Monday, December 31, 2012

The Wheel Rolls On

Please join my friends at "Inspire Me Monday", hosted by Create With Joy.  I guarantee you will find inspiration!


Here is the original picture of my polymer clay creation from my last "Wordless Wednesday" post:

And here is its evolution since then:

The gold and silver is from metallic powders brushed onto the unbaked clay.  The piece in the middle is a cane slice designed to look like agate that happened to match the color scheme of the project.  The little bits of color around the spokes are four different clay colors mixed with some translucent clay.  Each original ball was then separated into 3 balls and 25 pct of the original was marbled with its neighbor on either side and the mix placed between the two "primary" colors.  I hope that made sense.  


What is feeding your creative soul today?  I'd love to hear!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friendship Friday - Resolutions

     Let's Get Social Sunday
My husband asked me (on a day I was not feeling overly capable) what I wanted for Christmas, to which I replied, "To be a better wife and mother".  Yeah, it was that kind of day.
So when I started to think of resolutions, that idea popped up again.  I'm not saying I'm hopeless at wife- and motherhood, but I won't be writing textbooks on the subject anytime soon either.  This idea brought me to the Bible verses I memorized some time ago (but have since partly forgotten) about the "Proverbs 31 Woman".  That seems to be a good place to start for me.
Each month I will focus on an idea from the verses in Proverbs 31:10-31 and work to incorporate it into my life.
I will never be "perfect"...AND THAT IS OK!  But by putting one foot in front of the other, hour after hour, day after day ... by the end of the year I'll be a darn sight better than I have been this past year ... AND THAT IS GREAT!
Feel free to join me on this journey.  Also I'd love to hear your resolution/s for 2013.  By clicking the above button, you can read the ideas others have had and maybe share your own!
Happy Birthday to my brother today (12/29) and Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, November 2, 2012

T Minus 20 Minutes

That's how long I have to get in a blog post today, because it is 11:40 (ish) pm where I live.  Trying to get it in because of the NoBloPoMo.  Yes, I regret taking so long to get to the posting today.  And I sure could have done a better job, but it is what it is.  This reminds me of my 11th grade English teacher.  When we were studying poetry, she said, "For every line of good poetry you write, you will write one line of bad poetry."

I'll do a full update in the morning.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Hectic Month of November

Why hectic, you might ask?  Sure, there is Thanksgiving (in the US) at the end of the month ... but that's about all, isn't it?

Well...that's true; at least it used to be true.  But that was before the advent of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).  To add to the fun this year, I found   another gem to add to my collection:  The 21-day Self-Discipline Challenge, hosted by Serving Joyfully and Super Sweet Life.

You see, I haven't been disciplined enough in previous years to complete either NaNoWriMo, nor NaBloPoMo.  This year I am hoping to change that.  This year I am planning on changing that.  This year I am going to change that.

So, settling down to the Self-Discipline Challenge, for the first day we are to pick a small project that has been left undone.  I am rather spoiled for choice here, as there are so-o-o-o many around our apartment.  I chose my craft/computer table, over and under, which is placed in a corner of our living room by a window.  And, our dog Sneakers just had puppies (9 of them) starting shortly after midnight on Halloween, and we are going to move the little "puppy pen" out of the bedroom and under that table.

Shoot.  I was going to post a "before" picture, but am having trouble getting the picture from my phone to the computer.  I'll ask hubby when he gets up, as he is the computer whiz in the family.  And, as I've already started working on the mini-project, I will post before/after pics tomorrow.  It'll be the first time I've ever done that, because, let's face it, I am domestically challenged.

Picking a mega-project was hard for me.  There seems to be so many things in my life that need change:  making the choice to (and actually) stop smoking; completing NaNoWriMo; complete a full month of NaBloPoMo; organize our apartment sufficiently that we can actually have people in, set up an Etsy shop for my polymer clay beads and doodads, to name but a very few.

I'm going to stretch the concept a little.  What I mean is that cutting back on my smoking will be my main mega-project and if the self-discipline I develop during the course of the challenge happens to spill over into other projects, so much the better.  If that's the only project that gets completed in the 21 days, I'll be better off than I am now.

For today, I am just keeping track of how many cigarettes I smoke.  Since midnight, I have smoked 10 cigarettes.  As it is but 6:16 pm where I live, I know that total will increase.  My plan is to cut back by one cigarette per day until I no longer smoke.  Tomorrow I will come up with a list of other activities I can do instead of smoking.

One thing I have noticed today, is that a lot of time, my desire to smoke will increase when I am bored or stressed, with a heavy emphasis on the latter.  If anyone has any good stress-reduction tips, I could sure use them; feel free to comment below with something that works to reduce your stress.

Happy trails!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Looking Within

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NaBloPoMo September 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 Bob Marley asked: "Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?"  How would you answer him?

In a word, "No."

I struggle every day to be positive.  After all, I've had about 40 years of practice waiting for the other shoe to drop. I didn't used to be that way.  Three incidents from my childhood right now come to mind.  

First, I asked my mother for an entrance fee for a contest.  She said no, because "only one person can win".  Looking back, it is entirely possible that she was trying to protect my self-esteem in case I entered and lost; alternatively, we may not have had enough 'disposable income'.  But she did not reveal her true reason.  My young self took it to mean that I was not good enough.

Second, my first "life calling" love was acting on the stage.  Neither of my parents approved.  This could have been because of their backgrounds.  My mother's father was an alcoholic - something I never knew until late in her life (he died before I was born).  So her early life was not easy.  Besides that, she was a young adult in Switzerland during WWII.  My father grew up oldest son of a turkey farmer turned railroad man from West Virginia.  He was the first of his family to gradulate from college.  So, I had to: a) go to college; b) get a degree that was not only marketable, but highly profitable.  My young self too that to mean that my heart's desires were irrelevant.

Lastly, I had been struggling in a trigonometry class all term long.  On one of the last tests, I got a 97, which was one of the highest grades in the class.  I was so proud and couldn't wait to show my father, who had a PhD in Chemical Engineering.  I showed it to him in his home office, and his comment was, "What happened to the other three points?"  The wind got punched out of my young sails there.

So, have I depressed anyone yet?

THE GOOD THING about the past is that it is OVER!  I can change my thoughts and actions, and thereby, my future.

I may never be an Olympic Gold Medalist in gymnastics.  And that's OK.  I can eat well, exercise and feel good about myself.  I may never win a Tony for acting on Broadway.  And that's OK.  I can still experience the thrill of performing and pass along my love of the art to others.  I may never own a Jaguar XJ-S.  And that's...well, I'm still holding out a little hope.  I may get to drive one one day...and that is definitely OK!

So, is there anything about my life that I'd like to change.  Oh, the choices boggle my mind.  So, I'll take it easier on myself.  What is one thing I would like to change about my (outlook on) life?  Hmmm...

I tend to start a lot of projects and ... not finish them.  For instance, I started a "French twist" rainbow friendship bracelet a couple of weeks ago.  It is currently coiled up in a zip-lock baggie to keep it as tangle-free as possible.  I want to finish that bracelet by next week.  Any volunteers to hold me accountable? :O)

What about you?  Care to share something you would like to change about yourself?  (It's ok if you are happy the way you are, too.)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Simple Saturday



Outside my window...same old street.  Unfortunately my desk is in a corner of the room farthest away from the window, so it is rather hard to look out the window w/o getting up and walking to it.

I am thinking...I'm hoping my substitute-substitute gig as church pianist goes well tomorrow.  It's been a long time since I played in front of that many people.

I am thankful...that a friend has loaned me her unused keyboard so that I can practice!

In the kitchen...the cat is knocking something else off the counter.

I am jeans and a purple knit shirt w/a design around the collar and some glittery accents.

I am creating...some cards and a "French knot" rainbow friendship bracelet.

I am wrap the sharp exposed edge of the metal chair arm in duct tape so I stop getting poked in the stomach through the new little holes in my shirt.

I am wondering...will that deposit ever make it into the bank? *sigh*

I am reading...the Bible in 90 days (end of the 2nd week).

I am upcoming dental marathons don't take too much out of me.

I am looking forward mother's house selling so my family and I can finally get a house of our own.

I am learning...that my son gets bored with downloaded games really, REALLY fast.

Around the house...we have too much crap stuff and not enough shelves, boxes and closets.

I am pondering...why some days I feel half my age and others I feel twice as old.

A favorite quote for today..."To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven."  (Thanks to Karen Dawkins for reminding me of this.)

One of my favorite things...peanut butter fudge.  Go figure!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  getting back on track with my B90 reading, write a couple of blog posts and reading as many other blogs as I can.

A peek into my day...waking up to "Mommy, I'm hungry!"  Sitting down to read, when I hear, "Mom, which is worse....?"  Sitting down to write and hearing, "Mom can you help me with?"  Coming back in from taking the dog outside and just as my back comes in contact w/the back of my chair, hearing, "H-o-n-e-y, before you sit down, can I ask a favor?" *lol*.  Lying down at the end of the day and realizing that I'd much rather be hearing that all day long than not, know what I mean?

My FB fanpage:  Back Porchervations

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friendship Friday - Labor Day Lack of Plans


Today's Friendship Friday question was about what people's Labor Day plans were.  Well, we really don't have any special plans for the holiday weekend.  Remnants of Isaac are supposed to bring us rain all weekend.  Schools have been in session here in Kentucky for nearly a month.

I guess there is one thing a little different about this weekend, though.  I got a call yesterday from the President of the branch of my church, asking me to play the hymns on Sunday, as both of the regular pianists would be out of town.  This is not a huge deal, I suppose, as I have played for years and in the Primary (children's Sunday  School) for several months now.  I just want to do a good job.

OK, this is a little "off-topic" but I got a great surprise in the mail last Wednesday.  When I went to get the mail, there was a letter, addressed to me in my "big-girl" name, with no return address.  Inside was a Shell $100 gas card!  It could not have come at a better time, as the last couple of months have been somewhat of a struggle for us.  Hubby even made the comment that my exclamation of surprise was a lot more "family-friendly" than it has been in the past!

Have a great holiday weekend, y'all!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friendship Friday - My Hometown

When I think of "hometown", I think of the town in which I was born.  More accurately, the wide spot in the road where I was born.  Unfortunately, for the purposes of this post, I remember little about the place, except for that we went through one time when I was a small child and I got to see the house in which I was born.  Maybe I can be forgiven for my lack of memory given the fact that this happened close to 51 years ago.

Today, my home town (or the town in which I find my home) is in a small town in Kentucky.  Although I've spent the majority my life in two "big cities" (one in Utah, the other in Texas), I am truly "at home" here.  So what makes this place unique?

Well, it has one of the few "town squares" left in the US.  There has been talk from the politicos about razing the square to improve traffic patterns, but that would destroy some of the town's character.  And where would they put the town Christmas tree?  On the plaza in front of the brand spanking new "Justice Center"...where driversby cannot even see it??  I think NOT!

Long ago, they co-opted part of a nearby "multi-state highway" for the town's business district.  Within the town limits, they number the traffic lights along this road.  So on the radio, businesses providing their customers directions say, not "between X Street and Highway Y"...but "at light 5" etc.  I had never seen that before living in this area.

Also, the townspeople just recently voted to take the town "wet".  Before that, someone wanting to purchase  liquor had to drive approximately an hour in any direction to get to a liquor store or winery.  There were many, many more "vote no" signs in people's yards.  I only recall seeing two "vote yes" signs, one with just words and one with graphics.  But when the vote came, the "yes" votes outstripped the "no" votes approximately 3 to 1.

When we moved to this town, we checked to see where we would need to inform school districts about homeschooling our children.  The neighbors beside us and across the street both were in the county district, so we dropped off our notification at the county BOE.  We found out within two weeks (via nasty note on our door) that we were the last house in the city district, while everyone around us was county.  Go figure.

Happy creating, y'all!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Favorite Moment This Summer

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Actually, my favorite moment this summer has a history that stretches back to Mother's Day 2012.  My daughter and I are church-goers; my husband and boys are not.  They will come with us to the social gatherings, like chili cook-offs and Independence Day cook-offs, but not to Sunday services.  Well, this Mother's Day I wanted to ask that they all come with my daughter and me.  But I was afraid.  Then I got on myself for being afraid ... I mean, as "the Mom", I have rights, too, yes?

So I talked it over with my husband.  Being a non-attending Christian, he did not want me to push my denomination's views on the boys (who are 14 and 15) if they chose not to believe in the same way.  (I wouldn't want that either, actually, as it is each person's choice to believe or not.)  So, we came upon "the plan".  The boys would come with their sister and me for four weeks...then we would revisit the situation.

Then, of course, the problems came.  Most to all of our clothing is of the casual kind.  I mean, my one dress and one skirt (both new this 2nd quarter of the year), are all the "Sunday-go-to-meetin'" clothes I have.  DH did not want the kids going to church in sweats or jeans.  We received some "gently used" gifts from a couple at church, but the 14 yr old is quite hefty (think linebacker or tackle) and could not fit into any of them.  Then, DH thought if he was 'requiring' the boys to go that he should probably go too.  But he did not have "church clothes" either.  He bought himself a pair of pants, that wound up fitting our boy better than they fit him.

Yes, I've taken the long way around to get to the heart of my story.  Lo and behold, one Sunday I found myself driving to church with all 3 of my children.  Now, mostly when I think of myself and motherhood, I tend to focus on my deficiencies, real or perceived.  But not that Sunday.  I felt complete.  I felt "right".  And that felt GREAT!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

I love Woman's World Magazine!  I read the thing cover to cover (although not necessarily front to back) every week.  Sometimes I do start at the front, but usually I do the puzzle and sudoku and then flip back and forth according to what strikes my fancy at the time.

At $1.79, it is not only inexpensive entertainment, it also offers a wealth of information!

For instance, on page 12 of the July 30, 2012, issue, there is an article entitled "Need more cash: Try this!"  Well, I don't know about you, but a little extra cash is ALWAYS welcome at my house, so I looked more thoroughly at the ideas.

The first one showed an art student who sold postcard-sized paintings of pets for $5 at  People post products or services they can offer to others at the price of $5.00.  I signed up yesterday (it's free) and posted a "gig" about a guaranteed number of relevant comments on blog posts and blabbing to Facebook and Twitter.  Check it out here and tell me what you think?  I came up with this idea because I do a lot of blog hops and sometimes the hoppers' comments leave you wondering if they actually read your post.  Luckily, THE MAJORITY DO!

Anyway, it was an idea to get a gig posted.  If you read yesterday's post, I am trying to post 5 gigs this week at Fiverr.  A lot of my gigs will be craft-related, but I need to make up some samples of those first so I can post pictures.

I also like WW's at-home remedies and have used several of them to make potions and lotions to use and to give as gifts.  (Hubby can testify that the chocolate-sugar body scrub and rose milk foot bath last Valentine's Day were WONDERFUL! *lol*)

Just so you know, I did not receive compensation for this post and my opinions are my own ... I just really love the Woman's World Magazine!

Do you have a favorite source of entertainment and/or inspiration?  Care to share?

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Week Ahead

Some days I don't feel like I've accomplished very much.  And that bothers me.  I know every day doesn't have to be a "10", but when there seem to be more "below average" days than's time for a change, right?  One thing I am doing differently now is posting on Mondays a list of several things I hope to accomplish during the week.  Then on Fridays I will post an update of how I did.  So here goes:

1.  I will post each day to my blogs: (this one and A Daughter in the Kingdom), post them to my Facebook and Twitter.

2.  I will conquer Mt. Laundry.

3.  I will create 5 Fiverr gigs, and post them to this blog, my Facebook and Twitter.  (Here is my first one. Check it out! :O) )

4.  I will create a friendship bracelet.

5.  I will organize my crafting supplies.

This list is by no means exhaustive, nor will it be all that I do.  I'm just looking to be able to cross a few things off my "to do" list.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sacred Six

I want to post daily in my blogs.  I rarely do.  In fact, this is the first time in months that I have sat down to write.  For the last several weeks, I have stared at my list of weekly topics for this blog, hoping for motivation and inspiration, but it hasn't come until now.  My last little "if not now, when" kick-in-the-pants came from this blog post by Annie Seaton, a fabulous writer who posted her link on SheWrites.

While I was thinking about the definition of "sacred" and wondering what other people considered sacred, a memory came to me of an experience I had as a child.  I hadn't thought about this particular incident in years.  I was walking home from a friend's house one year in mid-December.  The streets were snow-packed and light flurries were falling.  The beauty of one a neighbor's pine trees, decorated with the old-style large outdoor colored bulbs and dusted with snow struck me.  I stopped, sang "O Tannenbaum" ("Oh Christmas Tree"), smiled and went home.  Sacred can be simple.

Another sacred moment in my life came when a nurse pushed my oldest child's bassinet into my hospital room and closed the door so we could have some bonding time.  He had needed a little oxygen and I was not allowed out of bed for the first 24 hours, so this was the first time I had really "seen" him.  I peered over the edge of the bassinet and wondered, "OK, NOW WHAT?"

My second child brought into my world with him a double sacred moment.  My father had passed away in 1979, almost 20 years before I started having children and I had thought how sad it was that he never got to see his grandchildren.  In the delivery room, though, I got the strongest feeling that he knew them and that he and his father (my "Pappap") were there.  Secondly, after the baby had been cleaned and swaddled, a nurse put him ... in ... my ... arms.  Big deal, you might thing.  Well, to me it was; he was the only one of my three children I got to hold immediately after they were born.

Frankly, four years later, we thought we were done with kids.  But apparently kids were not done with us, as a little girl soon came a-callin'.  The ob/gyn said she was coming early, they just didn't know how early.  At 31 weeks, I was given two shots of steroids, to help the baby's lungs develop.  This was a good thing, because at 32 weeks, DD (dear daughter) made her debut, weighing 3 lbs .4 oz and measuring 13.5" long.  I asked 2 gentlemen from my church to give her a blessing, which they did.  The doctors had told us to expect her to be in the NICU until her original due date.  After the blessing, she was able to go home at 22 days of age.  Although she did not yet weigh 4 lbs, the doctors said that she was "just too healthy, and they needed the space".

While the mountains are my home, I always get a feeling of beginning to grasp the eternal or the infinite when I am at the ocean.  Eyes scan the horizon and see the first (or last) few rays of light, ears hear the crash of the waves and calls of birds, the salty tang of sea air affect both smell and taste and breezes and water caress our extremeties.  For a few seconds we are taken out of the everyday and connect with the great unknown.

For my last sacred moment today, I have to give a shout out to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR).  Members of both these fine organization recently stood/rode in honor of my husband's late great-uncle at his funeral service and burial.  My husband went to the services (I was unable to attend) and showed me a video he took of the arrival at the cemetery.  I saw the riders of the PGR first...and there were quite a number of them, and until the sound of motorcycles drowned out the bagpiper, "Amazing Grace" could be heard.  This confluence of factors brought tears to my eyes as I watched the video.  Members of more than one generation, some in dress uniforms, some in biker leathers, paid tribute to a brother who had passed away.  Many came from miles away and did not necessarily know the man personally.  Some bonds are sacred; neither time, nor distance, nor even death can sever them.

I challenge you to seek and find the sacred in your own life.  If you would care to leave a comment (with or without the story of such an experience), I would be honored.  And if you blog, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo - Child's Play

NaBloPoMo May 2012

Using the above button will bring you to many wonderful posts by bloggers following NaBloPoMo's May 2012 theme of "Play".  Today's prompt is:

Who did you play with as a child?

I had a great small-town childhood in Cumberland, MD.  Everybody knew about half the rest of the town.  I can't think of a single kid in the neighborhood with whom I did not play as a child.

Our next-door neighbors to the right (looking out our front door) had two boys, one older and one younger than me.  The older boy was into GI Joe...I guess you would call them "action figures" today.  His mother came up with the idea for him to get money to buy more outfits and gear by forming a GI Joe club amongst the neighborhood kids and having them pay her son dues.  Yeah.

The next-door neighbor on the other side had three boys.  One was about my age and he and I got teased a lot about being "boyfriend and girlfriend" ... when we were FIVE YEARS OLD!  Trouble was, his family was Catholic and we were of a Protestant denomination.  And at that time (early to mid 60's) and in that place...that was one barrier that did not get crossed very often.  I got one of the biggest shocks of my young life when we walked up a ramp to the clubhouse of a private swimming pool and there was a sign "No Catholics Allowed".  Even then, I knew there was something 'not quite right' (my words) about that.

Of course, the neighborhood was not all boys.  There was a family with three girls, the youngest being my age.  We would play tag in their back yard, skip rope with other friends, and chase 'lightning bugs' on summer evenings.  There was a divorced (?) woman from Germany with one son and one daughter.  We did quite a bit with them, as my mother was born in Switzerland and they could speak German together.

Wow.  I haven't thought of some of these people in A.G.E.S.  We moved from Maryland to Utah shortly after my 10th birthday and I only saw some of them once more, on a vacation (for me) and business trip (for my Dad) the next summer.  I kept in touch with a couple of the girls for several years by mail (what they called 'snail mail' in my day), but even that stopped by the time high school rolled around.  How sad.

Blog Dare - Mama Bear on the Prowl

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So many good prompts and groups and hops to follow this month, the first of which is the Blog Dare group prompt on the Bloggy Moms site.  Tiffany Noth, top banana at Bloggy Moms is doing 366 days of prompts for the group this year, and that is ONE TALL ORDER.  So her prompt for May 1st, 2012 is:

That is when I turned into Mama Bear on the prowl.

Well....I had an experience a week or two ago that ... just made those little MamaBear hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  I had recently volunteered to pick up an older woman who lives near me for church on Sundays.  She is in a wheelchair and next time we will try the Ford Escort, because getting her in and out of the GMC Suburban is just not happening.   I stopped by her senior apartment the day before Sunday a week ago and her nephew and his fiancee had moved out, while her own fiance had moved in, and he would be going to church as well.  They are both in their 60's or 70's I would say.

I mentioned that it was lucky only my daughter was going with us as if my boys were going as well, there would not be enough room for the four of us and the two of them in the Escort (it only has two doors).  The man then said, "Well, one of your kids could sit on my lap."  Ok, I'll put myself out quite a bit to help the less fortunate, but that is where I draw the line...letting one of my children sit on the lap of a man I've only met twice?  I think NOT.  It might have been a perfectly innocent comment, I don't know...I just felt really uncomfortable with it.

What do y'all think?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who Would I Bring?

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Gads it's been a long time since I did one of these.  But I'm trying to change. :O)

The Blog Dare (on Bloggy Moms) group has a prompt for each day and the prompt for Wednesday, 18 April, 2012 is:

"Who would you love to bring to Bloggy Conference?"

My daughter and I went to a friend's house yesterday.  I went to learn how to make a "pillowcase dress", and my girl went to play in their new sandbox with six of her dinosaur toys and our friend's children.  Carrie (the friend) is also a homeschooling mom.  A mutual friend came along, also to make a dress and brought her two kids.  She also brought a pizza fundraiser kit she had purchased, so there was quite a bit of activity.

The fabric I used had pictures of the different states on it, along with each state's state bird and state flower, which I had purchased on my family's trip to Texas last year in May.  One of these days I'll get around to posting a picture of it...but don't hold your breath because it might be a while.

Anyway, at one point, Carrie brought out letters she had written to her daughter (who is now something over a year old) from the beginning of the pregnancy.  There was at least a REAM of paper in her hands.  I was so thoroughly impressed.  I had started something like that for my oldest child (now 15), but lost track of it through the years...very sad.

That woman has some stories in her that need to come out, and that's why I think she would be a good addition to the Bloggy Conference!

Leave a link below so I can see who YOU would bring, ok? :O)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Let's Hear it for my Boy

This post is to link up with the M.O.B. Society's "Let's Here it for the Boys" series.

Today I will brag on my oldest child, Brian. I almost said "oldest boy", but at 15 years of age, he is more of a young man.

As my twenties came and went and there was no man in my life, my dream of children seemed to be fading. I told myself that if there was no one on the horizon by the time I was 35, I would investigate artificial insemination. (Sorry if that's TMI.) So, imagine my happiness when I looked at the little stick at 34 years and dwindling months that we were expecting!

The first thing my husband did was to call his mother. When she answered the phone, he greeted her, "Hi, Grandma!" She 'fell out' on the other end of the phone, 1900 miles away. I could hear her.

I remember when I first saw my son in person, the day after he was born and they wheeled his little bassinet into my hospital room. Here was this little baby, for whom I had waited some 35 years, and for whom I had spent the previous 9 months in intense preparation. I approached cautiously, peered over the side of the bassinet and thought to myself, "What do I do now?"

He has always been "advanced". At seven months of age, he crawled across the phone on the floor. We hung the phone up and several moments later, the phone rang. My husband answered and it was the 911 Emergency Services, calling to see if everything was ok! "We heard an infant..." Brian had somehow not only knocked the phone off the hook, but managed to dial 9-1-1 in the process!

At some point within the next 6 months or so, after he was standing, but before he had a firm grasp on walking, Brian batted at a computer keyboard on a shelf above his line of sight. Danged if he didn't DELETE WINDOWS from the computer! (Luckily hubs is a computer whiz, so no major damage was done.)

Fast forward 6 years, to the birth of his little sister, who was born 2 months early, weighing a smidge over 3 pounds. At the time, if Brian was still for 5 minutes at a time, it was cause for celebration in our household. After seeing us hold his sister, Brian also wanted to hold her. DH came up with the idea to prop him up with pillows on one of the couches in NICU and lay little sis in his arms. He was absolutely still, save for gently stroking her head and cooing at her like a pro.

Through the years, he's had the usual exasperation with his younger siblings' actions at times, but Brian is intensely loyal to his brother and sister.

And, as a bonus, at 15 years old, he will still hug his Mom in public!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blog Dare 7 - Daily Needs

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There are several things I "need" every day:

Coffee - My sleep is rather irregular, so I need that little extra jolt of caffeine to get my motor running.

Cigarettes - I did not start smoking until about 5 years ago. I was working at a residential/teaching facility for adults with MR/DD (mental retardation and developmental disabilities). Yes, dealing with the residents could sometimes be stressful. I went to the hospital at least once every 6 months or so, and was injured twice in 2010, resulting in 15 months total of Workers' Compensation time off work. But the real issue was the administration, obscenely ridiculous working demands and conditions, and double standards. It was either start smoking or put my fist through a wall. And this comes from a woman who dislikes violence. I am partially using e-cigarettes now, which come flavored and have nicotine but not tar. My hope for this year is to stop smoking altogether...for my health.

Cymbalta - This is my anti-depressant medication. I have had depression since my teens (at least) and I am now 50. I have been on (at different times) Zoloft and Effexor. I don't like having to take medication for something that I've been told just needs an attitude adjustment (yeah, that's what I think too), but without it I'm bitchy and just want to lie in bed all day with the covers over my head. Not good for a homeschooling mother. At first, I was worried about what people at my work (then) would think, but then I found out that most of the staff was on anti-depression or -anxiety meds anyway. Somewhere along the line, I stopped being ashamed of it. Everybody's got some kind of problem ... and some kinds of strengths.

And it's coincidence that they all begin with the letter "C".

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Blog Dare 6 - My Happy Place

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Ok, so actually the prompt was: "My "special" place. {Where do you go for quiet/alone or regrouping time}". But the last time I heard "special place" was in reference to a porn movie and I really didn't want to attract an audience who might make that mistake about my blog.

So, my happy place, my refuge is now our front porch. It's got more character than the back porch/patio, which has, on occasion served as a carport. And it does have the problem of putting me on display for the drivers-by. Especially at night. And it looks like a tornado picked up a sandstorm, and a major metropolitan newspaper printer, ripped it to shreds and dumped it all on my front porch.

When DS1 (dear son), age 15, approaches me with the 15th rendition of "guess what I just read in a fan faction", or when DD (dear daughter), age 8, adds that last "hmph" of tween indignation when things don't go head out to the front porch.

Don't give me too much grief, please, about the cigarettes. I know it's unhealthy. I could go into a whole story about how and why I started, but ... that's a post for another day. And semi-often, I take the e-cig that DH (dear husband) got for me, that has nicotine, but no tar, and comes in different strengths.

You can see my tendency to veer off-topic, and I've always said of myself, I'll never say in 10 words what I can say in 100.

I'm hoping to get some plants, maybe a small herb garden out there in spring/summer, maybe one of those wicker chair with ridiculously huge cushions and a wicker and/or glass table to put my books, papers, drinks, etc, etc, etc on. Of course, there is a chance that we could be looking at buying a house later in the year, so then I'll make sure to stake out a comfort zone from the get go!

So where do you go for you?

Blog Dare First Five Days

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Yeah, I know, I'm playing catch-up. Whatever.

Sunday, January 1, 2012
My social media goals for 2012.

My numbers are still relatively small, making a bold statement such as "double the number of followers I have on GFC and FB" is not really that huge of an achievevement. Doubling the number would put me in the 250 range.

I would like to engage in hosting and writing more guest posts. Maybe guest-writing a post one month, then having a guest post on my blog the next, and so on.

Monday, January 2, 2012
A look back at 2011.
I blogged and wrote more in 2011 than I have before, but was still not very disciplined in my practice. I started NaNoWriMo, but did not finish...but that's better than in years past.

My mother passed away in late March at the age of 87. We bought a 2nd vehicle, because it was getting harder and harder to stuff two teenage boys and their tween sister into the back seat of a 2-door Ford Escort. My oldest child turned 15. I turned 50. And now that I got my hair cut from waist-length to shoulder-length, my gray hairs really show through. About the only other thing of note was having an operation on my left knee after getting kicked in the knee at work in 2010.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Bucket List Update

I don't think I've accomplished anything on my list yet, so I'll just recap a few of my favorites, in no particular order:

1. Visit Scotland.
2. Act in a Shakespeare play.
3. Drive a Jaguar XJ-S (owning one would be nice, but I could dine out on driving a friend's Jag one time. )
4. Own a home for my family.
5. Read every major religious text.

Wednesday, January4, 2012
What I should have bought this holiday season.

A new laptop would have been nice. The keyboard on this one is possessed. I can't count the pages of material I've lost because the cursor jumps and all of a sudden 5 lines are gone. This post has taken me at least an hour, two drafts saved (I remember only 1) and an accidental posting of partially-finished writing. Ugh.

Thursday, January 5, 2012
Something lost...

I'd like to say my sanity...but that is hardly news. Unfortunately, I have the dubious talent of being able to have things disappear 5 seconds after I put them down. But it gives me an idea for a book..."14,000 Things I Have Lost".