Friday, August 31, 2007

the face says it all...

the face says it all..., originally uploaded by msbellee.

The first day of kindergarten:
anxious, nervous, excited, apprehensive...

Oh, my dear Kevin,
what adventures await you my sweetpea.


We got up quite early this morning.
Earlier than ever before,
although we've been practicing for this day.

He ate his breakfast.
I made and packed his lunch.
He proceeded to get dressed.

getting ready for school

Bedhead as usual....

terrible bedhead

Barney knew something was different about today.
Not the normal routine. He was anxious and concerned.

Barney knows something's different about today...

We're going to miss our Kevin while he's
off to his first day of school.

Barney looks so sad

I told him to mind his manners,
and to remember to say the magic words:
'please' and 'thank you'.

I told him to make sure he shared.

I reminded him that he should treat people
the way he would want to be treated.

I told him to raise his hand if he had a question...

...and I told him I loved him.

And off he went,
escorted out of the car by a school aid,
his lunch sack over his shoulder
and his little backpack in his hand...

...and he didn't even look back.

I cried.

Many tears later, I'm still crying.

I miss him.

Barney misses him.

It's way too quiet.

I'm lonesome already.

But I have to get us ready to go to the beach today
so I don't have a lot of time to cry.
Today, distraction is a good thing.

I can't wait to hear how it went.

I'm sure he'll say "it was just fine."


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fiction Plane

This has absolutely nothing to do with parenting or jewelry or Etsy or anything. But I thought I'd share since I really liked it.

I found this group on You Tube. I looked at the singer's face. And when I heard the voice and saw the face I was totally amazed.

(Sorry about this broken link. I cannot get it to work. You can go to and search for "Fiction Plane" to see the "Two Sisters" video.)

I was astonished when I heard this group. They're called 'Fiction Plane'. The minute I heard them I was taken back to my days in college working at the record store on the strip in Knoxville. When I watched the video and heard them play, it was as if I was listening to the early days of the 'Police'. And now I know why. The lead singer/songwriter/guitarist/bass player is none other than Sting's son, Joe Sumner. Isn't it weird hearing them and not seeing Sting and the Police? But you can still almost see Sting when you look at his son. The resemblence is just uncanny. The voice and style of playing is even more uncanny. The apple certainly didn't fall far from the tree with this young man. And now I'm feeling sooooooooooo old! Sting's son in a band, and I liked it!

So what did you think? Do you like it? I just might have to go buy a new CD as a result of seeing and hearing this. It's been a while since I listened to anything but bluegrass and kid friendly stuff, but this was worth a second listen (and look, IMO). In college I used to listen to the Talking Heads, the Clash, the Police, Todd Rundgren, Steely Dan, etc., early 80's music (no disco though), and this took me back to that time when the Police was still young. I liked these guys a lot.

I wonder what Sting thinks of his son's music. I bet he hears and sees himself in his son. It's kinda cool how genes are passed on, isn't it? Wish I had those kinds of genes (and money) to pass on to my child, don't you?!

Well, that's all. I hope you have a good Sunday and a great week.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Touched By Enya

Last night (Saturday night) Kevin was watching Oban Star Racers on Jetix when at the very end of the show he ran to the TV and turned up the music. It was a very pretty melody, sort of new age and free sounding with lots of violins and harmonies. It sort of reminded me of Enya.

I asked him if he liked that music. He told me yes. I told him that if he liked that he would probably like Enya. I proceeded to go online and find this Enya video for him to watch and listen to the beautiful melody.

As I began playing it, he came running in. Then he stopped, dead in his tracks, and that's when I saw his face. His lip was quivering and he was beginning to cry! He looked at me and sort of laughed, but he still kept crying. He watched the video, mesmerized by it and the music. I asked him if he was ok. He nodded his head yes. I asked him if he wanted me to stop the music. He shook his head no. I asked him if he liked it. He sort of laughed and cried at the same time and said yes, he did. This music had touched his soul, I could tell. It was an amazing thing to see: my little 5 1/2 year old Kevin, standing there crying, being touched by music for the first time in his life. I'll never forget it.

He then sat on my lap in front of the computer and we watched the video together. I hugged him and stroked his head as he sat there cuddled with me crying. I couldn't believe how it got through to his heart. It was so sweet. He was so cute. He was so beautiful with the smile on his face and the tears on his cheeks. Then he turned around to me and said "I love you mommy". I threw my arms around him and hugged him as tight as I could and I cried right along with him. There we were, both crying and listening to Enya's Orinoco Flow! It must have been a sight to see, the two of us there, but to me it was one of the most touching experiences I've ever had with him. Instead of telling him to be careful not to run in the house, or to please put his toys away, or drink his milk, or go brush his teeth, I was sitting with all 62 pounds of him on my lap experiencing this lovely event with him. It was awesome.

When it was over he threw his arms around my neck and just balled! I asked if he liked Enya. "Oh yes, it's so pretty. Can we watch it again?" So I played it for him again. This time I asked him to listen for the violins and to listen to her voice. And the second time it still made him cry but not as much.

He eventually got all the tears out of his system and I found a place online that we could watch many more Enya videos. He hummed along with the melodies and sang along with them almost as if he'd heard them before, but I know he hasn't. He just filled himself up with her music, watching the videos one by one, over and over again. The rest of the night we sang 'sail away, sail away, sail away'. It's a very pretty tune.

This experience was the most wonderfully moving thing I've ever shared with Kevin. He has a very sensitive and expressive soul. Enya's music filled him with joy and touched him like nothing else has before. I got to experience that with him. I am so thankful for getting to share her music with him.

I love you Kevin. You make my heart smile.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Quacker Fat Cat, 1989(?)-2007

Quacker Fat Cat, 1989(?)-2007, originally uploaded by msbellee.

Quacker, my mother's cat, did not come back in today after going outside this morning. That's very unusual for this cat as he's a homebody and likes to be inside most of the time, especially when it's this hot. Well, sadly, we believe Quacker has probably gone on his way to the Rainbow Bridge.

My mother has always had cats. She has never sought them out however; they somehow always find their way to her. There must be a neon sign outside her house that only cats can see saying "All Felines Welcome." Sometimes there is a vacancy and sometimes there isn't. But somehow they always manage to come at just the right time. Whenever she has an old cat, there always seems to be a young cat waiting in the wings to take up residency in its place, should something happen. This was the case with Quacker.

All my life there has been a cat or cats at her house. Some cats my mom inherited from her children, me included. But a lot have come to live here on their own, just appearing. Some have ended up staying for many, many years, living the rest of their lives out here with her. My mother has never turned one away. She is the patron saint of stray cats. I admire her for that.

Nobody ever knew how old Quacker was. He, too, just appeared one day about 18 or so years ago, already grown when he came. At one time my mother had five cats, Quacker among them I believe. Slowly, one by one, something happened to them: cancer, kidney failure, old age, arthritis, stroke. And then my mother was down to one cat: Quacker. He had always been an outdoor cat...until last year. She finally let him come in after all these years and after all her other cats and dogs were gone. And Quacker just thrived inside, loving every minute of it. He'd snuggle next to her in the recliner, clawing her when he'd purr; he'd sleep on her bed or on the big chair in the living room; he'd let you know when he wanted out; he'd let you know when he wanted in. And he had a purr you could hear in the next room. It truly sounded like a motor running. He got his name from the way he meowed. It sounded like a duck more than cat. Therefore he was called Quacker. But he was always laid back and calm.

Quacker developed a cataract last summer. It was the first real sign of his aging. But he was always fat. He was as big as a groundhog. Often times he was mistaken for one out in the driveway. He would sleep on top of mom's car, or anybody's car for that matter. He would lay in the sun and soak up the sunshine. He was a very laid back cat. It tickled me how he related to Barney, my dachshund. He was Barney's buddy, as you can see from the picture. They were big buddies. Whenever we'd come to visit mom, Barney would always go say hello to Quacker, tail wagging and tongue licking at Quacker's face until Quacker had had enough and swat at him. Quacker never put his claws out though. He wasn't afraid of Barney. He was almost as big as Barney! They got along really well. All you had to do was talk to Quacker and he'd purr and then he'd 'quack', and then Barney would interrupt because Barney would get jealous. He'd come over and lick, lick, lick at Quacker's face until he'd had quite enough of the dog tongue and then swat at Barney. But there were other times when all Barney had to do was lick at Quacker and Quacker would start purring, until he got tired of it that is. Sometimes they would even sleep on the couch together. It was funny. They never 'fought like cats and dogs'. They were really very good buddies.

Then back in May a kitten came to my mother's house. Again, it just appeared from out of nowhere. I thought it was strange that one would appear as there was not a 'vacancy' in her house. (I'm now wondering if cats don't have a sort of sixth sense that tells them when another one is about to pass on. That would explain a lot of her cats coming on the heels of another's passing or just before.) The kitten stayed outside. It was wild. My mother eventually tamed it and it is now a very playful and fun kitten who loves people and is Kevin's best buddy. Barney, on the other hand, thinks it's prey and wants to chase it and bark at it. It bows up its back and its tail gets all bushy like a Halloween cat when Barney goes after it, but then the kitten just comes right back for more. (They say curiosity killed the cat. Well, it's most definitely going to kill this one!)

Quacker did not like the new kitten, hissing and smacking at it. But the kitten would come right back for more, chasing Quacker's tail and pouncing on it, only to get smacked and hissed at by Quacker. Dislike for the new youngster was written all over Quaacker's face and tail. He'd put his ears back and twitch that tail like "go away, kid, you bother me". But the kitten didn't care. The kitten has a LOT to learn.

For the past week Quacker had been not quite himself. His eating had slowed a bit and yesterday he was not himself at all. He seemed almost disoriented. He would sort of walk in a circle like he didn't know exactly where he was or something. It was weird. He wouldn't jump up on the chair to sit next to mom. He wouldn't really talk when you'd talk to him. He was not his normal Quacker self. Mom was going to take him to the vet today, but she never got the chance. She let him out this morning and we have not seen him since. He was usually always asleep in the chair outside on her porch. Or he would be laying in the driveway soaking up the sun. Or he would be on the hood of the car asleep. But not today. He was nowhere to be found. He just vanished.

I've heard that animals will sometimes go off and find a place when it's their time to go. We believe that is what he did. He always came back, especially being as old as he was and finally getting to be in the house after all this time. He relished finally being in the house. There was something wrong. Something really wrong. We could tell. And we know in our hearts that he is gone.

Barney will miss his buddy. We'll all miss his spirit. We will miss his 'quack'. And we will miss his purring like no other cat you've ever heard. We will just plain miss him.

Here's to you Quacker. You were a good ol' cat. The most laid back cat I've ever known and definitely the one with the loudest purr. We'll see you again at the Rainbow Bridge.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Heat Is On....

Just popped in to say hello to everyone! I hope everyone is having a great summer.

The heat is about to get to us all here. This morning it was like walking out into a sauna (it's not the heat, but the humidity; but it's hot as it can be too!). Fall is just around the corner and we will be wishing for warmer weather before you know it. Change is inevitable. Sometimes welcome, sometimes not. I look forward to the cool weather change.


We've been having fun here in the mountains at Granny's. Going outside to play with the kitten who came to stay is now a favorite thing to do. Kevin will miss him when we go back home.

The kitty is growing up fast (as is Kevin). 'Tigger' now has a little belly on him that's really cute, but he's getting taller and longer now so his kitten belly will soon be gone. He follows Kevin around like a little puppy. It's really funny. He will even get his feet wet when Kevin fills up his wheelbarrow to play in it. I thought that was strange for a cat. Of course, this kitten will also pounce on anything that moves...feet especially. You have to be careful when you walk that you don't trip on him! He's a funny cat.


I've discovered that trying to get a child ready to go to kindergarten for the first time is the easy part. Trying to get myself ready for the big day is quite another story. More on this later when I have more time....


After much thought, I still cannot decide which picture to use for a new avatar. And I'm leaning more toward staying with what I've got (I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that Stephanie!). For now (or until I have more time to ponder this matter) I'm staying with what I already have.

Thank you for all your opinions and input. I appreciate it. I may end up going with the green onyx brios later on down the road, but for now you'll still be able to recognize me with the white dancing pearls and blue topaz avatar.

(Stephanie, I agree. Change is hard. I think I just like my avatar the way it is! :) )