Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Why can't men find the trash can? My husband went on a rant this weekend because our son left his empty ramen noddle wrappers on the table after creating a midnight snack on Friday. He kept bringing it up all weekend..."The trash can is 3 FEET from the table! Why can't you just throw them in the trash can?"

This morning I tossed the empty toilet tissue roll in the trash can - since it was obvious that my husband wasn't going to - it has been on the counter for 2 days. (The trash can is under the tissue holder and the counter is across the room.) I also threw away his fast food foam cup that he brought in with him last night. Admittedly, I do not have a trash can in the living room where he left the cup, but he passed two on his way to bed. We won't talk about the empty Mt. Dew can on the front porch - I'm not quite sure who left it there, but I don't drink Mt. Dew. Or the vacuum cleaner that he decided was trash, but hasn't quite gotten to the curb. He did toss my toaster oven, with the promise he'd get me another one, because we had a small fire in it and the glass was smoked. (It's been 3 years now, I still don't have a new one.)

He does complain about the way I keep my car. But there is no trash in my car. Yes, there are things that need to be brought into the house, there are things I need to take into my office, things my grandchildren left, and there are things I might need Friday's football game if it rains or gets too cold. There is also my 4 folding, camp chairs that I have in there to safeguard. The last ones I had got into the house, then into his SUV, and then to a campout. The last I heard one had fallen into the camp fire and one was being fished out of the lake. He can keep them now - and I'm sure he will. He won't be able to find a trash can...

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Things We Do For Out Kids

Friday is the big day of our week because it's football night! I could care less about the local college teams or any of the nearby professional teams, but high school football is entirely another story. You see my son is on that team and I live and breathe Cardinal football!

For example, this past Friday night - it had been a dark and gloomy day, with a forecast of rain in the early evening and then clearing. Now, I don't really like being outdoors (my husband tells
people that I hate grass), but what I really hate is being uncomfortable. I don't want to be too hot or too cold, but most of all I don't want to be wet!! Now I was prepared for rain - I had a jacket, 2 umbrellas, and a towel to wipe down the seats. We
waited until just before kickoff to arrive and the rain had stopped - or so we thought.

It was a nice evening - not too hot, not too cold - not too wet.
Until the 2nd quarter.
Then the rain started.
Nice and gentle at first.

We popped open the umbrellas and scooted close together. Everything was fine. Even our granddaughter was happy.

We stayed in our seats during half time because they were dry where we were sitting, but if we got up they wouldn't be dry any longer.

The third quarter started and the opposing team fumbled the ball. Our offense ran out and the coach finally put my son on the field! Yeah!!! Then we fumbled the wet ball and the offense (including my son) left the field. The opponents made one huge play and were within 20 yards of scoring a touch down. My son was sent out to play defense (which is what he wants to play). YEAH!!! They lined up, got into position - and the ref blew his whistle. Everyone stood up, looked at the officials and both teams, the benches, coaches, trainers, and water boys all started running off the field. Parents (who were all that was left in the stands) sat in the rain wondering what was going on. Finally, it was announced that lightening had been spotted and the game was delayed for 30 minutes. Well Lightening is a different matter and so, the parents reluctantly gave up their dry seats and headed for the shelter of the concession stand area. After 10 minutes, they called the game. 40-0 we won. Somehow the joy of a win was lost. My son missed his opportunity to play and I was wet from the knees down. yuk! This had better be the last of the rain this fall!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Things I Have Learned Recently

1. Color pencils do not scan well. The scanner picks up the wax from the pencil and creates shine that distorts the colors and even some of the shapes. So in order to show my art now I have to find the camera, be able to adjust the lighting without disturbing other family members, and find suitable backdrops for photography. Some day that will all happen at the same time and then I will post my pictures. Don't hold your breath....

2. When the phone rings at 5 am it IS something bad. At 4:55 I sent a text my son, who replied that he was on his way home. At 5:05 am the phone rang. "Mom, I had a wreck." Thankfully he was less than 1 mile from home, so it didn't take us long to get there. He wasn't hurt, but the Jeep is a total loss.

3. We should all aspire to be wrecker drivers. It cost $100 to tow the Jeep 1/2 mile.

4. Panic attacks and stress can make you feel like you're having a heart attack. Only this one lasts for days/weeks. And the more you think you may be having a heart attack, the more stress you are adding to your life. The more stress you add, the more it feels like a

5. The difference between local TV and satellite TV is that now I pay to have nothing to watch.

6. If you live near me be forewarned - you have to drive to another town (at least 20 minutes) to buy a spool of thread.

7. Blogs that aren't updated are harder to write. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Art

My first class this year was a watercolor pencil with Tina Sue Norris. We explored different ways of putting color to the paper (multi media board) and how to move the color once it was there. It's hard to see in this scan, but the background is white trees, already stripped of all their fall leaves. I really like this medium and I love Tina Sue Norris as a teacher. She is so calm, so sharing, and so funny. As she says, you can't mess up because it is all fixable! My kind of project!!

We used drafting film as a palette - scribbling the pencil in a smal circle to transfer the pigment to the film, then picking the color up with a wet brush. This gave a nice wash to the leaves. After the wash dried a little detail was added with the pencil dirctly applied to the paper, then blended with a wet brush. The background was color washed, then the tree trunks were penciled in and blended. Very quick and easy, but really a nice detail.

My second class was a tiger-striped cat that has already been disposed of and will never be seen again. I did learn some things from that class and I will try again, but with my own techniques and style. This class and I just didn't see eye to eye.

I have more classes, but my scans have ended up in nowhere land and I can't seem to find them. I will continue this soon - I hope!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm Baaacccck!

I just spent a week in art heavan - for me at least!

I attended the Heart of Ohio Tole convention (HOOT) in Columbus, OH. This was my sixth time to attend and I can't wait for next year!! I was able to take 5 color pencil classes and 1 acrylic gouache. I floated home in a haze of what I can do and plans for many, many art projects. I hope I can do at least a fourth of them this year.

Picutres will be posted (tomorrow, hopefully), for those who care to look, but mostly for me - because I DID!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Growing Up and Growing Old

Today is my son’s 18th birthday. My son is still at football camp. On his birthday. Before he left he said, “Mom, this is the last time you’ll see me as a 17-year-old.” My heart has been hurting ever since.

My baby is grown up. When my daughter turned 18, it didn’t hurt like this, although it did a few weeks later, when I drove away from that dorm in the middle of Kansas without her! But I had her brother and he kept me busy (he was 5 at that time), so I didn’t have time to think. But this is my last one. My nest is not empty (he says he is going to a college where he can commute, because he’s not leaving home), but it seems different. Of course, he’s been gone all week, so the house should seem emptier, but we’ve been at VBS ever since he left, so we haven’t had much time at home. And our oldest granddaughter has obligingly asked to spend the night with us twice, so she has been an extra person, but it’s just too quiet or something.

My emotional milestones have never been the same as everyone else’s. My mother wept for days when each of her children started first grade. I pulled away from the school with a happy heart. The day my daughter started middle school (at my old Jr. High) I cried all the way to work and for most of the morning. When I dropped my son off for his first day at middle school (now moved to my old high school) I sobbed so hard I had to pull over. When my daughter started college it really didn’t bother me (except for the 800+ miles between us), but her graduation day was one of the saddest days I have experienced.

I don’t know why 18 is hitting me this hard….maybe it’s just because this is the first birthday that he hasn’t been at home. Or this is his last year to play football. Or because he’s a senior this year. Maybe it’s because he keeps reminding me that he’s 18 now. Maybe it’s because I really think he doesn’t need me anymore…..

Of course when school starts and I’m pulling my hair out over his grades, everything will be back to normal.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Art - My Way

It's almost August - my favorite time of the year. First of all both of my children were born in August - the 3rd and the 5th - (and many years apart!). But the second week of August is my anual pilgramage to Columbus, OH for an awsesome convention called HOOT.

HOOT stands for Heart of Ohio Tole and while it was created and is dedicated to Tole and Decoraitve Painting, they also have classes availble in other media. Oil and watercolor classes have been a mainstay over the past years, but recently color pencil classes have been available. Last year I took 5 color pencil classes and I am signed up for 5 again this year. I can't wait!

I am taking a color pencil class with Pat Lentine. Last year I did this color pencil drawing in one of her classes. This year I'm taking a portrait of a collie. I love her children more, but the collie is a great design and she will teach how to do hair/fur. She is really a good teacher and I love her classes.

Another class I'm taking is with Marian Jackson. She is a wonderful teacher too. I had two classes with her last year and have done a packet of hers on my own. St. John's Rose was a real stretch for me and this is my second attempt. (The first attempt is long gone and hopefully was not seen by anyone!). This would have been a great class for me to take, but I couldn't get to the live one and had to settle for the packet. This is probably my favoite color pencil drawing yet, but I'm still new to this.

I am taking one acrylic class this year. It's a closeup of a deer head. My husband is very supportive of my 'hobby' and makes sure that no matter what else is going on I get to HOOT, so this one's for him. I hope I can do it justice!

If you want to see more of my work - I don't photograph much of my art - but some of it is here.

I will be sure and post my finished classes from this year too.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ghost Stories - Part 2 Update

Just today, as I was desperately trying to find a photograph that I had packed away, my son (who doesn't even know I have a blog and that this is a 'current topic') picked up an old, framed portrait of an ancestor and told me that was the same man he'd talked to. I told him that man had never lived in the house and it couldn't have been him, but my son is still insisting that it is the same man. My mother said that it is one of her mother's relatives and never even lived in Georgetown. He still swears it's the same man. That puts a whole different spin on a "haunted house!"

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ghost Stories - Part 2

My mom's house has been her home since she was 18 years old (1945). She moved to Brazil for a 18 months (she counted every minute until she was back home) and West VA for a few months, but other than that she's been in the same house. She doesn't believe in ghosts and almost always has an explanation for what her children proclaim to be ghosts.

My first bedroom to myself was at the top of the stairs in the front of the house. It was part of the original house that was built in the late 1700's/early 1800's. I lay in bed every night and waited for the "ghost" to come up the steps. I could hear the kitchen door shut - downstairs and all the way to the back part that was added on in the 1900's. I could hear the kitchen cabinet (the old, metal type that was popular in the 1930-1940's) drawers being pulled open and closing again. I could hear the piano stings jangle as if someone were walking down the hall past the piano. And I heard them come up the steps, 1..2..3.. and so on until they got to the top step, ...21. Then all was silent and I could go to sleep. My mother wrote this all off as the "house settling". You'd think a house that was that old would have settled.

Once, when my brother was in my room, he heard the footsteps and he refused to come into my room for quite awhile after that. His room was just across the hallway from mine, but he had never heard any of it. Years later, he, his wife and daughter spent the night at my mom's house. His daughter, my daughter, and I were sleeping upstairs while he and his wife slept downstairs. About 11:30 he heard a noise and went into the kitchen to investigate. He saw a tall man, dressed in all black, walk from the outside kitchen door into the family room. However, when my brother got to the family room - a very short distance - there was no one there. He immediately ran to the front of the house and alerted me. There was no one upstairs (except us) and a search of the downstairs did not reveal anyone there either. About ten years after that, I saw the same thing while house sitting for my parents. "He" walked from the outside kitchen door into the living room as I was in the kitchen. I knew what it was as soon as I saw it and if my son hadn't been in the family room asleep, I would have run the other way. But, being a braver mom than I thought I could be, I ran to my son. As soon as I got him, I called my brother (who lived next door at that point) and said, "I saw your ghost and I'm here alone." He said "I'm coming." and hung up. He was there within minutes and stayed with me until my husband returned. No questions. He knew what he'd seen and he knew I'd seen the same thing. I think it's the same "Abraham Lincoln" man that my daughter saw a lot of and the same one my son had a conversation with a few years later.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All Creatures Great and Small - More Fish Tales

I have always wanted a water garden. It just seemed so calm and beautiful with a small, bubbling pool of cool water with plants hanging over the edge of the water looking at their reflection in the water. I have read many articles and how-to's on the joys of water gardening. I have read how to make one that is fairly maintenance free. I have also heard from other people who have had one how easy they are. And, yes Jessi, I have heard how much trouble they are - from more than one person. But this is what I wanted and now I have it.

My small pond is not exactly what I have envisioned, but hey, it's a start! My little tiny, "carny" goldfish are not exactly the huge, beautiful koi that I saw swimming in my water garden. The few flowers that I did manage to get planted don't seem to want to get near the ponds edge (except for the Japanese Bloodgrass, which dips it's blooms into the water every time it rains!). But nobody ever, ever told me about how emotionally hard this is!

After resigning myself to too many fish in too small a pond, I have started feeding them huge amounts of food. I thought everyone was happy and getting along just fine. Then it started raining. My little pond got fuller and fuller. Last night I went out for one last feeding before I went to bed and noticed that the water was trickling over the edge. I got a cup and started bailing water out to lower the water level so that the cats and assorted wild animals that I have been told feed on fish ponds like mine would have a harder time getting to the fish.

Now, you need to picture this. It's almost midnight, it's drizzling rain, and I am standing in the garden barefoot bent over the pond bailing water out by the cupfuls. Also on my mind is that I am dangerously close to the driveway where my little ghost boy likes to hang out. I did announce my presence when I came out the door, but you never know if ghosts really listen - and I do have neighbors. I can't just yell to the ghosts. So, anyway, I'm bent over the pond, when I hear a noise directly behind me. Hoping it's a neighbor, I quickly straightened up and turned. Nothing. Nobody. Not a thing out there but me and the rain. OK, maybe it's a cat. I shift a little to the left so I'm a little closer to the steps and resume bailing water. I hear it again. Damn! Still nothing there, but I'm a little more cautious as I bend over. Just as I dip my cup in the pond something cold, wet, and hard hits my ankles. No, I didn't scream. I wanted to. I tried to. Nothing came out. But I did run up the steps to the safety (???) of the porch.

Now, I've seen my little ghost boy on more occasions than I want to think about, but he has never let me get more than a glimpse of him and he has never, never, ever tried to grab me. So - after my heart slowed to only twice it's normal rate - I edged my way back to the steps and peered down into the garden area. Nothing. I went into the house to get a flashlight because while the pond lights do a lovely job on the pond, they don't do much for the surrounding area. Returning to the porch with the flashlight (and desperately pleading with my ghost boy not to see him tonight) I peered over into the garden. Nothing - then something jump toward me. This time I did scream. Nobody came to my rescue; nobody even peered out of a window. OK. Well, this definitely wasn't a ghost, so I crept forward again.

This time my light was in the right place at the right time and I saw my 'huge, ugly' fish was trying to escape the garden - or find his way back to the pond. Either way, I tried to scoop him into my very small (goldfish sized) net and return him to the pond, but he was too big for the net. I ran inside and dragged my poor husband (who was sound asleep at this point) from the bed and out to rescue the fish. He tried, but it was too late.

This morning my son asked why I was outside screaming in the middle of the night. Not that he came to help me. He just wondered why. I love you too, son.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Tale of Two Fish

My fish tale started when my son and his girlfriend won fish for my garden pond at our county fair (first post and second post). So, my little pond has been bubbling along with my little fish colony for about a month now.

We went for a day trip on July 4 and were gone all day on July 5, so I turned the fountain pump off in order to save my electric bill, mainly because everyone tells me that my pond pump will skyrocket my bill and I have enough trouble keeping the AC going! So, without my pump going and two days of full sun, I arrived home on Monday evening to a pond of totally grass green water. Now all of my pond maintenance "expertise" is coming from magazines that say how soothing and wonderful the sound of running water is and how much you will enjoy your new water garden. It would be more enjoyable if I could see the fish.

My son decided that we needed another algae eating fish, so he purchased that (even though it made an odd number of fish in the pond, he is living with it). It can't possibly eat enough to make a difference this year. So I purchased some algae eating chemicals. They didn't work either. We are experiencing serious green stuff here people.

After having a family discussion, we decide to scoop the fish out into another container (my son was pushing for my husbands cooler), drain the pond, scrub it out and start over. My husband thought that most of this work would fall on his shoulders, so he stopped at a local bait store and asked the fishermen there for advise. I can only imagine what they thought - they live to fish. Anyway, they talked him into buying 2 more fish. I can't expain why two more fish will help, but brought them home, he did.

The first fish was a lovely (??) orange and white spotted goldfish (yes, I know they are really carp) that matches my other fish - except that he is 100 times bigger than they are. The second fish - also a carp of some kind - is just a fish. He's is brown and gray and black and my first thought was that my husband had brought home supper. He is skillet size. If we had been fishing, he would have been a keeper. In my family, he probably would be wall-worthy. But he was added to the pond and sunk into the green depths.

Now for a week I have been feeding fish like crazy because we have all of these monster fish now. Last night as I was feeding the fish (for the third time that day) I noticed a 'bubble' scooping huge amounts of food up. Upon closer examination the 'bubble' turned out to be a fish mouth. My 'ugly' fish has been scooping up all the food, leaving the other fish to starve.

No! Wait!! They have been eating my lovely $15 water lily!

In a desperate attempt to save what's left, I scooped the lily - or more accurately the roots and two leaves - into the top of the fountain, where the bubbling is threating to drown what's left. We have a serious overpopulation of aquatic life, for which there is only one solution.

Build a bigger pond! (Yeah, right!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ghost Stories - Part 1

I am stealing this thread from my daughter's blog (http://jessisscatteredmind.blogspot.com/), but I just can't help it. My mother's house has ghosts and I love my family's ghosts! I don't want to see them, mind you, but I do love them.

One of them is a little boy (well, 8 - 12 year old) who seems to hang out around the barn. I only have caught fleeting glimpses of him, but I know that he was there. He wears brown knickers (or knee pants - whatever you call them) with suspenders, a light colored shirt and a brown checked tam. The first time I saw him I was backing out of the driveway and glanced toward the barn to get my bearings while driving backwards. I was looking out the back window again before I realized what I saw. I quickly jerked my head around again, but he was gone. All the way to my house I was trying to decide if I had really seen anything or if it was a trick of the light. About 10 miles down the road - in the darkest, most rural part of my drive - my son, who was about 3 and sitting in his car seat beside me (it was a truck - I don't put car seats in the front otherwise!), says "Mom, what is he saying?" Now you have to understand that the only two people in the car/truck was me - who was silently trying not to freak out - and my son.

With the hair starting to stand up on the back of my head, I asked "Who said what?" He points to the space between us and says "Him."

Now, I don't know how I kept the car/truck on the road, but I knew I wasn't going to continue on with a ghost in the truck. I was looking for a place to abandon the truck and trying to figure out how I was going to walk the rest of the way home with my child. My darling son, who then started singing with the radio, "Country boys and girls getting down on the farm." Whew!!!

However, my little ghost boy has been back several more times. Almost like he's taunting me. Just a glimpse, but enough to know he's there. Since I have moved back to the farm, I try to stay indoors after dark, but there are times I must go outside. I walk out the door, close my eyes, and yell - "OK, I have to come out here, but please don't let me see anyone!" So far they have listened to me and I haven't seen anyone, but I never know.

And yes, my husband, who doesn't believe any of this, thinks I'm crazy! But my son, who has had a conversation with my daughter's Abraham Lincoln looking ghost/man, totally gets it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back Seat Driving

I always got to drive because my dear, sweet husband decided that it was easier to let me drive than to listen to me tell him how to drive. Then he bought a standard shift. I try really hard, but it's easier for me to tell him what to do than it is to drive with a clutch.

Then my son started driving. I was supposed to be teaching right? So, I told him what to do. He's been driving for almost 2 years now, but I still have to tell him to slow down, don't tailgate, the roads wet so you have to allow for more stopping room. Geeze, don't they understand that I'm only trying to help?!?!

This weekend we went to Tennessee - down the interstate and then down a curvy, country road that went around a mountain. My son drove. Now it wasn't that he was going fast, but he already has one speeding ticket and if he gets one more they will take his license. So, I kept warning him (ok, so did the radar detector) to slow down. Then we hit the mountain road. Those curves are deceiving - you need to approach them slowly - right?

I don't know why he got so testy! Mom was only trying to help.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Working Vacation

The last two weeks I have been 'boss-less'. He was on a 2 week trip with his horse (and his wife, another couple, and a friend) to California. I should have had an easy two weeks - right? Nope! I think I have worked harder and been more stressed than I was the week before he left.

I used to look forward to his trips. I got caught up on filing, cleaned up my desk a little, and did a lot of Internet surfing. But something has happened. Now when he leaves I seem to have more to do than when he is here. This time, I didn't look up the entire first week he was gone. Seriously, one day I was an hour late going to lunch and another I missed lunch completely. On Friday, I worked until 5:10 finishing up, but at least I had a clean start on Monday. What happened?!?!? It's now Thursday and I am not finished with my to-do list. I have worked very hard and I have crossed off a lot of stuff, but it's not done. There has not been any Internet surfing - you can check! - and I still have a good 3 days of work left to do in the 1 day that I have. The only thing good that I can say about this week is that the phone has not rung!

I think I will need to take a vacation to recover from his vacation! Do you think he'll buy that??

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Gray Hair

Today my soon to be 18 year old son got his motorcycle permit. I can already feel my hair turning gray! I am quickly reaching maximum stress level and he doesn't even have a motorcycle yet!

My mother survived this fear - her son was only 15 when he purchased his first Harley. Yes, it sat on the porch for several months before he could ride it down the road. Of course, this is the same son who set out for a month long bear hunting trip to Idaho instead of attending his high school graduation. But she is also the one who was able to force the bear hunting camp to give her an unlisted phone number of a police officer in California that my brother had followed out there when he forgot to call home one night. She is also the mother who completely lost it when I (at 17) announced that I was going to ride to Alaska on a motorcycle (I got the idea from a motorcycle commercial in the mid-1970's ). Of course, it never happened, but it was a good idea at the time! I wonder if it was the motorcycle or the fact that I was a girl.....

My fear isn't that my son will not be a good rider. He was 5 when he stole the riding lawn mower from my brother's house and drove it across the fields to his grandpa's. He was driving a tractor before he was 10 (I didn't find out about it until after he was 10). His dad let him drive on abandoned strip mining roads when he was 12 - after all he was already driving a tractor! He has raced ATV's and dirt bikes. He is a good driver. My problem is that all of these people who are coming down the road toward him don't understand that he is my baby and they need to be extra careful around him. For my sake. Please!

Monday, June 29, 2009

County Fair Update

Due to overwhelming success at the fish game, my son and his girl friend headed back there on Friday night. Saturday morning there was a 5-gallon bucket sitting on my kitchen table. They brought me 7 more fish. So by noon all 9 fish were in the garden pond. Three tried to escape - one was caught and returned to the pond, but the first two were quietly buried beneath a newly planted rose begonia.

My son, who doesn't like odd numbers, brought an algae eater from Wal-Mart, so now we have 8 fishes in our little pond. And a $15 water lily to satisfy our granddaughter who requested one. She wasn't very impressed when she saw what $15 buys in the water lily world (neither was I!), but seemed happy that it was there.

The fair has moved on to another town. I really hope somebody checks those bolts!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The County Fair

I hate to admit this, but I really hate fair week. It started when my son was young. I couldn’t wait to take him to the fair to ride the little children’s rides and watch him eat his first cotton candy. I had taken my daughter many times and we had lots of fun then and even more fun when she was able to ride the bigger rides with me. So, what happened?

Well, first of all my son moves faster than the speed of light, so keeping track of him in fair crowds was a chore. Then as I was watching him ride the little train around and around I began to notice the mechanics of how the ride operated and how it was put together. Wow. All those nuts and bolts and they move it every 7 days. Does anybody ever safety check these things?

When he was old enough to ride the bigger rides with us, everything seemed to spin up high in the air. The Scrambler was gone, instead we had a gynormus Ferris Wheel that I had the misfortune of seeing erected. No one checked the bolts and now my son wanted to go to the top of this piece of rickety machinery. I don’t think so. We finally compromised by going to watch the tractor pulls and demolition derby.

Then his next step was to go with his uncle and cousins. Now you can say I knew better, but his uncle really wanted him to go with ‘the boys’ and they were still little, so they’d be on the little kiddie rides – right? Wrong. They got there, my son went one way, his uncle and the boys went the other. That was the first year we started bringing things home from the fair. This year it was a girlfriend. My son was 12. She was 16. Her name was “my girlfriend” because he couldn’t remember her real name. When I found out she had a job and how old she was I asked if she knew how old he was. “Nope. She didn’t ask and I didn’t tell her.” When I wouldn’t let them ‘date’ she got suspicious and asked why and then how old he was, so that was the end of that relationship. It never got off the phone. The next year he brought home a rabbit. I spent over $100 on rabbit stuff – and my sister’s Great Dane gave the rabbit a heart attack when he knocked the cage over trying to get to him. Since then it’s been stuffed animals that mostly end up with (age appropriate) girl friends.

Last year was the first year he was able to drive himself to the fair and it was a battle all week. Of course, if he could drive to the fair he could drive other places and who was going to make sure that he stayed at the fair? My husband wouldn’t let me follow him – although we did one night. We were there about 30 seconds before my phone rang. “Why are you here?”

“How do you know I am here?”

“I heard. Are you checking up on me?”

"No, we came to see the tractor pull.”

“Then why are you standing by the Ferris Wheel?”

“It’s the first thing inside the gate and where are you?”

“I’m at the tractor pull.”

“Then how do you know where I am?”

“My friends told me.”

That’s the trouble with living in a small town and going to a small town fair. Everyone knows you.

This year, he has a job and is working long hours that require him to get up at 5 and 6 am., so the fair has lost some of its charm. But last night he went with his girlfriend (he didn’t find this one at the fair). I spent the evening thinking about how my little boy had grown up and didn’t have much time for mom and dad anymore. He hasn’t even asked if we wanted to go with him this year. About all the little toys he’d won over the years and given to all those silly girls. And mostly about how next year I probably won’t even know if he’s even thinking about going to the fair.

It was starting to rain as I left my meeting at church and I wondered if they’d have to close the fair and if my son would come home or just stay there until the rain stopped. As I approached the driveway I saw his car turn in. I parked behind him and watched as his girlfriend jumped out of the car with a giant stuffed animal. “Look what he won for me!!” I looked over at my son who was grinning from ear to ear. “Look what I won for you, Mom!” He was hold two plastic bags full of water – and two fish.

Wonder how much aquariums cost?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I hope some one is asking, "Where did she go?", but I am pretty sure no one has missed me.  However, I will explain my absence just in case.  On Thursday, May 14, my baby - who is 17 (almost 18), over 6 feet tall and weighing in at 220 - had minor surgery to remove his adenoids and have his turbinates reduced.  What, you ask, are turbinates?  Well, Wikipedia says " the turbinates divide the nasal airway into three groove-like air passages –and are responsible for forcing inhaled air to flow in a steady, regular pattern around the largest possible surface of cilia and climate controlling tissue."  So now you have had your anatomy lesson for the day.

The Dr. assured us that by having the surgery on Thursday he would be ready to return to school on Monday, thereby just missing two days.  This was very important because we are close to the end of the school year.  However, after recovery we still have allergy tests to complete and new medicine (hopefully) to adjust to, so my reasoning was to go ahead and start.

We were told to be at the hospital at 10:30 to check in for our surgery. At 1:00 we were moved from the waiting room to the pre-op room, where we waited.  At 3:30 he was finally taken back to the OR for surgery.  At 5:00 the Dr. told us the surgery was successfully completed, D should "take it easy" for the next couple of days, no straining, and not to bend over - not even to tie his shoes.  I went into the recovery room when he woke up and helped him get ready to leave.  As he sat up, he remarked that he didn't think he would be able to walk out to the car, but the nurse assured him that was normal and she would get him a wheel chair.  It wasn't until I was half-way home that I realized I had no wheel chair to get him into the house - and I wasn't sure I would be able to support him.  However, we did fine getting into the house and were on the road to recovery. 

Sunday night he was a little nauseous, but got up Monday morning and headed to school.  An hour later I got a text.  "very sick. need to come home. now."  So home, he went.  Very sick was a little understated.  For the next 4 days my baby, who can eat 5 full meals a day, ate nothing but jello and water.  My baby who was not supposed to strain or bend over spent most of his awake moments bent over the porcelain throne, giving up the jello and water.  

We stopped the medications, we changed the jello, we even tried chicken noodle soup.  Nothing made him better.  Finally, on Thursday, I emailed my church family and asked for prayers.  Friday, after work, I walked in the house to my baby sitting upright, showered, shaved, dressed, and asking to go to Applebee's for steak.  He hasn't sat down since.  

Thank you God!  I am sorry I didn't hand this to you earlier in the week.  Now, could you please help him catch up on all the school work he missed last week in the 6 days of school that are left? 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wow!  What a week and am I ever glad that it is over!!!  My cell phone died - as in the white screen of death.  So I had to take 3 steps back and use an ancient phone until my new one arrived - which was Thursday night.  The bad part of my dead phone was that my son gave me a mini memory card, but since I didn't know how to use it, I just carried it around in the phone - empty.  So now, all of my photos and my ringtones are gone.  I miss my ringtones the most!  

The phone that I had was ok, but very, very basic.  It was extremely hard to text with it - well, hard for me because things like the space key was on a different button.  So texting took twice as long - and for me texting when I know what I'm doing takes a long time!  

Also, all of my phone numbers were saved on the dead phone, but backed up online.  However, the phone I was using couldn't access my online backup.  (So if I was supposed to call you and didn't, you now know why!)  Of course, this was the week I needed to call lots of people whose number I didn't have, but should have had.

My new phone finally arrived and guess what?  All the texting buttons for things like the space are on different buttons.  My phone numbers are back - but now I don't need to call anyone.   I have a choice between 4 ringtones.  They all sound the same to me, but I can't 'hear' any of them.  They are loud enough, they just don't sound like a ringtone, so I mostly ignore them.  So, it will be another week before I can learn all the new twists and get new tones loaded.  It's not that I don't like change - well, maybe I don't!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Raising Parents - Chapter One

My parents are in their early 80's - and are doing remarkably well - but sometimes you have to wonder ......   

My dad will call and leave a message "Call me when you have a minute."  But you better call fast, because if you don't he will call you back.  If you answer, his first question is "Did you get my message?" 
"Why didn't you call me back?"
"I haven't had time yet."
click - he hangs up.  So you call back.
"Sorry, my cell dropped your call."  (Trying to be nice!)
"No, I hung up.  You said you were busy."
"Well, I was, but now I'm not.  (I had to stop what I was doing to call you back)  "What did you want?"
"I was wondering if you knew if it was going to rain Saturday."
"No, Daddy, I haven't seen the weather since I got to work today."
"Well, OK.  Let me know when you find out."  
click.  He never says goodbye.  When he's through talking, he hangs up.

Now, you might think this is the end of the conversation.  Nope.  You'd better find out because if you don't he call back - in 10 minutes!

My mother, on the other hand, is so worried about bothering you.
"Are you busy?"
"Actually, yes."
"Well, I don't want to bother you and this will only take a minute, do you have time to talk to me?"
"Sure, Mom."  (I just lost track of what I was doing anyway.)
"I'm so sorry to be such as pest; I know you are busy, but I just didn't know what to do.  Are you sure I'm not bothering you?"
"No, Mom."  (But you're starting too!)
"Well, theres alot of smoke in here and I think my house is on fire.  Can you come home and see?"
"No, the house is a mess and I don't want them to see it like this.  I'll see if I can find it and put it out."
"Oh, yes, they will.  Wait!  (OH! OH! OH!  heard faintly in the background.  Is she overcome by smoke? Is she on fire? What is going on????)    ................................  I found it.  I forgot my breakfast was cooking on the stove.  There's no fire, just lots of smoke.  I'm so sorry I bothered you.  Did you get breakfast?  I can bring you some if you didn't have time this morning.  I just made a pan of oatmeal - it's not burnt too bad."

Yes, mom just what I want after an early morning heart attack - burnt oatmeal.   

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


If I could have one super power it would be the ability to add time to my day! I can't believe how much stuff I have to do and so little time to do it in. Even at work - my inbox gets higher and higher (and for those of you who have seen my desk, you know that can be pretty high!). I have 2 reports on my desk right now that need to be done, but other, more urgent things keep getting added.

Home is the same way. Too many things to do and too many places that I should be. So, what do you think I'm doing? Prioritizing and doing the urgent things first? Scheduling and doing things in a timely manner? No and No. Here's what I'm doing.

Nothing like art to make you lose yourself for a couple (or 4 or 5) hours!
I've been painting for about 12 years, but I don't have a dedicated painting space now. It takes so long to get everything out, paint, and then put everything back up, so I haven't done much. Then I found colored pencils. I love this!! Just sit down and work. It's great! No waiting for paint to dry, not a lot of stuff to have to store.

This was a lesson from Marian Jackson, but I didn't get to the class, so I had to work through it by myself.

Hopefully, I will get to take some more classes at HOOT (Heart of Ohio Tole convention) this year. I really love doing this!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Good Old Days

When I was a child, my family would sit on the porch at night with neighbors and listen to my grandfather and Preacher Roy tell tales of their lives.  A frequent start to one of their stories would be “Back in the good old days…..” and I always thought how sad that the past is better than the present.  I mean life is supposed to get better as you get older, right?  Wrong!

I miss the good old days.  Especially the good old days of analog TV.  Life was nice back then.  I had a set of rabbit ears on top of my TV and I could chose between 5 different stations that came in with relative clarity.  You have to understand that this was the extent of my choices.  Cable TV was not available in my area and back then satellite TV was too expensive.  When satellite became affordable we weren’t home enough to justify the expense and we were happy with what we had.

After we moved back to civilization – where cable was available – we didn’t sign up for it because it was a temporary move and we decided to wait until our house was finished.  It’s now been 4 years, the house still isn’t finished and we still don’t have cable.   But now we have digital – or at least we are supposed to. 

We bought the “box” and we bought a new antenna, but we have lost CBS, FOX, and KET. (I am heartbroken over the loss of KET) and the official changeover date hasn’t even occurred yet.   Yes, I could subscribe to cable, but now it’s a matter of principle – it was free before and it should be free now!  I know I can buy another antenna – but I want a coupon for that!  As a matter of fact, I will give back my digital box coupon if they will give me 90% off the cost of an antenna!!  And tell me which one to buy. 

There is a web site that will guide you to what antenna you need – if you are smart enough to answer the questions – and it gives you a nice color-coded tag to look for when you go to purchase your antenna.  However, they forgot to tell the antenna stores to put the tag on their product.  So, you’re back to eny meany miny mo….

Most stores seem to have a good return policy on these antennas, but who wants to assemble all those parts, put it on the roof or a tower and then have to take it down, take it apart, and try again. 

Maybe for entertainment, I’ll put my kids on the porch and bring my dad over to tell stories about his good old days.   That is if I can pry him away from his big screen that’s hooked up to satellite.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Getting Old

Anytime I’ve been asked my age for the past 20 years or so, I have responded with a very serious, “I’m 29.”  I have been so adamant about this age that my daughter even bought  birthday cake candles of these numbers that she can use year after year on my cake (although I don’t think that I’ve gotten a cake since that first year – hmmm).  Well, I hate to say it, but I think my days of being 29 are over.

First of all my body is getting old.  I ache in places I didn’t even know you could hurt in.  My joints pop more every day and I am slowly wearing my ‘cheater’ glasses to see with instead of just to read with.  I kept thinking this was a temporary illness and all would be better soon, but I’m beginning to think it’s not. 

Secondly, my grandchildren are growing up.  They are doing things that I remember their mother doing yesterday – at least it seems like yesterday.  Maren has just outgrown her first car seat and Brynna just had her photograph taken in a shot similar to one her mom had made at about the same age – 25 years ago (Jessi cooperated better!).

Third of all, my baby is 17.  His age doesn’t bother me as much as where he is in life.  Starting first grade didn't bother me at all - when he started middle school, I cried like a baby all the way to work.  Getting his driver’s license was a relief since I didn’t have to get up early in the morning to get him to school.  Ordering his class ring was a time of stress – how to pay for it (they have really gone up since I purchased mine back in 1977!) and would he really graduate the same year as what we were putting on the ring (it seems that he will).  But what is making me feel really feel old is the little things – going to the prom and staying out all night.  Deciding who, where and when he will take his senior photos.  The college flyers that are starting to fill our mailbox.  The fact that he can (and does) fix my car.  Legally he can now hunt alone.  He kisses his girlfriend in front of me.

I used to think that I would be old in the year 2000, then my definition of old changed to 50.  Now I see that it’s not a number, it’s the little things in life that make you old.  So, I guess from now on, when asked my age I will have to admit the truth.............39.