Category Archives: The Neighbors

Deep Thoughts @TheGirl_GrowsUp


I pretty much feel like I figured out the meaning of life this weekend.  I totally understand why people Tweet.  Yes, sometimes it does take me awhile to “get” stuff.

I am blond you know.

Anytweet… I was getting a bit frustrated with my back and not being able to hold the iPad or sit at the computer so I decided to try Twitter once again on my phone.

Only this time I “get it.”

I realized that if I am unable to blog, or when I have a second I can share my most innermost thoughts in 140 characters or less, of course.

And I have deep thoughts. 

Really.  I do.

PLUS!  Since I usually do my posts in advance, I can tell you SO much more on Twitter!  Riveting, riveting stuff I tell you.  Like…


What happened to Tyler this weekend?

What did I eat at the Fair that absolutely blew my mind?

I know you are dying to know.

And… since I am now looking like an idiot proficient on Twitter, do you know what I did?

I got my mom on there too!

@Tinatalking is my mom!!!!

I know.  Control yourself.  It is just too exciting for words.

So.  That’s that.  That is what I have been doing while resting my back.  I am much better by the way.  Thank you for all of your kind words and suggestions.

I am still in pain, but nothing like last week.  I am taking it easy, but I learned that I can’t fold clothes.  That sent me into spasms for an entire day.

Cry for me people.  I can’t fold clothes!  Tyler won’t let me.  Bwhahahahahaha!!!!


Life is good.


See Mommy Run

**What will you be writing about for Feel Good Friday?  Choose a prompt and link up!**

The summer before Tyler and I were married, we were playing outside with Emily one night.  My parents walked over and Tyler started talking to them.

Emily and I continued to run around and play.

Then I heard extreme laughter and this is what I saw:

  • My mom was laughing so hard, she was grasping onto Tyler with all of her might in case she fell over.

  • My dad was laughing so hard no sound was coming out of him and all I saw was his shoulders heaving up and down and tears were coming from his eyes.

  • Tyler looked like he wanted to laugh and was trying really hard to hold it in, but then all of a sudden when I said, “What’s so funny?”  He lost it completely.

What was so funny?

Tyler kept shaking his head and said, “Nothing is funny,” and then they all would erupt in laughter again, when finally this is what my mom managed to choke out between fits of snorts…







What do they mean, I can’t run?  I have been running my entire life?!

It took my folks about 10 minutes to get out “the story,” they were laughing so hard.  Tyler reeled it in, seeing my embarrassment and knowing that I wasn’t his wife “yet.”

He looked like he wasn’t going to risk anything.

Apparently, I was a good runner up until I started dance class.  Then after years of dance, my run changed.  I lost any athletic-ness and somehow combined my dance run with my outside run.


It is no wonder I didn’t date much – one look at my run and they fled!

I have asked to be videotaped so I can see it.

I have begged for advice and tips.

But nobody will help me.

Now that I have Sarah, I am always running after her.  If my parents are around, you will hear snickering and then mom will say, “Run Laura Run” followed by more laughter.

I still ask Tyler for help and he still says that it is more fun this way.

One time, at night, my shadow was casting perfectly on our garage door… so I ran back and forth to see what I looked like…

…but that didn’t help my cause. 

They came.  They saw.  They laughed.

Today is Emily’s Fun Run at school for kids and families.

And I am going to go and run with my girl.

I mean, c’mon.  How bad can I look, really

Or will we need to change schools?

The Painting… Revisited

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Waaaay back in January I wrote about my dad, painting my portrait

Let’s just say that this is going to be yet another post he won’t be reading because he is finally done with it and I have a lot to say…


My dad is a fantastic artist.  He really is.  He just can NOT for the life of him capture me the way he can everyone else.  He knows this.  You can read the post highlighted above, Me and the Mona Lisa, if you would like some background information about what I have to say next.


About a week ago I popped over to my parent’s house to drop something off.  I was tired.  I was recovering from being sick.  I wasn’t thinking straight at the time.

My dad grabs my arms and says that I HAVE to see the paintings!  He is finally done.  He ended up doing 2 of them.

He drags me into their bathroom.  Yes, the bathroom.

There sitting over the toilet is my giant face.

And I have to say, he did a good job.  He finally “got” me, sort of.  I ooohed and aaahed and he was so happy.

Then he takes me to the living room and presents me with the other one.

(This is where I should have known better.)

I didn’t like it as much as the other one and I said so.  Specifically, I said this:

“Do I have a half sister living in Mexico?”

My humor was NOT met with laughter.

So I backtracked and said that I was kidding and then I proceeded to gush over it.

I gushed so much that he said I could come and get it in 2 weeks.  He then asked where I was going to put it.


“I will put it in a prime spot, for sure!”  I gleefully remarked.

I saw his happy face, and then I got some sense and said this:


“Unless Tyler falls in love with it.  He really wants a painting of me in his office at work.”

Where you will never go and see it lying under some boxes.  That  is what I thought and managed NOT to say.

I then asked for the other one of me, but he thinks that is no good and I can’t have that one.  He is going to paint over it.

Just super.

And he wants to know where Tyler’s new office is.  Just in case he wants to drop in and say, “Hi.”

That Damn Bridge

My parents are our neighbors.

We take care of them. We lift things. We dig holes. We help.

Everybody in our neighborhood knows this.


One day my mom bought a wood bridge for her garden.

It was very heavy and had to be assembled. She asked if Tyler and I would do it for her since Tyler has a power screwdriver – he could do it quick.

He had planned to do it on a Tuesday night, but mom said that wasn’t a good day – she wouldn’t be home.

He planned to do it on a Wednesday night, but mom said she was tired.

He asked to come over on the weekend and do it, but mom said, “No” she would be out-of-town.

It rained the next week so that was out as well.

The following Sunday afternoon was the scheduled day to assemble the bridge.

Now don’t even get me started on why my mother had to be present in order for Tyler to assemble the bridge. She just wanted to be there and we shall leave it at that.

We even considered sneaking over and building it, but we didn’t want to get in trouble.

Saturday morning rolled around and Tyler, the girls and I were heading out of the house for the day. We walk outside and what do we see?

My mom and dad hauling the ridiculously heavy bridge box out of their garage to try to assemble it themselves.


Of course they could build it themselves. It would take 4 times as long and it would kill their backs and joints to screw in all 100 screws, but those people can be stubborn.

Tyler and I are not quiet people and for that matter, neither are my parents.

We started hollering at them, something to the effect of:

“What in God’s green earth are you doing? Can’t you wait one day? We said we would help you!  We will do it tomorrow!!”

And my parents found it quite funny that we were so irritated with them so they teasingly hollered back:

“That’s okay. You go. You go and have your fun. We will be fine. Don’t worry about us.”

Those statements were totally laced with guilt. They have perfected it over the years.

So we laughed and left. We had places to go and people to see.

Just as we left we saw the man across the street start to walk over to my parent’s yard.

This Neighbor Man is a nice guy, but it is not like we are all BFF’s.

We wave and nod “Hello.” On occasion there is a “Hey what a gorgeous day.” But, that is really the extent of our relationship with him.

60 minutes later my mother calls me on my cell and tells me that he came over and INSISTED on assembling the bridge for them.

He built the bridge for MY parents.


Mom had a nice laugh over that one. She thinks he overheard all of our yelling back and forth and thought we were being rude to them by not helping.

Little did he know how hard we tried to build that damn bridge.

Tina is Rusting!

Do you remember the post I did about my mother when she decided to color her hair with streaks of red?

Well, the lady hasn’t stopped and she has found that food coloring works best.

Yes, she uses food coloring so she can swap out colors quickly.

She has had red bangs.

She has had blue bangs.

She has had purple bangs.

She even had green bangs, but not on St. Patrick’s Day because that would be too “expected” of course.

She has learned that when she goes out into public, people treat her differently with her colored bangs. Nobody quite knows if she is insane or cool.

I know what I think.

Also, she has learned she can’t go out in the rain or the color drips onto her face.

Make the laughter stop, please!

Then, the other day she popped over to show me this:

She was aghast that she is “rusting!”

Apparently, Tina put yellow in her bangs, but hadn’t completely washed out the red that was previously in her hair.


Emily and I are finding her predicament quite amusing. She has had every color of the rainbow on her head, but ORANGE she has a problem with? She thinks ORANGE is weird?

Then she proceeds to tell us how it is the perfect day to put lemon juice in her hair and sit outside to get some highlights.

I am not sure who jumped her first, me or Emily. I do know that we did not let her leave our house until we made mom pledge to not put lemon juice in her bangs.

She pinky swore that she wouldn’t.

But we also haven’t seen her in 3 days.

He’s Going to Snap Like a Twig!!!

I have talked about my dad a lot, but for those of you who don’t know…

He has had Rheumatoid Arthritis since age 38 and also had a kidney transplant 4 years ago. He is a very slender guy as well, topping out at 143 pounds that one month, with his clothes on, 11 years ago.

When we are playing around with the girls I am apt to yell, “STOP! He will snap like a twig!” because I am sure he will.

He is a delicate fleur, my dad.

My parents used to have a dog, Strider, who was also a White German Shepherd, like our puppy Jack.

Strider was better than Lassie, she was so highly trained. My parents did all of the training themselves.

If Strider had a paw off of her bed, my dad would make a “Tsk Tsk” sound and the paw would go back on the bed.

My dad ALWAYS made Strider follow his commands. ALWAYS.

After Strider died my dad was so sad and he never got another dog… well, except for Strider #2 which was a gigantic mistake and she had to be given away.

Strider #2??? The poor dog didn’t have a chance in hell.

So… 7 years ago when I got Emma, my golden retriever, one would think that my dad would follow the rules about training. Understanding how imperative it is and all…

No! No! My dad would let Emma do whatever she wanted.

He would beg me to let him take her for walks, but when I saw that he let her run amok and jump on fellow neighbors, I never let him walk her again until he could learn to say “NO!”

“But, I can’t say No,” he would say.

So when we got Jack last year, again, my dad begged me to let him walk her.

However, I had been seriously training Super Jack for months and months in and out of class. He was highly trained and I didn’t want dad to ruin it.

So I said we would walk him together so I could see if dad made Jack heel.

He did, so I let them out for their first walk together alone last summer.

They walked around the pond behind our house. I climbed on top of our swing set tower to try to take a peek, but I couldn’t see anything.

When they came back I asked if he made Jack heel.

“Oh Yes.” My dad said with glee. “He did great.”

The next day was my birthday party. Mom called in the morning and asked me if I could bring over the 2 canes (don’t ask me why I have 2 canes laying around).

Dad could NOT walk at all. His hips hurt so bad.


“I don’t think he is going to talk to you right now.” said mom.

“Then I am coming over!”

And I did.

I marched those canes right up their deck to find my father lying on the sofa looking sheepish.

Me: So why can’t you walk today, eh?

Dad: Jack might have pulled on the leash a little bit.

Me: Did you tell him to heel?

Dad: He wants to be free and roam.

Me: Did YOU tell HIM to HEEL?

Dad: No. I couldn’t.

Dad did not make it the 20 yards to our house that day for my party. It took him 3 days to walk again.

He finally did really snap like a twig, but he learned an important lesson because of it, The Fool.

This winter I started letting dad walk Jack again only this time he is actually making Jack heel.

However, knowing that Jack has changed into some sort of Lion Dog with his newfound hatred of all other dogs, dad still wants to walk him.

He came bouncing over here the other day like an 8 year old boy with a shit-eating grin on his face. “Can I take Jack for a walk it is going to be a nice week?”

Here is what I see happening if I say “YES”:

I see Jack growling and going nuts if he encounters another dog.

I see my dad’s arm flying off of his body. Dad is lying on the side of the road in pain unable to move.

The other dog is dead.

Jack is lost.

I get sued by the other dog’s owners and we lose our house and have to move in with my parents.

Heaven help us all.

What would YOU do?
Would you let my dad walk Jack knowing he might very well snap like a twig?

I Will Never Be a Leader of a Cult

Precisely one year ago I got my iPhone.

I could go on and on telling you the fantabulous benefits to an iPhone, but I won’t. Let’s just say I call it my 3rd child; I love it THAT much.

What I will tell you that back in December my mom decided to upgrade her phone as well.

Now, let’s take a minute to talk about Tina, my mother.

Tina rarely even turned her old cell phone on, let alone texted.

Tina still uses AOHell DIAL-UP despite my weekly pleadings.

C’mon, let’s just all take a moment to reflect on the fact that she still has dial-up. Say a prayer, close your eyes… whatever.

(A moment of silence)

So when Tina asked me what phone she should get because she wanted to text, go online, do email and get apps, what do you think I said?


Yes, I showed her all of the cool features.

Yes, I did my best ad campaign.

No she didn’t!!

She bought a DROID!!!

She wanted to be on the “forefront” of technology.

So my mother, Tina, has a Droid and she brought it over to my house so I could help her learn it.

But she doesn’t want me to actually touch it.

I’m not going to lie to you. There were some terse words uttered by me.

I showed her a couple of things and then I told her to return it and get an iPhone.

30 days later…

Tina calls me regularly from her Droid and in the middle of a conversation she accidentally hangs up on me.

Not once.

Not twice.

Something like… eleventy hundred times.

Then when she wants to show me how cool the voice dialer is and she says “Call Walgreens” into the phone and it dials The Library instead…

Not Once.

Not Twice.

But 4 times in a row.

I just shake my head and repeat over and over: “You can still get an iPhone. Come to my side. It’s good over here.”

Knowing how much I detest her phone, she has started to campaign on behalf of Droid by texting me daily. Here are just a few examples:

Mom/Droid: Why do u not like me? Droid likes u.

Mom/Droid: Droid thinks u r pretty.

Mom/Droid: Droid misses u.

Mom/Droid: Droid want to know what u r doing.

I have come to accept that I will never be able to lead her away from Dial Up AOL or from her, frustrating Droid and that is okay.

Just make the creepy texts go away.