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

Monday, October 31, 2016

I Voted Today

I did my part.
All I can do now is wait ... 
and pray.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Happy National Cat Day

Today is National Cat Day ... a day humans are supposed to love, honor, and spoil their feline friends. The only problem with this is that only humans know today is Cat Day ... cats think every day is Cat Day!!

Friday, October 28, 2016


I made curtain tie-backs for the windows in what used to be my daughter's room, that is now my son's room, and what will be a guest room. I bought the curtains, a full size bed, and bed linens a few months back ... when no child was occupying that room.

The curtains are hung, but I haven't bought a mattress and box springs for the bed, so the room still has the twin bed with bedding that does not match the new curtains. My son would much rather have mismatched bedding than the girly pattern I picked for the room. I chose the linens with my grandkids and out-of-town sisters in mind, so they're girly. I doubt my brothers-in-law care one whip about the comforter they sleep under, so my target audience was my sisters, and I think they will approve.

Below is a stock picture of the linens, which I think will make for a very pretty and cheery guest room for grandbabies and visiting sisters!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The 20's?

I was flipping through the channel guide and saw a show called "The 20's". Thinking it was a documentary on the 1920's, I clicked on the description. Nope! It's yet another reality show. Of what, I do not know. Nor do I care. I've never been a fan of reality television and I don't understand their appeal, but considering the fortunes people with no discernible talent have made on reality shows, they're obviously profitable. Whether there is a need for them or not, the market for such shows exists. I can understand a reality competition for strength and endurance or learning survival skills, but watching someone else live their scripted-for-television-life is beyond my comprehension.

This show seems to be a competition of some sort, but I wasn't even tempted to watch it. As boring as my life appears to be, I'm actually quite happy. Until my life is devoid of any contentment, I see no reason to live vicariously through strangers desperate to be famous.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This Morning's Sunrise Was Spectacular

Unless, of course, you're a sailor!

This picture doesn't do it justice ... 
the sky looked like it was on fire.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Brush Holder

The clear bottle to the left of the sink
is a ginger soda bottle ... not beer!
I've struggled with what to do with my dish wand. I had it just laying in the sink, lying on the edge of the sink, sitting in a pretty white vase, and a mason jar. I wasn't satisfied with any of those, so I kept my eye out for something that tickled my fancy. It had to be clear, it had to be narrow(ish), and it had to be bottom heavy so that the weight of the brush didn't topple it. Now, my patience and determination have paid off! I found one that compliments my soap/lotion dispensers and my oil dispenser filled with dish washing liquid.

And now, all is right in my world.

P.S. The clear bottle to the left of the sink in the above picture is a ginger soda bottle ... not beer! I'm going to try to replicate the flavor, and I'm saving the bottles to fill with my own spicy ginger soda.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

I Don't Drink Ski Very Often Anymore

I'm still madly in love with Ski, but I'm at an age (sob!) where I need to watch how many empty calories I consume. So, when I do occasionally indulge, I make it special!

Saturday, October 22, 2016


A road crew accidentally ran over a raccoon with their road striping machine. One less filthy, destructive varmint to destroy someones property! Yea!

Photo via WFIE
Photo via WFIE

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Now That's Just Wrong!

If you're going to eat a Hershey bar, you can't just bite it ... you have to break it into pieces to eat it ... just like God intended!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Business professional or Texas transplant?

My coworkers and I were shaking our heads at this ensemble. We don't see a lot of women wearing hats in these parts, much less a cowboy hat with a business suit! (It doesn't look as cowboyish in the picture as it did in "person", but it was definitely a cowboy hat.) The hat would have made more sense if it had been black, or if she had been wearing cowboy boots. Admittedly, cowboy boots with a business suit would still be ... um, how shall I say this .... atypical ... but at least then the hat would have gone with the theme.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Look What I Found!

And to my pleasant surprise, this tangy, golden liquid is a mere 1.2 miles from my front door!

Sunday, October 16, 2016


I had to work late one evening and was rewarded with a beautiful sunset upon leaving. I couldn't help but think that I should go back inside, take the stairs to the top floor, and get a really spectacular picture ... but I was too lazy, so this is the shot it got!

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Leaf Brigade

The trees are green, but my yard is covered in leaves.
I blew the leaves off the back patio and front porch, but sadly, that's an ongoing chore. I'll be fighting leaves on the patio, porch, and lawn for a many more months. (Sob!)

I'm not as obsessive about leaves in my yard as all my neighbors. Very few leaves are falling right now, but once they start dropping in unison, the men in this neighborhood go on 24/7 Leaf Annihilation ... and I'm not kidding! On any given morning, I wake up to a chorus of leaf blowers. These fearless leaf fighters blow their leaves into a pile and bag them. While they are eating lunch, more leaves will fall and they are back outside before they finish chewing their last bite ... and they fight the fight until they don't have the strength to capture and imprison any more of the enemy. Their wives probably consider themselves leaf widows ... you know, like football widows? (It sounded funnier in my head!)

When I moved in last fall, I was fascinated by the fastidiousness of the men around here when it comes to leaf control. While I'm sitting at my computer, typing and sipping coffee, they're outside rounding up leaves. As I walk around the house doing chores, I look outside and they're out there with a rake and leaf blower. In the evening, as the sun sinks low and darkness falls, they turn on all their outside lights/spotlights and continue working.

My old house had two giant pine trees, two maple trees, a magnolia tree, and two (stupid) gumball trees. I hate those trees. It sounds like you're popping corn when you cut the grass! Anyway, my old house had more leaves in the yard than this house ... and this house is nearly surrounded by trees! It's quite perplexing. My grass gets cut a few times in the fall to grind up the leaves, then I'm done ... but not my neighbors. They spend the entire fall, winter, and early spring capturing every stray leaf they can, while my lawn is spotted with the dreaded brown, shriveled opponent. And when spring finally rolls around, they have more leaves in their yards than I do ... but that's probably because the leaves from my yard blow into theirs. I'd feel bad about that if I purposely blew my leaves into the street or their yards, but I don't. The leaves find their way to other yards on their own accord.

At my old house, a friend asked me why I always had so many leaves in my front yard, when I didn't even have any trees in the front. I told him it was because all they neighborhood leaves came to my yard, but he didn't believe me. (He also didn't believe the squirrels had ripped open a patio chair and were stealing the stuffing ... until I snapped a picture of them doing it!) After spending a day clearing my front and back yard of leaves, he went out front to survey his handiwork ... and was greeted with a yard full of leaves. He was astounded as he watched leaves from up the hill blow down into my yard ... as well as the leaves down the hill blowing up into my yard ... at the same time! It's like my yard has a vortex that sucks in every leaf within eight square miles!

He stood there with his hands on his hips, mouth hanging open in astonishment, and said, "I've never seen anything like it!"

I patted his back and nodded my head in silent commiseration, then softly said, "I know, my friend. I know."

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Oh, the Irony

Below is a screenshot from Facebook, with the names redacted to protect the intelligent. I did not take the screenshot and I don't know who's page this is ... but it's hilarious!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ocracoke After Hurricane Matthew

Photo courtesy of Allan Casavant
Above is a picture near the Ocracoke Lighthouse after Hurricane Matthew.
Below is a photo I took when the kids and I visited the island.

The folks who call this tiny island home have a lot of cleaning up to do. There is a high water mark sign on the steps of the Village Craftsmen, but from the pictures I've seen, Matthew likely surpassed them all.

I really need to spend another week (or longer!) on Ocracoke Island. There is no place more relaxing in the entire world. Seven straight days on this little piece of paradise cleanses your soul, and once you step foot on this tiny island, you will spend the rest of your days longing to go back.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I Live an Exciting Life!

I took some vacation to do some things around the house. Last Thursday I cooked double batches of chili and ham and beans, then pressure canned them. I also made pumpkin cookies (because they sounded good), and corn bread to go with the ham and beans.

I cleaned out and organized the garage, brought in the umbrella and all the patio furniture cushions, re-potted a few plants and brought them inside, and got my purple ladies ready to winter inside. The picture below is a "Before" picture. They were bald when I took them down to the basement, and they were too embarrassed to get their picture taken.

My pretty purple ladies.
One of the things high on my list of to-do's was to paint the shutters and the garage door, and I finally got around to that ... partially. The shutters are painted, but the garage door will have to wait a few days.

The shutters were fine before, but I like this color better. I've been wanting to get the shutters painted ever since I painted the doors last fall, but after painting my old house and the little bit of painting I had to do to move in, I just couldn't bring myself to paint anything else!

I spent an hour or so scraping peeling paint off the garage door ... which caused painful flashbacks to scraping and painting my previous home. (You can read about that adventure here.) Luckily, all I had to scrape was a garage door, and there wasn't much that had to be scraped. I only have a half gallon of paint left, and that's not enough to get two good coats on the garage door. Since the color was custom mixed and no two cans are exactly alike, I'll get another gallon before I start on the garage door ... but that project will have to wait a day or two, because I saved today for my grandbabies!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Boy!

He had so much fun eating his cake
that he forgot how irritating he found those Mickey ears!
I hope he stays this sweet and happy.

I love him!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Saturdays's Are My Favorite

I always get my grandbabies for the day on Saturday. They are so sweet and cuddly! I usually sit on the floor and hold Fifi on my lap or have her sitting close by in her rocking chair. She's thrilled to be where the action is. I can play with Fido and coo at my little princess.

I love watching this sweet little boy play. He is always happy, with a huge grin on his face ... and when he giggles, my heart explodes!

Fifi can smile and she's "talking" up a storm. When you talk to her, she wiggles with excitement. I love her sweet little voice.

I always wanted to be a mom, but I never gave much thought to the fact that I would one day be a grandparent ... and it's so much better than being a mom. It's all the fun and none of the work! My job is to simply love and spoil them. I can do that!!

I'd love to be a fly on the wall when all my grandkids get together in fifty years and talk about how much fun they had at Grandma's house. My prayer is that I will treat each one so special that they all secretly think they were my favorite!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hurricane Matthew

I've been watching the Weather Channel for news as to how Savannah and Charleston have been affected by Hurricane Matthew. I believe the most damaging winds have passed Savannah and are now ravaging the South Carolina coast.

Savannah and Charleston are two of the most beautiful cities in the world (according to me!). The word that comes to mind when I think of them is ... charming. The centuries-old homes and churches, surrounded by Spanish moss dripping from gnarly, weathered Live Oak trees has a magical quality that melts my heart. Even in the dead of winter, these two cities are breathtakingly beautiful.

I don't want anyone to lose their home or livelihood, but it's the old architecture that concern me during storms like Matthew. Even though we have the technology to easily make architecturally ornate buildings, most new construction is boxy and devoid of such embellishments. Luckily, the old antebellum structures are built sturdier than modern construction, and they weather these monster storms much better than their newer neighbors.

I'll have the grandbabies today, so I won't be able to keep an eye on Matthew as he makes his way up the coast of the Carolina's towards Ocracoke, but I should be able to sneak a peek at the news a couple of times ... and I'll be praying for everyone affected. One thing I know for certain, though, is that regardless of the damage, the South will rise again!

Friday, October 7, 2016

October 7, 2001

On this day in 2001, I was sitting in church, listening to Pastor David preach, when someone walked up to the pulpit and whispered something in his ear. After the exchange, Pastor David picked up right where he left off. I couldn't help but wonder what was said. What was so important it had to be relayed during a sermon? At the end of the service, he explained that he had been told that the United States had just began military action in Afghanistan.

For some reason, Thing 3 was the only one of my kids with me that day. As we were driving home, I was listening to the news, something a seven year old considers the worst kind of torture. I told him we were at war with Afghanistan and I wanted to see if I could find out more of what was going on.

He fell silent for a while, then finally asked, in a soft, solemn voice ... "When will they get here?"

Until that moment, I never gave much thought as to what my kids thought when I was watching the news. They would see refugees walking down dirt roads, pulling carts or pushing wheelbarrows filled with everything they could escape with. To them, that was what "war" meant. Shame on me for assuming they knew it was in a land far, far away, and that they were safe.

So when my innocent little boy asked, "When will they get here?", he was really asking, "How long before the bombs drive us from our home? How long before we are forced to walk down the road in a river of frightened, ragged people, taking only what we can carry?"

I should have known better. As a child, I could never understand why Daddy wouldn't take us kids to see the Macy's Parade. He kept saying it was too far away and that it would be over by the time we got there, but the commentators said it was downtown! We had been to see a lot of parades downtown. It wasn't that far! I had no concept of how far away we were from New York City. Adults understand the geography of the world, and we take for granted that children understand, too ... but they don't. A child has no idea how big the world is because their world is really very small.

I immediately turned off the radio and explained that Afghanistan was a long, long way away. We talked a little, then I turned on some music. But, when we got home, I took him over to the globe and pointed out where we were. Then I pointed out where Afghanistan is and how long it would take to fly there in an airplane. That eased his mind, and he wandered off to play.

And it taught me a very important lesson.

I was reminded of how differently children processed the images on the news. I started watching the news in my bedroom or I'd turn the channel and let them decide what to watch. And, I'd pick my words much more carefully when they asked questions about war and terrorism.

On that day in 2001, I never imagined that by 2016, our current inept President would handle the crisis in such a way as to create a vacuum which would give rise to ISIS, threatening not only the Middle East, but the entire world.

My kids feel like America has been at war their entire lives. We haven't, but it sure seems that way to them. I can't help but wonder if my grandkids will ever know a time of peace, or if we truly will be at war their entire lives.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Spicy Ginger Soda

A friend and I stopped for lunch at a cafe in a small neighboring town recently. I was going to just have water with my meal, but then I saw a Spicy Ginger soda in the beverage case and chose that instead. It tasted amazing!

I haven't seen it for sale in any of the grocery stores around here, but I'm going to keep my eyes open for it. If I can't find it around here, I can always order it online, but I've seen several recipes for spicy ginger soda online, so I think I'm going to try to make it myself. I'm sure I'll have to play around with the recipe to get the spices just right, but if I can strike the right balance, I will be one happy lady!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


One time a bunch of us neighbor kids had a sleepover in a tent in one of the girls backyard. Everyone had their sleeping bags rolled out with their pillow and stuffed animals neatly arranged, waiting for us to finish playing and go to sleep. One of my little sisters was at the sleepover. She ate a bunch of Little Debbie Cinnamon Crumb cakes, then threw up ... under my pillow! She didn't tell me she had thrown up. I got to discover that little nugget of wisdom when I curled up to go to sleep and put my arm under my pillow. I almost threw up, too!

Ever since that night, I haven't been able to look at a cinnamon crumb cake without my stomach rolling. And then I saw cinnamon crumb cakes in the vending machine by the coffee at work. I hope those things sell out quickly, because I cringe every time I go for coffee and see them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Work Has Been Crazy

We've had some major network issues at work since last week, so it's been very stressful. Blogs haven't been as regular lately because by the time I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is sit at a computer! We think we've got a handle on it, but there is still a lot of work to complete before anyone in my department gets to sit down for more than a few minutes.

Technology sure makes life easier, huh?!!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fall Festival Time

The first full week of October is a much longed-for seven days around here ... it's the week of the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival. Kids look forward to the rides and games, but most adults drool year-round for the food only available one week in October. Unlike most street fairs, most of the food is reasonably priced, and for $20, you can buy your child a bracelet that lets them ride all the rides they want.

I'm sure there are healthy options at the Fall Festival, but they are rare. Most of the food at the 126 booths is fried and dripping in calories. I know more than one person who download a Munchie Map well in advance to plan their week of eating, hoping to taste a little bit of everything. I am not one of those people. Several years back, I discovered shrimp creole and bread pudding at the German Township Booster Club booth, and I've never looked back.

2016 Munchie Map
For kids growing up on the west side, going to the Fall Festival is not optional. As the parent of three west side children, I have spent thousands of dollars on food, ride tickets, and games over the years ... but it was money well spent. The food booths are almost exclusively non-profit organizations, and the Nut Club donates a portion their profits to west side schools. The Nut Club also has egg hunts at Easter, pictures with Santa in December, and other events for children throughout the year.

Each year there is a pet parade, lighthouse parade, and a main parade. There is also a tug-of-war between west side schools, with the winners receiving bragging rights for a full 365 days. Every night there is Amateur Hour followed by a local band on the main stage. And, unless you've been living under a rock, you will see pretty much everyone you know at some point throughout the week.

It seems like every year one or all of my kids would win a goldfish (that I had to hold while they rode rides). The first year they won fish, I bought an aquarium for the fish to live in until they died, which was never more than a week or two. By the time the fish died, the kids had lost interest in them, so it was never sad. When the last fish died, I'd clean up the aquarium and pack it down to the basement, where it would stay until the kids won another fish at the next Fall Festival.

The kids and I have made many memories there over the years. I can't help but smile when I remember how excited the kids would be every time I told them we were going to the Fall Festival. Now that they are older and can go anytime they want, they are smiling and excited every time they tell me they are going ... and that makes me smile, too. In fact, I'm smiling now!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Out of Control Spending

The National Institute of Health is spending nearly one million dollars ... $911,056 to be exact ... to study the effect stress plays in lesbian drinking.

At the end of this study, they are going to reveal that stress does contribute to lesbian drinking ... just like it does for every other human on the face of the earth who turns to alcohol to manage stress. The NIH doesn't seem to know one simple fact ... lesbians are human, and they react to stress the same way heterosexuals do! Meaning, some turn to alcohol and/or drugs, some do not.

I'm not heartless. I don't mind our taxes being used to find a cure for cancer or AIDS or Zika or other devastating diseases. I don't mind tax money being used to staff the Veteran's hospitals with enough doctors and nurses to care for our soldiers or to repair bridges and roadway. I do, however, take umbrage at silly studies like lesbian drinking ... especially when everyone already knows the answer.

Anyone else tired of the ridiculous studies the government wastes our money on? With the US debt spiraling out of control, wouldn't make more sense to use our tax money to pay down our debt? And perhaps ... one day ... our taxes could even be lowered! Sadly, that will never happen.

Why doesn't our government at least try to live on a budget? There are a lot of things I would love to have, but I can't afford them. I could take out loans, but it's beyond foolish and very childish ... not to mention unsustainable ... to borrow money to fund a lifestyle. Or, the in the governments case, to garnish favors by handing out grants for useless studies or making it so comfortable ... and lucrative ... to live on government assistance rather than to work.

I'm not opposed to helping people with things they need ... like food stamps or low-cost housing or healthcare for the children of those living below the poverty line, but free cell phones and internet and cable tv? Those are luxuries, not necessities.

I have a feeling our grandchildren are one day going to ask us why we allowed this to happen in America, and they'll be justifiably angry that we continued to elect officials who used their office to line their pockets rather than execute the will of the people they were elected to serve.