Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Pom-Pom Girl

    I spend two mornings a week with a young women with disabilities,  who I'll call "Pom-Pom Girl".  It is hard to believe that we have been friends now for six years.  I sing silly songs, or read to pass the time, and this seems to go very quickly.  It gives new meaning to the saying "time flies when you're having fun".   I started out thinking that I might be able to help someone else, but  I soon learned that I get a lot back.
   It had been a long time since I was able to "smother" someone, and the Pom-Pom Girl loves to be pampered.  I'm told I'm like a doting aunt or grandma, and that's OK with me.  She has a nice collection of light blankets, and so I cover her up when she sits in her favorite chair while I read aloud.  I'm also very good with snacks and juice breaks.  It's important to drink a lot of fluids each day, so when the characters in our story have a drink or meal, we have something also.  We also critique everyone from each book, and decide who we would think would be a  friend.  We don't like mean people, or really sad stories.  Books with animals and kids working together to solve problems are the most enjoyable.  I realized that I could talk or sing for hours, and it actually made someone happy.
   I decided to write the Matt and Muggzy books a few years ago.  I would always talk about my doggy, and tell stories about Matt as a little boy.  I remembered things that he liked, silly songs and party sandwiches.  If I could make it fun, he would be more cooperative.  I wrote the stories that we liked to read.
   We try to keep to a daily routine, because I think consistency is important.  First we do our chores, which is anything that needs to be done, then we get to play.  I talk through everything as we go, which causes less anxiety for both of us.  I've enjoyed the last six years, and look forward to many more....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on......

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Sisters go on a Road Trip

  Three years ago, the sisters  decided to celebrate our birthdays by going away overnight.  It's a lot better than trying to find a gift for each other.  At our age, we tend to all have we need, and most of us are always trying to simplify our lives.  These days I ask for things I can use up because I've run out of space to display stuff.  My collectibles sometimes feel more like dust collectors than treasures.
   This weekend, five of us piled into a car driven by the youngest member of the group,  and headed to Cape Cod.  We are all celebrating birthdays before the end of the year, and our ages range from 52 to 60.
My two sisters and I , our brother's wife, and a friend from grade school were going on a road trip.  We tend to have a lot to laugh about, and sometimes get hysterical about nothing.  I'll share some of the highlights.
   We are all hearing a little less than perfect these days, and it was like playing a game of telephone.  We all were having the same conversation, but we all heard things "just a little differently".  Some of us heard things "a lot differently", and we would crack up as we said what we thought we had heard.
   We went to a beautiful restaurant with a piano player.  We were seated at a round table in a corner near the window with the palm trees.  There were lovely chandeliers, but they did not provide much light for our table.  My sister had a hard time reading her menu, so I retrieved a small flashlight from my purse.  Everyone squealed with laughter, but we passed it around as needed.  We even had our waitress joking about the "electric light show".  I reminded them that the girl scout motto is "Be Prepared", which brought up memories of being in the scouts, and all sorts of silly things.
     We learned that a smart route system can be annoying, especially when the driver decides to ignore the directions.  Obviously, the term "bear left" can be interpreted several ways.  We turned around and drove passed the same police cruiser a couple of times before we understood the instructions.  Eventually, we arrived at our destination, and enjoyed a wonderful museum.  It included an antique auto exhibit, beautiful artwork, and  we even got a ride on a working carousel.  We stopped for lunch, then decided to head home.  One of the sisters asked to stop at an antique shop, and another said we had been there the day before.  The argument was settled when we realized that we had just walked the entire area that morning when we passed the Victorian Inn where we  had spent the night.  We couldn't decide if we are a comedy or a tragedy, but we do have fun!  There is something to the saying that reality is stranger than fiction,  you just cannot make this stuff up!
      On the two hour drive home, I was having trouble with my seat belt, because it got increasingly tight.  I tried to loosen it, but that didn't work, so I would release it and start again.  At least three times, I unlocked my sister's belt instead of my own.  There was another incident where my sisters tried to help me.  I was holding the seat belt with one hand  to keep it from getting too tight.  I was also trying to drink my iced latte, but the straw they had given me was not long enough for the domed lid.  I would have to let go of the seat belt in order to get the straw. As I lamented my situation, one sister told me to "put it under my arm".  Of course, she was talking about the seat belt, but I tried to hold the cup in the crook of my arm!   We are all amazed that I've managed to live 59 years.  Hey, when they are picking on me, they are leaving someone else alone.  Actually we had a ball!  We aren't sure where we will go next year, but we've already decided on our 2014 destination, and I cannot wait.....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.........

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Scary Halloween Movies

  When Matt was 8 or 9, his favorite Halloween movie was the "Goonies".   I still recommend it.  So, if you think it is age appropriate, try to watch it this Halloween season.  It is about a bunch of friends who work together to find the treasure of a pirate named One Eyed Willie.  It has bravery, drama, humor, and some pretty scary parts. I actually typed "very", but it really is a kids movie.   I jumped every time we watched it, and since we had it on tape, we watched it a lot.  We talked about it a lot, too.  We can learn a lot from our kids by talking about things they like.
  I loved driving a car load of kids when they were talking about stuff as if I weren't even there.  Talk about being a "fly on the wall".  I'd  ask a few questions to get the discussion started, then try and stay out of the conversation.   Everyone had to tell his favorite,  and least favorite character.  Each got the chance to tell the best part of the movie, and the worst part of the movie.  We voted on the scariest parts, and the grossest scene.  We talked about teamwork and problem solving.  I wanted to know who they would like to play, and which of their friends would they choose to play each character.
   I always volunteered to play the part of the jumpy kid, or the one who 'screamed like a girl'.  I didn't want anyone getting singled out or picked on for being frightened of scary movies.  I still jump when someone gets attacked on TV, even when I know that something scary is about to happen.  I cannot help it, and I guess it can be pretty annoying for my family.  I cover my eyes and say "ick" a lot.
   I hope you all get to enjoy a scary movie this Halloween season.  It will give ideas for costumes for parties or trick or treating....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.......

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Patriots Needed November 6, 2012

    Almost sixty million people watched the debate between President Obama and Mr. Romney on Wednesday night.  It's always good to hear the candidates speak in their own words.  A lot has been said about style and our President's body language.  Many were shocked to hear Mr Romney change his statements from the speech he gave at the August convention.  Some have used the word "lies" to describe them.  With two presidential debates and one vice presidential debate scheduled before the election, we are sure to get more information.  Please pay attention, as we must decide on November 6.  
      I am not going to tell anyone how to think or what to believe.  I just want to emphasize how important it is for all Americans to vote in this election.  Here are the Americans I am asking to vote. Not sure about all the issues?  Then just pick one or two and vote for the candidate that agrees with you on those issues.

  • All Americans who are pretty happy with the way the country is going must vote to show support.
  • All Americans who are unhappy with the direction of the country must vote and be counted.
  • Middle class voters need to cast a ballot that will keep us strong.
  • Patriotic Americans will get to hire the team in Washington to get things done.  Please Vote wisely.
  • Servicemen and their families must allow their voices to be heard with their ballot. We thank you.
  • Senior citizens must weigh in on issues that will affect them directly.
  • Teachers and students must go to the polls and vote for education.
  • Women must vote for fair pay and other women's health issues.
  • Cops,  firefighters, and emergency workers must vote to keep their communities safe.
  • Healthcare professionals can send a message to our elected officials about care and coverage.
  • Construction workers need to make their voices heard at the polls, and ask for more jobs.
  • City and state and federal employees must vote to support candidates who support your issues.
  • Every man and woman who loves our country must do their patriotic duty and vote.
They say all politics is local.  Some say they don't vote because no one has asked.  I'm asking.  Please listen at the debates, and I hope you'll hear that request directly from the candidates.  Listen for the issues that are important to you and your family.  When the candidates show you what they are really like, you must believe them.  One thousand votes in any district may swing the election one way or another.  It's true and it really is that important.  Your country is counting on you to stand up and be counted.  Get to the polls and vote and drive a neighbor if  you can......and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.......