Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #1

Since this is my first post for Thursday Thirteen, I'm borrowing an idea from Draco's Rose. Here are my 13 favorite blogs:

Laurell K. Hamilton is my favorite author. She writes two different series: Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter and the Merry Gentry series.

This is the place to go for all the scoop! Political, environmental, social changes; you name it and Crunchy knows about it.

Mrs. Who's Open Book has White Elephant give-aways, plus she is one funny lady!

This site has wonderful book reviews on the latest in "green" techniques and self-sufficiency.

The Mother Tongue is absolutely the funniest writer in the blogosphere!

The SITS ladies are awesome! The try to promote other bloggers and usually have a featured blogger of the day. Plus, they have cool give-aways.

As the mother of 3 girls, I enjoy reading this blog because Mama has 2 boys. It fun to read about the differences between my girls and her boys!

This is the site to go to find the best bloggers. Most of the blogs I read were first recommended on this site.

She has so many tips for living a simpler and greener life.

Of course, this site was the inspiration for this blog. Draco's is where to go to get the latest info on the Wiccan religion.

I enjoy this site because Sunshine is such a down to earth writer. She describes her blog as the every day ramblings (and occasional grumblings) of a woman very married with children.

Brandon Mull is the author of my current "favorite" children's books - Fablehaven. Yes, I love children's books almost as much as I do adult books. What can I say, I'm a bookaholic!

and last but not least,
This is the newest blog on my blogroll. Katrina has lots of ideas concerning local foods and produce.

So there you have it, my very first Thursday Thirteen. That wasn't as hard as I thought. I hope you enjoy some of these blogs as much as I do!

Manic Monday

I thought I'd begin Manic Monday with Manic Monday, by the Bangles. Recorded in 1986, this song was written by Prince in 1984.

Six o'clock already
I was just in the middle of a dream
(I dreamed I was in a car wreck and I woke up in a sweat - true story.)

I was kissin' Valentino
By a crystal blue Italian stream
(actually it was David Boreanaz from Bones - hubba hubba!)

But I can't be late
'Cause then I guess I just won't get paid
(payday's not until Friday - bummer!)

These are the days
When you wish your bed was already made
(my bed rarely gets made - what can I say? I'm a slob.)

It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
(not really, because Sunday was really hot!)

'Cause that's my funday
My I don't have to runday
(this is so true in my family - it's the one day we can all be together.)

It's just another manic Monday!!!

Also check out my other blogs: Bobbi's Book Nook and Mrs. Greenhands

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

As the heat and humidity of summer continue to bear down on us, I find myself hibernating in the house more. I don't do hot weather, and I definitely don't do humidity! But I miss being outside in my gardens. Typically spring, fall, and winter are when I spend the most time in my gardens; during the summer I will make mad dashes to the flower garden to bring posies into the house, or the veggie garden to get something for supper, but I don't do much maintenance beyond watering and weeding.

So, what do I do in the house all summer - besides sit in front of the air conditioner? Well, I do a lot of reading - my "must read list" is starting to thin out - and I do alot of writing - I currently have 3 blogs, not counting this one, and I have my monthly column. I'm also working on 2 separate books, so I've been able to do a tremendous amount of research - after all, the library is air conditioned. I've also been reading some new blogs that are fascinating - there is a wealth of talent on the internet (see my post "Thursday Thirteen")

So, while my hubby and daughter work weekends at the Twin Hills Drive-In, I'm usually home alone, in front of the TV with my laptop and notebooks in my lap. Oh yeah, the air is blowing nice and cool and I'm drinking an iced Coca Cola - the real thing, no diet please! Come on over - tonight is a Robin Hood marathon and you don't want to miss it!

Also check out: Bobbi's Book Nook and Mrs. Greenhands

Fun Friday Facts

Today I'm giving you some fun facts about Kentucky. If people enjoy these fun facts, I may start doing them each Friday. So if you like them, let me know!

--Kentucky comes from a Cherokee word meaning Land of Tomorrow or Meadowland.

--Can't function without your Post-it® notes (and I for one am lost without them)? You can thank the workers at the 3M plant in Cynthiana, Kentucky, where the handy notes are produced.

--In 1998, the town of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, elected a dog named Goofy as their mayor. The tiny town charged $1 per vote and proceeds went to restore a local church.

--Thomas Edison chose Louisville's 1883 Southern Exposition to demonstrate his incandescent light bulb for the first time.

--The largest amount of gold stored anywhere in the U.S. (approximately $6 billion worth) is held in the underground vaults of the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. (Wish I was a member of the Ocean's 11 gang!)

--Louisville has more restaurants per capita than any other U.S. city.

--Lexington's Jif Peanut Butter factory produces more of this sticky, buttery, pea-nutty confection than any other place in the world.

--Middlesboro, Kentucky is the only U.S. city built inside a meteor crater.

--The Kentucky Derby trophy is made of 56 ounces of 14 and 18 carat gold, and is two feet tall.

--Cheeseburgers (my favorite food) were first served in 1934 at Kaelin's in Louisville.

--The only monument south of the Ohio River dedicated to Union Soldiers who died in the Civil War is located in Vanceburg, KY.

--During the Civil War, Frankfort was the only Union capital occupied by Confederate troops.

--Cumberland Falls is the only waterfall in the world to regularly display a Moonbow. It is located just southwest of Corbin.

--In the War of 1812 more than half of all Americans killed in action were Kentuckians.

--More than 100 native Kentuckians have been elected governors of other states.

--In Kentucky, spitting tobacco juice on someone is considered a friendly greeting, much like the "up yours!" of a New York cabbie. (Joke people, only a joke)! :)

And there you have it, fun facts everyone should know about our great Commonwealth - and remember, Kentucky is a Commonwealth, not a State!

Also, check out my other blogs at:
Bobbi's Book Nook
Mrs. Greenhands

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Land of the Free ... and the Hungry

To paraphrase Dennis Miller, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but most Americans consider the USA to be the land of opportunity, but upon closer inspection, you begin to realize that America is not much different from other countries in the world. We have the royalty, or the ruling class; these are the people who have the majority of money in our country and therefore they exert the greatest influence in our county. We have the middle class that makes up the bulk of America, and these are the people who keep our economy going. We have the lower class that are not unlike indentured servants because these people are slaving away at the fast food restaurants and the discount stores for minimum wage, trying to keep their families afloat.

Then there is the group of people who our country neglects and treats like throw away citizens: the homeless, the illegals, the poverty stricken and hungry children.

How come a country as rich and as prosperous as the United States of America has so many women and children living in poverty? When I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s, my mothers always told me, “Clean your plate because there are starving children in China.” Now we have starving children in America. This should not be happening! Why can’t our tax money go toward helping the starving children in our own country? Why are we spending billions of dollars on the war in Iraq, when America’s basic infrastructure is falling apart?

Many lower class citizens don’t have the opportunity to go to college and further their education. These people are forced to take lower paying jobs because they have not had access to higher education. Fast food restaurants and discount stores now stay open 24 / 7 and they need people to work the different shifts. Many times these people are single mothers trying to make enough money to raise their children. In these jobs the pay increases are usually slow in coming, the long hours never cease, and there is little appreciation for all the time these people put into their jobs.

The lower class is statistically less healthy compared to the middle and upper class, many because of substandard health care options for the lower class. For most of these people - when faced with the choice of feeding their children or buying health insurance - they will choose food every time. Insurance is just not a priority when you are unable to consistently provide the bare necessities, so with limited health care options, these people may delay going to the doctor when there is a problem, and they cannot afford to participate in preventative medicine. If these people had access to affordable health insurance, then many health problems could be corrected before they become chronic or terminal.

I’m not telling Americans they should not be proud of their accomplishments and enjoy the fruits of their labor, but I would ask you to remember the little person on your climb up the ladder. Donate regularly to Food Banks, Goodwill programs and Charities that support the underprivileged. Once you start seeing the other person, it will be hard to go back to being oblivious to those around you.

If you love to read books, check out my other blog at:


You will now be able to access this blog through a link at I would like to thank the ladies of AllMediocre for listing my site on their blogroll! You can click the link on the sidebar to access

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Over the past week, I have been noticing some damage to the trees and shrubs in my gardens. They still look green and healthy, but there are numerous

Over the past week, I have been noticing some damage to the trees and shrubs in my gardens. They still look green and healthy, but there are numerous branches that look as if they have been snapped in two. Upon closer inspection, I realized the damage has been caused by the female cicadas.

Although cicadas don't eat the leaves of trees and shrubs, the females do lay their eggs on branches. The females have a "blade" on their tails in which they slice open a branch and lay their eggs in the opening.

The branches I inspected all had numerous splits across the branch. The branches that broke in two were too thin to support this sawing motion from the females. The branches actually look like they have been badly widdled with a knife!

After four constant weeks of cicadas, I am finally noticing a dramatic decrease in the number swarming around the gardens. Every day the driveway and the sidewalk are covered with dead cicadas, not to mention the dead ones under the trees. We may finally be at the end of this 17 year cycle.

Makes me glad they only come once every 17 years!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Free Give-Away

Would you like to win this bouncy house? Then click here to register.

This is the real deal (a $350 value!!!). Hours of fun for kids of all ages! House inflates to 16 ft x 13 ft. includes a powerful commercial blower. Ready for fun in minutes! (Maximum capacity is up to five 100-lb children).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Please Don't Starve Them to Death

Typically, every afternoon when I come home for lunch, I catch up with the news on MSNBC (I'm a news junkie). However, this week, because of the death of Tim Russert, I haven't been able to watch my favorite channel without crying. Although Tim was my 2nd favorite commentator - Keith Olbermann being the first - the fifth day of mourning him was just too much for me, so I decided to catch up on local news instead.

Boy, was that the wrong thing to do! During the noon news on WLEX TV, I heard two different news stories that were the most heartbreaking stories I think I've heard in a very long time. The first one was an Austrailian couple who starved their 18-month old twins to death. The second story was a Danville couple who starved their 9 and 12 year old children to the point of malnurishment.

How can a parent starve their own flesh and blood to death? How can anyone just withhold food from another person?

I would go without EVERYTHING before I could let my children starve to death. I realize the US economy is in the dumpster, but come on people, these were young children! There are too many organizations willing to help people, this just shouldn't have happened. This just reaffirms my belief that not everyone should be a parent.

In light of this disturbing news, I went to my cupboards and gathered up cans of food this morning and dropped them off at our local Christian Life Center Pantry. Even though our family is on a tight budget, I figured every little bit would help. According to the volunteers at the Center, the past few months have been really hard on low income families. They told me the request for food donations has tripled in the past few months, but donations have not increased to meet the demand.

So, if everyone would donate just one can of food, Food Pantries around the country might be able to meet their increasing demand. Do it in memory of the 18-month old twins who died from lack of food; do it for all the children who are starving all over our great nation.

Here are the websites for the two stories mentioned above:,2933,368464,00.html

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Like Father, Like Daughter

Watching my hubby and my daughter on Father's Day, I realized how much she has grown to be like him. They have the same mannerisms, the same way of speaking before they think, and this need to always have the last word. She is the spitting image of her father and I couldn't be prouder.

But reflecting back on my own father, I always thought we had very little in common. My father is a hard worker; he started out in a factory and worked his way up to owning his own body shop. Cars and trucks were his life and when he wasn't working, he was tinkering with one old car after another.

I, on the other hand, was more interested in school, books and learning. While Dad would have his head under a car hood, my head would be in a book, daydreaming of what was to come. My father was the youngest of 8 children; I was the oldest of 3. My father graduated from high school, but I was the first to graduate from college. With all our differences, I always knew my father (and my mother) was behind me.

This Father's Day weekend, I spent the entire weekend flat on my back, suffering from a kidney stone. I'm 45 years old and have never had a kidney stone, although my father and baby sister had suffered from them for years. So, I called my father up several days in a row to ask for advice in dealing with kidney stones, and he was always quick with a response or suggestion.

And then it happened, during one of the lowest points in my life, I realized I had more in common with my father than I thought. Not just the pain and agony of a physical ailment, but the way we both tackle a problem and try to make things better for our family.

So from now on, whenever I compare my daughter and my hubby, I'll also be looking for other ways my father and I are alike. They have always been there, but I was too busy to notice. No more - because today is a new day. Happy Father's Day, Dad, today and every day.

Also visit my other blog at:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Fairy Name

Your fairy is called Field Rainbowwitch
She is a fortune bringer.
She lives in fields where wild flowers and poppies grow.
She is only seen in the enchanted moment between sleep and waking.
She likes to wear red petals in her skirt. She has multicoloured wings like a butterfly.

My Daughter's Fairy Name

My daughter's fairy is called Thorn Hailwitch
She is a protector of the lonely.
She lives in brambles and blackberry bushes.
She is only seen in the enchanted moment between sleep and waking.
She wears purple and green like berries and leaves. She has cheery turquoise wings like a butterfly.

My Husband's Fairy Name

My husband's fairy is called Hex Elfwitch
She is a cheerful sprite.
She lives in places hexed and tainted by black magic.
She is only seen in the enchanted moment between sleep and waking.
She wears black feathers and rose petals. She has delicate green wings like a cicada.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wing-Testing Experience

As much as I would like to hold her back, my youngest child, Christine, will turn 16 next month. Where did the time go? At this point in my life, I really wish I could make time stand still. But alas, this is not possible, so I'm going through the motions.

Yesterday my precious daughter had orientation for the student volunteer program at a local hospital. Yup - no matter how much I try to talk her out of entering the medical field, she is jumping head first in that direction. Not content to just take the medical classes at the area vocational school next year, she wanted to jump right into hospital life to see what it was all about.

So, for the next 6 weeks she will be volunteering 3 days a week. On Tuesdays she will work Women's Health (which is the same floor I worked for 15 years); Thursdays is for Behavioral Medicine (I didn't like this floor because I was afraid they would keep me and not let me out!) and Fridays are reserved for the Emergency Room.

I know, logically, that if she is serious about health care as a career, this will be great experience for the future. But coming from health care, I know how some nurses can be when dealing with student volunteers. Nurses are overworked and under appreciated, and sometimes they take it out on the wrong person. I always tried to be curteous to said students, but many of my fellow nurses did not. There is an old saying among nurses that "Nurses eat their young." Typically this happens when new nurses start working their first jobs, but I've seen it happen with students as well. I've tried to give my daughter some words of wisdom: stay out of the nurses' way; do what you are told; be helpful; and SMILE!

Yesterday when she came out of orientation, she was so excited to show me her new name badge. Except for her school identification, she has never had to wear a name badge, not even for her part time job on the weekends. She is actually more excited about this volunteer job than she is her paying job. For me, I see this opportunity as another "wing-testing" experience before she enters the real world.

My baby is growing up, but I wish someone would invent a potion to help me keep her this age for a while longer.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Kittens: Part 2

As I'm writing this, my hubby is laying on the couch covered in kittens. This weekend we finally gave the new kittens the run of the house (they had currently been cloistered in my daughter's bedroom).

For some reason my hubby is a cat magnet - all he has to do is sit down, and the kittens clamor to be close to him. I'm a cat person, too, but for some reason, the kittens won't stay in my lap when I try to hold them. I'll pluck up a kitten to nuzzle and within minutes, it is trying to escape my lap to be with my husband.

It's been interesting watching the kittens bond with our dog, Bubby. Bubby is a Great Pryanese, weighing 120 pounds; the kittens weigh, maybe 4 pounds all together. He has been so excited about the new "toys" to play with, nosing and licking them until they are wet balls of fluff. So far, so good; everyone seems to be getting along.

Unfortunately, the more I play with the kittens, the more I fall in love with them. We have already named them - a very bad sign if we want to give them away! I've layed claim to the little gray one, the only female, naming her Bella, after the character in the Twilight books. The cream colored one has been named WeeHawk, after a character in the animated movie, Wizards; he's a little fighter. The 2 yellow kittens have been named Merrill, from the movie Signs, and Clive, after Clive Barker, the author. Okay, go ahead and say it, my family is kind of weird!
Anyway, the kittens have been a joy, even if they won't stay in my lap. Hopefully the Health Department won't shut us down for having too many cats in the house. Litter box duty just got a lot more complicated!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Crazy Cat Lady in Training

Come Saturday, four new additions to our family will turn 6 weeks old. Is it grandchildren? Nieces? Nephews? No, our new additions are four cuddly, furry kittens.

Our yellow tabby cat gave birth 6 weeks ago to two kittens that looks just like her, as well as one cream colored kitten and one gray. Although Tigger Belle, the mother, is barely a year old, she has been a wonderful mothers to the little balls of fur.

We hadn't planned on Tigger getting pregnant, unfortunately, Uncle Earl (our gray tabby) took matters upon himself and bounced Tigger at a weak moment. Being the procrastinator that I am, I didn't get Uncle Earl to the vet for his - ahem - operation until it was too late. Like two teenagers, I couldn't keep them apart. Then, presto, kittens.

Since the birth of the kittens, Uncle Earl has visited the vet, so no more surprises. Tigger Belle is in the process of weaning her bundles of joy and our biggest decision is which kittens do we keep. They are all so cute, but I don't want to turn into some kind of crazy cat lady.

Decisions, decisions ... does anyone need a cute, cuddly kitten?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Plague of ... Locusts?

My home is siutated on a dead-end street in a rual neighborhood on one acre of land, so my backyard is typically quiet. But this past week a familiar buzzing noise started to resonated through the air, and the noise level just continues to increase. So what is invading the silence of my backyard ... the Cicadas have come to town.

Upon closer inspection of my back gardens, hundreds of Cicadas have taken roost in my trees and shrubs. There are dime-sized holes littering the dirt in my gardens where the Cicada larvae dug out to greet the warm weather and, of course, to reproduce. The Cicadas are everywhere - on the river birch, the snowball bush, the redbuds and the oaks, as well as the honeysuckle shrub that surrounds our property.

Normally, we will see less than a dozen Cicadas during a summer season, but this year's crop is a different story entirely. This morning, I saw dozens in many different areas of the gardens. And the sound they make is unbelievably loud, especially when they all start singing at the same time.

According to the UK College of Agriculture, these are periodical Cicadas because they come out only at designated times. KY has some Cicadas that emerge every 13 years, but the current crop is on a 17 year cycle. These Cicadas are called Brood XIV and there have been sightings in Lexington, Frankfort and Louisville, as well as Bowling Green and Cincinnati.
Cicadas normally appear in late April and early May, when the ground temperature reaches about 65 degrees. They emerge from underground and the Cicadas nymphs climb onto any vertical surface and hatch out of their shells. The Cicadas are harmless and do not bite or sting defensively.

The loud buzzing noise emminating from the Cicadas is actually the male Cicadas mating call. Once a male finds a partner, then the female finds a place to lay her eggs. Typically the females use a blade on the bottom of their abdomens to slice open tree branches and lay their eggs in the openings. The eggs will hatch in 6-10 weeks and the Cicada nymphs will fall to the ground and burrow into the soil. They then search for tree roots to feed upon. The larvae will then resurface again in the next 13 or 17 years.

And if you are concerned with Cicada carcasses littering your yard, don't be. The birds love these tasty bugs and they make quick work of any leftover Cicadas. Believe me, I have some of the fattest Robins in town.

So, if you miss the parade of Cicadas in your yard this year, don't fret - they will return, albeit many years down the road.