Friday Night = High School Football Night

At least in the small town I live in.

Aunt Kate is back in town. Living in Cleveland again. And Aunt Kate loves football. Pro football. College football. And now high school football, with Son playing.

My Father, who played both high school and college sports, loves football too. Especially watching his grandson play.

So we assembled in the bleachers last Friday night for the football game.

About halfway through…

Aunt Kate: Think there’s anywhere around here I can smoke?

Me: Maybe out in the parking lot? Outside of the stadium gates?

We pondered this for a moment…

And it WAS halftime.

So Father, Aunt Kate and I headed for the bathrooms, snack bar and the stadium entrance. We wandered in our typical half-as#ed fashion.

Aunt Kate: Will they let me back in if I go out to the parking lot?

Me: I would think so. Maybe ask?

Because my father couldn’t find his cell phone, he took mine to make a call. Aunt Kate went in another direction. I headed for the bathroom. There was no plan, just to meet back up in the bleachers at some point…

After halftime, we sat back down in our seats:

Aunt Kate: You won’t believe what I did.

Me: Huh?

Aunt Kate: I asked the lady by the gate if there was anywhere I could smoke. And she was SO RUDE!!

Me: Oh?

Aunt Kate did a fine imitation of The Rude Lady. Even waved her arm around in the air, gesturing to the school campus…


Whoa…Aunt Kate had my full attention because few people are ever rude to Aunt Kate—probably because she is always so polite and pleasant. And had the lady said it nicely, Aunt Kate would certainly have fallen in line and been polite back. But no….

Aunt Kate: Then I guess I will just take out MY FAKE CIGARETTE!!

Said Aunt Kate as she reached into her purse, whipped out her electric cigarette, took a drag and blew VAPORS directly AT the Rude Lady—then walked away. Aunt Kate left The Rude Lady standing there, too stunned to speak…

Let the games begin!!

Both the football games.

And the ‘games’ that surround my family. Spilled drinks. Lost cell phones and car keys. The whole thing. Put all of us (or some of us) together and there is bound to be adventure. I cannot remember a single outing with my family that has ever been DULL or BORING. Or uneventful.

Not sure if I’m more excited for the football tonight, or being in the bleachers with the family…

Things I’ve Been Thinking About Lately…

In no particular order, some of what I’ve pondered recently:

Why doesn’t anybody from HGTV ever stop me outside of Home Depot?

I would love a bathroom redo. A yard makeover. Pretty please with sugar on top would somebody remove my gravel driveway and install pavers, black top, or cement? They could redo anything. I would cooperate—and not get mad like some of the ungrateful people they show on the design TV shows. They could pick whatever they wanted. Plenty of projects around my house…They could even pick two.





How in the he#% does Daughter do her hair with this curling iron?

Seriously. It is in pieces. Most of them long gone. She slides the little metal tube thingy onto what’s left of the curling iron and creates curls and ringlets without burning her fingers. And it looks lovely. She used this method to achieve the look in her senior pictures. How? People go to the salon for curls like that. And should I be concerned that she plugs her ‘rigged up’ contraption into an outlet in my home?

On men, women and relationships…

Why do men see right through men and know exactly what they’re about? And it takes a woman about 2 minutes to know  what another woman is about. And yet men and women spend YEARS in relationships–without a clue. Just no idea what their partner is about. Would it not make more sense if we could read the opposite sex, as we can read our own? And yet, we often cannot. Why. Just, why?

Why can’t I find 31 gothic pickets?

I’ve needed them for a couple of months. When I DIDN’T need them, I saw them everywhere. Now that I am LOOKING for them, I cannot find them. Which means I have a partial fence. I cannot apply the fresh coat of white paint, nor can I install the arbor above the two posts that look silly. And I don’t want to complete the landscaping, because it will get in my way when I paint the doggone thing.

Pulling into my driveway last week:

Me: I’ve GOT to find those gothic pickets.

Aunt Kate: Why?

Me: Look at the fence!! I want to finish it up…make it look pretty.

Aunt Kate: But it makes me laugh every time I pull into your driveway.

I’d hate to spoil her fun…

Why is Table #6 taking such a long time?  

It has been in my garage since June. When I finally started it, I couldn’t get the stain off the top. I dumped a bottle of stripper on it over the course of a couple of days. Scraped. And scraped. Then scraped more. Then spent a few evenings looking like I took a swim in sawdust. Probably the table is ¼” shorter than it started out being. I had thought I might finish today, but I need more paint for the chairs. When I blow my nose, whats coming out is Italian Olive…the green color I’m using. I can look forward to another day of Italian Olive snot tomorrow. Because I am STILL not done!!

How long does it take to grow new toenails?

Son wore old cleats for football Two a Days. And they were too small. His toenails were a mess afterwards. And he walked funny. (Really, really funny) No idea how he played football after that. A couple of weeks later, one big toenail is completely off. And the other is 90% off. How long is it going to take for the boy to have a BRAND NEW set of big toenails? Because I think he needs them. And again, why? Surely he wasn’t the only kid who didn’t yet have his new cleats. Things happen to him that don’t seem to happen to others. But then, he is my son. I will spare everybody the photos. Looking at his toes nauseates me.

Got answers to any of that?

Feel free to share…

Senior Pictures ~ A little more sharing…

Yesterday, I shared one of Daughters senior pictures. Admitted that I can’t click-through the photos without crying…

They don’t make me sad. Not at all. Nor do I long to go back. Or regret missing out on anything. Especially my crazy hair.

And YES. I was a teenager in the 80’s. Hair was BIG. We used ‘Stiff Stuff’ hairspray to maintain the volume. My daughter was born in the early 90’s. Hair hadn’t flattened out yet.

So anyways, for 35+ years, I NEVER cried. But at 41, I tear up easily. These days, the word ‘car’ does it for me.

Here are a few more senior pictures. Click on the arrow that pops up and you can scan through the slide show. I’ll spare everybody all 375….

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Why the tears?

Because I appreciate them. Good photography is art. As a writer, marketer, designer and such, I appreciate the vision.

When I look at these photos, I don’t see a contrived smile.

I see all the expressions I’ve seen each day for nearly 18 years. Daughter has always been an open book. What she is thinking travels right across her face. Irritation. Discomfort. Sadness. Joy. All of it. She can’t hide it. And doesn’t choose to.

When she told me that during the shoot, they stopped for a moment because “Bob the Beagle” had to go outside, “to go potty” I knew which photos were shot on that trip outside. I can see her amusement in them.

So when I click-through my 375 photo gift (And they are a gift…), I’m flooded with memories. I’ve seen every look in those pictures 1000 times. Maybe more.

At Daughter’s gymnastics show, when the lights went down. The music came on. And I was dumb enough to be excited for the performance. Her class marched out. And Darling Daughter checked out. Sat down, indian style, facing away from the audience because she didn’t want to take part.

Or when she took classes at a local dance school when she was in middle school. And she was lovely when she performed on stage. I knew she was coordinated, but had no idea she was graceful enough to carry off ballet, her movements soft and flowing. I would have thought she would be too shy to open herself up on stage.

I see the girl who slams doors and stomps off. Who squirms when all eyes are on her. Who is proud when she accomplishes what she doubted she could. The determination. The aggravation. It’s all in those photos.

And I’m excited for her to be a Senior in high school. For her to choose a college and a future, to spread her wings. I’m so grateful to be a part of it. To have her in my life. She has been the most extraordinary gift to me.

And looking at those photos reminds me of that.

SPECIAL THANKS: To the ex, who set up the experience for our Daughter. And graciously paid for it.

THE LOOK: For those who wondered yesterday…Daughters creamy peach dress was from Tiffany Rose Antiques in downtown Willoughby, Ohio. A  vintage 1950’s party dress. She also wore 1970’s Sarah Coventry jewelry that I got at an estate auction last winter–and that she wore to prom last spring. Daughter has been won over to my affinity for retro & vintage. I’ve sold it online for years and I’m in the beginning phases of setting up shop locally…

Senior Pictures…another school year

Got Daughter’s senior pictures done yesterday…

She walked out of the photography studio with a CD of 375 pictures. We can choose our favorites–then pay a small fee for them to be edited.

My issue? EVERY time I look at the photos, I tear up.

The pictures are ALL somehow ‘Daughter’ in her expressions, laughter, smiles, glances at the camera…

And most especially, when she dropped down to the floor in her 1950s vintage tulle dress to catch a quick break. Being photographed was exhausting. Especially for a young lady who prefers NOT to be the center of attention.

So like Daughter to be caught on the ground in a heap of tulle and satin ribbons…

Lucky #13 ~ The Ford Edge?

There have been 13 cars parked in my driveway in the past 3 months…

1. Honda Accord:

Back in May, I still had my Trusty Honda Accord. 13 years old and about 225,000 miles on it. It was getting tired, so I sold it.


2. Dodge Grand Caravan:

I used the cash from the Honda Accord to buy The Green Van. I knew I was taking a chance, but didn’t want a car payment. Drove the Green Machine down to Washington D.C and it promptly bit the dust. I’ve been without a car since the end of May.

The relatives brought me back home. Sort of like an ‘Adult Carpool.’

3. Toyota Corolla:

My cousin dropped me off at my father’s house. They were out-of-town, so I borrowed their zippy little Toyota Corolla. Handled great. And got FANTASTIC gas mileage.

4. Chevy Tahoe:

Then my Dad got back and I was handed off their other vehicle for several weeks. That truck was top-notch for hauling my teenage son and his friends to football conditioning each day. They are all 6’ to 6’3” and bigger than most adult men. The downside? I think it got about 8 miles per gallon and it cost me a fortune to put gas in the thing…

5. & 6. Trailblazer & Audi A4:

Borrowed from my friend and her daughter when I needed to run an errand or pick up kids.

7. Ford Pickup:

Borrowed from my neighbor Chapman when I was in a bind.

8. Buick LeSabre:

One of my girlfriends had to travel for work and I had this car for several weeks, as well. One doesn’t so much ‘ride’ in a Buick LeSabre, one ‘floats’ down the road. And its burgundy. (She calls it Classic Old Person Color). Fully loaded, leather seats, power everything…its like rolling down the freeway in a recliner. Might be my favorite car this summer. (Was for sure Daughters favorite.)

9. Chevy Impala:

Same family that owned the LeSabre also had an Impala, which we also had here and there.

10. GMC Truck:

Borrowed from yet another friend when I needed to haul furniture. (Another story)

11. Nissan Rouge:

Aunt Kate’s car. Have had that, too.

12. Lexus Sedan:

Daughter has had her Dad’s car when he has been out-of-town.

13. Ford Edge:

This is Lucky #13. And what I am driving today. And this weekend. Fitting that it is called the ‘Edge’ because having it parked in my driveway is keeping me AWAY from the Edge. I’m just not sure how much longer I can be without a car of my own…

Me: I really, really LIKE this car.

Son: It’s a CAR.

Me: True.

Son: Like…any CAR works at this point.

The biggest problem?

For nearly 3 months, I cannot find these cars in parking lots. I have no idea WHICH vehicle I am looking for. Or even what I arrived in…

Sometimes, (Okay…frequently) I have to pull out the keys to jog my memory.

But the end of this disaster is near.

Because It just cannot go on. Not for me. Not for my friends and family.

Son: Mom, it’s a good thing you have friends.

Me: Yeah. For some reason, people seem to like me. No idea why…

Here’s to lucky #13.

May #14 be my NEXT CAR…