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Puppy Conversations | How We Spent Saturday

Puppy Conversations | How We Spent Saturday

Dear Kid,

The Puppy and I were snuggling in the hammock.

Puppy: You left me.
Me: We left you earlier, but just for a while.
Puppy Conversations DearKidLoveMom.comPuppy: Where did you go?
Me: First we went down to Fountain Square.
Puppy: Why did you go there?
Me: We went to a Climate Change Rally.
Puppy: I would like to go to a Climate Change Rally.
Me: Possibly another time.
Puppy: So did you?
Me: Did we what?
Puppy: Did you change the climate?
Me: Well, not yet.
Puppy: Then it can’t have been a very good rally.
Me: And then we had lunch.
Puppy: I like lunch.
Me: But this was not a lunch for Puppies.
Puppy: That’s not very friendly.
Me: It was a lovely lunch. Then we went to the Kirby Nature Preserve’s new Nature Center.
Puppy: I like nature centers.
Me: I think you would have liked going to on the hike with us.
Puppy: I LOVE hikes.
Me: Then we went to Putz’s for ice cream.
Puppy: I like ice cream.
Me: You’ve never had ice cream.
We took Pi to Putz's Creamy Whip for ice cream. DearKidLoveMom.comPuppy: But I’m sure I would like ice cream.
Me: I’m sure you would too.
Puppy: But you didn’t take me!
Me: No, we didn’t take you.
Puppy: I’m sad.
Me: But we’re back home now.
Puppy: Yes! You’re here now.
Me: And we’re snuggling.
Puppy: I’m so happy.
Me: I’m glad, honey. I’m happy too.

Love, Mom

 
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The Truth About Revisionist History

Dear Kid,

Revisionist History isn’t always a bad thing. 

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters. ~African Proverb DearKidLoveMom.comWhen new facts come to light, sometimes what we thought to be true turns out to only be partly true (or thoroughly false). In which case, the historical record should be corrected.

Sometimes revisionist history is a fancy way of saying lying. “What?? No way. That check was in the mail over a week ago.” (I’ll explain what “mail” is another time.)

Sometimes revisionist history doesn’t really hurt anyone. “Wow. Purple really does look better. I meant purple all along.” “Those were really small 4″ brownies, so I’ll just write down here in my food journal that I ate only 2 of them.”

Other times, revisionist history is done with the direct purpose of making someone (let’s say the Dictator of the moment) appear in a better light than he deserves. I mean than the Immoral Media portray.

Sometimes people simply remember things differently (and by “differently” I mean forgot what actually happened and made up their own stories to fill in the gaps”). This (inevitably) leads to a Clash of Wills as everyone tries to ensure their version (the only True and Right version) is Acknowledged as Accurate and preserved for posterity.

History, revised or not, is never an easy subject. 

Especially for those living it.

Love, Mom

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It’s Not Just Memorial Day

It’s Not Just Memorial Day

Dear Kid,

It’s Memorial Day. You knew that. And if you want to read my serious thoughts on the day, you can find them here and here. If you want my thoughts about Memorial Day hot dogs, click here.

But today is far more than Memorial Day. It is also Learn About Composting Day.

I am not joking.

Learn About Composting Day was created by the Holiday Insights people in 2011. I have no idea (absolutely no idea) why they would pick Memorial Day, because it seems like a bad pun to me. I’m hoping they just happened to coincide this year. But still….

The general idea behind composting is to take vegetable and fruit scraps, pack them away in a dark place for a while, and voila! you have wonderful, nutritious compost that you can use to fertilize plants in the garden. What could be easier?

The harvest--pre-compost. DearKidLoveMom.comAt our house, we excel at some of the steps.

Create fruit and veggie scraps? No problem. We generate a ton of peels, ends, tops, and rinds.

Collect the aforementioned scraps? Still no problem. We sometimes fill multiple containers in a day.

Deposit the scraps in a dark place? We are so on it! (And by “we” I mean Dad. He does an outstanding job of taking the scraps out to the compost bin.)

Leave the aforementioned scraps alone and let them decompose? Doing nothing is one of my superpowers.

Take out the wonderful, nutritious compost and fertilize plants? Um, not so much.

For reasons I can’t even begin to understand or analyze, we have the Las Vegas of compost bins: what goes into the compost bin stays in the compost bin. It must be decomposing and settling down inside the bin because the volume we’ve put in far exceeds the size of the container. Unless there’s a fourth dimension to the container…hadn’t thought about that…

“Next year” we are going to take the compost out and spread it around. Apparently, “next year” is one of those unreachable goals that moves farther away as you get closer. Remember Tantalus?

On the down side, our plants are not getting the benefit of wonderfully decomposed kitchen scraps. On the plus side, the scraps aren’t in a landfill and they aren’t in the kitchen. And I got to mention mythology.

Happy Composting!

Love, Mom

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Talking Seriously About Drugs, Drinking, Driving, and Solutions

Talking Seriously About Drugs, Drinking, Driving, and Solutions

Dear Kid,

Enough.

Seriously.

Enough.

The world is going through some ridiculous times, and it needs to end.

Our hearts go out to those impacted by the events in Times Square. And to those everywhere whose lives have been irrevocably effected by someone under the influence. DearKidLoveMom.comOrdinarily, I am not one for outrageous punishments, but people have GOT to stop doing things that harm other people. Like taking drugs and driving on the sidewalk in Times Square.

I don’t know what the solution is to the drug problem (and by “drug problem” I mean people ending up dead, badly injured, or committing crimes—which is a pretty generous definition if you ask me). Right now I’m so upset about the NYC incident that I’m ready to lock people up, throw away the key, and make them eat nothing but soggy lettuce for the rest of their lives. Right now I’m not open to the idea of second chances.

I saw a post from a mom on Facebook soon after the episode. She was pointing out (publicly) that children who live near (meaning within 125 miles) catastrophes should immediately report to their mothers that they are fine. And if for some reason they don’t report in, they should not be surprised/upset/mortified/indignant/confused when their mother calls them to be sure they are OK. It’s what we do. Because you never know what might have possessed a child to travel 125 miles for a particular bagel that day.

The point is, somewhere there is a mother who is not reassured that her kid is ok. There is a mother who can’t be consoled. There are parents and friends and children and spouses rushing to emergency rooms to be with the injured. Meanwhile, the driver has a history of drunk driving. And he was arrested just last week for threatening someone with knife.

We need fewer of these stories (not because they shouldn’t be reported but because they shouldn’t happen) and more stories like this one of a survivor baby otter.

I hope, I wish, I pray someone from your generation figures out how to fix things. Our generation hasn’t. Hopefully, yours is smarter.

Love, Mom

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Fire Island, the Lighthouse, and the Deer

Fire Island, the Lighthouse, and the Deer

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there was no such place as Fire Island. There were barrier islands, but no one had named them because only deer lived there and deer aren’t big on names or boundaries.

Fire Island Lighthouse at the Beach. DearKidLoveMom.comIn 1653, Isaac Stratford built a whaling station at one end of the island. He named it Whalehouse Point. The deer were not impressed with the name or the location’s activities.

Somewhere in the 17th century, William “Tangier” Smith was given title to the whole area under a Royal Patent. The deer continued to be unimpressed. One redwing blackbird looked up for a moment, but didn’t find much to comment about so went back to redwing blackbird-ing.

Jeremiah Smith built the first house on the as-yet-to-be-named Fire Island in 1795. For fun, Jeremiah lured boats to the shore and killed their crews. Deer opinion of humans dropped dramatically.

In 1826, the first lighthouse was built on F. I. it could only be seen from about 10 miles out to sea. A few of the deer began collecting miniature lighthouses.

Fun Fact: For many immigrants, the Fire Island lighthouse (not Miss Liberty) was their first sight in the New World.

By 1858, people had figured out that the lighthouse needed to be more visible, so they build the current one (which can be seen a respectable 22 miles out to sea). The deer were suitably impressed and added to their miniature figurine collections.

Somewhere along the way, people figured out that it was fun to go to the beach and Fire Island started to be built up. But only a little. 80% of Fire Island remains public park land and therefore undeveloped. The deer appreciate this and allow the crazy humans to enjoy the other 20%. At least most of the time.

You can drive to the tip of Fire Island and then walk about a mile to the lighthouse. If you want to go elsewhere on the 32 miles of island, grab a bike, walking shoes, or a cooperative deer, because only emergency vehicles are allowed (and even then it better be a dang good emergency).

If you go to Fire Island, leave the deer alone. If one comes up to you, don’t feed it. But be sure to inquire about its lighthouse collection.

Love, Mom

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10 Things Every College Graduate Needs to Know

10 Things Every College Graduate Needs to Know

Dear Kid,

I’ve been thinking about college graduates. And I’ve been thinking about Gifts for Graduates. This led to some very interesting internet surfing (with a side trip to videos on The Dodo) and reading several blogs about gifts (and a side trip to Mashable).

I was looking for The Definitive Gift for a College Graduate. I didn’t find it.

I found lots of cutsie gifts that no one actually wants. I found fantastic gifts every grad would love, but would cause my bank account to break out in giggles. I even found wildly expensive gifts that no one (emphasis on no one) would want.

Therefore, I leapt to the only possibly conclusion: I will give advice. It fits my wallet, it’s important, and every college kid needs it. Even if they aren’t sure they want it.

Here are 10 Things Every College Graduate Needs to Know.

Just because you finished college doesn’t mean your work is over. Please empty the dishwasher.

Just because you finished college doesn’t mean learning is over. Learning should never be over. And hopefully your real life tests won’t be too hard.

My house, my rules. Your house, your rules. And by “your house” I mean the place you pay for all on your own.

You’re allowed to change your mind. Just because you studied pre-law does not mean you are required to go to law school. Just because you go to law school does not mean you are required to be a practicing attorney. Just because you’re a practicing attorney does not mean you have to remain an attorney for the rest of your life. Unless you want to.

Don’t freak out if you don’t have a job. Take your time to find something that fits you. You’re going to be OK.

Have a two-year plan. It’s good to know where you’re going. But the world changes too quickly to plan too far beyond that.

Except when it comes to money. Start saving for retirement immediately if not sooner.

Speaking of money, pay attention to it. Live within your means and learn to save. I hope you will have very few rainy days, but you need to be prepared if a few dark clouds threaten.

When was the last time you picked up a book for fun? It’s probably been a while. (College is not known for loads of leisure time in which you can pick up something to read just because you want to.) Grab a book, and read.

Mom still knows best. Don’t forget to call every now and then.

Love, Mom

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