Randomly Thinking: Honest homeschoolers, friendly only in winter, overused book tropes

Welcome to my random thoughts. Read on at your own risk.


As many of you know,  I am a homeschooler and shortly after becoming one, I figured out there is an entire homeschooling community, a good portion of it on social media. Many of those on social media, sharing their journey, are simply sharing their journey to connect with other homeschoolers so they can learn from each other. There is another segment, however, that has made a business out of homeschooling. They are homeschool influencers, I guess you would say, many of them posting photos on Instagram of pristine areas of the home where they conduct their learning, homemade school desks carved from wood by their father/grandfather/amazingly talented uncle; elaborate field trips, children wearing perfectly matched clothes, perfectly organized shelves, and large, almost mansion-like homes.

I was telling a friend this week that I’d love to see some more honest posts from these types of homeschoolers. Something like kids with their hair uncombed and their faces dirty. Photos of children in cute little matching outfits covered in mud, chocolate, or poop while the mother — her hair sticking out in all different directions  — drags them to their cute, little homemade desk. Maybe a photo of Mom trying to teach the 15-year-old math while in the background the 7-year-old spills a container of Legos all over the original hardwood floor and the 3-year-old drags a screaming cat by its tail across the kitchen linoleum.


My 7-year olds favorite word right now is “ineffective” and I don’t know where she heard it. Last week she told me that my tricks to get her to take her allergy medicine would be ineffective on her.

No idea.

I don’t use that word often and I don’t even know where she heard it. I’m glad she’s reading and learning more words, but I do wish she’d stop using them correctly and against me.


Here is a character attribute I am tired of seeing in books: A female main character who absolutely loves to read and spends three paragraphs telling the reader of the book she is in why she loves to read. Yes, I get it, writers like to read so they think their characters should too. Yes, I did this in my first book, but no, I don’t want to keep reading about main characters who love to read and hide themselves in corners to read and ignore other people so they can read.

It’s cliché and completely over done and I will most likely do it myself in a future book. Also, I like to read, but I don’t fall in love with the characters to the point I am completely out of touch with reality so if the author is trying to help me relate to his/her characters, it’s not going to work.


Our older cat Pixel is very aloof in the warmer months. She comes in from outside for a pet, eats some food, and heads back outside to hunt then repeats the process every couple of hours. In the winter, she goes outside for a much shorter time and when she returns, she often crawls up on my lap for a pet and a brief kneading session on my chest. Then she curls up in a chair the rest of the day and at night she’s back on my chest for a cuddle. It is for this reason that I sometimes favor winter more than the warmer months.

Our kitten (Scout), on the other hand, is affectionate at the most inopportune times, like at 5 in the morning when she walks up onto my chest and lays down under my chin, cutting off my air.

The kitten has also spent much of the last couple of weeks finding the best sprawl pose near our woodstove.


The other night my husband turned on Knight Rider for old time’s sake. I have to admit that I watched it very little as a kid and hadn’t seen it in years but it brought back a memory for me of a poster of David Hasselhoff I saw at a yard sale near our house and bought after begging my mom for it.

My mom finally agreed with a big eye roll, asking me, “Are you sure you want that?”

When I insisted I did, she let me buy it, and then there he was — David Hasselhoff with his shirt unbuttoned several buttons, wearing a leather jacket and leaning on Kit. I hung him on the wall right next to my bed. The poster looked a little like this:

My brother says he doesn’t remember this at all, but I swear he came into my room after it was hung and said, “What the heck?! Why do you have a poster of a grown man on your wall? MOM! WHY DOES LISA HAVE A POSTER OF A GROWN MAN ON HER WALL?!”

My brother says this never happened, but he is getting old so he probably forgot. *wink*


A former friend once bragged about how much better Australia was than the U.S. Lately I wonder if she thinks the same thing now that they have no freedom left to speak of.


Last Sunday an ice storm moved into our area so we decided not to drive the five miles to my parents for lunch like we usually do on Sundays. I didn’t want my mom to think we didn’t want to come, but I wanted us to be safe so I called her and she said if we did come she’d be worried about us driving back in the dark.

We finally agreed we would stay home. She said, “okay, good. I just didn’t want you to think I was rejecting you.” Then I said, “I didn’t want you to think I was rejecting you.”

And that’s when I realized, yet again actually, that this family needs to see a therapist. We worry way too much about offending each other and other people.


I thought I’d share a couple of humorous memes I came across recently. I find them humorous but my son says they are “so 2016.”


So those are my random thoughts. How about you? Share your random thoughts in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: No, I haven’t started smoking pot, I’ll probably never be a potter, and other random thoughts

Welcome to my random thoughts. Enter at your own risk.


As most of you know, I was in the hospital with COVID on Thanksgiving and stayed there for five days. During that time I had a family member who was wonderful and helped me through by talking to me all hours of the night. She is a 911 dispatcher in a rural county so she was already up. She only messaged me between calls so one night I didn’t hear much from her for a while and that was fine. I knew she’d message me on breaks or when things calmed down. When she did message me she told me that the weekend had been absolutely insane.

At one point there was a man who locked himself in his basement, set the basement on fire, and then cut his own throat with a knife. I actually heard about this one from a nurse in the hospital I was in because that man was transported to the same hospital. The nurse was talking to other nurses about how crazy the emergency room was. My relative said this man wasn’t the only man to cut his throat that weekend either.

In addition to the crazy basement man, the dispatch center had a call about a seizure in a barn and then a PennDOT driver who choked on beef jerky in a snow storm, which triggered an asthma attack.

It all made me very glad I am not a 911 dispatcher. My nerves are shot just from going to a store for groceries (yeah, I know I’m crazy. Hush). Having to dispatch an ambulance while someone is on the other end of the phone screaming into it about a bleeding family member? Nope. Could not handle that.


I have been taking CBD oil for some of the side effects of COVID. For those who don’t know, CBD is from the hemp plant but it does not have the part of the marijuana plant that makes people high, which is THC. It is used to help people with pain, anxiety and sleep issues and it’s become quite popular. And yes, it is helping the internal tremors and anxiety I have dealt with since COVID, as well as some aches and pains I had before COVID.

So my 89-year old aunt knew about the internal vibrations and asked me how they were going. I was talking to her at my parents house and I told her that CBD oil was helping. She is hard of hearing so she asked what I was saying. I slowly spelled CBD for her and then she said, “Now, tell me about this. What is it?”

I started to tell her what I wrote above and my dad leaned toward the phone and said loudly, “It’s pot, Doris! Pot!”

I quickly assured my aunt I was not smoking pot. My dad knows what CBD is. He just thinks he’s funny.


This CBD thing has been a huge source of enjoyment for my family, who like to tease me that I am doing drugs. This wouldn’t be funny in some families but it is funny in mine because we are a family who doesn’t even drink wine let alone do any drugs.

We don’t take a lot of medicines and treat many of our ailments naturally. I don’t drink for a variety of reasons and have never done drugs. My parents do not drink and also do not do drugs. I guess that’s why joking about drug usage is allowed in my family? I have no idea and to be clear I don’t mean we make light of addiction or what drugs do to a person, just the hilarious idea that one of us would use them. My mom and I can’t even walk straight after a small dose of NyQuil.

Anyhow, I was taking D-mannose, a natural supplement, for a bladder issue at the same time we had to live with my parents for two weeks when we first moved to the area I live in now. For those who don’t know, dmannose is a natural supplement that can be taken in a capsule form or comes in a white powder that can be mixed with a liquid. I had purchased the white powder so I could mix it with water.   I had the D-mannose in a baggie (I don’t remember why now) and I misplaced the bag and asked my mom if she had seen it.

“You mean your cocaine?” Mom asked. “It’s over on the counter.”

“Mom!” I cried. “It is not cocaine.”

Mom responded, “Did you need a spoon and a candle to melt that down?”

I scowled. “I’m not an expert but I think that’s what you do with crack so no, I don’t need a spoon and a candle.”

My mom just grinned at me.

With all this CBD usage, I told my mom I was nervous about one of the oils because I wasn’t totally sure it was THC free. It wasn’t labeled very well and was made on a small farm. I was going to use while I waited for a more high quality one to arrive in the mail.

“Well, just take it and see if you get high, I guess,” she told me, then snorted a laugh.

If you knew my mom and how anti-marijuana and alcohol she is, that comment would crack you up even more.


My son has been enjoying harassing me about the CBD oil too. He asks me from time to time if I am high yet.

Before Christmas, my dad bought a fruit cake and was taste testing it. My son said, “Well we know she (pointing to me) might be high but are you high too? Who actually buys fruit cake?!”


A super sweet cat showed up at my parents the week before Christmas. We don’t know if someone dropped him off or where he came from but he hung around the house and when my family pulled in the drive he was waiting and jumped up on his hind legs, bumping his head against our hands to get us to pet him.

Our dog immediately fell in love with him and kept trying to go outside to check on him. Usually Zooma chases cats she meets outside, but this time she just stood and sniffed the cat and let him rub himself all over her.

We have two cats so we knew we couldn’t take him home with us. The whole family immediately decided we needed to put a notice on Facebook to see if anyone knew who he belonged to.

A few minutes after my dad posted the notice, people said they didn’t know who the cat belonged to but they wanted him. Two days later he had a knew home on a farm with horses and two dogs. My dad hopes he didn’t give someone’s cat away but he was just too sweet to take to an animal shelter or let stay out in the cold all winter.


My husband posted this gem on Facebook Christmas Eve:

My wife wrapping presents:

An elegant tribute to the sculptural nature of bows and ribbons, a warm embrace in paper form

Me wrapping presents:

A thousand angry thumbs fail to understand the concept of paper, a monster held together by tape and hubris


Speaking of my husband, we were reminiscing this week about this past summer when he took our daughter to a local carnival. He took her on a ride where you sit on a rug and slide down a long slide. He sat her on his lap and the person manning the ride said, “Okay, now let’s get your granddaughter in place.”

Like he said at the time when he told me the story, “I have to get rid of the gray in this beard.”


We bought Little Miss a pottery wheel for Christmas and I thought I’d give it a go. It is pretty little and just for kids so I can handle it right? That’s what I thought anyhow. This thing was flying at like 80 mph while I tried to mold a lump of clay into a bowl. What resulted was thirty minutes of me saying, “oh! Oh my! Slow down! This is going to fly off. Why is this going so fast? I thought this was for kids? I need a slower wheel! This is making a mess! What was I thinking?”

My failed attempt at making a bowl and Little Miss’s tools trying to remove it from the pottery wheel.

We spent two days wiping clay off anything within a 20-foot radius of the wheel and have learned to put plastic or something down from now on when using it.

Little Miss had no interest in using it. Instead, she just wanted to carve and shape her creations out of the clay. It was a much safer choice, trust me. I do, however, still want a bigger wheel of my own.

Even though the wheel seemed fast and I didn’t know what I was doing (although I once saw a local high school teacher teaching students and knew to wet my hands as I went along), it was strangely relaxing and mesmerizing. I guess I know what to tell my husband and children to get me for Mother’s Day.


My daughter recently made this portrait of me in mustard. I don’t know what else to say.

So those are some of my random thoughts. Share a few of yours with me in the comments. 

Randomly Thinking: My quipping 15-year old, my 7-year old is sending me texts, and purses.

I’ve been trying to finish one of these for a couple of months now. Something always seems to interrupt or distract me, though. So this might not be the most exciting randomly thinking ever, but at least I’m finally getting one done.

Recently my son and I have been watching videos for science and he likes to let me know subtly that they aren’t the best produced things every by pausing them and adlibbing.

“Look at that lion. He looks so depressed. He looks like his wife just left him.”

The women on the video then asked if the lion had a backbone so they could discuss what category the lion would be placed into.  

“No,” my son responded. “He doesn’t have a backbone. That’s probably why his wife left him.”

“That word sounds like a disease. Is it a disease?”

“Yes, he’s slimy he left the Denny’s without giving them a tip.”

Finally, he said, “I have to stop doing this or we’re never going to finish this video.”

Exactly. He was simply dragging his lesson out even more, so he finally stopped.


One night my son and I were watching a documentary about the various palaces the British monarchy live in. The first part of the series was about Buckingham Palace and among the many features the woman was talking about was a statue of a naked Mars and Venus. Before we knew it she was touching the bare right buttock and upper thigh of Venus and telling us how supple and soft it looks and how smooth it feels. She then pointed out a small space between the two statues and called that space a “erotic space.”

Needless to say, that documentary took a very weird turn.

At one point The Boy used his adlibbing again and said, while speaking like the female host, “When the queen sits on the throne, she just sucks the life force out of us. That’s how she stays alive and why I look so old. I’m actually 20.”


The other night my son said, “You know people who were born in the 90s are in their 30s now? That’s totally crazy.”

“Um…thanks for that reminder,” I said, my voice full of sarcasm. “Most of them are actually in their 20s, but okay. And I was born in the 70s you know.”

My daughter looked at me in horror. “You were born in the 70s?!!”

My son. “Yes, she is old.”

So, anyhow, if you want to be humbled, have children.


Have you ever thought maybe you should see what the other “theys” in the world think before you tell everyone you’re doing something because “they said I had to”? And maybe you should ask why some “theys” are censored and no longer experts while other “theys” are the only experts you’re allowed to listen to. How different the world might be right now if more people did that.


I’ve had to cut back on milk to try to lose some weight and I reminded my son of this as I had him pour me half a cup the other night.

He deepened his voice and added a gravelly rasp to it.

“I had to cut the milk. After that guy came after me and told me he wanted the money I’d taken off him and I didn’t remember it because you know — the milk – it messed with my mind.”

Then he had me in a milk anonymous meeting saying, in the same low voice, “My name is Lisa and I’m addicted to milk. It’s destroyed my life. Don’t start drinking it. It’s a slippery slope.”


At the end of last school year, I was worried Little Miss wasn’t going to learn to read. Now I get messages like this on my phone from her:


Little Miss and I are reading a book called Freedom Crossing for school. It is about the Underground Railroad. In the first chapter, the main character, a 15-year old girl, is hiding and listening while her brother and another young man talk about her. She finally steps out and tells the boys she has heard every word.

Little Miss and I agreed to continue the story the next day and then she announced, “Yeah, she’s probably going to kick them in their weak spot because all boys have a weak spot.” She grinned at me. “Right between the legs. That’s what I’d do. I would kick them because I’m feisty. I wouldn’t let anyone talk about me and what they think I’m going to do.”

Yes, we did have to have a little conversation about violence after that, especially since she has tried this tactic on her brother and now I know she’s doing it on purpose more times than she admits.


Run, don’t walk, to get a copy of all the books of the Rembrandt Stone series. I just finished the last book in the series and oh gosh. Wow. Blown away by the whole series. Cried like a baby while reading the final book not once, not twice, but three times. And I mean outright sobbed. I’m sure that had nothing to do with the fact I had a 102-degree fever and was completely exhausted. Okay, it might have had a little to do with that, but mainly it was because the ending hit all the spots a time travel/romantic suspense book should. I felt empty when I finished it. Lost even. How could I read anything else that captivated me the way those books did? I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ll eventually find something.

The books are by David James Warren.


I posted this on my Instagram earlier this week and thought I’d share it here too so my blog readers can’t let me know what they think too.

Ladies, tell me about your purses. I should probably explain that I am not really a “girly girl” so shoes and purses are not my usual thing to talk about but recently I purchased a purse that was small and cute and I thought I would love it. I haaaated it! I couldn’t fit all my stuff in it. Where was the space for my planner and my Kindle and maybe a paperback book? Not to mention my essential oils, bottle of ibuprofen for the days Aunt Flo shows up out of the blue, and a pocket for snacks for the kids because they didn’t eat their breakfast when I told them to and now we’re out somewhere and they are “hangry”. In other words, I didn’t need a purse I needed a bag. Yes, a big bag to apparently put everything but the kitchen sink in and carry around on my shoulder so that I pinch that nerve in my neck yet again and have to find a chiropractor, yet again.

How about you?

Do you like small, cute purses that are unassuming and you can carry to your dinner date without knocking ten people out on the way to your seat? Or do you need a “bag” that you can fit everything important in? Or do you have more than one purse that you switch back and forth? Maybe you’re much fancier when it comes to purses than I am. 😉


Well, those are my random thoughts for this time around. Do you have anything random that happened to you or a random thought? Let me know in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: Florida men stories, murder case obsessions, behind on blog reading and other random thoughts

You just know it’s going to be a weird day when the tabs of your computer are opened up to “Man Found Naked In Chicken Coup After Manhunt”, a search bar for “what are the names of those round people toys, and a tab with the headline “Sean Connery’s James Bond was Basically A Rapist, New 007 Director Says.”


A couple of weeks ago my family picked up some Chinese food at the local Weis. It included spring rolls, but my husband said they were mini egg rolls. I informed him that they were indeed spring rolls, but I couldn’t explain the difference so when we got home, I searched for the difference online. I thought I’d share that information here in case any of you need to win a pointless argument as well in the future.

The differences between spring rolls and egg rolls:

Wrapper. Spring rolls are wrapped in thin flour wrappers or rice wrappers, while egg rolls are wrapped in a thicker, noticeably crispier wrapper that’s been dipped in egg for richness.

Preparation. Egg rolls are fried, which accounts for their bubbly, crispy exteriors. Meanwhile, spring rolls may be baked or fried, and are sometimes not cooked at all apart from the filling.

Filling. Spring rolls are usually filled with a fresh vegetables, whereas egg rolls are filled with a combination of savory meat and vegetables.

If you would like even more information on this two different Chinese foods, you can click over to the article HERE.


I don’t know about any of you, but I have been both horrified and enraptured with this terrible case of the missing and then found murdered girl, Gabby Petito. My son has called me obsessed, but I promise I have done more than poor over the internet for more information on the case this week, opening up my internet browser every morning and hoping they have caught her boyfriend, who I suspect killed her. I have. Truly. I have written several hundred words in book four of the Spencer Valley Chronicles, taught homeschool lessons, finished a book, continued to read on two more, cooked meals, and let a dog and a cat in and out a few times a day.

Unlike many following this case, I do not see myself as an internet sleuth of any kind. I’m simply curious of the final outcome. That’s why I joined a discussion group about the case on Facebook. The case itself is very serious, heartbreaking, and solemn, but some of the posts in the group have kept me laughing while also making me question the sanity of a great deal of people in this country.

I was glad to see there are many in the group who can laugh at themselves for thinking they know more than the FBI, which is investigating the case, and that there are others who can laugh at the sad state of their lives where they have found themselves with way too much time on their hands.

I thought I’d share a few of the funnier screenshots I took from the group, as well as some hilarious comments that I could relate to, as well as my own responses to some of the comments.

Comment: I think all of the 23 year-old, semi-bald guys with brown hair, flip flops, and a backpack probably better just stay home for the next few weeks.

Comment: Now I know why Brian Laundrie looks familiar. He looks like just about every other average guy in this country.

Comment: Anybody else in this group discover a new toxic trait about themselves during this case that has manifested itself in the form of a pretentious pseudo-investigator? I find that when friends and family, that are just casually following the case, send me some piece of information that I dissected 3 days ago I can’t help but scoff and hurriedly explain to them why it is irrelevant so I can get back to business. Sometimes I have to be brought back to reality and remember while I did major in social media sleuthing my cheating exes, I am not in fact, lead detective on this case. 😩

My response to her: Yeah, but come on — I have watched sooooo many mystery and cop shows and I’m on the fourth book of the Walt Longmire mystery series so I am totally an expert. That’s all the training I need, right?!

Showing how some in the group really do feel like they are all working together:

There have also been several posts in the group about bodies being found or people barricading themselves in apartments or hotel rooms. This made a lot of us in the group realize that all those Florida man memes are totally true. Surely you have heard of them. Florida man . .. followed by something crazy that a Florida man did. Let me explain this in my next random thought.


A couple of years ago my son was showing me memes and told me about all these crazy news stories that have the headline: “Florida man . . .” followed by something crazy a man from Florida did.

There are also Florida woman stories, I should add.

It didn’t take me long to realize he was right. I started seeing all these crazy stories and every time it would be someone from Florida that something crazy.

Then one day I came across this headline: Man Found Naked In Chicken Coop After Manhunt.

I snorted a laugh and said to my son, “Oh my gosh. Sounds like something that would happen in our area, or would involve a Florida man.”

I proceeded to read the story and it turns out it involved both a Florida man and our area. The man was being sought because he had been driving the wrong way on a local interstate. After he crashed his car, which he drove all the way from Florida, he jumped on the back of pickup (while on the highway) and rode a mile before jumping off and running into the woods.

Police searched for this guy for seven hours, only to find him after he was found naked in a chicken cop by the coop’s owner. It was apparently not the first chicken coop he had run into while naked and on the run. He also threatened the one homeowner with an ax.

He killed a dog and injured two chickens during his run. The article doesn’t say it, but I suspect he was found to be under the influence of a controlled substance — most likely  meth.

By the way, I went to search for this story again to confirm the headline and there was actually another similar story in Lousiana. I guess there is something that happens to meth heads when they get high that makes them want to run naked into chicken coops.


Earlier this week I decided I had better catch up on posts from my favorite bloggers. I am very behind due to school starting (and the aforementioned obsession I’ve developed). I logged on to the WordPress reader and clicked over to my friend Erin’s blog (link) and gasped. There was a huge list of posts from her that I had missed. I immediately sent her a private message, telling her the thoughts that rushed thro ugh my mind at this discovery, because obviously she needs to know every thought that rushes through my mind on a daily basis.

What I wrote to her, word for word, (sadly): I was like: “Where did all these posts come from!??? I can’t be this far behind?? What am I doing with my life? where have my days gone? What hours have I wasted doing things when I could have been reading Erin’s posts???!”

Anyhow, after my obvious failure at being a good blog follower, I read and commented on many of Erin’s posts and then jumped over to some of other favorite bloggers to read and leave comments and likes there. I’m still weeding through the list, though, so don’t feel left out if I haven’t stopped at your blog yet.


Little Miss and I were coming home from an Awana meeting the other night (it’s a church group for kids) and I was telling her why we say The Pledge of Allegiance.

“It’s to remember the freedom we have in this country,” I told her.

“What freedom? I don’t have freedom,” she told me.

“You don’t?”

“No. You keep me in the house and tell me what to do all the time.”

“You mean like when I make you do schoolwork?”

“Yeah. I don’t have freedom to whatever I want.”

“Really? How long did you talk to your friends the other day compared to how long I made you do schoolwork?”

“Yeah, well —”

“When you want a snack you get it, right?”

“Yeah, but —”

“When you want a toy we often get it, don’t we?”

“Yeah, but —”

“And the mere fact you are allowed to have an education when little girls in other countries aren’t even allowed to learn or expand their education simply because they are women shows what freedom you have. You may not think so now, but the fact you are being educated is a gift to you. A gift other young girls your age don’t have.”

The rest of the ride home (all four minutes of it) was pretty quiet after that, though I’m still not sure she agreed with me.


I’m starting to wonder why I even bother teaching my daughter science. Most of the time she teaches me. Yesterday we were doing a lesson on the different layers of the ocean (Sunlight, Twilight and Midnight) and while she didn’t know about those layers, she could tell me a bunch of stuff about the creatures who live in each of them. I figure I should just record her and sell the classes for some extra money at this point.


Earlier today my husband was like, “I want to take you to the new James Bond movie” and I was like, “No. No. Don’t make me stare at Daniel Craig for two hours. How cruel.” Ha. Ha.

Honestly, though, I always think he looks like a pretentious jerk with the way his lips are always pursed like that and his jaw is all tight. I also don’t understand the phone prop. Who is he calling? Someone in 1986?


A couple of memes that hit the nail on the head for me recently:

(My husband recently remarked on how long it is taking to build the Aldi’s in the town near us and suggested they hire the people who build all the Dollar General’s around here to do it. Seriously, every time I turn around there is another one in a town I’m driving through where there wasnt one before. Also, we live near Seneca Lake so this pretty funny.)


Those are my random thoughts for this time around. How about you? What random thoughts or events do you have to share? Share them with me in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: Brutal cats, black and white pets, the neighbors’ water hose and other random thoughts

I had planned to complete this Randomly Thinking post two Fridays ago, but obviously I am behind. Part of the reason is a yard sale we decided to throw together the one week. Before you ask, it was a failure. Tons of work, aching feet, total exhaustion and almost no profit at all. I’ve now sworn off all yard sales. The one good thing about the sale was being able to meet so many interesting people.

First there was Bread Santa, then Chatty Motorcycle Guy, Negotiating Jersey Woman, The Grandpa Car Club, and a few other characters. I’ve decided to break the yard sale out into a separate post for either this weekend or early next week.


My son showed me this cool interview with Elijah Wood where he had to eat hot wings while answering questions. There is some language in this one, if you are offended easily. I am sometimes, so that’s okay if you are.


When I wrote my post about cats last week, I forgot to mention that six of my last seven pets have been all black or black and white. I have no idea why. Just worked out that way. In fact, the dog my family had as a child was also black and white.


I believe I have mentioned this before on the blog, but I have a corn allergy. That means I can’t eat anything with corn. Corn is in everything, of course, due to high fructose corn syrup being such a cheap and popular sweetener. Our neighbors gave us some fresh New Jersey corn a couple of weeks ago and my kids were ecstatic since they don’t have a corn allergy.

My son pretended to make a sword out of an ear of corn and I joked with him that if he ever wants to keep me out of his room he could just line his door with corn. He took it a step further and said he would make corn syrup tipped arrows. That’s when I told him I am never buying him a bow and arrow.


I watered my neighbor’s garden while they were gone. They have a metal water hose, which is very light, if you don’t drag the entire thing off in one pile and twist it up and then try to drag it all up the hill to water the garden, which then results in you having to untangle it all again to wind it up on the hose holder.

I ended up with this thing wrapped all around me, twisted different directions, and had to call my son for help to get untangled. My neighbors have a very lovely house, garden and backyard and I was petrified I would somehow damage it. While trying to untangle the hose, I knocked over their watering can and broke the top off of it. Luckily, I was able to fix it, but then I tripped and knocked a couple of bricks they had for decorations and I really started to panic. What else was I going to break?

My son agreed to help me water the rest of her lovely flowers, even though she hadn’t asked me to, and Little Miss said she wanted to help too. So, after we wound the hose back up, we headed toward the front of the house and when I turned, I noticed every single one of our animals was following along. The dog was off her lead, the all-black cat, Pixel, is allowed outside and the kitten had escaped and climbed up the neighbor’s tree in their front yard.

I felt like the Clampets in Beverly Hillbillies. My daughter was putting flowers that had “fallen off” the neighbors’ flower display in their fountain (“It fell off! It did!”), my dog was trying to get into their house to see if they were there, so she could beg a treat off them, and I was dragging the kitten from the tree all while hissing, “Get out of there! You are going to damage their beautiful tree!”

Next time they go on vacation, I’m going to suggest they ask someone else to help out. Someone who isn’t completely inept.

By the way, when they got home, they let me know the hose was so heavy and hard to untangle because I had left the water on and when water is going through it, it is heavier. Sigh.


Our cat Pixel sometimes brings us dead mice, or at least leaves them dead on the back porch. My mom said cats are bringing you gifts when they bring you a dead animal they caught, so I guess that is what she is doing.

The other day my son went to bring the dog in, and the cat decided she would come in too. I heard this from where I was sitting in the living room, “No. Drop the mouse. You are not coming in here with that mouse.”

She dropped the mouse.

Straight in my husband’s work shoes.

Sadly, she retrieved it later.  We were hopeful my husband would find the mouse when he went to put his shoes on later in the week.

The week after that, my son and husband were in the yard across the road from our house, cleaning up from the yard sale when my son said they heard high pitched squealing. They turned and Pixel came out of the bushes with a mouse in her jaws.

The Boy said it was awful and her eyes were wild. Worse, she dropped the mouse, smacked it around several times, playing with it, then caught it again and then started to eat it in front of my husband and son.

“I’m traumatized,” my son told me. “I will always hear the squeals of that poor mouse while she tortured it. She’s brutal.”

She came in later and cuddled with him, her brutality behind her.


The back of my ankle was cut a few weeks ago when the dog ran around me while on her lead and caught me, causing the lead to dig into my skin. I treated it every day for a couple of weeks and Little Miss enjoyed telling me that white blood cells were coming to help the cut heal. I have no idea how she knew that, but I was quite proud of her.


The Boy has become quite sensitive to the cold and when we visited my parents’ pool recently, he decided within three minutes the water was too cold and he wanted to get out.

Little Miss, 6, almost 7, announced to him, “You’ll be fine! You just need to get acclimated!”


The other day my husband told my son he was being dramatic to which my son replied, very dramatically, in a flawless British accent: “HOW DAAAARE YOU! I AM NOT DRAMATIC! I AM A PERFECTLY CALM PERSON, FATHER! I AM NOT DRAMATIC IN THE LEAST!”

For the record, our entire family is a bit dramatic at times, but none more so than my husband on some days (and me when it is time for my “time of the month”.).


My husband has started making comments about my son’s hair almost every day because it is growing long and curling in the front. My son had two bad haircut experiences and now refuses to go to a barber. My husband and I have agreed to let him be a teenager and express himself, but my husband still can’t resist trying to give him pointers about how to comb his hair.

“You know what I do with my hair?” my husband asked.

“Lost it?” my son asked.

There was a quick apology from The Boy who said he just couldn’t resist the slam because my husband left himself wide open.


My son and I were coming back from taking our dog to the groomers last week when a trashy song came on the radio. Within two seconds I knew that station needed to be changed and I did, much to the delight of my son who burst into laughter. He said my expression was pure “Mother Protecting Her Child From Dirty Lyrics.” He was right. That was one of the dirtiest songs I had ever heard, and it only took me two seconds to know it wasn’t going to get any better. And no, I have no idea who was singing.

So that’s my random thoughts for this time around.

How about you? What are some random thoughts or events you have had happen recently? Let me know in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: My sleep sheep keep talking to me, creepy creatures, and lucid dreaming

I have had this Randomly Thinking file started for two weeks but have not had enough material or enough time to put it together. Since I don’t have anything for Fiction Friday today, I figured it would be a good day to post it, though I usually post it on Wednesday or Thursday. 

So, without further ado, my random thoughts from the last few weeks.


My husband posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that he had been having trouble sleeping so he had decided to count sheep. I told him I couldn’t count sheep because when I do they just repeat all my worries and problems back to me as they jump.

 “Did you look at your bank account today? baa…”

“What in the world is going on in Israel now? baaaa….”

“You don’t have an ending for your next book and that book on writing you read said you have to have a beginning and an ending planned before you even start writing. Baaaa…”

“What’s with Donald Trump’s hair anyhow? Baaaaa…”

So, I just don’t count sheep anymore. Noisy little things anyhow.


I make oatmeal every other morning and I always try to put only the smallest amount in, so I don’t end up with too much. I am very bad at this measuring by the eye thing, I guess because every single time I still end up with a huge bowl of it. No matter what. 

“It expands, Lisa!” I yell at myself every time.

I mix it with peanut butter and a few (hundred) drops of maple syrup so it is sort of like a no-bake cookie.


About two weeks ago small grasshoppers and katydids started showing up in our backyard and Little Miss decided she needed to capture them and keep them in small containers so she could look at them or something. I don’t really know why she wanted to keep them. All I know was that my living room soon had four plastic canisters full of little hopping insects and that those containers didn’t keep them contained very well. 

I had planned to release them after Little Miss went to bed or the next morning but before I got that far, I spotted the kitten in the kitchen with one cornered ready to eat it. Neither the kitten nor the child seemed able to catch it, until the next morning when the kitten ate it in front of The Boy while he was waiting for his grandpa to pick him up for work.

Luckily, the grasshoppers and katydids have hopped off to somewhere else for now. If they show back up, I’m letting Little Miss that if she wants to look at them outside, that’s fine, but no more bringing them into the house where they can escape and possibly crawl on me at night.


Speaking of creepy creatures in our home, one night last week I thought I saw something fly in front of me while I was sitting in our living room. I have eye floaters, so for a moment, I thought maybe it was something like that. Or I was having a stroke. Instead, the dark streak I saw in my vision was a bat.

Yep. A bat.

It had somehow got into our house and was flapping around the living room, trying to figure out how to get back out.

I wish I could say I was calm about it all, but I was not. Not at all. 

When that thing kept flapping toward me, where I was sitting on the couch, I kept picturing its little face and then imagining it gripping my hair in a panic, getting stuck there and flapping around like a crazy person.

Little Miss knows all about animals, of course, so she was delighted by it all and kept running around, giggling and telling us facts about bats and how they fly by sonar. I didn’t care what they fly by. I just didn’t want that thing in my hair. She was very excited when the bat landed at one point and she got to have a good look at him with “his cute little ears.”

I called my parents in the middle of it all to ask how Dad had gotten the one that had been in my room one time and my mom suggested I put a blanket over my head, so I did. I placed a pill and blanket over my head and screamed anytime it came near me while my dad scoffed on the other end of the phone.

I don’t think the fact we had watched The Birds, the Alfred Hitchcock horror movie, a couple of weeks before, had helped. 

I was legit terrified and finally ran to the downstairs bathroom while my husband and son opened the doors and eventually convinced it to fly out our back door.

I spent the next week thinking I could hear bats crawling in the wall or squeaking, but so far, no more have shown up.


My children aren’t excited by this next piece of news, but I am. I ordered a large chunk of their curriculum two weeks ago and it arrived last week. I was so excited to open the boxes and check it all out. I wanted everyone else in the house to be excited too, but they weren’t. The Boy rolled his eyes. Little Miss grunted and the husband said, “Cool. Have fun.”

Oh, I will. I will.

I honestly can’t wait for September 1 to get here.


I was chatting with someone online about the ability to imagine scenes, people, or events in vivid detail, which made me think about vivid and lucid dreaming.

Lucid dreaming is when you recognize that you are dreaming and then you change your dream while it is happening.

I have been able to do this a time or two. The one time it stands out the most for me is when I had a dream about an elderly friend and his wife who passed away 13 years ago.

My friend, Rev. Reynolds is in the dream with a dark background and a bench in front of him and he says “Oooh, Leeesa (as he always pronounced my name this way in his thick Northern Irish accent), I’m so happy to see you. Come and give me a hug.” He gestured with his arm toward the bench after I hugged him. “Let me get Maud for you. You’ll want to see Maud.” Then he turned slightly like he always did in life when summoning his wife, “Maaaaud! Maud! Come see, Lisa!”

Usually when he gestured, though, he was suggesting Maud make me some tea.

In the dream, I suddenly realized I didn’t want to see Maud. Maud was dead. Maud might look like a zombie. I didn’t want to remember Maud as a zombie. 

Then, before I could stop it, there was Maud on the bench and her face was normal at first, then it began to slowly deteriorate into blackness on one side, decomposing before my eyes. I held up my hand and turned away. “No! This dream is going where I don’t want to go.” 

In a room that was more like a cave in front of me were “people” or figures sort of golden on the edges, staggering against each other and moaning but I was already turning away and saying, “No. I don’t want this dream. I’m going to wake up because this is not how I want to remember my friends.”

And I woke up and ending the dream.

What about you? Are you able to change your dreams? 


Every once in a while, as we will be eating steak at my dad’s and he’ll say, “It’s not too bad. For being bought off the back of a truck.”

 Either that or “Grabbed this up on super sale. It was probably about to expire.”

We never know exactly what to say. 


Little Miss attended a church camp last week. She and her little friend were the only children at the camp but had a lot of fun.

Some of her comments during the Bible lessons were hilarious, but also a little nerve-wracking for me. At one point the young lady leading the group was talking about the story of Joseph and asked, “What would you think if you had eleven older brothers?” 

Little Miss responded, “Oh man. That would be so annoying.” She then proceeded to explain how annoying her older brother could be at times and how there are times she just has to punch or kick him. Sigh.

The young lady then told the story of Joseph being throw into the well and Little Miss said, “I might punch my brother or something, but I wouldn’t throw him in a well. That’s crazy.”

Later the young man told a story and he said something about a golden scarf. Little Miss, however, thought he said golden skull so when the young man asked what the girls thought of the story she said, “Well, I think that’s creepy.”

“What do you mean?” the young man said.

“That man pulled out a golden skull . . .” Little Miss said.

I laughed and let her know that he had said “golden scarf” not “skull.”

“Oh good,” Little Miss said. “That’s much better.”


Those are my random thoughts for this week. I actually had another random story/thought but I decided to break that one off for a separate, future blog post, so next week keep your eyes open for the blog post about my son and dad finding the cat I had as a child more than a decade after he died.

How about you? Any random thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: Hot weather, outhouse races, and The Birds!

I have been writing down little tidbits for Randomly Thinking but have not had much inclination to finalize them. It’s either been too hot or too rainy or I’ve been too tired. But this week I needed some cheering up and figured others might too.


I read a short romance this past week and in the book the main character gets dumped and not just dumped anywhere. He gets dumped at church.

I sent a note to the author on Instagram.

“I’m not done with the book yet but Cynthia dumped Joe at church. At church. Girl is brutal.”

I told my husband about this dumping scene, and he asked if I planned to dump him during the upcoming weekend when he got baptized. I told him, “Absolutely.”

I was like, “Yep. As soon as they bring you back up out of that water, I’m going to stand up and pump my fists and say, ‘Yes! Glad you got Jesus because you ain’t got me! I’m out looooser!”

We’ll be married 19 years in five more days. I’m lucky he still appreciates my odd sense of humor.


Smalltown life is interesting. In a good way. Mostly.

A couple of weeks ago we attended the town dairy festival, because we live in a town where they still celebrate dairy (even as our dairy farms are being forced to shut down).

It poured the entire parade. The local high school band couldn’t perform so the parade was mainly fire trucks, a few floats that focused on dairy consumption, a herd of Jersey cows from a friend of mine being led through town, and the color guard. When the fire trucks came through we figured that was the end because that’s usually what is at the end of a parade around here — a ton of fire trucks from all over the area, blowing their horns and sounding their sirens. This time, though, the parade restarted. Like the color guard came around again as if we were in a time loop.

My son called out, “Oh no! They’re stuck in a time loop! You have to try to get out! Try do something you didn’t do the first time around!”

It was hilarious. To me and my family anyhow. I’m so sure those around us were that amused, but who knows. A lot of people have lost their sense of humor these days.

What I’m really looking forward to is the outhouse races in August. They are held during Founder’s Days. I’ve always heard about the races but never been privy to them. Privy. Get it? Privy . . . Yeah. I know. That was bad. But anyhow, I’m looking forward to the day and will be sure to take some photos of it for all of you.

They don’t race to the outhouse, by the way. They build outhouses and people carry them while one person sits inside and they literally race them down the street. I’ve lived in this area my whole life and have never seen an outhouse race. But now we live right here in town so it’s my chance. What a disappointment last year, our first year here, when the event was canceled due to You Know What.

There is also a contest where someone is crowned the winner of the toilet seat cover painting contest. The paintings are very professional, so don’t let the name fool you. They hang the winners up in the local diner. The one with the stuffed six-foot black bear that overlooks diners.


It’s been hot the last several days. Hot and muggy mixed with afternoon thunderstorms. Little Miss and I snuck off to my parents to enjoy the above ground pool by dad installed many years ago, originally for my son. We like to take Zooma the Wonderdog with us but it’s hard to keep an eye on her while we are in the pool. She likes to run across the small dirt road, into the field by the pond, which wouldn’t be bad if cars didn’t fly up and down the road extremely fast. I’m always worried she will get hurt.

I had an extra lead to keep her tied to the pool so she would be close to us but it turned out to be very short. I finally gave up and let her roam but then called for her every five minutes to make sure she hadn’t gone into the road.

She was hilarious because she would sit by the pool, panting, looking innocent, for the longest time and then I would go back to swimming with Little Miss, pop up a few minutes later and she was gone. She’d wander back when I called her though, always looking innocent, wagging her tail. I feel like she’s saying to me, “What? I’ve been here the whole time. Why are you looking at me that way?”


Speaking of heat, I told my husband the other day that he shouldn’t mow the lawn around 3 because it was the hottest time of the day.

“No. Noon is the hottest time of the day,” he informed me, very confident.

“No. Around 2 or 3 is the hottest time,” I informed him.

I looked it up online and found this answer from The Farmer’s Almanac: “The hottest time of the day is around 3 p.m. Heat continues building up after noon, when the sun is highest in the sky, as long as more heat is arriving at the earth than leaving. By 3 p.m. or so, the sun is low enough in the sky for outgoing heat to be greater than incoming. Sometimes the hottest time is earlier because a weather system moves in with cool air early in the day.”

It was nice to finally be write about something scientific for once.


We watched a couple classic movies this past week. One of them was The Birds. This was a movie I avoided watching for my entire life based on something that happened in my childhood. My mom was outside mowing the lawn one day when I heard the lawn mower shut off and she came running inside.

“The birds!” she cried. “The birds are attacking!”

She was swiping at her hair with her arms over her head and shaking her head.

“It was just like that Alfred Hitchcock movie! It was crazy!”

It turns out some barn swallows were swooping down on her while she was on the riding mower just like, yes, The Birds. She believes they were trying to protect their nests. Whatever was happening, her declaration forever solidified in my mind that The Birds was a movie not to be watched.

But I finally did watch it and despite the fact the birds were super fake, it was pretty traumatizing to see and did leave me very leery of any birds gathering. One day, several years ago, at our old house I walked out to the back door and the entire back yard, our neighbors’ roof, and their backyard was full of birds. Had I seen this movie before then, I would have been even more freaked out than I was that day.


We had our first real thunderstorm experience on the hill in our new house last Tuesday night. The storm raged for three hours. Lightening lit up the sky from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. and thunder rattled the house. It was absolutely crazy. We lived in a literal Valley before we moved here, so we were somewhat shielded from storms there. When we did get them, they were fairly quick and mild. We rarely heard loud cracks of thunder there.

The worst storm I remembered there involved insane wind and a tornado touching down a few miles away. Two hundred foot, hundred-year-old trees were ripped out of the ground in our town and scattered like matchsticks. Then there was the year it rained for a week.

The entire downtown flooded and destroyed homes and businesses. It was surreal. There used to be marks on the walls that marked where Hurricane Agnes hit in 1972. Those records were obliterated by Hurricane Sandy, something I thought I’d never see in my lifetime.


As I was preparing this post last night, we had a power outage, something that also happens more often where we live now. It’s sort of odd, though. We will have power outages after you would think you would have them. In the winter we had one after the major snowstorms moved through. Last week we had weird storms all week long and no power outage, other than a few seconds. This power outage came in the middle of a very hot day and wiped out power for most of our county (which is about 6,000 people. Yes. That is how small our county is) for about eight hours.


I made a mistake recently of asking someone I don’t know to review my book. Monday she messaged me cheerfully on Instagram that she had reviewed the book. She acted like it was something to be excited about. I have been trying not to look at reviews but I did, against my better judgement, and saw she had left me a two star review and proceeded to shred my book, inferring things that weren’t even there. I was a bit in shock that she had made it a point to tell me to go look at the review (essentially). I suppose she wanted me to know how bad and evil she thought my book was and I doubt she was prepared for the message she got back from me, asking her if she was so worried about me being a “bad Christian” how did she think she was being a good one by making sure I saw a mean review. The power outage was welcome because I was obsessing over this girl and what had made her think she was so above everyone else and was really considering messaging her again. It wouldn’t have helped anything anyhow. She felt how she felt and it can’t be helped. The outage made me take a breather and pray for forgiveness instead of figuring out how to blast her again.


So those are my random thoughts for the week. How about you? Any random thoughts to share? Let me know in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: I am socially awkward. Surprised? Yeah, me either.

Welcome to my random thoughts and events for the week. Enter at your own risk.

Well, it looks like I might make it to 25 days consecutive posting on this blog by Monday, but I’m not doing it on purpose now. I simply had these future posts ready to go. Next week I don’t care if I post consecutively or not. I have a lot of reading to catch up on, blogs and books both.

When I talk to my neighbors, I feel the need to apologize repeatedly for my social awkwardness, which simply makes me even more socially awkward. Someone help me. I need someone with a taser down the street who just zaps me when they see me talking to a neighbor, so I don’t any more of an idiot out of myself. Actually, the taser zapping me wouldn’t help that situation, would it? Never mind.

My 14-year-old son and I were talking about the differences between men and women in the bathroom. Men do not talk to each other in the bathroom under any circumstance. Women? Yeah, we often do. Or, I should say we used to. These days women don’t talk to each other out of the stalls or the bathroom. Since last year I’ve found most women to be very paranoid and unfriendly. But, back in the day, as we old folk say, women would chat right along with the women next to them in the stall, especially if they knew each other.

A conversation between women in the bathroom might go something like this:

Woman Number One: “I love those shoes. Sorry, I just couldn’t help noticing them.”
Woman Number Two: “Thank you so much. I got them at JC Penny years ago.”
Woman Number One, coming out of stall: “It’s so awful how JC Penny is going out of business.”
Woman Number Two: “I know. I used to love to shop there.”
Woman Number One: “Me too. I got the best perfume there.”
Woman Number Two comes out of the stall: “I did too! I have it right here! Let me wash my hands and then you have to smell it!”
Woman Number One: “Oh my gosh! That smells amazing! I used to have one like that. An ex-boyfriend gave it to me, and I didn’t want to ask him where he got it because then that would mean I’d have to talk to him.”
Woman Number Two: “Yikes. I hear you. There are some men I dated that I wouldn’t go near if they offered me a million dollars.”
Woman Number One: “Seriously. Did you get that purse at JC Penny too?”
Woman Number Two: “Ha. No. Speaking of exes, this came from my ex-husband. He probably spent a mint on it, but not as much as I make him spend in child support.”

And then they laugh and the conversation keeps snowballing from there.

My husband and son say that men get in and get out and they can’t figure out why we’d want to talk to anyone in a bathroom.

I took my mom to a doctor’s appointment recently and while there she ran into a young woman who works there and whose mom used to rent from my parents. The girl immediately kneeled next to my mom, who was sitting in a chair, and asked her how she was doing. In the next few moments, my mom transformed into one of those slightly nosey elderly ladies right before my eyes.
“I hear you have a new special someone in your life,” my mom said to the young woman.
“Why, yes, I do,” the young woman said.
“My husband was showing me the photos on Facebook.”
“Oh, I have some more here,” the young woman said and pulled out her phone.
The conversation switched to the young woman’s sister’s children and then my mom showed she wasn’t done grilling the young woman about her “special someone” by saying, “So, are you and this young man serious?”
I finally butted in. “Mom! You can’t ask that stuff!”
The young woman laughed and said, “It’s okay. We’ve been dating for about five years.”
My mom’s eyebrows shot up. “Ooh. I see.”
I knew what Mom was thinking. “So, you’ve been dating five years and he hasn’t proposed yet?”
Thankfully the young woman in question was called off to help a co-worker so Mom couldn’t ask the question.
A few minutes after the woman left my mom leaned over to me and said, “Well, I could have asked her if she was living with him unmarried, but I didn’t so . . .”
So, I guess I was supposed to be proud of her for holding her tongue this time.

The woman who took my mom back to her appointment that day, by the way, was a Victoria’s Secret model on the side, I swear. Tall, blond, and I couldn’t see her face because of the facemask but I guarantee she was gorgeous under there. I’d never felt more short, fat, and troll-like in all my life. Well, at least in a few years.

A bloggy friend had her own random thought-moment this week and had me snorting with laughter when she told me about it. First, she woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t find her husband, so she texted him but the text back was blurry so she thought she was going blind. Oh gosh, if she only knew that this is my life story. I worry about my eyesight all the time, especially after experiencing ocular migraines once or twice a year for the last few years. I’m always sure I’m a second away from going blind.
Anyhow, after she found the husband (who had to deal with some work issues remotely), she laid awake thinking about Taming of the Shrew and “as I was falling back asleep I realized that the title Taming of The Shrew had the same cadence and rhyme as Ten Things I hate About You, that Heath Ledger movie based on Taming of The Shrew.”
It’s scary how similar her and my brain works. No, really, it is scary.

I have a serious problem. I am obsessed with watching this YouTube channel I originally started watching for research for my book. It’s about dairy farming in Pennsylvania. I am fascinated by it. I can’t stop watching it. Help me.

The young son (about 24) runs the channel and sometimes he makes his dad talk too. Dad always looks a little nervous at first but then shares about whatever the son wants him to share.
Mainly the kid shows what he’s doing day in and day out on the farm.
I will say I have been able to glean a lot of information about dairy farming, some that I have incorporated into my story.

In addition to the YouTube channel, I’ve also been obsessed with trying to design my own book covers. I have known how to use Photoshop for years, but mainly on the basics. Now I’m trying to learn more than the basics and honestly, it’s making my head hurt. I won’t lie, I’ve also cried more than once. Yes, in the end, I may break down and pay someone to design my book covers, but I’m not some successful Indie author who can afford that right now, so I doubt that will be an option at this time.

You ever see those Indie authors who say they put one book up on Amazon and they immediately made tons of sales? Yeah, I’m convinced they are full of it. I have four books up on Amazon and so far, even with begging people to read it and buy it, I’ve made about $8 a month. It’s not as lucrative as some claim, but it is still fun because I’ve met some super cool people on this writing journey. At this point, I will take that over the money any day.

So those are my random thoughts for the week. Share some of yours with me in the comments, or send me private messages like my other bloggy friend does because random events and thoughts crack me up and I often need that during the week.

Randomly Thinking: The Scarewoman, mouthy first-graders, and creepy Christmas music

Welcome to my Randomly Thinking post where I share random thoughts from my week or the past two weeks. Read at your own risk.


I’m still posting consecutive days on the blog, for now, mainly using posts I already had almost fully written or ideas I’d had for posts for a while. As of yesterday, I had posted 13 days in a row. I have no why idea I’ve decided this is my summer challenge but I want to see how many days in a row I can post, simply for the fun of it. I am guessing I will hit a certain number and do one of three things: decide to stop posting because it’s weird (and possibly annoying to people who follow me to keep receiving notifications of my posts), forget to post, or simply run out of ideas. We will see which comes first.


My email host has apparently stopped filtering messages into my spam because at least once a week for the past month or so I receive emails from colleges and other places directed to someone named Ismael. Like, Call me Ismael, which is actually Ishmael and I hear was a horrible movie.

Anyhow, I hope Ismael gets a good college education, better virus protection for his computer, and a free trip to Europe, but his emails need to stop coming to me.


Sunday my dad sent Dorothy the Scarewoman home with us. He’d been storing her in a shed on his property. That sounds creepier than it’s supposed to.

This is Dorothy:

  Dorothy was something my husband was given after a community fundraiser about 17 years ago. She was dressed to look like Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. I don’t know why she was part of this fundraiser or why she was given to him or why she was shoved in our garage and not thrown out.

I’m also trying to figure out why she was loaded up when we moved last year. She’s creepy and weird and we don’t have a purpose for her, or well, we didn’t until Dad suggested we put her in our garden to frighten the deer away, even though we do have a fence installed around it.

I shoved her in our van and brought our home, grateful the neighbors were outside doing yard work so I could warn them that there was a “scarewoman” vs a scarecrow in our garden. I hated the idea they might walk out their back door and have a near heart attack, thinking some woman was standing in our garden.

For the first day, it was me who was frightened, though, jumping every time I looked out the kitchen window and saw her there.

My son hates her with a passion and has asked if he might ax her to pieces soon. He’s really not as violent as he sounds.

I haven’t decided officially yet, but I may let him do it.


My neighbors have built a small enclosure for their new Shih Tzu puppies and invited my daughter and our dog Zooma over to play with them the same night we warned them about Scary Dorothy. Their puppies haven’t been fixed yet so the one was trying to get to know Zooma a little too well, to put it nicely. I didn’t say anything about it to Little Miss, even when the neighbors scolded her puppies. Later that night, though, Little Miss said to me, “They really need to get their dog spayed.”

She’s watched too many shows about animals, especially that goat show where they openly talk about breeding goats. I did let her know the term is “fixed” for male dogs so I’m hoping she doesn’t march up to our neighbors soon and ask, “Has Louie been fixed yet?”


Little Miss and I had a couple of tough days this week. She’s a very stubborn child and she knows it but swears it’s not her fault. I had to inform her a few times this week that she needed to watch her attitude.

That attitude especially comes out when I ask for her to give me my phone back while she’s playing Minecraft on it. So, one day this week I took the phone away and told her she needed to start watching herself and stop answering me with such an attitude. She has been responding with, “Just go make me a sandwich” when I ask her for my phone, which isn’t something we say, so I’m not sure where she’s getting it.

She cried a while, telling me I had hurt her heart by yelling at her, refusing to admit she had been very snotty with me.

Finally, she cracked and pulled a line out of my arsenal, “I don’t even know what tone I’m using sometimes. It comes out sharp, but I don’t mean it too.” (I say this sometimes when the kids think I’m mad but I’m not). “I mean I just say something and something in my brain flips this switch and attitude comes out.”

I suggested she work harder to flip the switch back before she opened her mouth. We hugged it out, had some lunch, (she was on a hunger strike for three hours until I apologized to her for scolding her for giving me attitude, which I was not about to do because I am also stubborn.), moved on, and so far she’s doing much better with her “attitude issues.” I feel lucky these little battle of the wills with her are a rare thing.


Little Miss is in a lot of my stories this week, but, well, she’s a character. We had to go to a doctor’s appointment yesterday for my son (nothing major) and she noticed a spider crawling in a clear holder for papers. She pointed it out, concerned for its safety. She’s been on a love affair with bugs again, randomly picking them up outside and saying, “Well, this is a neat-looking bug. I wonder what it is.”

As for the spider at the doctor’s office, she let the doctor know that she never touches spiders. “I’m never sure which one could be a venomous species.”

She’s 6, going on 16, I swear.


I have dry skin issues. My back can itch the worst sometimes. Our bathroom has a stucco wall and I find myself scratching my back on the corner of the wall that sticks out next to the tub. It feels amazing, but, yes, it is weird. I feel like a bear in the woods scratching its back on a tree.


In closing, I’d like to leave you with this creepy Christmas song, because who doesn’t need a creepy Christmas song to perk up your day?

Those are my random thoughts for the week. What are yours?