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

Monday, May 21, 2018

Be Still My Heart ...

These two could not be any cuter!!!!!!


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Anyone Else Feel Sorry for Meghan Markle and her Parents?

(Photo courtesy of Mega/Reuters)
Two people are just trying to get married, but the press has to delve into the past of her dysfunctional family. Her bitter half-siblings have been quite vocal. One minute they're calling her vile names and making shameful accusations about her, and the next they're begging for an invitation because they are family.

Her father, for whatever reason, allowed himself to be photographed by journalists and was so embarrassed he pulled out of the wedding. Then he changed his mind and said he does want to walk his daughter down the aisle. Now, it appears, he's changed his mind again.

If Meghan had serious felonies on her record, that would be relevant topics of discussion, but the things being reported are not ... they're just hurtful and cruel. There might be a kernel of truth to some of them, but what family couldn't come up with something mean to say about each other? The scrutiny on Meghan and her family has been relentless. Leave these poor people alone! Did the paparazzi learn nothing from the death of Princess Diana?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I Had to Take the Patio Lights Down

I haven't been seeing any hummingbirds, and I'm normally swamped with them. I'm guessing the lights looked like a giant spiderweb to those tiny birds. The lights looked really pretty at night, but I'd much rather have cute, itty-bitty humbingbirds visit than have lights on my patio.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mother's Day Thoughts

I just read an article about a woman, a mother, who does not celebrate Mother's Day. Why? Because her mother died before she married and had kids. I thought it was one of the saddest ... and the most selfish ... thing I've ever read. My mom died in October of 1996. This Mother's Day was the 21st one I've celebrated without her. I miss her and wish desperately she had lived to see all fifteen of her grandchildren grow up, but God had other plans. Still, I would never deprive my children of celebrating the day for me because it means so much to them. They want to make the day special.

My mother would be horrified if I let her death taint a holiday that celebrates all that mother's do. It would upset her if I couldn't enjoy the day because she was gone. I feel sorry for that woman, and even sorrier for her kids, and I can't help but wonder what other joys of life she and her children are missing because she lost her mother. Those poor kids will grow up remembering Mother's Day as the day their mother was always sad and depressed, despite whatever effort they may have went to to show her how much she means to them.

When you're a mom, you can be as sad as you want, but you can't drag your children into your pain. It's okay for kids to see their mom cry on occasion, but a crying mother scares a child. A depressed mother scares a child. To a kid, mom is the barometer for life. If mom can't hold it together, things must be really bad.

What a shame that this mother is forcing her children to help her carry her emotional baggage, because once she's gone, they're still going to be lugging it around ... but hopefully they won't pass it on to their own children.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Flowers

My grandbabies picked these "flowers" for me (with help!) ... and they might just be the prettiest flowers I've ever received!


Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Hail Storm Thursday

It's hard to describe the sound of hail pelting a house ... but it's loud! I don't think I sustained any damage to the roof, which is surprising given the amount of hail that fell and the length of time the storm lasted. I took some pictures and a couple video's when it was hailing. The pics and video's don't show it, but it was pretty intense!

Thing 1 was heading over with her baby for me to watch for an hour or so. I called her while she was on her way. I told her to either come here and stay or go back home. It looked like the storm was only going to get worse, and I didn't want her on the roads with that sweet baby or driving during a dangerous storm to get back to him ... I wanted her someplace with a basement!

Just as she got home, the hail was beginning to subside at my house, but it was just beginning at hers. The storm wasn't that bad as predicted (aside from the hail). I was really looking forward to seeing my baby grandson, but not if it put my daughter's life in danger! Plus, he's only ten months old ... if the hail hit him, it would hurt!






Friday, May 11, 2018

Today is "Eat What You Want Day"

I might be breaking the rules for this, because I eat what I want every day!


I generally try to eat healthy, and for the most part, I do ... but I did have a Milky Way for dinner the other night. Don't worry ... I washed it down with a protein shake!



Thursday, May 10, 2018

My Driveway

My driveway is one bumpy ride! It's needed grading since I moved in, but I never felt compelled to spend a couple thousand dollars on it, so it's stayed bumpy.

There was one particular bump that drove me (and likely, everyone else) completely nuts. Last summer I took a shovel to it, but it was like concrete, so that was that. I told John I was going to wait for a good rain, then tackle it with a hoe. He said the ground underneath would be like concrete, too, and that I'd never be able to fix it myself. He was right in that the ground was like concrete, but I was able to do something about it!

It was either do something myself or pay someone a lot of money to do it for me, so I got out my trusty hoe and got to work. It needs a lot more attention to be a smooth ride, but the biggest bump is smoothed out (mostly), and it makes the ride up the driveway much less bumpy.

It's hardly what you could call "graded", but it's a start! I don't have any "before" photo's, so the pictures below don't portray the hours it took to chip away at that bump!





After I tackled that bump, a blew all the leaves on the side of the house by the woods into a pile. I should have done it last fall, but I didn't, and I could have cut them up with my lawnmower, except the belt for the self-propelled quit working. The part is ordered, so until it comes in, my lawnmower is on sabbatical.

The plan is to burn the leaves in the outdoor fireplace, but it was too late to start burning when I finished ... because it's a huge pile that will take a long time to shovel into the fireplace!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Bird Girl Has Flowers Again

When I moved here, Bird Girl's new home was filled with purple phlox.

Bird Girl in the Spring
It looked beautiful, but there were so many weeds, and several with woody stems. Pulling the weeds destroyed the phlox, so I pulled it all out and covered with with black plastic for the rest of the season.

Bird Girls with no flowers :(
I planted some flowers last summer, when it was really hot and dry. I can't remember the name of the flower, but they flower all summer and had small orange blooms. I was so excited to see her surrounded by flowers all summer. Sadly, they all died. I'm not quite sure why.

Bird Girl with newly planted orange flowers that bloom all summer.
This past weekend I almost bought the same flowers that died last year, but changed my mind and planted white phlox. I really wanted the orange, summer blooming flowers, but since they are the only plants I've ever bought that didn't thrive, I decided on the tried and true phlox. It will be several years before the Phlox has filled the bed, but that's okay. Knowing Bird Girl will be surrounded by pretty flowers in the spring will be fine.

Bird Girl with newly planted white Phlox.
Next weekend I'll have to buy a truckload of mulch for all of my flowerbeds, but I sprinkled Preen all over, so maybe I can keep the weeds in check and won't have to gut this flowerbed ever again.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My Dogswoods are in Bloom

I've always wanted to look out my front window and see a beautiful dogwood tree. At my old house, there wasn't room in the front yard for a tree. When I bought my current home, it was summer. All I knew was that I loved the setting ... I loved the house, the yard, the woods ... everything! I didn't really pay attention to what kind of trees were in the yard.

Once I moved in and was working in the yard, I knew I had dogwoods, and I (im)patiently waited for spring. Looking out my front window, I was rewarded with not only with a dogwood directly in front, but also a Red Bud and a Chinese Plum. There are a couple other dogwoods sprinkled on the property, and when they bloom, my heart smiles.





I'd love to plant more dogwoods, and a Magnolia, but I have so many yard projects lined up for this year, the trees may have to wait.

I took the above pictures last week, when everything was still pretty much in full bloom. The picture below was taken a few days after the other pictures ... and after the recent rains and wind blew away a lot of the petals ... but here's the view from my front window.

When I bought this house, I got my wish without even realizing it :)


Monday, May 7, 2018

Tiny Shoes

Seeing these tiny shoes lined up makes me so happy ... because it means I'm spending the day with my three sweet grandbabies, and I smile every time I walk by and see them. A day with those perfect babies wears me out ... but it also energizes my life and fills my heart to overflowing.




Friday, May 4, 2018

I Finally Have the Lights Up

I love the look of lights making a canopy over a patio, and have wanted to hang them over mine since I moved here. The problem was, however, that I didn't have anything to anchor the lights on one corner. Also a factor to consider, I have two different roof heights to contend with.

After some brainstorming, I bought a big urn, a Shepherd's hook, and a bag of sakrete. It took a few hours of stringing lights, unstringing, then stringing them again (and again ... and then again) to get them just right ... add a candle to the Shepherd's hook ... and ... problem solved!

At the moment, I have an extension cord running from the lights to the garage, and it's orange. I'll have to have electricity put closer, and I will definitely not use an orange cord to connect them! Also, flowers are hogging the chairs and table, so the patio is a little less than aesthetically pleasing at the moment, but once I get them in the window boxes, I can get the cushions out and re-position the furniture. There's enough room at the top of the urn for flowers, which I have not bought or planted, but other than that, I declare it done (for now!).

I took a few pictures last night. None of them capture how pretty it really is, but this is the best I could do.

From underneath ...

From the kitchen window ...

From the back door ...

From the end and side ...

And finally, the rig that made it all possible ...

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Finally!!!

It's finally warm again! This pic was from Tuesday, and it was even warmer Wednesday. It might get cool again, but it won't be cold until late November ... yea!


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Month of May

I no longer consider myself Catholic (I'm now just a Christian ... a non-denominational Christian), but my parents were both Catholic, and they raised us kids as such during our childhoods, including sending us to Catholic schools. Luckily, I only had to go to Catholic schools first through third grades.

During the month of May, the entire school gathered in the schoolyard around statue of Mary and prayed the rosary after church. Every. Single. Day. I have no idea if there is any "Catholic reason" for doing that in May or if simply "May" is as close to the month of "Mary" as they could get. Anyway, I hated saying the rosary.

For those of you who don't know, you have to pray a prayer for each bead on the rosary. Try as I might, I could never stay on the same bead as the nuns. Honestly, I don't think the nuns could stay on the same beads and the other nuns, either! Sometimes saying the rosary would take an hour. Sometimes it would take 15 minutes. On those days (YEA!), I don't know the nuns got confused and thought they were on the other side of the rosary and almost done, or they did it on purpose. I didn't care or understand why we said the rosary. I found it beyond boring. Aside from The Lord's Prayer, the prayers meant little ... they were simply memorized and regurgitated. Every day I hoped it would be a day the nuns got lost and finished quickly.

When I pray now, I pray in my own voice ... not the prayers the Catholic church tells me to pray. I mean no disrespect to devout Catholics, but I find the rosary and the made up rules of that religion (that change on the whim of the Pope) contradict the Bible in so many ways.

Below is a diagram of the rosary, along with the prayers we had to say on each bead. Looking at it, I'm sure you can see how it's easy to skip ahead a bead or two and get lost! (Click on image to enlarge).


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Germ(ophobe)

Last week I was in one of the schools helping administer the ISTEP test. The night before, I had a fever of almost 101°. In the morning, my fever was gone. Since I was feeling fine, and we're short-handed, I went to the school as promised.

When I got there, I told the counselor (who helps administer the test alongside me) that I had been running a fever the night before, but was fine now. She gathered up her computer, coffee, papers, etc., and proceeded to setup on the other side of the room. Once she had everything moved, she left and came back, spraying Lysol. And it reminded me of someone ...


Monday, April 30, 2018

The Colors are in Order!

My grandson, whether on purpose or by chance, put the Playdoh in the container in the proper order! The purple is upside down, but that's nit-picking. We thought it was cool, but then, we're easy to impress when it comes to the babies!



Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sunday, April 22, 2018

An Afternoon at the Park

Thing 1 and I took all the babies to the park Saturday afternoon ... and they a blast!

The older two headed straight for the slide while Thing 1 put her little guy in the baby swing.





There were only two swings at this particular playground, so we had to improvise to get all three on the swings at the same time. Luckily, my youngest grandbaby didn't take up much of the seat in the baby swing!


My oldest grandbaby is was able to swing by himself, but he wanted a turn with his cousin in the baby swing.



I took a short walk with the older two, stopping along the way to watch some big kids play disc golf, then we headed back to the playground for a drink and a snack.

After being cooped up all winter, these little ones were ready to run and play ... and they did! They had so much fun, but I think my daughter and I enjoyed it even more than the babies! Seeing their smiles and hearing their giggles fill my heart to overflowing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ivy

I took a couple of days off to get some work done in my yard. For once, it was warm and it hadn't rained in about a week. I didn't work too terribly hard, but I got a few things crossed off my list ... the things that mattered the most ... cutting the grass and getting the rest of the ivy off of the trees.

It's hard to see the ivy growing on the trees in this picture, but there were about 15 trees with ivy. Eight or nine had really, really thick vines growing on them. The others had smaller vines.


In case you don't know how thick ivy vines can get, here's a sample. The yellow arrows show the ivy cut ... the one hanging next to the tree is ivy ... not a tree growing nearby.


Here's a tree with the ivy removed. I'm not concerned about getting the entire vine off the tree (as if I could), my goal was to kill it's food source at the ground.


It wasn't without injury, but the cuts are superficial. My leg brushed up against the saw (a tree saw, not a chainsaw). It didn't hurt, it's just going to mess up my tan when they heal!

It takes a few months for the ivy to die, so it will be fall, when the leaves are gone, before I can be sure I've gotten it all ... and I'll have to pull off new vines that try to grow up throughout the year, but I think I've got a handle on the ivy ... finally! When I moved here, every tree in the woods had ivy, so even though it doesn't look all that impressive, I've spent many an hour cutting down ivy and checking for ticks!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Snow? REALLY???


The moisture on my windshield is from SNOW. Yesterday! In April!!!! It snowed very lightly and for a very short time, but still ... snow in April?!!

I have a sister in Minnesota (who is there on purpose!), where they had blizzard/white-out conditions over the weekend, so I'll get no sympathy from her, but I do NOT not in Minnesota (on purpose!). I'm not supposed to see snow in April, regardless of how insignificant!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Laryngitis

After working in my yard Friday, I went to my friend's house. The plan was to take a walk, but it looked like it was going to rain, so we just hung out and watched a movie. I was fine when I got there, but as the day wore on, my voice started cracking. By the time I got home, I couldn't talk above a whisper.

I don't have a sore throat, and I'm not coughing, so I'm not completely sure what happened. I did work on a computer for a co-worker who had laryngitis. She said she wasn't contagious, but I wiped down her keyboard and mouse with disinfectant wipes (that supposedly kill 99% of all germs) ... just in case. Also, I had a dental appointment last Wednesday and was given nitric oxide. I'm not sure if it was the nitric oxide or if the 1% of germs the disinfectant wipes don't kill was the one that got me. Regardless, I couldn't talk above a whisper Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. I'm still talking pretty soft, but at least people don't have to lip-read when I talk to them anymore!

Anyway ... Saturday afternoon I ran errands. If I had to ask someone at the store for help, I had to whisper my question, and I discovered a strange fact ... when you whisper a question to someone, even prefacing it with the fact that you can barely talk, they whisper the answer back! The following is a typical conversation from every store I visited:

Me (holding my hand to my throat, I whispered): "I can barely talk. Where are the batteries?"
Home Depot Guy (whispers): "There's a battery kiosk just past the self-checkout stations."

The fact that everyone whispered back was funny enough that I didn't even care if I couldn't talk! If you're ever bored and need a little "funny" in your day, try whispering to a salesperson and see if they whisper back!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

No One Can Resist Mr. Pillow

When I lay my grandbabies down for a nap, I lay down with them. Sometimes I stay and take a nap and sometimes I wait until I know they are asleep before gently getting up and tip-toeing out. There are times that one of them will wake up, so I'll take Mr. Pillow and put him close the the one still sleeping. There's weight beside them and it smells like me ... so they think Grandma is still there. I did that with my own kids, too. It always worked like a charm!

Last weekend, Sweet Pea was still zonked out when her brother woke up, fully charged. I put Mr. Pillow beside her and carried her brother to freedom. When I went to check on her, she had her arm around Mr. Pillow ...


A couple of years back, when my grandson was in the hospital in Indianapolis, I stayed to help his mom and give her a break. I don't think she would have left the room without knowing someone was there with her little baby! One afternoon he was so tired and really fighting sleep, so I put Mr. Pillow beside him. It wasn't long before he fell asleep. I looked over a minute later, and he'd thrown his tiny arm over Mr. Pillow. (I know you're not supposed to put anything in with an infant when they are sleeping, but I was right beside him the whole time ... he was never in any danger.)


There are a few things that all three of my kids have told me they want when I die, but the big two are my Bible and Mr. Pillow!