Tuesday, August 30, 2016


2016 will go down in history as the year we've lost too many great celebrities.

Seriously, it's only the end of August and we've mourned David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Patty Duke, and now Gene Wilder.

David Bowie's death affected me, since I loved his music in the 1980s, especially his dues with Bing Crosby (The Little Drummer Boy); Queen (Under Pressure); and Mick Jaggar (Dancing in the Streets).  While I never saw Labrynth, in which he played Jareth the Goblin King, my daughter loves that movie.

I fell in love with Prince when Little Red Corvette and Purple Rain were released.  At college, my first RA (Jenny) loved him so much, she dyed her hair purple for his concerts.

Muhammad Ali:  I was saddened when he was diagnosed with Parkinsons, and was thrilled when he lit the torch at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Patty Duke, I only knew from watching TV movies and trivia questions.

But Gene Wilder.....

I first 'met' him in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, then as 'Young Frankenstein', which, I admit, gave me nightmares the first time I saw it.  Now it's one of my favorite movies.

When I was 10, Dad took me to see Silver Streak at least twice, and I loved his scenes with Richard Pryor, esp the one where he's trying to 'act black'.

In high school, I suffered through Stir Crazy twice, during finals week.

I loved his devotion to Gilda Radner, whom I'd enjoyed on Saturday Night Live.

I'm not looking forward to losing any more of my favorites, so will the rest of my childhood celebrities please live healthy lives?  John Denver died too soon, as did Michael Jackson.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Flashback Friday: Back To School Again!

August 2006:
The hunt was still on for a new home, and we were getting all sorts of advice from friends and realtors, and even a lawyer, but so far, nothing was coming together.  We received the alarming news D's mother had adopted a dog, and two weeks later, she'd tripped while walking it, causing multiple bruises on her arms and face.  Thankfully, neighbors and other family intervened and took the dog away from her, giving it to another family who could better care for it.  Mom already had four cats in the house.

K began his freshman year, while S was in 6th.  She was still playing Alto Sax in band, but K had given up on the baritone.

Next Month:  My Daughter Writes Her 2nd Book:)

Present Day:
We officially made it into Phase #6-C of Secret Project #2 and Phase #E on SP #1:)

The Tween's BTS night went VERY well, plus I had a meeting with his teachers yesterday morning and we updated his 504 plan.  Looks likes we need to put him back on his ADD meds; he's still having trouble focusing and staying on task.  When he was home, I could constantly remind him, but when a teacher has 20+ others in the class, it's not fair to insist s/he do the same.  So I'll be calling his doctor next week.  Football-wise, his coach is happy with him, and I'm thrilled he's making friends and is being accepted by the others.

Wrote 800 words on my ghost story yesterday, so hope to continue today, and get closer to finishing it:)

Tomorrow's Karaoke Songs:
Listen To Your Heart-Roxette
Little Lies-Fleetwood Mac
Little Red Corvette-Prince
Little Toy Guns-Carrie Underwood (Not sure if I'll do this one or not; still working on it.)
Little White Church-Little Big Town

Friday, August 19, 2016

Flashback Friday: My Baby Goes To School!

Aug 1996:
The previous year, little S had protested loudly every time we dropped off K to his Mother's Day Out program, since she would head over to the blocks and play with the other kids while I spoke to the teacher and made sure K was okay.

When I signed K up for his final year, I discovered S was now eligible for the Green Room, so we decided to go ahead and let her go too.  The first day she was a little teary-eyed, but I reassured her that K was just down the hall and I would be back.  When I picked her up later, she was very happy and looking forward to returning the next week:)  I soon began loving my free Wednesdays!

Got a call from my neighbor, the one who married back in June.  They had moved to a house in Greenwood the previous month, and now W was asking if I'd help her move again.  She and T were splitting up, only 8 weeks after they'd married.  She told me she'd wished she'd  taken my advice back in late May!

Next Month:  House Hunting Again.

Present Day:
My tween has been back in school (middle school-6th grade) for two weeks now, and just learned a valuable lesson about homework.  If he doesn't do it, he loses privileges, such as PE, lunch time, and TV time at home.  Plus, this morning he had to get up early to finish his Math.  Hopefully now he'll realize he needs to do it nightly.

Earlier, he'd indicated he wanted to play percussion, but when Band began, he wanted to play the alto sax.  Weeeelll......the sax is on the missing list.  I thought it was in the basement with the baritone, but it's nowhere to be found down there.  Thankfully, he decided to switch to the baritone!  This, of course, AFTER I found someone willing to let us rent a sax for a month or two....

Phase 6, subsection B was completed yesterday on Secret Project #2!  Hopefully two weeks from today we move onto Phase #7 and I can reveal all:)

I rocked the bar last night at karaoke!  Sang Walk Away by Kelly Clarkson, Express Yourself by Madonna, and Walk The Dinosaur by Was Not Was.  And am a little embarrassed that I just NOW, after 27 years, realize what that song's about!

Have a good weekend!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Flashback: Relationship Highs and Lows

Aug 1986:
Brief Recap:  I was in summer school, and had temporarily suspended my relationship with JD, since he cheated on me. I began a FWB relationship with euchre partner TH, plus began working at Market Street Station.

EY took a phone message for me:
JF wants you to call him tonight after he gets off work at 5.

I took this to mean he was going to leave work at 5, so I decided to go ahead and eat dinner with EY, TH, and other friends, thus giving JF time to chill out after a full days' work.  When EY left for her shift at MSS, I called the phone number.

Turned out there'd been a slight communication error.  JF had gotten off work at 4:30, and had planned to take me out to eat.  Since I'd already eaten, and he had just given up on having his call returned, he asked me out for the weekend.

"I hate to tell you this, but if you want to take me out, it will either have to be tonight or wait until Sunday, since I work tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday."  

"Why don't we do this:  I'll finish up things here, then come get you in about an hour and we'll go to Dairy Queen?"

When he arrived, I was still curious over what he looked like, since he thought he knew me, but it turned out he had been thinking of someone else!  I asked him to face the wall, then look to his left, through the window.  I stepped out into the hall and waved, then asked, "Have you ever seen me before?"

He laughed and said no, but was I still coming out?

"Let me grab my keys..."

We had a lovely time, and became closer over the course of the month.

But What About JD?
Our final day of summer school, as EY and I were packing to leave, JD called and invited me to meet him at the MDA picnic.  Confident that meant he'd chosen me, I drove up (Dad had loaned me the car the previous weekend) to meet him.

The first red flag was when he barely acknowledged my presence.  The 2nd red flag was when I took a seat across the table from him and he wouldn't look me in the eye. The full truth hit me when Andrea, the girl he'd had his fling with, dropped the keys to his truck (the one he swore he'd NEVER let anyone but HIM drive!) in front of him, grabbed the seat next to him, and sighed, "People see me with your truck and think we're married."

JD turned red, but said nothing.  Andrea introduced herself to me.

I was civil, but after JD finished eating, I asked if he'd care to take a walk.

Once we were outside, JD started talking, but I interrupted him.  "You don't have to say a word.  It's pretty clear who you've chosen."  I stalked off toward my car, then drove to KC's home to vent.

During the week between summer school and the beginning of the new semester, I school-shopped and prepared for my final semester.

My AF officer had also contacted me to let me know he was coming home in September, so I looked forward to his next visit:)

Next Month:  School begins again!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Flashback Friday: Florida!!

Aug 1976:
Before I recap the events of this month, I need to back up. I totally forgot 1976 was the year I attended my 1st week-long Girl Scout sleep-away camp in June.  I was thrilled at first; Mom gave me an orange crate-turned-side table she'd taken on her 1st GS camp, and my tent used it to store our toiletries.  Shannon Bookwalter was the only one from my troop sharing a tent, and I don't remember the names of the other two.

I enjoyed the swimming, basket weaving, and the songs, and had looked forward to horseback riding, but my horse, Fox, and I did not get along.  He tried to throw me, and fortunately a counselor helped get him back under control.  I fully believe that the day we were supposed to go on a trail ride, God intervened and sent rain to protect me!  Though, since we were confined to our tent, the four of us decided to organize our suitcases just as a surprise tent inspection happened. Since we all had clothes strewn about on the cots, we didn't pass.

I wrote lots of letters in my down time, plus I was very grateful for having a counselor who didn't like oatmeal the day they served it, and asked us if we liked it before she served it! Since we had to take "3 Girl Scout bites' of everything, she gave those of us who shared her dislike just a tiny dab of the stuff.

I was very happy when camp was over and never went back again!  I do remember a girl named Paulette who was outgoing and fun to be around.

Back To August:
Grandma and Grandpa Grauel decided to move to St. Pete, Florida, and to see if they'd like it, they rented an apartment at Sun Cove Apts across from the beach and just up the street from the Don Caesar hotel.  My sister and I both fell in love with the large pink, castle-like structure!  We were thrilled Sun Cove had a pool with a diving board, plus shuffleboard court and croquet field, plus was on a canal.  We went back to Disney that year and had a great time, even though 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea broke down just as we were about to ride it.  The previous year, it broke down about an hour into our wait.

Wendy and I soon made friends with the ladies who played backgammon all afternoon, and they enjoyed our antics on the diving board. Plus, we respected their desire not to get their hair wet, and took care not splash when they would swim laps.

This may have also been the year my Uncle Bill introduced me to nose plugs for swimming.  Suddenly, I could swim underwater w/o any problems!

This was the year of the McIntire Family Reunion at Brown County, and my cousin Michele and I spent so much time rolling down the hill, we both ended up with muddy pants.  My parents were not that amused, lol!

School began; I was in Mr. McDonald's 5th grade class, while my sister had the misfortune to be in Mrs. Shelby's 1st grade.  The rumor was she was the meanest 1st grade teacher, and I was happy I'd not had her!

Present Day:
Tonight our Watermelon Festival begins!  I'm making key chains to either give away or sell, and finally mastered a watermelon shape last night.  I'm also going to print out copies of my coloring page of Kenzie's Best of Both Worlds, and see how well they go over.

Karaoke Songs:
Like A Surgeon-Weird Al
Like A Virgin-Madonna
Like A Prayer-Madonna
Lightening Crashes-Live

Monday, August 1, 2016

August Reading Schedule

I had such high hopes for July, but they didn't pan out:
-Work on Heart Song and Ghost Story  I DID work on them....just not much...
-Do well at tonight's First Friday Art Walk  Sold one and got to see friends:)
-Do well at Peoria/Writers On The River  Sold 4....I can now finish paying for KABB!
-Send Kira off to editor along  with 1st payment  Nope
-Send Kira's cover off to artist along with 1st payment  Nope
-Make 2nd payment to B  Not yet
-Finish paying for KABB Did make another payment, so maybe after Watermelon Fest, I'll pay the rest?
-Pay for Watermelon Fest  Check:)
-Pay for OA  Not yet...
-Make 1st payment to Imaginarium  Not yet...
-Enroll Tween in football  Check:)  Camp is July 25-29:)
-Finish de-cluttering basement and storage  Not yet...
-Finish 2 secret projects  I'm 90% finished with SP#1, and we should find out about SP#2 soon!

Books Read:  5
            Print:  2
            E-Book:  3 (rereads)

How's The Health?
In the last month, I've had labs drawn; mammogram; eyes checked; pulmonary lung function; and had my thyroid meds upped.  Still trying to lose weight.

August Goals:
-Do well at Watermelon Fest  Sold 2, and 4 samples of new coloring book:)
-Finish paying for KABB
-Start paying for Imaginarium
-Pay B
-Pay for OA
-Make payments to both editor and cover artist
-Finish Ghost Story
-Finish paying for Christmas Toy and Hobby Show
-Make progress on Heart Song
-Progress to Stage #7 on Secret Project #2
-Complete Phases C and D of Secret Project #1

Reading Schedule:
Falling For The Rancher Father-Linda Ford  Enjoyable...
I'll Be Home For Christmas- Lenora Worth  Enjoyable
A Match For Abby-Emma Miller Enjoyable 
Small Town Fireman-Allie Pleiter  Very good:)
Daddy Wanted- Renee Andrews  Loved this!Big Sky Cowboy- Linda Ford  Slightly tedious to read, but overall, good story line.
Sometimes God Has A Kid's Face- Sr Mary Rose McGeady  Stories will break your heart.  Many of the kids are from abusive homes.
Slow Hand- Victoria Vane
Tattered Loyalties-Carrie Ann Ryan  Really enjoyed this and want to read more!!!  RR
Cry Sanctuary-Moira Rogers  Really enjoyed this one also!
Wild Irish Heart-Tricia O'Malley
Forbidden Hunger-Teresa Gabelman

Karaoke Songs:
Waking Up in Vegas-Katy Perry Timing was slightly off, but over all, think it went well.
Eternal Flame-Bangles  Yikes....can't believe I flubbed the 4th line.  I can sing this in my SLEEP!
Walk Like An Egyptian-Bangals Flubbed a few words, but otherwise good:)
Everybody Hurts-REM  Not too bad.
Walk Away-Kelly Clarkson  Nailed it:)
Express Yourself-Madonna Not too bad:)
Walk the Dinasaur-Was not Was  Did well, and can't believe after 27 years, I finally realize what this song's actually about, lol!
Walk Like A Man-Frankie Valli and 4 Seasons  Did surprisingly well on this one!
Fight Song-Rachel Platten  Attempt #1: Think I blew the 2nd verse, and video seems screechy; will try this an octave lower next time.

Like A Surgeon-Weird Al  Did well:)
Like a Virgin-Madonna Nailed it:)
Like A Prayer-Madonna  Rocked the bar!
Life's Been Good-Joe Walsh  Nailed it!
Like The Way I Do-Melissa Etheridge  Wasn't too bad:)
Lightening Crashes-Live Nailed it:)
Linger-Cranberries  Ugh.....why did I think I could sing this?
Lips of an Angel-Hinder  Had the entire bar singing with me:)
Listen To Your Heart-Roxette  Nailed it:)
Little Lies-Fleetwood Mac Did well:)
Little Red Corvette-Prince  Ugh....too low and I discovered I've been singing some of the lyrics wrong for over 30 years....
Little White Church-Little Big Town  Blew a line in the 1st verse, but otherwise, nailed it!