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

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


...a time to pause and remember all for which we can offer thanks.  

On Sunday my DH and I celebrated 23 years of marriage.  Three years ago on Sunday my mom passed away...my sister and I at her side, my brother was on his way home.  I am traveling over the next several days so I decided to set my tree up early and did that too on Sunday.  

Putting the tree up and adding the lights to it was an easy task.  Even putting up with my 17 year-olds' insistence that I was dissing Thanksgiving was easy.  Not so easy was opening my boxes of ornaments and seeing 23 years of memories along side the many  handmade knick-knacks crafted by my mom.  I tried to hide my tears all day long.  
Yesterday I attended a celebration of life for another friends' mom who passed away last week.  Her mom was a special woman too and this loss was felt by many in my community.  As I hugged my friend I whispered in her ear, "I'm dying on the inside for you right now." And the tears finally escaped me.  

I needed that release.  

I will not be posting here for the next week.  I am heading to my "happy place" and expect to come home refreshed and renewed.  I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all my friends and family.  

Over the past year I have made new friends in GA, LA, MI, MT, & IL.  I have also re-connected with several old buddies.  It's amazing to see that none of us have aged!  Such wonderful blessings the Internet can be.  I have also been working on making new friends closer to home.  I can't wait for my lunch out once a week!  If my friend could go to lunch daily with me, I'd be there.  But then, not a single other thing in my life would get done.  She's a person I can chat the day away with!  I am blessed and truly thankful for all who have wandered into my life.  

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!  I hope you'll share the details of how you have spent this holiday...next week!  

Safe travels to all- 


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Playing Rumpelstiltskin

On Monday, this


Monday night I had our paper folded and setting on the kitchen counter with the picture facing up.  When my DH walked in the door I said, "Don't look at the paper!"  He glanced that way and commented that 'he saw it in the morning and didn't I think he needed to come live with us?'  I quickly agreed and said I was off to meet Winston on Tuesday afternoon.  

My husband and I were convinced that someone else would had all ready adopted Winston by the time I could get there.  I didn't call ahead, because I didn't want that news over the phone.  
I am hesitant to say it was love at first sight, only because that sounds odd considering he's an animal, but I certainly felt this dog was special and would indeed be a perfect match for my family.  As the zookeeper, I do have the executive powers to make such decisions.  Realistically, I was not going to stress out an animal who may not want to be with us, until everyone in my family could come and meet him.  I sent a cell phone picture off to my DH.  He had just left town for 3 1/2 days.  So the first thing I had to do was get the teenagers over to the shelter.  With school, extracurricular activities, and the shelters hours this was a harder task than I expected.  Late on Thursday afternoon, after a Science Olympiad meeting and between ballet Nutcracker rehearsals, I was able to take my kids to the shelter to meet Winston. 
Unknown to my kids, their dad was on his way home early.  He showed up at the shelter about 30 minutes after we did.  All three humans were smitten by this pooch!  Just as I had been.  :)  As we were all talking about having Winston at home, one of the shelter workers came in and said, "You do realize his adoption is paid for, right?"  A little panic mixed with confusion went through my brain.  "What does that mean?" one of us asked.  "He's free," the worker continued.  "An Anonymous donor has all ready paid his fees so someone can take him home."  

This dog is truly something special and meant to be in our life.  

Based on the info gathered at the shelter and my vet, Winston appears to be a 6 year old English Pointer.  He probably was a hunting dog.  The shelter reported he came in with a hunting collar on and points when he sees birds.  He wasn't neutered until just after he came to the shelter.  Nor was his micro-chipped or tagged.  
My ballerina and I took Winston for a long walk in the woods yesterday and he was certainly in his element.  
He seems particularly fond of squirrel and small birds.  The other "hunters" in my house were feeling left out.  When I came home from the walk I found my DH out with the cats.  They like Winston, but are still keeping there distance.  He could care less about them!  
Winston is under weight.  He may have been on the run for some time.  My vet tells me he could use about 8-10 pounds on his frame.  As a now retired hunting dog in a household of four loving humans...I don't think that should be a probably.  Plus, have you looked at my FAT CATS?  
I have found myself playing Rumpelstiltskin.  Since Winston was obviously someone else's dog, surely he had a different name.  Hunting dogs are named too, aren't they?  My son keeps rolling his eyes at me as I say random names out loud, looking for perky ears..."Gus, Buck, Riley, Max, Jasper (drats! It's not that!  I've always wanted a dog named Jasper!!!), Tom, Jerry, Harry, Ron, Fred, George...Spot, Snoopy (little ear perk on this one), Apollo, Orion, Tristan...All four of us have our opinions about what we should call him.  Since we can't agree, his name will now be Winston.  
What name do you think he looks like?  My FIL calls him Sir Winston.  I kind of like owning royalty!  

IU Basketball Coach, Tom Crean
on one of our city buses 

If you can't adopt, give a donation to your local shelter. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just need to say...

...that I am a little bothered that my BLOGS I READ list isn't updating completely!  It's driving me a bit crazy!  I like seeing everyone's new titles and little pictures enticing me to come check out what's on their mind.

I noticed this problem about a month ago.  I heard Blogger is aware and working on this.  Still, it's annoying.  
One thing that is working...my oven.  In February, I ran the self-clean and it fried the wiring.  I was without an oven for about 6 weeks.  It was the third problem I'd had with this brand-new-since-early-December oven.  In the first 100 days I owned it, it worked for 50 days.  True!  The company and I had spoken several times and my oven had it's own case file when I was done chatting.  If one more thing happened within my first year of owning it they would be bringing me a brand new replacement.  

Now, that's all well and fine, but I REALLY like what I have.  It's mostly a computerized wonder.  All the wiring and mother board had been replaced.  I don't think replacing the whole unit would be the best solution.  That noted, I still have about 6 weeks left on the original warranty.  I've been needing to run the self-clean again just to make sure all is fine.  Sunday was that lucky day.  I was set to be without an oven...I'm not cooking a turkey in it next week...so I pressed the self-clean button.  

A few hours later the whole cleaning process had been run.  The door unlocked, I was able to wipe out the powdery crud and then test to see if it would heat back up again.  

Ahh, a happy cook!  

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hello Monday...

I'm just feeling like it's one of THOSE days. 

Cold(er than it has been).  

I'm having trouble wanting to get into the swing of the week.  

Therefore, I am taking time to have a cup of tea and ponder.  My thoughts have me thinking Christmas shopping.  It's not working for me though.  I have two sisters-in-law, one on each side, that get their shopping done so fast.  I really, really enjoy the crowds and spirit of the Christmas season.  Plus, about now I'm thinking 'why didn't I start planning sooner, I could MAKE all my Christmas gifts!'  That really is a goal I have.  I do enjoy homemade things and would truly like to start doing more of that for my gift giving.  Maybe if I can finish my sweater I'm crocheting I can make one or two gifties.  

Oh well, time for another sip of tea and then some sweater crocheting.  Happy Monday!  And Leslie, don't be fooled by how much honey is in this little bear in the picture.  It's an old picture from two months ago.  :)  My little bears tummy is pretty empty!  

Friday, November 13, 2009

Neighborhood Traditions

In October, we hosted our annual neigh-borhood pitch-in potluck picnic. 

This was the 51st one!  

In attendance were five of the "original" neighbors.  Four made it into this photo, one could not traverse the grass with her walker very well.  

I am of the opinion that neighbors SHOULD get to know one another.  At least, we should know who shares the world around us.  Since my in-laws are two of that "been-here-forever-group", I am not really new to my neighborhood.  I have "crashed" this picnic for most of the last 23 years!  In fact, this is only my second time to attend as an "official" resident of the road.  I have known most of these people since they moved on to the street...even though I've lived across town, and before that in a different city.  
How does one go about alerting, inviting and communicating with 35 households on a street?  A note in the mailbox...if you're me.  

In my former neighborhood, I had the best mailman in the whole world.  His name was Artie D'Antonio.  Back in January of 2008 I wrote about Artie on my blog.  To read that click here:  The Lady and the Mailman.  My thoughts on him are still the same.  I miss him.  He was a rare and special bird.   

My current mail person is NOT cut from the same cloth as Artie!  Such a shame if you ask me.  She is not very friendly.  She's a strict rule follower and I don't think she likes her job.  

A month before the picnic I did put a flyer in each of my neighbors mailboxes.  It did have my name, phone number and e-mail address on it.  I did request my neighbors to RSVP.  I rented tables and chairs and a head count was most helpful for that.  

A few days before the picnic, my MIL took it upon herself to re-print my flyer and put it again in everyone's mailbox.  That was the straw that broke the camel's back for my rule following mail carrier.  She made it a point to stop the next day and scold me.  I do know that you cannot put things into mailboxes, but this was a harmless neighborhood get together.  I had no plans to profit from this.  I was just trying to be neighborly.  THEN, our mail carrier scolded my MIL, AND my household received a phone call from the post office saying IF I DID THIS AGAIN I WOULD BE PROSECUTED.  Seriously?  Seriously.  

Boy, was I hurt and angry.  I was certainly spoiled from my 8 years with Artie.  I have needed to put some time between that event and this posting.  Am I wrong in hoping for mail carrier turnover?  I have been plotting to have postcards made with the above picture on them and mailing them to all my neighbors.  Would my carrier get my point?  Had she been Artie, she would have received her own invitation to our picnic.  

When we moved into this house, the former owners left a plastic mail box in a closet in the basement.  It's out of sight so it's out of mind.  Trust me, after my this incident with my mail carrier, that box is going to stay tucked out of sight in my house.  I don't want to be prosecuted over a box left here by previous owners!  

The moral of this story:  Do NOT put notes in mailboxes.  

At the picnic, everyone heard the story and hopefully I won't see any of my neighbors in the Police Beat section of our paper due to illegal mailbox stuffing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two More Giveaways to Check Out...

We just passed Halloween, but the treats just keep coming!  

Tea and Talk is hosting a giveaway too!  She just reached 100 posts and is sharing the love.  Go read her posts and leave a comment.  You'll find a ton of fun information about tea ware, companies, tea books/magazines, recipes, life, etc.  I don't know why my Blogroll won't update her postings...but check her out!  You won't be sorry.  

From Tea and Talk, if you read the comments on her giveaway posting, you can head to other one of her friends blogs for yet ANOTHER giveaway!  

Tis the season I suppose.  

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Advent Calendar Giveaway!

Hurry!  Hurry!  Hurry!  

Get you comments in soon to be entered for this giveaway:  

You can thank me later.  :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Ring

Every day I put on a ring that holds the diamond my father gave my mother when they were married 47 years ago.  This ring adorns my right hand since my own wedding ring is on my left hand.  My parents engagement diamond is surrounded by several diamond chips; stones that were gathered by my mom from other jewelry and re-shaped into the current ring I own.  It is beautiful.  As I slide this ring on my finger each morning, I feel that special love that my parents shared seep into my soul.  It's comforting to be able to carry my parents spirit with me.  

But today, I decided to wear a different ring.  It is another precious gem I inherited.  It looks like a pink flower.  It's stones cascade up and down looking like petals.  The petals surround three tiny diamonds in the center.  I'm not sure why I made my decision today to wear this other ring, but I did.  

At school, one of the groups of children I was working with noticed my ring.  Here's how our conversation went:  

Girl 1:  I like your ring.
Me:  Thanks.
Girl 2:  Where did you get it?
Me:  From my mom.
Gabe:  Is she dead?
Me:  Yes.
Girl 1:  It looks like a flower.
Girl 2:  It does.
Girl 1:  I really like it, can I look at it? Does your mom work in an office?
Me: No, my mom is not alive anymore. 
Gabe and I look at one another.  It seems only he is really hearing me.
Gabe: Does she know what heaven looks like? 
Me:  I hope so. 
Gabe:  Do you know what it looks like? 
Me:  No.  Do you? 
Gabe:  No.  Someone told me it is just like here only you don't have to pay for anything.  
Me:  Sound good, don't you think?  Your mom is dead too, isn't she? 
Gabe:  Yeah.  
Me:  Maybe our mom's are together.  Maybe they know each other.  Wouldn't that be cool? 
Gabe:  Yeah, it would.  

I teach first graders how to read.  It is not my place to teach thoughts on heaven or have conversations about death.  As a human being, I think it is my place to help someone else know they aren't alone.  

Today I wondered if Gabe is short for Gabriel and I was grateful for my pink flower ring.  

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Better than chocolate?

I must be doing something right in life.  

My DH and I were invited by a friend to fly over to a small airport in Illinois for breakfast this morning.  I don't mean to brag, because it's not like we went to Paris or anything, but it's not every day someone says, "Hey, do you want to fly in my plane off to breakfast?"  At least, this was a first for me...maybe things are different for you.  And quite frankly, I don't think a trip to Paris could top this morning!  I've no idea how I could ever truly say thank you to our friend.  Not only for this, but for just being our friend and sharing so much of life, adventures, families, etc.  

Music: Seasons, played by Steven C. from Nature's Romantic Piano
View same thing, but on YouTube so you can watch it on a full screen:  Breakfast on the Fly!

I warned my DH that I'm not coming down from Cloud 9 for a long time!  

And to top off my day, I get to go to a concert tonight.  Compliments of another neighbor and friend who just happens to have two spare tickets.  Joshua Bell is playing in a tribute concert to his former teacher and mentor, Josef  Gingold.  I'm thinking icing on the cake for me!  :)

Maybe tomorrow I can add my thoughts about Halloween.  I'll admit, I really don't want this weekend to end!