Our Version of “Ma Slapped a Bear”

eyes in dark As I mentioned last week, Cait makes sure Finn is in every night. On a recent night, the time got away from her before she realized that it was dark and Finn was not yet securely locked in the house.

So she started the nightly ritual of calling out while banging on Finn’s food can. Within minutes, he always appears.

But this night, still no Finn after several minutes of banging and calling.

Worried, Cait ran back in the house … Read more

Times Have Changed. Or Have They…?

I grew up in the country where there were many more animals per square mile than people. There were no cell phones, no internet, and certainly no malls or McDonalds dotting every corner. Essentially, there was no instant gratification.

During summers, especially, we kids had to learn to be resourceful if we wanted to get together and have fun. Otherwise the specter of boredom loomed large.

I’ve always lived near and loved the water. So, of course, one of the … Read more

Stick THAT in Your Happy Box!

Having recently gone through a growth spurt, Cait was in need of some new clothes. So off to the Mall we went.  We always concentrate our efforts in this one particular store, because we always have good luck finding cloths that fit and that Cait will actually wear.

The tradition is to make our way around each department — shoes, pants, tops, etc.– until, at the very end, we come to the fancy dress section.  This is where the fun … Read more

When Knowing Dog Training Comes in Handy for Raising Kids — Or Operant Conditioning: Part 1

nagging1-copy When I was young, I was quite shy and never liked drawing attention to myself.  One of the ways this manifested was that I spoke very softly.  My wonderful father was bothered by this trait and took it upon himself to remedy the situation.  Anytime I spoke, he’d interrupt and insist that I speak more loudly.

Interestingly, this constant reminder to speak up did not have the effect of making me speak louder.  Instead, I’d step closer to be heard … Read more

When Life Dumps a Truckload of Manure in Your Driveway

Ever go through one of those times where you wake up in the morning to find a truckload of manure in your driveway? You didn’t order it. You don’t need it. You can’t return it, because the midnight interloper has left no forwarding address. And you’re not going to be able to get your car out of the garage until you get the pile moved.

What’s a person to do?

Why, read a book and plant a garden, of course.… Read more

Three Sides to Every Story

Cait came into this world with extra helpings of compassion and empathy. It doesn’t take long for people to discover this about her. And it’s not surprising that her friends frequently put her in the role of confidant and mediator.  But it’s a role she often finds stressful — she worries about the responsibility of remaining unbiased and fair.

That’s a tall order for an emotionally mature adult, never mind a 13-year old caught in the throes of trying to … Read more

What do you think?

It’s been one of those “one for the record books” weeks. I won’t trouble you with all the details, except to say that if your loved ones surround you in one piece, remember to hug them tight tonight.

As for me, this week I got to see exactly how much I’ve been living in LaLa Land. (This is the part where I’d really appreciate your feedback.)

I’ve mentioned previously about how I’ve always felt very comfortable leaving Cait alone in … Read more