Don't forget to visit my website! Jackie Coleman - Author

Monday, March 31, 2014

Life Is Good


A brand new, never played in before box. 
When you're a cat, it doesn't get much better than this.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Healthy Dinner


I made cinnamon rolls for dinner the other night. If you're wondering in what universe cinnamon rolls can be considered "healthy", let me enlighten you ... the health benefits cinnamon have been recorded as far back as 2000 BC. You can buy cinnamon pills in the vitamin and supplements aisle at any drugstore ... or health food store. You know how people wrap pills in hamburger so that their dog will take them or they grind up veggies and put them in foods (like spaghetti and brownies) so that their kids will eat them? This is kind of the same principal ... it's a vitamin disguised as a luscious, indulgent dessert. How clever of me to discover how to get healthy food into my kids' bellies!

Don't worry ... we didn't just have cinnamon rolls for dinner. We also had a vegetable appetizer ... potato chips!

If this doesn't cement my role as "Mother of the Year" in my kid's eyes, what will?!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Seamstress

My mother was a very good seamstress. I can sew, but I have no where near the skill my mother had. Even so, I felt it was something the girls should know how to do. For years I tried to get my kids interested in sewing, cooking, gardening etc.,, but they looked at me like I had just said, "Let's go cut the grass with scissors!" After being rejected time and time again, I finally gave up offering to teach my "skills" to the next generation.

Once my oldest daughter moved out and was living on her own, she realized she needed to know the things I've been trying to teach her and came to me for recipe's and "lessons". She's turned out to be a decent cook, a devoted gardener, and it's safe to say she's inherited the "craft" gene!

A couple of years ago she finally asked me to teach her how to sew! Yea! Lesson One was throw pillows (she made four for her sofa) ... and I had to take a picture to commemorate the occasion!


After the pillows were done, she wanted me to help her make a dress, but I convinced her we should start with something simpler, like an apron. She had wanted an apron anyway ... to hold scissors and things at work anyway, so an apron seemed like a better next step than a dress. We didn't have a pattern for a half-apron, so I made one up. It has no raw edges to fray, so her aprons will last until the fabric dry rots! Here is her very first apron ...


When she wore her apron to work, several co-workers wanted her to make one for themselves and to give as gifts. She's made full cooking aprons for women and shop aprons for men. She's gone on to make clothing, and I've taught her how to repair garments, including replacing the zippers. She's got a nice little cottage business doing alterations and sewing aprons and various items people request.  What's better than a hobby that produces a little extra income?! I know my mother is in heaven, smiling and beaming with pride as she watches her first granddaughter happily sitting at a sewing machine!

Here are some of the aprons she's made ...




Friday, March 28, 2014

The Musician

My pretty girls at one of their middle school
band and orchestra Christmas concerts.
My middle daughter learned to play the violin the summer before her sixth grade year. What started off as cringe-worthy squeaking soon turned into beautiful music. A few years ago she asked my boyfriend to teach her how to play guitar. He started playing guitar before he learned to read. He loves playing guitar and he was only too happy to teach her. He showed her a few chords and told her to practice ... and she did.

He's taught (or tried to teach) many people over the years, and he said my daughter had more raw talent than anyone he's ever worked with. That made me very proud, because he wouldn't have said it if he didn't believe it ... and I know this for a fact! Take, for instance, the time I said, "This dress makes me look pregnant, doesn't it?" Without hesitating, he looked at me and said, "Yeah, it kind of does!" We both had a good laugh ... I did kind of look pregnant! When I've related that story to others, their mouths fall open and they look at me like, "So ... how'd you kill him? Gunshot or poison?"

I'm glad he tells me the truth. If I ask him if I look okay and he says yes, I know he thinks I look okay. If he didn't, he'd tell me. I love that he always tells me the truth, and I ask his opinion because I know he will tell me what he thinks ... not just what he thinks I want to hear! So anyway, when he told me my daughter had more raw talent than anyone he's worked with before, I believed him  ... because I knew he meant it.

Before long, she was teaching herself song after song after song. She'd watch YouTube video's of guitar players and watch their fingers ... and she got pretty good! She can now pick up her guitar and play almost anything after a few minutes of trial and error. And, she's paying it forward by teaching others interested in learning to play.

Music has always been a big part of our lives. The kids and I would sing all the time ... at home, in the car, on walks, etc. I always loved spying on the kids when they didn't know I was watching ... and I couldn't help but smile at the silly songs they would make up. I'm not a big fan of musicals, because who breaks out in random song and dance throughout the day? My kids, that's who!! My middle daughter would even sing herself to sleep at night! They still break out in song for no particular reason! Don't believe me? Okay, just say "leg lamp" when my daughters are together and watch what happens! I am NOT joking! Really ... just get my daughters together and say "leg lamp"! The other night my boyfriend came over for dinner, and somehow this came up. He, of course, had no idea what I was talking about, so I yelled out to the girls (they were in another room) ... I said "Hey, girls ... leg lamp" ... and then I sat back for what I knew was coming. And, right on cue, it happened! I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I won't go into details, but we all had a good laugh! (Maybe for a future blog post will I will record this phenomena and show you!)

My middle daughter began recording herself singing and playing guitar and began posting them on YouTube. Below is my favorite song from her YouTube Channel. You can watch her other videos by clicking here. (Ignore the blonde hair in some of the videos ... she has her amazingly beautiful chestnut brown hair back now!)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Artist



About ten years ago, the kids and I made it a point to see every lighthouse within driving distance when traveling. I got a text from my my son one day asking me what my favorite lighthouse was ... and I broke out in a cold sweat. I love lighthouses! Picking a favorite was like picking a favorite child!!!!

I love the Ocracoke Lighthouse because I love Ocracoke so much ...
The kids at the Ocracoke Lighthouse
but the Hatteras Lighthouse is so iconic ...
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
The kids getting ready to climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
You can't really see them, but the kids are flying around the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
but my son and I took a day trip to Currituck Lighthouse, just the two of us ...
My son was just shy of being old enough to climb the lighthouse alone,
but I'm a chicken and couldn't force myself to climb up.
They made me buy a ticket to escort my son to the top ...
but I waited on the second floor landing inside while he climbed to the top.
He climbed up and down safely ... and they were none the wiser!
but I also love Savannah and the Tybee Lighthouse ... which is also where my Fear of Heights reared it's ugly head again ... and why I knew better than to try climb to the top of the Currituck Lighthouse with my son ...
On our way to climb the Tybee Island Lighthouse.
The kids had a blast, but it was a decision I would soon regret!
but the Bodie Island Lighthouse is pretty cool, too ...
The kids at the Bodie Island Lighthouse.
They were disappointed that visitors can't climb this lighthouse.
but I really have a soft spot in my heart for the Georgetown Lighthouse ... it looks so much like the lighthouse on Ocracoke  ...
Passing the Georgetown (SC) Lighthouse on our way to a barrier island to look for shells.
but we had some much fun in the shadow of the Hunting Island Lighthouse ...
Hunting Island Lighthouse, near Beaufort, South Carolina.
I finally decided on the Hatteras Lighthouse, because it's such a recognizable piece of Americana, and he surprised me with a drawing of it! I've always loved to draw, and it seems my son has inherited my passion. I think he did a masterful job. What a wonderful present that was ...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Girl With Flowers


I was cleaning old files off my computer the other day and came across this scan. My middle daughter drew this for me in the mid-90's. I scanned it and used it as wallpaper for my computer. It made her smile every time she saw it ... and it made me smile, too. This particular child was a prolific draw-er. In the first ten years of her life, she easily produced enough drawings to wrap the entire planet ... twice! 

I have a lot of the kid's drawings packed away here and there. I often come across them as I'm digging through drawers or going through boxes ... and I remember them all. I can still see the huge, anticipatory smile on their face when they presented me with their gift, and I how they beamed with pride as I praised their work and thanked them ... with words and hugs and kisses ... and sometimes tickles. 

Strange, isn't it? I have three children who drew me picture after picture ... for years and years and years ... yet when I come across one of their masterpieces, I know exactly which critter created it for me :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How To Eat Food With Eyes


The proper way to eat food with eyes ... and by "food", I mean peeps, gingerbread men, chocolate rabbits, etc. ... is to eat the head first.  It's more humane if they aren't forced to witness you eating them. If the head is too big to consume in one bite (like a large chocolate bunny), common courtesy dictates that you, at the very least, pick off their cute button eyes and eat them before consuming their head and body.

I suppose it's kinder to turn the package of peeps around while you devour their friends one by one ... but I can tear through a package of peeps fairly quickly ... so even if I forget and eat them in front of the others, they don't witness the carnage for long!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Roast


Saturday morning I got up and started my coffee. While the coffee was brewing, I put a roast in the crock pot. My oldest daughter missed me and came over for a visit, and we decided to spend a few hours driving around to look at some houses she's interested in buying. When we got back, the house smelled amazing and we were both anxious for the roast to finish cooking.

We were also tired, so we both took a short nap. I got her a blanket and she laid down and took a nap ... with no pouting, no tantrum, no tears! I wish it had been that easy twenty years ago!

After our nap, she kept asking me when the roast would be ready. It was actually ready for a while before I let anyone eat it ... I was waiting for my boyfriend to arrive. When it came time to eat, my oldest daughter was the first one to dive in, then my middle daughter and three of her friends descended on the kitchen and pretty much picked the platter clean.

Every time I make a roast I remember a roast I made when the kids were about six, eight, and ten years old. I was so sick of eating the foods the kids liked ... I wanted real food! People food! Grown-up food! I made a roast with carrots and potatoes, and crescent rolls. I was salivating as I set the table. My oldest daughter came into the room (undoubtedly brought there by the delicious aroma!). I guess she expected hamburger helper or sloppy joes or pizza or hot dogs and macaroni. When she saw real meat and real vegetables still in their vegetable form, she burst into tears and cried "Why are you doing this to us?"

When my kids were little, everyone always told me "Treasure this time ... before you know it, they'll be all grown up" ... but that wasn't true at all! When the kids were little, time seemed to stand still! They were little for what felt like decades! But once my oldest hit middle school, time did fly ... and now they're all adults ... who appreciate naps and voluntarily take them without me nagging ... and they eat people food!

I loved my kids when they were babies. I loved rocking them to sleep and watching them grow and learn to walk and talk. I loved them when they were toddlers and preschoolers, when they'd wake up and run to my room to give me a good morning kiss and hug. I loved them when they got older and we could all go bike riding and swimming and hiking, and really do things together. But I think I love them most as adults. I love that they ask my opinion and look to me for advice. I love that they want to spend time with me. I love that they are finally able to understand how much work it is to raise children by yourself, and they appreciate all I did for them. I love that we are friends and that they choose to spend time with me. But the thing I love the most is that they all still call me "Mama".

Sunday, March 23, 2014

You're Never Too Old


I can't tell you how many times over the years that I've looked out my back window and watched my kids playing and swinging. Now that the kids are older, they have better things to do than swing and climb and run and play. Every once in a while, though, the swing set beckons, and they make their way back to a time when long summer days stretched endlessly ahead and were filled with whatever game or activity or song came to mind. My oldest daughter came over to visit yesterday (she missed her mommy). I looked out one of the upstairs windows and saw her swinging, so I took the video below. I took it with my phone so it's not very good quality. Even so, it makes my heart smile :)

video


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mark Your Calendar

Don't forget to mark your calendar and join local authors to kick off National Library Week! Ten local authors will be on hand to talk about their books and offer autographed copies for sale.

Boomerang and A Summer in Ocracoke will both be available at a one-time discounted price of only $12 each, tax included!

All of the authors will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Public Library Friends. Join us to help kick off National Library Week, meet some interesting people, buy some great books, and help out a worthy cause!


Local Voices: Conversations with Community Authors
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library
Central Branch - Browning Event Rooms A and B
located at
200 S.E. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Evansville, Indiana

Friday, March 21, 2014

Winter Fatigue

Yesterday, the first official day of spring, was a pleasant enough day. A little cold by my standards, but a light jacket was all that was needed by the afternoon. Today is supposed to be even prettier, and we should see 70ยบ. The winter reprieve will be short-lived, however, as we'll be back down into the 40's next week. I sure hope it doesn't stunt the spring flowers that are appear just ready to bloom.

I spoke to my sister in Minnesota a few nights ago. They had just gotten another round of snow. I don't know how she lives up there! We may be suffering from winter fatigue here, but they are suffering from winter exhaustion.

It gets pretty humid here in the summer, and before long, everyone will be complaining about the heat ... but I won' be among them! It does get hot here, and it can be very uncomfortable, but I'll take uncomfortable heat over painful cold any day of the year ... and I miss my flowers!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I Think I Can Get Another Few Weeks Out Of This

I realize this blush looks like it's been picked clean, but it's looked pretty much like this for the last several months, and I've used it every day.

It's kind of a game I play with myself, except "game" implies that it's fun. While I wouldn't say it's actually "fun", I do derive pleasure out of seeing how long I can use something that appears to be already used up! Much to my kid's chagrin, I play this "game" with foundation, blush, eye shadow, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc.

My kids think I'm either nuts or the ultimate tight-wad, and they wonder why I don't just buy another thing of blush. I already have another thing of blush! I bought it last fall in anticipation for when this one runs out ... but it hasn't ran out yet! When it does, I'll move on to the next one.

Let them scoff and roll their eyes, because I'm pretty sure there is several week's worth of blush left in the corners.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Speaking Of Cats In Clothes


When we first got Olivia, she came as an teenager/adult cat from the home of a young married couple. She was their only child and she was spoiled rotten. Olivia loved her home and had her jailers trained well trained to her likes and dislikes. When they had a "real" baby they realized their cat wasn't so special anymore. They were forced to accept the cold, hard truth ... their cat was, in fact ... an animal! For some reason, I agreed to take her (all these years later, I still don't know why I said yes!). She was a bit of a snot when she got here. She walked around snarling like a bobcat. She didn't want anything to do with us, and she let us know that her new prison was not acceptable! We figured she spoke with a French accent, looking down her snooty little nose at us peasants.

My oldest daughter bought her a Fairy Princess costume to wear for Halloween ... partly because she loves dressing animals in clothes (click here for evidence), and partly for revenge! And here is Olivia, dressed up in her Fairy Princess costume. She hated it! She couldn't walk forwards in it ... only backwards. She finally gave up and just laid there! It was hilarious!! We laughed so hard we were crying. (And yes, Olivia, we were laughing at you, not with you!) If she could talk, I'm quite sure she would have told us (in her "better-than-thou" French accent) that this was beneath her. She didn't have to tell us it was humiliating ... her shame was obvious!

She eventually surrendered and reluctantly accepted her degrading circumstances and the new wardens who forced her to snuggle. She's a sweetie-pie now ... but she will never be allowed in my room ... she looks too much like a raccoon!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

You Can't Make This Stuff Up Folks!!


This was just too good to keep to myself! After I posted my blog last Friday about people looking like their pets, Mr. H sent me a photo of himself and The World Famous George (his words, not mine) ... both wearing their overalls. Poor George.

Yes, Mr. H actually has tiny, cat-sized overalls ... complete with a cutout for the tail. I must admit, The World Famous George does look quite dapper ... but I can't say he looks as happy as Mr. H!

Note to everyone who knows me: If you don't want to end up on my blog, don't send me silly pictures!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Leprechaun Has Been Busy!





The Leprechaun had plans to drive around the city last night to leave treats hanging from the doorknobs of six lucky people ... but the Leprechaun's daughter borrowed the car and didn't get home until the Leprechaun was in bed for the night. The Leprechan could have gotten up extra early and delivered the treats this morning, but the Leprechaun isn't a morning person and didn't want to get up early. So, the Leprechaun deputized a friend who delivered some of them last night, and the Leprechaun delivered the rest this morning.

That clever fellow also appears to have Photoshopped fancy hats and shamrock headbands onto the family pets of these individuals as well ... either that, or he actually photographed the animals in their holiday hats. I guess that detail will remain a mystery forever unsolved :)

And now, I shall leave you with an old Irish Blessing ...

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Grumpy Cat

My middle daughter LOVES Grump Cat and begged me for Grumpy Cat guitar picks for Christmas. Telling her that she could have several hundred mass produced guitar picks for the cost of 20 Grumpy Cat picks fell on deaf ears. So I designed a Grumpy Cat pick and ordered them. To no one's surprise ... she loved them!

Below is a picture of her birthday cake last year ... but ...
I will cement my title as "The Best Mom Ever in the History of Mom's" if I can figure out how to make Grumpy Cat coffee!

Friday, March 14, 2014

I Guess People DO Start Looking Like Their Pets!


This is my middle daughter and son at a karate tournament in Madisonville, Kentucky a few years back. The distinguished farmer ...er, gentleman ... in between them is Mr. H, their old fourth grade teacher. I don't mean to imply that he's old, but then again, he's not exactly young, but ...  Okay, how's this? They both had him when they were in the fourth grade. (That sounds better, doesn't it?!) In his classroom, he always wore dress clothes. but if you ever saw him outside of school ... he was in overalls. Always. Year-round. No exception!

He's retired now, and that's too bad, because he's the kind of teacher you pray your kids will get. He loved his students and they loved him. He would go to all kinds functions and activities that his current and former students were in ... plays, school programs, etc. He would even go to functions not connected to school if he knew about them and they were close by ... just to cheer the kids on. After they performed, he would seek them out and tell them what a good job they did ... so that they knew he had come to see them ... then he'd slip away and head home.

He and his wife came to my middle daughter's high school graduation party. Everyone was surprised that a fourth grade teacher still had contact with kids that far removed from their classroom, but then they've probably never met a teacher like Mr. H. I've been at Open House at the grade school he taught at when former students ... in college or married with kids of their own ... would see that the school was having Open House, so they'd stop by just to say hello!

A couple of years ago he started feeding a stray cat (he called him George) ... and talking about him quite a bit ... all the while denying he had a cat. One time he mentioned that he'd taken George to the vet. I told him he couldn't deny he had a cat if he was taking it to the vet and letting it take naps on his lap while he "watched" television. Yes, he finally admitted, he had a cat.

The kids found the picture below ... so I guess it's true ... people really do start looking like their pets!!





Thursday, March 13, 2014

Vindication!


I've touched on the topic of Early Birds vs. Night Owls on more than one blog posting, like the humorous "Pavlov's Response", or the snarky/hateful research reported in "Beware the Night Owl". It's a topic that really irks me at times. I pay attention when I hear early birds commenting on night owls (and vice versa). The key difference being that early birds always seem to imply night owls are lazy, while night owls simply wonder why anyone would get up at four o'clock in the morning if they didn't have to! Rather than look at early birds as lazy for going to bed before the sun sets, night owls feel sorry for early birds … they miss out on so much by going to bed so early.

I've even sat through sermons in church where the early bird pastor "jokingly" pointed out scripture praising early birds for being industrious … while the scriptures he chose for night owls referred to them as sloths. I saw the humor, but I struggled not to be offended that he "teasingly" implied God considers night owls lazy.

One very sweet friend of mine is the ultimate early bird. She was telling me how her three (now grown) daughters are early birds like herself, but when the girls were young, she would wake them if they were sleeping really late. I asked her what she considered late. She replied, "Oh, I never got them up early ... I let them sleep until six-thirty!" I was, to say the least … flabbergasted! I told her that if she were my mother and insisted on waking me at six-thirty on days I could sleep in that I would have ran away from home! She asked me, in complete innocence, "Why? Six-thirty isn't early, is it?"

(Rhymes-With-Well) YES!!!!!!

I guess another difference between most early birds and night owls is that while night owls can't understand why someone would want to go to bed at seven o'clock in the evening, we realize that if someone is tired enough to go to bed that early, all the whining in the world isn't going to make them stay awake. Personally, I don't care who who gets up early … as long as they don't get up and do something noisy … or try to make me get up, too! As a night owl, I recognize and accept some people like to get up early … so why can't early birds realize and accept some people like to sleep late?

After reading one particularly snarky “research study” showcasing the personality disorders which make a person want to stay up late …I happened upon another study from the London School of Economics that suggests night owls may actually be more successful than morning people.

I must admit, it felt good to read something that didn’t declare me a psychological deviant! Here are a few highlights of their findings:

  • People with higher IQs are more likely to stay up late
  • Night people show a higher level of cognitive complexity
  • People who wake early fade in terms of cognitive ability at a faster rate than those who don’t wake early
  • Night people are more likely to be better thinkers

Early birds like to say, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." While that is quite pithy, it's not exactly true. I’m not disputing that we all need eight hours of sleep, I’m just disputing the hours early birds think we have to get those Z’s! I think the saying should be: "Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." Granted, it's not quite as catchy, but it's far more accurate!

I'll leave you with one final thought …


The early bird
might catch the worm,
but the second mouse
gets the cheese!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Plum Preserves


A few summers ago I made plum preserves, and my boyfriend loved them. I only made six or eight pints of them, so I doled them out slowly to make them last. He sure looked sad when I presented him with the last jar. Despite his efforts to make it last as long as he could, there came a day when the last jar was just plain empty.

This valentines day I made him the granola cookies (of course!), but I also surprised him with three jars of plum preserves ... and let me tell you ... you have not lived until you have had homemade plum preserves on yogurt, vanilla ice cream, or frozen vanilla yogurt!

Well, It IS The Bathroom!

video

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Morning Fog


I woke up to a city cloaked in fog the other morning. Planes might have had a hard time navigating, but driving required only slightly more vigilance than usual. Once I got off the main roads, I pulled over and snapped a few pictures. The area I was in when I took the photographs is very rural, and you can generally see for miles and miles across the farmland ... but that morning, all but the immediate landscape was hidden. I find fog mysterious and surreal the way it obscures the landmarks you know are hiding somewhere inside the veil of white. (Click on the pictures to enlarge.)



Saturday, March 8, 2014

I'd Like An Answer, Too!


The following article left me fuming ... "It is Time for Vectren to Explain Why SW Indiana is an Island of Exorbitant Electricity Rates"

I live in a big, old, drafty Victorian home, built in 1909. Several of the rooms still have original, unpainted oak trim, fireplace, and 9' operational pocket doors. The richness of the stained wood and the craftsmanship in the detail is stunning, and it's what made me fall in love with this old house the moment I walked through the doors.

Most of the windows downstairs are original, which means they are not energy efficient by anyone's standards. Let's just say the advancements in window technology in the last 105 years has been almost completely lost in my home. My monthly electric bill is equal to nearly one third of my mortgage payment. I signed up for the equal payment plan over a decade ago so that I didn't have $88 bills in the spring and fall, and $700+ bills in the winter. As a result, my monthly bill is ridiculously high all year. I cringe every time I pay it, but at least I don't need sedatives to open my bill in the winter.

Last month a friend of mine said his Vectren bill was three times what it usually is this time of year. Granted, we had an unusually cold stretch of weather for a while, but if my bill had tripled, I would would probably hyperventilate.

After reading the above referenced article, I'd love Vectren to answer for our unusually high energy rate ... especially in light of them requesting a rate hike. Isn't there some legislative body that oversees this type of thing and can call for an investigation? And by legislative body, I mean one that isn't beholden to them for campaign contributions and will do what is right for the community, not what benefits them personally.

If Vectren needs to charge substantially higher rates to cover their overhead, perhaps they shouldn't have built a new office building (pictured above). Strangely, I cannot locate an article online giving the cost of the new building, but it can't have come cheap. They built on prime real estate on the riverfront, and they had to tear down an existing high-rise apartment building first. I was able find a plethora of articles demanding to know why Vectren charges Evansville residents substantially more than other markets, but none on what they spent to build their fancy new offices.

Wikipedia notes that: "Vectren sponsors the radio network of the Indianapolis Colts NFL football team; the network is referred to on-air as the "Vectren Radio Network". As well they also sponsor the annual "Vectren Dayton Air Show". A small, very unscientific poll I took reveals that no one, not even die-hard Colts fans, are willing to pay higher rates in order to allow Vectren to pretend they're doing a wonderful thing ... for a town four hours north of us ... who gets their power from a different energy company. Most felt the energy company that serves Indianapolis should be the one forking out this kind of money.

The bottom line is that spending money on the Indianapolis Colts doesn't do anything for our local economy ... it helps Indianapolis, who enjoy lower energy rates than we do. Evansville pays for this goodwill, but reaps little or no benefit from it. Paying for these types of things, and passing those costs to residents in the form of higher energy rates seems immoral and unethical at best, and illegal at worst.

A short internet search reveals people have long been trying to get an answer from Vectren as to why one small community is paying more than nearly every city in a 1,000-mile radius ... so why is Vectren so silent on the matter? And why is nothing being done?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Saying Good-Bye

While looking through pictures for a slideshow, I came across the picture of my oldest daughter's car being towed away for good ... and it brought back so many memories. I bought her this car when she turned 16. It was a used car, but she picked it out ... and she loved it! She drove it for four years before she bought a car herself.

She didn't trade her old car in when she bought a new one, and by this time, it had some serious issues. I didn't want to sink that kind of money into the car. But, I had to do something with it. My boyfriend suggested I donate it to a charity. Brilliant!

I knew I wanted to donate it to a cause dedicated specifically to lung cancer research, but I didn't want to donate it to one that spent a lot of money producing "stop smoking" commercials. As a former smoker, I can tell you that those commercials do not have the desired effect on a smoker. Oh, they fill non-smoker's head with a lot of ammunition to throw in a smoker's face, but they do not motivate a smokers to quit. I have long since quit ... but it had absolutely NOTHING to do with those commercials. Honestly, those commercials made me want to keep smoking!

So, I found an organization that spent it's time and money researching drugs to cure lung cancer, and to looking for ways to detect it before it was too late. And, best of all, they don't throw any money away on commercials that don't serve any purpose other than to irritate smokers and rile up non-smokers.

I took a picture when they came to pick it up. It was a little bittersweet, because I get overly attached to objects ... I even cried when the family on The Wonder Years stood in their yard watching as a wrecker towed off their old, broken-down station wagon!!! 

I had a lump in my throat as I stood at the door and watched them load my daughter's car onto their truck. I think they ended up selling it for quite a bit more than I thought it would bring, and it made me feel good to know that money was going to a good cause.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Daddy Plant


I got a philodendron (hanging in center of above picture) from the many plants that were sent to the funeral home when my dad died .... 27 years ago today. When I talk about my father to my kids, I always call him "Daddy", because that's who he was to me. He died before any of the kids were born, so they don't know him as "grandpa". When they talk about "Daddy", they are talking about my dad, not theirs ... and they have always referred to the philodendron as "The Daddy Plant".

I've taken good care of it in recent years, but there were many years that went by where this poor plant was sorely neglected. Through all those years of inattention, that poor plant held on, although I have no idea how! It had to be jealous when it saw me outside watering my flowers religiously, and it probably felt like a cruel joke when it watched the rain nourish the plants on the other side of the glass.

A few years ago I made a vow to quit neglecting my inside plants. Once I began making an effort to be a good plant mom, it thrived ... so much so that it was getting out of control and I had to cut it back. I started pots of "The Daddy Plant" for each of the kids. My oldest daughter is taking care of her Daddy Plant, but I have custody of the other two "grandplants". I'll transfer custody to them when they are ready for that kind of responsibility!

A few weeks ago I noticed the palm plant in the Daddy Plant has some berries. I accept them as a gift to say, "I forgive you, and thank you for finally taking care of me."




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I've Named Her Gladys ...


I have named my goldfish plant Gladys ... because she makes me glad. Gladys the Goldfish Plant!

It might be winter, but Gladys either doesn't mind or doesn't care. She's been busy making baby after baby after baby! Winter seems to be never-ending this year, and the landscape outside my window look so bleak and forlorn ... but this sweet gal keeps giving me a multitude of goldfish flowers to make me smile throughout these long winter months.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Comfort Food


Every time it snows, I feel compelled to make chicken and dumplings. For some reason, I consider chicken and dumplings to be the ultimate comfort food, which makes no sense at all. I don't recall my mother ever making chicken and dumplings, and until a few years ago, I had never made them, either. Until I started making it, the only chicken and dumplings I recall eating was canned (which is hardly comforting!) ... so I am a bit puzzled as to why it is my go-to comfort food ... but it is! 

I must admit, I do make tasty chicken and dumplings. The kids always salivate when I tell them I've made them, and my boyfriend is always willing to stop by and eat his fair share! I don't think I've ever made them without watching everyone help themselves to seconds. That makes me feel good.

Note the carrots and celery, which I add even though I've never seen a recipe telling me to. Good thing I do, because as we all know, the key to longevity for women is vegetables!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Local Voices: Conversations with Community Authors


I am honored to be among ten local authors invited to help kickoff National Library Week!

Join me April 13, 2014 (1:30pm-4:00pm) at the Central Branch of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (details here) for Local Voices: Conversations with Community Authors.

The public is invited to talk to the authors and purchase autographed copies of their books. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Public Library Friends.

Come on out to the library and help support a great cause!

April 13, 2014
1:30pm - 4:00pm
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Central Branch
200 S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Evansville, Indiana