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Posts Tagged ‘children’

Forget Match.com or eHarmony.com. It’s time to create a new website to connect with a compatible mate. Forget those “walks on the beach.” Tell us what magazines you have in your bathroom (or by the bed). This could tell us more than your answers to a personality quiz.

This thought came about at the lunch table with my son and his employee. I mentioned that I tried to cut back on magazine subscriptions, but my mail box is still choked with them: Wired, Writers Digest, Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Prevention, First Line, The Florida Writer and NRA magazine, to name a few.

My son says, “Well, I have Playboy, Maxim and several biking magazines.” His employee named ESPN, some hockey magazine and another cycle magazine. I happen to know my other son reads Wired and NRA magazine because he takes mine. My daughter has her nose buried in one book after the other and I don’t think reads a lot of magazines. Her books run the gamut from action thrillers (her favorite) to literary books.

Reading choices don’t tell you everything. You still can’t know what wonderful fathers my sons are from their reading material, or what a strong, lovable person my daughter is, but you can certainly get an idea of interests they invest their time in.

Perhaps my view is skewered by the past. When I met my husband he worked as a librarian at the Navy base in our town. He read every history book he could get his hands on. In later years he added action thrillers, reading at least two novels a month. OK I do still have a stack of Playboys he saved over the years along with general aviation magazines–all telling something about his personality and experiences.

So, go to your online dating sites, if you must, but when you meet, ask him/her what they read. Of course, if they look twenty years older than their picture and four inches shorter or taller, ask to see the subscriptions.

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It’s a double edged sword you soon find out, helping your granddaughter set up a Facebook page. We’ve both waited for this day and like all things having to do with technology, we aren’t quite sure why. We can’t know what the experience will bring, so I haven’t thought beyond seeing her cute little avatar right there on my page of friends. And there it is this morning. I check to see how her page is going.

In a few hours she has half as many “friends” as I’ve gathered in over a year. The following day that count surpasses me. So I make a comment to her and she answers me. “kk” What the H— oh, I mean heck does that mean? Conversations between her and friends are even more cryptic. So much for my solemn promise to her mother to be a watchdog. I don’t know what the * uh, heck they are saying. I have to confess here that I even looked up one word in Google dictionary. They had never heard of it either. And they are techies, so that made me feel as little less like a nodding lady in a rocking chair.

The other thing I didn’t foresee was my own words on my Facebook page. Suddenly I begin to go over in my mind what I might have uttered that I wouldn’t in my granddaughter’s presence. Do you know how long it takes to scroll back to older and older posts? At one point I said, “Wait a minute! You talk pretty much to your grands as you do anyone else.” In fact, some of my little stories and opinions in their presence have evoked a cringe factor from adults. Not “OMG Get her out of here before she sends them down the road to ruin” cringe, just a momentary catching of the breath. That will probably be the worst that will happen with my new “friends.” At least I hope so.

There is another thing on my side. With her friends count approaching Justin Bieber audience size, I really don’t think I’ll have to worry about her reading my posts. kk?

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Cat Call

I saw myself today. The little, blonde girl about four sat with her mother in the “dog reception room” of the veterinarian’s office, but she kept glancing into the cat area where I sat with my cat, Emma. There was another woman with two cats beside me. The little blonde skipped over and asked to see the kitties. She bent and peered into the cat carriers one by one, then skipped back over and kissed her beagle on the nose. Shortly she was back again looking at the cats, a little longer this time. This went on until they were called to the examining room. Her eyes were cast toward the cat room all the way.

I am sad for the little girl. I know she loves her dog, but she is a cat person through and through. I would bet she has never had a cat. Perhaps her parents don’t care for them, as mine didn’t. Perhaps she’ll grow up, have her own home one day and always—always have at least one cat to cuddle with. I certainly wish that for her.

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As Hurricane Alex was swirling into Texas I had a vision from my childhood. In it Daddy is stepping up his pace, with focus showing in the set of his jaw and his shoulders. He climbs into his yellow Texas Highway Department pick-up truck heads into the storm. He’ll check for washouts at bridges and flooded spots in the roads. He’ll put up barriers and flares before anyone can drive off a bridge or into washed out pavement. And he likely won’t be back until the storm has passed.

I am aware he is getting a real adrenaline rush from being able to do something in a crisis, and actually enjoying his role. But Mother? She’s getting a different kind of rush. Now she is alone with three kids in a house she is certain will be either blown away or struck by lightening. For us kids the biggest fear is the embarrassment of Mother following through on her repeated threats to move us to the courthouse for safe shelter. No one ever invites us to go to the courthouse as far as I remember, but Mother feels welcome there just the same. Her courthouse vision kinda reminds me of the farm Lennie was always going to in “Of Mice and Men,” except the courthouse is real — stone and marble fortress real.

I don’t know it, but I am receiving good training for my future in Florida during hurricane seasons. From Daddy I am learning to take the bull by the horns, to prepare and help avert tragedies.  From Mother I learn situations are seldom as bad as imagined. To Mother’s consternation, my siblings and I also learn how funny over-reaction can be. It’s a wonder we aren’t sitcom writers.

I have a vision of a particular storm that shouldn’t be treated with gales of laughter, but is. This time Mother tells us we’ll be safer in our car with rubber tires to protect us from lightening strikes. She is even more afraid of lightening than the wind, but we suspect she has ulterior motives. So we run to the detached garage and pile in our ‘39 Chevy. We are thinking: This is it! We are on the way to the courthouse where workers will stare at us and point and laugh. If that is her intention, the Gods interfere. As we crank the windows up and lock the doors we hear a crack and the ground shakes as the mesquite tree crashes across the driveway behind us. We aren’t going anywhere.  Who needs canned laughter?

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Continuing my year of new things in the new year in lieu of resolutions, I give you Buddy the gecko, native to New Caledonia. Though I am partial to reptiles, having lizards crawl on me has been a long standing no-no. But this is a new year and Buddy, the neighbor kids’ pet molted yesterday was so soft.  He did  not appear threatening.  With instructions worthy of Jack Hannah the oldest put the gecko on back of my hand.

Later we let him play on a tree truck (which they assured me he loved). Buddy is hand raised and doesn’t care too much for grass, though. Once he touched the lawn he just stared at me as I sat cross legged, then inched closer.

“He’s going to jump on me, ” I said.

He moved forward again and then leaped onto my knee, all the time staring at me with his unblinking eyes. To be fair, he has no eyelids.

“He likes you,” the kids assured me, “We’ve never seen him do that with anyone.”

Considering I had brushed with mint toothpaste to encourage nose kisses from the cats, it didn’t seem a good idea to get in Buddy’s face.  So we let him play on the tree trunk a while and then his outing was over. Let’s hope he enjoyed it as much as the kids and I.

Buddy, Gold Crested Gecko (dalmatian harlequin)

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Spaceship Earth - EPCOT

I am often asked, “Don’t you get burned out on Disney World living so close?” Never! I feel privileged. Monday was even more special. My granddaughter got in free because it was her birthday and was pinned with a badge marking the event. All through the park, people would say, “Happy Birthday, H.” At first she said it felt funny to be at Disney where she had been so many times on her birthday, but I think by the time the day was over, I think she felt very differently.

Bathroom tile in Animal Kingdom

Bathroom tile in Animal Kingdom

We covered three parks in twelve hours. The only casualty was my feet. Blisters rubbed on the balls of both feet in sandals. I’ll never again laugh at tourists with socks and sandals. I think they are on to something.

My girls and their mother are dare devils. Space Mountain was closed for repairs (what a shame), but we went on Test Ride and later Thunder Mountain in the dark, a different experience. My only disappointment was not seeing Meerkats at Animal Kingdom. I was told they were underground during the day in the heat. What about the Kalahari? I think it gets hot there. Maybe they don’t have to forage for food here and have turned soft. But we saw gorillas and lions and tigers, oh my. Also lots of giraffes and hippos. The shade at that park is amazing on a hot day.

There is another level of excitement surrounding the park adventure. Last visit in July the monorails were out of service because of a fatal accident the night before on one. Just last week all buses were taken out of service when a bomb-like device was discovered under one bus. Yeserday we had to apply hand sanitizer repeatedly because of the Swine Flu threat. But other than that, it was a day at the park, and a very special one at that.

Son & Granddaughters

Son & Granddaughters

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Ashlyn-CheerleaderSomeone asked if this was posed. Not at all. My great-grand-neice had been talking with the cheerleaders and next thing her mother knew she struck their pose quite nonchalantly. I could not resist posting. They just get cuter every generation.

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