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

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Donald Trump Came to Town Thursday

The rally was held at the Events Plaza across the street from our offices. If you click on the above picture to enlarge it, you can see the line that has wound around from the front of the building, and wrapped completely around, then down two blocks and wrapped around the next corner. The Events Center said 9,000 tickets were given away. At least that many more were unable to get inside.

It was mostly peaceful. Towards the end, Democrats taunted the Trump supporters, to which the supporters chanted "USA, USA". For some reason, that really riled up the Democrats. I found it interesting that a couple dozen police officers and sheriff deputies were standing between the opposing sides in case trouble broke out ... and they were all facing the Democrats. None of the Trump supporters did anything to alarm the police, but a few of the Democrats were escorted away for trying to provoke a fight.

One person walked around all day wearing all black, including a black mast, with a black messenger bag on his shoulder, carrying a bouquet of white roses, and an anarchy flag. The police and secret services watched him very carefully, as well they should. I'm not sure what message he was trying to send unless it was "I'm at idiot". If that was what he intended to portray, then good job!

There was also a really cool Humvee circling around. The crowd cheered every time it drove by.

With all the commotion going on right outside our windows, we all found it very difficult to work. We tried, but we all kept gravitating to the windows to people watch. I videotaped the motorcade as Trump arrived and left, but they went by so quickly that's it's not worth posting. It was a very interesting day.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A New Puppy

Thing 1 and her husband got another puppy. Her name is Winnie and she's a real sweetie pie. Roo and Gus were okay meeting her, but Louie and Olivia have always thought they had two too many dogs as it was! Gus and Louie play together a lot, and I'm sure Louie will come to love Winnie ... but Olivia won't ever like any of them!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Stopped by the Police When Walking

Monday I took a really long walk ... to quote Forrest Gump ... "for no particular reason". I live in the county, so there are no sidewalks. I walked facing traffic on the shoulder of the road. When a car approached, I'd move a few feet over, into the grass.

After I'd walked six or seven miles, a Sheriff's deputy stopped on the other side of the road and motioned to me. I walked over and stood on the side of the road.

Below is our conversation, the deputy in red, me in blue.

"No," he said, "stand in front of the car."

Odd, I thought, but I obliged.

"What are you up to?"

"Just taking a walk."

"Where did you start walking from?"

"From my house," and I told him the location.

"Where are you headed?"

"To my daughter's house."

"Where's she live?"

I told him the location.

"Do you have any ID on you?"

"No, I only brought my house key and some money."

Taking out his memo pad, he said, "What's your name?"

I told him.

"Is that what is says on your ID?"

"No, it says Jacquelyn."

He had me spell my first and last names. "Do you have a middle name?"

"Yes," I told him, then gave him my middle name.

"What's your address?"

I told him.

"What's your date of birth?"

I told him, and half-laughed as I asked, "Are you going to run my name through your database?" 

Be my guest, I thought. I don't have a criminal record and I haven't even gotten a ticket in over twenty-five years, so there's nothing to "find".

"I just might," he said smiling. "Would you like a ride?"

"No, I want to walk."

Then he told me to be careful, then got in his car and drove off.

As I continued my walk, I became more and more disturbed by the interaction. Why did he feel the need to stop and question me? I'm about five feet tall and weigh around 100 pounds. Aside from my kids when they were very young, I don't come across as intimidating or threatening. I was wearing shorts, a tank top and sneakers, and holding a bottle of water. There was no place to conceal anything. I was obeying all the traffic laws and I wasn't staggering around. Days later, I'm still perplexed and bothered by the whole thing.

I guess the next time I take a walk I need to have my ID on me, huh?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Body is Protesting

Yesterday my body was letting me know it's not a good idea to quintuple your steps, up and down hills, with no preparation. I felt fine yesterday morning, but as the day wore on, I began walked like one leg was a few inches shorter than the other! I wasn't quite as sore this morning, but I don't feel my normal, pain-free self. I seldom let my body decide what I'm going to do, which is good, because I have planned the routes for several more long walks.

I love long walks, especially in the spring. After being stuck inside all winter, the colors and smells of spring are like manna from heaven.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Police Searching for 400-lb Bearded Woman

Last December, in San Deigo, California, a man was stabbed in the neck by a 400-lb bearded woman. Police indicated they were searching for the suspect.

I haven't ready any updates on this case, but I would imagine a 400-lb bearded woman wouldn't be too hard to find! Honestly ... how many can there be?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

"Well, hello, Sailor ..."

This is Olivia's best 'come hither' look ... or she wants them to move now that they've warmed up her spot ... or she's protesting their choice of television programs ...

Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Sweet, Sleepy Grandson

He rubbed his eyes like he does when he's tired, so I picked him up and rocked him. Within 30 seconds, he was fast asleep. I held him the whole time he slept (about an hour and a half). He woke up and rewarded me with a sweet, toothless grin

Except on rare occasion, I never had the luxury of simply doing nothing but holding my own babies. There were too many chores and my other child/children to look after. What a treat it is to hold this tiny bundle of slobbery smiles. Holding him is my idea of an afternoon well spent.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Bird Girl in the Spring

The phlox was here when I bought this house and I am SOOOO glad! If the previous owners hadn't planted phlox here, I would have!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Flowering Spring Trees

The three trees at the edge of my driveway are not all dogwoods as I had thought, but rather one dogwood, one Bradford pear, and one red bud. I have about a dozen flowering trees scattered around the yard and my woods, and all my dogwoods are white. I was hoping for at least one pink dogwood, but the white ones are pretty and they all make my heart smile every time I drive up to the house or look out the window. I think I will plant a pink dogwood and a magnolia ... and lots of daffodils, tulips, and hyacinth ... and some azalea's and some crepe myrtles ...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thing 3 and Thing Z

Thing Z and Thing 3, May 2009.
My son and Thing Z have been friend since they met in middle school. Thing Z lived with us for a while, and the kids all consider him their brother. Z is a good "kid" and we love him to pieces.

A few weeks ago they went to the Philharmonic, a very strange activity for two 21 year old's, but they love classical music and orchestras. I love these boys!

Thing 3 and Thing Z at the Philharmonic, April 2016.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Everyone Had the Same Question ...

"Did you dress yourself today?!!"

Luckily, he's cute enough to pull off wearing clothes that are terribly mismatched!

Monday, April 18, 2016

It Seems More Fairies Have Moved In Last Night

(Click on any of the images to enlarge.)

I can barely see it from my office window, but this does explain all the hammering and sawing I heard all evening!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Free Tech Support FOR Insight/Time Warner

I flipped over to the Community Billboard channel and was greeted with the above screen. This is not the first time I've seen the 'locked screen' on this channel, so I've decided to give Insight/Time Warner some free tech support to resolve this recurring issue:
  1. Have an administrator or Jason King login to this computer.
  2. Once the desktop comes up, open the control panel. (To do this, hit the "Start" button, and navigate to the "Control Panel" button.)
  3. Select "Power Options"
  4. Select "Change Plan Setting"
  5. Change "Turn off the display" and "Put the computer to sleep" from their current setting to "Never" under "Plugged in".
  6. Select "Save changes" and close the Control Panel.
  7. Upgrade this computer to Windows 7. (Microsoft no longer supports XP).
You're welcome!

Now, if Insight/Time Warner, which prides itself on being a technically savvy conglomerate would like to reward me for this random act of kindness, I'm willing to accept free cable and internet for life.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Gladys Has Been Busy!

I wish I could have gotten a better picture of just how many flowers there are, but this is about the best I could do ... Gladys is covered in dozens of little goldfish! After many, many months of nary of bud, and the fear that she would never bloom again, these sweet flowers are very much appreciated.

Friday, April 15, 2016


Thing 1 bought three Nessie's. When Thing 3 went to her house and saw them, he acted like a little kid with a big box of Lego's! After posing and photographing them, he made a video ... as only a boy can.

The Nessie's ... looking very regal.
Eenie, meenie, miney, moe ...

At the watering hole.
And this is how boys play with Nessie's ...

Thursday, April 14, 2016


I love wisteria! I had some planted at my old house, but I don't have any now. One day I may plant some, but until then, I have to get my wisteria fix vicariously. Wisteria is growing wild and unchecked in the trees along several of the highways running through town. The pictures below are of the wisteria on the highway, but it's so overgrown it's hard to make out the individual flowers. The above picture is a better look at the wisteria blooms. It's so pretty!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Today is National Peach Cobbler Day

Peaches are my favorite fruit and peach cobbler is one of my top picks for dessert ... beating cookies and tying with bread pudding! I always add cinnamon to my peach cobbler, even though my recipe doesn't call for it. Cinnamon, in my opinion, makes peach cobbler over-the-top delicious! National Peach Cobbler Day is celebrated annually on April 13th ... which is now my favorite day of the year!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

If These Cupcakes Were on Cupcake Wars

Florian Belanger would have plenty to say. They're red velvet, which he loathes ... and they didn't rise. Although the cake was tasty, he would have plenty of unkind things to say about it. I envision words "dense" and "hockey puck" being used, and ending with his trademark, thickly accented, "This cupcake doesn't work for me". But, he would also say the chocolate buttercream was divine! It was the best icing I've ever made ... chocolaty, not too sweet, and creamy smooth. However, unless someone made a bigger mistake than me, I would be done in Cupcake Wars.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Introducing a New Feature on my Blog

Last Saturday I added a "Blast From the Past" feature to my blog which will highlight a post from the past that garnered a lot of views or one of my personal favorites. Above this feature, (not new, but handy!) you can enter your email address to receive new posts in your inbox.

Also not new, but just as handy, is a "Search this blog" feature. As blogs grow, it get really hard to find a post. This let's you search for a keyword. Any post with that word will be displayed.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

And Speaking of Spell Check ...

Did you know that if you type larda** on an iPhone, it auto-corrects to Kardashian? True story!! It doesn't do that on an Android, and it's not doing that on my iPad. To be honest, I don't know if it ever did that on an iPad (I never tried it on an iPad), but it I've personally witnessed it on an iPhones. This was a widely known auto-correct, so it's possible that "someone" got wind of it and complained to Apple. I'm curious ... if you have an iPhone, try it, and let me know if it still does this.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Google Spell Check

Sometimes I Google a word when I'm unsure of how to spell it and sometimes I just wait for spell checker to catch it. Thursday's blog, "Camouflage", is just such an example. I typed "camoflauge", and Google offered me two choices ... Camouflage or Guacamole.

Guacamole? Really? Has anyone ever typed "camoflauge" when they really meant "guacamole"?

Friday, April 8, 2016

It's Not What It Looks Like

But it still made my heart stop!

There is an ongoing war between Thing 2 and Thing 3. Thing 2 claims Thing 3 leaves his hair in the sink after he shaves. Thing 3 says Thing 2 leaves her hair in the bathtub after a shower. I shared a bathroom with those kids for many, many years, and both of those statements are true. They're getting better about cleaning up after themselves, but they aren't completely healed. I'm not sure if they do it in retaliation or laziness. I suspect it's mostly laziness ... with a smirk-inducing side of revenge. They are easily able to turn a blind eye the messes they make ... while loudly complaining about the messes the other made.

I went into the kid's bathroom the other day after work. The shower curtain was open, which drives me nuts. As I was pulling it closed, I spied what I thought was a mouse in the bathtub and froze. I turned on the light, moving as slowly as possible, while contemplating how I was going to trap that thing. Several questions ran through my mind: Is the bottom of the tub was flat enough to trap a mouse underneath a bowl? Can mice climb up the slick side of a bathtub? And, most importantly, what are the odds that filthy thing could somehow reach ME as I tried to trap it???

Fortunately, I never had to find out! Once the light was on, I leaned a little closer and realized it was a hair wad. [Insert BIG sigh of relief here!] Thing 2 might be an adult now, but she came this close to being grounded!! [Insert a mental imagine my thumb and pointer finger very close together here!]

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I Have a Very Strange Toilet

Not only is it a very odd color, I've never seen one that flushes like this! My critique of this design is two-fold:
  1. You cannot sit a pretty basket on the back to hold extra toilet paper.
  2. If the toilet continues to run, you can't just lift the lid and see why because the flushing mechanism is attached to it ... and all you've succeeded in seeing is watching the toilet flush ... again. Since the tank can't fill up with the lid off, you have to put the lid back on and hope whatever you did fixed whatever was wrong.
I know ... first-world problems ... wah. If that's all I have to complain about, I should count my lucky stars, right?

I am grateful that I have my own (child-free) bathroom (which means it's always clean). But, I recently had to replace the flapper. Have you ever gone to buy a flapper? There are about a thousand different "universal" ones to choose from at the hardware store.

Once I finally decided on which one to buy, I had to install it. That was fun! You have to straddle the toilet backwards and hold the lid close enough to the chain to allow you to hook to it ... in a space where your position means you are blocking any potential light source ... and since you need one hand (minimum!) to hook the chain and one hand to hold the lid, there's no hand left to hold a flashlight. I have plans to renovate my bathroom (someday), and a new toilet will be my first purchase.

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Pileated Woodpecker Visited Me

I looked out my bedroom window and saw a woodpecker, working on a tree. My windows were closed, and they filter sound very well, so I didn't hear it. Had I not looked out my window, I would never have know it was there. I called out to Thing 2 to come see it, and we watched it quite a while,.

Pileated Woodpeckers are the largest species of woodpeckers. They're fascinating to watch. I'd love to know how they can bang their heads against a tree that hard and not get a headache!

I was videoing the bird when Thing 2 came back in, talking. I stopped that video and started another (below). If you listen very closely, you can hear her fiance belch far off in the background around the 10 second mark!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

He's Growing Up TOO Fast

I took this picture a couple of weeks ago, the first time my grandson sat in his high chair. He looked so cute! He's still a wobbly "sitter", but it won't be long before he no longer loses his balance when he sits unassisted ... and then he'll be trying to crawl. I'm enjoying each stage of his development, and I love watching him learn new things, but a part of me will always miss that tiny baby who wanted nothing more than to lay in my arms and snuggle.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

An Anguished Goodbye

Yesterday, I found out my brother-in-law had passed away, and my heart has been heavy ever since. Per his wishes, he's being cremated with no memorial. As much as I would like to say a final farewell to him, I'm glad there is no memorial. He was never much on pomp and circumstance, and he would have hated having one. He loved being outdoors, roaming around the acres and acres of land on their property. I imagine, at some point, they'll sprinkle his ashes on the land he loved so much, and he'll become part of the forest ... just like he always wanted.

They were married for 40 years, and have two grown sons. I'm sure they had their arguments over the years, but they loved each other deeply. They were best friends. They shared the kind of love most people can only dream of. My heart aches for my sister and her boys. She is beside herself with grief, and it hurts that there is absolutely nothing I can do to help ease her pain.

Ever since my son's accident, I am acutely aware that the last time you saw someone may be the last time you see them. I do my best to live my life in a way that let's the people in my life know how much I love them. I think I do a pretty good job, but I'm going to try to do even better.

There's a song by Tim McGraw called "Live Like You Were Dying". In it, a man is diagnosed with something, and someone asks him, after receiving the news, "Man, what'd ya do?". The chorus then lists all the things he did  ... the things that he'd always wanted to do and he never thought he had time for. The song went on to say he loved deeper, spoke sweeter, and forgave those he had previously been unable to forgive. He treated every day as a gift and lived life to the fullest.

My brother-in-law always lived by those principals. He spent his life doing the things he loved. Unlike most of us, he didn't fret about what he didn't have ... he was simply thankful for all he did have. He's one of the few people that didn't need a terminal illness to appreciate life ... and he spent all his days living like he was dying. I think everyone would be a lot happier if they lived like they were dying ... and my brother-in-law did. What a gift. What a legacy. What a calming memory to leave your family.

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fool's Day

I've never really been a fan of practical jokes. A lot of them seem mean ... not funny. There are several shows on television about practical jokes. The kids think they're funny, but I struggle to see the humor. Silly practical jokes are okay, but the ones where they make someone think something bad is about to happen or has just occurred, that's not funny.

I'm sure I've pranked the kids over the years, but that would be the exception, not the rule ... and I can't think of any I pulled. This morning on the news, they showed some "cute" pranks to play on kids. One was to scrape the creme from the inside of an Oreo and replace it with white toothpaste. Another was to prepare their favorite bowl of cereal the night before, then put it in the freezer so that it looked like a regular bowl of cereal, but it was frozen solid.

If my mom had given me Oreo's with toothpaste instead of creme, I would have cried! It's just plain mean to offer a kid a treat that's inedible ... and ruin perfectly good cookies in the process. The cereal trick would be the only one of those two I would be even consider trying, but I can't see myself doing that, either ... even on April Fool's Day.

For those of you who enjoy pranks, I hope you get fooled good today. And for those of you, like myself, who think pranks are mean ... I hope you make it through the day joke/prank free!