Friday, September 23, 2016

Do You Want Your Kids To Follow Your Example?

Whether we like it or not, our lives are mirrors to our children. Often their actions are a direct reflection of the example they see in us.  When they say or do something that makes us smile inside, we know the message we have tried to instill in them has taken root.

Thomas' first day of school.  I was surprised that four-year-olds now went to school for the WHOLE day.

Daughter Rochelle was at the bank with 4-year-old Thomas and baby Aubrie.  As he does in every public place, Thomas introduced himself to the bank teller, who was a woman of color.  In the small town where they live, Thomas rarely sees anyone with a different color of skin.

"Hi, my name is Thomas.  What's yours?"  Smiling the teller replied and Thomas proceeded to introduce the rest of his family....which he does every time.

"This is my mommy and my little sister, Brie."  Then with an intent look at the teller, he continued.  "Brie likes all people."

Anyone within hearing distance smiled and nodded.

Made My Month!

A friend of my daughter's was planning a two-week trip and a couple days before she was headed out of town she found out her dog/house sitter was not able to do the job.  In a panic, she asked Rochelle to see if I would be willing to do it.  They live about ten minutes from my daughter which meant I would be able to see her and my grandkids every day for two whole weeks.  I was ecstatic.

I had to take my computer and office with me, but it was certainly worth the effort to be close to my family for two whole weeks.   Watching Aubrie enjoying her first taste of avocado was priceless.  It is definitely one of her faves!

The dog was a large ten-month-old German Shepherd puppy who could easily knock me over without much effort.  As any puppy, he was excitable and required a firm "No!" to help him understand that jumping on people was not acceptable.

One day when I returned to the house after a couple hours, he jumped up, knocked me into a table, sent an expensive battery-operated candle crashing to the floor and proceeded to lick my face. When I showed him the grapefruit-sized bruise a couple days later, he licked my leg and smiled at me.  "I'm sorry," he seemed to say and by the time the two weeks was over, he had improved greatly.

My husband came for a visit on one of the weekends and the grandkids were elated.  He plays with Thomas endlessly and it sure takes the pressure off of this gramma to do the rough and tumble boys love.  The two of them were wrestling and Thomas was getting a bit out of hand so Papa told him to stop.  But Thomas was wound up and enjoying pulling on Papa's shoulders and tickling him and jumping on him way too much to stop.

Again, Papa said, "Stop!"  But Thomas was having way too much fun until......he heard Papa's shirt rip.

"I'm going to my room now."  Head held down feeling terrible about what he had done, Thomas went to his room to think about what happened.  A few minutes later, he came out to apologize to Papa. What a reflection on good parenting it was to see Thomas discipline himself.

The Rodeo is in Town!

The rodeo came to town.  Rochelle, Thomas, Aubrie and I met Thomas' other gramma, Nana,  for a fun day at the rodeo.  Nana has several horses and will be teaching her grandbabies how to ride.  Of course, the first thing you need is a pair of stylin' leather books.  Here is one of the pairs she bought five-month-old Aubrie.

Thank goodness we had headphones to protect Aubrie's ears as it got really loud.  I love all aspects of the rodeo and it brought back many memories as my husband used to ride and was raised with horses.

Watching the kids watch the performers was the most fun.

William (SIL) built Thomas a huge dirt bike track where he could practice riding.  Notice the training wheels.  This day he was learning how to ride the jumps without hurting himself.  Every time he came around the track Aubrie would squeal with delight and kick her legs like crazy.  She is probably dreaming of the day when it will be her turn.

I thought it was time for Gunner to go

Gunner, a long-haired mini-dachshund, is one of our latest rescues. He has worked his way into our hearts and lives as they all do.  He is especially attached to my husband.  Without warning, we woke up one day to Gunner not wanting to go outside.  He usually runs to the door ready to take on the day of romping through the yard.

Hubby carried him outside and Gunner just stood there.  He continued to be lethargic and wouldn't eat for two and a half days. The only way he would take water would be if I put some on my fingers and let him lick them.  

We only use raw food to feed them and natural methods for any physical problems they may encounter but this one was a mystery. We determined that if he wasn't better by the end of the third day, we would have to take him to the vet.  This would mean a battery of tests, probably some drugs, let alone the money it would cost.  I cringed at the thought of putting him through that and what the vet might say.

Last month I shared how I discovered the remedy for Gunner and Star's periodontal disease that cleared up in a matter of days.  The vet wanted $1100 PER dog for the first cleaning.  It would have to be done regularly once a year and also required that the dogs be put out during the procedure -- a danger to any old dog.  Read about that discovery here and how their teeth went from disgusting to white and healthy! we were.  We needed to make a decision.  My husband felt strongly that Gunner was suffering from stomach/bowel issues that could have been a result of a very bad habit Gunner has -- he eats Star's poop.  We work hard at discouraging him from doing that but sometimes we aren't fast enough.  

Hubby suggested we give him several Bifidus, a living probiotic.  I gently pushed 5 of them into Gunner's mouth and within two hours, he was asking to go outside.  By the end of the day, he was still a bit weak, but almost back to normal.  

We have noticed that he has STOPPED eating poop (I realize it is disgusting but some dogs do it)
in the yard.  Pretty amazing that he figured out that is what made him ill.  We got our Gunner back!

William's daddy brought home this old mare for William to care for and ride.  She and Hurley the ram became instant friends.

The on-going saga of hand sanitizers  

Last month I posted an article on the dangers of hand sanitizers and that you are actually risking your health and even your life by using them.  A couple weeks ago the FDA released a statement that they have now BANNED 19, yes NINETEEN, of the ingredients in hand sanitizers deeming them dangerous.  Worth your read here.


For each of you who supported my Thunderclap campaign this past month, I thank you.  It was a success and I recommend it to any of you who want to promote your book or website.  It reached 645,874 people!

Each month a group of bloggers invites you into their homes as Flies on the Wall to share what happened behind the scenes.  This post is one of those and I invite you to have a listen to what happened at the other blogger's homes.  You will be delighted and entertained, I am sure.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What Are Your Top 11 Pet Peeves?

Pet Peeves.  We all have them. They make us go GRRRRRR.

The Difference Between... 

Steve Martin

What is the difference between things we hate and pet peeves?   An example:  I hate to see people smoking in a car with a dog inside.  I want to run over and smash their windows.  It is now against the law to smoke with children in the car but not animals. Don't they have rights too?

A peeve leans more toward an annoyance experienced by many people.

We all have things in our lives that drive us nuts but we don't always want to admit it -- it sounds like we are whining.  

It is difficult to put them in order of most annoying to least as pet peeves are usually equally annoying!  
Gene Wilder

People who are always late
People Who are Always Late  To be late once in awhile is acceptable.  To be late every time. No. Excuse. NONE.  Get a clock that works.

People who say "No Worries  I have never figured this one out.  A waitress can take your order and then say "No worries."  Is she preparing me for something I may have to worry about?  I hear it so often, it makes absolutely no sense.  It only shows a lack of vocabulary. Or they will say "No worries" instead of "Thank you" or "You're welcome"  What the heck does "No worries" MEAN?

People who say "like" all the time.  Valley girls in the 80s said it; yet, some of them still like 'live' there.  Drives me like bonkers.  Take the word "like" out of their like vocabulary and they could like say their like piece in like half the time.

pet peevesSlow people.  It has nothing to do with being in a hurry, it is the inconsiderate behavior that makes me go insane. Driving in the left lane, too slow, and maintaining the same speed as the person in the right lane. Consequently, no one can pass on either side.  They dawdle beside each other either completely oblivious to what is going on behind them or they just don't care.  

The same scenario happens in hallways, grocery store aisles, or on the sidewalk. You want to pass the two people in front of you who are taking up the entire space and not allowing those behind them to pass. Oblivious?  Rude?

Cashiers who say "Altogether that will be...."  and you only bought one thing.  Can they not count?  I often want to say something but figure that if they can't count, they would not get it.
Answering a business phone with a long spiel -- "Good morning, you have reached AA Company, your home for all your xxx needs. We appreciate your business.  My name is Carol.  How may I help you?" When you call a business, you are obviously going to tell the person who answers the phone why you are calling and it really doesn't matter who answers as you will be redirected elsewhere anyway. 

People who say OMG to everything  I have made a conscious effort to never, ever say it.  

SLOW cashiers.  SLOW drivers.  SLOW walkers.  SLOW......


When people spend more time on their phone than interacting with you and you are sitting in front of them.  People who spend ANY time on their phone when they are in a conversation with you.  (Unless it is a phone call that can't wait)

And, drum roll please.....when you call a service provider such as your cell phone or credit card company and you have to go through a series of prompts for 5 minutes to find out they are CLOSED.  Or, finally speaking to an agent who is in a foreign country who cannot understand you nor can you understand them.

And Last But.......

People who don't know which way to hang the toilet paper on the roller!  C'mon, people - really! There is only one way.  

toilet paper

Now, It Is Your Turn.....

Remember these are pet peeves which fit the description above for annoyances. Here is your chance to air those frustrations.  I can't wait to read them.

photos courtesy of,,,

Friday, September 16, 2016

16 Reasons or More to Enjoy This Season

What is your favorite season? To me, Spring is scary because it means summer is not far behind and I LOATHE summer.

"Why?" you ask.  "What's to like?" I answer. Click here to read 10 Reasons to Skip Summer or....5 Reasons Why I hate Spring.

Before you start screaming at me about how crazy and delusional I may be, read my reasons and you may even agree with some of them.

But, I digress.  Let's talk about Autumn.  I love this time of year.  The dreaded summer has passed, winter is close at hand (YAY) and it is time to wear clothes again.  Real clothes. Sweaters.  Long sleeves. Pants.  And jackets.  Dark colors instead of pastels.  YES!

I realize we (hubby and me) are a bit weird.   Living on the West coast of America is perfect for us.  We ALMOST never turn the heat on in our home.  When it is really blistering cold outside -- well, it rarely gets too cold in this climate -- we turn on the fireplace in the morning and maybe keep it on for a few hours.  But come early evening, it gets turned off and we sleep with windows open and a fan on to keep the air flowing.  Of course, this is much healthier and provides for a better sleep.  
Don't Laugh - I've Considered It

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Customer Service Sells - Make it Work for You

Many of us have lived long enough to see a decline in customer service.  When I was growing up and even as a young adult, serving a customer was more important than the sale itself. It was common knowledge that if you made a customer happy, he would return, again and again.  Remember when you went to the service station to get gas?  You got SERVICE. Someone filled your gas tank, cleaned your windshield, rear window and side windows.  Your oil was checked and your tires were checked as well.  You were offered the free item of the week, usually drinking glasses or coffee mugs.  

No matter what you are selling, you need to distinguish yourself as a personal service company. The strength of your company’s business should be the quality of your products, but your success is determined by the quality of service you provide.

Friday, September 9, 2016

What is Your Dream Vacation?

All of us have dreamed of white, sandy beaches, exotic resorts, luxury hotels, or a cruise around the globe.  Or maybe we have dreamed of a quiet romantic getaway or exploring the ruins of past civilizations.  I rarely think about that.

luxury resort
For this month's Secret Subject Swap post, I was asked what my dream vacation would be if I had ten days and an unlimited budget. My question to you is: "Does anyone else feel this way or am I the only weird one?"

My perfect vacation would be to take ten days and spend it at home without any obligations, phones, computers or money concerns.

fancy dinner
I would have the choice of having someone cook my meals, (And I DON'T mean Meals on Wheels!) order in or go out to fancy restaurants in my area.