Rules for Life

We Have Officially Lost Our Pumpkin Spiced Minds

We Have Officially Lost Our Pumpkin Spiced Minds

Dear Kid,

It’s official. We the People have lost our collective minds. We have crossed the line. Stepped over the invisible barrier. Gone a bridge too far.

We have pumpkin-spiced everything that should be and a great many things that shouldn’t.

Perhaps there should be limits on pumpkin spice....

I love fall. I love the cooler temperatures. I love the changing colors of the leaves. I love pumpkin-spice flavor.

But perhaps there should be limits.

A friend of mine recently asked (on Facebook where people answered) for fall recipes that weren’t pumpkin spice. I thought she was over reacting to the season.

No, no, my friend. If anything, she understated the obvious. I just somehow missed the memo.

Until I went to the grocery store last night. And almost passed out from pumpkin-spice variety overload.

What’s next? Pumpkin toothpaste?

I thought I was joking. Buzzfeed thought I was joking (great little blog on things that should never be pumpkin-spiced here).

But Amazon took me seriously.

What’s next? Pumpkin toothpaste?

I need to go lie down for a while.

Love, Mom

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When Moms Get Sick

When Moms Get Sick

Dear Kid,

Being sick has its advantages. Like you get caught up on what the insides of your eyelids are doing.

Sickness comes on horseback but departs on foot Dutch Proverb. Broken bones too. DearKidLoveMom.comAnd you get to contemplate the little things. Like: Should I turn over? I think I’d like to lie on my left side. But turning over requires the effort of a whole lot of muscles, none of whom seem inclined to want to participate. Organizing them seems beyond my current abilities since anarchy seems to have control at the moment. Maybe staying on my right side will do.

Being sick allows you to gain perspective. Wars? Meh. I’m trying to wrangle enough muscles to field a team qualified to roll over. The World’s problems are puny compared to the Herculean effort I’m considering.

On the other hand, the World doesn’t seem to care much when you’re sick. It just keeps on turning.

To be fair, the world doesn’t care much when you’re healthy. But we are much more pathetic and needy when we’re sick. “Pfft,” says the World, “People get sick all the time. You’re not even Interesting Sick, you’re Boring Sick. Let me know if you do something interesting like sprout antlers or develop stripes. Until then, I’ve got my hands full.”

On the other, other hand (there are a lot of hands involved. Is that Interesting?), when you (finally) feel better and return to the land of the living (don’t tell me there aren’t zombies—I’ve seen my face in the mirror when I’m sick and that’s proof positive that zombies exist) you feel extra good. You celebrate the tiniest burst of energy.

On the other, other, other hand, if you aren’t sick, you should appreciate how good you feel today.

Love, Mom

P. S.

I’m feeling much, much better, thank you for asking.

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Not All Surprises Are Good | Looking at You, Spider

Not All Surprises Are Good | Looking at You, Spider

Dear Kid,

Some surprises are wonderful. Like a child coming home to visit unexpectedly or finding out that you really like cucumber ice cream.

Other surprises, not so much.

Coming downstairs, early morning, not yet caffeinated, first one awake, to find an upside down glass on the table definitely falls into the “not so much” category.

This is NOT the traditional place for spiders. Or the traditional use of a Wine Glass. We have got to get back to tradition. DearKidLoveMom.comIn our house an upside down glass means one of two things. If the inverted glass is in a cabinet surrounded by its friends and family, it means someone put the glass away upside down. In any other context, it means something with a lot of legs is trapped underneath.

In this case, a spider the size of Montana with an attitude that would make the Hulk blush trapped under a glass that was ON THE KITCHEN TABLE!

Theoretically, I approve of spiders. They eat even nastier bugs. They build beautiful architectural structures which glisten in the sun after a light rain.

All of which should happen outdoors.

Most assuredly, the kitchen is not the same as the outdoors. And did I mention the KITCHEN TABLE part?

I’m not big on company for the first cup of coffee. And I absolutely limit the number of legs a coffee/breakfast companion can have to 4.

And under no circumstances, should a surprise breakfast companion want to rip my head off my body (I could tell that’s what the spider wanted to do).

I’m in favor of the spider trap-and-release program we employ at our house.

NOTE TO THE TRAP AND RELEASE PROGRAM PEOPLE: It’s called “trap and release” because taking the dang bug outside after you catch it is an integral part of the protocol. It was put in place to ensure the safety of the bugs as well as the safety of those trapping the bugs.

Because I am going to kill someone.

Love, Mom

P.S. I covered the glass holding the spider with your hat while I had breakfast.

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Watching a TV Commercial Does Not Make You a Medical Professional

Watching a TV Commercial Does Not Make You a Medical Professional

Dear Kid,

Have you ever really listened to one of the commercials for a specialized medication?

Near the end of the commercial (in rapidly read fine print), the voice over says, “Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions.”

Well, duh.

The voice over also says, “Don’t take if you are allergic to [insert name of medication being advertised].”

Really, I shouldn’t take it if I’m allergic to it?

Most importantly, do not – under any circumstances – accept diagnosis by proxy by TV commercial. DearKidLoveMom.comI’m confused about why they’re advertising to me in the first place. I’m not annoyed that they’re advertising for a product that treats a disease I don’t have; there are commercials for all sorts of things I have no intention of needing/using/trying. But while I might not want to try SuperSugarLoadedSugarCerealwithExtraSugar, I feel perfectly capable of making that decision.

I don’t think I’m qualified to make decisions about what medication to take. Especially if I have to be told not to take it if I’m allergic to it.

Why don’t the drug companies focus on advertising to the medical professionals? (I know the answer is because some patients will come in and ask for the specific drug and doctors will give it to them and so they will sell more, etc., but that only partly answers the question.)

Mom’s Rules of Medicine:

  1. If you are qualified (and by “qualified” I mean breathing) human being, feel free to apply Band Aids (in any quantity or design) to non-serious, non-life threatening wounds.
    1. If you are under the age of 6, “wounds” include any bump or bruise including the invisible ouchies.
  2. If you are a qualified Mom or the child of a qualified Mom (and by “Mom” I mean mom-type caregiver), feel free to prescribe soup, rest, a kiss on the forehead, and ibuprofen.
  3. If 1 and 2 don’t take care of what ails you, ask your mother. If you’re still not fixed, go see a qualified medical professional (one with an actual degree in something medicinal) and allow that person to diagnose and prescribe solutions.
    1. Tell them all your medical stuff.
    2. All of it.
  4. When necessary (and by “necessary” I mean if your mother or your gut tells you to) get a second opinion from another qualified medical profession.

Most importantly, do not – under any circumstances – accept diagnosis by proxy by TV commercial.

Unless the diagnosis is you haven’t eaten enough sugar-enriched cereal. Then go for it.

Love, Mom

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Shoddy Not Shotty Not

Shoddy Not Shotty Not

Dear Kid,

It’s a darn good thing I pay attention. Otherwise, the world might tilt off its axis and head off in the wrong direction.

Also, people might use words incorrectly without being corrected.

The word, in this particular case, is “shoddy.” With “d”s.

Adorable puppy that has nothing whatsoever to do with today's post. But hopefully makes you smile. DearKidLoveMom.comIf you look up the word shoddy, you discover that it means more than you thought it meant.

You thought shoddy means “inferior” or “imitative.” It does. But it also can mean “reclaimed wool from material that is not felted” and/or “fabric of inferior quality.” Who knew?

But certainly, you did not (of course not) think the word was “shotty.” Because that would be wrong as there is no such word as “shotty.”

Except there is. Being the kind of mom I am, I double checked and was astounded to discover this.

I was not astounded to discover that “shotty” has absolutely no relationship whatsoever to “shoddy.” (Not even 5th cousins.)

“Shotty” means “hard and round like a pellet of shot” and is often used to describe lymph nodes. (As if lymph nodes often need describing.)

According to the Urban Dictionary, “shotty” also can mean getting the front passenger seat (riding shotty or I call shotty).

There is also a “shotty not” to call the right not to do something. Like “nose goes” only without body parts. “Shotty not taking out the trash.”

Except it doesn’t work in our house so don’t even try.

Neither does using “shotty” when you mean “shoddy.”

Love, Mom

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September is Happy, Healthy Cat Month

September is Happy, Healthy Cat Month

Dear Kid,

Cat Motto: No matter what you've done wrong, always try to make it look like the dog did it. UnknownSeptember is Happy, Healthy Cat Month.


While many cats favor grumpiness or condescension, some cats favor happy (along with their condescension or grumpitude).

We don’t always think about happiness and cats going hand in paw, but they’re out there.

Think about Garfield, the three little kittens (having found their mittens), or the Cheshire Cat who is defined by his smile.

Think how many cats get their happy from being themselves.

There are fashion felines, like the Cat in the Chapeau, Puss in Boots, the Aristocats, Snagglepuss, and Hello Kitty. I love a good cat accessory. Except Hello Kitty (not my fave).

There are fat cats, alley cats, cat naps, cat-atonics, scaredy cats, and cats happily hanging out on a hot tin roof.

There’s Sylvester the Cat lisping, Figaro bouncing around, and Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp (happy at being bad cats).

Curiosity Killed the cat. Satisfaction brought her back.

There are cats we’re not sure fall entirely in the cat cat-egory. Like Tigger, Cat Woman, the Pink Panther, Nala, and Simba. But there’s no question that they’re happy.

Whether they’re eating canaries or lasagna, leaping out of the bag, contemplating sleepwear (the cat’s pajamas—it’s easier if you’re older), dropping from the sky during a downpour, or doing their thing in a cradle, cats all agree that they’re happiest and healthiest when they’re spayed or neutered, offered plenty of water, and well-loved.


Love, Mom

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