitary for you to keep cows in the place where you sleep. She's looking for any possible excuse to take you away from us, and who knows what will happen if you fall into state custody." I wasn't sure what she meant by that but the thought of sleeping in a barn behind Mrs. Johansson's house sent shivers down my spine.

"Okay," I said, while stroking Tinkerbell's head. She mooed and nuzzled her nose into my armpit. As bad as I feel for myself, I feel even worse for Tinkerbell. She's going to miss snuggling up to me in the night.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Home Sweet Barn

I am so upset right now, I'm about to break this keyboard from pressing the keys too hard. Mrs. Johansson took a tour of my barn today--my home since the age of seven--and called it "unfit for human habitation." So what does that make me, some kind of animal?!!

Mrs. Johansson says I have to move out, and she has the power of the Child Welfare Division of Social Services behind her. She's going to wish she had the power of a bulldozer instead, cuz that's what it'll take for her to drag me out of my barn!!!

Where am I supposed to go? To a house with eight-foot ceilings and doors I can't squeeze through? The only place large enough for me to live in is going to be another barn!!!

The Final Final

I watched another basketball game on TV last night. They call these games "The Finals" even though so far there's always been more and more of them left to play. This was like the sixth one at least!!! They acted like this was the final "Final" but I just don't believe them anymore.

And why do the players change uniforms between every game? Are they trying to fool us into thinking they're a whole different team? The men in green from the other night were wearing white this time, and the men in yellow were wearing purple!!! It makes it hard to root for them cuz I like green better than yellow, but purple better than white.

The game wasn't even close, but still a lot of fun to watch. I think I could play this game. I really could!!!

The tallest player on either team is seven feet tall, and the basket is ten feet high. That means the tallest player could stand on the rim and I'd still be ten and a half inches taller than that--Ha-ha!!!

Wait till they have to play against me!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wash Day

I know I should apologize to Jay, but not today. It's Tuesday, and Tuesday is wash day here at Mills Farm. That's the day I wash my clothes, myself, and all of my cattle including the calves, heifers, cows, and Old Carl, our bull. Then I scrub down the entire barn. It's a whole lot of work, so I won't have time to search around for Jay Appleton. Maybe tomorrow...

I can carry a small cow under each arm or a few calves at a time with no trouble but I've always got to drag Old Carl by the scruff of his neck, kicking and complaining all the way from his pen to the creek, big baby that he is. I've got to get into the water and hold him down because he hates the soap and brushes. Every week he tries to slash or gore me with his horns, even though he should know by now that he never can. Washing the cows and Old Carl is tough work, but so much nicer to have sweet-smelling cattle.

I give special attention to Tinkerbell cuz she's my favorite, the one I hold in my arms as I sleep. She's a two-year-old heifer and don't tell anyone but I think she's "with calf"!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

One for Me, None for You!

Jay Appleton just came by the barn. I almost didn't hear his little fist knocking on the door. I'm not a very good judge of heights, cuz everyone looks short to me, but Jay is barely knee-high so he couldn't be much more than five feet tall. Maybe less. And he's wispy, like his arms and legs might snap from a light breeze.

"Mom wanted me to stop by," he said. That figured. There was no way he'd come near me on his own.

I shrugged like I didn't care. I couldn't help it. Jay is the only kid my own age that I've ever met. He could have been my first real friend, but he never talks to me unless his parents force him to.

"She made a pie." Jay held out a perfect blueberry pie, just like Ma used to make.

I took the pie from Jay's tiny hands and tossed it back with two large bites. It was soooo good, I wish I'd had a dozen more just like it. Mrs. Appleton can really cook!!!

I noticed Jay looking up at me in shock. "I thought we could share it," he said.

I dropped the empty pie plate back into his hands and wiped the last drops of blueberry from my lips. I leaned way down on my knees and elbows to get my face next to his pale, blood-drained, scared-to-death face. Then I belched so loud that it frightened the chickens in the coop across the yard. "That's your share," I told Jay.

The wispy little boy ran away like he was running for his life. I think he was worried I'd make a pie out of him next--Ha-ha!!!

But maybe I shouldn't have been so mean to Jay. Maybe I was still upset about my fatherless Father's Day. Or freaked out about this anonymous weirdo who keeps leaving me comments about wanting to lick my feet, and gross stuff like that...

Hey!!! For all I know, that anonymous weirdo was Jay, and he deserved everything he got!!!

First Father's Day without Pa

Yesterday was Father's Day so I visited Pa's grave. Well, I visit Ma and Pa every day, but yesterday I stayed longer and lit some candles I found in the loft.

Pa's grave is on our land not far from the house, in a graveyard with Ma and a bunch of older Millses who lived and died on the farm before I was born. When Pa passed there was nobody else to bury him, so I did it myself. I buried him with Red Thunder, his favorite horse.

When Pa was alive, sometimes I thought he loved that horse more than he loved me. I know that's not true but it sure felt that way!!! It's just that Pa got on with animals better than he got on with most people, including his own family and including me. That's why nobody came looking for Pa until months after he died. Nobody was left who cared about him but me.

There was another "Finals" basketball game on TV last night, but I didn't feel like watching it. I was too sad about Pa. I'm less sad today. Kind of angry, really. People better stay out of my way!!!

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Illustrator Challenge

Artists can create illustrations of me or the events in my life, as long as they are appropriate for my young readers. Any previous post on this blog can be illustrated. If I like an image that goes well with a post on the blog, I may add a small thumbnail version along with credit to the artist and a link to the full-sized image. Images of me posted elsewhere should link back to the "Giant Girl Rampages" blog.

If you want to draw a picture of me, here's what you need to know:

I'm 15 years old and almost (but not quite) 18 feet tall. Mrs. Appleton says I'm very pretty and well proportioned, which I guess is a complement. I'm not super thin or anything but I think I'm in pretty good shape.

I have dirty blonde hair that's kind of wild because I trim it with Pa's old hedge trimmers. My eyes are green as the ocean, as Ma always said, but I wouldn't know because I've never seen an ocean. My skin is tanned from being out in the sun a lot but not too dark and (usually) not burned.

I wear a blouse and skirt-shorts that my mother quilted for me three years ago. They look like a big patchwork cuz she used many squares of fabric and cowhide. I've grown since then, so the skirt-shorts no longer come down to my knees, my blouse is way tight, and there's a bit of skin showing in between. I don't have any shoes (and that makes me sad to think about so I usually don't).

If you do draw my picture, send the link in a comment so I can post it to my blog. Thanks!!!

Fan-Fiction Challenge

You can write fan-fiction about me if you want. Just let everyone know your story is made up and not real, unlike this blog which is absolutely 100% true.

Be sure to link back to my blog and I'll link to the stories I like best!!!