Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Hello, friends! I've had a few people ask if this new "positive messages posting" of mine (on social media) is something they should be worried about. Here is my response:

1) My snarky, sarcastic side is still very much a part of me--give me time. (Evil laugh here)

2) I'm not ill and trying to pave the road to heaven with good deeds. (Snarkity snark)

3) I'm not turning into a Pollyanna whose every thought is a"glass half full" kind of thought. Let's face it, sometimes there's not enough sugar in the world to turn those lemons into lemonade. 

4) I'm trying to "accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative", as the saying goes. (Something like that, anyway.)

5) I cannot change anyone else, but I can change my reactions to them. 

6) I want peace; peace of mind, peace of heart, peace of soul. 

7) I will feel angry, unhappy, discouraged; and I may post that.  But I will not let those feelings define who I am. And if I do, CALL ME ON IT!

8) I won't let anyone else pull me into his/her drama. We've all got drama going on in our lives, but I can choose to be angry and upset, or I can be happy. I choose happiness. 

My wish for each one of you is abundant joy, peace, and love. You can't find that from another person, place or thing. You can only find that abundance of goodness within your own heart and soul. 

God bless. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Muse Has Been Silent

I've not written anything since the end of November. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Unless you count posts on social media, or editing a line or two of a school report my oldest child wrote; and I don't. 

My blog has been as silent as an old ghost town in a black and white western.My characters have been as quiet as little mice. I've been too tired, sick, busy, blah blah blah. 

I've read about writing and blogging, discussed writing in online groups, and critiqued work for others. I've listened to ideas and storylines, even had one or two pop up in my head. But no writing. 

The past couple of days, I've thought about the "whys" and the "hows" of this dry spell. I've come to a conclusion. There's no real reason I haven't written anything, other than a complete and utter lack of desire to do so. 

Does this mean I can't write? Nope. Does this mean I'm not a "real" writer/blogger/author? Not at all. What does it mean? For me, it means I just needed to pull back and regroup. I needed to give myself permission to be human, with all the doubts and weaknesses. 

What now? Well, I wrote this post. And there's a small idea bouncing around my in my head. I'm good with that. Should I be okay with that? I don't know, but I am. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Just Breathe

My decision to be more kind to myself is in full force. I'm saying  "No!" quite often and feeling much better because of it.
Stress almost did me in last school year. I had completely overextended myself, and then, in typical "Southern girl" mentality, felt too guilty to back out. All of that resulted in resentment and anger sucking the joy out of everything; and in stress-related illnesses.
I've made a few--okay, a lot--of people angry by saying no. Those who know me well and understand, are okay with it. Most people are just shocked. The ones who are angry can get over it. Or not. (Do you know how hard that is to say for a people pleaser?!)
I'm no longer leading or assisting with after school activities; not allowing my children to join every club that comes along; no volunteering my time, nor being drafted. No is such a fabulous word! I only wish I'd used it more often in the past.
Of course, we're still involved in Scouts, choir, orchestra and church groups. But I'm mom this year; not den leader, teacher, organizer. It feels great!  My boys are my focus in the activities they're pursuing; and they love it.
I'm a mother, a wife, a writer; and the only way I can do those jobs is to take care of myself. A friend recently made a statement that stuck with me.
"These young families are so busy running from one activity to another.  Slow down and breathe. Enjoy being together, not rushing from one activity to another."
Just breathe.  I can do that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm Still Around!

I apologize for being so lax about my posts. I could give you a list of excuses why I haven't blogged recently, but it would be just that--excuses. (I'll wait while you berate me...Done? Good)

I'm working on a secret project of my own (are you intrigued?)and still trying to finish my WIP; plus my children are involved in no less than 50,000 or so activities this year. Okay, so that's a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one. 

I'm also blogging for Motherhood Later. It's a fantastic website and they've  been generous enough to allow me to post on the site. Here's a little about the site:

"Did you become a mother, for the first time or again, at age 35? is here for you – they offer community, free Baby Bloomer newsletter, blog, get togethers and  giveaways.  They welcome your participation, accept guest blog posts and want to hear your later mom stories."

And because I don't have enough to keep me busy, (maniacal laughter), I'm working on a horror anthology with three other talented authors: S.G.Lee, V.J. Prucha, and Jackie Lycke. Let me give you an introduction to them now. 

S.G. has a blog showcasing the many works of horror produced by that incredible mind! If you want nightmares, head on over to I guarantee you won't be disappointed! 
S.G. also has had work published. Check out for an anthology whose proceeds go to a worthy cause; and Journal of the Undead series S.G. can be found on Twitter and Facebook, as well. The links are @sg_lee_horror and

V. J. has written a wonderful thriller. I bought it and finished it a couple of days. She kept me on the edge of my seat!  The book is "My Soul to Keep" and is available on her website and through Amazon. She's also a very talented artist and you can find her at Etsy now under VJPArt. She's also on Facebook and Twitter. Her information for those is: and @valerieprucha. 

Jackie writes romance and does some fantastic book review--without spoilers! She can be found on Twitter, Facebook and her book review blog at  Her Facebook page link and Twitter handle are: @jackielycke and Jackie is always busy! She works her day job and writes in what little spare time she has. I wish I had as much energy as she has! And she can write fantastic horror! She scares me silly! 

I hope you enjoy perusing the sites I've mentioned. I'm honored to be associated with them all. In the meantime, check back in and say hello! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 17, 2014


We took our boys on vacation for a week.  I was told by a friend that if you are exhausted when you get back, that's the sign of a great vacation! In that case, we had one HELL of a great vacation!  Let me start by saying, one of my twins has NEVER travelled well.  Never.  Not as an infant, a toddler, nor as an eight year old.  Five minutes into ANY trip, whether an hour away or ten minutes down the road, he is asking, "Can you find our house?  Are we still near home? How much longer will it be?"

Our destination should have taken about two hours to reach, give or take a half hour.  We went the weekend of July 4th.  I know, not the brightest decision.  We sat in traffic at every highway junction we crossed.  Bumper to freaking bumper, with idiots who drove over medians, cut into traffic and generally made things more chaotic.  All three boys were restless, but my little homebody was beyond over it.  "Daddy, what's wrong? Mommy, are we almost there? Daddy, if that man can drive in the grass, why can't we?" Oh, and did I mention that our minivan was packed to the top with various and sundry crap that we had to take?  Argh!

We made it to our destination and stopped at a pizza place who's known for a giant rodent mascot and games.  It was the first time we'd ever been there. I took extra headache medicine, because even though I have a large group of small children living with me, I'm not overly fond of places frequented by large groups of children hyped up on soda and parents who decide to let them run wild.  And yes, I know such places are made for children to run wild, but...

Anyway, I ended up having a blast at the restaurant and enjoyed playing games almost as much as my husband and kids did.  After a couple or three hours, we left and went to our hotel to check in.  Thank God, some brilliant soul decided to put us on the first floor.  We'd gotten two rooms because our boys are big enough that we need the extra space.  After we checked in and got everyone settled down, it was time for showers and bed. 

We went sightseeing for a couple of days, and to a science center.  The boys liked it, but they were holding out for the big one.  We took them to Six Flags; two days at Six Flags.  Taking my boys to any sort of amusement park is an adventure.  Two of my three children under eleven enjoy riding roller coasters and that kind of thing.  My oldest child of forty-something is a thrill ride nut;  the higher, the faster, the better. My other child under eleven gets bored quickly.  He can entertain himself for hours at home, but go anywhere and expect him to do the same and NOPE! 

Day one at Six Flags was for the water park.  We played in the wave pool, went on a lazy ride on inner tubes, watched the boys play in one of the areas designed for children only.  My husband and one of the twins disappeared to ride a couple of rides. 

All-in-all, a good day. Minus the time my husband disappeared with one of the twins for about an hour and I had to send my other two to the bathroom by themselves because they wouldn't let me take them in the women's restroom. (How's THAT for a run-on sentence?!) I stood right outside the restroom yelling, "Don't talk to anybody, if anyone looks at you yell, don't leave each other alone, and get right back out here as soon as you can!"  And for those who dare call me overprotective, I wasn't the only mom of boys doing that. 

Day two at Six Flags was for the rest of the amusement park and the rides. One of my sons and I were waiting for the others--my husband and other two sons--to get done riding roller coasters and other such fun (read HELL no, we hate them!) rides. We were playing some of the skills games. The first was a water pistol one. You shoot at the target and win a cape. EVERYBODY wins! (My kind of game!). I said I wanted a Batman cape.

 "Batman? What about BatGIRL instead? You know, since you're a GIRL?" the young man asked.

I stared at him a minute. "I'm not a GIRL, and I SAID I want BATMAN!"

He gave me my cape. Then I skipped around the amusement park with my son singing, "Nah-nah, nah-nah, nah-nah, nah-nah, Batman!"

Then we see...da, da, dumm! A video arcade! We go in because, well, it's a video arcade and my eight year old is in heaven on earth. He immediately finds the token machine for me. So helpful, isn't he?  We (the royal we) purchase tokens and I give him a handful. He finds a shooting game in a matter of nanoseconds. It gives no tickets for reward. The reward is killing off massive amounts of horrendously frightening robotic skeleton creature thingies. Whee. But whatever. 

I wander over to a game that lights up and sounds like a casino game. Woohoo! Some 20 minutes later, the rest of the boys find us in the arcade. I have a fistful of tickets and tokens, and am grinning like a fool. Life is good. 

Then we decide to head towards yet another thrill ride. This one is close to the kiddie rides. My partner-in-crime is beyond excited. We head over to the kiddie rides while the hubby and his two thrill seekers get in line for more upside-down, faster than the speed of light, puke-fest fun! 

I dutifully stand by, waiting for my little guy to get on one ride after another. He even helps calm down a couple of younger kids. (Go ahead, ooo and ahh--you know you want to! Are you done yet?) Next year he will be way too tall for any of the rides.  (Mom moment here--my baby's growing up.)

The other three join us in a while and three of the four run from kiddie ride to kiddie ride. My big boy, the hubby, was a too tall for these rides. He was a little disappointed, if you ask me. 

By the end of the day, we were dead tired.  We ate dinner and got everyone ready for bed.  Nobody protested.  The next two days we spent sightseeing and lazing by the pool.  The boys were ready for some down time and didn't complain much.

We decided to head back a day early so that we could rest before my husband went back to work on Monday.  We were even more jammed in the van on the way home, but thankfully the drive was much less chaotic and stressful. We asked the boys what their favorite parts of the vacation were.  The answer?  ALL OF IT!  That makes it all worthwhile. 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Typical Summer Morning

4:00 A.M. My husband's alarm STARTS ringing. Every 15 minutes thereafter, it rings and he hits snooze. 
I should buy a sledgehammer. 
5:30 A.M. My twins are "quietly" talking and doing construction in their room. 
I really love my kids. 
I should buy melatonin. 
6:00 A.M. "Mom, Mom, Mom, he won't give me the remote!"
"He's lying! It's MY turn! Mom, Mom, are you even listening?!"
I have one eye partially open watching the coffee pot. I should buy earplugs. 
6:30 A.M. My oldest child wakes up, slams into my chair, causes my coffee to spill in my lap. "Sorry, Mom."
I should buy burn cream.
6:45 A.M. "You boys need to have breakfast and take your medicine."
Silence and no movement. 
"And what do you want?"
I hate these cartoons and video games. 
I should disconnect cable. 
7:00 A.M. "What do you want for breakfast because we need to take medicine and if you don't eat you are not going to have your medicine on time and then I have to deal with you bouncing off the walls and I really do not want to do that and OUCH who left the Legos on the floor?!?"
I should buy steel toed boots. 
7:30 A.M. Finally, the boys are eating breakfast! 
"Mom! He looked at me, really he did, he looked right at me and made a face."
"Mom. Mom. Mom. He pointed at me with the BAD finger! MOM!"
"Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it now!!"
I should buy wine.  
8:00 A.M. "I'm going to get a shower. Do NOT: open the door, stand on the furniture, stand on each other, jump on or off the furniture, jump on or off each other, touch each other; hit, kick, look at, breathe on, or point at each other."
"What Mom?"
I should buy a case of wine. 
8:15 A.M. I step out of the shower, with shampoo dripping in my eyes, grab a towel and clutch it around me as I run to investigate the screams and crashes coming from the family room. 
I should get rid of the furniture and pad the walls. 
8:20 Shampoo has dried in my hair and my eyesight has been permanently damaged from the shampoo. 
I should buy dry shampoo. And call the eye doctor. 
8:30 I get the boys dressed, tell them to get in the van. We have to go to the bank, grocery store and to pay the water bill. They fight all the way to the bank. The bank is 10 minutes from my house. 
I need a soundproof glass behind the front seat...or earplugs. I need to call the car dealership. 
9:00 Bank trip done, bill paid. Next stop, grocery store. I remind the boys that we're on a budget and must stick to the list. 
Add a case of wine to the list. 
10:00 No less than three dozen fights separated in the grocery store, a cart full of groceries and one exhausted mom later; shopping done. 
When did I put ten boxes of cookies in the cart?! Ah, there's the wine!
11:00 Groceries put away, children ready for lunch and quiet time. 
I forgot to buy the earplugs. But I've got wine!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Embrace the Weirdness

"Mom, I'm weird." I cringed when I heard my son say these words.

"Don't say that!"

"Oh no, Mom, I'm okay with being weird. It means I'm not just like everyone else."

Wow. What insight for a ten year old! And the more I think about it, the more I agree. Who wants to be a carbon copy of everyone else? Okay, a lot of people do. It's what we spend hours doing every day, isn't it? Trying to conform, to be like our friends when we're young.  Sometimes even when we're not-so-young.

What a bold statement, a brave one. I'm pretty sure he won't always feel that way. But I hope it doesn't take him as long as it has me to truly embrace being "different", "odd", "peculiar", "not like us"; all words I've heard used to describe me.

In the words of Dr Seuss:

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." (From "Happy Birthday to YOU")


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Phone Call From Heaven

A few months after my dad passed away, I was home alone; the hubby had gone to work and the kids were at school. I was having a hard time adjusting to Dad's death and it was having an effect on my sleep. On that particular day, I decided to take a nap. 

The phone rang and I answered it, half asleep. Anyone who knows me, knows I don't function well when I first wake up. 

The man on the other end of the line said, "Hi! How're you doing?"

I looked at the caller ID and saw my dad's name and number. I was surprised, to say the least!  

I asked, "What phone are you calling from?"

"My cell."

"Do they let you have cell phones there?"
I asked. 

"Yes...are you okay?" he asked. 

"Well, no! I miss you!"

"I'll be home soon!" he said. 

"Okay, Dad, you're dead!  You can't come home!" I said. 

There was a long pause. Then he said,"Honey, it's me. Your husband."

I never found out why the number showed up incorrectly, but maybe, just maybe it was my dad's last practical joke.  :-) 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ants In My Bra

I had my photograph taken today, since I'm in dire need of a headshot. I normally avoid cameras like the plague, but...
I'd posted on my personal page that I was looking for someone to take my picture and a good friend was kind enough to offer to take it. 

We agreed on the details and met at the location. Unfortunately, there was a wedding scheduled at the gardens we'd planned to use. We improvised, because as moms that's what we do. 

We walked around the state Capitol and took a few shots. The longer we walked around, the more amusing it became. We were looking for the perfect spot. 

My eyes are really sensitive to the sun, so I squint quite a bit. That proved to be a problem since today is sunny and hot. I'm also very sensitive to camera flashes. (Are you feeling the photographer's pain yet?) Luckily, she's a mom of four, so...

We got quite a few good pictures. One of the best was of me peering through tree limbs. I had to kind of hug the tree and put my face through a split in the trunk. (Why can't I describe this?) We checked the tree first to be sure there were no ants. Or at least, we thought we did. 

As I was posing, I looked down and saw ants on the tree. After the shot, I jumped back. We decided we needed a couple more by the tree. That time the ants were really starting to move. We finished up in that spot and I joked about ants in my shirt. 

We took a few more shots, chatted a while, then went our separate ways. As I was driving home, I looked down and saw an ant on my shirt. I grabbed it and threw it out the window. When I got home, I found another one in my bra. 

Having your photograph taken can be quite interesting. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fiercely Protective

My oldest child came home with a card he'd made me.  He drew a pattern of crisscrossed lines and a heart. He wrote, "The first pattern represents your fierce protectiveness.  The heart represents your love."

I couldn't have put it better myself. That is the essence of motherhood for a good mother. That fierce protectiveness and love for your child(ren) is beyond anything you've ever experienced. 

When you become a mother, your heart lives outside your body. Forever. And I AM fiercely protective. I don't apologize for it. I never will. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Drama King

My youngest child is a drama king. He trips and breaks a fingernail and moans for an hour.  Last Friday, he fell on the playground and skinned his knee. Oh merciful goodness!

He got into the truck Friday after school and said, "I could see my bones in my leg today."  

Of course, his dad and I were like, "WHAT?!?"

Then we find out he fell and skinned his knee, went to the nurse and got it cleaned up and bandaged. 

Now, a week later, he's still moaning about it. I admit, it looks rough. He landed on a rock when he fell. He asked last night why we hadn't taken him to the hospital yet. Sigh. 

Will we go to the hospital with a partially scabbed-over knee? Will we call to alert the media over our broken fingernail? Will I drink all the wine in the house before Monday? Stay tuned to the next episode of "Confessions of a Drama King" for the answers!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


When I was around four or so, I remember going fishing with my dad. I
And by going fishing, I mean I put on a lifejacket (is that one word or two?), my old clothes (okay, the clothes went on before the lifejacket), climbed in a boat or stood on the side of a pond with my daddy, had Daddy bait the hook, and waited patiently to catch a fish (while asking no less than 287 million questions). When we got back home, I'd watch him clean them and engage in my favorite part of the process...

Want to guess what the favorite part was? Eating the fish? No, it was good, but there's something even better! Touching the cold, slimy fish eyes! 

For some unknown-four-year-old-bizarre reason, I LOVED touching fish eyes. 

You really should try it sometime. Of course, there's a difference in being 4 and doing that, and being (cough, cough) 30ish--shut up!-- and doing the same thing. If nothing else, people look at you a little more, um, critically. "Isn't that cute?" becomes "What kinda freaky shit is that?!"

Now, you may wonder why this story popped into my head and why I felt compelled to share. Because I love you? Okay, no, not because I love you...I mean, I DO love you, of course. (Even though most of you are relative strangers. Or would that be strange relatives?) No, the reason I'm sharing this story is because we're taking our boys fishing this weekend. For the first time. Oh, and did I mention that two of my three hate bugs? Yeah, so this should be...interesting. As in, "Holy shit! What the freak were we thinking?!"  I haven't been fishing, a while. My husband hasn't been fishing in...a long time (because we're counting the drunken, deep-sea fishing trip he went on in his 20s as actual fishing).  

But we're making memories here, folks. Making memories--fish eyes, bugs, and all!  Stay tuned for the follow-up post! Here's hoping there are no ouchies, booboos, bug bites or snake sightings!

Monday, May 5, 2014

I Will Never...

"I will NEVER make my kids... I will NEVER say ..." Yeah, right. I've eaten every one of those words and then some. 

My mom was one of those moms that insisted we behave like civilized people. Crazy, right? We had chores. We had to help clean house, do laundry, wash dishes, and take care of our dog. Mom woke us up early on Saturday mornings to clean house. None of that sleeping late stuff at our house. (Huh, must be where my kids get that "early to rise" crap. Certainly isn't from me!)

My boys know how to separate laundry, load the dishwasher (which WE didn't have growing up), fold laundry and wipe the table. But do they do it? Only separating laundry to be washed. 

Are you ready for my grand announcement?  This summer, these beautiful, darling children will have a list of chores. And they WILL do them. And the mouthing-off, fighting, disrespectful nonsense they've been throwing around all school year will end. 

For each disrespectful act, they will have to choose a consequence from the new consequence jar. Consequences can vary from losing a video game to cleaning the toilets. Why? Because I have had ENOUGH! 

You see, I seldom talked back to my parents. When I did, I remembered why it was a really, REALLY bad idea. BAD IDEA! Truly. 

My mom wasn't one of those "wait til your dad gets home" types. Oh no. She would punish us--usually a spanking, not a beating--and then when Dad got home, he'd punish us. Doesn't quite seem fair, does it?  But by damn, it worked!  

Spanking my kids doesn't do much other than make them more angry. I try to take away things. Sometimes the success rate is higher than others, but I keep going til I find something that works. 

On the flip side, if they behave appropriately, I reward the behavior. I'm not afraid to use bribery, uh, I mean, rewards. 

I'll keep you updated on this chore list, reward/punishment thing. Here's hoping for success! In the meantime, I need to call my mom and apologize. 

And remember, never say never!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

You Say Potato...

There's an old song that keeps playing in my head. It's before my time, but I remember hearing my grandparents sing it.  "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" is the song. Maybe it'll be stuck in your head now. (You can thank me later.)

I  was flipping through my social media accounts and saw a plethora of articles that boil down to differences. Difference of opinion, belief, whatever. I started thinking about a Twitter conversation I had with a follower about God, religion and beliefs in general. 

This person is an atheist, I'm a Christian. I'm a very open minded Christian who doesn't feel threatened by people with other views. What ensued was an intelligent conversation about what we each believe in and why, and what we agree and disagree on, and mutual respect for each of our views. (Po-TA-toe/po-tah-toe...) Neither of us felt threatened. Neither of us felt pressured to convert. 

I sincerely wish everyone could apply this principle to situations concerning religion, sexual orientation, race, and the millions of other points of contention in our world.   Is this a Pollyannistic wish? Maybe. Would it be nice? You betcha. 

Tolerance. Acceptance. Understanding. Coexistence. Love. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Get Involved--A Rant

After a month of daily posts, I've been trying to regroup and refocus. I've started and rejected several posts as I've searched for a topic. Last night, a topic occurred to me as I, once again, had to manage my son's behavior in public. 

He has ADHD, coupled with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He manages to keep things together most of the time, but when he gets "spun up" it's not fun. 

We were in a group of boys when my oppositional child decided to have a meltdown. I was leading a group of four very active little boys and working on a couple of activities. My son decided things weren't going the way he wanted, so he started pushing the limits.  I calmly told him what he needed to do. More defiance. I repeated my instructions. He threw scissors. I warned him that his dad would come pick him up if he didn't pull himself together. His behavior escalated. 

I called his dad to pick him up and take him home. The rest of the group settled down fairly quickly. I kept it together but inside, I played the scene over and over. What could I have done differently? Did I do something to set him off?

After I got home and got my other two sons ready for bed, I couldn't stop thinking about the night. I played it over in my head dozens of times. In fact, I didn't sleep more than an hour all night. 

As I fought to get my son under control, no less than six other adults watched. None of the other parents or grandparents took the initiative to work with the other boys as I dealt with this child. Not one person was concerned enough to help in any way.  I wouldn't have wanted them to deal with my out of control child. That wouldn't have been fair to ask of anyone. But they weren't even interested enough in their own children to help. 

What in the name of goodness is wrong with people?!? Instead of playing games on their phones or chatting with other parents, GET INVOLVED in what your children are doing! You can't have them and ignore them. 

I've been accused of being over-involved or over-protective, but by all that's good and holy, at least I'M THERE!!

Rant over for now. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Z? Really?

Z is giving me problems. Zebras? Zip ties? Zippers? Zzzzzzzzzz? 

Z is an end, the last letter of the alphabet. This is the last A to Z post for April. As much as it's an ending, it's a beginning for me. 

Is gotten pretty lazy about my blog, only posting when the mood struck or my muse spoke or I had a massive rant about something. Or, or, or...This exercise has forced me to be disciplined and write posts. And I've surprised myself by DOING it!  Go me!!

May is coming up. I'm not sure what I'll write about, but I will write. Now that I've gotten in the habit, I can't stop! I have a massive migraine right now and still, I write. 

Thank you for coming on the journey with me through through this challenge. I hope I've entertained you, touched your heart, made you think. I wonder where we're headed next? 

Happy reading! 


This post is about Great Grandmother. Yes ma'am, not Great Grandma or anything like that. She was Great Grandmother. She was full-blooded German and she, her mom, and sisters  came over to the United States just ahead of Hitler's regime. As I remember the story, her father didn't make it over here and no one knows what happened. All of the records were destroyed in Germany during the war and no trace of him was found in either country. 

She was a very proper lady. She wouldn't come put of her bedroom without being fully dressed and made up. She had her way of doing things. She was strict, very strict. And she could crochet like you wouldn't believe. She taught me how. 

She taught me basic stitches and then started me on an afghan. I was around 10-12 years old at the time. I worked on it for several weeks and took it back for her to see. I'd gotten about a fourth of the way through the afghan. She inspected my work, while I beamed with pride. Then she saw a skipped stitch. It was in the second or third row, way at the beginning. 

"Did you see this?" She asked. 

"Yes, Ma'am."


"When I was about two rows past it."

She very calmly ripped out every stitch until she came to the mistake. She looked me in the eye and ripped out a few more stitches. 

"Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.  We don't cover up mistakes. We don't make excuses. We don't make mistakes."

I never finished that afghan. And I still, to this day, get angry with myself for making mistakes. 

X Marks the Spot

When my dad was growing up, he saved a jar of pennies--in those days, that was a small fortune. He decided to bury them in the woods and carefully drew a map so he could find those pennies. 

My grandma had a painting of an old ship hanging in their house. My dad removed the backing just enough to hide the map behind the ship. When he tried to get the map out many years later, he found that time, age, and the elements had fused the backing to the painting and he was unable to remove that map. 

I have the painting with the map still hidden behind it. It's a treasure for me because of the story behind the painting. The jar of pennies is long gone, I'm sure, the map no longer useful since he has died and no one else knows what it says. But that treasure map leads to a much larger treasure for me. A look into my dad's childhood that was full of work around the home place, odd jobs to make ends meet, and tragedy when his dad died early in his life. That he could still be a little boy, with dreams of buried treasure and hidden maps was a a testament to the resilience of a child. 

And the painting? It's an old ship. Looks like one a pirate might have captained. That makes me smile. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Count to Ten

They say you should count to ten to calm down when you're angry. Ha! Doesn't work for me. I say the alphabet backwards.

Yep, say the alphabet backwards. I tried counting backwards, but that only made me feel like a rocket ready to blast off. 

Saying the alphabet backwards makes you focus on something other than your anger. Try it. I'll wait. (Humming annoying gameshow tunes.) No, really, go ahead, I can wait. Sigh. Done? No? Oh, okay. (Tapping foot and humming louder.)  How long does this take?! Angry? Me? Oh, no, really,  I'm not angry. I SAID I'm fine. 

Z, Y, X, W,...

Write What You Know

We've all heard repeatedly "write what you know".  If everyone out there literally writes what they know, then some people scare the hell out of me!  

Of course, most of my blog topics are about things that I do know something about. 

In fiction, write what you know means (to me) take a real situation and "what if" it until you have a story. Nobody wants to hear about little Suzy going to the corner store for ice cream. But if little Suzy goes to the store for ice cream and walks in on a crime or a giant cockroach convention --that might just catch our interest. Reality plus embellishment equals fiction.

Research on your topic equals knowing also. I wrote a piece where two children heard a noise and went to investigate a few hours later. They found the dead body of a man who'd terrorized them on the floor, with flies buzzing around. A reader pointed out that flies wouldn't have gathered that quickly indoors, with no open windows, etc. She had researched it. Write what you know. 


Self-doubt is like venom pulsing through your body. It takes over the healthy psyche, much like venom breaks down healthy tissues.  Self-doubt can kill your desire to try and it can destroy who you are. 

My circle helps counteract venomous self-doubt. My circle consists of family, friends and followers. They are each supportive in their own way. They offer encouragement, praise, constructive criticism and experience. Thank you! 

My advice to you? Find a circle of people to learn from, to support and who are supportive--no matter what your drive, your passion, your calling. Counteract  venomous self-doubt because if not, it will eat away at your creativity. 

Ugly Truths

While out for a walk, my mind started wandering. This isn't unusual for me. (The mind wandering, not the walking.) I often people watch and wonder what goes on in their lives, the part that is for their eyes only. 

Most of us put on some kind of mask when we're in social situations. The ones who don't are usually the ones who stand out, and not necessarily in a good way. 

I wonder who lives in these houses. Do they have children? Are they happy? Is someone dying? Is someone angry? 

What are the truths hidden behind those walls? Are they pretty, ugly or a combination of the two?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quell Those Doubts

One of the most difficult things for me to do is stop negative self-talk. I doubt myself more often than not. That's a very difficult position for anyone who likes to create.

I've developed friendships with a few other writers. These friendships started at a local writing group. This is helpful on so many levels. Writing is a solitary activity. The interaction with people who understand this is invaluable. 

The writers I'm friends with offer critiques. And I do the same for them. We bounce ideas off each other, read our work in group, or critique hard copy for each other. I also have a network of followers and followees, if you will, that provide inspiration, information and experience. 

And as I move along in this creative journey, I find it easier to tell myself "you really don't suck at this", "you can do this", "you have a unique voice".

Quell the doubts and move on. 

You can find me on Facebook Linda Beeson Rosendale, Author or on twitter @writerlinda2008. 

Friday, April 18, 2014


I have a potty mouth. I know, I know, you're shocked. But really, I do. I try to refrain, but as I said in a previous post, I'm not perfect! 

My children, surprisingly enough, haven't picked up on as much as I thought they might. But when they decide to use those forbidden words, they make sure it's in full hearing range of...oh... clergy, teachers, other parents, you know, the people I really want them to be on their best behavior for. 

My youngest's favorite word happens to be 'shit'.  He thinks it's funny to see my face go purple, eyes bulging, steam from the ears.

I guess I have myself (and my husband) to blame. Shit! 

Ride 'em, Cowboy!

When my twins were around 2 or 3, they were playing quietly. If you have children, know anyone with children or have ever been a child, you know quiet = danger. I went to check to see what they were up to. I walked in their room and twin A was sitting on twin B's back, while twin B crawled around the room. 

"What on EARTH are you doing?!" 

Twin A replied, "He's a cow and I'm a cowboy."

SMH! Of course! Made perfect sense. As I struggled not to laugh, I thought about a popular series of books I read when I was young. Amelia Bedelia was one of my favorite characters. Everything she was told, she took literally. 

Children are like that. When I say, "You're going to give me a heart attack", they believe they're literally going to give me a heart attack. Of course, I have three boys so they probably will. 

Next time you hear "ride 'em cowboy!", I'll bet it makes you smile. 

Practically Imperfect In Every Way

Mary Poppins may be "practically perfect in every way", but I'm certainly not. I yell, lose things all the time (including my temper), usually have a ton of unfinished projects, have problems with punctuation, change topics in the middle of a conversation..need I go on?

I've decided perfect is highly overrated. Perfect is boring, predictable, and nonexistent. Sorry all of you perfectly perfects, you cannot be!  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

OMG Moment

I received a note from a teacher regarding my 8 year old. I always hold my breath when he goes to school, send up a quick prayer that he'll not get into trouble  and remind him to be on his best behavior. 

This particular note said:
Yelled out, "SEX!" at the top of his lungs in the lunchroom.

Shit. I mean, oh my! Nah, I mean shit!  First, I wondered where he heard it and if he even realizes what it means. I asked what he got into trouble for and I got a string of tales. When this child lies, he does it with enthusiasm. (Don't you like how I reframed that?)

I finally stopped him, because I love him and hated to see him get in any deeper. After a discussion about telling the truth (one of many such conversations with this one), I told him he was in trouble. Not for saying sex, but for lying about what he said. Then (gulp) I asked what sex means. 

"Boy or girl. Their sex is which one they are."

Whew! Can hold off on THAT talk for a little while!

Monday, April 14, 2014


When we found out we were pregnant, we started working on a list of names. The biggest problem we faced was naming our children something unique to them--no juniors or thirds here.  And something that didn't make us fear for our lives when they grew up. (Like some family names, which I won't discuss.)

The initials couldn't spell anything rude or that could be made fun of by other children. It was an ordeal, this naming thing. Eventually we settled on a name we both liked. Families were happy, we were happy. 

Recently, our children started asking why we picked out the names we did. They don't like their names. Sigh. Of course, they don't. 

"Fine," I say, "when you have children, name them what you want to. For now, live with what you've got."

"I'm going to name my kid Godzilla, or Lightningbolt, or Ninja!"

Ah! I can't wait to meet little Godzilla, Ninja and Lightningbolt! I'll be sure to tell them what their names might have been. 


"There are no such thing as monsters," I lie to my children.

Life is full of monsters. Some are in your face, some come well disguised. They're hard to spot, not like the ones on television, in movies or in books. You can't always look at someone and see what they really are. You never know what people are until they remove those masks. 

The real monsters are the abusers, the bullies.  The real monsters live in your community, your neighborhood, maybe even in your home. Those are the monsters to worry about, not the ones under the bed. 


We're all familiar with LOL (laugh out loud). One of my church friends was writing an email to her son. After she was done, she signed it "LOL, Mom".  

He wrote her back and said, "Mom, LOL means laugh out loud." She thought it meant lots of love. :-)

That exchange made me wonder if, when we respond to emails, Facebook posts, and tweets, what would happen if you think of LOL as lots of love? I wonder how many people would still use it?

LOL! Have a blessed day!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My Soul to Keep by V.J. Prucha

just finished My Soul to Keep for the second time. V.J. Is one of the best new authors I've had the good fortune to meet.

Carolina made some horrible choices that led to a prison term. She's on the run from her psychotic ex, and has been since her release from prison.

After her less than perfect track record with men, she finds herself in the middle of a nightmare with her ex, her neighbor, a strange minister from a nearby church, and a serial killer who's on the loose. 

V.J. weaves a tale of mystery and terror that scared me as much the second time I read it as it did the first.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good thriller. You won't be disappointed!

 V.J., I'm a huge fan! Can't wait to read the next one! This author is definitely one to watch.

Keep Doing What You Love

Keep doing what you love. Don't let anyone or anything take it away from you. I create with words and in my spare time, I do crafts.  Life takes control some days and I don't feel as productive.  That's alright. Life fuels creativity. 

I feel lost when I can't write or make something. I've learned that the days the muse doesn't speak, I work on other things. She hates being ignored, so she'll get my attention then. Of course, it's usually in the middle of the night, but that's okay. 

Keep pushing forward. You never know the outcome. Keep traveling through this wonderful journey called life. You never know where it will take you. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jumping In Puddles

Is there anything more fun than jumping into puddles after a summer rainstorm?  We spent summers outside--no video games, no organized activities. Video games hadn't been invented and organized activities were for the well-off. 

Most of our time was spent at home, Mamaw's house, or at a friend's house. We loved summer rains. At Mamaw's house, we'd play on her screened-in porch until the rain ended, then we'd head outside to catch frogs, jump in puddles or make boats out of twigs and leaves. 

Simple times, happy memories. 

Inappropriate Behavior

I worked in the counseling field for a number of years.  Because of my training, degree and occupation, the phrases "inappropriate behavior", "responsibility for our actions", "appropriate response" and that sort of  "therapist speak" are pretty much the norm around my house.  I never thought much about it, until the first conference with the principal at my boys' elementary school.

The principal had called me in because of the inappropriate classroom behavior of one of my boys.  As we were discussing the incident, she remarked that she'd never heard a child use words like he was using.  As a parent of three very mischievous little boys who's father was a sailor, I was a little frightened to hear what she had to say next.

She said he knew his behavior was "inappropriate" and that he should have "made better choices" because his "response was not the best one for the situation".  I laughed and told her what my occupation was before I had children. 

Nice to know they're listening!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Helping Others

H is the letter of the day.  Last summer, my boys and I were busy with our usual summer activities: swimming, baseball, fighting (the boys), refereeing (me).  And my children had a SEVERE case of the "gimmies". 

"Mo-om, I want (fill in the blank with the latest cool toy/gizmo/gadget on the market)."

I'd sincerely had enough.  We went to a local dollar store and bought brown paper bags, small packets of crackers, tuna, cookies, dried fruit and nuts.  We came home and I asked the boys to draw pictures on the bags.  They did.  Then we proceeded to put a bottle of water, a couple of food items, and a piece of hard candy in each bag.  After we were done, we drove around town and handed them out to the homeless.  I talked with the boys while we were doing this about the homeless, the less fortunate people we see every day.  They were very quiet. I wasn't sure if it was sinking in.

We came back home after an afternoon of handing out the bags and the boys went into their rooms.  I let them go play, with little thought of what they were doing.  A little later, all three came out with small toys--probably collected from various kid's meals--and asked if we could take those somewhere for children who didn't have toys.  I noticed more than a few Hotwheels and cherished treasures among the toys. I have to tell you, my eyes filled with tears as I looked at those little faces. 

We loaded up those toys and took them down to a local shelter.  I was, and still am, so very proud of them. That's the kind of men I want to send out into this world. 


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grammar Glitches-- A Sarcastic Rant

This is a post about the misuse of words and misinformation. The children are our future but what kind of future will they have if they're (not there or their) misinformed? Will their (not there or they're) minds wander (not wonder) to other things, if what (not watt) they learn from incompetent instructors leads them to fail later? And we're told these "little glitches" in the education process are really not (not knot) a big deal. They're (again, not there or their) such minor problems with which (not witch) we (not wee) really shouldn't concern ourselves. So, when your (not you're) children learn the following, please don't be alarmed! We (not wee) really want our (not hour) future to look like this:

"Wee the people believe in the write to bare arms. Wee believe their are know boundaries too what wee can do with this quality education. Wee believe anywon whose fortunate enough two git a grate education in hour school system is indeed very lucky. Where else do ewe find out that wondering the class is a problem!?! Eye wander watt the answer is? Quality education is the key! Eye no its very hard two get thru school, sew we're lucky that sum teachers don't git held to a higher standard! And hoo cares if the Bill of Writes was wrote inn 1776 or 1976, ore whatever. It really ain't that important. Eye get flusterated with remembering awl those dates anyhow. Sew ewe sea, we're doing find with awl these things we're learning. Ewe got know worries over these miner glitches."

This is a slight exaggeration of the nonsense I've seen recently. I'm not perfect.  And I'm sure grammar gurus could look over my work and have a field day.  But people, I am not a teacher.  I'm aware of my deficits.  But when you don't know the difference in homonyms (to, two, too; their, there and they're; etc.), and you're teaching children, THERE IS A BIG PROBLEM!!  When you teach children incorrect methods of solving math problems, THERE IS A BIG PROBLEM!! When you teach incorrect dates in history, THERE IS A BIG PROBLEM!!  And no amount of excuses make up for it.  NO EXCUSES!!

For you teachers who do your job and do it well, thank you. For those who don't, I have no patience.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The F-word--Not the One You Think I Mean

Today's letter is F. I know what you're thinking--Linda and the F-word. Well, hold on a minute! I'm not going to use THAT F-word once. Really.

I've been trying to come up with a post I like about an F-word. Friends, family, fear, faith and a dozen other F-words have been going through my mind. But the one that keeps jumping out is fear. Fear can be the greatest barrier or the greatest motivator.  If I'm honest, fear has paralyzed me and pushed me my whole life. If you're honest, it probably influenced you also. 

I fear I'm not good enough at being a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer. I fear I'll fail or that I'll succeed. I fear I'll fall or that I'll have to keep climbing. When I do well, I fear my achievements won't be recognized...or that they will. Pretty screwed up, huh?

I think the craziest thing about it all is that I keep putting myself out there--writing, making jewelry, creating (I hope) beautiful things. Things that make you laugh, cry, think. The fear is always there, but I'm learning to use it. And I find I'm not alone.

Embrace the fear and grow from it. I am.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Review of All Bottled Up by Angela Rose

I'm not normally a fan of romance novels, but I read All Bottled Up by Angela Rose recently.  It was a witty, fun read and this author is going on my list of favorites.

Robin, the main character, learns to accept herself for who she is and is fortunate enough to find someone who cherishes her. The journey there was quite entertaining. I don't want to give away any details, but I was pleasantly surprised to read about a woman who decides she IS enough, just as she is--curves and all. It may have taken her a little while to come to that realization, but she did!

Great job, Ms. Rose!  Can't wait to read the next one.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Attack of the Elvi!!

Many years ago, two dear friends and I went on a road trip. We drove to Tupelo, Mississippi.  Tupelo is where Elvis Presley was born.  Now, I'm a born and bred Southern girl, with a love of a lot of things Mississippi.  Elvis is NOT one of those things.  I know, I know, I'm going to hear from haters on this one.  But after years, no not years, decades of hearing Elvis' Blue Christmas blasted over department store sound systems all winter, and radio stations that played all Elvis all the freaking time on or near his birthday, I sincerely cannot stand him.  (I will say I liked him and his movies when I was much younger, but time changes many things.)

One of my friends was from Tupelo and thought it would be a treat for us to see his childhood home and other various homages to all things Elvis.  There was lots of wine, so I was happy enough.  We stopped at his childhood home, toured some other Elvis-related places, then headed to the casinos in Tunica, Mississippi.  We walked in the first casino and saw Elvis posters and statues.  Elvis was blaring over the stereo system.  Heaven help me!  But there was wine. 

After a day and evening of casinos, Elvis and wine, we slept a few hours and headed to Memphis, Tennessee.  I was dying to hit Beale Street.  Bars, wine, music...I forgot about one thing-- Graceland.  The friend who'd arranged this trip had paid for admission for all three of us to Graceland.  But still, there was wine.  Lots of wine.  Have I mentioned I had a fondness for wine?

We headed into Graceland for the tour.  Deep breath.  We walked through a sea of Elvi.  There were short ones, skinny ones, tall ones, chubby ones, blond ones, just about any ones.  I needed to drink more wine.  Actually, that isn't true, I'd had more than enough wine.

When I drink alcohol, I get chatty.  And loud.  And I find myself to be very amusing.  I can't help it if others don't appreciate my humor.  As we walked through the grounds, touring his plane, his home, his memorial site, I began to comment on various things. 

"Attack of the ELVI!!" I screamed, as we traveled through the throng of Elvis impersonators.

"Shhh!" said my friend. "You're going to get us hurt!"

I kept up commentaries throughout the tour.  And when a guide yelled at me for using a flash camera, I held up my hands and said, "Nope! Empty hands here!  I'm not a fan!"  Shortly after that, we left.  I think it had something to do with threatening looks, words, or something from the fans.

It was a fun trip with good friends, good wine and good memories.  Okay, the crowd of Elvi chasing us away was a little freaky, but...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Just Dance!

Dancing is always something I've liked to do. I'm not good at dances that require remembering steps in a particular order. For some reason, the sequences cause me major grief. I trip over my feet, and everyone else's. It's really pretty sad to watch. But I truly love moving to music.

I love dancing around the house with my boys. They, of course, think Mom is the best at most everything. (Grinning like a fool here.) My husband doesn't dance, but he will slow dance if we're out. (Which happens about once a year, if that. Hey, with three kids it's a little tough to find the time and money to go out!) 

My parents danced a lot when I was growing up. Maybe that's where I got the love of dancing. They would invite friends over, listen to records and dance. I remember dancing and singing along while the grown ups danced. Funny how those times stick with you. And standing on Daddy's feet as a little girl, while he slow danced around with me, I felt like a princess. 

Today, I build memories with my boys. Dancing and twirling around the room.  Laughing. That's really what life's all about, making memories. 

Dance, live, laugh, be silly, love and make happy memories. Blessings!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Review of The Perfect Day by Gunnar Angel Lawrence

The Perfect Day by Gunnar Angel Lawrence was a thrill-packed ride! The characters were believable and the plot frighteningly plausible. 

From the first terrorist attack to the last, I was hooked.   I found myself literally holding my breath in fear!  To read a novel that's unrealistic is one thing, but to read one so filled with scenarios that have occurred or you could imagine occurring is terrifying. 

Lawrence is a talented storyteller and I cannot wait to read another creation. My only criticism? I had a difficult time putting it down, so my work load suffered.  
Congratulations on a job well-done!

Catching Flies

My momma always told us, "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't care for flies.  And why in the name of goodness would I want to catch them?!  I know what it means: you can get farther/obtain more by being nice than not.  I'm not saying Momma is wrong, but I'm not so sure she's right either.

I've been nice--that bend-over-backwards, sweet-Southern-belle, sugary-sweet, gagging nice.  (Don't laugh!  I really have!)  And frankly, all it got me was being a doormat.  I've gone the other direction--in-your-face, shut-the-hell-up, kiss-my-grits bitch. (You can disagree here...I'm waiting...still waiting...oh, never mind!) All that got me was trouble. 

Here's where we hit the happy medium, walking that line somewhere between sweet little angel and total bitch.  I like to think I do okay at it, but it's a struggle.  It goes against my nature to be argumentative and blunt.  STOP LAUGHING!  I really am uncomfortable in that role.  I SAID STOP!  But there have been times, many times that I've been forced to be that woman.  And then, I feel that Southern belle guilt.  It's like no other.  I promise you, if you've never experienced it, it's worse than the guilt that makes you want to buy your kid a pony because you made him cry.

I'm not sure if we are born with that guilt or if it just seeps into our pores after a while.  Nature or nurture?  Anyway, I digress.  I just know it's there.  Some keep it buried WAY down deep.  Some let it out more than we like.  And then there are the ones like me, who become sarcastic.  REALLY sarcastic.  (I know, I've shocked you again!...Have you recovered?...Are you okay?)  In fact, you could say the struggle between "catching flies" and full-on bitch mode, leads to sarcasm.  (Don't you like how I justified that?) 

The moral of the story?  Don't try to catch flies with honey unless you want to join the Sarcastic Society.  Just kidding, I don't believe there's a society named that yet... But when there is, I'll be president!

Happy reading!  Keep smiling!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Big Dreams

"Mom, I'm going to build the biggest, tallest building in the world one day," says my youngest son.

"If you want to do it, you can and you will," I reply.

I have no doubt he will do anything he sets out to do.  My youngest child is very creative and artsy.  He loves to build, design and draw.  He's a big dreamer.  That's a connection I have with him.  He is always thinking of what he can do next.  And truth is, this child can follow instructions like nothing I've ever seen before.  I gave him a rubber band bracelet kit--he asked for it--and said, "I have no clue what to do with these things."  Within minutes, he was turning out one bracelet after another.  (Tha t ability to follow directions, he didn't get from me.)

My oldest son can't follow instructions because he's always in overdrive.  He's very scattered and disorganized.  But he has debating skills like you wouldn't believe. He's only 9 and he can debate any topic he reads about and make you believe he's right.  He catches me off-guard quite often with his debating skills.  There is no limit to what he can do.

My middle son is more musically inclined than the other two and loves to sing, dance and wants to play the guitar.  I had to do some digging to get this out of him.  He's relatively shy about performing in front of large groups, but loves being videoed singing and dancing.  Maybe you'll see him on one of those talent shows on television one day. 

For Christmas last year, Santa--who must have been drunk--brought a guitar, a drum set, a CD player, and about a bazillion Legos and Kinex blocks.  Whatever we can do to encourage those big dreams, we'll do.  And heaven help anyone who tries to discourage them!

Dream big!  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity

Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD) is not a choice.  Children and adults with ADHD do not choose to be loud, inattentive, disruptive or impulsive.  ADHD is a chemical imbalance.  You cannot punish the ADHD out of a child.  You cannot reward the ADHD out of a child.  You can help change some of the behaviors, but the struggle will always remain. 

Can a person with ADHD use that to his/her advantage?  Of course!  I have friends who are diagnosed with ADHD and are some of the most productive people I know.  Is it difficult for them?  It can be.  Relationships can be a little challenging, because people with ADHD are usually involved in a number of things simultaneously.  And those who manage it, manage it well.  But it can drive the rest of us a little crazy. 

Is every person with ADHD just alike?  Nope, no way, not at all.  I have two children with ADHD and they are totally different.  One is unorganized and unfocused, the other is organized but has difficulty regulating his emotions.  No one treatment works for every person.  And it's more difficult to diagnose than people think.

The excessive energy means they can get more done.  The wild tales are active imaginations.  The constant chatter means they have a lot of information to learn and to share.  They are not brats, undisciplined or disrespectful.  They are unique.  They are a gift. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

When You Give Grace a Bead Reamer and Glue

When you give Grace a bead reamer, she'll need a bandage.
She'll trip on her way to get the bandage and knock over the permanent bond glue.
When she knocks over the glue, she'll bend down to pick it up and hit her head.
When she hits her head, she'll fall.
When she falls, she'll land in the glue.
When she lands in the glue, she'll stick to the floor.
When she sticks to the floor, she'll get angry and slam her hand down on her leg.
When she hits her leg, she'll forget she's holding the bead reamer until she sees the blood.
When she sees the blood, she'll remember she needs a bandage.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lasers and Swordfights and Guns, Oh My!

Boys.  That's what this is about.  Little muddy, sticky, rock-collecting, snake-loving, sword-carrying, gunfight-imagining boys.  I am blessed to have three of them.  They're seldom quiet, seldom still, and one or more is always up to some sort of mischief. And just to let you know, I wouldn't trade them for the world. 

I'm amazed at the number of people who think that just because they role play fighting, that boys are "naturally violent".  Or preoccupied with guns and violence.  I haven't found that to be the case.  My boys also love to play boardgames, play cards, to crochet, to build, to read, to cook and a plethora of other things.  And two of my three LOVE babies.  And they're gentle and kind, caring and loving.  In fact, this year two of mine won awards at school for "Kindness and Compassion".

Do they fight?  Of course, and I hate to burst your bubble, but my sister and I fought, too. And we played with cap guns and cracked each other over the head with batons.  Do my boys fight other children?  Yes, to defend themselves.  We don't encourage physical violence, but we do encourage standing up for yourself.  Is that wrong?  I don't think so. 

My boys don't like to hear or see things that portray real violence.  The violence and death they see and hear about on television, radio or in the newspapers scares them.  They feel compassion towards people who are hurt or have lost a family member.  They don't understand why anyone would hurt another person for little or no reason. 

And yes, there is a time and place for that kind of play.  And several places are off-limits for that--school and church, to name a couple.  Otherwise, I smile and wish for earplugs when I hear the "pew, pew, pew" of imaginary laser fights.  Hey, I never said it doesn't get on my nerves, but so does the high-pitched squeal of a little girl playing with friends. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tween Years Come Early

My oldest child is 9. His age group is referred to as a "tween" in our church. Tweens are that mysterious group that are not children, but not quite teenagers. That "between" status that's so difficult for them (and us) to manage. They're too old for the mall play area and too young for the teen arcades. I personally think 9 is still a child, but I wouldn't let my son hear me say it.

The tween years, like everything else, seem to be surfacing earlier and earlier. My boys have had "girlfriends" since preschool. My oldest had the "birds and bees" talk at 5. One of our twins got in trouble for explaining to a little girl at school that "girls have boobs and boys don't". (And before you yell at me for teaching him a slang word, he knows the correct word.  Hell, I'm just glad the word 'penis' didn't end up in the conversation. I celebrate the little victories.)  Suffice it to say, this can be a little overwhelming to us parental types. I think my husband and I have managed okay so far. He says, "Ask your mom." And I give them answers. (Sorry, dear.)

I'm reading a couple of books right now. One is "How to Hug a Porcupine". It's aimed at those parents of tweens/preteens. And I'm finding much of it applies. 

He wants that independence, but still hangs on to the childish toys and rituals of his life. He wants to be left alone one minute and to sit in my lap the next. As confusing as it is for me, it's much more confusing for him. I'm not so old that I can't remember those days! (Now, what was I talking about?...)

He's got hormones surfacing, fears and questions about everything, and wants us near enough to help out, but not so near that we smother him. What a fine line we walk! One minute I'm the best, coolest Mom ever. The next, an embarrassment to the human race. (Note to self: call and apologize to Mom.)

My husband and I joke that, if people knew what they were getting into when they have children, and I mean what they're REALLY getting into, the human race would have ceased to exist long ago.  (Haters, don't send me nasty-grams, I love my children.  But let's be honest, they're NOT little bundles of sweetness and light ALL the time.)

I suppose we'll make it through this stage in one piece with a portion of sanity left. But I'm pretty sure it's gonna be one heck of a ride!

Thanks for reading!