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

Friday, November 24, 2017

My Thanksgiving Ham


For years, I always made the traditional turkey for Thanksgiving. The kids complained every single year ... "Why can't we have ham? We hate turkey!"

I don't know why, but I kept making turkey, then last year I asked myself "Why AM I making a turkey?!!" So ... I made a ham. It turned out wonderfully and everyone was a lot happier, so ham is our new Thanksgiving tradition. My son and his two little ones weren't there, which was sad, but we had a nice time anyway. I only have a few pics, but they good ... and packed with memories.

Thing 2 and my newest grandbaby.
My youngest sister and I.
Thing 2, Thing 1 (and my grandson under the blanket, eating his dinner), myself, and my sister.
Thing 2 and Thing 1 (and my grandson under the blanket).

Things 1 and 2 ... my girlies :)
Like every year, we had more than one Thanksgiving dinner to attend. I'll share the pics from our second Thanksgiving dinner some other time.

Today, I'm watching two grandbabies while their mom shops Black Friday deals. I'll get more time with them today than I would have if I'd have had them yesterday. Today, I don't have to cook. I won't be preoccupied in the kitchen. Today is all about the babies, not the food!

Today is going to be a good day :)


Thursday, November 23, 2017

What Are You Thankful For?

I have this sign hanging near my front door. I love how true it is ... even during the worst of times, there really is always something to be thankful for. Always.

My life isn't perfect, but I'm very happy and content ... and I know I have a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It's Finally Here!!


John's debut album, TWENTY MINE ROAD, is out! It's streaming free now until 9pm Sunday. You can listen to it at one of two places:

and on his website ... 

Right now it's only for sale on his website as a digital download or a CD, but it will be available soon at all the sites where music is sold.

I know I'm biased, but it's really, really, REALLY good!!!!




Monday, November 20, 2017

Texting with my Daughter

I work in the technology sector. As a woman in this field, I'm greatly outnumbered by males. A good many of the men I work with are younger and spend much of their free time playing video games. When I talk to Thing 2 about them, I call them "the nerds at work", and she always says, "I think it's funny that you don't know you're one of them!"

For the record, I'm not like them. The only video game I have ever played is Wii Sports ... bowling, shooting, and archery.

I kick butt at Wii bowling!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fires


I've had several fires in the fireplace this year. It hasn't gotten very cold yet, but after the time change, when it gets dark so early, there's just something about having a fire that makes everything seem brighter. I love how arm and cozy a fire feels :)


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Better Comparrison


These two pictures make it much easier to see how dramatic the transformation of my backyard was. Most of the work was done during the summer. It was hot, sweat literally dripped off of me, bugs pestered the crap out of me, I was covered in scrapes and bruises (the women at Zumba had to think I was abused!), I was absolutely filthy at the end of the day, and yet ... I enjoyed it!



Monday, November 13, 2017

Lumberjack(ie)!

When I bought this house, the woods had nearly overtaken the backyard. I spent countless hours this spring, summer, and fall working to clear out the woods so that I can put in a swing set for my grandbabies and have more yard for them to play in. This is what it looked like when I moved in (click on any photo to enlarge). You can barely see it, but there is a fireplace buried under ivy to the right of the tree ...


I was able to clear the ivy away with some snippers and a little (okay, a lot) of elbow grease, but there was no way to clear out the woods without a chainsaw, so I bought one and started cutting down trees. I had never used a chainsaw before, and discovered it's not as easy as it looked when I watched my man use one!! But, I persevered, and my hard work paid off.



Once able to navigate the woods, I discovered a variety of items, mostly buried and hidden by ivy. I was able to dig them out and stuff them in the dumpster to be picked up on trash day. That trash can was heavy! My driveway has a significant slope, so it was tricky dragging it to the street without getting crushed ... because it easily weighed twice what I do. I'm sure the men who work at the trash company were happy to see my overflowing dumpster.


There's still work to do, but I'm pleased with the progress. You can see, and burn in, the upper fireplace now. Digging that out was back-breaking! It's been too wet or too windy to burn lately, but the wood is stacked and ready for whenever I get a chance to light the fire ... and that sounds like the perfect excuse to invite the kids and some friends over for a bonfire and cookout!

 

There's another fireplace and patio at the bottom of the hill that needs to be dug out, but I haven't even started to tackle that project yet. Below is the "before" for the lower fireplace. If we get some mild, dry weekends, I'll start working on it. Otherwise, it will be next spring before I begin.

  
Even though I could barely drag myself into the house to shower some days, I enjoyed working in the yard. Next spring I'll have to figure out exactly where I want to make a play area for the swingset and where I want grass. Until then, I can admire the progress ... and map paths to carve out!


And, finally ... the rusting, leaning yellow tether ball pole is gone!! Removing that was no small task (not that I actually helped) ... it was anchored in with enough concrete to withstand a nuclear blast! I can't imagine how heavy it was or how he got it in the back of his truck without any help.


I'm really going to miss working in my yard this winter.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Xylophone

My grandbabies love books (yea!). I was reading one to my oldest grandson, and it showed a picture of a little boy playing a xylophone.


He immediately got up, dug his xylophone out of the toy basket, and played for me. I thought that was very clever!


Monday, November 6, 2017

Drool

No one believes me (because I'm afraid of heights), but I would do this in a heartbeat!


Friday, November 3, 2017

SQUIRELL!!!

They aren't my dogs, I just happened to notice them all looking up at the tree ... and I knew why!


Thursday, November 2, 2017

If I Saw This at My Back Door ...

There would be a mess on the floor!


And yet, a brave neighbor in the mountains down south calmly took this photo. I realize the bear isn't very big, but it's mother is. I'd be worried the mama bear might wander by and get angry that I'm that close to her cub ... because I'm sure the mama bear would be angry with me ... even though it's clearly the cubs fault.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

A chicken in Shediac, New Brunswick (Canada) crosses a busy road everyday. She waits for a break in traffic before crossing, regardless of how long the wait is, then looks for food in the grass of a local doughnut shop. A regular customer at the doughnut shop said the chicken visits up to three times a day.

So the answer to "Why did the chicken cross the road?" is, apparently, to get to the doughnut shop!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

My Neighbor's Tree


This tree has an ombre effect ... red, yellow, and orange at the top, then fading into various shades of green as it gets closer to the ground. I took this picture towards the end of the day, when the sun was at a severe angle to the tree. When the sun is shining directly on it from above, it is blindingly beautiful!

I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of it when I first noticed its brilliant display of color. By the time I'm able to get a full-sun picture of it again, the tree will likely be past its peak. I would say I'll have to wait until next year to get a better picture of just how gorgeous this tree is, but trees look different every year. But who knows ... maybe next year it will be even prettier!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Field of Dreams

Much like cats, babies can't resist boxes ... so, if you empty them, they will come ...


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Guess Who Came Visiting?

At first I thought it was a duck, but judging by how fast the hummingbirds are drinking the nectar at my feeder, I think this might actually be a giant hummingbird!




Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Closet

When I moved into this house a couple of years ago, the master closet had a hand-made organization system in it. It was rickety and ugly ... made worse by the avocado paint on the walls and ceiling.


So, one Saturday evening after I took my grandbabies home, I ripped out the ugly wood and painted the lovely avocado walls and ceiling white (with paint I bought before I moved in, in anticipation of replacing this "system"). I left some of the bracing on the walls because it wasn't in the way, and removing it would only leave large holes to patch.
.

I got two coats of paint on, then went to bed. Sunday morning I woke up and got started installing the new organizational system (that I also bought before I moved in). And, I couldn't help but notice how happy the brackets looked that they were finally going to fulfill their destiny!


It didn't take as long as I thought it would, and it looks SO much better! 


I installed shelves above the rods a week or two later ... I even had to cut out a piece of the shelf to wrap around one of the braces from the old system that hadn't been removed. Now I'm done and it looks so much cleaner.



 
My "ugly closet problem" is over now ... except for shoes ... I only put the ones I wear most in the closet. The others, as well as all my winter shoes, are in another closet. But that's not really a closet problem ... that's a shoe problem. And since I won't admit I have a problem with shoes, it's really not a problem for me!



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Yard Work

When I moved into this house a couple of years ago, the side yard was nothing but ivy and the backyard was in the process of being eaten by ivy and other vines. I've seen a snake and snake skins around the yard, so I knew the possibility of a snake hiding under the ivy was highly likely ... and that gave me the heebie-jeebies.

I've spent the last two evenings working on the side yard and the backyard by the garage. I've made a lot of headway, but there's still a lot to do. But, here it is so far ...

The side yard went from this ...

to this ...

And the backyard by the garage went from this ...
to this ...

A lot of woody stumps were uncovered, which will need to be removed, and I've added that to my "outside" to-do list. Next up, though, is weed-eating trails through the woods to a small patio and fireplace at the bottom of the hill. I haven't been able to enjoy the woods at all because I don't want to encounter a snake ... or poison ivy.

I'll work on the yard for a while tonight before Zumba, and tomorrow evening if the rain holds off. If it rains, I guess I'll work on my "inside" to-do list!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Finally!

After living in this house for a year and half, I finally got around to painting the garage door. I am so please with the way it looks. I' had already painted the shutters, doors, and added screen doors. I like this color much better. If you look very closely on the "after" picture, you can see one of the window boxes that finally got hung! My flowers will look so pretty in them!

Here's the before (taken before I closed on the house) ...


And here it is the after painting ...


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I've Made a Decision

I'm not going to blog as frequently. Believe it or not, blogging is time consuming, even the very short ones. I need to get back to work writing books, and I need to concentrate my energy on that.

I was making good progress on my third novel when Thing 1 announced she was getting married. I wrote in between planning her wedding, but not as much as I would have liked. After Thing 1 was married, Thing 3 had his accident. Seeing my son on a ventilator and not knowing what the future held for him was gut-wrenching. He ended up just fine, but the stress of that episode sapped my energy for many, many, many months. Then I sold my home and bought a new one. Throw in a crisis or two (or ten), two grandbabies, another wedding coming up and another grandbaby on the way, and it's been a hectic few years.

If I want to continue writing novels ... and I do ... I need to make that a priority. I still plan to blog now and then, perhaps once a week, but it won't be everyday.

Luckily, my life is rather dull, so my posts weren't all that exciting anyway!