Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Not in the Crowd by Konnie Enos

My daughter came into my room last night and told me she found a study that said 97% of 20 year olds have at least one living grandparent.
We discussed this at length.
The daughter talking to me is my second born and she was 19 when MY last living grandparent died. After some discussion we established that all five of my children were between the ages of 4 and 14. Yes, I said FOUR. When their last grandparent died.
So my children are in the three percent.
Being a curious sort, I did some searching for some statistics on family dynamics.
An article I found ( said about 46% of U.S, kids under 18 live with both their parents in a traditional heterosexual marriage and neither one of them remarried.
So my kids are a rarity.
I have five kids, two of those still under 18. My husband and I have been married for 26 years now. I can remember one time going into the food stamps office for an interview and the worker asking me if any of my children had a parent not living in the home with them.
No. My husband and I live with our children.
Then she asked if my husband or I either received or paid any child support.
I told her the only children either my husband or I had were the same five children.
She said that was highly unusual. Generally if a woman had more than two kids, there was more than two dads involved, especially when you were talking about woman receiving Food Stamps and WIC, like I was.
Then I found another article describing the sandwich generation ( It said nearly half the people in my age range are raising children or supporting adult children.
Okay, I’m doing both.
It also said, about 15% of these people in this age range are “sandwiched” between their kids and at least one parent that they are caring for.
Okay, not doing that.
In fact, as noted above, can’t be doing that. My parents and in-laws are dead.
So technically I’m in the sandwich generation age range, and have children that fit the age range, but I’m not in a “sandwich” situation.
So again, unusual.
Out of this same curiosity, I looked up statistics on twins as well. ( Fraternal twins are the most common.
Among identical twins, mirror twins account one fourth of them.
I guess my kids are in good company. I’m a rarity too.
All this got me thinking about how we try to group people into categories. If this set of circumstances applies to you, you belong in this group. But all too often people don’t fall into a set category.
Recently I saw a video that was supposed to be out of Denmark, which showed a large group of people being grouped into different “boxes”. Then someone asked all of them to form a new group if they fit the description. They’d say a description, people would step forward and they’d take a picture of this new group.
The point it was making was we all have things in common with everyone else
You can do the statistics all you want but not everyone is going to fall within those parameters exactly. In fact, most people are going to fall outside the average simply because it is an average.
Who wants to be average anyway?
 I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, no two people are exactly alike.
Personally, the world would be rather boring if we were.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Downsizing by Bonnie Le Hamilton


That’s a word a lot of people saying these days, including my sister-in-law and myself. I think a lot of people are talking about downsizing because of the recent increase in health insurance premiums. It’s certainly why I’m saying it. Because of expenses, I can’t afford to stay here alone anymore.

My sister-in-law is saying it because she really needs someone to be with her at all times, problem is, her current apartment is so full you can hardly move in it and mine isn’t much better. I certainly don’t have room for someone else to live here, which is why we’re talking about downsizing, but as you can see from the picture above (which only shows one corner of what is now my spare bedroom) it’s a monumental task on my part.

And I need to get moving on it, because I know it will take a long time to sort through all of that, let alone move my bed and dresser into that room. So anyway, I need to get moving on that today.
But at the same time, I made the goal of making all my Christmas gifts this year, also to save money, and well, here it is February and I’ve only completed two gifts, and I’m telling you, there’s no way I’ll finish on time at that pace. I also still have all those everyday chores we all have, cleaning, cooking, and errands.

Frankly, I’m hoping I can manage to find at least a little time to write in the next couple of months. And I can already hear Konnie telling me that I’m nowhere near as busy as she is. Problem is she has built in helpers in the form of her children.

Then again, she has built in interrupters. Maybe I can manage it.

Happy writing everyone.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

To Those in Blue by Konnie Enos

With all the talk about cops in the news of late, I’ve recently been thinking about all the times I’ve been in a car when a cop pulled us over and it clearly wasn’t for speeding.
In the two specific situations I’m thinking of I was the one adult passenger in a clearly full vehicle and there were obviously multiple carseats involved.
The first time my sister was driving her eight passenger station wagon and between our own kids and my nieces, which I was tending, we had every seat full. Yes, you counted that right. That means we had six kids in the car and I think the oldest ones were five or six at the time.
Bonnie could not figure out why she was stopped because she hadn’t been speeding. As I recall the officer just wanted to make sure we had all six of those kids properly strapped in and then commended her for being a safe driver.
Several years later my husband and I were taking our kids to my brother’s house in a state with a primary seat belt law. Our car had exactly six seat belts, which was a good thing because at the time we had four kids. We had our youngest in a large forward facing carseat and the next youngest in a booster seat, while our second born was sandwiched between them. Our oldest was in the front middle seat.
When the officer stopped us my husband wondered if he had light out or something.
I looked at the petite nine year old between us and wondered if that was the problem while I felt for her seatbelt.
The officer came to the window and pretty much the first thing he said was he stopped us because we weren’t all strapped in.
I hooked my thumb on our daughter’s belt, proving to him that we were all strapped in while saying the car was indeed a six passenger.
He profusely apologized for stopping us.
I told him he was doing his job and to keep up the good work.
As we continued on our way I remember commenting on the fact that there we in fact seven people in our car since I was very pregnant with our youngest. I also added we’d were going to have to deal with the car situation soon because we were about to outgrow the one we had.
I can’t remember if the first cop did so, but I do remember the second one apologizing to me for doing his job. As I look at all these news stories about police officers that we see today I have to wonder how many times an officer feels the need to apologize for doing his job.
I have been stopped a few times in my life and a couple of times I was at fault. (One time I was actually speeding, but in my defense I hadn’t realized what the posted speed limit was.) But I’ve never been mad at an officer for doing his job and I don’t see why they should apologize to me for doing so. Even if it means they have to give me a ticket.
I truly love it that one time when a driver not only broke the law by going straight in a turn only lane but then cut in front of me because obviously the lane they were in ended only to be pulled over by the cop who was in the lane on the other side of me.
Police officers everywhere, keep up the good work.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Downside of being a Twin by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Not too long ago yet another person learned I’m a twin, and, well, when this occurs one of two things happens. Said person either ask me what’s it like to be a twin, or comments something on the line of wishing they were a twin.

Now, I’ve mentioned my comeback for people asking me what’s it like to be a twin, but now I’d like to address why people really don’t want to be a twin.

The number one reason you don’t want to be a twin because people who know one of you, think they know both of you. In other words, people think I’m exactly like Konnie in personality. (Anyone who knows both of us can tell you otherwise.)

 The number two reason is that some people think it’s okay to give twins a gift to share. If you think it’s easier for twins to share than you don’t know any twins. I think it’s harder, probably because we have to share so much, starting with our names, people mixed us up a lot, but some of them resorted to just calling us “Onnie” since that worked for both of us.

And frankly, giving us one gift shows you know as little about us as those who gave us identical gifts. As I recall one birthday we each received a mini china tea set, a set of a jump rope and some jacks, a pair of pants, a dress, and a badminton set.

Konnie kept both tea sets, I kept the jump ropes and jacks and lamented that the pants were a size too small, I also don’t recall ever wearing that dress, except that day. Konnie loved that dress, and didn’t care for the badminton set. We’re not the same people.

Number three is you have to share a birthday with someone else. And yeah I know, everyone can find someone out there with the same birthday, but I’m not talking about finding someone with the same birthday, I’m talking about having that someone in the same house as you. And, in my case, I’m sharing a birthday with someone who likes German Chocolate cake. Now don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate, I just for the most part don’t like nuts in my deserts, and I can’t stand coconut or cherries. In other words, I can’t stand German Chocolate cake. You want to give me a cake, don’t make it that. I prefer Apple Spice cake with cream cheese frosting, but I will settle for any cake with buttercream frosting.

The other problem being that Konnie is shy, and while she didn’t mind boys at our birthday parties up until we were eight, after that she lobbied for a slumber party, and, of course, no boys. However, most of my friends (and often my best friend) was of the male variety.

I finally got tired of the ban on boys and insisted we plan separate parties. We turned nineteen that year, and she had her slumber party as always, though I think now she’d change her mind about that, finally.

And, when it comes to writing, I wish authors would show this side of being a twin, because, they don’t. The only book I’ve read that shows the down side of being a twin is “Jacob Have I Loved” by Katherine Patterson.

Does anyone know of any others? And please don’t give me any titles of books about twins taking the place of their twin, or books were one twin is bad and the other good. I hate those.

Happy writing everyone.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sleep Deprived Illusions by Konnie Enos

Image result for alarm clock picturesHave you ever been jarred awake by your alarm and were still so tired you couldn’t figure out why it was going off so early in the morning?
I kid you not, that’s what happened to me. I couldn’t figure out why it was going off, but for some reason checked the calendar feature. I peered at it a moment trying to decipher the significance of it. The date meant nothing. I looked at the day of the week. It finally hit me. Weekday. School. I have to wake boys up.
I woke up the youngest one, then crawled back into bed. Even though he sat up, I fully expected to have to repeat the process when my alarm went off again (I had put it on snooze). But a minute or so later I heard a child enter the bathroom.
Oh good, more sleep. It’ll be about half an hour before I have to wake his brother up.
Then about twenty or so minutes later I for some reason woke up enough to look toward the bathroom door, which I can see from my bed, and I thought it looked like it was slightly ajar, like we normally have it when no one is in there. I remembered my youngest daughter had be up when I went to get my son and now it looked, and sounded, like no one was in there. And I couldn’t remember the hearing the water run.
I checked the time and panicked as I ran back to their room thinking they’ll probably be late. Then I stop short when I see my youngest son’s bed empty.
I hurry back to the bathroom. Which is locked. I holler at him to hurry. He responds with splashing water and saying he is getting out.
I shake my still befuddled head and crawl back in bed until it’s time to wake the older boy. The younger boy exists the bathroom shortly before my alarm went off again. Time to wake the older boy. By the time I get into their room he’s back in bed. We’ve told him repeatedly not to do this, but there he is.
I tell both boys the time and to get up, again telling the younger one that he isn’t supposed to be back in bed. I go back to bed myself, cause I don’t have to be up yet but I happen to see a boy child, probably the older one, go into the bathroom a moment or two later so I assume they’re up and don’t worry about any ten minute wake up reminders.
Then my daughter tells me it’s nearly twenty after and both boys are still asleep. I tell her not to worry, I’d get them up. Then a moment or two later my alarm goes off again. This time telling me I do have to get up.
I go tell both boys the time and that they’d better be up dressed and ready to go when I come back out or I’d dump water on them then I go to my room. The older one said something and the younger one looked at me, so I know they heard me.  
After that we just basically loaded up and got out the door. Even made it to their class early, which was a bit of a miracle.
Actually, the only things unusual about this morning were my two befuddled moments and the fact I never once had to fight my boys (specifically the younger one) or get a pitcher of cold water.
Oh the joys of motherhood (especially when you have teenage boy who have to get up before the crack of dawn).

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Writer's Block Part 2 by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Don’t you hate it when you look at a blank page, and draw a blank? I particularly hate it when I have lots of ideas, right up until I open Word. For the last week or so, since I’ve recovered from my concussion, I’ve  been trying to get back into writing, but all I’ve done is open up one file after and reread it, then when I get to the end of what I have, I draw a complete blank.

Blank pages are never fun to stare at, and I honestly don’t do it very long. Generally, if something doesn’t come to me in a couple of minutes, I switch to doing something else. And I’m beginning to wonder if I really should set a timer and write whatever comes to my mind. I used to do that in high school. Of course, that was in my creative writing class. While I’ve sort of tried that exercise outside of class, I’ve never set a timer to do it.

At any rate, I’m now thinking I should start doing that again, or maybe forget writing for a little longer and go read a book. Sometimes that will stimulate ideas too, except I do have ideas, I just freeze looking at a blank page, so maybe that won’t help.

Other things I know will work is taking a long walk, but I’m not about to do that for several reasons, not the least of which is that it’s sixteen degrees out.

Does anyone have any other suggestions to help relieve writer’s block? Clearly, both Konnie and I need it.

Happy writing everyone! J

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Writer’s Block by Konnie Enos

For the last week I’ve known I had to do the post today so I’ve been attempting to come up with a topic while running people hither and thither and otherwise trying to keep my household running.
Yeah, even staring at a blank page didn’t germinate any ideas.
Then this morning, when I was already out of time, driving home from dropping my boys off at school, knowing full well that both my husband and youngest daughter had things to do within the hour so I would not have time to write anything, and idea came to me.
Writer’s block.
That’s what I’m dealing with.
How do you come up with ideas to write when your life is so hectic you don’t have time to think? How do you have time to write when you spend all your daytime hours running people hither and thither or balancing checkbooks or running errands or doling out meds to family members?
And maybe that’s why I can’t come up with a germ of an idea.
I’m so busy I have no time to think.
Right now I have maybe ten more minutes to write before I have to start running people places and I still need to get breakfast. (I’ve been up for hours already.)
Anyway, I racked my brain for days and still came up with a blank page until I decided to write about writer’s block.
And now I’m out of time.
Doctor’s appointments need to be gotten too. Family members have important things to get done that require my assistance, like driving them somewhere. A few bills need dealt with. Finances need done, as always. And sleep might be nice, but I doubt I’ll get any. Too much needs done.
Anybody else have days like this?

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.