Blogging for Success in Motherhood & Life

MaryRose Lovgren

How to Make Your Photos Look Vintage & Impress Your Followers

Take a photo of the tiny white flowers that are falling over onto your side of the fence, the ones that belong to your neighbour because no one needs to know they aren’t yours. Use a filter to make the colors dull and green-tinged like the photo you have of yourself on Christmas morning, the one with your hair in pig-tails and the red-footed set of pajamas, the one taken before you opened any presents, before your parents told you. Upload these with the other photos you took yesterday of your son's lunch (a collection of cut-up vegetables and carefully rolled wraps forming a rainbow) and post them to your blog.

Include captions under each photo. Try applying alliteration: “Primrose Peeks Over Pickets.” Or, experiment with colons: “Bento Box: A Study In Color.” Add to each comments on the weather (“Fall Timidly Approaches Westgate Street But Summer Temps Linger”) and your children (“Annie Continues To Reveal A Predilection For The Arts; James Makes Friends So Easily”).

When you check the blog tonight there is a new comment, “Ooo baby dick needs a handjob.” The “baby” throws you off. Your mind goes to babies and then your own babies and then you hurriedly sign in to your account and delete it, leaving the post with “0 Comments.” You consider leaving your own comment, anonymously complimenting this mother on her child's lunches, but you do not.

Now all you can think about are handjobs. You think about the commenter and imagine him parked in a great black car under a great elm tree, the one at the center of the children's park. Your knees are bare and his hand is on one. He is smoking and his other hand is out the window and his hair is dark and the car is neat, no empty Burger Time cups or Goldfish crackers. The scene is in monochrome and the caption reads, “Is this what a man and woman do / Under the streetlamp, under the moon?"

 

How to Winterize Your Garden: A Fall Planting Primer

Start by pulling the weeds (which are really just the flowering plants that you purchased from Lowe’s at full price two months ago but failed to care for). Try not to scream when hundreds of spiders pop out of the grass. Keep pulling weeds so that when your husband comes back he can see how busy your days have been. Keep pulling weeds in the dark, digging long after children are in bed, digging until you can't see your hands in front of you.

Then leave your shoes outside and go in the bathroom and find some epsom salts for a bath. You find a bag of candy corn left over from the last Halloween that you had hidden under the sink, and here it is early October and the bag is still half full. Your heart is beating fast. You think, “Mustn't eat these,” and when you’ve finished them off you shove the empty bag deep into the bottom of the trash can and cover them with a handful of baby wipes.

 

How to Handle a Parking Lot Fender Bender

You accidentally run into a truck in the parking lot at Super Price ‘N Save. You didn’t see it. Your brain didn’t see anything, actually, it was running a tape about the sick kitten and the vet and how to hide a credit card charge for 545 dollars. The truck is green and your car mounts up the side of it and back down, causing a wave-like ripple to form across the truck body.

You stop. You are breathing hard. The clouds above the deserted field across the street are golden. You look into the cat carrier on the seat but you hear nothing. You gas the car a bit and start rolling forward but a man is banging on the passenger window and then he runs around behind the car and you stop and wait. He appears at the driver’s side window. You roll the window down.

"I'm sorry," you say. "I'm just tired."

“I know you're tired," he says. "We're all fucking tired."

 

How to Finally Get the Rest You Need

Turn out the lights half an hour before you plan to go to bed. Drink some warm herbal tea and stop using any devices with screens. Lay down in a darkened room with the temperature slightly cool (64 degrees is recommended by sleep experts). Empty your mind of all thoughts, including how you still have to buy pumpkins for the front porch and arrange them with a scarecrow from Craft Corner so that if he drives by he will see how festive the house looks and question what he is doing.

About five minutes after you fall into a deep sleep you hear the call of one of your children. You lay in bed, listening. You then slide your legs out and put your feet into your slippers. You put on the robe that he said made you look like you were battling an illness. You wear it all the time now. Now go through the house and check on things. You find your daughter with her covers thrown completely off. Your son is on his hands and knees, face planted in his pillow. You open the door of the bathroom. The kitten is curled up in the sink, and when he senses you there, he will raise his small black head and give out a trill.

Out in the living room everything is washed in blue. You walk to the glass door and open it. It is cold outside, so you put up the collar on your robe. You step out on the cement porch. The moon is full, glowing up to your left, which you think is East, but aren’t sure.

Now you hear something. It is a great horned owl, up in the redwood in the corner of the yard. And if you listen, the return call, from another owl in a tree across the street. You step out onto the grass. You walk out to the pool. On the surface of the pool are black leaves and they make shadows along the bottom. You think to yourself, What world is there under those floating leaves?

If they find you at the bottom, would they just be mad? Would they accuse you of being dramatic? Would you wish, at the very last moment, when the water finally enters your lungs and turns them to fire, that you could take it all back?

Author Portrait

MaryRose Lovgren has degrees in Zoology and English Literature from UC Davis and often uses her background in science to influence her naturalistic storytelling. Her fiction and art have both been published previously in Watershed Review, and she has just finished illustrating a collaborative chapbook about the mammals of North America. She believes stories are the truest form of communication between humans, outside of cannibalism.