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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Speaking of Swine Flu...

I'll be 
I think this kid is safe as long as she/he doesn't touch their hair!  :)

Cute and funny!  

I'm sure this photo is circulating on the Internet.  My sister sent this to me but from this side view it looks like this could be my cutie-pie niece!  My sister swears it's not her baby.  

Monday, April 27, 2009

Junior High Rumor Mill

Middle School, USA   Any day, 2009  

Between classes and walking in the hallway, while waiting for class to start, at the lunch table or riding the bus, teenagers have a lot of time to get and share snippets of news.  I have a child who is more than smart enough not to believe everything she hears, but I am reminded of the power of ones peer group and the influences they can have over you...almost daily.  I am also reminded of that old game my friends and I used to play as tweens called Telephone.  

Last month while on spring break, my daughter announced that the shoes known as Crocs are edible.  She was sure it was true.  She heard it at school.  All the kids were saying it was so.  Surely my child could see through the silliness of this thought.  But she really couldn't.  I understand what she was thinking.  Her generation is our future.  They are maturing everyday.  Soon they will be adult(-ish)s.  Before we know it they will be grown up enough to be the leaders in our communities and in our government.  Right now they go to school every day...to a place where they are learning.  I am not going to school everyday to learn.  Therefore, what do I know?  They are exposed to things in the know more than I.  She would stand by her friends and their silly thoughts regardless of whether the statement made sense.  We do not own Crocs in our household so I couldn't just grab one and say, "take a bite" or "here's your dinner.  Bon appetit!"  

I couldn't let this ridiculousness go either.  I didn't have my laptop with me, but luck was on my side.  While walking through the Orlando airport I spotted a store that only sold Crocs!  Of course I had to go in and ask one of the clerks, "I have a silly question." "Yes?" she said.  "Are Crocs edible?"

Her response made me smile, "I knew you were going to ask that!  NO!!!"  She smiled too.  My child must not be alone in this world of silly spreading rumors.  Check out the Crocs website.  Under their FAQs they even answer this rumor.  
Tonight while cuddling on the couch, my daughter asked if I had heard about the latest  epidemic going around.  "Swine flu?" I asked her.  "Yes," she replied, "it's closer to our town than you think" she told me in her matter-of-a-fact tone.  "Did you hear how it's spread?" she continued..."by your hair.  If you touch your hair you need to wash your hands.  Everyone was talking about it today,  even Mr.**(add any teacher's name here)** said so!"  

Yikes, here we go again!  

Swine Flu info at the CDC - click here.  

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Treasures...of Flora and Fauna...

A very late in the afternoon walk in the woods...
...leads to the discovery of...
...a four-leaved Trillium...
...a patch of rare-ish (in this area), White Trillium...
...a toad on a  leaf (look carefully)...
...a millipede on a walk, and an old snail shell...
...and best of all...a Morel Mushroom!  

Friday, April 24, 2009

Saying is Believing, I Guess

There are a few individuals, 
who pass through my life, 
that cause me to pause when we talk 
and think, 

'Do they really believe what they are saying?'  

Mostly I pause 
because I do not believe them.  

How cynical is that?  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

keeping the sculpture moist
Sand sculptures, March 2009, Epcot

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Only in my town...?

...probably not.  

Gals on bikes and goats in truck.  

This just seemed like a funny, and odd, combination.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Religion and Death

With the Christian celebration of Easter having just happened, I find this posting to be very appropriate.  

Death has affected how I practice my religion.  

Honestly, I don't really know what religion I am anymore.  
I was raised as a Catholic.  When I went off to college I questioned a lot about my faith.  Mostly I questioned birth control and the church's take on it.  Not because I wanted to have carefree sex, instead I wanted to be a responsible person and only have so many children.  I went and talked face-to-face with my college parish priest.   He told me what the church doctrine was...stuff I all ready knew...and then he said I needed to do what was right for me.  Taking my Catholic upbringing to heart I felt torn.  I would be living as a sinner because I choose to use birth control.  It was easy to turn away from the church shortly after that when my dad died suddenly.  My next questions were about how a loving god could hurt people so much.  I had no idea what emotional pain really was yet.  

Several years later I did join a new church.  I lived in a different town and had a young son and another baby on the way.  My husband and I migrated towards the faith he grew up in.  It was a Christian church and I felt welcomed into it's fold.  I felt inspired every Sunday.  I had found a part of myself that had been missing for too long.  When we moved again, I thought finding another new church would be an easy task.  Fort Wayne, IN has been called The City of Churches, but after trying 15+ churches of 30 I thought might work, I felt more frustrated than ever.  In the end we just attended the church where the kids went to pre-school.  It was the easiest thing.  Not the best reason for going to a church.  No inspiration, no connection, easy to leave when our next move happened.  

The church I am currently a member of is where my husband went as a youth, and my in-laws are still very active members.  We moved back to town and a week and a half later we joined the church.  The minister told me he was surprised we hadn't joined the week before!  No choice in where we went now!  
Fast forward about eight years.  I had been feeling very uninspired at church and then my mom got sick.  I did find comfort in my ministers.  They are caring souls.  The church as a whole just doesn't do anything for me anymore.  Towards the end of my mom's life I did have several 'God is Here' moments.  I TOTALLY do believe in God.  I believe in spirits, angels and fate.
Read: What Time is Dinner in Heaven? for my take on what happened concerning the paranormal when my mom died.  

I am just not positive I believe in church, or even just one god anymore.  

I have been reading a lot about how the bible came to be.  Stuff written by historians and I think I am so skeptical anymore.  Too skeptical maybe.  

On Easter, I took a nice long walk in the woods and definitely saw God's good all around me.  At dinner that night I shared a meal with family and six international students, away from their families and from several faiths.  I try to be thoughtful, kind and considerate in all I do and raise my children to do the same.  

I have so many more thoughts on this subject matter, but I think I have gone on enough for one day.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Still dealing...

I realize I am still dealing with my mom's death, almost 2 1/2 years later.  

I was listening to my favorite Public Radio Station late on Monday afternoon.  I heard a comment about their weekly piece called This I Believe.  It caught my attention because I recall hearing the original piece back in early December of 2006.  It would have been just after my mom had passed away...and it touched my soul then.  

The piece was about the lady who authored that December 4, 2006 segment, Catherine Royce, she passed away on March 30, 2009.  Ms. Royce had been diagnosed with ALS and in her This I Believe she talked about the disease taking over her body and the active choices she could make.  Click here to listen to her 2006 comments: Catherine Royce, I Always Have a Choice

I felt a mix of emotions on Monday.  I do miss my parents more than I think I should.  I am an adult after all and have been on my own for many years, with my OWN family to boot.  I think I am jealous because living right next to my in-laws my husband can go over and see his parents whenever he wants; everyday.  After my husband came home from work that day, he went and saw his mom and dad for a few minutes.  It was in those few minutes that I heard the NPR piece.  As jealous as I am/was, I felt proud too; proud of my own mom.  I think she made some very good choices as her life ended, and I was honored to be able to have been with her for so much of the end.  Maybe we helped make those choices for her.  

Still, I cry...but life continues.  

Thank you NPR for connecting me to the rest of the world.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

Big Voices...

The male Spring Peepers are the ones who sing for mates.  

On our Saturday night adventure, one full grown peeper was located and photographed.  I thought I'd post a few pictures from that night.  The swampy area was perfect for hearing these frogs.  Truth be told though, I can readily hear the peepers from my own house...with the windows closed!  They do have loud voices for such little creatures.  

These woods had just a few wildflowers blooming.  The walk out to this point did involve wood plank walkways over water and took about 20 minutes.  It was really fun walking back to the cars in the dark!

I can't wait to take my kids out here and to  explore this area again!  

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jeepers, Creepers....can you hear those Peepers?

Tonight, my husband and I are joining some friends in some nearby woods with plans to celebrate Spring!  We will drink wine, eat appetizers and listen to the spring peepers.    

Peepers are tiny little frogs who start their mating season in late March.  

As a guest, we are supposed to bring an appetizer to share.  My host has a wheat allergy so I have made tiny little finger sandwiches on gluten-free bread I baked.  Think chicken salad for my sandwiches.  They have grapes, celery, mayo and almonds in the mix.  Only the meat is not chicken.  :)

Happy Spring! 

Friday, April 10, 2009

In the woods these days....

While walking in the woods these days, 
here's a bit of what I saw blooming.  Enjoy!  

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Unattended...

Dear Governor:

My question concerns visiting the State House and its security...today in particular. While entering today with a group of high school visitors, and going through security my small Victorinox pocket knife was not allowed. Why? And I ask because just two weeks ago while going on spring break and flying from Indy to Florida I went through security and they allow small pocket knives. So Why? And, as I left I asked for it back and was told no..."they are disposed of." So my next question is Where are they disposed to? I am curious, are there no scissors longer than my tiny little 1 inch blade of my pocket knife in the desks I saw secretaries sitting behind? Truly I did forget about my pocket knife being in my purse. My over site. Had I not traveled by air recently I might have been a bit more diligent in removing it from my purse. I happen to be an old girl scout leader and do believe in being prepared. I think I am mostly bummed because, although not a rare or too expensive item, my pocket knife had been a gift from my nephew...who just happens to be a boy scout. I think having my pocket knife confiscated made me think twice about security in our State House. As I looked around while I was waiting to go into both the House and Senate Chambers with the 12 Bloomington North Science Olympiad State Champions and teacher I was accompanying, I did notice (and took pictures) of several briefcase bags that were left unattended. It seems to me as a law abiding taxpayer, I definitely was treated a bit like a criminal today. At least when I went to the airport there are warnings about leaving bags unattended and security who appeared to be monitoring bigger threats and not mom's just being chaperon's on a trip to honor scholars. Hopefully I have learned my lesson. Hopefully there will be much better ways for my tax dollars to be used.
E-mailed tonight.  Do you think I will get a response?  

Let's just say I am NOT holding my breath.  

Being Honored...

Today I traveled north with several members from and one of their coaches (and teacher) of the Indiana State Science Olympiad High School Champions!  

This team is going on to represent Indiana at Nationals once again.  We are heading to Augusta, GA following them in mid May.  

Today these kids were honored by their state representatives and senators.  In the first picture they are chatting with Rep. Peggy Welch, then with Rep. Matt Pierce in the House and finally with Senator Vi Simpson, in the Senate.  

This is year 8 out of 9 that this high school has won the right to go on and compete at nationals.  Talk about a bunch of smarties!  

Friday, April 03, 2009

Why I Love Green...

Green = Life

still working on id-ing this one
Twin leaf
Prairie or Red Trillium (not in bloom yet)
Cut-Leaf Toothwort
Creeping Charlie...although most people classify this is a BAD, invasive weed
violet - purple and white
Bluebells on the hill

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tea Inspired Topiaries at Disney World!

After reading another friends' blog and a link to a different April Fool's blog posting I just had to post these Disney Topiary photos from my recent trip south.  

I was totally thinking of friends Sweetcakes and Steph as I took these (and a few other) photos.  I'll post more Disney beauty soon!  :)

The top topiary is from Alice in Wonderland and the bottom ones are Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast.  

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

In Honor of National Poetry Month...

Words to a Freshman 

Youth, Oh, Youth
How infallible you are 

Wings spread, you soared from your nest
Landing in a community which understands your needs

Needs to be free
Needs to be heard
Needs to be powerful
Needs to be stupid

This pseudo-home has its Crows
Poised and ready to eat miss placed youth

As you step off the curb 
in that non-cross walk area
sure of your ability to stop traffic

Be wise to that driver 
behind the mini-van wheel
heading in your direction

If her eyes are glazed, hair frazzled
and she wears a smile of gritted teeth

If smoke appears to be billowing 
out of her ears 
and the engine of her vehicle 
accelerates ever so slightly

She might be on the hunt 
Not one of your peer group 
oblivious drivers
chatting on a cell phone

One tired of teenage mouths in her own home
Glad they are at class so she can cool down

Youth, Oh, Youth