Sunday, September 9, 2012

Un-Plain Jane...

When I was growing up, surrounded by girls with names like Melissa, Angela, Stephanie and Kathleen, I thought my name was plain. We've all heard the expression "Plain Jane". Or heard the typical name used for an anonymous person--"Jane Doe". Over the years I made the mistake into buying into that stereotype. I even talked myself into the notion that I was plain.

Well it's taken me forty four years, but I realize now what a gift it was to be named Jane. Jane isn't plain, it is strong. It's a single, strong syllable and it starts with a strong sounding consonant. It is the female equivalent of John--a strong men's name. It is an easy name to remember and hard to misspell. 

There have also been many famous women named Jane over the years. Jane Austen has written some of the most famous books which have been made countless times into movies and miniseries. Calamity Jane was a pretty bad ass frontierswoman. Actresses such as Jane Fonda, Jane Russell, Jane Curtin and Jane Wyman (who was also the first wife of Ronald Reagan). And don't forget Jane Goodall, the famous English primatologist.

I'm not famous. But I've done interesting things. I have zip-lined in the rain forest. I have swam with stingrays. I have traveled to several countries. I was picked to be in a music video (okay, I chickened out at the last minute, but I was still picked)! I have raised a child.

And you know what? There is nothing plain about me.  And I am strong. I am Jane.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rowdy Dog....

This morning we lost our precious 14 year old pup, Rowdy. I always called him Rowdy Dog when I talked to him....just like I call my girl pup Zoe Girl. Back when my son was around 6 years old, I started referring to Rowdy as his dog. I know this loss is especially hard for him. I let him make all of the important decisions this morning (whether to take Rowdy to the vet, whether we stayed in the room when they had to finally help him let go, whether we took him home afterwards, where we buried him) and I'm proud of the way he handled it all--with a quiet, mature strength. My heart was especially proud when he was out in the pasture, in the pouring rain, digging the grave to bury Rowdy. He wanted to do it alone and I understood that. I let him.

Rowdy was a wonderful dog. When he was a puppy, everyone commented on his "glasses" (black rings around both eyes). As he got older, one of the things I noticed even into his old age was that everyone always commented on how soft he was. He was great to snuggle up to and I loved petting the fluffy hair around his neck. I am really going to miss petting him. I also loved how when he was really enjoying himself, he looked like he was smiling. He would be out in the sunny pasture or lying in a pile of leaves and would get that expression of pure joy on his face. 

Our little dachshund mix Zoe is going to miss him. I often think that Rowdy was gruff with her as he got old, but secretly really loved her dearly. He put up with her jumping around him like an annoying little gnat, occasionally giving her a little bark or nip to put her back in her place.  Zoe was actually the one who alerted me this morning that something was wrong--I was woken out of my sleep by the sound of her whining & howling. I got up and went out into the dining room to find her sitting next to Rowdy, who was lying down and obviously not doing well. It really proves that dogs are so sensitive to illness and know when something is wrong. Even when we brought Rowdy home today in his little cardboard "casket", Zoe kept going into the sun room where he was and trying to get up to him. She would get up on her hind legs and whine. Then she would sit down & stare up at the box, woofing out quiet little barks.

I feel blessed that we got to have Rowdy in our lives for 14 years. It would take much more than this blog entry to talk about all of the wonderful moments we had with him. He will be greatly missed.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

And Now...A Real And True IPhone Conversation...

Embarrassing as it is, the following is a real and true IPhone (text) conversation I had with my BFF Donna.
Donna once said that it's a scary place inside my head.
I think I have to agree with her...

Me: I just brought attention to the fact that I'm not wearing tights today in honor of spring to your boss' attention. I'm a dork.

Donna: Oh gawd

Me: I caught him standing at the top of the stairs, gazing out the window. A short conversation about the beautiful weather ensued. Then I verbally vomited about my lack of tights.

Donna: Giggle

Me: I noticed that he left quickly after that. I think I scared him.

Donna: I am sure he is scarred

Me: I'm surprised I didn't do a little twirl for him so he could see my adorable spring skirt in all its glory....sigh. the way...did I mention that Donna's boss is the President of the college that we work for?

Who Wants Some Shoes?

Who wants to buy some shoes? How about a snowboard helmet, jacket or boots? I just listed several items on Ebay--check 'em out!

Here's a basic rundown on the items. The listings on Ebay have much more detail. If you have questions about the items, please contact me through Ebay so everything stays as per the rules. Thanks!

 Kemper snowboarding jacket--Girls size 16 but can also fit a Ladies size XS/S

 Ladies Salomon "Dawn" snowboarding boots size 7

K2 "Clutch" snowboarding helmet size medium

 Born equestrian themed clogs, size 6

 Guess strappy sandal heels size 7

 Doc Martens ladies oxfords--British size 3/ US size 5.5

Another view of the cute Guess strappy sandal heels

 Another view of the Born equestrian themed clogs

They're on a 5 day listing which started today. Feel free to bid to your heart's content!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Dreams May Come

Last night I saw my nephew CJ in one of my dreams. It was a great comfort to me because other than a dream quite awhile ago where he appeared as a little boy, I hadn't dreamed about him.

It was like a little free rewind to before he was killed, although in the dream itself I still knew that we were going to lose him. I saw him twice. The first time was when I happened upon him lying down in a meadow with his fiance. He was just lying there, on his back, like they were gazing up at the clouds. I knelt down next to him and wrapped my arms around him and told him I love him.

His immediate response was to push me away and say, "Get off me!" Not in a mean way....he was smiling when he said it. I think he was embarrassed that I did that in front of Jessica. It made me smile.

The second time was in front of a house. I'm not sure who's house it was, but somehow I knew that the rest of the family was inside. So it gave me comfort in my dream to know that the rest of the family got to see him too. Again, I couldn't resist wrapping my arms around him. 
(My eyes are welling up even as I'm writing this)
I told him that I loved him SO much and how proud I was of him for being a great dad to his kids and such a help to his parents.

Then I let him go and he walked back into the house.

Then I woke up.

And I lay there in bed, feeling sad, yet happy at the same time....wishing I could go back to my dream and see him one more time.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Today my husband was on one of his smoke breaks outside when he stuck his head in the door and said, "You might want to come take a look at Cupcake." (Cupcake is one of our goats). I got worried and thought maybe something was wrong. I quickly went to the kitchen window and realized it was a situation that didn't warrant any panic---maybe a camera though.
That's their feeding trough. It's made from an old tractor tire turned inside out and the blue barrel in the middle is filled with water. This keeps the feeder from getting moved around and is also supposed to keep the goats from getting into the feeder and soiling the food.
Gee, that works....

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Lost Art of Letter Writing...

I ended up in a conversation on my son's page on Facebook yesterday--this is how it started, with my son's initial post:
"Why do people get all mad when people don't reply to a text? When people don't hear back from others when writing letters, they don't act the same way because they understand that it's a piece of paper traveling a distance and people are busy with life and whatnot. If i don't text you back it's because it's text. It's at my control to reply as I please. No alterior motives, no ignoring.. Cell phones have telephone functionality for a reason."

This prompted my reply:
"The art of letter writing is lost...I'm thinking of starting it up again."

I figured I'd catch some flack from my son about posting in one of his conversations and his friends would just virtually roll their eyes at me and move on. But there were some intriguing comments that were posted afterwards amongst other observations and commentary...
Collin: Mom, it never should have gotten lost.
Nancy (my sister): Jane, in our local school system, they have dropped cursive writing altogether. I understand that the world uses keyboards, etc. now, but this just seems unbelievable to me.
MacyShay: I can't remember how to write in cursive but I did take a coligraphy class (I think that's how its spelled) and it was so much fun but killed my hand! But I wish I knew cursive=(

Hearing these comments actually made me kind of sad. My son actually admitted to me that he didn't really remember cursive either. I had no idea! I guess I hadn't even thought of this consequence of an almost all computer generation. I thought back to when my son was in high school a couple of years ago and realized that most of the essays, reports and whatnot that he turned in to his teachers were always typed up on the computer and printed out.

So I have now made it my mission to start writing more letters. Not emailing...not typing on my computer & printing out...but actually putting pen to paper & thoughtfully writing out what I want to say. No "lol", "omg" or "wtf". It's time take back this lost art. 

So friends & family, watch out! You may have a hand-written correspondence coming to a mailbox near you.

Sincerely yours,

Saturday, January 7, 2012


So remember last week when I still hadn't gotten my Christmas tree taken down yet? Well today, after feeling icky all week, I finally started getting it all put away. I got the house decorations boxed up, took the ornaments and lights off the tree, then got so far as taking the very top of the Christmas tree off.
Then I got hungry.
I grabbed a bowl of my favorite Greek yogurt (remind me to tell you about it sometime), tossed a little granola on top, and settled onto the couch to eat. When I was finished I happened to glance over to the tree bag and this is what I saw:

That dog can be comfortable ANYWHERE...

Monday, January 2, 2012

So Much For Plans...

It's 2012...Christmas has been over for a week now. Because I didn't get my Christmas tree up until a week before Christmas, I told myself I would allow keeping it up until New Year's Day. It was a great plan.
Yet here it stands.

My friend Donna & I had plans early New Year's morning to go check out the once a year sale at Dillards. We got up early and arrived right at 7 am. (Although when we arrived we found out it actually opened at 6 am--whoopsie!) It's the one time of the year that you can get 50% off everything that is already on sale and clearance. I just wanted to use this once a year chance to get some items I really needed at prices I could afford. 
(FIVE bras and three pairs of undies for less than $40--enough said.)
Unfortunately, when I woke up yesterday morning, I wasn't feeling in top form. My throat was scratchy and my sinuses felt a little stuffy. By the time we had finished at Dillards I was definitely ready to head home. Donna, being the great friend she is, offered me some Benadryl to help me feel better and get some rest. So when I got home I took a Benadryl and settled in on the couch to kill some time. Four hours later I woke up. It was almost 6:00 pm and I was feeling groggy and still pretty crappy. That tree was not coming down.

So here I am on Monday morning, January 2nd, off from work and camped out on the couch again. My head is stuffed up, my throat is sore, and the tree is still there--as evidenced in the photo just taken with my phone above. An unlit, dark tree, looking kind of forlorn with a few ornaments lying on the ground underneath, knocked off from one of our dogs who insists on sleeping under it. If I feel better later today, I'll make a go at it. If not, I suppose it will wait until I feel more like myself.

Let's just hope it's not still up on Valentine's Day....