High School Graduation…no time for reflection

“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.”

~Paulo  Coelho

Today: Darling Daughter graduates high school. She does so with style, in a pretty white dress, white cap and gown and being that she’s a ‘shoe person’ … sparkly silver shoes. She’ll be wearing bling on her feet and on her person, as she graduates with honors and distinction at the top of her class.

Tomorrow: We leave home at 5:45 a.m. for orientation at Daughter’s chosen college. She’ll enroll in her first semester of college classes and later in the day, we turn around and drive three hours back home.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: I’ll work. (Probably a lot given my abbreviated week.)

(Also on Tuesday: An appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. Toss fixing my banged up right hand into the mix…)

Friday: Daughter and I (and maybe the family?) will be up again at the crack of dawn, to drive to Columbus. We’ll arrive at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, on the campus of The Ohio State University,  by 9 am. Son competes in the state track tournament. As of a few months ago, he pole vaults? He’s only a freshmen.

color runSaturday: Up early again. For The Color Run. Our group will run (and walk) a few miles in white shirts, and have paint thrown on us all through the ‘race.’ Team name? The Misfits. “Fit teenage boys, a fat old lady (me) and some teenage girls somewhere in between.” Thankfully, my good friend (and fellow 40 something) is joining me. I won’t be the only ‘old lady’ in our group.


Sunday:  Darling Daughter’s graduation party. When are we getting ready for it? I’m not sure. Thankfully we kept it simple. It seemed to me we had two choices. Have a small, casual, gathering (approx. 40-50 people) or it could get big, really quickly, easily 150. (In our small town, we all know each other.) Grateful we went small, given the week’s events…

June 12: Son turns 16 and gets his driver’s license. He’s ready, been taking his classes, etc. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!!

July – August: In a few weeks, we’ll welcome a new baby girl into the family. (Aunt Kate’s first grandchild…) The kids and I will move to a new home this summer (I’ve been packing for months). We’ll get daughter ready, then take her to college in August.

Reflection? No time for that now…

Having just started a new, full-time job six weeks ago, as well as a couple of new freelance side jobs, I’m a little befuddled these days. Seems there’s so much going on. Ceremonies that precede a high school graduation. Awards nights, last day of school, parties…

And Son making a run at state pole vault champion? He picked up a pole barely three months ago, began the season flinging himself up over 9 feet…and is now quickly closing in on 14 feet?

white cupcakeAt some point, I’ll have quiet moments for reflection…

Right now, I’m just hanging on…enjoying the ride!!

Knowing that next weeks graduation party brings a cupcake.

My Broken (dislocated) Finger

Which finger got banged up?

Yep. That’s the one. My ‘middle’ finger… (On the right hand.)

And it has me wondering if I should attend tomorrows high school track meet?

Son high jumps and pole vaults. He also runs, sort of. (They put him in if they need another person in a relay, or something…)

nick high jumppole vaultPerfect events for Son. He’s been flinging himself about since he could stand on two feet. A freshmen, he never pole vaulted until last month. He gave it a try (no training, or experience) and quickly jumped 10 feet. He regularly swings up over 10 and 11 feet, using his trusty (or at least we hope it is!!) pole.

I doesn’t look so trusty when it bends and he’s ‘flying through the air with the greatest of ease…’

Last Saturday was Cold. And windy.

It was one of those track meets where only a parent will stand out there. And there I stood, out on the football field, watching Son high jump. I was wrapped up like a burrito in a giant, fleece blanket. My arms all wrapped up IN the blanket.

When high jump was over, I shuffled back toward the bleachers and tripped over my blanket. My hand smashed into the ground. Hard.

I got up and continued walking–As I walked, I pulled off one glove. Then the other…

hand copy Sh#t! My middle finger was headed in two directions. Where it met my hand, it was going left. But the top half definitely wanted to go to the right.

What to do?

I trudged up to the press box, to get my daughters car keys. I had to borrow her car because mine is stick shift. I drove to our local family doctors office, waited an hour for the x-ray tech to come in. (As always, I had a book in my purse.) Then I got nerve blocks in my finger, so they could yank it back into place. The finger was also broken, and the tendons and ligaments are a tad bit banged up.

Luckily, I got back to the track meet in time to see Son pole vault.

But for most of this week, my hand looked like a paw. Fingers, knuckles and hand were swollen to nearly 2x the size of my other hand–and a bit purple. There are three fingers on the hand that were jammed. Probably, I won’t ever be putting rings on those fingers again–unless the knuckles return to their normal size.

And yes, I type for a living with my job at The News Herald.

My goal this week? I just wanted to be able to hit the comma. Who even thinks about reaching the comma, with their middle finger? I didn’t until this week. And it would be great to be able to hold a pen…


Aunt Kate: These things happen to us. Things that don’t HAPPEN to other people…


Friend: You went down? All the way to the ground?

Me: Yes.

Friend: I’m sorry…(apologizing because she couldn’t stop herself from laughing in my face…)

Me: Go ahead and laugh. Everybody else has been…


Co-worker: THAT’S THE STORY? You’re going to have to come up with a better story.

Me: One where I don’t look like an idiot??


Lastly, Daughter teased me when I couldn’t do things; grip a pen, brush my hair properly, etc.

Darling Daughter: It’s a finger, you have nine more of them!!

(Son and Daughter both thought that was hilarious)

Darling Daughter: Be careful you don’t stub a toe. That might really sideline you!!

I restrained myself, but I really wanted to stick my finger in the air. To help my circulation, of course. So the blood didn’t rush to my swollen hand, and make it throb. Not because I wanted to signal the kids.



I’m a little apprehensive about attending the track meet.

Last week, Son was 10+ feet off the ground. And I got hurt, putting one foot in front of the other??

Plus, I’ll be out in public. Which means the beating I’ve taken all week is bound to continue. And I get it. I give those around me plenty to make fun of. I know they can’t help themselves.

Probably, I’ll go. But I’ll be really, really careful…

Or as careful as I can be.

The Life of My Dog(s) …

Yesterday was a gift. A beautiful day in early March. Spring was in the air.

Seemed a good idea to walk my dogs in the woods. Or so Daughter and I thought…

The Red Dog barreled out of the car ahead of everyone.

The Little Black Dog, Daughter and I headed for the path, but we were quite a few paces behind The Red Dog. He bounced happily up ahead of us, tail wagging, ears flopping in the breeze.

Not five minutes into our walk, The Red Dog took a sharp left–then hauled as# toward…WHAT?

Curious, Daughter and I stretched our necks, tried to see what had him even MORE excited? Because he was already pretty excited to be running around in the woods…

We rounded the corner and there he stood–up to his neck in water.

The Red Dog found a watering hole. A MUDDY watering hole!!

dogs 014

I called him, but The Red Dog kind of does his thing. He looked at me when he heard his name–but he wasn’t ending his fun on my account.He frolicked in the water, then got OUT when he was ready to move on.

The Little Black Dog? Loves the water and loves to swim. But she avoided the murky, muddy messes. She ran though shallow water and clear streams, but stayed clear of the sludge.

Not The Red Dog.

He continued to amuse himself by locating every wet, muddy area along the path. He swam in them. Drank the water. Even laid down in them.

Me? The Red Dog was already a mess. He was getting a shower when we got home anyway, so I figured he might as well have his fun.

And really, watching The Red Dog frolic with abandon was sort of contagious. Both Daughter and I laughed over and over again at his antics. Neither of us had the heart to stop him. It was a lighthearted (and dirty) walk. But it was fun!

Of course, the swamp water he drank might be like drinking the water in Mexico. We’re hoping he doesn’t barf–or get the runs…

dogs 001

By evening, all was well. Daughter and I were happy–they dogs were clean and happy. They curled up together like Twinkies, sound asleep in my comfy, King-size bed.

My dogs live a nice life…

Oh Christmas Tree…Part II

ImageAs promised, I’m posting photo’s of our 2012 Christmas Tree…

The outing was a disaster, a big reason it was so much fun. Given the participants; two teenagers, two dogs and me, we knew it wouldn’t go smoothly. Never does…

The dogs;  Rocky wore a scarf (We didn’t want him to get cold.) Grace did not wear a scarf, because she refused to have one tied around her neck. We no sooner got out of the car when Rocky got loose (on accident), mostly because he was excited and bouncing. (He bounces like a super ball) When I called him, he galloped through a big patch of mud–but right back to me–and I put his collar back on. As I did so, Grace got loose (on purpose) because I walked away from her. Luckily, she only did a few loops around the cars that were trying to back out, before sliding to a muddy stop at my feet. Total outing for the dogs? Three minutes out of the car. At most.

They didn’t mind going back in the car, because they had empty McDonald’s bags to shred up. (We made a stop for food on the way to the tree farm.)

The teenagers; mostly made fun of me, because that’s what they do. Son kept swinging the saw, though Daughter and I asked him to stop. Daughter was cold. My feet got soaked because I kept stepping in the gaping holes that held trees in years passed. (No, I don’t watch where I’m walking.)

The tree; proves that anything is pretty with sparkly lights!! This tree is just over 6′ tall and very spare. It has gaping holes, few branches and you can see right through to its trunk.

Tree decor: I loaded the tree with lights (two stands) and vintage Shiny Brite bulbs. I scored a large lot of vintage bulbs at auction last fall for a few dollars. Last year, we went with red, silver and pink.

Daughter wanted a blue theme this year. The bulbs are antique, so they’re lovely shades of pale blue, pale green, slate blue and other unique colors not seen today. There are a mix of ornaments styles on the tree; stenciled with white, shaped like bells, glittered, striped, disco ball style, crackled, etc.

Aunt Kate: I went to bed thinking that only you could get that tree and decorate it with blue ornaments, which I’ve never liked–and it actually looks pretty!!

Turns out, it’s one of  my favorite trees. Very out of the box, unusual. Not at all Perfect. Which fits, because at this point there isn’t anything Perfect about our household. Yet, that’s okay. We’re (mostly) happy.

Hopefully my kids look back fondly on this years outing to the tree farm. And remember the dogs getting loose, people laughing at the dogs antics, other tree shoppers faces (mouths hanging open) when they saw our tree, almost running out of gas, shredded McDonald’s bags, muddy dogs and all the little things we laughed at…

Because those are the moments that give life meaning. It isn’t about perfection. It’s more about embracing the imperfection, finding joy in the experience…

I see our quirky tree with its mismatched (but color-coordinated) bulbs, as having character and charm. I smile every time I look at it. Can’t help it…

Probably because I associate it with a Perfect couple of hours spent with my children.

Friday Night Football in the Rain …


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There have been some lovely fall days in Cleveland, Ohio. When the sun was shining. When I appreciated leaves on trees turning to golden-yellow, apple red, rusty browns and oranges. Except come Friday evening, it ALL goes to shi#. Every … Continue reading