Category Archives: letting go

The meaning behind kisses

Standard

My coworker and friend’s words stopped me in my tracks yesterday.

Amy said, “Roy doesn’t kiss me.”

I turned to look at her, my beautiful and lively horse-backing friend,

owner of Spirit and Lokie.

I have worried about her, since the beginning of the year, when her

divorce was finalized. She has been a single woman trying her ‘wings’

lately, with a man named Tom and another named Roy.

Her grown children have been more on the side of her ex, even despite

the fact that he is the one who has notably, in over 25 years of marriage,

had affairs.

Twelve years ago, he had children with another woman, for Pete’s sake!

Amy allowed the twins to visit at her home, living proof of his rampant

unfaithfulness. She would have tolerated this forever. She was a believer

in marriage and its lasting forever, ‘for better or worse!’

This last time, her husband had chosen a woman who was a neighbor,

who had been a so-called ‘friend.’ This would have been my ‘last straw!’

Only after this ‘other’ woman ‘made’ him get a divorce to marry her, was

Amy released from a private ‘hell’ that she had been in, for so long. It is

hard for her to know what to do with her new freedom.

Men have been coming ‘out of the woodwork’ to ask her out on dates.

She has been enjoying all the attention. I have been happy for her, listening

to her different stories.

So, what was this about kissing?!

I thought every man who dated a woman, would eventually kiss them!

Roy has been in her life for about 5 months, the brother of the stable

owner.

Roy is a past rodeo cowboy and his photograph shows a sturdy, thin

attractive Clint Eastwood type. Amy likes him a lot more than the Tom

guy.

I have been listening to her ‘soap opera,’ for many months, while most

of the other order fillers have begun to ‘tune her out.’

Or worse, make fun of her, behind her back!

I have ‘been there, done that,’ as far as my dating history and failed

relationships.

So I understand the need to validate behaviors along with needing a

‘listening and sympathetic ear.’

“Amy!”

I used my stern voice to exclaim,

“What in the world are you talking about? You have had multiple dates

with Roy! You go to Indian Lake and stay in a cabin with him!”

She looked at the ground, saying,

“I was afraid you would lecture me about this! He never kisses me.”

I answered in an upset tone,

“Well, I think about Julia Roberts’s prostitute role, explaining to Richard

Gere’s character, how people aren’t allowed to kiss on the mouth, no

matter how much they pay their prostitute.”

(“Pretty Woman,” movie reference.)

I added hastily,

“You are not one, of course!”

Amy looked sheepishly at me,

“I was really hoping you were going to give me an example of someone

who did this, who was intimate with you but still preferred not to kiss!”

I could feel my brow creasing, my furrow between my eyes deepening

with my concern and caring for her. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings or

make a hasty judgment about Roy, but. . .

“No, haven’t experienced this one before, Amy! I honestly have had only

one man who didn’t like to open mouth kiss, but that didn’t last long.

Sorry, as time went on, it got annoying kissing someone like I did my Dad

and brothers!”

And I knew this would not be what she wanted to hear but I had to add this:

“Amy, you need to back away from Roy. There is something seriously wrong

that you two have slept together and never kissed!”

Amy came to Roy’s defense,

“But Robin, he gives great foot and back massages!”

I told her that once my ex-husband and I broke up, I dreamed about being

kissed. I wanted those lingering, sweet trembling moments that would make

my knees quiver and shake!

I even had daydreamed and pictured special kisses, where my soul would

glide into another’s soul, finally knowing what the concept of “Being One”

would mean!

I also wondered aloud,

“Don’t you want the silky, sexy kisses which turn into passionate, arousing

ones?”

My brothers are very different in their hugging modes, one is a sideways,

pat on the back or shoulder kind of guy, while the other gives great, warm

bear hugs. Both love me and are my best guy friends in the world! I did not

want to go into past men in my life or details. It is best to keep the

past in the past.

I told her my personal thoughts about ‘romance.’

“I feel slow dancing and passionate kisses are foreplay!”

I saw her shoulders drop and she turned to what she had been doing,

since her job is to count products in the bins, (Cycle Count department.)

I passed her with my long hampers, filling them with cords, wipers and

other longer items. The line was going the other way, away from Amy.

When it came time for break, she was happy again, telling me that Roy

had her to do something with him later that night. She felt that he was

going to do something special.

She thought, maybe they would talk about the lack of kissing.

“Maybe he is a ‘germaphobe?'” she wondered.

I nodded my head and told her the most validating thing I could think

of at the time,

“Whatever floats your boat, Amy. Remember to always be true to

yourself!”

 

Have you ever been in a relationship where one of you didn’t like to kiss?

Was there any psychological or meaningful reason for this?

I could give Amy some explanation, if I were better prepared!

Or is it like I fear? That this is a way to put distance between them, like

a wall between them? Is Roy doing this so that Amy isn’t bound to him?

I worry about her being ‘used’ by someone who is not appreciating her

the way she deserves to be.

“Greased Lightning”

Standard

My Dad liked to think he could fix cars. He was great with carpentry and other

‘fix it’ jobs. In what we considered his ‘domain,’ the garage, there was a long,

wooden table with a clamp on it, some shelves that held some clear baby food jars

with all sorts of odds and ends in them, neatly sorted and able to see what you

needed, at a moment’s notice.  As far as car repairs went, other than oil and tire

changes. . .

Dad wasn’t the best mechanic!

I thought about all those fathers out there again, while mailing my Uncle Orrin’s

and two brothers’ Father’s Day cards out today. I wish to thank all the fathers in

the world,  for their sharing the responsibility of raising children. Your efforts will

surely ‘pay big dividends’ in your relationship with the kids. Whatever you ‘put into

this special parenthood,’ I believe, will come back to you. There are rare occasions

that this doesn’t happen, for those times, I am remorseful and hoping this doesn’t

ever happen to you.

I believe all those men who have helped women out, as neighbors, teachers, friends

and relatives all need to get a round of applause! I appreciate the men who were not

birth fathers, ones who became good stepdads. By throwing balls, playing games

and allowing their bodies to be human ‘jungle gyms!’ (My artistic brother, Randy,

did this best! He liked to really horse around and ‘rough house!’)

My other brother, Rich, was the calm one who read books, sat down to play games

and really listened to my children’s early attempts at reading and telling stories.

What a great balance these two men, (while I was alone, raising my kids), made!

Susan and Rich are the biggest movie goers (and also, theatre goers) I know! They

were great at also taking my kids to these also. What a treat!

They were known for kidnapping, coming down from Cleveland unexpectedly,

for a hike or a canoe trip at Alum Creek or Delaware State Park. If they called me,

I could meet them ‘halfway up the road,’ so they could take them to Mohican State

Park. Marrying Susan was an awesome addition to our family, because she was a

‘package deal,’ coming with three ‘built-in’ cousins for my children!

My brother, Randy, was known to come by our house and pick the three kids and me

up! Off we would go, to the zoo, to camping places or to a nice out of the way natural

setting. (My parents belonged to a camping organization called, Good Sam Club,

so they were often where we would head together to meet to camp and have a nice

meal, campfire and even, miniature golfing.)

If my Dad were around, we would have water play, with all kinds of noodles, boats,

rafts and other paraphernalia. His and my Mom’s cottage, up on Lake Erie, was a

respite for me, weary from babysitting 5 plus my 3, for all those years! It was more

than another set of hands, it was living by “Grandparents’ Rules!” So nice to know

someone was taking over, allowing chaos to ensue, without any consequences or

my having to lecture or punish, since mainly “Anything Goes” or went, as the case

may be!

This has nothing to do with Father’s Day, but I must divulge a secret!

My parents ‘made’ us eat brussel sprouts, spinach, lima beans and other green

vegetables. We had to stay at the table, until a majority of our food was gone.

Somehow, these rules were thrown out the window, once the grandchildren

came along! In their station wagon or their Transvan, there were chips, pretzels,

Cheetos, Good and Plenty candies, peanuts in the shell, and any other snacks

that were not meltable. If you were to open their freezer, while we were kids,

there was always Neopolitan ice cream or ice cream sandwiches. Sometimes,

we would have simply popsicles. My Dad would take a sharp knife and cut slices

of the pink, brown and white  to put in a bowl for us.

Once I produced grandchildren, times had changed! There were all varieties of

ice cream, one of my favorites suddenly was around: Chocolate Chip Cookie

Dough. My Mom’s favorite became “Moosetracks,” while my Dad’s favorite

was Butter Pecan or Pralines and Cream. They had caramel and chocolate

syrup now! They were like an ice cream parlor, in all its deliciousness!

Rewards of being a parent of said grandchildren, meant that you also could

avoid vegetables and other important daily food requirements, skip breakfast

and eat donuts or ice cream…

This is pretty much a rambling post, but I will get back to the poem that may

fit the subject.

To All the Dads, Fathers, Uncles, Step Dads or Other Meaningful People

Who Have Provided Good Role Models for Children.

I have been inspired by my silly Advance Auto position as a Bins Order Filler, to

write a Father’s Day poem.

This is mainly using car terminology, the fun that can be had while traveling

around in cars or fixing them, too. Multiple applications of car parts inserted

into a wordplay-sort- of- poetry way.

“Zooming into Father’s Day”

by reocochran

June 12, 2014

“Start your engines.

Ignite your energy.

Spark your hearts.

Plug in your sparks.

Ready. . .

Set,

Go!

Children are shouting,

Moms are smiling,

Families are celebrating~

Dads around the world.

Driving in the country,

Winding curves,

Come to a complete stop,

Parking at a special place.

Unpacking food and coolers,

Picnic baskets, charcoal and

Everything needed to party.

Use some elbow grease,

Pitching in with side dishes.

Hamburgers and hot dogs,

Another one will roll off

The Assembly Line.

Desserts are eaten,

Children scattered to

Swings,

Slides,

Merry go rounds,

and

Parents relax.

 

Smells like gas.

Is it the baby or the car?

 

Don’t muffle the noise,

Turn the radios up!

Spray paint is for  car details,

No graffiti on park benches.

Flags waving,

If only in our minds.

Racing to the finish,

We won’t stop till…

We are ‘tire’d.”

 

Three more days to go until the Big Day for Dad comes!

 

“Grease” was written by Jim Jacobs and  Warren Casey.

“Grease” musical was first performed at the Kingston Mines Theatre

in Chicago, Illinois in 1971. It became popular as a stageplay and later,

as a movie, with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

“Greased Lightning” was a song, that began while the teens, Danny and

Sandy,  are at a drive-in movie.

 

What was your father talented at?

What is a favorite memory of your Dad?

Is there someone else who played an important part in your childhood,

who you would rather comment about?

 

 

A Walk Towards Easter

Image

This is a good one to read, if you are following some

Lenten ‘walks’ which have you choosing to set aside

technology and giving up other outlets. We may need to

have more peace, quiet and meditation while we contemplate

God’s gift of his Son. This is taken from Ann Weems’ book,

“Kneeling in Jerusalem,” (1992).

Here is a poem by Ann Weems:

“Winding Down”

We run around the World and the church

like wound-up toys,

looking for a way to get to Easter

without reading the instructions.

When we wind down,

We lie on our faces,

unable to move.

Perhaps in the still and silence,

God will give us the courage

to see our souls

and give us the chance

once more

to choose Life;

Faith, rather than frenzy.”

Collectibles and Memories

Standard

Coins, stamps, trains, toys, dolls, books, antique or

Matchbox cars, comic books, glass menageries, art, music,

or salt and pepper shakers… all have a common denominator

of being sought after, collected and sometimes, even being

part of a traveling Americana museum collection. What do

you seek out, cherish and collect?

When I was young, there were dolls with the name of Betsy

and Cathy. Did you ever have a “Betsy Wetsy” or a doll

named, “Chatty Cathy?” I always enjoyed the magazine

called, “McCall’s.” Inside this women’s magazine, my Mom

after reading it cover to cover, would allow me to cut

out and paste onto cardboard, a paper doll named Betsy

McCall.

The popular paper doll named “Betsy” soon had her mother,

father, cousin, friends and pets added to cut out. The

fashions on these dolls was always of interest to me,

too.

Can you believe I had an album of over 60 magazine

issues’ worth of Betsy McCall, carefully cut out and

pasted onto cardboard and put between sheets of plastic

film?

I tried to sell it, hoping to make some money on the

album. Alas, no one wanted to purchase this. I gave it

to an antique shop, where the man had been so helpful,

showing me current values of items using the internet,

Craigs’ List and e-Bay.

This shopkeeper, Henry, is the husband of one of the

‘cafeteria ladies’ where my kids attended school. Due

to heart and health problems, Henry lost his career of

being a race car mechanic.

Henry was always honest and sympathetic to my concerns

of giving up things. He sometimes purchased items, close

to “auction” or “market values.”

He was such a sweetie, not getting upset, as I carted

boxes into his shop. I ended up giving him quite a few

items, including NASA ash trays and a book of matchbook

covers. He had found a ‘lucrative’ buyer, splitting

costs with me, as he would send them off via UPS, then

receiving payments through the mail.

I kept only one album of matchbook covers of Ohio places

that I had actually been to. Apparently, it is quite rare

to find matches sold in their little folded-cardboard

state or the staple taken carefully out of the cardboard

packet and kept in albums. I did not keep any matchboxes.

These used to be, in my basement, in a large fish bowl on

the bar. We had a “Max and Erma” or “TGI Friday’s”

theme.

Henry had paid for a lot for the few dolls I had, a

couple of my Mom’s gifts of dolls to my daughters.

He also had given me good advice on what to save in

my tight “new” space in my one bedroom apartment.

I think about stopping in to re-buy the different

items that may still remain on his shelves, since I

have more money these days, after 8 long years of

pulling myself out of debt.

Long and boring story, you may have heard this before.

My ex-husband had stopped paying bills and debt incurred.

(Three years of his unemployment just didn’t keep the

bills paid, while I worked as a teacher and server at

Cracker Barrel.)

But, what would I do with my reclaimed items? Do I

really need more clutter to collect dust with? I am

happy with my choices, overall.

I still have the Little Women, Madame Alexander dolls,

two Ginny dolls, a Tammy doll, an Alan and Skipper doll,

plus her adorable little sister doll, Tutti.

I have no regrets!

Collectibles in my birds’ collection were few and far

between. I ended up saving less than ten of them. The

ones who were given to me over all the years, robins,

cardinals, blue jays and roosters were sold for $1-$3

at my huge “Moving Out of the House Sale.”

I am surprised and proud that I have a Lenox robin and

a Hummel/Goebel robin, too. Instead of big cabinets

with much too many odds and ends tucked inside, I have a

little black, wooden-edged box, about 2′ by 2′ in size,

with four glass walls, a mirror on the bottom set on top

of a dresser.

This holds the littlest and sweetest items from my ‘olden’

days of antiquing with my parents and brothers.

When I saw an old article tucked into a book about Betsy

McCall, it made me nostalgic for that album. I wanted to

at least give it “tribute” in a post. It is interesting

to find out that the first Betsy McCall paper doll was

illustrated on a page of the magazine in May, 1951. The

first doll was designed by Ideal Toy Co. in 1952. She

was a 14″ doll with a vinyl head and what is called, a

“saran” wig. The doll was marked, “McCall Corp.” on her

head and on the back, labeled “Ideal Doll P 90.”

In an auction, the Ideal Betsy McCall doll with her

little tag still attached to her wrist, sold for $210.

Later, in 1958 (I would have been 3 years old by then),

an 8″ Betsy McCall doll was made by a company called,

American Character. Several other Betsy McCall dolls

have been made since the 50’s and even into the 90’s.

My friend, Bill, collects rare finds of guitars and

other musical instruments. He is no longer a band

member, but still plays a variety of musical styles,

which includes flamenco Spanish songs, old style

country music, and rock and roll.

My brother, Rich, collected miniatures of porcelain

dogs and a horse. He still has them in the same Ethan

Allen shelving cabinet, from childhood. This also has

a fold down desk, in his bedroom with his wife. He

never became a veterinarian. (He’s a professor of

education, addressing special needs, with Master’s

degree students.)

My other brother, who aspired to be a pharmacist,

collected mortar and pestles. His are probably long

gone. (He has accomplished a lot with his career of

murals, sculptures and other art pieces.)

What dreams did you have when you were young that

caused you to save or collect particular items?

Did you put together and paint model airplanes and

suspend them on threads from the ceiling of your

bedroom?

Nostalgia comes in many forms,

all such wonderful memories…

A Dip into Serendipity

Standard

A journey that once had begun, had gotten swept

under the table. The story had included exciting

beginnings and abrupt endings. It could have been

a nice, safe trip along smooth railroad tracks in

a predictable direction. Instead it had been quite

dramatic.

The way it all began was discussed, along with

where it had become derailed. It seemed suddenly

urgent to get the passengers united to head into

the future, reconnecting ties that had been torn

and broken.

Seemingly impossible reasons, years ago, to ever

be healed, were forgotten and forgiven.

Ice cream was delicious at Graeter’s in Upper

Arlington, Ohio last night. The ice cream place

is a franchise started in Bexley, Ohio, in 1870.

The relationship had started in 1980, between four

close friends, two couples who were into natural

foods, a Lancaster co-op and a business together.

From friendship, sharing stories, then traveling

a long and winding path that took both couples in

different directions.

From the traditional beginning, which had led

into separated, fractured lives, arose a child.

It was an unplanned and unexpected event. It

would leave a lasting, hurtful impact on all,

from 1985 until 2014.

The strange story would include heartbreak and

some moments of crying. The redemption, found on

3/21/14, would heal most of the wounds.

Who would have thought the woman with the ‘white

picket fence’ background would have held such a

wild story behind her outwardly quiet demeanor?

The serendipity was the ties that brought someone

from a far distance, of St. Louis, Missouri, back

to Ohio. The trip originally had nothing to do

with the woman nor her golden child.

A letter, sent out like a beacon, had been mailed

over cyber-space. Previously sent, hand written

letters, over the years, had been met with

silence.

No answers.

A coincidental trip to a gravesite in Cincinnati,

was fortuitous for the people to be reconnected.

Death had been over a few years ago, it was in

the memory of that loved one, the journey had

been made back to Ohio.

Tears of happiness flowed. Sweet memories of a

happier time embraced the four people sitting

across from each other.

Stories of the past, including similar family

histories of international immigration; one

generation ago for the father and two generations

for the mother. Unknowingly, both parties had

heritage from Germany. This shared lineage filled

the minds of the people with wonder. Over twenty

or more years ago, they had not asked each other

such questions.

Other kindred moments, included a love of music,

one for an accordion, another for a clarinet.

Two hands that reached out, were held, showed

dryness of skin, smallness in size and arthritic

joints. Family physical traits passed down.

Personality traits, such as independent streaks,

with some admission on both parties, of being

rather self-centered between child and father

were exchanged.

Faded, tarnished memories of the Lancaster days

were renewed and explained. They lost their

rusty feel and became polished, smoothed over.

Time truly heals all wounds.

The ties are now beginning and reaching out.

They are beautifully becoming braided into a

circular wreath where the child now knows of

another family. Intertwining, growing and

letting go of the hurt and regret.

The family was a gift well received.

The failed attempts to have connections had been

shared with the child, over the years. The way it

disappointed her, had recently come to light.

The other family is filled with aunts, uncles and

cousins who long to know the estranged member.

I indulged in my favorite choice of butter pecan

ice cream, covered with Graeter’s ‘homemade’ recipe

sauce of butterscotch, real whipped cream and a

cherry on top.

The symbolism of a cherry on top was the real,

relieved feelings, bubbling to my soul’s surface.

My family member had a simple scoop of butter

toffee chip, while the father ate chocolate chip.

The fourth person had an ice cream cone with a

cup of freshly brewed coffee.

He was the observer, the in-law, who would be the

recorder of the tale to regale the Missouri folks

back home. He had captured all parties in photos,

sent via telephone, as soon as taken.

The observer was warm and welcoming and through

his part as the ‘new’ uncle, he introduced one

of the first cousins into our conversation.

A girl named Brianna, age 12, who will be part

of my child’s life forever.

One of many new connections…

The wise, well humored observer asked if this

would be included in the title of my next post

on my blog: Serendipity.

I was not sure, at that moment, if I would indulge

in another post. Sharing this may be too much.

I mentioned that I had written a “Carry On” post,

earlier in the week. After much reflection last

night, I chose to share this story here.

Albeit in a bare bones, no details’ way.

Pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

The ‘once upon a time’ heavy weight was removed,

thrown out the window, for good.

By myself, I drove up the road on 315, a curving

tree-darkened route that led to my adopted home

of Delaware.

I had fled from another small town, almost 28

years ago.

The last remnants of the weight, the ‘chips on my

shoulder’ were lifted.

Its breadth and depth, unable to fully explain

to others who had known me.

All I know this was no longer needed to be held

on to. The baggage had no necessary purpose or

reason to be kept anymore.

There still is a chance for this ‘white picket

fence’ woman with the ‘solid core’ and deep roots,

to have her happy ending. Her child could now

proceed with new ties that bind.

Not the way she had visualized from her childhood,

but still a fantastic way to close the book.

Healthy Food Choices for Kids

Standard

I have sometimes wandered away from my theme of witless dating,

but I stay strong in the area of relationships. With helpful

information on how to make healthy food choices, I hope to

inspire you to make some changes in your lives. This includes

any children that you are in communication with, neighbor’s

kids or your grandchildren. Every time you choose to change

something in your family’s diet, it can impact the guests

and friends of your children, too.

The facts that are here may startle you. I was shocked!

I had known our country, in particular, was having trouble

living longer, healthier lives but I did not know, to the

large extent, the numbers involved. Obesity has doubled in

children, ages 6-11 and tripled in teens, age 12-19.

These numbers, collected by the National Center for Health

Statistics are just unbelievable! The time period is from

1980 until 2010. By 2013, there have been a few reversals

in these numbers but not of significant amounts; yet.

Understanding food labels and the amount of news and media

coverage have helped this trend to start heading in the

right direction. I am pleased that Michelle Obama’s part

is playing a big impact, along with magazines that usually

feature articles with juicy and delicious foods that have

saturated fat and hydrogenated fat have also joined forces,

by including good and tasty alternatives.

Here are five ways to educate children to become more

‘savvy’ in the area of food choices.

1. Help your children (and yourself) visualize serving sizes.

Assemble products that you regularly include in your or their

diet. Examples of applesauce, oatmeal and cereals can be an

easy way to measure what is considered ‘regular’ portions.

When labels with nutrition information are looked at, it

helps to realize these are written for an adult’s size or a

2000 calorie adult diet.

Kids from four to eight, are about 2/3rds the size of an

adult. Teens should consume between 80-90% size of the adult

amounts.

Measure out single servings. This will take your cell phone’s

calculator and/or paper to figure out! Serving sizes of bars

of candy and little pints of ice cream can sometimes be based

on only a portion of the actual whole content!

2. Help your child to check out the details. These are in the

little fine print on the label. When there is a long list of

names of ingredients that you don’t even recognize, this food

item may not be healthy! Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners,

high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated anything

should signal this food product is of lower nutritional value.

Making this process a game rather than a ‘lecture’ will help

to interact and make this meaningful. Ingredients which you

cannot pronounce often mean, ‘lab-created, fake, food-like

items.’ This was a suggestion from a registered dietitian,

Tara Dellolacono-Thies.

Of course, going to natural food places, including farmer’s

markets, can be a wonderful fun activity for families. Point

out, there are usually no labels on foods that are actual

fruits, vegetables and homemade products, usually include

more natural ingredients.

Comparisons can be made while watching television, with

advertisements that may mislead people into thinking they

are ‘good for you.’ Any opportunity, including driving

down the road, on billboards, can open up discussions on

food choices. Asking, rather than telling, really helps in

these ‘off the cuff’ situations.

I remember, as a child, my parents really wanting us to stay

away from sugary cereals. We still considered it a ‘treat’ to

get ones like, “Sugar Crisp” or “Frosted Flakes.”

When I went away to college, I gorged on dumb things like,

“Captain Crunch” and “Count Chocula,” which came out in 1971.

Buying things, like Hostess products out of the dorm vending

machines, ostensibly to ‘help me study and stay awake,’ such

as “Twinkies,” “Ho Ho’s,” and those pink-colored, coconut

marshmallow iced chocolate balls, called, “Sno-balls” were

my downfalls.

When they talk about “Freshman 5 pound weight gains,” I had

probably ten pounds! I read recently of a famous person,

Maria Menounos, who gained 40 lbs. There is a photo of her,

in April’s “Ladies Home Journal,” that is unrecognizable!

3. Evaluate the numbers and figure out how that computes in your

child’s daily intake. Immediately, I think of salt and sugar

levels in foods, in this message! Discuss the listed numbers

noted for calories, fat, sugar, fiber and cholesterol.

I have been shocked how sugary items, including cereals, have

salt in them. Then, salty items like snacks, have tons of sugar

in them. When evaluating a packaged food for an elementary

school’s lunch box, aim for 175 calories or less per serving,

one gram or less of saturated fat, no trans fats, no more than

13 grams of sugars and no more than 210 milligrams of sodium

content. Try for at least 2 grams of fiber. These were also

suggested by the woman dietitian named, Tara D.-T. I usually

look for 5 grams’ fiber in my whole wheat or whole mixed grains

bread. I have found better cereals these days, particularly, in

the natural foods’ aisles.

4. Compare and contrast whenever you have a chance to do this.

No matter when you see food products, on television, in ads

and even on billboards, you have an opportunity to bring up the

subject of good food choices.

My grandchildren and I play that fun game of, “My father/

grandfather/mother or whomever, owns a grocery store and in it,

he/she sells something that starts with a __ (insert first letter)”

This has often been a way to find out where they find the item,

which is one of the many questions that you ask: “Can you find

it in the Meats’ department?” Once we discover from questions,

the product they were thinking of, I get an idea of their favorite

foods. Also, it gives me a moment to prosthelytize.

Under this category, Tara D-T. suggests looking for a high-percent

daily value of important growth vitamins, such as calcium, iron,

zinc and Vitamin D. These important nutrients, by the way, are

also important for all of us, during our aging process, to keep

our brains and bodies strong and healthy!

5. A plan of action should be to translate this knowledge into

good, healthy choices. Once you, your child and family have

become more adept and practiced in this area, you can be less

worried about the times you do ‘slip up,’ with a fast food meal

or a fun time at the movies, eating the popcorn with partially-

hydrogenated fat poured over it. Our Delaware Strand buys a

better product, made from Promise margarine. It isn’t nearly

as high in fat content.

Sorry, this is one of my big downfalls, along with donuts,

candy and ice cream! I have been unable to give up these and

simply, try to limit them.

The trend for teens to drink those high calorie pops, energy

drinks, with loads of caffeine, and flavored coffees, needs to

be addressed. I hope that if this seems to be common among

your teens’ friends or group, that you may wish to suggest some

limits to this. I would say, after my own experience of being

‘denied’ certain foods, that it is best not to boycott these

altogether. As parents you could instead suggest moderation.

Limiting to an extreme, I will remind all of you who were teen

‘rebels’ out there, causes the reverse action to be produced!

With time and practice, children will begin to include the power

of reading food labels before choosing foods. Teens may think

twice, as they stand in front of the vending machines at their

school, work or play centers. By understanding food labels,

the more kids know about what they are eating, the more often

they will choose healthier food choices.

I hope that this will be another way to start Spring, with a

renewal of your New Year’s resolutions to become healthier and

lead longer lives. This include all members of your family,

beginning with the little ones! They are much more open and

less resistant to changes and as mentioned, this can be an

interactive experience.

Patience

Standard

Many songs, poems and essays have been written on the

subject of patience. I will not try to make this a

witty commentary nor a play on words. I have just

a few people that have been getting on my nerves

lately. I need a little patience!

I have to laugh, because this week we had a small

family gathering for my five year old grandson’s

birthday. I went there after dinner, around 7:30,

to be part of the festivities. My oldest daughter

is the one who has had theme parties for all 9

years of my oldest grandson. This year, she and

her partner, Mike, had taken the weekend to spend

time with both my oldest and youngest grandsons.

This was a ‘cake only’ and ‘gifts optional’ fun

time.

While waiting for the kids to run off some of

their steam before settling down to watch gifts

being opened and cake to savor, some of us were

sitting on the living room set. We were relaxing

and suddenly Micah ran into the living room,

turned around to find his recent ‘shadow,’ Kyah

behind him (age 3 on March 3). He looked very

exasperated at her and said, which stopped the

flow of our adult conversation, loudly:

“Stop following me! You are annoying me!”

It takes almost every ounce of my ‘being’ not to

laugh out loud at such things, while my serious

daughter scolded him,

“That’s not a nice way to talk to your cousin!”

I raised my eyebrows at my son, who also smiled

back at me. He knows what it is like to be one

of the only boys! (He has an older sister, had a

single mother (‘moi!’) while growing up and has a

younger sister!)

This is rolling into the ‘same old/same old’ stuff

that I am mainly wanting to write about. The way

some people are annoying. At work, in lines, in

public restrooms, to name a few places where I

have been showing a little irritability.

Yes, me!

There are numerous comments at work about our

limited hours, during the winter. I think the

ten to twelve hours we work during the summer,

in the hottest place I have ever worked, brings

home a lot of extra cash, which I save for when

we have our slower periods. We have had slow

months of January and February this year. It

may continue into March.

I get tired of the pleasant lines I deliver to

those who are ‘broke’ and complaining:

1. “Soon enough, we will be super busy and will

wish for some ‘down time!'”

2. “I try to save money from those big checks we

get in the warm months, from April or May up until

last November. It seems that we have less months

to rest up each year!”

3. “I am happy that we will soon have our income

tax refunds, do you declare 0 dependents?”

My cheery self, has been beat down and worn out on

the weather complaints. I mean, I was raised in the

cold northern part of Ohio! I did not mind 6- 12″

of snow as a child, try to see the fun, beauty and

enjoy the walks through the snow.

I especially love the way the stars seem so much

brighter at night and the daytime skies seem so

brilliantly aqua, turquoise and azure! The sunrises,

as I head to work, and the sunsets, as I leave the

library, are so awesome and thrilling.

But my good mood balloon ‘gets deflated’ and I am

dragging it behind me, on such subjects as money

and weather come up these days.

The other people who ‘get my goat’ are the ones

who have been going on and on, over Obamacare. I

have been studying and listening to this subject

without too much to say one way or another. It is

decided, now live with it!

The ones who are complaining are also telling me

that their grandchildren were born with no billing,

due to no marriage license or no insurance. I would

like to tell them, “No more free rides!” Wouldn’t

that shock them? Would everyone stop talking to me?

Sometimes, I want to be the grumpy one! But I am

NOT!

There is a woman, who at work, I have called the

“Queen Bee.” I have written about her awhile back.

Anyway, her new way of irritating me, is that she

volunteered to serve on the Safety Committee at

work. This means, she is allowed to carry around a

little pad of paper, stop you and ask you,

“Do you have any new safety concerns?”

I have given her the ones, like the Exit that was

closed, so in case of Fire, there was no Exit for

me to leave quickly and safely in the most flammable

area of the building. This got fixed, due to my

saying something, but tell her that she needs to

keep an eye on the heavy items and having them

moved from the top shelf. These are all that I

have been able to come up with. She came by, for

the second time this week, “Miss Chatty Cathy,”

and the “Queen Bee.” I do not directly let her

know my emotional uproar that shouts inside my

head when she bothers me, while I am trying to

make a good pace or ‘rate’ which is daily

measured.

When she interrupted my counting out 24 of these

items that usually are stocked in handy dandy

boxes of 12, so plunk, plunk, and two drops of

those boxes and I am done. Nope, I had to re-count

the 24. Already mad at the stockers who unpacked

and dumped these into bin boxes!

I take a deep breath and greet her by name. Oh

yes, I am using a pleasant voice.

“Tomorrow is the Safety Committee meeting at 6

a.m. and I won’t have time to ask you before I

head off to this, what are your concerns this

month?”

“Authority positions are a dangerous way to go

with certain personality types,” I think.

“If I don’t give her any ideas for the meeting,

maybe she won’t bother me next month,” I also

think. 23, 24!”

Out loud I tell her that I appreciate her waiting

for me to count the products that should have

been kept in their boxes of twelve. She nods

politely. This is, after all, ‘not her territory.’

She is one who works in the Mezzanine, where I

only have to deal with her once a week, except

on these occasions. I do want to say, she circles

round our table at lunch time but with the Force

of Four:

Tammy, Trevinal, Robin and Peggy, we all give her

a glare, pointedly staring at “The Price

is Right Show,” and she usually walks away from

our table.

This all takes willpower.

It is not a ‘pretty side of me,’ I admit.

The one who doesn’t want to cooperate with the

one who made me cry, seems like ages ago, due

to her rudeness.

She is also the one who drove my friend, Cheryl,

at work, to ram a cart into her. Fortunately,

Cheryl could honestly name a few people in that

area, who saw the “Queen Bee” ram her cart first

into hers.

“She did it first!”

So, I look at the woman who sometimes yanks my

chains and tell her…

“No safety concerns at this time.”

I didn’t fold nor flinch. I delivered my line in

such a ‘don’t mess with me’ tone, she walked

away.

Just as she walked away, I thought of the movie,

“Bambi,” a classic animated film, 1942.

Where Thumper got a lecture from his father, then

he used a re-phrasing of it to Bambi:

“If you can’t say something nice,

don’t say nothin’ at all.”

(Of course, the original parental speech would have

been, “If you don’t have something nice to say,

then don’t say anything at all.”)