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

Thursday, July 31, 2014


I heard a commercial recently (which is unusual, as I always mute commercials and never know what they're about), but for some reason, I was forced to listen to one of some cable provider bragging that "You can now record six shows at once!" And golly-gee ... he sounded happy!

Never, in the history of television, have there been six shows on at one time that I wanted to see, hence ... there is no reason to record any of them! Not only have a I never wanted to record six shows at once, I've never wanted to record six shows in a month. I'm not sure I've ever wanted to record six shows in a year! Is it really necessary to record six shows at once? I'd have to quit my job to have time to watch all the shows I recorded if I recorded that many!

Something tells me that the people who record six shows at once aren't recording exercise programs!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"No, I don't know where your paper went. Maybe the dog ate it."

I don't know what her fascination with paper is. We've had other cats, and they were more than happy to lay on fluffy cushions or soft blankets, but Olivia prefers paper and boxes. I was unpacking something that had been wrapped in newspaper, and a piece fell to the floor. When I bent down to retrieve it, Olivia had claimed it and refused to budge! Fortunately, she's no match for my mighty strength, so I won the battle ... but she glared at me for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

She said "Smile", not "Smile and Fart!"

 Say "Cheese"!!

My boyfriends youngest daughter just got a new phone with a very high quality camera, and was trying to get a good picture of her cat, Ollie. She told him to smile. I asked her "Are you sure you didn't say 'Smile and fart'?"

Ollie is Olivia's cousin, (at least) once-removed. Olivia belonged to my boyfriend's oldest daughter, and she was loved and spoiled ... until a baby human came along and ruined her existence. My oldest daughter agreed to take her ... with the promise that we would get rid of Tux-The-Psycho-Kitty. Olivia HATED Tux. (So did I.) It took a while, but we finally unloaded Tux. I told my oldest daughter that when she moved out, Olivia had to go with her. "Of course," she exclaimed! Well, my daughter moved out, but (much to my chagrin) ... Olivia didn't. My middle daughter, who loves Olivia, was thrilled. Me? Not so much.

My oldest daughter did come and kidnap Olivia about a year later, but it was short-lived.  About fifteen months later (not that I kept count or anything), she had to move back in with me while she looked for another place. She not only brought Olivia, but Louie the cat, and Roo the dog. She found another place a little over a month after she moved back. Louie and Roo went with her ... but she left Olivia here. Again!

So, once again, my middle daughter is thrilled. Me? Not so much. Olivia is a nice enough cat, but I'm tired of animals. I raised three kids by myself ... I think I've been punished enough!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Soon ...

Savannah The Minivan (my son named her) should hit the big 100k this week. I suppose that's not something many people would look at this as thrilling on any level, but my life is just boring enough that I find this exciting, indeed!! 

I have driven vehicles with over 100,000 miles before, but I was never the one driving, or even in the vehicle when the historic event occurred ... but when Savannah hits this milestone, I will be the one to share it with her!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Happy Systems Administrator Appreciation Day to me 
(and my nerdy/geeky peeps).
Happy Systems Administrator Appreciation Day to me
(and my nerdy/geeky peeps).
Happy Systems Administrator Appreciation Day 
dear nerds and/or geeks,
Happy Systems Administrator Appreciation Day to me
(and my nerdy/geeky peeps).

What my middle daughter said: "Mom, everyone already knows you're a nerd. I wouldn't consider you a geek, but you're definitely a nerd."

What I heard: "You're AMAZING!"

The last Saturday in July is the day we celebrate the much anticipated System Administrator Appreciation Day. Today we celebrate nerds and geeks ... which makes me very happy! 

The Urban Dictionary defines a Nerd as ...
"One whose IQ exceeds his weight."

and a Geek as ...
"The people you pick on in high school
and wind up working for as an adult."

My IQ easily exceeds my weight, but that's not saying much ... weighing at in just over 100 lbs, I'd still be a nerd even if my IQ were average.

And the only person who really picked on me in school was me. Being a perfectionist, I was very hard on myself, much more so than anyone else would have ever dared to be. I was pretty mean to me ... does that count?

P.S. Sorry for the late posting, but I experienced a nerds worst nightmare ... my internet connection was out all morning!

Friday, July 25, 2014

I guess I'm too old to appreciate a "hip" manicure ...

A black line underneath the sparkly silver tip.

My sweet, ultra-girly middle daughter always has her finger and toe nails neatly painted in various designs, usually a modified French manicure. She loves it, but from where I was sitting ... watching her arms flail about while she talked a mile a minute ... it looked like there was dirt under her fingernails. I'm not a fan ... but she loved it.

She did a similar treatment to my toes, except the line was pink, not black. She thought my toes looked quite lovely, but I thought they looked naked. I tried letting the new style grow on me, but I just couldn't get on board ... so I repainted them with a luminescent pink polish I simply adore. Now that I see what a black line looks like, the pink line I thought was so unattractive is starting to look pretty good!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I Have a Theory

A view of Olivia, "sunning" in the upstairs hallway.
This "open-air display" used to happen only in the dining room, but now she lays like this every place a sun ray shines into the house. That got me to thinking ... and I believe she's trying to tan the fur on her "nether regions" so that it matches the rest of her. The kids just look at me and roll their eyes when I verbalize my hypothesis, but I think it's a very credible theory! It's either that ... or (more likely) ... she's just a tramp.

Olivia looking at me like ... "What?!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Big Brother!

Mama, holding my brother, six weeks old.
Today is my oldest brother's birthday. It's hard to believe he was once that scrawny baby on my mother's lap! Since I was raised to respect my elders, I won't tell you how old he his ... just that he was old enough to vote before I was old enough to go to school!

Happy Birthday Big Brother!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Insanely Delicious

I made Asian Chicken Wraps for lunch Sunday ... and they might just be the best thing I've ever eaten. My middle daughter loved it just as much as I did. 

My son looked at it and said "It looks healthy." That's kid-speak for "I'll take a bite to shut you up, but there's no way I'm eating this." One bite is all it took to change his mind ... and he inhaled the rest of the wrap. I took one to work Monday and cut off small pieces for my co-workers to taste ... and they fell in love, too ... including the guy who thinks food has to be hot and be covered in melted cheese.

This wrap is so insanely, incredibly delicious it may very well be my new favorite food. It's stuffed with a lot of veggies, so it's healthy as well as tasty. I'd say this scrumptious wrap is a win-win!

Monday, July 21, 2014


Scientists have invented a material so black that your eyes can't see it. It's been billed as "the black to end all blacks".

I have a few of questions ...
  1. What was wrong with our existing black?
  2. How did they know our old black wasn't already the "black to end all blacks"?
  3. If you can't see it, how did they know they'd invented anything?
  4. Since black already exists, can you really invent black? Wasn't it actually more of a discovery?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer, Summer ... Where Art Thou?

My best friend, cuddling her cute
little grandson on the 4th of July.
This little guy is one of the sweetest, most
well-behaved little kids I have ever known!
She's not only holding him close
because she loves him ...
but to stay warm!
Last summer was a total wash-out. We pretty much swam through summer ... but not in the pool. We swam through our yard and parking lots to get to our cars. With few exception, it rained most every day ... and every single weekend.  There was a small window of summer at the end of June. Fortunately, that's when I took vacation. I say fortunately because the entire eastern half of the country was inundated with rain every weekend after those glorious, sunny seven days. I spent most of last summer trying to keep the pool clean, but very little time soaking in the sun on a raft.

Spring was later than usual this year, and after a horrid winter, it was heaven indeed to wear shorts and enjoy quiet mornings on the deck sipping coffee or sit on the porch swing after dark.  This summer started out wonderful, and as the last week of June rolled around, the pool was Goldilocks perfect  ... not too hot and not too cold. It briefly ran through my mind that one year ago, that was the last perfect week of summer, but I didn't think that would happen two years in a row.

I was wrong.

It rained a lot in June, but the weekends were fabulous. Then, like last year, July brought less than ideal summer conditions. July has been rainier than usual, but it's not the rain that's ruining my summer, it's the polar vortex that traveled down from the north, bringing with it colder than average temperatures. The weather hasn't been as bad as what they've had north of us, but with highs in the 70's or low 80's, it's not the hot, sunny weather I longed for throughout that long, bitterly-cold winter. It's perfect for working in the yard ... but I don't want to work in the yard ... I want to float around the pool! The water in the pool, once the perfect temperature, is now a chilly 76º. The water is still crystal-clear and beckoning ... but I'm a baby and don't want to get in it!

When my kids were growing up, we spent every 4th of July at the pool. After a day spent sunning and playing, we'd clean up and go to the fireworks downtown. This year it was too chilly to swim (only in the 70's), and when it came time for the fireworks (at a friends house this year), I had to change into jeans ... and a jacket! A jacket ... in July!!! That, to me, is simply not acceptable summer weather! I put up my jackets in early spring and have no intention of seeing them again until the fall!! I'm quite certain that I have never, in my entire life, worn a jacket in July ... until this year. (Boo!!!)

I would say that I hope August brings the hot, steamy weather we are accustomed to, but my boyfriend's daughter is getting married at the end of August. The wedding will be held in his backyard, so hot and steamy is not the ideal weather for such an event! August days around here are typically hot and steamy with nary a breeze, but the nights tend to cool into the low 70's, and sometimes the upper 60's, so even if the day is hot and humid, her evening wedding will be something out of a storybook.

The cooler weather in July has been perfect for my boyfriend to put the finishing touches on his landscaping. His yard has always been beautiful, but he's a perfectionist, so he has been busy tweaking the (amazing) landscaping already in place to give his little girl the fairy-tale wedding of her dreams. He's very good at a lot of things, and it seems landscaping is no exception. He has a very good eye for plantings and hardscapes. Over the years, it's been fun to watch him transform his once over-grown yard into the tranquil oasis it has become. He's spent the last seven years planting, building, and sweating in his yard ... so he's pretty tired of it! But wait until I post the picture of the fruits of his labor ... so prepare to be amazed!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I've Found the Ultimate Christmas Gift

A dinosaur turd! But not just any ole ordinary dinosaur poop will do ... it must be the one pictured above! This fossilized dinosaur feces is 40" long. Paleontologists and dinosaur aficionados have described it as "A truly spectacular feces specimen that boasts a wonderfully even, pale brown-yellow coloring, with a terrifically detailed texture across the whole of its immense length."

That's some pretty high praise for poo-poo, isn't it? What more could you possibly ask for in a turd? And while we're on the subject ... when is the last time you saw the word "spectacular" and "feces" in the same sentence?!

This "unprecedented" 40" dinosaur turd is "tastefully" mounted on black marble ... and it expected to fetch up to $10,000 at auction. I thought about bidding on it for my sweetie for Christmas, but then every Christmas present from that point on would be a disappointment. I mean, really ... how would I ever top a spectacular 40" dinosaur turd?!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

You Only THINK You've Seen This Pic Before


You're confusing it with the one below (from the July 11th post) ...

This is how she naps. Despite the fact that the same carpet and padding runs throughout most of the house, but she sleeps like this only in the dining room!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The "Happy" Song Makes Me Cry!

My oldest daughter, the one getting married this fall, loves the song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. I think about her every time I hear it (which, strangely, is more often than you would think considering I rarely listen to the radio!). And then I think about her getting married ... and then I start getting choked up.

There is a professional development seminar going on at work this week and I'm tech support. When the live feed started, it was kids dancing and mimicking the Happy video. Everyone in the room was smiling and laughing ... while I stood off to the side of the room fighting back tears  ... hoping no one would see me trying desperately not to cry during the Happy song and wonder what the heck was wrong with me!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Glaze Icing

My daughter and I made lemon cupcakes with lemon glaze Sunday ... 
and they are soooooo yummy!

Monday, July 14, 2014


My daughter got the above wedding invitation in the mail about a week ago (the names have been blurred to protect the innocent ... and the guilty). She stuck it on the fridge ... with the other half dozen or so wedding invitations we've received so far this year. I looked at it to see who was getting married. I didn't recognize the bride or grooms name ... but more than what information it did contain, I noticed what it did not ... there was no date or time on it! I turned it over to see if those details were on the back of it. Nope!  


I can imagine friends and relatives calling the brides home asking when and where, and then the confused bride (or bride's mother) picking up the invitation to point out that the date and time IS on the invitation ... and then comes the heart-stopping realization that ... it isn't! 

A few days later my daughter received a postcard with the date and time. Someone, I'm sure, has been profusely apologizing to that poor, traumatized girl!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hard at Work

After a long, full day spent looking out the window, eating, pooping, and napping, Olivia and Louie are still hitting it pretty hard. While the rest of us are winding it down for the night, this hard-working duo is "scrambling" to finish their to-do list ... which, apparently, includes forming a 90º angle around the base of the stair railing. I can only assume that if my crazy-cat-lady-wanna-be daughters had their way, these feisty felines could see their dreams come to fruition ... they could not only form the corner, but line the entire length of the upstairs hallway, too!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

True Love

My future son-in-law was working in the yard and found a snail, which he brought in and gave to my daughter. You know it's love when a man finds a snail, stops to pick it up, and brings it to his snail-obsessed sweetie just to see her beautiful smile! (And the answer is "Yes" ... he knows his future wife is a weirdo, and he loves her anyway!)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ewwww ...

I was walking down the street downtown, near the courthouse, and there was a field of grass with giant bees swarming it. There wasn't a flower in sight, so I don't know what the draw is, but they were hundreds of them. You may have to view the video full screen to see them, and even then you can't see how many there really were. It was creepy ... like something from a horror movie.

(Note: You will need flash to view the video, which rules out iPads and iPhones. Not sure why those devices won't run Flash, because Apple desktop and laptops will run it. All I can surmise is that Steve Jobs had a vendetta against someone on the Flash development team!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What kind of tree is this?

I've seen a few these trees around town, but not very many ... and I love them! The bark is very unique, and unless I'm mistaken, these trees are fully mature and they don't grow very large. Anyone know what kind they are?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

King of the Tree House

Roo came over to spend the day with me last weekend. I took him outside while I worked in the backyard, and, like every little boy that comes over ... he made a bee-line for the treehouse!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Sweet Treat After a Very Stressful Week

Thing 1 stopped by while I was out yesterday evening and left me a sweet treat ... and an even sweeter note.

After an extremely stressful week, this little act of kindness made my heart swell :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ruined Plans

Thing 1 brought her dog, Roo, over while she and her fiance took a day trip. The first thing Roo did was run to the kitchen to see if there was any cat food in Olivia's bowl. Olivia just laughed at him. "Ha, ha, ha! There's no food ... they forgot to feed me today! Ha, ha, ha, ha ..." She paused mid-laugh as the reality of the situation became clear. "Hey! They forgot to feed me today!!!"

For the record, Thing 2 forgot to feed her, not me. Anyway, I gave Olivia her food and sat it on the small cabinet under the window. Roo has eaten Olivia's food before, so she knows he can inhale her entire bowl of food faster than a teenage boy can devour a plate of cookies. The mongrel's presence meant her plans for the day were ruined, as she would now be forced to spend her day on top of the small cabinet guarding her food. This is one of her favorite spots to "work", but she has other windows she's responsible for monitoring daily. And what about all those naps the cat-code requires? All that time she spent researching new places to sleep was for naught. Roo being here really disrupted her routine ... and she was not happy ... at all.

Roo is afraid of Olivia, so he kept his distance from both her and her food. He did, however, have the last laugh ... he got in her litter box and stole some of her poop while she wasn't looking ... and ate it. (That look on your face right now ... yeah ... that's kinda the face I made, too!) Roo seemed quite happy and proud of himself, but I almost threw up!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Today is International Free Hugs Day

The first Saturday in July is International Free Hugs Day ... so feel free to make a sign, hold it in the mall or a busy sidewalk, and share the love!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thank You, Blueberries!

Greek vanilla yogurt, cottage cheese, blueberries, and strawberries ...
yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum :)
.. for without blueberries, I would not be able to have this patriotic breakfast of red, white and blue on this beautiful 4th of July!

I've officially given blueberries their long overdue thank you, but there's still others I need to thank. I hope to one day I hope to meet our founding fathers in heaven and thank them for their vision, dedication, courage, and wisdom when creating the greatest country in history. I'm sure I'll meet a lot soldiers in heaven ... many of whom gave their lives so that I could live in freedom ... and when I get to heaven, I will thank each and every one of them, too.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hurricane Arthur Likely to Side-Swipe Ocracoke Island

For those of you who have never been to Ocracoke ... or have never even heard of it ... you truly do not know what you are missing. I fell in love with Ocracoke on the ferry ride over. The anticipation rose as I drove the fifteen miles from the ferry terminal to the village, the waters of the Pamilico Sound on one side, and the wide expanse of the Atlantic on the other. By the time I reached the village, I knew Ocracoke would be one of my favorite places on earth.

There are no McDonald's and no Walmarts. There are no big shopping malls, or even strip malls. In fact, there are no franchises of any kind. Instead, the shops and restaurants dotting the village are pretty much owned and operated by the people who call Ocracoke home. The shops all offer unique items, many by local artisans, and the restaurants serve some of the best food you'll ever eat! Vacationing on Ocracoke is like going back in time, except you still have all the amenities of modern-life. My time on Ocracoke has always been the most relaxing, most thoroughly enjoyable days of my life. It doesn't appear I'll be able to go to Ocracoke again this year ... but there is always next year!

And now, Hurricane Arthur, currently a category one, is heading for the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Unlike the other islands of the Outer Banks, the only way on or off Ocracoke is by ferry, boat, or private plane. Since the ferries cannot operate once winds reach gale force strength, it's usually the first island evacuated, so I was surprised to hear that there is a mandatory evacuation for Hatteras Island (just north of Ocracoke), and a voluntary evacuation order for Ocracoke. Hatteras Island does stick out further into the Atlantic, but not by much! The hurricane authorities tend to err on the side of caution, so they must feel pretty secure in the knowledge that Ocracoke will be relatively safe ... and that's very good news! The storm is schedule to hit on the 4th, so all of the 4th of July festivities scheduled on Ocracoke have been moved to Saturday the 5th.

In 2009, a truck loaded with fireworks exploded on Ocracoke, killing four and injuring one. After the tragedy, Ocracoke no longer has a fireworks display, but they do have a full day of activities planned ... the good, old-fashioned kind of fun you'd expect from a close-knit community.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ocracoke and Hatteras, and all the other communities along the Outer Banks. I hope the damage is minimal and they are able to enjoy what's left of the holiday weekend after Arthur sweeps by. Even with rain and hurricane-force winds, I think a bad day on Ocracoke is better than a good day most anyplace else!

Turkey Burger

A few weeks ago I ordered a turkey burger at a fast food joint. I figured it would be tasteless and bland, and that it would be the last turkey burger I would order there, but it was surprisingly delicious ... so I treated myself to another one a few days ago. It's even on a whole wheat bun. Eating right is easy if the food is tasty!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


It doesn't look very fun to me,
but they seem to enjoy it ... so who am I to judge?!