Sunday, February 28, 2010


"Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week."
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Today, Sunday, I find myself caught up in the peacefulness of the day.  February 28, 2010, not a leap year, just a regular year in which Sunday is like a soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone.  Decadent, delicious, satisfying, quiet, and pleasing to the senses. 

I don't know if I am getting lazy, or if I am just beginning to enjoy the slowed pace of middle age.  There is no urgency in the day today.  I get done what I have to get done, then I reward myself by curling back up on my big king-sized bed with my latest book, the restlessness of "prior to age fifty-three" trickling away, almost like water running down my back. 

Now is the time for walking instead of running, loving instead of condemning, learning instead of knowing it all.  Now is the time to write, to sing, to dance, to laugh in a way that releases all the tensions.  Now is the time to call friends, have an extra cup of coffee, talk to neighbors, and listen more carefully to nature.  

Sunday.  What a story.  

                                    Image courtesy of

Saturday, February 27, 2010


It just seems like winter is never going to end this year.  As a kid, I would anticipate the ponds icing over so I could get out on them and slip and slide.  And they did.  Back then, the ponds and lakes and rivers in my world would freeze so far through that the water could not move again until April, and if the frozen water was shaded, it would be May before all the ice would melt.

The above photo, which I borrowed from looks like a polar bear enjoying the snow and ice.  It's not.  That is me trying to walk out on my front porch in my white fuzzy coat.  The ice and snow just never go away this winter.  Remember how much fun it was to get a good running start and hit the ice, landing on your butt, sliding over rock-hard imperfections until you were bruised?  Well, that just is not fun anymore.  It hurts worse.  And the bruises do not go away for months.

I know you all are curious about where I found that awesome coat, right?  Especially since it seems to have a hood that looks like a polar bear face?  I am not telling.  Just be aware that no animals were injured in the making of that coat.  Unlike THIS animal who was injured sliding across a concrete porch on her rear end.


I love Phoenix, my heart is there all the time, even though my actually earthbound and landlocked self resides in Indiana.  In Indiana we are no stranger to buffaloes.  Ours do not roam, either, but we don't find a buffalo worthy of a photo.  But at a blog I love to visit, Phoenix residents Tracy and Nancy have such a knack for finding very interesting situations and clicking away and posting them. I get a kick out of their pictures!  These two are talented with the camera!  So I thought I would share their great photo blog.  I think ya'all will love it whether you live in Phoenix, Arizona, or Newport, Rhode Island, or anywhere in between!  Enjoy! 

Thursday, February 25, 2010


You hear it all the time:  "I can't believe this happened.  He was always a quiet family man who kept to himself." after a rampage that leaves people dead or dying.  But this time, the killer was Tilikum, a huge 30-year-old killer whale at Orlando's Sea World.  A park spokesman commented:  "He was a well-balanced animal."  

I heard a reporter say that nobody was allowed in the water with Tilikum because he has a violent past, having killed two others over the years.  I heard an expert on killer whales say that whales are smart and that no doubt Tilikum, the well-balanced whale, had killed the first time as a practice run, the second time to get better at it, and the third time because he was tired of being paraded out in front of millions of people like a whale whore (my words, not the expert's).  

I can almost hear the whale thinking, "I don't care if I frickin' DIE because of this, I am taking that woman down today, then they'll either put me out of misery or let me go home."  

Personally, I think they should take him out into the middle of the ocean and let him go.  Do they think putting him to death will deter whale criminality?  I don't think that has worked for humans.  By the time a person, or a whale, gets to the point that the only way out to them is to kill, they are going to kill, then what?  We KILL them to let them know it is wrong to kill?  The lack of any logic there makes me tired.  My religion tells me thou shall not kill.  I think that probably means thou shall not kill any creature we have had trapped in a little pool, having kidnapped it from its home, the ocean, for crying out loud, no matter what crime it committed.  Set him free.  

I am sure that the PETA people will jump in with their two cents, screaming that turning him loose in the wide, wide ocean will cause him to die!  You know what?  He might just thrive out there and actually become a well-balanced, well-adjusted whale, or he might be shunned and go to whale heaven.  It sure seems like dying out there happy and free would be more acceptable than a lethal injection by a human in a tiny pool in Florida. Let his own kind be his judge and jury, I say!  I cannot help but wonder how it would feel to have a jury of twelve whales deciding my fate.  

What do you think? 

(Image by

Wednesday, February 24, 2010



Of all the lessons I have learned, I wish it had not taken until I was fifty-three years old to learn this one.  How many times have I refused to look at my image in the mirror because I was afraid to see what I really looked like?  Now, however, with all the soft, pretty wrinkles taking up residence around my eyes, my skin glows with the health of middle age.  My heart is bigger, more compassionate, and that softens my mouth, relaxes my forehead, smooths out the worry lines. But it is not about looks anymore.  I have learned to love myself because on this journey I have learned that you cannot truly love others until your self is getting plenty of attention from you.  

Learn to love your self.  Treat your self right.  Fix your self something decadent to eat now and then.  Buy your self a new outfit or a new pair of shoes.  Take your self to the Mall and try on all the samples of new lotions at Bath and Body Works and allow your self to fill up a bag of your favorite lotions to take home.  

Order your self some wonderful-smelling bubble bath and crawl into a tub of bubbly water in the middle of the day and soak away the worries and stresses.  Buy your self plenty of good books and make time to read in the shade of a big tree while popping jelly beans in your mouth until the whole bag is gone!

Just be sure if you learn one thing in this life, you learn to love yourself.  That will be very helpful knowledge if you return here someday!
(Image from 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Hello, everybody.  My name is Kathy, and I am a book addict.  I decided to seek help through Books Addicts Anonymous (BAA), when I realized instead of doing dishes, exercising, or sleeping I was devouring books to the tune of about one every day-and-a-half.  

Some people enjoy dressing up and going out to party or meet people for dinner in the evenings, I prefer to slip into a warm pair of jeans, a big bulky sweatshirt, warm thick socks, curl up in the corner of the sofa, cover up with a warm quilt, and reach for my Kindle.  Time passes, tears are shed if the book is particularly sad or particularly happy, and I have been known to laugh wildly when the author writes something funny.  Books are my drugs.  And I love them.  
Here is where I hang out when I'm trying to find a new read:

If you would like to join the fun at The Slow Readers Book Club, click the above link and join up.  We're reading (or have read) Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.  I love finding out what others are reading, and this book club has a lot of people picking books, forcing me to read something I might not have chosen, and their philosophy over there is that people should slow down and read...the name of the club would maybe indicate that they are looking for people who read slowly, but as they say, they do not judge how quickly you read, and if you read fast you're welcome, too.  :0)  I feel at home over there.  
What are you guys all reading right now?  I am big into celebrity autobiographies right now and am almost done with Tommy James' book, "Me, The Mob, and the Music."  Fantastic read! 

Okay, excuse me, I am going to leave the BAA meeting now and go finish my book before going to work. Sorry I interruped.  Sorry, excuse me, see ya, have a good meeting.  Could you please hand me that sweatshirt? 

Sunday, February 21, 2010


It used to be that on an occasional Sunday my brother, my boyfriend, all three of our grown kids, and the entire passel of grandkids would make the hundred-mile trip to visit my folks in my hometown, a rural community in southern Illinois that was, as I have discovered just lately, extremely charming.  And each and every time we went there, my mom pulled out all the stops. 

It seemed effortless.  She made it seem effortless, this preparation, for feeding ten people instead of two.  I cannot remember ever having a meal where every dish was not perfectly delicious, and the desserts constantly decadent!  We would get about fifteen miles from there and my stomach would begin to growl and my mouth water in anticipation of Sunday dinner.

By the time we arrived, the food was already being put on the table.  My mom would be stirring and tasting as she prepared the bowls of steaming green beans, the plates of sliced homegrown tomatoes, and the meat, usually chicken or roast beef.  Dad would be taking directions from her without complaint, stirring and seasoning the potatoes he was mashing with the old white Mixmaster that had been in use as long as I could remember.

Mom never complained about cooking those dinners, and as a matter of fact, about a month before she passed away from cancer, she had one last big meal on a Sunday that only my brother and I went to, and used that opportunity to clue us in that she was not feeling well. 

We were alarmed as we had never heard her complain, and we convinced her to seek medical attention the next day, which she did.  The next weekend, she asked me to come down and take her to the hospital the following day for a colonoscopy, and when I told her to please let me just get some sandwiches at a local deli for our Sunday meal, she did not argue.  I knew then that things were probably not good. 

But the whole reason for this little narrative is not to mourn, it is to celebrate Mom’s life and her talent and her dedication to her family, and to thank her for teaching me to take over as matriarch even though I never felt particularly ready for that role. 

Today I am preparing a large meal for my own family, carrying on the tradition of the weekend family dinners, and I can tell you it is not effortless.  Why was it that my mom would use two cans of green beans and feed several of us and when I make two cans of green beans, they are gone before everyone gets a serving?  Why is it I cook a huge-looking roast and then find my kids fighting over the last piece when Mom’s roast seemed to feed a dozen people?  And why is it that I am starved for some rich, decadent dessert and can only manage to throw a package of Oreo cookies on a platter?  I wonder if they seem more exotic when I twist them apart and smear Nutella on the wafer-only side and slap them back together and serve them in a bowl of ice cream? 

The family will be the harshest critics, and we’ll see how it goes.  I only hope that my kids and grandkids will post a blog someday and talk about the weekend family get-togethers at Gramma’s house with even half the admiration I feel as I am posting about my mom’s and dad’s Sunday dinners. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010


The power of suggestion is very strong.  Just mention peanut butter mixed with dark chocolate and the cell phone rings in the afternoon.  It is your cousin calling from a grocery store 2000 miles away asking, "What is the name of that stuff again?"

Probably even more amazing is that I knew exactly what she was talking about with no further conversation and wandered into my kitchen and took it out of the cabinet to make sure I had the name right.  

Then, after a few seconds of perusing the shelves in the peanut butter section of the store, a dejected, "Rats."  

Never fear, though, dahlink!  CLICK HERE


I would like to introduce you to my cousin, Tracy.  She used to be a regular woman with a regular job doing regular things like cooking dinner, shopping, taking walks. Then one day she followed an imp up into a tree.  She was drawn to the imp with a jar of that delicious peanut butter mixed with dark chocolate, lured up there.  She never even heard me as I tried to break the spell! When Tracy, who we now call Bird Woman, was out on that branch, there was a flurry of impy activity, spinning, little wands and wings waving, and when they flew away...well,  you have to understand how emotional it is for me living in her beautiful warm-weather Arizona home and swim in her pool.  Everyday, though, I take a walk through the neighborhood and spend a few minutes under the tree, reading to her.  I leave some bread and birdseed there, but I don't think she ever eats.  I swear I saw her blink a metal washer eye.  I hope the spell wears off and I catch a photo of her, as her human self, perched on that branch one morning.  I'll keep everyone posted.
(Photo by Tracy) 

Monday, February 15, 2010


This morning, for the first time in like forever, since flying home was totally out of the question because of a snowstorm, I decided to put off taking my shower and washing my hair until tonight.  I called the airline and arranged the same flight for tomorrow morning, slipped into an old pair of jeans (what did I tell you?  I am already back in my old comfortable worn-out jeans) and a sweatshirt and settled in to work for awhile.

Ginny and I did venture out to Walmart, and when we returned home, I sat back down to work for a bit, and she said, "I'm going to go downstairs and start some laundry." 

Grunting in her direction to show her I acknowledged she would be out of the room, it was about thirty seconds before I heard her say, "Oh, my God."  I yelled, "Ginny, what's wrong?"  "Oh, my God!"  

By this time concern was registering, and I rushed down the stairs to find my friend standing ankle deep in water and could hear the steady hisssssssss of something leaking.

It did not take long to figure out the water heater had gone belly up.  Phone calls were made, and no sooner did I realize we had no water, that I began to have to use the bathroom.  

We sat around the better part of the afternoon.  I kept my mind off the bathroom situation by working harder at my transcription job.  I was, though, secretly quite relieved to see the plumber's truck pull in the driveway.  There they were, to the rescue!  Already I was dreaming of my shower and getting to use the indoor facilities, as opposed to having to find a tree behind the house, in the dark, cold, dreary, probably snake-riddled nature center, a.k.a. woods. 

John sent us to Ace Hardware, where we met friendly folks like the Ace Hardware Man.  I also found a bathroom there.  When we pulled back in here, the plumber informed us that A) It was Ginny's fault, and B) There would be no hot water tonight.  Sigh.

So, as we speak, I am heating a pan of water, preparing to somehow wash my hair.  Nobody will want to sit by me in the close quarters of a 737-300 Series Southwest Airlines jet, even if the flight IS only an hour long, if I don't have a wash-up tonight.

It is not lost on me that almost every time I go somewhere, a plumbing disaster accompanies me, wildfires spring up in my path, or quakes rattle, rumble, and roll where I have strolled.  Maybe I should cancel all plans for any future trips...unless your love for my company negates the negativity you might feel toward me when your pipes burst or your fireplace leaks gas or your water heater bites the dust.   

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Last night, February 13, on a cold Alabama night, my friend Ginny, her husband, John, and I went from eating chili at their dining room table, to sitting in the front row directly in front of Sylvia Browne...THAT Sylvia Browne, psychic extraordinaire.  

Ginny and I had seats 5 and 6, Row AA, in other words, front row center, and Sylvia graced the stage, sitting on a leather sofa, a soft lamp on each side of her, talking to us about healing ourselves and healing others.  We meditated, we laughed, we listened, we "amened," and we loved her!  

The first four rows, and that included Ginny and me, were ushered to a microphone where we were allowed to ask one question.  Here I was with the greatest psychic of our times willing to answer a solitary question, and I nearly drove myself crazy coming up with it.  I realize that it could have gotten way out of control if there wasn't some sort of limit, because I alone could have shot off twenty questions without taking a breath. 

I said, "Are my mom and dad happy?  Are they with me?"  

She said, "Not only are they happy, turn around and say hi because they are right behind you."

That answer, of course, could have been the answer to anybody's question; however, I had mentioned several times to friends of mine that I wake up every morning at 3 a.m. That has been a pretty disturbing pattern for me for weeks now.  As I walked away from the microphone Ms. Browne said, "They visit you at 3 a.m. every morning, just so you know."

I backed up to the microphone and said, "Excuse me? What time?"

She repeated, "3 a.m."  

My heart sang.  My spirits rose, probably literally, because, well, after all, this was a woman who could speak to spirits, who could see things we sometimes don't see.  

That was part one of my sabbatical to Birmingham, Alabama.

Valentine's Day I awoke with renewed energy.  Apparently Mom and Dad chose to let me sleep all through the night for the first time in many weeks, thank you guys, and I was prepared for a Valentine's lunch at Jim N' Nick's with Ginny, her sweetheart, John, and their son Todd, who thought he would melt my heart by bringing along these two little angel children, Luke and Lily.  And they did.  What sweet little kids.  Luke is the most sensitive and artistic little kid I've ever met, and lovable.  Lily, at age 3, is just a little imp with a round face and short curls.  I was surprised that wings have not sprouted from those shoulder blades of hers and Luke's.

Here's what I ate:  Pulled pork bar-b-cue on a plate with this big mound of mashed potatoes and some baked beans.  Which was okay.  As far as I was concerned, the sweet biscuits they kept tossing on our table BEFORE the meal were the highlight.  Everyone knows how I feel about my Southern style sweet stuff!  

While there, I drew a fantastic picture for Luke.  Artistically, I am equivalent to a 2 year old.  My impressive stick figure and tree and sun with spikes sticking out of it that was floating mysteriously right on top of the tree was awesome, then Luke drew a stupid-looking portrait of me, which looked just like me, glasses, shoes, a tree and a sun with shimmering light coming off it.  (I hate to say it, but it wasn't nearly as good as MY drawing).  (Okay, yes it was.  It was way better - and I'm fifty-three, and he's 7).  

After our lunch, we had to go about the business of having a memorial service for Ginny's little dog who tragically died in an accident earlier in the week.  The kids came over, and Todd did the shoveling work while we said what we loved about little Billy.  There were tears all around, but it was a decent send-off for a little dog whose greatest happiness was when hunting down and chewing up someone's glasses, iPod, ninety-dollar head sets, or snatching a pink bra and running madly down the street with it with his cussing master in hot pursuit!  We will miss Billydog.  Enjoy your new wings little buddy.  And as Ginny said, "I'll be up there with you someday, as long as you don't eat God's glasses, you little scamp!"

So now, my little weekend with one of my best friends is drawing to a close.  Tomorrow, if the winter storm warning for my part of the world does not materialize, I will be back on a Southwest jet heading north and sleeping back in my bed which barely had time to get cold while I was away.

To Alabama!  Cheers!

Friday, February 12, 2010


It finally dawned on me today that I might possible be  Older.  Old is a state of mind, and it is also a body size.  It's time that someone out there, preferably Levi Strauss, come up with a Signature jean for 10-P and 10-P Old-er.  

What is the first thing a woman wants to minimize on her body as she hits the Size Old-er?  Her ass, right?  So what is with all the big bulky pockets and designs all over each butt cheek?  That is not flattering, girls.  From the side you look like you have big lumps sticking out back there, and from the back you look like someone is playing a really cruel joke.  Is it not bad enough that we already have enough padding back there to cushion every player in the NFL?  I have to admit, the jeans were really cute from the front, but since most people will not be seeing me from the front, I passed.

Then there is this.  We do not, as Size Old-er, want to see our tummy fat flopping over the top of the waistband. Anything that I have to jump up and down in while pulling the waist up the same level in the front and the back, is going to button in a very unflattering way, trust me.

Relaxed fit?  ROTFLMAO!  I mean really.  All that means is that after we eat a piece of celery we can keep the damned things snapped, but it looks like wearing a canvas tent in the bottom and thighs.  

Here is what I want:  I want a pair of Levi Strauss (because they just look so strong and durable and keep their shape) to make a pair of jeans for Size 10-P Old-er.  I want the waist to sit somewhere close to right underneath my boobs for a little support there, or maybe even just have them button somewhere NEAR my actual waist which is not below my crack in the back, be straight-legged to make my legs look longer, and not have any pockets in the back. 

I came home with 2 pairs of jeans, one that buttons under my belly fat and one that promises it will make me look slimmer.  I can just about lay odds that when I get to my girlfriend's house tomorrow I end up in my ratty old jeans with no pockets, that are actually frayed on the bottom but have formed to my particular rear end and are comfortable.  

I am never going shopping for jeans again, so these things better frickin' last, that's all I can say. 


Monday, February 08, 2010


Morning in the wintertime when the snow
blankets the earth outside my door, bumping
up the thermostat, covering my shoulders with
a baby blue shawl. 

My coffee iced even if the thermometer 
points below zero, drinking it, sipping,
enjoying the flavor while my feet warm up under
the electric blanket.

Fumbling for the remote control lost 
under the covers somewhere, point and shoot
at the TV bringing it to life, quickly lowering
the volume till I wake up myself.

Slipping into warm jeans, warm boots, a warm
coat and a knit stocking cap, grabbing the camera, 
feeling tears freeze on my cheeks,framing up, favorite
photo captured for remembering.

But my favorite simplicity - a good book 
read in the sunshine on the patio with blue sky
overhead, birds singing, bugs buzzing, dogs barking
in the distance. 


Sunday, February 07, 2010


Coach Don excited

Coach Don excited about the touchdown!





Coach Don excited

Coach Don disappointed by the onside kick.





Coach Don excited

Coach Don worried.





Coach Don excited

Coach Don angry!





This is the photo autobiography of Coach Don helping to coach the 2010 Super Bowl! 

Come on Colts!  Get to work! 


There is Labor Day.  There is the 4th of July.  There is Christmas. Then there is Super Bowl Sunday!  

Holidays are tiring.  There is just too much preparation involved.  But on Super Bowl Sunday, usually the coldest day of the year here in the Midwest, it seems, with ice and snow coating the ground and making travel difficult anyway, we get to stay in the house, by the fire, with a bowl of hot chili and a tray full of sliced and diced veggies with dip, and a bag of chips in front of the big HD TV, and cheer on our favorite team.  Even when my home team is not in the Super Bowl, the day, for me, is just sparkling with comfort and joy, as I watch helmets fly and arms and legs bend in totally unnatural ways.  When my team is playing in the big game, I find myself curled up in one corner of my sofa with my quilt half-covering my eyes, afraid to watch every agonizing moment of play, not eating because I might be sick from the nervous feeling in my stomach. Don't worry, though.  Once the game is over I eat everything in sight, either drowning my sorrow or celebrating our win.

You might think I am a little bit crazy, and of course, you probably would not be too wrong about that assessment, but there is one day of the year where I feel inclined to yell and cheer and let out all my aggression without having to actually hurt anyone.  

Super Bowl Sunday.  It's more than a's a legal way of letting out all that year-long pent-up anger!  And it isn't just for the guys anymore.  


Saturday, February 06, 2010


Earlier this week I finally noticed that my jeans are looking pretty ratty.  Not only my jeans, but the only shirts I wear are blue sweatshirts.  Some of them are pretty blue sweatshirts, with zippers and buttons and other ornaments, and some of them are old baggy blue sweatshirts that lose their shape after you've washed them once, and these have been washed three-hundred times.  

When I noticed the frayed bottoms of my jeans and the condition of my shirts, I made a decision that this Saturday, today, I would venture out in my green Ford Focus, Myrtle, and make the sixty-mile drive to the nearest city with a mall and update my wardrobe.  I actually have gotten excited about it over the past few days.  The last time I did that was before Thanksgiving when my daughter and I drove down together and shopped the day away. I didn't realize then that my jeans needed replaced, though, choosing instead to buy essentials like ten bottles of lotion from Bath and Body and a half-dozen candles from a little expensive candle shop.

I am up early. I have to work awhile before taking this little hiatus.  I woke up, stretched, went to the kitchen and made my iced coffee, walked to the French doors to glance out, which is my ritual...WHAT'S THIS?  IT SNOWED?  NOOOOOOO! It didn't only snow, there is ice under there.  It's visible in the car tracks on my street.  For once this season, the weatherman hit the nail on the head.  I knew it was supposed to "snow."  But they are constantly predicting these huge snowstorms and when I get up the next day, you can still see the grass sticking up through the "blizzard."  

Can we do it?  Well, first I have to find a door that will open because apparently the wind has blown all night, too, sweeping that wet, heavy snow into every nook and cranny and piling it up against the nearest vertical surface, for example, my doors.  I. WILL. GET. OUT. TO. GO. TO. THE. MAAALLLLL!  

Stay tuned for updates.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


My life has been a little chaotic lately.  If I started writing down everything that has happened that might possibly have led to the bit of depression I have been experiencing, it would depress you, so I won't even say it.  But I will say that thanks to some watchful and loving family and friends, I finally consulted my doctor yesterday, who promptly put me on Celexa, an antidepressant medication that hopefully will bring me back to some realm of normalcy in my day-to-day life.  

Now, to tell you that after the first dose I had an immediate response to the medication might seem presumptuous and unbelievable, but I did.  This morning I already feel a change.  My outlook feels brighter, my focus is maintained, and the daily panic I have been experiencing has not happened yet today!  

A friend of mine called to check today, to see how I was doing, and I told her about this miracle medication that seems to have found my center and begun adjusting the chemicals in my brain that keep me from feeling like I am going to fragment into a million little pieces.  She was pleased with what she heard...until we discussed Valentine's Day, which is fast approaching.  And she said, with a little giggle, "What do you think you'll get this year?  A can opener?"  

I replied with, "I am going to write down 'Keurig coffeemaker, the one-hundred-thirty-nine dollar model,' and leave the note where my boyfriend can see it." 

Well, she laughed out loud and I asked her why she was laughing like an evil wicked clown, and she said, "Take that medicine back right has made you an idiot!"  

Upon further discussion about the Keurig coffeemaker, which I really, really want, I had to come around to her point of view, though I must say that I got a very surprising, caring gift of a gold necklace from my boyfriend for Christmas, which kind of redeemed him from the time he gave me a weed eater for the big day; however, she reminded me that I received, for my birthday this year, a motion sensor light for my garage.  

I am not giving up hope, though.  I AM going to get that coffeemaker, even if I have to go online and in a moment of his weakness ask him for his credit card.  Then I will buy him a beautiful thank-you card!  

Valentine's Day CAN rock, but sometimes you have to just treat yourself in order to reap its rewards.