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

Monday, August 31, 2015

You Can SEE the Wind

I took these photo's during a storm while on vacation at the cabin this past July, and I was astounded that you can actually see the wind, particularly in the photo above. We were in for the night, so the rain didn't bother us at all. The four of us sat on the deck and watched the storm, listening to the cadence of the rain on the metal roof. What a fun, relaxing week that was!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

You Are: Hopeful

I took an online quiz to determine "What One Word Describes You?" (It was on the internet, so you know the results are very scientific.) My result was "Hopeful", and that really does describe me.

There have definitely been a lot of dark days over the years, but I always had hope that things would get better. Actually, I was certain they would get better, I knew things would not always seem so bleak. I was positive that one day, life would be easier. Sometimes things get better on their own, and sometimes it takes action to bring about that change. A lot of marriages end because people lose hope. Although I hate to hear about couples getting a divorce, it's not always a bad thing. Some relationships are toxic and should end. Unhappy couples might hope for years that things will get better, but without action, that hope disappears. And once you lose hope, it's over. Sadly, a lot of lives end because people lose hope, too. 

It's particularly sad when that happens, because there is always hope. Always. No matter how bad things are, they will get better. You just have to hang on ... sometimes by your fingernails ... but eventually, things will get better. Life may take you down a road you don't want to go, but it never leaves you on a cliff with no place to go but down. When you find yourself on the edge of a precipice, you can blindly jump or you can turn around and take a different path. The path you choose may be fraught with pitfalls or lead you in circles or is a steep uphill climb, but there is always another path along the way. The other paths may be just as bad ... or worse ... but you always have a choice. The direction you take is yours. You can turn around and go back to the path you know or look for another path that isn't quite so hard ... or you can step off the beaten path and forge your own. With a little perseverance, you just might find yourself at the summit, surrounded by views that make your heart soar.

The point is, where life takes you is your choice. The circumstances you were born into don't determine your outcome. You do. Those lucky enough to be raised by supportive, loving parents might have an easier time making good decisions, but there are plenty of people with extremely difficult childhoods who grow up to be happy and successful. And by the way, success isn't defined by wealth ... it's defined by happiness. It doesn't matter how much money you have if you are unhappy. Money can buy moments of pleasure, but it cannot buy happiness ... that comes from inside. You can't blame your future on your past. You can make your life as easy or as difficult as you choose. You can allow the bad to propel you towards something better, or you can let them drag you down the path that brought you there. The choice is yours.

Even though the quiz was actually little more than entertainment and is hardly the kind of personality test that would hold up in court, there is probably a kernel of truth in the results. Had they told me the one word that describes me was "Hateful" or "Selfish" or "Arrogant" or "Lazy", this blog post would have been written from an altogether different perspective! But, it didn't. It told me I was "Hopeful" ... and I am.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Birthday Pie .. Pizza Style

My son-in-law recently celebrated a birthday ... the Big 26! I had planned on cooking him a nice dinner, but life got in the way, time ran out, and I ended up ordering pizza instead. Fortunately, few people complain when you order pizza for dinner!

While we waited on the pizza to be delivered, I had him put together some bar stools I had just bought. I reupholstered the seats (to better match the kitchen) while he (and my son) put the the stools together. I have no qualms about using my daughter's boyfriends and/or husbands as slave labor ... even on their birthday. My mantra has always been "If you want my daughter, you work for me!"

Friday, August 28, 2015

I Guess We Differ on What a "Trip" Is

By definition, a trip doesn't have to be fun, but it should be ... and a group of goats doesn't sound like fun to me!!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lunch on the Shores of Kentucky Lake

When we went to Kentucky Lake a couple weekends ago, we stopped at a park near Kutawwa Marina for lunch. It was a beautiful, sunny, perfect summer day. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough wind to sail, so the purpose of the trip ... to go sailing ... didn't work out. But, honestly, I just wanted to spend the day with Superman, and I did ... so mission accomplished!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Horror Movie

Click on image to enlarge.
I found my stash of drawings from the kids when they were younger. Most of them were from Thing 2 ... she was quite a prolific artist when she was growing up! I found this one and snapped a picture of it, then sent it to her fiance. He graduated last spring with a degree in Criminal Justice ... and hopes to begin a career as a law enforcement officer one day soon!.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Raindrop Lights at Patti's

Patti's Restaurant in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, offers more than just good food. You can take a walk through the beautifully landscaped grounds, full of twinkling lights. There is also miniature golf, shops, and a place to have your picture taken in old-fashioned clothing. We arrived for dinner at dusk, and I noticed (what I call) raindrop lights in the trees. By the time we finished dinner, it was dark outside. The raindrop lights, which were pretty at dusk, were gorgeous in the dark, so I took a short video of them. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Adults Can Learn a Lot from Kids

Last weekend Superman and I took his grandsons to McDonald's for lunch. While we were eating, the (almost) six-year old said his job was to teach adults to have more fun. I guess he thinks adults are too uptight and serious. Of course, it's easy to do nothing but have fun when you have doting parents who make sure your life happy and carefree ... but he's right. Most adults don't laugh enough.

When I was raising my three kids alone, I was stressed beyond measure, but if you ask them, they had a wonderful childhood, full of fun and adventure and new experiences. I hid the anxiety and the fear, and they were completely unaware that I sometimes felt like I was drowning in responsibility. But, the responsibilities were mine, not theirs. My job was to shield and protect them, and their job was to run and play and learn and grow. So, I did my job, and that allowed them to do their's. I laughed a lot when the kids were growing up, but not nearly as much as they did ... and not nearly as much as I could ... or should ... have.

One of the best parts of my life now is how much I laugh. I laugh often with family, friends, and co-workers. But I laugh the most when I'm with Superman. We laugh a lot when we're together, in person, on the phone, and in texts and emails. Our kids don't think we're nearly as funny as we think we are. They think it's funny that we think we're funny ... but we ignore their rolling eyes and tortured groans ... Superman and I think we're a hoot!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thing 1's 2007 Arby's Application

Her answer to question one, that the achievement she's most proud of in life is bringing her friend to God, is a testament to the integrity and character of the little girl I raised.

Her answer to question five, however, as to why she wants to work there, tells me I might have sheltered her a bit too much. Or, perhaps, I've just been too busy to notice I should pay closer attention to and enjoy the "ambiance" the next time I'm there.

Friday, August 21, 2015

I Think That's a Misprint

I think it should read "Some brain waves can power an electric train" ... because I know some brains that aren't even powerful enough to run themselves, let alone anything else!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dinner at Patti's

My sweetie, who I will henceforth refer to as Superman, took me to Patti's in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, for dinner for my birthday. I had never eaten there, but he had, and he raved about their food. Others I knew also told me how good their food was, especially the pork chop, so I ordered one. Superman warned me that it was pretty big, but I thought I could handle it. He eyed me suspiciously, then said, "Okay!" 

I was completely unprepared for the gigantic hunk of meat they served me. Big doesn't even come close to describing this! It was delicious as I had been led to believe it would be, but I was only able to eat about a third of it. We took the leftovers with us and were happy to discover it's just as good the next day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Thing 1's Recipe Box

When we invited people to my daughter's bridal shower last year, we included recipe cards with the invitation, asking them to fill out the cards with their favorite recipes. It was my idea to make a recipe box for her, but my first attempt wasn't very good. I offered her several other choices, but she didn't want any of them ... she wanted me to make one for her. So, I did. My second attempt turned out okay, but it wasn't as cool as the one I had pictured in my head. But, she loved it, and I guess that's what counts!

I made the top of her cake for her wedding, too. I was proud of it ... even if it would get me laughed out of culinary school! Thing 2 wants me to make her entire wedding cake, and Thing 3 wants me to make a cake for a baby shower. Yikes! I told them I'd try. I sure hope they aren't sorry they asked me!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sunset Over Kentucky Lake

Red at night, sailor's delight. Red in the morning, sailor's warning.
We went to Kentucky Lake for a day of sailing and were greeted with this gorgeous sunset on the way down the night before. With all the pink in the sky, I told my sweetie we'd have perfect weather. 

Did you know that "Red at night, sailor's delight. Red in the morning, sailor's warning." is from the Bible? It is! Look it up yourself ... Matthew 16:2.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

He Thinks of Everything

My sweetie and I went to Kentucky Lake this weekend. On the way down, the radio displayed "Love You" for quite a while. I told him I loved him, too!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

What a Life!

Olivia is now living with Thing 1 and her husband,
and I must say ... Olivia appears to look quite at home!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Wambach Suite

Last winter, my sweetie and I went to his cabin in the mountains with some friends. They stayed in the first floor master bedroom and called it The Wambach Suite. We made plans to spend a week in the mountains during the summer, and they talked about staying in the Wambach Suite again ... so I made them a plaque and hung it a month or so before our vacation. They got a kick out of seeing the plaque on the door when we arrived at the cabin. What a blessing their friendship is!

When my daughter, son-in-law, and some friends stayed at the cabin, my daughter told the other couple they would be staying in the Wambach Suite. Oddly enough, they didn't ask why it was called that!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Upside-Down German Chocolate Cake

A woman I work with brought in an upside-down German chocolate cake the other day, and it just might be the most amazing thing I've ever eaten! The government should seriously consider using this as a truth serum. Dangle a piece of this in front of someone, and they'll tell you anything you want to know!

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Strawberry Heart

My sweetie's breakfast one day on vacation.
Even fruit knows how much I love him!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

What's Worse Than a Two-Headed Shark?

A THREE-headed shark!! What was intended to be a horror movie turned out to be a more of a comedy! I think it's safe to say that the people who make movies for the SyFy channel have officially ran out of ideas!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Blue Ridge Mountains Are Calling Me

No matter the time of day,
seeing the mountains rising out of the earth is an amazing sight,
and I'm longing to return.
The beauty and peacefulness of the mountains calm my soul.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tennessee/Georgia Line

The Tennessee/Georgia state line runs right through the heart of McCaysville. The blue line indicates the boundary.

Oddly, there was a bar (which recently closed) that straddled the Tennessee/Georgia state line. The bar part of the establishment was in Tennessee, while the restrooms were in Fannin County, Georgia ... a dry county. Customers to use the restroom, had to leave their drink on a table in Tennessee before entering the bathroom, just a few feet away, in Georgia!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Goldfish Crackers are still fish, right?!

I was eating (whole wheat) Golfish Crackers the other day and dropped a couple of them on the floor, so I picked them up and put them on the coaster on the sofa table.

(Did you hear that kids? I dropped something, so I bent down and picked it up!)

Anyway ... Olivia, who never has anything better to do than sit and stare at me (when she's not napping), eyed the crackers, and then ate them. I guess cat's do like fish. And, it might be proof that everyone does indeed like the snack that smiles back!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Happy Sisters Day!

I was lucky enough to grow up with five sisters, and to gain another sister when my brother married. They are all wonderful, intelligent, caring, beautiful women and amazing mothers, and I love them with all my heart. They've been there for me through the ups and downs of my chaotic life. We've laughed together and cried together. We've fought and argued, and turned to each other for advice and comfort ... and I can't imagine my life without any of them.

It's true that a sister is a built-in best friend and I was blessed beyond measure. I am who I am in large part due to my sisters ... so ladies ... I'm your fault!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Last Night's Blue Moon

A rare Blue Moon graced our skies last night. The last Blue Moon was August 31, 2012, and the next one won't be until January 31, 2018.

Whenever I hear the phrase "Blue Moon", I think of a Gilligan's Island episode when Ginger was a psychic. I can't remember if she got hit on the head with a coconut and thought she was a psychic or if Gilligan got hit on the head with a coconut and Ginger pretended to be a psychic. Anyway, she told the gang a ship would come near enough to the island to rescue them "when the moon is blue." Somehow, Ginger's cover was blown and they all figured out she wasn't really a psychic. They all turned in for the night, without lighting a rescue fire or looking towards the ocean ... as Blue Moon lit the horizon ... illuminating a ship close enough to rescue them had they lit their fire. I guess it goes without saying that it was a real tear-jerker!

Coming home from dinner last night I snapped a few pictures of the 2014 Blue Moon. Sadly, none of them will win me the Pulitzer Prize ... or even a congratulatory "Hey, Jackie ... great moon pics!" Fortunately, when I snapped them on my phone, I didn't expect Annie Leibovitz quality photographs ... nor was I surprised when didn't I get them!