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

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Thing 2 loves to sleep with Olivia, and Thing 2's bed is Olivia's favorite place to sleep, especially in the winter when the electric blanket is on. Win/win, right? No ... because Olivia is a cat, and when she wants out of the room, she wants out of the room now ... and if you don't comply immediately, she starts knocking things off the dressers and beside tables ... until the door is opened and she can leave.

It's not an uncommon to hear Thing 2 yelling at Olivia in the middle of the night, then opening her door and tossing the cat into the hall. Olivia, satisfied that she got her way, sets off to do whatever it is cats "need" to do in the middle of the night.

When she's done, she usually walks around the upstairs hall, singing the song of her people, begging one of us to let her in. It never works ... even when she went through her "I'm-going-to-cry-until-you-let-me-in-even-if-it-takes-all-night" phase. So she lays across the hall from Thing 2's door, positioning herself so that neither of us can miss her when we open our doors in the morning ... trying to look as pathetic as she can to make us feel sorry for banishing her and making her sleep on the floor ... like an animal. I suspect she's slept most of the night in her comfy, memory-foam mattress kitty-cat bed until she hears one of our alarms ... which is her signal to man her post in the hall and look miserable and neglected.

Thing 2 is working full time and going to school full time, When she's not at school or work, she's either at church, with her boyfriend, at her sister's house, or off with friends. She's at the age where a normal night is a late night, even when she has to be up at the crack of dawn for work or school. She's never sorry she threw Olivia out in the middle of the night ... and Olivia is never allowed in my room ... so her morning "patheticness" doesn't phase us in the least.

Thing 2 wised up, and usually banishes her before she goes to sleep. Knowing this, Olivia will race Thing 2 to the bedroom whens she comes home each night, practically knocking Thing 2 down on the stairs. When Thing 2 gets to her room, Olivia is hiding or on to the bed, pretending to be sound asleep. Sometimes Thing 2 takes pity of her and let's her stay, but most nights she's tossed into the hall ... where she has to sleep on the floor ... like an animal.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rex Must Be Ashamed of His Destroyed Legacy

There's a slight physical resemblance, but that's about it. A chicken being the direct descendant of the feared Tyrannosaurus Rex is akin to a mob boss's son becoming a preacher! Neither of them have arms long enough to make a bed ... the chicken and the Tyrannosaurus Rex, that is, not the mob boss or the preacher ... but at least the chicken has evolved enough to be able to get food from a corner! Shrinking the giant head, Ms. Chicken, was a good call!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I'm in Love

Meet Gus ... Thing 1's new baby. I love the polka dots on his fat belly! Could he be any cuter?!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy National Paper Airplane Day!

School supplies are always cheapest in late summer when stores buy them by the truckload, so every summer I would stock up on the things I knew the kids were going to use up or lose ... particularly loose-leaf paper and notebooks. When my son entered his "paper airplane phase", there was an endless supply of material from which to create his fleet.

And create he did.

There were paper airplanes everywhere. They were under, on top of, and behind every piece of furniture. They were stuck in light fixtures and ceiling fans. They were on top of the hutch, refrigerator, and cabinets. For months, before I could vacuum or dust, I had to pick up handful after handful of paper airplanes ... and I got really sick of it.

I don't have anything against paper airplanes, and I didn't care if he made them ... as long as he picked them up! But he never did. Finally, in exasperation, I told him if he didn't pick up his airplanes after he was done playing with them, he wouldn't be allowed to make them anymore. He called my bluff ... hence ... paper airplanes were forever banned and he was grounded every time he made them. He's still complaining about it!

I'm really hoping my son doesn't read my blog today, because he'll feel obligated to make "one" more paper airplane to sail in celebration. And before you know it, paper airplanes will once again overrun my house ... and I'll have to ground him ... again.

If that happens, he'll have a story to tell his future kids when they complain about how mean he is!

For those of you not (yet) banned from making them, here's how to make a really cool paper airplane ...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Tribute

Photo courtesy of
For many, Memorial Day is little more than a day off work or an excuse to get together with friends and family and have fun. However you choose to spend the day, take a few moments to remember the men and women who gave their lives fighting to protect everything this country stands for. As the saying goes ... Freedom isn't free ... and the freedoms we enjoy were bought with the blood of the soldiers who lost their lives defending this great country.

I only personally know one man who was killed in battle, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the sacrifice and grieve for all of our fallen heroes. Every soldier who lost their life in battle left behind parents, siblings, spouses, children, friends, and relatives ... people whose lives were forever changed by their death.

My heart goes out to the family and friends still grieving the loss of their loved ones. I'd like them to know how much I appreciate their sacrifice. I sleep better knowing brave American soldiers put their lives on the line every single day to protect our country. Their dedication and courage enable us to enjoy the living in the greatest country in history.

I went to a family barbecue yesterday, a tradition started long ago by my sweetie's father and carried on by his sons after his passing. A huge American flag was strung between two trees. The tablecloths were white stars on navy or stripes of red gingham. There are always lots of kids ... more every year ... many too young to understand the significance of why we gather there each Memorial Day. But one day they'll know ... and one day they'll bring their own babies to the barbecue to celebrate the lives of the American soldiers who died protecting all of us.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

$200,000 of Haute Couture Fashion Stolen

It seems a certain "A-list" movie star has had $200,000 worth of clothing stolen from a storage unit (a climate controlled unit, I'm sure) in North Hollywood.

Celebrities, as we all know, are rarely seen photographed in the same clothing twice, so I imagine someone with a career that spans over three decades has amassed quite a collection. I have a hard time believing all of the items this movie star kept held memories so precious she couldn't part with them.

I saved a few key pieces of clothing from when my kids were growing up ... like the sleepers they came home from the hospital in, and a handful of outfits that I thought they looked particularly adorable in. I kept only a few items that held special memories ... but I didn't keep everything. I wanted to keep everything, but I believe that's called hoarding!

While it's a shame that this happened, and whoever stole the items deserves to be punished, it's hard to feel too sorry for someone who has so many clothes that they don't have room to house them between their many multi-million dollar mansions and penthouses and have to rent a storage facility to hold the overflow.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

81 Years Ago Today, Bonnie and Clyde Were Gunned Down

Photo courtesy of the
Library of Congress
Isn't it strange that two high school dropouts would be remembered 81 years after their deaths ... but who hasn't heard of Bonnie and Clyde? Hollywood, intentionally or not, romanticized their lives in a 1967 film, simply titled "Bonnie and Clyde".

In reality, there is nothing romantic about a couple who spent two years driving around stealing cars, robbing banks and other businesses, and murdering anyone who stood in their way. They were heartless thieves and merciless killers.

On May 23, 1934, they were cut down in a hail of bullets. A fitting end for two selfish people who so callously gunned down thirteen people, including nine police officers, wounded many more, and ruined the lives of countless others.

Friday, May 22, 2015


For what it's worth, George, everyone already knew that Amal is "cleverer" than you. I've heard a lot of adjectives used to describe you, but "intelligent" or "clever" was never among them.

I must confess, however, that I did not read the article. The headline told me more than I cared to know. I'm not a George Clooney fan, so I really don't care about his wife's huge appetitie for designer clothes or why he loves the pub near his new English manor. I guess it makes me an anomaly, but I'm one of the few women on earth who has never thought of him as all that handsome or talented. Or cleverer.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Had Forgotten About These ...

When I was in high school there was a display of miniature furniture in the showcases in the lobby. I LOVED that furniture! Most wasn't the 12:1 scale like miniature dollhouses ... they were bigger ... perfect for Barbie's house. Even though no longer played with Barbies and my custom-built, wooden Barbie house was in storage, I couldn't help but drool over the beautiful pieces and fantasize how good they would look in adorning Barbie's rooms.

I had completely forgotten about these pieces until I went to my old high school for a recital this past weekend. The furniture was made in the 1930's as part of the New Deal program. The furniture was designed to show examples of various periods of furniture. The intricate pieces are perfect, working reproductions of actual furniture. Below are some close-ups of a few of the pieces. Click on the photo's to enlarge them for a better view of the detail.

This piece is my favorite. Note the individual tacks" on the upholstery. And the fan is pretty cute, too!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bizarre Trend Among Tourists ... Naked Selfies

Angkor Wat Temle, Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
I'm not sure what started this trend ... or why it caught on. It might be a good idea for those tourists to adhere to the old adage "When in Rome ...".

For the adage-impaired ... i.e., those most likely to do this ... "If locals don't do it, you shouldn't, either."

You can read the full article here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Family That Plays Together

My sweetie is always looking for things to do with his young grandsons, so when I read an article about a nine-year-old boy, Grennan Bartlett-Nealeigh, who performs throwing knives at his younger sister, Charlotte, a lightbulb went off!

The boys would love this! Right now they are young enough that the knife would not get anywhere near their target. But, as they say ... practice makes perfect ... just ask Grennan and Charlotte.

Grennan and Charlotte's mother defends her and her husband's decision to allow their children to perform, saying ...

"As weird as this sounds, I'd be more nervous if Grennan were to play American football or Charlotte was to become a cheerleader.There are so many severe injuries that happen every day in regular sports. I feel they're much safer with us both watching them and guiding them. I am very proud."

While I concede that there are a lot of injuries associated with football and cheerleading, I'm not sure I agree that knife throwing is safer!

You can read the full article here.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Big Blue Bath Bomb

Thing 1 gave me a variety of Lush bath products for Mother's Day. A few nights ago I tried out the Big Blue Bath Bomb. When I dropped the bomb into the water, the bathroom was immediately filled with fragrance and the water was a brilliant, turquoise blue. After a leisurely soak, I toweled off ... and didn't have to apply lotion. I'm a lotion addict, so to emerge from a bath/shower and not need lotion was impressive, to say the least.

As an added bonus, watching the bath bomb explode was cool, too. (Obviously, I'm not hard to entertain!)

There is seaweed in the bath bomb, so don't be alarmed to see "black stuff" in the water. However, the pieces are very small, and go down the drain fairly easily.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Blue Ridge Mountain Moonrise

My sweetie sent me this picture of the moon rising over the Blue Ridge Mountains. The colors in this photo are actually accurate ... he said the moon was the color of the sun. His cabin affords a spectacular view of every full moon, and it's impossible to resist the urge to photograph them!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thinning the Herd

A genius in Virginia Beach went to a bank, handed the teller a stick-up note ... and videotaped the robbery! He then uploaded two video's of the hold-up AND a picture of the hold-up note to HIS Instagram account!

He claims he is innocent and is confident he will be found not guilt when it goes to trial.

Bless his heart.

You can read the full article here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Olivia the Princess (She Wishes!)

Olivia does fancy herself to be superior. She might even think she is a real princes, and the humans surrounding her are mere servants, here to do her bidding. I hate to burst her bubble (haha ... no, I don't!) ... but this fairy princess costume is the closest she'll ever come!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Graduation Day

Thing 2's boyfriend graduated with honors last weekend with a degree in Criminal Justice.

I had to smile ... when his turn to be announced was approaching, both my daughter and his mother were on the edge of their seats, wiggling with excitement!

Congratulations on a job well done :)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

My mother died in the fall of 1996, so this is my 18th Mother's Day without her. Some women were born to be a mom ... and she was one of them. She loved us kids. She not only showed us we were loved by her actions, she told us ... every single day.

She let me make mistakes, learning lessons the hard way ... but she was always there to pick me up when I fell. She offered advice when asked, never forcing her opinions on others. When each of us kids got married, she embraced our spouses as her own. When it came to being a mother-in-law, she was the anti-Marie-Barone. Her mother-in-law was abrasive and intrusive, and she vowed to never interfere that way when her children married ... and she didn't.

She loved doing ceramics, crocheting, and was an accomplished seamstress, but ... by far ... her favorite pastime was reading, and she passed that passion down to me. I consider that to be the greatest gift she ever gave me.

My kids were 2, 4, and 6 when she died. My oldest daughter has a few memories of her, but the other two were too young. She loved my babies! As hard as it was for me to live knowing I would never see her again, it was even more painful to know that my kids would never know this wonderful, sweet, amazing woman. My kids think I'm the best mother in the history of the world ... but that's only because they never got to know my mom.

Sometimes I dream about her. When that happens, I wake up happy that I got to hear her voice and spend time with her again. Those dreams, while rare, are treasured gifts.

Her name is Esther. She hated that name. I can't say I blame her ... I wouldn't want to be named Esther either, but she's named after an incredible woman in the Bible. Queen Esther was kind, beautiful, smart, courageous, strong, selfless, and loving ... and that pretty much sums up my mother, too.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

When the kids were little, they always wanted to make Mother's Day special for me. That included a nice breakfast, lunch, and dinner, AND a day filled with fun activities. Since I was a single parent ... and the only one who could reach the counter tops ... guess who had to make those special meals and plan and execute those special activities? Me! The kids would have been heartbroken if my special day wasn't special ... so to make them happy, I made "me" their favorite meals on Mother's Day. What mother doesn't want hot dogs and macaroni and cheese on Mother's Day?

In between specials meals, we spent the day doing all they things they ... oops, I ... liked to do ... like going to the zoo and/or on a picnic and/or a trip to a new playground ... and then playing with every toy they own!

Hmmmm ... my special day pretty much resembled every other day of my life ... minus getting the gifts they lovingly made at school and church! But, I really did love those gifts, and I especially loved the excited, happy twinkle in their eyes and the smiles that stretched from ear to ear as they presented me with them.

As they became an age where they could actually be helpful around the house doing chores, I told them ... every year ... that all I wanted for Mother's Day was a clean house. They'd roll their eyes and try to come up with a gift they knew really I wanted. A couple of times they made an attempt to clean, which is better than nothing, so I thanked them because I was grateful. Anything they did is one less thing I had to do, right?

So kids, here what I want for Mother's Day ...


I want someone to find out what's causing that funky smell and remove it! And, girls, I am NOT talking about your brother!

I want the house thoroughly cleaned, top to bottom, ceiling to floor, wall to wall.

But, I would call the day a success if you merely picked up ... and put away ... your clothes and shoes and assorted accessories from the entryway and family room, and put the dishes you dirtied in the dishwasher.

Well, would you look at that ... all these years later, my Mother's Day still resembles every other day of my life!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Eat Bugs to Save the Planet

I was going to include a picture of real
bugs, but I couldn't stand looking at them
long enough to select one ... so I used cute
ladybug clipart instead!
Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General from 1997-2006, has a solution for global warming:

Eat bugs. 

"Eating insects is good for the environment and balanced diets," he said.

Calling the global livestock industry "A major threat to the climate", he suggested insects as an alternative protein source to meat. "The growing population and middle class are making it more difficult to meet meat demands."

Am I to infer, Mr.-Former-UN-Secretary-General, that the middle class in particular is to blame for global warming ... and the upper and lower classes are innocent?

Given the choice between global warming and eating bugs, there's no debate ... I'll take global warming!

Besides, global warming is a myth. The climate is actually cooling, and has been for a while now. The earth's climate is cyclical. Our planet is self-healing. While I acknowledge the need to preserve the planet for future generations, cow burps and farts are not going to be our demise!

You can read the article here.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I Could FEEL My IQ Falling as I Read This Book

As a child, I adored playing with Barbie's. I loved playing make-believe and I was mesmerized by the miniature scale pieces. As an adult, I still loved miniatures and made pretty decent money making miniature dollhouse food and selling it to miniature stores and the occasional craft fair. So, when I saw this book in the library of a local elementary school, I couldn't help but pick it up.

It was such a fascinating two-minutes of reading that I decided to pick a few key pages to share, leaving out the many (mind-numbing) others. You're welcome :)

Let me set the mood ... Barbie is getting ready for her date with Ken with the help of two of her Barbie friends. She needs her special butterfly barrette from her closet, so they all go into the closet to look for it.

Titillating, is it not?

Her dreamhouse doesn't look big enough for a closet like this, but apparently, it is!

Her friends, of course, are dumbstruck.

Barbie, with an aloof, Kardashian-like dismissal, refers to the extravagant, cavernous collection as a "few odds and ends".

Meanwhile, Ken arrives at her door, looking quite dapper, and bearing gifts of chocolate and flowers.

And his breath is minty fresh.


As the girls walk through Barbie's closet, she shows them all of the clothes from "every job she's ever had". When they see her spacesuit, they are astonished and ask, "You went to the moon?"

Always humble, Barbie shallowly replies, "You haven't?"

Seems to me that anyone smart enough to be an astronaut would know that not everyone gets to go to the moon!

The friends see lots of clothes they'd love to borrow ... and (of course) ... fun, generous Barbie says they can borrow whatever they want!

They revel in the glory that the that they're all exactly the same size ... seemingly unaware of the fact that Mattel uses the same mold for every Barbie doll ... both Barbie-Barbie and her Barbie-friends ... the Barbie-wannabe's!!!

The girls are taking so long looking for the barrette that poor Ken has fallen asleep ... standing up.

Way not to look desperate, Kenny-Boy!

The whiny friends are worn out from hauling large, heavy bags of borrowed clothes and accessories through the miles-long closet ... with no end in sight.

Perky, energetic Barbie assures them it will only take a day or two more ... tops ... to finish walking through the closet.

Barbie's closet isn't looking so amazing now, is it friends?

After trapsing through the closet for days ... including a make-up session that left them covered in cosmetics ... one friend claims she's famished, while the other adds they are starving.

Ah, I thought ... the "famished" friend is the smart one ... the other obviously doesn't know that "famished" means "starving"!

Oops ... I spoke too soon. They both appear to be equally stupid!

Desperate to get out of the closet, the exhausted friends beg Barbie to give up looking for the barrette and let them go.

Just then, Barbie discovers she's had the barrette in her pocket the whole time.

Silly Barbie!

What does this lever do, the friends wonder? Pulling it could be good or bad ... but apparently nothing is as bad as spending more time in Barbie's closet. The friends throw caution to the wind and pull the lever ... much to Barbie's horror!

Oh, no! What have they done? Did they blow up Barbie's closet and all her clothing and matching accessories?!!

I'm afraid to turn the page!!

Lucky for the friends, Barbie had an emergency ejection shoot installed in her closet, and they spill out onto the sidewalk in front of the Dreamhouse ...

... only to find a disheveled Ken holding now-wilted flowers ... but undeterred, so strong is his desire to go on a date with his beloved Barbie.

Barbie finally emerges, fresh as a daisy ... and (fortunately), she finds the unshaven/Miami-Vice look attractive, so all is good.

Or is it?

Because I can't help but wonder ... and worry ... is Ken's breath still minty fresh?