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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thing 2 Sang at Church This Past Sunday


She sang a really pretty song by Kari Jobe called "I Am Not Alone"
... and she did a beautiful job.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

My Red Honeysuckle is Coming Back to Life!

My red honeysuckle is starting to get new leaves. It doesn't look like much now, but it won't be long before it's full of red blooms that hummingbirds cannot resist.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fed Spends $33G to Find Out if Same-Sex Couples Live Close to Tobacco Shops

Photo courtesy of stad.com.tr
I have a lot of questions about this "study".

What exactly was the point? Simply to satisfy a curiosity? And what, if anything, do they propose we do to make sure same-sex couples don't live close to shops that sell tobacco? They certainly can't place a ban on same-sex couples moving into housing because tobacco is available nearby. And, if a shop wants to open a store and sell tobacco, are they going to canvas the neighborhood to make sure there are no same-sex couples living nearby? If so, can there be no same-sex couples in close proximity, or is there a threshold that can't be surpassed? What if the same-sex couple isn't at home when someone comes by to ask if they are heterosexual or homosexual? And ... this one's a biggie ... wouldn't it be considered both rude and intrusive for a stranger to knock on your door and ask that question?

Another thing that comes to mind is that since heterosexual couples outnumber homosexual couples, it stands to reason that there would be at least an equal number of heterosexual couples living in the same area ... and likely more. Did this study take into consideration the number of heterosexual couples who do and do not smoke living close to tobacco shops? Did they also take into consideration the number of homosexual couples that do not smoke that live close to tobacco shops?

$33,000 is a lot of money to spend on on a study that, from start to finish, has no clear objective. I have a feeling the real purpose of this study was to line the researchers pockets.

(You can read the full article here.)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Therapy Kangaroo?

A woman and her husband were asked to leave a Wisconsin McDonald's when they came in ... with a kangaroo. The woman said it was a therapy kangaroo.

Ummm, there's no such thing, honey ... it's just a kangaroo you love.

Just a few years ago she and her husband made headlines after becoming stranded when their RV caught fire while driving to Florida with a different kangaroo ... and a goat.

I love the fact that she enjoys animals so much, but she needs to understand the difference between finding something therapeutic and a true therapy animal. If she can't tear herself away from her kangaroo long enough to eat at McDonald's, she can always use the drive through ... and then she could eat it on the way to a psychiatrist's office!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Eating Beans


I read an article that listed nine reasons people should eat more beans. They are:
  • Beans pack a lot of fiber
  • Beans are good for digestion
  • Beans can help regulate blood sugar
  • Beans can help lower cholesterol
  • Beans are good for your heart
  • Beans can keep weight in check
  • Beans are high in iron
  • Beans are a good source of B vitamins
  • They may reduce cancer risk
I have a much smaller list on why I don't fix beans very often:
  • Boys
Whoever wrote that article has obviously never taken a long road trip with my son. I remember times when traveling on vacation that the gas passed by that child was so noxious it made our eyes water!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Trail to Duke Creek Falls


The Duke Creek Falls are quite spectacular, but the meandering path to them is just as beautiful. I didn't include pictures of the falls in this post, but I included some on a previous posting. You can view them here

We went during the off-season, so we had the trail and falls mostly to ourselves. It was one of those rare, perfect winter days ... sunny, blue skies, and unseasonably warm. An ideal day to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Smile :)


A picture (of a picture) of me and the greatest man I've ever known at his youngest daughter's wedding, in a frame given to me by his oldest daughter. I smile every time I look at it :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hello Monday!

Each unit has a different problem to troubleshoot.
Good thing I'm a master at multi-tasking!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Love It or List It

I enjoy watching "Love It or List It" on HGTV. If you've never seen it, it's a show that has a couple at odds over whether to stay in their current home or move. They list their grievances with their current house and give a designer a budget to renovate their it. One the flip side, they give a Realtor a list of what they need in a new home and what their willing to spend for it. At the end of the show, they have to decide if they love their newly renovated home enough to stay or list it and move to one of the homes the Realtor found for them. I could do without the scripted complaining and whining when a problem surfaces (that always eats a huge part of the budget, knocking one or more of the "must have's to stay" off the list), but the show is, overall, quite interesting. I like seeing the solutions the designer found to address the problems in their home.

Recently I watched an episode where one of the "must have's to stay" was an enlarged laundry room. The wife said her husband ironed his clothes in the laundry room every morning and it made it impossible for her to get in there and do laundry. I could see the room was too small for a man standing at an ironing board ironing and someone trying to load/unload the washer or dryer or fold clothes, but all I could think of was "Can't she do the laundry after her husband leaves for work? Or in the evening? Does she have to do the laundry in the morning when she knows he's going to be ironing? Or perhaps he could iron his clothes the night before rather than in the morning!" 

While there are probably women out there who enjoy ironing, I don't know any of them! Most women I know would be thrilled if their husband ironed his own clothes. They would gladly cede the laundry room to their man in the mornings if it meant they didn't have to iron.

My man and I have a very traditional relationship. We don't live together, but when we are together for an evening, a day, or on vacation, he does the man things and I do the women things, regardless of where we are ... my house, his house, a hotel room, vacation rental, or his cabin the mountains. He carries in the packages and bags and luggage, fixes things that break, builds things, etc. I cook and clean and iron and organize. When we go to the grocery, he'll push the cart. My job in most stores is as a "tour guide". Shopping is not his superpower. I like to say he's allergic to the grocery store! He usually has a general idea of what we need (or I have a list). He follows me around with the cart while I load it. There's usually a short pit-stop if we pass the Hostess Ding-Dongs ... he can't seem to pass up that display without at least one box ending up in our cart!

Granted, we don't live together, so we don't have the daily wearing on each other's nerves that these couples do, but after failed marriages and past relationships, we both know a good thing when we see it, and we just seem to click. We know each other very well. After seven-plus years of dating and and an on/off friendship that goes back almost two decades, we have yet to have an argument. We're not biting our tongues and "dealing with it". Our interests, tastes, and preferences are remarkably similar. 

While we don't agree on everything ... he loves the band Chicago and I merely like them. I love peach tea and he doesn't care for it. But, we do agree on the big things ... politics, religion, morals, ethics, integrity, family values, etc. We compromise ... we'll listen to his beloved Chicago when he wants and we'll listen to Evanescense when I want (which he enjoys slightly less than peach tea). He knows I can't stomach Aerosmith and Bachman, Turner, Overdrive (their music is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me) ... and I don't make potato salad because it is, to him, the culinary equivalence of my aversion to Aerosmith and BTO. 

I don't care how much he listens to Aerosmith and BTO ... as long as I don't have to hear it ... and he doesn't care how much potato salad I eat ... as long as he doesn't have to eat it! Compromise isn't hard if you have the other person's feelings in mind. Relationships don't work when one person is the only one willing to compromise. If you're the one who always has to get your way ... beware ... your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife probably has one foot, emotionally if not literally, out the door already. And for the record, if you're the one who always gets their way, you're not compromising ... you're bullying. As the golden rule commands, 'Do unto others' ...

All that to say ... I would probably iron his clothes in the morning (or the night before). But, if he insisted on ironing his own clothes, I'd happily do the laundry some other time ... and spend those renovation dollars on something else ... like a romantic getaway!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

She's a Pot-Bellied Pig Now!

Chad and Millie during happier times
Last month, an Ohio man was arrested after going on a drunken binge when he discovered his pet pig, Millie, had eaten his pot stash.

I'm not sure who call the cops, but his wife was very helpful when they arrived ... she told the police that her husband gets upset when he doesn't have his marijuana.

Way to have is back, babe! It warms the heart when you witness a woman standing up for her man, doesn't it?!

The article goes on to state that Millie is not actually a pot-bellied pig.

Ummmm ... agree to disagree! I think a pig (regardless of their official breed) with a belly full of pot is definitely a pot-bellied pig!

You can read the full article here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Meal ... Mama-Style!

I threw some burgers on the grill last weekend, along with a foil of potatoes with butter and onions. Thing 1 stopped by after work to eat, but her husband was still at work ... so I sent home a care package of happy cheeseburgers and yummy potatoes for him.

I love grilling out :)

The first "grill" of the season.
There's nothing better than food cooked on the grill!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I Caved

Thing 2 pestered me relentlessly about letting her have her Easter basket early. I got her an insulated lunch purse, filled with her favorite candy, of course. She had a feeling I had bought the lunch tote for her and wanted it to pack her lunch for work.

I told her no ... she wasn't getting her Easter present early.

She came upstairs and told me she had cooked and packaged scrambled eggs and sausage for me for breakfast the next day.

I told her that was lovely, but no ... she wasn't getting her Easter present early.

She came upstairs and told me she had made chicken and rice for me to take for lunch the next day.

I told her that, too, was lovely, but no ... she wasn't getting her Easter present early.

She came back upstairs, pleading silently with big, puppy-dog eyes. I told her to go play with her cat. Defeated, she left to go find the sleeping (surprise, surprise) feline on her bed ... lying next to her Easter present.

It's only a few weeks early, and it's not like it's a crime to give a present early, right? Besides, that silly lunch tote made her so happy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Very Serious Accident Hit a Little too Close to Home

Photo Source: Vanderburgh Country Sheriff's Office
A fatal accident happened on the west side last Saturday around 10:35. I was awake and heard the sirens. I live far enough away from the Expressway that I don't hear the traffic, but I live close enough that I hear the sirens ... and I notice the sirens more now.

Ever since my son's accident, sirens fill me with dread, especially at night. My son is fine now, which is a miracle unto itself, but those involved in the accident this past weekend are anything but okay. Thee teenagers were hit head-on by a drunk driver, driving the wrong way. One young man, only 15 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other teenagers, both 16, were taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries. One is still critical, one has been upgraded to fair. The 38 year old driver who hit them had a blood alcohol content of over four times the legal limit. There is evidence that he was involved in a hit and run just ten minutes before the fatal accident.

I still remember when I got the call that my son had been in a car accident and that he was in ICU on a ventilator. It was 3:21a.m., Wednesday, December 17th. It took a few moments to wake up enough to realize what I had just been told. I got dressed as quickly as I could, then headed to the hospital with my daughter. I was terrified. I had so many questions. I was in shock and confused, and the next two weeks felt like a nightmare from which I couldn't wake up. I felt like I was swimming through mud.

Through the worst of it, I consoled myself with the fact that the hospital called, not the morgue. I'd stand by his bed and hold his hand. It was warm, and that meant he was alive. At that point, that's all I could concentrate on ... at least he was alive.

About a week after the accident I left the hospital to run home to grab some clean clothes. I drove by the site of the accident. I was trying to find the tree he hit, but I couldn't find it. A day or so later I went there with my boyfriend and we found it. Seeing where it happened didn't change anything, but I just had to see it. I had to go there. At that point, my son was off the ventilator, but his future was still uncertain. We had no idea if the trauma to his brain would cause permanent damage ... and I just had to stand in the last place that my son was whole.

The days and weeks and months that followed that phone call were filled with so much pain and fear. I rarely left his side. I barely ate and only had snippets of broken sleep. The ICU nurses were amazing. They were kind and compassionate to us and skilled in their care of my son.

My heart is breaking for the family of the young man who died. I can't even begin to imagine their pain. My heart is also breaking for the families of the other two victims. I have a pretty good idea of what they are going through. I couldn't help but wonder if they've had some of the same nurses my son had ... and I knew they were answering the same questions that I had asked ... the same questions everyone asks when they get that call ... and I know what the answers are. The doctors and nurses can offer hope, but no guarantee's.

I don't know that I will ever get over the shock and pain and helpless confusion I felt standing at my son's bedside, watching that machine breathe for him while countless drugs and medications dripped into his arm through his IVs. I wondered if he'd ever wake up. I wondered if he'd be able to speak or walk again. I wondered if he would remember me and his sisters and his life before. I wondered if he would recover enough to go back to his old life or if the future would be feeding tubes or wheelchairs or a nursing home. Seeing your child in that condition does something to you. I'm not sure I'll ever recover from that experience. The pain is still raw.

It is my sincere prayer that the injured teens make a full recovery, and do so quickly. I hope the drunk driver who hit them is punished as severely as the law allows, but he suffered life-threatening injuries ... and there is no guarantee he'll recover enough to answer for what he has done.

Last weekend's accident was just another senseless tragedy. One stupid decision ... or a series of stupid decisions ... and countless lives are changed forever.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day isn't necessarily known for much more than green beer, but for my kids, it's always meant a little treat sitting by their bed when they woke up. Then it was downstairs for a green St. Patrick's Day breakfast ... often green eggs, green pancakes, and green milk. I always found the spread less than appetizing, but kids loved the green food! As little ones, they never thought much of broccoli or spinach, but they could eat their weight in green pancakes.

I spent much of Sunday afternoon driving around making early deliveries of St. Patrick's Day treats. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm Sunday afternoon ... perfect for a leisurely drive around the tri-state. I delivered that last two packages today ... so I'm done!

With both mine and my boyfriends kids are all adults with full lives now, I don't get to see them as much as I'd like. They may be (mostly) out of sight, but they are definitely not out of mind ... and I just wanted them all to know I was thinking of them.

My boyfriend's daughter sent me this pic
of her son eating his St. Patrick's Day treat ...
with a fork, no less! How sophisticated!
I dropped Thing 1's treats off to her at work, which made her the envy of all her co-workers, and had many of them realizing what slacker's their own mothers were! Not really ... but they were all surprised that she gets St. Patrick's Day "gifts" every year. I suppose it's one of those silly traditions I started when the kids were little that I could stop at any time ... but I don't want to ... and I don't think they want me too, either!

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Spell of the Yukon


As you can see, I've got the mountains on my mind lately! This photograph was taken at Brasstown Bald in Georgia last fall. It's hardly the Canadian wilderness, but every time I see vista's like this, it reminds me of 'The Spell of the Yukon', a poem by Robert W. Service. I've included an excerpt, just one verse (my favorite), that every adventurer feels in their hearts, even if they've never heard the words ...

There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,
   And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
   And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
   There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There’s a landoh, it beckons and beckons,
   And I want to go backand I will.
by Robert W. Service

I love this passage ... it stirs something deep inside. You can read the full poem here.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Mountains Beckon


Oh, what I wouldn't give to be in the mountains with my sweetie right now! The weather there is gorgeous ... perfect for a day of hiking and scenic drives, then sitting on the deck listening to him play his guitar, or cuddling up next to him, sipping a glass of wine as the sun sets over the mountains. That is my idea of heaven :)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Blueberry "Pi"

Today is Pi Day. The Greek letter “π” is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is approximately 3.14. 
Don't you find that fascinating? Yeah ... me, neither!
According to piday.org, Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.
When I read that last sentence ... "Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits" ... I was shaking my head and making a face like I'd just drank spoiled milk. Apparently the math geek who wrote that and I have very different views of fun.
Suffice to say, Pi Day doesn't do much for me ... but I'd be all over PIE Day!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Louie Needs a New Eyebulb

Louie's left eye isn't as bright as the right one. Could just need a new bulb, could be a wiring problem, or perhaps his eyes just need calibrated. If he needs a new bulb, I hope it's one they have in stock and doesn't need to be special ordered!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Twelve ... Identical ... One-of-a-Kind Prints on Sale!


I spent Saturday and Sunday hanging out with Things 1 and 2. On Sunday, we did some shopping. We stopped at one of our favorite shops and found the above prints ... each with "One of a kind" painted across the top of the canvas. All twelve of the identical "One of a kind" prints are on clearance! 

Someone needs to tell the manufacturer that if you mass-produce something, you can no longer call it "one of a kind"!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

REAL Banana Shakes Really Made With Real Bananas!


While the girls and I were out shopping, we stopped at a roadside dive for dinner. They may be a dive, but they make the most delicious hamburgers in the city. They also apparently make REAL Banana Shakes ... Really made with Real Bananas! 

Yup, they really do ... just read the sign in their window!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dinner, Courtesy of Thing 2


While we were both off for snow days, Thing 2 and I took turns cooking for each other. One evening, Thing 2 fixed dinner for me and my sweetie dinner. (I had already eaten the tilapia before I took this picture.) Garlic tilapia Alfredo and broccoli ... and it was quite good! For desert she made cherry jello with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries (except mine ... I loathe raspberries), then topped it with vanilla Greek yogurt and a vanilla wafer. Super yummy and very appreciated!

I love snow days with Thing 2!!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Ecstatic??

Photo courtesy of Michael Tran/FilmMagic
I recently read an article about Nicholas Cage's son, Weston and his wife-to-be. Two days before their wedding, she found out she was pregnant. Upon sharing the news, the she said, "The whole room went silent. Everyone was ecstatic."

I'm just not sure "ecstatic" is the correct adjective here. When I think of ecstatic, I think cheering and hugs and loud congratulations. I think "dumbfounded" or "flabbergasted" ... would have been more appropriately descriptive.

Dead silence is the antithesis of ecstatic!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Daylight Savings Time Starts Tomorrow!

Around this time of year, and then again in the fall, I read all sorts of articles about people having difficulty adjusting to the time change. I have never understood that. It's only one hour. If your schedule is so fragile that you can't adjust by one hour, you've got bigger problems that the time!

When my kids were little they went to bed at 8:00. When we changed from Central Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time, they went to bed at 8:00. When we changed back to Central Standard Time, they went to bed at 8:00.

The only "problem" I had with the time change was that when they were little, they couldn't tell time. Once we changed to Central Standard Time, it was dark when I'd pick them up from daycare. Since I had been picking them up while it was light outside, I feared they would think I had forgotten them when it started getting dark and I wasn't there yet ... so I explained CST/DST to them (which they were too young to understand) and told them it would be dark when I picked them up. As it grew dark outside, they weren't afraid Mommy had forgotten about them because we had already discussed it.

We lose one hour, not six. Switching to and from Daylight Savings Time is no big deal!! Quite frankly, I'm not confused at all about why we switch to Daylight Savings Time ... I'm confused that we have to switch back to Central Standard Time! Winter is depressing enough without it being dark during all my free hours. I vote we stay on Daylight Savings Time forever!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Our Snowman(ish)

The snow was too powdery to make a snowman ... so we improvised!
I think he's kind of cute!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thor Was Here

video
I took a few video's of the snow falling around 4:00 yesterday afternoon. We had received around 4" at the time ... and it was falling at a pretty good clip. The first video is 8 seconds, the second one is 18 seconds, so they don't take long to watch. We had around 6-7" by 8:30, and it was still coming down. I couldn't find the total that Thor dropped here, but judging from the snow on my back deck, it looks like we got at least 8". We were expected to get 8-10", and we did.

video

When I heard Thor was coming, a foot of snow isn't what first came to mind. I don't know anything about Thor, so I don' know if I want the real Thor showing up or not! One episode of The Big Bang Theory touched on it, but not enough for me to know if Thor is good or bad. (Note: All my knowledge of superheroes, comic books, video games, and mythical gods comes from from Big Bang!)


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Seuss-Inspired Green Eggs and Ham and Cheese Omelet


I decided to shake up our normal Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration of simple green eggs and ham this year, opting instead for a green eggs and ham and cheese omelet. 

I heard "Smells good in here", but I never heard "Mmmmm, this looks good!" However, once you get past the appearance, it was really quite tasty! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy 111th Birthday, Dr. Seuss!


One of the most iconic children's books penned, Green Eggs and Ham, was written because someone bet Dr. Seuss that he could not write a book using fifty words or less. I don't know what the wager was, but his subsequent profits on that bet probably put his kids through college!

So tonight, as is our custom, I will be serving green eggs and ham for dinner. My kids and boyfriend have come to expect this less than appetizing-looking, silly dinner. I don't think my boyfriend cares what I fix for dinner (as long as he's invited!), but the kids would be disappointed ... and I can't disappoint the children!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

View From My Balcony


I spent the weekend at Natchez Trace State Park for the annual retreat for Music City Romance Writer's, a local chapter of Romance Writer's of America. I always have a good time.  Everyone is so friendly and helpful, and I always learn something. The women of MCRW are an amazing group!

Sadly, I have to go back to the real world today. But, I shared the ride with a fellow author, so I don't mind a few hours on the road. I'm just hoping I don't drive into ice and snow. The calendar may say spring is only a few weeks away, but it sure doesn't feel like it!