Who Needs a Puppy?

I have been a little sleep deprived recently, with our little old lady, Penny, being unable to sleep.  Last night was a very restful night for a change.  I woke early with energy.  There was no early “good morning” slur, but instead a person eager for the day.  A person eager to set about those things that I have been neglecting.  I picked up the household clutter while I listened to the news.

The news has been a source of consternation.  I spend hours better devoted to blogging about The Daily Prompt just trying to understand what is going on and what can be done about it.  I am eternally perplexed at how my friends and I can hear the exact same news so differently.  There just are not enough puppies, kittens, and babies to ease the unrest.

I did however have the best dreams recently.  I dreamt I had a baby, who was just so sweet and content.  Dream analysis says dreaming about a happy baby means I am happy.  The dream certainly made me happy.

The news today has me thinking about how passionately people feel about their lawns.  Lawns are a lot of work, as we tend them with weed killer, bug killer, feed with fertilizer, and spend hours mowing and trimming.  I get it.  After all of that effort, we want our lawns to look nice.

I have neighbors who get really nasty when dogs stop at their house, even though owners dutifully pick up after the dog.   I just feel sorry that they can’t appreciate the love a dog can give in a way a lawn can’t. I have neighbors that fuss when kindergarteners step on the curb edge of their lawn to avoid a hazard, such as a car or freshly poured tar on the roadway where they normally walked to the bus.  Their lack of concern for the children in their neighborhood confounds me.

I have also been the neighbor with a corner lot that the kids, postal carrier, and others would cut across.  Did I scream and curse?  Did I lay hands on them?  Did I pull and fire a gun?  No.

The fact that an off duty police officer could behave in this way, and justify it by saying he was threatened is shocking.  I can see his confusion.  “I’ll sue you,” does sound a little like “I’ll shoot you.”  Yet there was no gun threatening the officer.  Just a boy, defending a girl in his class from a man cursing at her about stepping on his lawn.  I’d say he needs a puppy, but I’m sure a puppy would not relieve his stress over his lawn.

I would recommend anyone who finds themselves in a dangerous confrontation with anybody should not threaten to sue.   Just go ahead and file suit after you are away from danger.

So how did I handle people cutting the corner of my lawn?  I put in a pathway so the postal carrier could short-cut without causing damage.  I told children cutting across that I had no problem with friends crossing my lawn, but friends always smile and wave when they see me.  I had lots of friends smiling and waving at me.



All Questions

Do you expect praise for doing the right thing?

Praise for brushing your teeth, for cleaning your body, for eating with health in mind, and getting a reasonable amount of exercise, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol?  Who cares if you don’t do these things?  Why is bad breath and rotting teeth a big deal?  Who cares about body odor?  Why worry about what you eat, or exercising?  Who’s business is it anyways?  Smoking and drinking, really?  How is this anyone’s problem, but your own?  So you know the consequences of these actions, so what?

So what if those who love you have to cope with your slovenly ways, adjust all their habits to yours, go out of their way to help you as you become more and more dependent upon them?  So what if they have to wash your sores, and bring you your breathing treatments and keep your oxygen close, and monitor your pain medication, because your pickled brain can’t  manage?  So what if the burden of your care and pain make those you love pray for it to just end?

Why keep reading when none of this applies to you?  Do you expect praise for other things you do that are just as common in life?  Do you expect praise for saying please and thank you, and being courteous to others?  Are you waiting for praise for doing your job everyday?  Are you praised for being responsible?  So you seek praise for raising your children, caring for your pets, and loving your spouse (all of whom can be ungrateful)?

Do you expect praise for doing the right thing, standing up for others, speaking out against injustice, defending what is right?  When was anyone ever thanked for these things?

You can’t expect praise, but don’t you think there is something you can do? How can you make a difference?  Don’t you think you could tell someone you appreciate them? Could you say thank you, good job, or I love you to the people in your life today?                                                                                         #

With Apologies

3 Day Quote Challenge:

  Keep you words soft and tender because tomorrow you may have to eat them,

and crow is better eaten warm.  

~ Author Unknown

I corrected my Dad’s behavior.  It sends a shudder through me even now.  I knew I had to apologize.  But Dad was not known for accepting any apology.  We were traveling in tandem, and the offense occurred at the rest stop.   I agonized over my apology for three hours until the next stop.  I said I was sorry.  Nothing.  In desperation I quoted Miss Manners, who said it is far worse to point out the bad manners of others, than it is to actually be the person with  bad manners.  (This is not a direct quote,so it doesn’t count.)   It took more than “I’m sorry” to melt my Dad’s heart.  It took knowing that I really understood what I had done, and why it was wrong.  I knew I was guilty of pointing out Dad’s bad manners.  I also acknowledged that pointing out his offense was a worse offense than anything he had done.  With this knowledge I would change my behavior.  Isn’t that the point?   Dad forgave me, and we never spoke of it again.


Day 1 of the 3 day Quote challenge.  Combined with today’s prompt.  Is that cheating?


I was nominated by Bee Organized with Pamela, who invites us into her life and gives helpful tips for reorganizing everything.  We only met recently.  New friends is one of the joys of blogging.

According to the rules,  I nominate three bloggers to participate.

Today I nominate:

Peaceful Journey, who do to a communication already published her day one.

That’s What Anxious Mom Said

Random Writing on the Bathroom Wall

Happy Read.  Two days to go.

Good Guest or Bad

response to the Daily Prompt: Guest

Whether in a well-appointed luxury  hotel, or someone’s modest hovel there are certain expectations as a guest.  As a guest we expect to be welcomed and have our needs met.  We expect a place to sleep, be warm and safe, access to facilities to care for personal needs, food and water.

In some places we are offered private, climate controlled rooms.  We might have a small kitchen, and private bath.  There might be staff to make up our bed and bring fresh towels on demand, and clean up after us.  Even complete meals may be brought right to our room.  This type of hospitality comes with a price.

Under crowded conditions, as when we are visiting family,  the welcome is expected.  We expect family to take us in, but you may have to compromise personal sleeping comfort. Sleeping arraignments are not as private nor spacious.  But room will be made for you, even if on a sofa, or with a pillow and blanket on the floor.  You might not be entirely comfortable, but you will have a warm dry place to sleep, as long as the roof is not leaking.  Food and drink will be shared, but we may have to wait upon ourselves.  There will also be a wait for the bathroom, and a wait for hot water before showers.

Being with those you love is worth the inconvenience of helping with the cooking and cleaning, and waiting our turn.   Covering up to go to the bathroom at night, or to find a midnight snack is a small inconvenience for the togetherness of family.  Following the house rules, and excepting the differences between us, and being considerate of each other to keep the peace and make things go smoothly for everyone is expected for a guest.

But sometimes things don’t go smoothly.  Sometimes we think we can be quick enough to run to the kitchen for a snack when everyone is asleep, and risk running uncovered into our mother-in-law or brother-in-law.  Sometimes we don’t think the rules apply to us, because we are adults, we have the right to our opinions, we are right and you are not so right.  We forget we are a guest and forget to be thankful.  We overstep and impose our judgement over that of our generous hosts.  We forget we are a guest and argue with our hosts, in their house, when the smarter choice would be to quietly, and peacefully leave.

Our family might even forgive us such laps, because they love us.  Then again, they might not.



Enjoy a Ride


Remember the thrill of your first two wheeler?  Remember the freedom as you pumped your legs faster and faster, and then glided to give your legs a rest and feel the wind against your face.  You could meet with friends, and ride together, exploring everywhere.  There were limitations.  We had to stay away from traffic, which often meant staying on the sidewalk.

A motor cycle gives you that same childish trill, but you can ride in the street, with the traffic.  Just as on a bicycle, you have to be careful of the traffic, because you are nearly invisible to drivers, and some drivers will even challenge your right to be on the road.

So if you ride, be careful.  And if you are driving please keep your eyes open for a bicycle, or a motor cycle, and please give them a little space, and don’t lay on the horn when you get right along side of them.  You never know, the rider could be a sweet little old lady, like me.

Fight or Flight

I awoke with a sore throat and took my temperature.  Normal.  My throat didn’t even look very red.  What should I do?  Should I go to the forensic tournament, or stay home.  A Forensics tournament is a competition consisting of speeches serious or humorous, interpretive readings of poetry and prose, and extemporaneous speaking on undisclosed topics.  I decide to go and give my support to the team and do my best.

We had practiced to the point of memorizing our material, and had plenty of time to  relax on our drive to the host college for the tournament the next day.  I had hopes that my sore throat would just go away, but with each mile closer to our destination my throat felt worse.  I drank tea with lemon and honey to sooth my throat, but my voice became hoarse and my throat more painful. Lozenges did not help, and sucking on lemons as recommended by the coach was no help.

In the morning I dressed my competition clothing, selected with the help of my sister.  My hair and makeup were perfect, I looked great, and I felt worse than ever.  The closer I got to the competition the worse I felt.  As is typical of the fight or flight response, my body was preparing for battle, which includes clearing all systems for the fight.  A quick trip to the bathroom to clear my bladder under the pressure of anxiety and the worry of being late for my first competition of the day, I was taking care of my business when a teammate said, “You pee like a horse!”

I was more angry than embarrassed by her comment.  My struggle for calm gave way to anger.  I told her that making such personal comments is juvenile, inappropriate, and bad manners.  I told her to “grow up.”

My speech on being an adult college student with three children seemed almost unscripted as I interacted with the audience who responded with delighted laughter.  “Where do you get your material,”  a fellow competitor asked at the end of the session.  “Life,” I responded.  The judges notes confirmed what I felt.  This was my best presentation yet.

I thanked my juvenile teammate.  Our restroom argument unleashed the tense control I had kept myself under, and I used that energy to express my frustrations of college life in my speech.  My teammate tried to make me feel guilty about ruining her performance with my outburst.

By the end of the day, I had won my first bronze metal.  And my throat?  It stopped hurting.

10 Reasons for a “Show of Respect”

A comment to my last post, Manners?, got me thinking about why someone might want to make a “show of respect” even if they don’t feel respect. If we react to political posturing and sound bites we can believe that those in public office are nothing more than the puppets of special interests. When I listened to Ohio Republican and Speaker of the House John Boehner and Kentucky Republican and head of the Senate Mitch McConnell speak on CBS 60 Minutes I could see them for the concerned and intelligent people they are, and agree with much of what they said.

A Show of Respect:

  1.  gives the impression that maybe you can work together for things both parties say they want:  tax reform, easing the stress on the middle class, improving the country’s infrastructure, to promote trade, and defeat ISIS and terrorism.
  2.  does not mean agreement, but your “scowl” will not receive private nor public mention.
  3. may make the public think you are the good guys, and with an awful 15 percent approval rating for congress, and 46 percent for the president, both need that.
  4. wins the respect of any man or woman, past of present, in the military when respect is shown to the Commander-in-Chief.
  5. gives the impression that you represent the interests of the country, and not a political agenda.
  6. makes you look a statesman, and not a politician.
  7. looks like you are listening with an open mind, and not closed and decided.
  8. makes you look like somebody I might vote for (and I know exactly how important that is to you).
  9. sets a good example for others for public (and private) discourse.
  10. shows you have class.


Watching the Presidential speech I was fascinated by the differences in the Democrat and Republican responses. The areas of disagreement are very clear. What the President sees as success, the Republicans see as their failure. According to the news analyst at the end, the Republicans clapped less, and spent more time in their seats than ever before. The analyst also mentioned hearing cellphones ring, and Republicans being on their phones and tablets during the speech.

Going to any event, a dinner with friends, movie, church, and others, many of us turn off our phones. If that is not possible, we at least silence our phones. It seems to me that the President of our country, should be given our attention when he makes a speech. The State of the Union speech is once a year, covered by every television network, and is uninterrupted my commercials, because a Presidential speech is important.

Disagreement does not mean we can dispense with manners. Disagreement makes manners even more important.
In a disagreement, people on both sides of an issue want their side to be heard, and their concerns acknowledged. Manners show respect during a disagreement.

President Obama deserves respect especially when you disagree, because he is the president. Our enemies are watching, and our angry division they interpret as weakness, and increases their resolve.

If you agree, I hope you will share this with someone else.

Two Stories About Kids

Many people are complaining about the kids of today, but what I see can best be described with two stories that happened at the Happiest Place on Earth:  Walt Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.

The temperature was in the 90’s and it was near 4 p.m., plus my water bottle had run dry.  I spied a water fountain and headed over.  When I got to the fountain, a young man got there at about the same time on my left side.  I went ahead and filled my bottle as the nob to control the water was on the right.  Suddenly the young man’s mother pulled him away from me and the fountain and she started screaming, “Get away from that rude woman.  You should not be anywhere near a rude woman like that!”

I was hot and cranky.  I matched her for volume.  “Maybe you should teach your child not to jump in front of old people!”

“You think you are old?  You are not old,” she replied.

“I guess I should thank you for the compliment, but I am at least twice your age, and that counts for something,” I yelled as our husbands led us in opposite directions.

Less than an hour later we decided we’d better get in line for dinner.  Sure enough, it was standing room only to get into the restaurant of our choice.  Two young men sitting with their mother saw us, and without a word or nudge from their mother both boys jumped to their feet and offered us old folk their seats.  We thanked them, and their mother, and complimented them on their excellent manners.

I’ve seen many fine young people with excellent manners, and I always encourage their fine behavior with sincere thanks and if possible let their parents know how much I appreciate the thoughtfulness of their children.

Those children whose manners are not so nice, who act like they own the street, and give you the eye and attitude?  These children I treat with the utmost respect, and politeness.  Treating those with attitude, who do behave a little rudely, sets a good example of how people can act toward each other.  Difficult children need to be shown that they also are deserving of respect, even if initially such respect raises their suspicions.  If enough of us do this, they will eventually get the idea, and reciprocate.

It is not the kids fault if they are rude.  It is the fault of the adults around them.  If the parents don’t teach them manners, we can try, but at least we can place the blame in the correct place.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a sacred time in most households, when all distractions were shut off, and the family sat down together to enjoy each others company, share their day, and celebrate their successes.

Have you guessed? It was the family dinner. Televisions were turned off. If the telephone rang, which was unlikely because all your friends were also eating dinner, you politely answered that you would return their call after dinner. Dinner time was family time. The Beaver would tell how he hit a home run in the neighborhood ball game, while his brother would tell how well he thought he did on the math test. Ward would congratulate the boys and talk about his day, while June would serve up the family favorite: meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Once upon a time, most people looked forward to that time when the family came back together, and the meals that only Mom could make the best. But time marches on. Mom is to busy to cook, but the selection of carry in meals is terrific. The family can still eat together, if practice for an array of sports and other activates would only allow it. When the family does finally get together, they are often to exhausted for sharing, and besides, the television is on.

There is an alternative that many families take advantage of a few times a week. They eat out. No television, now they can talk.
Not so with the family we sat near a few nights ago. There they were with their three very well behaved kids. The only conversation those kids heard were from tables surrounding them, and Mom on the cell phone who at least once told them to shut up as she was talking on the phone.

Is it any wonder that these kids, came to visit our table. Mom did get off the phone to order them back by her side, and then manhandled them into place when they did not respond fast enough. The children were then promptly ignored.

This was only the most resent example of families totally being shut out by the cell phone. I’ve seen spouses with one on the phone while the other ate alone in a restaurant. I’ve seen people on an unfortunate date where the phone was in use by one.

Cell phones are everywhere. I’ve been in line at a store where everyone is trying to be quiet so as not to disturb the person on the phone. At the register you can’t tell if the person on phone is really aware of what is going on. At the playground the tweens all have their cell phones out and they don’t even talk, they text.

People driving while on their cell phones has caused many an uneasy moment, and even accidents. These real dangers have lead to a movement to take a no cell phone while driving pledge, and legislation requiring hands free for driving.

I’ve heard of a shop that has posted a sign that if you are using a cell phone, they will wait for you to complete your call so they don’t interrupt you to provide service. At movie theaters they request you turn off your phone, but in the darkened theater you can see the glow of the cell phone as people are texting.

Once upon a time had a lot of draw backs, but it had some really nice things also. If we are a little creative we can take control our cell phones and retain some of those nice things, like family dinners and sharing our day and successes.

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