Sunday, September 30, 2007


...brought to you by Sunday Scribbligs

Over 5,000 runners crammed in a single block of Vine Street under the Central Baptist Banner proclaiming the "START" line for the Midsummer Night Run. The evening was still aglow in the last washes of daylight as the start gun went off with a resounding BANG!!.

People began to surge forward slowly, bunched together heading towards the starting line which tweeted as you crossed indicating your chip had been activated. The slow paced walk quickened to a slow jog and then you were able to burst forward as the crowd began to

Three miles and one tenth till the FINISH LINE.

The sun set, the moon rose, the crowd of runners thinned as we made our way through the downtown streets of Lexington. The lead runners were headed home before I even reached the half way point.

Joe had run off long before, as his feet are bigger and can cover more ground than mine (that is my story and I am sticking to it).

It was hot, it was humid, it was sticky, and it felt as if I were running through syrupy air. Sweat dripped down my forehead and crept into my eyes. I tired to wipe it off with my sweaty hands. My lungs burned. I was passing people.

I rounded the fountain and headed down Main street.

The crowd was very thin now. The fast walkers, the parents running with baby buggies, the kids who ran like the wind then walked for a while then ran like the wind again....this was the pack I was with.

I rounded the corner and headed back down Vine knowing I was nearing the finish line. The sky above was pitch black now and the stars were out as I headed home.

The FINISH LINE loomed ahead, my heart surged and I was able to speed up. I was KICKING!!! Then I saw Joe, on the other side of the finish line, waiting for me, cheering me on!


The feeling can only be described as euphoric. A buzz that no drug in the world can match.

I was flying HIGH!!

That was one POWERFUL feeling. I have run dozens of races since, but nothing ever compared, not one of them ever came close to crossing that first finish line.

That was some POWERFUL stuff.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I like this one, only I wish I had not put the peel and press letters on the bottom. I might un-peel and reapply with the ransom note style.

I tossed the postcard idea and have grabbed my blank note cards. The extra area makes all the difference.

I received my first one today! A fab water color....note card!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Rocky Start

The first collage postcard I attempted with a Back to School theme.

The second attempt.

The final one! This one made the cut. This is very hard to do when you have no idea what you are doing. I think it need a little something more. I'll look at it in the morning....maybe some glitter (lol). (I suck at this!!lol)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Macabre Sight

To feed the beast that lives within me, I have been hanging out at the local Flea Markets, Peddler Malls, Antique & Collectible stores, Goodwill, DAV Thrift Stores, and in general, any store full of junk where $5 goes a long way.

I was astonished when I ran across this box of doll hands. They were sitting on the overflowing shelves of Craft things. I tried to sneak out my small digital camera but of course another shopper would choose that moment to enter the aisle and walk behind me several times obviously waiting for me to vacate the spot in front of all the cool and interesting stuff spilling from the shelves onto the floor.

I could not leave these doll hands behind!

My mind is spinning with the possibilities.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Woe is Me

I found via Sunday Scribblings this really cool web site called Dreamergirl. Absolutely stunning. Well, I was so inspired by the beauty that I thought I would join in on a postcard exchange.

I should have known better.

Now I am trying to teach myself how to make a creative and pretty postcard that will convey what Autumn means to me.

As I approached my glue sprayed canvas with my carefully cut out carnivorous looking flower that i was going to attach to replace the girls head, (I am working with Halloween theme on this card) I dropped it and it landed on a spot I definitely did not want! About a quarter off the card!!

Dang it.

So I just slapped on a deranged looking Tin Man and then sat back in horror at the image I had created. I slapped on another head....and now she looked like she had been beheaded!!

So I added some pretty words and took some aspirin.

This is hard work!

I will not be sending out this card!! But, it is my favorite so far!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Rose By Any Other Name

Thanks to Sunday Scribblings I have realized that in four years of pounding out posts, "Entries", essays, confessions, reports, travel experiences, memories shaded by time, and the occassional rant...there just isn't much I have not written about before.

From October 9, 2003.....

My name is Mary Theresa. My Mom named me in advance because it was her dream for me to become a Nun. Mary was never really truly mine. At the Catholic High School I attended there was Mary Anne, Mary Ellen, Mary Alice, Mary Beth, Mary Jane, Mary, Mary, Mary and Mary. You could yell "MARY" in the hallway and half the girls would turn to answer.

Why couldn't I have had my own personalized name? Exclusive to me, giving me a different sense and significance of self. And to others!

In my day dreams, I named myself dramatic, romantic monikers.

I named my daughter, Bridget...Theresa. Bridget conjures up images of sexy French girls even though its actually the female patron saint of Ireland. Not to mention the name of my Great Grandmother.

I was stumped when Bridget was born, so certain she was going to be a male. 23 years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, you were not given the opportunity of knowing in advance the sex of your child. It was "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH.....its a GIRL!" I was so surprised. The entire last six months of carrying her, she had squirmed, kicked, and wiggled around so much I knew she was a boy.

My Mom named Bridget. I was clueless and half heartedly came up with Nicole. My mother balked and said "That's not an Irish name." And so, she became Bridget after a woman born in the 1800's.

No mistake was made, for she is most certainly a Bridget. Even the name rolls off the tongue and tickles the lips. It can be drawn out as in, "Brrrrrriiiidggggettttt..." or short and harsh "Bidgt". I like the way there are numerous ways to spell Bridget, therefore giving her the latitude to change her mood and/or her sense of self with the spelling.

I was one of six children. My moniker has always been "The oldest", and when my sisters were born, "The oldest girl". Now as my parents age, I still am the oldest and introduced as, "My oldest daughter". I never had a nick name like some other Mary's I knew. No Mollie or Missy or Sissy for me...just plain, Nun-like Mary.

I love the Internet for the wonderful pleasure of naming myself and giving myself great nicknames like HighwayStar, Drama Queen and AlphaWoman.

Yet, a rose by any other name.......

Thursday, September 20, 2007

First the eyes, then the knees, then....the mind!

Several years ago I was sprawled out on the floor of my living room reading a street map of Cincinnati and cursing. Muttering, "When did they start making these maps so small???!!" as I struggled to read the streets and make sense of a city, that quite frankly, didn't. It was with great reluctance and total denial that I began to suspect that my eyes were going!!

I had always been so vain about my good eyesight!

That was then. I did eventually go to an eye doctor and receive a pair of bona fide reading glasses. A couple of years later, my sister neglected to toss my suitcase in her car as she was taking me to the airport and ran over it! My first pair was greatly impaired.

It took me YEARS to return to the eye doctor and get another prescription. I had become hooked on the $1 glasses you could obtain from the Dollar Store. When you run them over with the car you think, "what the hell."

I actually got two pairs, one for reading and one for long distance. Because, now I needed bifocals.

Say it ain't so!!

The long distance pair I lost when we moved from Central KY to NE Indiana. They just never showed up at the new house. The reading glasses were always a thorn in my side as the lenses kept popping out of the frame! They were the smudgiest pair of glasses in the entire history of eye glass wear. Last year one of the arms broke. On occasion I will pop the lens back in, hook it over one ear, balance it on the bridge of my nose and see the way the Doc thought I should see.

Otherwise, it was those $1 glasses by the gross which I always got mixed up with Joe's who when ever he put a pair of mine on would say, "You really are blind, aren't you?"

This is how I found myself standing in the middle of a huge assembly line eye glass sweat shop looking around with my blurred vision for a sign that would lead me in the right direction.

I am turning into such a bitch.

My glasses would not be ready until hours later and I opted to pick them up the next morning.

When I get there, my glasses are not ready, they have to be sent out and will take two weeks.

"So much for the "same day" guarantee!" I quipped, with just enough edge that the poor customer service lady finally really looked me in the eye.

"Why the delay?"

"We have to send them out to get the gobbly gook stuff put on them so that you don't get the glare from the sun..." or something like that.

"I don't need it then, because I need those glasses to read." At this point, I needed those glasses immediately!!

OK, it will take 1/2 hour.

I came back three hours later and they could not find my glasses. Finally, the poor over worked Customer Service Lady came to grips with the situation and told me that in the process of making my glasses they had cracked one of the lenses and now would have to re-do them, take a seat and we will have them ready in a few minutes.

A good half hour later she called me over, away from the rest of the people in the large show- room/waiting room and told me my glasses could not be finished because the machine that puts a protective coating on the glass so I couldn't scratch them (do they have a coating for running them over?) has broken down.

I guess she thought I might blow.

All I could think about was when things went terribly wrong for me when I was working at The Beverage Company. And I took pity on her and told her I understood she was doing her job the best she could, and that it was the other people who were messing things up. I knew it took a lot of courage to give me the bad news and I had to give her a break.

For my acceptance of the situation and not causing a scene I got over 50 bucks knocked off the cost of the glasses and a free cleaning kit (14.99 retail).

And, the glasses are finally sitting on the bridge of my nose.

Not that much different from the $1 glasses, just cost 150 times more and I don't resemble a bug anymore.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

1,000,000 to 1 odds

...Or I collect National Geographics and have an essay for Sunday Scribblings

I am a woman on a mission. I have been scoping out all the used bookstores in the area. There are not that many of them which is surprising, or not surprising depending on how you view things.

Since mentioning the National Geographic obsession a few entries ago, I googled the teenager who sailed around the world in the 1960's and found his name, Robin Lee Graham. It was exactly as I remembered, he was 16 years old in 1965 and took off in a very small sail boat from Hawaii with the intent of a solo voyage around the world. I decided to try and track down the NG that told the story, which I found was April 1969.

I went to a local Goodwill store that has hundreds of the NG's on hand, but not the April 1969. On a hunch, I started to scan the titles of the contents which are displayed on the magazine spine, each one having four stories. On October 1969 I saw "Voyage" and pulled it.

My hunch payed off! It was the last of a series of three written by Robin about his incredible feat which incidentally took approximately five years!! The other two NG's were the April 1969 and October 1968.

So, I have been on a mission to find them locally. I have hit practically every used bookstore in the area. Sadly, I have found out that no one carries National Geographic any longer! It's hit or miss.

Today found me at a small used book store in Lyndon. A bookstore that I use to visit and purchase books when I lived here in the 1980's. Which I lost no time telling the woman who owned the store! Obviously, this meant more to me than her. I wonder how people can stay in business, to run a sole proprietor store and be so unfriendly! I asked about NG's and she directed me to a paltry few stacked in a hidden cob webbed corner. "I'm looking for October 1968!" I said, with too much enthusiasm because her sarcastic "good luck" made me think I was perceived as a nutcase.

She did have two 1968's out of 10, neither of them October.

I ended up at a Goodwill Store off Shelbyville Road going through three large drop off canvas containers. What fun!! For 50 cents each, I found some really great books!

I knew there was another Goodwill pretty close and the day was still early and beautiful so I drove over and to my pleasant surprise there were four of these large three feet by three feet containers outside!

Going through them is like digging for gold. My feet practically left the ground to get to the bottom of the "barrel". I had developed a system of stacking them on the edge between two, and then as I got closer to the bottom to begin tossing them in the other bin.

I found more treasures at the second Goodwill. I had six more books stacked up! I had only worked through two of the four when I lazily began to toss books right and left in the third one.

About in the middle of the books, toys, encyclopedias, coloring books, notebooks, magazines, and stuffed animals I spotted the familiar yellow spine of a National Geographic.

I said to myself, "It's October 1968", and then laughed hysterically at myself as we all do at these insane thoughts.

I lifted it out.

October 1968.

I gasped and looked around for someone jump up and down with and dance in celebration!

There was no one.

I did a little jig anyway and high fived the air and laughed at that damn woman in Lyndon! "Good luck" she had sneered at me and look at me now!!

Naturally, my next stop was to buy a lottery ticket.

I'll let you know tomorrow.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sunday Scribblings


I never was a good student. During grammar school I had the misfortune of having two exceptional and amazing scholars in my class and try as I may, I never could get the best of them. Since the class size was only 12 students and for the most part remained so for the eight years, I believe this microcosm twisted my view of the real world. Therefore, I never gave much effort to excel. In my small private high school (once again, I was one student in a class of only 120) I found myself thrust among four Merit Scholarship Finalists. I was already well on the path that if I could not be Top Dog (though back then, Top Cat would be more apropos)then I was not going to try very hard.

Home work was completed during Home Room and study hall. If I had not studied enough for a History or Social Studies class, I faked an illness. I had to have an algebra tutor. I copied my Latin assignments from my BFF Laura. In other words, I was a nightmare for teachers. Not that different from the majority of my classmates.

There are certain moments of High School I remember. Tiny vignettes of people and place. Smoking in the bathroom, skipping classes and getting caught, detention class after school, riding the bus to downtown where I would have to ride the Greyhound Bus the last 12 miles home, being on a panel with Jose discussing transcendental philosophy, Latin class with Father S. who drove a Hot Rod and was very handsome and all of us girls shook our heads at the waste, the nun who was the librarian we called Rat, decorating homeroom doors, having the biggest crush in the history of crushes on the Dog.

The most vivid still holds certain emotions that are stirred. In Junior Year I found myself in a creative writing class. For perhaps the first and only time in the four years of my high school experience, I gave it my all. I was inspired by something that has happened to someone I knew that summer. I took his reality and experience and gave it the voice of a 12 year old girl.

Mrs. F sat at her desk and began to read the best of our efforts. She read two of them and paused before beginning the third and final. The best of the best.

I began to hear my words being read aloud by someone else. "It happened this summer, when the days were becoming so hot the tar was bubbling on the road......"

I was terrified and shamed for some unexplained reason. In my totally freaked out state I tried to glance around the class room. Mrs. F. had every ones attention. Hanging on her words, my words. And at the end, my pal Bonnie was crying.


"I'm going to be a writer" I vowed to myself.

Thirty some odd years later I sit here at my key board and wonder if....if I had pursued a writing career. If I had taken my life a little bit seriously, not a lot, just a little and talked to someone. Maybe someone then would have directed me towards journalism.

Instead, here I sit, still slightly terrified at people reading what I write.

Friday, September 07, 2007

How I Spent My Summer

There definitely is something different in the air. Perhaps it is the softening of the light. The shorter days. The magnificent sunsets. The children standing on the corner across the street from our home waiting on the bus. The familiar sound from oh so long ago, "BUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS". No relief from the heat yet, but the cooler mornings hint of things to come.

The past three months have flown by and I remember them as a blur of activity. The last month I spent an enormous amount of time at my parents house helping out with things. Routine is the word of the day, every day in my Mothers home. When it was 2pm, it was nap time and subsequently quiet time for all.

One afternoon found me without a book. Now that is actually an oxymoronic statement seeing that I was in my mothers house. She is a retired librarian and the house is loaded with books. Yet, I found myself insistent on finding a biography of Beryl Markham she was reported as having. What a chore as I scoured all the book cases in the house twice and could not lay my hand on it.

"The garage!" I though in inspired desperation.

I did not find the book, but I did find stashed on the bottom shelf of her storage area (left side!!) a large box of old National Geographic.

I am addicted. I have read a multitude of them almost cover to cover except for the bug stuff, it does not interest me. The very first one I picked up was dated late 1970's and was explaining the cyclic nature of weather. It seems that we were on the end of a very cold 50 years! Amazing stuff.

I have read the 1953 issue (amazingly an unadorned black and white cover with a gold border) about the first men to set foot on the top of Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary and a local from Napal named Tanzeng Norgay. It was fascinating stuff and furthered my passion for reading ALL OF THEM!

Sunken treasure outside Bermuda (1964), Saudi Arabia (1966), Robert Redford (1976) retracing the footsteps of Butch Cassidy over the west and meeting the real Butch's sister! Could St. Brenden have discovered the Americas 600 years before anyone else in a boat made from hides? Well, some Irishmen reenacted the route and by God the answer would be yes! New Orleans (1971) still recovering from Hurricane Camille in the area and at that time an alarm was spoken about the Ninth Ward. Eskimo's in Canada.

When I was a kid my Mom received two magazines in the mail, Time and National Geographic. I recall turning the pages and being in awe of all the natural beauty in the world. I vividly remember an article about a 17 year old kid making a solo journey around the world in a sail boat. I remember a cat as his only companion.

Oh the places you'll go!

This summer found me in Sweden, Norway, Egypt, Ireland, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Bermuda and many more.

And I never left my Mom's living room.

And that's how I spent my summer.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Beauty of the Bounty

I am really stoked today. Lot's of good things happening.

The best thing being that I have finally cracked the CSA club and gained admission! CSA stand for Community Suppported Agriculture and in a nutshell, you pay in advance for a weekly share of the bounty!

I could not locate a CSA in Ft Wayne. That does not mean one does not exist, it means I could not hunt it down.

On Wednesday I will receive my first "box". I can not wait!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The $59,000 Car

At least it was 20 years ago. Our new addition to the fleet.

Joe's new toy.

The Sonata is mine, all mine!!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Fascinating Stuff

So, I was visiting with my Aunt yesterday, the one with the fractured pelvis. Thankfully, she was recovered and healed enough to return to her apartment in downtown Lexington.

We are sitting in her small living room just getting settled when she asks me, "So what have you been doing lately that is fascinating?"

Why this questions takes me by surprise I don't know, but it did. Maybe because there is nothing fascinating I am doing lately!!

The image that leaped into my mind were my adopted rose bushes, the 21 damn bushes I have been trying to keep alive this horrid, torrid, breathless, over powering, arid summer. I have now have had roses thrust upon me three times from three different gardens. Some may say roses are easy to grow, but take it from me, they are not. I have fooled around with them all summer long. Through Japanese beetles, black spot, yellow leaves, under watering, over watering, dead heading and cutting back. Now as I am entering into the end of the summer I breath a sigh of relief.

Next year I will begin in April and not mid-June!

Look at my poor garden gloves. These are my third pair of the summer - granted I have tended two gardens, one here and the other in Ft. Wayne - I realize I need to spend more on garden gloves.