Random Thoughts on Symmes

… inept, but trying real hard

Happy Tuesday! May 29, 2007

Filed under: Events,Family,Friends,Fun!,Uncategorized — Layni @ 10:32 am

Camping update this evening [complete with pictures!] … in the meantime, please enjoy a picture that I found particularly funny today; 


“Hello, Vatican gift shop?  Do you sell those little containers for holy water?”


Our apologies to campers arriving on Friday May 24, 2007

Filed under: Events,Family,Friends,Fun!,Uncategorized — Layni @ 12:24 pm

 So!  happy Thursday!  Not much exciting about this day, except that tonight is the night that we head out on our covert mission to snag ourselves a campsite.  Oh, please, please, please let there be a site!  Just one lil’ ol’ site.  Maddie asked me this morning, “Mommy, if there’s no good ones, will we take a bad one?”  To which I emphatically answered, “Heck yes, we’ll take a bad one!”  [just don’t tell your Daddy I said that, he has much higher standards than we do].  Ok, you know what, this is exciting! It’s the sort of thing that is completely typical of us!  Waiting until the last minute.  Rushing around like mad.  Trying to devise hair-brained schemes to make what we want to happen, happen.  Let Hueston Woods be forewarned!  We’re coming, we want to camp, we’re determined and, let’s be honest, I’m fairly certain we’re somewhat crazy.  I’m just sayin’.

Well, that’s an ominous beginning, isn’t it?  Also, foreshadow-y.  Likely telling of how our weekend will go.  Hee-hee.

So, y’all, keep us in your thoughts on this fine Thursday evening.  Send out good karma for happy camping trails … to us.  And honestly, below are 3 very good examples of why we love to camp.  Here’s to making memories. 





Hoping to camp, learn to play Hearts (and likely tell fart jokes) May 23, 2007

Filed under: Events,Family,Friends,Fun!,Uncategorized — Layni @ 3:43 pm

Or “The Open Road In Front Of Us Could Get Bumpy”…

We do this every year.   We [meaning the Sexton’s & our motley crew], go camping at Hueston Woods for Memorial Day weekend.  It signifies the beginning of summer.  Is typically the first camping trip of the year for us, oh, & also, IT’S INSANELY CROWDED!!!  Apparently we haven’t kept our ‘tradition’ much of a secret & now it’s spread like wild-fire!  Great.

Another thing we do every year.  Wait until the last minute to get a site.  What with the invention of the online booking system for making reservations – it’s practically fool proof (right?)  Well, clearly they’ve never enountered fools like us.  A week before the largest camping weekend of the year, it occurs to us that we should probably check out the availability online.  [search:  Hueston Woods State Park; camping; reserve a site; …]  Huh?  What do they mean, “Non-reservable?”  Walk-ins only?  Oh, fan-freakin-tastic … they’re on to us.  What now?

I’ll tell you what now.  We have a plan.  Thursday night after Jo & I get home from work we’re on a mission!  We’re goin’ MacGyver!  Stealthy.  That’s right, we’re loading up the kids [& the Sexton’s tent] & we’re heading to the woods!  Here’s our thinking; we get up there one day before the Friday onslaught of wannabe holiday campers & we swoop in like vultures, pitch the Sexton’s tent & claim ourselves a prime piece of rural real estate!  I know what you’re thinking & the answer is, “Yes”.  We’re absolutely prepared to pay for an extra night that we don’t even plan to stay, because we want to camp that durn bad! There could be a problem with our theory though [hard to imagine, I know].   See, if there exists even bigger camping nerds than us [& oh, believe me, there does], then they might have gone out even EARLIER in the week & paid for even MORE additional days, just to ensure themselves a place for the weekend.  Oooooh, would I be ready to slash tires mad!

But you know what?  We’re being optimistic.  We’ve done a menu.  I’ve started packing.  Jo’s going shopping tonight.  I’ve lined up my Mother to pet sit.  We’re keeping a positive attitude.  Jo says it’s acceptable to pray about it, in fact, “… all day … every day … without ceasing!”, I believe were her exact words [Jo really needs this camping trip to rejuvenate, I think].  I, on the other hand, am not so convinced that God really wants to hear me begging for a ‘good grassy campsite with a level fire ring & an extra picnic table’, if He doesn’t mind.  I have to believe that He has more pressing issues … but I prayed nonetheless.  If he questions me about it, Jo’s going right under the bus!


He fought a good fight May 18, 2007

Filed under: Events,Family,Friends,Uncategorized — Layni @ 9:57 pm

In his first 18 months of life, Tyler Fisher was a happy, energetic and playful toddler who could say “Momma” and “Daddy.”

Now, the words have stopped.

 This morning, at 10:30 a.m., Tyler passed away at 24 months old.

On Nov. 27, 2006, Tyler Fisher was admitted to Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati for sudden liver failure.  After undergoing multiple tests, Tyler was diagnosed with acute autoimmune hepatitis.

Acute autoimmune hepatitis is a condition in which the patient’s own immune system attacks the liver, causing inflammation and liver cell death. Tyler was at the top of the hospital’s liver transplant list. However, with no donors immediately available, he received the upper lobe of his mother’s liver.  Tyler’s Mommy felt that the whole idea of waiting for somebody’s else child to die was unthinkable.

Then, after some complications from the liver transplant, doctors found something else wrong with Tyler. He underwent a bone marrow biopsy on Jan. 2, which showed he has bone marrow destruction along with XLP, or “bubble boy” syndrome.

Lymphoproliferative syndrome, also known as Duncan’s syndrome, is a rare fatal disease that affects only boys. The only cure is a bone marrow transplant.

Tyler’s parents, Cindi and Adam Fisher, received more bad news. Their son was diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease or lymphoma, which is caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus.

SCIDS is a life-threatening syndrome of recurrent infections and PTLD is an uncommon complication of both solid organ and alllogenic bone marrow transplantation.

Tyler underwent chemotherapy and an anonymous donor proved to be a perfect match for his bone marrow.

Meanwhile, the financial debt has mounted.  Adam has been working 60 to 70 hours a week and Cindi was at Tyler’s side around the clock through this whole ordeal. 

Please continue to keep the Fisher family in your prayers for comfort, understanding & peace.  I didn’t know Tyler or his family but I knew someone who knows the family & was just deeply touched & affected by such a tradgedy striking such an innocent little guy.  Alot of you didn’t know Tyler either, but that hasn’t stopped you from thinking of him, praying for him & his family or attending the benefit event that we had.  I thank you for that — for being good & caring friends.  I’m lucky to have you.

I’m gonna go hug my kids now.

Donations can be made to the Tyler Fisher Benefit Fund through an account at any Fifth Third Bank branch.


I couldn’t be more proud May 17, 2007

Filed under: Events,Family,Friends,Fun!,Uncategorized — Layni @ 1:53 pm

[Scene set-up:  Maddie (6) & I are in the bathroom, I’m at the mirror putting on make-up.  She’s behind me on the potty.]

Maddie:  “Hey Mommy?”

Mommy:  “Yeah.”

Maddie:  “Want me introduce you to my friend?”

Mommy:  “Um, sure, ok.”

::: [insert fart here] :::

Maddie:  “I call him Bob.”

[She’s gonna kill at parties.]


“Something new” or “Out with the old” or “Changing the title because I’m tired of looking at it”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Layni @ 9:29 am

I plan to post today.  I do.  Really.



Filed under: Events,Family,Friends,Fun!,Uncategorized — Layni @ 2:11 pm

John Mayer shares his thoughts on an issue that’s very important to me [what more will he do to make me love him?]  I’ll try to summarize between his thoughts & mine below;

(Preface: Don’t get turned off from reading this by any pre-conceived notions you have about the subject matter. I’ll make you a deal. When something I write turns you off, then you can click the “x” button and go about your day.)

John has a song called “Waiting on the World to Change”, in which he tries to express the feelings of helplessness that come with knowing what needs to change in the world but also knowing the futility of trying.

There are SO MANY things that need to change with the world that it’s hard to know where to start.  For the past year & a half my family has tried to become more aware & socially responsible for our actions (living ‘green’ & globally conscious) as well as  more responsible regarding our own health (eating organic – but I’ll save that rant for another blog). 

I’ve kept particularly focused on these two topics, silently keeping notes in my mind about what needs to be fixed (and more constructively, how to go about fixing it) while hoping that someone else sharing my exact views would carry out the work without my ever getting involved.

Hey, I’m just being honest.

Wait!  Don’t move the mouse.   Finger down.  Please.  Just give me a second.  You can watch that video of a cat playing the piano in a few minutes.  I just may surprise you with what I’m going to say.

In the “degree of difficulty” column, reversing the effects of global warming is a .5 out of a possible 10, at least in theory.  You just get back by reversing the way you came.  No accounting for a volatile political world stage, or clashing of belief structures.  Just throw this bitch in reverse and we’re home. 

The trouble is, nobody has managed to come close to bringing this issue to you in a way that doesn’t turn you off. At best, it’s a bore, and at worst (toilet paper square accounting?) it’s insulting to human autonomy.

It seems to me that when it comes to this issue, we’ve been given only two sides to pick from: side one says the future of global warming does not present a doomsday scenario, almost chuckling the matter aside.  Side two says it is a dire issue (which it is) and then goes on to inundate side one with so many separate nakedly-scientific points that they make naivete’ seem cozy by comparison.

So John is, introducing a third side that I’d like to subscribe to.  A laid-back, panic free approach to environmentalism.  One that believes the message of “An Inconvenient Truth” is sound, but that it’s an incredibly un-fun name for a movie.  A side free from the cry of hypocrisy, for it doesn’t make sweeping promises.  A side that drives an SUV on the way to the grocery store but then produces nylon mesh bags at the checkout line.  A side that believes in bringing a change of perspective to our government but letting Bush finish his meal first.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I submit to you a third way: Light Green.

No thinking about “offsetting your carbon footprint”.  No rallies.  No brow-beating people who think the Earth just has a fever.  Pick one thing to change this year, and keep the rest of your life the same.  After all, the only message the charts with escalating red lines are meant to send is that the red lines have to stop escalating, not that hey have to drop to the bottom of the graph by next Tuesday.

And to anybody ready to cut me down for this, here’s my full disclosure: We drive an SUV & a van, I still drink lots of bottled water, and we will be mowing our grass with a gas powered lawn mower several times during the summer.  However, we have a third, small fuel-efficient car that we keep for long drives that don’t require much hauling, we recycle everything they’ll accept, I’ve mixed vinegar with nearly everything conceivable to clean nearly every known surface & it works – eliminating the plastic containers in the landfills, I re-use paper towels if I’ve just wiped off a counter or dried my hands on it & I’ll continue coming up with even more ways to adapt to the Light Green mentality as we head through the summer.  It’s fun.  It’s challenging & it’s good for everybody.

Now go watch Will Farrell clips on YouTube, but think about it.  It’s all you’ve got to do in order to go Light Green.