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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Don't Think So!

It appears Louis would like to have his feast served in the formal dining room this evening. Dream on, kitty cat. Dream on.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Caught on Film

Mr. Whiskers, 2004
I was looking through pictures to make a slideshow for my daughter's wedding and came across this one ... of Mr. Whiskers cleaning his nether-regions. I have no idea which one of the kids took this one ... or why ... but how lucky we are that they could immortalize this moment forever!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

It's Been a Long Time

My kids were introduced to sidewalk chalk at an early age, and it quickly became a favorite past time. In the summer I always had teenage girls come to the house to babysit the kids. I was lucky enough to find several very responsible girls. They loved the kids ... they played with them and made some happy memories my kids still speak of with fondness and smiles.

I would often come home to drawings up and down the front walk, and on the sidewalk spanning the width of the house. Rain would wash them away, or they'd fade with foot traffic over time, or they'd be hosed down and new creations would take their place once the sun dried the pavement. I never knew what artistic masterpieces would greet me when I came home from work!

I had to run some errands the other day (mainly to buy ferns), and my oldest daughter asked for sidewalk chalk (she's 23 years old, yet still wildly in love with sidewalk chalk!). I knew she had some and questioned her about it, but she claimed she was almost out. Her "almost out" is different from mine ... when we get down to five or six boxes of macaroni and cheese, we are "almost out". Regardless of the fact that she did indeed have plenty of chalk, I picked up a big package (it's pretty cheap ... and I know it won't be wasted!).

First she drew this:

Then she drew this:

Then "draw-er's block" set in. As I was leaving for a date, she asked me and my sweetie for ideas. I suggested drawing the cupcake that was on her t-shirt, but she poo-poohed my idea. I guess I misunderstood question. When she asked "What should I draw next?", she actually meant "Tell me something I want to draw."

I came home from my date to a large butterfly with "Welcome" (pictured at top of blog). And, to no one's surprise, a snail:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I Love This Picture

This is a picture of my son (left) playing chess with his older, newly-graduated cousin (in 1997 or 1998). I don't remember this chess match being the highlight of the party, but it appears that everyone in the room was riveted by it!

Anyway, I've always thought this was such a cute picture ... despite the 15-year age difference, they were buddies :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Olivia ... Reading the News Online

Wait a minute ... she not reading the news! She's shopping!!
I told her that unless she's buying me shoes and pretty sundresses,
she's not buying anything!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Think I Know the Name of That Book!

Yesterday's post was about a book I read as a child, but couldn't remember its name. Two different people pointed me to the same book ... both with access to special databases used by resource librarians that I'm not privvy to, so I feel better that I haven't been able to locate it myself! It didn't sound like the book exactly as I remember it, but it was pretty darn close, so I ordered it from Amazon.

I really do hope it's the right book. I have searched for the name of this book on and off for years. I'm curious if I'll be able to see, when I read it again, why I loved this book so much. I'll post more about it after I receive the book in 3-5 business days!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Can't Remember the Name of a Book I LOVED as a Child

There was a book I read in grade school, and I can't remember the name of it. I loved that book and re-read it many times. I remember getting in trouble for reading during math class in the seventh grade ... a lot of trouble! Enough trouble that the teacher called my mother, so you'd think I'd remember the name of the book, wouldn't you? My mother didn't punish me for reading during class ... my mother loved to read, so I don't think it was in her to punish me for reading ... I did, however, get in trouble for smarting-off to the teacher. I was a shy, meek, timid, quiet, compliant little child, so I don't know where I got the nerve to smart-off ... but I did! (In my defense, Mr. Early started it!!)

For the life of me, I can't remember the name of that book. All I can remember is that it was about a girl who had a cow named Bessie (or Betsy, but I think it was Bessie), and there was an apple tree in her yard. At some point, she made apple dumplings. For some reason, I have it in my head that she only got three apples from the tree that year, and I think the book cover was an illustrated image of the apple tree as seen through her bedroom window.

That's all I can remember. I've searched for this book for decades! It's probably out of print, but I'd love to know the name of it. Does anyone have any idea what book this could be?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Healthy Breakfast

For breakfast, I contemplated (or should I say fantasized about) cinnamon french toast dripping in syrup ... or scrambled eggs ... or a cheese omelet ... or eggs, over easy with toast and real butter ... but I didn't have any of those.  For the past couple of months, I've eaten oatmeal with cranberries and fresh (and sometimes very tart!) blueberries ... and no added sugar. All I drink is water, milk, and occasionally sugar-free tea or Kool-Aid. And on Easter I didn't sneak or beg for any of the candy the giant bunny brought the the kids.

I better get extra points for this!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My FREE App is Now Available on iTunes!

My app is NOW AVAILABLE on Apple iTunes for iPhone and iPad!!

Search for Jackie Coleman Books on iTunes and download the free app for an easy way to keep up with my blog, news, books, and more!

As of right now it is only available for iPhone and iPad, but it will be available soon on Google Play for all Android devices.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Things I Don't Understand - Episode 3: Storm Sirens

I don't understand why storm sirens sound for severe thunderstorm warnings. Doing so "cheapens" the siren when it sounds for tornado warnings. I am not completely opposed to a siren for severe thunderstorms, but there should be different tones for a thunderstorm warning and a tornado warning. Perhaps they could use the existing siren, one long, continuous tone for a tornado warning, and a broken tone for a thunderstorm.

There have been many occasions when I've heard the sirens going off after I've already gone to bed.  I had to sit up, turn on my light, turn on the television, and navigate to a local channel only to discover it's just a thunderstorm warning. I lay back down and the sirens go off again a little bit later. If the storm is bad, I'll sit up and turn on the television again to see why the siren is going off, but sometimes I just assume they're still warning morons too stupid to realize there's a howling storm raging outside, and I ignore the siren and go back to sleep. I realize it could be a tornado warning and that I need to take cover, but sometimes I'm just too tired to keep sitting up, turning on the light and the television, etc ... again.

It's kind of the little boy who cried wolf. I don't get alarmed when I hear a siren going off because it goes off all the time for a silly thunderstorm. I know severe thunderstorms are not silly and should not to be ignored, but honestly ... if you can't tell you're having a severe thunderstorm, the storm is not your biggest problem.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Guess They ARE Real!

My daughter and I were going down the Expressway the other day and saw this up ahead of us. It's not everyday you see a Transformer rolling chugging down the road!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Squirrel Causes $300,000 in Damage

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
It's nice to know I'm not the sole target of squirrel shenanigans!! Ft. Wayne couldn't be further from me and still be in Indiana, but if I didn't know better, I'd say I know the squirrel responsible.

And for those of you who think squirrels are cute, compare them to a rat. Need I say more?
Photo's courtesy of Getty and Photo: Jason Kerr/Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Couple of Pictures

From Conversations With Local Authors ...

And my books on the library shelf. Granted, if they are both there, they aren't currently checked out ... but they are THERE ... and that thrills me! I sure wish my mother were here to see it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Local Author Event Was Fun!!

It's always a pleasure meeting fellow authors, especially local ones. I met some very nice people and sold some books ... it was a good day! Afterwards I took the kids out to eat. It's not very often that it's just me and my little ducklings. I'm having as much fun with them as adults as when they were babies!!

Everyone Is Getting Older (Except Me!!)

My oldest daughter and one of her best friends are both getting married this year, and they are both bridesmaid's in the other's wedding. Her friend's bridal shower was yesterday. It seems so strange to think of these two as "women". They've been friends since they were in third or fourth grade. When I picture them, I remember the giggly little girls who used to sing and dance at their sleepovers, play Polly Pockets, and act so silly together. I think it's wonderful that they are still good friends and get to share in each other's special day. I know two lucky guys who are marrying two very goofy girls ... oops, I mean ...  two beautiful, sweet, amazing women!

How is it that these two are so much older and I'm still 35?!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Things I Don't Understand - Episode 2: Viagra Commercials

I don't understand why commercials for Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra tell men to "Ask your doctor if you're healthy enough for sexual activity".

When a man asks for that particular kind of medication, shouldn't his physician already know why the patient is asking for it? Do they ever have men come in asking for it for reasons other than sexual activity? Is anyone asking for it for, say ... eczema or tennis elbow or rheumatoid arthritis? Rather than saying "Ask your doctor ...", I think the commercials should say "Your doctor will discuss with you whether or not you are healthy enough ..."

Honestly, men ... if your doctor doesn't already know why you're asking for one of those drugs, you really, really, really need to start looking for a new physician.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Public Meeting Concerning Vectren Rate Hike

Officials with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) announced the agency will conduct a public field hearing on the Vectren request on April 14 at the Old National Events Plaza, 715 Locust Street. The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. local time. You can read the article here Vectren Rate Hike Meeting.

The meeting will be held Monday, April 14, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at the Old National Bank in downtown Evansville.

If you can't make it, at least read the articles below. I wrote a blog on the unusually high rate those in this area pay for electricity (I'd Like An Answer, Too), that references this article ... It is Time for Vectren to Explain Why SW Indiana is an Island of-Exorbitant Electricity Rates.

Written comments received by the close of business on April 21 will be filed with the Commission and included in the formal record. Comments should include your name, address, and a reference to IURC Cause No. 44429. If enough people submit their concerns, perhaps we can stop this rate hike. You can submit comments a variety of ways:

Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN  46204

Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor



I have a few questions I'd like to ask them ...
  1. How is it that other utility companies can deliver the same service for a third of the cost of Vectren?
  2. Did Vectren give any bonuses in the last ten years?
  3. If money is so tight, how do you justify the cost of the new building?
  4. How often do Vectren employees get raises? A lot of people in the area are unemployed, under-employed, or not getting raises at their current job., and I for one am not willing to pay more for electric services to pay for raises when we our utility rates are already ridiculously high.
I hope you will go to the meeting or voice your complaints to the Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


I had to run to Walmart the other day. I entered through the garden entrance and was greeted with the unmistakable scent of Hyacinth. After shopping, as I was walking towards the checkout, I could smell the Hyacinth again ... from a shopping cart more than 20' away. Few flowers smell as wonderful as Hyacinth.

Seeing all the beautiful spring flowers in full bloom on the drive over, then being greeted by more of these beauties was smile-worthy ... but being welcomed by the sweet smell of Hyacinth was the real treat!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Yummy Dinner I Didn't Have To Cook!

My daughter came over to visit and fixed dinner for me ... chicken alfredo and herbed biscuits! When the kids were little, I used to dream of the day they would be old enough to cook me dinner ... at least once in a while. Food you didn't have to cook yourself always tastes better, don't you think?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Looking For A New Vacation Hot-Spot?

Photo courtesy of Odense CIty Museums.
Scientists in Denmark have uncovered a multitude of barrels from a communal latrine containing 700 year old poop. I know what you're thinking, and the answer is yes .. the poop is still in excellent condition ... and yes ... the poop still stinks. The word "putrid" was offered as a description.

Free tours of the excavation site are offered twice a week. FREE!! Who could pass up an offer like that!

Ladies ... you and your daughters may not find this as much fun as the beach or Disneyland, but trust me ... the boys in your family (and probably the men) will think this is the coolest thing short of naked women and loud trucks.

You're welcome :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Daughter Brought Her Dog Over

Olivia was NOT pleased to see Roo!
Roo's best buddy is a cat! He just wanted to play ...
but Olivia just wanted to pretend dogs don't exist ...
Funny thing is, Roo could probably eat Olivia in two bites ,,,
but he is terrified of her!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Things I Don't Understand - Episode 1: Cutthroat Kitchen

I've decided to start a weekly "Things I Don't Understand" posting. I will try to make it an every Saturday thing. Some weeks other issues may take precedence ... but the goal is every Saturday!

Episode 1

I don't understand a cooking show based on being devious and underhanded. It's cooking, for pete's sake! I'm speaking of a show on Food Network called Cutthroat Kitchen, and I have not watched an episode. I'm basing my opinion on the premise of the show that each contestant is given $25,000 to purchase items at some kind of auction during each episode that will benefit only themselves and/or sabotage their opponents. I like winning fair and square. Either you have what it takes to win (in whatever the competition is) or you don't. Winning because you gave yourself an unfair advantage, or winning because you caused your competitors to have an unfair disadvantage proves nothing to me ... other than the fact that some people want to win so badly they'll stack the deck in their favor and then accept the "award" as though they won on their merit alone. If you have to rig the game in your favor ... you didn't really prove yourself to be the best. In my eyes, all you did was prove yourself as being someone who can't win on a level playing field. You're not the best, you're simply the meanest.

There are other shows on television that operate under the same general premise of being devious to win, and those shows bother me, too. (I don't watch any of those shows, either.) I don't agree with giving every kid in an athletic team a trophy so that they don't get their tender feelings hurt. Not being the very best isn't the end of the world. If nothing else, it teaches you what your shortcomings are and what you need to work on to get better. I believe the best should be celebrated. It bothers me that there are shows out there that both encourage ... and reward ... someone who wins by rigging the game.

I wouldn't do well on any show that requires that you be "mean" to win. I prefer to win, but I don't mind losing ... as long as I've lost fair and square.

Friday, April 4, 2014

I Thought This Was An April Fool's Joke

I saw a tweet on April 1st that Russell Brand was writing a series of children's books. I'm pretty gullible at times, but even I saw through that one!

Turns out ... it's true ... and I'm ... speechless.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Another Sleepless Night

Photo courtesy of Mathias Krumbholz
This time it wasn't due to unwanted phone scams, but the weather. It started raining as I was getting into bed. The thunder and lightening began as soon as I turned off my light ... big, deep, loud, long, thunderous rolls. The crackling was like explosions, jolting me from a dead sleep. All ... night ... long. Strangely, it ended when I woke up and turned on the light when my alarm went off this morning.

Wait ... could it be that my lamp is the on/off switch for thunderstorms?!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Do Believe It's Spring!

I pulled over on the way to work to take a picture of a tree beginning to leaf, and then I saw this one ...

Pretty, pretty, pretty!! There is color in the world again!!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Phone Scammers

I didn't get to bed until close to midnight last night, then I got a call a little after 1:00. When you're a mom and the phone rings in the middle of the night like that, every worst nightmare runs through your mind. I looked at the number ... it was a 3-digit number, so I knew it was a scammer and didn't answer. Even though I'd had less than an hour of sleep at this point, I had hard time falling back to sleep, and I was awake until after 4:00. Needless to say, when my alarm went off at 5:30, I was less than rested. I only got a few hours of sleep the night before, so I'm really dragging this morning.

Turning off my phone at night isn't an option, so I hope middle of the night scam calls isn't a new trend ... and I wish there was a way to punish these people!! If I had my way, people convicted of being involved in computer viruses and phone scams would face a mandatory prison sentence and high restitution ... and there would be no plea bargaining!

This isn't my only bright idea, either ... I'm full of brilliant solutions for a myriad of local, national, and international problems ... but no one will let me rule the world!!!