Posted in Musings and Mutterings


I went house hunting on Sunday. I’ve been flapping my jaws about moving for about 2 years now, but this week I did something about it. It’s a baby step, but I did it. I called a realtor (remind me to tell you that odd story one time) and met with her to discuss the sale-ability of my current home. Depending on her estimation of a sale price was the determining factor as to if I should even be considering any of this. She came back with a figure that roughly matched what I thought I could get for the house. Step two was to go out and look at what there is in my price range. Granted, homes go on the market and come off all the time, but if there really doesn’t seem to be a consistent amount of homes I’d even be willing to look at for certain prices, what’s the point? We chose to go look in Pennsylvania and upper Maryland. I found a few places I was interested in and found towns where I felt comfortable. A good first volley into the moving realm.

Yesterday was also my eldest son’s birthday. He turned 22. We had a very nice celebratory dinner with him and his fiancee, Deb, at Long Horn, joined by a family friend. It was nice to see him. He works so much that I only get to glimpse him now and then. Happy Birthday, Frank.

Today is the anniversary of my mother’s death. She died in 2004. My father had preceded her in death by 11 months, passing away in August of 2003. When they died, I took most of the photos, with the intent (I still have this intent) of scanning them and making copies for my siblings, but while putting them away in a safe place, I felt I needed to make a memoriam of some kind right then. This is what I made….

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

The Kitchen Table Monster

Every now and again I start a project which somehow morphs quickly into a Kitchen Table Monster. I have done so, yet again.

About a year ago, I decided to reduce clutter and paper around my house. In my kitchen, I had saved just about every copy of a magazine I get called Taste of Home, and then an offshoot magazine called Simple and Delicious. But no, that wasn’t enough! I also had select issues of Vegetarian Times, Low Carb Energy and a few others. I decided that it didn’t really make sense to keep every issue, just because there was one or two recipes in each that I liked. During this time, my eldest son came to forage in my kitchen for something to eat. He doesn’t live with me anymore, but resides about two blocks away and will now and then come home to raid the fridge. I don’t mind at all, because it means that I get to see him for awhile and catch up, but one day he was talking about cooking and it dawned on me that not only could I get recipes that appealed to me, but I could cut some for my son as well and make him a cookbook of the things *I* know he already likes to eat! I went through every magazine, cut the recipes that I wanted and donated the mutilated remnants of the pretty pictures to a local elementary school teacher who was looking for food pictures.

Time passes. Uh oh, is that a KTM I hear??

I bought the items I needed to assemble my son’s cookbook… paper to mount the recipes, a 3 ring binder, food stickers to artfully place in blank spots and plastic sleeves…and began to mount the recipes. Naturally, I found recipes that I wanted as well, or a few that were on the backs of others that I needed so I set aside a pile for copying which grew and grew and grew. After spending a whole evening doing nothing but figuring out how to cram as many recipes on top of my scanner as possible, to maximize paper usage, I finally had my two piles of recipes.

Time passes. Wow! It’s getting pretty big!

Once I had everything copied, I realized I now had to RE CUT all the recipes that I had copied. Sigh. I spent another evening clipping apart the copies and then I managed to put together my son’s cookbook during the next week. By this time, I was sick of looking at the recipes… so I put them in baggies and got busy with something else.

Time passes. Kitchen Table Monsters, when left in baggies, tend to grow extra large.

Enter boredom and a period of ennui. I looked around and realized that I had time and could finish that recipe project I had started. Woo hoo! This time I decided that my desk was too small for this job, so out to the kitchen table I went, with my binder and paper, stickers and plastic sleeves. *I* am more anal than my son, so *I* knew *I* was going to have to sort these recipes by category – sweets, appetizers, beef, chicken, poultry, dressing and sauces and so forth. And of course they would each be color coded by mounting them on different colored paper.

That was a week ago and I am officially finished with sweets and sauces and deeply into poultry right now…. of course boredom and ennui still keep popping up and I wander off to do something else, or shockingly enough, something I’m supposed to do, but I’m making some progress.

I slay thee, Kitchen Table Monster!!
And as promised.. music to slay the monster by….

Posted in Musings and Mutterings


I love music. I thought I might try to find music clips I could include in my blogs now and then to punctuate what I’m thinking or writing about and thus, share my passion with whomever is listening.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been in a brain fog. Not sure why, and can’t think of any reason for it, but I have been. I’ve been going to bed at 2am or later and getting up between 8-9 am. Then, somehow, I get basically nothing done and my day is gone.

This song talks about the excuses you tell yourself (and others) about why you can’t succeed at anything. This past Friday, I was feeling particularly down and I started talking to Frank about why I’m not farther along in the things I want to get accomplished and I realized that there really wasn’t any excuse for not just doing them. I think people sometimes get so comfortable with where they are, and get so used to telling themselves that they can’t, can’t, can’t, that they convince themselves of that fact. Besides, inactivity is so much easier than putting forth effort, physically, emotionally and in thought.

I have a friend who travels out of the country. Last year, she began to worry, long before she left, that her legs wouldn’t be up to all the walking. For two years she has had the same concern. Granted, she does have a medical condition that can cause pain in her legs. The first year, she said things like, “if my legs hold up, God willing.” or “I hope my legs will be ok”. This past year she started saying she was old and that she wasn’t sure she would be alive and began saying even stronger things about her legs, like ” my legs won’t”.

When she got back from her travels recently, she was tired, but the elation and energy she put forth when she started telling me about how she rode a horse to the top of a volcano and then back down again made her seem as though she could accomplish anything and gave her a radiant glow. I heard no excuses as to how her legs couldn’t.. just that she did, and she was amazed and proud of her accomplishment. I pointed out to her that just because she’s 73 and she does have some difficulty, doesn’t mean she can’t do the things she wants to, and didn’t this example show her that she really can do things?

I’d imagine with a medical concern there may be things that you simply are not capable of doing anymore and I can understand that, but where do we cross the line from actually not being able to do and simply convincing ourselves that it can’t be done? Think of the people who are told they will never walk again who are up and about months later.

All well and good when said, but what about those days where I don’t feel *I* can? I just have to remember that life is never a flat line and when I feel like I can’t, I need to turn to things that let me know that I can. Thus, I’ll listen to this song.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Space Shuttles and UAV's

I woke up this morning, groggy. I tried to stay awake and hang out with Sr. and Jr., but I just couldn’t keep my eyes open, so by 10:30 am I was back in bed.

I woke up at 12:07pm from a strange and deep dream. This was like a dream I had the morning of the Columbia Shuttle explosion, where I had dreamed that an astronaut was found, but the head was if not fully, almost severed from it’s body. There was more to that dream, but long story short, when I woke up and turned on the TV, the shuttle had exploded. Go check out my blog on April 4, 2006 entitled “Strange Dreams and Long Days”

In this dream, I was at a neighbors house, enjoying their company. (In reality, they are just long term neighbors and we’ve never been to their house for socializing, but their son is in the Air Force.) I had gone outside and heard a noise in the sky and looked to my right, which would be south- southwest, and saw, hovering in the air, the space shuttle and it’s dock kind of hanging in the sky, as if it had just reached the apex of an upward thrust and then it dropped back down, leaning to the left. It did not seem to have any control over it’s motion, but seemed to be more like it was falling. The dock looked a bit odd, because it was not the full array of framework, but looked like a minimal framework instead. I knew something was wrong.

Next, I saw something coming from the same place where I had seen the shuttle. It looked a bit like a B2, but it wasn’t. It was white, had some lights, had a band of red, white and then blue on it’s two leading edges and looked almost as tho it was hovering. I got the impression that its was looking for something. (When I got up I searched on the web and the thing I found that MOST matched what I saw was a UAV project called Pegasus or a Black Manta (TR-3A)). Right after the UAV headed off towards the place where I think the shuttle fell (which is in the direction of the NSA – since I live VERY close by), I saw another aircraft, this time it was flying quickly in the same direction these other two craft were, but it came more from the southwest and went over the house to disappear in the same direction as the other two craft. (When I searched for that I found my dream craft looked most like a Predator UAV, or something called an SKUA- or high speed target drone). Then I saw a formation of jet aircraft speeding overhead, fairly low level and I started yelling for Frank to come out and tell me what all this aircraft was and why? (In reality, my husband is an aircraft nut and when I woke up, I described the shapes and markings I saw and he instantly knew where to start hunting to help me identify these aircraft, because really, I have no clue what is a what!) He wasn’t responding to my calls, so I started walking down the street to see if I could get a glimpse thru the trees at smoke or lights or something going on either at Ft. Meade or NSA. I couldn’t see anything, because houses and walls that are not there in reality were there in my dream and I remember being very frustrated that I couldn’t see any further than I could. I do remember that one of the structures blocking my view was like a partial wall to a house, with the rest of the wall missing, but a clear view into someone’s living room. They were sitting in a chair, watching the news, but I was too busy trying to get around these obstacles to notice what the news was about. While I was searching for a line of sight, I heard the sirens from many fire engines going off in that same general direction and that scared me enough that I had to wake up.

I rolled out of bed and with still blurry eyes and a fresh vision in my head I went to tell Frank what I had seen, so he could tell me if any of these crafts really existed.

Sr. and Jr. were in the office, looking at something and when I started telling them my dream, they were both taking guesses as to what aircraft I might have dreamed about.. and then my son told me to look up Project Stargate, which supposedly had been run out of Ft. Meade.

I debated on posting my dream, but it’s probably nothing. However, if it is something, I’d rather someone out there in the cyberworld maybe got a clue from it. I sure as heck have no idea!!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Parking Corn and Well Spaced Bunnies

Today, I went to a strip shopping center. You know, the kind that has a line of stores and a sea of black asphalt for parking with cylinders of concrete from which tall light poles emerge. There, sprouting from the base of this one cylinder of concrete, located practically in the middle of the massive parking lot was green a stalk of corn. I didn’t check to see if it had produced an ear, but it was large enough to have done so. It seemed amazing to me that 1. a corn kernel ended up at the base of the cylinder, 2. there was enough dirt for the kernel to sprout and 3. no one had broken, hit or torn the stalk out yet. It was so great to see, I had to take the picture above.

On the way home, we had to go on the ramp from route 29 to route 32. Frank noticed a small bunny on the side of the road… and then another…. and then another… and another…. and yet another, each one spaced about 30 feet from the other. It was just strange to see…!!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings


I was cleaning out some email and rereading some others. Back in August of 2001, my father had sent the poem below to me. He was gone by August 2003. The photo above is from a trip to South Carolina and my first daughters graduation in 99. Although it’s a funny shot, it is quite a statement about my relationship with my parents. Communication was not very easy. But somehow, I feel like I just got a hug from a man that didn’t hug often.

What F-A-M-I-L-Y Means

I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
“Oh, excuse me, please” was my reply.
He said, “Please excuse me too;
I wasn’t watching for you.”

We were very polite, this stranger and I. We went on our way
and we said goodbye.

But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, cooking the evening meal, My son stood beside
me very still.

When I turned, I nearly knocked him down. “Move out of the
way” I said with a frown.

He walked away, his little heart broken. I didn’t realize how
harshly I’d spoken.

While I lay awake in bed, God’s still small voice came to me
and said, “While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you
use, but the children you love, you seem to abuse.
Go and look on the kitchen floor, you’ll find some flowers
there by the door. Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself, pink, yellow and blue. He stood very
quietly not to spoil the surprise, And you never saw the tears
that filled his little eyes.

By this time, I felt very small, and now my tears began to fall.

I quietly went and knelt by his bed,
“Wake up, little one, wake up,” I said.
“Are these the flowers you picked for me?” He smiled, “I found
’em, out by the tree. I picked ’em because they’re pretty like
you. I knew you’d like ’em, especially the blue.”

I said, “Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today; I
shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.

“He said, “Oh, Mom, that’s okay I love you anyway.”

I said, “Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers,
especially the blue.”

Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we
are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days.
But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest
of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves
more into work than to our own family – an unwise investment
indeed, don’t you think?

So what is behind the story? It’s all said in what the word
FAMILY means:

Pass this on to everyone that you care about. I just did.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

My Own Little Show

Last night, a thunderstorm blew through my neighborhood with a fury. The rain was coming down sideways and the thunder and lightning was fairly intense. The storm knocked out the power briefly to my home, so I turned off all the lights/electronica and just let the house be dark until the storm was finished with us.

It was about 9:20pm when the rain started to let up some to a soft pattering drizzle and I heard the first thhhhwump…… boom!! I stepped outside onto my porch in time to see a pom pom of sparkling purple in the sky. Then I heard another ssssssst sound behind me and turned to see another pom pom of glittering gold…. followed by mother nature and the flash of far off lightning and a soft roll of thunder. I have some large trees in my backyard and while I waited for the aerial displays of color to go off on either side of my house, I watched the fireflies twinkling in the wood. It was rather ethereal and quiet lovely. The blend of mother natures version of a spectacular light display and man’s creations were enough to keep me standing in the rain on my back porch until there was silence, and I was happy.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Just a few friends

Last night we had a small cookout. Just the kids and a few friends. Jenny, her daughter Megan, Dave, Gerald and Lisa. We also had a few cancellations (bummer!) but still had a nice time even though the weather didn’t hold up as well as I would have liked.

Since we still had massive party fare, we cooked hamburgers and hot dogs and Lisa brought a beautiful fruit tray. Jenny baked cookies and brought some corn on the cob, which we grilled. Everything was yummy.

Sean was in rare form- he’s so entertaining and Libby was a bit grumpy because she had to work and felt a bit left out. Of course, Sean had to say something uncomfortable to his brother, which I think is a requirement, and then the tense moment passed.

The rain moved in and since that seems to be the best time to light fireworks (according to my neighbor) we were treated to a fireworks display two houses down. How’s that for convenient? Sitting on my porch, surrounded by friends, all with well fed tummies and laughter AND get to have your own personal fireworks display. Couldn’t beat that!

Gerald had to work in the morning, so he left early-ish and then Jr. went home, Sean and Libby fell asleep and shortly after, Sr. did as well, leaving Dave, Jenny, Lisa, Me and Meg. (or as Dave puts it, himself and the Estrogen Brigade)

We played Uno until Meg was sleepy and wanted Jenny to go home, dwindling our group to just three of us. We played Uno, got to know one another a bit better with some good and open conversation and ended up calling it quits around 4:00am.

This means that my 4th will be spent the way Frank and I like it… quiet. We will watch a movie we’ve had out from Netflix for about 2 months now and maybe one other show I’ve been trying to get to and have something we rarely slow down enough to do… a holiday.

Enjoy your festivities!!