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I'm a 50 something daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother and friend. I have a husband and a son with my parents living in my basement. Keeping it together through menopause, the teenage years and the golden years. I hope you visit often.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring 2014!!


I love all the seasons. My favorite one differs from year to year. It usually depends on what has happened the previous season. I like to set my life up into four sections, instead of one year. I get four chances to make changes or start over if you will. The winter solstice comes at a bad time. Right before the December holidays. We're to rushed to really think about it and most people don't even realize when it happens. We have so much on our minds. In a way, it happens again in the summer. We don't really think about the summer solstice because by then we are well into vacation plans, school camps, easier living and being outdoors. We're just as busy, it just seems to be easier because we can still be outside at 9:00 at night and have daylight. Our daylight is longer, so we perceive that we have more time. The spring and fall equinox is different. Around that time you can feel and see some of the changes start to happen. Little things like a warm or cool breeze. The return of migrating birds, and the warmth of the earth. So Happy First Day of Spring! 
Our winter has been a bit trying this year. We usually get snow, but this year Cincinnati has outdone itself. We have broken and tied cold weather records, we are in the top five years for snowfall, and we had our share of ice storms. I am tired of this type of weather. For Spring break we headed South to get away from it. We needed this. Jake is now a sophomore in high school and his work load is quite trying. Lee has worked non-stop and seems to never be home when it's light outside. I am working with my business and being a Mom so my two worlds collide more often then not. We needed this. As I sit here on my balcony in Orlando Florida having coffee it is 62* warming to 80* later today. I have sun on my face. I feel it warming my soul. We're on vacation, so it's a lazy morning. Sleeping in and not planning the day away. I got up at 8:30 instead of 6:30. It's vacation. But I also am aware that had I woke up in Cincinnati this morning it is 36* warming to 50* later today. There will still be snow piled in the shaded areas of my yard. My grass is brown and the wind will softly speak as it rounds the corner of my house. But if you look closely, you will see the signs of Spring. The maple trees have already started their buds. The rose bushes are turning a light shade of green. The daffodils, crocus, and tulips have all broken ground. The earth is waking up and the warm breezes are soon to follow. For me, this is a great time to reevaluate life. Reset anything that isn't working and start something new and bold. It's spring. Renew, rebirth, rewind. It's a season that really should be celebrated. Take a moment and think about it. I hope you enjoy the first day of spring. I will! Take Care!

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Adventure Ends

Well, our great Mom and Son adventure has come to an end. It actually was over a week ago and I just haven't had time to update you. Taking the time to drive across this wonderful country of ours is a task. Part good and part bad. In this day of rushing to and fro, it would have been much more timely to just fly out to Wyoming, rent a car, do the show,  take a side trip and fly home. I know my lower back thinks that would have been the smart thing to do. But here's what I would have missed by doing that. Seeing just how beautiful our country really is. I will say that part of the trip was very boring driving, but when you look out over the vast grass lands and farm lands, you realize how BIG the middle of our country is. This is the land where our food is sourced. The bluest sky I have ever seen. No smog, clear blue sky, with big fluffy, white clouds. At some points the only people you saw were in the cars on the road with you. Not many exits, no buildings, just big stretches of land. I also would have missed the diners and mom & pop places to eat. It was fun to stop at these places and see what the local special was. These places were quaint, sometimes questionable, but always had great food at a decent price. We could have eaten buffalo or bison, wild game specials, and fries served with everything from cheese, ranch dressing, salsa, seasoned, baked, or just plain. Platters came with your choice of sides like pickle chips, slaw, lots of beans, salad, lettuce wedges and potatoes cut in the shape of fries, logs, wedges, cubes, and slices. We would get desserts, home made ice cream and pie. It was nice to take the time and sit down for lunch. It gave us time to talk about whatever we thought of at the time. It was a nice trip. It was beautiful scenery. Seeing Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Custer State Park were awesome.  But is was meal time along the way, in an out of the way diner that I will cherish. Just the two of us talking about whatever. No hurry to be anywhere else. Nothing really to distract us from enjoying that time. I got to see what my teenage son is thinking about. I had the time to ask questions, or just listen without feeling the rush to be someplace else. It was perfect. So, the trip is now over, and we are back into our summer routine. Jake is busy doing his stuff and I am back to trying to figure it all out. This is not a trip for the faint of heart. This is a trip that needs to be taken with an open mind and an open heart. The inside of a Honda Pilot can be very small, as can a hotel room. But it can also be a trip of memories. I am sure that Jake doesn't have the same feelings about this trip as I do. It was just a trip he had to take to help Mom out at a pet show. There was a side trip to see a few things, then the drive home. I am hoping that when he is older he will think of it differently. There is another thing that I have learned by doing this trip. I have no interest in living in the vast areas of the middle of our country. I need things like, cell service, rest stops, buildings and people. And if I can be near an ocean all the better. I hope that you have some great adventures this summer. I highly recommend one! Take care!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Road Trip Update - In the Middle

We are now finished with our first week of the trip. Things are going well. It's interesting what you see, and don't see while driving across this wide country of ours. Once you enter into South Dakota you see land. Sometime there are crops on that land, but mostly land. Not very many houses are visible from the highway. It's flat, REAL FLAT land. We did see some specks in the distance that we figure were cows. Since there really isn't much to look at, you tend to read all the highway signs along the way. There are plenty of highway signs. There are your basic informational signs, gas, food shelter. These tend to be few and far between. There was one sign that said "Gas up now, gas can later" this exit. Makes you think about how much land lays between the exits! There are also very few rest stops. I guess they figure if you gas up you'll take the time to go then. The billboards are the funnest things to read. About 200 miles before you would get off to visit these places they start to advertise. The one on I-90 is Wall Drug. For miles and miles there are colorful, funny billboards that advertise stopping at this wide place in the road. There is a similar one on I-75 that advertises Pedro telling you to stop South of the Border. I believe the border is North Carolina, but I could be wrong. Anyway, we had to pick where to stop. Should we stop at Pilgrims Village and see the village with buffalo, or pick Al's Oasis and see what they have there. Then there was Bear Country, where we could drive through a wild animal park. I always like those. There was the Car museum that Jake was sure we could go through really quickly just to see all the old and new cars they had. Yeah...right....taking a 15 year old who is 4 months away from getting his driving temps would take a complete day to go through a car museum. After much consideration we decided to stop at Wall Drug.  Wall Drug started in the early 1900's as a drug store in Wall SD. There is a street of shops selling everything you didn't know you needed. The drug store is still there and working. You can get a buffalo burger and home made ice cream at the cafes. There were tee shirt shops, jewelry shops, cafes, gift shops and all kinds of stuff that I can't remember. On the next street over, there is a place where kids can "pan for rocks". The bigger bag of dirt you buy, the bigger your polished rock will be. There were dinosaurs in all the buildings to honor the dino bones found the area. Yes, it was a tourist "destination", but it was a fun one. Once we hit the West side of South Dakota things changed. The land started to roll, hills and valley popped up in the distance and you could see houses. We were starting into coal country. We crossed into Wyoming during a heavy rain storm. The lightening was beautiful and Jake was trying his best to get a picture of it. We could see train cars loaded with coal. These cars seemed to run for miles. There was a hugh coal processing plant as we came into Gillette. There are tours you can take, but that will have to wait until next time. Today we leave for Custer SD for a few days. This trip has been great. It is the first time Jake and I have gone away. I wasn't sure how this would go. I am seeing peeks of a young man. I watched my teenage son work the booth, help not only me, but other vendors with setting up. He listened patiently as older ladies told him about their pets, living and dead. And he held his ground when a younger woman was trying to get him to give her "a deal" on a purchase. I will never have this opportunity again. My hope is that Lee will. We have five more days to go. I will be glad to be home, with my whole family. I will cherish this trip. I hope that you have a chance to get away with a loved one. Maybe not driving cross country. That can be iffy. But just have some one on one time. Just remember to have an open mind. Not stick to the schedule and try to see out of the way places that aren't on the map. And stop at Wall Drug and have an ice cream! Take care!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 1 of the Great Wyoming Adventure!!

Today is the first day of our Wyoming adventure. We have come to some agreements on the road. We will get on the road by 9:00, instead of 8:00. We are not going eat every meal at a fast food restaurant. Imagine Dragons isn't that bad of music and neither is Jimmy Buffet. Today we went approx. 519 miles and took 8 hours to get from Cincinnati, Ohio to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Once you get past the rolling hills of the Ohio Valley, things flatten out. We saw lots of corn and soy bean fields. The highway keeps going on and on and on. There are plenty of signs on the highway in Ill. saying they love their guns. We saw an interesting site. I have seen beautiful homes on golf courses. In Illinois, we saw a hugh farm, overlooking a 36 hole golf course! Probably part of the original farm. For lunch we stopped at a place called the Pit Stop Diner. It was a really neat place. Very 50's with lots of car memorabilia. The food wasn't bad either. It was fun to find this little place on the highway. The big shock was gas for $4.99 in Ill. and then $3.45 in Iowa. The pleasant surprise was the rest stop in the land of Lincoln. It was very pretty place. Lots of flower beds, walking trails, and they even had a play area for kids. It was nice to talk about the end of school and what the summer will hold. Then there was just the riding along in silence. Jake sleeping, taking pictures through the car window and not complaining are we there yet. I guess that will come tomorrow. And so the adventure begins. I hope you check back and see how things are going.

Happy Fathers Day!!


Happy Father's Day to two great men!!



My husband Lee & son Jake.

My parents, Jean & Don

Sunday, June 9, 2013

ROAD TRIP!!!

One week from today, Jake & I will take off on a road trip. We are going to Gillette WY for the International RV summer rally put on by the motor coach association. I will be a vendor there. It sounds like it will be a very big show, and I am very excited about doing it. I have done shows out of town, but so far the farthest I've gone is Hershey PA. It will be an adventure! I am really excited about it, Jake, not so much. The idea of driving 22 hours to get there, the idea of not having control of the radio the entire time, having to sleep on a pull out couch in some hotels, the idea of not having his the Xbox. The idea of the only person to talk to is his MOTHER! How could I do this to him??? Simple, I need the help. There will be good and bad about this trip. But here is "the plan". We will leave Cincinnati on the 16th, stop in Cedar Rapids Iowa for the night, the 17th stop in Sioux Falls S.D., then make it to Gillette WY on the 18th. We'll be in Gillette until the 23rd. Then off to Custer state park for a few days, then head back home, stopping in Sioux City and Peoria before arriving home the 28th. It's a plan! What could go wrong?

I shared my plan with friends and family alike. I have been told horror stories of what could go wrong. Let's start with "the silent treatment". You know, that wonderful thing that happens when you and your teen disagree on, well, everything. That can make the long highways of the plains states even longer. My solution. Jimmy Buffet. Especially Jimmy Buffets Fruitcakes CD. I love that CD. I know every word, of every song. Jake may want to be quite, but I plan on singing my way across Iowa. His solution. Noise canceling headphones. Then we have "I'm hungry". I will admit we are both hungry most of the time. Jake because he's 15 and me because I'm watching my weight. The solution. Snacks of baked chips, fruit and cheese. Not really sure how that will go. I might have to wing that one. The "let me drive comment". Here is the thing with that. Jake is 15, in Ohio at 15 and 1/2 you can get your temps. He will be 15 1/2 Oct. 21st. Thank you to several people who have planted in Jakes head that "there is nothing out there for you to hit, how could you get caught" I will have to deal with that. The thing is, they are probably right. However, that doesn't mean that Jake should break the law, drive too fast down the highway with me yelling, run off the road and hit a cow. Yes, that really could happen! I don't think I wish to explain to a state trooper exactly why I choose to subject their great state to the whim of a 15 year old new driver. And the friends and family who said he'd never get caught. They would be the first to say, why did you let him drive?! You know you would! Then, because he is about to learn to drive, I have to watch how I'm driving. I am already getting the, what's the speed limit here. You took that curve kind of fast didn't you? Did you signal? That brings us to the last horror story. Can we go home yet? NO! We are going to have fun. We are going to see rock formations, wildlife, and history. This will be the first (and probably last) Mother-Son road trip and there will be lasting memories. Good and Bad.  The pictures will tell the tale. Who is smiling? The body language. If anyone is in the picture at all! Who knows how this will end? Stay tuned for updates on our road trip!
Take care!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hmmm.....what to get Dad for Fathers Day??

It's always hard to find something for Dad for Fathers Day. After all, he has been a father for the last 57 years. That's a lot of ties! I can only imagine what all he has gotten over the years from my brother and I. I know some  involved crayons and glitter, and some involved a gift card bought on the way to the house the day of. Then there are the years that my Mom will come to my brother and I and tell us what Dad needs. Very helpful. I decided to look up on Gifts.com the top ten Fathers Day gifts of 2013. It is certainly a wide assortment of gifts and prices. Here are some of the suggestions. For the foodie father, there is the Hot 'n' Spicy Pepper of the month for $36.95, the Snack Attack nut basket for $49.99, and the t-fal beer tap for $139.99. We actually have one of the beer taps and find that they are nice to have during our summer pool parties. Then there is the Portable Hammock for $39.99. We also have purchased that for Dad and for Lee. Both didn't work out well. The thing was a bit shaky getting in and out and then we had to find a place to store it. All I could think of was being responsible for Dad braking his hip with a gift I gave him on the day he was being honored. There were two car related gifts that Jake thought was THE BEST GIFT EVER!! That would be the Race a Ferrari Experience for $356.00 and Ride Shot Gun in a Stock Car for $119.00. The gift I thought was the oddest is pictured below. The Butt Station Assistant. For $11.52 you can get this little blue guy sitting on what looks to me to be a toilet holding a roll of tape with a pen in his mouth. I have decided this is a male figure because a women would never do this. I also have a few questions about how to use the assistant. Since the tape cutter is at his feet, how do you cut the tape? Does he need to be sitting on the edge of the desk? Just how easy is it to grab that pen from his mouth? Is he chomping down on it to hold it? I find this a bit odd, well really odd, and since my Dad is 83 there is no need for the Butt Station Assistant. I also don't quite understand the name. He could be called the Blue Man Sitting Assistant, but that may be a copyright thing.
The Butt Station Assistant

Did you ever wonder how we started celebrating Father's Day? About 4000 years ago a boy named Elmusu wish his babylonian father good health and a long life by carving the message onto a card made of clay. I can't find anything out about what happened after that until 1909. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd, in Spokane WA was listening to a Mother's Day sermon and thought of her father. You see, Sonora's mother had passed and she was being raised by her father. She chose to honor her father during her birth month, June. On June 19th, 1910 she held the first recognized Father's Day celebration in Spokane. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day. There is even a Father's Day flower, the rose. Tradition states that a red rose be worn if your father is living and a white one if he has passed. Well, we're only 12 short days away from celebrating our fathers. Good luck in finding what you are looking for. One thing that will always be the best gift. The memories we have. Take care!