Not everyone knows this but I am a certified dog trainer. While I am not actively seeking new business, I have many satisfied clients. Not many things bothered me before I became a dog trainer, I thought dogs were dogs, and the things they did was simply the nature of the beast. It turns out that is
not true. Most of the bad behaviors associated with dogs can be traced back to
Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying every dog owner is bad, I am just saying that the majority of them are uneducated when it comes to having well rounded dogs. I was just as uneducated when it came to the many dogs I have had over the years, blaming the dog for behavior I now know was mostly produced by what I did, or did not do.
I thought I would take the opportunity over the next few weeks and discuss some of the training issues people have with their k-9’s, and see if we can fix some of these things that need fixing. So please feel free to send me an e-mail if you are having a specific issue and I will see if I have a solution for you.
In the mean time I want to address something that is high on my list of my dog owner concerns. Dogs riding in the front seat of the cars, or worse yet in their owners lap. It should never be allowed. There I said it. But I assure you I have a good reason. This is something that usually causes a heated debate, but please hear me out on this.
There you are riding along enjoying the feel of your beloved little French bulldog, Tippy, when out of no-where a car swerves into your lane, and Tippy sails out the window. Poor Tippy either face plants into the asphalt and becomes French toast, or worse yet gets run over by the SUV behind you. Leaving you with nothing more than a collar attached to a crepe. The debaters usually argue,
“My window is not all the way down so Tippy cannot fit outside.”
Okay so Tippy only gets his face slammed into the window. Really? Isn’t Tippy’s nose flat enough as it is?
Then they will say…
“I would never let that happen. I always have my hand on him to keep him safe.”
My response. “None of us know what we are going to do in an emergency situation, but as a responsible driver you need to have both hands available to save yourself and others.
So let’s talk about the REAL danger of letting little Tippy ride in your lap. God forbid you are in an accident, and your airbag were to deploy. Tippy would end up dead by the impact of the airbag slamming into his tiny little body. Worse yet he would most likely kill you in the process. Ah at least then the two of you would get to ride all you want in the afterlife. I guess at that point Tippy could hang his head out the window all he wants, as I hear those clouds are pretty darn fluffy.
Okay so let’s move Tippy to the passenger side seat. That would be better right? Only if you can turn off the passenger side airbag and have Tippy restrained in some kind of doggy harness, or specially made puppy seat. Yes they make them. But make sure if you get one it has a seatbelt or is fully enclosed. If Tippy is not restrained he can still get hurt or hurt someone else by flying through the air upon impact, hitting you or someone else in the car.
Bottom line…either leave Tippy at home, or insure the safety of all, by seeing that
he’s properly secured. Buckle him up! The life you save just may just be your own...
Today is my 32nd wedding anniversary. Please bear with me as I revisit last year’s blog and take you back in time to share in our elopement.
Don, my soon to be husband and I, had devised a plan only a few days earlier to elope. There was no reason for a rushed ceremony; it was simply a plan we had devised in order to have a small nest egg saved up before we had a big ceremony. Don was in the Navy and if he was married he would get married pay. Our plan was simple. We were going to get married, not tell anyone we were husband and wife, and save a little extra money.
Don was on leave and due back to the ship right after the first of the year, so we decided we would get married before he left. We chose December 30th. We had worked out all the details; we would drive to Tennessee, get married and be home by early afternoon, what could possibly go wrong?
I woke early on that Friday morning as Don was supposed to pick me up by seven for our secret rendezvous. I was ready on time but Don was nearly an hour late picking me up. Apparently unbeknownst to us another couple was having a house moved to its new location on that very morning, choosing to do so early so as not to inconvenience anyone. Yes, I am talking about a whole house. A single story, dark brown, brick ranch that was to be moved to its new location on that very day. The good news is the house is still there and every time we pass it we remember the day it found its new home atop the hill. After that minor delay we were on our way.
We had told my mother that we were heading to Bardstown to see Don’s father and would be gone most of the day.
We had arraigned for my then sister-in-law to join us as a witness. We drove to
her house, waited across the street for my brother to leave, then picked up her
and my nephew who was just a baby at the time. We dropped the baby off at his
great aunt’s house and were on our way to Tennessee to become husband and
The drive was uneventful, and we all
arrived in high spirits. There was a line at the courthouse; apparently several
other couples had hopes of getting married that day as well. When it was our turn, we told the lady at the desk we were there to get married. She smiled and said she needed our birth certificates. This was the second thing that nearly derailed our plans, as we had not thought to bring them. Before you chastise us for not being prepared please remember we were very young. I had barely turned eighteen and my husband to be was twenty one. This was way before the Internet was invented, so we had not been able to research what was involved. After a very tense moment it was decided that we could use our driver’s licenses since they had our pictures on them. We were lucky because at that time Kentucky was one of the few states that actually required photos on their driver’s licenses.
After our identities were established
she then requested the paperwork for blood test results. Glitch number three.
Of course we had not thought to have any blood test taken. Things like this must happen on a regular basis as the lady was able to direct us to a clinic where we could get our blood drawn.
We drove across town and finally found the clinic in rather run down section of the city. After arriving, and feeding yet another parking meter that seemed prevalent in the large city, we entered to find a sea of patients waiting to be seen. As we entered the building every person turned their head to watch us. I was very
scared as all of those eyes followed us across the room and continued to stare
even after we had signed in and took our
At the time I felt it was because somehow everyone in the room knew of our secret mission, but now as I type, I
think it was more because we were highly overdressed for the area. Don was looking pretty dashing in his leisure suit. My sister-in-law had donned a nice dress for the occasion and I had on a new outfit, the first one I had ever purchased on my own. Bought with my very own money from the new job I was working. I had on new blue jeans with a soft fur trim that lined the back pockets and a stunning black velour angel sleeve top. It was 1980 and this was very fashionable. Having just turned eighteen it never occurred to me that fur trimmed blue jeans and a black top may not have been the best choice of wedding attire. Besides, this was just our pre-wedding
Luckily we were only there for a blood
draw and we were called back within a few short moments. They put us in separate rooms across the hall from one another where we each sat on an exam table and waved to each other like a couple of kids. The nurse came into my room first, asked a couple of questions and then tied the tourniquet around my arm. As she was lowering the needle toward my arm I asked her when the results would be back. As the needle approached the crook of my arm she replied “oh not long, we should have them back in the morning.” I jerked my arm away just before the tip penetrated my exposed vain. “But, we are getting married today”, I exclaimed pulling at the rubber vice that still gripped my arm.
After a few moments of chaos we were sent across town yet again to a blood draw center that could accommodate a same day blood draw. After arriving and paying yet another parking meter, we made our way to a nice waiting area where we were met by a very friendly lady who assured us it would not take long to complete the process. After only a few minutes our blood was carted away to the testing area with the word stat clearly labeled across each glass vile. We were told it would take about an hour and since it was now nearing lunch time it was suggested we take this opportunity to go and get something to eat.
I am not sure how much Nashville has changed since then, but in December of 1980 it was not easy for three highly stressed and very hungry people to find something to eat. We drove for a very long time before finally finding a Burger King. We ate burgers and fries and hurried back to the lab to get our test results. We had been gone for over an hour but when we returned the results had still not come back. After waiting yet another hour the receptionist finally called down to see what was taking so long. It turns out that our blood had been misplaced and no-one could find those two tiny glass tubes of blood. A trace was placed on them and we had no choice but to wait for them to be found.
After nearly two hours of panicking the
blood was found and the results finally arrived. Don paid the fifty six dollars
and we were on our way. Unfortunately, instead of being on our way to the
courthouse we were once again headed back to the clinic so the resident doctor
could verify the results and declare us fit to be married. We arrived back at the clinic, walked back through the gauntlet of gawkers and spoke with the receptionist who in turn called the nurse who took our paperwork to the doctor.
Forty minutes and Thirty six dollars later, we exited the building, paperwork in hand which attested that we were in good health and genetically fit to become
husband and wife, all signed by a doctor which we never saw.
By the time we returned to the courthouse it was late and all of the judges had left for the day. Feeling both physically and mentally exhausted I blinked in order to keep the tears at bay. Seeing my distress the clerk took pity on us and offered to call over to the night court and see if there was anyone who could perform the service. Luckily there was a judge there who agreed to see to our joining.
We made our way to the courtroom and
opened the door. We were more than surprised to be met with a room full of
people who turned to stare at the people who had suddenly disturbed the
proceedings. We quickly closed the door without entering, fearing we had unknowingly arrived at the wrong court room. Within seconds the door opened and we were greeted by a distinguished man, with incredibly large ears, who assured us we were indeed in the right place.
The man introduced himself as Judge Doty and beckoned us to follow him. I was a bit scared being led through that sea of faces in the court room and into a back chamber of the building. Judge Doty was a sturdy, kind older man, with dark eyes that looked as if they had witnessed many years in the judicial system. He seemed rather pleased to be doing something as mundane as performing a simple marriage ceremony. When he asked which one of these pretty ladies was the bride, Don clutched my hand possessively and proudly stated that I could cook too. He knew this for a fact as I had made him a spaghetti dinner only a few short months earlier when he was home on leave. What he neglected to say was that I had used boxed noodles, sauce from a jar and he never even touched the homemade meatballs that I had slaved hours to cook.
As Judge Doty began the ceremony he was interrupted by a phone call. After
answering and assuring his wife he would bring home a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk he continued. A few seconds later a second call had been answered. This call was of greater importance as it ended with the promise of a fishing trip to take place the following day. When the service continued Judge Doty got to the part where a ring was needed and in one smooth motion without exchanging words, my sister-in-law slipped her wedding ring off her hand and passed it to Don who then slipped it onto my waiting finger. Apparently in our haste to get married we had overlooked this minor detail. At long last, and without any further interruptions, we were finally pronounced husband and wife. It was official after we handed over a forty dollar ceremony fee.
Upon surrendering the borrowed ring and returning to the van the first major test of our marriage was soon at hand. The van was nearly out of gas, we were over a hundred miles away from home and Don was nearly out of money. Between all the parking meters, blood test, doctors signatures and ceremony fees, his cash was nearly depleted. He had a bit of money in an account at home, but that was way before the invention of the universal debit card. I had not thought to bring any money and my sister-in-law only had a couple of dollars on her, so we were frantically trying to figure out how we were going to get back home.
As it turns out Don had a money order in the van for the amount of six dollars which he had yet to fill out. He took the money order to a bank across the street, went into the bank, walked up to the teller, slid the money order under the window and told her he needed money. It was at that time that the guard saw him at the window, watched him pass the note and assumed he was robbing the bank. Apparently the bank had been closed for several minutes and somehow no-one had remembered to lock the side door. After a few tense moments my new husband was able to convince everyone he was not a bank robber, had just gotten married and needed to cash the small money order in order to get his new bride safely back home. The teller, who had already closed out her drawer, took pity on him and gave him cash for the money order out of the money she had in her own purse.
With the funds from the money order and the small amount of cash on hand, Don was able to purchase gas which he prayed would be enough to get us all safely home. During the drive home, I having reached my limit, proceeded to crawl into the bed in the back of the van and sleep most of the way home.
Needless to say we arrived back at the aunt’s house to pick up my nephew much later than we originally intended. As we reached the back door my brother greeted us humming the hymn to the funeral march. As it turns out the baby had gotten sick and his aunt had called my mom looking for us. When my mother questioned why we would take my sister-in-law with us to visit Don’s dad her aunt had jokingly stated “maybe they eloped.”
After gathering my nerve I called my mom, who demanded to know where we had been. There was no reason to lie so I told her Tennessee and when she asked why, I said “why do you think?” The next thing I heard was a dial tone. At that point I was very glad I had taken that much needed nap. My brother congratulated us, we had a celebratory
glass of wine and we left.
After once again gathering the courage to call my house my younger brother answered the phone and wanted to know why mom had been crying ever since hanging up the phone with me.
She refused to answer and told him to tell me if I wanted to speak with her I
knew where she lived. An hour later we parked at the church next door to our
house and, feeling as if we were facing the firing squad, slowly made our way
across the yard and up the incline to our
My mom was still crying. My dad, not
typically known for his patience, was so calm it was frightening. He wanted to
know why we had eloped. Don spoke up and simply said “because we love each
other.” Dad then asked the million dollar question, which was whether or not I
was pregnant. We of course told them no, which was the truth. Dad visibly
relaxed, slightly, at that point and left the room. Many years later I was told
by my brother that he had seen dad with a loaded pistol in his waist band before
he himself had been ordered to leave the house. I do not know for certain if
this was true but I think it was a very good thing that an impending pregnancy
was not the reason for our hasty
When dad returned to the room, both
he and mom then attempted to make us see the error of our ways and get an
annulment. They claimed that neither of them objected to the marriage, just the
way we had gotten married. They wanted us to get an annulment and then go back
the following weekend to get re-married with them beside us. I was afraid if we
agreed to this they would find a way to keep us from a second ceremony. Dons
refusal was because he was not about to relinquish his well earned prize. He had
nearly been shot at the bank just a few short hours earlier and he was not about
to let that experience be for naught.
After a stalemate it was decided that I would retire to my room for the night and Don would go home and all parties involved would discuss it further the following day, when hopefully calmer heads would prevail. I know there are some that would think it utterly absurd to sleep alone on ones wedding night but by this point Don and I were so exhausted it seemed like the right thing to do.
The final agreement was that we would
follow our initial plan to keep the marriage a secret and plan for the big
wedding in the summer. As with our elopement, things did not go as planned. We never had the big wedding nor did I get the white dress. I am happy to report
that I did get a wedding band that was eventually replaced with a lovely diamond set. When we first got married several people expressed their disapproval telling us it would not last six months. I am happy to report that their predictions did not hold true and today marks our 32nd wedding anniversary.
I guess, truth be told, one does not need a fancy dress, a shinny bauble or even a lot of money to get married. You only need perseverance, a trip across the state line and enough money for gas to get you home….
I have given a lot of thought to this whole end of the world thing. Maybe tomorrow will
be the end of the world as we know it because the Zombies are going to take over. Maybe what the Mayan’s predicted is the Zombie apocalypse. I made my hair appointment for today just to be safe. Virginia Beach traffic is bad enough without having to play frogger with the Zombies. I have made sure we have food and water in the house in case we have to stay inside and hide from the Zombies.
I have a confession, if given the choice; I will chose to live and fight off the zombies rather than to actually become one of them. Don’t get me wrong being a zombie seems to have its advantages, you can stay up all night, hang out with friends, and eat everyone in sight. I guess that is what has me leaning the other direction. I mean I try to eat healthy; surely all that skin and flesh can’t be good for the complexion. All the zombies I’ve
seen –via movies and television- look like hell-pardon my language. They are
dressed in rags, filthy as can be, and some are even missing limbs. I wouldn’t
mind getting rid of my thighs, but I can think of better ways of doing so.
Also there is all the blood and guts to deal with when you are a Zombie. I know you can’t smell through television but those zombies must really reek. I’ve left chicken in the garbage can over night; I can’t imagine wearing that stuff for days on end.
While I admit I sometimes walk like a zombie after sitting for too long the effects usually wear off within moments. Zombie walking is not the most graceful. I don’t even think a chiropractor can fix that.
And then there is the arms stretched out thing. My arms get tired after minutes of exercising, there is no way I’d be able to keep them up while zombie walking every night.
As a writer I like it quiet when I work. I am pretty sure all that moaning and screaming would get really old, really quick.
So there you have it, all the reasons I can’t be a Zombie. I hope you’ve given this as much thought as I have. If not make sure you choose wisely if and when the time comes. I’d like to think I’d help you pick up your arm or leg if it falls off, but in reality I’m pretty squeamish, so I may have to pass.
I’ll let you in on a secret. I really don’t think the Mayans are correct; I was just in Office Max today. There were plenty of calendars and they were all dated for next year…
Growing up I knew I was destined for greatness. I was going to be somebody. I was determined to sing on stage at The Grand Ole Opry. You see when I was young I thought I could sing pretty well. Of course I am sure
half the people who audition for American Idol think the same thing. The difference between them and I is I knew when my voice left and I moved on to other things, lots of other things, until I finally discovered that I am a story teller. Yes I am an author but I am a story teller first and foremost. I have been told that anyone can write but not everyone can tell a story.
As a writer it helps to have a vivid imagination. Everything is a story to me. I eavesdrop on conversations, not to be rude but to hear the stories. You see sometimes fact is better than fiction. I think my imagination is expanding as I become more and more involved in writing but looking back, even in my younger days as an aspiring singer, I would make up songs. I guess I’ve been a writer all along and just didn’t know it.
That got me to wondering is it possible that everyone’s destiny is predetermined? Is that knowledge just laying dormant waiting for each of us to find our course? Do we really get to choose or are our paths chosen for us?
What if you are not a person at all? Picture yourself as a tree growing in the forest aspiring to be the grandest tree of them all, then someone comes and cuts you down to make you a Christmas tree. Does that make you less of a tree or are you just reaching your destiny?
One year we bought our Christmas tree early in the season. It died and we and had to get a replacement tree. Seriously, how awful to not to be good enough to be a “real” Christmas tree. That had to be hard on that poor tree. This is how my mind thinks.
Now picture you are a pumpkin growing in a pumpkin patch and have aspirations of being a scary jack-o-lantern. You grow and grow to be the best looking pumpkin you can be and someone takes you home and makes soup out of you. Seriously, that would have to suck. It is thoughts like these that plagued me as I was picking out my own pumpkin last week knowing that I only wanted him for his seeds. I bought him five days ago. He is still on my kitchen counter. I haven’t had the heart to cut him open knowing I will be ending his dream of becoming a jack-o-lantern.
I was in the pet store today buying dog food. I was at the counter, ready to pay, when a guy walks in, obviously a regular. One of the ladies behind the counter said “rat?” He shook his head and waited patiently for the lady to scoop up a random rat, shove him unceremoniously into a box, and hand him to the guy. I am sure the rat was ecstatic. He was out of that aquarium. He was going to be Stuart Little to some child, as that is what he has always dreamed of. Little does he know his dream is going to be shattered the second he discovers it is his destiny to become snake food.
I asked the girl behind the counter. “Do you think when the rat was growing up he ever thought he was going to be snake food?” She laughed and said probably not. She tried to comfort me by having me look at all of the other rats joyfully playing on the metal wheel. I then asked her “How does it feel being the one who decides who’s the next to go?” By this time the second lady, who was trying to make a phone call, hangs up the phone, obviously deciding I am someone who needs watching. The first girl does not know how to answer my question and merely stares at me. I then decided it was time to relate my pumpkin story to her telling her how long it took me to pick out a pumpkin knowing I was dashing all hopes of it becoming a jack-o-lantern. As I left the building the younger lady was laughing and the second lady was staring at me in disbelief. I beat a hasty retreat but not before I had given them something to think about and probably debating whether or not to have me banned from the store. I hear voices. I worry about the feeling of inanimate objects. I am constantly seeing movies inside my head. I keep a tape recorder beside my bed. Some of my very best friends are fictional. I am not crazy, I am following
As most of you know my husband is in the Navy. He is pretty old, okay not really, but old for Navy standards. I laugh as I write this, because that makes me old by Navy wife standards. That’s alright we are growing old together and that is what counts the most. Together being used loosely, as it is the Navy, and together and the Navy does not always mesh.
My husband joined back in the day of the dinosaur; otherwise known as 1977. We were married in 1980 so I have been there for most of the journey. Before you start doing the math and say there is no way he is still in, he has broken service. Meaning he got out and came back in, twice actually. I have always said the Navy is in his blood, and apparently the powers that be know this as they kept letting him come back.
It is funny hearing him talk about the people he works with and realizing he has tattoos older than some of the senior guys. I think he has even shared this bit of trivia with them on more than one occasion. They just shake their head and look at him as if he is some kind of relic. Maybe he is, but he is my relic and I love him.
I have to smile when I hear some of the newer, younger, spouses complain that the e-mail is down. Or they haven’t had a phone call lately. Don’t get me wrong, a missed e-mail still sends me into panic mode because I have gotten used to them. I want them. I need them. But then I have to remind myself that there was a time when we did not have e-mail. Heck we did not even have phone calls except for the rare occasion when the ship pulled into port and I was woke at 3am from a collect call from Israel or some other costly place. I can guarantee that phone bill was not pretty on Petty Officer pay!
At the risk of sounding like my parents, who had to walk to school in blinding snowstorms, uphill both ways, I have been there. Afraid to leave the house, because you never knew when the call would come. Before you say it, I have to remind you this was a time even before cell phones. So a missed call was indeed a missed call. There was no e-mail. There was what we now refer to as snail mail. This was race to the mail box everyday in hopes there would be some word, some envelope, that had traveled around the world at a snail’s pace with news so old it didn’t even pertain anymore. Still it was
that life raft which managed to keep me afloat just by knowing he had sealed each envelope with a piece him himself. You know, saliva, as this was even before peel and stick envelopes!
It is funny what we get used to, and what we come to expect. When snail mail was all we had we dealt with it. But now in the “new” Navy, we bitch when the ship’s internet is down and he can’t get on facebook. We complain when the ships phones are down or heaven forbid they have a delay! It is so much easier now than it was in the past. Through creative code I know when my husband is going to call, or when he is going to arrive at what port. Separations are tough even with all the new ways to communicate but at least the “new” Navy is helping to make the ocean feel a whole lot smaller. I am sure at some point they will have the capacity to Skype from onboard the ship. Of course that may be years in the works and I am not sure if we will still be in to see that. Of course if they install people elevators on the ship then maybe we will. As my husband likes to joke that he will retire, when they block his way and tell him he can’t bring his walker onboard the ship!
I am going to end this now, as I just received an e-mail from my hubby. Have a wonderful day!
If you’ve read my work then you know I write mostly romance. Quirky romance that sometimes stretches the limits of romantic norm, but still they tend to fall into the romance category. Well this past weekend I
was fortunate enough to attend a writers conference.
Now this was no ordinary romance writers conference as I have attended in the past. This was the Writers Police Academy. A fun filled weekend of hands on training that is invaluable to writers who strive to hone their craft in all things criminal. The weekend was crammed with exciting lectures, guest speakers and realistic props, so that each writer could fill his or her senses with realism.
We were offered actual police training, albeit abbreviated, on the real goings on in everyday law enforcement, forensics, specialized investigations and courtrooms proceedings. Those lucky enough to be in attendance got treated to a simulated police chase, K-9 demonstrations, building searches, FATS (firearms training simulator) and so much more.
I got handcuffed, shot (thankfully they didn’t let us use real weapons), and got to try on the jacket and helmet they use to disable bombs. This was not as fun as it sounds as the jacket alone weighs in at nearly 100 pounds. The officer who helped me into the suit said it is said to weigh 80 lbs but he has it more around 100. After trying it on I have to agree with him, as all I could do was stand there like the little boy in A Christmas Story. I
was not able to put my arms down. Heck who am I kidding; I couldn’t move a single muscle. I half expected to float away like a helium balloon the second I was freed from the cumbersome jacket.
Upon leaving the exhibit I was asked by a lady in a golf cart if I’d like a ride down the hill, no thanks, I think I will just float down I thought. That feeling was short lived as I hurried to climb onboard before she changed her mind. I justified this ride by the fact that I had been taking the stairs at the hotel when time and strength allowed.
In the handcuffing demonstration I was the guinea pig, I mean suspect. Cpl Jackson, a former Marine and now tough as nails female police officer used me to demonstrate how to arrest someone. After being in the cuffs only moments I was pleased that I had not chosen a life of crime. Being handcuffed is not all it is cracked up to be. Before any of my readers e-mail me to educate me in the pleasures of being handcuffed, let me remind you these were real police grade handcuffs, not padded leopard cuffs. :)
After I was handcuffed, everyone was invited up to see how the cuffs should look when on properly. I was released and we all got to take turns handcuffing each other. Partnered with author Alexandra Sokoloff, I handcuffed her hands securely behind her back, or so I thought. Within seconds she was able to maneuver her legs through her arms so that her hands were now resting more comfortably in front of her body. While
this is something that most people would not be able to do, Alex was able to bring her arms to the front with little more than a tender wrist and broken fingernail. Luckily for me I was not a real cop, with a real gun. One she could have easily taken from me, had I thought her arms still securely behind her. We were told this was the reason they stopped using the chain handcuffs, instead switching to the unforgiving hinged cuff which is impossible to maneuver to the front.
While some may think experiences such as these simply a perk of the job, I can attest that hands on scenarios help to heighten the creativity, moreover they help writers to get it right!
While I had a blast, my voices must have enjoyed the experience as well, as they have been talking nonstop since returning home. For me this unexpected journey has opened new doors and taken me in a whole new direction. It has shown me that every now and then a person must step outside their comfort zone and see what life has to offer. I am sure glad I did as I feel this was only the beginning for me!
Make sure to go my pictures gallery to see more pictures from the weekend.
Like many women my age, I struggle with my weight. I exercise most days, and try to make healthy food choices. Okay the optimum word there is try, because if I am at a
restaurant it is difficult to forgo the fries. I realize it is not actually the potato that appeals to me in those situations but the salt that coats them. I know this, because there have been times where I have eaten cold, limp, grease laden, fries all the while asking myself why I continued to eat them. It was the salt that kept my attention.
So, given the fact that I make mostly healthy food choices by day, I was surprised when last night I had a dream, and healthy food choices were the furthest thing from my mind. I was riding my bike at the airport, okay that in itself is rather bizarre but let’s stay on topic here. I was hungry, and the next thing I knew I was eating a hotdog. I don’t know where the hotdog came from. It was a dream, it just appeared. The point is I do not eat hotdogs. I have maybe two or three hotdogs a year, and that is normally when we are out and there are no other options. I am not only eating this hotdog, but I am enjoying the heck out of it. I have no doubt that I even moaned in my sleep while eating this hotdog. I give my dreaming subconscious credit, because after taking that first delicious bite, I actually questioned whether I should be eating that. Even in my sleep I knew I would balloon up something fierce, but my hands chose to ignore my subconscious and continued to feed my face.
The dream was very vivid, and even now, I remember every scrumptious bite. So much in fact, my mouth actually watered while writing this. Does it count that all the while I was enjoying that sodium filled cylinder, nestled in that soft white bun, that I
was still riding my bike? Probably not, beings I was heading to the store to purchase other forbidden items.
Yes, there was a small store along the road at the airport, it was a dream remember? I arrived at the store and went straight for the sodas. This is yet another thing that is on
my no no list. I do not drink sodas. Okay, I do allow myself to have the occasional Canada Dry Ginger Ale when we order a pizza, and I have to have one or two big red’s when I go to Kentucky. Big red soda’s, Moby Dick fish, and Mike Linnigs are my Kentucky guilty pleasures. But other than those occasions I do not drink or even purchase sodas. Just ask my two oldest grandchildren, who just spent a month at my house, they were going through withdraws, as Gamma did not buy them sodas! Okay, they would say pop, they are being raised in Michigan, it is a northern thing.
So I am in this store and I ask for a coke. I am not sure if it still holds true as I no longer purchase sodas, but as a child growing up in the south when you asked for coke
they always asked you what kind. You rarely said coke and actually meant you wanted a coke.
Next I am at the counter and they are handing me a Pepsi. I am not, nor have I ever been, a Pepsi girl. Luckily even in my dream I held fast on that, telling them that I had not ordered a Pepsi. The lady pulled the bottle away and asked what it was I had wanted. Before I could answer she said Big Red and I agreed that, yes that was what I wanted. Okay, while sodas are a poor choice at least I was drinking the right one.
I then proceeded to the chip isle, which again is a rare treat for me. Once again
I bought my favorite brand, only I did not buy the small individual bag, I know I have to, in order to limit my intake, no I opted for the largest bag of Cheeto’s they had, knowing I would eat them all.
Next I bought a snickers bar. I never buy snickers bars! While I never actually ate anything except the hotdog I know I was going to.
I woke this morning thinking of that hotdog and am still fighting the urge to run to the store and purchase ballparks for breakfast. But what I was most concerned about was getting on the scale this morning, fearing that somehow the sodium would have wreaked havoc on my body during the night. Thankfully that was not the case. But it got me to wondering, do I always eat during my sleep? If so, is this my body’s way of rebelling against its daily intake of salads and chicken? Maybe my weight issue is caused by the choices I make in my sleep, and not the ice cream I have after dinner each night. Is there a way to control our dreams? Can we train our subconscious to make healthy eating choices in our sleep? I think I may have I just figured out the next big diet fad. I should write a book! Hey wait, that is not such a bad idea. People are desperate, looking for excuses and always searching for the easy way out. Just take a peek at my book
shelves, I speak from experience. I must go now; I have another book to write. Coming soon to bookstores near you, Dreaming Your Way Thin…finally, something that will get me on the morning talk shows!
As the summer wanes I find myself thinking about my fall wardrobe. In going through my closet I’ve found Capri’s, jeans and white pants. My first thought was to switch my white pants to my summer closet as I’ve always heard don’t wear white after Labor Day. But I do so love my white pants, having only gravitating toward them since losing weight last year. I like the lighter look as I am one who is often referred to as the lady equivalent of Jonny Cash. Not because I can sing, but because I am often dressed in black from head to toe.
The climate here in Virginia, is often muggy and much more conducive to shorts than their longer cousins. Since it doesn’t cool off in this area until well after Labor Day, most of my cute white pants and capris remain in my closet for most of the season. Therein lies my dilemma. Should I adhere to the centuries old tradition and banish the white, or do I say phooey, and welcome the new season with my beloved white pants? To answer that question I did what I always do, I turned to the internet for answers. To my surprise, I found I am not the only one who has asked that question of late. I
discovered post after post from women, who were just as contradicted as I. More
to the point, I found post after post of women not yet willing to let go of their favorite accessory, be it white pants, blouse or even blazer.
The funny thing is, there is no real clear reason for not wearing white after Labor Day. It seems as though it is one of those things that got started, and gained support, without any real reason to do so. One article suggested it was something started by the elite socialites, as a way of insuring that the up and coming members of society adhere to a certain standard of dress, in order to show their social class.
I on the other hand wonder if it was instigated for a simpler reason. Back in the day, when water had to be drawn from a well or hauled in from a creek, people were more apt to wear clothes more than once before washing. Water was more prevalent in the summertime, allowing for more frequent washing, and harsh weather may prevent laundry from being done on a daily basis. Maybe it was easier to mask dirt when wearing dark clothes, thus allowing a person to wear a garment for multiple days before washing, hence no wearing white after the water started to ice over. It is just my theory, but
you must admit it makes sense.
Whatever the reason, it seems the old custom is just that, an old, outdated, custom which more and more people are ignoring. I am of a mind to leave the white in my closet, and pair it with darker colors as the chill takes hold. In an age where it has become acceptable to wear your pants below your backside, pajama’s to the mall, and house shoes to Wal-Mart, I doubt my white slacks will cause many tongues to wag. Of
course if I am wrong I will just smile and say, it’s okay, I own a washing machine!
Why is it when you look your worst you get unexpected visitors? I worked in my yard for three hours recently, trimming the hedges, pulling weeds and pulling even more weeds. After the first hour in the sweltering heat, looking less than presentable, the pest guy, who was spraying the house next door, caught my attention asking the status of my children’s book. I let him know it was out, and of course I have copies, to which he said
he wanted one. I went in, washed my hands, retrieved the book, and signed it for his three children. It just goes to show that I never turn down a chance to sell or talk about any of my books!
I went back to work on the yard, and after about an hour the neighbor kid drove up and
decided to come over and say hello. This is rare, as he normally has blinders on and goes straight from the car to the house and back again, without a doubt still numb from the blare of his stereo. But not this time, no this time he walked over to say hello. Keep in mind by now I’d been working in the heat for over two hours. He told me the yard was looking good and I told him no, it is looking less bad. After chatting several moments he went inside and I got back to work kneeling in the dirt pulling weeds.
Two separate people stopped to ask me where the yard sale that was, three houses down, closed for the day, back open in the morning. At the three hour mark I am now totally covered in dirt, the sweat is causing the dirt to run in streaks down my legs. On a scale of one-ten I am pretty sure I was a minus seven on the sexy meter. I looked up and another neighbor who’d purchased a Goblin book the day before, had seen me outside and decided to bring the kids by and let me know they loved the book! The kids had a ton of questions and comments about the book. I answered them all, told them I was
happy they loved the book, and made further small talk until they were ready to leave.
I have few friends in the area so it is rare that I get company, yet today when I looked the worst I’ve probably ever looked I had plenty of eyes upon me. It is funny that even though I looked as though I had walked through a garden hose and wallowed in the mud, not one person made any comment about the state of my appearance. Were they just being polite or were they afraid if they made mention of how hard I was working that I might ask them to help? I guess I’ll never know…
I don’t remember exactly how old I was but from the picture in my mind I would guess my age to be around ten. My parents had taken us to a farm. I am sure it was a farm belonging to a distant relative, but again just who that may have been escapes me. So you may be wondering why I would chose to write about something I don’t remember that well, but that is the thing, while I do not remember my age or where precisely we were, I do remember what happened that day so many years ago.
My brothers and I were watching the farmers harvest the crop. They were using a machine which had a long shoot and loading a semi with soybeans. After they were finished they shut down for a bit and all of us kids got to climb right up into that semi trailer and play in that bed of beans! We had such a grand time. I firmly believe that the inventor of the air filled bouncy house must have got the idea while playing in a semi bed filled with soybeans.
Oh what fun it was walking on that bed of beans, our feet sinking, and disappearing, into the tan colored pellets. Often our shoes would slip off and we would have to dig to recover them. That in itself was fun because as we dug the beans would cave in around the hole, in such a way of playing in a sandbox of loose flowing sand.
After digging for shoes lost its allure we finally took them off and tossed them unceremoniously out of the trailer. After that we discovered a new joy. Oh what fun we had sinking our toes into the countless tiny balls. They were warm from the heat of the sun and kept their heat when poured into the large steel trailer which was covered to help contain the beans. It was open at the end which allowed for the hopper to spray
the beans into the truck and also the route we traveled to climb down into the
In a time before cable, or video games, there was no better time than we had that day.
Unfortunately that joy was short lived. The chute appeared in the opening and
started filling the truck. At first it was fun getting pelted with the tiny
balls but soon the fun nearly turned deadly. As those beans flew into the truck
a whirlwind effect started, and soon we found it very difficult to breath. Our
lungs were filling with husks, dust, and whatever else was being forced into the
truck. I think that is the first time in my life I actually worried that I was
going to die. For what seemed like forever, however in reality probably only
lasted a few moments, I had a fear of being buried alive. I don’t know if they
suddenly remembered there were children playing inside of the trailer, or if we
just got lucky but we all survived. I remember not being able to breathe very
well for a couple of days but in that era you didn’t run to the doctor just
because you inhaled a bit of soybean dust.
My husband has always said children grow up in spite of us not because of us. I am not sure where the quote originated but looking back, I think the statement is so very true…