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

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Girl's Read...

Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Saga is perfect for teenage girls!  The four books in this series are worth the time any age gal wants to spend with her nose in a good book.  

I am a first grade reading teacher. My daughter is 14.   Reading is NOT my daughter's first love.  I don't think it even rates up there on her top 100 things to do, ever.  Several other "moms" and friends I know have read this series.  I think every single girl my daughter knows has read these books.  

After persistent prodding from my daughters BFF, she finally read the first book last summer.  I was curious too.  I asked our mutual friend, if we could borrow her book a little longer.  I was hooked.  To encourage further reading by my non-reader-daughter we borrowed all but the last book from her BFF.  The last book I requested from the library because my daughter still had book three to read and I couldn't wait.  Last Saturday I started book 4 while my daughter started book 3 on Sunday.   I swear my daughters nose was glued in her book all day on Sunday.  We went out for dinner and she didn't want to go because she wanted to read.   She went to bed that night and stayed up very late, until she finished the book.  

When she comes home from school in another hour and a half I will smile as I place book 4 in her hands.  Too bad she has ballet tonight and all day tomorrow.  I know where her nose will be again this Sunday!  

This series is just that good, if fictional romance is your thing.  I won't put any spoilers here, but there is no swearing in all these books.  There is appropriate sex, and if you read the series you'd understand that statement, in book four.  I am glad I have read this before my daughter.  But I can't wait to share this with her too.  

If you live close to me and are curious about these books I happen to own a copy of the first book and would willingly loan it out.  I am a big fan of the public library and would encourage that route too.  I had requested book 3 from the library quite some time ago...I was number 39 on that wait list.  Lucky for me my daughter finished book 2 and we borrowed book 3 from her BFF before the library came through.    

I received an e-mail last Friday morning from the library and happily went to borrow my requested book.  

Now to find another good read...

Book Worm in a Great Book...

I have been stuck with my nose in a book for the past few days.  I have about 200 hundred(of 750) pages to read and THEN I can function in life again.    

Once a book worm....
Thank goodness I have the time to read today!  


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Other Smart Kids...Even Smart Girls Will Be Girls!

I couldn't resist taking a picture of these girls at the award ceremony taking a picture of...????  The boys on our team!  

One of the girls on our team was standing near me when I noticed these three with their cameras.  I said, "What do you think those gals are taking a picture of?"  The girl near me said she thought maybe the wall.  The wall did have a neat wall hanging on it, but after the girl closest to me in the photo took her picture she instantly turned her camera to view her shot and started smiling and giggling with the girl next to her.  It definitely looked like she was saying, 'look at this!'  I asked the girl with me if she ever giggled like that when she took a picture of the wall.  "Oh My Gosh!   They ARE taking a picture of our boys!" she said.  Busted!  

Smart Kids!

artist, scientist.  High school is filled with all kinds of kids.  

I spent yesterday with a bunch of smarties.  The Science Olympiad team my son is on went to their regional competition.  

We boarded a school bus at 4:30 am and headed to Purdue University.  In those early, dark hours of the morning the bus was fairly quiet.  Click, click, click.  On went the mini-mag lights as reference books were cracked open.  Months of studying have not been enough.  These kids go all out; every minute left is a valued working moment.  Two hours later the bus was stone silent.  I woke up and found everyone had fallen
 asleep.  "Good," I thought.  They need to be fresh for the tests and tasks ahead.  


In the 'home room', last tests runs are completed.  Checks on building event machines.  How did they fair their travels on the school bus?  

 Science Olympiad teams are made up of 15 members max.  The team I was with only had 14 members.  The 23 events of the day are study and building/task oriented.  Each event is completed by two or three teammates.  Study events are knowledge events.  Tests.  How much do they know about a certain area and how well can they answer questions or do calculations.   Building/task oriented events have strict specifications that the teams must follow.  Certain supplies or parameters are used to complete a specific task.  Sometimes the conditions the teams get to demonstrate their expertise in is less than desirable.  Trajectory was run out doors.  The temps were near 30 and dropping.  Snow was falling and blowing.  Part of the learning experience is to see how your designs preform under different conditions.  

At the end of the day, these kids were rewarded for their hard work.  Every neck on this team had multiple medals clinking as they walked.  Next month they will go on to the state competition.  Last year they went all the way to nationals and won 10th place.  They did lose some key seniors, but my opinion is that they are still as strong as before.  The top two teams from each state head to nationals.  I hope to accompany these smarties to Augusta, GA in May!  

Photos:  The brownies on the top are made with sauerkraut.  They were a joke, still a few souls were brave enough to try them.  A few of the text books just lying around and being looked at in between events.  Checking machinery, running the trajectory and photo of the winners!  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

By George, Where's George? and Something is better than Nothing

Have you heard of or seen this project?  

I have a dollar bill in my wallet right now that has this stamp on it.  If you log in to the Where's George? website, you can see where George has been!  I've run across two of these dollar bills in the last six months.  The idea is to take the bill, add the serial number to the website, put it back in your wallet, use it and then sit back and see where George goes!
In today's economy I wonder if George will do much traveling?  My George started out just 8.3 miles from here; south of town.  When the next game person 
decides to log in with George, I will receive and e-mail detailing his travels.  

Kind of fun!  
On a completely different note:  I know an older person who lives close to me who has purchased this Exerciser 2000 Elite:  
Passive Exercise?  Did you notice that nothing is checked off?  I have tried to offer my treadmill as a safe way to get some exercise while the weather is cold.  Independence can be a stubborn trait!  

Maybe this machine works.  I found the ad in my Reader's Digest magazine.  I am re-thinking my opinion of that read.   Does this not prey people's better judgement?  I know the situation could be worse; at least something "usable" was received for the money spent.  Whether it works or not might not be for me to judge.  Doing some thing IS better than doing nothing.  I just don't want people I care about to be taken advantage of because they are older.   I mean, if this was in Reader's Digest it must be good, right?  


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I love candles!  Especially smelly jar candles!  My favorite scents are outdoor smells like pine, patchouli, lilacs and bayberry.  The "earthy" smells trigger a feeling of calm in me.  I also like apple scented jar candles with a touch of cinnamon.  

At dinner each night we have taper candles on the table and eat by candle light.  It certainly sets the mood and with kids in high school, we need a mood!  Their fast paced, on-the-go lives need a sense of peace and tranquility too.  I still like to eat together as a family.  Some nights our dinners are very late to accommodate all our schedules; some nights we just can't pull it together.  

The current candles on my table ooze romance.  A wine bottle and a glass!  They were hand made by a friend and former neighbor's husband.  I hadn't realized his hobby was really his business!  The Austrian Atelier.  How cool!  In college I spent a few years working at a local candle shop and truly appreciate a good quality candle.  These are better than great!  They are made with palm wax.  They burn cleaner and are made from a renewable resource!  Even their flame is beautiful.  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Funny Valentine...

Chocolates, Flowers and Cards, OH MY!  

I love Valentine's Day because it's a time when we can stop and remind those around us that we care and that they are great human beings.  Today I received, via e-mail, a very thoughtful valentine gift!   An old friend sent me a song that I truly love.  It's not just the song though, it's the words to that song and the singer.  Elvis Costello is not on the main 'beaten path' of music, but he is on the 'road well traveled' as far as music affectionados go.  I enjoy EC's voice, music and lyrics.  Close to probably 30 years ago this same friend gave me a cassette with this same song on it...by EC.  It's perfect!  My Funny Valentine  When you click on the link I added, you should be taken to a page with a player in the right-hand corner of your screen.  Click the play button to hear this Fave-o-mine.  

I had a great day today.  Thanks to my husband, my kids, my in-laws, and my old friend, Stein.  I am blessed to have so many sweet people in my life!  Oops, can't forget my good friend Sweetcakes for the goodies and gift she gave me on Thursday.  Safe travels Sweetcakes, and Happy 1st B-day to your niece!  Can't wait to see those photos!  

Friday, February 13, 2009

One With The Earth

In the calm of the late afternoon, I found myself wandering around my yard.  I think I am trying to "get-to-know" my new land.  Each square inch of soil has something unique growing in it.  Since this is my first Spring living here, I am bonding with my yard.  

I noticed tiny little green heads of daffodil plants starting to push their way through the pliable underground.  Their bright green hinting at the beauty they hold inside.  After the big snow storm, then last rain and winds, there is new life ready for the upcoming fresh season.  I found myself eager for the change tonight.  Dead limbs have been blown down.  I feel like an artist anxious to see what is around so I can know, sense or feel with what I have to work.  I am ready to create the environment I am longing for here at the Burrow.  But I need some time to evaluate how I should proceed.  

I saw the forsythia swelling on it's ends; new growth meaning yellow flowers soon to come.  The Carolina Chickadees were checking out my Bluebird box.  They usually are the first "nesters" of the season!  Deer droppings and hoof prints fill my yard signaling caution to me.  I'll need to refresh my memory of all those deer-resistant plants.  

With the recent winds came the loss of a sixty foot dead tree.  It toppled in the best direction possible, but I wonder what the Pileated Woodpeckers will use now to hunt for bugs?  

I can't help myself, I love the Burrow!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Lake Today...

On a whim, I drove down to the lake today between the rains.  In the top picture the cove on the left you see jetting out is where my husband and I came on to the lake in our walk two weeks ago.  Today it was all foggy.  The whole area looked magical!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just a memory...

Just nine days ago, my husband and I took a stroll from our house to the connected woods and lake.  We walked on that frozen expand.  It was a bit scary for me now and then because where the ice fishermen had left abandoned holes, water had seeped over the top make the area near them slushy.  

A few tiny little puddles of snow remain near my drive way as the temperature has reached a balmy 60+ for the second day in a row.  I liked the snow.  It did make everything twinkle.  I am ready to get out and play in my flowers beds now with this "Indian" spring.

Patience, I know this won't last...yet.  

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Once a mother, always a mother...

Last night my daughter and I attended a fascinating ballet in Indy.  We shared our evening with another mother/daughter pair.  The four of us had dinner and then continued up to Clowes Hall on the Butler campus to watch Alonzo King's LINES Ballet in performance with the Shaolin Monks of China presenting: Long River, High Sky.  The link I just added is old...from 2007, but you'll get the gist of the show.  It was a blend of eastern meets western culture.  Martial arts and ballet, masterly blended as one.  Different, yet the same.  Mr. King shows the world how similar these two art forms are through his choreography.  Long River, High Sky defined the beautiful control the monks and dancers had over their bodies.  Precision, geometrics, grace, sensuality, power are just a few of the emotions all on stage conveyed.     

If you get a chance to see this show, GO!  
Although what was happening on stage was quite captivating, I had another little show I witnessed before and then at intermission.  

When my oldest was born, my life certainly changed.  I added to my list of what I am the label of "mother".  As my children age, my husband is constantly reminding me that I am not just a mother.  I find it hard at times to remember that fact.  Before the performance last night I sat with my daughter, her friend and her friend's mother on my left.  On my right sat a college age boy and then a college age girl (read two 19-20 year olds here).  I like to read the program before the show; educate myself on the dancers history, or the story line.  What I noticed was that the female two seats away from me must have purchased the tickets she and her date occupied.  She was dressed up, he was not.  She was excited about the night, he kept making snide comments and texting others on his cell phone.  I also think she was in heat.  Her hands kept pawing at the gentleman between us while he sat (literally) on both of his!  This poor girl wasn't reading his body language very well.  I felt a sense of relief when the lights dimmed for act one.  

Then came intermission.  We all stayed in our seats.  All six of us...the three with me, me, college-boy and female-in-heat.  My daughter and her friend were busy chatting among themselves.  I tried to read my program, but the show next to me was making the mom in me find it hard to bite my tongue!  

I thought rationally it was not my place to speak, and then I though as a mom I needed to speak up!  I looked directly at the girl one space away from me and I spoke firmly and directly as I looked into her eyes, her hand planted solidly in place, "Can I tell you something?"  "Sure" "See that person on the other side of me?  That's my fourteen year old daughter and as a mother I would feel much better if someone would take their hand off of someone else's...certain area."  "OH! (hand quickly retreats)  I'm sorry!"  "No need to be sorry.  I don't mean to be a prude, and in the proper place you all would be fine.  This is just not the proper place."  

I am sure all of our cheeks were flushed after that conversation.  I definitely sensed the relief in the seat on my right as he closed his legs and kept his knees my way once the lights dimmed for act two.  

Later that night my daughter commented on the event..."I heard you mention me to that other couple."  


Friday, February 06, 2009


Recently I was reminded that my siblings and I were raised by two very generous souls.  And like those two generous souls...we each have some of their generosity that creeps out of us periodically.   That is a very good trait and I am glad we each have some of it inside our beings. 

As I watched another family try to empty a house full of "treasures", the judgmental part of my soul was poked.  The feathers on my back were ruffled.  I am trying to be opened minded, or accepting, not sure what the right term would be.  Maybe "enlightened" is really the proper word.  I was enlightened that even though people can be raised by someone others may see as a generous soul, that doesn't necessarily mean they were influenced by that generosity.  Also, siblings can be very different from one another.  

While my brother, sister and I emptied our mom's house two summers ago, it was common for any one of us to see something that belonged to our mom, dad or step-dad and say, "You know who should have this?"  Then we'd make sure that person had those things.  I recall us being visited by others too during our purging and saying, "Is there anything you could use?" or "Do you know someone who could use this?"  

We did sell large items.  Looking back, I don't really know why we felt we couldn't just give what we didn't want away.  Oh, hind sight.  

I just know in my heart, had any one of my mom's long time friends come over to see me while I was sorting through her old treasures, and even hinted that they would enjoy a keepsake, to remember my mom, I would have given it away. 

But that's just how I am....and my brother is...and my sister too!  Hopefully all of our children will continue our family generosity.