Sunday, April 30, 2023




When my children were younger, I can tell you that I asked myself this over and over...'When will it end'? The answer was that it really doesn't actually end. What happens is the parent gets wise enough to learn a better way to handle it. Everything must be taught and practiced, over and over and over again. Then, when they do become older, you have helped them see the light of how to not only stop the fighting with one another but with children in school and even people in their work relationships. Unfortunately, many never learn this. Some adults never seemed to grasp this concept of getting along.

There is a very good reason to learn how to manage sibling fighting so that children can grow up and know how to get along with others. There is actually research that tells us specific things that a parent can do. One way is not for all families and sometimes not even all situations. It is a case of trial and error in many cases.  There is no quick fix but there are actions that parents can take to help have a more peaceful home. Just know that as parents you must determine if you are an under-responder who believes kids will be kids and they will figure it out. On the other hand is the over-responder who becomes the default mediator at ALL times. Most parents, including me, fall into this category.

According to research neither of these approaches really help our kids. Instead it is best to focus less on stepping in to become the referee and instead see themselves in the role of a coach. This way it helps when things get very heated or allows the parent to be in a position to come in and do some stronger building.

At one time I had a teacher who used the red, yellow and green lights to distinguish exactly what kind of conflict was taking place. Green was hearing loud voices, maybe a heated debate but not seeming to be escalating. That is a good time to let the children work it out. Just not yet needing adult intervention. If it escalated to the yellow zone but still not clear where it was headed that was when our teacher would say something like it looks like you both want to play with the same toy. I know that you two will be able to come up with a solution to this problem.

The red zone is when the adult feels that things are becoming unsafe, yet stepping in does not mean that blame is being placed on one over the other. No sides are taken. Try to see if with you there they can come up by brainstorming solutions to their problem. This is the hardest part of all. Sometimes you may have to give them some options and ask them if they could live with one of the options. They may not be thrilled with it but the question is, "Can they live with it?"

When emotions are running way too high, a timer may help to have a cool down period before coming back together to talk it out.

Below are some ideas that I ran across while reading about how to keep a calmer household with children arguing over a tv show, a toy, the phone, a game, and the list goes on and on. 

  • Staying calm and neutral always helps
  • Teaches important social skills 
  • Helps children learn to regulate their negative emotions during a conflict which is a form of mediation
  • Allows the children to be a part of the process in resolving the conflict
I learned (most of the time) that if these suggestions that are not mine but ones that I followed were used that basically TWO things would come of the situation.

Because of using a voice of reason things will all be OK.


Saturday, April 22, 2023



The other day I was listening to my play list and one of Kris Kristofferson's songs that he wrote and sang came on. The one that is titled, "Help Me Make It Through the Night."  It hit me that there are so many people that I hear say out loud that  they need help to make it through the day. I suppose we need a song about that?

In my mind, just like the poster above states Life Is What You Make It, And I Plan To Make Mine Awesome! It really is all about THE attitude - we are all capable of choosing the kind of day that we will have. For me, it is my inner voice speaking to me and telling me to go the positive route rather than the negative. It really does not have anything to do with what is happening on the outside but it has everything to do with how we choose to approach it.

Lately, I feel that I have had some pretty hard blows come my way. All of us have. It is about how I choose to get on with my life. I am not some saint - just a regular human being. I give myself some time to get teary eyed and even sob some. It is normal and I never let anyone tell me that it is not. After some time, I know that I must take charge and be strong. It may not be a spectacular day but I choose to try to make it work for me with an awesome attitude.

I read a note from someone that I truly admire named Nataly Kogan. I try to watch her monthly ZOOM webinars when the topic is one that I feel speaks to me. Sometimes she has wonderful guests who add to her topic of the day. This past week the topic was all about the word AWESOME. The guest wrote a book called AWESTRUCK. For me, the major idea that I got out of this webinar was to look around and just realize all of that there is that brings awe in my life. That really sparked an interest in me. It is the way that I already used to help me to stay on the positive road.

She had some specific guidelines to help us all become awesome and more positive. There are only FIVE.

1.  Be a rebel against apathy and choose to have an awesome day each day. I try to always wake up, stretch and tell my little furbaby, "Good Morning!" (I always receive a stretch back and a waggy tail.) Then put on my robe and come out to the kitchen for my coffee. As my family come down for work and school I like to tell them good morning also. Plus throw out a compliment when someone has a great color on or their outfit looks stunning.

2.  Blast your day with non-stop gratitude. As I write in my journal, I really talk to myself and remind me that I have so many things and people in my life to be grateful for.

3.  Show up as the most enthusiastic person. This one she had the most enthusiastic person at every meeting. Being retired...I no longer have meetings to show up for, however I do try to always be enthusiastic with friends, family and even strangers in line at a store, servers in a restaurant, people in the waiting room at a doctor's office...the list can go on and on. It usually puts everyone in a good mood.

4.  Take a concrete step towards an ambitious goal. WOW!  I have 3 in my life right now and I have taken the steps to meet those goals. I know that I must continue my physical therapy at home to continue to improve my knee movement. My new special healthy food plan is good for me not only physically but mentally as well. Then there is my novel that is taking so very long to finish. I have set the goal at the end of summer to be finished and ready to send off to an editor. It helps to keep my attitude adjusted and where it belongs to meet these goals. 

5. Pay genuine compliments. This can be toward family, friends and even strangers in person or on social media. I love putting smiles on faces. The most important thing is that it is genuine. 

Doing these things will definitely help you feel like the awesome human being that you are. It will elevate your awesomeness. No one is perfect. We all have flaws and our own quirkiness. I know that I have plenty. I love how Tyra Banks changed awesome to flawsome...her own made up word.  

Just being the best version of myself is the best way for me to work at being awesome. It is really all that any of us can strive for.

"Awesome things come to those who focus on the positive, recognize the blessings, find the humor and never give up."

Tanya Masse

Sunday, April 16, 2023



This is the quote that to me says it all about aging. We, at whatever our age, should not worry about getting old, it is rather to worry about thinking old. There is a huge difference. 

I read about an interview with Matthew McConaughey where he shared some of his views on aging. He stated that he was not afraid of being older. It was more of a matter of trying to age gracefully when one really can't deny it. And he went on to say there are awkward ways to deny it. We all have seen it. I will not mention any names here but we all have seen famous people who have most definitely had major plastic surgery and it shows and not in a good way. However, my thoughts on this is that it is their way  (in their own mind) of not aging when in fact it is showing even more aging. I just think to myself, 'Whatever floats their boat!'

It is one thing to have a small little job done such as droopy eyelids and then another to have your face stretched out several times, lips injected, etc. I like to go with Kermit's take on wrinkles.

It is natural to worry, just be sure to have someone that you can talk to about it so that it does not give you worry warts!

Aging gracefully is not about trying to look younger. It is about being yourself. With the right attitude, you can be like a fine bottle of wine and just continue to get better with age. It is all about taking joy in living.  Having a pro-age mindset and showing confidence in yourself is a key factor. With the right mindset we can live in the moment and focus on the present.


Become awestruck at the world around you no matter how small or large. It can be flowers in your garden or that you see out on a walk. It can be a picture that your grandchild drew just for you. It can be when your favorite team wins in the playoffs. It is what brings you joy. Relish it.

Being kind to yourself is so very important. Staying hydrated, being active, eating healthy, having friends and family who are supportive and get out there and do the thing that you enjoy personally. Getting enough sleep is very important, even if it means taking little cat naps during the day or one long nap, if at night you find you did not sleep well. Even if it is short meditations of closing your eyes and shut out what is going on around you for a brief moment. 

This quote summarizes this blog:

Sunday, April 9, 2023



(a memorial to our beloved Davis Miles)

The day that we picked up Davis from Kim, his breeder, was one of the happiest days of our lives. He was so insistent that we should pick him, even when a female sister kept pushing him out of the way to come and crawl up to Steve. Davis was right there as if to say to him that he was the one for us. And he was so right. He was not aggressive, just a gentle giant. Maybe not so much at 8 weeks but that is what he grew in to. Always such a sweet loving dog with a side thrown in of laughable mischievousness, such a jokester! Davis and Steve were such a perfect match and I can assure you that he was just as perfect for me. Those soulful, loving eyes looking straight into my eyes! No one could resist him. Turns out that he was just so smart. Easy to train, received an A+ in Puppy Obedience School and house trained with 'Tinkle Bells.' They are jingle bells hooked on a long ribbon that hangs on the door leading outside. Every time we took him out we would ring the bells and say to him, "Good boy, time to go out." Within 3 days he had the routine down and rang the bells on his own. (That little jokester, as he grew older loved to ring them just to go outside and chase the sun's reflections, not only to do his business. Even that was funny most of the time. Now I would give anything to have him ring those bells again.)

He came home with his own blanket from Kim and oh how he loved that blanket. Even as a 6 year old he carried his blanket around in his mouth all the time. He reminded us of having one of our children in their toddler stages carrying around their own blankets. He loved to lay it in your lap and have you toss it to him. Davis did that game quite often, with his blanket and with some of his favorite toys. Another little trick he learned was to greet whoever came in the house with a toy from his toy box. These are his own made up games, nothing that we taught him to do. 

Davis used to fit on the love seat, even with big pillows on each side, sometimes taking a little rest from chewing his bully stick.

Steve and I found out about the Puppy Day Care at the Animal Hospital that we took him to for his veterinarian care with Dr. Taylor and grooming from Amber. It was so special in that all of the dogs could socialize. He had all of his shots, what he still needed was to be neutered. So we scheduled that for him when it was appropriate timing. It was so sad to see our poor puppy in such a state as in the picture below.

In fact, after one night, he had chewed through it and we had to return for a new one. Luckily, he did not get to his stitches. Poor baby had trouble even getting through the doorways, much less his crate so one of us slept out with him in the study. It was so pitiful. We all celebrated when he finally got that big ole ugly plastic cone off. Since that time, I have learned that most vets will try a different kind of collar that works much better and is not so cumbersome. We lived through this thank goodness, then he was able to go to Doggie Day Care and this is how we found him one day when we picked him up.

The other dogs feet were muddy and had to be cleaned before getting in their owners' cars. Not another dog there decided to go for a swim, except our Davis. Needless to say, they had to hose him off totally and then dry him enough before he could come with us in the car. I am sure that had a lot to do with the Day Care installing Astro Turf for the dogs to romp and play. We then could take Davis after a week of rain and no mudpuddles for him to find. It was so wonderful that we sectioned off a place in our own backyard for the very same thing. No more muddy paws. The Day Care even set up baby pools for the dogs to get in. Wet is not a problem. Muddy and wet was not so good. And we learned early as we looked through the pictures that they took throughout the day that the baby pool was his favorite place to be. 

At home, he would love to go on the steps of our inground pool but he never went in the pool actually...only to stand on the steps in the water or to lay on the steps with his head above the water. Davis checking out the pool and obviously thinking this is a little too deep for me. Although, I am sure that he would have had no problem doggie paddling to the steps. He always kept his distance. 

Even when drying off around the patio table he had a kingly look. The bow tie helped the stylish look but his pose always had strangers commenting to us about how handsome he was. And oh my, yes he was a definite show dog. We loved how his tail always looked like a question mark. His head held high so proudly. 

Davis also thought at home his job was to guard us. One of his favorite places to be was to lay down at the front door. No one was going to get in that door without him knowing about it. He always started out with a deep bark but it always turned into a howl. The kind where he held his nose up to the sky and just let loose. 

If you notice through the pictures he continued to grow and grow. He did get to about 86 pounds. Actually, he was a little smaller than some of his siblings. (and that was a good thing in our eyes - although, we would have loved him no matter what size he grew to)

As I mentioned before he was such a gentle giant. Here are some pictures of him thinking he is that same size when we picked him up at 8 weeks old.

Even with Bailey, one of our granddaughters who adored gentle with her...

After grooming, Davis looked so majestic. Even if he was sitting with both back legs out and looked like a frog. He was proud of the way that he looked. Amber always put on a colorful bandana that made him look adorable.  

Another favorite thing that he loved was to go out in the snow. Here in Memphis, we do not get that much but one winter he saw the white stuff and did not quite know what to do until Steve picked up some and made a snowball to toss at him. He tried to catch it and ended up eating it instead. 

All of the things that Davis did makes me wish I could see and hear them one more time. Knowing that I can't, I know that instead of learning to live without him, I just remember of how much love he left behind. That is the same way that I feel about Steve. The other happy thought is that the two of them are now together, happily playing... my two jokesters; loves of my life!

Saturday, April 1, 2023



This particular blog expresses how I truly feel about the gun problem in our country. Others may or may not agree with me and that is just fine. We will just have to agree to disagree. I just happen to feel that if nothing is done then nothing will ever change. Something must change. Mass shootings are happening way too often. It breaks my heart that no one is truly safe anymore no matter where they go. More than anything, our children are not in a safe environment at their schools. 

Let's start with some arguments that I hear frequently when gun control is the topic of conversation. "Guns don't kill people - people kill people."  Well, yes, it does take a person using a gun that he/she does not have any business owning. I say NO ordinary citizen should own or have a need for an assault weapon. And before purchasing any weapon, a thorough background check should take place to eliminate those with prior arrests  and/or convictions or mental health issues. It has been reported that many of the shooters had some of these issues, yet they ended up with a gun, usually more than one.

The argument that there is no need to make gun owners carry a permit. It is against their constitutional rights. Our state governor is among one of twenty-five who believe there is no need to carry a permit for a concealed weapon. Plus, I might add that after the school shooting in Nashville, TN., his comment was that NOW is not the time to talk about gun legislation. My question to him is, "Then when is the time?" According to the paper he stated that one of the victims was his wife's best friend and they had plans to have dinner with her that very night. 

It is time for our politicians to start taking action to stop these mass shootings. The US had the most of any other advanced wealthy country; having over a hundred while the closest other countries ranged from 6 to 4 in Germany and France. They have specific laws about who is allowed to carry a handgun and no assault weapons are allowed. Obviously they are doing something right.

I am not talking about taking away the right to own a handgun for protection in our homes or a rifle for hunting. There is a way to get this under control if the NRA lobby did not have so much power and our politicians had backbones.

~  "Ask our lawmakers, 'Do you side with the overwhelming number of Americans who support basic gun safety measures, or do you side with the gun lobby?'"  

~ Colin Goddard, Virginia Tech shooting survivor