Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The must have fashion accessory. Surgical masks.

Trevor has been sick since Saturday. He had a fever for three days, and yesterday it seemed like it spiked and he was getting better. Then last night.... another fever.

I got him into the doctor today where he was tested for swine flu and strep throat and even was sent to cincinnati children's (all of those people are SO good with kids. I love that place.) for a chest xray to check for pnemonia. I did get a call back already on the xray... no pnemonia.... thank goodness. However the poor guy still has a high temp and is guaranteed another day off of school.

He said he felt silly at the hospital having to wear a mask. I told him he looked really cool.

So hopefully I'll be able to keep the rest of us from catching anything. Bring on fall and winter.... this is going to be a fun season.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall y'all.

Well, you saw the boy version a few days ago (in shorts even!) but a few days later, here is the girl version... with sweaters!!!! It is fall. Maybe not officially on the calendar, but all the true signs of it are here. I even had the crap scared out of me the other day driving down a road and having a huge leaf fall on my windshield. I have to remember... that happens, don't freak out. So does goose poop - watch where you are walking.

I am shocked at how big this girl is getting. In less than one month she will be 11. Middle school has been very good to her. It is such a nice thing to pick her up everyday and hear how much she enjoyed it. She has some great new friends, and teachers.

Trevor is sick today. He wasn't doing to well yesterday and had a fever. Luckily today is some sort of Star Wars Clone Wars marathon on Cartoon Network to make the stay on the couch more bearable.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Today is COOL. Yesterday actually looked like this too...and I love it. When the sun was setting last night, all of this fog was pink. It was the strangest thing I've ever seen. I felt like I was inside a bag of pink cotton candy. At one point my boys were down playing at a neighbor's house in the front yard. I could hear them but couldn't see them. When I waited out front to watch them come home, it was like a movie seeing these forms coming through the fog and finally being able to focus enough to see who they were.

There is a really hill-y farm on the way to the kids' schools. It looks like a patchwork quilt with a cornfield on one hill, old barns, pumpkin patches with dots of orange, big round rolls of hay from the newly plowed fields, and horses and cows. I really have to get a photo of it someday, it is breathtaking - but SO cool when it has the layers of fog too. I always tell the kids I expect to see Scooby and the gang in the corn maze since it looks almost animated. Add this place to another reason I love Kentucky.

SO..... small updates on the fam.

Trevor woke me up with a fever last night. He's on the couch with a little bed made for him and strict instructions to stay put all day. He asked me if he could have a soda from McDonalds, so he is set with that including a mass of stickers from poison control stuck all over the cup and lid so nobody accidentally drinks from his cup. It's toxic! The stickers made him smile though, so they serve two purposes really. :)

We have two kids that Megan plays with that had confirmed swine flu last week. One girl had been home and Megan hadn't seen much of her the week before she got sick. So hopefully she dodged germs. The other is a boy that Megan has lunch with She was telling me the other day when he had his first day back how she started calling him Moses. The story kind of starts with me going to open house at her school the other night. She went with me to show me her classrooms, and we had to keep to a schedule like the kids have all day, only our 'classes' were 10 minutes each. The hallways are impossible to pass through with all the kids during the day. It's like being a salmon trying to swim upstream to get to your class. It's like my high school was with overcrowding... you'd hear the tardy bell but you were stuck in people traffic, so there's nothing you could do except stand there and wait.

Except... to be BFF with Moses. Why did he go from being Nick to Moses? Because apparently all you have to do to clear a path through hundreds of kids is say loudly, "I had swine flu last week!" And the sea begins to part. Clearing a path for Nick (with Megan and a few others in this group who all have four classes in a row together) to follow behind. It cracks me up! She has her daddy's sense of humor when it comes to nicknames for people. I was pretty impressed with Moses.

This week too I learned the newest in elementary/middle school slang.

"That's so beast!" - said about a super cool Hot Wheel that came in a happy meal. Apparently "beast" is the new word for cool. But the kids all thought it was dorky and laughed at me when I said that in my day, "Boss" was cool. "That is SOOO BOSS!" Does anybody else see the irony that they think boss is stupid.... yet here they are saying "beast" with the most serious faces? Ok guys.... we'll just go with that for awhile. Until the next word comes along.

We had fun playing with the ridiculousness of it all while we were on the freeway the other day. We'd look for random signs to come up with our own cool term that surely will become the next 'cool' slang word. "Oh man, that is SO Turfway!" "That is SO dead possum on the side of the road." Want to pass time in a car full of kids? Play that game. They think it is so funny.

Not much else going on here. Still patiently waiting for daddy to come home, and have to get everybody well for that. October also starts the birthday month from hell..... mine, my sister, Megan and Matthew. Then Halloween. October is always a blur now. Which isn't such a bad thing since I ADORE fall... but wow. Time to hold on tight.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Who knew stormtroopers could be so romantic?

This has to be one of my favorite little scenarios that I have come across lately. Matthew and Trevor leave them everywhere! I even found some poor lego man hanging with one arm from the light fixture at the top of the stairs today. It just made me laugh when I walked by it. I saved it from a two story fall.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

uncooperative subjects.......

Do these two look like they've been up to something??

Some days are just not meant for photo taking. For some reason this photo still makes me laugh.

Happy weekend, and happy birthday to my dad!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


A random photo of Ms. M, sitting on the deck while I wait for chicken to grill. (What, you don't cook with a camera within arms reach?)

I'm so excited to sit down. OMG I have been walking every day this past week and let me tell you that the hills around my house SUCK. The worst thing is, my house happens to be the one on the TOP of the hill, so there is no getting around it. If you go down the hill feeling like you are invincible and ready for a stab at exercise, you have to drag yourself right back up if you want to get home. The bright side is that I can collapse in my own yard once I make it up the hill and I can't breathe. That way at least I look like a doof in my own yard and not passed out in a neighbor's yard.

I have actually started walking for a little over a month. Megan and I do it together mostly, but I knew when school started I wanted to get back into a daily routine and be able to go out on my own during school hours. I still go out with the kids after dinner so we all get exercise.

A life shift happened too, and it took hitting a rock bottom to learn a few things. I look back and know that I have spent the last year here really depressed. I don't think it ever came across in any of my posts because I wanted to convince myself that things were OK. On the outside I think they were.... but on the inside I was struggling with some things for a long time. I wasn't myself.

I know I stopped taking care of myself. I just didn't care. I wanted to hide in the house all day but I didn't want my kids living an unfair lifestyle because of MY depression. So I kicked my butt to at least try to get out and look 'normal.' I am happy here, and have been as far as location. It's the life stuff. I stopped eating well, gained weight, pulled my hair back every single day for a year and took no pride in myself at all.

But like a re-birth I'm able to look back on the year and no without a doubt that part of my life is OVER. I'm so excited about the future now. I am taking care of myself, which means that I am taking better care of my family. Whom I love so much, and a husband that I love beyond measure. It feels good to be in love again, and feel like we did when we were teenagers. Some outside aspects of our life that we can't control are still sucky.... but I know that a united front is unstoppable. And the things we CAN control are wonderful. Every soul needs to be nourished once in awhile.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

around the house

I took a little break to enjoy the breeze outside today, and sit and have a glass of ice water on the front steps. I really need a cool rocking chair out there. I've always been a porch sitter. My parents were porch sitters and I come from a long line of porch sitters. (Note open windows in above apologies to my Arizona people. ;)

I was on IM with Mike earlier today and told him that after I had driven back from taking the boys to school that I noticed how pretty the flag on the front of my house looked as it was waving in the breeze. It wasn't that all out spastic waving.... but more like that slow motion, big waves, flowing type waving where you can even hear it pop as each wave works it's way through the fabric at the end. Of course my photo doesn't show that AT ALL dang it. It was really beautiful. Mike said he absolutely cannot wait to see this flag flying again, after living overseas for some time now.

We are late as usual for doing any sort of planting. In my defense I think I still may be on Arizona planting schedules. I always let things burn to a crisp when I planted things out there. Plus I bought this little herb garden kit on clearance last year and the kids reminded me that we still had it. Megan had enjoyed my neighbor's fresh basil on her delicious Kentucky tomatoes this year so much, she was pretty excited to see that basil was one of the seed packets. Megan mixed the dirt, wrote on the labels and did this all by herself.

And we are excited to finally see little green things popping through!! Come on little guys! You can do it!! Grow!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Just playing around with photoshop tonight. I'm hoping to get some photos like this done for my blog album that has been seriously neglected for months now! (Click on the image if you want to read the journaling.)
So far a pretty dull week. I was pretty bummed that Hell's Kitchen wasn't on tonight... you know I love my reality TV! AND speaking of reality TV...SURVIVOR starts this week. All is right in the reality TV world. And all will be right in my whole world when my man comes home to watch it with me on the couch!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whoa. I scrapped. It's been a long time. I finally have found peace with a few things.... one, I love tan. Whether it is normal tan cardstock or kraft color and all the shades of tan in between. Why fight it when everything will go into an album anyway. It should make it all look like it was supposed to be like that and flow, right? I also like grids of neatly lined up photos. Why fight it anymore? I just can't scrap like I used to anymore. I want to enjoy it again.

More later... I'm going to bed!

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th

Every year I think of this little girl. Juliana Valentine McCourt. Every milestone with my own daughter I think of this little girl too. She was the same age as Megan when she died on UA flight 175 on September 11th.
Megan will have a birthday and I'll think of the time missed with this little girl. Or when Megan started a new grade in school. I remember holding my own daughter in 2001 and feeling so sad.
Before details starting coming out about some of the passengers on the planes I remember hearing that one of them was heading to California. - and being a morning flight I thought that there had to have been children on that plane more than likely headed for a trip to Disney. Sure enough later when the details started coming out..... this little girl was on the flight with her mother - headed to Disneyland.
I think of how scared mom must have been. Megan was into watching Barney at the time, and all I can think about is how I would have handled such a scary and unknown situation. I imagine her holding Juliana on her lap and singing the "I love you" song from Barney trying desperately not to show her fear to her little girl.
It's early fall, there's a cloud in the New York skyline....
Innocence dragged across a yellow line....
The Hands That Built America/U2

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Rural roadside distractions

My boy who is now 9. I finally got a photo of him. He's so handsome. I love him. Happy birthday nine year old.

Amazing scenery...

Every now and then on a weekend day we drive to a place called Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. It's along the river, and a neat little place tucked in between huge trees on a little - barely - two lane road. It's one of those roads you have to pull over to the side if two cars are coming until one of you passes. We love to go there because it's usually pretty quiet and we like to go into the general store that has been there since 1831. We pick out a bottle of soda from the fridge in the back, pop the bottlecaps off at the front door and go sit by the river and either play with the dog, watch river traffic or wave at Indiana across the way. Everybody who comes to visit us goes to Rabbit Hash at least once.

It's really not far from the house, along a super winding road with horse or cattle farms and fields, and cool old barns, old historic Kentucky architecture farm houses, and new beautiful mansions. It feels good to open the windows any time of year because the trees are so thick through here it is always nice and cool. Megan is channeling her inner retriever or something by sticking her head out the window.
It's a neat old place. It has an arty feel to it, with some of the local people who make and sell things. It also has turned some of the old buildings into dusty antique shops where the stores aren't manned. If you want something, you have to be honest and take it into the general store to pay for it. It's also hippy-esque at times, and also a place where biker people like to go. What a mix. But it's also just a neat place to go because everybody is friendly. Like today when I accidentally drove past the sign that said "No thru traffic due to festival" a man who I've seen there before, who I thought was going to yell at me when I rolled down my window instead was relaxed and said God Bless to me. Then to have a nice day. Whew.

Festival? There's never anything going on here when we've been here before. But today we rounded the corner and the street was closed off (until I had to go and break the flow of people traffic! While trying to avoid hitting children, dogs or people who were enjoying the festival a little too much with a beer in hand!) Mmm, then we could smell the smells and hear the music.

We had to park a little way down the road and this tractor came by and drove us in. It was funny because just the other day when I was pointing out the signs all over the place for the Halloween farm festivals coming up, Megan said, "I really want to go on a hayride this year!" Here is your hayride Megan.
We walked around, got sodas for the kids, petted animals, looked at artwork for sale, watched some old machine making corn into cornmeal and listening to music. I'm glad we ended up coming here when we did. It was a nice surprise to think that we'd come and do our usual hang out in a quiet place and instead find this. When we were driving home all three kids were telling me how much fun they had and that they loved making pots. I love it when something so small is so memorable.

Rural roadside attractions..... continued

The kids all got to make a pot or bowl on a pottery wheel for $2 each. This woman was wonderful, she was so nice and so patient with kids while she taught them how to make something on the wheel. They all loved getting their hands dirty and watching the clay turn from a ball into a pot or bowl. The boys both made pots, and Megan made a bowl. They are perfect, and each have little fingerprints and things about them that make them unique. Megan's bowl is slightly lopsided on the top, Matthew ran his finger on the outside of his cup to make lines and Trevor's cup has a lip around the top from pinching the top as it spun.

I think the pottery was by far the most fun thing to all of us.

I took this picture for my mom. Recognize that basket?? I fell in love with that color blue glaze that they used on so many of the pottery for sale. It was beautiful. But... I don't have room for all the things that I would like to take home with me.

This band was playing cajun music. They were really good. I would have loved to have sat down and listened to them more, but the kids were all wanting to go in different directions. Matthew wanted to walk down to the river and do what he loves to do whenever we go to rabbit hash....which is to throw sticks into the Ohio river. The boy loves his sticks. Yep... and we brought one home with us. Trevor was interested in the food that you could smell everywhere (HUGE onion rings! OMGOSH. kettle corn, roasted corn on the cob, BBQ....heaven.) Megan was watching all of the dogs roaming around or on leashes. (The 'mayor' of Rabbit Hash actually is a dog named Lucy Lu who always greets cars that pull up and park on less busy days.)

Rural roadside distractions... continued

After leaving Rabbit Hash we stopped at an old church that is on the side of the road. It is on a hill and overlooks the river on one side and has rolling corn fields on the other. I've always wanted to stop and never have. I told the kids since I didn't get to make a pot this is what I wanted to do. I'm in love with these doors. My next little photo shoot will be in front of these. Old doors are awesome. My Matthew who is in a phase where he doesn't like to show his teeth when he smiles.

This is the entrance. There is a date stamped into that step at the very front of the door - 1893. - Looking at this door I can imagine the years and hundreds of people who had their first wedding photo taken standing on that concrete pad. Or the babies that were baptised through those doors, or even families gathering for a funeral. I imagine some beautiful leaded stained glass window was above where the wood is now. Those things are in antique shops all over the place here. - I wish those doors could talk.

I picture these shutters thrown open on beautiful days, or hot ones when it would be sweltering hot inside this building. This photo was taken from the cemetary right outside and down a small hill. Some of the headstones were so old you could not read them. Some were relatively new - like the 1980s so some families are still buried together in huge family areas. Maybe I'm weird, but I love old cemetaries and their history. Not that I hang out in them.... but I think they are interesting.

For the longest time I would see these big metal stars on the sides of old brick buildings. I wondered what they were. They always looked as old as the buildings, so I knew it wasn't some badge earned for being historic or anything, and they are on some pretty run down brick buildings too, so they must have had some sort of meaning or purpose when the buildings were new.

I found out when my mom was visiting months ago that they are supports! Behind the star is a long metal pole that goes through the building every so many feet that goes through to the other side! The stars are like decorative caps on the outside of the building. Mystery solved.

AND THE FIRST PUMPKIN SIGHTING! This could only mean one thing.... fall is around the corner. There have been other signs as well... like the geese are starting to come back. It's a sound I miss all summer, hearing them fly overhead honking. It is the neatest sound.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

happy anniversary

Have I ever mentioned that I have the greatest kids? Today is my 19th wedding anniversary. Spent with the kids. I had them out of school today for some other reasons, but we went to one of their favorite parks. They knew I was having a hard time and spoiled me all day. My favorite was the fact that I was given picked flowers that were brought to me all day long. Which at one point all ended up tucked behind my ears. Matthew said I looked like a princess with my crown of flowers. Stay sweet you little guys. If you think I look like a princess I will believe you. I felt like one today!

Megan even took my picture. I'm rarely in pictures. You'll have to excuse the gray hair.... which will be taken care of tomorrow by Liz at 10:00. - and then I'll be able to claim my prize of the most fabulous hair.... bestowed upon me by my friend June. Today, it didn't look so fabulous. Haha.