4/5/17 Stop. Raining. Now.

ANOTHER cold, wet, rainy, grey day. It seems so unfair with parts of the country being in draught. We are inundated with rain. I don’t think the ground can take much more. I certainly can’t! Have you ever tried going potty with BOTH hind legs in the air?? It’s not an easy trick, but I hate putting my paws in the wet, cold puddles and mud!

Mom says James Bond has someone called “Miss Moneypenny”. Mom says she has me, “Miss Muddybelly”. Very droll!

I think Mom has gone stir-crazy. Wacko. Lost her marbles because of the lack of sun. Whatever. Today, she was cleaning the house for hours on end, moving the furniture, washing floors, pulling out that horrible vacuum. I looked at her like she was nuts. She even rolled up the rug and vacuumed under that. She took away all my lovely dog hair. Now I have to work hard to put it all back. She’s cuckoo.

Why’d she wash the floor, anyway? At least, why the one in the kitchen? As soon as I do go out, I bring in the paw prints while she chases me around with a towel. I guess that’s some measure of job security!

Meanwhile, I’m holding my bladder and finding all the blankets I possibly can.

greatnap

Woof! Stay dry.

Love, Maggie

 

The Black Pier

Something my human Jamie wrote, I like it

Strength of a Thousand Men

Do you remember the night we went to Navy Pier?

It was midnight and nobody was there.

The city was behind us, and all of its complicated things…

The buildings crammed together…

The white windows…

The sound of police cars and ambulances…

The darkness shrouded trees illuminated by the full moon…growing in the center of once packed boulevards…

It was all behind us. We stood on the end of the pier, the dark wet wooden boards under our feet. The chipped white railing was smooth in my palm, especially the areas where the paint had fallen away to reveal sea-washed steel. The Ferris wheel behind us was not rotating, but it cast its warm-colored light over our backs like a thin sheet. All you could hear was the slapping of the inky black waves before us and the indistinct roar of the skyline behind us.

Nobody was there.

I stared…

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4/1/17 No foolin’

What, may I ask, is that unusual bright thing hanging out in the sky?

The sun?? But we haven’t seen it in over a week!

After getting pounded by rainstorms, the sun made an appearance today. No foolin’!

Mom was so happy, she went out and did yard work. She also took me by the swamp (I must digress here; when it is filled with garbage, it’s a ‘swamp’. When it’s clean and nice looking, it’s a ‘pond’. You may refer to it however you like.) Anyway, Mom took me out and let me have a good, long sniff around. She put me on the tether in the back yard and let me eat some grass which is finally poking out. Amongst the weeds, of course; nothing can stop them. I sniffed and peed and kept an eye on Mom until I got so tired out I “asked” to come in the house so I could rest on the couch. Mom let me in and finished picking garbage out of the perimeter of the swamp – er, pond. Then she raked up a lot of sticks and put them in big paper bags. At first I watched from the front window but eventually ended up on the couch.

swampzilla

Sniff, sniff! The geese are back and have a nest around here somewhere. I can’t see it but I can sure smell it!

I thoroughly enjoyed my day in the sun, but the weatherman is predicting rain AGAIN for tomorrow and all week with the exception of Tuesday. How I hate the grey skies!

Woof! Love, Maggie

 

3/29/17 National Test Day: Please Read

Hello, this is Liz. Maggie is taking the day off.

Most adults are sweating the April tax deadline. However, many kids are dreading April 8, “National Test Day”. In case you’re not familiar with this, on this date, high school entrance exams, the ACT, SAT, and other standardized tests are held throughout the nation.

My son James is taking the ACT with the writing portion on April 8.

I’d like to say, I’m not a huge fan of standardized tests. I understand perfectly that schools need a benchmark, but frankly, not all kids are great test-takers, and many students miss a great fit with their desired school because of standardized testing. One can’t show creativity and passion while filling in an oval. I’d like to talk about this a minute, and I apologize if this gets a little long. But if you only read one blog of mine this year, I beg you, let this one be it.

I’ve got three kids: Mike, my inherited son from Jim’s first marriage; my son Erik, and my son James. Each child is wildly different than the other. They’ve all had different approaches and attitudes about school. Imagine three different roller coasters, and you’ll have an idea!

Mike, quick on his feet and charming, was an outstanding test taker. He scored very high on the ACT. Mike loved high school sports and played on a couple of different teams, and was very good at the social aspect of school. Mike had a lot of friends and had a regular “posse” he hung around with. Although he was a great test taker, he found that a middle-of-the road curriculum suited him best for academics. Mike’s strengths were found in his social skills and ability to make and keep friends. After high school, he landed a commissioned sales job that suited his skill set very well, and today, he is happy with his career and is successful in his profession.

Erik, somewhat moody and wildly creative, was not a good test taker. He scored about average on the ACT. Erik had a terrible high school experience and hated sports. He excelled in Art, however, and flourished in any creative class that was thrown at him. From watercolors and calligraphy to pottery, he was truly in his element. After high school, Erik decided to pursue Cosmetology classes, and that is where his grades went through the roof. Comfortable in an environment that encouraged passion and creativity, Erik’s grade average was 96%+ and graduated with a straight A average. Erik is now a Master Stylist with a major chain, and has full benefits at his job. He has an astonishing request rate at the salon – even I have to make an appointment to see him!

James took the ACT when he was 13. He did very well. He took it again as a practice test last year, and scored two points higher. To prepare for the ACT this year, he is doing independent study, classes after school, and tutoring on his own time. He expects to raise his previous, practice ACT score by two or three points. James is enjoying high school immensely. Although his is not a “sports guy”, he’s a “Robotics guy” and enjoys tinkering with various projects. James has a knack for details and dates and hopes to get a specialized History PhD when he completes high school, with an eye on teaching college-level classes. He is relishing taking the Writing portion of the ACT because he feels this is where is greatest strength is going to be. On a side note, I never have to ask Jamie to do his homework; rather, I worry about him “beating himself up” about it too much.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I learned, through my extremely different children, that it’s OK to excel or not to excel at these standardized tests. And if you’re that parent trying to push your kid into being the lawyer or doctor or football star you never were – please, please, stop. Your kid might be your child, but he or she is his or her own individual person and we as parents might know them well, but still, you can’t be in another person’s skin and know what makes them tick. It’s OK to be a school person or not a school person. There’s something out there for all of us, but we have to find it individually.

You, as a parent, might be sweating National Test Day right along with your offspring. I can give you the wisdom of my experience to let you know it’s going to be all right. There’s room for lawyers, doctors, football stars, entrepreneurs, actors, scientists, teachers, salespersons, and all the rest, and some you can’t imagine. I am saying to you today, encourage your child to be THEIR best, not YOUR best. Let them shine in their own way, and they’ll do you proud and probably surprise you. Had I tried to fit any of my square pegs into round holes, it would have been a disaster.

National Test Day is right around the corner. Some will thrive, but we’ll all survive.

Your friend,

 

Elizabeth

PS – I made the bed with fresh linens today and Maggie is enjoying the afternoon snoozing on the soft sheets and blankets. She sends a Woof and will see you tomorrow!

 

 

3/27/17 500 Followers, Woof!

In May, 2012, I realized my dream of finding my furever home with my furever family.

I started this blog not long after my adoption. WP has informed me that I have reached 500 followers, and I would like to take this post to thank YOU for following. It means a lot to me to have all of you on this journey with me! I love when you leave comments for me to answer. Thank you so much. I have met and made such good friends on this blog. I hope to remain blogging for a long time, and I hope to always put out a quality blog for you to read.

Here is a picture of me from the first day Mom, Dad, and Jamie brought me home. It’s a little blurry, but you can even see where the doctor shaved my tummy for the “spay”.

Woof! Love, Maggie

maggie

The Lunchmeat Informant : A Cold-Cut Chronicles of Conan

James is re-introducing his story to new readers and as a synopsis for those who lost his blog when he renamed his domain. I hope you enjoy this. Woof! Love, Maggie

Strength of a Thousand Men

How does a man who works in a delicatessen go from a lunchmeat gladiator to a superpower’s sneakiest spy? The tale of Conan Merriweather, an alien on the distant moon of Sesiqui, is a dice roll tale of courage, cunning, action, multitasking, and uncanny luck.

Conan was a young, able-bodied man. He wanted desperately to enlist in the Royal Republican Army, so he could help repel the swarms of robots that threaten his homeland. However, the army does not accept soldiers with mental illnesses, as getting his medicine to the front lines would be difficult and expensive. He was stuck working in his boss’s meat store, where Conan spent his days hearing sickening stories of the Mechanika-Profilia Conflict from the jaded veteran. However, one day a government agent tricked Conan into coming with him into a secret urban government warehouse, where they knocked him unconscious, locked him in a robot suit, and…

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