Thoughts About Gender Neutral Language

Language evolves. What’s appropriate today may be rude tomorrow. However, when language becomes unnecessarily complicated, I believe there should be a buck stopped here claiming “Enough.”

I’m talking about gender neutral language. Our society is on the track to rightfully embrace all people, all nationalities, all colors, and all sexual orientations. We have come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go.

Enter implications for language. The gender-neutral language movement is not limited to one community of people, though the majority of its supporters are of the LGBT community. More complicated variations are out there, but the most prevalent example of general-neutral language is the replacement of the singular, gender-identifying pronouns of he and she with they, them, etc. So what’s the big deal?

Consider:

Jeff packed up his lunch. They made sandwiches including peanut butter and ham.

Suddenly we lose clarity in what would otherwise be a perfectly ordinary series of sentences. Did Jeff pack his (their) own sandwich? Did someone else join Jeff? Do the two sentences relate or has there been some error in semantics? And so on – you get the point.

Ironically, I do “get” the angst of groups seeking to establish an identity and self-recognition. On the other hand, there are many other groups in society that do not request a grammar change that can fundamentally wreak havoc in our already over-complicated world. I for one not only balk at these potential meaning muddles, but also resent being told how I can and cannot use my language.

The Rosie Chronicles Continue

hot-sauceRosie has developed a new and most disgusting habit and as a proper pet owner, I am embarrassed to admit what it is – but simply put – she eats poop. Not only does she eat poop, but with two other dogs in our family, every day is a veritable feast for our Rosie. Interesting, though, I have whispered about her awful habit to a few select friends who are dog owners and would you believe that every single one of them whispered right back, “My dog too!” At least mine isn’t the only disgusting dog in town.

Nevertheless, Dominic and I have been scouring the Internet looking for solutions to thwart Rosie’s feasts and this is one we found.

Solution 1: Put hot sauce on the respective targets.

Sounded like a slam dunk to me. When it was poop-time for all three pups, and sure-thing feast time for Rosie, I grabbed the bottle of hot sauce from the frig and entered into a race for the finish with Rosie for a to-die-for pile of poop in the corner of the yard. I won. I can’t even imagine what this must have looked like: Me racing like a madwoman with this bottle of hot sauce in hand trying to out-run this little dog.

Clear that I won, I squirted a small amount of the hot sauce on the still-steamy mound and when Rosie arrived, she decided hot sauce or no, she was going to dine. Dine she did, seemingly oblivious to the hot sauce. I poured on more. She kept eating. Despite a hefty amount of hot sauce, she ate the whole dang pile of poop.  Discouraged, demoralized and dejected, I trudged back into the house, with my very merry-Rosie in hot pursuit.

I began to worry. From what it said on the Internet, most dogs will sniff hot sauce and back away while others might need a taste to be repelled and discouraged from ever eating poop again. Not my Rosie. She didn’t even want any water when she came in. Great, a new delicacy: poop covered in hot sauce. With great guilt I tried to calculate how much hot sauce she consumed and conjured thoughts of her having a hole burn through her stomach or worse. She seemed fine.

An hour later the three dogs and I sat all snuggled on the couch on this a cold winter afternoon. Rosie was, per usual, snuggled as close to me as possible. Then I felt it, a slow, ominous rumbling followed by trembling followed by a body position that meant nothing good was about to happen. As it was clear the eruption was nigh, I moved Rosie and positioned her head to hang off the edge of the couch. It worked – sort of.  As for the rest of the scene – let’s just have you use your imagination. The good side was that with so much stuff coming out of this little dog, there could be no poisonous residue left inside her.

To be continued.

Raw Pet Food 101

Our fur-babies deserve the very best care we can possibly give them. Thanks to Pet Saver for this interesting and informative article.

PetSaver Healthy Pet SuperStore

Ask 10 different pet experts, and you may get 10 different answers to that question. But one thing is certain: Dogs and cats are meat eaters, and their digestive systems are designed for raw meat consumption.

The average pet owner doesn’t feed their dog or cat this way, but more and more are. Russ Herman, owner and CEO of PetSaver Healthy Pet Superstore in Rochester, has seen a major trend of pet lovers purchasing and feeding a raw diet to their pets.

“It’s no longer just a fad for many dog and cat owners,” said Herman. “Pet owners are much more intelligent these days as to what is best for their pets.”

Major companies like Nature’s Variety, Answers, Primal, Stella, Chewy’s and others have seen big increases in sales of their frozen and dehydrated raw diets.

Pat Gordon of Brighton has been using raw feed for four…

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Wegmans Give Me My Christmas Back

Come on Wegmans, really? wegmans-logo-e1426658740478You are my only go-to store for groceries, and I love you dearly, but must you break the charm of Christmas 5 days before the day itself?

Yesterday I went to gather supplies for last-minute baking to find that all the lovely displays of food and novelties for Christmas were gone, and in their place, a big fat nothing. Gone, blank spaces, departed from this world. Gone were the mini-evergreen trees, the wreaths, and the scented pinecones. In store were the displays of health and diet foods – enticements for a new year full of resolutions for weight loss and better eating habits. This is all well and good, but Wegmans, please don’t take my Christmas away from me before it has even arrived …

Sad Little Evergreens

I went out to do some last-minute holiday errands today when I came across four very sad and little evergreens, leaning pathetically against the outside of a well-known, and not always well-thought-of, big box store. A week ago, in this same spot, there was a whole crowd of trees, puffing up their branches when someone walked by, like a prostitute on the corner saying “take me, take me.” And so they got taken – all but these four little waifs, branches splayed downward in defeat, huddling together against the bitter wind and piercing lake effect snow.

I thought of them two, three, and more months ago, how they wafted resplendent in warm breezes, basked under shimmering sunlight, and offered their fledging pinecones to anyone who asked.

Look at them now … I felt an errant tear slither down my face, freezing in midstream, and despite many choruses chastising us for our artificial tree, perhaps if more people opted for the tree in the box we’d have more, healthy and beautiful trees gracing the lands where they are meant to be.discarded-christmas-tree-on-a-london-street-in-january-bh8y1d

The Rosie Chronicles, Week 2

I can’t believe we’ve had our bundle of joy for two weeks now and during this time, not only have I learned about our little wild thing, I’ve learned a thing or two about myself. Or img_0970should I say, Rosie is hauling these things from somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my being.

Typically, I spend crazy amounts of time in my office, on my computer, dealing with email, social media, and all that goes along with that, getting stressed to the max! Yet there I sit, accomplishing nothing, going down one link trail after another, getting obsessed about really stupid stuff like the Pitt-Jolie breakup. When you have a little one in the house, you cannot ignore her for hours at a time; in fact, you need to take her out every hour or so to teach her the ins and outs (hopefully all outs) of housebreaking.  Since Rosie, I am prioritizing (what a concept) and only doing what I really NEED to be doing, like writing this post.

This brings me to another discovery. Puppies do not “go” on command. In fact, in the beginning they don’t have a blessed clue why they are outside and what they are supposed to do there.  Armed with a pocketful of treats, at first I anxiously followed Rosie around so I could give her an instantaneous reward when she peed or pooped and get back to my key-banging. This didn’t go as planned. Instead, I became a big distraction leaving potty time the farthest thing from her mind.  I mentally threw my hands and began to enjoy just being out there with her while she sniffed around incessantly, went mad-crazy over bugs, ran around in gleeful circles, and plopped herself down in the sun with a stick to gnaw on. And all the while I watched, I had on a great, big happy face!  Rosie was making me be in the moment!

Finally, also thanks to Rosie, I am entering another phase of life: second (maybe third?) childhood. I have always been an active sort, but truthfully, as the years have gone by, I’m not as intensely active as I once was. That has now changed. I am walking dogs, bending to pick up poops (mostly outside – yay!) and food bowls, standing, picking up toys, throwing balls, and more until I drop into bed at night more exhausted and fulfilled than I have been in years.

All of this thanks to a mad-crazy, funny, delightful Boston Terrier puppy named Rosie.

News Flash: Big sis, nine-year-old BT Sasha is actually playing with her nemesis!!