Tuesday, September 21, 2010


yes, i've been MIA...... know that hasn't bothered many peeps, but I have missed blabbing. but those of you that know me personally are aware that the fam has had a bit of shake-up going on and we've all just kind of been closed lipped. anyway, i am slowlyyyyyyyy getting back to checking emails and reading blogs and i've just got to say i am green.......with ENVY of all these young women and their talents! OMGosh.....the creativity is nearly beyond my comprehension.
but more than that is HOW they can find the energy to come up with these marvels when they have families and jobs outside the home. WOW!!! and too, i'm looking at laundry room makeovers and kitchen re-dos and thinking how can someone your age have a home that large and organized or how do you have the funds to remodel your kitchen already?? *sigh*

i was born in the 1954 while my dad was in medical school. my mother worked for IBM and made $1.00 an hour-and that was because she had a college degree. minimum wage was 40 cents an hour. my dad "made" seven cents an hour while he was in school. a loaf of bread was $.17......a gallon of gas was 22 cents! a gallon of MILK was 92 cents. the average YEARLY income was $3,960.00, a new car cost $1,700.00 and a new house averaged $10,250.00. i heard stories my whole life about my parent's first apartment--there was no dining area and we ate off a card table. once that card table was set up, you could not open the oven or the refrigerator and my high chair was out in the hallway!!! hard to imagine, isn't it? my brother is 2 years younger than i am and we shared a room until the family moved to t-town; i was 8 yrs old.

i'm sure prices then and now are comparable in some way, but i am still amazed at how much young people have so soon.......and how so many of them cannot fathom it being any other way. i am amazed at how and where they get their strength and stamina. but mostly, i am amazed at how there is time for them to do all this creative stuff when they have children at home and school, a house to be cleaned, meals to be cooked, clothes to be washed, etc etc etc. AND while they're making all these groovy things, they are taking pics and blogging about it...........i wonder if their days have more hours in them than mine do??!!??

i think i kind of went off on a tangent.........that happens to old people, especially late at night! :)~
i don't feel i have any talents at all and so, i had a green day today......but it won't last long as i am content with my status quo.

i'll be back soon............and i know you're hoping i've got better material then!

hugs, karen

Monday, July 19, 2010


i don't know why the particular story i'm about to tell came to mind recently--it's 30 years or more old--but obviously it did and i want to share it.

MANY years ago when microwaves first came out, they were ginormous! it took a near chef's sized kitchen to be able to house one. crazy! well my dad went out and paid a small fortune for a microwave and brought it home as a surprise gift for my mother. oh, my dad was so excited about this gift! the family was at the breakfast room table for dinner and he's going on and on about how great this addition to the kitchen was going to be, what a help it would be for mother in preparing the meals, etc. well mother was less than pleased with the gift as it was going to take up precious counter space, space she'd waited 20 years to have in their dream house. dad goes on about how they can make it work, find the right spot and all.......and mother is like no, no, no. he's "but babe, at least try it before you decide it against it for sure"......and then all of the sudden my mother gets up from the table, storms out of the room and goes and locks herself in their bathroom!! i was freaking out as that move was so unexpected and dramatic. dad, rick and i continue to eat our dinner, not a word being said. best i can remember about 10 minutes passed and then my dad gets up and starts leaving the breakfast room......i asked him where he was going and what he was about to do and he said he was going to apologize to my mother.
i'm like WHATTTT?? you bought her a fab gift, she freaks out and you're going to apologize to her??? i said if anyone is going to apologize, it should be her to you! he looked at me and said "i love your mother and i hate seeing her upset. i'm going to do whatever it takes to make things right". man, he was special and i think they broke the mold with him. anyway.............

i was 20-ish when this happened, not even thinking about getting married yet and did not realize the sacrifices that spouses should be willing to make for each other. no marriage is perfect, but it can be close as long as both people are willing to work at it and compromise when necessary. we all have faults and have to decide if we can accept them in our partner. larry's really messy but i love him anyway......and i'm such a (deaf) bitch, but he's still around.

no one can tell someone what they can or cannot accept in a partner because each of us is different and wants different things. will you be able to always accept him wanting to be babied when he's sick or him wanting a back rub every night?? only you know. will he be able to always put up with your extreme gas problems and lousy cooking?? only he knows. are you willing to give even when you think it's his time to give?? again, only you know the answer. hopefully there will be time when you both get to be givers and takers, so as to keep the status quo.

the new PEOPLE magazine has a scoop on courtney cox and her husband going to a marriage therapist. she says "we're not lazy about our marriage. we still have the same arguments we've had for years. some things just never change, and you should realize that the intriguing things you fall in love with will probably become the things you don't like". hmmm....food for thought, perhaps???

oh, by the way.....that microwave went back and mother did not get one til one could be mounted over her cook top! she was totally serious about not giving up her counter space!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

the name game

my name is karen and i didn't like it at all until i was well into adulthood. i never had a nickname and always wanted one. come to find out, my parents gave me this name because it couldn't be shortened nor could they think of any nickname that could come out of it. so, i have always been (just) karen. kind of blah when you're a kid, i suppose, but it's been quite nice that i don't have a really common name. those of you that know my maiden name will surely agree that karen was the best of choice of the parental considerations, the other choices being linda and cynthia. no offense to women with those names, but can y'all imagine me having to go through life as cynthia s-----d??? GAG!!!

my dad was a junior and hated it so there was no way my brother was going to be a 3rd! also, he went by his middle name, which he also disliked. he spent virtually his entire life being called by his first name and having to explain that he went by his middle name.......apparently that was quite a frustrating chore at times, so out of that came the fact that both my brother and i were given the names the parents wanted us to be called as first names; end of confusion. i happen to like this idea and did the same with my kids and i hope they will do the same.

my ex-husband, my father and father in law all had the same first name and none of them went by it.....2 middle name users and a nickname all his life, respectively. but to honor all of them, that first name is marshall's middle name.....kind of cool i think. but i hope he will not give the name to his son unless it is also a middle name and he is called something else. as for how marshall got his name, i had a high school boyfriend with the name and always loved it because it was not something you heard all the time. but after he was born, we found out that his paternal great grandmother's mother's maiden name was marshall! got a family name in there without even knowing it.

allison's father decided on her name and it, too, was the name of a former "flame". we had not heard the name often at the time of her birth, but it has ended up being a fairly common name for her generation. there were times when she was younger that she wished for another name and even asked a time or two about using her middle name so she wouldn't be lost in the crowd. i really hate that for her. i had the hardest time deciding on a middle name for her; in fact the hospital business office was on the verge of threatening me to come up with something so they could finish her paperwork. a few years ago, allison thought she would give her middle name to her daughter, but i think now she's leaning in a different direction.

i always wished my maiden name was one that would've worked nicely as a first name for either of my kids, but it just really isn't....and that makes me especially sad now that my brother has no children and the family name will die with him. my mother's maiden name would've made a good boy name, but i just have one son and i like his name very much. i have a friend that gave both her daughters her maiden name as a middle name.....don't quite get that, but hey, to each his or her own, right?

naming your baby is exciting but also important. we can't be too cutesy nor should we be too far out because the child will have the name his or her entire life, barring any legal name changing that is. it's a daunting task. as one who has always had to spell out her last name--all 3 of them!--i would also like to say that crazy spellings of first names is a no-no to me. there are lots of unisex names out there now and while different may be neat, i would always wonder if my daughter felt we really wanted a boy when we named her taylor, for example......or if the son felt the same way by being given the name cameron. i'd also wonder if that cute little baby girl named brandy or candy or sissy would have trouble being thought of seriously as an adult, especially say if she were to become an attorney. as i said, naming your child is a daunting task. you also need to make sure his or her initials are acceptable and don't inadvertedly spell out a word they would be uncomfortable with.

so there are my thoughts and opinions on names.......hugs!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

a little wedding update

i had my sweet shuggie with me last night and a good portion of today and it was SO nice. as many of you t-towners know, she is part of the "FAB 5" and all of them were in dallas monday morning for the miracle of cohen's birth. she was able to switch with someone at work to get today off and so she headed here from dallas monday afternoon.

we were able to get a little time at traditions bridal salon and try on some gowns as well as look at bridesmaids selections. oh what fun that was!! we have what we think is such an awesome plan/theme for the wedding and are looking for THE perfect everything for everybody. time consuming--oh yeah.........frustrating--for sure......exciting--definitely!! :)

today we had some florist appointments and that was both enlightening and shocking! LOL i was surprised at the reasonable prices of some items and the shockingly high prices of others....
and honestly it was all reversed from what i had in my mind that it would be. guess that shows you how much i know! :)~ i love beautiful flowers but know nothing about them........i can count on one hand the flowers i can recognize--seriously. that doesn't bode well when you're trying to make your daughter think you actually know something AND trying to prove to the florist that you really aren't an idiot! nothing was finalized today, but i think shug and i know which way we want go, PROVIDING there can be a little better "meeting of the minds" in regard to the buckaroonies with our front runner.

i have some vacation time at the end of the month and allison & i will be getting together. we want to check out low's bridal shop in brinkley, arkansas.....it amazes me that a little town like that has a bridal store that attracts people from all over the place! i went to low's in 1977 when i was planning my wedding and it was big and awesome and well known way back then. crazy! a trip to dallas is also possible. we definitely hope to get the wedding gown ordered and it would be icing on the cake to have the decision made on the attendant's attire as well. we know what we'd like for the bridesmaids but finding the look we want for a price we are comfortable with is proving rather difficult.

now would be a great time for a couple of things to happen--one would be money started growing on trees and another would be for me to win the lottery!!

hugs, karen

Monday, June 7, 2010


it can't be said any better than cathy @ cathryn & co. said it....... welcome to the world COHEN--so many people have been waiting for your entrance. we've said prayers that you would "do good" on your arrival. you are such a lucky baby because you have the most wonderful mommy and daddy, as well as super grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins......andddd you've got a FABulous set of "aunties" that not only came to support your parents and be there for your birth, but that plan to spoil you rotten from here on out! yes, i know you've got a long road ahead of you, but you've got SO many people praying for you..........and we know miracles happen. hope you feel the love--it's all around for you and your family.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

lucky lady

five years or so ago, a good friend of my parents' passed away and i went to the house to pay my respects to the man's wife and children. several weeks later i received a lovely note from the widow, thanking me for coming by and for the pie i'd taken. i'd known this family since i was a kid and really did care about them. the thing that caught me so off-guard about this woman's note was her saying that she and her husband were so grateful for their young friends. some of you may chuckle a bit at that, but when you're 70 or more years old, 40-something IS young! haha anyway, i always considered this couple my parents' friends and honestly never ever thought about them being MY friends too, much less them considering me one of their friends.

i hadn't thought about those people or that note in forever, until recently--obviously! i suppose trying to get the guest list for the wedding worked out prompted that memory. anyway, i'm realizing i feel very much like that woman did in being grateful for MY young friends. over the years, larry and i have gotten Christmas cards, notes, birth announcements, etc from our kids' friends because they consider us THEIR friends. we've met young adults through friends that have invited us to their birthday parties, anniversary celebrations or house warmings. as an "old lady", it is so heart warming to know that young people enjoy your company. i feel almost like sally field, ca. early 1980's at the academy awards, when she won an oscar and got up on stage and said to the crowd "you like me, you really like me".

every generation has something to offer, so count your blessings if you're lucky enough to have friends of all ages. your life will truly be enriched....this i know firsthand.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

sad truths of middle age

getting old is hell. there is apparently just no escape from bad and annoying things as you age. you sag and bag everywhere--your skin is dry and sandpaper-y, at least in the areas not covered by your mustache and beard......your smile lines are no longer cute, but have manifested into crows feet at the eyes and craters in your cheeks and forehead.....your pores are as deep as the grand canyon and your broken capillaries and age spots make your face look like a red bell pepper and mushroom pizza.

i can handle these problems because i think they are happening to most middle aged women. however, i noticed a problem today that made me cringe......in fact, when i saw it i said to myself "what the f__k?" seriously, i'm praying some other woman has this problem. i was sitting at my 10X magnifying mirror and saw it--i have freakin' nose hairs!!!! not "inny" nose hairs, but "outy" nose hairs....and they are black. do you wanna puke or what?? well i guess i know now why people have been looking at me lately! i thought they liked my clothes or my hair or just thought i was dang cute in general, but noooooo...... (sniff sniff)

taking this hairy nose to bed now............karen

Sunday, May 16, 2010

HB to Z

i can't believe it, but yesterday was my car's b-day! that's right, i've had my 350 Z for 2 years and have 9143 miles on it. i LOVE this car!!!!! it is sooooooooo much fun to drive! don't tell any cops you know, but i've taken it to 130 mph on the interstate. (shhhh) i think i missed my calling as a race car driver though...man, can i handle that speed! LOL

prior to getting this snazzy ride, i was driving a mercury marquis.....a very OLD marquis, i might add. don't get me wrong, that was a nice car, nice riding car, roomy and all, but i swear, i was the ONLY person in t-town under the age of 100 driving one! next time you're out and about, look around and you will see that i'm right--it's an old person car, no doubt about it.

i had the marquis for 12 years and in that time, the hub had 3 vehicles and marshall and allison each had 2. why was i slighted, you ask? because i'm a mom--duh! we are always on the bottom of the list. i think it just comes with the territory??? seriously, i didn't mind driving an old car until i got out of the driveway and then saw all those OLD people in the same kind of car. *sigh* the hub and i talked several times over those years about a new(er) car for me, but then something major would happen like we needed to eat and then it was obvious there wasn't going to be a new car for me then.

think about it.....your child gets his/her driver's license and you do everything in your power to see that they have their own vehicle. some say it's a win/win if you can do that because the parent no longer has to chauffeur their kid around, especially in the mornings, and the child gets his/her first taste of responsibility. hub did the morning taxiing around here, so it didn't make a difference to me.....however, i did miss my afternoon pick-up duties--for about a day! ha no, it was a week, i'm sure. honest, it was. as for that responsibility we tried to give the kids: marshall got a ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign 3 days after getting his truck and allison knocked off her outside rear view mirror just a few weeks after getting her explorer! do you think mom moved up or down on the list after this?? fastforward to when your child graduates college........he (AND she in my case) are not coming back home to live.......you want them to have newer and safer transportation when they go out into the cold, cruel world, so you find a way to make that happen too. now, after kids in college for over 6 years combined, mom is so far down on the list that she is OFF it! oh, the hub's vehicles were business related, so he says they don't count. who the hell taught that man math???

anyway, this momma finally got to the top of the list.....and let me tell you, it was a longggg, hard climb! i got a job i basically hate for money and benefits i love....yep, i'm braving the harsh elements and scaling my mt everest in my totally fabulous "Z"!!!!!!

happy birthday dear Z~~karen

Thursday, May 13, 2010

full heart

oh my gosh......did you see shuggie's mother's day tribute to MOI??? now you know why i am SO proud to have such wonderful kids!

i am so appreciative of allison's love and support.....i know it hasn't always been easy putting up with me. now i've got a big head to go with my big hair!! but it is cool beyond words when your child realizes "you got it going on". well, i know that's not what allison said, but it's what she implied, yes?? of course it is, right??? hello?????

i'm not a big fan of pics of myself, but her pictorial tribute was very nice; it was fun to remember those times together. did anyone notice that my hair has hardly changed in all those years? sure it was curly some time, straight another, lighter in summer, darker in winter, but the style is still the same. my stylist says it's a sign of confidence when you find what works for you and stick with it.....all i know is that what he said sounds better than the truth, which is i'm a big old chicken! definitely not the "variety is the spice of life" type here.

i've never doubted that allison loves me but i am sooooooo happy that she likes me too. she was always wanting to spend time with me growing up and i treasure that. as for the embarrassing moments--well, that's just part of life. seriously, it's in the parental manual. you know, the one that miraculously appears on your doorstep right after you bring your baby home?? yep, chapter 12 i think it is.....it says all parents MUST find some kind of dorky something to do EVERY time their child is around peers!!! :)~

love, pride, appreciation, respect........my heart is full. thanks shug!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


lost a longggggg post......before redoing, i want to see if this will go through

Saturday, May 8, 2010


tomorrow is mother's day and i feel SO blessed to be among the women that are honored with this special day. some people say every day is mother's day and that the holiday was created by hallmark, and the like to get families to spend extra money on their products......i vote for presence over presents, you know??

some of my biggest everythings in one way or another relate to my kids. i guess the first biggie would be my biggest JOY is having them. my pregnancy plan didn't work out like i'd hoped, but i got so lucky and finally had my precious marshall and then a little less than 3 years later, i got my angel allison. one of each sex is just what i'd always hoped for and what fun it was for me getting to share in both boy things and girl things while they were growing up.

my biggest HOPES are that marshall and allison are happy and healthy, that they get through any tough times with faith and strength and that they have the lives they've dreamed of. my biggests FEARS are what any mothers' are: that i can't protect them if and when things go wrong. wouldn't it be wonderful if 'kissing the boo-boos and making it all better' worked for adult children like it did for small ones??

i feel my biggest ACCOMPLISHMENT is raising 2 wonderful kids. i know i'm prejudiced, but both of them are strong and intelligent, personable and funny, talented and driven, each in their own way. they are beautiful, both inside and out.

lastly, my biggest LOVE is for them.....there's nothing like the deep, never failing love you have for your babies. they are your babies, no matter how old they get. you may not always like them, i.e. pissy moods or them not minding you, but nothing can make you quit loving them.

thanks to marshall and allison for making my life so full of BIGgies.

Friday, May 7, 2010

scaredy DOG

this family loves cocker spaniels! we've had 5-4 females and 1 male-in the 19 years larry and i have been married. three have passed away, so (obviously) we just have 2 right now. there's cheyenne who is buff and swayze--yes she's named after my all time biggest crush EVER patrick swayze--who is chocolate. chey is 5 and swayze is 1.

apparently i have never vacuumed with swayze in the house. oh my gosh, you should've seen that baby this morning! after finishing in the dining room, i moved on into our den...the vac was still going and i look up to find swayze sitting up on the back of the couch. i don't know how she didn't fall off! but she was like pushing back and crouching down almost, as if to make herself smaller. very strange sight indeed........she was so scared and i felt so bad for her. i immediately turned off the vac and hugged her.....had to love on that sweet thing!

my junior high--that's middle school for you youngsters!--speech teacher told my class that the word vacuum was pronounced vac-U-um rather than "vack-yume", like i think most people say. anyway, if we said it wrong, we got points taken away from our grade. UGH! i hated speech. just don't like getting up in front of people and talking, you know. most kids take speech their freshman year in college; i put it off til i was a senior. major fears!

anyway, that's if for now......my living room still needs to be vacUumed!


Thursday, May 6, 2010


that's the big day! shuggie's getting married!! the MOB is freakin' out--there's so much to think about, decide on.....PAY FOR!! (gulp) we have made some headway though--we have the church and reception venue booked and we have a photographer. we've both started guest lists.....is that good with 7 months left?? allison has also done some looking towards her registries; what fun it was to see all the pretties out there! don't know how anyone ever makes up their minds!

the music for the reception seems to be our biggest obstacle right now.......but hopefully this will be decided soon so it can be checked off our list of to-do's.

pretty positive shug knows where she's leaning on her gown and we will be seeing to that in a month or so as we were told to do that early to insure getting what we want--makes sense.

allison is thinking outside the box on her "theme" and color wishes--you know how those artist types are! LOL no, seriously, i am really excited about what she's wanting and am looking forward to seeing it all come together. we want to share, but really want some element of surprise, so i doubt there will be much talk anytime soon about particulars for the ceremony.

if anyone in t-town, or the surrounding area, wants to offer up some helpful hints, i'd love to hear them. i am also open to suggestions for florists, bakeries, rehearsal dinner venues, wedding hairdressers, ceremony music..........the list is long, i know.

today at work, a gal had some of those smarties candies, you know the little roll of sweet and sour flavored discs? anyway, seeing that candy reminded me of when allison was first learning to talk and for some reason, she had a really hard time pronouncing "S's", so she called smarties farties! oh, it was SO funny. she would dampen her forefinger and stick it on a candy, hold the finger up and say farties before every one she ate. her dad and i would laugh and laugh and of course the more we laughed, the more she said it. what a longggggggggg time ago that was.

thanks for the comments on my first ever blog post........i appreciate them all. hopefully i can come up with some "good material" to keep you coming back. HA

love and smarties--karen

Monday, May 3, 2010

what am i doing here?

hi! i'm karen......welcome to my blog. i hope at some time or another i might have something interesting to share, however you might not want to bet the rent on it! i don't have a plan with this blog; i just want to be "cool"! seriously, i do..... ever since my daughter (allison @ designing woman) and her friends started their blogs, i've been dying to get with the program. however for me, that actually meant having allison fix things up so i could have a blog.......pretty sad, huh?
thank goodness she loves her computer challenged mom enough to do this. YAY shuggie--you're the best!!!!

ok, i'm 55 years old, wife to larry and mother to marshall (28) and allison (26). to help combat my empty nest syndrome, i started working for the united states postal service about 5 years ago. that's a story in itself, so i'll save it for another time. i obtained a blackbelt in taekwondo when i was 47, but am no longer training. i had a heart attack at 49 and have 2 stents.......oh, i'm deaf too. what a gal, huh?

my kids are very compassionate people and i think a lot of that comes from being raised by a deaf mom. they learned at a very early age that i was different, but that's just how things were for them/us. i worried that they would be embarrassed by me, that their little friends wouldn't understand and would be cruel, but all my fears were unfounded. they both had, and still have, the greatest, most accepting friends. i have a cochlear implant, which affords me some sound, but i am not very successful at using the phone. even when the kids were small, it seemed this household was bombarded by telemarketers. once they were old enough to answer the phone, i had them do so; these callers would ask for me and they would tell them that i was deaf. we all know how persisent telemarketers can be--they would ask when they could call back or if they could call back that evening....it goes on and on as we all well know and the kids just got so frustrated at times. i finally told them to tell them the truth--"no you can't talk to her tonight because SHE WILL STILL BE DEAF!!!" DUH!!!!!!!!!

ohh, pizza's here.........