Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

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Where in the World (Japan) – Getting to Hokkaido (with thanks to Japan’s rail system)

One of the marvels of Japan is its train system. You could set your watch by the accuracy of the train schedule. Once, during my four years in Japan, I was on a train that experienced electrical failure and we were stuck for 20 minutes. When I reached my destination, I was greeted by a […]

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Mary Preston - April 18, 2014 - 3:45 am

I could have used a few notes in my time. Thank you for the fantastic post.

Marilyn Baron - April 18, 2014 - 5:03 am

Walt,
What an interesting post. I wasn’t familiar with any of those cities so I learned a lot. The rail system sounds amazing.

Walt Mussell - April 18, 2014 - 8:11 am

Mary, when the train employee handed me the note, I looked at it and had to confirm what it was. I couldn’t believe it.

Walt Mussell - April 18, 2014 - 8:12 am

Marilyn,

I love Hokkaido. The whole area is amazing and has so many things to see.

Piper - April 18, 2014 - 9:28 am

I’m not guessing, but I know that excuse stuff in America would go over like a lead balloon! The boys look as if they had a wonderful time! So handsome!

Pam Asberry - April 18, 2014 - 9:52 am

Unbelievable, Walt! It sounds like we could learn a thing or two from the Japanese!

Walt Mussell - April 18, 2014 - 10:28 am

Piper, excuses don’t go over anywhere. The train being late is the equivalent of “the dog ate my homework.”

Walt Mussell - April 18, 2014 - 10:43 am

Pam, in my four years in Japan, I never drove a car. Public transportation is amazing.

Susan Carlisle - April 18, 2014 - 11:33 am

Walt,
Thanks for sharing your adventure. I’m enjoying it very much.

Walt Mussell - April 18, 2014 - 12:44 pm

Susan, glad you like it. I’ve enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

Maxine Davis - April 18, 2014 - 1:08 pm

Walt, I am very much enjoying the articles about Japan. It looks fascinating – and clean. Looks like your family really enjoys it, too. I would love to ride the bullet train. I think.

Walt Mussell - April 18, 2014 - 1:23 pm

Maxine, we so wish we could go back, but it will be awhile.

Granddaddy Strangled Chickens

During spring break last week, we took a trip to North Carolina to visit my parents. A cousin from the Maryland area happened to be in town while we there, so it was a good chance to catch up. At some point during this mini-family reunion, we got to talking about relatives long passed. My […]

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Connie Gillam - April 17, 2014 - 9:08 am

Walt-

My grandparents lived in Mississippi. During the summers, my brothers, sister and I spent several weeks with my Big Mama and PawPaw.

Big Mama would chase down a chicken, wring its neck faster than I could blink, dunk it in hot water, pluck the feathers and fry it up for supper.
As an adult I remembered the chickens following the hound dogs around the yard, eating their poop. Yuck!

Pam Asberry - April 17, 2014 - 9:20 am

My great grandfather was a great baseball player. I am told he had major league potential. But then he fell in love with my great-grandmother; after they married and started having children, he gave up his dream. But on his 100th birthday, the St. Louis Cardinals invited him to come to Busch Stadium and be their guest. His health prevented him making the trip, but they gave him a shout-out which he heard on the radio. That story is shocking in a GOOD way!

Walt Mussell - April 17, 2014 - 9:21 am

And chickens are a staple of the American diet. :-)

Piper - April 17, 2014 - 9:22 am

I love these family stories, Walt. Shows the contrast between those who were hands on with their food and those of us who are used to getting it in wrappings and plastic. I remember when my father’s mother came to our new house where we had a fire place. My sister and I were fascinated by it and wanted my parents to light fires all the time in it. She looked at the fireplace and turned up her nose saying. “That’s fun for you. Looks like work to me.” It wasn’t until years later that I realized where her comment came from.

Walt Mussell - April 17, 2014 - 9:22 am

Connie, the “staple of American diet” comment was intended for you. :-)

Walt Mussell - April 17, 2014 - 9:23 am

Pam, that is a wonderful story. He gave up the baseball for the woman he loved. It was great of the Cardinals to give him a shout out.

Walt Mussell - April 17, 2014 - 9:25 am

Piper, I caqn understand that comment, though I’ve never thought about that saying before.

Walt Mussell - April 17, 2014 - 9:26 am

I cannot type today. Should be “can,” not “caqn.”

Maxine Davis - April 17, 2014 - 9:51 am

Walt, Thanks for the walk down memory lane. My grandmother followed the same steps as Connie’s, but also, after the first frost, my granddaddy would kill a hog. Some of it went in the “salt box” in the “smoke house”, some hung to smoke and grandmother made sausage. She also made wonderful Brunswick stew. I was told she scraped the inside of the head for that – never went to the trouble to know for sure. Ugh.

Walt Mussell - April 17, 2014 - 10:07 am

Maxine, that reminds me of a line from Charlotte’s Web. When it was discovered that one of the pigs was a runt, the famer picked up an ax and headed to the barn. The line I remember is about the little girl character being “about to learn where bacon comes from.”

Susan Carlisle - April 17, 2014 - 7:21 pm

My grandmother used to whisper that we had a horse thief in the family tree out west. I don’t know if it was true or not but by the time I knew about it people drove cars! I thought the idea was cool.

sandra Elzie - April 17, 2014 - 7:48 pm

When we lived in California, we were out in the country on 40 acres. We had horses, cows, rabbits…and chickens. I’m telling the honest truth when I say that my husband used to chop off the chicken’s head and throw the body in a new-unused garbage can to allow the bird to flop around. (gross to the max) Then he’d do all that other lovely stuff and deliver the ready-to-cook bird to me. Yes, I work as a medic on an ambulance, but I do draw the line at some things.

Loved the article…great job.

sandra Elzie - April 17, 2014 - 7:49 pm

Oh, and stories that shocked me? My father, when he was a kid, killed alligators and brought the hind quarters home for his mother to cook and serve. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

Marilyn Baron - April 17, 2014 - 9:22 pm

My father always told me that his grandmother “Granny,” who would be my great grandmother, a woman I’ve never met, was a chicken plucker. Not sure what that was.

Walt Mussell - April 17, 2014 - 10:57 pm

Susan, I agree it’s cool, but only if he didn’t get hanged. They used to do that to horse thieves back then.

Walt Mussell - April 17, 2014 - 10:59 pm

Sandy, I’m not sure I could handle either of those. However, I have occassionally watched Swamp People, so I know there are people out there who view gators as a delicacy.

Walt Mussell - April 17, 2014 - 11:00 pm

Marilyn, I think the title is pretty self-descriptive. I’ll go with that. :-)

Carol Burnside - April 18, 2014 - 11:52 pm

Walt, I used to help chase the chickens down before my Granny wrung their necks. We never called it strangling, but she’d grab them by the head and whirl them around in a circle until their neck snapped. Then came the flopping around the yard bit. Then we’d dip them in boiling water and pluck the feathers off. Smelly, messy business!

Welcome Author, Jenna Ives !!

PROGRAMMED TO PLEASE   I’m a traditionally-published author, but I’m stepping into the exciting world of self-publishing with a slightly-futuristic erotic romance series called The Tau Cetus Chronicles, in which police agents and Beautiful Dolls sex robots are primary characters. The first book in the series is titled Programmed To Please. Here’s the premise: Very […]

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Marilyn Baron - April 16, 2014 - 6:22 am

Jenna,
Yes to all of your “What do you think?” Questions. I love the cover and concept of your new series. Best of luck. Thanks for blogging with us.

Maxine Davis - April 16, 2014 - 9:18 am

Jenna, Again, Yes, to all questions. I think the cover is beautiful. Sounds like a fabulous storyline. Thank you for joining us today at PFHT.

Pam Asberry - April 16, 2014 - 9:23 am

Absolutely! I don’t often read paranormal but this is very intriguing! And the cover is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your work with us today.

Walt Mussell - April 16, 2014 - 9:25 am

The cover does immediately suggest a futuristic situation (a la Stepford Wives appearance). Combined with the title, the whole package seems to target your market well and would get a lot of people to pick it up. Nicely done!

Carol Burnside - April 16, 2014 - 3:50 pm

I’m with the others here. I think you’ve done a fine job of representing your genre. The book info is intriguing. Best of luck!

Jenna Ives - April 17, 2014 - 8:42 am

Thanks so much for your feedback, everyone! And thanks to Sandy and all the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales for letting me blog :)

Jenna

Connie Gillam - April 17, 2014 - 8:55 am

Sorry, I’m late to the party.

Jenna-

Your premise sounds great and a lot of fun. Yes, keep writing the series. I can’t wait to read Programmed to Please.

sandra Elzie - April 17, 2014 - 7:43 pm

I love the cover…and it’s perfect for the genre. I can’t wait to read it.

Top Ten Things Cruising Has Taught Me

By Pam Asberry I spent my spring break in the Bahamas on another great cruise vacation, soaking up the sun and getting a much-needed break from work and worries. Assuming that hair conditioner would be provided along with other toiletries in our cabin, I did pack any; after paying $12 for a bottle of Pantene […]

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Carol Burnside - April 15, 2014 - 5:16 am

I would say my #1 lesson learned is to go with the flow, even if it’s out of my comfort range. More often than not, there’s fun to be had with the right attitude.

Hope you had a blast and are feeling better.

Marilyn Baron - April 15, 2014 - 6:54 am

I agree about the excursions. I’ve been on a cruise where some of the excursions were mediocre and some were fabulous and the good ones tend to make you forget the bad ones. Also, try to eat at one of the ship’s specialty restaurants. The food is much better than the regular dining room. Also try to relax since the excursions can be grueling.

Pam Asberry - April 15, 2014 - 8:39 am

That’s a good one, Carol. Attitude is everything!

Pam Asberry - April 15, 2014 - 8:40 am

Eating at a specialty restaurant is one thing I’ve never done, Marilyn. Next cruise! But I’m all about relaxing. I spend sea days lounging by the pool, period!

Walt Mussell - April 15, 2014 - 9:20 am

I’ve never been on a cruise but can appreciate the local beer aspect. From my travels, I would add local food, too. On my business trip to Costa Rica, the one thing that did frustrate me was that there was little in the way of “local food.” Costa Rica had scant indigenous cuisine (though I was there in December and there was the traditional Christmas tamale, which was a breakfast item and quite good). Still, everything seemed to be from another country.

On the plus side of the food, Costa Rica does have amazing locally-grown coffee.

Pam Asberry - April 15, 2014 - 9:28 am

That’s one disadvantage of cruising, Walt; the schedule isn’t always conductive to sampling local cuisine, not to mention that meals are already paid for on the ship. I did try a new drink called “Sky Juice” – a combination of gin, coconut water and sweetened condensed milk – along with the best conch fritters I have ever eaten in my life, all purchased from a food cart near the cruise port in Nassau. My stomach is growling just thinking about it!

Maxine Davis - April 15, 2014 - 11:39 am

Pam, I agree with your list wholeheartedly! I also agree with Marilyn – try one of the special restaurants on board. YOu won’t regret it. And TMI, but when you get my age, eat a lot of fiber, lol.

Pam Asberry - April 15, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Along with that, Maxine, I try to drink a lot of water, LOL!

Piper - April 16, 2014 - 10:18 am

Pam, thanks for your insights about cruises. I’m like Walt, I’ve never been on one, but I’m mulling it over. Maybe someday. I think #10 is true about any vacation, and #5 is a big relief! Great list!

Pam Asberry - April 16, 2014 - 9:16 pm

Go for it, Piper! You won’t be sorry! :-)

Where in the World (Japan) – When sushi meets peanut butter

On our trip to this particular coastal town in 2008, my wife planned lunch at a sushi restaurant. (The woman in front of my wife is my MIL.) I know that sushi is available all over Japan. Japan is a nation of islands with numerous coastal towns. However, this city, located on the Sea of […]

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Mary Preston - April 11, 2014 - 3:28 am

I like my fish very well cooked, but peanut butter I love.

Marilyn Baron - April 11, 2014 - 4:42 am

I guess the moral of the story is “Don’t sweat the pink stuff.”

I don’t eat sushi but my daughters Love it and it is always the most expensive thing on the menu.

I loved this travel post. I remember when I lived in Florence, Italy, after six months we were craving American food. When we went to Munich for Oktoberfest, we pigged out on McDonald’s Hamburgers and French fries.

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 8:55 am

Mary, there’s a resturant near our house that does all-you-can-eat sushi once a week. We go there once a quarter and probably would go there more often if we could.

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 8:57 am

Marilyn, after four years in Japan, there are now certain Japanese foods I crave. My wife is Japanese, so she cooks a lot of it. However, with one exception, she doesn’t do Japanese desserts.

Susan Carlisle - April 11, 2014 - 8:57 am

Walt,
When my kids and I were in Germany we found peanut butter in an off the beaten path place. I squealed and we all just stood there looking at it. We hadn’t seen any in over two months. We had a PB&J as soon as we got back to the house we were staying in.

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 8:58 am

Gang, I will be traveling today, so I will be out of pocket for a lot of today. I don’t know when I will go off-line, but I will be back on this evening as soon as I can.

Pam Asberry - April 11, 2014 - 9:05 am

I was raised on Peter Pan peanut butter. I would have done exactly what you did.

Piper - April 11, 2014 - 9:19 am

Not being able to get those home foods when traveling abroad can be hard. I probably would have paid that $15 too Walt, and I prefer Jif! When I came back from Belgium a few years ago, I told my husband to take me to a Red Lobster so I could have all of the Walt’s (obviously named for you) fried shrimp I wanted. I was only in Belgium a week, but I understood within a day why a lot of the people there are so svelte!

Sandy Elzie - April 11, 2014 - 9:54 am

Walt,
Loved your post. Like Mary, my fish must be very well cooked. Even my steak must be pink…never, never, never red on the inside.

We were on a two-week cruise in Europe recently and even though the ship had all kinds of American food, I found that I craved Greek yogurt and Coke. Why I thought I wasn’t getting enough of those two items is beyond me. The night before we flew home we wanted dinner (it was about 5:30pm) but the restaurants in the area near the airport didn’t open until 7:00pm. We ended up at a grocery store that took American money (we were out of Euros) buying a banana, Italian bread, cheese, Greek yogurt and four large Cokes. Later we sat in the middle of our bed and feasted.

Great article…looking forward to next week.

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 10:01 am

Susan,

Was it an American brand of peanut butter or a German one? I remember finding a Japanese brand of ketchup and being excited about it. The taste was a different experience. It wasn’t like getting used to Japanese milk (which tasted different as it’s pasteurized at a higer temperature).

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 10:14 am

That should be “higher” temperature. :-)

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 10:32 am

Pam,

Glad to know I’m not the only one.

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 10:33 am

Piper, given the taste of Beligian chocolate, I’m mystified as to the slender appearance of Belgians.

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 10:36 am

Sandy, when I lived in Japan, you couldn’t get a lot of American food without working hard at it. Yes, McDonald’s was everywhere, but it’s still a Japanese version of McD’s. Spent my first Christmas overseas in Singapore (traveling away from Japan). Every American restaurant you could imagine had a location in Singapore.

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 10:36 am

Signing out for now to get on the road. Back on later. :-)

Connie Gillam - April 11, 2014 - 12:16 pm

Walt-

When I was in China, I ate Thai and Japanese (cooked fish, LOL) The Chinese food was not what I expected.

What does your wife miss living in America?

Carol Burnside - April 11, 2014 - 4:38 pm

Peanut butter. I did not see that coming in a travelogue on Japan.
I am a big fan of sushi. Having lived in Hawaii, raw fish dishes do not bother me.

As for the city in question, I did a little sleuthing based on your clues. Were you going to the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri to see the sculptures?

Maxine Davis - April 11, 2014 - 4:39 pm

Walt, I am very much enjoying the visit to Japan. When I’m away, I miss the standard food. To me, that is fresh vegetables and cornbread. Have only tried sushi once – so-so to me. What is your wife’s favorite American food?

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 7:43 pm

Connie, the thing she misses most is the food. Her parents live in SoCal and often sends her care packages.

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 7:45 pm

Maxine, it’s hard to say what her favorite American food is. However, I think it’s sweet tea. :-)

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 7:49 pm

Carol, yes, you are correct. Sapporo was my intended destination. I talk more about this in next week’s post. Sapporo is on the island of Hokkaido and is an amazing city. You’re in the ballpark.

Walt Mussell - April 11, 2014 - 8:01 pm

Also, Carol, “yuki” is the Japanese word for “snow” and “matsuri” is the Japanese word for “festival.”

MOM RULES

by:  Sandra Elzie There are a lot of adjectives that could be used to describe me:  Female, retired, Christian, romance fiction writer, wife, aunt…and the list goes on and on.  But there’s one that I’m very proud of that I’m focusing on today.  Mother.  Aw, yes, and now that I’m on the “other side” of […]

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Marilyn Baron - April 10, 2014 - 7:41 am

Sandy,

Loved this list (especially Eat Chocolate) and my all-time favorite, Order Out or in my case,Make Reservations. I think you’ve about covered it. Somehow I’ve managed to raise two wonderful daughters so hopefully I’ve done something right but these are good rules to live by.

Piper - April 10, 2014 - 7:43 am

Sandra,

A truly excellent list. I cannot think of a single thing to add to it. I love the one about laughing. That is so important. My mother was one of the funniest people ever, and her laughter was a reminder that we take ourselves too seriously for much of the time. I try to make my son laugh as often as possible–when warranted of course.

I don’t order out as often as I should–so I’m going to take that one up–starting with tonight’s dinner. Thanks!

Pamela Varnado - April 10, 2014 - 8:12 am

I totally agree about eating out as often as possible. As for adding to your list, which is excellent, I would include never criticize your child. Hurtful comments destroy self-esteem. Parents can nurture without calling their child lazy or stupid. And if you are blessed with more than one child, please don’t compare them to each other. This often shatters the bond siblings share. Each child is special in his or her own way. Cherish them and give them the same unconditional love they give to you.

Maxine Davis - April 10, 2014 - 8:56 am

Sandy, Excellent list. I totally agree. I bet you were/are a good mom. I truly believe in complimenting them when they’ve done something that shows their heart is in the right place or when they’ve truly tried.

SUsan Carlisle - April 10, 2014 - 9:35 am

Sandy,
What a great list. I’m going to take a number of these to heart. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie Kaufman - April 10, 2014 - 10:17 am

Love the list. One of my rules was, “Bake often.” Kept me sane because it was an activity I enjoyed, kept the kids happy because they could eat the results, and chocolate was usually involved.

Carol Burnside - April 10, 2014 - 11:37 am

Excellent list. The only thing I’d add would be positive reinforcement or Build Self-Esteem. Others have mentioned this also. It’s important for a child to hear “You can do it.” and “Good job!”

Connie Gillam - April 10, 2014 - 1:26 pm

An excellent list, Sandy. The only thing I can add is ‘listen to them.’ Give them your full attention when they’re discussing their day.

Trudy - April 10, 2014 - 4:13 pm

Sandy,
What a great list! Can’t think of anything to add – I’ll try to remember it when things get hectic.

Mary Marvella Barfield - April 10, 2014 - 4:16 pm

Sandy, you are a wise woman! Your rules resonate with me!

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 4:48 pm

Hi Marilyn,
Yes, chocolate helps in times of stress. We didn’t eat out very often (where reservations were required) when the kids were younger. It was more like Taco Bell or McDonalds, but they loved it…and I loved not having to cook that night.

You have two beautiful daughters who love their parents, so you must have done a great job.

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 4:53 pm

Piper,
Way to go, girl! In fact, pizza sounds pretty good right now. I love to laugh. One day our three put on a skit where they all bent over in a row, put a sheet over themselves and had one of their cousins act as MC…bringing them out as a trained worm. Then the MC got one of their uncles to lie down on the floor so Henry the Worm would jump over him. Well, the first two stepped over, but the last one poured a glass of water on their uncle….at which time the MC apologized and said that Henry The Worm needed a bit more training.

I think the kids laughed more than anyone else. It was a great evening.

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 4:56 pm

Hi Pam, You are sooooooooo right about not criticising. Of course there are times when you have to explain that certain behavior isn’t acceptable, BUT there’s a right way to do it…but it needs to be done in a calm voice, explaining what’s is acceptable…And in private. Thanks for commenting.

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 4:59 pm

Hi Maxine,
My daughter once had a teacher that told her class that they all had 100% in her class. She told them that they all had an A. Then she explained that not doing homework or disrupting the class would result in them getting a lessor grade. I thought this was a different, yet innovative way to show kids that they were good, but there was a consequence for not following the rules.

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 5:01 pm

Hi Susan,
Since you had four little darlings…and since they’ve all turned out great…you must have been a fantastic mother. And chocolate MUST have been on your list of Mom Rules since I’ve tasted the fudge you make from scratch (and from memory). Yummmmmm

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Hi Deb,
Yeah, bake often…but then the girls got older and they started baking, so it took some of the stress off me….well, except cleaning up behind them in the kitchen after they had “cleaned.”

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 5:03 pm

Carol,
Great “rule” Building self-esteem is vital to kids. The world will try to know them down and it’s part of our job to try to make a difference…try to build them back up and show them how to succeed in life. Thanks.

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 5:06 pm

Oh Connie, great rule! Listen to them. We all want others to listen when we talk…and the kids are the same. I’ve watched children struggle to get their parents to watch them jump into the pool or spin in a circle, or whatever and the parent is just too busy talking with someone or reading or whatever to be bothered.

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 5:08 pm

Hi Trudy,
The Mom List can work for just about anytime in our lives…even when dealing with adults. It could just as easily be entitled The Wife List….or The Friend List.

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 5:10 pm

Hi Mary,
Thanks for dropping by and commenting. The list was something I did many years ago and I recently ran across it. Maybe I should have added…Plan to Take Care of Your Elderly Parents…or something like that. :) Of course, all our kids are in their 40s, so it’s probably a bit late.

Walt Mussell - April 10, 2014 - 5:47 pm

Sandy,

Great list! Eat chocolate definitely belongs on it. My other favorite is “Enjoy the Moment.”

Sandy Elzie - April 10, 2014 - 5:58 pm

Hi Walt,
I enjoyed adding chocolate to the list when it really wasn’t on it before….even though it should have been ! And yes, Enjoy the Moment means a lot to me. I enjoyed supporting their trying new things (even tho they weren’t very successful at a few of them). Life was just a lot of fun with the kids in it.

Bruce - April 10, 2014 - 10:36 pm

As I knew way back when (but didn’t realize,being young and dumb)that you would excel at everything in your life, and now I have no doubts, that you not only thrived but became one great Mom, a friend to many, a loving wife,and a great long time friend. I hope that all the good that you have accomplished over these many years will remain with you for all eternity, YOU DESERVE IT.

Don - April 11, 2014 - 4:45 am

A very good list indeed. I found that dad also needed to follow such list to help keep mom on track and to stay on a parallel course with her. Work together within the same rules.
One rule that I took on as a personal issue was that even though I worked in some rough environments with lots of “colorful” language; I found that I did not need such language to prove I am an adult. I later found out that the kids (not just ours) really respected me for that self control.
And Bruce’s comments are spot on!

Pam Asberry - April 11, 2014 - 9:03 am

Great list, Carol. Enjoy the moment, indeed. What I wouldn’t give to have just one day back with my children when they were small.

Sandy Elzie - April 11, 2014 - 9:26 am

Hi Bruce,
Ah, gee, you make me blush. You’re a sweet friend and I appreciate all the nice words. I try hard to do well at each thing I do…but nothing was ever as important to me than being a good wife and especially a good mom. It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. :) Thanks for coming by and commenting.

Sandy Elzie - April 11, 2014 - 9:32 am

Hi Don,
You are sooooooo right. Parenting is so much easier if both mom and dad are on the same page. It’s also less confusing to the children and keeps them from playing one parent against the other. If one of ours said he/she had already asked the other parent and the other parent had left it up to the parent that wasn’t present at the time, we ALWAYS checked with that other parent first before giving a final answer. No games. We tried very hard to be a united force.

And you make an extremely valid point about the language. They hear enough of that stuff from their peers and sometimes join in when around those kids, but it might surprise parents to know how much kids look to them for direction on the proper way to act the rest of the time. And, BTW, thanks for the kind words.

Sandy Elzie - April 11, 2014 - 9:33 am

Hi Pam,
I’m with you girl…there are times I wish I could go back (but only for a day or two) and enjoy a special time with them while they were young. Times are tougher now…so new moms & dads really have their hands full to raise kids properly.

Sandy Elzie - April 11, 2014 - 1:51 pm

The winner of the $5.00 Starbuck’s card is Don. Don, if you’d send me your e-mail addy or your street address, I’ll send along the card right away.

Congratulations!!!

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