Thoughtful moment of the day:  Seeing my ex’s facial expressions showing on my son’s face is not what I want to see first thing in the morning.  Or at all, really.  But I’m going to have to deal with it as it happens, and remember that OnlySon is not the ex.  OnlySon can learn.

A friend of mine told me a while back about seeing her ex’s facial expressions and mannerisms showing up in her boys’ faces occasionally, and how badly that upset her.  She had to take a step back, remember that her boys were not her ex, and try to figure out how to keep the ex’s old habits and inherited mannerisms from pushing her buttons through her sons.

And now I’m faced with that as well.

I had a date last night with… (I need to come up with a nickname here for him) the man I’ve been seeing.  Dinner and a movie, with some snuggling on the couch thrown in.  Got me out of the house, I got to some of that “me time” I talked about yesterday, and I got to spend it with someone who makes me feel good, both about myself and the world in general.  Very relaxing, a lot of laughter, and no stress.

OnlySon took offense.

Even though EldestDaughter was at home with him, and had told him where I was, and who I was with, he seemed to feel that I should have checked in and gotten his approval.



By the time I got home last night, he was in bed, sleeping, so I got to hear all about his feelings on the matter from ED.  She hadn’t realized that OnlySon had called me after she sent him to bed.

This morning, I decided he and I needed to have a little “discussion” about who’s the grown-up here.

Watching my ex’s facial expressions slide across his face as he tried to tell me that I “have to check in with him”…. and I told him in no uncertain terms that he had been informed where I was, but that he was in no way going to be the “date monitor”….

Yeah, it pushed buttons for me, and yeah I wanted to tell him to wipe that look off his face – but he can’t help it.  He does have some of the same facial expressions as his father.  He does look like him, to a certain extent, so he doesn’t have a choice in how his face shapes itself.


He will not be dictating to me when, where, who, how and why.  That was something his father tried to do, to control.  And I’m not letting a 13 year old boy run the house. 


I mean, it’s not like I ran away for the weekend, leaving him home alone with no one but the dog and cats, with no food in the house.

I went on a freaking date, and was home before midnight.



I had a really good day yesterday.

It was a culmination of reasons, but the biggest reason is because I decided I was going to be doing something positive.

I went around to various desks in my office yesterday… just to tell my co-workers that I “didn’t have any problems for them”.

I’d get a confused glance up, then a grin, and usually a chuckle and a shake of their head.

I made a point to be a positive moment in their day… bringing no issues, no problems for them to solve, no questions to be answered.  Just a small second of “It’s all good.”

And while I may not get to do that everyday… yesterday was a good day.

Punday Funnies

This email I received yesterday was simply too good to pass up on sharing, so…

Enjoy!  And THANKS, SARAH!!

1. The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.  He
acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to
be an optical Aleutian

3. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a
weapon of math disruption.

4. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

5. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

6. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum

7. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

8. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking
into it.

10. Atheism is a non-prophet organization

11. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway.
     One hat said to the other, “You stay here; I’ll go on a head.”

12. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

13. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: “Keep off the Grass.”

14. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at

15. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned

16. A backward poet writes inverse.

17. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

17A.  When cannibals ate a doctor, they got a taste of their own medicine.

18. Don’t join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!

Happy Friday!

Just Some Amusing Stuff

Ahhh, the joys of human ignorance, that signs such as these have to be put up just so consumers make sure to get in the right lane at the checkout…  (Thanks, Tom, I had to borrow this off your page!)

I actually found this pic on the People of Walmart website!  This car is freaking cool.  Nuff said.

In other words, every call-in service center has these cats on staff?

OHMIGAWD!  When did they start selling BABY GOATS at Walmart?  What aisle are they in and HOW CAN I GET ONE??? 

Just a little something to put a smile on your face.  And mine!


Hello, My Name Peggy…

You got problem?

I have decided that I’m going to change my name to “Peggy”, just so I can answer my phone like this!

These commercials make me giggle everytime I see them! 

One of the funniest things is, I used to be a telemarketer, so I know what actually goes on in some of the call centers that people get contacted by.  And there were days when it actually did seem to work like that.  You’d get someone irritated, or aggravated, or downright grouchy, and you’d ask them to “Please hold while I get supervisor”… and of course, your supervisor didn’t want to talk to someone that was just going to complain or yell, so they’d buck the call up the line again, and it would go ’round and ’round, till it ended up, ultimately, back in your lap.  Fun times… fun times… yeah, really.

So whenever I see the “Peggy” commercials, I have to chuckle.  Not just because of the ridiculousness of them, but also for the inherent truth I remember in the calls I had to take. 

One of the MANY reasons I got out of that biz.


Oh, Snap!

I like taking pictures.

I’ve been taking the kids’ school pictures for years, and I’m always looking for interesting things to catch and keep digitally, either with my phone (which, of course, is much easier to carry around), or with my simple digital camera.

I’ve also taken pictures in the last couple of years for friends, and their kids, for senior pictures and invitation/announcements for graduations.

I never planned on “going pro”, or having any kind of business built around it. 

For me, it’s an enjoyable hobby.

But last week, I was stunned – when I received an email from an Assistant Editor at Oxford University Press… asking if they could get permission to publish a picture that I took and posted on this blog!

The gentleman asked me what I thought it would cost them to get the permission and the high resolution photo original for a book that they’re going to be putting together by an author that publishes books on architecture. 

uh……….. ?

That night, I came home, looked up the Oxford University Press, did my research on the author and the books that he creates.

I was dumbfounded.

I was flummoxed.

I was a little sick to my stomach.

What if this was just a hoax?

And why did they want my picture, and how did they find this simple little picture I took to test the light quality while I was taking pictures of my kids???

Well, after checking out everything I could….

I decided to take a chance.

After all, it’s not like they were asking to use a picture that was really personal. 

This was a simple “one-off” picture, that I happened to like because of the way the light fell.

So I wrote back to him, telling him that “honestly, I was stunned”. 

That he could have my permission to use the photo, and did he want anymore of that particular location, as it’s right here, in my city?  And as far as payment was concerned… put my name as the contributor of the photo, and… send me a copy of the published book?

Well, today, I got an email back from the same gentleman.

They’re going to publish my photo, and they’d be happy to send me a copy of the book! 

I think that he was surprised that I didn’t actually ask for any money.

Others that I told about this opportunity, asked me the same thing.

And I told them – I’m not concerned about any money I might get from one little picture.

This is my hobby, not my profession, and if I start telling people they can’t use my pictures unless they pay me?  It won’t be fun for me anymore.  It’ll be work. 

And I like this hobby.  I don’t want it to not be fun anymore.

So, I’ll not be asking for anything more than the recognition that I took the picture, and a copy of the book, so I can show my friends and family.

And I’ll be happy.  Because of a picture I took for the light…..


Unbidden Beauty

I’m a wildflowers kind of girl.

Yes, hothouse roses are lovely, and my personal favorites – carnations- are always well-received by me.  Lilies are classic, orchids are delicate and divine, and mums, poppies and peonies are gorgeous blossoms all.

But I’m a wildflower at heart.

Why?  Well, because the wildflower is, by its very nature….. a low-maintenance surprise, and a source of unbidden beauty and joy.

In my flower beds, I have tulips, yes, but they are almost more feral than flower.  I found the bulbs buried in a corner of my driveway, forgotten (or left for compost) by the previous owner, when we moved in 11 years ago.  I dug up what I could, and tossed them into another flower bed.

And promptly forgot about them for a couple of years.  That is, until they started actually sprouting and blooming, weeks after everyone else’s in the neighborhood, and nowhere near as prolific or large.  They sprang out of the dirt of the flowerbed almost in defiance of the rules of the community, coming up whenever they dang well pleased, and in colors that seem to change from one year to the next.  My children would snap them off at random, near the end of the school year, to be delivered (usually bent, sometimes mangled) to their favorite teacher of the year – who would smile, thank my child politely, and promptly plop the poor, fractured flora into a dixie cup for the day in pride of place on their desk. 

After a couple of years of listening to my mother go on about how I should take my flower beds “in hand” and “do something with them”, I decided to take her advice…. and toss it out the window. 

Because while my mom’s flowerbeds are a carefully planned, meticulously weeded and pruned garden of gorgeous…

I’m a wildflower girl.

I picked up a few packets, and a shaker can full, of wild-looking perennials.  I wanted to be able to shake them out over the flowerbeds, pat the dirt lovingly, sprinkle on the first layer of water – and walk away.

If something came up?  Woo Hoo and HOORAY!  If not?  Ah well, there’s always leaf lettuce and dandelions.

And the following year, I was rewarded with trails of multi-colored surprises, marching up and down the sides of my driveway and under my bedroom window.  Blues, purples, yellows, reds, orange, pink and white.  I have a delicate, soft bed of chamomile that carpets the raised bed under my room window, with a tiny dwarf lilac bush rescued from my backyard a couple of years ago, at one end.  There appeared in this same flowerbed this year, some miniature sunflowers (which I know I didn’t plant there, but are there nonetheless).  They are sunny yellow, with deep, maroon centers, and they bob in the breeze and greet me when I come home.

These flowers are fighters.  I don’t pamper them, by any means.  They receive minimal attention, scant water (unless it falls from the sky), sporadic weeding, and absolutely no fertilizers.  I will occasionally dead-head them, but usually only when I’m frustrated, and looking to take my irritation out on something that won’t talk back.  And yet, they still pop up out of the ground every year, some years better and stronger than others.  Bouncing and swaying in the breeze, catching the sunlight that peeks through the tree-canopy overhead, they deliver their own lovely welcome to me when I come home every night.  They don’t fuss about what they lack, they don’t complain that I don’t spend enough time cleaning up after them, they simply get on with what they are there to do.  Live.

So, while I do love cultivated and cut flowers, scented and carefully grown for florists to offer as signs of affection, love, loyalty, forgiveness, etc.?

I’m a wildflower at heart.

Plucked from my garden - posted on my desk

Saving The Sanctuary

I’ve written before about my sanctuary – the place I retreat when I need peace and quiet, or to escape from the chaos.  Oak Park.

A beautiful haven, stuffed down in the middle of my city, and one of my all-time favorite places to be.

Unfortunately, being in the middle of the city also means being in the middle of the valley.

The valley that flooded this summer.

And all the green, the quiet, the peace, was drowned under tons of gallons of flood waters.

But, even as the muddy water recedes, leaving behind dying foliage, and wrecked buildings and shelters, there is hope.

I’m not sure how it all began, but a link was posted about a week ago that Coca-Cola was giving away thousands to America’s favorite national parks on their website, and Oak Park, my beloved retreat, was in the running for one of their grants!

There are 3 top positions in this contest – 1st place wins $100,000.00; 2nd place wins $50,000.00, and 3rd place wins $25,000.00 to restore, rebuild, and enhance their park.

And as of today, Oak Park, Minot, North Dakota – is in 1st place!  The people of my community, along with many others from around the world, have been voting to keep our park in the top spot of the competition. 

With almost 700,000 votes as I write this post, Oak Park has a very good chance right now of being able to recover from this devastating flood, and become once more the beautiful place I love and remember. 

And you can help.  Click on the link, and it’ll take you to the Coca-Cola website where the voting is taking place.  If you search for Oak Park, Minot, North Dakota, zip code 58701, you will find the page dedicated to it, and can vote as often as you like. 

The contest ends on Sept. 6, and the winners will be notified sometime in mid-September.  I’m crossing fingers, eyes, toes, and everything else crossable that Oak Park is able to win the grant. 

And there are others out there praying for a win, too.

Help them find their way home?