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

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!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tupperware Lids

When I moved into this house about a year and a half ago, I went through all my plastic bowls and lids and discarded everything that didn't have a mate. Fast forward to this past weekend, when I found all of these lids, but no bowls ...


I'm sure I've lost the occasional bowl or lid, but the magnitude of missing bowls points to one thing ... kids. I can see if you took something to work for lunch and left the bowl and lid there or even if they threw it away on accident, or because they were too lazy to rinse it out, or because it sat for so long it was growing things, but how do you lose the bowl and not the lid???

I saw a meme that seems very appropriate ...



Monday, February 6, 2017

Sadly

... this is not the record for the most updates at one time. My personal record is 538. And, of course, this is just the first round of updates. There are plenty more to follow. It's fair to say that I spend half of my life installing Windows updates.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Justification

Someone (or several someones) who are messy, disorganized, addicted to Netflix and video games, and find it hard to get up in the morning ... and I suspect living in their mother's basements ... have found some "scientists" to hypothesize that these characteristics indicated they are hyper intelligent.

A Messy Environment:
Psychologist Kathleen Vohs explains, "Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights."

Or ... they could just be too lazy to clean their room.

Losing Things:
According to "experts", chaotic living spaces actually help highlight priorities, saying. "Losing your passport beneath a pile of clothes indicates you need to do your washing, whilst keys buried beneath mail is a sign you need to open your bills."

Or ... it could mean they are too lazy to put things away.

Addicted to Netflix:
The "experts" offer no reason as to why binge-watching Netflix is a sign of intelligence ... they simply state it as fact.

Or ... it could mean they have no self-control and want the immediate gratification rather without considering how tired they will be the next day. 

Snoozing the Alarm:
Experts say those who hit the snooze button are more intuitive, creative, and clever. I hit snooze on my alarm clock, and I like to think I'm intuitive, creative, and clever ... but it has nothing to do with me hitting snooze and everything to do with the fact that I am not a morning person. And, like watching Netflix, they offer no explanation as to how they came to this understanding ... we're just supposed to take their word for it.

Or ... it could mean, that like me, they're just not a morning person ... or stayed up to late binge-watching Netflix or playing video games.

Video Games:
According to PsychCentral, "People who are addicted to video games have better cognitive skills, social memory, power of reasoning and problem-solving."

Or ... it could mean they are addicted to video games and could benefit from getting a real life!

If these "experts" are to be believed, we owe a lot of slackers an apology!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Today is Work Naked Day

Due to the fact that I have a mortgage and like to eat, I will not be participating!

Fortunately, today is also Carrot Cake Day, and ... given the opportunity ... I will happily celebrate that!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Punxsutawney Phil's Saw His Shadow

Which means six more weeks of winter. So far, we've had a lot of rain, but only had one measurable snowfall, which was less than an inch (and schools had a snow day!). If we have six more weeks of the same kind of winter we've had, I'm okay with that!

Our big snowfall this year.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Immigrants, Immigration, and the Wall

I have never been able to understand why anyone would be okay with millions of people being in this country illegally. I have never been able to understand how they can receive food stamps, welfare, healthcare, or why we are obligated to teach their children. It astounds me that they file fraudulent tax returns and get huge refunds! I'm not just dumbfounded, I'm angry. If the government can track me down to make me pay back taxes, why can't they track down illegal immigrants defrauding the government at the expense of the law-abiding taxpayers?

All the uproar about President Trump's Executive Orders on travel bans from terrorist countries and a temporary ban on refugees from Syria is baffling to me. ISIS didn't just imply they would send their jihadist's to America, they said it outright. They bragged that their "soldiers" would pretend to be part of a family in order to emigrate, with the sole intention of killing American's once they get here. They boasted that they are using our porous Southern border to come here. And why not? If we are too stupid to protect our borders, we are all but inviting them to come here and slaughter us.

The countries we are banning from entering the United States are the same countries that will throw you in jail ... for a long time ... if you enter their country illegally or overstay your visa. Pretty much every country in the entire world ... except America ... will hunt you down and throw you in jail if you stay in their country without permission. If you don't believe me, go to one of those countries, and don't go home when you're supposed to.

Protecting our borders should be the number one job of the President. Punishing those who harbor criminals, i.e. sanctuary cities, is not cruel ... it's prudent.

I don't allow just anyone to enter my home. Every door has a deadbolt, a door lock, and a chain. Every door and window is protected with an alarm that will sound if breached. It's not that I don't have compassion for those in need ... I just can't take them all in. I don't have the resources to house and feed everyone who would love to live in my house. (It's not that my house is so wonderful, but when you are homeless, anyplace warm and safe looks like heaven.)

Of all the individuals who would come into my home if the door was thrown wide open, some would simply want a meal and a warm bed ... but there are others who would take advantage of my generosity. And, since criminals profit more by looking "normal", it would be hard to tell the difference between the good and the bad. This is my home. My children and grandchildren are here. My first obligation is to them.

I have taken in a number of kids over the years. Some for a few days. Some for weeks, or months, or even years. Most of the kids were a joy to have, but I did have to ask some of them to leave. They were breaking my rules. They were engaging in behavior I did not approve of.

My house, my rules.

The same can be said for our country. President Trump is trying to protect Americans from the kind of terrorist attacks perpetrated by refugees all over Europe. If there were an attack like the truck attack in France on Bastille day in 2015, American's would be foaming-at-the-mouth-furious that President Trump didn't do something to stop terrorists from entering our country.

President Trump is doing what he promised he would do. He is protecting American lives. He is enforcing the immigration laws in place for decades and repealing the Executive Orders signed by obama, which circumvent our Constitution.

I am all for a wall along our southern border. Once that border is sealed, I suspect we'll need one along our northern border, too. I am all for extreme vetting for citizens from countries with large populations of terrorists. Yes, those countries are majority Muslim countries ... because the individuals we are concerned with are radical Islamist terrorists ... that predominantly come from those countries.

Enforcing federal immigration policies is not cruel. It is not heartless. It does not mean we are unsympathetic to the plight of those wishing to come here. Enforcing federal immigration policies is for the safety of American's, and that should be our first priority ... and for President Trump, it is.

I, for one, applaud our President for having the courage stand against our enemies and say ...

Our country, our rules.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

How Lucky!

How lucky that the tornado blogger was able to find a farmer with a smart high school daughter instead of a farmer with a stupid high school daughter! I have a feeling this girl ... most likely scantily clad ... was the brains behind saving the human race.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pneumonia

I was first told, by my employers health clinic, that I had the flu. They said there was nothing they could give me, so I was told to take ibuprofen or tylenol.

A week later I was worse, so went back to the clinic. This time they said I had bronchitis and a sinus infection. They gave me an antibiotic, but no cough medicine ... they wanted me to "cough it up".

A week later I was worse still, so I went back to the clinic. They said I had an upper respiratory infection. They gave me a different antibiotic and 5 teaspoons of cough medicine, to take once a day, just before bedtime. It helped me fall asleep, but a couple of hours later, I woke up coughing and couldn't get back to sleep. They gave me so little, I was afraid to take another dose when I knew I'd need it to get even a few hours of sleep the next night.

A few days later I coughed so hard I pulled a muscle in my back. Every breath was painful. Desperate for relief, the next day I went to an urgent care center. I tested negative for both strep and the flu, and a chest ex-ray showed I had pneumonia. I was given a different antibiotic and cough syrup, and this time, I was given enough cough syrup to take every 4-6 hours as needed.

I haven't eaten much at all for the last three weeks, and what little I did eat I would throw up as soon as I started coughing. I'm still coughing, but I'm no longer throwing up. I haven't had a fever in a few days, and I'm no longer achy. I don't really feel good, but I definitely feel better and I am finally feeling well enough to go to work.

My daughter's have been fussing at me for not blogging lately, but I felt so bad I couldn't even bring myself to attempt a posting. Hopefully I'll continue to feel better and better everyday, and life (and blogging) will get back to normal!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Culture Appropriation

These days, everyone seems to be offended quite easily, and one of the easiest ways to offend is to eat, drink, cook, wear, buy, read ... basically enjoy ... anything from another culture.

Hairstyles, jewelry, type of clothing or the pattern of the fabric, theme parties, and even the use of certain emoji's can spell trouble, especially for celebrities who live in the spotlight.

The offensive Paella
The most recent outrageous accusation of cultural appropriation I can think of is a white, male celebrity who made Paella and posted a photo of it on social media. The problem? He used a square pan rather than a round one.

I know, right?! O.M.G.!!!

The social media firestorm unleashed against that poor man (who was just trying to make a tasty dinner!!) was relentless ... and ridiculous ... and from where I'm sitting ... comical.

I really don't get it. When I was growing up, we lived by the phrase "Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery", which ... by the way ... is precisely why things go in and out of style. After something has been around a while, its appeal grows stale, and another style emerges ... until it goes stale, and so on and so forth.

Personally, I'm more concerned with the raunchy selfies and risky life choices of some of the celebrities young people idolize. There are numerous serious issues to tackle before we spend our time and energy chastising white people wearing their hair in cornrows ... or throwing a taco party on Cinco de Mayo ... or cooking Paella in a square pan.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

If You've Been Wondering Why I Haven't Been Posting ...

It's because I've had the flu. I missed a lot of work this week, and the little bit of time I was there, I was feeling pretty sluggish. I wasn't contagious, but everyone gave me wide berth when they heard me coughing like I was going to hack up a lung. Now it's gone into bronchitis and a sinus infection. Oh, goodie! I'm still coughing and feeling not quite my normal self, but I think the antibiotics have kicked in and I'm on the mend ... and I'm hoping I'm done with colds and the flu for a long, long time.

A friends has stopped by to bring me something to check on me and bring me something eat, but I haven't had much of an appetite. I've been thirsty as all get-out, but I haven't been hungry at all. This week, I've pretty much lived on milk, water, a couple of peanut butter sandwiches, animal crackers, and Goldfish ... the Goldfish cracker snack that smiles back ... not actual Goldfish.

My fever has finally broke ... again ... and I think I'm finally getting better. I have coughed until my abdomen aches and my throat felt raw, and I've gone through several boxes (and counting!) of tissues. When I told my bosses I couldn't come in, one of them mentioned that it sounded like I really needed the upcoming three-day weekend. I told him I needed "nose Drano" more!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Christopher Columbus Misktakes Manatees for Mermaids


On this day in 1493, explorer Christopher Columbus sees three manatees, misaking them for mermaids. He described them as “Not half as beautiful as they are painted." Since he genuinely thought he was seeing mermaids, I'd say he was right!

 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Look What I Found!


It will look perfect above the bed (whenever I get around to setting it up). The other prints can be sprinkled about the room.


The room isn't very big, so I bought a full size bed. It's a very light wood, and I don't like light wood. I don't think it's real wood or I would stain it darker, so my intention is to paint it white. I bought it last summer and I haven't even opened the box to inspect it, so if it's damaged, I'm in trouble. 

The bedside table in the room is really pretty. If I paint the headboard white, the tables would need to be white or it would drive me nuts! I have two of the tables, but they are such pretty wood, I don't know that I can bring myself to paint them. I realize it's acceptable to mix painted wood with natural finishes, but I don't think I would like that look in this room.

I'll worry about the tables when I get ready to set up the bed ... but I have a feeling I'll end up buying new tables for the room and leaving these tables with their beautiful wood finish ... and I hope this is the most pressing "problem" I have in 2017!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

First Snow Day

It snowed this morning and the police are reporting accidents everywhere. As a result, schools are closed. Obviously, we don't deal with snow well in these parts!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

It Looks Pretty, But ...


Thing 2 came over the other day and brought stuff to make smoothies. It looked pretty and it tasted okay, but the coconut was a little tough (meaning, hard to chew), and the pebble-like seeds from the blackberries didn't help. While it was a little uncomfortable to eat, it did have good flavor!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Meet Grandbaby Number THREE!


Thing 1 and her husband will be welcoming their little bundle of joy next summer. I'll have THREE grandbabies to snuggle and play with! 

As a child, Thing 1 thought getting her hair brushed was the most painful thing in the world. I was as careful as I could possibly be, but she still cried and whined the entire time I was combing her hair. I can't wait until she's at the worst part of her labor to ask, "So, which is worse ... getting your hair brushed or having a baby?"

All joking aside, they will both be amazing parents, and I can't wait to see the look on their faces when they hold their new baby for the first time. I remember the first time I held her. I cried, overwhelmed with love. I thought I loved my mother about as much as one human could love another until I held my own baby. It was very humbling to realize, "My mom loved me this much?"

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 is Here


I was awake at midnight, but it passed without me realizing. Celebratory gunshots and fireworks started around 11:30, so the noise at midnight didn't alert me that 2016 was gone forever. I still can't believe another year has come and gone, but it has. 2016 wasn't my best year, but it was by far not my worst. I'm hoping 2017 will be a really good year ... but I'll settle for a so/so year if nothing bad happens!