Tag Archives: rules

Confession by a Compulsive Rule Follower

Good morning Everyone!

From www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

Yesterday I did something almost unthinkable for a techno-dependent ( but not tech savvy) obsessive-compulsive rule follower.  Ever since, I have been looking over my shoulder.

FBI person wearing jacket

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

Homeland Security, the NSA, the FBI and the Secret Service have not called me on the telephone or called on me in person.

Lightning striking women

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

The plentiful lightning in the thunderstorms dotting the landscape as I drove home did not strike.

confused angel

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

Angels did not weep, although they may have been confused.

police car with lights on

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

Police cars did not follow me with sirens wailing as I headed home.

person making complaint

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

I didn’t even get a polite nasty-gram from Microsoft or any other software/operating system provider and my computer started up today just like it does every day.

What dreadful act did I do?

I turned my computer off, ignoring Microsoft’s demand that I neither unplug my computer nor turn it off while it installed 40 different updates to my computer when I was ready to leave yesterday afternoon.  I admit that I did wait for about 15 minutes, but when the computer announced it was still on 1 of 40 updates after those 15 minutes, I, with deliberateness and malice aforethought, unplugged it anyhow and headed home.

It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I had stopped and restarted my computer  twice during the day, each time receiving no update notices, and I was not in my regular office but in Birmingham where the failure to leave in time to avoid rush hour traffic usually transforms a 2 hour drive into a 3 1/2 hour drive.

Even though I am sure that the 30 minute chunk out of my day needed to complete the updates today was purely accidental, I don’t think I’ll take such a reckless and impetuous action again.

Have a great day!


Adages that Aren’t plus Other News

Adage –  a proverb or short statement expressing a general truth

1)       Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.  – Not really; it just makes me sleepy.


From ClickArt Online, by Broderbund

2) Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. –  If we didn’t, how on earth could we ever buy a dozen eggs at the grocery store?


3) Handsome is as handsome does. – Nope.  By any standard of conduct, Pierce Brosnan, George Clooney and Sean Connery are handsome.

geese and gosling AJKoops

4) A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  – Not if you’re a birder seeking to win the big year, or participating in the World Series of Birding in New Jersey!


5)  Out of sight, out of mind.  – Obviously, whoever made this one up never had a pressing problem to worry about.


From Print Shop Professional 2.0

6)  There is no such thing as a stupid question. – Well, yes, yes there is.

United States coinage penny

7) A penny saved is a penny earned – unless you owe back taxes, then it is a penny paid to the government.

Prisoner Costume

8) Practice makes perfect. – No, imperfect practice perfects imperfection

Sticks and Stones:  From Clip-Art Online

Sticks and Stones: From Clip-Art Online

9)  Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.  – Really?  Wounds from sticks and stones heal relatively quickly but word wounds will sting for generations!

USDA Food Pyramid

10)  An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  Not according to the USDA food pyramid or plate or whatever it is they are using these days.

Newspaper, news, magnifying glass

Breaking News!

And in other news –

(Dedicated to the Jefferson Davis High School “get-by” class of 1986, working its way through to a new generation!)

The following conversation repeated verbatim from yesterday.

Mom, in response to an e-mail from a teacher:  Kayla, what is this about you not having your study sheet in social studies today?

Kayla:  Mom, she told us to take it home last night.

Mom:  So?

Kayla:  She didn’t tell us to take it back.

Mom:  Kayla, it’s implied!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Rules I Never Thought I’d Need – An Addition

Good morning Everyone! 

I have a new rule to include with my parenting list of rules I never thought I’d need:

Do not blow-dry the dogs after they have been outside in the rain.

Image designed by me with clip-art from The Print Shop III.

We think Mandy will recover emotionally, given time.  She seems, however, to have acquired a newfound respect for even vacuum cleaners. 


Go figure!

Have a great day everyone!


The Many Dilemmas of Candy Season

Good morning Everyone!

Halloween marks the official start of  “Candy Season.”  Candy Season runs from October 31 (Halloween) until Easter Sunday every year, and I have a love/hate relationship with it.

Granted, I like candy (at least chocolate candy) as much as the next person, but for the five or six months between Halloween and Easter  we are inundated with it.  It seems to be a required part of almost every celebration during the next five or six months – except for Thanksgiving, but even then, pie or cake of some kind is required.

Certain ethical questions impose themselves upon the arrival of Candy Season – is it really evil to go through your child’s Halloween candy and pick out all of the Three Musketeers and Hershey bars and eat them before she can?  Surely it can’t be that bad!  Besides, what else would I do with the extra hour between her bedtime and mine?  Does Kayla really need the entire chocolate Santa that appeared in her stocking or chocolate bunny that appeared in her Easter basket?  Aren’t I really doing her a favor, saving her all those extra calories and at least one sugar rush if I go ahead and eat at least part of it?

There is an internal struggle to Candy Season as well.  This conversation occurs more often than I would care to admit.

Sweet Tooth Self:  Did you know there is candy in the house?

Healthy Self:  You don’t need candy.  Have an apple.

Sweet Tooth Self:  Did you know there is candy in the house?

Healthy Self:  Well, it’s not chocolate; you know you don’t like any of those other kinds of candy.  Have an apple.

Sweet Tooth Self:  There is to chocolate.  I buried it in the bottom of the candy jar so Kayla and Mark wouldn’t find it.

Healthy Self:  That was last month, and you have pretty well demolished all of that chocolate you put back.  Besides, they’re getting suspicious – it’s hard for them to miss the fact that they haven’t been able to find any chocolate since before Halloween.  Have an apple.

Sweet Tooth Self:  I’ll show you!  (Proceeds to candy dish).  See, I told you there was a mini-Snickers bar left in there!

Healthy Self:  Show off!  Have an apple.

Sweet Tooth Self:  But that’s a mini-Snickers bar!

Healthy Self:  Well, we are supposed to have nuts as part of a healthy diet….

Sweet Tooth Self:  I told you!

Healthy Self:  Eat it quickly.  Then we’ll give Kayla the apple.  We want to keep her  healthy, after all!

Have a great day everyone!



Good morning everyone!

  • Dogs in the Shower

Conversation from this morning:

Kayla (reflectively, from the other room):  Mom, you know how I can’t drag the dogs into the bath with me?   (Rules I Never Thought I’d Need # 8  )

Mom:  Yes.

Kayla:  Is that true for showers, too?

My question to you:  Is it progress that she asked before trying out the experiment or should I be dismayed that she had to ask at all?

  • The (Now non-) Beeping Fridge

Refrigerators - Public Domain Photograph by Paul Morse

About three days ago, the refrigerator in the garage finally stopped beeping.  It had been beeping a sequence of five beeps every minute or so since around July 20.  (See, The Beeping Fridge.)  Last time I checked, which was this morning, the rest of the refrigerator was still working.  So, did we break the beeper through lack of attention or did the refrigerator just give up on whatever it was trying to tell us since we refused to listen to it?

  • Pencils

Vending Machine Pencils

Kayla did buy three pencils yesterday.  (See, Pencils.)  I did not see them or get a picture of them.  Would it surprise any of you to know that none of them were the “winning” blue pencil?

  • Pencil Sharpener

My Firm's New Electric Pencil Sharpener, Exacto Brand

I found it ironic that yesterday, after writing a blog post about pencils that mentioned pencil sharpeners, I was unable to find either a manual or an electric pencil sharpener at work.  Immediately, I asked that the situation be remedied, and now my firm is the proud owner of one electric pencil sharpener that will reside in my office.

Have a great day everyone!


The Story Behind the Rule: A Scratch, a Rose and a Screen

Hi Everyone!

From Rules I Never Thought I’d NeedDo not cut the screen out of its frame in the window.  

When Kayla was in 1st grade, she had walking pneumonia.  Nothing serious, but it was very odd – she never coughed, she never complained of any breathing trouble, she just suddenly spiked a high temperature.  When she had a fever, she felt miserable, but once the Tylenol kicked in, she was fine.  In fact, she was the happiest, healthiest looking sick child I have ever seen.  It was embarrassing sitting in the doctor’s office trying to explain that she was sick when she was so bouncy and happy and looking into everything! 

The only way that the doctors found the pneumonia was through a lung x-ray, and that didn’t happen until the second visit.  The first time I  took her, they tested her for flu and strep (both tests came back negative), so  they decided Kayla had a virus.  When she wasn’t any better after about two days, I took her back to the doctor, and simply because there was nothing else left to look at, they took x-rays of her lungs.  It isn’t often you hear a doctor’s voice float down the hall with a loud “Ah-Hah!” 

All of which is a long way of explaining that she had missed 9 days of school for the year already when one Sunday afternoon, with Mark taking a nap and me working in the kitchen, she came out of her bedroom whispering and gesturing for me to come in there.  When I went, she showed me her arm, where there was a particularly wicked looking scratch – not deep, but jagged and red around the edges.  Because she absolutely could not miss any more school, I needed to know what caused the scratch so I could keep it from getting infected.  I noticed a rose sitting on her bedside table, but I didn’t think much of it – Kayla liked to pick the roses in the front back then and bring one or two in from time to time.


After some minutes of whispered questioning so we wouldn’t wake Mark up, she finally mutely pointed to her bedroom window to show where she got the scratch.  When I walked over to it, at first I didn’t notice anything, but then I realized that there was no screen in her window, which explained where both the rose and the scratch came from – our roses are beautiful, but very thorny.  I then thought how smart it was of her to figure out how to open the scree…. At which point I realized the screen was not opened but gone.  Kayla had very neatly cut out the screen from its frame so that she could simply open the window and pick roses without having to travel outside. 

I think it had been out for at least a week, because the week before I had come across some screen mesh in my craft closet, and tried to figure out what on earth I would have needed that for.  If it hadn’t been for the scratch, I probably wouldn’t have noticed the missing screen for months.  

Have a great day!


Dog Rules

Good morning everyone!

Sunrise - Borrowed from "Five Acres with a View" on WordPress

 I found this sunset picture on the WordPress Blog “Five Acres with a View.”  Isn’t it beautiful?  I would have put in one of my own, but I usually am not up early enough to take one.  I am definitely NOT a morning person!

  • Thursday

Today, for some odd reason, feels like Thursday.  How disappointed I will be when Saturday comes and it is only Thursday! 

  • Dog Rules

Researchers tell us that dogs that live together create their own hierarchy.  The ideal hierarchy for human families with many dogs (like three!) is for the dogs to understand that the humans are primary and then they fall in line after that.  I know my dogs view Mark as the Alpha pack member, but I am curious as to how they view me.  If I put enough authority behind my voice (the command tone, which I am not very good at unless speaking to 9 year old girls who have ignored my last two requests), then they will listen to me, but most of the time I believe my title with the pack is She-Who-Feeds-Us-Every-Morning.  This title at least grants me instant popularity, if not authority. 

One area where their hierarchy demonstrates itself is feeding time.  Mandy and Tyra are fed together in the kitchen/breakfast area but in two separate bowls, while Darwin is fed separately in the bedroom.  (He has an unfortunate tendency to want to wander by other dog’s food bowls and say “Hi!” while they are eating.  After he says “Hi!”, he then wants to share their food, which is not a popular option with either of the other two dogs!)   

Tyra and Darwin eath both speedily and well, but Mandy simply refuses to eat until one of two things happens:  a) a human sits on the floor and hand feeds her every piece (not happening, at least not by me – Kayla has caved a time or two), or b) Tyra has completely finished her food.  However, Mandy is an exceptionally slow eater, so the designated human (me) ends up sitting at the kitchen table for at least 20 minutes, if not more, waiting for her to finish eating.  (And here some of you have been admiring me for finding time to write this blog – it is not diligence, simply an urge to keep from being bored out of my mind while Mandy dines!) 

 I have to stay by the two of them in any event because Tyra, whose behavior is normally impeccable, has been known to saunter over to Mandy’s food bowl occassionally and start to eat from it, even though Tyra still has food of her own to eat.  Mandy simply steps aside without so much as a whimper and lets Tyra eat.  However, heaven help Darwin if he even breathes as he walks by Mandy’s food bowl on the way to the water bowl.  She is quick to lets him know that her food is not his, and there will be no sharing!

The hierarchy between Tyra and Mandy is also demonstrated at night.  Because I go to sleep before Mark, Tyra and Mandy come into our bedroom with me at bed time, while Darwin stays with Mark in the den.  Tyra insists on jumping onto (or being picked up and put on, now that she is not quite as spry as she used to be) the bed and staying at its foot on Mark’s side until he comes to bed.  (It’s like having a hot water bottle for your feet, only better, Mark says.)  However, even if Mandy jumps onto the bed, she is off of it again before lights out.  Basically, as middle junior dog, she is allowed to visit, but not allowed to stay!   

Well it’s time to go – No-No (Darwin) has just sauntered out of the bedroom with a handkerchief, and Bad Dog (Mandy) is trying to get him to play tug of war with it, so duty calls! 

 Have a great day everyone!


Rules I Never Thought I’d Need

When I pictured being a mom, I realized that it would be necessary to have rules of conduct for my child.  That being said, after over 6 years of being a mom, I have compiled a list of rules I never expected to need:

Do not cut the screen out of its frame in the window.  (The need for this one arose when she was 6.)

Do not put anything in your ear, including rocks, without consulting an adult first.  (Age 4.)

Do not put anything in your nose, including wooden sticks, without consulting an adult first.   (Age 4)

Which led to:  Do not put anything in any body part for any reason unless a parent says it is okay, with the exception of food or drink in your mouth.

Do not cook eggs on the stove without a parent’s presence and permission.   (About age 7:  this one is harder to justify because the one time that she did cook the eggs by herself, she did a good job and remembered to turn the stove off, which is more than I do sometimes!)

Do not try to pierce your ears with the end of a paper clip, even if it looks like an earring hole is there.  (Age 6 and 7).

The controls on the dashboard in the car,  including the radio, are MINE!  Please leave them alone.  (This has been a running battle ever since she was old enough to ride in the front without a car seat.)

Do not drag a dog into the bathtub with you.   (Age 6).

Do not dump the entire bottle of shampoo in the tub to use as bubble bath.  (Ages 6 through 8).

Do not dump the entire bottle of liquid soap from the sink in the tub to use as bubble bath.   (Ages 6 through 8).

Do not dump the entire bottle of conditioner in the tub for reasons I have yet to understand.   (Ages 6 through 8).

It’s not a good idea, either, to dump all of the bathroom dixie cups in the bathroom sink and then fill it up with water.  (Age 6, but she had help from a visiting 4 year old.)

Do not wash your hair with conditioner only.  (Age 8 through 9).

Soap is required for a bath to really be a bath.  (Age 5).

And, last but not least,

Paper is not a proper treat to give a dog.  (Age 9).  (Darwin and Mandy liked it  but at least Tyra was smart enough to say no.  I guess I should be grateful Kayla didn’t decide to hand out socks for all!)

Have a good day everyone!