My blog dress and header has changed! As a newlywed, I am excited to present a whole new theme.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tribute to my Father

Five years ago today, my father passed from this life at the age of 81. Before I tell you about his death, let me share about his life.

I love this picture of my dad and me. I think I was about 6 months old in this picture, and my mother caught Dad napping with me on his chest. He carried this picture in his wallet until the day he died. I was in tears when I found it there.

There are a ton of other pictures of my father, but those are at my brother's house, which had been our parents house. This is a picture that I took in 1976. For those of you who remember our bicentennial, many of the men in this country grew beards, and my father was no exception. This is the picture I took to college with me. Dad is holding my brother's dachsund Woody.

This is a picture of my dad in his later years. Not sure how old he was here, but he was well into his 70s. My mother passed away in 1981, and dad remained single unto his dying day. He had a life of his own though. When he retired at age 64, I truly feared that he would just wither away and die within a couple years, but oh how wrong I was!

He had served my hometown as a village councilman for almost 25 years. In May 1990, the town was up in arms because the mayor at that time had a plan to eliminate the police department from our town! In a town of only 4000, several hundred people showed up to the council meeting that was held in the firehouse that night. Dad was reigning council president. Amidst the news cameras, angry townspeople, and intense discussion, a prominent resident asked the mayor to resign. In one of the most exciting moments of my life, I watched as she handed her gavel to my father. At that moment, I watched his lifelong dream of becoming mayor unfold. He would serve our town proudly for 10 years.

I always feared that when my father was no longer mayor, that he would fall into ill health, and he did. From loss of a big toe, systemic infection, atrial fibrilation that nearly killed him, to a stroke, a heart attack, and some other serious problems, my dad was a fighter and kept on going, showing a strength that amazed me.

The last two years of his life were spent in a wheelchair. Here he is at Thanksgiving 2002, the last time he would be able to visit my home.

This next part is a little hard to share. My dad was one of the most intelligent men I ever knew. He graduated second in his class, and when he went off to college to study nuclear engineering, everyone expected something big. My father had a heart as big as the ocean, and he was compassionate, generous and kind. He was also an alcoholic. I'm not sure when it started, but I believe that he may have started to drink in college as he lasted only a semester there. Every night after work, except when he had a council meeting, he would go straight to the Moose after work. I have memories of calling there asking him to come home from dinner almost every night. Eventually he would. Surprisingly, I never realized the extent of his drinking problem and didn't fully realize it until I was college age. Looking back, I can see that he was depressed for much of his life. We never really questioned why he drank, it was just something he did and we didn't think it unusual.

He always said that if he had known he would live this long, he would have taken better care of himself. The last 2 1/2 years of his life were particularly devastating. Following his heart attack, he threw a blood clot and lost his leg. A year and a half later, due to circulatory problems, he lost his second leg and we had to admit him to a nursing home. This was one of the most heartbreaking decisions my brothers and I ever had to make. Ultimately, the decision was his. I'll never forget the day that we sat down with the doctors, nurses, and social workers. When it became clear that he could no longer live alone, he said "Get mine out of this cage." I'm sure they thought he was nuts, but tears sprang to my eyes. I knew exactly what he meant. When I was 1 1/2, my parents decided to fence in a small portion of the yard that was right next to the window where Mom washed her dishes. She thought it would be great for me to have a safe play area where she could still keep a close eye on me. However, as soon as they put me in the fenced area, I burst into tears and wailed, "Get mine out of this cage!" That was how he felt that day, caged and helpless. My heart was so heavy.

I'm posting a picture of my father without his legs so people can see just what alcoholism can lead to. This may be disturbing to some, but for me, this was my dad, whole or not.

Though it was never written in any medical report that the loss of his legs were caused by alcoholism, let me say that it affects every organ system in the body. My dad did not have diabetes so there were no issues with sugar. He had been a relatively very healthy man for most of his life. Blood flow can certainly be affected by alcohol use and I truly believe this was a big contributor.

The day he died, I was there by his side. My brothers had left the hospital the night before. I knew his wishes that when his time came, he wanted to go peacefully, and he did. I was holding his hand when he took his last breath.

His funeral was talked about for days after. As he had fond memories of serving as a volunteer fireman during the 1960s, we decided to have the funeral there in the firehouse. Both of my brothers and I got up to talk about dad. I was very touched to see a chair holding the empty boots and firemans coat and hat, a tribute to a fallen fireman. A Scotsman in full kilt and bagpipes played Amazing Grace. Several of the village firemen in formal dress fell into formation behind the antique fire truck that held his ashes and they walked behind as the fire chief drove the truck to the cemetary which was just a short walk. I was thrilled to hear them blow the siren. At the entrance, village policemen saluted. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars gave a 21 gun salute, and it was a moving moment when I, as the eldest, received the flag. I cherish it to this day.

Here is dad's favorite fire truck.

There were many, many friends and officials that attended my father's funeral. As I said in my speech that day, they were there not to mourn his death but to pay tribute to a life well lived, and their presence gave testimony to his achievements.

I love you, Dad! I'll miss you always!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Look what I won!

Diana Lyn at Candles from the Heart has a great blog! She is one of the Lyn buddies which include Donna Lyn of Blushing Rose Antiques, and Victoria Lyn of Sweet Victoria Antiques. She recently hosted a giveaway in honor of her 7 years of being cancer free! I didn't win the main prize, but did win the "boobie" prize! I had to laugh that I, of all people, would win a boobie prize.

Today I came home and found a package on my front porch step. Sorry, I don't have a pick of that as I was all too eager to rip it open! Hmmm, looks like there is something in there for me!

I loved this card that says it's good to be the Queen! I can agree with that!

The package smelled HEAVENLY! Oh my, I found the sweetest smelling tarts in scents of orange cake, raspberry cream, honey gardenia, black raspberry vanilla, strawberries and cream, ylang ylang ginger and freesia musk. Of course I had to smell each and every one and was just in heaven!

There was something else though, wrapped in bright pink paper and tied with a pink bow!

What a sweet candle! It smells of French Market, which happens to be divine!

Thanks again, Diana!

This is a great opportunity for me to remind visitors to click on the top button on the right column. Clicking on this button, and then the button on the linked site will help someone get a free mammogram. Back when I didn't have insurance and was working only part time while going to college, I was able to get two of those free mammograms. It's such a worthy cause and costs you nothing but less than a minute of your time. Thanks to all of you who click to help save a life!

Here's to healthy breasts and early detection!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Open Mic Night at the Coffeehouse

There is a wonderful coffeeshop in my town called Cabin FeverCoffee. The first three pics are from their website.

Isn't it pretty? In the summer, there are tables and chairs out front so you can have your coffee and sandwiches al fresco, and the window boxes are full of flowers. You can even buy gift items inside including candles.

There is also a second location on the north side of town near the mall. This is where they have a Friday night Open Mic night. My oldest son Sean decided to play his guitar and sing some songs he wrote!

I settled in with a nice cold mocha frappe, minus the whip cream and sprinkles.

Here is Sean with his guitar, singing his heart out! He loves being on stage! My mother's heart just swelled with pride even though he said a couple rather dorky things in his intro. He told everyone that he had named his guitar Sir Charles the Galdiator Eater just because it sounded cool. Uh hmmm, okay. Sometimes you just have to laugh.

We had a lot of fun listening to the other people play their guitars too, including some people that were in established area bands. There was a poem performed by one young lady about women and how they are seen for their appearance instead of their real selves,and I thought it was pretty awesome. Ironically, all the performers were younger folk in their 20s, then two were in their 50s. Maybe the coffeehouse concept missed the 30s and 40s population.

On Saturday, Sean went away for the day to visit with his girlfriend Lauren. Sorry, I don't have any pictures of them as I haven't met the young lady yet! It's a fairly new thing. I didn't have to sit home alone though. My daughter Tara came to visit!

I thought she looked really pretty yesterday and I told her so. She is a bargain shopper and found this wonderful navy and white striped top and her white capris for less than a dollar at a thrift shop. They could fill up a bag for $10 and were able to put 12 items of clothing in the bag! I'm so proud of her money stretching skills!

Here she is with her sweetie Mike. There are no more wedding details at this time as Mike is out of a job. They might have to settle for less than what they were hoping for, but I pointed out to her that even if they go before a judge or have just a small wedding, they can still be married.

Of course, my daughter had to snap a picture of me since I was taking so many of her! Mike spent most of the time inside sleeping on the couch, while Tara and I sat outside sipping raspberry lemondade in the sun and talking.

It was a very relaxing, peaceful afternoon.

I hope everyone else had a satisfying weekend!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pink Saturday: Pink shoes, purses and posies

Welcome to my 2nd Pink Saturday hosted by Bev at How Sweet the Sound.

This week its all about pink shoes and purses, and a couple pink flowers thrown in there too.

I love these sandals I got at K-Mart a few years ago. The bow looks like the pink bow from the breast cancer awareness logos. I'm even wearing pink nail polish (from Sally Hanson Hard as Nails X-treme Wear in Almond Crunch).

Last summer I found these strawberry pink shoes from Sodapop when I went shoes shopping with a friend. She got sensible leather shoes for work. I got these kicky pink sweeties with pointy toes. I have wide feet and never thought I could wear pointed toe shoes, but they are like slippers, roomy and bendy. Love them!

Here come the slew of pink purses. I had not worn or even owned any article of clothing or accessories that were pink until about 3-4 years ago, then all of a sudden I decided that I loved pink, embraced my girly-girl side, and went on little pink buying sprees! It resulted in some of these purses.

I love the fabric flower that I pinned to this one. Isn't the close up of the weave in the purse cool? I love the bright pink!

I think I got this vinyl purse at Fashion Bug. I loved the letter K for my name!

This one below reminds me a little bit of hippie purses.

This next purse isn't really pink, but it caught my eye because of the pink flowers in the print.

Here is a close up.

And speaking of flowers, I love these white hibiscus with deep pink centers that finally bloomed yesterday! The purple bloomed over a week ago.

The pink geranium in my hanging basket is doing pretty well. The pink is so intense!

Hope everyone's weekend is in the pink! And do be sure to click on the Breast Cancer logo at the top on the sidebar and help give the gift of a mammogram to someone who needs one!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Adventures in Internet Dating

When my 12 year marriage split up 8 1/2 years ago, I decided that I was going to go and date my little heart out. I had not dated hardly at all for 6 years after my daughter was born, so when I met my ex, I fell much too quickly. I was also in my late 20s and thought I would never get a chance to be married, then we married much too soon after only 4 months of dating. I decided right then and there to date a lot of different men and not to settle ever again! I was determined to find Mr. Right.

I don't have pictures of all the men I have dated over the years (and you're probably glad about that!), but I thought I'd tell you some stories about the men I met online and my adventures with internet dating. All of my dates have been with men I met online. It can be a little scary at first, but I always meet in a neutral place and I go online to check them out too. I'll post some links on how to do that at the end.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I date mostly younger men. Oh, I have dated some older guys too, but the younger ones seemed to be more up my alley. Here are some of the older gents:

The first is Steve who had prematurely white hair. He was really just a few years older. After three dates, he decided to go back to an old girlfriend. John in the middle was such a sweetheart, but he decided after one date that he wasn't interested. Mark on the right went out with me twice. I had such a good time with him, and I think he is much cuter than his pics. Our last date was two summers ago and he took me to Jacobs field to watch the Indians play. We had great seats and even though I really don't care about baseball, I had a blast!

These fellows were one date wonders. I still keep in touch with both. Alex on the left is very highly educated with a PhD in physics. He teaches at a college. And he is just a little bit of a perv. If I gave his actual name, you could Google it and come up with all sorts of articles that he has written for publication. Bryce on the right with the Corgi is a sweetie who thought the drive to my house took too long. It would have been a couple hours shorter if he had bothered to follow my directions!

Marc was a man that I never actually met. We had talked for a couple months and he invited me to come to Massachusetts for a visit. I bought a plane ticket and made plans....which he cancelled five days before I was to arrive because he had met someone special that weekend. Grrrr. I lost $100 for not fulfilling the ticket. Still though, do you blame me for trying? What a hottie! He ended up splitting with Ms. Someone Special after about 3 months.

Then there was the criminal element.

I am going to give this jerk's full name because anyone who hears it should run FAR the other way! Doug Sclafani is documented to have dated women all over the US. He swindles them out of money. I had just one date with him. I had googled his name, but misspelled it. After the date, I just didn't like him much at all, and googled him again and was shocked what I found! The web is pretty quiet about him now. Must be because he has been in prison the last year and a half for theft. Sounds like some woman got wise somewhere. Oh, and his wife emailed me and a slew of other women a few months later, stating his marital status. Surprise, surprise!

Then there were those who were loved and lost.

It's still hard to even talk about this one.

There were some that I considered "the one that got away."

The timing just never seemed to be right with Mo, my Bangladeshi baby. He is such a cutie on the left, and that's him a few years later. Bigger, but still sweet.

I really wish I had a pic of Bret the farmer I dated now and then for a year and a half. Farmers have great muscles, and this one was very sexy! He didn't like the drive though, and always needed to get back to his livestock before morning. I was just a little hearbroken when he met someone local and got married.

There were the ones that cheated:

Scott has his own website! He was dating a minimum of 12 women at the same time, all the while living with a girlfriend! I dated him off and on for five years, and I knew he dated others now and then, but had no idea of the extent of his cheating! This is a pic of him in his 30s.

And here he is again in June, now age 42. Amazing to see what unfaithfulness does for male pattern baldness!

Mitch was another cheater I dated off and on for 2 1/2 to 3 years.

He somehow forgot to tell me about his wife though I knew he dated someone else for a while. I didn't know he was also dating several other women besides that! He put too much info out there on MySpace and got found out. Men should realize that women scorned all band together. And don't men realize we save all of our conversations in archives?

Then there are those who just live too far away and work too damn hard.

I keep telling Ryan that working 7 days a week is going to kill him and make him old before his time. He's all about the money. I'm all about wanting to spend time with someone. Sigh. He is so cute. I have been trying to meet up with him again for over a year.

I can't leave out the man that I felt could be a soulmate, the only man that I actually said "I love you" to first. Here is Johnny Angel (yes, really his name)looking incredibly hot.

But this is more like how he looks all the time. He is visiting me at a cabin in the Hocking Hills on a vacation with my kids in this pic.

I last saw him last August. Four months later (after I confessed my love for him) he married a girl from Germany. Ten days after the wedding, he emailed me telling me how miserable he was. I was less than sympathetic.

What's a girl to do though than dust herself off and keep moving on? In March, I had plans to go to a convention in Dallas. A man from that area had been talking to me for about 6 weeks prior. I ordered a sexy little blouse and jacket on eBay so that I could really catch his attention when we met!

I paired this with a darker pair of tight jeans, and black high heels. Did it get his attention? Oh yes! We are still talking, and I am trying to convince him to come up here for a visit. If he does, you'll hear all about it, and I'll even post a pic!

As you can see, I'm not about to give up my search for Mr. Right!

Here are a few ways to find out more about potential dates. There are all kinds of search engines.

Google is one of the best. Just type in a name within parenthesis,or their email address or their user name, and it helps if you can type in other info such as their home state. See what you come up with!

Veromi will give you a person's age, who they live with, and possibly their business, as well as some towns they may have lived. It's helpful in seeing if there might be a wife in the picture.

Whitepages gives out an address, phone, and even an age range. This came in handy when a 20 something was trying to pass himself off as a 30 something. Good lord, I was the same age as his parents! He didn't get a date.

Here is a new favorite! Criminal Searches will give you a history of charges, but it isn't foolproof. That's how I found out that Doug S. had finally had a well deserved conviction, and I found out where he was incarcerated.

MySpace can give you a lot of information also. People put a lot about themselves out there. Hmmm, I suppose you could check Blogspot too!

Good luck finding info about future dates!

As you can tell, I had way too much fun again with Flickr Toys at Big Huge Labs!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Shocking revelations!

Today I have some shocking revelations for you! Read on for a Kady Reveals All "Confessional."

Oh okay, its just a tag, but I guarantee that some of what you read will surprise you!

I have been tagged by two lovely ladies, first Shelia at Note Songs tagged me.

It's a Get To Know You Tag and I need to answer 7 questions and pass it on to 5 friends.

1. Where have you traveled?

When I was a teenager, my mother took us on three significant vacations. When I was 12, we went to the northeast and visited Vermont (to visit an aunt), New Hampshire, Maine (to visit a former pastor), and made stops in Salem, Massachusetts, and Princeton, New Jersey (to visit an uncle), and we traveled through several other states. When I was 14, we took a month long trip heading toward California. We traveled through Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, made a stop in Arlington, Texas to visit an uncle, traveled through New Mexico, visited an uncle in Tucson, Arizona, visited an aunt in San Diego, made a stop in San Francisco, visited a friend in McCloud, California, then journeyed home through Reno, Nevada, and as fast as we could through any other states on our way back to Ohio. At age 16, we visited Florida where we took our exchange student to his flight in Miami, and to visit another friend in Fort Meyer’s Beach.

As an adult, I have made several trips to Texas, visited Phoenix, Arizona, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. My favorite trip of all time was in 1999 when I got to visit Paris, France! I would dearly love to see Alaska someday

2. Where would you like to live?

If I could live anywhere, it would be on an ocean beach where it is always warm, never storms badly, and where sand never gets tracked into the beach cottage I would love to live in.

3. What is your decorating style?

I most admire shabby chic and cottage style, but would have to say mine leads toward cottage. My family room is definitely more country and primitive, and the most masculine room in the house since that is where the boys and I all hang out. In the past, I would have said my style was “early garage sale.” (The truly gorgeous living room is on RMS by vintagekitchen)

4. How many times have you been married?

Just once, and it is debatable as to whether or not I would ever do it again. However, reading about some of the solid and stable marriages here in blogland gives me hope that there are some great guys out there.

5. Favorite color?

I love blue in all shades and tones, including turquoise. However, when it comes to decorating, I love pinks.

6. What is your proudest accomplishment?

Besides raising three children mostly all by myself, I would have to say picking up my life after a dreadful marriage and going back to college in my 40s and earning my degree (and all A’s) so that I could start a career.

7. What would we be absolutely shocked to learn about you?

You would be shocked to know that I date men who are significantly younger. It started a few years ago when I dated a man 7 ½ years younger than me, and it taught me that age is just a number. Though I am nearly 50, most of the men I date are in their 30s. The youngest man I have dated is currently 28, and I am still pretty crazy about him.

Coo coo ca-choo Mrs. Robinson!

Next I got tagged by my funny friend Buffie at My Left Foot.

Seven Unimportant things about me:

1. I graduated a full year early from high school. I didn’t give two hoots about my senior year and just wanted to get out of that little town and go to college, which I did! (Four years later I landed back in that little town though. No degree either, but with a newborn.)

2. Just like Buffie who tagged me, I don't drive on freeways, they scare the heck out of me! I also won’t drive in cities.

3. As I have mentioned to some others, I love to eat peanut butter and pickle relish sandwiches on wheat bread, with butter.

4. I was always the tallest person in my grade until 8th grade when one boy finally grew taller than me. When I was in the 6th grade I was even taller than my teacher who was a man. I was taller than my mother when I was 10. I now stand just under 5’10” which is the height I reached at age 13.

5. My mother taught me how to read before I went to kindergarten. When other first graders were reading Dick and Jane, I was already reading real books. I was bored to tears and always got marks against me for daydreaming in class.

6. I was a vegetarian from age 14-age 22. I was in a New Age-y sort of thing back then.

7. I have the biggest boobs of anyone I know. Not trying to brag, but that is how people tend to identify me. (Actual quote: “She’s tall with curly brown hair, bigger woman…oh heck, just look for the lady with the biggest chest.”) I dress to minimize, but it doesn’t help much. I have even had doctors turn embarrassed when they see them. I find it all highly amusing.

Okay, maybe that last one was a little TMI (too much information). No pics for that one either. I can hear several of you breathing a sigh of relief!

I won't be tagging others because I know there have been so many going around, but if you would like to take part in the fun, please feel free to!

Have a great Monday!