...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Thursday, January 31, 2008


There are a ton of facts about each day on the internet. Here's just a few I found about today...with comments.

Today is Thursday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2008. There are 335 days left in the year. Incase you needed to get your Christmas shopping started.

Today's Highlight in History:

Fifty years ago, on Jan. 31, 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer I.

On this date:
In 1606, Guy Fawkes, convicted of treason for his part in the "Gunpowder Plot" against the English Parliament and King James I, was executed.

In 1797, composer Franz Schubert was born in Vienna, Austria. Incase my Wii friends are reading..Schubert was not from HUNGARY!

In 2008, four friends gathered to eat soup and play Wii. Not too exciting, but the kids were in school and our husbands were at work! Who has time to sit around and watch soaps while eating bon-bons? Although bon-bons do sound tasty!

Sweetcakes rocks in bowling. I think she was hustling us and I'm glad we didn't have any money riding on the outcome. Maybe I'll see if she likes Wii pool next?.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Can't let this go!

I am hoping that writing this will help me release a little of my tensions. Neighbors! They can be so strange. When I think of it, bet that's what they say about me too. Who cares!

I have a neighbor who moved here from Hawaii in late Sept. or October of 2006. No job, just a second interview. They didn't get the job but they did uprooted their family on the prospect of one. Did I mention it's been 17 months since they've had any income coming in!

Lots of crying on her part over those past 17 months. "Don't know what we are going to do...blah, blah, blah." My sympathetic ear and heart have felt truly torn over the past 17 months. Instead of donating through our church this fall and to the local food bank like I normally would do, I anonymously donated to them. It did feel good and right at the time. Now I am feeling like I've been had a bit though. I knew late last year - like at Thanksgiving that he had a job interview in a town four hours away. She cried about that...don't know if we should take it, blah, blah, blah. Their priorities are really messed up. A lot more comments on that later. The main point is, he got the job but turned it down.


I thought they were in dire straights? Did I mention, 17 months with no job/supposed income coming in?

No more falling for those tears from me.

I am sure there is more to their story than meets the eye. My imagination runs wild.

Saturday, January 26, 2008



...definitely a secret worth sharing...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Lady and the Mailman...

Unexpected people touch our lives. As Valentine's Day is nearing I have been thinking about two individuals I lost last year at that time.


The Lady...Mary Morgan Oliver. She came into my life when I first started dating my husband, 23 years ago. She lived across the street from my future in-laws from the day they bought their house. In the end they would be friends for over 50 years. She and my MIL were best buddies. They shared joys, sadness, births, husbands careers, vacations, holidays, service groups, secrets, etc. They were sisters without the blood connection. Mary would even call my MIL's sisters just to chat...and they lived in different states.

When you met Mary you would have the thought, here is a soul who is a tomboy, loves life, is easy going and truly listens to what others have to say. She would remember what you told her and was always asking about something you had talked about in the past. She cared about others. She was a true lady.

She was the wife of a college professor and attorney as well as a mother of two. Her husband had the idea that they should try to make wine out of grapes. He started his hobby in their basement and she encouraged the adventure. She loved picnics and family gatherings. She also enjoyed socializing with her friends.

Her community mattered to her and she served on several boards feeling a special connection to our local hospital. When she passed away I don't think our community really realized the loss we had been dealt.

Mary was one of the few people I have known who would always find the positive in life. Maybe that's why I liked her so much...just being around her was uplifting.

The Mailman...Within a few days of Mary passing away my mailman also died. It was another incredible loss for our community, but on a different level. Another loss that I don't think many even paused to realize.

Arthur (Artie) D'Antonio was due to retire in June. He too loved life. It wasn't until he passed away that I found out how educated this man was. He went to school to be a lawyer. He had top honors in his classes. He chose a more simple life. When you met him you knew right away that the loves of his life were his wife, Shannon, his son (Artie Jr.) , baseball and his gardens. He had this wonderful New York accent and a raspy voice. He definitely had been a smoker long ago. Artie too loved life and smiled constantly. He always had a smart-a-lic, funny comment to make, but would be truly concerned if you weren't having a good day.

He was my mailman for over 8 years. I remember him wishing me a happy birthday when I first moved in. I told him it wasn't fair that he knew my name and a lot about me, but I didn't know anything about him. He introduced himself and that's when our friendship started to grow. He'd slyly bring packages to my door at Christmas time - so the kids wouldn't see the labels to see what Santa had bought. He'd put notes in my mailbox telling me to tell my husband the weather was going to be good, "so get out and put up those Christmas lights!"...probably a federal offense! He'd bring me flower clippings and starters from things in his yard - when he wasn't even on the clock. He'd get out of his mail car and come around the back of my house when I had my mulch delivered just to goad me that a neighbor down the street was farther along in spreading her mulch.

I really knew we were more than just acquaintances when he had to be off work for several weeks due to surgery and he told me ahead of time about it and said, "you need to stop by and see my roses."  I didn't stop by. I felt too weird in doing so. After he was back on duty he told me he was really hurt that another neighbor lady and I didn't stop by to see his roses. From then on...I went to see his roses. I went to see his Christmas lights, his pool, his landscaping plans, etc.

Artie reminded me of my dad. Fun loving and enjoying life, happy with all he'd been blessed.

As the one year anniversary for these two souls passing is marked, I will remind myself of all I admired in them. I will try to honor them both by embracing their spirits and touching others as they touched me.

Life is too short. I've seen the end...we need to enjoy each day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A little secret to share today...there will be free tickets to a Joshua Bell concert given out starting at 11:30 this morning. As soon as I finish teaching I am going to scoot over to the MAC and fingers crossed pick up four tickets!

No one plays an instrument with as much emotion or expression as Joshua Bell.

I am not holding my breath that I will be lucky enough to even get tickets. But I am SO hoping!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Don't Ever"

Don't ever try to understand everything ~ some things will just never make sense.
Don't ever be reluctant to show your feelings ~ when you're happy, give into it! When you're not, live with it.
Don't ever be afraid to try to make things better ~
you might be surprised at the results.
Don't ever take the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Don't ever feel threatened by the future ~ take life one day at a time.
Don't ever feel guilty about the past ~ what's done is done. Learn from any mistakes you might have made.
Don't ever feel alone...there is always somebody there for you to reach out to.
Don't ever forget that you can achieve so many thing you can imagine ~ imagine that! It's not as hard as it seems.
Don't ever stop loving,
*** don't ever stop believing,
***** don't ever stop dreaming your dreams.
************************ ~Laine Parsons
Copyright Stephen Schutz and Susan Polis Schultz, 1983.
Blue Mountain Arts, Inc.
The little boy and girl above are myself and my brother. I think it was in 1967. He would have been almost 2 and I almost 4. Our dad took this photo for our family Christmas card. Mom made the ceramic Santa platter.
We had a very close family as I grew up. My brother was my biggest pain, and my best buddy. We shared everything...good times and bad. We had parents who loved us dearly though we lived from dad's paycheck to paycheck. Family was very important and I remember our weekends and all free time being with cousins, Aunts, Uncles and grandparents from both sides of the clan. My brother and I each had our own "corner" of the basement to play. He had his Big Jim and GI Joe's and I had my Barbie's in our respective corners. Barbie and Big Jim or Joe would often visit one another. We also had Legos we'd used to build imaginary towns. The blocks were stored in a big box, but each time we'd get those out to play we'd have to separate blocks evenly. One for you...one for me...one for you...one for me... Again, we'd start out separate but always merge together.
As we got older, Friday nights were our card playing nights. Dad and me against Mom and Larry. The game we'd play: Euchre. The drinks: Beer for dad, Boozy-pop for mom (Coke and whiskey (I think)), regular coke for us. Usually mom would let us have a sip of her drink. Sometimes dad would make Grasshoppers...but I bet they probably were virgin! Who know though...we were at home. Mom and dad always said they'd rather us drink with them than in secret. What's the fun in that! But those grasshoppers were decadent!
When our father died my brother and I were really adults, 19 and 21. We weren't quite ready to be pushed out of the nest as abruptly as what happened. We were both ready to stay home and help our mom raise our five year old sister, but our grandfather wouldn't hear of that. He said we'd honor our father better by finishing our college education. That is what our dad would have wanted. Grandpa assured us mom would be fine. She had Grandma and him just 10 miles away.
At school, my brother and I shared a house with another guy. My brother and I were able to really console each other through our father's death. You just can never tell when emotions of loss will strike you. Having someone else nearby, who has been through all you have been through makes a huge difference. My brother bought a card for me with the above poem on it. I found it the other day.
I am happy I still have that card. And I am happy I had a sibling to grow up with. I don't think my parent's ever knew he was the best gift they ever gave me. His experiencing life with me has made me a richer person than most. I am glad I have two children myself. Maybe when they grow up they too can realize how blessed, how rich, how lucky they have been to have had each other to go through life with.
I wonder if I can get them to play cards tonight?

Saturday, January 05, 2008


FYI, When your mom dies of brain cancer and then you get a headache, it ALWAYS makes you worry. It doesn't matter that the doctors said your chances of getting GBM are next to nil. A headache makes you worry. Doctors don't know everything.

DNA, choices and friendships...

Genes are blends of traits. Combinations formed randomly. Good combinations survive, bad combinations do not. We, as humans, do not decide, cannot decide what is a good combination.

Born of the same parentage does not mean similar personalities, looks, likes, tastes, etc. All it means is same "pool" of genes came to work initially. Chance decides the rest.

As people grow the choices we have are with whom shall we share our days, whom shall we share our secrets, whom we shall procreate. As adults this may not be a true thought process. It may be more of an unseen force if you will; something that draws two sets of genes together. I believe good combinations are not thought out. They just happen. Fate.

I think this same force plays into the friendships that we form. Something draws us to certain individuals. Unseen oras. Magnetism.

With siblings the combination of genes may cause all to be too similar, even though you can't see it. Like two magnets repelling each other when the similar sides are put together. Friendships are like polar opposites. Once they connect, they are hard to pull apart. Family relationships may always push apart. More effort has to be put into family relationships if they are to work because of this pushing apart. That is IF one wants them to work after the common bond (parents) are no longer on Earth.

Friendships are easier. Friendships can be more rewarding. But, that blood connection is harder to severe. My parents had this Pollyanna gene combination that I think I alone of the siblings inherited, it commonly shows itself to us as guilt. Guilt resides in broken family ties, not in broken friendships. I wish scientist could locate my Pollyanna gene and cut it out. This gene causes me to worry about my relationship with my siblings more than it causes my siblings to worry about their relationship with me.

My New Year resolution will be to focus on those things that give me the greatest pleasure. That is my husband, my children and my friends. And probably my cats too! :), and the birds at my feeders, and nature, and sunrises, and helping others, and ...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


When a person has been a drinker for years and years, like over 20 years, it can be hard to tell when they are drunk. Not because the signs aren't there but because the signs have become part of how you "normally" see that person.

Several nights ago I had dinner with my in-laws and my BIL #1 was there. He is a drunk - my opinion, I take responsibility for that statement. The first night we were together we had dinner at a restaurant. Did he drink in public? NO, only water. He was rather quiet but still only talked about himself. Our last public dinner with him was disastrous. He came drunk. He ended up sitting near the kids by chance, was overly loud, acted strange, etc. There was a big blow-up on the ride home that night. So am I surprised he only drank water this time? No. He tries to be a good boy. You can tell it's hard on him to restrain himself. This is a challenge to be with family. There are a lot of pressures for him.

The second night we have a dinner at home; it's at my in-laws. This time the eyes are glazed, the voice is loud, the mannerisms are that of a "funny guy" - he tries to be a joke-ster. He gets really close when he talks to you - almost too close - and the alcohol is very strong on his breath. I swear if I lit a match he'd burst into flames right then and there. He corners my son and talks about himself when he was young. My son kindly listens as his uncle is too close and goes on and on about things he doesn't know or care about. I try to run interference. I'll be the ear for the funnyman tonight. It is hard to bite my tongue.

After dinner I am washing dishes and my MIL says to me, "I don't understand him. He always gets goofy when you all are around." I look at her and say, "He's drunk. Can't you tell?" But of course she can't. She's been around him too many times when he's been in this state. And she's his mother. It seems that is a fault with mothers...we want to believe the best of our offspring.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Trying to add a slide show...

I have been trying for two days now to add a slide show to this blog! Very frustrating!!!!!

It seems that it keeps popping up as a pop up and even though I have disabled that feature I still can't get the show to work without going under previous blocked stuff.

I'll keep working on this!