Archive for July, 2013

Laundry Lesson

Kc was folding a load of laundry towards her contract when Mae decided that the baby could help and put Nse near the basket. Kc was getting a little upset because Nse was throwing all of the clothes out of the basket onto the floor. Mae ,on the other hand, thought it was “cute” that Nse was trying to help, and continued to encourage the baby.

So I turned around and looked at Mae and said, “It may look cute, but if Nse starts unfolding the clothes that your sister has already folded, You will be the one to refold them and it will not count towards your contract.”

Needless to say Mae redirected the baby.

late night laundry [1117]

 (Photo credit: brianjmatis)


I have never had any luck using charts with my children in the past, but as the years have gone by, I figured I would give it another shot. Again The Plan fell through, though I have to say, they did get farther this time. They wrote down their own ways of earning and losing their pennies, and have been keeping track by paying (or making me pay) on the spot. So I came up with Plan C or Plan Contract. Yes I know I skipped Plan B, but I am saving that for Plan (B)oys 😉

My oldest girls wanted computer/tablet time, and I wasn’t going to give in to them without getting something out of it. So I decided that 2 cents a minute would be a fair price and allowed 30 minutes, which would cost them 60 cents total. There is a catch though, I would not take a full payment, I made them give me a down payment and each of them came up with chores to do with appropriate rates, in order to pay the remainder.


Contracts (Photo credit: NobMouse)

Kc’s contract looks like this:


30 minutes @ 2 cpm = 60 cents

Down payment of 5 cents = 55 cent remainder


She agrees to:
1. Fold laundry 2x @ 5 cents = 10 cents
2. Pick Everything off from the kitchen floor 1x @ 10 cents = 10 cents
3. Clean table Properly 2x @ 10 cents = 20 cents
4. One sink full of dishes is 5 cents, but I told her if she did One Full Load (2 sinks full) I would give her 15 cents to finish the contract.


To make it a little more interesting to them, and more convenient for me, the contract has a twist. If all chores on the contract have been completed on or before the 7th day, not only will they get their deposit back, they will get a bonus 20 cents as well.


This contract does not include normal chores. Any chore that is done outside of the contract will still earn them their pennies, just as the fact if they do not do their normal chores I will be taking pennies. So far (Knock on Wood) this has been working.

This past week has been terrible for my children. First there was So Much rain and one day the rain came down So Hard that my husband made me go outside and help him find branches to hold our veggies up! I was shivering when I came back inside. It rained for almost 5 days straight and the first day after the rain stopped, you couldn’t take a step into the yard without sinking almost 2 inches.
Then, out of nowhere, we get a heatwave (which we are still encountering) with advisories stating that children, elders and pets, should avoid going outside, and to avoid using as much electricity as possible…  What’s worse? They are calling for More Rain when the heat goes away! Grr!
It has not been easy for anyone in our house, I am very thankful that we have an air conditioner, but keeping everyone occupied has been a challenge. Once we all find something we all can do, someone gets bored before the end and it starts all over again.
I guess I can’t really complain, as I have been having the kids doing exercises and dancing to get their energy out, and they do a good job of thinking up things to do, like drawing, writing stories, and taking over my tablet (which leaves me bored 😉 ) Though I still have to say…
Bad weather go away so my kids & I can go Out to play lol

I have been working with our youngest, Nse, to get her prepped for going to the bathroom, and it reminded me of something that happened when we lived at the trailer a couple of years ago when we were training both of our boys. The boys would go poop with no problem at the time, but getting them to stand up to pee, was a different story.

I read online somewhere that if you put cheerios in the toilet, that boys could “aim” at them to learn how to stand while peeing, so I gave it a try. They didn’t have any interest, but when no one was looking they decided that it would be fun to stick toys in the toilet and flush them, which lead to us having to replace the toilet 😦

While Nana was on her way up with another toilet we removed the one that was plugged up and I had an idea. I took a bucket and put their seat on top of it and told all of the kids that this is our new toilet because I would not have to worry about having to replace it again.  They all begged me to get a new toilet and promised never to put toys in it again!


I have spent So Much time looking for free ways to teach my children math, that I didn’t even realize that I don’t have to be searching at all! Why? Because I already know how to count, add, subtract, multiply, divide , and I know how to group objects. The only thing left for me to do is Apply My Knowledge and use it to teach my children. So I decided to start with our preschooler.

I took 15 objects for this first project, I chose cars, books and action figures. I placed them all in a pile and asked our 4 year old to separate them into groups according to what they are. After Doe grouped the objects I had him count each group and he did, “1,2,3 mommy. There are three groups” . I then reworded “How many are in each group?”  He counted five in each group, so I continued by asking him to count everything. After counting all the way to 15 he responded with “Wow mommy, there are so many!”

Finally I asked him to sort each group by size. So he took the books and the action figures, lined them all up from large to small, but he surprised me with the cars. He placed the largest one first then the next largest and he stopped. I asked him why he stopped and he said “These are the same size.” and he paused “I know!” He then stacked the two cars on top of each other and put the smallest car last in line and said “There that’s how to do it”. Such a smart little man 😀

After that we started playing with the toys and I read him a book. Not even an hour after we put everything away he was asking me if we could do it again, so we did.




Imitation Bugs Bunny

My first attempt at drawing Bugs Bunny… Close, but not quite 🙂


How To Make A Friend

The past lies in the future

The future lies in the past

It takes time

To make something really last.


A good person is hard to find

When you do

Losing them is the last thing you want

So keep that thought in the back of your mind.


You have to respect

People’s property and how they feel

In return you will gain the same.

Within the time it takes for the pain to heal

You will realise that life

Is nothing more than a game.


Communication is key

In a great relationship

To lose this key in life

Can cause yourself hardship.


It is hard to live life

When forced to distrust

Give no reason for a person to doubt

Honesty is a must.


If you’re still together in the end

You will have commitment

Because you will have more than a relationship

You will have made a great friend.







Grim Wolf


Grim Reaper

Grey Wolf

Grey Wolf












17 years ago I was almost always drawing, and I am very fortunate that these two pictures survived the flood that happened about 2 years after I made them.

I used a wall poster as my model for the Grim Reaper, though I have trouble using something large to make a small drawing, so everytime I look at him, he reminds me of Skeletor from He Man.

The wolf came from something in the mail, I think it was a brochure for a plate or a wall plaque. When my husband first saw this, he decided to use it as his first, and so far only, tatoo.

My first attempt at faces

Pocahontas, Grandmother Willow  & John Smith '94-'96

Pocahontas, Grandmother Willow & John Smith ’95-’96


I fell in love with Pocahontas when Disney came out with her first movie, so I decided to try and draw her myself and this was the result.

TOTD 7/5/2013

Sifting through My Collection over the past few days has aroused a lot of memories, a lot of emotions. I use to write and draw to give people I loved, gifts from my heart. So some of my work is scattered, maybe even lost over the years.

Just as I lost much of my work from moving over the years or when I lived in a basement which flooded and my water colored Yosemite Sam & Road Runner bled into everything I owned. Then there are some poems which have aged over time, pages turned yellow, writing so small and faded, making it impossible to read…

Yosemite Sam & Road Runner with a pic of a Catfish which I was able to save.

Yosemite Sam & Road Runner with a pic of a Catfish which I was able to save.

I have not worked on my collection as much over the past few years, lack of inspiration, to much stress to think straight, or maybe subconsciously I’m saying “What’s the point it will only get lost anyways?” Whatever the reasons I have realized that a part of me, my life’s history per say, is missing.

I have changed so much over the years, some ways for the better, other ways not so much thus giving me more reasons to not only post more of my work before it becomes lost, but to work harder at making myself whole again.

Left sheet of paper is new to show the yellowing of my poems.

Left sheet of paper is new to show the yellowing of my poems.

TOTD ’98



A rainbow in the clearing


For you to reach it’s end.

You wonder curiously

As you near the rainbow

What lies ahead?

Colors growing brighter

More intense

Here we go now

It’s just around the bend.

Energy surrounds you.

The closer you get

The farther away you want to be.

You now know the truth

As you look in awe

To see is to believe

are the words you said.

You now have what you need

So use it well

Because you never know

A life goes on

What you will see.




English: Rainbow from Budapest







One at a time

Higher and higher

Unless you get stuck

You could be as hot as fire.


Some call it luck

Others call it aim

Never the less

They’re both kind of the same.


Some die quick

Some die slow

And until the end

A winner you will not know.


When you reach the center

And hit it too

A great sensation

Will come over you.


Lets see who can win

Between you and I

Lets see who can score

The next Bullseye.



English: Dart board bullesye


The world around me spins
Yet I stand still
Waiting for my number
Just trying to chill

I have come to realize
That I can never learn too much
The smarter I am
The harder I am to touch.

Still I have so much to learn
As days pass me bye
I wave them on as they are nothing more
Than a grey cloud in the sky.

When I start to feel as if I’m too late
To change the hands of time
Everything seems to come together
Like a charming melody of a wind chime.

Whether I do it myself
Or someone lends a helping hand
Learning from my experience
Is life’s only demand.

Apply my collective wisdom
To the struggles in which I face
When the battle is done I will find
That there is more to life than ‘First Place’.

Love Courage and Knowledge
Often leaves me with burns
As I look upon my scars I realize
That my world still turns.


My Artwork May 2012

My Artwork May 20123/3/2002



Noises all around me

Though there is one that I adore

As it races through the building

My soul just seems to soar.

It lifts as it pleases

And needs a lot of food

Even though it has it’s downfalls

Without it, we would come unglued.

There use to be a twinkle

In the monster’s eyes

And I mourn

As it slowly dies.

I use to feel the warmth

Now it’s stone cold

Carrying the eyes of the devil

The monster now only cares for his gold.

I never had to worry

When the monster came near

Now it’s all gone

I’m forced to work in fear.

English: Coventry Climax forklift truck

I wonder if I’ll ever see

The twinkling eyes of my friend

The one that reassured me

That I was safe until the end.

I know it’s just a daydream

To have things like once before

As long as the devil drives the monster

Across the factory floor.




The Plan

Over the past couple of weeks our children have had a greater fascination for the money inside of the piggy bank. Taking the change out and putting it back in, separating the pennies and nickels, driving me nuts with the mere fact that I have to keep my eyes peeled for lingering coins where the baby crawls.

The other day our middle daughter, Mae, asked me if she could get a penny for cleaning the table, so I grabbed a penny from my pocket and gave it to her. A couple of hours later I held up a dime and looked at the sink, she took the dime and went over to start the dishes (note to self, never pay for a job until I have finished inspection).

Last night was a rough night for our youngest, Nse, as she is cutting more teeth , so I didn’t sleep well. As a result I was able to hear our oldest boy, Ice, when he had an accident and was able to prompt him to the restroom to finish his business. My husband, woke up and helped me out and had told Ice that he needs to try a little harder to wake up dry, and tried encouraging him to wake up dry to earn money. This is when it hit me… Pennies…

I am still in the early stages of this new plan, though for the most part, each child will start out with 100 pennies and will have 2 charts. One will be to record everything that they earn, the other for what they owe their father and I. At the end of each week we will tally up all of the charts and pay (or take) what is due. Once they have reached a certain amount, they can buy themselves something that they want, or just save it, whichever.

The charts will have general concepts like, Do the dishes when asked without hesitation earn a penny, Do dishes without being asked earn 2 pennies, or Refuse to do dishes when asked owe us 2 pennies. While making the charts unique to each child for example: For each day Doe does not take food from the fridge without asking he will earn 2 pennies, but For each day he does take food without asking he will owes us 2 pennies.

Though I am not stopping there as we go through an awful lots of snack foods and drinks, so for now on, they will have to decide if they want to pay for a snack or drink outside of what we give them. I am hoping that our oldest, Kce, will learn that even though food ‘Dose grow on trees” doesn’t mean you have to eat it all at once.

There are so many lessons which can be learned by this process, including but not limited to, How to use charts, math concepts, responsibility, perseverance & the value of money. Now I realize that this is not going to be an easy transition as it takes 21-28 days to break or “make” a habit, but I am going to give it my best shot… Wish me luck 🙂

Joe & I watched a movie on Saturday called American Warship, and it is about the battleship USS Iowa defending against a fleet of alien ships. Honestly I don’t believe that I will see an alien invasion in my lifetime, though what I saw at the end of the movie, which was something along the line of “The USS Iowa will be kept and maintained, with proper artillery, in a state of readiness should it ever be needed again”, made me realize that whatever situation I may face, (natural disaster, act of terrorism or whatever else) I need to be more prepared than what I am.
Even before moving away from my mother I had experienced living on the street, so I have gained an innate sense of survival skills, but I have a family to look after now! Why I haven’t started preparing years ago is beyond me, especially since we deal with Nor’easters, which can and have caused havoc all across New England and Mid Atlantic regions.So some of the things I need to accomplish over the next few months are as follows.

  • To store enough shelf stable food and water, to last 7 people and our pets for at least 6 months.
  • To have First Aid and flashlights, on hand at all times.
  • To create my own source of power to run necessary appliances.
  • To build a Solar Oven
  • To learn what to and how to barter
  • To have materials on hand to make weapons just in case I need them

I know I will think of other ways to prepare myself as well, but for now this is a good place to start. Do you prep? What are some of the things you have on hand in case of emergencies?

I have come to 3 pivotal moments in the past 48 hours.  On Saturday my husband and I watched a movie which made me realize that no matter what situation I may have to face, I need to be better Prepared. Then yesterday, an idea hatched over a course of events which  lead my husband and I to come up with The Plan.  Finally… Today.  I gathered up enough Courage to openly talk about my Family in an unfamiliar setting.

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