Smaller Is Better

The beast is often a bundle of joy and we are all very grateful to have him in our lives. He warms our feet, cleans our dishes, alerts us when someone is at the door and when the squirrels have moved in the trees. Yeah, we don’t always need to know when the squirrels move through the trees but he sure thinks we do.

I have only ever owned two beasts in my life and I have been very fortunate that, though they tend to weigh more than they should, they have not had many health issues. I have been fortunate.

This morning, as I walked the beast for what feels like the hundredth time over the last week, something unusual happened. That which left his body was not fecal matter. It was pure blood.

Now I am not usually bothered by the bright red liquid. I have raised children who seem to have a fondness of leaking blood on a regular basis. I also work in a school and hand out bandages at least once a week. Blood does not bother me. Blood coming out in place of feces however, yeah it was not a good morning.

So, I did what any good woman on her last day of vacation would do. I texted the human, “The beast just **** blood.”

Human: “***”

Me: “Should I call the vet?”

Human: “Yes, ***.”

You see, it’s that time of year when the money doesn’t seem to be flowing into the bank account and the idea of going to a vet is not just adding stress because we worry about the beast, it’s the thought of how much it will cost.

We used to go to a big chain pet store and saw the vet inside. We used to pay around $400 to $500 just to be on their plan. We paid more when the pets actually went to the vet. We used to do that until one year when they tried to take money out of my account without my permission. Now we go elsewhere.

Our new place is incredible because of things I expected from my children’s pediatrician’s office but never got in the old place.

  1. Same people at the front desk every time we go.
  2. Same doctor every time we go.
  3. Someone who gives the beast treats and talks to him as though he was the best and only pup in the world.
  4. A doctor who goes above and beyond and treats me as if I am quite adequate as a parent.

The best thing about this visit?

Knowing (or at least being reasonably sure) the problem is not catastrophic and is easily treated with medicine and it cost less than $100 for the visit and the medicine.

I am so glad I have a small town veterinarian now because it is true, smaller is better.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Ode to the Code

Why didn’t the chicken cross the road?

The programmer didn’t know the code.

Don’t ask me why someone thought it would be a good idea for me to teach coding to students. I mean, really I know nothing about coding.

Well, that’s not quite true.

I now know a lot more about it than I did six months ago. I mean A LOT MORE.

When I was in high school I took a statistics class for the first semester because I was told we would have computer classes during the last semester. Yeah, well, I work in the school system and I know all about broken promises. That might be why  I don’t make any promises – see my previous post. 

Yeah, no computers = no classes = I know a LOT about statistics and not much about computers.

It was nice to know statistics when I studied Psychology in college, but it hasn’t helped my own offspring who seem to not like statistics. I kept telling them I could help, but you know how kids are, they don’t want Mom’s help.

Moms, on the other hand, have no trouble asking kids for help – especially when it comes to computers. Usually my offspring have been monumentally helpful when it came to anything technological. When it came to teaching code – yeah, not so much.

I have figured out how to get the chicken to cross the road. It’s simple: chicken.x = chicken.x+1. Of course that’s assuming the road is to the right of the chicken and I have somehow managed to create a chicken sprite and a background with a road,…

I can draw with pencil much better than I can with code. I have had a pencil in my hand since I had a hand. At least it feels that way.

I do have a point to this post I promise. I can make the chicken cross the road, it’s getting it to stop when it gets to the other side that baffled me.

So, yes, I spent an entire day relearning all the lessons I have worked on for a month. Guess what? I still can’t get the frog to jumping stop when the key is not pressed, but I can get the chicken to stop, that is assuming I can draw the chicken in the first place.


I just love chicken, especially the Buffalo wing variety. Blue cheese anyone?

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Promises Are Empty

I am not making New Year’s Resolutions because that would just be making a promise to myself that I am going to make some change or do something amazing and the reality is very few people really stick with their resolutions.

When my children were little they would often say, “Do you promise?” and I would always say, “I don’t make promises.”

Every time my child cried because someone promised them they would do something and didn’t, I would think promises are empty. Promising that we will take the time to do something with a child and then not doing it is destructive. It breaks the trust between the child and the adult. It not only leads to disappointment, it leads to a lack of faith in anything.

My children learned that I did not make promises, but I often said I would try or I hoped we could do something.

My children are grown now.

They know I don’t make promises but they also know I can guarantee them one thing.

I will love them always no matter what. I will love my children.

They have tested this as all children do but they know my love is always there. No promises needed.

I will not make New Year’s Resolutions. I will not make promises. I will take each day as it comes and fill it with love.

Happy New Year!

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Uncategorized

What’s In a Book?

When you spend an entire day walking, cooking, eating and never putting the book down, you know there’s something amazing about it.

When you read the last word and hold it to your heart because you are sad to let it go, you know it’s a keeper.

I held the book as one of the characters, Charlie, once held a box.

What’s in a book? If it’s well written, there is much more than a story.

I highly recommend this.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Power to PowerPoint

I have the POWER, I have the POWER, I am POWERFUL.

Can I get an AMEN?


I’ve been listening to many different motivational speakers lately, both spiritual and otherwise. Why? Because I have really been unmotivated this summer. I have been doing a lot more of sitting around wasting time and less of writing and working.

Yeah, it’s summer, but it isn’t making me a better person.

Then , when I was struggling to come up with a way to present the speech I committed myself to give tomorrow night, I realized I was inspired to try something I have been telling myself I would someday learn how to do. I not only felt inspired to try it, I actually committed to do it and I got my computer out and did it.

Well, truthfully I am still working on it, but I know what I am doing.

You see, I couldn’t figure out how I would remember all my key points and my printer is out of ink, and it’s just too much work to try to go shopping, so I thought I would try the PowerPoint.

I have the Power to PowerPoint.

And you know what? I think it’s pretty good.

I have watched quite a few PowerPoint presentations in my time in classrooms and Toastmasters. I have formed opinions on the proper and improper uses and I will keep that in mind tomorrow.

I will not simply read the slides. I will not put too much information on the slides when it is better for me to demonstrate. I will not rush through the points. I will be in control.

I am excited. I have the POWER!


Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in character building, gratitude, Uncategorized

I Found My Way

I don’t really remember what song it was, but I found myself thinking the words of a Frank Sinatra song this morning. I was preparing to start rearranging things in my house and decided that I would find a Frank Sinatra album on my music app.

I have been listening to him all day. I was surprised to know most of the songs. The songs I don’t know still have me swaying as I move about the house. Even now, as I write, I am listening to his swooning. I can’t usually write with music because I get distracted, yet his songs simply calm me.

I have been thinking about my parents all day. I can imagine them dancing to these songs and that brings me joy. I keep thinking the only reason I know the songs is because my parents always sang when we took long trips in my youth. It’s nice to have the memories and even nicer to have been inspired to find this music so I can sway to the nostalgia.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Showing up for Success

I saw Howie Mandel in an interview recently. He was asked to comment about judging for America’s Got Talent.

I can’t quote him exactly, but he said he was surprised by how many contestants say they don’t sing at home. In fact, many of their friends don’t even know they can sing.  He wanted to point out that the most successful people are the ones who show up.

That comment struck a chord with me. How can I be successful if I don’t show up?

If I don’t actually open my computer or at least take a pen and notebook off the shelf, I will never be finished with the sequel to my first book. I will never be able to call myself a success because I am not showing up in the first place.

That thought led my mind to the idea that showing up is half the battle.

It is. As soon as my computer is open and I start typing, the battle has begun and the victory is imminent. Well, imminent might be an optimistic exaggeration, but it is much more likely than it would be otherwise.

So, here’s to showing up and succeeding.

Have a nice day.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Uncategorized