Tuesday, February 22, 2011

News Paper Route & Family Time

The last week of January, my daughter and I took on a news paper route in our community. Realizing that no one would hire a 51 year old woman who has been self-employed for more than 18 years, and that the public business prospects were zip-o-la for me. My daughter I decided to supplement our cash flow by having her be a paper delivery person, she would be my boss and I would help her with the route.

Without hesitation we made a commitment to the city new paper for 42 houses, one route. Knowing that when we achieved the first route additional houses and a second route would be added to ledger. I clearly underestimated the number of people who still read the local paper many people still start their day with a cup of tea or coffee and the smell of printers ink under their noses.

The first morning out we spent most of time trying to read the house numbers, or understand how the ledger balanced up with the city infrastructure. Why houses that should follow in chronological numeric order did not and why others houses had no numbers at all marked. How the heck were we suppose to deliver all these papers? By weeks end we discovered, "Hey, if we had lights on our heads we could see the house numbers from the sidewalks." Wow, there was a light bulb moment.

By the first week of February we had increased our route house number to 92 week day regulars and 114 weekend customers. We had accomplished knowing which homes needed to have their papers placed in special area of the porch or screen door. My daughter had her even numbered homes memorized, my odd numbered route was nearly committed to memory and we had completed both routes within 2.5 hours. From waking at 4 A.M., dressing, driving to the pick-up site, retrieving the bundles, folding and rubber banding, then bagging and walking each paper to the door step of every customer, to sharing a morning banana and bottle of water......DONE!

Today we topped out at 5:38 A.M., sitting in the van and sharing our morning fruit and H20.....we had shaved minutes off our normal and we're home by 5:50 A.M. record time. Now we're thinking getting up at 3:45 A.M. so we can be home by 5:30 A.M. Its a round trip drive of 17.5 miles, 7.45 miles there to the paper pick-up spot.

Suppose not everyone would be comfortable with this schedule or early morning, often it feels like night time, but my daughter and I have found that its a pleasant way to spend time together. Dressed warm, bundled with wool hats, recycled crocheted wraps and gloves packing jumbo canvas totes filled with folded papers we speed walk the entire 114 house route. Chatting with each other from across the street and breathing in that fresh morning air, occasionally being greeted by a lonely jogger or cyclist and their pooch.

Our early morning route has become a pleasure, commitment, needed exercise and shared friendship with each other. When we get paid......new sweat pants are on the list to purchase, my daughter has lost 13 pounds and I have lost 17 pounds....who would have thought that the need for income would produce thinner thighs and a tight butt. We hope to be running the route by spring.....

Maybe your community needs you?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Recovery and A Life Long Commitment: Mickey's Story

In the 80’s when my ex was attending recovery programs and AA, I attended and supported his process by learning about my own self-worth. There were many weekend family retreats, long distance drives, schedules and meetings that seemed daunting and even time consuming. Young and optimistic about mending my marriage I went to every scheduled site, every late night meeting and every religious setting to accomplish that which I thought would make his life better…………….there was love there at one time.

The relentless desire to “make good”……heal, help, assist,….uh, co-dependent the addiction, the addict and guilty myself of dipping my toes into the methamphetamine scene to comply, join, and belong to his life in some way or another and reaching for a love that wasn’t in actuality even reachable.

I recall a meeting that changed my life forever, a pivotal moment, a gut reaction that assisted my growth process and pushed me into focusing on myself. A seasoned recovering addicted with ten years sobriety under his belt shared a story (maybe his story or maybe a passed down story, who knows really if it were his personal story) I only know that after I heard the story my heart and mind were changed forever…...and the story goes.


A man comes home from work, as he strides through the living room headed for the refrigerator he stumbles over his eight year old sons fire truck and all his collected play things on the floor. His son greets his dad with, “Hey, Dad will you play with me?” Grumbling passively his father replies, “NOT Now!” And opens the refrigerator and grabs a tall boy from the shelf. He turns and walks to his Lazy Boy. Again his son tried to greet him with a suggestion of play time.

“Damn It …..I don’t want to play…..leave me alone.”
As his father sits and sucks down his brew, the son continues to play at his feet. “Please dad, will you play with me?” Angry by his sons persistence the father yells at the boy, grabs a magazine from the among the boys toys on the floor, opens it up to the center and rips out a single page with an image of the nautical world. He then tears that page into many tiny pieces, and throws those pieces at his son. He exclaims, “when you’ve put the picture of the world together I will play with you!”

Minutes later, the son approaches his father who now has polished off a six pack of tall boys, his son hands his father a taped up picture page of the world. “Here dad I did it! Can we play now?” In a slightly ‘buzzed’ state his father said, “How did you do that?” The son said, “Oh, on the other side of the page is a picture of a MAN, when you put the picture of the man together the WORLD takes care of itself.”


I can’t say for certain that this recovering addict’s story was factual, personal or for a listening co-dependent audience, but for me it changed everything, my future with my husband, my own addictive behavior, my co-dependency and my own self-worth.

It also brought back childhood memories and my father’s own alcoholic behaviors and how he belittle, berated and beat my mother after his drunken stupors of partying with railroad buddies and other women and The Green Mill Bar in Rawlins Wyoming.

This simple story stays with always.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Pugs - Chinese Pugs - NOT MINI's - Stout Full Size Pure Breed


He's the man of the house. Mo-Tow now nine years old and showing clear gray haired beard on his chin and warm wrinkles.
He is so loved.
And he requires a great deal of love. Pugs grow and learn best with a partner, either family related or opposite sex. They can get lonely. They are not, certainly and most importantly NOT happy being alone. Another animal companion is crucial.
They do not make good pets where they are left alone all day.
From a direct lineage of the hardier thicker Chinese Pug line, he's stout and broad from shoulder to chest. Never claimed or purchased papers, because we didn't want to breed either pug. Their family members, uncles, mother and father both live within miles of our home.
These dogs are great with young children. Never allow the children to treat, entice or share food with the family pug. They can easily confuse the child's normal walking, holding and eating a cookie with sharing that cookie with them.
They need tons of love and attention, small amounts of dry bite size crunchy food.....healthy food, no human food scraps, very few treats, they can easily believe they'll starve. That's why lots of love is so important.
They love stuffed toys of varied sizes, often stuffed toys much larger than their own body. And "Kong's" the very best toy for Chinese Pugs, throw the Kong and they'll find it, get it and leep for it any where you throw and no matter where it lands.

Pugs have touchy ear drum and ears, its so important to clean and wipe their ears and inside ear canal weekly.


Its a pug world at my home. Bulla now seven years old and getting her first signs of gray hair on the chin.
She's the baby and Mo-Tow takes good care of her.
My pugs have the cutest tails, Bulla's tail curves to the left in a cinnamon bud fashion. And Mo-Tow tail curves to the right in the same way.
Kennel potty trained and rewarded with jumping, clapping and lavishing them with plenty of affection and "good girl" goes a long way in their positive potty training skills. Plenty of outside clean mountain air and hardy quick walks makes for a healthy happy pug.
Chinese Pugs have a natural innate skill of rooting, digging and foraging for small plants and bulbs. When planting or starting your garden set fencing to keep your pugs from digging and rooting up the onion bulbs and eating the tops off new buds, flowers and herbs. Its not that those things are bad for them, but you'll never see your garden come to harvest.
Also, composting....make certain the compost isn't accessible to the pugs. The natural breakdown of the compost, the natural aroma is an attraction the pugs can not resist. First yield of spring 2004, Bulla helps herself to the compost pile and the decomposing leaves....she was not a well pug for many days, she spent the nights outside with a bad case of diarrhea.
Black haired pugs (Bulla is black with burgundy ribbed sides) can not remain outside for long periods of time in the summer months. If you walk them during the summer, an early morning walk is best.
Smart loving animals perfect for families.