Krampus Tree continued – What do I deserve?

So, two days later… TWO days later, Krampus finally returns. With a decoration.

“Where the hell have you been!” I shouted. “You said you’d be here tomorrow!”

“So you’re complaining that I’m early?” he said, cocking one hairy, scary eyebrow.

“No! I mean you said two days ago you’d be coming back tomorrow! Which would have been yesterday, only now you’re here today so you’re late!”

“Are you sure about that?”

I went over the whole argument in my head and had to admit, I might not be right. Today, tomorrow, yesterday, two days ago?

“Whatever. It doesn’t matter. I’ve been stuck here with this horrible Krampus tree for the last two days, and you said you had decorations for it. So, what did you bring me?”

Krampus stretched his arms overhead until his spine cracked three times. “Oh, this isn’t something I brought you. It’s something Santa sent you.”

Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a Flaming Lump of Coal.

Krampus tree!

A flaming lump of COAL?!

“Oh, that’s… lovely,” I said. “What did I do to deserve that?”

Krampus laughed so hard he started choking. “You have to ask?!”

So anyway, he farted a few times, laughed some more, and made lots more threats to come back… sometime with more decorations.

So yeah, flaming lump of coal. Flippin’ flaming lump of coal. Like I deserved this.

Yeah, I know. I probably did.


Isn’t it lovely?!

(The flaming lump of coal was made from bamboo felt, embroidered with DMC embroidery floss. I used a bit of rick-rack ribbon for the hanger.)

Oh Krampus Tree! A bad poem of misery and woe

I came downstairs this morning, certain something waited for me.
Something bright and festive that made me want to flee.

I found it on my kitchen table, as artificial as my hair.
Its pink and spiny branches caught me unaware.

But worse was him who brought it, this awful Krampus tree.
For Santa doesn’t bring such things, they only come from likes of he!

He looked just like Tom Hiddleston, which really ain’t so bad,
until I caught a whiff o’ him. That smell would drive you mad.

He stank just like an aged camel, a geriatric steed
that on prunes and beans and rotted fish too eagerly did feed.

“What horror have you brought me? Oh why this Krampus bush?!
Haven’t I been good this year?! Haven’t I busted my tush?!”

“Oh yeah, you’ve been all kinds of good,” the old goat said and farted.
“But I really like to pick on folks, and be honest, you’re black-hearted.”

“Not me!” I cried in my defense. “I’ve been good this year, I swear!
I swear it on my mother’s grave and the color of my hair!”

“Don’t lie to me,” old Krampus said. “I know just what you did.
You’re a Girl Scout cookie mom. Who are you trying to kid?”

“I didn’t kill no Girl Scouts! I didn’t threaten their mums!”
Then I sighed and confessed my sins. “Maybe I broke some thumbs.”

“But there were extenuating circumstances! Cookie payments were due!
I had seven thousand boxes stored in a garage made for two!”

“So I threatened all the parents and I broke a couple thumbs!
But they finally sold those cookies, each and every one!”

“A few fractured digits does not a Krampus coniferous merit.
Take this horror away from me. I swear I cannot bear it!”

“Nah, broken thumbs is no big deal,” Krampus did agree.
“But I don’t like you anyway, so you get the bloody tree.”

And then he started to sing. Oh gods, he sang a song!
It was all about the Krampus tree, and I had to sing along…

“Oh Krampus tree, oh Krampus tree!
You are so pink and creepy!
Oh Krampus tree, oh Krampus tree!
The sight of you brings weeping!
Your branches hold such awful frights!
For horror-days and horror-nights!
Oh Krampus tree, oh Krampus tree!
You are so pink and creepy!”

“There!” he smiled and patted my head. “That wasn’t so bad now, was it?
It’ll be much worse tomorrow,” he added as he farted.

He put a finger up his nose and waggled his left thumb.
“I’ll be back tomorrow, with some deco-ra-sheyuns!”

Then off he flew with a belch and a fart. I wished that I were dead.
Instead I’m stuck with this stupid tree, and a creeping sense of dread.

What horrors will tomorrow bring? And how long must I bare
This miserable Krampus tree? Life is so unfair.

Krampus tree!

Oh, the horror.

Episode 28 – Misadventures in Sex

This cartoon originally ran over on the Oh Get A Grip blog, where I post every Friday on various topics of sex and writing. Last Friday was my turn to talk about sex and humor, two things I know nothing about. If you want to know the details behind this particular cartoon (it’s a TRUE STORY!!), check out my post at OGG.

This particular cartoon marks the first time I’ve drawn a toon on my desktop computer as opposed to my laptop computer. Manga Studio Debut 3, the first version of the comics program I use, wouldn’t play nice with Vista (which is to say, it wouldn’t work AT ALL!). But MSD4 works quite nicely on my desktop, perhaps even better than it works on my aging laptop. And with my Bamboo Fun drawing tablet hooked up to the desktop, that made for a really nice clean drawing experience. Hell, I didn’t even have the usual crash and burn problems I’ve been having with the word balloons! I may make a permanent switch and draw on the desktop from now on.

It’s been busy as usual over at la Casa de Madden. I went to EPICon and returned, more or less in one piece, and was totally freaked out by the number of people who saw my name tag and shouted, “I know you! You’re Cynical Woman!” In fact, I wore my devil horns on Thursday night to the EPICon mixer, and then got scolded for not having them on during the day on Friday. I made sure to correct that error and wear them all day Saturday.

The most interesting thing to come out of EPICon 2009, for me at least, was a chance to sit and talk with Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. I managed to snag a consulting appointment with her, and confessed to her that I’m suffering from blog schizophrenia, i.e. I have too many blogs and can’t decide easily what content I should put on which blog. The fact is, I have three blogs – one for the cartoons, one for my day to day life as a working mom, and one for the explicitly erotica stuff. My life as a stay-at-home mom is so entwined with my work as a writer, that there are only very rare instances when I can separate the two, and most of what I do day to day as a stay-at-home mom who writes erotica could easily go into one general blog. It’s just that occasionally, I really do like to stray into the very adult territory. Some days I like to blog about how I create erotic artwork, and I want to use explicit images for examples. Some days I like to blog about very specific topics on sex that aren’t really appropriate for the general, albeit adult, audience that I think frequents my day to day blog. But these sexually explicit posts aren’t nearly frequent enough to justify me keeping a full-blown erotica blog when 95% of what I blog about would actually appeal to work-at-home parents in general.

So Penny advised that I consolidate the blogs, as much as possible, AND she advised that I go with the brand name I have managed to make for myself – Cynical Woman. It’s good advice and I intend to take it. Over the next few months, I’ll be setting up a new website over at (and getting rid of the flash site that’s currently there), and I’ll be putting the cartoons, the mommy blog, and everything else over there. I will offer separate pages for the adults only stuff, like the art gallery and the free reads I have at, but everything will be coming under one roof, hopefully by June.

So if you see a little construction going on around here, you know what’s up!

Terms Of Endearment And Other Weird Crap I Say To My Kids

I came up with some new lovey-dovey things to say to the kids. Earlier this week, I started telling Sam she smells like sunshine and kisses. She does, actually. She plays outside a lot so she smells like a warm, sunny day, and she’s so soft and cuddly these days that I can’t resist kissing her. So she smells like sunshine and kisses. Cassie smells a bit like her preschool most of her time, meaning she smells vaguely of the disinfectant they use to hose everything down. Man, all that disinfectant and Cass still brings home the creeping crud five times a year. But I didn’t want to tell Cassie she smelled like disinfectant because that’s no fun, so instead I told her…

“Honey, you smell like rainbows and fairy farts!”

You know that went over well.

An Obsession With Nipples

Maybe it’s a breast feeding thing, but I’ve recently come to realize that both my children have an obsession with nipples. Well, not Cassie so much. She **had** an obsession with nipples when she was about Sam’s age (almost two) but I think she eventually grew out of it. Sam, however, is in the full height of nipple obsession, which means it will be a while before I can take her bra shopping with me.

Both girls were breast fed. In fact, I just weaned Sam about two months ago. I had planned to let the little fart wean herself, but she had already passed the point that Cassie stopped (18 months) and was not really nursing any more so much as chewing my nipples to death. I think she saw that last before bedtime nursing as a delaying tactic. She would chaw away and rather than drift off to sleep, keep herself awake by thrashing around in my lap, occasionally bashing me in the head with her flailing arms and legs. I got tired of this after a while and decided that since she wasn’t going to peaceably wean herself, I’d just have to do it for her and so I cut out that last nursing cold turkey.

Needless to say, what followed was a couple of weeks of Sam grabbing at my breasts right before bedtime, demanding to be fed. “Nurse! Nurse!” she’d scream. My solution was to hand her to Michael, who’s nipples are too hairy for Sam to chew on. Mine however, are still fair game, and Sam takes every opportunity to point them out when she sees them. If she sees me in the bathtub, Sam will point and go, “Nipples. Nurse.” That is the quickest way I know of for her to end my bath. I can’t get dressed fast enough, especially if I see her jaws open up to clamp down on my recently reclaimed nipples. Not that I think it will hurt if she latches on — god knows she killed off all the nerve endings in my nipples long ago — but I honestly to feel like dealing with the thrashing and beating that came to accompany those last nursing sessions. I mean really, do I need to be beaten black and blue by my toddler?

Sam is also fascinated with her own nipples, much the way Cassie was at her age. She will pull off her shirt to show them off at odd occasions. Again, makes it a little hard to go out with her in public places. And she will point out nipples if she sees them anywhere she goes (like if she sees a shirtless man in a poster or advertisement). Cassie used to do this. I remember one time sitting in zen meditation at home, with my Buddha figurine on the floor in front of me. Cassie walked up to the figure, looked at it and then pointed at the bare side of its chest to proclaim, “Buddha! Nipple!” And that killed that afternoon’s meditation, you can be sure.

Cassie is also the child who once ran through the bra section of a lingerie department in a J. C. Penny’s, screamaing, “Boobies! Boobies!” as she snatched bras off the rack. To this day, I still cannot walk into J. C. Penny’s.

But Sam’s latest fascination is not with anything on my chest, but rather with the small brown mole on my left arm. I’ve had this mole for as long as I can remember, and both kids are obsessed with it, to the point of driving me crazy. They like to poke and prod at it, even though I’ve told them not to. Sam in particular likes to grab at it and shout out, “Nipple!” “No, no,” I say. “That’s a mole.” “Nipple!” Sam insists. I live in fear of the day when she’ll try to latch on. If you ever see me walking around with a toddler fastened onto my left elbow, you know what happened.

You Beast!

There’s domestic trouble in the Madden household. Sam got into her sister’s Disney Princess Barbie dolls with disturbing results. I found Belle and Prince Eric in the master bathroom together, naked. I was wondering who kept humming “Be My Guest.” The Beast is going to be so pissed off when he finds out about this.

Conversations with Cassandra

This morning, Sunday, around 10:30 AM. I’m upstairs checking e-mail. Sam is playing in her room. Michael and Cassie have just returned from church. Cassie comes running upstairs…

Cassie: “Mommy! We’re home!”

Cassie bounds into the room.

Me: “Hey, sweetie. How was your first day of Bible school?”

Cassie, flinging her arms wide: “Excommunicated!”

Me: “What?”

Cassie, huge grin on her face: “I got excommunicated!”

Me, wondering who put her up to this: “Why were you excommunicated?”

Cassie, now laughing: “For asking questions!”

Me, shouting downstairs: “Michael! Get up here…”

The funny thing is, Michael told Cassie to tell me she was excommunicated, but he didn’t tell her to tell me she was excommunicated for asking questions. When he heard about that, he fell over laughing.

Posted by Picasa

Who Is Harold Rockin’?

Cassie has come up with a new nick name for Sam. It’s Harold Rockin’. I have no clue why she calls Sam this, but she does. For those of you who don’t know, Sam is short for Samantha so the name Harold Rockin’ really confounds me. The first time I heard Cassie use that nick name was a couple months ago. It was right after I had applied some sunblock to Sam. Sam has this very fine blonde hair and she hates to wear hats so to protect her scalp from burning, I doused her head with sunblock and worked it into her hair. The end result was this wild, crazy hair style, sort of like Albert Einstein on a bad hair day. Cassie took one look at Sam and shrieked, “That’s Harold Rockin’!” Then she collapsed in a fit of laughter. Sam has been Harold Rockin’ ever since.

I’ve tried asking Cassie where she got the name Harold Rockin’ from. Is it a cartoon character? No. An imaginary friend? No. Is it the name of one her friends at preschool? No again. Best I can figure, Cassie just came up with the name on her own, and she uses it every time Sam’s hair gets wild. Whether it be spikey with sunblock or tousled from the tub, wild hair gets Sam dubbed Harold Rockin’.

Maybe he’s a rock star? Who knows.


Harold Rockin’ and her sister Cassandra Jane.

Posted by Picasa

How To Make Blue Poopie

For this recipe, you will need:

One (1) baby
One (1) pint of blueberries
One (1) high chair (optional, but recommended unless you like cleaning mashed blueberries off your carpet and furniture)


Feed one (1) pint of blueberries to one (1) baby. Wait 12-36 hours. Change baby’s diaper. Contents of diaper should be grayish navy blue, with small round pieces in it that look suspiciously like whole blueberries.

And that’s it. Voila! You’re done!