Monthly Archives: April 2012

When I Grow Up, I Want to be Snickers

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to wear every emotion you ever felt on your sleeve? To show, without embarrassment or shame your love, distrust, affection, displeasure, and irritation at the very moment you experience those feelings? Our dog Snickers is a living, breathing example of emotional expression and, surprisingly, she has many adoring fans despite her pit-bull like appearance.

When Snickers is happy to see us, she wags her tail, jumps up to greet us, and sometimes squats to perform what we call “Happy Pee.” When she’s tired and asleep on our bed and we want her to get down, she expresses her

Snickers' Puss & Boots Face

Snickers' Puss & Boots Face

displeasure by groaning loudly and often. She gets slowly to her feet and looks back to make sure we weren’t just kidding (even though we never let her sleep on the bed). When she is scared she barks, when she wants us to share our food she gives us her Puss and Boots face, and when she wants to go outside, she scratches us with her paw.

My all time favorite Snickers move is when, on our daily walks, she throws herself on her back and does a happy dance in the grass, soaking every ounce

Snickers' Happy Dance

Snickers' Happy Dance

of joy out of the glorious wonder of being alive. No matter how tired I am or how big a hurry we are in, her happy dance always brings a smile to my face. Dogs are the most wonderful and curious creatures!

A life without dogs would not only be boring, but incredibly lonely. So if you’re having a bad day or feeling lonely or unappreciated or just plain blah, do yourself a favor and spend some time with a dog. Don’t have one? Check out the various dog rescue groups in your area, but be sure you understand what it takes to be a responsible pet owner.

If you’ve got some time today, let me know about your dog and what he/she does that makes you smile.

Literally, it’s overused.

My husband is on the warpath.  He’s launched a campaign to rid society’s everyday lexicon of a particular adverb:  literally.  Okay, he’s not literally painting his face, wielding a flaming pair of scissors and exorcising every dictionary of mention of “literally”.  He’s just obnoxiously calling anyone out when they use the word.

Now, until he initiated this tirade, I was oblivious to the actual overuse of the adverb in daily conversation.  But after opening my ears a bit, I see his point. During a three hour span one morning, I heard the word “literally” used nine times by either radio or television talking heads. I won’t name names, but Matt Lauer, can you pull out the thesaurus?

Not only is it frequently used, but, often times, its use is redundant. Anyone of those offenders would take the quotation marks out of the third sentence in the previous paragraph and use it as is. See what I mean?

Last night, my daughter’s trainer was attempting to explain why the horse was jumping the way he was.  She said: “You literally have to hold your hand this way to give the horse direction.”  Did she need the word “literally”?  Nope. My daughter wouldn’t want to figuratively hold her hands a certain way, would she?  So why does the word creep in when someone is giving directions or recounting an actual event that literally happened?  Beats me.  But it’s become the adverb du jour and no one—aside from my husband and perhaps the ghost of Ernest Hemingway–seems to mind it’s over usage.  In fact, people tend to want to embellish their thoughts with as much extra verbiage as possible.  Maybe they think it makes them sound smart.

Hey, I’ve got nothing against a little verbose language.  It beats the teenage shoulder shrug or eye roll any day.  In fact, I’m a big wordsmith.  I love introducing synonyms throughout my writing so as not to over use a particular word.  Unlike my husband, I don’t get easily peeved at a preponderance of adverbs.  It’s usually the word “like” that sends me ranting.  I thought I had purged my son of his “valley speak” years ago; but, then he went to college, and this ugly habit of punctuating every other word with “like” has come roaring back.

My daughter goes through phases with “catch phrase” words.  A few years ago, everything was “epic”.  Now days, the world is “totally ironic”.  I think it’s  totally ironic that she doesn’t get it when I call her Alanis. I literally laugh until I cry. 🙂

What about you?  Are there any frequently used popular phrases or words that annoy you?

Nobody puts Baby in a corner….

I’m recycling a post from my blog tour earlier this month, since it was fun to play with.   Enjoy!

So let’s chat about some of our favorite movie or book couples of all time.  Actually most of these are movies, but that’s what came to mind.

Titanic – Jack and Rose – How much did you cry when Jack gave up his place on the—plank?  Whatever it was, I was yelling, “There’s fifty others floating around, fool!”  And then what tears when Rose pried Jack’s frozen fingers from hers and let him go, saying, “I’ll never let go.”  I blubbered like a baby.  Every time I’ve seen it.

Gone With The Wind – Scarlett and Rhett – A smart-mouthed woman and an arrogant man that can’t get enough of her no matter how many times he tries to walk away.  “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

When Harry Met Sally – Harry and Sally – Women and men can’t just be friends, at least not in the movies, and not when it’s hysterical Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan.  Finally realizing their love over “Auld Lang Syne”.  And then there was that café scene where Sally proves the math that every woman knows.  Every woman has done it, and every man swears it’s never happened to them.  Go figure that one.

Rocky – Rocky and Adrian – “Adriaaaaaaaan!”  Enough said.

Tarzan – Tarzan and Jane – Who doesn’t love a story about a proper lady turned primal by a jungle man?  “Tarzan love Jane.”

Grease – Danny and Sandy – “Summer Lovin….he got friendly holdin’ my haaannnnd.”  “She got friendly…down in the saaannnnd.”  Yeah, Danny, really?  But nothing like a boy who’s willing to change his whole identity for her, while she does the same.  Awwwwww…

Forrest Gump – Forrest and Jenny – “My momma said life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.”  Forrest spends his whole life accidentally falling into fortune, while following the love of his life in one way or another.  She’s all he wants, even when she ditches him, time and time again.  And even when she’s dying.  That’s true love.

Dirty Dancing – Baby and Johnny – I saved this one for last.  “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”  Oh dear God, who didn’t melt all over the floor on that one?  Wealthy girl meets poor boy and defies Daddy to be with her Johnny.  We miss you Patrick.

Okay!  So tell me more.  Who did I miss?  What are your favorite couples????

What Is It About Flowers?

They don’t produce foodstuff like my vegetables.  Generally speaking.  There are those out there among us who eat flowers, but not this “us.”  Unless it’s the bloom from my basil and then yes, I’m all about eating flowers.

Some blooms don’t even produce fragrance.  Take my geraniums, for instance.  I think it’s the leaves that carry the familiar smell from my grandmother’s garden, the distinct scent that can transport a girl back to her youth, back to a Sunday drive along Lakeshore Drive in Michigan where geraniums line front porches in Traverse City, sweep the grounds of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island…

Flowers are very potent.  Memorable.  Not only can they fill your senses with their bouquet of color, but they’ll bring a smile to your face.  My mother was known for her gardenia.  Once a year she’d clip the white beauties and carry them indoors, their heavy perfume infusing the house with their presence.  We kids could always count on finding her in a good mood when she was clipping her gardenia.

And if your friend is in the hospital?  What better gift than a gargantuan sunflower?

How about some of my favorite gerber daisies?

One can’t help but feel better when surrounded by flowers.  And I think that might be their purpose.  Flowers are on this earth to fill our hearts with charity, bring smiles to our faces, share love with those near and dear and of course, make our world a brighter, more beautiful space. 

But don’t discount their practical functionality altogether!  As a gardener I can tell you:  plant marigolds around your vegetables and flowers and you’ll not have to worry about underground marauders.  These gorgeous blooms of sunshine make the best companions because they repel critters like nematodes and whiteflies.  Have you heard better news today?

“Not I!” said the rose to the fly.

Coffee, Tea, or…Not

Just got back from Starbuck’s coffee house with my decaf-latte-tall-extra-extra-hot in my hand and was literally moaning at how good it tasted.  The white creamy foam was sweetened with the tons of sugar I’d mixed in, the coffee not too strong yet lightly evident.  I loved it.  It’s a treat I don’t allow myself every day.  At $2.75, although it costs less than the almost $5 a gallon I pay for gas, I don’t buy a cup every single day.

My sister-in-law drinks tea.  Lipton tea.  I could understand if she drank some exotic blend of Jasmine with Peppermint Root or something, but Lipton?   I don’t know how she finds that tasty when compared to the luscious treats you can drink at Starbuck’s and Peet’s.  There’s just something special about the scent that assails your senses when you walk into a buzzing coffee house.  There’s no comparison to the Folger’s crystals that you scoop out of the glass jar and add hot water, at home.

What’s your preference?  Coffee?  Tea?  Or…?

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