Online Learning A Good Judge for College

Online learning isn’t easy and it’s not for everybody, but since we are being thrust into online learning, it is a good opportunity to see how your young person would do in college. I’m not talking about the actual classes because most classes are in a classroom, but how your kid goes about his/her college experience. When you go to college, there’s independence and what goes with that is self-motivation. If, during this time of forced online learning, you have to get your kid, or they’re playing video games, then what do you think will happen when you can’t barge into their room to remind them that this is school time? What about the kid that’s sneaking playing video games with their phone under the table? Is he/she going to be motivated to put that controller down when you’re nowhere around? Do you find yourself going into his/her room and finding your kid staring off into space, not looking at the computer screen? Do you think that won’t happen in college? And don’t sleep on the kid staying in the bathroom, probably using his/her phone. Kids are creative and very few are excited about school, even when college is on the line.
Parents don’t look at this in such a negative way because this may be your first look into how motivated your kid will be on his/her own. I am writing this blog because my grandson is in the 11th grade. I asked my daughter this morning how he was doing. She said that he has to be pushed; he’s a daydreamer. So, I said to her, “This is a good judge of how he will do in college.” Though he’s not going to college next year, she can now try to do something about his bad habits. We are not rich and can’t afford to send him to school to play video games or daydream through college or to pay anyone at a college to falsify his academics. He wants to be a chef, so I’m like, “Give him some recipes and let him cook!” Parents: You have to be proactive in this lockdown learning environment. Kids look at college as a way to get away from the rules and parental interference, but the actual work and focus can be a different thought. You have to go back to your 11th and 12th year in school and how you felt about school to relate to a kid today.
I personally want to see my grandson go to a trade school because his grades won’t get him a scholarship. I only can see him going to community college and letting him see if college is really for him. My daughter could just ignore the signs she sees now and go into debt to see the writing on the wall. Don’t ignore this chance to see what your kid will be like in college, if you can take this time to duplicate the college learning experience as much as you can. This opportunity may not (we hope) come around again. If you are like my daughter, start trying to emphasize the importance of college now. Let your kid know college is x amount of dollars and after bills I have x left. Let your kid know college is not party time 7 days a week. The good thing is that my family has one more year to reach him, but from what I see now, a trade school is his best bet to make a decent living in this work. I hope this blog will help some parents realize that this situation of online school is not a bad thing at all.

Covid-19 Parents Be Smart


We are tired of staying inside, but as the saying goes, better safe than sorry. This virus shows no mercy to anybody, and it has disrupted life as we know it. The death numbers mount on a daily basis (I’m not putting any here because as I’m writing this, someone probably has died), and now they are talking about opening the cities when the one safe way to protect ourselves and family is by staying home. I was most disturbed about seeing people protesting to go back to work. If these people had been touched by this deadly virus, I can’t believe they would be so quick to protest. It is especially disturbing when we have a person in the White House that seems to care more about money and stock market than our lives (Yes, I do have money in the stock market and lost some). You can replace objects but not one life can you replace if, when opening the city, this virus continues to rage.
 People are losing their jobs at an alarming rate, but again, if you lose your life, where will your children be then? Or if you lose a child, how will that feel? I saw on television a parent said, “What shall I tell my child when he/she asks what’s for dinner?” We are parents. We have to make sacrifices and be creative. No, they maybe can’t eat steak or chicken, but what about a huge pot of chili or beef stew? Hell, any one pot meal … get a restaurant-sized pot and freeze some. We are spoiled. We as adults can be creative but, until now, we haven’t had to be. This can also be a teaching lesson for our children about money and saving. There’s an App called Acorns that takes your change from when you buy something and invest it. You won’t miss that 20 change from the dollar you spend. It all adds up. Our children take money for granted … $200 sneakers? And as parents, we go into debt to buy them. You have to take this time to teach them about the sacrifices that go into buying those sneakers. Parents take that little bit of money and stretch it. Just as the children learn about money, so are you. 
If you want to work that bad, Amazon, Dominoes, and Fidelity are hiring. I know some people will make more money not looking for a job with the amount of unemployment. 

COVID-19 Parents Be Smart

Parents, you have to be smart. Even as the states decide to open, you have to think first, not just put yourself and family members out in your area. If you’re going to the movies, do you wear your virus-fighting gear or are you going to believe that the movies have wiped the seat down before you sit down? If you go to the playground, are you putting the virus-fighting gear on your children or are you going to take the chance that the park people have disinfected that slide between kids? Young adults are the last to understand that their lives are more important than going to the beach. I see no way of getting it through their brains than talking to them and keep talking to them about what could happen if they decide not to abide by the rules. Young adults think they are invincible, but as parents, you have to try to reach them by any means, even if it means scaring them with death numbers and what the possibility of if he/she brings the virus home. There are big consequences.

Parents, before you send your child to school or camp, what’s that going to look like? Do the adults interacting with your child have on virus-protecting gear or will your child have to go with their gear on? You have to know what protection’s will be in place. You want it written on paper, not just a verbal promise. You need to ask your child, “Did you see anybody wipe down the chair and tables before you used it? You can find out a lot from your child. You are putting your child’s and family’s lives in danger if you aren’t diligent in asking questions. It is bad enough you have to depend on someone else to do their part in having a safe and sanitary environment for your child, so it’s important for you to do your part.
I know people are having a hard time paying their rent, and this is the time for families to come together to help each other. No one should be a throwaway person. This could mean two families in one apartment. You may be cramped, but you are alive. Remember, nothing has to be permanent. It’s all a temporary situation. The one good thing this virus has done is bring families close together.
There’s no safe place like home until there is an actual way to fight this virus, so think before you act in all situations.

Reach Out to The Thrown Away People

Reach Out To Someone

We are living in a time where unconditional love is needed. This is not the time to judge or hold animosity towards anyone. This virus has no boundaries of who it touches or why it touches that person. We all have someone in our family that we have mentally thrown away for whatever reason. The reason is not important right now. This should be a time for families and friends to come together to build a foundation that will help each of us to get through this fight. This is a fight of our lives that is happening, and it is evident by the numbers we see each day of the deaths that have taken place in such a short period of time. It’s time to reach out to that thrown away person and bring them back into the fold of family and love. Where is that person right now, do you know? I know it’s easy to dismiss that drug addict, prostitute, runaway, and anyone that doesn’t live up to the standards that society puts upon us. The throw away person might have hurt you or gave you lot of unfulfilled promises, but this is not the time to mentally pretend that person doesn’t exist. We are all worried when we hear of a family member or friend that has tested positive, but what about the family member that we don’t hear about? Will that person’s death not mean anything? Is it too hard to open your heart to that throw away and reach out to them? This virus doesn’t care about who you are or what you did, it only wants to ravish your body and kill. How can the person sleeping in an alley fight it, or what about the prostitute who sleeps with so many people? Anyone of them can carry it? These people need love and someone to care about them. They need not to be judged, but shown unconditional love. This is a time to open that mind that has been closed to that person and reach out to them. There is no such thing as “I’m tired of trying” because this virus isn’t tired of killing. You must make an effort to find and throw your arms around that person and let him/her know you got them, they aren’t alone. Nobody wants to die alone, and we see that with this virus. People are dying alone. Don’t let your thrown away person die alone. If you don’t want them in your house, then take them by the hand and lead them to get help or to any place that he/she will be safe. There are so many thrown away people out there and, normally, each of us just holds our packages a little closer to our body and walk a little quicker to distance ourselves from their presence. This is a time we should walk a little slower, and, maybe in that package, have a sandwich with a note to a place of safety. This is not a time to turn our backs on anybody. We are all human beings and should not be judged because we wouldn’t want anyone to judge anyone of us. It’s sad that, even in these times under these conditions, that so many of us still have no compassion for others. If you have a throw away person in your family (we all have at least one), reach out to them. You should never ever feel that you can’t try just one more time to reach someone. We should, especially in this time, look beyond ourselves and show some love. It doesn’t hurt, and it won’t kill you like this virus will.

Tick, Tick, Tick Time Flies

It is said that from the time you are born, your life ticks away to death. I was sitting here one day thinking how fast time seems to move; one minute I was in my twenties now I’m in my sixties. Where did all those years go? I’ve had some very good times and some very bad times. I really can’t say which outweighed the other. It really doesn’t matter because it’s gone and can never be gotten back. It’s true when you hear older people say, “If only I knew then what I know now.” I will attest to that because I would have done so many things differently. I’ve not always made good choices now that I can look back, however, I made the choices I thought was good at the time. What I’m learning as I’ve aged is you can’t change the past so let it go. Why hold onto it because it benefits nobody. Age brings a certain appreciation to situations, people, just everything you encounter. I thought I appreciated things I encountered when I was younger, was I ever so wrong? You have relationships that come and go and each is supposed to be a learning experience for the next relationship. That’s true, except I didn’t always take what I learned and apply it to the next one. When you’re young, you think you’re taking that knowledge and using it but that’s not always the case because sometimes I just didn’t know how. 

I appreciated things but I now that I’m older I realized I didn’t appreciate things at all. I just rolled with them. When you’re in your twenties and thirties you just want to have fun and be happy. I know that’s what I wanted to do. Then reality starts to settle in that the world really doesn’t care about you or me. I started to realize I have to figure things out because the clock is ticking. That’s when it starts to get scary. How much time do I have left? How much time do I have to appreciate the things around me?  When I finally came to my senses, I realized that I needed to learn to appreciate any and everything I encounter. I always told people I was the most least observant person around; I saw nothing. I wasn’t naïve just I didn’t see anything. Someone could ask me, “Did you see that person? Isn’t he/she cute?“ I wouldn’t have been paying attention. I was always in my own world. 

When my first grandson came is when I realized how much I’ve missed out on. It was time to grow up and act like I wanted to leave something behind. When grandson two and three came it was time to stop thinking about it and it was time for action. I wasn’t the greatest mom but neither the worst, however, I knew I could be a much better person than I had been. There’s always a trigger that makes you stop and say, “Enough is enough!” Everyone has that trigger, it’s just a matter of when it goes off. 

Now, I look at things and, instead of rushing through, I stop and look and try to understand things. I learned that it’s okay to take a break. Its okay to say, “I love you” without it feeling corny. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I’m sorry.” I want to leave my grandsons hopefully in a better place than I was in or their mother. I can’t do anything about the world that’s not in my control, but the things I can control I want them to be things they can be proud of. 

I’ve written some blogs about relationships because whatever your relationship, you have to recognize it for what it is. You don’t want to spend your life in a bad relationship, and thirty years from now with the clock ticking you wonder why you stayed. You can’t get those years back, so why lose them when you don’t have to? I hope my grandsons understand that nobody is perfect. If you want perfection, you will be alone. We all have flaws, though some will never admit it just like some will never grow up. You can’t be twenty for the rest of your life because the clock is ticking and you can’t stop age. I often hear age is just a number. That may be fine when you’re thirty but by time forty rolls around, your body starts reacting differently. You maybe can hide it from the outside world but you can’t hide it from yourself. It happened to me. 

If you’re young, enjoy being young. Have fun, but stop every now and then and appreciate the people and things that you encounter. It’s for your benefit as well as the people in your life.

I Thought I Knew You 
Marriage Is Complicated, If It’s Not You Have A Problem
A Liar Your Heart
Open Relationships Sound Good, But…
Cheaters A Dime A Dozen
Love After Being Cheated On
Breaking Up: A Heart and Mind Struggle
Dating After Cheating
Sex and Money; Vulnerable Conversations
Breaking Out After The Breakup
Surviving The Art of Cheating 
The Art of Cheating – The Aninoids a children’s book coming this spring

My Dog Hates To Poop



I have two Shih Tzus, GG and Mason. While Mason is a pooping machine, GG hates to poop. I realized when GG was a puppy that she is a very stubborn dog. I had to leave the house at 3am and would put food and water down for her, and when I returned home—usually around 6pm—her food and water looked just as I left it. When I came in the house, she would look at me with her big eyes and turn her head. I knew she was mad, but I had no choice; I had to work. I did work at home at lot of the time, but when I came home that was my punishment: she ignored me. Once, I had to go to Boston for a conference. I had to board her, and after inspecting and checking the credentials, I settled on Best Friends for boarding. I loved that place. I paid for her to go on a shopping spree in their store, ice cream, one-on-one playtime and bedtime stories. I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible for the 5 days she would be there. I would call every day to find out she would eat but wouldn’t poop. I was scared if she didn’t poop soon she might get sick, so I cut my trip short. When I picked her up I felt so guilty that I cooked her a steak which she gobbled up. Who wouldn’t? She still wouldn’t poop. The next day I was ready to take her to the vet when, while walking, she stepped down on her leash to let me know that was as much walking as she was going to do, and so we turned around to come home when she finally pooped. It was big dog poop. I mean German Shepherd amount. I felt like jumping for joy. I noticed that pooping for GG is a matter of how she feels. GG is 17 years old and she is defiant in some things—and pooping is one of those things. When I take her out, I have to give her some sense of privacy. She squats and I look up into the sky. If I don’t, she squats and just looks at me with those big eyes of hers and nothing comes out. I learned this after many years of trying to figure out why she would poop sometimes and not others; it was a long process it get to that point. With GG being an old girl now, I am fanatic about her pooping because it is harder for her to smell and the amount of food she eats varies. I have tried Metamucil, but getting that in her was not working at all. I would find the Metamucil on the floor when I thought she had swallowed it. The next thing I tried was pumpkin. I mixed it with her boiled chicken, and for a while it worked, but then she got smart. She would smell Mason’s food and, because it didn’t have any pumpkin, she would try to eat his food. The next thing I tried (and still do) is smearing pumpkin all around Mason’s plate so his plate would smell the same as hers. This worked for a while, but she got wise again. She now smells his plate and goes back to her plate and only eats the boiled chicken pieces that have no pumpkin; the rest she throws on the floor next to her plate. It’s frustrating that on a daily basis I have to figure out what will and won’t work. I keep a WeeWee pad on the floor so when the weather is bad or I can’t take her out, she could go; however, she doesn’t like going in the house and would rather hold it until she can go out.

Mason on the other hand poops like a caulking gun; what goes in comes out in the next hour. It’s unbelievable that a 17lb dog could have so much poop or pee in him. I mean, he can pee outside until nothing comes out and come in the house and pee again. It’s ridiculous. When Mason finishes eating, he heads straight to the WeeWee pad and poops. I wonder how the food can digest so fast that it comes out after the last bite. I don’t know whether the fact he eats like a vacuum cleaner has anything to do with it. Mason does not chew his food, he just sucks it down. While GG hates going in the house, Mason will go anywhere at any time, sometimes three or four times a day. We, after 3 couches, have had to wrap him up before we go broke with our peeing fountain of a dog. 

They are definitely two different personalities of dogs. GG is more independent, and Mason is more of a baby. There is a 6 year difference in their age, and Mason seems like most boys: slow to learn. I think by me not being home, she learned to deal with things like thunderstorms. They don’t bother her at all, and we’re in Florida where some of the thunderstorms are very loud. Mason has great anxiety from thunderstorms; he shakes, poops and runs around chasing his tail. We tried everything like turning up the television and closing the blinds; nothing works because Mason can tell bad weather from miles away. He’s our weather dog. When we see him starting to get anxious, we know there is bad weather someplace because he picked up on it. I would check my phone when he started getting anxious and, sure enough, there was a lightening strike 5 miles away. He never fails in his weather forecasting. 

I’ll keep trying ways to keep GG going, and it is not easy. She has started something new recently of pooping only when I let her wake up on her own. If I wake her up, she is grouchy and she just walks around outside and steps down on her leash meaning, “That’s it, take me back home.” She’s an old girl now, and I let her do whatever she wants because I don’t know how much time we have left together. She’s in good health except she can’t hear so I’m grateful for that. If anyone has any more ideas of things I can try, please let me know.


Bullying Straight Up No Chaser

Think back to when you were a child, I bet there is a fair amount of people who were bullied. We seem to forget that bullying is nothing new. Bullying is about power, it’s about making the bully feel good as much as it’s about making the bullied child feel hopeless and worthless. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that in this age of technology bullying has so much power that it could make a child commit suicide. The computer is not the problem, the problem is that people hide behind a screen and feel entitled and empowered by this sort of protection to say whatever they will – their words are the real issue. I’m one of those who don’t believe it’s guns that kill people, rather it’s the person behind the gun that’s the problem. Growing up, when you were bullied you told your parents, you had a fight or you just hid behind the other children to stay out of sight. Now though, virtual words typed on a keyboard have so much strength that they make a child feel there is nothing else they can do but tie something around their neck and hang from the highest point they can get to. Have we birthed children that have no backbone? Have we neglected our duties as parents so much that we can’t see the signs? Are we not able to hear our children calling us for help? I believe that technology takes away the ability for children to learn how to socialize. These days, when you look at kids, even when they are in a group, their eyes are constantly on their phones so they don’t really socialize anymore. This new generation of kids take it as the norm to be isolated rather than to socialize and make friends with their peers.  

There must be signs that parents don’t see when their child gets to the point where they feel hopeless and alone in their fight. I imagine the signs are there but they are hidden behind a façade of happiness. Maybe they try to be happy. If they are introverted within their family circle, they all of a sudden become extroverted outside of it. A child who doesn’t talk much becomes loquacious, whereas a talker becomes suddenly quiet. There are always signs, but we are missing them because we are so wrapped up in our own lives. No-one can accept the fact that an adult has contributed to the death of their child. Nevertheless, it’s time us parents take some responsibility for sticking a phone or a tablet into our children’s hands as soon as they can hold them. It seems like phones and tablets have become the new pacifier, one that takes away some of the parental duties that kids need the most and which should come in the form of interaction. Interaction is very, very important for a child’s growth as it gives them the confidence to deal with all types of situations. Interaction is a confidence booster that the new generations lack more and more and this lack means that parents see their children but they do not really know them. The distance between parents and children is wide and when parents realize what is going on with their children it is too late. The children have buried themselves into so much grief that pulling them back out would require a miracle. Miracles do happen, but how often? Not too often.

I truly believe it’s our duty as parents to ensure that in the future technology loses some of the power it has gained so far. We must teach our children exactly what the power of words is. Children must be told of experiences that parents have had, so they know their folks can relate. Parents must find the time to interact with their children on a regularly basis and tell them they understand their challenges and are open to discussing them together. Is that going to be easy? No, it won’t be a simple task, but you have to keep trying. Children have to know their parents won’t be judgmental, but understanding, so they can try to find a solution together. It’s easy to take away their computers or monitor the time they spend online, but that doesn’t mean they will get enough attention from you. Where is the interaction? Parents, you must be ready to bare your soul to your child and keep trying over and over again. A child needs to feel all the attention they feel they aren’t getting from you. A example of what I’m talking about is when your child comes home from school and you ask “How was school?”. You don’t just settle for “Okay”, that is not good enough because what does that tell you? Nothing at all. It will take time and you will get frustrated, but you have to keep trying, without pushing too hard. Don’t give up. I just don’t want to read about another child taking their life over some words they found on a computer screen. Remember that bullying can only go as far as your child lets it and it’s really up to you to equip them with the tools to fight back.

Stop – Stand Still – Raise Your Arms High above Your Head

We are in a crisis in this country. A crisis that involves our young African American boys. What is happening with our young boys is a problem that doesn’t seemed to be addressed by the people that are supposed to serve and protect. How do we protect that group of males when we can’t get an acknowledgement that there is a problem? How do we protect our young males when they can get shot whether they comply with police or not? What you see that’s happening in the streets is a war. A war that is between police and African American males that doesn’t seem to get any better, generation after generation. How do we get more color to our police departments when all you see and hear are negative words? There is nothing for African American boys to strive for in law enforcement. There is nothing that calls out for them to become part of the solution; a solution that as of now still eludes them. I have three grandsons and I fear that one day one of them might be stopped by a policeman. How should I tell them they should act when there are trigger happy cops that only see the color of their skin not the person inside that skin? There was a consensus in African American neighborhoods that to keep our boys safe they are taught not to run from cops, just stand still; don’t touch a pocket, don’t pull up your pants, just stand there. That is no longer what we can teach them because the wrong cop in the wrong mood will still get them killed. What can we say now? I’m not saying white boys don’t get stopped or shot, but the situation for them isn’t plastered in the media as frequently as what goes on with African American boys. Yes, I will admit that white kids are more involved in mass killing, however this is of their own doing. They aren’t being killed for sometimes doing absolutely nothing. That’s an apples and oranges comparison. Some will blame it on parents; that African American boys aren’t taught any better, they aren’t civilized, they aren’t disciplined, they have no respect for authority. The list can go on and on. I have heard people say that they deserve it because they weren’t going to do anything with their lives anyway. Cops these days are judge, jury and executioner because of the power that they have. What chance do my grandsons or any boys have when they can’t fight against a society that barely acknowledges their existence? Are African American cops so brainwashed by their white brothers in law that they forget where they came from? How do African American cops stand there and not do something to instill fairness in the very communities that raised them? Do African American cops just want to turn their backs on their brothers and sisters of color? It has become obvious that right now, at this time, when generations of children of all colors are supposed to be color blind, that this is not true. This generation of kids don’t stand a chance of making any change when they still see that the color of your skin still matters in this country. If they want to get ahead, they have to follow the status quo and not buck the system. This system has been passed down through so many generations that knowing anything different is a time well forgotten. Is there a solution? Yes; that solution is getting mental help for those cops that seem like they are racist. Racism comes out sooner or later in everyone in different forms. We have to reprogram our thinking. That will take a very long time. It won’t be easy but I see no other way. It has to start now. We can’t wait. I don’t want any of my grandsons in the newspaper obituary section because some cop didn’t see who they were, just the color of their skin. We have to do better. Not just parents, but this whole country. A country were immigrants flock but can’t police their own policeman. It’s sad, very sad. What will I tell my grandsons now if stopped? Stop – stand still and raise your arms high above your head. It might not change the outcome but I don’t know what else to say.