...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature... and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2013. Hootie~

Sunday, August 31, 2014



Author Over Sharing Alert




/klaɪˈmæktərɪk; ˌklaɪmækˈtɛrɪk/

a critical event or period
another name for menopause
the period in the life of a man corresponding to the 
menopause, chiefly characterized by diminished 
sexual activity
(botanythe period during which certain fruits, 
such as apples, ripen,marked by a rise in the rate 
of respiration
involving a crucial event or period
A.K.A. ...Really?  WTF????  Are you kidding me?  
Did I hear that correctly?  

I have reached a point where I need to write in order to move forward in my life.  I have tried to keep my thoughts private.  I have gone through my entire life keeping private journals, and periodically have branched out.  Now, I need to branch out once again.  

I am a positive person.  Bad things in life do happen...just 8 years ago I sat with my siblings as we helped, make the choice for, our comatose step-father to be taken off life support.  He had suffered an aneurysm while dealing with west nile.  He was treated with antibiotics just after his first test for west nile, so his results were inconclusive according to the CDC.  To test positive meant two tests back to back testing positive, without antibiotics to help.  Regardless, four weeks later, while still in a comma and having a temperature then entire time of 104 degrees plus, my siblings and I sat with him in a very small hospital room.  It was the middle of October, 2008.  That event alone would have been enough to suffer through.  

But that event happened five months into another life changing event for us.  Our mother had stage 4 brain cancer.  GBM.  Glioblastoma Multiforme.  My mom's GBM was the reason I started blogging.  Hopefully I helped others who were searching the web for info on what to expect.  I had done that and found little information to grasp hold of.  My step-father died 31 days before my mom.  

Rinse and repeat.  Except mom was allowed to pass over at home.  

Pretty crappy stuff for a positive person to live through.  But, I did it with my siblings by my side.  I did it surrounded by family, and friends at home (where my mom was).  I did it with the support at my own home; my husband and children, and friends back here.  Nourishment was all around me.  

Over the next year, my husband and I would move into a bigger house with our two growing teens.  We moved right next door to his parents, next to his childhood home.  His parents were starting to age, and we wanted to be there for them when the time came.  About three years ago my father-in-law started his rapid health decline, and passed away.  Little did I realize change in my personal life was on the horizon.  

In December of 2012, I started contemplating life with an empty nest.  Our baby would be graduating from high school in May.  It was time for me to fully enter back into the work force.  To do so, I decided to go back to graduate school.  I wanted to earn my masters in Elementary Education, become licensed and have my own classroom.  (Side note:  I have been working part-time for the past 13 years as a reading teacher. I have not been sitting around eating bon-bons.)

Long story short, I worked my butt off and was accepted into graduate school.  Somewhere along the line of life, my husband decided he wasn't attracted to me any more.  He has told me so at least a half a dozen times over the past year.  He has said I've never been the person he's wanted.  I haven't supported him.  I don't keep the house clean enough for him.  Living with me is hurting his health.

wow.  Emotionally I am spent.  I have been verbally abused behind closed doors for 27 years.  I have felt my role as a loving wife was to make everything perfect in our household for my hard-working husband. He really is hard-working.  He really is successful at whatever he puts his mind to.   I am puzzled as to why I have thought so highly of him for all these years though.  Nothing has ever been good enough for him.  

No more.  

Divorce is in my future.  I never thought my life would play out this way.  My husband has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He has "dismissed" me.  Literally, I do not exist to him.  

The more I type, the more I delete.  So much to say, so little I want out for all to read.  I feel scarred.  Life has been challenging.  I long to be loved and respected.  I long to share time with someone.  I did not expect this.  

If you ask me in person what my husband said to me on Mother's Day 2013 while we laid in bed together, you'd understand the level of his verbal abuse and why exactly I needed to go, alone, to the Grand Canyon last summer.  I have been in therapy for over a year.  I was told I could continue to believe the things he tells me or I could go out into the world and discover what the world really thinks of me.  

I'm glad I ventured out.  Life is hard, but I can still smile...most of the time.  I am guilty of loving.  This is his problem, not mine.  At the end of November I will officially be finished with my student teaching.  Just a few more hurdles to jump!  Three of my five licensing exams are under my belt.  My thesis paper research is finished, I just need to write it.  

I will be reaching my dreams of being a classroom teacher by the end of the year.  I hope to have full time employment doing what I love shortly after that.  I am not the first person in the world to go through a divorce.  I know I can, and will survive and shine once more.    

My Hootie blog will become active again as my time allows.  The joys I experience in life need a place to reach others!  Until then, I do have a teaching blog.  Visit me there too, if you'd like:  It Takes a Village to Raise a Teacher. 

With Katy Perry!
Okay, yes, it is just a cardboard cut out. 
Life is short.  Family is precious.  Our faith gives us the courage to grow and love. 

~Lisa   a.k.a. Hootie!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

To be Inspired...

I casually met Dr. Bolte Taylor as she spoke in my son's fourth grade class room many years ago.  My son is a junior in college now.  I was asked to watch the following TED talk for a class this week.  
It is just under 19 minutes long, and so worth the inspiration.  I have quoted the end of Dr. Bolte Taylor's talk because I found her last statement struck a cord in me.  Enjoy!  
"…I realized “But I’m still alive! I’m still alive and I have found Nirvana. And if I have found Nirvana and I’m still alive, then everyone who is alive can find Nirvana.” I picture a world filled with beautiful, peaceful, compassionate, loving people who knew that they could come to this space at any time. And that they could purposely choose to step to the right of their left hemispheres and find this peace. And then I realized what a tremendous gift this experience could be, what a stroke of insight this could be to how we live our lives. And it motivated me to recover… It took me eight years to completely recover.
So who are we? We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are – I am – the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form. At one with all that is. Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere. where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, intellectual, neuroanatomist. These are the “we” inside of me.
Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be. And I thought that was an idea worth spreading.”

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Story...in 8 words

Last August, I started back to graduate school.  
I'm getting my Masters in Elementary Education because I want to have my own classroom.  

This semester I have to take an Art Methods class and our first assignment, which wasn't really an assignment was to tell our story of why we are in this program.  We were to use one to three images without words.  In class, we would describe our choices.  

Here are my three images:  

Here are my words:  

Old dog
Wisdom to share
Life is short


Monday, December 09, 2013

50 Shades and Princesses

I have neglected my blog since August.  Sincerely apologies on that dear readers!  On one hand, I have loaned my camera out to my son for a photojournalism class he's taking in college.  I'm feeling lost without my camera lens to peer at the world through.  On the other hand, my own schooling has kept me incredibly busy!  I've been writing, but it's been a different kind of writing.   I am setting this post to automatically run.  I will be reading this piece tomorrow night in my last Methods of Teaching Elementary Reading and Writing for grades 4-6 and I want it to hit my blog during that time.  I was inspired to write this after heading to Chicago with my sister to see 50 Shades, the Musical, a Parody.  


Journal entry: October 27, 2013

50 Shades and Princesses

October 26

While walking the sidewalks of Chicago on the Magnificent Mile, It is not unusual to see beautifully, alluring shop entryways.  The scent wafting through the air reeks of excitement, expectation and good times.  Add the sunset to the mix and vibrant colors pop, catching your eye.  A little sensuality teasing your senses, beacons you to come inside, if you dare.  

Young twenty-somethings strut around inside.  Immaculately put together.  They’ll ask if they can help, but if you watch carefully, their eyes wander away, in hopes that you’ll say no or that you just need something right in front of you.  

The angel wings on the underwear-clad, headless mannequins drew me inside Victoria’s Secret.  I long to have that once drooled after, youthful body.  I’m working on loving the curvy me that I am at almost 50.  The person I am right now is still transforming.  Middle age sits waiting in my “friend request” box, but I’m resisting holding hands and accepting this friendship.  Getting old means abandoning youth.  I’m not quite ready for that.  

But those angel wings...mmm

I imagine my head upon that mannequin...my body morphs onto the doll as well...it’s sort of nice.  I wonder if others would glance my way? Or if they’ll look else where.  

I quickly tire of looking at underwear and head back out the door.  I’m swallowed up again in the masses heading down the sidewalk. On the ground in front of me I see a star and sparkles.  The colors of the shop once again speaks to my inner, youthful soul. My feet have a mind of their own and propel me insides.  

As I fill my lungs with the scent of youth from this place, I feel my cheeks raise...my smile involuntarily fills my face.  “Ahh,” I say aloud, “I’m home!”  

“Welcome to the Disney Store!”  

~by ltk

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Atlanta Botanical Garden = Eye Candy!!!

If you have a chance to go see the Atlanta Botanical Garden before the end of October this year, do go!  There is a beautiful exhibit that even the non-plant lover will enjoy!  It's called Imaginary Worlds: Plants Larger Than Life.  There are billboards around town enticing visitors to come see the garden.  I thought the hardest part of my trip was locating the entrance.  The area where the Botanical Garden is located is filled with very mature trees and surrounded by parks.  Add a little road construction, and a visitor could easily have a little trouble navigating where she needed to go.  I found the entrance, and despite the very warm and humid weather Atlanta was experiencing, I enjoyed exploring the treasures within.  

This exhibit, which to the uneducated eye looks like topiaries, are called Mosaiculture.  Mosaic + Horticulture combined.  Steel armatures are covered in a growing medium where plant plugs (hence the mosaic) were strategically placed.  The living sculptures are maintain daily by horticulture teams.  

The structures were created by a nonprofit company called International Mosaiculture of Montreal, Canada.  The exhibits were put together up in Montreal and then transported to Atlanta via special, temperature controlled tractor trailers.  

I was not lucky enough to explore this exhibit at night.  On Thursday evenings through October the sculptures come to life with thousands of strategically placed twinkle lights!


Toad Lily

Earth Goddess

Swamp Hibiscus

The Shaggy Dog


Looking towards downtown

Dancing Fish

Fuqua Conservatory


Giant Berries
In the Fuqua Orchid Center:  

Frog fountain
Look closely...Gambels Quail
center, under the leaf
I saw these in Sedona but got their picture in Atlanta!  

At the Children's Garden

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's the Real Thing....

1971 - On a hilltop in Italy
We assembled young people
From all over the world
To bring you this message
From Coca-Cola Bottlers
All over the world
It's the real thing - Coke.
And they sang...

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing...

I'd like to buy the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves.
     I'd like to teach the world to sing
     In perfect harmony
     I'd like to buy the world a Coke
     And keep it company
     That's the real thing.
     (Repeat chorus)

Chorus 2:
     What the world wants today
     Coca-Cola (background)
     Is the real thing
     (Repeat chorus 2)

I'd like to teach the world to sing
     Sing with me (background)
In perfect harmony
I'd like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
That's the real thing
(Repeat chorus)

(Chorus 2)
What the world wants today
     Coca-Cola (background)
Is the real thing
(Repeat chorus 2)

While exploring on my own in Atlanta recently my first stop was The World of Coke.

I have never been a Pepsi fan, and driving past this place on my way to and from Florida over the years, I've always been curious about what was inside.

Upon entering The World of Coke, you go into an area with these large decorated bottles. They are actually from the 1996 Summer Olympics that were held in Atlanta and various countries decorated their own bottles.  It was fun to see how far reaching the footprint of Coca-Cola really has been.

This bottle was completely decorated in stringed beads!

This bottle was carved out of wood.
 There were so many decorated bottles around the place, it was hard for me to remember which one was from where.  Unfortunately for me I forgot my little notebook on this trip.

The first stop of the tour was into a room filled with some memorabilia from around the world.

I love how the Coke machine reflected onto this framed poster! 
 Guests at this point were tortured into watching a short film...which was really an expanded commercial from several years ago...where these goofy little characters talked about how Coke makes life happy.  I'm not going to YouTube that commercial, but it's the one where the quarter goes into the machine and you followed it in to see how the coke brings happiness to our lives.  Need some happiness?  Click HERE.

The Coca-Cola Cheerleader,  from that commercial

The Coca Cola Polar Bear
 After getting "happy" in that silly movie they turn you loose to explore on your own (thank goodness!).  Your next stop is The Vault.  The vault is where, supposedly, the original hand written formula for Coca-Cola is stored.
The is actually the entry to "the Vault" area
Below is a picture of the "real" vault once you are inside the area.  It really wasn't that big of a deal to me.  As long as someone knows how to make what I like, I don't care where they store the recipe!
The REAL Vault where the recipe for the Real Thing is stored, supposedly

 I enjoyed the self-guided walking tour because there were fun, nerdy Coke things to see like this:

An original 1920's bottling employee uniform

Loved this beanie!  

an original 1939 delivery truck from Buenos Aires
This custom truck could navigate the smaller streets much better thank larger delivery trucks!
 My home state was a part of the Coca-Cola history too!  

The well-known Coca-Cola contour bottle was conceived by employees of the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana .  Designed in 1913, the bottle had to be made thinner to fit bottling equipment before it was introduced to the public in  IN 1977, the count our bottle was granted registration as a trademark by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  

During World War II, some of the Coca-Cola Bottles sent to the troops in the South Pacific were used as  glass insulators to protect exposed electrical wires hanging between the palm trees.  

Apparently Coca-Cola has sponsored the Olympic torches over the years too!
They had a collection displayed to share.

A sample of the Coca-Cola product packages from around the world

More of those big, decorated bottles

Doesn't this make you happy?  
More Coca-Cola trinkets!  

In it's beginning, Coca-Cola was bottled around the country.  Syrup was sent to factories where they mixed it with there with Carbonated Water.  The syrup was sold to the plants who in turn, sold what they produced.  Bottles were made all over the country.

I found this bottle in one of the streams while out walking Winston here at home.  I noticed on the bottom that it was made in Bloomington.  I have saved it and it lives on one of my selves.
But I read this cool fact about the bottles:  
 The bottles were reused over and over!  Early recycling in the US?  

 Oh how I LOVED Coke Blak!!!  I miss it so much!!!  I actually sent Coca-Cola several emails pestering them to keep making it.  Too bad for me, not enough people shared my passion.

 More "stuff"
 The best part of the tour was the taste testing at the end!  There were several machines which had a sample of their products from different continents.

From Europe...

You should DEFINITELY get others to try the Beverly from Italy!

From Africa...

From Asia...

 There were drinks from South America, but the glare on those machines made it impossible to capture a picture of the drinks.

North America...

 The machines in here were my favorite though!  I think this is the future of self-serve soft drinks in restaurants.   I have seen these at one restaurant in Bloomington all ready!  You can go up to the machine and pick your base flavor...I like Coke Zero.  Then you can press a flavor to add to it, if you like...I add Orange!  Mmm!  It's great!  I <3 choices="" nbsp="" p="">
Of course there is a gift shop too:
How about a purse made out of pull tabs!?  I just need to find a pattern to make these, then I'll be able to make them as Christmas gifts!  

 Of course I played tourist and had one of the photographers there take my picture on a Coke themed couch!

At the end of my time at the World of Coke I was able to take home a bottle of Coca-Cola that was bottle right on sight!  I didn't mention before, but part of the tour does take you through a mini-bottling plant.  In theory I am taking one of the bottles I saw being bottled.

I left the World of Coke, feeling Happy and like the only friend I ever needed was my Coca-Cola soft drink!  I think there was a little subliminal advertising going on during my visit.  :)