Category Archives: Orange Rhino Challege

Be A Ghost

When Ethan is in a particular mood, on most afternoons after school, he perseverates on a certain topic.

‘You die mom?’

‘Mom, your dead. Be a ghost.’

‘Mom? Gonna die, mom?’

‘Mom? Mom. I love grandma. I love dad. I love Gabby-boy. Not you – I ‘X’ you.’

Then he makes the sound you would hear if you gave an incorrect answer on a game show.

Peals of laughter commence – only from Ethan, of course.

He goes on and on about me becoming a ghost and haunting our present house. He maintains that it will then become a ‘Spooky House’. He tells me that I am ‘old’ and ‘yucky’. He rarely expresses this about Dennis – and he is old and yucky too!

Sometimes I ignore him – to the extent that it is possible to ignore Ethan. If he chooses, he can keep this up for hours. Sometimes I respond.

‘Yes, E, we are all going to die.’

‘Yes, E, if given the opportunity I will definitely haunt you.’

‘Ethan, if I die, who is going to make the food and do the laundry?’

He says he’s going to take over. Maybe he could start that now?

He has expressed these sentiments from the time he was very young. We can come up with no good reason for this particular behavior – or so many like it. It is inexplicable – like so much about him.

It is a hobby, a habit, a compulsion. My mom is often concerned that it upsets me. It does not. I recently had a compassionate friend concerned that it is hurtful. I am not sure why it does not bother me. I don’t believe that he secretly hates me and also, a lot of what Ethan does is confounding. It is far from the most difficult facet of his quirky self.

It’s fine. I love Ethan enough for the both of us. And if it turns out that it is, in fact, possible to haunt him or become a ghost when I die – I’m in.

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“It’s how you ride the trail that counts.”

~ Dale Evans (Rogers)

Did you know that Roy Rogers and Dale Evans had a baby girl with Down Syndrome? This book is a little beauty.

Sunday Scenes – And Stream of Conciousness


Because their 14-year age difference will always kill me.



New use for soup tureen. Still playing with shells.


Ethan’s hard and constant work. Soon to be on Etsy 😉


A sweet treat for a sweet treat


Pep talk

These are scenes I saw on Sunday. What I’ll see on Monday is another whole other topic. I’ve been wanting to do a post about what a ‘typical’ day looks like here at my house, but I don’t think there is such a thing. I am going to pick a date and just do it. How about Thursday? Do you like Thursdays?

After I pulled my Summer Fun List off my dining room wall (sniff, sniff), I did not put up another. I think I need to. I need fun and excitement to look forward too – even if the weather is less than stellar for me. List – coming soon.

Have you heard of Shefali Tsabary? She’s blowing my mind. Read her books, watch her videos and then let’s talk. Oh my – loving the message.

How’s The Orange Rhino 30-Day Yelling Challenge going, you ask. I’m frustrated. I don’t yell often – but it pops out every once and a while. Enough to make that little counter on my front page silly. But I’ll reset it now and try again. I know I am learning a lot, but I want to make some headway in changing those ‘go to’ behaviors. I LOVE her FB page – it’s so encouraging. I have to admit that I think it’s important to curb the yelling, but there’s also this little, yucky tone of voice that I’d like to flush down the toilet too. I can do this, right? Some people think their kids are too old to make a change valuable – but I think it’s cool that they are watching me work on it and try to make our home happier and more harmonious 🙂

I am also thinking about the pros and cons of pulling out Halloween decorations with 4 days left, how to get to Florida in the middle of winter this year, and reading things here & here.

It’s Monday. What are you doing?

Sunday Scenes – Challenge Update

These were some scenes from my Sunday. Just sights I encountered during my day. I like them and hope you do too.

010x016x067T092x029149157xxOn another note, my “Days Without Yelling” count should have been pushed back to ‘0’ after my vacation. I yelled. But you know what, it was not for waste. I am learning many lessons by challenging myself to this.

I have found that I have gained a new consciousness of how I am responding to my kids. Too often before, I would not even register the situation until the yelling was over and I felt terrible.  I am finding that I can see it coming and am beginning to be able to do something about it. I want to be in control of how I respond when I am really angry. Wouldn’t that be nice?

I also noticed that I have not gone to ‘crazy yelling’ in this whole period and know that when my voice is raised – I see that Orange Rhino in my mind. I don’t ever want to go back there.

I honestly do not want my boys teen years to be filled with yelling and screaming. I KNOW they are going to do things that I find infuriating – but I believe that I can decide how to respond. I see a little light at the end of the tunnel.

I have also noticed that I need to find alternatives to yelling that I find productive and worthy endeavors. I have found myself lecturing and having ‘discussions’ with the boys in tones of voices that are definitely not what I envision as effective or endearing. Just because I am not ‘yelling’, does not mean I have addressed other yucky issues – but one thing at a time, right?

Liberty Hall Museum

What a hidden gem we found in Liberty Hall Museum in Union, NJ.  I have to tell you, I thought I hated all things ‘history’ until Gavin developed a real loved for it – places, movies, documentaries and historical novels. Gavin’s way of learning about history is way better than what I was exposed to in school. When I see something from this vantage point I am usually really impressed – like I was at this location. I remember things when I see them and hear the facts told in story form. I’m sure my kids do too.

The docent that lead our tour had first-hand knowledge of the family that inhabited this historic house. It’s a place that has hosted 8 presidents and goes back to 1772. Truly, we were walking in history’s footsteps 🙂

001 002 003 013 018 019The English Garden was wonderful and right now apples are ripe and $8 a bag to pick. I’ve heard they host wonderful teas here as well. I think I’d leave The Boyz behind for that 😉

Check out how I am doing on my 30 Day Challenge here.