My Weekly Review

Weekly Review

Each week so many interesting reads come across my feed that I want to share. It is truly impossibly difficult to sometimes choose which ones to include here.

summer review

That being said, here is my review for last week. I will try to post these each Friday for weekend reading…instead of a summer novel.

My favorite by far, is this article about keeping your child safe from ticks and Lyme Disease while they go off to camp. I am amazed I did not research this one myself as I am obsessed with all diseases that could affect my kids and now my grandchild. I admire this mom’s approach to prevention against a very serious disease threat.

The season of sleep-away camp is upon us, and in our house that means it’s time for the yearly pesticide ritual.



How are you raising your kids and grandkids? Do you encourage their dreams or are you more of a realist? Personally, I love to dream and think that it is nice not to thwart creativity by being too much of back to reality thinker especially when it comes to children.



My parents never allowed me to set boundaries on my aspirations. They encouraged travel, they pushed me into new experiences, and they never laughed at any of my lofty goals, even when they knew my dreams were outside the bounds of reason. They listened as I spoke of opening an orphanage in Russia, of writing ten best selling books before I turned 30, and of somehow still getting that ever elusive Oscar.      

Now this is going to be a very controversial case. But the sad fact here is that many kids unfortunately die in hot cars during the summer months because they are left for even a short time alone in a sweltering vehicle. Please never leave a child alone in a vehicle for any reason as it is simply not safe and in many states it is illegal and you could be charged with child endangerment.


To the authorities in suburban Cobb County, the vehicle is the place where Justin Ross Harris murdered his 22-month-old son, Cooper, by leaving him in a rear-facing car seat for about seven hours on a warm Southern day.



These are my top three selections for review this week. I hope that you get a chance to click on at least one if not all and that you enjoy reading them. Each week I will try and select some good articles that relate to parenting, kids and various other topics.

Look for “My Weekly Review” each Friday!


I Have Another Blog @ ChicagoNow

Did you know that I write another blog over @ChicagoNow?

Chicago blog

For several months now, I have been publishing thoughts on a blog at “Today’s Grandmum”. It has been challenging to keep up with new and interesting stuff on two sites and I am not sure that as of this moment I would consider myself successful at this challenge…at least not yet!

This past Sunday, I was able to enjoy a front page New York Times story about a NYC firefighter. It touched my heart in many ways. It was a short memoir experience of sorts, which made me experience the empathic feeling of being in Firefighter Sullivan’s heavy gear. I shared his anxiety and fear and finally his relief and joy afterwards.

Firefighter Sullivan’s experience as a “probie” in New York City’s Fire Department was chronicled from his lowly firehouse chores to his “baptism by fire” at his first fire where he rescued an infant with whom he shared his oxygen mask to give the child needed air to save his life. A new firefighter rarely has enough oxygen for himself during his first fire due  to his nervousness which cause him to suck in from his tank rather than just breathing normally thus depleting his reserve of oxygen must faster than normal.

First fire stores are burned into a firefighter’s memory forever more. They use their story to help other young firefighters prepare for their initial fire.

Firefighter Sullivan’s “baptism by fire” inspired my latest blog post @ChicagoNow

I invite you to read my blog, Today’s Grandmum for the full story.

Let me know what you think about my new effort. Read a few of the posts and remember comments are always welcome. I appreciate all my readers and would love to hear from you here and over at ChicagoNow where there are many interesting blogs by some very talented writers.


Just Say No is Not Always Enough!

When “Just Say No” is not enough.

just say no

I have a book on my nightstand written by Betsy Brown Braun, “Just Tell Me What to Say”. It is a guide book of answers to our kids’ questions.

This morning, I read this great post by a mom, who wrote about how teenagers may need a guide with the same title.

Our teens are in dire need of our assistance in forming the words to respond to their peers, who have already or are inevitably going to introduce them to drugs and alcohol along with other “bad” behaviors.

Let’s help them develop a script of answers and sayings when they want to “Just say NO” with an explanation that saves their friendships and perhaps even dissuades their friends from making “bad” choices.

Here are some we decided upon together:

When you notice a lonely kid: Hey! Here’s a seat for you. Come join us.

When someone offers you a beer: No thanks. My family’s genes and alcohol don’t mix well. Can’t risk it. (This was how he felt comfortable explaining that alcoholism runs rampant in our family and makes drinking even riskier for Chase than for the average bear.)

When someone offers you weed: My mom used to smoke pot when she was younger and now she can smell it from a mile away. She checks my clothes every night. Can’t do it, man. (That’s the one that won, but I liked: HEY! How about we put down these joints and go volunteer at the dog shelter! He liked the first one. Whatever, his show.)

When someone starts texting while driving: Hey, I just saw a movie about a kid who got killed because he was texting and driving. I don’t want you to get killed because I plan to ask you for many, many rides in the future. Pull over if you need to text — I’m not in a hurry.

You find yourself in a sexual situation you’d prefer not to be in: Hey, I like you too much for this to go down this way.

A kid is being teased by another kid in the hallway: Hey. I don’t want anybody to get in trouble here. Why don’t you follow me out of here? I’ll walk you to class.

Someone is about to drink and drive: Don’t risk it, man. My dad’ll get us home — no questions asked. He’d rather pick us up here than in jail.

I don’t know if my ‘tween will use these life preservers we made together. But when that moment comes he will know that they’re available if he wants to save himself. And when he leaves the house in the evening and I say to him, just like when he was two, Use your words tonight — I know he’ll have words to use.

via The One Conversation That Could Save Your Teen’s Life (And Your Own) | Glennon Melton.


Thank you to Glennon Melton for this insightful article about how to “Just Say No” in a way that will not cost a teenager too much angst.

We all know, saying “NO” is only part of the conversation.

Let’s move forward as parents and grandparents and give out kids the words and explanations to go along with the  “Just Say No” advice. It could make a huge difference in how they travel through the challenging world of adolescence.

Girl Fakes Getting Her Period

Faking a period111, what an idea!

One of the funniest videos that I have watched and it is from “Hello Flo”.

This grandmother would have never imagined that there would be a time when personal milestones such as getting your period222 would be posted on social media in a  humorous way.

When I was growing up in the fifties, there was “Now You Are Ten”, a booklet available under a brown paper wrapper from the makers of Kotex. Such conversations with your mom were extremely uncomfortable. Health education, as we know it today, was non-existent in our schools.

I think our frank discussions with the younger generation are healthy ones and “Hello Flo” helps to put a perspective on a personal matter, period333.

Thank you…Flo for opening up a conversation with humor.

Speaking of humor, check out a popular vintage photo which was a common ad for personal products. Wearing white was always a concern during “that time of the month”.period




Girl Fakes Getting Her Period444, and Pays the Price, in Hilarious New Ad From Hello Flo | Adweek.

Summer Means You Can Slow Down!

Slow Down…It’s Summer

Summer - Gift-from-the-Sea

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is one of my favorite books.

I read it for the first time about 10 years ago and it remains a book that I gravitate to each and every summer since my first reading of it.

Actually, I discovered Anne Lindbergh’s book many years before I actually sat down and read it while enjoying an idyllic vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

Summer on Fuller's Beach Martha's Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard-Edgartown

My hard cover copy is signed by my father, who received it through his “Book of the Month” membership in the 1950’s. I remember seeing this book around my house growing up and being pulled by the title to open its pages. But at the time, I was actually too young  to understand or appreciate what Anne Lindbergh was discussing…although I surely could appreciate her love of the sea.

The sea has always made me feel at peace…my earliest experience of the ocean’s ebb and flow was actually at Rockaway Beach in New York. My grandmother’s dear friend, Alice had a bungalow there, where we would visit and soak up the salt air and play in the sand.

Other happy memories of the seashore included many trips to Jones Beach on Long Island.

A Summer Day on Jones-BeachIt was an adventure with my Dad…since my parents were divorced it was my special time with him. He shared with me his life long love affair with the sea which I have inherited and carry with me to this day. He was an avid competitive swimmer. I always admired him from the shoreline as he swam back and forth way beyond the break of the waves. He taught me respect for the water which is ever our friend as long as we revere its strength and power.

July brings the heat of the summer and with that, out comes my copy of Gift from the Sea. Each time I read Anne’s words, I find new meanings…in my eyes she speaks to all women. Her book says different things to a woman depending on what is going on in her life at the time.

So, I hope you will relax with me, and open a copy of this book on your Kindle or buy the hard copy and jot little notes on the side of pages that pop for you.

Let me know if you are along for the read and most of all “Enjoy your summer!”


I revisit this post each year and do a fresh edit in my effort to thank Anne Morrow Lindbergh and the effect her beautiful words have had on me!

Is it smart or safe to post pictures of your kids online?

Kids online…do you post your kids photos online?

Kids online

A Day at the Beach…Martha’s Vineyard

Your kids’ online history and its meaningfulness, think about it before you publish pictures of them and stories about them online.

I think very carefully before I publish anything online but especially if it is personal, because it will be out there in cyberspace FOREVER!

Some parents and grandparents are afraid of abductions, pedophiles and stalking…all  things considered these concerns can be minimizes if you follow certain guidelines.

Think before you click on PUBLISH !

  • Privacy rules even for kids online
  • If I would not want to see similar pictures or stories about myself published then I should not publish such stories about my family online be it on social media or a blog.

Here is my comment on a post about safety and pictures of kids online.

Good info…always keep in mind that your children are people too and they will grow up….ask yourself if you would want this photo posted if it were you when you were a child. Ultimately, if we have respect for our children we will be guided as to what we should post or not post. The online history of our children will follow them around for a very long time to come and its meaningfulness is still in question.

Is it safe to post pictures of your child online? – Chicago.


What do you think about your kids online presence?

Do You have Kids and Pets? They Go Together…

Dogs are said to be “man’s best friend”…aren’t they kids best friends too?

Kids and pets

Don’t kids and pets go together?

For many years, I told my husband, Michael that he married me because he loved my Lhasa Apso, Tam, who would take lead him on long New York City walks. My husband would always laugh and  remark how well Tam was trained to “curb himself”.

For as long as we both remember, Michael and I have loved dogs, in fact right now we have three. At one time, we also had a cat, Tootsie, her given name, definitely not our choice.  She was an adoptee from the local humane society, where we went after one of our beloved dogs had to be put down. Unfortunately for Tootsie, she was given to a neighbor when her “birth” family moved away  and then her adoptive family had to give her up yet again for unknown reasons. She was a very well fed feline and weighed a hefty 20 pounds when we took her into our home.

The odd thing about the two of us adopting a cat is that we are both allergic to them. We must have experienced simultaneous brain “farts”!

Standoffish was Tootsie’s main trait, although she was very pretty with green eyes and a calico coat, her natural  beauty betrayed her caddy personality. My clinical diagnosis for her was “attachment disorder” secondary to being in two, too many homes.

Personally, it has never been a belief of mine that family pets help kids learn responsibility. Our children have loved our 2 Lhasas, 2 Shitzus, and adored our 3 Bearded Collies but  not the calico cat. They never really fed or groomed our dogs’ long hair nor did they clean up their many messes…that job always fell to me or Michael.

I know…I know…

It is partly my fault that kids and pets’ responsibility belonged mostly to me, especially when it came to feeding, bathing and caring for their needs. So, I guess you could say my children learned by watching me care for our many dogs with love and affection!

After much thought… here goes my check list of how kids and pets, who coexist in the same family, can influence each other.

  • Responsibility

Pets learn quickly, who is responsible for their care and kids learn too. So if you want the dog to nudge your children when they have to go out then you have to assign them times to walk or let them outside. You can also add more responsible chores to your pet care list like filling the water bowl, grooming and feeding. As the pet gets used to your child taking care of his needs then your child will learn about bonding with an animal

  • Bonding

Identifiable bonds will grow. There will be an unconditional love between your kids and pets. It will be a reward and a joy for your child to see that if he is kind and compassionate to his dog, he will enjoy the love of an unconditional friend, who would lay down his life to protect your child from harm.

  • Compassion and empathy

How we treat our dogs and pets models compassion and empathy for our children. Dogs enjoy creature comforts and kindness just as people do. They enjoy petting and gentle words too. They especially enjoy some freedom around the house and being part of family activity. What a perfect way to convey empathy and compassion to members of our own family.

  • Positive health benefits

No matter what the weather, how tired or how sick we feel, pets will be at our side and need to be fed and walked every day. Children too will feel warm and fuzzy when their furry friend curls up next to them at nap time or bedtime. But “Fido” will also still expect to go out on time even when the last thing anyone wants to do is go out in the rain and cold. We all need exercise and company…sometimes our pets are more attune to these needs than we are. Schedules are good and dogs know this. So listen to your dog if you want to get healthy.

  • Loss and grief

Almost inevitably your family will suffer the loss of a pet whether it is a goldfish or a beloved dog or cat. These sorrow filled times have been our hardest as a family especially when we knew the end was near for our dear and loyal friend. Over the years, we have said our goodbyes to five dogs and one cat. Each one was unique and special…some we have clay paw prints as remembrances along with pictures and many, many joyful and humorous memories.

When our kids were little our explanations of death were simple but our sadness was always shared together. As our family matured, our children went with us to the vet to say goodby to our dog and were present when our vet helped put our aged friend to sleep after he had served us well with his loyalty and all he had to give. We always assured our dog that we would share our love and his space with a new puppy in the near future… that our family’s way of honoring his faithfulness to us.

Kids and pets for our family has been a blessed time…we have shared joy and sadness with our furry friends and we have never forgotten to honor them by never being without a dog in our home!


Kids and pets