New Friend


Her name is Cinder, over the past six weeks, she has stolen our hearts. Her calm demeanor, unusual for a 10-month-old puppy, has given her an upper hand when it comes to mischief. Not only does she look innocent, but she acts like it so well!

In this picture, she looks content and happy. She has finally relaxed to the point where I’m pretty sure she knows we are her forever family. In such a short time, she has come a long way from that beat down and sad puppy we adopted from the pound.

Look at this picture and tell me if you believe that a few minutes later, she escaped her leash and made us chase her all over and around the park. Afterwards, she went into the bushes plagued with tumble weeds from the empty lots around the park. At that point, I sat down and I started fake-crying out loud. Upon hearing me, she bolted in my direction and started liking my face. I got her! And just like that, her concern melted my anger away.

Friends Forever


Faunticle Day

If I could dedicate a holiday to a distant relative, it would be to that uncle or aunt that we all have who are old family friends and have always been around. They are fun, helpful and always have a trick up their sleeve to get around your parents moratorium on no snacks until dinner time. Coming up with a name would be tricky, though. We could use, family plus uncle = Famcle day! Or maybe, friend plus aunt = Fraunt day! Now, wait, its coming, its coming . . . famcle plus fraunt = Faunticle Day! Yes, that could work, right?

We could all have a Faunticle Day. The best part of it is that as we celebrate this day with fun activities to reciprocate all the hard work they do helping our family around, we could include great traditions to pass on to our very own fauntneices or fauntephews some day

I had one such aunt growing up. She called Withane. The literal translation to her name is “With-an-e” and we used to pronounce it by default whithany. When she was younger, she went by the name Eugenia, but must kids used to call her Ugenia to which she would vehemently reply “With an E!, E-ugenia. Smart alecs would answer back, ok Whithan-e Ugenia, and eventually she simply became Withane

Don’t remember much about her, I was very little when we moved away, but going to her house for special visits were very much a treat. I recall with fondness when we would hear from her by way of other relatives who had gone to visit her. Eventually however, time took its toll and as I moved on to my own live pursuits, aunt Withane became more a legend like household name.

If we had a Faunticle Day, I’m sure that every effort would have been made to go visit aunt Whithane at least once a year. Currently my own kids have a Faunticle who is still an important person in their lives even as adults. We all go visit and have really fun Ice-cream afternoons with him. It would be great to have a day to celebrate specially for him. It would highlight the appreciation both my husband and I have for the way he has always helped our family. It would also show him that he doesn’t have to fit in a corner of other celebrated holidays that sometimes are awkward to divide, like Father’s or Mother’s day.

We could all use a Faunticle day and by default we should Call it Funticle Day! . . . Funtickle day? . . . er. . . wait, maybe, you decide.




The daily Prompt

Yesterday was Father’s Day in many countries. If you could dedicate a holiday to a more distant relative, who would it be — and why?

Check these other answers as well:



The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Loosing live television at home has been a blessing, a concern and most definitely a curse, but I wouldn’t change that for the world. Today I want to share how removing live television from my home, a commodity that is taken for granted in out society, has been a gratifying choice.

Coming to terms with the fact that the rural area we chose for our very first home had no live television was hard at the beginning, but quickly resolved since we found more interesting things to do that eventually rewarded us with the addition of three other children in our lives.

At first we thought that it was no big deal. If we wanted, we could always subscribe to cable, trouble was that we didn’t want to pay for the installation of the cable lines to our area. Also, at the time, satellite television involved the purchase of an enormous dish whose installation was expensive as well. We settled for a TV monitor with an additional VHS cassette player, yes, the rumors are true, they did exist. Aside from rental videos, my in laws used to tape Cartoon Network for my kids and little as they were, it was just as effective at keeping them wrangled in one room. As the children grew and along with a home school education, it was not something we missed at all. You can only watch so many times the same movie (Hackers, with Angelina Jollie and only because I kept forgetting to return it), so we turned to each other for conversations, games and overall family interactions (gasp!), indeed.

As a result of non invasive interruptions within our family dynamics, we are very well connected with our children and the best side effect of our choice was how close to each other they remain to this day. When our older kids come to visit, we sit down to watch a family movie, a tradition that continues to enrich our connection as still provides a good amount of laughter and good times that cannot be compared to what we have outside our own little clan.

One day perhaps, as they build their own family, they can offer that same kind of opportunity for their kids to grow up interacting live with their own siblings and parents. In an age where personal, business and social cyber relationships outnumber our own relatives (speaking in general terms, of course. I’ve known some families out there . . . you know), it is important to keep people that are important to us, close and feel comfortable when we are with them. I’m sure there are many ways to turn TV addicted teenagers to be part of an amicable dinner discussion, but for my family, removing live television was the best way to make our kids interested in each other.



This post was inspired by Writing 101, Day Four: The Serial Killer

Follow the Leader

Have you ever wondered why it is that we do what we do for our children? In my case, I can tell you exactly why, she owns me. My 7 year old has a hold on me that I can’t quite shake. Caillen thinks very highly of her mother and I don’t want her to realize yet, that I’m human like everyone else. She also has her older brother in a pedestal, he is her superhero. My husband of course can do and fix anything, she says and her older sisters are just the best. Honestly, it’s not what we do to earn her trust and love, mostly is what she makes us do. This is not a post about my experience as a mother. This is a real call for help.

Because of her great expectations of me, I am now a leader in her Girl Scout troop. I didn’t really volunteer to help at the beginning of the year, she dead glared me until I raised my hand. I was weighing her oncoming disappointment against a raging battle to control cute little feral like children in their own territory. Caillen won. Let me tell you, six and seven year old girls in a group are brutal on the psyche. I shiver at the thought of how my creativity will have to stretch to accommodate different ways to manage these girls. I’ve already tried and failed when the outgoing leader made me responsible to teach them the routine to a skit. It was a disaster, but my daughter handled it well. She ran to get help from the other moms…gawwwd!

My daughter has a unique view on life. To her, there is nothing that can’t be done. There is always a way and we have to try and work hard to make it happen. In her mind, she knows, she really knows when we are just trying to get out of a particular “assignment”. We somehow depend so much on her approval that the best option for us it to move on and do as she “suggests”. I have to clarify that Caillen is mature beyond her years. She doesn’t make tantrums. She usually has a dignified demeanor to which our “reasons” are regarded as petty excuses, but she is not vociferous. She glares and accepts that her argumentative skills have a limit, for now (insert here a tune of impending doom, like “ta ta ta taaaan”).

I am looking at my fellow leader who is moving on to a different troop and wonder how am I going to fill in her shoes? However, my daughter is confident that I can do this. She encourages me. I crave her look of approval when I do something she commands. I’m in trouble now. I’m in and I don’t know where to start. Maybe I’ll just let her do the thinking and continue to follow her lead, seems to work just fine. My older children are out of the house in college now, so I am the sole recipient of her guidance. Perhaps it’ll be alright.


Story Time Live

Most every night my house is filled with fantastic characters that embark on amazing journeys and engage in perilous quests. In the evening, my kitchen table is the center of attention upon which my six year old daughter and my husband listen attentively and join a host of diverse characters to set off on extraordinary adventures.


For almost two years now they have been listening to story time devoutly. When I was working, half the time they listened to audio books since my schedule was hectic and didn’t allow for me to stay up late enough. Now that I retired, this evening time has been steadily growing to be a highlight of our everyday.

Even more eager than my daughter to take his place at the table is my husband. He drops whatever he’s doing on a moment’s notice and sits expectantly while the two of us finish the remnants of our evening routine.

What surprises me most about the attention both, daughter and husband pay is that I am the narrator. In the beginning, I used to read in monotonous tones all the different voices that belonged to the characters in a story, but as I grew confident with their appreciation, I started to experiment with different tones, diction and accents for every person. I don’t know how is it that neither of them starts laughing at my attempts to mimic deep manly voices, or whiny and throaty sounds for witches or goblins, but I tread on.

Sometimes I experiment with new things that may make this time seem more dynamic. Today I tried an Irish accent. I was terrible at it and I tried to stop, but my husband insisted that it added character to the narration. My daughter on the other hand, suggested in her very age appropriate way that I should stopped because it sounded a little embarrassing. Never the less, as I continued, she warmed up to this new element and once again, our nightly tale was a success.

When I read these books to my family, my daughter and husband cling to every word. Gilbert sits like Ralphie, the kid from “A Christmas Story” who couldn’t wait to sit every night and listen to “Little Orphan Annie” on his radio. His enthusiasm is nothing short of adorable. As for my daughter, story time is an attraction that propels her into a realm of wonder that continues to amaze her well into the night when sleep wraps its arms around her mind.