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

Friday, December 29, 2017

Passive Aggressive Yard Work

My house is the last one on a cul-de-sac, and is surrounded by woods, except on one side. This photo shows the concrete post marking the boundary on the west side of my property. What the picture doesn't show is that my property west of my driveway tapers from about 15' by the road, taping to about 18" in the back.

The only neighbor with whom I share a border is extremely careful not to cut even one blade of grass or rake one leaf on my side of the boundary marker, so I was quite surprised that he raked a good 8" of leaves on my property! It must have been dark, or he was in a hurry ... I'm quite certain he didn't mean to remove any of "my" leaves (that fell of his gigantic maple tree).

I was out walking with my grandkids one Saturday, when I saw him blow some of his leaves into the street, then into the yard across the street from him. Later that same day, he got upset with me when some of the leaves I was blowing blew into his yard ... even though they were all from HIS tree! All things considered, he's a not really a bad neighbor, but it's abundantly clear he's not going to be performing any random act of kindness when it comes to yard work.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

First Snow

This was our first snow of the season over the Christmas holiday. We didn't get much more than this all winter last year ... and I'm hoping for another gentle winter this year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Rainbow is Back!

My rainbow only visits in the winter months, and only when it's sunny. Needless to say, my private rainbows are rare! When it's cold here, the sky is almost always gray and overcast, so rainbows likeethese are a real treat. Here's another rainbow that came to visit me ...

Monday, December 25, 2017


I got an Echo Show for Christmas and sat it in the kitchen. When I came back, the Fisher-Price Little People had turned on Frosty the Snowman!

Friday, December 22, 2017

As Promised

After being ran over by my vehicle, the pretzel cracked, but it was not crushed!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Treat

A vendor sent in a tin of pretzels. They were passed around at a meeting, and we all took one. No one ate much of their's. It's a good thing no one ate much, because chewing them was so loud it was impossible to hear! These things are extremely hard. Saliva doesn't soften them and break them down. You have to chew them until they break into pieces small enough to swallow ... and then you swallow what feels like a mouthful of gravel.

I took one of the pretzels a few minutes ago ... not to eat, but to use in an experiment. I'm going to put it in front of my tire and see if it breaks when I drive over it. I'll also be praying it doesn't splinter and slit my tire!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Remember These?

Every kid in my neighborhood had a pair of these skates. We practically wore grooves in the street gliding around in Olympic-worthy performances! It wasn't too long before real skates were popping up instead of these. I'm guessing most people simply tossed their old metal skates into the trash in favor of the new ones, but a few have survived ... and I'm glad. Not because I ever plan on strapping a pair of these on my sneakers, but because of the sweet memories they bring back.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My New Coffee

I started making a honey/lemon/ginger tea last spring when I had a cold. I drank it in lieu of coffee and I haven't wanted coffee ever since.

The recipe called for fresh ginger or dried ginger. I buy fresh ginger paste because it saves me the time of peeling and grating the ginger myself, and I figure it's more nutritious than dried ginger. I love the flavors of lemon and ginger, and tend to gravitate to foods flavored with them, so this tea is perfect ... simply perfect!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Look What I Found!

Peppermint Twinkies! I bought them thinking that they'd end up in the trash can, but they weren't bad. Still, nothing can beat Junior Mint Peppermint Crunch!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The CD's are Here!!

If you haven't had the opportunity to hear John's music, you can listen to all the songs at Become a fan to get updates on events and other music. I know I'm biased, but it really IS good music!

You can purchase digital downloads or a CD here

Monday, December 11, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

There is Nothing More Romantic

Than cuddling with your sweetie
in a room lit by a beautiful Christmas tree and a warm fire :)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Today is Pearl Harbor Rembrance Day

Much like 9/11, no one will ever forget.

When I visited Hawaii, I'm ashamed to say I didn't visit the Arizona Memorial. In my defense, I didn't know there was a memorial on Oahu. While on Oahu, I never strayed from Waikiki Beach other than to fly to Maui for a day trip. I wish I had known about the Arizona Memorial, and how close we were to it. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Mouse Family

The mouse family at my current home (above).
(Click on image to enlarge.)
The mouse family at my previous home (below).

One of my sisters gave me this mouse family when my kids were very young. I've had it for at least 20 years, and I've set it out every year since. Soon after I got my Christmas Mouse family, I found some bulbs at Kuesters hardware that flicker in warm tones, mimicking a real flame ... well, as realistic as a 1990's era flickering bulb can be anyway!

So, instead of using a "white" nightlight bulb, I've always used a flickering bulb. Fearing these bulbs were a novelty I wouldn't be able to find again, I bought every bulb Kuesters had. It was wise for me to buy their entire flickering bulb inventory, because I haven't seen them since. I'm sure they're still manufactured and can be purchased, but I've never seen them around here.

The above bulb is my last one. I'll do a quick the internet search for another source so that I can stock up again ... because once your Christmas Mouse family has a "real" flaming fireplace, there's no going back to a generic white bulb.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Photo-Shy Grandbaby

Grandbaby Number 1 has decided he no longer likes being lined up, posed, and forced to smile in pictures. You're allowed to take pictures of him while he plays ... he'll even turn to you and smile ... but woe to you if you try to make him pose for a picture. Even a homemade chocolate chip cookie doesn't make it worth his while!

Monday, December 4, 2017


I tried to get a good picture of the Supermoon last night, but with my camera, this is the best I could do. I love how the naked branches frame the moon.

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Pretty, Early-Winter Day

A warmer than usual day last weekend allowed me to get outside and do some yard work. From the house, you can't really tell I did anything at all, but I spent a good part of Sunday working out back. First, I cut ivy off of some of the trees. There are still dozens of trees that have ivy growing on them, but they'll have to wait for another pretty day. I also gathered up a lot of fallen branches/trees and dragged them into a pile at the bottom of the hill.

I'll refresh your memory ... here's what it used to look like:

I need to bring my chainsaw down there and cut the pile into manageable pieces, but that probably won't happen until next spring. There must be a crack in the patio by the fireplace, because there is a tree growing on it. Next spring, I'll remove the leaves and the vines and the tree on the patio, and I'll find out if there's any damage that needs repaired. 

In addition to working on the fireplace area, I need to finish clearing a walking path to it. I started on that this past summer, but all the debris (and poison ivy/oak/sumac) prevented me from going any further. I've since killed all the offensive weeds, and now that I have all the fallen branches/trees out of the way, it's ready for a path to be forged.

I don't know that I'll ever use this patio, but since I have it, it may as well be usable. Once it's cleared, it will be like a pleasant surprise at the end of the path! Even though I may not ever use it, I can certainly see my grandkids playing there.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


I bought a bubble-maker that makes amazing bubbles! The babies always ask to go outside and play in the bubbles ... and how can I say no?! That bubble machine has given us countless hours of giggles!

I downloaded a bubble-popping game on my ipad for them, for cold and/or rainy days. I'm hoping the ipad bubbles will satiate their bubble addiction when the weather keeps us inside!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Santa Came Early

And look what he left!!!

It was no easy feat getting a picture of him that wasn't blurry. This little boy wiggles and kicks constantly! Once this little guy is mobile, my poor daughter and her husband will never sit down again!

Friday, November 24, 2017

My Thanksgiving Ham

For years, I always made the traditional turkey for Thanksgiving. The kids complained every single year ... "Why can't we have ham? We hate turkey!"

I don't know why, but I kept making turkey, then last year I asked myself "Why AM I making a turkey?!!" So ... I made a ham. It turned out wonderfully and everyone was a lot happier, so ham is our new Thanksgiving tradition. My son and his two little ones weren't there, which was sad, but we had a nice time anyway. I only have a few pics, but they good ... and packed with memories.

Thing 2 and my newest grandbaby.
My youngest sister and I.
Thing 2, Thing 1 (and my grandson under the blanket, eating his dinner), myself, and my sister.
Thing 2 and Thing 1 (and my grandson under the blanket).

Things 1 and 2 ... my girlies :)
Like every year, we had more than one Thanksgiving dinner to attend. I'll share the pics from our second Thanksgiving dinner some other time.

Today, I'm watching two grandbabies while their mom shops Black Friday deals. I'll get more time with them today than I would have if I'd have had them yesterday. Today, I don't have to cook. I won't be preoccupied in the kitchen. Today is all about the babies, not the food!

Today is going to be a good day :)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

What Are You Thankful For?

I have this sign hanging near my front door. I love how true it is ... even during the worst of times, there really is always something to be thankful for. Always.

My life isn't perfect, but I'm very happy and content ... and I know I have a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It's Finally Here!!

John's debut album, TWENTY MINE ROAD, is out! It's streaming free now until 9pm Sunday. You can listen to it at one of two places:

and on his website ... 

Right now it's only for sale on his website as a digital download or a CD, but it will be available soon at all the sites where music is sold.

I know I'm biased, but it's really, really, REALLY good!!!!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Texting with my Daughter

I work in the technology sector. As a woman in this field, I'm greatly outnumbered by males. A good many of the men I work with are younger and spend much of their free time playing video games. When I talk to Thing 2 about them, I call them "the nerds at work", and she always says, "I think it's funny that you don't know you're one of them!"

For the record, I'm not like them. The only video game I have ever played is Wii Sports ... bowling, shooting, and archery.

I kick butt at Wii bowling!

Friday, November 17, 2017


I've had several fires in the fireplace this year. It hasn't gotten very cold yet, but after the time change, when it gets dark so early, there's just something about having a fire that makes everything seem brighter. I love how arm and cozy a fire feels :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Better Comparrison

These two pictures make it much easier to see how dramatic the transformation of my backyard was. Most of the work was done during the summer. It was hot, sweat literally dripped off of me, bugs pestered the crap out of me, I was covered in scrapes and bruises (the women at Zumba had to think I was abused!), I was absolutely filthy at the end of the day, and yet ... I enjoyed it!

Monday, November 13, 2017


When I bought this house, the woods had nearly overtaken the backyard. I spent countless hours this spring, summer, and fall working to clear out the woods so that I can put in a swing set for my grandbabies and have more yard for them to play in. This is what it looked like when I moved in (click on any photo to enlarge). You can barely see it, but there is a fireplace buried under ivy to the right of the tree ...

I was able to clear the ivy away with some snippers and a little (okay, a lot) of elbow grease, but there was no way to clear out the woods without a chainsaw, so I bought one and started cutting down trees. I had never used a chainsaw before, and discovered it's not as easy as it looked when I watched my man use one!! But, I persevered, and my hard work paid off.

Once able to navigate the woods, I discovered a variety of items, mostly buried and hidden by ivy. I was able to dig them out and stuff them in the dumpster to be picked up on trash day. That trash can was heavy! My driveway has a significant slope, so it was tricky dragging it to the street without getting crushed ... because it easily weighed twice what I do. I'm sure the men who work at the trash company were happy to see my overflowing dumpster.

There's still work to do, but I'm pleased with the progress. You can see, and burn in, the upper fireplace now. Digging that out was back-breaking! It's been too wet or too windy to burn lately, but the wood is stacked and ready for whenever I get a chance to light the fire ... and that sounds like the perfect excuse to invite the kids and some friends over for a bonfire and cookout!


There's another fireplace and patio at the bottom of the hill that needs to be dug out, but I haven't even started to tackle that project yet. Below is the "before" for the lower fireplace. If we get some mild, dry weekends, I'll start working on it. Otherwise, it will be next spring before I begin.

Even though I could barely drag myself into the house to shower some days, I enjoyed working in the yard. Next spring I'll have to figure out exactly where I want to make a play area for the swingset and where I want grass. Until then, I can admire the progress ... and map paths to carve out!

And, finally ... the rusting, leaning yellow tether ball pole is gone!! Removing that was no small task (not that I actually helped) ... it was anchored in with enough concrete to withstand a nuclear blast! I can't imagine how heavy it was or how he got it in the back of his truck without any help.

I'm really going to miss working in my yard this winter.