Fun Friday: Feral Cats, Come On Down! (A Poem)



My friend sent me this poem last week. She makes and sells personalized greeting cards at They’re often funny because, well, that’s Deb. She is also sincere, so if you have an important event you want to send a card for, check out

This poem happens to be about animals, Bob Barker and a true story.

After catching our 3rd of 4 outdoor cats to get fixed earlier this week, I want to be like Bob Barker and spread the news about spaying and neutering your pets. Did anyone ever think about his last name and his mission? Pretty funny that as an animal lover, his last name is Barker! For those that don’t know, latest statistics put Cleveland on the map with 75,000 feral cats!

Sometimes, it’s difficult
Herding cats in a yard
Our kittens are wiley
And made it quite hard
But we were victorious
On Monday near dawn
Stormy is a boy
And now his *#(A$ are all gone
We bought a big cage
But the kitten has smarts
So, we had to think fast
Because when he sees us, he darts

So, while he was eating
I came behind his small head
I grabbed with both hands
He scratched and bit; we both bled
Injuries were minor
But Julie went for a shot
And now we’re both grateful
For the AFLAC she’s got!
All ended well
Now just one more to go
Little Tiger is precious
He can put on a show
If you want to adopt him
He’d make a great pet
And we’ll do the work
Of getting him fixed at the vet!
From your office or home, send someone a poem!


Encourage Experimentation: Buy the Allcasester.
So, this weekend, my son put “allcasester” on the grocery list.

When he asked if I’d seen the list yet, I gave him a weird look at first. Not only because I could not read the word he had spelled, but because I was wondering why he needed whatever that word was. Then I remembered that he’d learned some cool things in science this week… one included Alka-Seltzer .

Truth be told…I had already noticed his ‘update/request’ before he asked me. It was tucked in my purse for my weekly trip out. At that point though, I wasn’t convinced I was investing in wasting a box of medicine (or the money).

As I arrived in the medicine aisle of the grocery store, I finally found the boxes of cold/flu medicines. The cost for just one of these multi-package boxes was around $5.00. I already had a full grocery cart and thought to myself, ‘Do I get this for him to recreate his teacher’s science experiment or do I skip it?’.

I don’t usually think this next way, but I figured I could just say that they didn’t have the right kind, or that they were all out; he’d probably forget about it by next week (enter Mommy guilt).

I bought the allcasester…

Gee… maybe it’s because he’s the last kid, or maybe it’s because I’m just so busy, but in the past I always believed in taking the time for experiments and creativity.

I remember when my middle schooler was a little girl (three or four years old). I used to let her go to town in the kitchen and use my pots and pans; mix up water, salt, pepper and whatever else she wanted- and by the time she was seven, she was actually putting edible stuff in there (and was making me eat it- YUM).

Now that she is older (and has better taste buds), she is becoming well versed in the kitchen, and it was all on her own power- I never forced her.

I believe that a natural curiosity, plus being allowed freedom with my things (and my kitchen), gave her the love of cooking. Today she knows how to make over easy eggs with delicious seasoning, cuts various fruits and vegetables and prepares beautiful plates and salads with them, knows how to make potato salad, salmon, bake cakes, holiday candy and some of the meat for our dinners.

All kids have inner talents, gifts and skills that are just waiting to be honed.

It’s a parents’ job to help a child foster those.

When I returned home with the box of fizzy medicine, the boy lit up like a Christmas tree, pushed past me for some cooking oil and the saved empty water bottle, then asked for blue food coloring. He promptly began pouring, mixing and tipping this bottle of liquid, and he had our attention. He couldn’t have been happier when all three of us girls oohed and ahhhed at his lava-lamp looking bubbly thing.

Listen, watch, allow…
And buy the allcasester.

What About Concussions? (Kids In Sports)



Did you know:

-There are grown men who still harbor resentment because their mothers never let
them play football

-Everything carries risk; including driving your children to school

– There is no real easy way to talk to a child about how he or she would feel if they
got hurt playing a sport they love

Concussions are always talked about on the sidelines at practice (and many other places for that matter) and there are many differing opinions. I let my son play, but I still worry a little. In most cases the
conversations don’t usually involve him though. I’d like to discuss it with him, but I guess I just haven’t
found a good way to bring it up.

But, recently…

One of his teammates got hurt, and yes, it was a concussion, and the boy will not be returning for the
rest of the season.

I’ve always followed my gut.
My kid loves football and has since I introduced it to him at 2 1/2 yrs. old
He began playing the sport when he was 6
After 2 years of flag he begged me to let him play full on tackle and so…we entered ‘real football’
He (and his entire 60 lb little body) has never complained about being the smallest (or taking heavy hits)
Though I cringe when I see it (or any other boy get hit)…

Am I concerned? ABSOLUTELY, I am.
Every parent cares for their child and wants them to be safe and healthy.

But, my Jay thrives being a part of a team.
He has passion, enthusiasm, and a love for the sport.

And who am I to keep him from it?

When we talked about the boy who won’t be returning, I found it the perfect moment to casually say,
“You know, I kinda worry about that sometimes too” – He just nodded (I knew it meant he agreed that he thought about it too; how could he not?).

It was the perfect time to ask:
“So, bud, if you got hurt would you be regretful that you were in football; would you quit playing?”.


(Quick Reply!)

He being a boy (males are known to avoid elaborating unless completely necessary-or asked)
ME being a female (with a need to get deeper) I prodded, “Really!!! Why?”.

“I don’t know, I guess because I love to play the sport and I want to play it- and its…”

I filled in the blanks.

“Some things we do carry risk- it’s just something we are aware could happen right?”.

A nod was all I got, and enough to know my Mommy-gut was right.

Isn’t life too short to worry?
Doesn’t it feel bad to dwell on stuff we cannot control?
Isn’t it sad when a child grows up to say, ‘I couldn’t, because my parents worried’ ?

That is what I’ve heard over the years from grown men whose mothers would not let them play football for fear that little Johnny would hurt. Those ‘little-Johnnys’ are still resentful now always asking, ‘what if’.

I am still unhappy about how much I was not allowed to do because my father was fearful.

I won’t succumb to it as a parent. My son is out there on the field. And, yes, he could get hurt.

He could also get hurt under his parents’ care; in the car, at school, or at the park. I cannot rightfully keep him from a dream- because of my what-if’s…that would just be selfish.

Wanna know a secret???

With so many health issues plaguing kids these days after being on the football field, I’m honestly petrified…

But this isn’t my life… it’s his.

**Ironically, when this post was in draft mode…and scheduled to be published-
my son had an accident at the field. It was a head injury, but a non-sports related one. Not serious at all, but went down as traumatic. He’s fine, and back on the field.

– Yes, I freaked
– Yes, I worried
– Yes, it made him apprehensive to put a helmet on again even though it had nothing to do with football
– Yes, he did fully recover
– No, it did not stop us from returning (because there were no residual health issues)
– I did wonder what we would do if it were worse

I looked at this experience like this:
At least we know what it’s like to go through it, and if a true on-the-field injury happens we know that we are surrounded by people who really care, who know what to do, and that Mommy will be there, even if she isn’t right there.

More on my feelings and his when I write about it in another blog.

This Message to Teachers Goes For Parents Too: Do You Matter? (Video) 

There’s no time like the present to stop and think about the impression we make on our children.

Every second of every day, 365 days a year, our kids are ‘watching’.
Now it’s our turn to watch

Check out this video of 3 hardworking kids (who invested half their summer to memorize these lines) so they could deliver the entire W/E School District of teachers and Principals a very important message.

It’s a 10 minute performance which will bring most of us to tears.

If you can, please share this with as many parents and educators as possible via email or social media…. it’s an important message and kind of a big deal (and not just because my Middle Schooler is in it 😉

Fun Friday: Kids Eating Healthy (and being outnumbered as a single parent)

I often try to lay down the law in my house, well, because I can (and should). But I’m finding that as my kids get older (they’re all double digits-YIKES) they know I’m completely outnumbered 3 to 1!

So in the case of last week, when I sprung a surprise family meeting on them because they all happened to be at the kitchen table at the same time having a snack (smart right?)…yeah, it didn’t go well.

I’m pretty sure I saw an eye roll, somebody left early, and the last one cut me off as she was getting up to go back to her room, saying, ‘yeah, we know, mom… do the things that are necessary first before we do fun stuff…we got it‘.



So when I saw this quote online this week, it just struck me as something they would say to get what they wanted (while using the gang up on mom idea)…


Parenting is a balance… you should let them win sometimes, just so they don’t get discouraged (wink-wink).

A Quote for Parents Who Worry

This past weekend at my church, our Pastor offered a sermon on worry. I could really relate because I grew up in a worrisome home.

Full of anxiety, my Nanny would always remind me of the scary stuff I had to watch out for in life: strangers, pedophiles waiting in parked cars on my walk to school, staying up too late, getting hurt outside, drowning in the pool, driving in the car…. the list went on and on.

While in my other ear, my dad would not allow me to do things which could result in a bad experience, or worse: harm. For instance, I could not drive a small car. When I was sixteen I wanted a Corvette (okay, champagne taste on a beer budget I was told)…so I settled on a white Toyota MR2. Nope, he vetoed that and wound up giving me his Ford F150 to drive to school instead because the car I wanted was too small and I could get killed in it.

I could not do this, or that, go here, or there, all because ‘God-forbid, something could happen to me’. I realize they cared, but honestly…

As I grew older, I inherited that habit of worry. So much that while I was dating my children’s dad back in 1994, he gave me a worry stone as a gift.

Interestingly enough, I can say I have never been afraid to try new things (probably felt stifled), but it has actually been just over the last two years that I have been able to drop the stress of daily life and what-if’s, and relax more.

Much of it has been prayer, some of it is this year’s My One Word: “Relax”, and some is just refusing to live in fear- and choosing instead to focus on ways to enjoy life (and the moment).

I am happy to extend this faith to my children. Life can bring us much to fret about, it’s our job to let go of it and enjoy the moment-and teach them to do the same.

A football (and New Orleans Saints) fan, I’ve been reading ‘Coming Back Stronger’. It’s an auto-biography about Drew Brees. I picked it up because I admire his leadership and wanted to learn more about my team. (Okay, haters, I have/do support the Browns and always pray for the team to do well, and make good choices, I just enjoy the Saints and Drew Brees more- can you blame me?)

Anyhow-in his book I found this quote comforting and inspiring:

Worry about the Day ~DB

With all there is in life to worry about, only concern yourself with the stuff you can control. Let go of the rest and let it fall into (or out of) place. Your kids need you to be in the present, and they need to lead less stressful lives themselves so that they can cope with all the stuff already being thrown at them.

If you want to listen to the sermon on worry, click here, it should be online soon.