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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

AcroYoga and CatYoga

Thing 2 and I doing AcroYoga
When I got home the other day, Thing 2 wanted me to do some with her. She's a persistent little critter and wouldn't take no for an answer, so I obliged her with a simple pose (and the only one I've ever successfully done!). Despite being a novice and not getting to practice much, I really enjoy it.

Olivia was not impressed and insisted anyone could do it, so Thing 2 made her do the same pose. I'll give her points for trying, but even in jeans and a t-shirt, I think I did a much better job than Olivia. That fat, lazy animal has no abdominal strength. (I'm referring to the cat, not Thing 2.) I guess napping 23 hours a day will do that to you (again, I'm referring to the cat, not Thing 2 ... although given the opportunity, Thing 2 has pretty impressive napping skills, too!).

Olivia said it wasn't a contest ... but it was ... and I won!!

Thing 2 and Olivia doing "Yoga".


Monday, September 29, 2014

Happy National Coffee Day

Today is National Coffee Day, and several places are giving out freebies to customers. I've had a super busy morning, so this posting is late to allow you to get your morning caffeine fix, but better late than never, right? 

Some of the National Coffee Day deals include: A free small McCafé coffee during breakfast hours at participating McDonald's. Krispy Kreme is giving away a free cup of joe to any customer - no purchase required. At Dunkin’ Donuts, get a free small hot or iced coffee today when you show the National Coffee Day offer under the “My Offers” tab in the Dunkin’ Donuts mobile app. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Today is Ask a Stupid Question Day

Some websites say today is Ask a Stupid Question Day, while others claims it's September 30th ... which would make more sense, since today is a Sunday, and the 30th is a school day, but I'm going with the 28th because I had already modified this graphic (with today's date) before I realized other websites said it was the 30th. Regardless, we can probably all think of someone today was kind of custom-made for, can't we?!

Ask a Stupid Question Day was created by teachers in the 1980's to encourage students to ask more questions in the classroom. Teachers felt that kids sometimes held back from asking questions for fear their questions were stupid and would result in ridicule.

Teachers have always tried to tell us "There are no stupid questions", but I'm firm believer that there are, indeed, stupid questions!

When I was in the sixth or seventh grade, our Science teacher, Mrs. Ruminer, was pregnant and getting ready to go on maternity leave. (I always thought she was ancient, but she was probably in her late twenties or early thirties.) Anyway, she asked us if we had any questions for her about the baby. I'm sure she was thinking we would ask "Is it a boy or a girl?", or "What are you going to name it?" Instead, one particularly naive student raised his hand. (I still remember his name, but I won't reveal it!)

"I have a question," he said. "There's a girl that lives down the street from me that's pregnant. She's only sixteen and she's not even married. How can that be?"

I don't recall anyone laughing, but we wanted to! I do remember thinking, "Yeah, Mrs. Ruminer ... field that question!!" She quickly decided we didn't have enough time for questions about babies, and we moved on to school work. You probably assume that I'm implying that my classmate asked a stupid question.

Au contraire!

I think Mrs. Ruminer asked a doozie!!

So you see, boys and girls, teachers might tell you there is no such thing as a stupid question, but I think we all know that's not really true!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Encore Azalea's are Blooming




Unlike regular azalea's, encore azalea's bloom more than once. They always have prolific flowerings in the spring and fall, but I've had them bloom in the summer on occasion.  I have two encore azalea's and three regular azalea's in the front garden. I like the color of regular azalea's (a deep, dark red), but I love that the encore azalea's grace my flower beds with their delicate pink petals multiple times throughout the growing season. It's know I'm in for a treat when I notice beautiful blooms forming. I love flowers! They ask for so little ... all they want is water and a little fertilizer now and then ... and they'll reward your kindness with an explosion of color. Seeing flowers in my yard always make my heart smile.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thank You, Poison Ivy

... for turning red in the fall so that I know where to spray the poison.

I'm crazy allergic to poison ivy ... so much so that I may be scratching for the next week just for standing close enough to it to take this picture.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Coffee on the Back Porch


I'm not a morning person, and it takes a lot to get me out of bed early on the weekends (and by early, I mean before 8:00). Despite the fact that getting out of bed at 6:30 on Saturday morning is painful, I drove to my boyfriend's house to cook him breakfast and have coffee on his back porch ... because he's one of the few things worth getting up early for :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pretty Please?


"I promise my poop won't stink this time!
Please let me have another can of Fancy Feast Salmon with Savory Gravy!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How To Say "I Love You"


One way to say "I love you" is to give up a weekend of your life to build your girlfriend a new front porch, even though your back is already hurting and you could be spending it resting, playing guitar, or doing some of the chores on your own to-do list.

I don't know what I did to deserve this man, but I'm sure glad I did it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hobbit Day

Hobbit Day is the birthday of the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two fictional characters in J.R.R. Tolkien's popular set of books "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". (I have never read the books or seen any of those movies, so I had to search the web for information.) According to my research, both Bilbo and Frodo were said to be born on September 22, but of different years. Bilbo was born in the year of 2890 and Frodo in the year of 2968 in the Third Age (1290 and 1368 respectively in Shire-Reckoning.).  I'm not exactly sure what any of that means, but I assume anyone who gives a rat's butt about Hobbit's will!

The American Tolkien Society first proclaimed Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week in 1978, and defines them as this: "Tolkien Week is observed as the calendar week containing September 22, which is always observed as Hobbit Day", but acknowledges that Hobbit Day pre-dates their designation.

Due to the discrepancies between the Shire Calendar and the Gregorian Calendar there is some debate as to when to celebrate Hobbit Day, since the actual birthday would be between September 12 and 14 on our calendar.

(Yawn ... I'm boring myself!)

I'm not sure what you're supposed to do to celebrate, but for all you sci-fi aficionado's out there... Happy Hobbit Day!

Who Knew?


After discovering this nugget of wisdom, I searched for images of lizards, expecting to see bulging biceps. I mean, if you spend your entire life communicating by doing push-ups, it stands to reason that your arms would be the size of tree trunks, right? Apparently, I was wrong.

The lizard below is either the strong silent type, rarely has anything interesting to say, or ... and I'm just adding this last one before someone else does  ... this photo could be of a male lizard.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Man Notepad


My (extremely sweet, ultra-capable) boyfriend is rebuilding my front porch. His goal yesterday was to pull the old boards off and put enough decking on to allow us to use the front door until he could get the rest of the decking on today. He succeeded in accomplishing what he set out to do, and the decking is laid from the steps to the door.

When he came over yesterday morning, he brought enough lumber to to lay the deck from the steps to the door. He knew it wasn't enough lumber to finish entirely, but he knew once he got the decking to the door, he could easily calculate what he needed to finish.

When you're taking measurements, making a list (and checking it twice!), you need to write it down. I, personally, write such things down on a piece of paper or make a note of it in my cellphone notepad app ... but what does a guy use? Why, a piece of scrap lumber, of course!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Too Much Fun


After a busy day full of little boy things, then playing on the playground while a wiffleball tournament plays out ("my" team won!), this little guy was too tired to eat his chocolate pudding. I'm sure I got tired as a young child, but I don't think I was ever too tired to eat chocolate pudding!

Friday, September 19, 2014

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. They even have their own website ... TalkLikeAPirate.com! Strangely, this is one of those silly holidays I have known about for years!

Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, is one of my favorite places on earth. (My second novel was set there ... A Summer in Ocraocoke). Blackbeard, one of the most notorious and well-known of all pirates, was killed off the coast of Ocracoke, at Springer's Point, on November 22, 1718. Thus, Ocracoke is steeped in pirate lore.

For those of you who don't know how to talk like a pirate, I've listed are a few phrases (with definitions) below that you can throw around to sound authentic. Drop a few of these words into your sentences, and you will have people wondering if you have been a pirate your whole life.
  • Ahoy! - "Yo!"
  • Avast! - "Check it out!"
  • Aye! - "Yes."
  • Arrr! - "That's right!" (often confused with arrrgh...)
  • Arrrgh! - "I'm VERY miffed."
Need more instruction to work that into your everyday vocabulary? I'm one step ahead of ya! Below is what I like to call Pirate 101:
  • Start  by dropping your "g's" - as in sailin' or drinkin'.
  • Avoid any pronunciation of "r's" so that "ever" becomes "e'er", and "never" becomes "ne'er". 
  • Substitute "ye" for "you" and "me" for "my". For example: "I want me grog ye scurvy dog!"
  • If all else fails, begin every other sentence with a scowl and a hearty "aarrgh."

And now I have to get to work ... Arrrgh!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ewww ... Today is National Cheeseburger Day

I will NOT be celebrating!

I love cheese, just not on a burger ... click here to read a blog I posted on my lack of love for cheese.

My First Love ... and My New Love

There is an east/west rivalry in my hometown that stymies all newcomers. No one really knows what started the "distaste" for the other side of town ... and other depends on which side of town you're from ... but it's definitely palpable! Each side, of course, thinks their side is best. I grew up on the east side, but have lived most of my life on the west side, and I must say, I prefer the west side.

The demarcation line is considered the highway that divides the city. Westsider's rarely venture east of the highway, and eastsider's rarely venture west. Drop an eastsider onto the west side of town, and they would likely wander for days trying to find their way out. It's easier for a westsider to navigate the east side because the east side has majors roads criss-crossing everywhere ... and that's one of the reason's westsider's hate the east side. The traffic is atrocious!

Of course, the west side has trains, so eastsider's hate coming over here, but we west sider's know how to get around the trains. They are a pain in the bottom, but we don't have to sit and wait for them to pass without getting lost!

I'm not sure why, but Ski (aka "Nectar of the Gods"), is considered "West Side Water". Ski is a local soda that is so incredibly delicious, you will think you've died and gone to heaven when the first drop hits your tongue.

I grew up on the east side and have drank Ski for as long as I can remember, but anytime someone (i.e. a non-westsider) would see me drinking a Ski, they'd say "Oh, you westsider's and your Ski!" Excuse me, but was addicted to Ski long before I lived on the west side!! Ski was bottled by Double Cola (now it's bottled by RC Cola). My mother would go to the grocery and buy 12 cartons of Double Cola, and one six-pack of Ski ... if she bought Ski at all! I asked her one time why she didn't buy more Ski. She said "Because no one likes Ski!" Well, Mama ... I guess I know where I stand in this family! That comment confused me. She would buy Ski, and it would be drank fairly quickly ... so obviously, someone likes Ski!

I decided to give up Ski once and for all last spring when I found myself 15 pounds heavier than just a few years ago. I've always been thin, so I don't have "fat clothes". I have been the same size my entire adult like, so I have one size of clothing ... and they were getting too tight. I didn't like the way I looked in anything and decided I had to do something before that 15 pounds turned into 100!

So, I quit Ski ... cold-turkey. About a month ago I stepped on the scale and realized I had reached my goal weight! I lost 15 pounds just by not drinking Ski ... and I only drank one or two a day at the most. I won't say how much I weighed before or after my 'weight loss', because even the before would sound pathetic. I'm so petite that my weight when I gave birth (after gaining 40 lbs.) was less than most women weigh before they get pregnant! But anyway, I'm back down to where I want to be.

I don't deprive myself. I eat what I want. I just don't eat until I pop ... I quit eating when I'm no longer hungry. If I want a cookie or a cupcake or a donut, I have one. I drink mostly water or milk, but if I can find it, I like to treat myself to a Diet Peach Tea Snapple. It's not as good as Ski (nothing is as good as Ski), but it's good, and my taste buds do a little dance after each sip. But don't worry, Ski ... I see fireworks every time I even think of you :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Endurance Running is BAD for you

Maybe I shouldn't be excited about that, but I am! I have never enjoyed running, and people who run love to make you feel guilty ... and lazy ... if you don't. Now, I have a reason not to run. Yea!
My boyfriend and I recently started doing yoga, regular and acroyoga. Now that's fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Here's the Picture I Promised

Remember the outside light I posted a picture of on August 28th ... I Have Been Deceived? I promised to post a picture of it re-painted ... so here it is. Much better, don't you think?


Monday, September 15, 2014

Waterfalls

My boyfriend recently spent a few days at his cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are literally hundreds of waterfalls dotting the mountains. Every time we take a hike there, we come upon waterfalls in varying degrees of spectacularness. (I made that word up!)

On his most recent trip, he spent one day hiking and exploring, and texted me this picture. He said it's his favorite waterfall. There are actually three waterfalls on this trail, that converge into one. On this particular trip, he took a rope to rappel down. He said that he couldn't wait to share it with me when we go to his cabin later this fall. I love it that he has a favorite waterfall.

I think everyone should have a favorite waterfall.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

It Feels Like Fall ... and We All Know What That Means


That means I start cooking!

 During the summer, I eat a lot of salads and grill everything from meat to fresh fruits to vegetables. But when the weather starts turning cold ... and this year it's turning cold MUCH earlier than usual ... I start making "winter food".

Most people love fall, but I'm not a fan. I hate waking up in the morning and shivering until I get get into socks and slippers and a robe. To me fall is like early labor when you're getting ready to have a baby. It might not be too painful yet, but it's going to get very painful ... very soon. When it gets below 70º, my nose start running, and it doesn't stop until it gets warm again. From November until April, I have to have a ready supply of tissues on hand. I hate having to wear long sleeves and socks and shoes ... I'm more of a sun top, shorts, and sandals kind of gal. I hate having to wear jackets and coats and layers and jeans. This time of year we're normally in the 80's, but today the high is only supposed to be 72º ... and that's the high ... which means most of the day we'll be in the 60's.

Like most of the eastern half of the US, the summer of 2013 was very rainy and I didn't get in the pool much past June. This year it was colder than normal, and the water was uncomfortably cold most of the summer. I haven't been in the pool, once again, since June. I spent the summer pouring in chemicals and cleaning the pool ... not enjoying it. I sure hope we have a nice, hot summer in 2015. I want to enjoy the pool instead of simply pouring money into it!

I'm sure the weather will warm up again before autumn settles in for good, but it sure feels like fall right now. So, I went to the grocery yesterday to get the fixin's for chili, and it seems everyone had the same idea I did, as tomato sauce was in short supply. Like everyone else, I like the chili my Mama made the best. It's spicy and thick and rich. I've had a lot of chili in my day, and it's never as good as the chili I make ... which is exactly like the chili my mother made. I don't like chili with Tabasco or hot peppers. My chili is spiced with chili powder, onions, salt, and pepper ... no Tabasco or jalapeno's. To me, those things ruin an otherwise good pot of chili. My chili is plenty hot and spicy ... but it's not painful. My chili is also very thick. I'm not a fan of thin, runny, watery chili.

In keeping with my cold-weather menu, I bought a roast to make in the crock pot, and everything I need to make chicken and dumplings. Tomorrow before I leave for work, I'll throw the roast and carrots and potatoes into the crock pot and will come home to a delicious dinner. I'll pop from crescent rolls into the oven when I get home and enjoy another one of my favorite meals!

My kids love roast now, but when they were little, they considered it punishment. When I had eaten all the hot dogs and macaroni and cheese I could force myself to swallow, I made a roast for dinner. It smelled so good! I was drooling as I set the table. Thing 1 walked into the kitchen and burst into tears and asked, "Why are you doing this to us?!"

I'm so glad my kids are now old enough to enjoy ... and look forward to real food! The huge pots of food I used to make that would go to waste now get gobbled up so quickly I rarely have enough leftovers to take for lunch.

All this talk of food is making my mouth water! It's 10:00 in the morning ... too late for breakfast and too early for lunch, but the perfect time for a brunch of chili and peanut butter sandwiches!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

International Chocolate Day

Today is International Chocolate Day! This is even better than International Bacon Day ... or maybe even Christmas!!!

International Chocolate Day is celebrated on September 13, the birth date of Milton S. Hershey (September 13, 1857 - October 13, 1945). (I'll bet his wife and kids loved him!)

I was going to have a leftover chocolate cupcake for breakfast ... but I ate them already! I guess I can always make biscuits and gravy ... chocolate gravy! And, in honor of Mr. Milk Chocolate, I'll use Hershey's cocoa.

This holiday was likely the brainchild of a woman, but I don't really care who invented it ... all I can say is "THANK YOU!!!!"

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Group of Pediatricians Say School Should Start No Earlier Than 8:30

Give me a break!

Delaying the start of the school day until at least 8:30 a.m., they say, would help curb students lack of sleep, which has been linked with poor health, bad grades, car crashes and other problems.

I have a better idea ... why don't parents just make their kids go to bed? My kids had a very strict bedtime, and it was rarely waived. When my kids were in elementary school, they went to bed at 8:00. They went to bed at 9:00 in middle school, and 10:00 in high school. As a single mother, I needed them to go to bed on time. I needed time without my kids underfoot. They knew they had to go to bed, and they generally didn't raise a stink. They were used to a bedtime. It was part of their routine, and they seldom questioned or fought it.

Parents just need to start being parents. They need to take the electronic toys away from the kids and put them to bed at a decent time. They need to have rules and enforce them. School doesn't need to start later ... parents just need to put their kids to bed earlier!

The men who grew up and put men on the moon ... those men were at school before 8:30. There have been some amazing inventions in the last sixty, seventy, even eighty years ... and all of them were invented by people who were at school before 8:30.

If children need more sleep, they should go to bed earlier. I guess it's easier to try to force schools to start later than to try to force parents into being good parents.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don't Worry ... We'll Never Forget

Today is the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against America, carried out by Islamist extremists. I'm sure there will be countless services and memorials across the country, but I don't need to attend any of those or watch them on television to remember what happened that day.

Everyone remembers what happened that day. Ask anyone, and they will be able to tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they received word of the attacks.

Around the time of the attacks, the kids and I were addicted to a show called "Third Watch", which was just entering it's third season. We loved that show and looked forward to it each week. For those of you who have never heard of that show, it was about New York City police, fire, and paramedics.

Watching that show taught my kids how dangerous it is to be a first responder ... and when those buildings fell, they thought of all of the firemen and policemen who didn't make it out.

Third Watch aired three episodes in October of 2001 relating to 9/11. The first was called "In Their Own Words", and featured cast members introducing the real heroes of that day. It was more of a documentary than a television drama, and the stories they told were true. Those who played firemen on the show introduced firemen who were there, and the same for the policemen and paramedics, It was taped soon after the tragedy, and the emotions were raw.

The second episode, "September 10th" aired the week after "In Their Own Words". In this episode, everyone was back in character, going about their day on September 10th. The episode ended on the morning of September 11th.

The third episode of that season was called "After Time", which showed the cast dealing with the aftermath of the attacks, including going to Ground Zero and digging through the rubble after their shifts. The three episodes were handled delicately and realistically. I loved that show ... the first four seasons anyway. Seasons five and six weren't that good, but the first four seasons were excellent, and they were the most realistic of any fire/cop/paramedic show I've seen.

Every year around this time, the television is full of programs about 9/11. Everyone tries to tell the story from a different angle or with a new twist ... but there is no new angle or twist that hasn't been done. I watch many of the shows, but it's been many, many years since any of them included a tidbit of information I didn't already know.

But I don't need a television show or documentary to remind me of 9/11 ... I'm reminded every time I see a flag flying or every time I see a soldier in uniform. I'm reminded every morning when I wake up free and every evening when I go to bed safe and unafraid. I'm reminded every single minute of every single day that there are lunatics out there, hell-bent on our destruction ... but I also know their mission is doomed. America took a blow that day, but it was far from fatal ... all they did was wake a sleeping giant. They did not, nor will they ever, break the spirit of the American people.

We are still here. We are still strong. We are still courageous and willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves ... and we are still free.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Busted

If only it had been this easy to get her down for a nap when she was little!
I took this photograph of Thing 2 and Olivia napping the other day. If Olivia looks upset, it's because she is. She's afraid her biggest fear will be realized ... that this pic will end up on my blog ... and she'll be outed for not being indifferent to the wants and desires of her captor.

As it turns out, her fears were well-founded.

The Cat Rules are pretty clear that a all feline/human interaction must be on the feline's terms. Cats are only to allow their tormentor's to pet them once for every ten times a human makes an Affection Request. If, however, the cat makes a request and this request is denied, the human will forfeit their petting privileges 100 times or one week (in cat years) ... which ever comes first. The duration of each approved request depends on a variety of factors, including ... but not limited to ... the number of times canned cat food is served and/or new toys are introduced and/or the litter box is cleaned out ... and/or the water and food bowls are kept full and fresh.

When a feline grants an Affection Request, every effort must be made to ensure the interaction ends before the human's need for feline companionship is fulfilled. The cat mantra must be strictly adhered to ... "Always leave them wanting more".

Taking a nap on a human's lap is acceptable only under certain conditions, and only if the human understands that they cannot move if they have a sleeping cat on their lap.

Felines are to employ whatever means necessary to extricate themselves from any and all cuddling situations before the human is content and satisfied ... unless it's to make a human or another animal jealous. The only exception is when a three-year-old has a deadly choke-hold on said feline.

When the other cats get online and see Olivia, content in the arms of her sleeping Jailer, her punishment will likely be swift and severe. Until she is able to redeem herself, she will be subjected to ridicule by the other cats for behaving like (shudder) ... a dog! By the weeks end, I expect Olivia will be the laughing stock of the feline world.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It Took 202 Years, 7 months, and 12 Days to Pass This Amendment

The 27th Amendment was submitted for on ratification September 25, 1789. It was not ratified until May 7 ... 1992! That's 202 years, 7 months, and 12 days.

That seems monumentally slow ... and monumentally selfish given that this amendment prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of Congress from taking effect until the winners of the latest election take office.

Let's be honest folks ... this amendment really prohibits any law that increases salaries from taking effect immediately. Does anyone honestly think Congress would pass a bill that takes money out of their own pockets? Ours ... yes.  Theirs? Not a chance.

Congress is never going to pass a bill that reduces their pay! I don't think anyone ever believed a Congressmen would voluntarily lower their pay ... even back in the wide-eyed innocence of the 1700's.

I guess it took so long to ratify this amendment because no one wanted to vote to delay their pay increase ... because if they lose, they wouldn't see the raise at all ... their opponent would. And if there is anything a greedy politician likes less than losing, it's seeing their opponent make more money than they did.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Wifflemania

The first fatality of the day.
After our stellar performance last weekend, my boyfriend and I were invited back for another Sunday afternoon of wiffleball.  We were short a few players this week, so we improvised ... and we often had so many ghost runners on base that we lost track of them! (They are after all, very hard to see!)

We had two little ones, ages 2-1/2 and 5, take the field this week. The five year old stayed in the game most of the time, but the lure of the nearby playground, full of rocks and toy dump trucks, proved to be too much for the 2-1/2 year old, and we lost him sometime in the second inning.

My boyfriend's son-in-law (who doesn't appear to know his own strength!) destroyed a wiffleball on the first pitch. Fortunately his cousin, Steve "Wiffleman" Willis had spares, and the game went on.  (Note: I don't actually know Steve's last name, but the son-in-law's last name is Willis, and "Wiffleman Willis" sounded pretty good ... so I went with it. My apologies to Steve if he's not a Willis!) 

The little ones, especially the younger one, are too young to understand all (or any!) of the rules, so they didn't always run to first base ... sometimes they ran to whatever base one of their parents was on! At any given time, there were one to three people on any given base. At other times, the adults would lap the little ones! And, since batting is more fun that playing outfield, the little ones batted and ran for both teams!

Once again, everyone had a great time. It helps that there is no pressure at all. No one cares how good (or bad!) you are, which bodes well for me! It's about spending time with family, playing a game together, and enjoying each other's company on a spectacularly beautiful summer day. It's not about winning ... and I'm not just saying that because my team didn't win this week ... it's about making memories. These are the kinds of days kids remember fondly their whole lives.

Even though I'm still recovering from horrendous side-effects and an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, you'll be happy to know I'm improving, and that this week my game looked more like wiffleball than croquet! By the end of the season, I just might just surprise everyone when I pick up that fat red bat and hit one out of the park!
The little ones tended to bypass first and run to whatever base their mom or dad was on,
so the bases got pretty crowded at times.
These two players, both on second base, were actually on the same team!
This week's Wiffleballers.
After the game, a couple of the players thrilled the fans day by sitting down and chatting.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Bridal Tea Party was a Huge Success


The Bride, the Mom, and the Maid of Honor
It appears as though my daughter's thought they
were attending a Hippie High Tea!
Thing 1's Bridal Tea Party was yesterday afternoon. It was a good, old-fashioned Southern High Tea. A real tea serves finger foods only, and we did veer from that rule, but no one publicly chastised us for serving salads that require a fork, but we did serve the required cucumber sandwiches. (Yum!) One of my sisters was quite confused over the cucumber sandwiches (she's such a Yankee), but you really can't say you had a High Tea without cucumber sandwiches!

For the tea party impaired, the difference between a "high tea" and a "low tea" is that a low tea is earlier in the afternoon and is predominantly desserts, while a high tea is traditionally served at 4:00 p.m. and takes the place of a meal. A high tea offers all the requisite treats, but also includes more substantive foods as well.

When the kids and I go to Savannah we stay at a hotel that hosts a High Tea for it's guests every afternoon. The kids all fell in love with the idea. My daughter's and my boyfriend's daughters hosted a surprise Tea Party for me on my birthday a couple of years ago, and it was so much fun!

For my Georgia Peach sister, who could only be there in spirit, the menu included a relish tray, deviled eggs, spinach popovers, broccoli salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, cucumber sandwiches, peach cobbler, banana pudding, a decorate your own cupcake bar, nuts, mints, and of course, tea and lemonade. The hands-down winner of the night was the peach cobbler. (Thank you, Paula Deen, for sharing your amazing recipe!)

It was supposed to be held in my boyfriend's backyard, but the potential for rain and a busted water main forced another last minute venue change. It broke my heart that we couldn't have the tea party in his beautiful garden, which is currently in full bloom, but it was lovely where we had it, too. The bridesmaid's all pitched in and made this a very special day for the bride. My daughter is very lucky to have such amazing friends.

It was a very nice shower.  Most all of the guests were all dressed in pretty summer dresses and flowery hats, the games were fun and silly, the food was plenty, and the bride received a lot of nice gifts. I didn't get take as many pictures as I should have, but I'm in the process of trying to gather photograph's from everyone, but here are a few:












Saturday, September 6, 2014

Internet Connectivity

Until the other day, my internet connection on the weekend was shoddy at best. It would go in and out randomly throughout the week ... but I could always count on it going out on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

I would always to do modem/router dance when it went out ... repeatedly unplugging each appliance for 30 seconds before plugging them back in, disconnecting and reconnecting the coax cable, etc. When the connection dropped for a long time, and the dance failed (repeatedly), I would call my ISP ... who made me repeat the dance steps, talking me through the complicated steps of unplugging the modem, then telling me when to plug it back in (in case I can't count to 30 without "professional" help. Infuriating!

They always innocently claimed there was no problem on their end ... but, as if by magic, my modem always immediately came back online. Of course, they always claimed they didn't do anything, but I find it highly suspicious that my internet connectivity can be out for hours, and miraculously comes back on the minute I talk to someone in their call center. Since I own the modem, they wouldn't troubleshoot it any further, so I just dealt with it.

A few years ago I took a good look at my bill and realized they were charging me $9.99 a month (plus tax!) for the use of their modem. I'd had their service for twelve years at that point, meaning I had paid them roughly $1,5000 over the years ... for an $90 modem! Shame on me for not looking more closely at my bill. So, I bought my own modem, with the recommended specifications. Things went well for a while, but not anymore. Since they wouldn't troubleshoot the problem until I bought a new modem, I went out and bought one. And guess what? Yup! The connection still dropped.

I called after I bought the new modem and gave them the mac address, which they require, and they entered into their system. When the connection dropped later that day, I called back. The nitwit hillbilly that answered the phone said "Oh, I think I see the problem!" and my connection came back online. I sidetracked him with a comment, and then later I asked him what he had done. He said he hadn't done anything. I told him he had said "Oh, I think I see the problem!", and then my connection came back up, so what did he do? He couldn't remember doing anything ... or even having said "Oh, I think I see the problem!"

Lesson learned ... never sidetrack a nitwit hillbilly.

The connection still continued to drop, so they are came out Thursday evening, when I was pretty sick. I had rarely gotten out of bed since I came home from work on Wednesday, but I wandered downstairs late Thursday afternoon because my daughter was coming over around 7:00. Walking all the way from my bedroom to the family room seemed like a lot of work, so I did it early to get it over with, and laid on the sofa. Good thing I did, too, because the cable guy (not Larry), came around 4:30. I had completely forgotten they were coming, and had I not forced myself downstairs, I would never have heard the doorbell.

Even though he didn't appear to be a nitwit hillbilly, I did my best not to sidetrack him. But honestly, I was so sick, I didn't have the energy to pester him, even if I had wanted to. My internet connection has not dropped since, so it appears he fixed the problem. So finally, "Internet Hell" (as history will call those dark days) is over ... unless I just jinxed it!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Now I Know Why I Felt So Sick Yesterday!

I was sick, but the reason I felt like I was dying was because of the side-effect of the antibiotic I was on ... and because I had an allergic reaction to it. I switched to a different medicine today, and I feel much better. Not perfect, but definitely better than the past couple of days.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Hate Being Sick


I don't get sick very often, but when I do, I'm sick enough to make up for all the days I feel good. My boyfriend really worries when I'm sick. He picked up chicken noodle soup and a vanilla shake and dropped it by for me for lunch. I drank all of the shake, I ate less than half of the soup, and none of the bread ... I just didn't have the energy to chew the bread.

My daughter's bridal shower is Saturday, and I sure hope I'm feeling better. I feel better than I did this time yesterday, but I still feel pretty rough. I'm hoping a good night's sleep and two day's worth of antibiotics will make me feel good enough to go to work tomorrow. I have so much to do ... and I hate calling in sick!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Last Sunday Was Random Acts of Kindness Day

It's not a recognized holiday, of course, but rather a day where the entire country is challenged to do something kind for a friend or stranger for no reason at all.

I don't know that I really performed any random acts of kindness, although I did go to my boyfriend's house and cook him breakfast. Does that count?

I actually did have a reason, so maybe it doesn't count. His little girl grew up and got married, and Sunday was the first day he woke up to a home without her living there. Some men were born to be father's, and he's certainly one of them. I've never met a man more in love with his daughter's and devoted to their happiness. He's happy for his daughter, but sad she's gone. 

I can't take away the emptiness in his heart, but I can do something about the emptiness in his belly! I wanted to make sure he had a nice breakfast ... and (my ulterior motive) ... I wanted to sit on the screened porch cuddled against him and sip coffee. We had a very nice day together, so I don't care if breakfast counts as a random act of kindness or not!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hummingbirds

video
A hummingbird feeding on the flowers at my boyfriend's house. 

I love watching hummingbirds! They are so tiny, and I wasn't very close, so the video is not exactly awe inspiring ... but this little guy was so cute!!! I'm always mesmerized when I see hummingbirds.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Wiffle Ball and Labor Day

Labor Day may have been created to celebrate the American worker, but it's pretty much known as the last holiday of summer, where everyone spends the day picnicking with family and friends, boating, swimming, and doing all of the things that makes summer so much fun.

Yesterday, after a rainy morning, we spent the afternoon playing wiffle ball with my boyfriend's son-in-law and his family. My boyfriend and I were on opposing teams ... it wouldn't be fair to stack all of the talent on one team! He was on the same team as his (very pregnant) daughter, and I was on a team with his son-in-law ... and two little girls (probably around ten years old), who pretty much won the game for us! The game was tied at the end of the ninth inning, so we went into overtime. Our team scored five runs, then we took to the field to defend our lead. I don't remember how many (if any) runs the opposing team scored before those two pint-sized dynamo's on "my" team performed a triple-play, winning the game!


Throughout the game, the guys took it easy on the women and children (chilvalry is not dead) and for that, I was grateful. While the men used the skinny yellow bat the width of a human hair, they let the gals and the kiddos use the fat red bat. The guys were purposely slow to pick up a ground ball when we batted, and seldom tried to tag us out. Fly balls, however, were fair game ... not that I had to worry much about someone catching my balls ... they seldom went airborne! I did have a few good hits, yet they almost always allowed me to get to first base ... even when they could have easily tagged me out. My boyfriend's daughter is about eight months pregnant. I asked if we tagged her out, did it count as two outs. They asked if her runs counted as two points.

Touché!

I was worried that I would make a total fool of myself ... I didn't, but it was a worry I nursed! If you add up every moment I have spent on the ball field during my entire life, it probably wouldn't add up to more than a few hours. It's not that I'm not athletic ... pound for pound, I've always been strong and agile ... it's just that I consider baseball and the like as sports for boys, and I'm more the cheerleader type! As it turned out, I'm certainly not a ringer, but at least I'm not the anchor I feared I would be.


I have a lot of chores to do today, so I'm not sure how much playing I will get to to, but regardless of what the day holds, I shall enjoy this last unofficial day of summer ... and I hope you do, too!