About Me

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This is my journey. This is what I see. I am a wife, a mother, an artist. I am on His path.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Another Roadtrip Adventure

My car has seen many miles this year.  This time, I was just tootling over to Chicago land for a family Christmas.  We typically travel the toll road just to cut down some traffic and so we can stop at the DeKalb Oasis.  It is the perfect timing to stop for a Starbucks coffee and to take a potty break.

This time, I was met with confusion!

Sure - it looks like a regular rest stop toilet....however....that is not a memorial placard above the toilet.

They now have water saving toilets!!  Is that awesome??  Until.....

I look down and the questions begin.....

The sign is backwards from the placard.

I then start to wonder in my little brain......

1.  Did the plumber install the sticker upside down?

2.  Did the plumber install the flusher part upside down?  This one made most sense to me since most normal humans flush public toilets with their foot.

3.  Do I flush three times if I know I need that extra water in the tank??

4. If I flush the toilet.....will the water splash out since the water drops are upside down?  Maybe this is really a WARNING sticker!

Our little crew experimented with each flush a number of times to try to compare the flushes.  We decided there really wasn't much difference in the amount of water or the force of the water, so is there really a need for the green handle and stickers?

We also came to the conclusion that they probably use MORE water because of scientific minds like ours!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Taken For a Ride

Why do women always get taken for a ride at a car dealership? 

Do they really think we are idiots?  

Charging for services they think we will just pay for?

There are crooked people out there that think they can add a charge and get money from you because you just write the check or swipe your card.  They think because they tell you something  HAS to be done – you will just PAY?

I have one service company for my car.  
They do all the work on my vehicle…..vehicles.


So when I am told that I have added the wrong coolant to my car and now it MUST be flushed and refilled ….. all for the bargain price of $180?

NO!  Check your records.  You are the ONLY place my car comes to…so who added the wrong coolant? 

They continue to insist I will have to pay for this service. 


........call to Tall Man.

Fifteen minutes later – Tall Man calls me and says…..

They will be flushing the coolant and there will be no charge.


A special statement:  
I do want to add that it is not always the fault of a service manager to try to force these add on sales.  Many owners want a certain amount of money to come through their garages each month, so quotas are set for these managers to bring in X number of dollars.  They don't like it either.  I hold no grudge against the gentleman at the desk.  He is just doing his job......at my expense.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

You Can't Always Get What You Want

I can't stop singing this song this morning.It is making me crazy......

Oh, you can't always get what you wantOh, you can't always get what you wantOh, you can't always get what you wantOh, you can't always get what you wantBut if you try sometimes you just might findYou get what you need.

As I look ahead to the next four years,

I think this will continue to echo in my head.

This is what we have American people.
This is who was elected.
It may not be what you want, however.....

This is what you got.

And now we wait.....for the true colors to shine through.

For truth......

......and maybe a dose of reality.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gluing Chickens

No…this isn’t what you think.  I am not trying to glue feathers back on chickens, or even trying to glue chickens together…..

This was a lesson on how to use a glue bottle.  This was a lesson for second grade chickens who love to make lakes using glue.  (Yes….this is the group that in kindergarten, when I told them to open the glue bottles, one of the darling chickens opened more than the orange twisty and poured the whole bottle on the table.  It was cool, but a mess to clean up.)

The project was to draw yourself and cut it out.  
Trace around yourself on black paper and cut it out.  
Voile……..a shadow!  
Then we had to find Wendy……..you know Wendy?  
She had to sew Peter’s shadow on after he lost it. 
 But we used glue.

But.....where do we put glue when we are gluing?.....

The first answer is always on the big paper and then stick the stuff to it!

So I have to ask…..”What if your glue is in the wrong place though?”

So we decided as a class that our people needed skeletons to make them stick right.  We didn’t want any hands or feet waving at the people looking at our pictures on the wall!

How do we glue the squares? 

Do we glue the paper?
Or do we glue the square?

Do we put the bottle next to the paper?
Do we make it an olympic sport to see how far
away our bottles before we miss the paper?

Kids typically love a huge gobber of glue on that square.  Then then complain about all the run off. 

I tried hard to explain to make a circle – 
                                      not much glue needed……

Of course there is that one group…
…always doing their own thing……
….and I got……

I reminded them what the instructions were and then caught myself saying,
“There is no fun in art!......stop having fun with your glue!”

The kids loved it…….giggling away.

A finished chicken....
I LOVE the big feet!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Puppy Poll

In this crazy political season, we decided we needed to have a little bit of reality to the craziness of the phones ringing and the door pounding.  So.....we are holding the First Electoral Puppy Poll.

We introduced our candidates:

Then we introduced our voters to their candidates:

Puppy took time to meet and greet with both.

Old Dog wanted her voice to be heard...I am not sure who was listening though.

Then it was time to cast votes.

We did make sure the voting booth
was handicap accessible. We did not want to 
against any of the Old Dogs out there.

We decided to let Old Dog go first.  She was quite vocal going into the voting arena.  She was giving her two cents worth the whole time.   

And her final vote was...

I guess Old Dog is a Democrat at heart and 
cast her vote for that Health Care Reform!!

Then it was Puppy's turn.

She was very enthusiastic about casting her vote!

And there was never a question in her mind of WHO to vote for.  

Yep....Puppy is Republican 
through and through!!

The final results are in.....

......it was a tie.  And I think in the end??

There is no winner in the world of Puppy Polls....

.....or is there?

Monday, September 17, 2012

One guilty party....

And I wondered why my house is always a mess......

even when most of my kids are gone!

There is something in there.

Can I smell it?

It is still there!

If I could just get it....

Man!  If I only had a thumb!

and......the mess left behind.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blue Hair vs. blue hair

Since I started my Facebook Page, I have been asked......why blue hair?

There have always been two ideas behind the blue hair concept.  I always wanted to have my hair dyed blue…..Cookie Monster blue to be exact.  I think it came from my time living in Europe.  It was accepted.  Colored hair.  Any color of the rainbow….maybe all colors of the rainbow.  I was an artist.  I was a free spirit!  However......

I tucked that little piece of rebellion inside when I got married, to be a wife……the wife of an officer.  I had rules to follow.  Expectations to meet.

That might be where I crossed over...
...into the old lady type of Blue Hair.

All the Coffees, brunches, receptions, Teas, card parties……fundraising, committees, boards….old lady stuff.

And now……I miss it. 

I work…..only part time, but still, I work.

I have lost time…..time to bake, time to plan, time to sew, time to make art of my own.

I have been struggling over the past month to find time….time for me…time for my craft.  I try to steal time here and there, but things get in the way.  The lawn, the checkbook, the weeding, maintenance of everything, swabbing the deck, nails in tires, dealing with insurance, parent/teacher conference……

I long to be the Blue Hair once again……

Monday, September 10, 2012

read the small print


Okay....we are nearing the middle of September and my luck is not doing great.....please God, I really need to catch a break about now.

I decided I needed to stay home and catch up on some of the chores I have been meaning to do for a very loooooooong time.

Today was going to be a glass washing day.
My light fixtures through out the house have a haze.
Yep.....we are gonna wash.

I finally got my kitchen chandelier apart.....
.....started to wash the glass and.....


The paint washed off......the PAINT!

looking at the photo, I can see it is painted....
I guess I should have taken a picture first?
I picked the glass for the beautiful Tuscan feel to it.
The warm ambiance cast by the lovely yellow in the glass.......

I called the company where I purchase the light fixture six years ago.  After looking up the information, the fine print reads, "glass is texturized with color"........"do not wash."

Why in the world would you sell a chandelier for a kitchen with glass that you cannot wash? The sales person did not know, but told me they don't order much from this company anymore....hmmm, that is a no brainer!

My option?  New replacements in the same glass run $40 each. And who in the world has $120 for glass in this economy??  And again.....why would I replace the glass with the same thing that I cannot wash??

My tears removed the remainder of the yellow paint...
....and I rehung the glass.....

.....so for now....I have frosted glass on my chandelier.  The incandescent bulbs, I can still buy, for now, give it a warm glow while on, but with no light....they are white.

Do I dare wash the next light fixture????

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Successful Parenting

I had a long talk last evening with Man Child....

after our talk, I realized...

Yes!  I am succeeding in this impossible job called Parenting!

Tall Man and I started our "Parenting" career with Peanut.  She was a quiet child.  Our little experiment.  I am sure we would not have won any rewards for Parent of the Year if people knew how much fun we really had!

Like that time.....in the formative years....
.....when we picked her up we would say, "Do you want down?"
.....when we put her down, "Do you want up?"
.....horses were cows....and...cows were horses.

So picture our trip to the petting farm at the zoo...

Our little bundle of joy, pointing at the cows saying, "Look at the pretty horses!"  And when someone would try to correct her, that they were truly cows....in her frustration, would turn to Tall Man, with arms stretched skyward, "Daddy, pick me down."

Yeah, yeah, yeah....it took us about six months of everything being "uppy-down"  to get that straightened out.  But to this day our family still calls horses ... cows and cows ... horses.

As each of the kids grew, we were very strict parents.  Maybe part of it was the continuous moving.  I really never had time to get to know families and their children well enough to earn the trust most families have, living in one place their entire married life.  For example, I didn't particularly like the kids going to sleep overs.....the parents could be mass murderers for all I knew!

I am drifting here.....

My point is, in my conversation with Man Child last evening, I had that realization of success.

I have heard the same comments over the years from
all three of my children:

  1. You are much harder on me than you ever were on_________.
  2. Why can't I just be a normal child!
  3. Why did _________ get that!  I never was allowed to get that.
  4. You would never have bought that for me, why does_________ get one?

My answers have always generally been, "Because this is just the way it is!" but I do have real answers:

  1. I have the same rules for each of you, it is just the trauma of your childhood that makes you remember it differently.  Therapy will help when you get older.
  2. You are not allowed to be normal.....you are extraordinary children that are each meant for great things!  Therapy will help you understand this some day.
  3. You didn't get that because it wasn't invented yet.  The therapist will help you understand it is your father's fault.
  4. The only reason they got that was because your uncle bought it.  I would never spend my money on something like that.  (Thanks Brother of Mine!)

Yep...I feel some success this morning!

My chickens.....still alive after all these years.
We must have done something right!

I am positive I will be knocked off this pedestal by this afternoon though....

Friday, September 7, 2012


I want to be special.
I want to be like other special people.
I want to do what special people get to do.

Things special people get to do:

1.   Park the wrong way on the road.
2.   Park right in front of a store, in a fire zone.
3.   Drive 95 mph in a 65 mph zone.
4.   Make u-turns anyplace I want to.
5.   Turn left from the far right lane.
6.   Text while driving.

I am not special in any of these ways.

I parked the wrong way once.....in England.
I parked right in front of a store once....in the diagonal spots.
I drove 104 mph once....I was really lucky!
I have made u-turns....oops, they were Michigan lefts.
I turned left from the right lane....onto a one way street.

I have not attempted the texting thing.....I am not that crazy!  I have a hard enough time paying attention to my driving and all the other special people.  Why would I even think to attempt texting??

Watch out and be safe....
there are more special people on the roads all the time!
And I mean no offense at all to any of you who might be special.
I really do wish I could be just....like....you....


Storms outside.....storms in my head.

Why do I let little things get to me?
An idea...
      A thought.....
             A worry......

There it is.....and it won't go away.

So I toss and turn to go to sleep.

My stomach.....

I wake up too early.

So this morning, I woke at 4.

A storm...sounds like hail.

I touch my iPad and there it is.
A posting from a friend.
The posting that I need.
The reminder.....
I link to click a read......

Red Letter Living:  How I combat self-pity  

Count your blessings!  There are so many things in my everyday life that I should never take for granted because they are gifts. Gifts that God has given in the form of blessings.

I hope this helps you in your day too!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dear Daddy,

Dear Daddy,                      

                 Thank you.  
For the years....for the support.....for the love.

I know how hard you worked when we were little.

I know how you worried that we were always okay.

But you always found a little time 
to fly me around on the giant furry dog.

I know I made you crazy.

But you were always there.....

.........always standing behind us,
always supporting us.

Thank you for letting me stretch my wings
and be what I always wanted to be....
even though I still don't know what that is.

And most of all Daddy......

 I want to thank you for .....

....... for gifting me your sense of humor!

I love you Daddy.

Happy Birthday

Love always, 
     your little girl

Thursday, August 30, 2012

YUM! Crust

Oh the joys of running out to grab a quick bite to eat.

This is not a normal event for our family.  We usually end up at a high end restaurant.  One that Chef will come out and speak to us to double check our order....just to make sure he doesn't cook something or cross contaminate food that will ultimately do the Man Child in, or at least send us to the hospital.

We can do burgers at Red Robin......they are awesome for allergy families.

But Man Child can't have bread.....so it is a burger.....a plain burger.

But no more!

Crust Stone Oven Pizza is in the Quad Cities.
Fresh Sicilian style pizza baked in 90 seconds in a stone oven.

Some friends had told me about it, but I wrote it off.....it is crust.....bread....no way!

Tall Man and I took Peanut out for dinner last week to scope it out.
Oh. My. Goodness.

Can we all sing YUM together?

The waiter came back with three items on the menu my son can not have.
Fryer food (soybean oil), the chicken and the artichoke something.

Wait....the crust? Yes. Made with the freshest ingredients....
REAL ingredients!

So the Man Child and I went out for pizza tonight.
We were on the clock...we had 35 minutes for this dinner.
Let's see if their pizza is really as fast as they say.

Two waters, a Sausage Pizza and an order of Grilled Asparagus.

Photo from Crust Stone Oven
facebook  page,
used by permission
Photo from Crust Stone Oven
facebook  page
used by permission

FAST, delicious and the total price?
$20.33 plus a fiver for a tip.

As a parent of an allergy child, this is a Kum ba ya moment!
We have found healthy, fast food!
I highly recommend this place - be sure to check it out.
The service is fabulous.
            The restaurant is CLEAN!
                               And the food is delicious....

photo used by permission
Crust Stone Oven Pizza
facebook page

Crust Stone Oven Pizza
2561 53rd Avenue  Bettendorf, IA 52722

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On the Road Again....

Traveling across another state....

......in another hotel.

Have you ever noticed the products in your hotel room?

I am noticing.

Do they think the added French makes me want to use this product?  Thanks to my French lessons on my GPS, I do feel a little fresher after using these wipes to take off my make-up.

Purity lotions, shampoo, conditioner......

Do you remember when the little shampoos and liquid containers had a paper band on them?  A safety seal...... I am not sure how much purity is in these bottles.  There is no seal anymore....they may just be refilling them.

I better just put those in my bag to make sure they don't refill between guests.  It is my duty.

Toilet paper.

Renew?   Renew what?

If we plant it....will it grow?

Subtle Touch.  What?
Who names this stuff?
Maybe after hours on the road, you need a subtle touch......
especially  if you are not equipped with Air-Ride......

This just got me thinking though.....

What if Charmin was the "Quicker Picker Upper".......

Yes - I know my images are not working on any device other than MAC.  I am on the road....not my computer.....frustration is mounting, but I promise to fix it when I get home.  Tune in tomorrow night if you just HAVE to see the photos of toilet paper......

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Told You So......

I was right.
I have been vindicated.

That's right....I told you so!

Frog is finishing up packing...
...pulling things together to leave for college.

Today was the final laundry day.
She moved her wet clothes from the washer to the dryer,
flipped the ON button, and ........ strange buzzing noise.

I wish I could write what the noise sounded like....
but I didn't hear it.  I am imagining it as an electrical frying sound.   
Kind of a ppzzzztph type of a noise.

She opened the dryer to witness an angry orange glow.
It was arcing like crazy in there!

This is where I insert the reminder of a post
way back in February.....The Rules Of Life.
(Be sure to click on the post title Tall Man...
....just to refresh your memory.)

These were valuable lessons
my dad shared with me while growing up
....and yes....you guessed it.....

Rule #1 is true.

Rule # 1

Never, I repeat, never leave the house with the dryer running.  
It could start a fire and burn the house down.

Uh ha.....the house would have burned down today.

So Tall Man....hang your head and shake it all you want....because

              I told you so!

Samsung DV218AEW

PS.....my new dryer will be delivered in a couple weeks.
And a new washer comes with it!!  Not happy
about the added expense in the budget, however...
life goes on and the bills will get paid somehow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Princess is born

In a land far, far away.....

Johannisburg Castle - Achaffenburg, Germany
                                there was born.....a princess.

The Princess was forced to wander around the world with her parents.  Faraway lands.  From Germany, to Hawaii, Georgia, South Dakota, Michigan.....and the most exotic of all....Iowa.

Wandering a field on Kolekole Pass, Oahu

She had many adventures and friends along the way....

Making friends

And there were many birthdays through those years....

But today......

                          ......today the Princess turns 21.

Happy Birthday Princess Peanut!