Tag Archives: children

Privacy, or the Lack Thereof!

Good morning Everyone!

Newfound Gap

Kayla, this Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains

By a show of hands, how many of you out there who have children love them?

Hands Lifted

Hands voting, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

That’s what I thought; me too.

dog, kitchen, pets

Darwin and Mandy in the kitchen

Again by a show of hands, how many of you who have dogs love them too?

Show of hands

Show of hands

Almost as many, but I can tell there are just a few of you that put up with the dog(s) in consideration of your significant other, or your children.  That’s cool; at least you understand the bond between dog and owner.

dog, sofa

Could you leave this face outside?

For those of you who have dogs, how many of you have indoor dogs?  (An indoor dog is defined as a dog that spends a substantial part of his or her time inside the house with the family.)

Again, not as many; whether to keep a dog indoors on a regular basis versus outdoors is somewhat of a controversial topic among dog owners.  We have always kept our dogs indoors; that allows them to be more part of the family, but other people feel it is kinder to the dog to keep it outside where it has more room.  In addition, some dogs, like farm dogs and other working dogs, might even prefer to be left outdoors.

Arrow, right

Okay, now for those of you who have children and/or indoor dogs, how many of you miss the days when you could take a shower or spend time in your bathroom with ultimate privacy and no interruptions?

Hands Lifted

Hands voting, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

Me too.

Yesterday, I was taking my morning shower in the “master” bathroom.  In our new house, the “master” bathroom is so-called simply because it is connected to the master bedroom.  (In the United States, the master bedroom is the biggest bedroom in a house.)  It is a postage stamp sized room with a shower, and with the door shut, the shower running and the fan on , you simply cannot hear anything else going on in the rest of the house.


From Print Shop Professional 2.0

So, to return to my tale, yesterday I was taking my shower, enjoying the warm steamy water and the relative quiet, when after a while I became aware of a rhythmic banging coming from somewhere else in the house.  Since it was only myself and Kayla and the dogs in the house, and the dogs not possessing hands with which to bang that hard, it didn’t take much deduction to realize that Kayla was trying to get my attention for some reason.  Not being in a condition to traipse out of the shower at that precise moment, I had to scream, at the top of my lungs, that I was in the shower and couldn’t hear anything so I needed her to come into the bedroom and crack the bathroom door to tell me what she needed.  (Tres elegante, no?).

Elegance, flowers, green background


She started to open the door, and as soon as she did, I said, rather sharply, “What Kayla?”  Rather than speaking she started to close the door.  I took a deep breath to calm myself and in a more even tone told her I wanted to know what she needed.  The door then swung fully open so that I could respond to the great emergency.

Door Opening, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

What was it?  She wanted to know if she had put too much detangler in her hair.


Have a great day everyone!


Celebration! Drawing!

Good morning Everyone!

A big celebration should be accompanied by lots of big balloons, hence the featured image for today and the picture above.  What are we celebrating?  This blog yesterday crossed the threshold of 25000 total views!

Now, whether this is normal for blogs or not, I do not know.  I do know that there are a lot of excellent bloggers who have been writing for a shorter time than I have with many more than 25,000 views; I also know there are many excellent bloggers that have been writing longer than I have that have fewer views.  But, for me, the idea that people have looked at my blog more than 25,000 times in less than a year is pretty mind-boggling.

For those of you not familiar with WordPress statistics, a view is the number of times someone somewhere has clicked on a link and looked at the blog, not the number of separate individuals who have looked at it, so my regular subscribers are a large component of that 25,000, and I am very grateful to all of you.

So what are we going to do to celebrate?  Well, today through Monday, I am giving everyone a chance to enroll in a giveaway drawing, if you wish.  I had the sooty tern picture that I painted with pastels made into notecards that are blank inside.  The notecards are on good quality card stock, with a slightly glossy finish on the outside, and a paper finish on the inside to make writing easy.  They come with envelopes that self-seal.  I am going to give away one set each of 8 notecards to two people in a random drawing between all entries.  If you want to enter, please send an e-mail to workmomad@gmail.com with the subject listed as “Drawing” and with your name, or nickname if you prefer and your e-mail address in the body of the e-mail.  I promise not to use the e-mail addresses for any reason other than the drawing, and will delete them once the drawing is finished.

I will draw two names randomly from the entries on Tuesday, March 12, and ask those people for their addresses to send the cards.  The notecards really are very nice, even if I say so myself.

Have a great day everyone, and again, thank you!


P.S.  I wish I could give them away to everyone, but the cost of getting them printed was too high for me to do that.  However, if any of you have a burning desire to have said notecards even if you don’t win the drawing, let me know that in your entry too, or e-mail me after the drawing and tell me how many and I will let you know the price for purchase (shipping and tax is extra) so you can decide if you want to buy them or not.

Observations Regarding The Ten Year Old Girl

Good morning everyone!

Today, I reflect upon the unique characteristics of the ten year old girl.

The ten year old girl dresses in sleeveless dresses in the wintertime for church, but when it is 80+ degrees outside, runs into the den, turns on the gas fireplace and huddles in front of it like a child out of a Dickens novel.  She is willing to go swimming at the beach when the water temperature is somewhere around “Arctic” and tell you that the water “isn’t so bad.”  She sees no inconsistencies in any of this.

The ten year old girl will inform you that the reason that she is wearing a sleeveless dress in the middle of winter is because she wants to broaden her wardrobe.  When asked about one long-sleeve dress someone gave her, she answers, “I’ve worn that every Sunday for weeks.”  When asked about a second long-sleeve dress that was a gift from someone else, she answers, “I’ve worn that every Sunday for weeks when I haven’t been wearing the other dress.”

The ten year old girl fails to see why her parents find that statement funny.

The ten year old girl is smiling and laughing, then angry, then somber, then smiling, then crying and then back to sunshine and laughter – all in the space of about five minutes.

The ten year old girl is still willing to hold hands with her parents.

The ten year old girl, when asked to clear the table, will get everything but two napkins, one spoon and a drink glass, and then look at you, puzzled, when you ask her to finish the job.

The ten year old girl will decide she wants to help clean the house, and in her eagerness, dash forward to help by choosing to do the one thing that is absolutely useless to what you need to accomplish that day, such as sweeping an already vacuumed floor when the next chore involves dusting furniture.

The ten year old girl is still willing to cuddle with her parents on the couch.

The ten year old girl is aware that items cost money.  She is not aware that all money is not equal, and will eagerly offer to take the whole family to Disneyworld with her copious savings of $12.59.  No, she is not joking.

The ten year old girl, unlike a five year old girl, has a filter in place between what she thinks and what she says.   Unfortunately, the filter is calibrated so that it kicks in about ten seconds after she has already spoken.

The ten year old girl is willing to empty the dishwasher once she is reminded 10 times, but unable to concentrate on the task long enough to finish it.

The ten year old girl has boys she “likes” at school, but is still young enough to tell her parents about them.  The pool of ten year old boys she has to draw from still aren’t really interested in girls.  The ten year old girl’s parents find that satisfactory.

The ten year old girl is trying hard to be nice but sometimes things just come out wrong.  Last night, when a big package came to a house from Omaha Steaks with some frozen dinners, one ten year old girl looked at her mother and asked, “Gee, Mom, are you just going to give up cooking altogether?”  When reminded that the mother had cooked for several days straight, she said, “It’s okay to lay off it for a little while.”

My ten year old girl is the light of my and her father’s life, and we can’t imagine life without her!

Have a great day everyone!


A Day of Thanks

Hi Everyone!

Today is one of my family’s private days of thanks.  I think we all have some, days that the rest of the world might not notice, but we treasure in our hearts because of the special things that happened .

Kayla, right after she came to live with us

Six years ago today, Mark, Kayla and I officially became a family.  Unofficially, of course, we had been a family for just over a year when Kayla came to live with us in a foster-but-hopefully-soon-adoptive status.  I don’t know how it works for most people, but the three of us (and the two dogs we had then) bonded in a way that seemed miraculous – it took less than seven days, and really, it would have only been a day had it not taken Mark and I a few days to learn how to speak three year old. 

One of Kayla's first trips to the beach

There are so many people I am grateful to for that day.  The first is God, who miraculously moved all sorts of puzzle pieces into place to bring us together.  The second and third are Mark and Kayla, of course – Mark and I for having the courage to take a risk we had thought we would never take (fostering without having adoption be a certainty) and Kayla for showing that even 3 years olds can express choices and be determined.  I can remember one evening when her case worker came over to see us and to check on her, and she brought out every single toy that she had to show him and made sure that he knew how much she liked being with us.  Then, when he started to leave and she realized that nothing was going to change immediately, she stomped her foot and shouted at him, “My want to be [insert our family name here]! 

The fourth are the wonderful foster parents who kept Kayla for almost a year before she came to live with us.  They still remain our good friends today, and I am always grateful for what they did for Kayla in the 10 months that she was with them.   I don’t know if she could have trusted us as unreservedly as she does had she not first learned to trust adults again through them.

Kayla, this Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains

Then, of course, there is my family and Mark’s family, who have loved Kayla from the moment they heard about her, even before they saw her picture or met her. 

I can go on from there, and there are so many, many other people – her case worker, other people at DHR, wonderful day cares, teachers, my office, which managed to come up with a modified maternity leave schedule with less than two weeks notice, and which threw me (and Kayla) an awesome shower before she even arrived at my doorstep, friends, and just so many others, but if I did, this post would be way too long.  Just know, whoever you are, that I am still grateful seven years from when she came to us and six years to the day from when she was adopted and I do send up prayers of thanks for you regularly.

Kayla, during her first Christmas ever with us.

And to my miracle child, and my wonderful husband, I love you!

Have a great day everyone!


The Blank Page: Analogy and Reflection

Good morning Everyone!

Have you ever thought about the possibilities inherent in a blank page?  Every single book ever written began with one, even the Bible.  A page is anything that is written upon, physically or electronically, which includes all medium from leather hides, cuneiform clay tablets, papyrus, paper, computer screens and napkins and paper towels (for those of us like me who are organizationally challenged and can’t find paper all the time when they need it.)

A blank page can be intimidating, especially when a deadline is looming.  It stares back at you, unblinking, demanding that something be written on it.  At my work, it usually is demanding that something be written on it quickly, with accurate legal citations, and adequate evidence to prove my point.  When I am just writing, as I am now, sometimes it gives me a softer, gentler stare, reminding me that I can write about anything that I want, and sometimes the stare challenges me, telling me I can do better and it’s time to start writing.  

One typewriter Ernest Hemingway used to fill blank pages

A blank page can be comforting.  Each one is a new start, a new opportunity, a chance to write something that no one has every written before.  With each one, the possibility exists that the magic inherent in the written word will strike, and that elusive combination of words that goes straight to the hearts of others and makes them laugh or cry or think, that makes those particular words matter and live on past the immediate moment of their writing will be formed.

Kayla at what can only be called the "heirloom typewriter" for our family.

A blank page is both malleable, and inflexible.  A blank page, once I write on it, will let me erase the words I have previously written and start over again, if I need to, (with the exception of leather hides and cuneiform clay tablets; that’s more complicated) but I always reach a point where I am locked in to what I have written, and the story or brief acquires a life of its own.

Kayla, during her first Christmas ever with us.

I think that’s one reason that children are fascinating.  At the very beginning, they seem to be a blank page as well, but a blank page that, as it grows, like any good story, takes on a life of its own.  I have noticed that with Kayla.  While I see her growing into being her own wonderful person, I can see traits that mirror traits that Mark or I have, both good and bad.   She can be very flexible, at times, and absolutely intransigent (I can’t imagine where that stubbornness comes from!  Family members, no laughing please) at others.  She has been participating in writing her own story from the blank page that she started as, and as both a writer and a watcher of it, I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Kayla driving the Southern Star, our dolphin cruise boat, this summer

Have a great day everyone!