the hideout


Ran across another great site with lots of graphics and animations for blogs and My Space. It’s at Feeling a little worn out today. When stuff happens with my mom I get an adrenaline burst to get me through and then I crash. I think I’ll run to Kohl’s later and get her some smaller nightgowns. She’s lost a lot of weight but hasn’t been able to get out and shop. I love that snowy graphic. Don’t you just want to go and hide out in that house for a few weeks? It looks so peaceful.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Robert Frost

carol jean

That’s my favorite photo of my mom. My godfather Walter took it on Belle Isle when she was about six years old. Walter was the unofficial family photographer and his photos are a cherished history of my mother’s family. Yesterday, my dad called and told me my mom had a serious bloody nose that they couldn’t stop. She didn’t want him to call me because she said I would take her to the hospital. She was right. I did. She had lost a lot of blood and should have gone in sooner, stubborn little Frenchwoman that she is! The ER was more crowded than I’d ever seen it (the triage nurses needed a triage nurse) and I felt like we were on the set of a disaster movie. Normally, they would have taken her right back, she was a mess with a clothespin device and gauze on her nose smashed under an oxygen mask because of the COPD. But it was a crazy Monday in the ER and the ambulances kept rolling in allowing us the opportunity to practice the art of patience for a few hours until my poor mother could no longer stay upright in the wheelchair and they finally took us back. Our seven hour ordeal ended with my dad and I wheeling mom out to the car, wondering if she really should be going home, she looked pretty bad. But we got her home and into bed with a little help from Mr. bookbabie and I got the call this morning from dad that she had an uneventful and good night’s sleep. As trying as it was in the ER, those docs and nurses work very hard to help their patients and it’s good to know they’re there if you need them. So my little red stocking cap is off to all the doctors and nurses this morning (including my own brother and sister) who have dedicated their lives to the art of medicine. Merci.

bookbabie has cooties

I’ve been tagged by my blogging friend Melynn at Breathing Easy. For those of you who aren’t fluent in bloglish, being “tagged” is a virtual game not unlike the childhood version, except that instead of getting cooties we have to reveal a number of things about ourselves. I probably would choose not to play (party pooper that I am) except that my mom recently told me that she’d been reading through my old blog entries and she was learning things about me that she didn’t know. Hmm. I’ve always considered myself a very private person. I used to hoard the bits and pieces of the inner me because I thought if I put them out there I could lose them. It’s like I imagined that they were these colorful helium balloons full of me instead of gas and if I gave them to people they might let them go and I’d never get them back. Does that sound weird? (Don’t answer that!) Writing the blog (and my 2 1/2 novels) has helped me understand that it’s okay to reveal yourself (a little) to the world. Perhaps I should say share yourself, fear not, there will be no revealing bookbabie sex tapes popping up on YouTube! So anyway, I’m going to play tag today in honor of my mom, however, I won’t follow all the rules (like Melynn, who by the way I think would be a best friend if she lived nearby). So here goes, seven random facts about the bookbabie, but you must promise me that you won’t let go of those strings…

1. I have a killer serve in volleyball and wallyball.

2. My first favorite “grown-up” book was My Antonia by Willa Cather

3. I watch Dancing with the Stars (so does Mr. bookbabie, but don’t tell him I told you!)

4. I wanted to have three children but got sick and struggled just to raise the two babies I was blessed with.

5. I felt most like “me” when I was standing in front of an easel painting.

6. I haven’t painted in about ten years:(

7. Hey Mom, I can still sit like this sitting-004.jpg (but not for long and the getting up part isn’t pretty!)

dogs allowed

So we did it and it was awful and that’s all I’ll say about it. We felt like we needed to stay busy today and get out of the house. But where do you go when you need to cheer up, to forget you had a dog yesterday and today you don’t? Why, Canada of course! The people in Canada are so nice and polite and they always seem so damn happy. So we packed up our cameras and a lunch and took off for Point Pelee National Park in Ontario. The plan was to take pictures of the park’s famous butterfly, bird, and dragonfly populations, to get lost in the beauty of nature and try to not think about Nikki. What we didn’t know was that every bird in Canada has already migrated south (they didn’t hear there was a warm front coming) and they apparently took the butterflies and dragonflies with them leaving behind a park full of happy Canadians and their furry four-legged friends. Yes, it turns out that our friendly neighbors to the north do love their dogs, and not only are they allowed at the park, but at this time of the year dogs are the main attraction as they are the only living things for miles around beside the humans (and the blood thirsty Canadian mosquitoes which are tinted an odd shade of maple leaf red). Still, it was good to get out of the house…but sad when we got home and there was no yappy little dog to greet us at the door.

The point at Point Pelee, that’s it waaaaaaay out in the distance…where the sand comes to, what else? a point.

Me, looking at the point, or maybe I’m looking at a seagull. See it, that tiny spot that looks like a speck of dust in the sky? Wait, maybe that is dust. I’m thinking I need to rethink those pants I’m wearing, that is not a bum George Clooney would covet, is it?

Mister bookbabie scanning the trees for signs of life.

The marsh walk at the park. Quite lovely if you like to look at miles of tall grass-like plants.


We are going to have our dog put to sleep this afternoon. She’s almost sixteen and has the typical list of older dog health problems: blindness, deafness, trouble walking because of painful arthritic hips, badly infected gums, potty issues, and now she’s afraid to be left alone for any length of time. My husband and I keep reciting that list to each other, hoping I suppose that it will make it okay, make it easier. But it’s not working. We feel like shit.

illustration friday


A while back I stumbled across the website, Illustration Friday. Each week a new subject is suggested by participants and then you create something that illustrates the topic. You don’t have to be an artist to participate, there are all kinds of submissions and levels of artistic ability and everyone is welcome. I started doing simple collages about a certain someone. I used the weekly challenge as a way to jump start my creative juices which had dried up and withered away under the daily stressors of that thing called life. Check it out sometime, it’s fun to look at the art and just maybe you’ll be inspired to start making your own!

the marine

Earlier today we had a family dinner for my nephew Charlie. He just completed boot camp and he is now a Marine. That’s Charlie and my dad, Lee, wearing his old Air Force hat. When Charlie left tonight my dad hugged him and tried to tell him how he felt, but he couldn’t find the words. What do you say when you see your grandson standing in front of you, so tall and brave and strong ready to serve his country? We love him, he knows that. We are all very proud of him, he knows that too. What he doesn’t know is that when his grandfather looks at him he sees eighteen years, forty years, seventy years, a lifetime that is quickly passing by, and a lifetime that is new and still unfolding. He sees the little boy and he sees the man he has become. There simply are not enough words or enough hours in a day to say what a grandfather has in his heart on an afternoon like this. But that’s okay dad, the tears in your eyes said it all, don’t worry, Charlie knows, he knows.