Things that make you go hmmmm…

What do you get when you have two 11 year olds and a 14 year old and they have access to a means to videotape themselves, flashlights, makeup, and have mad editing skills?  You get the following video that they made at Lakeside.


Pretty nice sunset in the background.  If you ever need anything edited and set to music, I’ve got a 14 year old that will do it for you… for a price, I’m sure.





Friendship is a shining thing, a steady beam of light, 

A lantern on a lonely street, a song far in the night.

A smile, the touch of a loving hand, a quiet moment on a hill.

And oh, what a happy little child bringing home a daffodil.

Friendship is a happy time, throughout your whole long life.

Friends are those who listen and help you out in strife.

Two people, priceless, rolling down a hill.

And oh, what  happy little child bringing home a daffodil.

I remember some lovely nights by campfires with my Girl Scout friends singing that song (and the other 4 verses too).  It meant a lot to us then… way back when.  I don’t remember exactly where I learned the song, though I do think that some of the verses are ones I created.

But what really is a friend?  I found this “friendship pyramid” online.

The definitions of each level are thus:


The base is made up of acquaintances, friends of friends and people you think look vaguely familiar. Usually the denizens of this level are people that you have met for a few hours and then see them later you don’t know whether to let it be known that you know who they are, in case they think you are crazy or they don’t remember you. These people I like to give them the subtle, ‘what’s up nod’ nothing too formal. It acknowledges that you know each other but you are not inviting them over for tea and crumpets.

The second level is, school friends, classmates and work friends. These people are their own group mostly because we act a certain way around them. These people are cool to hang out with from 8-5 Monday through Friday, but inviting them out of this environment can cause problems. Especially if you are in a competitive company or class with them. Many people in this section seem to think that going out with you while not part of class or work is a hidden sign for them to become a covert ninja spy. Who only pretends to be cool until they can use the information that they have learned from you to their advantage. 

Level three is the transition phase. I like to think of it as friend limbo. This can be a good friend zone or a bad friend zone. Say that a member of the bottom two tiers has proved their awesomeness and you have deemed them eligible to compete to be in another tier. Then this is a good place for them to be. Or it could be bad. Say someone from the top two tiers has shown how unawesome they are, they can be kicked down to level three while their status is being reevaluated. 

Fourth level is the people that are not your best friends but are still pretty cool. These are the people that know you well enough that you feel you can be more of your self around. However you don’t go full on you around these people.   Ladies these are the women that you ask to go to the bathroom with you when you are at a party. The relationships you have with close friends greatly resemble love at times. People need to love you to want to hear about your strange neurosis and idiosyncrasies. Typically with this level you still need to have some set ‘plans’ about what you are going to do, rather than just be together.

The fifth level is for your best friends, siblings and family members that you are really close to. These people have something in common; they love you, even when they hate you. These people know that you are actually vulnerable and cry more than you let on.  These people are there even when you think that there is no one else. They will come and get you when you run out of gas, and they won’t even tell you that you are stupid.  These are the type of people that you feel comfortable lending money to in any situation. They are also the ones that know more about you than even you know.

The very tip of the friend pyramid is your Best Friend. This person you can go long times with out talking to but the second you see them it’s like no time has gone past. Ladies if you don’t know whom your very best friend is, since we tend to have 5 best friends. A best friend is someone you can  hang out with and have no plans and you still have fun because you are hanging out together. They can be polar opposites of you but you still get one another. 

(thanks to:


Soooooo… how many friends in each level do you have?  I know that I am really good at the acquaintances and work friend levels.  I know lots of people, I can recognize faces and remember them.  I am terrible at names, but I am good at face recall.  Heck, I can often even recall store cashiers, bank tellers, etc.

Level 4 is where things get iffy…  I have some of these types of friends.  Not many but a few.    However, I feel like that is where my pyramid levels off.  I really don’t have a best friend.  I certainly don’t have 5 as that author suggests.  By her definition of Best Friend, I might have one or two.  But my definition of best friend is a bit more complex.

How would I define a best friend?  That is hard to put into words.  A couple things do come to mind.  It is someone to whom you can vent as needed and will vent to you.  Someone you can call (at any time) and share your joys and tears.  Someone who will reciprocate.  Who calls you and thinks of you as a best friend too.  Someone who overlooks your “strength” and sees your needs and weaknesses and loves you anyways.  Someone who will be honest with you and you can be honest to as well.    Someone who truly listens to you, can hear your heart, can understand without words necessary.  Someone you can be connected to – emotionally & spiritually.    I’m sure I could think of more, but the biggest thing for me the reciprocity.  Not only do I need/want to have a best friend, I need/want to BE a best friend.   Back to that fringe living issue… maybe I am incapable?  Maybe because I am too “strong,” no one thinks I need them.  Maybe I am a terrible listener and I judge people (I try not to)?

Almost 12 years ago, something broke within me (and not just my ankle).  Since then I have really felt overwhelmingly alone most of the time.  I have cried more tears in the last 12 years of being “strong” than I cried in the 37 years before that (yeah, add those 2 number together and you get my age this summer… “new math” adds it up to 29).  Granted lots of things have gone wrong in my life since then that I could not control, which without a friend to bounce things off of and vent to and cry with exacerbates the feelings.  I tried really hard to make a friend once… opened up, got vulnerable, cried even… what happened… what I feared by being transparent… I was shot in the foot/stabbed in the back (insert analogy of your choice).

How do I feel when my spouse has long conversations almost weekly, sometimes daily with his friends?  I remember doing that in High School.  As an adult, or at least in my memory banks of the last 20 years, I have not had that luxury.  I feel cheated.  I don’t know what they talk about.  They are guys, they probably don’t share feelings and hurts.  Heck, I don’t know that guys ever share feelings.  But they at least talk.  Who do I talk to in a regular week?    With my voice:  my children, store clerks, girl scouts & parents, friends of my kids, sales people on the phone, work related people, volunteer related people.   With my fingers:  on-line friends – a few of which I have met in person,  I do treasure those people.  I would put some of them in that close friend level.

So how many friends do you have?

Random Rainy Thoughts

Rain, Rain, go away….

Come again another day…

Mommy and Esther want to play…

Rain, Rain, go away.


The garden is loving this rain.  The weeds are loving this rain.  Some of my thistle weeds are at least 3 foot tall.  I just can’t get them pulled faster than they can grow. Also, it means the grass will grow and that is generally an issue around here… getting it all mowed at the same time.  It will need to be all mowed before next Wednesday… good luck with that!

The gutters need cleaned because the rain is overflowing them inappropriately and thus making it wet in the basement.  However, cleaning the gutters in the rain does not sound like fun.  Hopefully that will get done this weekend.

3 of my kids are at camp this week.  Sleeping listening to the rain in a canvas tent or adirondack in the woods is great!  However, sloshing around camp trying to cook out or hike or do other activities gets old after a while in the rain.  Today is Thursday, they should be cooking out supper tonight… the rain could clear up a bit and the sun come out to allow the wood to dry.  Though, I’m proud to say that my 2 counselor daughters are masters of camping and pretty much RULE the woods.  They have learned, from all their years of camping, to carry sassafras in their backpacks so they can start a fire anywhere, anytime, and usually with just one match!  Someday one of them will be on Survivor.  Though, I fear, that Abi is too much of a “leader” for Survivor and would get voted off early.  Still it would be fun to watch her on the show.  She has watched almost every episode over the years.   🙂

Since it is raining, the pool I was supposed to vacuum today will have to wait till tomorrow.  It isn’t so urgent that standing in the rain next to an electric cord is something I want to do.

Somehow the rain caused power loss at about 5:30am.  Our lines are buried to the house, so any power loss happens down stream from us.  Not sure what happened, but turning off computers and all those beeping battery backups at 5:30am was just barrels of fun!  NOT!  Power was restored about 2 hours later.

I guess the rain will allow Esther and I to wash dirty clothes and clean up inside today.  Maybe today would be a great day to cook something new from our Little House cookbook.  I’ll have to see what sounds good.

It is too early to start preparing for the 4th of July festivities.  If I made the Chex Mix today, it would just be consumed before then and I’d have to make more.  As it is, I will have to make at least 4 batches so that there is enough for the whole week.

Rain isn’t a bad thing.  Sometimes it is inconvenient, but we need the water.   Maybe if it does clear up today Esther and I can go out to play.  There is a mini golf place we have wanted to try.   😉

Half Way

It has been 6 months since Christmas…

Only 6 months until Christmas…

So… those Christmas decorations still up in my house… I’m just a wee bit early.     😉

Lately, I’ve not been a huge fan of Christmas, especially all the preparation and energy it requires.  Some in my house (and some friends) are Christmas fanatics and honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear them whistling “Joy to the World” today.

Who remembers when Russ & I led THE BEST group at Outpost and did a Christmas theme for the week?   Our Bible stories/lessons all focused on how we could take on characteristics of each person in the nativity story.  We gave gifts to neighboring groups – even when they gifted us with trash.  We sang carols and had a wonderful week in Outpost B.  Good Times.  As a rule, I didn’t like counseling (preferring to stay at my pool) but back then you had  to go out and counsel some as well.  Smaller staffs but same number of kids.  We did double duty most of the time and helped each other out.

I am not going to rush out and start my Christmas shopping… I used to shop all year round but that was when the kids were little and you could stock pile on toys… not anymore… their toys  are just more expensive electronic things now.   I don’t do Black Friday or Saturday or Sunday.  I will do some shopping online… but not for many months yet.  I won’t put away the ceramic Christmas trees that are still up and plugged into the timer, because they serve as a night light for late night trips to the bathroom (not me, Wayne).

Christmas12 027

But, I will tell you that if you want a personal Christmas stocking – personalized with your name and a design (within reason) that means something to you – I would take orders.  I’m thinking that $25 would be reasonable – that would include the yarn, my time, and postage.  If you want to pay more, that would be fine too.

Garden – week 4

Thought I’d share an update on the garden.  It has been 4 weeks since we planted it.

Here is what it looks like today.


The pepper plants have grown nicely and we even have some peppers starting to grow.DSCF1583

The tomatoes have really flourished and there is a teeny one there too!


Remember we just planted seeds for the cucumbers, pumpkins and sunflower seeds?  Welp… look at them now!


Cucumbers in the foreground, pumpkins behind, sunflowers along the fence.

So far, so good with the garden this year.  Gotta get a piece to fix the hose so it can be longer for easier watering and then we’ll be in even better business.     🙂

How to Crash a Birthday Party


We went to church and sang hymns and prayed.. you know the stuff you do at church.  After church we went to Grandma’s.  We went to Grandma’s because we had to get stone things.  The stone things are for the ramp outside.   While we were at Grandma’s, I learned that my cousin was having a birthday party.  So I though to myself, “I should ask if I can stay here and go to the party with Grandma and crash it.”  I asked what time the party was.  But, Grandma didn’t know.   I told Grandma to call Uncle Kevin to find out when the party is.  She didn’t call right away.  I had to beg her.  We went outside to get the stone thingys and put them in the car.  Grandma said I could stay to go to the party.   After that, my family left for home and I went inside with Grandma and we had lunch.  I had a leftover bean burrito and she had leftover pork.  After that we went to K-mart to buy a present and Grandma had to get toilet paper.  It was on sale at K-mart. We bought my cousin a toy that is sorta like a bay-blade with a pully thing but it has a wheel and shoots up.  I don’t remember what it is called.    The party was from 4-6.  When we got home from K-mart it was 1pm.  We read for a while – I read some short kiddy books, Grandma was reading on the swing thing.  When she came in, she sent me back out to get the phone because she must have carried it out with her and forgot it outside.  Once she was inside, we turned on the TV and watched “Toddlers and Tiaras.”   We watched that until it was time to go.  Then we went over to Uncle Kevin’s house.

When we got there, I ducked down so no one could see me.  Grandma went ahead into the party.  A couple minutes later I came out of the car and went around to the back yard where they all were.  I went in through the gate and I said, “I’m here to crash the party!”    After that, me, my cousins and his other party friends went into the yard and played with water balloons and squirters and had a water war.  I got soaking wet.

The Avengers Cake Kit


1.  Find out when the party is.  If you have a grandma call, be sure she doesn’t ask if you can come along, that kinda spoils the surprise.

2.  Buy a present

3.  Go to the party but hide in the car while your “advance” person goes in (in  my case, Grandma)

4.  The advance person must tell them that you decided not to come (unless they didn’t “spill the beans” before hand… my Grandma spilled the beans.)

5.  Wait a few minutes in the car.

6.  Sneak around the house to where the party is.

7.  Say something like “I’m here to crash your party!”

8.  Play games

9. Sing Happy Birthday!

10. Eat cake



June 22

What happened on this day in history?

June 22, 1611 – Henry Hudson & son set adrift in Hudson Bay by mutineers  (probably why the bay is named after him???)

June 22, 1633 –  “The Holy Office in Rome forces Galileo Galilei to recant his scientific view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe.”          Um…. Holy Office in Rome, I think you were maybe a wee bit wrong.  Maybe next time listen to smart scientists.

June 22, 1772 – Slavery outlawed in England.       Took it a few years (almost 100) to get that outlawed across the Atlantic though.  Bummer.

June 22, 1808 –  Zebulon Pike reaches his peak.   Again probably why it is called Pike’s Peak?  I’ve no desire to climb it, thanks.

June 22, 1847 – Doughnut created.     Was the creator Mr. Duncan or Mr. Krispy?

June 22, 1911 – King George V of England crowned.  My husband would know how this relates to the current queen… and I could “google” it, but it isn’t really that important to me.  I’m thinking based on the dates that it is her dad.

June 22, 1936 – Virgin Islands receives a constitution from US.    I’ve been there.  They are lovely, not so much during hurricane season, I’m sure.  It was a nice place to visit though.

June 22, 1941 – Finland invades Karelia.  I have no clue where Karelia was… nor am I googling that tonight either.

June 22, 1963-  “Giovanni Cardinal Montini elected Pope by the College of Cardinals, and takes the name Pope Paul VI.”  Really??   But that certainly didn’t over shadow this!


June 22, 1963 – Kathryn Dailey weds Paul Zagray

50 years ago today, my parents were married.  Of course, the next 50 years did not go all as dreamed for that young couple.  They had a baby the next year – not necessarily the timing they wanted but I certainly appreciate it.   😉     They had another baby in 1968 – planned but… uh-oh… another baby 15 months later – not necessarily the timing they expected.   They settled in North Canton and raised these children with love and joy.  It was a great family.  They had fun together (OK, maybe the first born didn’t have quite as much fun “together” with the later borns, but still…).

In 1982-83, the dream began to unravel.  Multiple Sclerosis entered the family.  A very unwelcome guest.  A guest that came and stayed and did its damage.  It affected everyone differently in how we dealt with it.  The dream of a 25th wedding anniversary trip to Hawaii never happened – thanks to MS.  The dream of holding grandchildren and taking them camping and boating, never happened.  The dream of seeing all of your children wed, never happened.  The dream of being together for 50 years and having a great party with all of your family and friends gathered around, never happened.

What did happen?  Well, MS took dad in 1993 just 2 months before his first grandchild was born.  Since then everyone has gotten married.  There are now 9 grandchildren.  When the whole family is together for holidays we still have a great time.  Is there a hole in our family – you bet.  Would we go back and change things if we had the power?  OF COURSE!  But… has mom/grandma done her very best to be the best grandma and grandpa the kids could ever have?  ABSOLUTELY!  Would the 2 of them have been THE MOST AWESOME grandparents ever, yes they would have.  But that is not how reality worked out.   Do we miss Dad everyday?  Some days more than others?  Who wouldn’t?

50 years later, this is now the family created by that lovely young couple:


I created a photo book for mom celebrating and chronically the last 50 years.  You can see it here:

We did celebrate.  It is still the 50th anniversary of mom’s wedding, even if she no longer has dad physically beside her.  So we had a garage sale this weekend.  OK, that isn’t really celebrating.



But 2/3 of us were there for dinner tonight and she even got a special cake.  Not as special as her wedding cake, but pretty special to her because a granddaughter made it for her.

Happy 50th Anniversary Mom!  We wish Dad were here too!  We love you!!