Different people have different ideas of what it means to be a success. This perspective has much to do with determining parenting techniques and methods used to shape a child’s character. My opinion in raising my sons was that I wanted them to be good men.

I believe that if they are good men, they will then have a clear conscience. This will enable them to live at peace with themselves which makes contentment and happiness possible. Academic achievement and a financially lucrative career won’t matter if they are miserable and have no self-respect. Often, my achievement driven sister would criticize me with comments about raising him like a hippie or beatnik. Now, however, Harvard has vindicated me! Continue reading “TO BE GOOD AND KIND”


Forget about exploring outer space to find strange, out-of-this-world creatures. Scientists are finding them right here on planet Earth. One such creature is called by a name that may have a person thinking of Barbarossa, the infamous Turkish pirate of the fifteenth century, also known as Red Beard. However, the babirusa definitely inspires much more terror if encountered face to face. This is a wild boar that has molars that grow clear through the top of its skull. These tusks can grow long enough to curve back and reenter the skull, killing the poor, creepy, little thing. Native to Indonesia, scary depictions of these animals can be seen reflected in native artwork. Continue reading “SCARY PLANET EARTH”


I must confess I am a terrible housekeeper. Like a good psychiatric patient, I blame my mother. You see, I am the youngest of five daughters. By the time I was old enough to help out around the house, all the chores had already been assigned. To be fair, mother gave me a couple of “token” chores to do around the house but they really didn’t count. Needless to say I grew up blissfully unaware of all the drudgery that was involved in the sparkling clean house I lived in. Continue reading “HOUSEKEEPING HELP”


The weather is beginning to change. The nights are chillier and chillier. These are the signals that it is time to wrap the outside faucets and check the antifreeze levels in the car. One thing, however, that often gets overlooked is the family dog.  Whether you have an indoor dog or an outdoor dog, prepping for winter is important for them to fare comfortably and safely until the spring thaw.

The fur coat a dog sports does not mean there is nothing else required to prepare them for the weather extremes of a winter season.  Some pups, especially short, smooth coated breeds like beagles and Chihuahuas, need a sweater or jacket. Dogs can suffer from hypothermia just like humans. Pay attention. Are they shivering? Are they staying curled up as tightly as they can in an attempt to conserve their body heat? Those are sure signs they are cold. They need a warm bed and probably need to be wearing an insulated piece of doggie fashion. Continue reading “DOGGIE WINTER BLUES”


You know how you buy a new car and it has that “new car” smell? Well, too bad that houses or apartments don’t have that. In fact, quite often you will inherit some of the odors of the previous tenants. So, if you find yourself moving into new digs and you want to eliminate the ghostly presence of those who went before you, here are a few tips. These can be crucial if previous tenants were smokers or had pets who contributed to a big stink and you or one of your loved ones is allergic to cigarette smoke or pet dander. Continue reading “GET THAT NEW HOUSE SMELL”