A Quickie on Romance……

No, I’m not gonna talk about¬†that part of romance, but at least I got your attention ūüėČ . Being married not even two years, many would say that maybe we aren’t qualified to offer romance tips to keep things lively, but I’m gonna do it anyway. Besides, we were together for years before we married.¬†

1. Be spontaneous: Romance doesn’t just happen when you take the time to light candles and have an awesome meal prepared. Romance can happen anywhere. So go ahead and dance with your spouse when you are in the check out lane at the grocery store¬†(pro tip-if you plan to do ‘the dip’, make sure you are away from any candy or magazine racks that your spouse could bonk their head on)

2. Recite your favorite movie lines (bonus points if you can do it in the character’s voice): One of our favorite movies is The Princess Bride. A few nights ago, just for fun, I was able to recite most of Miracle Max’s lines during a pivotal scene. My husband and I¬†both erupted in peals of laughter. Being able to laugh and be silly together is the mark of a strong bond. Strengthen this often.

3. Surprise them with their favorite meal: I admit it, I’m not much of a cook. But for some reason my husband LOVES my mashed potatoes. And he has a demanding job that leaves him pretty hungry when he comes home. Making his favorite mashed potatoes is just another way of saying, “I love you and appreciate what you do for our family.”

I think that about covers it folks. Movies, check-out lane dancing, and mashed potatoes are the hallmark of a successful marriage. Eh, at least it works for us. ūüėõ


*cartoon depicting what not to do appears courtesy of: http://www.cartoonstock.com


Witches, Water and Weather Watches….Oh My!

Summer is my 2nd favorite time of the year. It’s warm and sunny and my struggle with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is given a respite. Winter in my neck of the woods is pretty cold and gray, so spring and summer are a welcome change. But there is one thing about living in the midwest during the summer that I don’t enjoy: severe weather that turns into tornadoes.¬†

Now being a grown woman and considering the number of tornado watches and warnings I’ve lived through that didn’t actually turn into a swirling vortex of destruction, you’d think by now I’d be used to the weather and able to cope without anxiety. You’d be wrong. However, I have learned a few things through the years that have helped me ride out the storm, so to speak. Today I share them with you.¬†

1. When the weather gets a bit dicey, find a distraction that will still enable you to be tuned to the weather. Nowadays, weather stations do a great job at conveying severe weather over social media or via phone text. So put in a funny movie, make sure your phone is nearby and keep a tab on FB or twitter. 9 times of our 10, the watches/warnings will expire without much fan-fare.

2. If you can’t stand the thought of being alone during a storm, invite a neighbor or nearby friend over and have a storm party! Having someone with you can help alleviate some anxiety and help pass the time.¬†

3. Make sure your devices are sufficiently charged. Phone and computer. Do this when you know the storm is gonna hit, but hasn’t quite yet. This way if the worst happens, you’ll have a distraction, and will be able to call loved ones later.¬†

4. Decide where you’re safe place will be and make it comfy. If you don’t live where there is a basement, the next safest place will be a¬†room without windows-normally a bathroom. Grab a blanket, pillow, a good book, flashlight, your computer (off the power cord), phone, a bottle of water or two and fun snack-y type items. Then hunker down. If the electricity goes out, your computer will still provide a distraction. If that fails, crack open your book, use your flashlight and read aloud. Reading aloud may seem funny, but it really helps to drown out the sounds from outside. Worst case scenario, grab your mattress and get into the bath tub with your book and flashlight. Read aloud until the storm ends.¬†

The most important thing to remember is this: 9 times out of 10 the weather will pass without much drama. But if in the rare event it happens to be that 10, remember this sage piece of advice: if you see a woman with green skin accompanied by flying monkey’s,¬†dump that extra water bottle on her head and click your heels three times!



*Good ol’ Jupiter helping¬†us in tornado alley get some perspective appears courtesy of: www.quickmeme.com¬†

To the Poor Cricket Tossed Around By Our Cats Tonight Under the Kitchen Table…..

I’m glad that you are still alive somewhere under the rug. By the way, that was a good hiding place, and I was super impressed when you quickly crawled under there when the youngest one wasn’t looking (she’s fast, but she gets distracted easily if she sees something shiny).

A few tips for later: The oldest just got her paws on a pair of tiny night vision goggles and is a very light sleeper. It’d be best to stay hidden till morning. ¬†Once morning arrives, proceed with caution. If things get really dicey, just play dead. Our¬†cats are smart but have attention spans that would rival any goldfish. They will eventually get bored and move on.

And lastly, keep your cricket-y eyes peeled on the front door. The seconds it opens, run like stink towards it! That is truly the only way you can escape from the clutches of our cats. Oh, and once outside, you might want to spread a word through the cricket community to avoid the crazy house with cats.



*meme explaining why cats and venetian blinds sometimes don’t mix appears courtesy:¬†http://www.propecta.com

V-E-T Blues…..

Taking your cat to the vet can be traumatic and stressful. Even speaking about it in their presence can be tricky. Yep, we are that family that can’t actually say the word around our cats, instead we spell. Even so the oldest one gets suspicious-she’s pretty smart;¬†like could be in the cat version of MENSA smart. We recently have had a couple v-e-t visits, taking only one cat at a time. Through these visits, we’ve learned a few techniques for making v-e-t visits a bit easier to take.¬†

1. A few days before going to the vet, get out the cat carrier. This way, the cats can get used to seeing it, and it’ll be less threatening if it doesn’t need to be used right away. Our oldest has even taken to climbing on the top of the carrier and sitting down. Now that I think of it, maybe she was trying to wrestle it into submission. After the trip to the vet, consider keeping the carrier in a more visible place so seeing it regularly becomes the norm.¬†

2. During the car ride over to the vet, put a small catnip toy or blanket in the carrier as an item of comfort. Small enough that it won’t restrict movement. This will help to calm your cat if they don’t enjoy car rides.¬†

3. If your cat is prone to accidents while in the carrier being transported, consider putting down¬†a small towel at the bottom of the carrier to make clean up easier. Take a plastic bag with you to put the dirty towel in. Ours are more likely to wee themselves on the way to the vet, so putting a towel down helps the vet not have to clean up the carrier, and we don’t have to worry about them messing themselves on the way home.¬†

4. If you have more than one cat and only take them to the vet one at a time, be prepared for the one left at home to act out upon your return. We took our youngest to the vet last week, and when we got home, our oldest growled and hissed at the youngest. I could NOT figure out why. After doing a bit of research, the only thing I can think of is that the youngest smelled different. With some patience, and treats, the oldest finally calmed down after a day or so. 

Taking your cat to the vet can be stressful. Hopefully these tips will help to ease the stress. You are not alone! 



*meme depicting the feelings of a cat post v-e-t appears courtesy: icanhascheezeburger.com

If Change Were an Herb it Would be Cilantro……

I love how, as a blogger, inspiration can strike anywhere. Especially in conversation. Yesterday was no different. As I was talking to my mom on the phone, doing our weekly catch up session, I asked what they were doing. Here is her breezy response: “Oh, we are driving around looking at houses.” Panic set in and I managed to utter a “WHAT??” See, when my mom told me this, I thought my parents were moving out of their house. Why did this make me panic, you may ask? Simply this-I hate change (and cilantro, in case you were wondering, but at least the latter and I¬†can tolerate each other in small doses).¬†

As it turns out, my parents are NOT moving, but they simply wanted ideas about how to finish their basement. My mom now knows that she should have led with this little nugget of information. See, I grew up in the house my parents own. We never moved. The interior may have changed a few times, even our address (long story), but we never physically moved from our house. 

It seems that this aversion to change may be steeped deep within my own family. Here are some examples:

1. Many years ago when my siblings and cousins were kids, my grandma B did the unthinkable and changed the wallpaper in her bathroom. We all had fond memories of the wall paper and were so devastated, presumably because we were not consulted prior to its demise, that for christmas that year she gave us each a manilla folder with a piece of the original wallpaper securely taped to the front. I can’t decide if this made her an enabler or the world’s best grandma. For now I’m going with the latter description.

2. If you grew up in a composting family, you probably remember “the bucket.” You know the one I’m talking about. The bucket that was used to hold food scraps collected after every meal. When it was full the bucket would be taken out to the compost pile to begin the biodegrading process. All through my growing up years, we only went through two¬†buckets. Why only two, you ask? Well, it’s simple. Our original compost bucket, of sturdy metal, served us faithfully for many years until a leak in the bottom rendered it useless. ¬†So an alternative bucket was found and promoted. But things were never the same. Sure the bucket did a fine job of holding our leftover scraps, but there was still something missing from our kitchen. So what did my parents do? Yep, they went out and bought one the exact color and shape of the original. ¬†

And what may be the craziest example of an aversion to change within my own family is the story of The Clock:

3. When I was a kid, my parents had an old clock in their kitchen via 1960¬†something. If you’ve ever seen and paid close attention to the US sit-com “Everybody Loves Raymond” you know what clock I’m talking about. Turns out the clock that hangs in Marie Barone’s kitchen is a dead ringer for the clock that I grew up with in my own parent’s kitchen. Unfortunately I am not able to find a picture of said clock, so let me just describe it to you. This clock, of a flat honeycomb shape, was in mosaic style and had tiny pastel ceramic tiles inside of it. The face of the clock was white with black numbers.¬†

Around late 1990-something, the clock bit the dust. Despite a valiant¬†attempt at fixing the clock, the effort failed.¬†Apparently parts for a clock made in the 60’s are not widely available. With sadness, the clock was taken off the wall and a new one purchased. This one was still honey combed shaped, but was solid wood with gold around the face. It took the same position in the kitchen as the old ceramic clock. I can’t remember how long it hung on the wall before it happened. We all began to notice how loud the clock was. With each movement of the hands, the clock sounded like someone was clipping their toenails in a room full of monks who’d taken a vow of silence. After awhile it really began to get on everyone’s nerves.¬†

After living with this annoying clock for months, Christmas morning arrived. My mom received a small box from my dad. Inside the box was a card with an address in Chicago. The address was for a clock maker that specialized in vintage clock parts. The old clock was shipped immediately to the address in Chicago, and joyfully hung back up in my parents kitchen weeks later where it still occupies space today. The loud, toe nail clipping monk clock was moved permanently to a less conspicuous area of the house. 

Change is hard. For some it can be very hard. If you are one that struggles with change, I hope this blog helps you realize you are not alone or in any way crazy–seriously, read the compost bucket story again ūüėČ .¬†



*Wayne’s World¬†meme on change appears courtesy: www.wordstream.com

Tinkle, Tinkle, Little Star

Really needing this LAFF (Lulabelle’s Anxiety Free Friday) humor post as I am feeling rather blah today.¬†

The following video is a parody for a very real product. The first times I watched it I had to pause it in the middle because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. For more comedy stuff visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/RhettandLink

I’ll see you back here Monday! ūüėÄ

To the Parents of the Disabled Child Going Off to College Out of State…..

I’m not a parent of a human, so I can’t completely understand what you are going through, but my parents went through this when I broke family tradition and attended college out-of-state. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Of course It wasn’t something I was looking to do, but when the Lord clearly speaks to your heart, following through is the best option.

Our graduating class was tiny and close. I was quite anxious about moving away to college. Especially since most of my friends would not be joining me. Thankfully my parents supported my decision and were proactive in helping me have a great experience. That is my first piece of advice:

1. Support your child’s decision. Supporting them is one step in helping them maintain independence. If money is a concern, help your child research possible scholarships to defray the cost.

2. Also do some research on doctors in the area that would help with your child’s specific needs. I needed a urologist, an orthopedist,¬†and a neurologist. Fortunately the tiny town I landed in for my first two years of college had all three. We were even able to visit with them during a college visit.

3. If you child has issues walking long distance, look into purchasing a battery operated scooter. This will save your child’s joints in traversing large campuses that may have many hills. This will also help carry all their¬†books. Of course cost is a big hindrance, so look into Vocational Rehabilitation services in your area for assistance. We were able to purchase a battery operated scooter through Voc. Rehab right before I entered college and it was a life saver many times.

4. Now is a great time to contact your child’s college’s Student Life office to talk to them about your child’s specific needs. During a visit, you’ll be able to see if there are things that may need to be modified in terms of accessibility. Bring this up during the visit and when you call, check up on any progress that has been made.

5. Ok, this one is universal and doesn’t just apply to those with a disability: Before you send your child off to college out-of-state, grab a small notebook and write down things they need to remember. For example, remind them what clothes have to be dry-cleaned or hung on a rack to dry. If they are disabled and have medical equipment to care for, include that as well. Divide the notebook into sections such as laundry and equipment maintenance and put sticky flags on each section. My mom did this for me and it was SO handy when I was in college. I even used it after graduation.

Leaving a child at college, especially a disabled child, can be hard on parents. With these 5 tips, I hope it helps you cope. Remember, you are not alone!