Saturday, November 13, 2021

Do You Wanna Know A Secret? Do You Promise Not To Tell?


Do you have secrets that you plan to take to the grave?  Are there things in your past that you want to bury and hope no one ever finds out about them?

Everyone has secrets. My mother-in-law had an undisclosed recipe for Rum Balls that she swore she would take with her when she died. And that she did. No one ever figured out her secret ingredient. But what good did it do for her not to share it so we could continue to enjoy her wonderful dessert?


There are secrets we hide, never discuss, and hope no one ever finds out. We keep secrets to protect those we love or to prevent people from thinking less of us.

Sometimes we keep secrets because we would be too ashamed to admit the truth. We may even lie to keep up the facade. "No, I would never do that!" When, in fact, we did.



Maybe we found out something about someone that could destroy them if the truth came out. We choose to keep that knowledge to ourselves. At times, it may feel like it is burning a hole in our psyche because we want to share it -- but we don't. Or do we? Are you someone your friends can trust to keep their secret? Or will you reveal it if you feel it is necessary?  

Maybe we have a bad habit who was told by our doctor that we MUST quit. We continue to do it, hoping no one will discover the truth and we rationalize and lie to ourselves that it is only hurting us. But when we are hiding things that can potentially hurt us, we hurt those who love us. We assume it is no one's business when, in fact, it could be unfair to keep such a secret to ourselves. When discovered, it could hurt the ones we care about.  



Have you ever told someone a secret and then wish you had not?  I remember sharing a secret with a counselor who later told the entire group, using me as an example. I was mortified and he had no authority to do that - but it was too late. Sometimes, we don't share for that reason - we cannot fully trust the person to whom we are revealing our innermost mysteries.

Battered Hope

Or is there something we did in our past that we believe would destroy our image if anyone found out?  I certainly felt this way for a lot of years. I struggled with writing my memoir Battered Hope because I knew I had to "come clean." I had to let go of the secrets that terrified me. I had to take a stand against the fear of losing friends and family members when they found out the truth.

So, why did I do it? The biggest reason was that my "secrets" and how I coped with them could be a great help to someone going through something similar.  

I discovered that when I revealed the things I wanted to bury I had tremendous relief. It helped people understand why I am the way I am or why I rise to the defense of someone going through something similar. It brought me closer to family and friends when they saw my vulnerable side.

How do you feel about revealing your secrets?  Do you wish you could but feel the truth may hurt someone or yourself?

Friday, November 12, 2021

Have You Ever Looked At Life Like A Five-Year-Old?


How Do Five-Year-Olds Think? Priceless.

Since they were very young, whenever my grandkids visited us, they would take two hands full of loose coins from the change bucket. They could keep what did not fall out of their hands. Their hands are getting bigger now and they love counting the coins to see how much they get. 


Gramma: "Brie, what are you going to do with all that money," I asked.

Brie: "Give it to my daddy, in case he needs it."


Here's Another One...

Brie: "Gramma, how come you don't paint your nails anymore?"

Gramma: "Because I work from my home office, now."

Brie: "So, Gramma, you really need to get out more."

I was stumped for an answer to this five-year-old.


And Another...

With the time change during spring break, it was not dark at dinner time.

Brie: "Gramma, why are we eating dinner in the morning?"

Gramma: "It's not morning; it's evening."

Brie: "Oh, Gramma. You are so silly. It is never light outside at dinner time." 



This One Touched My Heart In A New Way

William is nine years old but reads at an eleventh-grade level. He loves books and I teared up when he said, "Gramma, you're an author, right?"

"Sure am!"

"Do you think I could read your books?"

"Of course! But I will expect a review, okay?" That really excited him.

It's these moments -- these are the moments we never forget. you can't put a price on them - PRICELESS

Battered Hope

And watching them bowl......another priceless moment...last month.

 Until You Have Bowled with Pumpkins....You Haven't Bowled


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Can Your Relationship With Your Dog Be Like a Marriage


When we think of the words "For better, for worse," we usually think of marriage.  However, there is another type of relationship where I believe this is applicable – our relationship with our pets; specifically dogs.

When we acquire a pet, how often do we promise to take care of him; for better - for worse?

For Better Or For Worse - Our Relationship With Our Pets

Dog Wedding

We fall in love with that puppy and look forward to many years of joy with him. BUT.....sometimes…

He has genetic problems and requires special care, which can be very expensive. He will NOT stop barking.

He bites people.

He poops and pees in the house.

He is left alone all day and then goes crazy when his owner comes home and becomes a pest, trying to gain full-on attention.

He isn't as cute as when he was a puppy.

He has a serious accident or disease and requires special care for the rest of his life.

He is destructive when left alone... Sometimes, rather than spend the time needed to restore the relationship, we give up.....and give that dog away.


Your Commitment To Your Pets

This is where a dog rescuer comes in. We have rescued over 30 dogs in the past few years who have been abandoned, beaten, or ignored. 

EVERY SINGLE one of them has been a total blessing in our home. 

Every one of them had special needs which required a lot of attention. 

And every single one of them has been the best dog…EVER. Don't kid yourself -- rescue dogs know they have been rescued. They will do anything and everything to please you. All they ask for in return is to be loved. 

Just loved. 

When given the love and attention they need, many of their previous bad habits disappear.

Love Your Pets No Matter What

I believe that dogs who have been rescued have the largest vocabulary and they tell us (to the best of their ability) how much they love us, how much they appreciate us, how they will never leave us.

All they to be heard and loved. 

They will never break their promise to you – to love and support you to their dying day.

Has there been a special dog in your life? Possibly a rescue dog? I would love to hear your story.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Why You Should Never Take Candy From A Baby - Ever

Is there a Murphy's Law that says: "When you are dressed to the nines, that is when mishaps/mini disasters/poop happens?"

My daughter, her two children, my husband, and I had attended the Celebration of Life service for a dear friend of ours. It was difficult for all of us as he had been a friend for 35 years and was close to our entire family. It was exceptionally hot outside and we were anxious to get home. 

My husband was in the far rear seat of my daughter Rochelle's SUV facing our one-year-old granddaughter, Brie, in her car seat. Hubby was entertaining Brie and she was giggling and having a great time with Papa.  

It's Not Chocolate...

Each of us was deep in thought regarding the day’s events when hubby shouted from the rear, “Why did you give her chocolate?"  

"What chocolate? I didn't give her any chocolate. William, did you give your sister some chocolate?”

"MOM, it isn't chocolate. It's POO!"

Taking candy from a baby

Brie had been cleaning out her diaper and handing the poo to Papa.  She thought it was a great game. Papa....not so much. It was too late. He had already taken some 'chocolate' from his granddaughter.

Why You Should Never Take Candy From A Baby

We were on a busy highway with narrow shoulders not allowing much room to clean the baby and the car. Please remember, we are all dressed up, it is hot outside and all we had to use for clean-up were some baby wipes. No water. No bag to make the deposits.

Rochelle stripped the clothes off of Brie, put them on the side of the highway which I protested for a moment. "Mom, do you want to hold them in your lap the rest of the way home?" Thoughts of the odor wafting through the car made me gag.

Placing Brie on the driver's seat, it was my job to clean her using baby wipes. It was in her hair, under her nails, everywhere. It was Rochelle's job to clean the entire car seat, the window, the door, and the floor......all with one box of baby wipes. 

We could only open the car door partway as there was a cement barricade on the edge of the highway shoulder.

Moral Of The Story

Amazingly, we were able to do a thorough enough job to get us the rest of the way home, which was a five-hour drive.

Considering all the emotions of that day, the moment that will be etched into my mind forever was the look on Papa's face when he realized, "This ain't chocolate!"

And the moral of this story? Never take candy from a baby!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Have You Ever Wondered Why and Never Get an Answer?

Have You Ever Wondered Why?

PLEASE.  HELP.  I need answers and possibly you have the right ones!  Most of us wonder about 'stuff' and never really get a proper answer.  I am hoping you can help me answer some of the things I have not been able to figure out.

1. Baby on Board Stickers

Why do people have those "Baby on Board" stickers on the rear window of their car?  One argument for the sign is that in case of an accident, paramedics would be alerted that there is a child in the car.  Another one is to warn drivers not to drive too closely to the vehicle with a child inside.

REALLY?  First of all, do the paramedics depend on a sticker on the rear window to tell them whether or not there is a child on board? What if the sticker is there but the child stayed home? Will they keep looking until they find the child?

Secondly, it has been proven that bumper stickers of any type cause people to drive closer to the car in front of them so they can READ the sticker.


2. Shoe On The Side Of The Road

WHY do you always see only ONE shoe on the side of the highway? Asked a few times but no one knows. If a shoe is thrown out of a car during an accident, WHY is it always just one?


3. Getting Pulled Over By A Cop

WHY don't cops pull over completely onto the shoulder when they stop a vehicle on the highway?  This one makes me shudder. I understand that some shoulders are narrow and this could be a safety issue for the officer. However, for years, the officer would approach the driver on the passenger side of the vehicle to protect himself from being hit by on-coming traffic.

Why does this make me shudder?  Four of my mother-in-law's sisters were traveling to visit her a few years ago. They were approaching the crest of a hill when they noticed a squad car had pulled another vehicle over. 

The cop's car was over the shoulder line. In a split-second decision and to avoid hitting the squad car, my aunt pulled slightly into the next lane into oncoming traffic.  

She hit a car head-on and three of the four women were instantly killed. Almost as sad was the fact that there was never an apology of any kind from the police department.


4. Old People Holding Hands

Why do 'old' people hold hands when they walk together?  Of course, this is great to see and brings a smile to anyone's face who observes an elderly couple holding hands and enjoying each other's company. The other day I was walking past one such couple and overheard this: 

"Don't let go of my hand, Henry, because I may fall."

"I won't dear. I need you to balance me as well."

There you have it - asked and answered!


5. Choked With Fragrance

Why do people try to choke us with their fragrance?  A wise woman told me that fragrance should be 'discovered' - NOT ANNOUNCED!  I find this is especially true with men who wear strong cologne.

It makes me wonder if they are bathing in the fragrance or trying to mask their body odor and are too lazy to shower.


6. Skin Color

 "Mommy, why is that lady's skin dark brown?" I saved the best for last. When my daughter was in the grocery store last week that is what her four-year-old asked in a loud voice. I loved the way she handled the situation and answered the question.

"No two people are alike. Some people have blue eyes and some have brown or green ones. Some people have blonde hair and some have black. Skin has different colors as well."

She was saying this loud enough for the lady to overhear it and saw through the corner of her eye that she was smiling.

Laughter Is Healthy!

I hope this post brought a smile to you today – no matter what is going on in our world – we need to see the lighter side of life. Laughter is healthy.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Are You Prepared to Protect Yourself During a Home Invasion?

This may be hard to believe, should make you smile and maybe you’ll shake your head. But this home invasion story happened to my friends. 

It was close to midnight when Vicky thought she heard a noise. Thinking it was just the wind, she fell into a restful sleep. When she woke up at three in the morning, she noticed that not only was her bedroom door open but there were lights on in the house. Wakening her husband, together they cautiously took a look around the house and then called the police.
Protection from home invasion

Home Invasion Aftermath

While they were waiting for the police to arrive, they took inventory. Vicky's purse was gone as well as their cell phones. But both iPads were untouched that had been sitting next to the phones. 

All the office drawers had been opened and a small amount of cash taken. Vicky's car keys were used to steal her car out of the driveway. It was driven to the closest gas station a block away, parked and undamaged. 

The home invader left several lights on in the house and had searched through drawers and cupboards. They assumed that the last room he entered was the bedroom and when he realized they were asleep, left in a hurry.

Trying to put the pieces together as to how this happened, Vicky's husband remembered he had left his car unlocked a few days earlier and now realized his garage door opener was missing. Lesson learned.

Since this happened, they have installed an alarm system that they did not feel was needed in this upscale, quiet neighborhood.

How To Protect Yourself During A Home Invasion  (According To The Police)

I found the suggestions the police gave them for protecting themselves during a home invasion were nothing short of humorous and dangerous. This is how I would have responded to what the police told them:

1. It is a good idea to keep a baseball bat on the floor, next to your bed.

Let me get this straight. Someone comes into my home, even into my bedroom and I am supposed to roll out of bed, find the bat in the dark and hopefully get the opportunity to swing it at the intruder. But wait, it gets better.

Home invasion

2. When you hit him, you cannot hit him in the head. You need to aim it behind the knees.

Got it!  I roll out of bed, grab the bat, then ask the invader to turn around so I can hit him behind the knees. Sounds easy enough.

3. You are not allowed to use greater force or..........(drum roll please) a bigger weapon against the intruder than the one he is using.

Is this why my weapon of choice should be a bat? I assume this would be the lesser weapon in each scenario. If I don't see what type of weapon he has; i.e., a gun or a knife, should I ask him in hopes it will give me time to run down to the kitchen and get a knife? 

Am I allowed to use a bigger knife than the one he is using? If he has a switchblade, am I allowed to use a meat cleaver or must I find the paring knife that is in the dishwasher?

Home invasion

4. If you catch the thief red-handed and he is leaving, you may NOT, I repeat…NOT attack him from the rear.

So, do I shout "Have a nice day!" as he is carrying off my purse and jewelry?

5. The best mode of protection against home invasion is to leave all the lights on inside and outside the house 24/7.

You are telling me that if someone is watching my house, preparing to rob me, they won't notice I never turn my lights off?  And do you suggest I wear eye pads so I can sleep with the lights on?  

Do we leave the lights on so the thieves can see what they are doing?  And what about conserving energy?

6. Under no circumstances can you maim or kill the intruder. You could get sued.

I love this one. Think about it.  My small children are sleeping in another room. I do not know how many intruders are in my house.

A man is approaching me with a knife or gun and I am not supposed to defend myself? Should I call my accountant first to see if I would have enough funds to fight the lawsuit?

What I Would Do To Protect Myself During A Home Invasion

What about a guard dog?  You did not even suggest that. Do you not like dogs? Don't you think that is a much better mode of protection instead of leaving the lights on?

And if my dog attacks the intruder, does he need to follow the same rules? Does he have to wait for the intruder to bite him first?

Home Invasion
Now, I ask you several questions. First of all, what do you think you would do in this situation?

Follow your instincts and protect yourself and your family or do nothing and hope you stay safe?

What are your feelings about having a weapon beside your bed?  Would you be prepared to use it? Do you feel the suggestions given by the police are reasonable or......?

Would love your input. Let me know in the comments section below!

Sunday, November 7, 2021

What is the Secret to Stop Being a Procrastinator for Good?

I married the world’s greatest procrastinator. I have learned NEVER to ask him if he wants to do something now...or later. It does not matter what the task is, his option - later.  Every. Time.  

If you are someone who is always on time or….early, it is extremely frustrating when others are late. If you think you may be a procrastinator, take this short quiz:

Quiz: Are You A Procrastinator? 

1. Have you spent countless minutes, hours, or days searching for something 

you misplaced because you did not take the time to put it where it belonged?

2. Have you argued with someone you live with for misplacing something of yours?

3. Have you missed an appointment because you forgot?

4. Have you been halfway to your destination and remembered you didn’t bring what you needed?

5. Do you have piles of papers or unopened mail that you will get to someday?

6. Do you have that nagging notion telling you to get organized?

7. Have you read book and/or articles on how to get organized?

8. Have you purchased organizational aids to help you and then never used them?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you are not as organized as you want to be. There is a simple solution to this problem. 

I am quite sure you are thinking, “Yeah, right.”  You have tried everything and nothing has worked so far. I have a tried and proven method to get organized and eliminate all that wasted time you spend trying to get organized.  

You can spend money on books, CDs, videos and even go to seminars to get the desired results but I would like to share a secret that WORKS. Remember - It takes 30 days to break a habit and form a new one. But the exciting part is that you can get results IMMEDIATELY.

If you are serious about getting organized, you will get the results using ONE little secret. It is a secret my father taught me when I was a little girl and it still works today – every time!

Each time you take a baby step in the right direction, it will pay off in the end. The more progress you make, the closer you are to becoming ORGANIZED.

Do you have any idea how much time you will have to do the things you want to do when you are not wasting your time trying to find something?

My father drilled this into my psyche.  It is still there and has helped me to be organized, on time, and a lot less frustrated.

The Secret To Getting Things Done

There are SIX magic words that will change yhour life!

Before I tell you the words, be prepared to say them a hundred times a day, if needed. Make some post-it notes; put them all over the house, your office, and your car.

Those six words are – “DO IT RIGHT – DO IT NOW!” Just that simple. Saying them out loud requires commitment.

Even after all these years, sometimes I want to choose to put something off until later or not do it properly. But I say DO IT RIGHT – DO IT NOW! As soon as I make the effort, I reap the benefits.

Beat Procrastination And Get Things Done

It is easy to put off doing something by making the excuse that you don't have time. Take the time. You will learn to make the time to do it now and properly.

If it is a big job that needs doing, make a point of putting it at the top of your priority list to do before you take on any other task, which may be more pleasant.

It may sound too simple to work but it does! I challenge you to be diligent for 30 days and the benefits and rewards will be incredible.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

How Far Would You Go to Save Your Dog's Life?

My husband, Clayton, and I have always called each other Babe. It never occurred to either one of us to name a dog Babe. Two Babes under one roof was enough.

We had been out of touch with Clayton’s father for close to eight years. We missed him but distance and circumstances prevented much contact. In the spring of 1995, we decided it had been too long and Clayton made plans to visit him.Only two weeks passed when we got the call from my sis-in-law.  "Dad slipped on the ice and hit his head. He didn't make it. He's gone."  

How could this possibly have happened? But it did. The long trip was made but it was to dad's funeral, not for a visit. 


Not All Surprises Are A Good Thing

When Clayton called me after the funeral, his voice sounded sheepish and I sensed what he was going to say before he ever said it."Uh.....Babe.  You aren't going to believe this but...."I interrupted his sentence, "Dad had a dog, right?"

"How did you know?"

"And you want to bring him home, right?"

I was rapidly preparing my argument in my head against it. We HAVE a dog! 

But then he said, "Her name is Babe. She is a Doberman/Shepherd cross and she's beautiful. She has ears as big as her head and you will love her. Tell Rochelle I got a special dog, just for her."

I hung up the phone and told my daughter that Daddy had a special surprise for her and she was excited.

A Brilliant Idea!

When they got home that evening, Rochelle took a flashlight outside to see her special surprise. Babe took one look at her holding the flashlight in her hand and lunged at her, growling, barking, and showing her teeth. I was screaming and terrified but within seconds, Babe realized the flashlight was not a threat and she settled down."Thanks, Dad. Nice surprise!"

In the years that followed, Babe proved to be a first-rate guard dog and our daughter grew to love her dearly. Babe was trained but only understood commands in German. We did not know the commands but that didn’t matter to her. 

She knew exactly how to protect her family and was always on guard. She was gentle and fun, smart and goofy. She attached herself to my husband's hip and rarely left his side. No matter where he went, whatever room he went into, she had to follow him.

Then This Happened...

We lived at the end of a country road where teenagers liked to party late at night. This disturbed Babe greatly and when she saw them coming she would run up behind them and smash the full weight of her body behind their knees. They would freak out and didn't know what knocked them off balance but they stopped coming around. Babe would nonchalantly walk away as if she was not guilty.

Teeth?  What teeth?

My father-in-law, her former owner, kept his false teeth in a glass on his bedside table. Before going to sleep one night, he had eaten a piece of lemon meringue pie and left the crust on his plate. When he woke up in the morning, Babe had licked the pie plate clean and she must have realized that there were some pie scraps on the teeth in the glass of water. She ate the teeth as well. Yup – she ATE the teeth!



Even though Babe never hurt anyone, she sent a message that her sole purpose was to protect her owners. Some of the neighbors felt threatened by her and a woman complained to the by-law officer that Babe had bitten her while my husband was walking Babe on a leash. 

All she did was smell the woman, didn't even bark. We knew this was a lie and told the officer that when he arrived at our home with bad news.

Babe's demise was to be put to sleep.

"I am afraid you will have to put her to sleep. She is a threat to the neighbors and we have no tolerance of dogs that bite people.""I want you to have the complainant show me the bite. She is lying." my husband demanded.

A few days later, the officer came back and said that we were right. Babe had not touched the woman but she was afraid to go for walks and therefore, he would have to uphold his original decision to have Babe put down. 

We had 30 days to relocate or destroy the dog.

We were heartbroken. She was NO threat and had never bitten anyone. My daughter wrote a heartfelt letter to the by-law officer. She told him that she was raised to be honest and did not understand how he could kill a dog that had harmed no one and was the victim of a vindictive lie. 

The letter went unanswered.


A Brilliant Idea Changed Babe's Life

A few days later, while shopping one afternoon, I got a brilliant idea and I began to laugh out loud in the drug store. I made my purchase and drove home so excited I couldn't wait to tell my family.

I bought three boxes of black hair dye and we dyed Babe's hair black.  

No one in the neighborhood questioned us about the ‘new’ black dog.

To her dying day, she never hurt anyone but there was no question as to who was in control and Chief of Security.