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Carine’s Blog

  • Let's Get Re-acquainted

    Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2013

    It's Been a While-Let's Get Re-acquainted

    While on FaceBook I found this query from one of my "friends".  I realized that it had been quite a while since one of my blogs had some fun, so here are the questions and my answers, would love to see yours!

    1-What is one of your favorite foods to eat? Let's face it, if you've read this blog a while-you know it's anything veggie.

    2-Where is one of your all-time favorite travel destinations? Love the Caribbean!  We've had 6 trips there and would love to go again for our 35th anniversary in 2016

    3-Who is one of your favorite actors?  Honestly, I don't have one.  I go film by film.

    4-What is one of your favorite movies?  I'm very old school-I like to be entertained.  Not grossed out or disgusted.  I want to feel joy or deep thoughts when I sit for 2 hours.  Since I'm an old dancer-"Singin' in the Rain".

    5-Tell something that you've never shared about you before?  I haven't shared this, but again, if you've read my work at all, you know that family is the driving force in my world.  I'd do almost anything for my kids.  I'm an avid believer in rescuing fur babies and if I could-I'd have a pet rescue.  Any cruelty to innocents such as children and animals truly riles me up.  Shame on those who do it.  They deserve life without parole.  Period.

    6-My biggest concerns?  Same as most of you-the state of our world, what will happen to my kids and grandkids.  Will we ever retire and feel comfortable doing so?  Will my health issues improve?  Will my medical team ever actually be able to help me live a less painful life?

    Now-your answers?

    5 Replies
  • Forget Socks! Where Does the Pet Fur Go?

    Posted on Thursday, September 5, 2013

    Where Does the Pet Fur Go?

    When our kids were little we had a white cat, Snowy and a German shepherd mix, Lucky.  They both were "shedders".  It never bothered me.  But Steve would "lose it" at almost every meal because he would find a piece of fur or two in his plate.

    Maybe it's because I truly love the fur kids, but my stock answer was, "You know, you should be happy!  They only share with those they love."

    The kids would snicker and Steve would grimace.  Our home had lots of wood and during many of those years I either worked part-time out of the home or was a full time stay-at-home-mom.  Part of my daytime routine was to get out the floor vacuum and go over all the floors.  This was followed by getting out the carpet vacuum and going over them.    

    Snowy shed white, Lucky shed black-our floors were a lovely shade of gray.

    When our beloved first round of fur kids went to heaven we rescued Sunshine.  Does anyone realize how much fur one lab/golden retriever mix can shed and still have a full coat?  There wasn't a day that I didn't sweep, vacuum and do little hand "pick-ups" during all our wonderful 14 years with her.  And when Pepper came into the mix-well, it's just too bad that I didn't have the presence of mind and the ability to do something with all that fur!

    (As a sad note, Sunshine left us almost 2 years ago.  We still miss her even with "new" Lucky to love)

    Now we have Pepper and Lucky.  Pepper has never actually shed all that much, but even with her very sleek coat Lucky does.  However, outside of my clothes-I don't actually know where it all goes.

    Part of it is definitely on the area rug in the family room-I know this because Steve seems proud to show me the canister every time he vacuums.  But the bedroom rug?  No.  The bed?  Strangely enough-no!  The little dear sleeps under the sheets right next to me every night and yet-when I clean out the dryer filter-no fur!  Pepper sleeps with us too-so between them why is there not a single gray or brown piece of fur?

    Can it all be going onto one area rug and my clothes?

    I'm starting to make the analogy to "where do all the missing socks go?"  We know they go someplace, but do we ever really know where?  My impression is that someday will I find all our missing footwear covered in tabby and Chihuahua fur bursting out of some unknown hole in the house.

    Until then, I haven't heard Steve mention that he misses the "extra" loving on his dinner plates.

    6 Replies
  • Ch-ch-changes

    Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013


    I was just thinking this morning at how I've personally changed since starting this blog.  I started my musings on Independence Day, 2006.  My reasoning was simple-I wanted a place where I could dust off my rusty writing techniques, give myself personal deadlines and get back to earning some money with those skills.  And the reasoning behind Independence Day?  That I was starting my own Independence and getting back to my roots.

    My life is full-daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, in-law and grandparent, but I wanted to be Carine the writer as well.  I had truly missed that part, deeply-just didn't have the time to realize it until our son, Adam graduated high school and we shut down our day care business.

    There were no ideas of grandeur-just wanted to write.  And so it began.  Quickly realizing that while I could still write pretty darn well, I needed to do something about my technical abilities.  

    It took the help of a "kindly" stranger to get my list of favorites to be listed-if you try some of those links that are there-you'll find that some of them no longer exist-but my skills to take them off have not improved.


    But-I have found a way to post some pictures.  That's only been in the last couple of months-but I can do it!  Plus, I've learned how to navigate several social media sites and even post from my smart phone!

    All of these new talents were not easy for me-you'll remember way back at the beginning, I did write a post apologizing for not being able to acknowledge my favorite blogs or doing a whole lot more than just writing.  I called myself a "technodweeb".  

    It's not that I'm much better at my technical abilities, but I'm very proud of those I've honed.

    I wish I'd been able to have some of these skills when Dylan and Aidan were born-they were just as cute as Jackson-but I just wasn't able to add their baby photos-not even to "save my life".  And then I would have loved to have shared a photo of Sunshine.  Our dear and beloved (and despite our new adorable rescue, we still cry at missing her for almost 2 years now) Sunshine.

    Besides being 7 years older, I've written about job loss, aches and pains, graduations, marriages, births, remodeling successes (and annoyances) and our very long moving experiences-some of my posts have been put on other peoples blogs, a couple I re-wrote and had published in Chicken Soup books and others have been my sounding boards-this has been a good place for me.

    I'm not informing you (by any means) that I'm shutting down-this is still "my" place, but I'm hoping that you all still come here to share my life, my loves and hopefully still finding a bit of amusement in the process of visiting.

    2 Replies
  • I'm Completely Bugged Out

    Posted on Thursday, August 22, 2013

    I'm Completely Buggy

    Unlike my eldest grandson, Dylan, who just is at the "bug" infatuated stage of his life-I do NOT like creepy-crawlies, flyers or any other things that find themselves under the heading of "insects".  

    Nope, not at all.

    This is why we have an exterminating service.  That sounds bad.  I know.  Here I am a firm believer in rescuing animals, wishing I could just house them all and love them "forever" and on the flip side:  I do not want anything to do with bugs.

    In California we always had a quarterly service.   Adam and I have a problem with spider bites.  He has had a few trips to the ER for the result of some.  I seem to recall once where one got his foot and it was first red and swollen and then black and blue to the point where wearing a shoe was not in the cards for almost a week.

    During our day care years-I was bit on the forearm while serving lunch.  My arm started to go numb and had red streaks going up it.  Not exactly a "good" sign.  I immediately told my husband to call one of the kids home and I was going to urgent care.

    Good thing-got a shot, had to lay there for almost an hour until they were as certain as could be that I wouldn't die driving home and was given a two week prescription for some high powered antibiotic (same as our son would get) as well as an arm brace.  The instructions were to go home, lie down and put my feet slightly above my heart for the rest of the day.  I was also told to come back in 24 hours to be checked out.

    Nope, creepy crawlers are not fun.

    Here in the desert-we have numerous bugs that both Steve and I have never seen before:  strange looking blue/black/metallic spiders, cockroaches, weevils and we were warned about the various scorpions.

    Nothing says "heart-pumping" like finding a scorpion fall out on the floor from the bed sheets you were about to wash!  Or seeing some creepy crawlies outside all your doorways and wonder what they are to the point where you put the dead ones into a Ziploc and ask the exterminator what they are-only to be chuckled at and told they're "harmless American cockroaches".


    This week-Steve found very small and dead bugs in a window sill he was vacuuming and then realized they were on the floor as well.  Another call to the exterminator was made.  He came and again chuckled at our calling about "non-venomous and non-erosive weevils".

    I suppose he wouldn't have chuckled if they were the "boll weevils" that ended the lives of cotton plants in the Midwest?

    Since he was here I told him about another scorpion I found near the trash can in the breakfast nook-that the body was smaller than the first but the tail was pretty scary.

    He said as long as it came in to die-the service was working on all these accounts and not to worry.  Scorpions it seems are able to flatten themselves to 1/5th of their thickness and get in anywhere at any time.

    Really?  Comforting to know.    

    Now I'm not only worried what is sharing our bed, but what may be wandering around the perimeters of my domicile.

    I'm pretty "bugged" out.

    4 Replies
  • No Stupid Questions

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013

    No Stupid Questions

    I'm sure we've all heard that there are "no stupid questions".  Just opportunities for us all to learn and discover what we may not have had we decided it best to not ask about the reigning subject at hand.

    I beg to differ.  I've heard plenty of questions that I wondered why on earth did the person bother asking?  They either knew the answer or by asking it made me wonder where their head was working correctly.  While the posers may not be anything close to stupid-they are irritating.

    Take the innocent 2-year-old who asks you repeatedly "why?"-at first you answer politely.  Around the third time-you start feeling a tad bit tense.  At the fifth "why?"-Don't know about you-but I just start saying the ubiquitous "because I said so."

    It's not that "why" is stupid-but even that 2-year-old senses that they're beginning to receive less and less of an answer and wearing people's patience quite thin.

    "How come?" is just another form of "why".

    Do we/I have too?  The fact that someone is asking for this confirmation at all means they know the answer.  If you're the asker-just realize that whatever the task is you're going to have to bite the bullet and get to the project.  

    My example:  anyone about to have company at their home and one of the significant others asks, "Do we have to clean the house?"  That my friend says it all.  Unless you don't mind friends and family feeling as if you didn't care enough about their visit to at least tidy up the most "offending" areas.  The house may not be "filthy", but even the neatest of us have areas that need a bit of tending too.

    Questioning an officer of the law.  Really?  "Officer, are you sure I was speeding?"  Trust me, you were.  Even if you were a mile over the limit-speeding is speeding.  Ask most attendees of traffic school.  If the law states that if you are even that teensy smidgeon over the posted limit you can be ticketed.  The resounding reply will be "Yes".

    Ladies-most of us still have the audacity to ask whoever may be shopping with us how a particular article of clothing looks on us.  Here are my thoughts on that:  if you ask then you KNOW the outfit makes you look fantastic and you're fishing for a compliment.  

    If you still "want to go there" and say sweetly, "I'm so comfy in these pants but do you think they make me look fat?"   Then you deserve what comes next.

    Asking questions is part of my life-no writer is able to create an article without them, a lot.  I really try to make mine count.  I Google my interviewees to see what their background are and how they got to the point in their lives/careers that they hit the radar of becoming the subject of a newspaper or magazine story.  

    Questions are imperative to learning-so let's make them count, not just take up time.

    4 Replies
  • It's All About "The Jackson"

    Posted on Thursday, August 8, 2013

    It's All About "The Jackson"

    As you've guessed by the photos, our third grandson Jackson has arrived.  

    Sam, as far as I'm concerned, is a miracle worker and one strong woman.  At 9 lbs., 5 oz., and 21"-Jackson Dale is one healthy, handsome and wonderful little boy.  Thankfully, mother and baby are doing great and the new dad-he's having the best "vacation" of his life caring for his new family.

    Our new arrival has blue eyes, which could very well turn hazel or green.  He's got a full head of brown hair.  Thanks to his father, Jackson has shoulders that most football players only dream about-and his lungs?  They are quite strong.

    The new family was greeted by their fur kids-who were incredibly happy to see them.  As expected, Toby the Maine Coon did a bit of smelling and looking and went back to his usual routine.  Lily, the older of the two shelties has decided that Jackson is an awesome addition to her pack and is making sure he and Sam are kissed, watched and well-guarded.  Billy, the youngest fur kid who's always a bit timid, backed away until curiosity got the best of him.  

    Slowly and much to his parents delight-he decided to "brave" the situation and has decided to help his sister in the guarding of their new sibling.

    I took Dylan over first to meet his new cousin.  He sighed, giggled and asked to give him a kiss and a hug.  Adam said a soft kiss on the cheek was great and he could touch his arms and hands-but to not go near his head.  The traditional parent talk about the soft spot followed.

    Jackson first held Dyl's finger.  Dylan was amazed at how small his cousin's body was, "look at his tiny fingers!  His booties are so small they won't fit on my thumb."  We pointed out that he was a LOT smaller when he was born.  He couldn't believe it.

    Then Jackson stretched and let out some baby noises.   Poor Dylan-he had no idea and jumped in the air by several inches and let out a yelp of worth himself!

    Later I made the "switch" and brought Aidan over for his "meet and greet".  He was concerned about his beloved Auntie Sam having to feed Jackson without a bottle.

    Neither of our older grandsons believed how Jackson would be eating for the next several months.  Both pointed out that applesauce would be good. "You don't need teeth for applesauce."  And what was wrong with cow milk?  Looking at things through the eyes of a 5 and 6 year old, I'm imagining it is hard to realize that baby milk is similar to the time they milked a goat at a goat cheese farm in Hawaii.

    And now, our son is a dad.  It's an amazing thought for me to wrap my own head around.   On April 24th, 1984 I gave birth to a tiny preemie who had a multitude of obstacles to overcome on his way to becoming the caring and strapping husband and father that he's become.  He has wanted to be a husband and dad since he was a toddler.  He never cared about playing GI Joe.  He just wanted to have "a wife and a baby".  

    Pretty deep for a little guy to think about and grasp on the comprehension of the family concept, no?

    And now he "has it all".  He and Sam will be fantastic parents and I know that they're going to be very happy.

    May it continue forever.  I just hope that I'll be around to watch Dylan, Aidan and Jackson (and any other love bugs that come our way) become fine young men who will then give us the honor of becoming great-grandparents.

    The family is growing-isn't it the best?

    2 Replies