Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I've always thought that I would make a good detective.  I'm quick to notice things out of the ordinary, or to pick up on body language.  Perhaps being the mother to five teenagers (13-19 at one point) helped hone those skills.

Like the time for instance when we had rented a cabin for a week at a fishing lodge owned by some friends of ours.  There were quite a few young people there that week and our kids knew most of them so they had a great time hanging out swimming, riding tubes down the rapids, and playing volleyball.  One afternoon all the boys decided to take a boat out and go fishing.  The girls lay out at the end of the dock to sunbathe and swim and the moms sat on the lawn chatting.  About an hour later the boys pulled up in the boat, got out, and headed for the cabin of the one boy who was there without his parents.  That was when the first red flag went up.

"Something's up." I said to the group of moms.

"What do you mean?' one of the mothers asked.

"Just that something is not right" I replied. "Since when have you known a bunch of teenage boys to walk right past a group of girls sunbathing in swimsuits and not even say a word to them.  Something is definitely up!"

I got up and made my way to the cabin and was met at the door by my oldest son. That was when the second red flag went up.  They had obviously assigned him to be the lookout and he wasn't letting me past the door.

"What's going on?"

"umm... nothing."

"I'm not stupid.  What's up?"

I looked past him and spotted a young man coming out of the bathroom with his hand dripping in blood.
Long story short, he had shot himself in the hand with a pellet gun while checking to see if it had any pressure left in it. In his defense, he had tried shooting it into the water first (smart), then into the aluminum boat (not so smart) and finally into his hand (just plain stupid but better than his face I guess). He had then gone into the bathroom and tried to extract the pellet from his hand with a razor blade (not the brightest idea).  He ended up having to have surgery.

While I was in Portugal going on a tour of Lisbon with the wedding party (250 of us) something caught my attention on the narrow little street we walking down to get back to our tour buses.  It was the movement of two women pushing their way into our group.  I just thought it was strange that they wouldn't have tried to go around the group instead of heading right into the middle of us.  I knew that they weren't part of our group because they were holding street maps and none of us had any.  We had been warned on the bus before we got out to be aware of pickpockets.  We were told that they often had cameras and street maps and would stop and ask you for directions and take advantage of your helpful nature.  As I watched these two women I realized that they had targeted a young mother with her purse slung over her shoulder and carrying her fussy baby.  I quickly pushed past everyone and managed to put myself between the mom and the pickpockets and warned her of them.  I turned around and gave the two women a dirty look and shook my head.  They quickly turned around and made their way out of our group.  I then followed them back up the street a ways before returning to our group.  The wedding photographer wanted to get a photo of them so I showed her where I last saw them and there they were coming back down the street with another group.   They spotted me and stopped dead in their tracks.
Yeah, I'm pretty much a super hero!

                                                The street where I thwarted the pickpockets.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Years ago (and I mean many years ago), my friend Jill and I went to see a scary movie.  At the time I was living with Jill, her dad, and her grandmother.  Another friend of ours was visiting from out of town but instead of going to the movies with us, she opted to go to a Saturday night church service.  I wish I had gone with her instead.

The movie When A Stranger Calls, scared the bejeepers out of us both  and neither one of us would sleep in her grandmother's room because it had a closet in it.  We begged our friend to sleep in there instead (contrary to the original sleeping plan)  until she finally rolled her eyes and acquiesced  to our demand.  You see, in the movie a young girl is terrorized by a psychopath while she babysits.  Some guy keeps calling and asking if she has checked the children yet.  It turns out that the creep is making the calls from inside the house and although the babysitter is saved, the two children she was looking after did not fair so well.  Fast forward a number of years and the babysitter is having dinner out with her husband when she receives a phone call at the restaurant  from the psychopath asking her if she's checked the children yet.  She rushes home to find her kids safe but just before she turns out the lights for the night, she decides to check on her kids one last time.  They're fine and she climbs back into bed.  She rolls over to find herself face to face with the psychopath.  Scary.

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, over thirty years after watching that stupid movie once, I still find myself thinking about it almost every time I climb into bed when Ian's gone to bed before me.   In fact, I check that it is Ian in the bed before I climb into it.

The other night I retired for the night a good hour after Ian and slipped quietly into bed.  I lay there for a few seconds then realized that I hadn't checked to see that the man in the bed was actually my husband.  I slowly turned over and my heart skipped a beat.  The man in the bed was considerably shorter than Ian and he wasn't making Ian's usual deep sleep breathing noises.  A scream almost escaped my lips but then I heard his deep even breathing and with my eyes finally adjusting to the darkness I could see that the outline of the body in my bed was indeed Ian, he was just sleeping lower in the bed than usual.

This is why I flat out refuse to watch scary movies.  My vivid imagination needs absolutely no help.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I've been home from Portugal for almost two weeks now and while there has been so much I could blog about after that amazing wedding I attended, I have neglected my blog because I have been entertaining some of my beautiful little grandchildren, or should I say, they've been entertaining me.

I will eventually write about my wonderful adventures in Portugal but tonight I want to direct you to a blog written by a dear friend of mine.  During the school year, he visits schools in the western United States giving presentations on mountain men.  He dresses up in full costume and brings in animal pelts for the kids to feel, teaches how to make wild animal calls, and regales them with tales of old trappers.  I have never seen his presentation but knowing Scott, I bet he has the rapt attention of every student within earshot.    From time to time he post letters on his blog from kids who have been present for his performances, along with a reply.  This is definite laugh out loud stuff!

Check out his latest post here.

This one is pretty cute too.

And this one.

Heck, just  go and click on the word blog on the sidebar of his website and you can read them all.