What IS it that you DO all day??????????

Ever notice how some things just happen to catch your eye?  If I didn’t know that my home was already targeted (can I still use that word? ……little insider joke for the political junkies!) as a “nut” house I would have bought this framed saying right then and there!

Given to me by Jo (sister)……thinks I have a sense of humor

It really is quite funny how pictures have a way of telling a story, and when I ended my last post, I alluded to a certain “shark tooth” incident.  Actually, now that I am recalling this particular family moment, I am regretting that I did not think how perfectly the above frame would fit in at Stephanie and Joe’s house.  LOL   The “insanity” all began at a family cook-out at Stephanie’s a couple of weeks ago.  Everyone had finished eating and seven of the grandkids were playing upstairs while the adults were all gathered in the living room with Mayce and Josh casually discussing a little sports, a little pop culture and a whole lot of politics when we suddenly hear the faint sound of someone crying.  The sound soon crescendoed into a wail and we began to hear shouts of , “There’s a shark’s tooth stuck in his head!!”.  Recognizing the cry as Tommy’s, Stephanie jumped up from her chair and ran over to the stairway as Tommy, now screaming quite loudly, with Natalie and several other kids right behind him, descended the stairs.  As he reached the bottom step, Stephanie scooped him up just as Christopher, Joe, Jennifer and Megan gathered around.  Stephanie, having heard “shark’s tooth” and “stuck in head” warns Chris and everyone not to try to pull it out and begins to take a step toward the front door to race him to the ER when Natalie’s voice is finally heard above the din, “No, no, it’s not stuck in his head……………………it’s stuck on his head!!”  Now mind you, I was observing all of this from just across the room as I figured a firefighter/EMT  son and a soon to be RN daughter were quite capable of assessing the situation, but I must admit that even I, in the chaos of the moment,  had a sudden vision of  patients being treated with

impaled objects on re-runs of “Untold Stories of the ER” flashing through my mind as I created this picture of a “huge” tooth piercing the top of poor little Tommy’s head.  Well, as everyone finally heard the word “on“, a calmness settled over the “asylum”.   It was at last discovered that the clasp to a tiny (may I emphasize tiny) shark tooth necklace that Joe’s Mom and Dad had just given to Tommy upon their return from Florida, had simply gotten tangled up in Tommy’s hair when he had tried to put it on over his head and…………….I guess…………..it hurt!!!!!!!!…………………  A lot!!!!!!!! That should have been the end of the evening’s drama, but oh no, not more than ten minutes later Josh, who was being uncharacteristically whiny and touchy, unexpectedly threw up all over Christopher, the floor and a chair.  If you ever want to clear a room………….Josh did it effortlessly!  LOL

Honestly, you simply can not make these things up!  And now……… I will turn my attention to Jay (as Stephanie breathes a sigh of relief) who asked me an interesting question when I was out to dinner with him and the Schutheis sibs several weeks ago.  As I remember, the two of us were seated across the table from one another, I can’t clearly recall exactly the context in which the subject came up, perhaps it was a reference by me or someone about my 1/2 day/week job :), but Jay mischievously looked at me and asked, “What is it that you do all day?”   LOL.  At the time, I had no real answer.  I have thought about it off and on since then and have considered having someone follow me around with a video camera for a week, just so that I could honestly answer that question.  My kids, however,  would probably tell him that I am so engrossed in searching the internet for political articles the whole live long day that I hardly ever remember to put on that “boiling pot of water” and that may be pretty close to the truth, but of course, we all know that I am a much more well-rounded person than that……LOL…………….I am, after all, a Mom, a Nana, a sister, an in-law, a “dreamcrusher” aunt, a niece, an employee, a co-worker, a friend and most of all…………………………………………………………………a nut!!!  I do thank Jay for the inquiry, as it at least provided me the title to my blog :)!

After re-reading that last paragraph, I realized that I had mentioned the “p” word which is my cue that I may now inject some politics into my personal blog.  Don’t worry, it will be brief.  I just have to share that the Romney/Ryan campaign was here on Saturday and, of course, yours truly was in attendance.  It was an early morning rally and since they were appearing at a park near where Kathy & Jo both live, they both decided to join me.  Kathy said that the last time she had gone to a Presidential campaign rally was back in 1968 when Hubert Humphrey was running against Nixon!   How times have changed!  As we stood in the early morning sun with a crowd of about 5,000 to see a bit of history up close & in person, much like Kathy did in the late sixties, exercising our  First Amendment right to freedom of  speech and freedom of  assembly, I was struck by how fortunate we are as Americans.   To be among a crowd of many, listening to two little girls from St. Catherine’s grade school recite the Pledge of Allegiance and to watch an honor guard as they carried the flag to the stage to be  followed by the singing of the National Anthem, reminds one of not only the blessings of this free nation of ours, but also of the enormous responsibility to preserve the freedoms for which so many of our fellow countrymen paid the ultimate price………………………………… I am coming down from my “soapbox” now………………..with one final note…………after Romney and Ryan’s speeches I decided to squeeze through the crowd to edge closer to the area where the candidates were greeting the “folks” ( to quote an over-used term of the President…….right, Christine?!).   I managed to get to the barrier just as Paul Ryan  was making his way toward the exit and as he was approaching me, I reached into my pocket to try to hand him a Buckeye leaf sticker, when suddenly the young person standing next to me (and I will only state that she was a “she, an African-American, and in her twenties in order to dispel any remaining myths about the racist, anti-woman, elderly GOP………………………stifle thyself, Mare………….I hear you Crick!!) stopped Ryan right in front of me and asked her friend on the other side of me to snap a picture of her and Ryan.  After she got her picture Ryan was moved along by the Secret Service to the next group and I was only able to get this picture to show just how close I was to the future VP :).

I guess that now having read this entire blog post, some of you may be wondering where you might be able to purchase the Insane Asylum frame so that you can hang it on my front door.   Well, save your hard-earned money………………………..I am trying to work harder at following some of Mother Theresa’s infamous quotes:

 I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.

I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.

People are unrealistic, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

Spread the love of God through your life but only use words when necessary.  (emphasis mine)



P.S.  Trust me……………….. ..I am really, really focusing on the last two :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


A Little Bit Of This And That

What could possibly be the significance of these two pictures?  Well, for one, my Mom loved butter mints and so for Christmas she would often get one of these tins as a gift.  I honestly cannot remember how it came to be that I became the owner of one of her empty tins, but I soon found a use for it.  Inside this small tin box are the sole contents of my sewing supplies that have been with me for over almost forty years.  Can you see all of the light blue, the yellow, the red, the green,and the brown colored spools of thread?  They are part of an original beginner’s sewing kit that was composed of these various colored spools as well as a small assortment of sewing needles.  The kit was a gift from my Aunt Margaret (also my Godmother) given to me soon after my wedding.  Of course she could not possibly have known that the only spools of thread I would ever need would be white and black! (reference previous blog post regarding comments from Sophia (age 7) about the unfashionable choice of my white and black wardrobe).   Oh, and just maybe, I might have occasionally used a portion of the blue or maroon colored thread to hem an errant I.C. or Watterson school uniform……yes, my daughters, contrary to your memory of those days……you were not always sent off to school with safety pins holding your hems in place.  While it was an admittedly rare occurrence,  I did manage, once or twice :), to successfully “thread the needle” as I proceeded on the elusive path toward one day proclaiming myself a “domestic goddess”.  (You can be sure that Crick is having a good laugh at that thought!  LOL).  And now, as preparations have begun to send seven of the grandchildren back to school, and as I am being reminded of those uniform days of yesteryear, suddenly this random thought popped into my mind (shocker!)…………..perhaps the real reason that Jennifer, Megan and Stephanie eventually dropped out of Girl Scouts was the fact that all of their hard-earned scout badges laid haphazardly in a dresser drawer waiting for that magical moment when their Mom would open up the “butter mint tin”, reach for the green or brown thread (the thread that is still in the tin) and actually sew them onto their respective uniforms.  Hopefully, they now recognize that their OCD mother was probably too busy “remaking” their beds, re-arranging their closet and…………….boiling that pot of water!  Truth be told, years ago after I had laboriously attempted to sew a military patch onto one of Crick’s uniforms, he informed me that rather than endure the humiliation of appearing at drill adorned with several “crooked” emblems on his uniform, he would henceforth take over any and all sewing requirements.  As you can clearly see, that decision of long ago to forgo Home Ec in high school has left me sorely lacking in certain “motherly” skills…………..however, I do know how to mow, rake, thatch, edge, trim hedges, weed and shovel!

With summer drawing to a close, I have finally made good on my promise to the grand-kids to take them two by two for a special evening and overnight stay.  I did decide that the four middle ones: Natalie, Sophia, Sydney and Tommy (ages 8, 7, 5 and 4 1/2) were close enough in age to be able to enjoy the same type of outing, and so they all packed their bags for a “camp-out” in the living room after taking a trip to the movies to see the latest Ice Age flick.  Of course

Sophia, Natalie, Sydney

we couldn’t walk by the concession stand without stopping and, after they all had made their selection, the grand total for the snacks exceeded the amount it had cost me to pay for the tickets!   The next morning I took them all to morning Mass (the price they pay for spending the night with Nana……..LOL) and they each lit a candle at the Blessed Virgin shrine………..nothing like fire to ignite an interest in heavenly affairs :).  When we returned home after a trip to Tim Horton’s, they were all looking for something to play and so I suggested that  they could play “house” choosing someone to be the Mom, the Dad, etc.  A little while later I saw a couple of them crawling around the floor, moving from room to room…………apparently, no one wanted to be “the kid” hence…………a household of pets.  I only later learned from Tommy, that when they were playing house


he and Natalie had chosen to be…………………………………….the power of Nana and Papa!  I am not exactly sure what type of “power” he and Natalie were referring to, all I could think of was that my “part” was being played by my very “progressive” granddaughter (reference previous post about Natalie breaking the outdoor spigot,  flooding the basement and, in her own hysterical words, “wasting the environment”!).   Since my two by two idea did not allow for Olivia, the oldest, to have a companion, she will be joined later this week by Tori her second cousin (or is it her first cousin, once removed?)   See what happens when you are fifteen years older than your sister?……..you end up having nieces as young as your grandchildren!  Even Tori gets confused sometimes and refers to me as Nana instead of as her Aunt!  Not too sure what the two of them might have in mind for an outing, maybe I can talk them into the go-carts that I have been wanting to ride all summer long!

Did you notice how I slipped the term progressive into the blog?  I did that so as to lead into this next part of this post.  Last weekend, I participated in the “Protecting God’s Children” workshop that is required by the diocese for anyone who wishes to volunteer in the Catholic schools.  Since six of the nine grandchildren will be attending I.C. this year, I wanted to be ready to help out when needed.  Naturally, I arrived a few minutes late :) and everyone was already seated.  As I glanced around the room, I saw a familiar face and realized it was Maureen a teacher, a (ahem!) Democrat, and a friend of Crick’s from Glacier Ridge.  Maureen, along with another GLE teacher, Lauren (and, ahem!, a Democrat), came to the hospital shortly after Crick had learned of his diagnosis, bringing with them a huge bag full of get-well wishes from all of the GLE students.  Since there happened to be an empty seat at her table I slithered over and sat down.  During one of the breaks she shared with me that she had been at school earlier that week setting up her classroom and had thought of how Crick used to come into her room admonishing her about the staples that were falling onto the floor waiting to inflict injury on tiny little feet!  I love it when others so easily share their thoughts of Crick, as it reminds me of how his affectionate, kind hearted and teasing nature played a role in their lives.  Maureen and Lauren were two among many of the GLE teachers with whom Crick often shared his political views and, while the good-natured discussions did not persuade anyone to change sides, Crick definitely enjoyed these “debates”.   Knowing this, Maureen proceeded to show me the wallpaper for her i-phone……………………………no, no, no………………of course, it was the other two……………..I just could not bear to have their pictures on my blog (and this gives me an excellent opportunity to promote the right side  LOL)!  Not only did she have the President and VP on her i-phone, she also showed me a photo of her two aunts who happen to be Catholic nuns, who had their picture taken with Biden.  Not to be outdone, I showed Maureen the elephant charm that Megan gave me for my Pandora bracelet on Mother’s Day.  As we talked I made a reference to the fact that to live in Clintonville is to be surrounded by the other side.  LOL  This reality was recently corroborated when I took the grand-kids to a popular neighborhood children’s bookstore.  When I mentioned the name of the bookstore, Maureen immediately expressed how it is one of her favorites (she teaches kindergarten) ……………………..I shouldn’t have been surprised…….  case in point……I quite innocently came across these two books which were displayed at the check-out counter and upon reading the back covers, I discovered that proceeds of the sale were going to the Democratic Party!   Nuff said because we all know how I could go on……………..and on…………..and on…………..and on :).  Maureen, if you are reading this blog…………………..I wish you and your students a wonderful year and I thank you for providing me with an excuse to share the story  and these pictures!

I just remembered a really funny family incident to tell about Stephanie, Tommy  and a shark’s tooth, but that will have to wait until another post.

I will close now with this last thought and hope that you will find something of value in it for the coming days:

It is good that you recognize your weakness.  That keeps you looking to Me, your Strength.  Abundant life is not necessarily health and wealth; it is living in continual dependence on Me.  Instead of trying to fit this day into a preconceived mold, relax and be on the lookout for what I am doing.  This mind-set will free you to enjoy Me and to find what I have planned for you to do.  This is far better than trying to make things go according to your own plan.

Don’t take yourself so seriously.  Lighten up and laugh with Me.  You have Me on your side so what are you worried about?  I can equip you to do absolutely anything as long as it is My will.  The more difficult your day, the more I yearn to help you.  Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts.  When you look to me and whisper My name, you break free and receive My help.  Focus on Me and you will find Peace in My Presence.                               from Jesus Calling

There is nothing that I cannot do in the One who strengthens me.                  Philippians 4:13


P.S.  I have Cam Newton and Ray Rice as my top two picks in our Fantasy Football League…………I am after that trophy that has escaped me for the past three years!

P.P.S.  Did anyone notice anything different in this blog?  Jennifer?…………hint…………..it has to do with punctuation that you have often chided me about!  (Darn, I try to correct my punctuation and end the blog post with a preposition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

A Blast From The Past

I saw this comic the other day and thought “oh my gosh, it was written about me and Crick”!!!  The only changes that would be needed in the above scenario would be to, substitute our home for the office location, and put Crick in the place of  Cathy’s character and me in the place of her warm-natured co-worker.  For no matter the season…..the indoor temperature in our home was always, always, always a topic for “discussion”, and necessitated a continual resetting of the thermostat when one or the other of us was not looking!!  Early in our relationship, I would marvel at Crick’s seeming lack of awareness of the cold as he would pick me up for a date in the middle of winter without wearing any type of coat.  When I would be walking next to him with my teeth chattering, my body shivering and my shoulders hunched up as the cold wind whipped around us, he would advise me, in his always over the top optimistic way, to simply take a big, deep breath, relax my entire body and quit fighting against the elements.  I confess that my stubbornness prevented me from ever admitting to him that, for a few brief minutes, his method actually did help a little, but the very next blast of cold air would cause the tension in my body to rebuild and I would start the chattering and shivering all over.  During the first few years of our marriage, he would come into the bedroom and open up every window to let in the “fresh” air that was supposed to provide a great night’s sleep and be “oh so good for me” which, of course, would set off another “Main Street Incident” discussion!  Soooooo, how did we come to the situation where I could not tolerate warmth and he could no longer tolerate the cold??

Tupperware Parties…..the 1st direct marketing technique of the ’60’s

I am thinking that motherhood had something to do with my transition from being a “cold-natured” individual to a “warm-natured” one………I believe it all began perhaps, when my blood would start to do a slow boil when I would come down to breakfast at 6:30 in the morning with my four wonderful :) little children who would then proceed to argue over what color of Tupperware bowl they were going to eat their cereal from, who was looking at whom, who was crunching in whose ear, who was sitting in which chair, why so and so was given the last of the Fruit Loops, etc., etc., etc.  And, then that “boiling blood” would spill over (why is “boiling” so much a part of my conversations???) as their Dad would make a momentary appearance and utter that well-known sentence that has haunted me for over thirty years about how I should “just be glad that I was able to get out of bed and put two feet on the floor”.   But of course, I am only being my usual facetious (I tried four different spellings, before I got that word right!) self, as I realize the real reason for the temperature switch was that once the physiology of my own body began to change, Crick simply willed his metabolism to slow down, just so that he could continue to do battle with me!!  LOL  Fortunately, for some strange, inexplicable reason,  while we always seemed to be at odds with each other over the most insignificant of life’s issues, we somehow managed to remain rock solid on the most important ones :).

And speaking of Tupperware…………………………….as I was looking on the internet (note to nieces and nephews…. a.k.a. “google”!) to find a picture of the now infamous bowls which created such early morning battles in the Schultheis household, I came across this link:  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_162-20033611-1039.  It is an old 60 Minutes clip from the 70’s detailing the new direct marketing phenomenon that was introduced by Tupperware.  I think you will discover it to be quite a “blast from the past”.  While I never became a “Tupperware hostess”, I confess to attending my share of “parties”, but I don’t ever remember being required to participate in the goofy games that preceded the sales pitch.  I can still remember my Mom, a “stay at home Mother” at one time attempting to sell Fuller Brush supplies from home and later on trying her hand at selling Sarah Coventry Jewelry ………..because being a Mother to eleven children wasn’t enough :)!………….(or maybe, because it was enough!…..LOL).  And soooooo, Jennifer, Stephanie and Christopher…………….you come by your entrepreneurial  spirit quite honestly, from not only the Schultheis side of the family, but also from your Grandmother’s side (the Heubel’s).  Megan and I, on the other hand, are Clark clones, ……………………….that is, we stick to our comfort zone even when that comfort zone might be screaming at us to “get the heck out of Dodge”………and that is because the two of us have a need to know why, where and what “Dodge” is and we don’t want to risk seeing what is around the other corner unless we are convinced that the grass really is greener!!   Oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh nnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooo, I feel a political comment welling up inside of me at the mere thought of the word “entrepreneur”.   I can hear Crick yelling in my ear, “Stifle Mare, Stifle, Stifle!!  “Try not to think of the President’s recent comment about “If you’ve got a business, you, you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.”  “You will cause everyone’s eyes to roll, so just put that “p” thought right out of your mind.”

Thank you to Crick for saying what was on the tip of my tongue……………….I can now just blame him for echoing my thoughts.   Oh dear, now the word “blame” is conjuring up more political commentary.  How does that happen so easily?  Time to switch over to less controversial topics, such as…………………..family LOL!!!

It seems as though we are all maintaining a high alert status since the last storm passed through here and turned the lights out on many of us for several days.  Just last week, the local news was indicating that another similar storm was headed our way with strong winds which could potentially create another mass power outage.  Can you say “PANIC”???  Facebook friends were posting all sorts of worried comments and pretty soon I could see the sky darkening and the trees begin to sway back and forth when all of a sudden the phone rings………………………it is Stephanie’s number and so I “cautiously” pick up my phone.  Tommy’s four-year old voice is on the other end, he begins by saying, “Nana???”……………..I feel myself take a deep breath and immediately my “glass half-empty” thought is, “Oh no, their power is out!!” (note from previous blog………..during the last storm Tommy and family were my house guests for five days!! LOL).  And so, I begin by asking Tommy if their electricity is out and he reassures me that they still have their power (whew!), he just wants me to know that he has a lantern ready and in case I lose power, he will bring it right over.  Gotta love that little guy!  He must have been pretty disappointed that the one time he was prepared, the big storm never materialized.  (Thank goodness).   I have promised the grandchildren that I would take them in smaller groups  to do something fun and then have them spend the night.  So far, with the power outage, vacation and their summer activities, I have only managed to have Luke and Sam (see picture :) ), the others are patiently awaiting their turn, but with  summer quickly coming to a close, we will have to choose sometime sooner rather than later.  The two boys and I picked one of the rare cool evenings several weeks ago to go to Magic Mountain so they could play miniature golf, ride the bumper boats and try out the indoor climbing play area.   Sydney, Tommy, Sophia and Natalie are next in line, but this weekend Natalie is busy with an Irish dance competition at the annual Dublin Irish Festival.  I may have to remind Sydney, however, that she is on temporary probation (LOL) for another one of her “innocent” comments which she made to me a few days ago.  We were discussing who was going to bring something I needed down from an upstairs bedroom and I explained that since my legs were older than hers, she should be the one to go and get it.  Of course, the subject came up as to how old my legs were, and I, wanting to impress upon her how much younger she was than I, and thus quite capable of climbing the stairs, factually replied that my legs were 63 years old.  Without blinking an eye, she says to me, “So………………………………you are going to die!”  What????!!!!!  How on earth do I ever maintain my self-confidence when I have my very own grandchildren critiquing the choice of colors I wear, the length of my hair, the reason for applying my make-up (reference previous blogs), and now for the fact that I apparently have one foot in the grave!!  LOL

Actually, Sydney may not be so off the mark, as my mind, at least, does seem to be aging…………I have been making a habit out of showing up for my 1/2 day/week job on days that we are not working.  You may wonder, how that could possibly happen.  Well, this summer our schedule at my Tuesday afternoon office has been operating on a more flexible schedule, and so after I returned from vacation, I arrived at the office on a Tuesday and the gals at the front desk looked up as I entered the door and asked, with what I sensed was a twinge of pity,  what was I doing there.   I said, “Well, it is Tuesday, isn’t it?”  And, shaking their heads, they explained to me what I should have already known had I kept a calendar handy, that the doctors were not seeing patients that day, and so I should go home and return the next Tuesday.  This week, thinking that I had my collective self all back together, I again ventured to my Tuesday job, pulled into the parking lot and not seeing anyone’s cars, thought to myself, “Oh no, is this the 5th Tuesday of the month?”.  And, of course, it was……………………………………………the doctors never see patients at this office on the 5th Tuesday of any month!!!  As I sat there, I did think to myself that at least I didn’t go into the office, and therefore, no one would know that I had made the same mistake twice in one month.  I was just getting ready to pull the car out of the parking lot, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw Terri, the scheduling coordinator, walking over to my car, once again shaking her head and grinning from ear to ear.  Terri said her lips are sealed, but it looks like I have blown my own cover!  All I can say is that both of the days that I was there on the wrong day…………..family, are you listening??…………………..I was right on time!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL  Is tomorrow Friday?  I think I am working tomorrow at my other 1/2 day/every other week job…………………………………I think!! :)



P.S.  As I always like to share some inspiration that has helped me on my life journey, I turned the page on my daily devotional and found this for August 3rd…………..I think many of my family will be reminding me to refer back to this page often :)…………

Watch your words diligently.  Words have such great power to bless or to wound.  When you speak carelessly or negatively, you damage others as well as yourself.  This ability to verbalize is an awesome privilege, granted only to those I created in My image.  You need help in wielding this mighty power responsibly.  Though the world applauds quick-witted retorts, My instructions about communication are quite different:  Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.  Ask My spirit to help you whenever you speak.  Simply apply this discipline to communicating with the people around you.  If they are silent, pray before speaking to them.  If they are talking, pray before responding.  Just a split second prayer will put you in touch with My Presence.  In this way, your speaking comes under the control of My spirit.                             Jesus Calling

Know this my dear brothers:  everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God.                                 James 1:19

P.P.S. Gulp!!!!  To anyone I may have offended in this blog…………..mea culpa!!

P.P.P.S  I will try harder to be good! :)