Thursday, April 30, 2015


For my faithful newspaper readers, this is an article and subject that I wrote about a few months ago, but is an ongoing issue at my house and I wanted to share with the rest of the world.
  While most homes are quiet during the night time hours, my house seems to come alive with sounds. Not the kind of sounds that go bump in the night, but instead the kind that keep me up and annoyed at night. While I share my bed with two dogs that are curled up at my feet, they are all silent sleepers. My husband on the other hand is a completely different story.
  I am a very light sleeper. It seems like these days even the slightest sound or movement can wake me out of a sound sleep and I have the hardest time falling back into slumber. My husband chooses to play off of this downfall of mine by filling my nights with the gift of snoring. I'm not talking a slight snore either, this is full fledged chainsaw snoring.
  Usually I try to calmly ask him to roll over the first several attempts, but then I get angry. The worst part is this is a man that is happy watching television for the remainder of the evening, after getting home from work, but for some reason when he is sleeping, he is busier than a bee hive.
  A couple of weeks ago when I asked him to stop snoring and to roll over, he told me that he would, but first he had to finishing turning his sockets. I laughed and told him to put the sockets away because it was the middle of the night and roll the heck over.
  Some nights I physically have to get out of bed and go over and roll him myself. One night while he was snoring like a maniac, I got up tried to move his 220 pound self, and then proceeded to go down the hall to the bathroom. As I was gone, I could still hear his chainsaw fired up all the way across the house. When I returned to the bedroom and once again asked him to roll over, he informed me that while I was gone, 16 people came into our room and told him what a quiet sleeper he was being that night! Seriously, how on earth does he come up with this stuff? It seems to me that it would just be so much easier for him to move over than try to come up with these outrageous stories to tell me. Our bedroom is so small that I laughed trying to picture how 16 people would fit in there to give him that information and I was only gone for a total of about four minutes, so they must have been quick during their visit.
  I have gotten so used to the snoring that one night while my granddaughter was visiting, she fell asleep in my bed with my oldest daughter, Tessa, while we were watching a Disney movie. Doug told me that he didn't want to wake them, so he just gathered up blankets and slept on the couch for the night. That night I woke up so many times and reached over, completely wondering why my room was so quiet. It would take me a minute to remember that Doug wasn't in there. The total silence that I had been craving for so long actually drove me crazy because I wasn't used to it and I would wake in a panic, thinking that something had happened to Doug.
  Last week he came up with a really good story, while once again snoring. I asked and asked him to roll over and once again he mumbles something that is totally outrageous. Finally I once again turned on my light and attempted to move him on his side. It was at this moment that he shared with me that he was going to move but had to finish moving the cow over first. What? We don't even have any cows! The things that go on in his brain during the night are outstanding and probably the reason that he is exhausted during the daylight hours.
  I would like to say that our snoring situation is over, but I'm afraid that it will continue to be a battle that I lose on a nightly basis. We have tried nose strips, extra pillows and even death threats, but nothing seems to help. I figure, although I'm tired most mornings, it does give me something good to write about and also something to laugh about the next day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

  Growing up in a very small town has both it's advantages and disadvantages. It is the type of place where everyone in town knows your news, even sometimes before you do! For me it even posed a more difficult situation have my dad teach at the high school that I attended. And whats even better still is that not only was he a teacher there, but because of alphabetical order and just pure luck, my locker was located just outside of his classroom door. My sophomore year I was also fortunate enough to have him as a teacher. Most people would think of this as a horrible situation, but my father and I did a pretty good job that year of ignoring each other in class and even if I was exhausted at night and didn't complete my homework in every class, you better believe that my assignments in American History were the first ones done each night.
  Just having my dad at the school was a challenge. One night my parents allowed me to attend a concert and I remember the following day I was exhausted at school and decided not to participate in my physical education class that day. I remember thinking this was an ok idea because we all had three days per semester where we could opt out of participation, so since I hadn't used any of those days up so far, I chose this opportunity to use one. Of course as soon as that class ended and I walked to my locker to retrieve my books for the next class, my dad was standing at my locker, arms crossed, with that 'look' that we all know and love. How on earth had he found out about my lack of participation so quickly. That was the last time I opted out of gym class that year, I can assure you of that! I swore to myself that when I grew up that I would move out of this tiny town where I couldn't do a single thing without the whole family knowing.
  Now that I am a grown woman and have raised three daughters, I am happy to report that we still live in the small town of Parma. Those giant tractors that take over the roadways and make you drive slowly, that I used to hate as a teenager, I now look at proudly because this is my roots and where not only I was raised by my grandparents, their parents and also my children. This is where we learn the efforts of hard work and the benefits of helping out your fellow neighbors in need. This is the place where you never need to worry about finding someone to help because neighbors are more like friends and family and there is always someone that is just a phone call or shout away with assistance.
    On the flip side of that I now live right off of the highway on a main road in town, which is nothing like the 300 acre farm that I grew up on. As a kid I used to be able to ride my bicycle down our road and maybe be lucky if I had one or two passing cars during my ride. I was lucky to be able to live and renovate my grandparents old house, after their passing, but to me, this is now city living.
  The funny part is that no matter what I do, someone I know just happens to drive by my house during the process. One afternoon I had a run in with a underground bee hive, to which I did not win. After shooting the hive with spray and then having the whole swarm of bees chase me through the front lawn, while I was screaming, running and flaring my arms through the air, barely making it out with my life, of course one of my friends happened to drive by and enjoyed that display. A few days later while standing in the line at the bank, that afternoon was brought up by someone in line that had watched the whole scenario unfold as they drove by. They all got a good laugh at my expense.
  Another favorite thing that they like to bring up is the fact that I now own a male horse and have to clean his 'boy parts'. This is something that I never thought of when I purchased the animal, as we had only had mares in the past. One afternoon I was in the lawn letting my horse eat grass so that he was more relaxed and I could clean him thoroughly, apparently several people drove by my house and wondered what on earth I was doing to that 'poor' animal, when actually I was making him feel better.
  Like I said, some things you will only see in Parma and apparently if you want a good laugh, just drive down Michigan Avenue in the summer and see what is unfolding in my front lawn. Since I was a kid my life has been on display so why stop the madness now. I have grown to laugh with them and now enjoy being the center of their jokes. Just can't wait to see what I can provide them with next!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

my obsession

It has officially been about 11 years now since I laced up my first pair of running shoes and hit the pavement for the very first time. Although that experience was one of the worst times that I can remember in all of my 40 years, what I didn't know at the time was that it was going to turn into my life, the very air I breathe and some days, my reason for going on.
  I will never forget the reason that I got started with running. My older sister, who had always been active in some sort of sporting event, extending way back from elementary school, gave me a tip one day that instead of not allowing myself to eat the things that I wanted, that I should try running.
  The very idea of working out scared me to death. I had never tried anything like it before. I mean I was almost five foot, eight inches tall and weighed less than 120, but in order to keep that figure, I had to monitor every single thing that passed through my lips. I would be the one at the family partys that would sit in the corner and think horrible thoughts as my entire family stood around the snack table filling their mouths with delicious bites of cheese and crackers and dip. I wanted so desperately to be able to snack like they did instead of living the skinny life and only allowing myself a certain amount of calories per day.
  Well one afternoon I decided to take my sister's advice and I got out an old pair of sneakers, put on a T-shirt and shorts, grabbed my little iPod and headed to the street. I was pretty pumped to try this activity that so many people talked about. My visions of my long legs extending out in front of me with each step were quickly subsided with me stumbling and panting and twisting my ankles in the dozens of spring pot holes that I had not noticed in my vehicle and were suddenly everywhere I looked. In fact my run got so hard and ugly at one point that I had to stop because my legs were beginning to go numb from the knee area down.
  By the time I had my driveway in sight, I was completely convinced that I was going to expire as soon as I entered my property. My face was beat red, I was sweating something fierce and now my legs were numb all the way down. Why on earth would I EVER want to do this again?
  The next morning was even worse. I was the most sore then I have ever been in my life including the two times that my body had endured major surgery. I called my sister and asked why on earth she would suggest such a horrible activity for me to try, and she said, just wait. She informed me that running was addicting and I just needed to slowly get into shape and would soon love it.
  Now here I am, thousands of miles and worn out shoes later, and I am the biggest running addict that I know. If this proves anything to you, last summer when we had a power outage, most families were worried about hooking up generaters to their refrigerators, while I was in tears over the fact that I was not going to be able to hop on my treadmill for my daily fix. I have participated in countless 5 and 10k's, several 1/2 marathons and even a full marathon.
  Although my relationship with running is still a love/hate encounter, I do have to say that I now enjoy the fact that I can eat pretty much whatever I want and running has become my stress reliever. I know that this type of working out is not for everyone, but I have found my niche. I have come a long way from that horrible day where my first mile-long jaunt almost killed me. I now average over 100 miles a week.
  I think that everyone that is searching for their little niche to help make them feel stronger to try running. Even if you can only begin with 1/2 mile of running and then 1/2 mile of walking, anything is a start. Every step makes you stronger and NO one can take that feeling away from you.
  My other piece of advice is that you may not want to run quite as much as me. I have opted to only using a treadmill now, to help my joints. I have killed two of them so far and by the sounds of it, my third treadmill is not far behind. I will probably end up in a wheel chair before too long, but for now I am a lot happier, healthier and stronger woman because of it. I can out eat most men and although I'm not skinny like I used to be, I'm still lean looking and feel great!
  Run on my friends!


Today I would like to talk about the subject of my animals always finding the need to use the bathroom wherever they feel it necessary. With three small dogs and one cat in a very small house, this does not leave much space for them to hide their little 'presents' for us to find. My husband and I raised two large Newfoundland dogs for years until their passing, when I decided that it was too difficult for me to lose such a large animal. When my second newfie, Jersey, died, I felt like a piece of me went along with her. I was completely heart broken.
  Years later my daughter begged me for a small breed dog and I finally gave in, telling her that the puppy would be her responsibility, thinking that I would not get too attached this time. Wrong! That little dog, which we named Rodeo, became the center of my life, just as my other animals had in the past. Since that time we have brought in two additional multi poos, bringing the number of canines in my home to three. The only thing that I didn't know about small breed dogs is that they never really seem to get the full understanding of outdoor bathroom through their heads. This is why many mornings, as I stumble through the house on my way to the coffee pot, eyes half open, I have stepped in more 'tootsie rolls', as Doug likes to call them, than I can remember. In fact I'm so used to this now that it does not even phase me. I just grab a piece of toilet paper, pick up the mess and move on with my morning.
  The one instance that sticks out in my head though is when my daughter's cat decided for a few days that the bathtub was his litter box. Now this made me laugh. My husband was on the toilet at the time, doing his own business, and all of a sudden we hear him roaring with laughter. He is a funny person but bathroom time is not a usual time when humor comes into play. I was almost afraid to ask what was going on in there, and he shouted out that while he was on the toilet, he suddently heard a huge noise coming from the bathtub and he pulled back the shower curtain to find that Leo the cat was taking a number two, right next to him in the tub! This brought impecible laughter to our house, but also a little bit of fear that he might attempt to pull this off on a regular basis.
  A few days later, when I was trying to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee in the living room, I look up to see Leo climbing in the pot of my palm tree sitting in the living room. I knew as soon as I saw him digging, that he had a plan in mind, and because of his recent bathtub incident, he was not to be trusted. I scooped him up and put him in the litter box. Now I sort of understand why my dogs walk by that plant and sniff the dirt all of the time and I also get why the palm tree is not doing as well as it had been a few months prior to the cat's arrival at our house.
  I'm hoping that Leo now understands the proper proceedure for his bathroom breaks, but I know that little dog ownership will be a continous trail for me with their droppings!


I would like to introduce myself. I'm new to this blogging thing and this is my first entry. I have been writing for the local Parma newspaper for the past 12 years with a weekly column. During my writings I like to talk about my everyday experiences with living with a houseful of animals and all of the happenings that occur in the small town of Parma. Most of the time the things that I experience in my everyday life is stuff that most people find humor in, while in fact it is the stuff that I go through everyday.
Nothing in my column will be tabu, in fact I plan on writing about stuff like my husband keeping me up all night snoring, my dogs constantly using my carpet as their own personal toilet, my horses, and the raising of my three girls. I would like to tough upon things that most people don't like my breast augmentation surgery, my colonoscopy surgery that went wrong and everything in between.
I would also love people to ask questions, tell me what they would like to hear more about and offer suggestions on future blogs.
Since I now have all of the free time in the world this will be a place where I can vent, laugh, cry and share everything that happens in the life of a real housewife, mother, animal owner and woman.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to being a part of your life and hopefully you will be just as big of a part of mine.
- Parmablogger