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Dianna laughs that these intros are written like someone else is doing it. It’s me. Trying to pique your interest in my blog. I have lots of boys and a husband of lots of years, and lots of boxers. I’ve been on the battlefield, in the boardroom, and served blissful years as a PTO President (glad I’d been on the battlefield). I love good food, good friends and good laughs.

Pour a cup of coffee, or perhaps it is a glass of wine, and share a moment with me. For extroverted folks like me, connecting is life. Even if it is connecting on the web. Webs are about connections. Let’s do this!

Coffee with a Slice of Life

New Dog, New Tricks

Since I am the type of person who believes that making mistakes is a part of learning, I am sharing with you one of my lessons learned in hopes that it will benefit you in the near term or perhaps long term as you go through life. Many of you may have a new dog in your life which I personally hope you purchased from a reputable breeder, or better yet adopted. I want to share one of my personal “lessons learned” as a puppy mom teaching a new dog, new tricks.

Here goes (this is all personal opinion):

  • Don’t EVER consider training a five-month-old puppy on the electric fence you have just installed in the yard. Regardless of how big they are physically they are too young to understand. When they get hit by that first “correction” blast they will basically think that someone has hit them upside the head with a bowling ball.
    **(Please note this is also written plainly in the instruction packet if you choose to read it.)

  • If you do decide to train a five-month-old puppy on the electric fence, don’t EVER do it after a rainfall. There is a reason that the electric chair executioners put a wet sponge on the condemned man’s head just before he is hit with thousands of volts of electricity. The water MAGNIFIES the effect of the shock.

  • If you do decide to train a five-month-old puppy on the electric fence after a rainfall, don’t EVER bend down to talk to him/her as you are walking up to the electric fence line. Chances are he/she will pop up three and a half feet upon experiencing the first slam of the bowling ball they believe has just hit them in the head. It hurts the puppy. In a quite justified reaction they will slam your chin up into your tongue to the point where you are standing there, in the rain, hemorrhaging.

  • If you do decide to train a five-month-old puppy on the electric fence after a rainfall and do stand close enough to where you get hit in the chin by their three-and-a-half-foot jump straight up, don’t EVER decide to then take the puppy into the house to rest. They will proceed to pant for about 25 minutes and then will throw up all over the carpets ... I mean throw up everything they’ve eaten for the past 24 hours...on your brand new “I bought it for Christmas”, $2,000 living room rug.

Our doggy was fine and I didn’t require stitches but since we’re friends I thought you should know.

You are welcome.

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New Year's Musings

new years day 3890699 640

Be more like the person you admire the most. You can’t change who you are, and you don’t really want to, but you can shift how you behave in situations and raise your standards for yourself.

Love someone who is hard to love. Love them and see them for who they are, not who they are not.

Reach out in compassion with no expectation of anything in return.

Think about those you’ve lost and smile. Smile at their memory, at their gifts to you and at the moments you created with them that were unique. Find peace in your memories.

Be gentler to someone you have been too hard on. Be able to reach out and help carry their burden for just a bit. It will lift burdens you carry.

Speak a thank you to someone who works to provide you comfort. Someone who may not often hear gratitude.

Listen to someone’s story and be in the moment with them.

“I am here to hear you.”

Take a moment to recognize the smallest specks of beauty in your life. The drop of rain on a leaf, the wide-open run of a dog in a field. The cozy curl of a cat who has chosen to share a quiet afternoon with you or the call of bird in the winds.

Don’t be defined by your last mistake; you are more than that and better than that. Yes, that was meant for you. Humanity makes mistakes, humanity rises above them.

Pause; just stop. Pause for a minute in a room full of friends and listen to the blur of conversation around you. These are the people who will eventually tell the story of your life.

Are you happy that they are the keepers of your story?

Are you happy with the stories they'll share?

Happy New Year to the keepers of my story and here's to many more stories to share.

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An Ode to Mrs. Claus

Yes, Virginia., there is a Santa; but he’s a bit oversold.
Someone else also works hard, but where is that story told?

While Santa does much for the mirth and is routinely considered its cause,
The real muscle and brains for the shiny and bright? Well that would be MRS. CLAUS.

She hangs up the stockings, she preps all the lights.
She shops for the elves, and maps out his flights.

She buys for his office, preps food for his parties.
She hangs out the wreaths, bakes cookies and tart(ies).

She shops for his brothers, his sisters and aunts.
She matches his outfits, nice shirts with nice pants.

She brines the turkey, she preps the sprouts.
She’s taking the photos and getting cards out.

Yes, he works hard and his work pays the bills.
But without her, the season falls flat on its heels.

He’s round and he’s jolly, and hangs with the kids,
But has not even a clue where the mistletoe is.

She wonders sometimes if all this toil matters.
Then an elf wanders in, steals a cookie and scatters.

Pretty soon three more elves slip through the door,
“Man, those are great, can we PLEASE have some more?”

They walk away giggling a very good sign,
“Gosh she’s just the BEST, don’t you LOVE Christmastime?”

And amongst all the ribbons and glitter and cheer,
Mrs. Claus pauses and smiles...and sniffs back a tear.

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Mom, is Santa real?

“Mom, can I ask you something?” It was his 11th Christmas.

“Sure, hon,” she replied; knowing, sadly, what was coming.

“Mom, is Santa real?” he said, seeming almost afraid to speak the words.

“Why do you ask sweetheart?” she delayed while she tried to gather her thoughts. This conversation had played out many times in her head and as often as she Googled it, none of the answers she read fit the approach she wanted.

“Well, most of the kids in school say that you and daddy buy the presents and that Santa isn’t real,” he mouthed, although he couldn’t look her in the eye.

“Hon, I’m going to tell you something,” she began. “You have to understand that as long as you believe in Santa, he’ll come. If you stop believing in Santa, you’ll still get presents, they’ll just come from mom and dad. That’s how it works.”

“When I was your age,” she continued, “I stopped believing in Santa, and all my gifts were still there on Christmas morning, but they were wrapped under the tree. They were still gifts, but they weren’t magical anymore.”

“But can’t you just tell me mom?” he said, looking for the facts, as kids his age are so prone to do.

“Jake, I’m your mom. It’s my job to make sure you DO believe in Santa. It’s my job to make sure that you always have a place where the impossible is real; where rainbows are chased just to find the gold at the end, where love can happen at first site and marriage means happily ever after. It’s my job to give you guardian angels, leprechauns and tooth fairies. I cannot tell you there is no Santa, and I never will. I can only tell you that as long as you believe, he’ll be here on Christmas morning.”

“Do you understand Jake?” she asked.

“No, not really,” he replied, looking confused.

“Do you want a cookie, son? Maybe some candy or something?” she tried even though it was only 10 in the morning.

“Oh, sure mom, that’d be great, thanks.” he said as he raced to the kitchen.

“Not a problem,son.” She said with a relieved smile; yet another mommy crisis solved by food.

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Turkey Time

Retro Post. I’ll bring some of my early writings to the blog. My four boys were born over a period of five years so there were LOTS of lessons learned. I’ll share some of the things I wrote during that time. I hope you enjoy them with your next cup of coffee.

 

I fancy myself somewhat of a cook. Of course that skill has evolved over the years and my husband is quick to tell the tale of my first apple pie. The resulting coat of flour on the floor and cabinets made the idea of “homemade from frozen” much more appealing. Thanks to the Food Network and my need to overachieve, I have honed my skills since staying home.

When I had my fourth son on November 14, I wanted to celebrate by doing something different and outstanding for Thanksgiving. My goal to serve a deboned, stuffed turkey for my family of six and visiting in-laws quickly became an “I can do this” obsession.

The week before I practiced deboning just about every chicken I could or at least every chicken we would eat. When the time came to debone the Thanksgiving bird, I spent the better part of an hour working to extract every piece of cartilage and bone that might have taken away from the accolades I expected to hear as I came out to the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Sure enough, when it came time to serve dinner, everything was wonderful. The turkey’s breasts were perfectly browned, the legs actually edible by adults since they were stuffed individually and sliced, and everyone gave me the praise I’d needed for my ego.

Everyone except two little boys pulled up to the holiday table. Jacob and Sammy sat with with their crystal water glasses, linen napkins, fine china and their little heads just showing above the tabletop. They were staring at the turkey platter and looking very, very, sad.

“What’s wrong?” asked Grandma.

“Where’s the big one?” asked Jacob, at tear welling up in his eye.

“What big one?” I said between moments of patting myself on the back.

“The big turkey,” both Jake and Sam said without hesitation.

“You know mom-the big turkey like they always show on the TV commercials; like the pictures from last year and like on the Charlie Brown special. Where’s the BIG TURKEY?”

It was that moment that I knew I’d blown it. I’d turned the holiday into something I’d wanted focused on me instead of allowing the tradition of the day to carry the family through.

That was the last Thanksgiving I served anything other than the BIG turkey. As we speak my big turkey is defrosting in the sink ready to be brined and rubbed for cooking. The family picked out the type pies we’re going to fix, the veggies they’ll be chopping and how they want the potatoes fixed. It won’t be like Emeril’s dining room but I’m smart enough to not make the same mistake twice.

However you make your turkey this year, I hope it is served with platters of love and hope, charity and goodwill, and sprinkled with generous portions of health and happiness. As we enter the holiday season may you and your family always be on the winning side of the wishbone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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