Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Festivus Wishes

Happy Festivus!

The office gang got together to get me the "Butt Station". A most appropriate gift for Festivus.
Holding office supplies in the stool, the man has a magnet on his bottom and to remove a paperclip from the 'bowl' simply lift the man.

What a riot!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fun with Cookies

Shark attack cookie man!
While starting our annual cookie baking marathon, we decided that not all the Cookie Men should be joyful!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Icy Midwest

Ice storms hit the midwest last night. Warmer temps this AM melt most to slush

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stud Muffin Bakery

In Pendeleton, In. Home to a wonderful food called kolaches! I recommend you visit here for this alone! These are a wonderful yummy large yeast roll, stuffed with goodies, then baked so it looks like a big roll when you get it. Mine had slices of little smokies sausages and a handful of cheddar cheese inside! MMMMM!
The story behind the name is 2 high school buddies wanted to start a bakery business when they got out of school, hence the name. Quite catchy. I would love to do an advertising campaign for them. I can imagine a dark photo studio, with direct light creating a bit of a harsh shadow. Using Super cut, buff male models and they have this tempting food on their abs or something... Yum!

Travel Food in Indiana

We wanted to stop here only because of the name. Random side trip turns into a very fine snack!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunset over Wal-Mart

I'm sure that this will be the only place to work in Crawfordsville soon if all of the factories continue to close down.
Talk about working for the company store!

News Up for Sale

More sad news in the newspaper industry:
In a recent press release the Scripps Media conglomerate announces the sale of a prominent Denver newspaper the Rocky Mountain News as well as the newspaper's 50 percent interest in the Denver Newspaper Agency which publishes the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post under a joint operating agreement.

a full version of this press release can be found at:

This is just one of many sad announcements made by newspapers in every state in the nation.
Where can we go? what shall we do now? What future does the newspaper industry have?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thinking about others

I've been thinking recently about a few things (or perhaps people) in my life. One thing would be the actions of others- and what they mean to me, my community and fellow man in general and even my employment.
Make your own conclusions.

I have found a few words in the dictionary that are apt descriptions of those afore mentioned actions (or perhaps people)

FRAUD: An act of deception carried out for the purpose of unfair, undeserved, and/or unlawful gain, esp. financial gain; Such an act injurious to another; One who performs such an act.

THEFT: Dishonest appropriation of property without the owner’s consent, with intent to deprive them of its use, either temporarily or permanently.

ETHICS: Rules of behaviour made and accepted by business to provide fair and moral practice.

More to come as time and inclination allows

Multimedia message

Heat wave today

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Red sky in the Morn

Red sky in the morn,
Sailor be warn.
Red sky at night,
Sailor's delight.

Morning sun in Indiana. Forecast calls for high in the 40's and a 50% chance of rain with wind gusts 10-20 MPH. GREAT!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A season of sadness

Friday, November 28th.

I spent the afternoon traveling to Muncie, Indiana. Not to celebrate what should be a wonderful holiday with family and friends, but to attend the funeral of James Patrick Wilhoite, 37. He passed away on Sunday morning, the 23rd of November, of a heart attack.
Jim was the husband of my good friend Tanya, and father of their 2 young girls, Hannah (12) and Virginia (9). He was a wonderful man, a good father and husband and larger than life. I am still dumbfounded with the shock of Tanya's loss. I can feel her desolation and grief clear across the state. I was resolute to be stong and remote during the viewing for Tanya, but never made it passed her parents before losing it. Tanya was well tranquilized with pharmacuticals. Her two daughters were in the lounge with others their age, avoiding the viewing. Ironically She was the one comforting me during our hugs.

Life is incredibly unfair....

Yet, fate and karma will lead us, willing or not into what they have planned for us.

Tanya has always been a wonderfully intelligent, independant woman, and will continue to be so. My wish for her is peace and understanding, and finally with time, love of life.

My holiday's have been subdued to say the least.

Our mutual friend Kristy will be here on the 12th of December. Flying in from Texas while her husband has finally returned home from working abroad to be with the kids, and hopefully, spend time with Kristy as well.

I am ecstatic that she is coming. Kristy is the one with humor in her soul. She will be needed.

I am also looking forward to seeing Maria and John from Arkansas, should they come this way for the holidays.

I'm keeping my head above the turbulent emotional waters. The sun was shining at least for the last 2 days. Bringing feeble warmth to my bones. I look forward to my annual trips to the tanning bed for Light Therapy. That should improve my mood.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Early mornings

I awoke to Jim coming home from work. He crawls into bed. His skin is cold, unusual except when he is riding the motorcycle or bike. I ask him about it. He says, "...because it's been snowing all night... It's cold outside".

I ask if there's snow on the ground. He tells me, "There isn't, just a dusting on vehicles".

I am not ready for winter. I have not collected enough nuts.

After Jim gets to sleep, I get up and feed the cat, start the coffee and stare aimlessly out of the kitchen window into the woods. I smell the crisp, oily smell of the coffee dripping. My thoughts wander...

I wonder if the hunters will be back out into the south woods again today, or did they get their fill of venison yesterday? I randomly think of how I remember my grandmother Rose standing just like this in her cabin in Michigan, In her robe, looking out of the window, waiting on the coffee, looking at the birds at the feeder she had just filled.

My Grandmother Rose had the most wonderful bird feeders. She would tend them several times a day, I can remember the rainbow hued finches that would flit about her house when we would visit. There was an almost magical charm to her cabin in the woods that I will never forget.

I stare out at our summer neglected bird feeder on the back deck railing. It's mossy green roof roof and it's scratched plastic sides staring balefully back at me. I can see a spider has taken up residence inside by the frosty webs filled with maple leaves that can be seen through those scratched up plastic sides.

I see the barest of motions on the deck below the birdfeeder, there sits the first bird of the season, waiting for it's winter meal. A mourning dove. It's lavender-grey plumage speckled here and there with a small black lozenge.

I smile, knowing it was time to start the annual tradition that brings me so much joy in the hush of morning. I turn and get the bag of birdfeed I had purchased a few weeks before at the floundering Thifty farm supply store. I hoist it's weight and head for the feeder. I clean out the spider from it's hopeful winter home, rake out the leaves with a flourish and fill it up with the small orange and black seeds that will inevitably sprout under the deck in the spring.

Before I turn to head for the house, I look out into the woods, seeing that dove waiting for me to get back inside, out of it's domain.

I hoist what was left of the birdfeed, stash it in the cat room, go in and get my coffee. Then, I sit down to wait.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VOTE- it's your right to choose

It's your choice America.
No matter what you do, or who you vote for. VOTE!

"I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington... I'm asking you to believe in yours."
-Barack Obama

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beautiful Victorian For Sale

Looking to relocate to West Central Indiana? I have the perfect house for you!

This fabulous home is in great shape and can be seen at the following web address:
Pearls End
Some information about the home:
Turn of the century 4bd victorian just 20min from Zionsville and 35miles from Indy. Wonderful small town amenities, right across street from park with elementary school 1 block away. Home features beautiful quarter sewn oak woodd floors, beveled glass windows, new kitchen, front/back stairway. 3rd floor easily convertible to finished living area. Just the perfect quiet location! Home inside is in great shape, new kitchen features vaulted ceiling & skylight. Living, dining & parlor are beautiful. Great opportunity!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Great bumper sticker!

I had to find something suitably irritating at cafe press for John. I think everyone should have this on their car.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Off bike riding- haiku

Jim's been off to Bloomington area since Friday night riding the Hilly Hundred. I am starting to miss him.

He calls often enough,
to be sure that I haven't left for parts unknown.
I am always here,
to answer the phone.

I just decided that it could be a Haiku with a little work on the second line... I think.. I can never remember the sentence structure. I think it's 7,5,7,7?
whatever. It was something to do for a while.

I start back to work in the morning. Stopped by the JR on Friday afternoon to see what was up with my paycheck as there was nothing deposited. You see, before short term disability starts, I am to use up all available vacation time and sick time. So, last check had a full week of worked ours, a full week of vaction time, hence a full paycheck.

This one should have had at least my remaining 3 days of paid sick time.
NO such thing. My visit with Betty was unproductive as usual- this was my 3rd trip in to get answers about insurance. I asked about the sick days. She refered to some huge hand written manual that said I indeed had 3 days coming to me. And since she didn't submit that sick pay on pay roll for that pay period, It would be 2 weeks, (the next pay period) before I would see the money. (a Month later!!!) So, does that mean I will never get that 2 weeks of short term disablity pay that was coming to me since I 'never' used my paid sick time due to our payroll/HR/Insurance guru not doing her job?

I asked about the short term disability pay, when it would start, what percentage of my wage it would be, etc.... She was clueless. I mean really CLUE-LESS! She asked where I had sent the paperwork to. DUH I gave it to HER! She is my insurance/ HR representative with this company. I am now starting to question if my insurance paperwork was even submitted to the mysterious insurance company.

I asked if there was a phone number, address for the company to contact them to be sure the claim was filed... She looked at me as if i were an addict demanding crack. (oh my, question her ability??? so sorry)
I asked where she sent the paper work for the claim... she says, 'I sent it to the disablity benefits place.' and I asked if we could call them. She says, 'I have a call in to Debbie, (Debbie- mysterious insurance question answer giver) about another matter, I'll ask her about it then.'

ACCKK! I'm just giving up on the JR, those INCOMPETENT BUNCH OF SILLY PEOPLE!

It's little wonder I have updated my resume on Monster, and on Journalism Jobs.com.

I have already accepted some freelance work to get the ball rolling, not to mention to get a start on the payment of THOUSANDS of dollars in medical bills that need a serious cash influx. (which the JR will never accomplish)
I will start the freelance after Monday, so my 'disablity' will be officially discharged- so I won't be committing insurance fraud by working while disabled. I could have started before the surgery, but I wanted to be sure it was a done deal first.

But if my short term disability claim was never filed, I might not have to worry about it anyway.

Ack. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

2 more necklaces to go

I finished 2 more necklaces yesterday evening after I had shot the pictures below. One that I hand made all of the findings and links out of copper. An unusual piece that I like for it's earthy quality. The second is a turquois center piece with gold and red jasper spheres. Bright and somewhat southwest in feel. I'll post pics as I get a chance.

the old lady pink rhinestones

yes! I finally got around to posting a pic of these. The necklace when worn has the bling off to one side and it does drape well. It's a heavy ornament, so the triple strands offset and balance the design when on. I really like how it came together and I will definately re-use the stuff in old jewelry boxes more often. I had to keep myself from buying tons of stuff at the covered bridge fleamarkets last weekend... Maybe this weekend instead?
The companion piece bracelet is shown below.

red jasper and red agate/ carnelian

This is probably my favorite necklace so far. Red jasper donut and red agate/ or red carnilian rectangles spaced with red jasper spheres and gold seed beads. It just feels nice on and is a warm luxurious complement to most of my wardrobe. Feels heavy when you pick it up but it fits nicely and nestles just above the cleavage!

abalone disk necklace

This was a fun necklace to make, my neighbor really liked it. Abalone disk is featured- about 3 bucks at Mall-Wart. (yeah I know spelled wrong...)
some freshwater peacock colored pearls and glass beads.

simple 2 strand necklace

This was an easy 2 strand necklace with mostly glass beads and red ocher seed beads.
One red japer bead for accent.

Black and white agate necklace

This necklace I gave to my neighbor after she admired my abalone shell necklace at a cookout she was having last weekend. I couldn't give her my necklace, so I made her one. The agate pendant I got at the strawberry festival this summer and had been saving it for something like this. I overlaid a few black coin glass beads on a strand that drapes over the top of the pendant. Remainder of the necklace is made up of black glass beads, white freshwater pearls and red glass beads spaced with silver lined red seed beads.
The bottom black spot on the pendant is what inspired me to make this in the first place, It is predominently a white agate rectangle, and had this one dense black spot at the bottom.

periodot jewelry set

These were the first pieces that I worked up from a combination of beads that my co-workers gave me to keep me from going insane while off work, and my own vast collection. These were fun pieces and easy to make. earrings, necklace and bracelet.

bored and glittery beads

Well, as you may know, I have been off work on medical leave for about 2.5 weeks now... And I am bored, bored, bored. I understand that I should keep myself intertained, and often do... but even I have reached my limit and relish the idea of getting back to work. I have been making jewelry for freinds/coworkers and family for the last few weeks to keep my hands busy and so my mind doesn't atrophy. I went to the gym in town this morning for the first time in like, 3 months. Doctor's orders contained my workout to a strict walk for at least another 2 months.I figured I better get off my duff and at least do that until weightlifting can be back in the picture.
While in town, I am again taking advantage of the free library wi-fi so I will start loading some pictures of what I've been working on. Even I am amazed at how well some of the pieces have turned out. I hope you enjoy them as well and take inspiration for your own jewelry pieces if your inclinded to do so.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hanging at the library

It's Friday. Jim had the day off and helps get the boys on the bus. I take the time to read for about a half hour and decide to get motivated and get clean. Jim's goes to the gym this morning so I tag along and tell him I am not, in fact, going to the gym to get all buff n' stuff, but will instead go to the libarary to cabbage onto their high speed internet connection!
I finished my 'old lady rhinestone' bacelet yesterday. So that makes a set for someone. I will have to find a box that will hold that much pink bling in, and not blind the postman. I had a generous offer from a good citizen to mail me some more old lady rhinestones for my jewelry making pleasure.
I say, "Bring it on"!
In fact, I challenge you all to an old lady rhinestone repurposing/ recycling effort!
Don't let that much shine go to waste in a dusty, funky, old-lady-smelling jewelry box, NO- make something Kewl out of it!

Let's just see who can make the most Bling-er-iffic thing!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Beading wonderland

I have finished the amethyst/pink rhinstone necklace that I started a few days ago. It is a wonderful asymmetrical, organic piece. I will try to include some pictures of it after it's in the mail. (don't want to spoil the surprise!) I am going to start on the companion piece this morning - a matching bracelet of similar design.
I went to Jacob's award presentation this morning at the elementary school. He received awards for: perfect attendance, homework and high honor roll. All A's this 6 weeks! for a kid that gets sent to the principals office about every grading period- he is doing fine academically, if not socially.

Headlines from Crawfordsville today: (Original article by Chris Barsotti, Journal Review and improvised by me- as I know someone who knows someone on campus there---)
A Wabash student was found dead in his bed after homecoming. Alcohol considered a factor in his death, Hazing incident suspected at the Delta Tau delta Fraternity house were he was pledging. This is the second death on campus in a year. A student fell to his death from the roof of Goodrich Hall in October of 2007. Students were declining interviews on Monday, saying Wabash college public information department told them not to talk of the incendent.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Monday

Monday has come again to my little home world. This is the first day I have 'to myself' really, since the surgery. Jim is at work, the boys are at school, and I'm home alone. I plan on working on a jewelry design I started 2 days ago. I found an article in the fall 2008 edition of Stringing Making jewelry, bead by bead. A magazine that inspired my to use some of my more dramatic, old costume jewelry in a new way.
So, in my box of dusty hand me down jewelry, I found a pair of beautiful, clip on, pink rhinestone earrings that were missing one back. Still useable for a necklace or a bracelet, just not earrings.
The 50's were apparently a great time for huge, heavy, round earrings. Those ladies could put up with extraordinary amounts of squeezing in order to appear like the perfect housewife hostess! I am incorporating a lot of amber-golds and amethyst in this design. Since I have to focal pieces, (the old earrings) I am going for a necklace, bracelet set. So far I have removed twice the amount of beads and wire than I have left, but I am excited about the outcome.
This piece is 'earmarked' for some one special. Can't wait to put it in the mail!

I have been healing rather well, all things considered. I am really amazed that I don't have more pain. I suppose that I have a good pain tolorance. This surgery, which was completed vaginally, doesn't hurt nearly like a C-section does. I am finding that I can tell when one of the disolving stitches decides to 'pop'. there is a sharp pain, like a sudden twitch and then a 'Ohh' moment. I hope they all give up soon so I can not remember it after a while.
I am so tired around 2pm in the afternoon. I have been trying to keep up on my iron and vitamin tablets to keep me on the path to healing. I forget tho- being busy doing nothing. I remember why I went back to work in 2005, being a 'housewife' is fun for about 6.5 days, after that I am bored to death. Sure I could do housework, but I am limited on my weightlifting to 10lbs. Laundry is a small load at a time going up and down the stairs takes 4 trips/load. Stairmasters- BAH!

My follow up visit for the super specialist in Indy is on November 6th. I will be going back to work on the 20th of October. Just in time to put out a great special section before the end of the month, I'm sure.

Now I need to get ready to go to the elementary school. The boys earned they stardard 6 week awards for homework/ attendance etc. So there is an awards ceremony in the gym. Jacob made high honor roll! He's a great student, but not so nice to his recess buddies. Fighting and throwing rocks gets you not as much allowance, he is learning.

I'm trying to keep you posted as time allows. Have a great day!

Friday, September 26, 2008


I'm home now, recuperating from my surgery. I got home yesterday around 5pm. spent most of the evening on the couch just going 'wow' i'm home and life is still moving on around me. I really don't have that much pain from the surgury site, just tiredness. My face is so puffy from water retention. I'm not sure why really. The naps have been nice. I go Monday to have my catheter removed and to experience the joys of 'voiding trials' I wonder if I'll be judged innocent or guilty during my trial. I don't believe I have ever been on trial in the past. I'll let you know how it goes.
I tried updating my blog via cell phone during my experience by just sending text messages, but for some reason my blog will only accept multi media picture posts. I will have to report the problem to blogger and see if it is my sending device, or a global issue. I'll try to keep you updated via the very slow 21.6k dial up connection I have here and through those random trips to town with my cell phone connection. Have a great weekend in the meantime.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

a Death to angry beavers

Angry beavers be gone!
The nurses all thought my angry beaver was funny. The resident doctor thought I was crazy, or rather an Oregon sports fan of some sort. You could tell he was trying to be politically correct.

Multimedia message

Jim waits on me again

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


If I ever have grease to manage, I might call these guys.


For those of you who are interested, here are the complete list of HSPA awards that our design department won on the 12th of September, 2008
Best Home Furniture Ad-
2nd place, Danny McMurray, for Home Furniture "quality furniture"
Best Misc. Color newspaper ad-
2nd place, Lora Patton, for Creek Jewelers "holiday"
1st place, Lauri Shillings, for Dari-licious "banana split"
Best Misc. Black and White newspaper ad
2nd place, Lora Shanks for Moondance Cafe "coffee"
1st place, Danny McMurray for Zahn's floor covering "we're everywhere you walk"
Best Small Space Newspaper Ad
2nd place, Lauri Shillings for Davidson's Greenhouse "orchids"
Best multiple advertiser page with a common theme
1st place, Lauri Shillings for Veterans day tribute "Lest We Forget"
Best Non ROP and Non Traditional Products
2nd Place, Entire Staff of the journal review for 'To Your Health'
1st Place, Entire staff of the Journal Review for "Essentials" things to see and do in Montgomery County
Best Creative Designer in the state for 6,000-14,999 division
2nd place, Lora Patton
1st place, Lauri Shillings
Best Black and White Newspaper advertisement overall
Danny McMurray for Zahn's Floor covering "we're everywhere you walk"

I'm so proud of my design group!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Multimedia message

Success! Our Mrs. Hen 'cracker' finally hatched an egg!

Sarah Palin- Action Hero

After browsing through some of my favorite blogs this a.m., I ran across this posting on the E&P blog site at:
and then there was a follow up about remarks made by Palin at this site:

Good stuff!- I await your political slam backs!