Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tuck Those Buns!

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by scottnj via Flickr"]The Hunchback of Notre Dame[/caption]

Into the fourth day of  T-Tapp Boot Camp. I've managed to survive....which is always a good thing. No more laying on the floor, looking like a dying fish.

1. Knees bent, shoulders back, tuck those buns!

2. Yes, you can!

3. I am hearing that mantra in my head.

4. I am not dead yet.

5. This always makes me happy:)

6. Although, after the workouts I feel sort of dead.

7. That's just an expression.

8. I don't REALLY know what dead feels like.

9. Thank goodness.

10. Eventually, I will feel better.

11. Maybe even energized.

12. This workout is teaching me a lot about proper alignment.

13. I don't want to grow old and look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

14. Not a good look for me.

15. So, I'm taking action.

16. While I am still fairly young.

17. And vibrant.

18. Except when I don't get enough sleep.

19. Then not so much.

20. By Christmas I might look like an entirely different person.

21. People might not recognize me...

22. With newly firmed muscles and excellent posture.

23. That is my Christmas gift to myself.

24. Merry Christmas to me.

25. Take that, skinny jeans!!!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thank You

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by doug.siefken via Flickr"]Happy Saint (St.) Valentine's Day Heart ? - MC...[/caption]

I just wanted to thank all my readers for taking the time to read my blog each day. I love having readers that get my quirky sense of humor, my serious thought provoking blogs, and my occasional political banter. Thank you for making blogging fun for me!

Ode To My Peeps

Thank you, readers for reading each day.

For "listening" to what I have to say.

Thank you for taking your time

To see what's up, and reading my rhyme.

I enjoy your blogs too

Hearing of all you are going  to do...

Being blog buddies is lots of fun

This is the I'm done.

(I really can write poetry....but, it is early and my brain has not yet kicked into full gear. Please forgive me:)

Gray, Gray Go Away

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Hair coloring[/caption]

Yes. I color my hair. I have no trouble admitting that. I think that there are a lot of women that color, high light, or color wash their hair. Whether they admit it or not.

It's hard when you are blond as a child, and then your hair "turns on you" as you get older. I didn't want hair that was sort of light brown, sort of dark blond. So, I helped my hair out, with the blond...and have never looked back. I have left instructions with my children. If I should pass away, and there is an open casket (which should happen, in lieu of some catastrophic accident) they better make sure that my hair is colored! If not, I promised I would come back to haunt them. Gray hairs and all. I think I sufficiently scared them.

1. I do not like seeing gray hairs.

2. I blame my kids for those.

3. I know it is time to color when those gray hairs start popping out.

4. I have a deep, philosophical question...

5. Is a gray hair still a gray hair if it is covered with blond, and no one knows the difference?

6. I used to color my own hair. By myself. In secret.

7. It's cheaper that way.

8. I still sort of color my own hair.

9. The past few times I've asked my hubby for some help.

10. It's easier than trying to do the back of my head by myself.

11. It's hard to see the back of one's head.

12. Go figure.

13. I'm assuming he is doing a good job of it.

14. Because no one has said anything to me

15. Like, "what's with the freaky hair?" or

16. "Are stripes a new look for you?"

17. I must appear normal.

18. Whatever THAT means.

19. 'Cause those that know me

20. Can really find the humor in that.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boot Camp

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]At sea aboard USS Bataan (LHD 5) Sept. 24, 200...[/caption]

A couple of years ago my sister in law told me about a workout called T-Tapp. I tried to stay focused on the exercises but, at the time we were beginning to build a new house out of state, pack boxes, and things were just crazy. To say the least.  This is not to mention I didn't have a square foot of space to exercise in. That is not an exaggeration.

I am now ready. I was going to start boot camp last week, but could not find my DVD. I'm happy to say that my daughter located it and we had our first session last evening. This is how it went...

1. Teresa Tapp is older than I am, but the woman is perky.

2. I would like to be perky.

3. When I am bending my knees, tucking my butt, and pushing my shoulders back...

4. Not so much.

5. Perky is not the word that comes to mind.

6. I won't say what comes to mind.

7. I'm doing the 14 day boot camp.

8. This is not like summer camp.

9. More like a concentration camp.

10. That's okay, though.

11. I am focused this time.

12. When I'm truly focused, I am like a dog with a bone.

13. I won't give up.

14. Even if it kills me.

15. And it might.

16. Honestly, Teresa Tapp is spot on when it comes to working muscles layer by layer.

17. She comes from a physical therapy/exercise physiology background.

18. She gets it.

19. And I appreciate that.

20. She also promises loss of inches.

21. I'm all about fitting into my skinny jeans, again.

22. Don't laugh.

23. I have a goal.

24. My new motto is, "Best I Can Be By 43 or Die Trying"

25. That's snappy, huh?

26. In the meantime my 15 year old daughter and I are going to be the workout queens.

27. Or maybe I should say, "Queen and princess."

28. Last night we thought we were dying...I, for one, was in need of resuscitation.

29. The men in the family might have found us curled up in a fetal position.

30. Twitching.

31. Mumbling about tucking out butt.....

32. Fortunately, that wasn't the case.

33. Because we are women.

34. And we are tough.

35. And we will be fit and fabulous in no time.

36. If we aren't dead first, that is.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hot And Steamy

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Description: Coffee cortado (An latte art exam...[/caption]

People, people, people. What am I going to do with you? My blog title is about coffee. Get your minds out of the gutter.

1. I didn't even drink coffee until I was 37 years old.

2. I am a slow starter, I suppose.

3. I went on coffee dates with my hubby.

4. He drinks his straight up black.

5. I can't choke that down.

6. I drink mine straight up with flavored creamer.

7. I'm hard core that way.

8. Yesterday we were at Walmart.

9. See what I mean? We are always at Walmart.

10. We should be part owners of the place.

11. Anyway, my husband and I stood at the coffee creamers and tried to decide on a flavor.

12. I told him I wanted something that said, "Fall".

13. He tolerates me and my whims.

14. I love him.

15. And I think I will love the Cinnamon Vanilla flavor we picked out.

16. I'm drinking a mug while I blog this morning.

17. Good stuff.

18. I think I will also get a pumpkin spice.

19.  This is so much better than plain 'ol black coffee.

20. I am not a coffee wimp.


Sunday, September 26, 2010


[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by Gone-Walkabout via Flickr"]Ground Hog[/caption]

This past week there was a tragic death.

It was a hit and run.

Well, really not run.

More of a hit and "clunk...clunk"

My oldest son and I were driving on our way back home from school.

We were talking and laughing

Almost home

When a kamikaze ground hog ran right in front of the van.

I tried to swerve

Mr. Ground Hog must have swerved too

Which was not in his favor.

Thud. Clunk. Clunk.

My son looked. I looked.

We could see no dead ground hog on the road.

This leaves us with two morbid scenarios.

One, he was badly injured and ran off into the ditch to meet his maker.

OR...he is still stuck up underneath the van.

My son thinks it is the latter.

I don't know.

Which is kind of gross.

If that is the case, I hope he doesn't fall off at some inopportune time.

This is my life.

Other people might lose oil, or a muffler, or something mechanical off their vehicle.

No, not me. I lose ground hog parts.


Sorry, Mr. Ground Hog...but why did you run into my tire?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Taste Of The Holidays...

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Pasas te-chocolate[/caption]

My husband and I were at Wal-Mart yesterday afternoon. This is not a shocker to anyone that knows us. We are always forgetting something, and having to make yet another run to Wal-Mart.

1. We were in the check out line.

2. I was perusing the magazine rack, as I am wont to do.

3. While my husband ran the stuff through the scanner.

4. I do not need to see Kate (of Jon and Kate Plus 8 fame) in a bikini.

5. Fame has gone to her head...and obviously to other parts of her body also.

6. 'Nuff said.

7. Someone was having somebody else's alien baby.

8. Who knew? And does the Daddy look like the cuties on the show "V" ?

9. Just sayin'.

10. I mean if you are going to be part of an alien couple, he may as well be cute.

11. Before he eats you for dinner.

12. I looked at a country decorating magazine.

13. And planned out some beautiful decorating schemes for our house.

14. I will fill my husband in on that later.

15. Or not.

16. He doesn't care about decorating the way I do.

17. He's a man.

18. He is more into function than beauty.

19. Okay.

20. Seriously people, what is the point of gnats?

21. I hate them.

22. I wish it would get cold and they would all die.

23. They keep getting in my tea.

24. Yuck.

25. Anyway, I realize I'm off track.

26. Ummmm......

27. Oh yeah. Then I spotted my magazine.

28. BEST HOLIDAY RECIPES-320 CLASSICS, from Taste Of  Home

29. I convinced my husband that I NEEDED this magazine.

30. It was a matter of life and death.

31. And awesome food that will cause us to gain 900 lbs by January 1st.

32. Just so you know, in case you care...

33. There are no low sugar, low carb, low calorie recipes in this addition.

34. I see a lot of butter.

35. A truckload of sugar.

36. And salt is your new best friend.

37. If you are going to die, you may as well go with a big smile on your face.

38. And a full stomach.

39. I've already decided on a tasty gift for friends....

40. Enjoy your cinnamon, espresso butter!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We're All Terminal

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Image by OakleyOriginals via Flickr"]Grave Stones at Walnut Grove Cemetery[/caption]

DISCLAIMER:  This blog entry will cause readers to think. Read at your own risk.

We're all terminal. No one is going to make it out of this life, alive.

We're all dying. Some of us realize that. Some deny it. Some ignore it. It doesn't change anything. It's still happening.

None of us, regardless of age, are promised tomorrow. As a matter of fact, we are unable to see even a few seconds into our future. No one knows for sure what is going to happen to them even 5 seconds from now. We tend to forget that. It's easier that way.

Now, at this point I can pretty much guarantee, many people reading my blog are scratching their heads and wondering what in the world is going on? I'm usually an upbeat writer. Even funny on some occasions. Why the death talk? It's depressing. Not sure if I want to hear this.....

Well, stick around. Hear me out. It will be worth it. I promise.

I've met death, up close and personal. On more than one occasion.

As a five year old, I was visiting with my cousin, when my uncle  (his dad) died. I actually have memories of that. As a freshman in high school I lost a good friend, from my church youth group. He died on Christmas Day 1982. I lost all my grandparents by my senior year in college. In 2000, after a year and a  half of illness, my first husband died, leaving me a widow at 32, as well as a single parent. Not a year and a half later my father, in his desperation, took his own life. Then there are all the deaths of relatives, co-workers, acquaintances, and other national tragedies, such as 9/11. In 2005, I remarried. He was also widowed with young children. So, he understood.

Dealing with death, or writing about death...always makes me think. How can it not? After all one day it will happen to me.

My husband and I facilitate a GriefShare group at our church. It is a support group for others that have had to face the death of someone they loved. It's a group that is needed...because sometimes people who have seen the act of dying, up close...need to talk about it. It helps. It heals.

Yesterday a friend asked for prayer. A young family that she goes to church with, just found out that the mommy, the wife, was in the late stages of aggressive cancer. She had no idea until she was told by the doctor that she only had a few weeks to live. A few WEEKS to live. My heart hurts for her. For her husband. For her children. For her family. For her friends. Death is never easy...and in most cases comes to the party, uninvited.

As I was mulling these thoughts over in my head...and my heart...a video that I first saw last year, came to mind.

The woman on the video is Rachel.

It was taped in March of 2009.

Rachel was a wife.

A mom.

She was 37 years old.

And she was dying.

Her body was riddled with very painful cancer.

At the time of this video, she knew her time on this earth was short.

And yet she had a message to tell.

My hope is that you, my readers, will take the time to watch her video.

The video is long, about 50 minutes.

But 50 minutes is just a drop of water in the ocean of eternity.

It is one of those life changing videos.

The kind of video that you might not get to see again. So, grab the opportunity.

It's profound.

So watch it.

You'll probably cry.

That's okay.

Rachel died about 4 months after this video was taped.

She said, not to worry. She's with the Lord.

And she is now more alive than she ever was here on earth.......

The Road Not Taken

Chopwell - Warmth of autumn

I've enjoyed poetry most of my life. I remember reading goofy poetry as a child, and as a teen collecting books of poetry from the more famous writers. I've kept my own poetry journals for as long as I can remember. I have always especially liked this poem by Robert Frost.  I just "get" his work. It makes sense to me.
" Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth "      (Can't you just picture yourself there? Standing in the woods....wondering which way you should go?)

This sums things up so well for me, in so many ways. For each of us, our choices, our decisions in life, lead us down a road. We have choices each day about what we are going to do. Decisions that seem so small and insignificant at the time can subtlety change our path, our course, the direction our lives take.
"...Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back."   (Yep. I get this. Don't we think we could do something different later, but we are lazy and we don't.)

Do you ever dream? Do you expand your borders? Do you wake up to the possibilities? You know it doesn't really matter whether you are 4, 14, or 84....or anywhere in between. As long as you have breath, you can choose the road that you are traveling down. It seems like it would be easy, but the truth is (as I can well attest) sometimes the journey is just hard. It is also painful. The pack on my back, is heavy. It weighs me down. I wish I would have packed lighter, for this trip. Other days the road is easy...I might even skip down the road...I realize just how good I have it.

I choose the path less traveled. Some days my trip is tiresome and I'm desperate for new scenery. I plod ahead. One foot in front of the other. I wonder if I'll ever see anything new or exciting. Then the day comes, I top the hill and I look out across the most beautiful sight my eyes could imagine. I hold this image in my heart, my view on that day makes the journey worthwhile. I remember that day, when I'm farther down the road. It keeps me going.

Life is interesting like that . Isn't it that way for all of us?  The ups and the downs. The successes, the failures. The commitments, the regrets. I realize that my journey must encompass all these things. My road has to have bumps and dangers in it, as well as smooth, flat areas. It keeps the trip down the road much more interesting, and as the traveler, makes me much more strong and capable and empathetic.
"...two roads diverged in a wood, and I-,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference."  (That really says it all, doesn't it?)

As much as I enjoy Robert Frost...there is another man I enjoy more.  His name is Paul.   Paul's life changed forever one day when he was on a road. The road to Damascus. That is the day Paul met Jesus---in person. After that day, on that road, Paul was never the same. How could he be? That day, he knew what it was to really live. He never looked back. His road was not easy. Threatened. Imprisoned. Beaten. And yet, while held as a prisoner in Rome, realizing his days were few, he wrote this to his friend, Timothy.......

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Burma Shave Nostalgia

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Burma-Shave slogans[/caption]

" The Burma-Vita Company, based just west of Minneapolis, began erecting advertising signs along Hwy-61 near Red Wing and Hwy-65 near Albert Lea back in 1925. Over the next 38 years these signs and their witty rhymes appeared in nearly every state in the United States and made Burma-Shave one of the most recognized brand names in American business." ---from Road Trip U.S.A. (p.240) by Jamie Jensen

I've blogged about Burma-Shave before. I've always liked "jingles". Burma-Shave pretty much just put jingles on signs. In a cute way. A catchy way. A fun way.......

Here are some of my own political jingles in Burma-Shave style. Feel free to add some of your own in comments. Enjoy.

Our current president

makes me wonder

If things don't change

We're going under.

Middle class people

need their meds

But with this new healthcare

We'll all be dead!

What happened to our

red, white, and blue?

Can't show patriotism

or others might sue.

Building a  mosque

is not okay

to those of us

that remember THAT day.

In November

take a leap

vote your mind

don't be a sheep.

Men and women in uniform

fighting for freedom

on foreign ground

Praying they all

come home to us


safe and sound.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stuff That Irks Me

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]alarm clock, bought from IKEA[/caption]

Sometimes I wake up and I'm just irked. Ticked off. Stuff rubs me the wrong way.

Today is...ONE...OF....THOSE.....DAYS.

1. I was in the middle of a good "drama" dream this morning when the alarm clock went off.

2. Ugh.

3. My oldest son, instead of going to his own bed, falls asleep on the couch AGAIN.

4. My kids are slow as slugs when it comes to getting their lazy selves up out of bed.

5. The trash needs to be taken out.

6. We always have a lot of trash.

7. I guess we are just a trashy family.

8. I guess we should recycle more.

9. We are saving aluminum cans.

10. Hey, that is a first step.

11. I'm not getting enough good sleep.

12. It affects me, in the worst way.

13. I'd love to live in a family that actually sleeps at NORMAL times.

14. Like the rest of the world.

15. I used to have a schedule.

16. Back in the day.

17. I need a massage.

18. I'm stressed.

19. It is a constant state.

20. Everyone needs to leave me alone.

21. I watched the news this morning. Big mistake.

22. Some people are idiots.

23. And there is nothing I can do about it.

24. How did these people get elected? What was the public thinking?

25. I can feel my blood pressure rising.

26.  I see that Ahmadinejad denies atrocities AGAIN.

27. What parallel universe does he live in?

28. We live in a bizarro world.

29. I need to go back to bed.

30. My weird dreams make more sense than reality.

Monday, September 20, 2010

To Love and To Cherish

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Bride and groom, California[/caption]

My family and I attended a church social yesterday evening. We were there to celebrate the marriage of an older couple in our church. They had just celebrated their 68th anniversary. That is practically unheard of in this day and time. They were  married in 1942.

1. I've learned things from observing  this couple.

2. A man of true strength doesn't have to be loud, or hardened.

3. He fought in WWII, witnessed the death of his buddies...

4. Yet, this is the same man, who now in his late 80's, lovingly helps his wife to get out of her wheelchair and into the car.

5. Over the past few years his wife has lived with severe arthritis in her back, and has hearing loss.

6. That didn't matter last night.

7. He smiled at her and leaned over to tell her what people were saying.

8. I learned that she had a yellow Camero that she loved to drive in days gone by.

9. And she enjoyed laughing and being silly with her friends.

10. I learned when he was a boy, his family owned horses and buggies.

11. Until... his dad was one of the first in town to buy a car.

12. I told him, " you and your wife have seen a lot of changes in society, during your marriage."

13. He agreed.

14. I also said, " It is one thing to read history in a book, it's quite another to hear it from someone who was actually there."

15. He laughed. "Yep."

16. "to have and behold from this day on, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part..."

17. Today's society rarely gets a glimpse at a couple, like the one I saw last night.

18. It is almost unheard of.

19. I was honored

20. To see love, up close.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

What Happened To The 3 R's?

Marysville Public School

Since I have devoted most of my life to learning, both as student and as teacher, I keep up with what is going on in the education arena. I've grown deeply concerned over the years about the educational system in this country. Let me tell you why. Every week there seems to be something new and disturbing on the news. There are things that I question, things that make no sense.

1. School used to be a safe place. When parents sent their children off to school they really didn't fear that they could be shot. Or that a teacher might try and seduce their children (both BOYS and GIRLS)?

2. That their child might become the target of bullies, and sadly, take his/her life?

3. Who in a million years would have thought that teens would participate in "sexting"? Where was modesty lost? When did self-esteem get shattered?

4. Or that high school girls would make "pacts" to become pregnant?

5. When did Montana decide that kindergartners needed to know about detailed human anatomy? And by 5th grade be expected to understand different sexual positions?

6. When was it decided in Massachusetts that kids should go to a mosque on a field trip...and the children have the option to participate in Islamic prayers?

7. School boards are choosing textbooks that leave out entire sections of history. Important things.

8. I have witnessed many young children that are unable to even say The Pledge of Allegiance. It is not required for them to recite it on a daily basis at their schools.

9. Many of our country's children graduate not even being able to read at an adult level...or fill out an application...or answer simple history questions? (Have you ever seen Jay Leno's, Jaywalking excerpts?) Is it any wonder why perspective employers are shaking their heads?

10. When did this become acceptable?

11. Are we, as a society, like the frogs in the pot? Not realizing that the temperature is being turned up, until we are all boiled?

12. I'm usually not a negative person.

13. But, this is serious business.

14. Don't get me wrong. There are many great teachers out there.

15. Yet, even a great teacher is shackled to his/her school district's curriculum. If it is poor curriculum, he/she still must teach it--or face job loss.

16. I know.

17. I taught in the public school system for 17 years.

18. Make no mistake about it.

19. School is not what it used to be.

20. Children of this country ARE learning...but, the question is WHAT? And can we live with that?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Creepy Crawlies

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Funneled spider net[/caption]

I worked, out in the flower bed yesterday. I pulled weeds. Lots and lots of weeds. The flower bed had been neglected. Opps.

1. Some people say working in a garden is actually fun.

2. I wonder about those kind of people.

3. I hate pulling weeds.

4. Hate is not too strong a word.

5. I woke up this morning with aching thighs and a sore lower back.

6. That's what I get for squatting and bending over.

7. For more than 2 seconds.

8. Ugh.

9. Anyway, as I was pulling weeds I noticed the webs.

10. Lots and lots of webs.

11. Sticky tunnels of spider web goo.

12. There is no love loss between me an spiders.

13. I hate them.

14. I don't even like Spiderman.

15. Fighting crime? So what. He's part spider. Yuck.

16. Funnel web weavers are fast.

17. That is the fancy names for spiders that run out of their tunnels of web.

18. Right at you.

19. While you're weeding.

20. And cause you to scream.

21. And jump.

22. And scream some more.

23. I need a shovel.

24. A big one.

25. To smash the ever lovin' guts out of the spiders.

26. I am learning to overcome my fear of spiders.

27. As long as I have something big to smash them with.

28. Especially, something with a long handle that I can smash them with, from a distance.

29. So, after the weeding, near death (from a major conniption fit) experience...

30. I went inside.

31. Took my gloves off and sat down at my computer.

32. I looked up spiders on the internet.

33. The kind we have are funnel weavers. They mostly stay outside in the grass.

34. That does nothing to assuage my fear.

35. Note to self: Don't go outside in the yard bare foot.

36. The spider site told me that MALE funnel weavers like to go inside when the weather turns cold.

37. Figures it's the males.

38. I am a warrior.

39. They will die.

40. Part of me feels a little bad.....Okay, maybe not.

41. They are ones who desire to enter enemy territory.

42. It's not like I want them as a pet. Or a family mascot.

43. I've noticed a lot of little spiders around lately.

43. I read somewhere that spiders don't care for citrus.

44. I might bomb my entire house.

45. With oranges.

46. Just sayin'.

47. In the meantime, any weeding will be done in "full gear".

48. Gloves. Long pants.


50. A girl can never be too prepared.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wearing Love On My Sleeve

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by MJIphotos via Flickr"]With Mom[/caption]

Mom. Mother. Mama

Sweet words to a woman's soul.

1. I love my mom.

2. Love

3. Respect

4. Appreciate

5. When my children call me mom I realize...

6. No one else in the world gets that name-

7. From my children.

8. It's special.

9. I admit that sometimes...

10. I wish I could change my name.

11. And run away

12. Far away

13. Because the name Mom holds a lot of responsibility.

14. It's also the name that prefaces a lot of requests.

15. Like, "Mom, can I?"

16. Or, "Mom will you?"

17. Sometimes, "Mom I need..."

18. I threaten to change my name...

19. My kids say they'd find me

20. So, I give in. And stay.

Because all they have to say is, "I love you", and it's all over with.

Friendship, The Perfect Blend-ship

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Friends at Columbia University.[/caption]

" Come and share a pot of tea, my home is warm and my friendship's free" -- Emilie Barnes

It's said, if a person has a handful of really good friends during her lifetime,  consider that a blessing.

1. I've got some good friends.

2. Real friends.

3. Old friends

4. New friends

5. Friends that know secrets

6. Friends that promised to not tell secrets

7. Ever.

8.Chats that are my "therapy" sessions.

9. Laughing

10. Crying.

11. Praying

12. Surviving.

13. Good times and bad times

14. And in between times.

15. My friends are close

16. And some are far

17. But never very far from my heart

18. Because that is how friendship is...

19. Time and distance don't matter

20. When you're friends.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Fashion

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by dirac3000 via Flickr"]Those Pink Boots[/caption]

I am a lover of sweaters. Oh, and I love cozy socks too. Um...and scarves. Can't get enough. A theme going on here? A reason that I adore the cooler temperatures? I suppose would look a little weird if I was wearing a thick sweater, warm and colorful socks and a long fringed scarf. In July. Just sayin'. Not that I haven't done weird things before. Because I have. Maybe I shouldn't divulge that. Forget what I just said.

1. All the online catalogs have their Fall clothes now.

2. I like looking at them.

3. I like changing the sweater colors on the models.

4. Interactive catalogs are fun that way.

5. It's kind of like a new version of Barbie dolls.

6. I digress.

7. I am now wanting a new cardigan.

8. Except I want to look like the model wearing it in the catalog.

9. The less fluffy version of me.

10. The one that is perfectly coiffed.

11. The one with no stains on her shirt.

12. The one who looks like she slept well.

13. The one who has on make up.

14. Sigh.

15. I also want a pair of boots.

16. I have my eye on a hot pink pair that I saw at Tractor Supply.

17. Hey, they have some good stuff there.

18. My husband said he would deny knowing me if I bought those.

19. And wore them.

20. Hmmppfff. He has no fashion sense.

21. I'm getting them.

22. And I'll wear them everywhere.

23. They will eventually grow on him. Or not.

24. After all hot pink mud boots are happy boots.

25. And who wouldn't love that?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dreaming of...VAMPIRES??!!

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Shadow of Count Orlock, in the film Nosferatu[/caption]

I've been a vampire fan since my senior year in high school. That's when it all started. It was the silliest movie, Fright Night. Don't blame me. I was 17. Seventeen year olds usually don't have good taste.

1. I am a vivid dreamer.

2. My dreams always seem very real. VERY REAL.

3. In the early morning hours, of this morning, I dreamed about vampires.

4. Yes, vampires.

5. And no, not the Twilight kind.

6. I've never even read a Twilight Series book.

7. Only saw the first quarter of the first movie before I fell asleep.

8. True story. Don't hurt me.

9. I prefer Bela Lugosi.

10. Or Nosferatu.

11. Have you ever seen him? Now, he will scare your socks off.

12. Or cute vampires, like Keifer Sutherland in Lost Boys.

13. Vampires can be cute too.

14. That's always nice to know.

15. Just in case.

16. Or like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Interview With A Vampire.

17. That was a good, time period piece.

18. I like that.

19. So anyway, back to me and my dream.

20. I was at some sort of a party.

21. And I was still me, but younger.

22. I was sort of a Buffy like character.

23. You know "the slayer" type.

24. I was out to kick some scary, evil, vampire butt.

25. Go figure.

26. It was dark.

27. And creepy.

28. And I got nervous and had to use the bathroom.

29. They never show that in the movies.

30. In real life... um... dream life.....fighting vampires is not easy.

31. And since I have a bladder the size of a pea...

32. I thought I should take care of business.

33. Before I took care of business.

34. If you know what I mean.

35. My friends were down by the dock.

36. Why do people go outside in the dark?

37. Down next to the water.

38. Where it is dark and foggy?

39. For cryin' out loud.

40. Now, I had to go down there.

41. And save them from an eternity of being one of the undead.

42. They so owe me.

43. I remember sneaking around.

44. And this one lady told me that the vampires knew me.

45. What?!?

46. They knew I was coming.

47. How come they always know that kind of thing?

48. So, off I went.

49. And wouldn't you know it....

50. Just as I get there, my alarm clock went off.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Calling For Gray Skies and Cool Temps

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Apple pie has been consumed in England since t...[/caption]

1. I've always loved decorating.

2. Especially when the weather starts turning cool.

3. Blankets and quilts. Everywhere.

4. I lay them on the couch, chairs, stack them.

5. Can't have enough of them.

6. Candles.

7. I love "warm" scents.

8. Cinnamon, apple cider, pumpkin spice.

9. They smell good, but they make me hungry.

10. So then I want to bake.

11. Because of delicious smelling candles.

12. Go figure.

13. Apple pie, pumpkin pie, and maybe some home made chili.

14. Hot chocolate.

15. With fat marshmallows.

16. Or flavored coffee.

17. Getting ready to settle in for colder weather.

18. Movies and books for evenings inside.

19.Wrapped up in my thick robe

20. Fuzzy pajamas with fluffy slippers.

Life Is Good.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Day The World Changed

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="158" caption="Image by Bill Strong via Flickr"]9-11[/caption]

September 11, 2001. I remember.

A beautiful Tuesday morning


I drove to work

where I taught elementary school


My young son was with me.

Only an hour and and a half into the school day

everything changed. I remember.

A third grade teacher ran to the door of my room

and said, "Quick turn on your TV"

I instead walked to the office and there I saw the first

tower in flames.

I was watching when the second tower was hit.

My heart stopped. I remember.

The rest of the day, I was numb.

My students didn't fully understand

We just kept going.

Trying to be normal

Through the tears.

At the time this happened I, myself, had been widowed for 10 months. I was already dealing with death in my own life when this horrible thing happened. I remember thinking in the school office, as I watched the tragedy unfold...this can't be real. It can't be happening. Is the world coming to an end? I tried to keep my emotions under control so I didn't scare my students...but, they knew something was wrong. Terribly wrong. One of my 2nd grade students prayed in the classroom. And I didn't stop her....because we all knew.... That God heard our pain that fateful day in early September.

Though I didn't know the people who lost their lives, personally...I will not forget them. The people at work in the towers, the people on the flights, the police and firemen......and those they left behind.

I remember.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Holiday Preview

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Physical (Olivia Newton-John song)[/caption]

Yesterday I received my first Christmas catalog in the mail. Actually, it was addressed to my husband Scott. He cares nothing about I confiscated it for myself, because we all know how I am about mail. The catalog is Hammacher Schlemmer, "Offering the Best, the Only and the Unexpected for 162 years."

1. I love to peruse catalogs.

2. Any catalog will do.

3. I think it might be an illness.

4. For a mere $250 I can get myself a personal media viewer.

5. Pretty much a pair of futuristic sunglasses that hooks to my DVD player, video game player, ipod.

6. I could live in virtual reality.

7. Forever.

8. Would that be such a bad thing?

9. Hmmm....a voice interactive alarm clock.

10. I can ask the clock what time it is. I can tell it what to do.

11. It would be better than having children.

12. Until it yells at me in the morning to get my lazy tail out of bed.

13. Then I would want to divorce it.

14. Hey, advanced speech recognition clock...TAKE THIS!

15. Smash.

16......Mr. alarm clock, you are not the boss of me!

17. The Better Peephole Gizmo.

18. It attaches to one's door where a normal peephole would be.

19. It kind of looks like a small digital camera.

20. It gives a crisp, clear picture of who is standing outside my door.

21. In case it is Jack The Ripper or something.

22. Or the UPS guy, who could possibly BE Jack The Ripper, how would I know?

23. At least I'd be able to see him in full digital imaging.

24. Before I opened the door and he got me.

25. Just Sayin'.

26. I'm diggin' the Headache Relieving Wrap.

27. It wraps around one's head while providing "soothing, consistent pressure".

28. It has gel packs in it, for cold or hot. Your choice.

29. It's all fine and dandy until the thing malfunctions and my head pops off.

30. Besides I think it would make me look like Olivia Newton John.

32. In her headband from her Let's Get Physical video. Circa 1980's.

33. Let's see....The Tabletop Cotton Candy Maker?

34. That is exactly what my family would need.

35. A contraption that spins carnival-worthy cotton candy.

36. I wonder if there is something in the fine print about paying for dentist visits due to cavities.

37. Because my kids would become cotton candy makers, extraordinaire.

38. And they'd end up looking like Ma and Pa with not a tooth in their young heads.

40. The Autonomous Robotic Vacuum.

41. I'm all for assistance in the cleaning department.

42. This thinga ma bob even returns to the mother ship on its own when its batteries need recharged.

43. Of course I've watched too much Sci-fi.

44. I'd worry that the vacuum would attack me in my sleep.

45. And probe my brain. Then suck it out.

46. What little there is.

47. Sigh.

48. That Room Tidying Pickup Robot and I could be fast friends. He's mighty cute.

49. And helpful....though my house tidying might kill him.

50. Or he might decide to take over the world. Whichever comes first.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Am Smarter Than The Dog

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Border Collie[/caption]

1.The family has two dogs.

2. The dog in question is named Ace.

3. Ace is an American Working Farm Collie.

4. Also known as a pain in the neck.

5. We have a rountine.

6. I get up most mornings and walk at 6 a.m.

7. Ace sees me come out the door and barks his head off.

8. The ear splitting barking at 6 a.m. is such a joy to me.

9. No, really.

10. Okay, I'm lying.

11. I tell him to shut up and go lay down.

12. Sometimes he listens to me...sometimes not.

13. It depends on his mood.

14. Lately, the two of us have been in a battle.

15. He keeps stealing the cat food dishes off the deck.

16. He has food of his own. He is a pig.

17. He wants the cat food too.

18. Every morning I have to find where he has taken the cat food dishes.

19. I track them down.

20. I sternly tell Ace to quit being a thief.

21. He rolls over and plays dead.

22. I tell him he is a big fake.

23. I'm not falling for the dead act.

24. He opens an eye and looks at me.

25. I stick out my tongue at him.

26. He wags his tail.

27. Goober head.

28. I march the dishes back up to the deck.

29. I monitor the area while the cats are eating.

30. I close the door.

31. I see two ears moving just under the deck line.

32. Just like the fin in the movie Jaws.

33. Just as the big, furry, cat food stealing thief gets to the deck...I throw open the door.

34. A ha!!!

35. I caught you.

36. Ace jumps, startled.

37. I tell him to go lay down and get off the deck, so the cats can eat in peace!

38. He tries to fake me out.

39. He walks away.

40. He circles back, as soon as I close the door.

41. I watch the ears approach again.

42. Blam!

43. The doors slams open.

44. Caught again!

45. I lecture Ace on animal feeding etiquette.

46. He yawns. And wags. And barks.

47. If the neighbors hear me, I'm sure they are thinking they live next to a nut job.

48. Whatever.

49. I cannot believe I am in a battle of wits with a dog.

50. And he is winning!!! The dishes are back out in the yard. Again.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Men...And Other Scary Animals

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by Carlo Nicora via Flickr"]A couple in the dark[/caption]

I like men. I actually love some of them. I think that a lot of time men get "bad raps" in the media. Not fair. They have a lot of good qualities that oft times get overlooked. On this note, I am dedicating today's blog to my loving husband and sons, and all the other men out there that make the world a more hem....delightful place. I would also like to state for the record that this blog is MY opinion, and on MY blog that is the only one that counts. If you are a male basher don't read this blog---because I am all about flowers and sunshine:)

1. Men like to fix things. This is very helpful to me when I have no clue as to what I am doing. "Honey, the thing- a- ma- bobber just fell off the you think you can fix that for me? Sure. ( I love him!)

2. Unless the food is completely toxic and inedible men will give it a try...and sometimes ask for seconds. I love that they are not so picky.

3. Men are usually good with calculations. Math is not really my forte'. Well, upper level math is not my forte' is what I should say. I also appreciate my husband's precision when measuring for whatever it is that he is building for me.

4. Men are great foot warmers in bed. Most of the time they don't complain, even if one's feet are cold, most of the time they are just glad that you are snuggling with them.

5. Most men work really hard in their chosen career. (or even if it's not their chosen career) They want to provide for their family. It makes them feel good--which in turn makes the family feel good:) Which makes them feel good. Which makes us feel good. See the circle of love?

6. Most men are really about 12 years old mentally. Some people see this as an obstacle that needs to be overcome. I see it as well.....let's just say that burping contests, lawn mower races and wrestling each other to the floor is dangerous after a certain age, and leave it at that.

7. Men can look totally cute in the morning...even right after getting up. The messy hair and unshaven face just add to the mystique.

8. Men like to have female friends. Why do you think that so many men get married? 'Cause they love us, girls. They really do. They realize how cool we actually are and they like to hang with us. This shows they obviously have good taste, right?

9. They are brave and courageous. Even if they are scared out of their wits they, most of the time, will be the one to get up and "see" what the scary noise is out in the living room. They also crawl under houses to fix things...braving snakes, possums, mice, or other vermin. They are supermen!

10. They are fun to have around and they make us laugh. They help to make the world a little more goofy, and less tense of a place.

11. They are not rattled when they take a wrong turn. "We'll just drive around until we see something familiar."

12. There is nothing better than a hug. Even if he is stinky, and sweaty and in need of a shower. ( I wonder if he will use that new lavender shampoo I just bought?)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Should Have Slept Standing Up

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Shoulder blade.[/caption]

Since my back/shoulder are all out of whack, sleeping has not been easy. Or restful.  Have you tried to sleep when your shoulder blade is killing you? Can't sleep on your back. Ouch. Can't sleep on the side with the aching shoulder blade. It hurts. Can't sleep on the other side because the arm on the "bad side" keeps flopping over and causing back pain. Can't lay on my stomach. Not comfortable for me regardless of the back issues.

I flopped around last night like a dying fish. And woke up this morning looking like one. If I thought I could have managed it, I would have slept standing up. I thought better of it...if I had slept standing up, I would have eventually fallen over, cracking my head on the hard floor. Maybe even getting a concussion--to add to my other pain ridden body parts. Ugh. So instead I stayed in bed, desperately trying to rearrange myself to some semblance of comfort. I probably drove my dear husband to insanity. Or not. I don't think he woke up, not even once. Even when I kicked him, accidentally of course. He awoke looking fresh as a daisy, unlike his wife who resembled something one might see in the Dawn of The Dead movies. Just sayin'.

I'm going to try and make it through my sleep deprived day and hopefully not scare my husband, my kids, or any cute,small animals in the process.

Monday, September 6, 2010


[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by Moe_ via Flickr"]Arizona Green Tea[/caption]

Those of you that follow me, know that I've pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve or some other such painful thing that only I could manage to do to my poor back. Whatever.

1. Today I bought some Active-On at Walmart.

2.I was given the instruction to get some from my Mom and Aunt.

3. So I did.

4. 'Cause I listen to my Mom.

5. Most of the time.

6. Even if I am 42.

7. My shoulder feels like it is about to fall off.

8. That would be totally gross...and painful.

9. Having a hurt back/shoulder/left arm does have its perks.

10. It has left me fairly incapacitated and therefore unable to cook, clean, or do laundry.

11. I will pay the price for that later, I am sure.

12. Because I have teenagers and all they think about is food...they had the gall to ask what was for dinner?

13. I pointed at my left arm that I dragged on the floor behind me.

14. I told them I could not cook with only my right hand.

15. It is impossible.

16. And might cause possible fire damage in the kitchen.

17. Or break a few of the rules of the health code.

18. Not that I don't do those sort of things on a normal day.

19. Did I just say, normal?

20. What is that?

21. My sons are currently watching a movie in the living room.

22. They are quiet and fairly contained.

23. So, I'm thinkin' peace for about 2 hours, give or take.

24. This leaves me time to drink my green tea and watch NCIS reruns.

25. After all I have my priorities.

26. One of them being Mark Harmon.

27. My husband is working on a project in his office.

28. I hear the drill and some banging.

29. He is cutting into my being able to hear "Jethro". Puh-leeze.

30. It's quiet now. I need to go investigate.

Things Begin To Fall Apart

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="205" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Aging with Dignity Logo[/caption]

I would like to know where it says in the book of aging, what falls apart...and when. I don't like to be blindsided by these things.

For someone who has been fairly healthy her whole life, never spent a day in the hospital aside from giving birth, things have kind of been going south since I turned 40, a mere 2 years ago.

My latest "issue" is a pulled muscle in my back. I have no earthly idea how I managed this. I really don't. And yet here I am, in pain. Unable to use my left arm and shoulder. This stinks. Do you know  how hard it is to pull a shirt or dress over one's head when said person can not lift an arm? I had to swallow my pride and have my husband help me get out of my church dress yesterday. I got it half way off and realized I was stuck. Wriggling out of the dress caused shooting pains in my back. So, here I was standing in our walk in closet, bent over with a dress hanging off my shoulders and head. Where is the dignity in this? I gave up and said, " Um....sweetheart....could you come here? I need help." Bless  my husband's heart. He didn't laugh. (Which I know he probably would have liked to do) His only question was, "Is there a zipper or buttons on this dress?" My muffled reply was, "NO. Just pull it over my head!" The whole time I'm thinking to myself, "Who was the dumb bunny that decided on this dress this morning, knowing that I couldn't lift my arm very well?" Duh. Sometimes I wonder about myself.

Today I am taking it easy...and making sure to wear something with buttons.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The World Really Is A Small Place

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="256" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Coffee icon[/caption]

I was "freshly pressed" on  this past Thursday. Being freshly pressed  is kind of like being their "blogger of the day". It was a lot of fun, because it was totally unexpected. I had no idea until I started seeing hundreds of people reading my blog. What??? I have a decent following but, nothing like this.....what is going on? I figured it out and was pleasantly surprised. By the end of the day I had thousands of people that had looked at my blog. Wow.

I had such fun reading the comments from everyone. I "met" a woman who is traveling the world with her nine year old son. I laughed with a woman who said that mice freak her out. I cried after reading one man's comment about needing a smile. His wife has cancer and they are in the middle of building a house in his wife's homeland of Slovakia. I giggled when reading the comment from one husband who said his wife would agree with me about grocery bills...but, he likes to eat! I found a lot of moms that are similar to me, that get my sense of humor...and if we lived closer (and not all over the U.S.A) I bet we would be friends. Out of thousands of people that read my blog, I only had one odd comment...from a man who was on a rant about women. He sounded like he had issues that had nothing to do with me or my blog. Oh well.

All these people that commented, reminded me that this world we live in, isn't really all that big after all. We might live far apart, but we still have so much in common. Some people are scared to use the internet because of "what is out there".....and yes, I know there are some scary things online. But there are also a lot of funny, friendly, silly, serious, thought provoking, deep, and interesting people online. And I got to meet some of them! I hope that having been freshly pressed leads to more readers for my blog. People I can share some of my day with... along with that, I also love to meet people and hear their stories. So, it's all good.

Now, why don't you pull up a stool, sit at my kitchen counter, and I'll get you a cup of coffee. Let's talk...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fast Spiders

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]A spider[/caption]

1. Yesterday my son helped me to clean the pieces of wood off our front porch.

2. The wood is left over from the flower bed borders.

3. I moved a piece of wood.

4. I screamed. And danced around. Well, sorta. Kinda. A dance of terror.

5. I seem to do that a lot.

6.What's with me?

7. It was a spider.

8. A HUGE spider. A Godzilla size spider.

9. A FAST spider.

10. He came flying at me.

11. Not literally, but it seemed that way. At least to me.

12. I pulled off my flip flop and smacked him.

13. Spiders curl up when they are dead.

14. Good.

15. I'm tired of vermin in and around my house.

16. My house is just a year old. Vermin should stay away.

17. The spider had friends.

18. Some of them ran for their lives.

19. Some tried to defend themselves.

20. I squished them.

21. Sorry spiders.

22. I'm having company for dinner.

23. Which means I have to cook.

24. I think I'm making lasagna.

25. And something chocolate for dessert.

26. Because I love chocolate.

27 And since I'm the one cooking. I deserve it.

28. I love my family and friends.

29. They love me too. And they put up with me.

30. I am a blessed woman.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Another Day...Another Dollar.

1. Another day, another dollar. No wait. No dollar.

2.I work, but I don't get paid. With, you know, real money.

3. As the mom I would consider taking payments in massage sessions.

4. That would help with the stress.

5. 'Cause I get stressed, which causes tense muscles. Which requires a massage. Makes perfect sense to me. Duh.

6.I have to go to the grocery store today.

7.Because my family has to eat.

8. I wish they didn't eat so much.

9.It would make for cheaper grocery bills.

10. I found another mouse in the master bath today.

11. They are getting in through a hole where the plumbing goes into the wall.

12.The mouse I found was dead. In the nifty trap.

13. No sorrow here.

14. Everyone is working right now.

15. Except me. I'm blogging. Which isn't work. It's fun.

16. It's better than therapy.

17. Not that I know much about therapy, mind you.

18. I'm watching Hurricane Earl reports on the news.

19. All the meteorologists will be standing on beaches.

20. In 150 m.p.h wind, rain pelting them in the face.

21. Hope no one gets swept out into the Atlantic as they try to keep us updated.

22. Weather people live for this stuff.

23. At least I'm in Ohio. Far away from Earl.

24. Safe in my pasture land. With the mice.

25. Filthy, stinkin' rodents. Blech.

26. The kids are working quietly.

27. This always scares me.

28. The kids are not normally quiet.

29. They may be plotting.

30. I should go check.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dawn-In 60 Seconds!

1. Wife to Scott, for better or for worse...or even on bad hair days...which, for me, seems to be most days lately.

2. Mom to Bradley, Kendrick, and Breanna...three of the meanest kids you'd ever want to know...haha. Just kidding. They are normal teens. Wait, I think that is an oxymoron. Normal teens? Now THAT is funny.

3. Home Schooler.

4. Home Schooler who wants to pull her hair out.

5. Home Schooler who wants her children to be brilliant and successful.

6. A mouse just ran by me. NO, I'm not kidding.

7. I screamed. Loudly.

8. Where did it come from? And better yet, where is it going? UNDER MY BED. AGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Get it, Scott! Get it!!!!!

9. I'm having a heart attack. I do not like living things in my house unless they are human or Joe the cat. Other than that, forget it.

10. Why did I move to the country, and live in a field? With a bunch of varmints?

11. I painted my toenails purple. As a statement. I am a wild woman. It's neon purple too. Cool, huh?

12. I think I just drank a gnat that was in my sweet tea.

13. Oh well, it's protein.

14.This morning is not going well for me so far.

15. I guess it could be worse.

16. We could have a raccoon in our house. That happened to a friend of mine. It wasn't pretty.

17. I'm scared to go in my bedroom now.

18. I'm a wimp.

19. For the love of Pete!!!!

20. I'm already exhausted and it's not even 9:30 in the morning.

21. I need to dust.

22. I hate to dust.

23. Dust always comes back.

24. The mouse just ran by my feet.

25. I screamed.

26. My husband is upset with me for screaming.

27. He thinks I am a ridiculous baby for screaming.

28. Maybe I am

29. I don't care.

30. This is going to be a long day.