Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Differences That Millennials Have


First of all let's be clear of exactly who I am talking about when I say 'millennials.' Specifically, the research calls anyone born in 1981 -1996 a millennial. As we all know, depending on the individual, it can easily move down a few years to the Generation X group which takes into account some born in the late 70's. Rarely, does it move up the Generation Z age group where the oldest age is 22. The experience is not usually in the Z equation.

 Having children in the millennial group as well as working with them side by side in the work force, I have noticed some interesting habits. Trust me, I am sure that they could write a blog on the interesting habits of the Baby Boomers just as well. All I can say is just bring it on. We all have our quirks. No one is shaming or blaming. It is just the way we are. Some of the characteristics I have even picked up on and I am not in the millennial group.

Let's start with clothing and the way we dress. These are basically all no-no's for millennials:

Hawaiian type shirts (so Jimmy Buffet)

Does not matter if it is tucked in or not? (What is with the fanny pack?)

Now I am on to explaining what is not cool to most millennials. Crocs (regardless of gender), New Balance sneakers, shoes with velcro (unless you are too young to tie your shoes or too old to bend down and reach them).

Below you will find looks that just don't make the grade for most millennials which would be the tourist look, the high waisted jeans/pants, and jorts. If you are going to wear jeans then wear jeans. Back in my day of the dirt ages, we actually tore our jeans to make shorts out of them. (Let the truth about me known)! And fabrics are now no iron, so irons and ironing boards are so outdated.

This age group tends to be real "foodies." They truly enjoy new and unusual foods and experiencing new cultures.

Buffets are simply not a good thing for anyone. Especially now with the pandemic still going on. Restaurants are opening up some, however, I know that I must agree with the fact that it is not safe. Really, it never was before the pandemic. I have seen children (and once an adult) reach in with their hands to get something. The other item in the picture is a seasoning, and I am using the term lightly, Mrs. Dash. If you notice they come in a few different flavors. If you are going to take the time to make a delicious meal then go for the real thing. 

Next is one of my all time pet peeves. Be in line at the grocery store and the person in front of you pulls out a check book. Even I do not do that. However, yes, I do still receive paper snail mail bills and do write checks and use the Post Office. More and more I am heading in the other direction. It is just an efficient way to be sure you are paying your bills on time. The mail service, with the pandemic, has been rather shaky. I missed a few bills here and there. Luckily, once I realized it and called the company, I was not charged a late fee. Apparently, they are well aware of this problem. 

Sort of in this same category e-mails vs. text messaging. E-mails are meant for work. And we all know how many of those we usually get. So sending a text message is so much easier. Unless you are retired and this is the only e mails that you receive? 

While we are on the subject of the mail, is there anyone else who receives piles and piles of junk mail catalogs? Don't get me wrong. Some are very reputable companies. Honestly, there have been days that I receive 4 -6 catalogs. Truly, if I want something I can look it up on line. In fact, I walk from the mailbox through the garage and dump all of the catalogs in the trash bin. Never look at them. This is so not environmentally correct. Our county does not pick up recycle. That fact amazes me because when I lived in other places more than 25 years ago, we had recycle containers to put out with the trash. What is wrong with this picture? We all should have recycle bins and service.

There are so many more traits that I could list and I will try to not list too many more. The minimalist approach can not be overlooked. This is how they decorate. There is no need for knick knacks, words of art on the walls, carpeted bathrooms and of all things a fuzzy toilet seat, potpourri, real china and files for papers. 


Last, I would like to mention the fact the news stations on our televisions have not kept up. Or maybe they are serving the baby boomers and those older by having 24 hour news stations. Really? On my IPhone I can get instant news at any time that I wish. Is there really a need for this much news. Frankly, it can be depressing and there is only so much I can personally take. Get the facts, resource it and move on. I am not a millennial but this is my motto.

Saturday, July 24, 2021



Right now on July 24, 2021, there are so many people who seem not concerned about the COVID 19 variant. The uptick in cases, hospitalizations and deaths does not seem to bother them. I am not here to judge. I am here to write my blog on what we are choosing to do.

 We have been vaccinated. I can't understand those who made the decision not to. Science does say that even those who think or tested that they had it need to get vaccinated. Everyone has a choice. Now, it seems with this new variant growing it is attacking those who have not been vaccinated in a very bad way. Those who have been vaccinated are getting it from those who chose not to. The only good news is that if you are vaccinated you usually have a very mild case of symptoms unless you have deep autoimmune issues.

All of that aside, to stay safe and sane, there is a little chart that I make up to help me look ahead when this is not an issue. I call it 'Play It Forward.' It has all of the things that I want to do with my husband once more people finally go for their vaccination so that this virus can slow down and make it safe again.

I so want to go to a live concert. Several are coming up in our area and from what I see, there are mobs of people going, whether they are inside or outside. There is no social distancing and no (or very few) masks being worn. It is sort of like the song you throw your hands up in the air and act like you just don't care. I can't do that. So meanwhile, I will wait until it is much safer to go and see some concerts that I really want to see. Such as:

Brad Paisley

Jackson Browne

James Taylor

Another interest of mine is to actually go inside a movie theater or a venue to see a play. With no social distancing, I make my choice to stay away. 

I really do not want someone climbing over me to get to their seat, much less sitting shoulder to shoulder with someone I do not know, whether they have been vaccinated and are wearing a mask.

Ahhhh, to travel again. To places we have been before and to new places. We have precious family in New Orleans but now is not the time to go there. I respect their choices and they respect ours. I can't imagine getting on a plane or taking a cruise at this time. Some of the 'hot spots' for Covid right now is Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee. Yet friends are taking their families down to the beach. They may get it? They may not get it? It seems like a game of Russian roulette to me. We all make our choices.

Even more so than this kind of holiday, I am missing going inside of restaurants to have a date night with my one and only. We both do get out together and with friends to eat outside under a covered patio with fans going full speed ahead in the heat of the summer. Plus, just like us, our friends are vaccinated. This is their choice also. There actually are some places that are asking customers to show their vaccination cards before being admitted in to eat or drink. It may actually come down to that.

Most of all, I miss having our whole extended family in one house (usually ours) for a family celebration. Whether it be birthdays, Thanksgiving or Christmas. I can hang on to that hope that maybe it will be this year? 

Planning it in my head and being grateful for what we can do, accepting what we can't, helps me play it forward.

If we all pay it forward and care for one another, we can all happily play it forward and get on with our lives in a healthy way. Just as we were getting used to some kind of normalcy in not having to wear our masks so often, for now, stores and soon other places will be going back to a wear masks and social distancing. Wouldn't it be nice if we had the times back where we all could feel safe and not have friends who have been vaccinated come down with the variant due to those who decided not to be vaccinated (or possibly even ourselves?)  

Sunday, July 18, 2021



It is July 18th, 2021. Our whole world is so full of uncertainty. This precious picture of a dog definitely shows how I feel. Speaking with friends and others, we all are in the same boat, basically. If things are uncertain, then our brains do not know what to do so the brain goes into drama overload. Our brains can make us think danger is just around the corner. This is the time to take control. Yes, we all have that capability. It starts with asking yourself if what your brain is telling you is helpful. The answer is ALWAYS a big fat NO! So it is time to shift.

It is hard to live with so much uncertainty yet we all need to learn what is the best way to cope when so much seems out of control.

First of all it is best not to resist. Practice acceptance. Meeting life where it is and moving forward from there. This does not in any way make it less frustrating but at least acknowledging how you feel puts you in a better place to know what to do next. Understand that acceptance is not resigning ourselves that this is the only way it can be. 

We are our own best resource yet humans don't always do well on self-care. We must get enough sleep, eat healthy, have fun and exercise the way that helps us. It is ok to nap. It is fine to take time for a mani/pedi or facial. This is called investing in yourself.

Take time to meditate, even with a cup of coffee or tea on the back porch...your quiet time to reflect on what you are grateful for and small moments to think about ways to show kindness to others.

A very difficult thing to do sometime is to not believe everything you think. It helps us gain a perspective on negative events, which if you watch or read the news too much - negativity is everywhere. Well, guess what? So are many positive events. Instead of buying into every stressful thought, we can actually imagine the best possible scenario. Look for the silver linings, so to speak. 

I read that the opposite of uncertainty is not certainty. Even when everything seems out of control we can still control what we pay attention to. Turn off those alerts that pop up on your phone. You have the power. We all do. Look at the current events on your own time when you are in a calm state and have more of an open mind.

No one can really save you from your own narrative. They may dote on you and help you feel better for a short while. That is a start. The first step to moving forward. It really is best to stop complaining and fixating on a problem. Of course, the best way is to focus on what outcome do you desire and how can you make the best of the mess. It is a way of finding meaning in the world of chaos. Live the life that you desire once you sort through the chaos. Zoom in on the present and think what can I do now...not in 3 months or 6 months. The things that you appreciate now in life will be the gratitudes that help you deal with uncertainty. This helps us know which direction we may wish to travel.

Saturday, July 10, 2021



The title does say 'Doodle,' but that is just because we have two doodles. As you may suspect, most dogs do have the intense staring routine down to a science. Plus, most dogs do a little dreaming with sound effects and body movements. I just thought that I would find out a little more about the stares and the dreaming simply because our two do both quite frequently. I wanted to know more about this and if I should be concerned or not.

When either of our dogs seem to be staring at one of us it is as if they are trying to bore a hole through us. Why are they eyeballing us so intensely and what are they looking for?

Many times it is just showing their love and wanting the love back from us. Those deep brown eyes aren't scary, but loving. I notice that it can happen when we have been away from them for a while but it can also happen when we have been with them all day. It is nice to think that it is just because they love us SO much, but I have learned that it could be a multitude of reasons.

It is a fairly good chance that they just love us and admire us because we take care of them. Dogs are very devoted creatures and will share their affection. They also are very in tune with their humans and seem to pick up on our moods and they may be staring at us to try to gain more information. Then again, it could be they are trying a trick to get a treat out of us. I know that we have fallen victim to this tactic. 

Dogs also are aware that we as their parents expect them to do certain little tricks and they will get a treat for doing it. They stare to try to figure out what they need to do - maybe sit, stay, fetch, shake and if they do it then we will give them a treat. Usually, there is food involved in the staring. They pick up on the social cues. We use positive reinforcement for training so I am positive they are waiting for a reward and what do they need to do to earn it. We trained our eldest to just lay down somewhere around the kitchen table and when we are finished eating, he will receive a treat. He in turn taught it to his little sister. As soon as they hear us starting to clear the silverware and the noise of the dishes, up they pop to receive their reward for being so quiet and still.

Rarely is your dog staring due to stress or aggressiveness. If you are stressed though and take it out on your dog in your voice commands, he could become stressed with you. Dogs are truly this empathetic. 

Sometimes it is as simple as trying to tell you that they are hungry or thirsty and need to be taken care of. Maybe needing a trip outside to take care of business? This is why in most cases it is not advised to stop your dog from staring at you. Just accept it as normal. It is best not to stress yourself or your dog out. There is some science behind this staring behavior that has shown it increases the hormones associated with social bonding. One of the common hormones is oxytocin. It is commonly referred to as the cuddle hormone therefore it is not recommended to stop your dog from staring at you with a loving gaze.

Our dogs expend a lot of energy and therefore need nap times. Ours have basically put themselves on a morning and an afternoon nap time. As I was writing this blog, our eldest dog started softly barking in his sleep. Our other dog looked over at him just making sure that he was ok. And yes, he was. It is rather amusing when either one of them goes into such a deep sleep that their tails wag, or their legs start moving as if they are running. It is so interesting to watch and I can't help buy wonder what it is they are dreaming of. Much like humans, dogs can dream fun and happy dreams or even dark nightmare dreams. The interesting thing about dog's and dreams is the simple fact that because we can't communicate with them, we don't technically know what they may be dreaming about. They could be chasing a squirrel up a tree? Dogs use all of their senses while dreaming and this is why you may see ears wiggling, nose sniffling, tail wagging. I would love to believe that they are having sweet dreams about the two of us, yet I know they probably are running free across a huge field of grass, just happy as a lark. 

Most vets will tell you not to wake your dog from his dreams. If they seem to be running faster and whimpering then maybe just some soft talk from you will help them. But generally, they are in a very deep sleep at this stage and it could disorient them if you disturb it - especially by touching them. 

Then there are all the ways that dogs tend to sleep. Some like it in bed with you, others like to be at the foot of your bed, while others are crate trained and feel very safe and comfortable in their "home." We leave our dogs' crates open and they come and go as they please. Our youngest one loves to curl up in a tight ball using her two blankets and a pillow. Even when it is not cold. Apparently, this is from their ancestors who curled up to protect their organs from predators. 

Another strange position is on their back with all 4 legs up in the air. This is really cute, however you should know that this is letting you know that they are extremely easy-going, well-socialized and have veered far away from their wild tendencies. It means that they trust you and feel safe around you.

Just like humans, all dogs dream. Some are more vocal and physical while dreaming. It also is a known fact that smaller dogs dream more frequently during their sleep cycles than larger dogs.

The best place to start if you still have questions about your furbaby is with your vet.