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Thursday, July 30, 2015
  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015 8:06 PM

    As I write, a four month old kitten named Simba is curled up next to me, resting against my thigh. He occasionally bats at the Sydney Opera House charm, a gift from Australian Sam that dangles from my bracelet. But mostly he is resting, purring contentedly like a finely-tuned motor in a well-maintained car.

    This is new for me. I have not been exposed to animals very much throughout my life. Mostly, I have been fearful of them due to an unfortunate childhood experience.

    When I was seven years old, my friend and I were skipping happily down the sidewalk, carefree as seven year old girls should be. Suddenly, it seemed out of nowhere, two German Shepherds appeared in front of us, fighting ferociously. Standing on their hind legs, they were as tall as me, and their sharp teeth were eye level. The growling was fierce, and the snarling terrifying. 

  • Tuesday, July 21, 2015 10:52 PM

    At seven years old, Hudson Charles has the world mostly figured out. He is smart, observant, funny, and so very stubborn. I have always said that my children’s most “negative” qualities are actually positive qualities ready to be honed and used for good. With my first four, that has proven to be true. However, I’m not so certain about the stubbornness of Hudson Charles.

    This week, he is at summer camp for the first time. On Sunday’s long drive to the campground, he was excitedly chattering about all the great things he would be doing; swimming in the lake, playing games, sleeping in a cabin, etc. But then he morphed into his, “and this is what I refuse to do” mode.

    “If they tell me I have to wake up very early, I am not gonna do it. And I am not eating any vegetables. And I am also not eating dessert. If they try to make me eat dessert, I am gonna say, ‘I’m not really a cake and cookie sorta guy.’ And I might not want to play some of those games either because I can’t run very fast.” 

  • Tuesday, July 14, 2015 9:14 PM

    So, after twenty-plus years without a paycheck of my own, I will be entering the workforce. I have no clue what I am going to do and no particular money making skill to fall back on. I only attended college for one semester, and then dropped out to get my MRS. degree. Unfortunately, that degree doesn’t get you far in life unless you retain the title.

    In retrospect, I see that I should have pursued a career in my younger years so that I could support myself if the time came. But like many love-struck young women, I did not foresee a future where having a self-supporting income would be necessary. 

  • Tuesday, July 07, 2015 11:01 PM

    Recently, I turned over a new leaf. Once you turn a leaf over, it is sometimes hard to keep it from flipping back. But this one has stayed on the flipside for over ten days, so I’m feeling optimistic.

    I had been listening to friends discuss the dilemma of the toothpaste tube.

    “Are you an end squeezer or a middle squeezer?” they asked.

    I had never given the issue much thought. I don’t remember it being discussed while I was growing up, and I have never taught my children that one method is superior to another. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have never really had time to pause and carefully roll the tube, so I have always been a grab and squeeze kind of girl. 

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015 7:31 PM

    I stopped by my girlfriend’s house the other day and saw that, once again, she was moving furniture. Lots of people enjoy rearranging their furnishings from time to time, but she takes it to a whole new level.

    Not only does she move the furniture, but she generally alters it somehow. She is the queen of re-purposing. For example, on this particular day she had sawed the legs off of her computer hutch, inserted a small stand, and turned it into a TV armoire. Brilliant!

    I’ve seen her build doors for open bookshelves and turn them into cabinets. 

  • Tuesday, June 23, 2015 7:23 PM

    For the past ten days, Australian Sam’s mum and friend Leah have been visiting us from down under. Sam will be with us for six more weeks, but the others began their journey back to the other side of the world yesterday.

    While they were here, we had a great deal of fun showing off our part of the world. We hung out in Indianapolis, spent two days in Chicago, and then because they are big country music fans, we headed down to Nashville for three days. 

  • Tuesday, June 16, 2015 6:36 PM

    Growing up as a Baptist preacher’s daughter had its ups and downs. Everything they say about preachers’ kids is true. We really are getting into trouble all the time, and doing things we shouldn’t. But it’s only because we spend so much time playing with the deacons’ kids.

    If Brother Smith had kept his kids from swimming in the baptistery, I never would have perfected my swan dive. And if not for Brother Jones’ little tyrants, I wouldn’t have snuck out of the Sunday night service and moved the youth leader’s car to the other side of the church building. A whole group of us just picked up that little Toyota Corolla and carried it to an entirely different spot. Watching his confusion as he tried to remember where he parked was a highlight of our youth group days. 

  • Tuesday, June 09, 2015 7:24 PM

    I have always said that I am neither a morning person nor a night person, but rather I am more of a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. person. I hear people talk about their early morning routines, but I don’t fully understand either of those words. Early? Routine?

    I have friends who start their day while it is still dark, coffee in hand, going over their plans, or making breakfast for the kids. Others who are up bright and early, drinking protein shakes and getting ready to commute to the office. They never seem to bat an eyelash because this is just life. The way things are. 

  • Tuesday, June 02, 2015 10:15 PM

    It has been quite an exciting month around our house. My oldest daughter, Shelby, graduated from Indiana University, and middle daughter, Abby, graduated from high school.

    Son, Alex, is heading into his junior year at Purdue, and the babies, Hudson and Phoebe, are going into second and third grades.

    I don’t often use the kids’ names in my column, but today I decided to put them out there as “real” people instead of simply “son” or “daughter.”

    Nearly twenty-three years ago, when Shelby Danielle was just an infant, we lived in Chattanooga. Those were good days when money was short, nights with a baby were long, and love was in great supply. One evening, I had her propped on the couch because she loved to sit up and look around. 

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015 8:58 PM

    Last Saturday, my teen daughter and our houseguest, Australian Sam, decided it was time to get outside and explore nature. I’ve recently hit a rough patch in life, and while I was initially uncertain about going along, they convinced me that fresh air and sunshine were exactly what I needed.

    There were other things I needed, too. As we made our way to Turkey Run State Park, I sat in the backseat of the car with a box of fried chicken and a giant Coke. A good piece of fried chicken dipped in hot sauce goes a long way toward soothing an aching heart.


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