All in a Day (For Me Anyway)

The other day, the phone rang.  The caller asked for me by name and announced that he was from blah, blah, blah excavating company.  I immediately assumed it was a telemarketer, I mean, why else would someone from an excavating company be calling me?  I promptly informed him I am a town home owner and didn’t require and his services and promptly hung up.  End of story.  Or so I thought.

Imagine my surprise when I got a text from a friend yesterday telling me that her boss had informed her that he attempted to call me but that I had hung up on him and conveyed my dialogue to her.  You see, it’s been over a month since I applied to do some very part time work for this company.  Thankfully, he thought it was funny and admitted he probably would have done the same thing. He told her he’d call me again and asked  her to please give me a head’s up.  I laughed for a good 30 minutes yesterday, all by myself.  It still makes me giggle!  As far as the job goes, I just can’t add another one to the list, right now.  School is just around the corner and it will be a challenge for me to do two jobs.

Anyway, I went on with my day. I needed to meet someone at the office and get a couple of hours of work done.  All went well and from there I went to pick up the girl.  We spent an hour together at the library.  It’s become a ritual for us.  I love that she loves books (even though she can’t read at her age level) and CD’s and movies and more books!  I marvel at how she can carry her bag full of her checked out items knowing that if I asked her to carry the same poundage for me, she’s be far to weak!  ha!


close up photography of brown mouse

Once I left her, I had a few errands to run.  I made my first stop, made my purchases and returned to my car.  I unlocked the door and opened it.  As I did, I spotted “the” mouse racing up my accelerator! Yes, the mouse that got in my car 4 days ago that we thought was out!  I almost fainted right then and there!  All I could think to do was to call someone (knowing full well there was nothing they could do).  They did try to help me brainstorm so that was something at least!  Back into the store I went to buy mouse traps.  Yup!  They were OUT of them!  Now what?  I fidgeted and paced around the car.  I did NOT want to get in there with that thing running around!  Knowing I had no choice, I took a deep breath and drove across the street to the gas station.  I needed gas and I was hopeful some one, any one, would take pity on me an help me.  Nope.  It’s me and I wasn’t so lucky.  One guy said “Oh, it’s probably up in your dashboard now.”  Gee, thanks for that.  The other replied “If I had a mouse in my car, I wouldn’t even drive it.”  What ever happened to chivalry?  During this time, a huge cloud burst came out of the blue and you guessed it, I was soaked.  Another deep breath or two or three and in I went for the drive home…

I was sure I had mouse traps here so I came right home.  Silly me.  I had none.  Back in the mouse ridden car and off to the grocery store.  Yes!  They had mouse traps.  I raced home (thank goodness the mouse never made another appearance) and set two traps with peanut butter and set them in the car.  I was sure I’d have “him.”  I’ve never not caught a mouse with peanut butter.  I checked in two hours.  Nothing.  I checked in four hours, nothing.  I checked in 12 hours.  Nothing.  Again at 14 hours.  Still nothing.  I breath a little sigh of relief as I don’t have to go anywhere today.  But tomorrow morning…

Shine On!



THE Hike

It was early afternoon on our second day when we decided to set off on a hike.  The person I was with had their heart set on taking me to a bench that offered an outstanding view of the St. Croix.  Little did I know I’d need to call on my inner billy goat to accomplish this “hike.”



It was intoxicating and challenging all at the same time.

I was pleasantly surprised I was up for the task.

I was even more pleased when I was able to walk the next day as I was anticipating burning calves and quads.  My partner wasn’t so fortunate.

Some may see weeds.  I see hidden treasures.

This little guy, in his copper armor, fascinated me.

I adore paths and bridges.  They permit my little girl imagination to run free.


Remember the bench I told you about?  We never did get to sit on it, a popular spot, always occupied.  But, I knew it was important that I see the view so I climbed up on the rocks and took this shot.  I’m so glad I did.

brown rodent on gray fence beside green leaved plants under sunny sky
Remember that camping tip I mentioned?  We bought our wood at the park.  When my friend went to unload it, there, staring right up at him, in MY CAR, was a little brown field mouse!  You can’t imagine how fast this girl flew out of the car!  I’m sure I gave the mouse a heart attack! So, my tip, ALWAYS check your wood BEFORE you put it in the car!
laugh neon light signage turned on
In closing, a little humor.  My daughter called me at camp.  I sent her photos of our set up.  She immediately called me back and said “Mom, are you sleeping sideways?”  I repeated the question, not quite understanding what she was getting at.  It finally hit me!  I assured her that when we camp, my friend and I sleep in our clothes, just like she and I did when we camped.  She then asked “Mom?  You’re not going to do anything inappropriate right?”  I assured her we would not (and I meant it)!  She informed me she’d call back to check.  And she did.  I love that girl!

Hope you’re all having fun in the sun too!

Shine On!


St. Croix

I never knew camping could be so much fun.  I took my kids camping several times and always came home totally exhausted.  I mean, exhausted!  After having gone two times this summer with another adult, I’m happy to report that I love camping!  It sure makes a difference when you have someone that helps with everything!  Don’t get me wrong, I loved camping with my kids.  What I didn’t love is, all of the solo work!

A few weekends ago, we hopped right across the border into Wisconsin and spent two nights at the Interstate Park there.  It was beautiful!  This last weekend,we stayed on the Minnesota side of Interstate Park.  Each park is situated on the St. Croix River.

Here’s our set up…


I love how we have so much tree cover.


We were warned about the huge amount of raccoons in the park.  Luckily, the worst critter we had to deal with were red squirrels.  They were having a field day making quick work of the flowers on the sumac.


I took a ton of photos of the St. Croix.  It just reached in and grabbed my soul.

Can you see why?


I love water.  Always have.  If I’m near it, I want to be in it.  Unfortunately, it’s not allowed here.  There is nothing more soothing to me in the whole world than water.  The smell.  The look.  The feel.


Tomorrow, I’ll share the rest of hike with you.

And a very important camping tip!

Shine On!





It’s True…

…you can teach an old dog new tricks.  I’m loving my new job.  It’s been an awful lot to learn and I wasn’t sure I could do it but I haven’t been fired yet!  ha!  I’m not crazy about rush hour in a construction zone but I’m doing it.  I’ve also had to take on those nasty round-abouts.  I’m happy to report I haven’t caused an accident (yet)!

I spent a few hours at my All School Reunion last weekend.  I didn’t see one person I graduated with but I really enjoyed seeing my family and others that I went to school with.  It was a bright spot to see a past favorite teacher of mine!  My significant other ( that still sounds so odd to me) joined me and passed the family inspection…and they his.  I wasn’t worried but he was nervous.  Nice to have that behind us.

My sister said something to me there that got me thinking.  She said “You have really had a lot of changes in the past year.  You know what?  I have!  I began dating, I’m living a lone now, been to a concert, taken up camping again and started my new (second) job. I certainly never expected any of this at my age!

To all that have asked about my “kids.”  The girl is adjusting.  Some days are better than others.  I try to see her every week.  We often go to the library, sometimes a movie and sometimes dinner.  She seems happy, for the most part and the calls to me have diminished greatly!  AMEN!

I had a really interesting update on the boy today as I had inquired.  It appears he has been complaining that he can’t call long distance.  Hmmm? What?  He has a pay as you go cell phone so I immediately came to the conclusion that he doesn’t want to “waste” his money on a phone card any longer.  I was correct.  Here’s the kicker though.  He complained about not being able to have the snacks he wants.  They are making him have healthy snacks and he doesn’t like it.  So….the county is going to contact the Ombudsman because his rights are being restricted!!  They will fight for but not for keeping a family in tact?  What is this world coming to?  Just when I think  nothing can surprise me, it does!  And what makes it even more confusing is that things are handled so much differently at the girls home and they both run under the same laws and regulations.  Go figure!

Just a quick, uneventful update today and to tell you all that I hope you’re enjoying your summer.  As always, it’s goes by way too quickly!

Shine On!


This One’s for you SJ

Once in a while, I get really lucky.  I mean, I’m lucky everyday to be surrounded by people that support me while I’m trying to find the right path to parent my special needs kids (OK, adults).  But this last weekend, I got to send a few moments with a very special friend at my All School Reunion.  I truly wish we’d had more time together.

She’s a grandma that has a special needs granddaughter and oh how she loves that girl!  I hadn’t seen her in over 40 years but I follow her on Facebook.  She posts darling pictures of her beautiful, and I mean beautiful, girl.  I delight in her granddaughters achievements as if she were my own.  That’s what we, as families of special needs children do, we celebrate our children together.  SJ cheers mine on too.  It’s a wonderful form of bonding and support.

SJ gave me a compliment so big it made my heart melt.  She told me that some days, my blog is the only thing that gets her through what she, her daughter and granddaughter have to endure.  I know it’s only in a small way but I am glad I can help.  Parenting or grand parenting special needs children is Not For the Faint of Heart.  Let me tell you something about SJ.  Her granddaughter is very lucky to have her grandma whom loves her so much!  She is a special lady that will love and support that girl no matter what.  And that, my friends, is better than any “specialist” out there.  Trust me, I know.

That’s not to say I know more than the specialist but I do live the life.  It’s the one thing the medical and mental health communities can’t do, unless they have a child like we do.  Sure, they can offer support and advice and I always appreciate it but there is always something missing.  It took me a long time to realize it’s because they don’t walk in my shoes.  One can describe symptoms and behaviors but unless one can truly feel the impact, no one, not anyone, can honestly understand.  No one can understand that we fave daily battles and how we have to choose to overlook some.  We’re not spoiling our children, we’re surviving to the best of our ability. We don’t have all of the answers.  We just do the best we can. No one can understand the sense of isolation family members of special needs children can endure. And on the other side of that coin?  No one can fully understand the “small” victories that we appear to be over zealous about.  But we get it.  We parents, grandparents and other family members get it.

SJ and I agreed on the importance of support.  Sure, education and social understanding have increased over the years.  Are they where they need to be?  No.  But the great thing is, we are never too old to learn.  Or to share our stories so that others may not feel the isolation or lonesomeness.

SJ, thanks for sharing your story with me.  Thank you for lending me your support and friendship.

Shine On!



My Mother Did It.

First of all, I never called my Mom, Mother.  I don’t know why but Mother always sounds so harsh to me.  It’s kind of like calling me by my entire name when I was doing something I shouldn’t.  I knew I was in trouble!

It’s one thing I did differently than my mom.  She always called her mom, mother and her dad, daddy.  I think it may have been a West Virginia thing but I’m not sure.  I just couldn’t follow suit, even though she never asked me to.   Mom and dad were always mom and dad and that’s what I wanted my kids to call me too.

People that have known my mom and I always tell me I laugh just like her.  Or they will stop in mid conversation with me and say something like “Oh my gosh!  That was Becky talking!”  It always makes me smile as then I am reminded how my mom is always, always with me.  She is a part of me.

My mom had a “signature scent.”  It was Youth Dew by Estee Lauder.  I loved it back then.  It would linger in a room for hours after she left.  And if she was wearing it, she was usually dressed to the nines and going someplace very fancy.  One time, it was the Governor’s Mansion!  How excited we both were shopping for just the right dress and shoes.  The shoes were very important!  We lived in a very small town and had to drive an hour to Duluth for any clothes shopping.  Glass Block was always the first choice. My mom was a very contemporary, classy lady for a small town gal and in my mind had wonderful taste in clothing!  If I was lucky, we got to have lunch there too.  It was a lovely place to eat. I felt like I was at the Ritz.  I’d wear the same scent all of the time.  My mom did it and so do I.


I do a lot of things like my mom.  I am proud of that fact because I liked my mom.  Of course I loved her but I liked her too.

Why am I thinking about all of this today?  I’m up early to make potato salad before the real heat of the day sets in.  My mom did it that way so I do too.  I boiled my potatoes and eggs and set them to cool.  Well, I’d planned to let them cool.  I don’t know why but my mom always liked to peel her potatoes when they were hot.  So that’s how I do it.  But I don’t like it.  I always plan to let them cool completely but I never make it.  As many times as I burn my fingers, I just can’t stop.  It’s the way my mom did it and I have to do it too.

What things to you do that your mom did?  Are you like me and wonder why you continue with something she did that you don’t like doing?

I think I’m a little melancholy this morning.  I’m making “her” potato salad in “her” big, yellow pyrex bowl.  I miss my mom.  But I can feel her here with me this morning and that’s a good thing.


Shine On!



I’ve lived here just shy of 4 years.  I’ve complained about my bathroom walls almost as long.  I really didn’t mind the color so much but once my towel bars got ripped from the walls, the holes have been nagging at me to patch them and paint them.

I hate painting. I mean, I really hate it.  It’s not a hard job it’s just that I’m a really messy painter.  I’ve been trying to really talk myself into getting it done, seriously, for two years.  It’s the only thing I really procrastinate on.  I’m a get ‘er done kind of gal.  Not with painting.

I’ve used up every excuse in the book.  I don’t work again until next Tuesday and am applying for a second (third?) job so I figured it was now or never.  I couldn’t get to sleep until after 2 this morning.  I awoke at 6.  Does that give you any indication about how much I stress about painting?  I know. I’m a dope.

At any rate, I got started around 7:30 this morning.  I knew if I delayed, it just wouldn’t happen.  Thanks to a new brush from a friend, I didn’t even have to tape.  That saved so much time and aggravation, I just can’t thank her enough!

I’ve managed to get it all cleaned and scrubbed now, sans the vent in there.  I haven’t been able to find a way to get it really clean.  Have any of you had any luck with that?  What’s your secret?  I’m in desperate need of advise. I digress, I’ve cleaned up all of the paint tools and have two walls to paint in my kitchen area.  I’m hoping to tackle that tomorrow.  Although, if I can’t sleep again, I may just do it tonight!

I’ve got a movie date with the girl tonight.  I’d love to take a nice, hot, leisurely bath right now but I just can’t mess up the bathroom!  Isn’t that the way it always goes?

*As a side note:  I took the plunge last week and canceled my cable.  I hopped in the car to return the equipment yesterday, feeling pretty proud of myself that I got it all disconnected by myself (I am electronically challenged among many other things).  Once I got to the store, the young man scanned my equipment only to discover I didn’t have the cable box rather my DVR.  That’s what the thought of painting does to me!  Well, at least that my excuse for that little blunder!


Shine On!