Sunday, July 31, 2011


Just like Daddy!
Jay was getting his gear together for yet another deployment. This means that my front room is a sea of green and desert tan (this was before the "new" uniforms.) The girls both begged to try on his Kevlar...Don't you just love the mix and match cammo?  Now of course, everything matches, but the first two deployments all of the soldiers looked like they bought their gear at an army surplus store.  I thought this was too cute not to share. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Looking Back at Me.
That would be me, a couple of days old, in Indy.  That's my mom holding me.

Friday, July 29, 2011


I don't usually get to be outside for the sunrise, but things all came together for this to happen.  The kids slept in, Jay was gone, and I woke up early.  Sitting in the hammock, reading my book, and drinking coffee from my Sara cup.  I love those kind of mornings.  This picture was taken in Fort Campbell, by the way.  It's already so hot and humid by the time the sun is coming up that you can't really enjoy it much here.  Not to mention the incessant attacks from the mosquitoes. They're the size of a Volkswagen down here. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Fence Post -Suggestion by Kathy Smith (I don't remember why?)
This is a lovely field in Nashville, Tennessee.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Idle Wednesday

Carve soapstone.
Melt and pour pewter.

Finished pendant.

The Jeopardy Dance!

This was before I had a camera with sound, sorry!  This is absolutely the funniest thing ever. I have more, so I'm going to look for them.


Something that causes pride in you.
This is me and Laurel, acting out a courtroom scene for her group at the YSP.  They were given a crime scene, and the tools and knowledge with which to solve the crime.  This is me testifying, and her questioning me.  The crazy amount of money it cost was well worth the excitement in her eyes.  She has decided that this is what she wants to do with her life, and we had the opportunity to witness her in action.  Pretty awesome stuff.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Flower  -Miah's suggestion
This flower is the Wild Bergamot   
I took this picture in Illinois a couple of years ago.
Wild bergamot was considered a medicinal plant by many Native Americans including the Menominee, the Ojibwe, and the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk). It was used most commonly to treat colds, and was frequently made into a tea. Today, many families still use wild bergamot during the cold and flu season. The tea may be sweetened with honey, as it tends to be quite strong.
The species of Monarda that may go under the common name "bee balm," including M. fistulosa, have a long history of use as a medicinal plant by Native Americans, including the Blackfoot. The Blackfoot recognized the plant's strong antiseptic action, and used poultices of the plant for skin infections and minor wounds. A tea made from the plant was also used to treat mouth and throat infections caused by dental caries and gingivitis. Bee balm is the natural source of the antiseptic Thymol, the primary active ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas. The Winnebago used a tea made from bee balm as a general stimulant. Bee balm was also used as a carminative herb by Native Americans to treat excessive flatulence. Leaves were eaten boiled with meat and a concoction of the plant was made into hair pomade. The herb is considered an active diaphoretic (sweat inducer).

Monday, July 25, 2011


‎Wednesday, ‎July ‎23, ‎2008, ‏‎9:30:14 PM (Illinois)  Camping during R&R in Illinois while Laurel is at The Young Scholars Program.  The town was tiny, the campsite was quiet, and we had a great time.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Miah at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville, 2006. Her favorite part of the entire place was the medical area.  Especially the "body" and this:
An entire cat nervous system.
We had to drag her away.  She was completely fascinated with the cat.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Holding hands
Miah and Emma, waiting for Jay to get off the plane. ‎Sunday, ‎September ‎10, ‎2006, ‏‎8:56:28 AM
Dear Emma,
If you only knew how much Laurel and Miah missed you!

Friday, July 22, 2011


New Hampshire!  Jay's birthplace.

After all these years, he was able to drive right to the house he lived in.
It's funny how important those first few years of your life are.  Jay and I both only spent eight years in the states we call home, but we claim them with a fierceness that defies logic.  Both of us landed in Kentucky, and have spent more time there, but if anyone asks where we are from we say our states' names in unison, and proudly.  I wonder why that is? I love Kentucky, and I think that we will possibly retire there someday, so when does it become my first answer to that question..."Ya'll ain't from around here, are ya ?"

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Where is home?
That's a good question! This is a picture of the field behind my Great Aunt Wilda's house.  Indiana.  Where it's so flat you can see the next state even if it's 500 miles away.  lol
I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. I lived pretty close to downtown, but I was never a city girl.  I get nostalgic for the three story house on Euclid, with it's big scary basement, and hot attic that smelled like my dad's books, but I never get homesick for the people (too many) the traffic (Too loud) or the fear (A boy was grabbed in our neighborhood once, but escaped actually being kidnapped)  I remember when we moved to Edmonton, Ky (More accurately, Subtle, Ky but it's hardly big enough to count) I missed the sound of the cars going by.  My bedroom window had been pretty close to a busy street, so the sound of engines and honking cars put me to sleep.
The funny thing is, country people think the city is loud, but out in the middle of the woods is the loudest place I've ever been.  Birds, crickets, running water, frogs, thunder...all together make a cacophony to rival the biggest city.
Culture shock.  I heard this term over and over when we first moved to Ky.  We went from political campaigns, flushing toilets, and walking to the grocery store to no schedules, an outhouse, and a half an  hour trip to Wal-Mart (What's that, never heard of it?) and NO alcohol!  What the heck is a dry county?  (Never heard of that either!) Also, in Indy, there are churches, but there are just a few.  They are big, fancy, and have stained glass windows.  In KY there is a church on every corner, some of them are made from garage siding, or in old strip malls, and Sunday closes the entire place down!
Kathy Smith was talking about how she grew up.  Most people might think it was odd. I don't at all.
For years, we didn't have a tv.  We listened to Prairie Home Companion, Riders in the Sky, and Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers on NPR, on the radio.  My dad had a record collection that he protected insanely, but would pull out some good ones to listen to.  Dad let me listen to Heart, and I fell in love with "Magic Man". 
I was home schooled in Indy, but decided I wanted to try school out in Edmonton Elementary.  The biggest mistake of my life.  The third grade teacher was horrible, and inflamed my independent personality.  The kids were awful, calling me a hippy because of the farm we moved to that had once, apparently housed hippy types (and what's so wrong with THAT? You idiots!) and a boy I called friend killed himself. (Here's small town life for you, I just found out that my daughter is related to him through marriage)
After third, fourth grade (With a teacher I loved, and everyone called me De Anna for a year, which was my middle name, and I never quite got the hang of it) and fifth grade (Where the teacher picked her nose in front of class and didn't like me correcting her English) I decided to go back to home schooling.  Where I could go at my own pace, and actually read the "big" books that the EE library "Teacher" wouldn't let me read.  So, cut off from the world, except for my best friend Sheila, her sister Jennifer, and the few people we interacted with, I thrived.  Living in the Valley meant, for the most part, freedom.  Yes, we didn't have a tv, we had to carry a candle to get to the outhouse at night, and I never knew what a gaming system was, but I was happy.  I was trusted to explore the far reaches of the farm alone.  I shot snakes, encountered a bear, collected fossils and bones, made dye from walnuts, caught crawdads in the creek, and made a reading spot out of nearly every spot I could find. I learned how to rely on myself, how to navigate in the woods, and how to protect myself.
Somebody might think this is odd.  I never rolled my pants legs, never glued my bangs up in crazy waves with hairspray, never learned to care about fashion or trends, and never once did I consider changing myself to get a boy to like me.  I never learned how to navigate the teen world, or those first boyfriend girlfriend relationships (Which only tripped me up one good time, but that was enough!) and I am thankful.  Separated from peer pressure, and societal influence I became my own person.
My dad had been a preacher before I was born (Stop me if you've heard this) but I was raised to think for myself.  It was hard when I was at school because no one understood why I didn't celebrate any of the holidays, or say the pledge of allegiance and it seemed to make them mad.  My dad never told me there was a god. I was never made to go to church, though Sheila took me a time or too, which I didn't find enlightening, but was entertaining when I was kicked out of church and asked not to come back...for asking questions...
One year we finally got a tv.  We only got one channel (Channel 13) but we mostly watched movies anyway.  I was reminded by Kathy's post of the huge antennae that took at least two people to use.  Dad would turn it, and one of us would watch the tv and shout out when the screen looked better.  He drove me crazy with it. The picture was never good enough, and half the time he'd fiddle with it and it would end up worse than it had started out.  That's when I decided that it was easier to be happy with what you had, as long as it was good ENOUGH.  Things don't always have to be perfect.
We also had a garden.  Nothing like Kathy describes, but it was painful.  Anytime I think of planting beans I get ill.  I hated it.  My dad was way too ambitious when it came to the garden.  My dad plowed the plot with a gas tiller, then we poked holes by hand, and dropped seeds into the dirt, covering them up as we went.  It's amazing that I like to grow things at all, because I think trauma when I think beans.
Ironically, when I think "home" I think of that farm.  Not any of the many other houses come close to feeling like home to me.  So, I guess home is Subtle.  That's Subtle with the "T" pronounced, by the way.  But only if you're from there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Idle Wednesday

With some tiny knitting needles, and 32G silver wire, I made this "flower".  The stones are Garnet. 
More knit wire stuff in the works!


Miah, 2011
All long skinny arms and legs (and fingers and toes), just like her Daddy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Something I see every day
We used to call this the Grandma Chair, it having come from my Grandma Boswell, but Harley has decided that it's her chair.  This is her favorite position, but sometimes when she wants to watch the tv, she turns around the other way, but her chin has to be resting on the arm of the chair.  It doesn't look comfortable, but she goes out of her way to sit here. Dobby likes to sit here too, but Harley will knock her off in order to sit in the prized spot.

Monday, July 18, 2011


In the water -Picture by Laurel
Miah in the creek behind the house. The kids favorite place to be.

Happy Birthday

Today would be my dad's 72nd birthday.  It's strange to think about.  He died when I was 14, so I never got to know him as a man, and knowing someone as your parent is almost not knowing them at all.  It's a shame really.  He was an interesting person, who lived a full, and varied life before I was even born.  I often wish he were around so I could pick his brain.  I really wish he had been around to meet Jay and the girls.  Especially Jay though.  I think seeing the two of them have a conversation would have been incredibly entertaining.
So, Happy Birthday, Dad.  Wherever you are.  We'll be having  butterscotch pie. Maybe you'll stop by for some.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


A Fish -Jay's suggestion
The girls had another creek adventure today.  They spent an hour or so down in the creek catching minnows, and Miah tried to get me to let her keep the fish.  After I old her that her big fish would eat this one, she decided to let the fish go back to his creek.  She bade him a sorrowful goodbye. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011


My kids need help!
Laurel loaded the pictures from her camera onto my computer, and I realized that they need help.  Is this what they are doing in their rooms?  Good grief!

Friday, July 15, 2011


Harley will eat anything.  Any sort of fruit, vegetable, things that aren't actually food...
Laurel and Miah both love testing the dog to see what she might eat.  Apparently watermelon is a yes.  Not only did she let Laurel spoon feed her the fruit, and the juice, but she also ate every bit of the rind too.  Who needs a compost pile when you have a hungry Weimaraner?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts

I know that my posts have become erratic. (insert excuse here) I won't promise to get better, just that this too shall pass. The following was found recently while Stacy was cleaning out some old letters. I felt that this perhaps I might share it with you. I wrote it around 2006, during my second deployment.

They say that the world is but a stage. One only has to sit and watch those around them to see that this is true. As I sit here in what I've dubbed the "green room" of the TOC and watch the comings and goings of the people who run this madhouse it becomes evident that most of them are just playing the parts they were given. People keep coming and going, some with urgency, some with their heads down looking defeated. Some stride by, apparently proud of the task at hand and feeling up to it. Their interaction interests me even more. Rank plays a part in everything. Even those that wear matching ranks struggle for superiority over each other. In some cases this has been established previously and yet the struggle is still evident. When you pay attention to the struggle each mannerism takes on a significance that would be easily ignored. These mannerisms are for the most part probably unintentional and unnoticed by the two people involved. Is this the animal in us, the primal need to dominate others of our species? Poets and prophets tell us that life's greatest gift is our ability to decide, to choose, to exercise free will, yet so many of life's choices are made on impulse, a chemical reaction that takes place in fractions of a second, pushing us to react, however irrationally, to whatever stimuli is put before us. Are these reactions much different than the tree which leans to get a better view of the sun or the bee who dances to tell its companions where to find food?
I do no propose that all of our decisions are made on impulse, that the entire dance of life is but an animal response. Many people ponder the correct course of action. Often, however, it is over such things as whether to eat healthily or to try out for the high school football team that we spend our time considering the consequences. Even then our careful planning and weighing of our options are so often thrown out the window by a tempting treat or a taunt from a bully. Where, I ask, is the rational thought when deciding if we should share our toys on the playground or when we choose to shove another out of the way to get a better view of the auto accident? Moreover, are these choices not just as important as the ones we agonize over?
Life is but a series of moments held together by memory and hope. The only truly important moment in time is the current one. All too often we are concentrating on something to come or something long past and just react, frequently poorly, to now, without a single thought to the effects such reactions will cause. Without care of what reactions we will cause in others, we plod along our blind path, never really knowing where we are going and never truly understanding where we've been. Again I ask, are we that much better than the pack of wolves that attack a deer, using speed and an ingrained cunning to bring it down? Is our great thought process really that superior to the elephants who know to put their weakest in the center of the herd to protect them? When will our rational thought surpass the chemical process that compels this alpha male dance we so often harm ourselves to engage in?
I do not profess to be above this dance, I am as much a part of is as you are, dear reader. Be you male or female, young or old, an intellectual or a dullard; you, like me are caught up on the constant human need to be part of society and to carve your place in it. I do not write this in order to compel you to detach yourself from society, nor to tell you that you are part of a great malignancy in the world. As point in face this little rant of my will most likely never see another pair of eyes beyond my own. Should other than I chance upon this, however and begin to question the decision making process in their own head, then perhaps the chemicals in my head which compelled me to jot down my thought were justified after all.

This was e-mailed to Stacy on a whim, and of course she kept it. I don't quite remember writing it, but reading it struck a chord with me


Art? or Goofing off?
Either way, they had fun. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Something unusually large.
You can't tell very well from the picture, but this mushroom is the size of a basketball, if not larger.  I was home alone, so I had no one to sit next to it for comparison, but believe me, it was a humongous fungus! I believe I've identified it as Amanita citrina f. lavendula
But as with any mushroom identifying, it's safer to assume you are WRONG! 

Idle Wednesday

The rocks I started with.

The Pottery shards I started with.

To the right are the pottery shards.

To the left is the largest pottery shard, all the paint came off though.

I'm really disappointed with the results. I remember my dad's rock tumbler did such a great job, and these rocks just aren't up to par. It's especially upsetting since we listened to the loudest, most irritating noise I may have ever heard for more than a month! I'm going to have to invest in a more expensive one, knowing that they aren't as loud, and last longer.  This is something that I'll put on my list of wants, for later.
All in all I  ended up with a couple of shards to wrap, and that's about it.  All of the stones are too small to drill.  :(