55 minutes of utter bliss (until, of course, reality returned)

It’s been a few days since I’ve last posted here.  Not since I’ve last posted, mind you, as I’ve been posting all over the place at AskOwlbert.com … but since I’ve last posted HERE.

You know, I thought last Friday that I’d actually have time to indulge in my other pastimes.  :)   For 55 utterly blissful minutes, I really thought my life would be returning to normal!  And then inspiration struck…and I’ve haven’t been still since.

I seem to be swept up into a never-ending stream of tying everything together.  I had planned on returning to my beloved Kendo tomorrow and Wednesday, but alas, that’s not to be either.   Sigh.  Part of me really misses my adult self-defense/sparring/etc., and another part of me simply lacks the time/energy to focus on anything except my family/work. 

I do believe everything happens for a reason, and that what I’m currently going thru is meant to be.  What will come out of it….gosh, I really wish I knew!! 

More later,



Robot dogs to the rescue in nursing homes, dispelling loneliness

Fascinating article

over here:

Researchers at Saint Louis University in Missouri compared a 35-pound (16 kg), floppy-eared mutt named Sparky with AIBO, a far-from-lifelike robot dog, to see how residents of three U.S. nursing homes would respond.

"The most surprising thing is they worked almost equally well in terms of alleviating loneliness and causing residents to form attachments," said Dr. William Banks, a professor of geriatric medicine who worked on the study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

Banks said pets have been shown to help older people feel less isolated. "It really improves loneliness considerably," he said in a telephone interview.

But many senior citizens are too frail to care for a pet or have had to give up their own animals when they went to the nursing home. "They really miss that bond," he said….MORE….

The article goes on to say, both Sparky and the robot dog gave virtually equal the amount of comfort.

This can be a boon for nursing home residents, but truly….their families should show up as well to dispel the loneliness too. 


ps – Want a robot dog?

When kids get around parents

You know

I’m always big on holding strong on boundaries and making kids follow their responsibilities. 

But now that my kids are getting older, they’re realizing there’s one way to compel Mom to soften on her stance. 

It all happened this afternoon.  I was ready to get the kids to karate (advanced and sparring), when one of my kids suggested, hey Mom, let’s do the circle walk instead!

Now, this is a 2.4 mile walk.  It was raining and very windy outside; my kids know I adore walking in such weather.

But no, I was going to be tough with responsibilities!  Until, that is, said kid tickled the back of my neck.

It’s my weak spot!  I just can’t think straight when they do that.  :)   And I figured, okay, well, hmmm, a 2.4 mile circle was IS exercise, and we could always go to karate tomorrow, and and and …. and the end result: we went on the walk.  :)

Oh that was nice – the wind was fierce and the rains were lashing and my kid and I had a great conversation to boot.

Karate tomorrow – I promise!  :)



ps – want some nifty umbrellas to boot?

Danger Will Robinson – 10 dismal guys from whom you should dash away, dash away, dash away fast!


I just came across this clever compilation of 10 guy types that are guaranteed to make your life seem worse than the Black Death. It includes:

… One guy is needier than quicksand. Another is jealous of your cocker spaniel. A third quietly hates all womankind. Here’s a list of men you should put in your rearview mirror, ASAP.

Certain clues in the way a man acts may be a hint that you need to ditch him.

Joe No-Show
You meet in a city where neither of you lives, at a convention or a wedding. The calls and e-mails are making the phone lines sweat; two months later, he’s begging you to visit.

You tell the woman next to you on the plane that, after years of searching, you think you’ve met The One, and the two of you giggle with anticipation all the way to baggage claim.

Thirty minutes later, when the carousel stops going around, she looks at you with deep pity and asks if she can give you a ride somewhere. That’s the moment to go straight back to the ticket counter.

Mr. Jealousy
At first, he’ll get a little short with a waiter who flirts with you. Then he’ll be exasperated by how long you and the postmaster discuss the rising price of stamps. When he points out that you and your brother hug too long to be appropriate or that your gynecologist is a lesbian and obviously has the hots for you, it’s time to give him his walking papers.

However flattering his jealousies may seem in the first five minutes of your relationship, they’ll get old and confining more quickly than you can imagine, and when you do finally break up with him, he will hang the scarves you left behind on your trees like nooses and follow you and the next man you date all over town.

The Bully
This is the man who sits you down, grabs your arm, pulls your hair, or pokes your chest. While most of us know better than to let ourselves get socked in the mouth the way Ralph Kramden was always threatening to do to Alice (but even then never following through), there’s a whole universe of more “minor” infractions in the violence department that should disqualify your new beau instantaneously (but all too often does not).

The Two-Timer
For the first time since you’ve been dating, he’s too sick to make a date. You try to ignore the fact that it happens to be your birthday, and you assemble the ingredients for your famous chicken soup. You drop it off inside his door.

Two days later, he’s still sick, but you’ve been invited over. You ask if you can heat up some soup for him, and he says, in a small, congested voice, “That would be wonderful.” You pour the soup from the Tupperware into the pot, and you see that there are mushrooms in it. Your famous chicken soup doesn’t contain mushrooms. Conclude that this man has another source of soup and will continue to cheat on you for as long as you give him the chance….MORE….

I can add my own – the guy for whom his toys are not only life, they’re the reasons for being. Unless you’re a toy-girl too. :)



ps – want some love?

My child the rock star, her mother the Barry Manilow fan

I still

cannot fathom the following.

I am a logical, calm, dignified, utterly awesome mom with phenomenal musical taste. After all, Barry Manilow rules! Followed closely by, Maynard Ferguson, Chuck Mangione, the track of West Side Story and the like.

But! My utterly brilliant child….loves hard rock.

I have no idea where her genes got so, ahem, screwed up! While I will not allow rap into my house, I can’t find a real reason to forbid rock….and actually, as said kid uses it as a way to express herself, I’m rather proud that she’s forging her own path.

It would be so easy to try and change her…but if there’s one thing my 4 decades have taught me, it’s:

Better a spirit that rebounds….rather than one that breaks.

This is the kid, mind you, who had her hair streaked red on a whim. The kid whose favorite colors are black. The kid who is a straight A student, and the kid who always is open to learning from my experiences. Talk about a unique combination of qualities.

Parenting….it’s a hero’s journey. :)


ps – want Barry Manilow goodies?

“Mom, tattling on myself just isn’t cool!”

You know you’re a parent

when your precocious younger child tells you

“Mom, tattling on myself just isn’t cool!”

This conversation happened when my children were debating the merits of being the tale-bearer back to Mom. When I asked him, okay, if you feel an insane urge to tattle, just tattle on yourself, he gave me the above rather cute response.

Kids. Gotta love raisin’ em. :)



ps- some great parenting resources include:

Fat and Sexy by Mr. Spock – The Full Body Project


I just heard about Leonard Nimoy’s new book, The Full Body Project. Contrary to the majority of Hollywood icons, he promotes a healthier concept of just what makes a woman sexy.

To wit:

…Serious props go out to Leonard Nimoy for his book, The Full Body Project: Photographs by Leonard Nimoy. He is promoting a healthier vision of what makes a woman sexy. It’s a photography book that focuses on the larger sized woman.

He even had the cajones to go onto the Colbert Report and defend his book…MORE…

Kudos to Starling Fitness for reporting this!



ps – if you’re plus-sized, check out these goodies:

Top 12 Diet Weight Loss or Fitness Valentines Day Gifts Ideas

Tomorrow is

Valentines Day! Wheeeee!

I just finished shopping for my husband and it was truly delightful – our 14 years of marriage has given us a great sense of comfortableness and enjoyment, not to mention a healthy appreciation of each’s other’s, ahem, sensual potential. I can’t post what I got him yet, as he reads my blog, but suffice it to say, it will look really sexy on him. :)

So! Onto the top 12 Valentine’s Diet and Weight Loss ideas!

12.) An Amazon gift certificate. Now now, don’t look at me that way – Amazon has thousands of great diet/weightloss exercise goodies at super discounts and bargains! If you give this, your recipient can pick and choose to his or her’s hearts content and you know the final present will be just what was wanted.

11.) Sweetleaf No Calorie/No Carb Sweetener. Clocking in at luxurious tastes, this power-packed drop gives intense flavor to coffee, water, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. It comes in chocolate raspberry, apricot, cinnamon, vanilla creme and many more!

10.) Richard Simmons Workouts. Don’t believe me? RS has highly overweight people who are featured in his workout videos like Sweatin’ to the Oldies III, and you’re left thinking, gosh, if they can do it, I can do it too! Highly recommended.

9.) P90x. The ultimate in extreme home fitness, it compels you to work different muscle groups on different days and actually delivers on its promises. I’m currently on Day 45 of it myself! eBay has it at great discounts too.

8.) Spa Gift Cards. Every person wants to relax…and a great spa day or relaxation hour is a perfect way to tell your lover how much you care.

7.) Love Coupons! Why not print out a free love coupon that you can give to your Valentine, redeemable for a night of unforgettable delights, an hour of wondrous massage, or heck, breakfast in bed or one load of laundry done?

6.) Ekornes Stressless Chair. Okay, true, these cost over a grand, so it would certainly make a statement! But I have to tell you, it’s the most comfortable chair on this planet and really takes off the pressure on your lumber spine. I have one currently as my office chair, and it’s pure heaven.

5.) Tiger Balm. This ointment is perfect for rubbing on sore muscles after fatiguing workouts and is cost-conscious to boot!

4.) iPod/MP4. Not only can your Valentine listen to music while working out, he or she can also download free exercise/fitness apps for it to keep track of workouts too! And you don’t have to buy brand-name – the generics work just as well and are centuries cheaper. I wrote a long how-to about this topic here.

3.) Dance Dance Revolution DDR. Omigosh, I cannot begin to rhapsodize about how many calories you’ll burn nor how much fun you’ll have doing this particular game! You stand on a dance mat, listen to music and try to move your feet in the right spot at the right time. You can even battle each other! It’s tops in my household here.

2.) Childhood comforts. What causes your Valentine to think back on a childhood comfort? For me, for example, it’s my LL Bean houserobe that my mom got me, oh, hmmmm….lesseee, 15 years ago. I refuse to give it up and even got my kids ones that are similar. Do you know what translates into ‘comfort/safety/warm fuzzies’? If so, get thee hence to eBay and look for it – chances are, you’ll uncover it and be able to offer one truly unique gift.

And the Number 1 idea for a great diet weight loss or fitness Valentine’s Day gift is:

1.) Let your Valentine See Into Your Heart. Write a poem, or a story, or simply why you utterly adore your Valentine…put some signature scent into the paper, roll it up and tie it with something beautiful, and hand it to him or her on Valentine’s Day. I guarantee…it will make the most incredible impression…..ever. (need a poem idea? Check out this one about which I blogged awhile ago).



ps – and of course, you can always go with:

I Am Mama Bear, Hear Me Roar!

Omigosh, what a day.

With the exception of my beloved p90x, I worked straight for hours and hours. I’m currently building a community site that’s written in PHP (I know nothing about PHP) and I had to integrate PHP modules in specific formats.

In other words, I had to:

  • Configure the site
  • Figure out what needed to be done
  • Research how to do it
  • Research how to program the how-to-do-it
  • Implement the idea
  • Research why it didn’t work

The above steps were rinsed and repeated for…. gosh, I have not a clue, how many times.

BUT! I didn’t give up!

I found forums where experts resided, asked for help, received it, tried it, DIDN’T GIVE UP, tried other things, DIDN’T GIVE UP, and finally….right before beginners karate arrived, I solved the problem.

Drained I was, utterly drained. So much so I didn’t have the energy to do my beloved adult self-defense either. Wah.

But! I’m rather humbled by the fact…no matter what life hands me, I don’t give up. I choose to succeed and when I do fail, I learn from it….and use that as a stepping stone to the future success.

My gosh, I have to teach this to the kids.

When things don’t work out, don’t wait for others to rescue you – make it happen yourself.

I think I will call it a night now, I’ve earned it.

Night night,

Mama Bear

ps – want some great Mama Bear goodies?