Welcome to the Dog Journal, a Sunday afternoon blog, where I'll share my best finds of the week for taming those
puppies that gnaw at your planner.
Could be a quick time management tip, a smell-the-flowers moment, a comment overheard
on the elevator. Whatever the inspiration, I hope you'll blog right along with me by commenting and sharing your tips and
stories for taming an overbooked life.
Why Sunday afternoon? That's time I call "white space," a block of time I set aside
for reflecting on the week before and planning the week ahead.
March 19th, 2015
I have never been a fashionista. So when my granddaughter Taylor, 5, told me that Fancy Nancy was her favorite book series, I had to know more.
“I like her because, you know, she’s Fancy,” said Taylor. She wears lots of things.” And indeed she does. In her books she flaunts baubles and boas and bows – all things Taylor loves to dress up in herself.
We had the full Fancy Nancy immersion experience Sunday when Taylor and I attended “Fancy Nancy The Musical,” which played to a packed audience of fancy little girls and their moms or grandmas at our local children’s theater.
So why is all this fanciness so popular? According to Jane O’Connor, who has now authored 56 Fancy Nancy books, dressing up does for girls what a Superman cape does for boys: makes them feel powerful.
Maybe I should try it.
March 29th, 2014
After venting about the fact that we have passed the vernal equinox and are just days away from April, I started mindlessly Googling “rainy days.”
Up popped the “Rainy Day Pick-Up Procedures,” issued by the Mirman School in Los Angeles.
Mirman’s rules are for parents picking up kids in a downpour, but we all need Rainy Day Pick-Up Procedures. Here are mine, inspired by theirs.
Check the Rainy Day Hotline to make sure this has been declared a Rainy Day. If the weather is still threatening by late morning, call a friend. Start a game of “Ain’t It Awful.” If she thinks things will look up, calm down and carry on.
Rainy Day Pick-up Is Called By 2 p.m. If it’s still not better by 2 p.m., invoke Rainy Day Procedures. Eat at least one ounce of dark chocolate. This can be followed on weekends by a nap or mindless TV watching. During workdays, take a couple extra walks around the office and stretch.
In case of sudden downpours just before 3 p.m., we will call Rainy Day Pickup despite its absence from the Rainy Day Pickup Hotline. Sudden spring showers qualify for chocolate and more. Have another ounce and supplement on weekends with a pint of Haagen Dazs. At work, check your PTO to see if you can rush home and follow weekend procedures.
Stay in your car and have your child brought to you, or park and get your child. If you don’t have any Haagen Dazs in your freezer, you can get some at a drive-thru or park your car in the Kroger lot and run in. Either way, stock up. You will be doing this again.
December 8th, 2013
Knocking around the Ohio Craft Museum this weekend, I bumped into a charming collection of fabric ladies seeking employment as fairy godmothers. They were, in fact, called “Unemployed Fairy Godmothers” by their Columbus artist-creator Cyndy Sieving. Each one carried a tag describing her special magical powers.
Clarabelle Applegate, who promised to “Shazzam you into glam,” promised never to let her owner pass up a party. Winnie Burchfield promised to whip up love potions, and B.Q. O’Rourke, who loves to travel, promised never to let you fly solo.
Their offerings made me wonder: If I could employ a fairy godmother this holiday season, what magical qualities would I be looking for?
I think I’d like a fairy godmother named Mabel Muse.
“Stuck on ideas for holiday hostess gifts?” she would say. “Never again tote a boring bottle of wine. Let me be your inspiration. Let me be your holiday sleuth. I will let you know the heart’s desire of each person on your list. Place me on your laptop for clever online shopping bargains and never-fail recipes with less than four ingredients.”
Yep. I would definitely hire Mabel Muse about now. What magic do you need from YOUR fairy godmother?
July 31st, 2013
Just when I’m getting in the mood to clean out the garage toward an eventual down-sizing, wouldn’t you know it. Something comes along to derail me.
This time it was a steel, paint and plastic creation called “Toy,” hanging in the contemporary gallery at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was made of compressed automotive parts and unmistakably – a bright yellow Slip ‘n Slide.
It brought back memories. How many times had my boys and legions of their friends slid down this very contraption till the front yard was mush?
No surprise that it mysteriously disappeared during a garage-purge.
Now, though, as I face another cleaning spree, “Toy” may do me in. If the Slip ‘n Slide can make it into the Art Institute, how can I possibly throw away those extra clay pots? That old wooden tennis racket? The balls that have lost their bounce?
Garage-cleaning has become a slippery slope.