What Marriage should be.

I wonder often….which is worse….gay marriage or heterosexual marriage between people who have no business being married in the first place? How many “straight” people get married for the wrong reasons? I fell into that category. If marriage is truly an “institution”, then let’s take the word “gay” and “straight” out of the equation and call it marriage. We should celebrate love for what it is. True love is so hard to find in our current society. When it’s there, it should be celebrated. Survivor benefits are a cop out. Let love be love and leave it at that.

PS: What is more embarrassing for a child? Introducing his parents (dad and dad or mom and mom), or having to say, “this is my real dad and this is my step dad and this is my mom’s current boyfriend.” Stability vs. Instability. Once again, the Heteros have done a super-duper job in that category as well. (Sarcasm). Let people who believe in marriage get married. (I’m still not changing my picture to the = sign).

PPS: It amazes me to no end that we live in a country where heterosexuals get divorced at a 50%+ clip, yet a great many feel homosexual couples shouldn’t have the right to marry. Maybe it should be the other way around? (I’m half kidding about my last sentence.) Let people who love each other get married. They can’t do worse than straight people.

Why we let our kids win.

I wrote this months ago when I just started on wordpress.  Since nobody read it, and I have writer’s block today, I decided to bring it back!  Enjoy.

Parents will often find themselves in contests with their children.  Today was no exception.  My daughter Kat and I put on these silly plastic discs with Velcro padding and threw a tennis ball back and forth–the object being you catch the ball with the plastic disc, w/Velcro padding.  Ok….so the stage was set for some sort of competition.  Kat, age 6, threw the ball to me and I caught it.  Grandma said, one point for daddy.  I threw the ball to Kat, she caught it…you get the idea.  The “game” turned into a contest to see who could catch the most balls.  The Mayans would be proud.

We played to ten.  The score was Daddy 8, Kat 3, before I realized I needed to suddenly become completely inept at catching things.  Why?  Because kids need to win.  I know, I know, life is a bitch and kids need to learn we can’t always come out ahead.  I don’t care.  In a situation like this, you need to let your kid win.  They need to feel victorious and they need to feel the satisfaction of beating the person who can ground them if they talk back.  More than that, they need feel like they can have something to build on.  “Maybe I CAN throw and catch better than my dad.  The next time I’ll kick his ass even more.”

The final score–Kat 10, Daddy 9.  When the final catch was made, my daughter jumped up and down like she had just won the Stanley Cup.  It was a memory I will never forget.  Kids love little victories because they aren’t little–they are huge.  Parents need to remember that.  Kids need victories to know they are capable.  Just like Santa Claus is engrained in our minds and passed down from generation to generation, “throwing” games like I did today is a ritual every parent is faced with.  And I say, “God bless the ritual.”

I will trade a loss to my child for anything in the world, because I got to see the look on her face when she realized she beat her dad.  The next time we “lace up the skates”, she will be that much stronger and confident.  For those of us lucky enough to have kids, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Let your kids win when the opportunity is appropriate.  It’s a time-honored tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation.  And it’s a good thing.

Eating chips for breakfast is another story….that is one contest Daddy will always win.  And that’s good too.

Be well.

Call it sad, call it funny but it’s better than even money.

“I have walked out in rain–and back in rain…” –Robert Frost

Quote of the day: “Drought my ass!” This is compliments of a customer of mine, who like me has been watching it pour for the last 18 hours. It’s incredible how it can be nearly 60 degrees on January 29th in Michigan. Well, actually I shouldn’t be surprised–Antarctica and Greenland are half gone. (Don’t tell Congress.)

Superbowl Sunday is coming up which brings me to today’s topic. The TV Commercials. There was a time when they were awesome and probably the highlight of the game. I remember Spuds MacKenzie, The Bud Bowl, Budweiser’s “WhaaaaaaatsssssAhhhhhhhp” and all the hilarious Fed Ex Commercials. The novelty was there and the commercials truly were a thing of art–quickly making their way into the American fabric by Monday morning.

Now though–I just don’t get as excited about Super Bowl Ad’s. Watching Justin Timberlake and Elton John drink a Pepsi, or Snooki doing tax forms for H and R Block just doesn’t do it for me. Actually, the last few years have been horrific for SB commercials. Let’s hope this year is different. That and, let’s hope Go Daddy spends a TON on Danica Patrick commercials again.

DO you watch the Super Bowl? If so…are you into the commercials? Do tell!

16. That is the number of times I have passed a jar of Nutella at the grocery and paused, momentarily, before walking away resisting the temptation. I just can’t get myself to do it. I hear good things. It’s endorsed by my daughter and half her first grade class…I just can’t get myself to buy a jar of Nutella or anything with the word marmalade on it.

Last but not least for now…my 2013 “recycling like a mofo” project is proceeding wonderfully. I have always recycled, but this year I am taking it to a whole new level. I’m not a Greenpeace freak who tries to fit all my garbage in a coffee can for the year. Anything plastic, aluminum or paper gets recycled…period. And that is a ton of trash. Do you recycle? Is there anything that prevents you from doing more? Does your city still make you separate items or can you toss them all in one container?

Today is an audience participation day, my friends. Bring me your best comments and I will shower you with love and gifts. Or just love. Yes, probably just love because I am short on cash. Not like, stalking love. Friendly love that makes you smile. I forgot what I was talking about….

In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees.

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Ever have a day when you just want to make a silly face and laugh at the world? Sometimes a funny face and a good giggle is the best medicine.

I’ve read a lot of wonderful posts today and I drank 2 mugs of black tea. This alone has changed my life for the better. I feel more positive and I am pumped with antioxidants. Here is one example of a super post I came across on my reader today.

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet. I want to thank the 67 people who follow my blog. It means a lot that you stop by and read. I’d love to hear from you! Always feel free to stop by and give me a shout.

It’s a cold wintry day today–I’m about to go outside and walk in the snow. It doesn’t get much better than that! What do you like to do on winter days like today?

Be well.

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain.

There is nothing better than sitting back on a cold, wintry day and listening to Big Band music.  I am an avid listener and have always loved its calming effect.  That was a great era of music.  I often close my eyes and just think back to that time and what it must have been like to live through it.  Families struggled economically, they were torn apart by war and everybody had to do their part to conserve, build and defend.  

Through it all, they managed to live simple lives with simple pleasures.  Love meant something back then and so did communication.  It’s all they had really.  People had letters, telegrams and their voice.  Sometimes I wonder if it was better back then, despite the war and working certain jobs out of necessity–not because you loved your work.  

I have an ID card on my desk at work which belonged to my Great-grandfather when he worked at the docks in Toledo, Ohio.  Although I never knew him, I can bet the farm he hated that job but was eternally grateful that he had one for his family.  It was a difficult time back then.  The Depression hit families hard.  I remember listening to stories my Grandfather told about receiving free food and other handouts–and recalling how low he felt taking them.  I keep that ID card on my desk to remind me that we don’t always get to do what we want in life–especially in terms of a job.  Sometimes, circumstances force us to change gears and call an audible.  I look at the ID card every day at work and remember the sacrifices my ancestors made for their family.  It motivates me to try harder for mine.

If you haven’t given Big Band music a try, please do.  It’s wonderful.  I listen to my XM radio (40’s on 4) all day long at work.  I get a kick out of it when older customers stop in and can’t believe a young sprout like me listens to such music.  That’s funny to me, because I’m 41 and hardly a sprout anymore.  And, you can be any age and appreciate great music.  

Music makes us remember, appreciate, laugh and cry.  It makes our minds wander and dream.  And to that, I say, Amen.

be well.

It’s What Big Sisters Do.

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Your little brother was too scared to walk the wall by himself yesterday.

You grabbed his hand and away you both went.

At the moment of this picture, he was giggling loudly.

You yelled, “This is what big sisters do.”

It was as if God took the picture, at this precise moment, for me.

I don’t know where either of you will be 20 years from now.

Or if I will be around.

I hope you both look at this picture every day for the rest of your lives.

And never forget.  Because I never will.  Ever.

Orange sherbet push ups and Corpus Christi, Texas.

I was walking close to the road today.  No, I am not a wanderer, or a gypsy, or a hitchhiker.  (I had to get the mail.)  I looked down and noticed something I hadn’t seen in years.  It was an orange push up container.  The ice cream in it was of course, gone–but there it was.  My childhood–laying on the road in the middle of Michigan.  You remember don’t you?  Outside playing capture the flag or baseball and suddenly, you hear it.  The sweet sound of the Ice Cream truck riding through the neighborhood.  You race to your house, grab whatever change you can find then sprint to the powder blue truck.  The nice man with 5 teeth asks what you want.  You are faced with the decision of a lifetime.  A bomb pop?  One of those plastic cones with ice cream and a gumball at the bottom?  

No–you want ol’ reliable.  The sweet taste of an orange sherbet in a container that YOU can control.  You have the power to determine the ice cream distribution–even at a young age.  True independence is just around the corner.  Today it’s an orange push up, tomorrow your first car and fast women….but I digress.

I love it when you see something out of the blue, in a place you never expected to see anything at all and it brings back a fond memory.  Triggers, when they bring on something positive, can be so much fun.  

Of course, every once in awhile I’ll pass the fish counter at the market, or smell my garbage can the day after my leftover salmon has been tossed in the trash.  That smell will forever remind me of Corpus Christi, Texas.  The lovely scent of fish, oil and sweat all rolled into one.  Corpus Christi.  I spent a week there one day.  Chalk that up as a negative trigger, indeed!

I miss the ice cream man.  I miss those old trucks with the loud music.  I miss snow cones and fudge bars.  I know–I can go to the store and find most of that anytime I want, but it’s just not the same.  Some things are meant only for the innocence of childhood.  It’s funny how an old wrapper on the road reminded me of that.

Be well.