Category Archives: Bob Evans

“Lassie” and Television’s Progress

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On Friday, September 12, 2014, 60 years of television had passed by, since “Lassie’s”

first debut episode. The show was simple, meaningful and encompassed all areas of

rural living, (1954 – 1973). When they list the ‘longest lasting television series,’ they

place this show close to top of the list.

 

The years I remember the show, “Lassie,” best had June Lockhart as portraying my

favorite mother of all time. The father was genuinely well-acted by Hugh Reilly and

my favorite little boy, “Timmy,” was played by Jon Provost.

 

Although the leading “human” roles changed over the years, there was always the

faithful dog, “Lassie.” (Many dogs played this role, of course, through the years.) I

enjoyed the various transitions of “Lassie,” having family values and including life

lessons.

 

Fast forward to September and October, 2014 for the New Fall, 2014 television

season.

It would be nearly impossible to picture most of the newest additions to our current

television programming to last ten years, let alone 19 years.

 

The “CSI” and “NCIS” shows are still going strong and on this Fall’s t.v. line-up.

I am going to miss having the original show, “CSI,” with its location of Las Vegas,

when it moves to its new Sunday evening slot. Sunday is my favorite ‘catch up’ night,

with PBS, Hallmark and I still am a big fan of “Once Upon A Time” and “Revenge.”

The new Fall line up is already getting over-crowded on my own Sunday night.

 

I was talking to a good friend who thinks some of the shows sound “silly” and was

pointing out a Columbus Dispatch critic thought Debra Messing would be hard to

imagine being a cop, in the new show called, “”Mysteries of Laura.”

Since I would first respond, I love the silly show, “Mike and Molly.” I may be quite

blasphemous to say that “Mike” would NEVER make it on a real police force, due

to his large size…

Criticism from someone who loves all kinds of wild SyFy shows like, “Haven” and

“Eureka,”  and on regular network t.v., “Under the Dome,” should be wondering

about their own ways they stretch their imagination! I am laughing with you; not

at you, my friend!

 

Can you suspend your sense of disbelief and let your imagination go?

I remember the funny ways we learned, as children to open our ‘escape hatches’

and step into the Lands of Wonderment.

 

I shall try all the shows with female-driven plot lines. They have had ‘good fortune’

in the past. Imagine “The Good Wife” not being on,  not receiving another round of

Emmy Award nominations. I think it is nice to see women in professional situations,

not wearing an ‘apron’ and carrying out the character of a ‘housewife and mother.’

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy programs that have women who have chosen to

stay at home to do

this very important job and having this be part of the plot line, too. Choices are what

makes this a different world from the Fifties and Sixties’ television programming.

 

“We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”

I like the characters in this sweet little show about a single mother with a son, you may

recognize him from big screen movies, I “About a Boy.” I am sadly not pleased with

where they tucked this show into a 9:30 time slot. It is ‘not cute’ but original and quirky.

We, if you are a viewer, are ‘rooting’ for the handsome neighbor man to become the single

mother’s date. Although it is about a boy, it is definitely about the mother, too. Having

raised 3 children on my own, I am particularly happy to watch this one. I also like the

upcoming role of Katherine Heigl getting another chance on television in “State of

Affairs.” While Katherine Heigl left “Grey’s Anatomy,” definitely getting better comedic

roles in movies, she is still sorely missed as the character of “Izzy,” on that show. I am

looking forward to seeing her as a CIA agent. She was funny in “One for the Money,” a

movie based on the hilarious antics of a bondswoman in more than 20 books by Janet

Evanovich.

 

If you liked Tea Leoni’s funny past roles you may have seen her show her acting chops

in serious dramas, too. We will see which direction she heads in, “Madame Secretary.”

She was one of the wackiest women on television for 2 years in a show called, “The Naked

Truth.”

 

I have read a decent review of “Red Band Society.” It is not a “Breakfast Club,” nor

is it one that will be all laughs, but will tackle diseases and illnesses with a touch of

humor and give it an uplifting spin. It is a group of young people who are ones who

have hospital experiences, who are dealing with personal challenges. I picture it more

like the movie, “Stand By Me,” in its tone and togetherness. It is about a ‘band

of young misfits.’

 

Critics are harsh when it comes to some and not so much with others. I remember

when I discovered, “How I Met Your Mother.” It was before the critics endorsed it,

awhile back. I am sad how they chose to end it, with the death of the mother but

happy the main gal, Robin, got her ‘man.’

 

The serious shows genre are tougher to predict. I would imagine Scott Backula will

knock the New Orleans’ version of “NCIS” out of the park. I happen to have liked his

‘goofy’ portrayal of character in “Quantum Leap.” I am not sure about, “Stalkers,” but

will support Dylan McDermott, since he is still okay after all these years since his role

as a non-supportive ‘husband’ for Julia Robert’s dying ‘wife’ role in “Steel Magnolias.”

 

Another serious plot line can be found in “Gracepoint.” (Not to be confused with the

CIA/FBI show about the safe house, “Graceland.”) David Tennant, from the British

show, “Broadchurch,”and Anna Gunn are two strong actors that will head up the

already critically-acclaimed and well-promoted television show. This show is set in a

fictional California coastal community.

 

I think that the “Forever” show that is listed on two consecutive days, for its kick-off

first two episodes sounds good.  Sadly, I lost “Journeyman” and also another traveling

through  time show just in the past two years. I will hope this one ‘sticks’ because I like

the concept. I used to enjoy “Time Tunnel” on television and “Back to the Future,” on

the movie screen.

 

I have been a fan of Josh Dushamel ever since the show, “Vegas.” I have enjoyed his

forte into romantic comedies, too. The actor, Dushamel will be on a new show called,

“Battle Creek,” This will be loosely based on likely crimes to be found in Battle Creek,

Michigan. His co-star/partner will be that of Dean Winters. You will recognize him,

but not necessarily ‘place’ him. I will check this one out simply because I love crime-

solving television series.

 

I will return to comedies. This is what a good friend in Lancaster, Ohio mentioned

when we turned 50: “Try to laugh more, watch comedies!”

I came up with a slogan, which I will hope no one else has coined:

“Humor is found in the ‘ear’ of the listener.”

(“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”)

So, if you liked “My Favorite Martian” did you ever try 2 seasons of “Neighbors?”

I think not, since it did not make it. This was clever, witty writing with four likable

adults, along with poking fun at Suburbia. I will miss this, unless it is on a later

schedule, it did not make the ‘cut.’

 

If you liked “Scrubs,” you probably followed the guy who was the janitor on over

into “The Middle,” who became the ever patient, sometimes ‘clueless’ Dad in this

sit-com. This also includes Patricia Heaton, who played the Mom/wife roles in

“Everyone Loves Raymond.”

 

If you liked “Taxi,” “Barney Miller” and “Psych,” you may have discovered last year’s

Emmy-awarding comedy, “Brooklyn 9-9.” Hilarious, quirky and goofy at times, but

watch out, you may laugh out loud anyway.

 

I am wishing that Nielson’s Rating chart were in my mailbox, because I had such a

lovely time about eight years ago, studying and analyzing the television Fall Season

Line-ups back then. The first time I had the full control of a remote control.  I wrote

some comprehensive and profuse notes for those receiving my multiple page Nielson

Ratings Report. I  am not a paid writer nor do I write for a newspaper. I was able to

honestly say this, it was all for the love of television and the future of programming

that I was inspired to carry out my ‘duties’ in this report.

 

My final thoughts on the Progress television has made since “Lassie” was on.

You are invited to ‘debate’ these comments, too. I love a good and lively discussion!

 

I personally feel current shows embrace more ethnicities, culture and show characters

with wider world views in our programming. They encompasses much more ‘diversity’

on television since my childhood days. This means the people who are represented

are not stereotyped as much, anymore.

 

I like that there are two children with special needs included in some popular shows.

I recommend, “Parenthood,” and if you have never seen this, start by watching the

first shows. It is cool to watch this fine young actor, “grow up” with two caring

‘parents’ who disagree about how to handle him, along with a supportive ‘family.’

I am not sure how they would ‘label’ the character, “Brick,” in the show “The Middle,”

but the family accepts him just as he is.

I feel the shows today give better examples of the way families really act, showing

varied relationships, how to handle or not able handle serious and controversial

subjects such as addictions, challenges and sexual orientations.

 

We have heroes and villains. The same as in the past, sometimes more graphically

(and honestly presented.)

 

World conflicts and images are horrifying.  We cannot ignore what is going on, bury

our head in the sand. Powerful, and yet maddening, events are daily depicted (some

consider, ‘bombarded’) on our television sets.

We are urged to ‘act’ and ‘choose’ which side of the dilemmas we will take, as a nation

and other countries must, too.

Along with this serious, somewhat negative impact of television’s immediacy to

situations, we have positives.

We have the opportunity to watch the Olympics, sporting events and international

specials, shown across the world. My coworkers and friends from the Philippines

were captivated by Pope Francis being chosen to be the Roman Catholic Pope.

Other friends were entranced by the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana. Then,

many followed the tragic ending to Lady Diana’s life. They were hopeful for the

more recent wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The baby’s birth and

now, the next one on its way, are subjects that many feel are happy bits of news.

 

History, social studies, geography and science are subjects of programs, for

everyone to  learn about, grow to enjoy and get more educated. There are so

many fascinating shows to watch. Nature, musical and art works may never be viewed

or listened to, first hand. Other countries and animals, places that may not be within

everyone’s budget or ability to travel.

 

Some people are not necessarily able to buy or read the newspaper. They find out

information about the world they live in, from the television news shows.

Hurray For National Geographic, Travel Channel, PBS, Weather Channel and

other quality network programming!

 

We have real and make-believe images still, with our magic carpet rides taking off,

from our own homes.

 

There are subjects and shows I may never care to watch. I embrace and support

those who like QVC shopping, cooking shows, reality shows and true dramas,

because they are part of the wide community of television watchers.

 

Many of the shows I choose to watch, you may not want to watch. I got hooked on a

soap opera, during our second break at work. For the past six years, I am ‘guilty’ of

watching, “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

All the years I stayed home and babysat, I did not watch any soap operas. I did in

college, much to the chagrin of my parents, when I mentioned I was scheduling my

courses around a couple of soap operas!

 

I was listening, the first year of American Idol, to all the animated conversations in

the teachers’ break room. They were talking about the ‘bad’ try-outs and the odd

characters. It was in the very beginning of the national search for those who would

make it to “Hollywood.” This caught my attention and I am so glad that I started

watching it.  I can say, “I remember when I first heard Carrie Underwood’s fantastic

voice, was medium built and had frizzy hair!” Along with several well-known singers

who made it to the Top Ten or higher.

 

I am grateful that I don’t have to sit on a sofa and listen to radio to imagine the

great radio characters of the “Green Hornet,” “Gracie Allen and George Burns,”

or how the President of the United States looks like as he is speaking. I enjoy

hearing my Mom’s excitement when she heard about Amelia Earhart’s trans-

Atlantic plane trip and her memories of the “Fireside Chats,” with President

Roosevelt, though.

 

I liked how we  used to watch to find out if we had school on Snow Days. Later,

if our children or grandchildren have school cancelled. I enjoy watching to see

how ‘my’ candidates or ‘my’ issues are doing, as the voting polls report in their

results.

 

I am saddened that there are blind people who cannot see, but grateful for the

inventions of special devices and increased equipment due to new technology

allowing them ‘to see’ the shows. The descriptions of the setting, characters and

other visual ‘clues’ are given. I have read about these and think the inventors are

brilliant for creating and providing this service. There are new creations in hearing-

impaired equipment, too.

 

Many people cannot afford to go to the movies or take a vacation with their families.

They may not go to Broadway but on PBS, they can see a Broadway play or musical.

They get their main form of entertainment from television.

 

There are others, lying on their back sometimes, healing from surgery or permanent

disabilities. My Dad liked to watch the comedies, while getting his chemo treatments.

Laughing made him feel so much better on those days he was nauseous.

 

The elderly in the nursing home I worked at for 4 1/2 years, liked to watch the shows

on TV Land, old reruns of “Lawrence Welk” and  “Bonanza,” along with their church

programming on Sunday mornings. The beauty of fireworks in our country and

celebrations around the world, brought big smiles to their faces. They enjoyed, as

I still do, the lovely creations in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

 

We get a sense of conscience from our ‘small screens.’  The night I watched, “Stand

Up 2 Cancer” impacted me, along with millions of other people watching. It moved

us to donate to some form of Cancer (Society) fund-raising, including Hospice Care,

research and local hospitals.

 

Remember “One Small Step for Mankind?” We now look forward to continued

space travel, inventions and research. When we hear of satellites making it to

Mars or other planets this gives us information that we may use in the future.

 

A quote about freedom from H.L. Mencken, American author and journalist

(1880-1956):

“We must be willing to pay a price for freedom,

for no price that is ever  asked for it,

is half the cost of doing without it.”

 

My soap box, put away for now. . .

 

 

 

What do you watch?

Have you heard about any new t.v. show compelling you

to ‘set your DVR’?

 

These Boots. . .

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Of course, this is one example of how just the beginning words of a song

can send you back in time, evoke memories or irritate you, depending on

the particular words! “These boots are made for walking…” sung by Nancy

Sinatra, came out in February, 1966. The lyrics and melody were written

by Lee Hazelwood.

Of course, these boots were an example of figurative speech and they were

usually viewed during this era to be, “go go boots!” I would like to switch over

to pre-Civil War days, when good ole’ cowboy boots were more prevalent.

Some interesting facts are they came about due to necessity, ability to handle

all sorts of inclement weather and using leather to hold up, for the long haul.

I had not realized that the heels were made to be tall, to be able to latch onto

the stirrups on the side of the horse, attached to the saddle.

Many of you out West and South know the purpose to cowboy boots, I always

viewed them as ‘cute’ boots that my brothers wore with their leather vests

and chaps, along with the accompaniment of a “Sheriff” badge, made out of

stamped tin silver.

My oldest daughter was quite fond of the ability to slide her tights-encased

feet into her Daddy’s little boy cowboy boots. They were made of  rugged dark

brown leather with tan stitching, that looked like ropes lassoing and winding

around. She had discovered that the more you wear the leather boots, the more

they ‘fit’ and conform to your feet.

I loved the way she was my ‘frilly’ girl, wearing dresses into her grade school

years. Those cowboy boots were easy to slip on, then clomp around in, making

quite a racket on hardwood floors! The third year she saw Santa Claus in her life,

with her wearing a pretty Christmas dress and white tights on, is my favorite

pose of hers wearing boots! No ‘go go boots,’ for her! I have a picture of her

wearing a pair of high heeled black dress boots on the day of her best friend,

Jennifer’s 21st birthday that nearly meets the high emotions I get when I see her

on that Christmas, 1983!

When I saw Willie Nelson’s photograph, in a beautiful pair of smooth and

shiny black leather cowboy boots,  inside of my recent “AARP Magazine” and

gracing the cover of my daughter’s “Rolling Stones” magazine, too. Later after

getting my mail seeing the still ‘mighty fine’ man, Jeff Bridges on the outside

cover. Then inside he is talking about his days in western movies, like “Crazy

Heart”  and “True Grit,” (remade) where he wore cowboy boots. . .

I just had to learn more about cowboy boots!

There is an author, Jennifer June, whose recent book, “Art and Sole,” came

out with all kinds of modern pieces of artwork in decorating cowboy boots

that is well worth skimming and like I did, looking at the fantastic art on

current boots. Isn’t that the cleverest title?

Side tracking,  I enjoyed years ago (1993) a great movie, called, “Heart and

Souls.” If you wish to think of what is happening in the hearafter, with a

big dose of humor and fun,  check out this one! I am so pleased that the

members of this movie, are all still with us, gracing the ‘silver screen.’

With Robert Downey, Jr., Alfre Woodard, Charles Grodin, Elisabeth Shue

and Kyra Sedgwick, this is a four star movie cast!

The subject of cowboy boots, with its incredible industry with various

successful companies really could fill  several books! Country western stars,

some who may have never ridden a horse grace the musical scene. The show,

“Nashville,” made it through two seasons, I believe.

“Red Wings,” is a big name in cowboy boots and work boots, too. The artists

who are part of the company, “Rocket Busters,” stitch and design, paint and

create flair using boot leather as their “canvas.” Looking at many of the lovely

patterns, I decided if I ever lived near horses, were going out to enjoy a date

with a cowboy, I would choose their “Chandelier” design. Another company to

check out, its roots in Texas, is Justin Brand Boots, or simply “Justin’s boots.”

In honor of Willie Nelson I will share a few of his passions:

He loves the woman he married in 1991, Annie. He loves his sons and thinks that

when them, Micah, Lucas and he play their guitars and sing, they are ‘as good as

it gets.’ For 50 years or more, his sister, Bobbie, has been part of his bus touring

group. His two daughters, Amy and Lana, also like to travel on the road with

him.

He is a big supporter of migrant workers, enjoys seeking home grown vegetables

and fruits, in a fair market value system. He is supportive of farmers all across

the world. Willie is 81 and just passed this fifth degree black belt in Korean

martial arts!

Willie’s song on his album, “Band of Brothers,” I recommend to you. It is

called, “I’ve Got a Lot of Traveling to Do.” Willie passé on this final thought in

his recent article,  he admits it is not original but worth repeating!

“Don’t slow down – – –

They might be gaining on you!”

Cowboy Boots:

Roy Rogers wore them.

 

Roy made the boots quite popular!

I cannot help myself, I wanted you to know Roy’s ‘real’ name was Leonard

Franklin Slye, he lived from 1911 – 1998, with his second wife and he making

it to 51 years together! Known as the “King of Cowboys,” he seemed to deserve

this legendary title.

 

Dale Evans wore them.

Elvis wore them.

Governor Rick Perry wears them.

Both Presidents Bush, Senior and Junior wore them.

 

Do you wear them?

 

I had a babysitter who lived out on a farm, her children and I liked to feed the

baby lambs baby bottles of milk. This was in her farmhouse kitchen in the

winter time. I loved being out in the country but have never owned a pair of

cowboy boots! I guess living in a town,(Sandusky, Ohio) then close to a big city,

(Cleveland) I considered myself a ‘city’ girl!

 

If I decide to go out and buy some cowboy boots, do you have a favorite brand

to recommend I try?

 

 

 

Announcing Ohio State Fair, 2014

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Entertainment and relationships have been found and made

stronger from attending lively musical performances and

riding on fair or amusement park rides. This year has

already been forecasted to be a hot summer, by the 2014

Farmer’s Almanac and meteorologists.

Where do you go that is not exorbitant in cost and get

the ‘most bang for your buck?’ The Ohio State Fair!

From July 23 – August 3rd…

I am sure that your area of the world may have wonderful

cultural events, festivals, zoos and botanical gardens

to enjoy.

The CBS news broadcasters (Channel 10 in Central Ohio)

recently gave us the upcoming partial list of singers

and entertainers who will perform at the Ohio State Fair.

Here are a few of them:

Lady Antebellum will deliver a great country and popular

musical performance. They are easy on the ‘eyes’ and

‘ears.’ Their concert will be held on July 25, 2014.

Joan Jett will be bringing her excitement and enthusiasm,

along with some ‘retro style’ (of the 80’s) ‘rock and

roll’ music.

Going even farther back in time, Aretha Franklin, The

Beach Boys, Nancy Wilson and Heart will be performing

for those who have nostalgia and deep pockets.

The American Idol night will include Scotty McCreary’s

deep vocalizations and country combined with pop style

music, (July 27, 2014) All the concerts will be held

in the air-conditioned Celeste Center.

I used to love to go to the Ohio State Fair, where

the coliseum and the bleachers were all one price.

Past personal experiences of fair entertainment was

so incredibly diverse. I have seen The Beach Boys,

Huey Lewis and the News, Kenny Rogers, Three Dog

Night, Alabama, Kenny Loggins, and many more singers:

All For Free, with the cost of Fair admission.

That time has been ‘long gone,’ sad to say!

There are many other directions other than music, to

go and see at the Ohio State Fair. There are all the

wonderful 4-H exhibits of crafts, cooking, domestic

animals, and even Rodeos! I enjoy the Amish hand-

crafted wagons, which are proudly displayed, along

with demonstrations of their skills in maneuvering.

I was lucky enough, to stumble across this with

an ex-boyfriend who loved horses. We sat and watched

several of these ‘programs’ in the Coliseum. It was

amazing to watch the beautiful horses showing both

obedience and majesty, with their heads held high

and their clopping hooves kicking up the sawdust.

I like to head towards the Natural Resources area as

the day gets warmer. There is a large prairie, filled

with original Ohio plant life. The Ohio animals display

includes wolves, coyotes, owls, songbirds, and other

interesting living native species to Ohio. There are

many trees, where you can feel refreshed, sitting and

listening to country style music, once you have toured

the area to see the ‘sights.’

Every year my children were young, they liked to go

see a huge Smokey the Bear, where there was a person

out front, who would ask questions about the children,

or they could ask Smokey ones, and the ‘helper’ would

help fill in the blanks to allow Smokey to talk to

the child. My children ‘fell’ for this for a few years,

then politely did not let my youngest daughter in on

the secret. It was like an Ohio trip to Disneyland,

where children are so in awe of the costumed actors

from their favorite fairy tales.

You may wish, in this Natural Resources area to view

loggers trying to stay on their logs, while there are

fishermen, (children can fish for free) on a man-made

lake in the center of this cooler, shady area.

There is even a place to ‘clean’ the fish and fry

them, if you should wish to!

One special area of the fair, that my brother Randy

used to enter his artwork,is the Fine Arts Building.

I always go to see our native Ohioans who are both

creative and artistic. It is air-conditioned and they

have a guided tour with ear phones, along with a kids’

packet that has the kids looking for certain details

and checking them off, very interactive!

Lastly, if you come to Ohio during midsummer, make

sure you come to see the Butter Cow, along with the

very unique and artistic butter sculptures that are

crafted annually.

I think it is interesting that the butter sculptures

have included tributes to John Glenn with his space

craft, the Wright Brother’s and their airplane, along

with the Ohio Children’s Choir.

I am sure you can check out some examples of such fine

and varied artistic renderings out of butter on their

website. As an aside, have you ever seen the hilariously

funny, yet poignant movie the Midwest custom of having

butter sculpture competitions? This one is focused on

the Iowa State Fair.

The movie simply named, “Butter,’ has such recognizable

actors as Jennifer Garner.

Now, I cannot write about the upcoming Summer event of

the Ohio State Fair without reminding you that our

cooking demonstrations and fair food cannot be beat!

There are all cultures represented in their trailers

where FDA inspects and the BBB endorses all the foods

prepared there. I would write an ‘ode’ to such delights

as the deep fried Snickers candy bars, Oreos and even

enjoy the deep fried pickles, too. There cannot be a

food that is not included on this fair’s menu! If you

want simple ‘home cooking’ you can go to the Bob Evans’

booth.

If you would like to eat some Ohio/Lake Erie fish, you

can catch it yourself, as mentioned, or you can seek out

a Walleye Fish Sandwich. You can go to Schmidt’s that has

been around for over 100 years to get a Cream Puff or a

Brat sandwich combo with sauerkraut and/or German Potato

Salad. You may purchase beers and other alcoholic beverages

inside the gates, where your photo ID will be necessary

and our state law is must be 21 years or older to purchase.

I personally like the homemade ice cream and also, the

funnel cakes. I choose to eat a Greek gyro, which includes

sour cream or a special Greek garlic sauce, chopped lettuce,

tomatoes and onions, too. Mmmm! Good!

I have hopefully enticed you to try out your local fairs,

just for the memories you and your friends or children will

have afterwards! If you go to Kroger’s or another grocery

store, they usually have discount tickets and if you are a

Veteran, there is a free day, as long as you bring some form

of identification!

Enjoy and looking forward to seeing you in my Home State: Ohio.

Let me know if you are coming!

Fully Engaged vs. Disengaged Parenting

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While eating at a family restaurant, Bob Evans, last Friday evening

my friend and I noticed a group of people that were related at the

next table. I am going to say they probably were a family but their

meal did not “look” like a family meal. Both my friend and I placed

a “judgement” on their dining out together. We were watching off

and on, throughout the meal how they acted towards each other.

There were two children and two adults, a man and a woman who

ordered their meal and then proceeded to ignore their children.

The children were surpisingly quiet but they colored, fidgeted and

yet were not disruptive. One girl got under the table, only about

five years old, the other one, a boy, who may have been seven or

so, mentioned to his parents, “Sophie is under the table.”

What were the parents doing? Both were either checking emails

or writing texts the entire meal. I heard only a few words uttered

towards the children, “Behave yourself!” and “Get out from under

that table, Sophie!”

When the children were messy, the father sharply and rather loudly

told his “wife?” partner, date, who would know since they just didn’t

seem to “act like a famly!”

“Will you get that ketchup off Stevie’s face?” and

“Sophie, act like a lady!”

Then, when partner did not respond, said, “For Pete’s sake, Stevie,

don’t you feel the mess on your face? You have ketchup all over your

chin!”

I remarked to my friend, “I wonder if they still adhere to those archaic

words,

“Children are best to be seen and not heard!”

Then, we launched into a discussion about my recent grocery store

experience. There was a woman who was almost frantic in her arm

movements and facial expressions. She was rushing with two kids

in her cart. One of those carts that have a car with seats in it that

fits children who are pushed along with the groceries. When she

got upset, had stopped to study some products and out popped

one of the children, out of the cart, she grabbed the little tyke’s

arm and proceeded to give a quick smack on his rump.

While doing this, she said these famous words that many parents

used to say, ‘ This will teach you to stay in the cart! You better

learn how to act in a grocery store!” Of course, the child may have

been exaggerating his “hurt” but he did let out a bellow!

This promptly was accompanied by another smack on his behind.

I am not saying this is “bad” nor needing social services’ attention!

I just would like to share a novel idea that my oldest daughter came

up with.

My daughter went to a store around here called the Dollar Tree. She

bought three coupon holders that have different sections in them.

My grandsons were only 3 and 6 when she decided that going to

the grocery store meant if she were going to get exercise, going

up and down the aisles, then her two boys needed it, too. While

at home, she gave each child a pair of safety scissors and gave

them some coupons to cut. She always gets a set or two from

my “bag” that I get at my apartment. People are always throwing

them away. The 3 year old used t draw circles with his crayons for

the products he would like to look for. Now that he is four years

old, he cuts the ones he likes. (Toddlers do need extra time to cut

because this is usually a hand over hand activity.)

Also, my daughter will cut the names off the cereal boxes, like

Cheerios and Raisin Bran to give them to put in their coupon

holders. My one grandson likes to write down ideas while watching

t.v. at night, when he sees commercials.

What is all this time spent with the boys doing? It is engaging their

interest in a rather tedious and boring activity. They enjoy this! They

don’t realize that grocery shopping is a “chore.” They think it is an

adventure!

If you are from somewhere else, or have no idea what a coupon

holder is, it is a sectioned off folder that is about the size of a wallet.

The sections have fruits and vegetables, cereals or breads, frozen

foods, cleaning products, etc. I am sure they vary but it has a big

rubber band attached that keeps it all closed up until needed to

be looked at.

While at the doctor’s office, when I would take literally my own

3 children plus 4-5 extras (my babysitting crew) I would bring a

backpack with little books, tablets and drawing materials. I would

also show the older kids how to make those dots on a page that

you can connect to make squares and put your initial into. My

six grandchildren have seen this way of making up a game out

of nothing. The youngest, age 2, doesn’t know how to do it, but

she will watch and sometimes her older sister, Lara, will call it

a “team effort.”

When there are some parents who say those other archaic words,

“Act like a lady!”

I am always wondering do they mean one of these fine women who

were leaders, innovators, strong examples, or professionals?

Somehow, the words don’t apply to Annie Oakley, Amelia Earhart,

Gloria Steinhem, Clara Barton, Madame Marie Curie, Eleanor

Roosevelt and I would think that sweet as she was, even Mother

Theresa would say, “Please don’t define me as a lady, don’t give

me a label like that!”

Lastly, I am going to strongly “pan” a new television show. If you

have not seen the new show, “Mom” please don’t waste your time!

It has two fine actresses who are also funny comediennes, Anna

Faris and Allison Janney. If you have never seen West Wing, then

you missed a great show and Ms. Janney was a wonderful part

of why I enjoyed it. She has also been in a number of movies,

including what is a sweet story, “Juno.” Although it has teen

pregnancy in it, it has nothing else similar to the new t.v. show.

“Mom” has a story line where the grandmother (Ms. Janney) of the

family was a teen mother, she drank, did cocaine and engaged in

other poor habits. Her daughter, (Ms. Faris) was also a teen mom,

who drank, she is currently a server at a restaurant where she is

having an affair with her married boss. The youngest female, a

teenager who finds out she is pregnant in the first show, has a

fairly nice boyfriend who is kind of a hippie, who may make a

good father. But, my main fault with all of this is, don’t we want

to become better than our parents? Don’t we want the best

possible for the children? And last, but not least, doesn’t anyone

think that this is not funny subject matter? AT ALL?

I realize they think they are trying to improve their lives by going

to AA. I would never make fun of nor discredit this in any way. I

definitely spent some time in AA meetings, Alanon and Alateen

with my children. (My children’s father is a working alcoholic

and I wanted to know all about it, tried counseling and those

forums, too. I believe in alcoholism being a family disease, was

trying to prevent it!)

I also am not making fun of teen pregnancy, my daughter in law

had two children while young (19 for the first and 21 for the second)

and I love her and those kids. But, guess what? I know for sure she

is going to promote abstinency, later on, birth control and waiting

for each stage. From her experience, she wishes she had had more

time to grow up herself before having children.

The show is to me another example of disengaged parenting.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the couple in Bob Evans and the distraught

and harried mother in the grocery store had some perspective

that helped them see, it is only a very short and finite period of your

life that you can parent.

Please consider this:

It is never a waste of time to invest your moments with your children

(nieces, nephews, grandchildren, neighbor’s children…)

with the best intentions.