Tag Archives: family

The Mysterious Landscape of the 10-year-old Mind

Good morning Everyone!

80% of the time Kayla makes perfect sense, but then there’s the other 20% of the time…

Exhibit One

On Thursday, Kayla tells me that her (huge, bright green, state of the art) Nike backpack that we bought this year is too small.  I suggest that she go through and trim down what seems to permanently reside in said  book bag.  For some reason, that solution is not acceptable.

On Friday, when we are already running about 15 minutes late from the time we normally leave, and after I have been waiting in the car for her for five minutes, she comes out of the garage door carrying her purple and white backpack from last year, announcing that she has switched over to it because it is bigger.

On Monday, she exits the house after me with a small red and white backpack that is smaller than anything she has ever carried to school.  The reason?  Her other backpacks were too big!

Kayla has emphatically refused to take gymnastics for the past two years, and has decided this year to give up dance, so of course, Sunday afternoon, when I hear strange thumps and bangs in her room and go to check, she has set up a kind of gymnastics routine/obstacle course in her room with pillows that she wants me to watch!

Yesterday, we had a soccer game at 5:30, which means that the kids are supposed to be at the field by 5:00.  That time-table is fairly difficult for us to  meet but we managed to have just a minute or two where I could stop at a nearby convenience store and buy her a Gatorade and myself a soft drink.  When I got back in the car, she wanted me to open her Gatorade and I told her no, she needed to finish getting on her shin guards, socks and cleats before I would do so.  (Experience has taught me that I need to get what I want first, or I never will get it.)

She fussed mildly, but then announced as we were pulling into the parks and recreation area that she “ought to give me a break because she would be a mother some day.”

I glanced sideways at her, and then said, “There’s more to it than that.  Has anyone told you about the curse yet?”

She was curious.  “What curse?”

I answered, “They call it the parent’s curse.  When you have a child, she will be exactly like you.”

Kayla was silent for a minute, then asked, “Exactly like me?”

I answered, “Yes.”

She thought about it a minute more, and then said, “I need to change some things!”

The Daily Homework Dialogue:

Me:  Kayla, do you have any homework.

Kayla:  No.

Me:  Really?

At this point I get one of three answers.

Kayla Answer 1 (Angry):   Really, Mom, why don’t you believe me?

Kayla Answer 2:  Well, yes, but I’ve already done it.

Kayla Answer 3:  Well, yes, but I’m almost done.

Have a good day everyone!


11 Years Ago Today….

Good morning Everyone!

11 years ago today, I was preparing to take two depositions that I had been trying to schedule for months in Birmingham, Alabama on a relatively small case.  I had some time before I had to leave, since they didn’t start until 12 or 1, so was reviewing some notes when Terri, my assistant at the time (back when I had an assistant), came in and said, “Hey, the World Trade Center’s on fire.”  I didn’t understand what she meant, so I asked and she told me that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center.  

I remember a sort of “that’s too bad” feeling, the kind you get when a plane crashes anywhere, saying a quick prayer for the victims and wondering how on earth a plane could get that far off course before loading my stuff up and heading out for the depositions.

We got both of them done, and on my way home I stopped at a Birmingham mall to buy some make-up.  When I stopped, I was surprised to see that many of the stores were already closed at 3 in the afternoon, and the rest of them were closing at 6.   I decided then I needed to call Mark (who, due to his father’s death and the winding up of the family business had been between jobs and able to watch the news all day) to find out what was going on.  I had a bag phone then, and you didn’t use them as casually as we use cell phones now. 

I told Mark about the stores’ closing and how surprised I was, and that’s when Mark said, “I don’t think you realize how big this really is.”  That’s when I learned for the first time about the second plane, the towers falling, the Pentagon crash and the field in Pennsylvania.  When I got home that night, I was stunned as I watched the footage of the planes crashing into the towers and the Pentagon and horrified as I watched the Towers crumble into themselves in a cloud of toxic dust.  I was shocked and grieved by the senseless loss of life. 

I remember watching the Memorial Service a few days later at the National Cathedral.  I watched our nation’s leaders file into the church for the ceremony.  Leaders from both parties.  Political opponents who, for at least one brief moment, remembered that they were Americans first.  I watched as then-President Bush got up to speak that day, and noticed that there was not one face in the audience at the Cathedral that envied him being in that position on that day.

For a few weeks, we were all Americans first and everything else second.  Family and God suddenly seemed a lot more important than it had before September 11 and a nation grieved with the victims and their family.

11 years later, September 11, 2001 has changed our nation and many families in ways too profound to comprehend, from the very littlest of items, like the fact that my daughter will never know the feeling of watching breathlessly at the arrival gate for your grandparents to get off the plane as the passengers come down the gangplank, to those irreplaceable losses that leave aching, unfillable  holes, like the death of a loved one. 

I wish September 11, 2001 had not happened.  The costs of that day are still too high and too hard to bear.  A very small part of me, though, wishes that, without the same cost, we as a nation could find ourselves back in that place where we are all Americans first, everything else second.  This feeling doesn’t mean that we all have to agree on everything  all the time, or even most of the time.  It just means that, at the end of the day, we realize that those things that connect us are far stronger than the things that drive us apart.

And my last thought last night before I went to sleep?  One more prayer that, at least for today, we remain safe and whole once more.


Things that make me go hmmm….

Good morning Everyone!

Here are a few things that make me go  “hmmmm….” :

1)   “Mom, where is the screwdriver?”

Dog, eating, counter

2) Plates clinking mysteriously in the kitchen when Mark, Kayla and I are together in the den.

3)  Squirrels hopping aimlessly in the center of the road after I screech my car to a full stop to keep from hitting them.

4) My dogs playing the “barking” game every time I pick up the phone.

5)  The following dialogue:

From the other room:  Bang, squeak, Bang, BANG!  
Me:  What are you doing? 
Kayla:  Nothing! 

6) Watching the Gecko, Flo and the Allstate mayhem guy and wondering exactly how far can each insurance company spin the campaign out?

7) The AFLAC Duck’s mysterious absence from the airwaves.

8)  For the past three months, the cashier announcing at the drive-thru at the local Burger King that the frozen coke machine is broken.  (I don’t know if I am more bemused by the fact that the thing has been broken for three months now and they are not fixing it or the fact that I am stupid enough to keep asking about it after three months.)

8) A local fast food burger joint running out of hamburger!

9) An Auburn University football season starting at 0-2.

10)  The chewed, now toeless sock sitting in the middle of the living room floor when I know for certain I safely locked all the socks away from the dogs only thirty minutes ago.

11) Political commercials.   Any of them.

12) Political commentary.  All of it.

13) The fact that I can’t make a comment about the Chick-Fil-A cows good or bad without the possibility that it will be construed as a political statement, good or bad.

14) The mysterious return of my soft pastels (a chalk-like type of painting substance) to my bedroom when they are supposed to be safely in the craft-room unused.

Have a great day!


The Working Parents’ Olympics

Hi Everyone!

I have, a little to my surprise, found that I miss the Olympics, both the competition and the pageantry.  So, to fill this void in my television watching life (at least during those moments when I’m not watching football) I want to propose a new set of Olympic games – the Working Parents’ Olympics.  There are several interesting events that we could use to start them off.

Road Rage = Automatic Disqualification from the Event!

The first event would be “Rush Hour Racing.”  Contestants begin at various points equidistant from the race’s end at the height of morning rush hour (for the qualifying heats) at the major city closest to the Olympic venue, with the finish line in the very heart of the city’s business district.  To provide a challenging twist, the race for the gold is held during Friday afternoon rush hour preceding a three-day weekend and is run from the business district to the suburbs.  There would be time penalties given to contestants for road rage, swearing and any unfair tactics imposed on innocent drivers, but a contestant could also receive time deductions for successful management of stress as well as creative, productive uses of rush hour time.

The Commuter Cup Event

Another competition that would draw good TV ratings would be the commuter’s cup.  Each contestant is required to receive a car load of eight children with eight different activities to attend scattered across the Olympic venue.  The task is to deliver the children on time to each activity; a contestant is automatically disqualified from the final round if the drive and delivery exceeds 45 minutes, tops.  The winner is the one that, in the final race, delivers the children to each designated activity in the least amount of time.  Shamelessly exploiting America’s inexplicable and insatiable appetite for reality TV, each car will be provided with a hidden video camera.  To make the commuter cup races more realistic,  two of the eight children must be related to each other, and there is at least one child secretly assigned the role of whiner and another secretly assigned the role of instigator.

Grocery Shopping Relay

One of the more challenging events would be the Grocery Store Relays.  These races have both 400 and 800 meter races.  The 400 meter teams are teams of 4, while the 800 meter teams consist of 8 parents.  Each member of each team must complete a grocery shopping run in the shortest amount of time possible.  Each lap of the relay includes a shopping list, $100.00 in spending money and two children, although the ages of the children vary with each lap.  To add the element of chance, during at least one lap of each relay, randomly determined by drawing and hidden from the contestants, at least one child will demand an unexpected bathroom break.

The 1st lap includes a 1 and 2-year-old, the 2nd lap must be completed with a 3 and 4-year-old, the 3rd lap contestant races with a 5 and 6-year-old and (in the last lap for the 400 meter racers), the 4th lap comes complete with a 7 and 8-year-old.   In an effort to challenge the racers in the longer competition, the 5th lap will continue with two children, a 9 and 10-year-old, while the last three laps include on one child, but with additional circumstances.  The 6th leg of the 800 meter relay must be completed with an 11-year-old girl interested in leaving the store with one of everything she sees, whether she needs it or not, while the 7th leg includes a tired 12-year-old girl or boy barely willing to move.  Finally, the 8th lap must be completed with a hungry 13-year-old boy in the middle of a growth spurt – this situation challenges the contestants’ patience and wallet in one fell swoop!

Multi-Tasking Muddle

In an effort to bring some sense of realism to these games, another competition is the “Multi-tasking Muddle,” where contestants are placed at various work sites with tasks to complete, some work related, some family related.  The tasks require different skills to complete them, ranging from negotiation skills to typing skills to budgeting.  All of the tasks must be completed in less than one hour; the first contestant who finishes with the fewest mistakes wins the gold.

Preparing for Synchronized Sorting

An event that will bring fun to one of the most boring activities on the household chores list is that of “Synchronized Sorting.”  A cross between crewing and synchronized swimming, synchronized sorting requires teams of four parents to sort through a large pile of dirty laundry in rhythm, in a recognizable pattern,  and as fast as possible – as a team event, the winner is the team that performs the best routine in the least time possible.

Sample Cooking Contest Entry

The next event, which will be scored based not upon time but skill and presentation, is the Menu Planning/Cooking Medley.  This contest, somewhat like the “Iron Chef” competition, but more reality based, requires each contestant to plan three consecutive dinner meals from a prescribed list of ingredients.  Each meal must be able to be prepared in 30 minutes or less using only the ingredients provided to each contestant.  Take-out is not allowed.  The ingredients will vary.  For example, one person may receive three apples, four pork chops, ketchup, pickles, flour and corn, while someone else may receive a head of lettuce, 1 pound of hamburger, ketchup, six peaches, 12 tomatoes and rice.  Contestants receive scores based on originality, acceptability to young children and spouses, presentation and time.

The final event in this first edition of the Working Parents’ Olympics provides the excitement of a ping-pong table tennis event with the tension of a scored event such as gymnastics – this is the “Arena of Argument Event.”  Teams of parents will compete with teams of children.  There will be different areas covered, such “Room-Cleaning,” “House-keeping,” “Attending Other Events,” and “Activities Beyond Years.”  There also will be different age levels – after all, arguing with a two-year old (which bears a suspicious resemblance to arguing with a computer, except that the computer cries less and reasons more) is very different from arguing with a 13-year-old!  Scores are based upon creativity of argument, tone (the less hateful and heated, the better), lack of sarcasm and use of humor.  A parental contestant is disqualified if he or she uses the rejoinder “Because I said so” while a child contestant is disqualified if he or she stomps a foot or makes a fist declaring, “You just don’t understand!”  Each round of argument  is restricted to three minutes.

I think that would be enough to cure my current Olympic void.  What other events might you like to see, and which do you think you would be the best at?

Have a good day everyone!


What I Learned Over Summer Vacation

Good morning Everyone!

Sun, Summer

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

My mini-summer vacation and Kayla’s full summer vacation came to an end on Monday, and so I thought I’d share what I learned over my summer vacation.

Morning, wake up

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

1) I like not having to get up before 6 a.m.

Multi-tasking, work

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

2) Work expands to fill the time available for it.

3)  Planning is essential, even when you’re off.  Otherwise nothing gets done.

Moving Dolly, Moving Boxes

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

4) A six-week mini-break definitely helps when you are moving into one house and getting another ready to sell.

Tearing Out Hair

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

5) A parent can come up with multiple, innovative ways to discipline a 10-year-old, and the 10-year-old can still come up with multiple, innovative ways to drive the parent over the edge.

6) Kayla works very well with animals; both Darwin and Mandy are much better behaved at the end of this summer than they were at the beginning and it is all due to her training.  Mandy still grazes counters at will and Darwin still likes to chew, though!

Holding Hands

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

7) My little girl is growing up way too fast.  I”m glad she’s still willing to hold hands.

Different Rhythms

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

8) Stay at home parents work as hard as parents who work outside the home.  It’s just that the rhythms of the jobs are different.

9) Even off work, the temperatures in July and August in Alabama vary between miserable and intolerable. 

Dog Smiling

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

10) The dogs like having me home during the day.

11) I don’t mind hanging around with myself, after all.

Siesta, Nap, Snooze

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

12) I didn’t take a nap everyday like I thought I would!

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

13) Farmville is a lot of fun, but it takes way too much time to play.

14) Picking up is even more important in a small house than in a large house.

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

15) Your friends at work are still your friends even when you’re off work.

From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

16)  Cooking is not my calling.

Have a great day everyone!


The Olympic Learning Experience

Good morning Everyone!

Olympics, Olympic Torch

Olympic Torch, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

For those of you who perhaps have been spelunking or exploring untamed wilderness with no internet, TV or radio access, the 2012 Summer Olympics are being held in London right now.  Every night at seven, millions of Americans are tuning in to their local NBC channel to watch a “greatest hits” version of the Olympics, while as many as can possibly do so are also watching the events live during the day.

TV Remote

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

My family is no exception.  At 7 on weeknights, Kayla and I invariably ask Mark (as the male in the family, he apparently acquires by divine right sole access to the TV remote – well, divine right and the fact that the *&*&$*^#$#@&%$%&* thing refuses to work correctly for me or Kayla) to switch the television over to NBC, and the three of us watch whatever events might be on.

Swan dive, Diving

From Print Shop Professional 2.0

We turned on the other night to discover an event we weren’t even aware existed – synchronized (or, as the British would write, synchronised) diving.   FN1.   This was an event the three of us never dreamed existed.  Basically, instead of just one diver performing extraordinarily difficult and athletic dives, two divers are required to perform the same extraordinarily difficult and athletic dives as nearly as possible at the same time, with points given or deducted on top of the normal diving points for how temporally coordinated the performances are.  I have to wonder at what post-Summer Olympic meeting the diving committee came up with that idea.  I can just hear them now, at the after-dinner aperitif stage:

Hey guys, since the divers are beginning to get so good at the dives we thought were impossible to do, how ’bout we up the difficulty factor by making two of them dive at the same time!  That’ll show them!


From Print Shop Professional 2.0

Other Olympic events just seem vaguely incomprehensible to us.  For example, cycling.  I understand the concept of a bicycle race – you throw anywhere from 2 to 100 bicycles together at one place, called a starting line, and require them to travel to a second place, called a finish line, and the one that gets there first, wins.  But we saw an event one evening that I am still trying to figure out (not too hard, or I would have googled it by now) – teams of three bicyclists each on bikes without spokes in their wheels travel around an indoor track together.  I’m not sure how the winner was determined or what rules applied, except for the rule that each team of three bicyclists had to follow each other in a straight line.   FN2.

I pulled a list of the sports that are included in the summer Olympics.  Many of the Olympic events are fairly familiar to me, such as swimming, diving, racing and gymnastics, but others are not, although nothing in the summer Olympics is as foreign to me as the winter Olympic event of curling.  For example, rhythmic gymnastics, which appears to require the gymnasts to do routines with swirly ribbon things besides them, appears a bit odd at first blush, and who would have thought that “trampoline” was an Olympic sport, while neither baseball nor golf is?  (Actually, I believe baseball used to be an Olympic sport, but I am not sure about it.)  Badminton and ping-pong – excuse me, I mean table tennis – are fun to play, but I am not exactly sure how they rose to Olympic status.  I would love to see more of the Olympic events involving shooting, archery and fencing on TV, but at least so far I have managed to miss them.

TV Announcer

TV Announcer, from Print Shop Professional 2.0

Whether the sport is familiar, ie., soccer, or foreign, ie. rhythmic gymnastics, to me, one of the best things about watching them on TV is the commentary given by the announcers.  Somehow, NBC has managed to acquire individuals who are familiar with the sports they are showing, and the commentators help explain both the sport and how the contestants are judged.  That way, even if the sport is something completely new to me, I manage to learn a little bit while I am watching.

So kudos to the announcers, and to NBC who has managed to find commentators that can explain the events and scoring in sports like synchroniz[s]ed diving and rhythmic gymnastics, and here’s to another few days of the Olympics Learning Experience!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll try to find a televis[z?]ed trampoline medal event….

Have a great day!


FN1.  One key spelling difference between British English and American English is the use of “ise” and various forms thereof (British) versus “ize” and various forms thereof (American) in certain words such as “synchronis[z]e.”  With the wonderful consistency that characterizes the English language, we Americans have graciously refused to “ize” some words, such as “televised” and “supervise.”   Either that, or someone just made a typo that stuck, since “s” and “z” are suspiciously close to each other on the keyboard!

FN2.  Regardless of how unfamiliar I am with a sport, I want to emphasize (or is it emphasise?) how much I respect the athletes who compete in ANY Olympic event – the training and prowess and effort each athlete brings to the games honors their country regardless of the final medal count.

Random Thoughts, III

Good morning Everyone!


1) No matter what you do, your dog will never chew your least favorite pair of socks.


2) The dryer won’t eat one, either.


3) So you think you see the end of the line at Disneyworld?  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

rain, umbrella

4) Best ways to make it rain:

a) Pay to get your car washed;

b) Plan an outdoor workday for yard work and painting;

c) Plan an extravagant outdoor event with no alternative indoor venue.

5) Children and dogs have a built-in parent romance interference sensor.

6) I find it hard to believe that Publisher’s Clearing House is really going to give away all of that money to someone who didn’t buy something from them.

7) Light bulbs always blow in threes.

8) Robotic vacuums rock!

9) Why is it that a person will wait patiently at a drive-thru for 10  minutes for someone else to get their food through the window, but honk at the car in front of them if it fails to move within 10 seconds of the line moving forward?

10) Your dog is programmed to wake you up at least 30 minutes before you are ready and then will sleep for hours after he or she has been fed and walked and you are up for good.

11) Should you worry if someone less mechanically inclined than yourself in your family calls to ask you where the hammer and screwdriver are?

12) If a child tells you he or she is doing nothing, be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Have a great day everyone!


Scary Deer; Sinister Squirrels!

Good morning Everyone!

Kayla was talking to me this morning about seeing three doe on the side of the road the other evening grazing, which reminded me about Kayla’s traumatic deer incident.

Doe Grazing

One Doe Grazing

Not many children carry a fear of deer, I realize, but I can trace this particular fear, which has only recently resolved, to a house-hunting expedition when she was almost five.  We were in a small town looking at houses, when we walked into one split-level ranch-style home with two bedrooms in what most people would think of as a basement area.

In one bedroom, someone apparently had thought it would be funny to take a deer head that was mounted to hang on a wall and instead tuck it neatly into a bed in the room.

Mounted Deer Head on Wall

A Mounted Deer Head on a Wall, where a Mounted Deer Head is Supposed to Reside!

That someone was not parent to an almost five-year old named Kayla.  She entered the room, and started to tremble all over.  Once we finally figured out what she was scared of, we scooted her out of there in a hurry, only to be told by her that she was certain that she saw the deer wink at her, and she could see its hooves in the bed peeking out at her!

Have you ever tried to reason with a four-year old?  I don’t recommend it, unless it is on a critical, concrete safety issue such as not playing with the stove or electrical plugs.  Apparently, a four-year old can understand avoidance of pain, but not logic with respect to the fact that mounted deer heads are not alive and do not have legs.

Ever since that day, any house hunting expedition or discussion of buying a house is prefaced by her trembling query, “But not the deer house, Mama.  Right?”

The Squirrel

I personally am not nearly as afraid of mounted deer heads as I am of the kamikaze squirrels that live along the roads that lead to our house.  I do not know what possesses these squirrels, but they run across the road recklessly regardless of approaching  vehicles.  Usually, in the spring time, you have one or two young squirrels that unfortunately are not smart enough to realize that running across the road, especially immediately in front of approaching cars,  is generally not good for a squirrel’s health,  but this spring, in our town, I have seen very large, healthy older squirrels skittle across the road without the slightest hesitation while I hit the brakes with all my might, steer to the side, swing my right arm out across Kayla’s chest as if my arm can protect her if neither the seat belt nor the air bag do, and pray that I miss the squirrel as well as the hill  on my side of the road.  The squirrels may not be suffering any anxiety from their lifestyle, but it’s about to give me nightmares!


A Squirrel Posted On Surveillance

All of which makes me wonder if, instead of simply comfortable but slightly stupid squirrels, my neighborhood is populated by evil squirrels hatching a sinister plot to take over the neighborhood through forcing every vehicle in it to wreck, thereby requiring the residents of the Sherwood Forest neighborhood (no lie, that is my neighborhood’s name) to have to walk everywhere. And after our neighborhood, what lies next for the squirrels?  The town, the county, the state, the country and then the world!   This theory is bolstered by the (out of neighborhood/out of county) squirrel that lies in wait for Mark on his way to work every day, ready to scurry across the road immediately in front of his car as soon as the squirrel sees it.

Maybe that’s why dogs always want to chase squirrels…

Have a great day everyone!


Hair Wars: Tangled

Good morning Everyone!

One of the things I never expected to deal with as the mother of a girl was the fact that said girl would be in a permanent war with her hair.

Hair War!

Hair War!

This war is something completely foreign to me, especially since I unconditionally surrendered to my hair at about the age of 8.  I let it part where it wants to part, am reconciled to the fact that it is straight unless forced to curl with a perm (and then it stays curly foreeeeeevvvvvveeeeeeerrrrr), and know that I have very little say in the way it ultimately will look on any given day.  If it feels like having a good hair day, we will look good; if it feels like having a bad hair day, that’s why God invented baseball caps and head bands!

White Flag, surrender

The White Flag of Surrender

Kayla, however, has much more of a fighting spirit than I do about most things, so she is not about to surrender unconditionally to an inanimate object she controls.  All of these factors together brought us to the 10 minute conniption fit on Tuesday over the fact that her hair was in a mass of tangles, and it hurt to brush through it.  Well, those factors, along with the fact that the child had kept her hair up in a ponytail/bun without taking it down since Sunday morning.  When asked how she had washed her hair with it that way, she proudly announced that she had just dunked the entire ‘do in the water and spritzed some shampoo through it and then rinsed.  (Fellow parents can imagine the collective groan shared between Mark and I at that point.)

I told her she could either solve the problem, or I would solve it by brushing her hair.  This suggestion did not recommend itself to her, since when I pull the hairbrush through her hair, it does hurt some if the hair is too tangled.  I went on to finish getting ready and found, at the end of 10 minutes, that she had found a way to tame her hair into submission – mousse.  She had found some mousse, slathered her hair with it, and then brushed.

Styling Hair

Styling Hair

She enjoyed the brushing so much at that point that she kept on brushing her hair as we entered the car.  Once she finished, she pulled the visor mirror down, surveyed the results, and announced, “I like that mousse!  It brings out my inner curl!”

Rita Hayworth, Hiar Wave

Letting Your Inner Curl Shine

Have a great day everyone, and a fantastic Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!


Mandy’s Turn

husky basset hound mix



I asked the people puppy what our  Mom is doing when she sits in front of the big black rectangle and moves her fingers while I eat breakfast.  My people puppy told me that Mom was writing, and showed me some of the posts about me in the blog our Mom writes.  I think she was a little confused when she wrote them.  She’s not really a morning person, you know – I have to work really hard to wake her up at the proper time.  Sometimes I have to circle the bed from 4 a.m. until almost 7!  I used to be able to walk on her hair to wake her up, but for some strange reason she cut most of it off, and now it is too short for me to do that.  It’s a shame, because she made some really neat noises when I would do it.

Newfound Gap

My people puppy

Any way, to help her out and make sure you don’t get the wrong idea, I thought I’d give you the real scoop on things.

Australian shepherd mix, dog in back yard, dog in sun

My sister, Tyra

It may surprise you to learn that I am adopted.  In fact, all of my siblings – my people puppy and Darwin and Tyra – are adopted as well.  It doesn’t matter, though, because Mom and Dad love all of us lots.  I do think it is a little unfair that the people puppy gets to go everywhere with them, and I don’t, but I try hard not to mind because I know that Mom and Dad love me best – why, they call me “Bad Dog” (that’s one of my nicknames) more than any of my siblings, which means that I am very special.  (My sister, Tyra, rolls her eyes when I say that like I am wrong, but I know that she’s just a little jealous about it.)

Black lab, crazy Dog

My brother Darwin – he’s a little crazy!

Although I would like to travel with Mom and Dad more, my life here is pretty good.  Darwin, my younger brother, and I play together a lot, although I am still having to teach him about proper food etiquette – I don’t like it when he tries to hang around my food bowl.  My sister Tyra is very sweet, but has a hard time moving around the house now without someone to help her.  Mom and Dad do a really good job helping her.  That’s a good thing, because if they didn’t do it, I’d probably have to!

Mom and Dad are a little odd about some things, though.  I’m always very polite and wait until they’re done, but if they’re finished with their food, why can’t I go ahead and help myself to it?  It’s not like they want it anymore!  The same is true with stuff in the trash can – does it really matter what happens to it once they are through with it?  Any reasonable person would know that such things are fair game once they hit the trash, but not Mom and Dad!  I guess every set of parents have their eccentricities.

Family picture

Mom and Dad, in 2008, during yet another trip I wasn’t allowed to go on!

They also spend part of their nights watching this square frame in the living room that makes sounds and shows pictures.  I watch it sometimes, but it,s not really that interesting – nothing on it is real.  You can see and hear the pictures, but there’s no smells attached to them.  Every thing that’s real has a specific smell.

Oh, and I need to set the record straight about the day I came home.  Mom wrote that I ran away twice, but I really didn’t.  I was just so happy that I had a chance to stretch my legs that I took a couple of joy laps.  The look on her face was really funny, too, each time that I did it!  The best part was when she picked me up in the pet store and the people puppy introduced me and told my story to every one we saw.  It really made my day!

Christmas, 2007

Mom in the morning – this was Christmas, 2007 and she was more awake than she usually is in the morning. Still, she wasn’t exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed, even then!

Uh-oh – I can hear Mom emerging from her lair now to get ready for work, so I better sign off.  Just remember what I said, keep the story straight and forgive Mom for her inaccuracies.  Poor thing, she doesn’t understand how to get up in the morning!