20 Jul 2011 08:20 am


6:10 am Central Standard Time

I am up taking my dog, Penny out to do what little doggies do, plus things Penny, in particular, likes to do. Penny has very sharp eyes and can see a quarter mile away to the end of the now brown yard where, in front of the hedges, sits a very still brown rabbit. Penny freezes, her nose is fixed in place, one paw seems to be pointing straight ahead and we stand there for what seems like an eternity, although it’s probably about a minute. I am pretty patient with Penny because I like to see what she will do. I move steadily forward, Penny stays fixed.

After another quiet eternity I feel the need to get the rabbit hunt moving along so I edge a few more steps forward. Still eyeing her prey, Penny doesn’t move at all. Neither does the rabbit.

Penny has me on a leash. I have moved to the end of it. I am anticipating coffee and a quiet morning inside the house and yet Penny is transfixed by the silly rabbit.

I tighten my grip on the leash. I stomp on the ground. Penny leaps and leads me flying across the yard only to end up sniffing frantically under the hedge because the rabbit has disappeared under it.

That adventure sadly concluded, I give Penny a consolation stroll back round the house and she decides to take a turn up the hill and to the right. There at the end of the backyard sits a very large calico cat. This cat is so large that when my husband has taken Penny out at night he has mistakenly identified her as a bobcat, a possum, or some other kind of “panther” of the night. After he got new glasses he realized that she is just a really large cat. Whatever, Penny believed his reaction and was very frightened of “Calico”.

I suppose Penny has learned a healthy respect for cats from our own in-house felines, Amos and Sabby, so she just paused and glanced at the Calico and turned to go back down the hill.

We were back in the house by 6:26 am and I was sipping coffee and checking out the news by 6:40 am. Instapundit had already posted four or five links by the time I had taken my dog outside. Does he not have a dog or cat to tend to? I know he can schedule links and all that but he comes up with great takes and succinct and economical commentary all day and night.

Evidence of a dog-less lifestyle? Perhaps more interest in all things bacon?

I find this particular link striking. It makes me think of President George W. Bush and his stirring words about every human heart’s desire for freedom. Now Iranians are responding in an important way. They are defying the Islamic Republic fatwa against owning dogs and are buying and selling dogs online. Yes, dogs as pets are good for human hearts. (cats too)

05 Jan 2010 01:16 am


My niece, Maine, finally found a proper chair to sit in at the Manor House in Eniskillen, Northern Ireland. She traveled to Ireland with her boyfriend and his family to celebrate Christmas with the grandmoms, aunts and uncles who still live there.

Maine didn’t escape the typical marriage questions from her own family, “when are you and Daniel getting married?” She was peppered by that question by the female side of the Irish.

Maine is like a lion and when she roars everyone listens. She is a blogger now, as well as an artist, and an actor studying the art to earn a Masters in Fine Art in Austin at the University of Texas. We really missed her at Christmas and we are glad she is back for at least a little while.

Christmas was a whirlwind of cooking, wrapping presents, decorating the tree and watching the Christmas lights as we drove to visit family. SNOW! It snowed on Christmas Eve. It was glorious and made me remember what it was like to be a child.

The best Christmas gift is always an act of love and I was the recipient of a very sacrificial and loving gift from my daughter, Charlotte. When she found out that Sarah Palin was appearing at a bookstore in Norman, Oklahoma she stayed out all night the night before to get a ticket, (it was extremely cold) and then stood in line for four hours the next afternoon in order to see Sarah Palin and to get her to sign the book she had bought for me. Here she is, in line with a smile on her face as she is meeting Sarah. I’m halfway through her book and it is revealing the authentic Sarah Palin, a tremendously exciting American citizen with a rich and unique history and story.

When I read the letter Sarah wrote to her children and family about her soon to be born, baby boy,Trig it brought tears to my eyes. This is a gifted, intelligent, thoughtful and exemplary woman America has met and embraced, thanks to Senator John McCain. No wonder liberals and the Obama administration are going nuts over Sarah Palin. To which I say, you’ve got nothing, nothing, to counter an authentic, American like Sarah Palin. She has captured the imagination of the citizens of the United States who wish it to remain the United States of America, not the world.

So, Sarah is roaring and it is my deepest wish and aspiration to help her roar. The Republicans, the Tea Partiers and the American people need to be very proactive in our desire to stop the Obamanization of our country. 2010 is the time for all of us to roar our opposition to the socialization of our nations’ economy, health care system, banking system, and the Democrats plans to tax us all to death.

What does it say about Obama’s take on America’s national security that it took three days for Obama to make a statement about the Christmas terrorist and only four hours for his operatives to hit back at former Vice President Dick Cheney’s criticism of their anemic response? I prefer a lions’ response to the enemies of our nation, not the mousy little timid approach that the Obama administration gave us.

Who do you think is our nations’ enemy Mr. Obama?


So what did Charlotte do after she met Sarah Palin? She went to Hollywood to see the premier of Avatar.

Happy New Year! 2010 will be a year to remember. Just hide and watch.

Sissy Willis is roaring her opposition to Martha Coakley, the Ted Kennedy senatorial replacement candidate.

06 Jul 2009 06:47 pm


Both of my brothers, Guy and Bobby served in the Gulf War.

My brother, Sgt. Maj. Bobby E. Fletcher has done many things in his life. He was a great college baseball player, (the best second baseman I’ve ever seen) he’s a history aficionado, (and military historian) he’s a numismatist, (and President of our local coin club) and he’s a great Dad, husband, son, brother, athlete and soldier. He is the organizer and record breaking winner of our annual Fletcher Family Football Tournament. Bobby served in the first Gulf War and he deployed to Kuwait for the Iraq War.


My youngest brother, Guy followed his big brother, Bobby into the military.

Now my brother is a blogger and he has some very interesting posts. The 142nd Field Artillery Brigade recently moved into a new facility at Fort Chaffee. The new Armed Forces Reserve Center will have a grand opening on the 11th of July at 2PM.


The Sgt. Major in Iraq in 2007

Bobby has been given a room in the armory to create a museum about the 142nd. He has been collecting historical information and artifacts of the unit for years.

I think readers will find his new blog, Diamond Fire XRAY very interesting! It is a military blog and so much more!

Go see!

Now I can say, “It runs in the family.”

23 Nov 2008 11:56 am

Check this out. GenderAnalyzer determines the gender of the writer of a blog by plugging in the URL. I found this on Instapundit who is only 64% manly. The details of the info were from Gateway Pundit who suffered an even bigger blow to his manly pride.

Here are the GenderAnalyzer Results on the writer of Wide Awake Cafe.

We think is written by a man (69%).

That’s a blow to my female pride, my girly girlishness!

It’s true, I just celebrated our Victory in Iraq Day yesterday, November 22, 2008, but that shouldn’t mean that I am more manly, just that I am a human being. I am a big football fan but many woman are football fans.

I don’t blog about that stuff you do with the yarn although I have a friend who blogs about it.

I do blog about art often.

I’ve done my share of cat blogging.

I spend some time on this blog writing about my family, my grandparents and our family history.

I blog about politics and culture because that has always been an innate interest since high school. I’ve been interested in military history because I am married to a man who has filled the bookshelves in our home with books about military history and I have found them fascinating.

When Bob watches The Band of Brothers for the sixth or seventh time I am there with him. If that has made my blog a little more masculine so be it.

But I still don’t get it.

If I were so masculine I would be able to do the technological changes I would like to do to my blog. It’s not something I’m proud to admit but it’s true that if I were of more of a techy mindset I would be able to upgrade my computer without constantly having to ask my husband how to do it. I would be able to change the ink cartridge in my printer. If I were more handy with my hands I would be able to open DVD covers.

If I were more manly I would be tall enough to change the light bulb in the laundry room without a ladder. I would be able to use a drill. I would be able to make some simple improvements to my house without having a disaster happen and I would be able to simply turn a doorknob which I am unable to do sometimes.

69% male. Hahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!

15 Oct 2008 06:28 pm

I have confidence in Senator McCain’s debate performance tonight so I won’t try to tie him down with unasked for advice. I see enough of that all over the blogosphere. Most are wish lists of questions which will never be asked by Bob Schieffer or others blasting John McCain’s crankiness, or of not being cranky enough or woeful predictions about what they think will happen in the debate tonight, which, after all, is their right as they see it.

Some say McCain should punch Obama three times with the left, once with the right.

These are great times in many ways… despite the economy, these are the days before we elect the 44th president of the United States. A new era will ensue next January, 2009, whoever the American people and Acorn elect.

In these days before November 4th we may be looking out over the abyss. On January 20th, 2009 we may be looking back on these days with longing as the last days of President Bush. The last days of freedom. The last days we had the rights of free citizens. Right now we have the right to express our opinions whatever they may be.

These are the days that in many ways remind me of the September 10th, 2001 era, a happy, aimless, time when the only controversies were the counting of the ballots down in Palm Beach County by the New York Times, resulting in President Bush still winning the 2000 election and Al Gore making a few brave appearances here and there.

That so many Americans can still remain unaware or worse, not care that the Democrat Party has offered up the most radical and dangerous candidate since George McGovern one who wants to redistribute Americans wealth through taxation as he said to the face of a plumber recently,

It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success too,” Obama responded. “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody … I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

That Obama has never wanted an American victory in Iraq has been apparent for quite a while, in fact, he has meddled in U.S.-Iraq relations for months. This undermines our relations with not only Iraq but with other middle eastern nations. But don’t take my word for it, read what Mohammed Fadhil has written.

Teachers of the country who hate “No Child Left Behind”? Changes are a-coming. It’s not so much educational excellence or stress on better pay. No. Nothing like that.

The abyss awaits. We make a choice. Do we choose the white haired man or the man of hope and change?

The man of illusion is the man of hope and change. I choose not to make that choice. I will go for the old guy with the solid American ideas and the Vice Presidential choice who has a future, Sarah Palin. No matter how the debate goes tonight.

Last, instead of sitting around whining about what McCain-Palin should be doing, Lorie Byrd has some advice about what Republicans can be doing.

04 Oct 2007 11:42 am


When I was a teenage babysitter, one of the coolest kids I babysat for was a whimsical and funny, five year old boy. John always came up with the funniest comments and questions. One day he said, “I can’t see my eyes.” I answered, “Well, I can see your eyes.” He responded, “I can’t see my eyes. I must not have any eyes.” I took him to a mirror and pointed out his eyes. He said, “That’s not really my eyes. That’s a mirror.” And on and on. He grew up to be a doctor.

I was reminded of John the other night when I was writing my post, “A Surge of Joy.” We had experienced such a wonderful weekend and I had waited until very late to do my blogging about it. It was a long post and I found it hard to edit myself.

As I was about to hit “publish” suddenly the blog disappeared. Just a white page and finally, the “page can’t be displayed window.”

Luckily, just before I started to publish, I copied everything. Then it all disappeared. I pasted the post on Word and checked out the rest of the internet. I could view everything.

Tired and disappointed, I went to bed.

I couldn’t see my blog the next morning although everything else on the internet loaded properly. I went to work.

Later, that afternoon I turned on the computer hopefully.

I still couldn’t see my blog.

Now, I’ve been very busy lately and haven’t posted as avidly on my blog. Some days when I did have the time I didn’t have the words. Or, I had too many words and couldn’t organize my thoughts.

But, this was getting annoying. My husband had installed a new security system on my computer and in the back of my mind I wondered if it had caused the problem. I emailed the wonderous and talented, Sadie of Agent Bedhead and Apothegm Designs. She got right back to me and reported that she could see my blog. She gave me some technical advice. I contacted the host for my blog and they got back with me telling me they could see my blog and my account was current.

I emailed Sissy Willis and asked her if she could see my blog. She could.

Apparently everyone in the world could see my blog (well the few who actually look) except for me.

Was I being punished by the blog gods for my sins of commission or omission? Were they telling me that it was time to put away childish things and go do the dishes?

I began to wonder when my family who lives in the same city I do could also view my blog.

My husband, who is an action man, heard my sighs of woe and started discussing the issue with me. He tried to view the blog on his computer. He couldn’t. At least I finally wasn’t alone. We checked the laptop downstairs and we could see the blog.

I had proof that it was still there but couldn’t login on the laptop to write because the wireless was too weak.

I suggested that the new security system might be causing the problem but after we turned it off we still couldn’t see Wide Awake.

I started the dishes, folded a load of clothes and cleaned the downstairs bathroom. A lot of housework gets done around here when I am upset or frustrated. I wanted my blog back. I am a blogger. Take my blog away for a day and I’m back to doing housework. The floors get too freaking clean. We can’t have that.

Plus, I wanted to comment on the news of the day. I heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio last week during a break in my classroom as he was discussing the phony soldiers issue. He said nothing wrong. His intent was not to criticize active duty soldiers who are against the war. I am outraged by the attack on him by Hillary Clinton’s Media Matters and Democrat senators. Rush has done a lot in his support for the troops not only in words but also in deed. When my son deployed to Iraq, Rush adopted him, giving him free 24/7 for the year he was gone. Rush helped to uplift me during the entire year my son was gone with his insightful world view. (A world view that the Democrats want to silence)

Now, I felt silenced. The Wide Awake Cafe was sleeping or perhaps, was in a coma.

My husband called our internet provider.

After an hour and a half on the phone Bob determined that the reason I couldn’t view or operate my blog was a bad router.


Bob messed around with the router and brought the blog back. I hugged him and through the ether, hugged my blog. I published A Surge of Joy.

I can see my blog. I can post on my blog. Simple happiness.

22 Aug 2007 12:03 pm


I’m back in school and planning for a great year with my art students. I’ve added a plaster bust of a Greek woman to my classroom. I did the sculpture in my freshman year in college and it has sat on my father’s rolltop desk in his den since 1969. He let me take it to school under protest. But this year has a Greek theme to it.


I’m sorry that my blogging has been nonexistent of late. I have been very busy getting ready for school. I know that I sometimes make the mistake of thinking that bloggers have no other life except for their existence on their blogs. It’s similar to the notions of many school kids who are surprised to learn that their teachers live in houses with families instead of at school.


It’s good being back in school. It brings September and October that much closer. My brother and son will be home from Iraq then. Heaven protect them.

11 May 2007 05:55 pm


I got the above image of Jim and Stanley playing at the beach from Dean Barnett. He likes The Office. So, apparently, does Mitt Romney. That’s a point in his favor in my book.

If you are a fan of The Office call this number: 1-800-984-3672

If you’re not. Well, you wouldn’t understand.


If you’re not a fan, don’t read Schrute’s Space.

07 May 2007 01:42 pm

The Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune has killed James Lileks’ column and assigned him to write local news.


Lileks is the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s best asset and the reason why I even read the newspaper! What is wrong with the management of the Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune? It has to be more than the drinking water. Then again, maybe the water ought to be checked out.

I could understand it if they put Jim Boyd in charge of the classified ad section but take James Lileks’ column away?

As it happens, they’ve killed my column, and assigned me to write straight local news stories.


There’s been some talk that I might leverage my mad web skillz into a tech beat, reporting on the Internet. But a local beat about the Internet? How many stories can do you about six guys in a loft coding a hot new start-up? And heaven forbid we have to illustrate them, because then you get the inevitable geek-by-the-screen shot. Look! He’s customizing the drop-down location menu so it defaults to the United States instead of Afghanistan!

I don’t want to write about the Internet. I want to write on the Internet. I’d rather develop content than report about content developers. It’s that simple, and it’s also a matter of recognizing my failings: I am not Biff Deadline, Ace Reporter. I can do long stories with lots of color, all aslosh with subjective opinions, but writing straight news - clearly, simply, briskly - is a skill I lack, and I take off my hat to those who’ve mastered that discipline.

My column will end a week from this Friday. (There’s a series of pieces I can’t wait to write.) After that, it’s just-the-facts-ma’am - and I’ll no longer be telecommuting, either. This means I will start burning my share of hydrocarbons like a good American. Hell, I may leave the vehicle running all day outside the building just to make up for lost time. Maybe I will put a green roof on the car to balance things out. Some turf, some switchgrass. It’s murder on the paint but we all must do our part.

Would it matter if you contacted the paper? It very well might. Here’s the reader’s rep’s page.

The newspaper was bleeding subscribers before they pulled this stunt. Now watch the paper go out of business completely.

What a waste of genius. Lileks ought to be publishing his own newspaper anyway; his thought provoking and humorous commentary is always surprising and inspiring. Having never been to Minneapolis, Lileks was like my own private Minnesota.

This bit of nincompoopery by the suits at the Trib is not unlike assigning Katie Couric to the CBS Evening News. She already had her perky spot but moved on to a gig that never calls for smiles wider than the Kentucky Derby winner, Street Sense.

Come to Arkansas James. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette needs you.

04 Jan 2007 01:25 am

What a return it is too! He’s here and he’s here and he’s here.

I’m glad you’re back, Patrick. The blog force felt your absence.

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