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1. Thomas' Second 1156th Story



1156.     Once upon a time, there was a guy.  He was nobody.  He as just a character.  Like a character in a book.  He was a character in a garden book.  The character guy had buttons on his shirt.  And he had glasses on his face.  And he had a cap on his head.
 In the garden were plants.  There was grass and there were flowers.  And there was water for the flowers that fell from a water bucket.  And there was a mosquito that chased the character guy one way.  And a bee that chased the character guy the other way.  The character guy didn’t want to be in the garden book.  The character guy needed a new book.
The End.



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2. Thomas' Second 1155th Story



1155.     Once upon a time, there were two glowing loops.  The glowing loops were connected.  Like hand traps.  Like the hand traps that police use on bad guys when they put the bad guys in the car.  The glowing loops were caught like that.
The End.


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3. Thomas' Second 1154th Story



1154.     Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He had a dream.  He dreamt about Humpty Dumpty.  Humpty Dumpty was a statue.  And the Humpty Dumpty was moving.  It was a moving Humpty Dumpty statue.  And it scared Thomas.  Thomas was scared.  He needed a song.
The End.


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4. Thomas' Second 1153rd Story



1153.     Once upon a time, it was Thursday.  After Thursday comes Friday.  And then it will be Hallowe’en.  Then Thomas will get candy.  After Friday comes Saturday.  Then Thomas and Daddy will go camping.  The boys will go camping in a white camper.  And they will eat all the candy.
The End. 

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5. Thomas' Second 1152nd Story



1152.     Once upon a time, there was a girl named Charlotte.  Charlotte is a pretty name.  There are two Ts in Charlotte like there are two Ts in Nicholette.  Charlotte has two syllables.  Like Thomas.
The End.


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6. Thomas' Second 1151st Story



1151.     Once upon a time, there were train tracks.  And there was a boy.  The boy was jumping over the train tracks.  He jumped up so high he turned into a shadow.
The End.

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7. Thomas' Second 1150th Story



1150.     Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He had a new friend.  His friend had dark curly hair.  And a happy mouth.  And big eyes.  And a light brown face.  He was a boy named Jenay.  And he was Thomas’ new friend.
The End.


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8. Thomas' Second 1149th Story


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1149.     Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He had a snake in his back yard.  It was slithering up a tree.  And it was slithering down the tree.  Thomas saw it.  It was green and brown and yellow and blue. 
The End.
 \

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9. Thomas' Second 1148th Story


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1148.     Once upon a time, there were three pumpkins:  Happy, Goofy, and Scared.  They were Hallowe’en pumpkins.
The End.

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10. Thomas' Second 1147th Story



1147.     Once upon a time, there was a sprout.  He fell down to the ground.  And he was lost.  He was a little sprout. 
There were three flowers growing up from the ground.  And they said, “We’ll be your friend, little sprout.”
The End.


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11. Thomas' Second 1146th Story




1146.     Once upon a time, there was a rooster who saw everything. 
“Oooooooooooooooooooooh my!” said the rooster.
            The End.


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12. Thomas' Second 1145th Story



1145.     Once upon a time, there was a man with no name.  He flew up in the air.  And then he flew down with an umbrella.  His beard blew off.  The man with no name was a man with no beard.
The End.


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13. Thomas' Second 1144th Story



1144.     Once upon a time, there was an octopus.  His name was Ozzy.  Ozzy the octopus had a good life.  He swam across the sea for lunch.   Ozzy the octopus had a good lunch.
The End.


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14. Thomas' Second 1143rd Story



1143.     Once upon a time, there was a rooster.  It was a red Rooster, named Reddy.  Reddy the red rooster was on the roof.  He was a rock-and-roll rooster.
The End.


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15. My Miracle Baby


My Miracle Baby


I wasn’t supposed to be able to have children.  

I had struggled with endometriosis from the time I was fourteen, although I wasn’t diagnosed until I was twenty-seven.  Two months after the first surgery for endometriosis, I was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition.  The endo seemed to thrive with every hormone that was supposed to control it.   Less than a year later, I had a second surgery and the endo was even worse than the first time.  I had a third surgery for endo complications.  After that, I was facing a hysterectomy -- nothing more could be done for the endometriosis, and the scar tissue was already extensive.  I was not yet thirty. 

A few times, the pain was so intense that I seriously considered the hysterectomy, but something stopped me.  My head accepted that I could not have children, but my heart never did.  I lost a few relationships to what I thought was my inability to have children.  But my husband, whom I met when was 35, accepted me and all my flaws.  We married on my 37th birthday.  

A little over a year into our marriage, I became pregnant.  We were elated.  The pregnancy, however, only lasted about six weeks.  Pretty much almost as soon as I realized I was pregnant, the pregnancy was over.  I had four more very early term miscarriages over the next eighteen months.  By now, we were well into a children’s home system and the county system to adopt a child.  While taking the parenting courses to adopt, I had one more early term miscarriage.  After completing the courses and two home visits, I was pregnant for the seventh time.  I was three months along -- further than I had ever been.

Mine was a very high-risk pregnancy:  I was forty, I had six miscarriages, I had scar tissue from the endometriosis and surgeries, and I had a heart condition.  The pregnancy itself was not horrible for me.  It wasn’t until the last six weeks that I lost my ankles, and shoes were challenging because of the swelling.  At around five months, I developed pain around my ribcage on the right side.  None of the doctors at the high-risk hospital were concerned about it, so neither was I.  

The morning I was scheduled for my C-section, I was bumped back a few hours because of an emergency delivery.  By the time I was brought in for my delivery, I started having labor pains, but the pains on the right side were even worse.  The standard epidural was ineffective for my pain by then, so the dose was doubled.  My blood pressure bottomed out.  During the procedure, the additional fluid was too much for my heart and I developed congestive heart failure.  The epidural wore off before the end of the delivery and nothing more could be given to me.

I spent the first twenty-four hours after giving birth in ICU.  I saw my son once, for about ten minutes.  The next day I was moved to the critical care unit.  My son could only be brought up to me if there was a guard on the floor, so again, I only saw him once, but this time for an hour.  The third day, I could not see him at all.  I was in the hospital two more days.  Meanwhile, the pain from the C-section improved, but the pain in my right side never did.  It wasn’t until a night-time trip to the ER three months later than I learned I had developed calcium gallstones during my pregnancy.  

I don’t regret anything.  My son is worth it all.  And I do think, even now, he is something quite remarkable. 






After my son was born, he was cleaned up quickly and placed on me -- I couldn't hold him.  I was connected to oxygen, a heart monitor and I had a PICC line.  I saw him for maybe two minutes before I was taken to ICU.  

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16. Book 370


Struwwelpeter, tales by Heinrich Hoffman, adapted and illustrated by Bob Staake, Fantagraphic Books, 2006.

It's Hallowe'en, so the perfect time to review one of the most disturbing books in my collection -- this one.

This book has been in my to-be-reviewed stack for a few months, and, even though I have a miniature dragon guarding it all that time, my almost six-year-old son keeps managing to find it and pull it out of the pile.  I've been having to to bribe him to put it back.  The truth is, I am less concerned about this book giving him nightmares than I am that he will like it -- he seems to have inherited a rather dark sense of humor. 

I remember having a copy of an earlier translation of this book when I was almost six.  I didn't scare me at all; I was fascinated.  The stories are just as ridiculously macabre as they were when I first encountered them.  The illustrations, however, are delightfully and brilliantly playful, which makes them less terrifying, but somehow more disturbing.  In other words, absolutely perfect for anyone who possesses a rather dark sense of humor.



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17. Thomas' Second 1142nd Story



1142.     Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He was clapping the syllables.  There are two syllables in “Thomas” – clap, clap.  And there are two syllables in “Molly” – clap, clap.  But Molly can’t clap.  She has four feet, and zero hands.
The End.



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18. Thomas' Second 1141st Story



1141.     Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He got up for school.  It was dark.  After dark was morning.  Because that’s what it does. 
Then the sun went down.  And the moon came up.  And Thomas went to bed.  Because that what he does.
The End.


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19. Thomas' Second 1138th Story



1138.     Once upon a time, there was balloon.  The balloon was an acrobat.  The balloon was being acrobatic.  In the house.  There was too much acrobatics.  In the house.  Thomas put the balloon in his room.  To think about what he did.
The End.

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20. Thomas' Second 1137th Story



1137.     Once upon a time, there was a sad fish.  The fish was sad because he was swimming over an octopus.  And the octopus was playing fetch.  With the fish.
The End.


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21. Thomas' Second 1135th Story



1135.     Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He was eating cereal.  It was rainbow cereal.  He was eating a rainbow.  And it tasted like morning.
The End.


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22. Thomas' Second 1136th Story



1136.     Once upon a time, there was mommy named Mommy.  And there was a daddy named Daddy.  Mommy was sleeping with lower case Zs.  Daddy was sleeping with very big upper case Zs. 
The End.


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23. Thomas' Second 1134th Story



1134.     Once upon a time, there was a daddy named Daddy.  Daddy was shaving.  He was shaving his face.  But not his beautiful mustache.
The End.


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24. Thomas' Second 1140th Story



1140.     Once upon a time, there was a balloon named Ellie.  She was a purple balloon.  She lived above Thomas’ house.
The End.


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25. Thomas' Second 1139th Story


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1139.     Once upon a time, there were boxes.  Lots of boxes.  There was no one in the boxes.  And there was nothing in the boxes.  Except boats.  There was one boat in every box.  And there was no one in every boat.  But the boats were sailing.  And their horns were honking.  And their lights were shining.  But there was no one there.
The End.



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