Baby Boomers Nostalgia

Baby Boomers who were born in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s have truly experienced it all. I feel just as connected to my grandchildren as I did my grandparents, because I was a part of it all! Spanning so many decades allows you to easily relate to all age groups, making life so much more interesting. Personally, born in December of 1948, I find it a spectacular year to have made an appearance. Think of the exciting world changes alone! It’s hard to imagine how the next 64 years could bring about as many changes as I’ve seen in my first nearly 64 years. Technologically speaking, I can’t begin to fathom how we can advance at that same rate of speed.

I particularly enjoy the elderly, and when I say elderly, I mean older than me; like people in their late 70’s and 80’s. It’s too bad that seniors in this age group are not held in more respect, based on their life experience alone. Yes, maybe they are slow and maybe don’t communicate in sequential order, but if you take the time to listen, they are a wealth of fun and valuable information. The oldsters are a cracker-jack box of nostalgia!

Though senior life has its downside, the nostalgic value is a definite upside. When we can no longer be as physically active as in our youth, we can at least enjoy sitting around a camp fire remembering when. Reminiscing may not be as exciting as the actual experiences, but it’s a good pacifier. My advice to the younger generation is to create the memories. It would be pretty sad sitting around the fire without any tales of yesteryear! Methinks the current generation whose entertainment is solely centered around computer games, smart phones and music players, will be in short supply of nostalgia when they’ve reached their golden years. Thinking back on when you reached the final level of your favorite video game can hardly compete with the time you were brave enough to finally climb that dreaded hill on your dirt bike, but then toppled over just as you reached the top. I’m just saying…………..

It’s fascinating how memory loss is such an annoyance to the boomers, but yet you can remember the exact circumstances around pivotal moments in history. Doesn’t everyone remember exactly where they were and what they were doing and the exact emotions they were experiencing when JFK was assassinated? I use this as an example because my personal experience was particularly unusual, in my mind anyway. I was a freshman in high school sitting in a business class taught by a very pregnant teacher. The assassination was announced over the loud speaker. The expected shock was clearly visible on the faces of the students, yet this instructor displayed no reaction. Indeed when the announcement was over, she immediately picked up where she left off without remarking and no words of consolation for the students. This sticks in my mind, but yet I can’t remember why I got up and walked to another room, apparently looking for something, but what?

It’s all good. At least what we can remember will provide us with warm and fuzzy feelings. Who cares what we don’t remember. It reminds me of what my best friend once told me. If you forgot something you read or watched on TV or seen in the movies, not a problem; it’s all new again. That makes me smile.

Human Connection to Pets

The connection between people and their pets is a fascinating subject. Have you ever watched some of those internet videos of animals making strange bedfellows with other animals? Sometimes they are wild animals and domesticated animals who make friends with each other. Other times you see animals that hook up with each other when normally they would be the hunter and the prey. And then of course you have those unique human individuals who pick wild and dangerous animals for pets. It never ceases to make me scratch my head with disbelief.

Can it be that there is more of a connection between animals and humans than most people think? I don’t claim to know what it is, but I think there is something to it; probably that we are more alike than unalike. People of faith will tell you that animals have no soul, thereby alluding that there is no real connection. Still, many would say that our pets will be joining us in heaven. Personally, I think heaven will be a bit sad without a few fur-balls running around, leaping in the air to catch a ball!

It can be said, and has, that we are ALL animals, which certainly makes the connection logical. Clearly all animals and humans alike have some of the same needs and instincts. We all have the need for food, shelter, and companionship; and of course, the urge to merge. On the surface, it would appear we are more alike than unalike. I’m having more difficulty coming up with our differences. I find this a light-bulb moment. Sure, animals can’t talk and aren’t as intelligent as humans, and they all look different, whereas humans pretty much all look alike. However, our basic needs including the need for affection are the same.

Domestic animals, particularly dogs and cats have a close relationship with human beings, for obvious reasons. Some are bred to be eaten and others are meant for companions. It makes for a real dilemma for serious animal lovers who can’t bear the thought of eating animals. I think the reason we love animals so much is because they don’t expect much from us, and they give a lot in return. Human to human relationships are hardly that giving.

It makes you wonder how people can be so loving with their animals, yet seemingly neglect fellow human beings. It’s really not that difficult to understand when you consider the work and understanding involved in getting along with human beings. Some people prefer not to make the effort, sad though that may be. It’s much easier to love our pets, and makes for a simpler less complicated relationship. It might be a little crazy, but I get it.

We need to make a more serious effort to love and get along with our human friends, family and foe. As cute and loving as our pets are, they can’t fill our lives.

 

Pets Crowding My Bed

Sometimes I get so tired of my pets crowding my bed; literally tired as well. Waking up ‘dog tired’ in the morning is not the way I want to start my day.  I sleep in a queen-sized bed with a husband, two dogs and a cat.  I adore my pets and actually enjoy having them close by my side at night.  HOWEVER, many nights there is actually way too much activity going on when one is supposed to be catching some z’s.

For instance, last night, because I was hemmed in on both sides by the dogs,  I fled my bed and camped out on the couch instead.  Good try Jeanette!  No more than 30 seconds later Auggie the Doxie and Toby the Pomeranian trailed after me and plopped themselves on top of me.  I try to sneak out while they appear to be sound asleep, but they seem to sense my absence.  I wish the old man would flee the bed and take his snoring and the dogs with him once in a while!  This is assuming the dogs would follow after him like they do me.  He refuses to do so because he says he is too tall to sleep on the couch in the living room or on the futon in the loft.  Phooey, this is the price I pay for being short!

The crowding is NOT the only problem.  Nothing gets past the fine-tuned hearing of these dogs; if they sense me trying to sneak out of bed away from them, they are not about to let the noisy neighbors get by without ear-splitting warning barks!  Then, Toby-doggie has a routine of sock hunting every evening too.  After I get into bed and drop my socks on the floor, Toby hunts them down and brings them back up onto the bed.  But first he has to whine his head off before he climbs back up the doggie stairs provided for that purpose.  We have no clue why he does that; it’s a fairly new annoying habit.

Sneaker the cat is not exempt from the disturbing nighttime activities.  He has no qualms about walking on top of all parts of our bodies.  When he’s tired of that, he roams around on top of the night stands knocking things over.  Even when he’s not in the bedroom he still makes a nuisance of himself in the living room.  We can  hear him batting things around on the floor; everything he can get his grubby paws on!

What is one to do?  I’m pretty sure it’s too late to train them to sleep in their own beds on the floor.  They want to stay up high, where they can OWN us, and they do!

Long and Loud TV Commercials

Long and Loud TV commercials are not luring me to buy the products.   I know advertising is the way of the world now-a-days, but please, can we give the consumer a break? Thank God for DVR’s, and I suppose because of them, advertisers have to work even harder to get their ads out and make them effective enough to promote buying. We do at least have the option to record programming.

If this is beginning to sound like a rant, that’s probably because it is. How annoying are commercials in general? The interruption factor alone is enough to frustrate the be-jesus out of you. It’s like constantly having someone interrupt a conversation you’re having with someone else. How rude is that? At least you can tell the interrupting person to shut the hell up. What are you going to do with the TV? Shoot a bullet through the screen comes to mind, but then that, and just shutting it off, would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Of course as already mentioned we have the option of recording. But certain things you just want to watch live; sporting events and news programming comes to mind as a couple of examples.

It’s just as rude to rant like a maniac without offering a solution/suggestion. Yes. I have a couple. One of course is to just make the commercials shorter. This would force advertisers to come up with clever advertising with shorter blurbs; it would probably even be more effective. Another option is to just have one intermission in the middle of the programming, for an actual 10 minutes vs. an exaggerated 10. Or, have 5 minutes of commercial at the beginning and end of the program. Not sure how that would work considering there is already commercials in between programs, but they could make them longer, and people can just take a bathroom break or raid the kitchen break during that time. Who knows, if the ads were actually clever or funny, maybe people would actually want to watch them, especially if they were spaced out per my suggestions.

That brings to mind another irritation with commercials. Why the heck are they so loud? It’s like shouting at your kids to get them to listen to you. Guess what? Just like with your kids, it has the opposite effect. They just turn you off!  It turn, you turn down the volume and ignore the commercial. So much for good advertising. I don’t know who’s responsible, the advertisers or the TV stations when it comes to pumping up the volume, but I’d sure like to know who to complain to.

Maybe I should be worrying about how to get gas prices down, or global warming or something equally altruistic. Thing is, I wouldn’t have anymore control over those even more important issues, than I do over TV commercials. Instead, I rant. Maybe ranting is just as annoying as long and loud TV commercials and not so hot on the listeners. But it’s great therapy for the one ranting. We’re told not to hold in the anger. I take that kind of advice seriously. Seriously!

Public Bathroom Antics

I did some research on the subject of public bathroom antics, and nowhere on the web have I come across this rather silly topic. Let me be the first to address an issue that that often times grates on my very last nerve. Actually, I really didn’t spend an inordinate amount of time researching the topic, and quite frankly, I’ll be surprised if I am the only person in the world irritated by this tasteless habit.

However, I did come across one really interesting and funny article on the topic, but which made no mention of my public restroom pet peeve. It was hilarious; but for some reason, the author did not include this particularly annoying bathroom antic. I am referring to the tacky habit of covering the crevice between the stall door and the next stall by hanging a strip of toilet paper over it.

This is something that has been driving me crazy for the longest time. At least once a week I see this at my place of business. Whenever I see that nasty strip of T.P. in the stall I’m using, I immediately yank it down!

Ladies, I know this might offend some of you, but I just don’t get it. What is the deal with that strip of toilet paper ya’ll place over the gap between the door and the stall structure in the ladies’ room? I know WHY you do it; I just don’t understand why you think that anyone can actually see you through that little gap, unless they were purposely poking their noses into your business. Now I know that is the last place I’d want to poke my nose into someone else’s business! Do I really care what’s going on in there?

Do you really think there is a whole segment of peepers out there looking to see what goes on within the confines of toilet stalls? I’ll venture a guess, not many. In all my years of using public restrooms, I have never had someone peep into the stall I was using. I daresay I could live out the rest of my life without experiencing a peeping Tom episode in a public bathroom.

First of all, I’m not interested in hanging around a public bathroom any longer than necessary. Who else would take the time to peek into the stalls to see what may or may not be going on inside? Really, who does that? Okay, maybe there is one or two perverts out there, but do you really think YOU will be the one to make contact with them? Of course, my life is charmed, so I’m told, which is why I roll my eyes at the very thought of such an incident.

I work in the building operations department at the Red Cross, and have regular contact with the maintenance people. I’m seriously thinking about asking them to revamp the stalls so that there is NO gap. Why are they made that way in the first place? If the gap was eliminated, chances are a lot less T.P. would be strewn all over the place.

You’d think I’d have other things to think about, right? Well, I do. But there is not a damn thing I can do about the downfall of the rest of world. Maybe that’s why I focus on idiotic things like stupid pieces of toilet paper strung in bathroom stalls. Maybe this article will actually go viral and millions of women all over the world will read it and discontinue this exasperating practice.

Ladies, I beg you………please stop!

Thanksgiving – Next Saga

If a good laugh comes with the craziness, then all is not in vain. At least this year Auggie Doggie kept his dog-gone paws off the dining room table! He even had a partner in crime this year, a new edition to the family. That would be Toby, our little eight and half month old Chihuahua pup. In case you need to catch up, do take a peek at saga one: Thanksgiving Day Come and Gone Toby is quite the little character in his own right and could no doubt stir up some trouble if he chose to; however, he decided to follow the lead of his big brother who did nothing more serious than a little begging for turkey. But then again, nobody brought chocolate cream pie this year either. So could be he had no incentive to act up. Apparently he has no interest in the old stand-by pumpkin and apple pie. Hey, no sweat off our noses Auggie Doggie; more for us! Toby by the way has a saga of his own. In case you want to learn how he became one of the clan, take a look-see here:   TobyNo

So you ask; how did I manage to keep it together this year and actually manage to have time to talk to the family? Well first, as I mentioned earlier, I decided I needed a bit of an attitude adjustment. It dawned on me that there isn’t anything I could do about the family and their attitudes; I could only change mine. I just chilled out, period. Once I came to this glorious realization, seems the universe decided to cooperate, as did everyone else around me, including the bird. I slapped the stuffing into that puppy (no not Toby), and got it into the oven like a pro, no fuss, no muss.

I also found out you can reuse that piece of plastic, which binds the bird’s legs together, and stuff its legs back into it to keep the stuffing from falling out. That in itself made my day! Makes me wonder how I managed to get nearly 64 years old without realizing I could cook the bird with that plastic piece attached. Sometimes it pays to read the directions.  I guess it’s also true that you learn something new every day.

See what I mean about the universe cooperating? Once I gave in/up, things just started falling into place. Next, once the bird was in the oven, I began preparing the veggies and candied yams right after I closed the oven door on the bird. Instead of waiting until later when the turkey was close to being done, I saved myself the hassle of scurrying around the kitchen, bumping butts with the daughters, trying to get it all on the table while the turkey was still hot. Then, all that needed to be done was to heat the rest of the meal. Bam, snap, nothing to it!

Did you know that a metal whisk can change your life? Yep, threw away the whisk that was falling apart and got a nice new metal one with no rubbery stuff to fall off into the gravy. So there were no snide remarks from daughter number one about my gravy making skills. I also did not hear one word about Rachel Rae’s fabulous recipe. We all just settled for gravy without rubber particles floating around in it.

Okay, I didn’t make a COMPLETE attitude change. I did slip up once which made for at least one funny incident in the kitchen…ice cubes in the mashed potatoes. I told daughter number two that she had to mash the potatoes. Then I proceeded to stand over her and tell her how to do it. I couldn’t help myself; she wanted to put in the milk before the butter! Who does that? The butter has to melt before you poor in the cold milk, right?

Remembering my resolve, I took my glass of champagne and wandered into the living room to talk to my granddaughters. Suddenly I hear the words “ice cubes and “mashed potatoes” linked together coming from the mouth of daughter number one. What? Were they going to put ice cubes in the mashed potatoes?  I made a dash for the kitchen as both daughters began to roar with laughter. They must get their sense of humor from their mother; how could I be angry.

So then, Thanksgiving at our House – The Next Saga may be the last in the series of Thanksgiving fiasco stories. If I maintain the new attitude change and add a few more organizational changes, maybe there will be nothing of interest to write about? Oh say it’s not so…I do so love laughing and reflecting on the day over my pie and tea on the Friday morning after. Mind you, it is only funny the NEXT day.

My Crazy Vacation

Every year I go to Arizona to visit my brother and my best friend. It’s always one of those don’t do much, sit on your butt, play games and drink type vacations. It’s the type of vacation where you really just rest. How much trouble can you get into? I’ll tell you how much; the pain is an excellent reminder.

Most years I just travel by train from California to Arizona, just so I can stay in the relax mode. But this year I decided to drive, all by myself. My husband did not accompany me, which alone should have made it relaxing and stress-free. Sorry Buddy, you know exactly what a pain you can be, especially if I’m driving. As it turns out, the trip itself went well. I made good time and didn’t run into any traffic. However, once in Arizona, this is the sequence of events:

Drive up on dead end road into someone’s private driveway – I managed to get all the way to Prescott Arizona, about 439 miles without a hitch. On the last leg, as I turned onto my brother’s street, I turned right instead of left. The street dead-ended into a private driveway. That will throw you askew every time; one must know their left from right in order to arrive at their destination. In itself, it shouldn’t have been much of a problem. I just needed to back down out of the driveway and go in the other direction, you know, my other left. The driveway was on a hill and there was rocky gravel lining the driveway. As I backed down I didn’t go straight enough and ended up stuck on the rocks. Try as I might, I couldn’t get out. I called my brother; no one was home. What up brother? Didn’t I tell you my exact arrival time? I called Triple A and the guy put a 2×4 under my tire and drove on out. Nice. Too bad I don’t carry wood boards in my car for such an occasion. Note to self; put 2×4 in trunk of car.

After heading back in the right direction, and about 40 seconds later, I let myself into my brother’s house and waited for him and my sister-in-law to return from wherever they were. They arrived in minutes and got a good laugh out of my mishap. It’s all good. If someone can laugh at my shenanigans, all is not for naught. The rest of my visit with my brother went without further incident. After a few days visit, I headed on out to Camp Verde, 50 miles south of Flagstaff AZ, to visit my friend. Fortunately this little jaunt went without incident as well. Once there, it was a whole other story.

Jerome, AZ, a lovely place to visit, but watch out for those cracked sidewalks – If you have never been to Jerome, it’s a must see on an Arizona vacation. It’s an old western town built high on the mountains at about 5,000 feet. The scenery is as spectacular as what you might see at the Grand Canyon. It has lots of specialty shops and great places to eat. My favorite shop is the Raku Gallery which is loaded with gorgeous stuff that I really can’t afford to buy, but I always check it out just in case they’re having a sale. This is where the Jerome fiasco took place. The Raku has a glass blowing studio, and I was able to pick up a $20 coffee mug which I planned on as a gift for my daughter. As I was leaving the store, I tripped over some uneven sidewalk. I landed flat on my hands and my head followed landing on top of the bag with the cup in it. An attendant from the store rushed out to rescue me. I told her I was fine and that I was more worried about my cup, which I did NOT break! I did bruise the palms of both of my hands. My relief that the cup was saved was short lived. When I got home, my husband tossed it on top of our tiled dining room table and busted it. It was just never meant to be.

Building a cairn; not quite as much fun as I thought it might be – It looked like a really cool thing to do. I watched a video of an up and coming musical band from the south, brothers and a cousin, who built a cairn in a creek nearby their home. I thought to myself and said, “Self, you ought to build one of those things in the creek where Ginger lives”. I figured it would give us something new to do besides sitting on her patio drinking and playing word games.

Down to the creek we go. Ginger has the camera for video shots, and I search for just the right rocks. Like an idiot, I decided to build the cairn on top of a very large rock in the flowing part of the stream, instead of on the flat sandy surface of the creek. That was my first mistake. The second was building it pyramid style where anything could go wrong; and did! I built it up about 18 inches high before it toppled down the first time. Since only about half of it fell, I decided I would rebuild. This time I got to a place I could almost call finished, and down it came again. This time however I got caught in the downfall. At this point we decided to head home so I could ice my very bruised and swollen ankle and sip on cocktails for comfort.

Curling iron debacle – Yes, you guessed it. A few short hours after the rock pounding, I grabbed a hold of a very hot curling iron on the wrong end! All I can say is that hell must be a very horrible place, if such a place exists. I burned 2 fingers and the palm of my hand and it hurt for a solid 5 or 6 hours, as burns do. As luck would have it, it was the night before I was to drive home the following morning. There I was, up and down all night retrieving cold ice packs from the refrigerator.

Despite my sleepless night, I did manage to get home without any additional disastrous happenings. I took the usual mosquito bites home with me, along with my bruised and battered body. One more pelt to my already beaten up body surely would have traumatized me into a shock ridden state. I was spared.

Ginger says maybe we should see the Grand Canyon next year. In light of my clumsiness, I’m wondering how good an idea that might be; dangerous high rocks and all. I’d like to live another year to visit my friend and drink and play word games on her patio, where it’s nice and safe. Well, all except for those West Nile carrying mosquitoes.

Update:  The above occurred a few years ago.  This year, no issues and after several trips to the same places, I can honestly say I am no longer geographically challenged.  I do believe next year I can do it all over again without the help of maps or GPS!  Also, we were all particularly lazy this year; we only ate and drank, which cut down the mishaps to zero.  I have new plans for cairn building – stay tuned!

Losing it All – My Mind AND Belongings

I think my mind has slipped down into the mysterious crack of lost items. It seems I am losing my mind AND my belongings to this insufferable crack. You know the crack I’m talking about; missing socks that never come out of the dryer after they have gone in. Okay, so that one isn’t so mysterious. There must be some logical explanation for that since it happens to everyone. I just get so tired of spending half my waking hours looking for things! I’m finding out that it’s not so much that these items are actually lost. I just can’t remember what in hell I did with them.

Prime example: I went to the doggie beach this past weekend and upon returning home I couldn’t find my MP3 player, so figured it was buried deep in the sand somewhere on Huntington Beach. Not so. After searching for days, I opened my eyeglass case to find the player tucked away nice and safe-like! Cheese Louise! What good is keeping things in a safe place when you can’t remember where the safe place is?

I’m thinking one solution would be to stop walking around the house like a zombie with things in my hand. They wind up getting dropped in the most unlikely of places. Take the case of the missing Kleenex box, lost around the same time as the MP3 player. Even my husband got into the act on this one. I asked him if he had seen it, and he said no and that he thought it was weird too because he remembered me asking him which box we should keep in the living room. (Boxes have different designs on them, so I wanted to use the one that fit my color scheme.) Turns out it was hidden behind the toilet tank. Not so unlikely a place for a box of Kleenex, but still, not where I usually put them. Fortunately, this mystery was solved in about 10 minutes, so I still have most of the hair on my head.

Do I have to accept the fact that I’m just getting old and I have developed CRS like everyone else my age? I don’t care what anyone says; I’m pretty sure I coined this acronym, but I can’t remember. Besides, I’ve been suffering from CRS since my early 20s. So I can pretty much say with certainty that it is not old age! Maybe I should just cop to the old age thing, because the alternatives are not very attractive. Something must be seriously wrong with my brain!

Here’s the kicker. It used to be that I could depend on my husband to be my keeper. I guess I unconsciously picked a man 12 hears my junior just for this purpose, but guess what? He’s catching up to me in a big damn hurry! How he’s getting deaf, along with me, and he can’t remember a damn thing anymore either. A lot of good he is! Now we will just have two idiots running around the house looking for things. Can you just picture it? Hubby bellowing ‘what’ all the time, cause he doesn’t have hearing aids yet; both of us bumbling along looking for our eye glasses and various other old age necessities. Thank you God; you’re funny too!

Oh well, I guess we could hire a personal assistant and pretend he/she does really important things for us. We don’t have to tell anyone that his/her job is really finding our eyeglasses which sometimes can be found perched atop our balding heads!

 

Brodie & His Friends

My parents really don’t get me, not one bit. They don’t understand what a day in the life of Brodie is really like. It’s like we speak a different language. I suppose it’s not an unusual fifteen year-old adolescent complaint. Take this morning for an example. Well, actually any morning for that matter.  They all start off the same. I’m not the morning type. If sleeping were a competitive sport, I would be a challenge to be reckoned with.

I can hear my Mom now yelling at me from the kitchen. Brodie, get out from under those covers. Don’t make me come in there! I have to get up every morning and help my Dad take out the trash. Since I have to be outside anyway, I take this opportunity to scout around and make sure the home front is secure. I don’t know why I am so anal about this; I must have been a security guard in my last life. I always make sure our car is still in the driveway and that the stereo remains intact. Although not sure I’d miss it that much since my parents always get the choice of music, which is not anything I can remotely relate to. I do love that car though and my parents almost always let me have the best seat. It’s the one up I have on Krystal and Tommy. They, on the other hand get to lie around in bed while I’m out taking care of business.  Seems all they ever care about is who can get to the breakfast table first!

Tommy and Krystal are my seventeen year-old twin brother and sister. They seem to think because they arrived on the scene first that they are especially privileged. It would appear so too, since I’m the one who has trash and security duties!  Krystal is all right some of the time and mostly ignores me. However, I get the feeling Tommy is always waiting to throw a punch at me or put his foot out to trip me when I walk by. I’m convinced that Mr. and Miss High & Mighty just tolerate me for Mom and Dad’s sake, and wish I were never born! Well, born I was, and it’s not my fault my parents gave me such a geeky name to begin with. Broderick? Who the heck pins a name like that on a kid these days? Brodie is okay I guess, though it does sound like a dog’s name. No wonder the twins treat me like one! But it is a darn sight better than Broderick.

After breakfast, I like to hang out with my Dad when he isn’t working, maybe play a little ball. Dad doesn’t throw so well so I spend a lot of time chasing his lousy pitches. Of course my catcher’s mitt isn’t the greatest either. Today was no different, and I quickly bored of the game. If nothing else, we got a little exercise. It’s barely ten in the morning, and I’m already looking forward to my nap. Dad is probably the only one who can compete with me in the sleeping department. This is a stroke of good luck for me, and he allows me to get away with a lot of napping too. Mom hates all the daytime sleeping and discourages it every chance she gets. But, I have a few slick hiding places so I can sleep in peace most of the time.

After sneaking in my mid-morning nap, I begin to feel really antsy. Time to get out of the house; napping just energizes me.  Maybe my friend Joxer is up and about. He seems to be just lazing around this summer too. Joxer and I are a bit different but we are best buds! He’s a little older than me, and opposite in build. He’s tall and sturdy looking, while I’m quite a bit shorter. Some say that we look like Mutt and Jeff palling around together. We do have our funny names in common; seems Joxer is a nickname taken from some old time super hero his Dad likes. Joxer and his Dad live alone together. Though his Dad is in a wheelchair, he gets around pretty well all on his own. Even so, Joxer likes to keep an eye on him. I bet his Dad likes the idea of a super hero watching his back.

I banged on Joxer’s door and his Dad let him out for a while. We wandered the neighborhood seeing what kind of trouble we could stir up. Then we went across the street from Joxer’s and hooked up with another friend we call Slinky because he’s so darn skinny. Joxer and I are always trying to engage him in our activities; like eating for one, hoping to fatten him up so as not to make us look bad. Our parents all seem to be on this kick of watching our weight! Actually, Slinky wasn’t so slinky not so long ago! But that was before his parents put him on a diet. Now, he thinks he’s all that since he has trimmed down. But, we still dig him; the old Slinky is still in there somewhere!

We didn’t really have a game plan and was just roaming the neighborhood checking out the driveways for any cool new cars. Soon enough trouble found us. Along comes the knucklehead threesome which we like to call them. The three brothers are not so much trouble really. We just think they are stuck up. They always seem to be parading around with their mother showing off their athletic ability. Said skills make us look like the do-nothings that we are most of the time. We should probably be kinder. They don’t have a Dad, and maybe their Mom just wants to keep them tough by involving them in sports. They are kind of arrogant though, and Slinky doesn’t care for them much, so he slunk on home when they showed up at our favorite nearby park. He’s not the most social guy in the world and was glad to have an excuse to leave away. We always tease him about having a social anxiety disorder but hes so anti-social he doesn’t seem to care!

I was feeling another nap coming on, so I finally dismissed myself as well and went on my way home. I crept into the house hoping not to run into Mom who always wants to talk to me and see what I’ve been doing, or check out my hair to see if I need a haircut. I let her fuss with me for a few minutes, and then high-tailed it to my den for another nap before supper.

I woke up from my nap just in time for supper. Mom’s cooking is okay but what I really look forward to is dessert. We don’t always have one every night because of the health kick Mom is always preaching. And, if it were up to my Dad, we’d eat nothing BUT dessert! Oh Yeah! It’s on tonight, a special treat, vanilla ice cream, my favorite!

Well, that’s how my day went, and now that I think about it, maybe I shouldn’t be complaining so much; yap, yap, yap. I mean heck, I have the life of a well cared for dog! I have a dog’s life for crying out loud. Oh, that’s right, I am one!

My real name is Auggie and I’m the best cutest weenie dog on the block! My brother and sister are really cats from the same litter. And my parents really do take VERY good care of me. And, oh yeah, my parents are human. What a menagerie!

Nix the Boot Camp Parenting

Some might say the biggest mistake they made was the decision to become parents in the first place! Thank God for unplanned pregnancies, or most of us wouldn’t be here to try our hands at the parenting game at all. Planned or not, we are never prepared for the task. Read all the books you want. Listen to your parents and various family members spout their techniques, but from the moment that little monkey-child is placed in your arms, all bets are off! I personally just winged it all the way, and frankly, I don’t think it’s a bad way to go.

One of the biggest mistakes I think many parents make is not choosing their battles. They want to do it all right. While a lofty goal, it’s hardly doable. Of course we all have our own styles too, and what works for some doesn’t for others, not to mention the unique personality of each child in the same family. I have two daughters two years apart, and they couldn’t be more different than night and day. Here’s a mistake in the making right away. Back in the day, would be parents were told to space their kids two years apart. What was those experts thinking?? Here you have a wild two year-old running around like a crazed maniac, and then you have a needy whiny infant on your hip! Many a day found me wanting to toss both kids at their father the minute he walked in the front door from work! This makes for a bad spacing choice in my experience. You might want to rethink that old-fashioned idea. I think four years apart makes better sense.

Here’s a great example of battle choosing. I have a girlfriend who had her kids quite a few years after my family was already complete, so she was completely clueless. We were sitting at the kitchen table playing cards, while the kids were in the bedroom playing. She got up for a potty break and while at that end of the house, she looked in on the kids. She comes back to the table and says, “Jeanette, your little one is throwing all her clothes out of the dresser drawers”. I told her I don’t care. She repeats, “No, I mean she is throwing ALL of her clothes out of the drawers”. I repeated, “I don’t care”! She didn’t get it, but I’d bet money on the fact that she got it real quick once her kids were born and growing up! It was worth picking up the mess later, rather than interrupting our card game to discipline my daughter straight away. Now had she come back to the table and said she was cutting her other sister’s hair, (not an arbitrary example), I would have hiked back there lickety-split!

I think the biggest lesson I learned while raising my two munchkins was how to speak to them while disciplining them. I learned this purely by accident. I had come home from a long Christmas shopping trip and was dead on my feet. I came into the living room to find my two darlings watching TV and eating potato chips. At least I thought they were eating them, but hard to tell since there was chips from one end of the living room to the other! I was too tired to begin screaming at them, which is my normal method of discipline. Instead, I very quietly and slowly told them to pick up their mess and then go to their rooms. The screaming they expected; the calm rational mother they did not. They immediately did what they were told and went to their rooms. I went in a few minutes later to find them both crying! Guess I scared the hell out of them and they figured I meant business this time! This was quite the eye-opener to be sure.

So, pick your battles and don’t scream like a banshee! This is what I learned. Certainly I did little by the books, but my daughters turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. And I do!