Thursday, May 23, 2013

Breakfast Larceny

Mother has child arrested for stealing her Pop-Tart
According to a news report, a mother in Charlotte, North Carolina had her child arrested on suspicion of stealing her breakfast toaster pastries. She allegedly wanted to teach her child a lesson. As the mother of three boys and a trusted adult to many of their friends, I've employed logical consequences to teach many a lesson. I've read the story a few times now, but am having great difficulty understanding how having one's child arrested for taking one's toaster pastry constitutes sound parenting.

Were the alleged toaster pastries under lock and key? Did the mother have her name on the box with clear instructions for her child not to touch her food? If her child grabbed an apple on his way to his desk to finish his homework, would his mother have turned him for stealing fruit? Does each family member have his or her own individual pantry? No matter what direction my imagination takes me, I cannot fathom a situation in which a child taking a toaster pastry in his home could constitute larceny. 

I'll admit that I have no idea how food is handled in other households. In ours, we buy food for the family. Everyone adds to the list of groceries based on needs and wants. Hubby and I plan meals. The pantry and refrigerator are common areas to which all family members have free access. In short, my children are allowed to eat the food we purchase and prepare. 

The pantry, including the food, is shared space
in our household. Mangia, mangia!
Of course, out of respect, they don't touch the contents of my Valentine's Day candy box. And while there have been years when one or two chocolates have gone missing, I certainly didn't fire up an investigation and have one of my children arrested. 

If I found out my child was in possession of street drugs, stole a friend's iPod, or took a neighbor's car joy riding, yes, I would have the child arrested to teach him a lesson. For the missing Valentine's Day treats, I simply made Brussels sprouts and sautéed spinach for supper and then cut off the boys' supply of cookies and desserts for a week. 

Unless there is a lot more to the story, I say FREE THE TOASTER PASTRY KID! 

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Memory Lane

When we emptied the contents of the attic of our old house recently, we piled it all in our dining room. We couldn't simply transfer everything to our current attic. The boxes and bags were old and falling apart. But, more importantly, our current attic was already full. So, my plan was to spend one day going through everything and getting rid of as much as possible.

Ever since, I've been chipping away at the boxes and bags for several hours a day. Clearly, it was not a one-day job as my imagination initially assumed. I've filled quite a few trash bags. I've built tall towers of recyclable debris. I've also created an immense donation pile. Meanwhile, our house is not suitable for guests and won't be for at least another week or so. Although, my boys still have his friends over. They just explain away the chaos as their mother's attempt to break into reality television via a hoarding show.

Meanwhile, I've been basking in the memories of what I have to admit has been a pretty great life so far. The most exciting find during my excavation has been the box from my childhood. It was a box I thought was long gone. It contained everything from my favorite baby doll to my college graduation gown. It was not a huge box, but it sure brought back some great memories.

My old penpal Navigating Hectivity
I had completely forgotten that I had a pen pal
when I was in elementary school. I believe it was
a school project. My pen pal lived in Africa. 

My favorite baby doll Navigating Hectivity
My dad threw my favorite baby doll out
several times. My mom always rescued her.
I'd like to introduce you to Angel.

The Littles books Navigating Hectivity
This was my first favorite book series!
Thank you John Peterson for helping me 

fall in love with reading...and writing!
Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 

Email: mickibare (at)
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Super Adventures of Super Mom

Happy Mother's Day to
all Super Moms of the world!
Whether a mom is labeled “stay-at-home” or “working,” she is still a “super mom” and, from time to time, must draw upon her super powers to overcome obstacles and keep everything running smoothly through the hectivity.

When unavoidable events would otherwise create mass hysteria, moms instinctively kick it up a notch and employ their super powers, such as super-multitasking, super-organizing, super-penny-pinching, and super-discipline.

In this Super Mom adventure, Super Mom's pets were overdue for a vet visit. Like any good pet owner, she made appointments for a day that seemed relatively event-free on the household calendar. However, one of her arch nemeses, the masked Mr. Schedule Stuffer, zoomed in undetected and crammed sports practices, work deadlines, and family events into her life.

Drawing upon her super-organizing powers, she implemented a counter attack by rescheduling the appointment for another month. Mr. Schedule Stuffer was not happy. He zoomed off into oblivion, biding his time until two days before the vet appointment. Then, out of nowhere, Mr. Schedule Stuffer struck with a last minute out-of-town meeting. Little did Super Mom know he was also going to partner with Sand Man, who worked to make the children late for school on the day of her overbooked morning. To make matters worse, Mr. Confusion also joined the forces of evil to make Super Hubby think he had programmed the coffee pot to make coffee without Super Hubby actually pouring water into the machine or setting the time.

Was all lost? Would Super Mom be able to get through the morning? Should she have rescheduled the vet appointment yet again? HA!

Pulling out her super-discipline powers, she created a logical but firm consequence with which to motivate the sleepy children. Using her super-multitasking abilities, she was able to distribute bag lunches, pack her briefcase, and load the car with pets and children with super speed. Super Mom was also able to grab a few dollars and adjust her departure time for a few minutes earlier so she could squeeze a coffee stop into the chaos that was her weekday morning. Kissing Super Hubby goodbye, she jumped in her super-minivan and headed out to drop off kids and pets, purchase a cup of coffee, and commute to her 9 a.m. meeting fifty miles away.

Thinking she’d beaten the bad guys at their own game, she smugly drove through the horseshoe drives at the middle and high schools. Light traffic meant she had plenty of time to grab coffee after the vet stop. And the vet was a few hundred yards away. She could see the roof. That's when disaster struck. Mr. Schedule Stuffer enlisted Barf Boy’s help to slow Super Mom down once more. Turning into the parking lot, Super Mom begged and pleaded with her dog to wait just thirty more seconds. But the dog couldn’t hold it. Doggy vomit spewed forth.

Did Barf Boy use car sickness or a bad dog food nugget? Super Mom didn’t have time to speculate. She automatically drew on her super-multitasking powers to drop off the pets and clean up the mess. Luckily, Super Vet Assistant was there to help. She tapped into her super-organizing powers and tossed Super Mom a roll of paper towels and some air freshener. “Take THAT, Barf Boy and Mr. Schedule Stuffer!” Super Mom blurted out as she tossed the vomit-filled towels into the trash, returned the cleaning supplies, and headed toward the bathroom to wash her hands.

Hopping back into the super-minivan, which now smelled like apples and cinnamon, she noted the time. She could still get coffee and make it to the meeting. Good was prevailing over evil. The line at the fast food restaurant was short and the server added the cream to the coffee. Super Mom was off again in no time. With minimal traffic, she would make it to her meeting with plenty of time to spare. Twenty miles out of town, Crappy Coffee Dude swooped in and sucked all the flavor out of Super Mom's large java. Yes, she had time to purchase coffee, but it was awful. Now the evil ones were hitting below the belt. But they forgot who they were up against. Super Moms are resilient. They never give up. They never back down.

Arriving at the hotel in which her meeting was to be held, she walked directly to the restaurant, met up with some colleagues, and turned over a mug. The server filled the cup within seconds. Was she an ally? The coffee was superb and the server didn’t charge Super Mom for it. It was Super Server assisting in Super Mom's battle against the evil ones. The meeting started and Super Mom was content in the knowledge that, on that day, she'd once more overcome the powers of evil. But she was not naïve. She was fully aware that as long as her family was thriving, there would be many battles ahead. But she is a Super Mom. She will be able to handle whatever the forces of evil throw her way.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Favorite Grocery Store is Now OPEN!

Locally grown onions! Hubby
won't be kissing me tonight. 
As soon as I pulled out of the high school drop-off lane, my car instinctively headed toward the farmers' market. It officially opened for the season, which means I will have no problem consuming at least five servings a day of fruits and veggies from now until October. It also means Hubby will have to fire up the grill, because I just bought a bouquet of Vidalia onions. For supper, I think we'll have slices of grilled onion stacked with grilled portobello mushroom caps. I can practically smell it already.

Strawberry season makes
breakfast my favorite meal.
In addition to the onions, I also picked up a quart of strawberries. I was tempted by the sweet aroma and gorgeous color of locally grown, freshly picked berries to purchase a whole gallon. However, I had limited funds in my pocket and I knew I'd be back soon. At first, I thought the quart would get us through until Tuesday, when Hubby and I plan to walk downtown, grab some coffee and a bagel, and browse through the farmers' market together. However, I already sliced up about a third of the strawberries for my cereal about three minutes after I returned home. I suppose if we have to, we can borrow some from Ma. She plans to pick up a few buckets of strawberries to make jam.

One of the vendors sells plants. Last year, we bought two blueberry bushes from him. Blueberry Guy, as I like to call him, gave us specific instructions on how and where to plant the bushes as well as how to care for them. The bushes are thriving. I once asked someone in a mega-superstore how to care for the raspberry bush I picked up on sale. She told me to follow her. I did...all the way to her register, where she checked me out and pointed out the label with a picture of a giant sun. I bought the bush and planted it based on the picture on the label. Over the next few weeks, it withered and died. I stopped buying plants and bushes at mega-superstores.

These babies are going in
my urban garden. 
But Blueberry Guy has an excellent selection of herb and vegetable plants ready for urban gardens. And since my blueberry bushes are doing so well and I happen to be a novice urban gardener, I decided to browse his selections. While all of my perennial herbs are up and doing extremely well, I realized I was in need of some annual herbs. The realization hit me when I saw he was only charging $2 for his herb plants. The plants were not only less expensive, but much fuller, greener, and healthier than anything I've seen in the mega-superstores. I left Blueberry Guy's booth with French tarragon, summer savory, and a strong motivation to spend a couple of hours in my garden.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 

Email: mickibare (at)
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Direct Descendent of Mother Nature Heats Things Up

Midwest snow before we arrived.
Ma and I decided to drive northwest to participate in my uncle's birthday bash. He was celebrating one of those round-number biggies and we wanted to wish him well in person. We also wanted to hang out with our midwestern relatives for a few days. We reside in the balmy South and were traveling to the cool North. The trip was planned for the weather-transitional month of April. Therefore, we had to pack for both cold and warm weather—or so we assumed. What I didn't factor in were the effects of my peri-menopausal body. 

My uncle posted a snowy picture on Facebook on Sunday. In response, I added an extra pair of jeans to my suitcase, threw my boots in the trunk so I wouldn't forget them, and switched out my cool trouser socks for thick, winter socks. When we left on Thursday morning, the weather was still quite cool at my aunt and uncle's house. The snow had not completely melted away just yet. However, it was already 70 degrees in North Carolina, so began our journey in T-shirts and sandals.
My peri-menopausal feet
heating up the Midwest ground.

When we arrived in Minnesota on Friday evening, it was 70 degrees. The next day, the temperature rose to the mid-70s. Sunday, we wore short sleeves and sandals to the Mall of America. When we left Tuesday morning, it was already 65 degrees. I never used my socks. I never used my boots. I was out of T-shirts, but was not about to put on the turtlenecks or sweatshirts still neatly folded in my suitcase. 

On Wednesday, it was in the 70s as we made our way back to the South. That evening, my uncle posted another snowy picture on Facebook. They had received another eight inches of snow since we left town. And that's when it hit me. 
The warm air followed us
home and the snow fell again.

Clearly, my hot flashes are more severe than I realized. The intense burning from within not only makes Hubby sweat at night if he snuggles too close, it also affects the climate around me. After our trip to the Midwest, it is obvious to me that I am a direct descendent of Mother Nature. My peri-menopausal internal infernos are wreaking havoc on the weather. This new discovery also explains global warming, for which I must offer my sincerest apologies. Hopefully we will still have a little ozone by the time I make it to the other side of the menopause mountain.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 

Email: mickibare (at)
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Micki Bare's Blog (Arkansas News Bureau)