Am I Old Enough for Naps?

Are naps okay in your sixties? I mean am I old enough? What’s the recommendation? Does the CDC have an opinion? AARP maybe?

I seem to get sleepy every afternoon, I really do. Not necessarily where I need to put on jammies and climb into bed. Just the kind of tired that makes me want to find a corner and nod off for a bit.

Honestly, I don’t know how I made it through the workday before I retired last year. I remember hitting a point in the afternoon where, for the most part, nothing more got done that day, but I really don’t remember having to fight to keep my eyes open.

The other day while in line at the drive-thru pharmacy I must have dozed off. I jolted and suddenly a different car was in front of me. I really have no recollection of being passed, or that a severe thunder storm had started. Anyway, a little honk would have been nice.

How does Congress do it? Many of them stay in office well beyond the average retirement age, spending hour upon hour in those chambers. Men in suites with neck ties and probably professionally starched, stiff shirts. Women in dresses, heels and probably control top pantyhose. Crazy! What an act to pull off at their age with no nap.

The majority of retirees have far less demands than that, and still fizzle out in the middle of the day.

If only our grandchildren could muster up a mid-day fizzle. My kids practically stand on their heads trying to get their toddlers to nap. When you’re a young parent getting your kids to sleep becomes the main focus of your existence.

How ironic that I’m fighting it off every day.

Some say if you hit a sleepy time of day that you should exercise. Getting the blood moving helps you push through the tiredness. That sounds like punishment.

Others go straight to Caffeine, but that’s just begging for bedtime sabotage.

So I suppose the question is: give in to naps or push through?

My parents used to knock off watching their soaps every afternoon. They had to be about my age, and I never remember them feeling guilty or questioning it. Actually, they bragged about their “well-deserved” little slumber.

“Well-deserved”…wait a minute. Holy Cow, that’s it!!!

After years of pushing through unimaginable tiredness while raising our kids; toddler meltdowns in stores (or anywhere), homework (especially science projects), fundraisers, teacher’s gifts, Disney themed birthday parties, sitting on hard bleachers watching sports, more fundraisers, vacation planning and execution, the list goes on. You remember, right? Even getting to this point without kids; career demands, family obligations, and don’t forget the Holy Grail of tiredness from making everyone’s dreams come true every holiday.

Push through a nap, forget that. We earned a nap!!

So there it is right smack in front of us. The answer is YES! Absolutely YES! We’re not only old enough for a nap in our sixties, it’s “well deserved”. Our reward for all we’ve done to get here.

A good ol’ fashioned, mouth open, fly catching nap, right smack in the middle of the day…

For more reminders for this “well deserved” time of our life read this humorous romp through the years of raising kid.

Empty Nesters…Lose the Guilt!

Flowers, Chocolates and Brain Racking

It’s tradition…

Flowers and chocolates are the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts for men to give a women. A tradition that was dropped in men’s laps long ago, taking all decision making out of the occasion. They simply can’t goof this up. They’re even given daily reminders, starting after New Years, that the occasion is nearing. If they’re a real knucklehead and still forget, they can grab flowers from the curbside guy at the red light on their way home.

Lucky for them women always, and I mean always, love flowers.

As for chocolates, well, women absolutely lose their minds when they’re given a box of chocolates. Six weeks of successful dieting is easily thrown out the window when a woman receives chocolates. A NASCAR green flag flashes before their eyes giving them the go ahead to dig in as fast as they can. I’ve known women to eat an entire box of gifted chocolates for dinner. My one friend canceled her colonoscopy prep because she received a box. Some women hide their gifted chocolates in their underwear drawer for safe keeping. There’s no going wrong with chocolates for women.

So guys, let’s face it, you’ve got it made for Valentine’s Day!

Woman, however, have not had a tradition handed to them to use every Valentine’s Day. They are left racking their brains every year to think of a gift for their man. It’s hard to find something that compares to the flowers and chocolates tradition.

There was a time when Valentine’s Day was just for women. Women were the Valentines, and men were the ones asking them the question “Will you be my Valentine?”

This was back when most women were at home tending house with aprons around their waists, and screaming children around their ankles. Valentine’s Day was a day for men to show women an expression of love and, I suppose thanks. Someone very wise, who knew how difficult it is for men to figure out ways to do this, suggested the foolproof gift idea of flowers and chocolates. Walah! The tradition was born!

But then the day came when women fought for equal rights, and they got them. So now women are on the hook for Valentine’s Day, too.

I’ve spent 40 years racking my brain for ideas to express my love for my husband on Valentine’s Day. The results have ranged from a bookmark with a cupid hologram on it, to a new flatscreen TV. I’m now wondering if my choices were hormonal.

I do know this, wherever I land with my gift idea this year, after 40 years of marriage the answer to “Will you be my Valentine?” is…YES SIREE!

Now BRING ON the flowers and chocolates…it’s tradition!

At Sixty+ I’m Tired of Decorating

I’ve been at it since age eight. That’s when my parent’s bought me my white provincial bedroom set. I picked out a bedspread, and started collecting china horses to display on the shelf over my new bed.

I was exhilarated!

We don’t realize it at the time, but our first decorating projects are our childhood bedrooms. Our parents start us out with something cutesy, then we take over when we become too cool for it. Gradually the heartthrob posters are hung, and if we can get away with it, a bright purple wall.

College dorm decorating was, well, hard to put into words. Any decor attempts were quickly over shadowed by hanging shoe bags, take out food containers, and clothes draped over everything and anything. Is there a carpet down there? Mayyyybe. Girls put up curtains, guys didn’t bother.

Having said that, my lava lamp was absolutely captivating.

Finally, the first apartment. Striking out on our own, craving independence, as we raided our parents basements. The decor was “early attic”, anything they didn’t want. The old dresser that stored wrapping paper and old team t-shirts became mine, all mine. Decorating challenges fell to placement of furniture in way too small of a space. I’m talking a tight squeeze, with a lot of rationalizing,

and if the end table stuck out…it was fine.

For me there were several of these type living arrangements along the way. Once in a real job, I even bought some new stuff. My first experience with how different shades of green matter, unmatched towels don’t matter, and how put-together furniture is not so bad. I learned to limit comparison shopping to three stores, and measure before you leave the house…twice,

and if the end table sticks out…it was NOT fine.

Eventually, there’s the first house. Well, now we’re really ready to do it right. Except you spend every last morsel of your being to buy the first house, so you’re not decorating with Ethan Allen just yet. It takes awhile before a real furniture truck can pull up to the front of your home and deliver a fully assembled piece of furniture.

At this point we’re in our third house. Let’s add that up:

  • Childhood bedroom
  • Cooler Childhood Bedroom
  • Dorm room
  • Apartment #1
  • Apartment #2
  • Fiance’s apartment (don’t tell my parents)
  • House #1
  • House #2
  • House #3
  • House #3 but re-decorating after 15 years

No wonder I’ve FIZZLED OUT!!!

Over those years I’ve picked out hundreds of shades of beige paint. My hubby thought they all looked the same from two feet back. That was just nuts! There is a huge difference between Pacific Mist and Cappuccino Spice. HUGE!!

But don’t think we’re living a monotone, beige existence. I’ve splashed color around in carpets, furniture and window treatments. Made that sound easy didn’t I? Well, it wasn’t. What a tormenting decision-making process.

My style ended up more of, if I liked it I bought it or kept it. We actually still have a couple of those “early attic” pieces around. How could I get rid of the half moon table my dad made in wood shop?

it’s fine. It really is fine, AND…I’m tired!

That’s It! I’m Cutting My Own Hair

I know hair salons are now open, I just wasn’t willing to risk it with Covid numbers still high. So yes, I surrendered a haircut from Amy, my highly skilled hairdresser, and cut it myself. This was a big deal for me, really big.

As desperate as I was for the masterful layering of my locks, by razor-sharp scissors, in the hands of incredibly, talented Amy. I settled for grabbing chunks of hair between my two fingers, cutting what’s sticking up on the other side, with my sewing scissors, by inexperienced me.

This also involved missing out on conversations with the other women in the salon while our hair color processes. I love that part. We put our hearts and souls into our discussions about the world’s problems, with an emphasis on the gossip in town. Passing that up was as big a deal as the haircut.

Instead…it was move over Vidal Sassoon!

I started slow, methodically working my way around my head. Surprisingly, it was going quite well, and the shagginess was starting to shape up. I was even able to “cut out the ears”. That’s what Amy calls it when she makes me stop talking, and carefully tapers the hair around my ears. It’s an important feature of a short hair style, and tricky to do. Somehow, I pulled that rabbit out of a hat.

Then I entered the even-it-up phase of the operation. This part felt very reasonable when I was doing it. A little here, a little there, but then it came time to blow dry. I could have sworn I left more room between my fingers and my head. How did it get so short?!

What’s this? Roots! Of course, I chopped off so much of the colored hair, now the grey roots show up like a billboard on Times Square. I somehow forgot to add that into the equation. So began the search for hair color. Well, that was a shocker…

Are there really that many different versions of brown hair? I was suddenly faced with; am I dark brown or medium brown? Chestnut or hazelnut? Warm or cool? What about ash brown? Am I ash? No, ash sounds like dirt. Should I get the one that’s paraben free?

What the heck is paraben, anyway?!

Turns out, the more I looked at the color options, the more intrigued I got. Why not try a hint of red I thought…add a little pizzazz. Make a note; somewhere on hair dye boxes, in teeny, tiny print, is written existing hair color will effect the outcome, results may vary.

So how’d I do?

Let me start by saying my husband is one of the smartest people I know. With that comes a total inability to notice changes in my hair styles. He just doesn’t see it, his brain is too consumed. So when he immediately noticed my hair that day, I panicked.

“It’s different” he said in an overly kind voice. We all know what that means after a hair cut. I suppose the expression on my face, which he does notice, caused his immediate change in course, and a compliment then surfaced. I told you he’s smart. Too late, “it’s different” already registered.

Here’s what I really didn’t expect; hair cutting is addictive. I couldn’t seem to stop. Every time I passed a mirror I saw a little something else to snip. I had, evidently, developed serious ownership for every strand of my hair. I didn’t know what to do.

Until…I saw a lady walking past my house in a big, floppy hat. It was cute. That’s it, I thought! If I can’t see my hair, I can’t cut it.

It’s now been three weeks and I haven’t touched the scissors. The red tones, okay orange, have dulled and my hair has grown enough that the natural wave on the left side of my part has returned.

Turns out cutting my own hair was a humbling experience, that will certainly result in a better tip for Amy. Let’s face it, our hairdressers are worth their weight in gold. Which, by the way, is another option for brown hair. Yup, golden brown…probably a safer choice for next time.

Returns; Oh What Fun It Is!

When done correctly, a merchandise return causes an adrenaline surge, followed by the feeling of great accomplishment and satisfaction. Oh, what fun it is!

If done correctly that is. I’ve spent years perfecting the process, culminating with the return of my daughter’s wedding venue and a 100% refund. I simply found a better one. That happened so fast no one could even process it.

Here’s what I’ve learned to make it fun…

First keep in mind the motto the customer is always right. Of course, to retailers the customer is never right, especially for returns, but that old saying provides you with “gusto” going in. Also, embrace why in the world would I keep this thing? Did I take a vow to remain committed to the purchase till death do us part? Nooo. Was there a 3 finger in the air pledge for keepsies? No, again.

You’d think the little girl behind the counter waiting on me this week would have understood that. Instead, she acted like the refund was coming out of her own piggy bank from her unicorn themed bedroom at home. Without looking up, in a “this is ‘like’ just not happening” tone, she states it’s past the one month deadline, dear. DEADLINE! What is that all about? DEAR! I was your elementary school nurse! These socks were bought at the Pre-Black Friday sale in October. When you do the math, I also know your math teacher, we’re two months in before the gift was even given.

I’m nice.

I’m always nice. You have to be, otherwise, you’re going home with your merchandise or a store credit that expires in 2 hours.

I simply just don’t go away.

That’s right, when they look up after denying my return request…I’m still standing there. When I continue with more details of my return rational, in this case; unreasonable constriction of my average size ankles, citing only stick figure people could comfortably wear these socks, they sigh, then go to the standard there’s nothing I can do. Well, I’m still standing there, feet planted, a patient grin on my face, checking my cuticles to add a nonchalant effect. Eventually, security starts too hover in the background and the manager is called.

It really doesn’t get fun until the manager shows up.

By then the line has cleared behind me as customers search for another register. The other sales clerks are whispering, and rolling their eyes in support of the one waiting on me. The manager arrives and the dance starts all over again. Merchandise, receipt, Pre-Black Friday math, but now I get to use my slam dunk of the deal, the mother of all rationals; The Clincher!

Continuing my niceness, I mention how disappointed everyone will be at the big town fundraiser tonight to hear of the store’s new return restrictions. I then bring it home with a very thoughtful look, eyes gazing upwards, as I gush out my heartfelt concern over the future of everyone’s favorite store in town. A hint of innocence topped with a dollop of concern…

and, I’m there.

Right where I want them, the vision of a tarnished reputation, fear of dwindling sales, AND ticking down to lunch time. It becomes clear that spending another exhaustive hour on my return rationals is just not worth it, nor is missing lunch.

“Oh What Fun It Is” to skip back to the car after a morning of returns!

A Spouse’s Gift…CAREFUL now!

This is very complicated. Why? Because unpractical people tend to marry practical people. So naturally when a couple decides they’re not going to exchange gifts, the unpractical spouse always comes up with a little something anyway. This, of course, makes the practical spouse look like a slug.

I suppose it’s obvious that I happen to be the practical spouse. The rule follower, an embracer of what has been agreed upon. If it’s been decided to limit gift spending to a certain amount, you can depend on me to embrace it. So what’s wrong with that?

I’m sure you unpractical spouses think us practical spouses should avoid this becoming a thing by anticipating the indulgence headed our way, and coming up with our own little something anyway. In other words, ante up. Um, nope, not doing it. That would completely disregard the principal of the matter at hand. Practically speaking…a deal is a deal!

So how should us practical spouses handle these well-meaning gestures that drive us so crazy. We know there’s absolutely no talking them out of it. A heartfelt thank you, you shouldn’t have works for awhile, but eventually loses its effect. Sometimes a gesture of sharing can work, oh, this will be for both of us, but that’s situational. Other than cave on principles, we have no choice but smile, hug and offer to make dinner…all week.

Advertisements, especially jewelry commercials, add to the dilemma of trying to tame the unpractical spouse. Those ads do such a convincing job of selling delightfully wrapped, little, square boxes with the latest gleaming trend inside. Generally there’s twinkling lights strung in the background, with a soundtrack that will melt any skeptic’s heart. Hard for the unpractical spouse to resist, and impossible to stay within the agreed upon spending limit.

Similarly, big box discount stores make a mundane, household item look like a great gift option to the practical spouse. Oh yes it does! Their convincing displays make a fold away foot stool or cling free dryer balls look like the perfect choice for any occasion. Having said that, even my practical minded, troubleshooting tells me mundane, household items make terrible surprises. That’s why I discuss it first before buying.

I know, I know…

Hey, I’ve had my moments of glory with all this. When the kids were little, we would occasionally rent a VCR from the Video Store to have a family movie night. If you’re under the age of 60, your jaw just hit the floor. Soooo, I decided to buy my husband a VCR for Valentines Day. Yup-a-doodle, our own VCR, no more renting! Well let me tell you, his jaw surely hit the floor. Nailed it!

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Recently, we made the rule of “just something little” for Valentine’s Day, so I went with a “helpful” gift. After watching my husband continually hold his books at arms length, I bought him a pair of reading glasses to “help” with that, and taped them to his Valentines Day card. Well that played out differently in my head than real life. When I found myself rambling a way too long explanation, it struck me how a peanut butter filled, chocolate heart would have worked out better. Hindsight really is 20/20.

And, I got a computer. Yup! That’s what I mean. Yes, yes, I know, it was very nice. That’s why I said thank you, you shouldn’t have, followed by oh, this will be for both of us.

Anyway, when you live with someone long enough you find your differences start to meld together, landing you both somewhere in the middle. Thank goodness for that, otherwise this complicated scenario, as well as others, would go on forever.

—————-

Ultimately, time itself has a way of enlightening us. The longer we observe life around us, the more material gift giving loses it’s importance.

Instead, we discover the very best gifts in life are the things we can’t buy.

And what a gift that discovery has been…

Newscasters…our new Besties!

Wait…is Jess wearing false eyelashes tonight? She’s never wore false eyelashes before. Hummm Oh dear, she’s not doing very well with them. Look, she can barely get her eyelids back up after each blink. What in the world was she thinking?!

These are the kind of conversations my husband and I have watching the nightly news every night. Between the pandemic and the election, we are now obsessed with our Newscasters. Well, we do spend more time with them than anyone else. Actually, it feels like they’ve become our new best friends…our Besties.

We certainly know as much about them as we do our other friends, maybe more. For instance, we know Jess doesn’t normally blink like that, and when Howard is having an off night he always mispronounces Roger’s last name. As for Frank, he just about loses it every time a sad story comes up about children. Has a heart the size of Texas, that one does.

Rodney has amazing taste in neckties. I look forward to his tie choice more than the news. Roseanne has a wardrobe that could drop Valentino’s jaw to the floor. The color schemes she puts together are eye popping. That dress tonight is spot on Rosie!

Alex’s sense of humor has us roaring every night. He could bag newscasting altogether and move right into standup. We don’t miss a minute of good ol’ Al.

I worry sometimes that we’ve gotten too attached to our Newscasters, is this healthy? When they take a night off we feel lost. They’re replacements feel too much like strangers. It’s a struggle to make it to the “feel good” story at the end of the broadcast. We need it to be our Newscasters or nothing.

Hold on, hold on, HOLD ON!!!

It’s Friday at 6:00pm, dinner is ready, the TV tables are up, and on comes the nightly news BUT, what’s this I see? Rodney isn’t wearing a tie! What is going on? Did he have neck surgery yesterday? Was he injured?

Wait a minute, wait a minute, WAIT A MINUTE!!!

Roseanne is in pants. PANTS! Are you kidding me Rosie?! Can this really be happening? Has the world spun off it’s axle? The very people we’ve depended on, night after night, to get us through the events of this topsy-turvy world we live in, have suddenly gone rogue.

The people we’ve laughed with, cried with, especially Rodney, even followed BREAKING NEWS with. It’s a bonding experience like no other. And now, well now I don’t know what we’re looking at. What has happened to our Besties?!

Okay, here comes Alex. Come on Alex, put the world back on it’s axle…pleeease! There it is, a hilarious comment about his colleagues attire. Alex gets it, we’ve always been on the same page with good ol’ Al. That should put an end to this nonsense. It was probably just an attempt at dress down Friday.

Saturday, Sunday, even Monday, the most serious day of the week, no tie, no dress. Evidently, the time they spent broadcasting from home during quarantine has ruined them. Is this here to stay?

Okay, here’s another BREAKING NEWS. Um, I saw this on my phone 3 hours ago…whatever. Let’s see; good delivery, personable as always, a nice joke from Alex, a little tear from Rodney. Jess is handling the eyelashes better and I have to admit, I love how Rosie accessorized the pants tonight. Are we becoming okay with this?

We all know it’s been a year of adjusting. So with that, and a “like it or lump it” attitude, my husband and I are back to enjoying nightly visits, in the living room, with our Newscasters. Also, ironically, their Twitter accounts have handled, quite thoroughly, our feelings about it all.

We take some solace in that.

It bears mentioning just how nice it is to see other faces in our living room every night…other humans! Our Newscasters could show up in potato sacks at this point, as long as they show up. We need you…our Besties!

Thank you

Empty Nesters…Lose the Guilt! (excerpt)

Empty Nesters…Lose the Guilt!

A humorous romp through the years of raising kids to remind this “kid pleaser” generation of Empty Nesters why it’s finally time to make life about YOU!

Chapter 3 -“School Daze” (excerpt)

Remember that overwhelming feeling of seeing your child up on stage? That kid we lived with day in and day out, who needed direction just to get through breakfast, suddenly looked like a superstar. This was especially surprising considering the rampage at home beforehand to get them there.

  • Where is your other black shoe?
  • Wasn’t there a special shirt you had to wear?
  • Your shoe is where?
  • Then wear one of your brother’s.
  • The shirt is in the bottom of your backpack!
  • You have to be there when?!
  • NOW you tell me I was supposed to bake?!?!

I just made it back in time after dropping him off thirty minutes before the program began, without baked goods, then rushing to pick up his brother from soccer practice. The parent with flowers and a helium balloon slid into the row in front of me, probably brought baked goods. I rummaged through my purse for the Tootsie Roll I bought the day before from the Knights of Columbus. Found it, phew! Hey, it was a king size.

When the show began I had to duck around the balloon that kept floating up, and blocking my line of vision. I missed my son’s one contribution to the evening because the camcorder wasn’t working. Didn’t I charge it after Easter? My cell phone rang startling me and everyone around me because my six-year-old took it off vibrate, and increased the volume when she got bored with the program. This caused the people with the balloon and baked goods to miss their child’s one contribution to the evening…and…the program had my son’s name spelled wrong.

In the end I was bursting with pride seeing my son up on that stage, beaming with sheer joy at being a part of something grand, that he will surely get a “form paper” certificate for. By the way, he loved the Tootsie Roll.

Ladies and gentlemen take it in, and enjoy these incredible memories of raising your kids. Surely there is a “form paper” certificate somewhere in the attic as evidence. This rite of passage for your children was as demanding for you, as parents, as it was for them.

The kids, no doubt, achieved great successes along the way, but your contribution to it should not be overlooked. The mere survival of your kid’s “School Daze”, and all it entailed, deserves to be celebrated. Long overdue is the opportunity to magnet a little something of your own on the refrigerator. Sooooo…

IT IS MY GREAT HONOR TO PRESENT

Empty Nesters…Lose the Guilt! by Diane Stolz

available at

https://www.amazon.com/Empty-Nesters-Guilt-Diane-Stolz/dp/1511855991

and

Lewis Farms 384 Belleview Avenue, Southington, CT 06489

I’d Exercise More, but Then I’ll Sweat

I panic when I sweat! You DO know that sweating is one of the first signs of a heart attack. right?

That’s why I cut off all exercise at the first sign of clamminess. Don’t judge, with this system I’m up to my green 7 pound weights, and just added another click of elevation to my treadmill. It does take being very in tune with your body to make this work. Not everyone can do it. Identifying any hint of flush in your cheeks, at very first onset, is the key. That means sweat is next.

It helps if you prioritize the parts of your body of concern at this point in you life. Certainly anything that can be concealed by the new color block design clothing, is no longer necessary to bother about. If you can resist going bra-less in public, that will take a weight off your shoulders as well…literally. Also, if you embrace boy short bathing suits you’re golden!

So you may need to adjust your expectations. For instance, will your arms ever be like Michelle Obama? Nooo, but you will be able to wear a sleeveless top without upper arm jiggle knocking out the person next to you. Is it likely you’ll place in, or even finish the Boston Marathon? No again, but running all over the mall until you find the exact dress you want, and matching shoes will be a cinch.

Also, I can’t exercise around people. Just the thought of being beside another person, on an exercise machine in a gym, in itself makes me sweat. Especially if it’s a friend. I can just picture myself gasping for air trying to exercise and talk at the same time. I love my friends, but we don’t spend a minute together without needing to talk, and that’s with hand movements. Plus, how would I focus on my flush?

And, I can’t trust my body. I’m at the stage of life where exerting pressure on certain muscles groups sometimes causes, um, an involuntary event. To avoid this outrageous scenario I have to hold my breath, and clinch my teeth. Try exercising doing that.

Let’s not forget yoga pants, a requirement for the gym. They look to me like something that should be worn under clothes, not be the clothes. Even a mosquito bite bump can be seen in those things. How could I concentrate on my flush if I’m worrying about what might be popping out?

Actually, I did give the gym a chance once. That’s how I know about the yoga pants. I showed up in my old, pea green, baggy sweat suit thinking comfort was what I needed. Then I ran into “perfect exercise lady”. She looked like she was doing a cover shot for a fitness magazine. Her pink, yoga pant ensemble fit like it was painted on, AND only all the right things were popping out. I was about to hide behind the “leg lifty-uppy” machine, but then she noticed me.

Our boys were on the same soccer team 25 years ago. After a bouncy, hoppy, stretchy, hello she hopped onto the treadmill in front of me…more hopping. Her ponytail swinging back and forth as she ran, yes ran, nearly caused me to spin off my treadmill as I walked behind her, yes walked. The gym attendant “perfect exercise guy” came over to steady me. I would have rather spun off.

My sweating that day was not from exercise at all, but from emotional trauma. So I did what anyone would do after a gym experience like that. I went home, ate a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies, then laid on the couch all night nursing my bruised ego. That is, after I monitored my pulse for awhile to rule out a heart attack.

All in all, I feel like I’m doing just fine in my basement with my treadmill and the little green weights, maintaining a nice 98.6. I do, however, have the utmost respect for those of you who sweat it out, in yoga pants no less. Impressive! Just not impressive enough for me to ever, EVER join you again.

I’d panic, really I would…

Dog Sitting for Your Kids

Honestly, I'm not a big dog person.

Honestly, I’m not a big dog person.

So when Theo comes flying through the door at 90 mph and runs laps around the house, then checks all the bedroom doors hoping to get in and find a shoe to chew, I question my willingness to dog sit. The thing is, he’s my daughter and son-in-law’s dog, technically my granddog, and I love the little rascal…he’s family. So I try to forget he’s a dog.

It helps that he’s a fury, little, adorable thing. I handle small dogs better. Once I dog sat my in-law’s big black lab, and ended up jumping into the playpen with my 9 month old when it growled and grimaced at me for trying to get him off the couch. My 9 month old looked at me like isn’t HE the one that should be in the cage?

The kids are always great about sending Theo’s essentials: his collapsible crate, his flea resistant, fleece blanket and memory foam bed, his toy that prevents plaque buildup and strengthens gums, his ergonomically correct dog dish, and his designer doggie cardigan for walks. Not for nothing, but when we were kids our dog slept on the oldest, ripped up blanket in the house, her toy was a stick in the back yard, and she ate from one of our cereal bowls. Oh, and even I didn’t own a designer cardigan.

At least everyone knows my non-negotiable ground rules for dog sitting, even Theo:

  • I do not sleep with dogs.
  • I will not tolerate licking of my face by dogs, or anyone for that matter.
  • Absolutely no dragging of the butt on my carpet.
  • Humping my favorite throw blanket is out. Really, now!

All in all, Theo is actually an easy dog to watch. I do believe, however, he holds the world record for going inside and outside of a house in a day. I’ve tried to analyze why he does this to no avail. All I know is his signal is not quite a bark, not a whine, but more of a squeal. Like the sound your washing machine makes when finishing it’s spin cycle. Impossible to ignore, and relentless until you get up off the couch. I suspect that’s the part he likes best.

At least I don’t have to worry about dog hair getting everywhere with Theo. He’s a breed that has been genetically modified to be anti-allergic, so he doesn’t shed. I don’t know why they don’t do that with all dogs. It’s crazy, but somehow in that process he ended up with a ton of his own allergies.

Ironic, right?

So now the poor dog can’t eat anything but a special, crazy expensive dog food made from rabbit. Of course, I was skeptical like I always am with dog diagnosis’, so when my daughter asked if I could take Theo to his veterinary appointment for her, I jumped at the opportunity. Finally, a chance to interrogate the vet myself.

That was an experience…

I wasn’t prepared for how much the people that work in this veterinary clinic were into animals. I mean really into animals. In fact, if you look close they even resembled animals. You had the mousy little receptionist, the bushy haired vet assistant, and even the vet himself kinda slinked into the room. They let the dogs slobber all over their faces calling them “doggie kisses”, and I swear they were all snacking from the bowl of dog treats sitting on the counter.

I guess it goes without saying, the visit did not play out like I thought it would. I simply asked about the vet’s stock stake in the rabbit food, and inquired about letting nature take it’s course for animals, when he said Theo was due for an $80.00 immunization. I mean it’s not like Theo has to meet the state kindergarten requirements. Regardless, neither inquiry went over well…AT ALL!

I think I’m now on a list.

Anyway, dogs instinctively know they need to do something charming once a day, or no one would own them. Small dogs usually choose snuggling up on your lap during TV time at night. I don’t know what big dogs do. There’s no denying it completely melts my heart when Theo snuggles up, BUT it’s still not enough to fool me into dog ownership. I’m well aware that eating a sock, or rolling in poop in the backyard is right around the corner.

It’s seems crazy, but after Theo leaves I miss the little guy. I keep expecting him to be underfoot, or at the door making his spin cycle sound. I miss him snuggling on my lap at night, sharing my favorite throw blanket with me…under a watchful eye.

Maybe I actually do like dogs more than I realize!

Nah, I’ve just successfully forgotten Theo’s a dog.