Thursday, December 4, 2008

3 days, 3 Thanksgiving meals

What a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! Not because of all the food, but because of the time with family members.

On Thanksgiving Day, Mike and I drove to Fulton to eat with my cousins and my Uncle Dick and his wife. Although a glitch with the oven caused a huge delay in eating, the time was spent visiting and playing games. While some played Spades, Mike and I played Yahtzee with Dianne, Uncle Dick and Karen. This was the first time I played it. I got beat but boy did I have fun during the process! It was also a great time to talk, visit and reconnect. Little Christian, Brandon's son, suggested that everyone say what they were thankful for. Several said family, however, Mike said he was thankful to be living in the US. We all agreed.

The second meal occurred on Friday night with my brother and his family, nephew Chris and his family, and Mike and I. The house was filled with laughter and sharing. It wasn't your typical meal. We had baked spaghetti, garlic bread, etc. We played Mancala with Debbie winning most of the games, however, rookie Chris won a game. We also played Yahtzee and we had lots of fun. (I got beat again.) We ended with a new game, Word Buzz, with Mike and I actually winning. Wall to wall people in a small house with great food and fellowship. Winning combination!

The holiday ended with having traditional Thanksgiving fare with Mike's family. This year we met at a conservation club. Mike provided some candy from the "good ole days", so there was some nostalgia going on. Sadly, several members were unable to attend from health related reasons to military service. Bill, Mike's stepdad, was feeling ill, Martin was recuperating from a quadruple bypass, and Bradley is in the military. After doing the expected "catching up", Mike and I played Yahtzee with several of the children. Chloe really got into shaking the dice. Outside, most of the kids played kickball. Raven even played barefoot, despite the chilly weather and cold ground.

What made the holiday so special? Once again, being with family. So many of us are scattered around the nation and its difficult to get everyone together. In fact, our own children and grandchildren were absent which made the holiday bittersweet. However, I am so thankful for family. I was reminded of Thanksgivings in the past when I was a child. We would all bundle up and meet at my grandparents. Uncles, aunts, cousins, and second cousins would fill the house, causing the front room floor to be used for a table. Laughter would fill the air as we caught up with each other's lives. It was a good Thanksgiving this year!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kids say the Darnedest things!

Remember that old Art Linkletter show? I used to get a kick from what the little kids would say, think, or do innocently. It looks like my two grandsons have some of their own moments:

On the morning Benjamin (now 5) turned two, his brother, Nathan (now 8) got him out of the crib. Tugging his little brother's hand, Nathan walked into their mom's room. Nathan was upset and crying. Confronting his mother, my daughter, he reminded her that she had said Benjamin would be a big boy when he turned two. Wailing, Nathan told her that Benjamin wasn't talking. Brooke had to explain that being a big boy didn't mean Benjamin would automatically start talking. Nathan was devastated, having thought Benjamin would wake up talking.

Nathan was three when Benjamin was born and didn't quite understand what was involved with a baby. After repeated nights of the baby crying, Nathan asked innocently, "Can we take him back and get another one?"

None of us realized how much Benjamin was absorbing the commercials until recently Brooke had a fever blister and it had gotten below her lip a little. Benjamin asked what it was. When Brooke told him it was a "ow boo boo". He matter of factly told her to use Pro Active, that it would be gone when she woke up the next

Friday, November 14, 2008

Let's Talk Politics

Uh, oh. One of the unwritten rules is to never discuss religion or politics when talking to someone. At least if you want it to remain cordial. That's what I have been told anyways.

I guess today I am breaking that "rule". I have been battling with some frustration. I have a deep interest in politics. (I think we all should actually. After all, it is the politicians that make the laws that govern us.) At times, I have been heavily involved in politics and at other times, just dabbling in it. In the last three years, however, I have jumped back in again from serving on a State Board to active participation in the local women's group.

This past year I decided to get more involved and have looked for ways to do so. Having once served as a precinct person, I naturally looked into that area once again. For whatever reason, there have been stumbling blocks along the way.

Part of me says it shouldn't be this hard to volunteer. I mean, aren't we encouraged by the media, talk show hosts, political parties, etc. to volunteer, that volunteers are needed for this or for that. I feel like I am going in circles. Miscommunication? Am I trying too hard? Do I need more connections? I really don't know.

I do know I have the passion, the desire to help the party regain some ground, have lived in my area for over 10 years and have good neighborhood connections, attend and work at party functions (even the ones I have to pay for) and have political experience to draw on.

For now, I am waiting to hear from someone in reply to a voice mail I left. I'll let you know when I find out something. In the meantime, I wouldn't be surprised if my brother, Doug, reads this, and contacts me, attempting to get me to switch parties. I'm waiting for that phone call, Doug.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mixed feelings

Dealing with mixed feelings right now. Part of me is sad because my favored candidates didn't win the 2008 Presidential election. Another part of me is happy to see another "glass ceiling" broken through, regardless of personal favorites. Being a woman, I have been face to face with another kind of "glass ceiling" when a man got paid more for doing the same, when I was looked over for a job promotion because "he's supporting a family...he's the breadwinner", or automatically suggested for club secretary instead of the higher position.

I think I would feel better if I had confidence that the president-elect was someone that was candid, trustworthy, or straight forward. I have read numerous accounts of even Democrats admitting they are uneasy about Obama for the same reason. So it really shouldn't be a surprise that as a Republican (a Lipstick Republican), I am dealing with some misgivings and uneasy feelings.

I recall a time in the Bible, when Israel cried out for a King, and God granted them one even though it wasn't His wish for them, much to their later despair. A lot of people, including Christians, were crying out in this election for Obama to be their next President. In the meantime, I am reminded in scripture that God appoints our leaders and that we should honor them regardless of "feelings".

Only time will tell. In the meantime, Obama and his administration will be in my prayers. I only wish him the best as he will be responsible for many decisions that will affect me and my family.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I am The Photographer...

Yes. I am the family photographer. You know, the one that people run away from or hide from at family events? Love me or avoid me, but somehow I will get your picture to preserve family memories. Years later, as you look through photographs of cherished times, you will appreciate me. And believe it or not, I have had people seeking me out, pleading for me to take a picture.

I think I have always been the family photographer, starting in 4-H. There's just something about finding the right angle to catch that one-of-a-kind moment, that Kodak moment is what I call it. Currently, I have a Canon Powershot. I love that camera! I have had it for years and it gives me great photos. Although recently, I have found myself salivating over some of the newer models. 12 megapixels and 15 x optical view! (Calm down, Kathy!)

I've experimented leaving my camera behind when I 've gone to events. And guess what? Every time someone has come up to me and asked accusingly where my camera was. They had left their's at home because they knew I would be bringing mine. Go figure.

So, until someone else wants to take the heat, I am the unofficial family photographer on the prowl for those candid shots that you will beg for in the years to come.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Snowing!

Tell me it ain't so, Joe!

Mike had to scrape ice and snow off his windshield this morning before he could leave for work. I am not ready for this. What's all this I've hearing about global warming? Someone needs to tell "Mother Nature".

Friday, October 24, 2008

I am a Lipstick Republican!

Yes, it's true! I am Republican and I wear lipstick. I believe in the basic tenents and core values contained in the Republican Party platform . However, that doesn't mean I agree with everything they say or do. I love Mike, but I don't always agree with him on everything he says or does either.

Having said that, I am going to the Sarah Palin rally tomorrow! Mike stood in line in Ft. Wayne yesterday and got tickets for us. I am excited! This will be the first time I have attended a Presidential/Vice Presidential rally. I am hoping to get some closeup shots with my camera.

I am thinking of making a t-shirt with HUGE red glitter lips and the word, "Republican", meaning "Lipstick Republican". I think it would be cool! Maybe I can talk my sister into it also. Maybe, I can also talk Mike into donating one of his t-shirts for a worthy cause. Hmmmm...we'll see.

I really like Sarah Palin and I believe she has gotten a bad rap from the media. No matter what she says or does, they pick at it. I feel she represents me...a mother, wife of a union worker, from Main St., America, working outside the home, and a business owner. She understands balancing life with work. She is continually in my prayers as she pioneers in the position as a vice-presidential candidate.

So....tonight after finishing handing out popcorn to hundreds of Trick or Treaters in downtown Warsaw, I will be getting a t-shirt and supplies and fashioning a top for the rally tomorrow. GO RED!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ummm...Kathy, I set the house on fire.

I looked at Mike, disbelieving what I had just heard him say. Arching my brow, I said, "What?" I thought I had misheard him. He chuckled a little. "I really did!" he insisted. "I did it with the heat gun." How could he have done it with the heat gun? It didn't make sense. He must be joking. We had been using a heat gun to remove all the "alligator" paint for weeks. We only 3 feet to go on the entire house. However, he insisted he was telling the truth. He shared that he was in the last few feet of the trim and suddenly flames shot up. He immediately got the hose and hosed it down several times, testing the wood between each time. He detailed how he took out the old, rotten wood which had been the problem. For a while, I felt a little unnerved and kept sniffing periodically to see if I smelled smoke. It was already dark outside. Minutes passed by and no smoke or flames and I was finally able to relax. Ah, well. Another adventure to share.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Politics again!

Yes, I was schmoozing with the politicians last night at a Hall of Fame dinner. Congressman Mark Souder was there as guest speaker. I had a great time talking to him. Ironically, some of the talking points I made to him was included in his speech later. One CAN make a difference. The air was charged with electricity all evening. It was a special treat to be able to eat at the new restaurant, Fusion. Great meal! Interestingly, my tablemates were the media. Hmmm...never hurts to have friends in the media, right?

This year is going to be a squeaker. Lots of money is pouring in at the last minute in some of the pivotal races. People were encouraged to get energized and help at the phone banks. I can't imagine having only one party in power. This is a dangerous situation with the checks and balances removed. This reminds me of a friend who once coined, "Stop, drop, and pray!" How true!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Over 50 and taking prenatal vitamins!

This past month I let Mike order our vitamins online. It's a simple process and they show you the order several times before you pay for it so mistakes can be avoided. The next day the company sent a confirmation of the order. Usually I just ignore it. I decided to check it this time. Was I in for a surprise! Somehow, Mike had ordered me prenatal vitamins instead of the regular vitamins. I told Mike about it and joked that if he saw me acting a little different, that was why. I checked the ingredients in the catalog and figured they couldn't hurt me and to try to change the order wasn't worth the hassle.

Well, guess what! The next day I read an article in the paper and it said some women take prenatal vitamins because of the extra folic acid in it which promotes hair growth. Hmmmm... My hair has been thin for years and seems to be thinning even more, so I have decided to give the prenatal vitamins a try. The doctor in the article said the extras in the vitamins wouldn't hurt. So, I guess I will do a little experiment and see what happens. Watch for future posts!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jammed finger, cut knuckle...

Jammed finger, cut knuckle, blister on fingertip, aching lower back and neck... Yes. I've been painting! It's been a lonnnnnggg weekend. At the time, power washing the house seemed like a good idea... until some of the paint came off. Then, overspray from staining the deck furniture got on the siding. So, the decision was made to paint the house.

Now, we're trying to beat the cold weather and winter. The house looks nice, but it's been a slow process playing hide and seek with either cold or rainy days.

Leaves are falling and the days are getting shorter. At the same time, the to-do list seems to be getting longer. Ah well, eventually it will be over and Mike and I will be able to enjoy the changing of the leaves' colors, biking on nearby trails and just breathing in the beautiful scenery and its kaleidoscope of colors and sounds. Bliss.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Take a deep breath and blow out slowly...

This has been quite a week! Between work, home and politics, never a dull moment. Blogging, setting up a work blog, painting the house after work, preparing for a workshop, attending webinars, arranging photo ops, and dealing with an unexpected fire...time has flown by.

The first thing I had to tackle on Monday morning was finding replacement drawing prizes for the library. The restaurant that had donated meal certificates burnt out on Sunday. As they say...I hit the floor running. A thought occured to call a new restaurant in town that hadn't opened yet. After a several phone calls, I got a number for them. Eureka! They pitched in to help us out. Answer to prayer.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's a Great Life! Counting my blessings...

Blessing One: New job for Mike. God is so good! Mike got hired last week. An answer to prayer. Not only does he have a new job but now he can get the time off to see the grandkids at Christmas which was iffy under his last employer. Yay! Just 3 more months until we see them!

Blessing Two: Painting almost done. The body of the house is painted and we are doing the last bit of trim. Just the garage to be done now. The weather has been perfect! It's been fun working with Mike and it has been great exercise as well. I have been sore several times from climbing up and down the ladder. A double look for the house and great exercise.

Blessing three: Pumpkins found. I needed pumpkins for my fall display at work. I have been looking for weeks. Mike just "happened" to go by a place on his way home from his new job which was selling pumpkins. Now I just need to find corn shucks.

Blessing four: Communication improved. Mike and I went to Fireproof, a Christian drama about marriage. It was a good movie and has a discussion sheet to go with it. We went over it and had a good conversation. They had a recurring statement in the firefighter movie, "Never leave your partner." Great play on words. Plus, they pointed out that nothing is fireproof and to be alert. Mike and I celebrated our 28th anniversary this month. We've come a long way and I expect it to get even better.

Blessing five: Good fellowship this weekend. We went to see our church's "Over 30, Under 30" football game. Over 30 lost but Mike and I had fun visiting with church friends and playing with a baby (got our grandparent's fix). The weather was wonderful and it was great talking with everyone.

Lots of blessings and I didn't even share them all. It was a great week!

Monday, September 22, 2008

On my nightstand...

As usual, I am reading several books at one time. It just depends on the mood I am in and the time I have to give to it. I have included a description of each. Check them out for yourself! Bon Appetite!

Here's what is on my nightstand...

Daily Life in the United States-1920-1940. It's about how Americans lived through the roaring twenties and the great depression. A little ironic right now with the economic challenges going on right now in the nation. Maybe each member of Congress should have a copy of this. It has been really interesting. I have found numerous references to Indiana in it and that has made it more personal.

Self Talk, Soul Talk-What to say when you talk to yourself. Great book! It's surprising how much we all talk down to ourselves. Also, surprising is how the world and ourselves find it acceptable. It has been a real eye-opener. It walks you into your "thought closet". It helps you get rid of unproductive, destructive and negative thoughts and self talk. The author demonstrates how important it is to "talk nice" to ourselves.

Live Makeovers-I am doing this with a relative over the phone and the internet. You can do a chapter a week with action challenges and journaling involved. It really makes you think about yourself in a new light as well as "finding yourself" in this demanding world. Many women tend to "lose" themselves while meeting the demands of their families until one day they find themselves asking, "Who am I?" This book helps to clean up the clutter in your life, reconnect with yourself, strengthen your character, and to remold your life.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Let's take a vote!

Our house's "new look" is well on its way. 3 sides are finished but two of them need a second coat.

We've have several people stop and make comments. One lamented that they didn't have our yellow house a a point of reference anymore for giving out directions. However, she said she liked the new color scheme. Another said she liked the new color scheme and suggested white shutters. Brown body, cream trim and white shutters! I think we'll pass! Then a man stopped and asked what color was the paint. He wanted to paint his house the same color. These were all strangers. Plus, a man driving by kept looking as he drove past.

It's been an interesting weekend. We got the seal of approval from strangers, what more could we ask for? Just kidding. People are funny, aren't they?

Friday, September 19, 2008


Yesterday, I spoke before a group of women, sharing the different programs and services the library provides and inviting them to be a financial partner with us.

During the meal, I was visiting with the ladies seated beside me. One subject led to another. I asked for the names of the different ladies in the room with us. The lady to the right of me then proceeded to point out the women and gave their names with a little explantion of who they were. At the conclusion of the "tour", I made a statement that there was at least one woman I would know, that I had met her several times before but didn't see her. I said her name was _____. The lady to my right, who had been so helpful, turned to me and said, "I'm _______________. Oops! For some reason, I hadn't recognized her. So embarrassing!

Other than that the meeting went well and the group volunteered to help physcially in any way as well as said they were considering helping with a Wii system. So, it at least ended on a positive note.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Testing, 1, 2, 3...

Wow! Definitely, my faith is being tested.

Mike came home on Wednesday announcing he was laid off. Not the best of news. We went into "work mode" and "prayer mode", making a list of contacts, steps to take (union hall, unemployment, etc.)as well as praying for favor, wisdom and peace.

We stayed up late Wednesday night working on his resume and surfing for jobs.

Right now is the time construction projects are winding down for the season. So, it will be definitely God who gets the job for Mike. In the meantime, we are doing our part and giving God something to work with. Mike is getting his truck up to par. He has sent in his resume, gone to different companies and spoken to them one-on-one.

Fear has tried to creep in, but God has been faithful.

Work, politics and the KLA project are keeping my mind off the situation. A lot is going on. I wrote a press release for the grand opening of the Republican headquarters which should be soon. I have also kept busy researching for political news on the web. In addition, I have done some work on the splash pad project.

There are projects around the house, as well as some drywall jobs for Mike to do. The song, "Great is His Faithfulness" wells up in my heart and reminds me that we are not in this alone and that the battlefield is in the mind.

I believe the next job will be another stepping stone to what God has planned for Mike's life. Buckle up for the ride of your life!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

new year, new job, new vision

Wow! It's hard to believe it's been over six months since I blogged. I have had my typical comic relief moments...wearing blue socks with black pants to my first board meeting, walking in the wrong door (Not my fault! My key worked!), being the victim of a practical joke in which I opened a door and the alarm went off (Boy were people scurrying.), and embarrassing slips of the tongue. You know, the usual. I am still here and loving it. I like the people I am working with and love my job at the library. Good bosses, good company and good reading material at my fingertips. A winning combination.

It's also been a year of stretcccchhhhing. I have had to learn a number of software programs, take classes, learn how to write grants, take on unexpected reponsibilities, hone writing and editorial skills, been selected to be a part of the Kosciusko Leadership Academy and speak to crowds of people on the library's behalf. I have been learning to walk in a peace that defies understanding. God has been faithful.

I have been politically active more this year than in the past few years. I started a Meetup organizational group for a presidential candidate who later dropped out. What was really cool was getting people involved in politics who had never been involved before. Several even went to the Republican State Convention along with me. It makes one feel good to believe one has made a difference. Now several of them are setting up a Republican headquarters for this election and getting active on the local level.

There's been change at home also. Due to a power washing, the house is getting painted from yellow with white trim to carmel with tan trim. The window frames are done and the body is next. I've even changed the interior from French country to contemporary. It's new, it's different and looks good.

I am getting a new office area next week and it should be interesting to see how it all fits. There's even more change. Mike announced yesterday that he got laid off from work. Ugh! But God has given me peace about it. Never a dull moment around here. In my "spare" time, I am reading a book in partnership with my cousin,Dianne. You read a chapter and then are given "homework". I will be a new woman by the end of this year. I feel an excitement already.

I tried new things this year. For our anniversary, Mike and I went to Chicago. We ate one meal while a Jazz band entertained us. We also went sailboating on Lake Michigan. (I want a sailboat so bad, but not room to store it.) We even attended an interactive dinner theatre. Lots of fun over the weekend including two flea markets. I had trouble walking the next day but I got a tan!

So much has been experienced and there is still four months to go! Drop by and see the exciting adventures God has in store for me,a roller coaster ride with thrills, chills and hopefully no spills.

Monday, January 7, 2008

15 Seconds of Fame

Had a great time yesterday! Went to a Home and Garden Show with my daughter, Brooke and had a BLAST! Like a bird honing in on a worm from high up in the sky (That sounds more humane than saying mouse, right?), I zipped through the exhibits, looking for the demonstration stage. I had read that Sue Whitney, author of Junkmarket Style was speaking and demonstrating her creative skills. Zooming past the " 3 days, 4 nights vacation for only $199" booth, speeding by the "super douper mop of the century" demonstration and straight to the speaker's area. Faster than a speeding bullet, etc. Whew! I made it! In fact, I was the first to arrive. I noticed a lady walking along me as I got near the stage. Wait a minute! She looked somewhat familiar. Could it be? I asked her if she was Sue Whitney. Yes!!! It was Sue Whitney. She was gracious enough to listen to me gush about discovering her book at Lowe's and to have my picture taken with her. My daughter was about to melt into the floor from embarrassment. However, she was a real trouper and took the picture. I even got to see the black and white galley of her new book just about to be released. Then, unbelievably, Sue picked me to be part of her demonstration. How cool! Brooke just chuckled at me and said she just knew I would volunteer to be in the show. You betcha, girl! So, I got my 15 seconds of fame, double chin and all (I have got to get on a exercise plan and healthier diet once I return to Indiana!). What an unbelievable day! Go Sue!