I used to count the number of school days — as a bus driver, we were paid for 181 days.
Looks like someone else counts the days too. 🙂
My granddaughter spends every other weekend at her Mom’s. After a recent visit, she brought home this really cool, pink gingerbread cardboard chick. This item has provided countless hours of entertainment! Coco has drawn, colored and cut-out purses, hair bows and more — and used a couple rolls of tape to place these items on Ms. Pink Gingerbread.
It reminds me of the paper dolls I had as a kid. They were thicker and the clothes were magnetized, but the concept was the same.
I snickered to myself when my son, Ben, shared a story pertaining to my favorite granddaughter. Yesterday, she told her Mom that the roof at her house had caught on fire. Her Mom believed the story. Of course, there wasn’t a fire… if there had been a fire, her Mom would’ve certainly been informed. But when Ben confronted Coco, now 6 years-old, and asked why she told the lie she had the perfect response. The story she told wasn’t really a lie — it was just her imagination.
I guess that’s why my own Mom feels ok about her response when she’s asked about her age. It’s not really a LIE if it’s just your imagination. Happy **insert imaginary year here** birthday, Mom. You are awesome no matter how old you claim to be.
I appear here in flurries of activity (not snow flurries). Summer is in full swing and it’s hot and humid in Indiana… and that’s pretty normal. What isn’t normal is just about everything else this summer.
First, WORK! Summer (and the time between Thanksgiving and the 1st of the New Year) is typically slower in regard to my job. A good many people (employees) have graduations, weddings, and vacations planned during the summer months. My experience is that companies don’t schedule meetings as frequently then as they do during other times of the year; therefore, I’m not usually as busy either. This year is different! And, typically during election years we see a trend of fewer events booked — companies oftentimes opt for economists and political figures. This year is different! We are CRAZY busy!
Having said that… the time that’s typically slow is when I try to do things I want to do. Take a Disney Vacation for example…
We had a fabulous time even though I accidentally booked on another holiday. In Disney right after Christmas last year and throughout the New Year celebration, I swore I would never again book on a holiday. I forgot all about Memorial Day when making plans for this latest trip to the happiest place on earth, and again was there at a horribly busy time. We’re already talking about when we’re going back… but I’m going to do a little research first — primarily regarding the slowest and coolest times to visit.
I sure hope this finds every single one of you enjoying summer as much as I am!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey, 2014:
97% of U.S. adults over age 25 don’t spend any time learning new skills during their day.
That’s a pretty interesting statistic, don’t you think? I would assume that’s because by aged 25, folks are out of school/college with jobs and family and a home to care for and just LIFE in general. 97% of us are simply too darned busy to spend time learning new skills. In my specific work role, I find that I spend more time doing required work projects that just keep my head above water. When I DO have downtime (which is darned rare), I don’t want to spend it even remotely thinking about learning new things. For me, the required work projects also involve learning new skills — but for most (97% obviously), that simply isn’t the case.
Google says the key is to learning (and creating product) as it pertains to the 25 and older group is to reach out when people have “tiny pockets of downtime — like when they are waiting for a meeting to start or standing in line for coffee. And what are people doing in those moments? Looking at their phones.”
I sure hope by the time my granddaughter is a player in the workforce in 20 years this is all figured out… but until then — goodbye Kindergarten for Colette…
My favorite granddaughter, Coco, is only 5 but she can sure roll through the house making it evident she’s been there. The piano stool out, fingerprints on the fridge, magic fairy wand on the couch, plastic toys in the tub, etc., etc. Let me be clear — I’m NOT complaining! There’s nothing that makes my heart as happy as hearing “NANA!” as she bursts through the door.
Her bedroom may be messy, but give it another 10 years. I’m looking forward to clothes on the floor, dirty dishes hidden under the bed, and a bajillion soda cans in various stages of completion. Wait… maybe she’ll be different than her Dad. (crosses fingers)
The Christmas tree is up at my house but this year is not merely a repeat of previous holidays. I had to buy a new tree this year… my Martha Stewart special lasted only 2 years. And Dharma is so destructive that I didn’t feel “safe” pulling out my collected ornaments. My (now 33 year-old) baby’s “first Christmas” ornament is pretty special to me and I simply didn’t want to chance finding it chewed and discarded after the holiday season. So my new LED tree has just plain ole’ ornaments this year…
With a selection of colors and display choices (flashing/firefly/etc), I thought I’d just share a black and white rendition and let you guys pick whatever color you want. When I pick, it’s purple every single time. Evidently, everyone else thinks the “P” on the tree remote stands for “PINK” (not purple) and switch it to something…. ANYTHING else the second my back is turned.
If trying to monitor a puppy during the holiday season (so everything remains somewhat intact) isn’t enough — I have this five-year old granddaughter. Kids LOVE remotes, you guys. Between remotes for the TV, the AppleTV, the fireplace, the cable box and more… it feels like I’m almost always looking for a remote to something. And when I find the remote I’m looking for? It doubles as a pretend cell phone and rings often.
I think candid photos are awesome. I prefer them 100x’s over a posed studio shot simply because of the “memory” factor. Most posed studio photos are beautiful, no doubt about it. Typically, the end result is a photograph that depicts the subject in the best possible light, the most suitable clothing, and groomed closest to perfection as possible. How often does that happen in real life?
When I look at wedding or engagement photos, I’m still most attracted to the candid (those that aren’t quite so obviously posed) images. Believe it or not, I’m not a “selfie” hater IF they are taken to create a snapshot of a memory — like an Indiana couple with an ocean backdrop, or group of friends obviously having a good time. I HATE those selfies that say to me, “here I am in a bathroom posing in front of a mirror with my iPhone,” or “here I am with pouty lips and a headband.” Give me FUN, candid photos.
Having said that… candid photos aren’t so easy when your subject wears glasses. The tips to get rid of glare are pretty darned hard to apply without posing or missing that memory altogether:
The best option is to just move YOU and not your subject. And if you get some glare it’s not the end of the world. I would rather have glasses glare and remember Coco coloring family portraits and her excitement when they were complete than to have missed it because my lighting wasn’t ideal.
This little bunny is a future artist (or maybe a brain surgeon). A child’s colorful imagination is inspiring — and Colette sure has a vivid one. Her Dad made the paper bunny head item and it’s near impossible to get her to take it off…
She wore it as she carefully took every brown crayon in the box and put it against the fur of our new puppy, Dharma, to make sure she got the exact color match. And then she scribbled a masterpiece!
The people? They are purple and brown — no color picking going on in that regard. The final artwork had 3 people and one Dharma (with only 3 legs). When I asked who the people were, Coco spoke in a condescending tone and said, “They are all ME!” Her other drawings included her Dad, me, Perry and even Katie made an appearance. But not with the dog. The only one allowed in the same drawing with the 3-legged dog was her.
I happen to love the crisp air of October in Indiana. I’m that person with windows open just so I can have a fire in the fireplace. Cooler temps also mean it’s Oktoberfest time in Seymour and I didn’t want to miss it — more for the food than anything else. The mention of free food and Katie was in for the festivities that Colette and I had planned.
Most of the time, Colette is so much like her Dad was at the same age it’s uncanny. But when it comes to rides — they are polar opposites. Colette is a little daredevil — showing no fear and asking to get on rides that she’s simply too small for. I remember a time at Kings Island when I forced Ben on a ride… people were looking at me like I was the worst parent ever because he was loudly exclaiming his fear… with “it’s been nice knowing you, Mom” interjected in the begging in hopes I would cave in and skip the attraction. (I knew he would love it once the ride started… and he did.) Coco was bored on the flying school bus. On the dinosaur ride? She yelled at Katie to “spin it faster.” That’s my girl. 😉
I was honored to go to Crothersville School as a “grandparent” for my favorite granddaughter today. I was thrilled to represent and walk the halls once again — the same ones I walked when I was in school… and when my son went there as well.
For the record — when you see your friends in the halls of Crothersville Community Schools and the occasion is ‘grandparent’s day,’ you feel old.
I woke up this morning around 4:30 AM and I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight. It reminds me of my Nanny’s sleeping habits — you could find her sitting at the kitchen table staring out the window most hours of the day/night. So here I am… a little after 7:00 AM… I’ve already showered, trolled Facebook, checked email and organized my upcoming work day. If I had a table at my kitchen window, I’d probably be staring out of it. Instead, I’m here and am just about to share a photo of my granddaughter and her cousin about to hit the Jackson County Fair. (I’m sharing a before photo because it was so HOT, Colette told Ari that her hair looked “creepy” by the time we were ready to leave.)
As a kid, Mom made sure I was clean, had my hair combed, face washed, teeth brushed, and was dressed for school. I don’t remember my Dad taking on that responsibility even once — and I can’t even IMAGINE what I would’ve looked like if he had. My best guess is that I would’ve been lucky to have 2 shoes that matched as I trudged out to catch the bus.
I don’t say it often enough, but I sure am proud of my son for the way he takes care of my granddaughter. Now, if he could just teach her how to smile naturally and not throw that ‘fake’ one out there for photos. 🙂
So in my last post, I suggested that you guys listen to a podcast called ‘Serial.’ Remember? Well… I THOUGHT it was a just a story and had absolutely NO CLUE that it’s for real. Yes. This “story” basically re-investigates a 1999 murder in Baltimore of 18-year-old, Hae Min Lee.
After listening to 10 episodes, I thought I’d see what day the next podcast edition would be coming out and did a quick search rather than hit the serialpodcast.org website. That’s how I stumbled on an article talking about the Syed family, (the family of the ex-boyfriend and convicted murderer of Hae Min Lee, Adnan Syed), and it’s also the moment I realized I’m an idiot.
So now that I know it’s about a real case involving real people, I almost want to go back and listen to everything once again and turn myself into one of the five million detectives trying to figure out if Adnan really killed his ex-girlfriend or if he was wrongly convicted. I want to be one of the people with an opinion to share on the Serial Podcast subreddit and worry if those who were involved in the actual case so many years ago are having their privacy rights violated today.
The Guardian says, “Downloads of the show seem to increase each week, reportedly averaging at roughly 850,000 an episode. It’s viral.“
So if all these listeners are trying to solve the crime maybe you should too! If Colette can be a bunny with nothing more than 2 pieces of paper for ears and a dish towel for a tail — who’s to say YOU won’t be the one to crack this case?
When you’re an Indiana resident, you know about how crazy the weather can be. It’s not everywhere you can see 17 degrees on the thermometer while listening to a forecast calling for thunderstorms. I saw posts on Facebook stating the BLIZZARD OF 1978 (that I remember vividly) was during this same timeframe and that simply isn’t true. That big ole’ blizzard was near the end of January. I barely lived through that one. Mom and I were stranded together. Alone.
This small — but first — snow of the season was just fine until the wind began to blow and the temperatures plummeted. There was; however, a window of opportunity for just a little bit of fun…
I guess because it’s been a long week (yes, it’s only Monday), I was thrilled to find out that I can afford to retire — at least if I move to one of the 10 amazing places abroad listed in an article I read. I first stumbled on this list months ago, but found it again today while looking for something else. I think Malaysia looks pretty incredible, you guys.
If it wasn’t for one little girl in particular (and the fact that pets are required to be quarantined for months prior to a move), I might just be gone.
I got a pop-up on my iPhone yesterday letting me know it’s full. There’s no more disk space. How could that be?
Pretty sure it had something to do with that hour-long selfie movie Colette recorded. While it had to be removed from my phone, I did watch it and couldn’t help saving it for later. From hilarious faces to toys and dog-butts, this movie was classic.
Makes me wonder why we (as grandparents) let our grandkids do things we would NEVER allow our own children to do…
I’ve found the perfect photography spot with natural lighting in the ‘escape the 80’s house.’ Now all I have to do is convince everyone I want to photograph to get in the tub in the master bath. The skylight provided soft light even on an especially sunny day…
And here’s a “DID YOU KNOW” fact — the word “photography” is derived from the Greek for ‘painting with light.’ So finally, here’s the best Dad on the planet and his happy, little girl painted with light on Father’s Day:
I explained yesterday that I’ve been MIA — and that’s why I ‘m just now getting around to posting photos from Coco’s 4th birthday party. Two words to remember when it comes to a birthday party for a 4 year-old (besides cake, ice-cream, balloons and candles)…. BUBBLES and ZIGGLE.
Bubbles are always fun. Even great Mam-maw got into them:
Coco is struggling insofar as learning to ride her “baby bike” (bike with training wheels that allow the rider to coast and brake by peddling backwards). So I purchased the BEST item EVER… a ZIGGLE. It’s easy to learn to power and she LOVES it! (Photo courtesy of Perry’s Blackberry)
I did mention cake, ice-cream, balloons and candles, and we had those!
As is almost always the case when throwing a good party, there will be a “crasher” that just shows up for cake…
Happy 4th birthday to my favorite granddaughter, Colette — hope you have a bajillion more!
It’s important to give your attention to what you’re doing at the time you’re doing it. You know, keep your eye on the ball. It’s pretty much the same no matter the subject… in business it could mean giving your attention to your customer… in relationships, your significant other… etc. But what happens if you don’t follow that wise advice?
Wearing a cute outfit ready for a date with her favorite aunt, I asked Coco to smile for a photo. Like most 3 year-olds, she flashed a smile on command. Oh, she gave me what I asked for… but it was fake. Thrilled just thinking about the day ahead, she was smiling all over herself. That is, until the very second I said, “Colette, look at Nana and smile.” (Everyone knows that’s a no-no, but I got in a hurry and fell right into the trap.)
Still, I swear I didn’t tell her to “say cheese” — even though that’s exactly what it looks like.
I bailed on work for the first day in a very long time. I almost felt brave and fearless since it was on a Monday — one of our busiest of the week. Cheesecake Factory for lunch, you guys… seriously, it felt like when I’d skip school as a kid. After spending the day with two gorgeous blondes I’m thinking I should schedule a hair appointment for a color change myself.
Because I went awhile without posting and FINALLY shared something yesterday, I thought I’d post again today and at least mention Easter Sunday because it was an absolutely beautiful day. Coco didn’t have much trouble finding all the eggs…
And Ben? I watched as he held a doll and shared quite a lengthy dialog with Barbie. But when he didn’t hesitate to be a princess about to be turned into a frog? I had to snap a photo.
I’ve always thought I had the best Dad on the planet. If you knew ole’ Dallas McKain, you might’ve recognized how very lucky I was to have him in my life… but I think Colette hit the jackpot.
I’ve not been around because I’ve been struggling with the letter “P” — somewhere between Projects and Personal is where you would find me.
As an aside… just typing this reminds me of my son’s kindergarten graduation. He had to recite a few lines and his opening was, “My name is Mr. Q.” Of course, I thought he was brilliant. I recorded him onstage and pulled out the old VHS tape a few years back to save on DVD. I was totally amazed at how southern he sounded and how s l o w l y he talked. Funny, because today he doesn’t sound like that at all. It’s ME who has the horrid southern accent.
I wanted to at least share something so you guys would know I’m alive. So here’s proof that someone likes the sunshine and warm weather almost as much as I do.
Couldn’t catch the new drips because he was too busy cleaning up the old drips. That’s how life is too sometimes, isn’t it? We’re so busy trying to catch up on what we should’ve done yesterday, we miss a whole lot of today. But maybe it’s just me…
I got a call over the weekend from Perry’s family inviting me to a fish fry/cookout in mid-June. MID-JUNE, you guys! I don’t even know what I’m going to be doing this upcoming weekend. If I were the host, I’d be calling to say, “Hey… wanna come to eat tomorrow?”