"Today is a day that is filled with surprises; nobody knows what's gonna happen!" These are the words that opened the Mickey Mouse Club on Wednesdays in the early 1950s. Like all small children then, I loved the show, but Anything Can Happen Day was my favorite. So, when my children were young, I instituted this day to be fun, unpredictable, and interesting. What we actually did was dependent on how much money was available. There was never "extra" money. If we spent money then, it meant something was going unpaid, or we went without later. Still, I felt the need to bring a sense of adventure into the lives of my children.
They dressed in black and had wimples that made even the shortest seem tall. The school looked as foreboding as its masters. I was only seven, but I felt an uncomfortable mixture of doom and hopelessness as I walked through the door. This was Catholic school. My parents got me in after first grade, and it was clear to me this wasn't Kansas anymore.
Every woman is a potential victim of violence. We like to think we are equal, but the chances of being the recipient of a beating, rape, or murder are surprisingly high. Every nine seconds, a woman is beaten in America. One in three women have been attacked by an intimate partner. Native American females have a 50 percent higher rate than any other race. These statistics are from 2017, and they are frightening. A full 18 percent involve threats with a weapon, which raises the possibility of a homicide by 500 percent. Intimate partner violence is the leading cause of female homicides. Where there are children in the home, the kids face a 15 percent higher risk of physical abuse than the national average.
I don't know where my nature gene comes from, as absolutely no one else in my family has one. Not even my kids, who I literally dragged through bucolic scenes everywhere. We went on science vacations where we collected minerals and fossils, fished around in tidal pools and visited science museums. One day, I wanted to go to the now defunct Davis Cranberry Bog. My daughter, who had nothing to do that day, decided she would accompany me. In retrospect, it seems she came just to antagonize me. We had run the gamut in our complicated relationship. This day she was a hormonal tornado ready to blow the roof off my expedition. Even my toddler seemed to know to tread carefully around her that day. Jo could be explosive in this mood.
Can you die from an overdose of cuteness? My daughter and I both own King Charles Cavaliers. These are dangerous critters if you have things to do or places to go. Their plan of attack is to immobilize owners with their winsome dispositions. They disarm disciplinary measures with those "doe" eyes. However, the secret weapon they pull out just when you're just about to win is their little velvet tongues. Cavaliers will lick you into submission. It isn't easy to be the pack leader to a bundle of unconditional love. Even the simple act of walking a Cavalier is a daunting task. Everyone you meet on your path is compelled to pet them, marveling at their innocent appearance. Innocent? Try going down the basement to do laundry. My little bundle doesn't like the basement and quietly whimpers until I return. These dogs become extremely attached to their owners, and they do suffer from separation anxiety. However, they don't engage in destructive behavior. In all my years of ownership, I have never had to deal with chewed shoes, torn pillows, or garbage destruction. Cavaliers have what is called "soft bite." They can't really bite down completely, which means they don't tear at objects. It also means they are good with children. When I was working, our two Cavs would sit in the front window waiting for me all day. Neighbors would tell me they would watch them in the window, little did they know that were plotting to nuzzle me mercilessly when I arrived. Chloe, the Blenheim, is mine. My daughter owns the tricolor, named Vladimir. Until my daughter moved to Florida, Vlad and Chloe both lived in my house. It was twice the fun and twice the love. The pair was the dynamic duo of puppy love.
Sometimes you have to take a break from the ordinary, and dive into the different. That is what viewing foreign programming does. When you are sick of the mundane programming on network television, have binged out on Netflix, and grown tired of the free movies on Prime, it's time to take what other countries have to offer seriously.