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Mar. 25th, 2012

sheep, Shadymutton


Trouble seems to follow you.
It finds you everywhere. 
Then it takes advantage,
'Cause it knows you're always there. 

You say that there's no reason
To be in this mess you're in. 
You think you have it all cleared up -
And here it comes again. 

Lookin' for trouble,
Now you're gonna find it. 
You can't get ahead....
'Cause you know... 
You're behind it. 

Mar. 2nd, 2011

sheep, Shadymutton

Under-Employed & Over-Educated

I’ve come to find that sometimes an education/experience play against you when looking for work.  I am 48 years old, I have 13 years in Commercial Arts, I have raised my children, I have a college education, nine years experience specializing in Deaf Education and Sign Language... and I lost my job 2 years ago. Now schools all over Ohio are in a financial crunch, hiring freezes are everywhere... there are no jobs to be found.

Teachers are applying for Aide jobs, and being turned down.  Good experienced teachers are being laid-off in the upcoming year due to budget issues.   I have Teachers & Principals tell me that they would LOVE to have me work in their schools...that my skills are needed by not just the Hearing Impaired, but other students of need... but no job is ever offered – their hands are tied…..

They can't hire.

  I’ve applied for other jobs.  Jobs in office work, retail, phone services… they see my education, job experience and my age… and they don't think I'll stay if they hire me.  They tell me,

“ I’m over-educated”, or


 “I won’t feel challenged”.

“Perhaps I should go back to college and get MORE education.”


 (Because the one I have is serving me so well.)


Well, I finally did get work - one night a week at the local IGA....

I'm a check out girl working for minimum wage, 6 – 8 hrs a week. 

This is insane.  There are children who need my services... I need a job - and time is passing us all by while someone tries to work out the details.

It’s just shameful.

What a waste.

A waste of my education

(Which my children and I struggled through for years to accomplish after my divorce…

I kept telling them it was worth it because…

“Education is important; it’s the key to our future.”

And a waste for these kids who are not getting the education they could be , no…SHOULD be getting - because someone like me is not there.

We owe those kids more. I owe my own kids more. 


Way to


~Thank you for tolerating my rant.~

Aug. 24th, 2010

sheep, Shadymutton

Oh Happy Day!

Can you believe it!? Now we can all celebrate our 'Black Sheepedness" wearing a 'Mutton Button'...or maybe a T-shirt, or an apron or snappy mug. ROFL! Is there ANYTHING that can't be found on the internet??
I am certainly not expecting anyone to buy this stuff - but thought I'd let you all know - You too can be a product! Have fun w/ it, buy and sell a friend..LOL.


Sep. 28th, 2009

sheep, Shadymutton


A pen in my hand,
Blank page in my lap,
So many thoughts in my head.

I can't find the words,
To clear up my mind,
So maybe I'll see what I said.


There's a point in the writing process for me where I have to sift through the multitude of ridiculous, practical, humorous, sad and random subjects in constant rotation on this lazy-suzanne in my head.  Sometimes a topic will jump right up front and holler "Pick me! Pick me!"  Other times I could swear they are all working together, helping each other hide behind a big bottle of "Corny" starch.   And then there's today - "Subject Soup".  Lots of stuff sitting on the stove waiting for its turn to jump in, but not enough flavor to any of them.  Maybe if I let it simmer a while I can stir up some "Story Stew", and there will be a little more meat and potatoes in the mix. Time to grab my apron and get cooking.


Sep. 24th, 2009

sheep, Shadymutton

All Aboard!

All Aboard!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it seems our economy has taken quite a hit as of late. Like a flood, the effects of this tend to start in the basement, and work their way up the stairs.

I thought I had done what I needed to do. I had built a boat from a college education, and sailed into service in public education, which should be fairly secure even in dangerous seas of recession. I was staying afloat failrly well until two weeks ago, when the recession affected the family of my student. This family found themselves out of work, without a lifeboat and forced to move. My boat sprung a leak. No student = no job.

Rumors of the families move floated around for a couple of weeks, bringing with it something I hadn’t seen since my divorce. I found myself looking Panic in the face. At first Panic just started tossing ‘What If’s” in the air – but they weren’t really landing. I sort of pushed Panic to the side, after-all, why borrow trouble?

I don’t know what Panic looks like to you, but when I see it, I see myself in a different time. The worst of my past shows up in my future. I see Panic living in a mobile home park, driving a 13 year old Chevy van without insurance or heat, walking kids 2 miles into town for trick-or-treat because the van broke down again, and trying to figure out if it should pay the light bill, or put gas in the van so I can get to my daughters Holiday Concert.

Panic has so many questions. Most of them starting with “What if?”, a few “How will?”, and of course, “Why me?” When it comes to answers, it has nothing to offer. Panic just keeps asking, asking, asking… like a 4 year old after a cookie.

Panic has been keeping me company pretty constant for the last couple of days and has definitely worn out its welcome, so I invited an old friend aboard my boat…Panic, meet Reason and pack your bags, you’re out of here.

I love Reason. Reason comes in and calm comes the waters. Reason starts making plans for a destination, positive forward motion and ways to start answering the biggest questions. Time to pull the anchors, we’re setting sail.

The great thing about Reason is, once it shows up, Humor is never far behind. Humor is my lifesaver. Once the laughter starts, anything is possible.

So far, Reason has set forth a plan:

What do I do now?

- Keep a schedule

- Get up in the morning

- Get a shower, get dressed, coffee, and breakfast….

Because I still have a job. I have a family to care for, a house to take care of, and some financial decisions to make.

- Keep in touch with old co-workers. The tide could change again, just as quickly as it did the first time.

- Keep an eye on Panic. When Panic shows up, offer it a glass of wine, a good cry if needed and let Humor show it the door. This is not an Emo Hotel.

- Don’t just tread water. - Swim, sail, jet ski, dive in! No time is wasted if you use it, experience it, and learn from it.

and now, its time for a tune:

Christopher Cross “Sailing”

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Aug. 18th, 2009

sheep, Shadymutton

A Sweet Wedding Memory Book

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Andy & Hilary's Wedding
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Jul. 24th, 2009

sheep, Shadymutton

Writing is a Medicine


"My Pen & I"

My writing is a medicine,
A miracle in its own right.
It gives me reason to wake every morn,
And freedom to sleep at night.

I tell my thoughts to no one,
Only my pen and I will know,
All the secret feelings inside,
My heart finds hard to show.

My loved ones say I'm hiding -
And I suppose its true,
But I'd just assume we keep all this
Between just me and you.

 '99 Shadymutton

I'd like to take a moment to thank a Twitter friend, @TheWritersDen for a simple reminder as to why I write.
Thank You... so much.


Jul. 22nd, 2009

sheep, Shadymutton

The Price

I was once an extremely avid journaler, way back when pen and paper were the way to go. I wrote every night before bed. Sometimes it was to clear my head, or to vent after a rough day, or to provide clarity and direction to the things happening in my life.... but it was always for myself.

All of that came to a skreeching halt when my husband (now ex) read my journal. I always wrote as honestly as I could, being true to the idea of a journal... he did not like what he read. I don't even recall the content, but I do know it was true, real feelings I had written there. They were not to be read by anyone but me, and they were not about him. What followed was a vicious, ugly fight where my feelings were discounted, stomped and my right to have them denied. My dreams and ideals were tossed aside as a 'waste of time'. I put down my pen that day, afraid to own my own feelings. I was too young to know the repercussions at the time.

Some years later, I truly missed my pen. I actually ached for it. I tried to get back into the flow of writing. You know ~ that flow when the writing just falls out onto the page with out any real effort.... when there's no filter and no editing of thought. But by this time in my life I was wearing my "Single Mom" hat. Two jobs, 3 kids and a full time college schedule made finding time to call my own nearly impossible.

I bought many a new notebook, and a few 'favorite pens' trying to spark things into gear. There were a few satisfying entries... usually from the most difficult points in my life. But most of the time I was finding it very unsatisfying. I was holding back - truly afraid to be honest - unable to let myself feel anything freely. I was trying to fill a hole, but the hole inside me just got bigger. It seemed even my pen couldn't save me as it always had before.

A few more years have passed, with more attempts at journaling, a few of them satisfying, others a total fail. I have toyed with the idea of going online for years, but I was still scared...

My kids are mostly grown now, all 5 of them. The oldest is 23, the youngest, 13. Time is more available than it once was. I'm now married to a man who thinks I'm unstoppable, and I like to think he's right. I allow myself to have and own my feelings now - without justification. I'm no longer afraid of my honesty, and I've longed to have my pen back in my hand for so very long...

Now, it is, and I write for me.

Jul. 2nd, 2009

sheep, Shadymutton

Growing Up

 I thought I was grown at the age of 18 when I took off in a Greyhound bus to Monahans, Texas to follow a boy...(thought at the time he was a man - I was wrong on both counts).
I thought I was was taking my life into my own hands when I divorced that 'boy' and got a job as a cocktail waitress in a local club....
I was wrong.
I thought when I got a full time job as a signpainter and was buying my own car that I was taking control of life - all grown up - I was wrong again. 
When I moved in to my first apartment all by myself - surely then I was an adult.... nope, wrong again.
When I moved in w/ my boyfriend and started raising his two kids, I thought I was quite the adult... then he beat me up - I left and ran to my  daddy.. again - wrong.
When I got married, moved into our own house and had my kids...  working as home daycare and being team mother for the ballteam...  paying bills and washing clothes and teaching the kids important lessons in life....  undoubtedly I HAD to be grown then..right??  well, not entirely.   Hubby left me 10 years later... 
Now w/ just me and the kids, it was time to carve out a place in our future - THIS was a job for an adult for sure ... my Mom & Dad had to help me get on my feet w/ a place to live....  not so adult, huh?
-So I enrolled in college and worked hard toward my degree....  felt very much like an adult.... w/ the weight of the world on my shoulders...  whatta ya think - Adult??
Well, I'm remarried now, 3 years to a great man w/ 2 boys.  I work now in a school, interpreting in sign language for hearing impaired and D/deaf students, our kids are mostly raised and even after all I have done to get here... sometimes I still don't feel like a grown up.  I wonder when it will dawn on me that I'm grown.  That adulthood is right here w/ me and I absolutly am in charge of my own life - and in many ways the lives of others...  maybe I'll never entirely grow up - and maybe thats just fine w/ me.
What about you?

Is there a point in your life when it suddenly hit you??...

"I'm an adult, all grown up, and responsible, productive person in the world".

 What was that point for you?         OR        are you still waiting for it?

Sep. 24th, 2008

sheep, Shadymutton

Ephalumps & Angel Elevators

Angel Elevators and Ephalumps
There are a million of them in our family. I suppose most families have them... or at least I assume as much ~ even though I really don't hear much mention of the them... Family Code words.
Surely you know what I mean, words that pop up in conversation.... like 'gnashers', or 'nay-nays'.   Now, don't misunderstand me...I don't mean baby-talk, that's not it at all. Maybe I'm not making myself clear.

You see, things I assumed to be real, or at least interpreted as real in my childs mind so many years ago have now been passed to my family in all their glorious imagination.
For instance if we're driving down the road and see a bunch a those big round hay bales...
we all know they are "Ephalumps"... because when I was little I thought they were elephants in the field...and I couldn't pronounce the word right.)
If those Ephalumps are not fenced in, the are "Wild Ephalumps"... if they are all lined up in a row, they are "Trained Ephalumps"...

Some may think of them a "Sniglets."

These evolve over time, and in this family, they are commonly referred to and understood... you have these little labels too, right?

I have also introduced my kids to the "Angel Elevators'...

I know you've seen them.  They are those bright rays of light that peek through the clouds to the ground.. sometimes just one... sometimes in bunches. These are passages of light for angels coming and going to/from the heavens. Sometimes to comfort those grieving a loss, sometimes to escort a soul home, and sometimes they are guiding angels just popping in to check on the souls they foster... at least that's what they are in our world.

Our family has so many of these little labels that make perfect sense to us.. for example:
We may pass a barn with horses in the filed... those would be "Nay-Nays".

Here are more examples, used in a common day vernacular.
Goofers = baby teeth     "Baby Aiden has 2 new Goofers!"

Gnashers = adult teeth        "I have a dentist appointment Thursday, time to sharpen the Gnashers".

Too Tights = old shoes        "I hate these Too Tights...  time for some Go Fasters"!

Go Fasters = new tennis shoes      ^^^  =}

Moofuses = cows in a field (there is a debate on how to pluralize moofus, you are welcome to chime in)      "Brown moofuses make chocolate milk, right??"

Mewfords = our cats       "Have you seen the Mewfords?"

Walley = wallet      "I'm coming, let me get my keys and Walley".

Deets = Thank you     "Deets for the coffee hon".

Deets Amundo = Thank you very much    "You have no idea how much I need this cup of coffee!  Deets Amundo!"

Phoof = loose cat hair     "Awww geez, I've been phoofed!"

Dephoofinator = the sticky roller that removes phoof         "Where's the dephoofinator?"

Only to name a few....
These are not contrived words, we did not seek them out or make an effort at dreaming them up. These just naturally occured in our lives, and we accept them as part of us. Perhaps a bit odd, unique, even quirky, but definitely 'Us'.

If you think about it, I'm sure your family has a few too.
What are YOUR fun family phonetics??