Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween. Save the deep thinking for world peace

Right now I have a zombie and a spider witch getting ready in the bathroom. They are having a ball putting on fake blood, red lips, and trying to make rotting flesh out of paint, the scarier the better!

In about an hour, we will be off to the haunted house for them to play games, get some candy, and maybe get a bit frightened. Nothing too scary, but a little bit, as that is what halloween is about, at least in my house.

I have never put much thought into the meaning behind halloween, and don't intend to start now. A friend suggested that she might not let her kid dress up as she did not agree with halloween because she didn't want her kid to get scared. My jaw about dropped to the floor, in disgust, and I wanted to take away her birthday just to show her what it was like. Take away halloween? Was she mad? I understand if people are religious and it contridicts what they are taught, but the other people, no excuse. Take away halloween...sheesh! Whataretheythinking?

For me, it has always been about putting on a costume and getting candy. No deep meaning at all. My kids love dressing up, I love walking with them as they knock on the door and say "trick-or-treat," and we all love getting candy. For me, that is about as deep as it gets. Dressing, knocking, eating. Overall, it is a great way to spend time with my kids and we all go to bed a little happier, and fatter.

Life is short so have fun while you can and don't take all the fun out of things we thought were great as kids. Sometimes people think way too much about the wrong things. Save the deep thinking for world peace, curing a sickness, or ways to help others. Not for ways to spoil the fun for little kids.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Enjoy Your Kids Now, As Someday They Won't Be Around To...

Sometimes it is so easy to forget what's important. Sometimes it just takes a small reminder that we should stop, take a break, and enjoy life; even if it is just for a minute or two, or ten. Tonight, for example, I was sitting at my computer doing whatever it was I needed to do on my computer that seemed to be ever so important, when my seven and nine year kids turned up the stereo and started running around the living room laughing like crazy. They asked me if I wanted to come play with them and I said I was too busy...Oh, sooooo wrong, I thought, as I closed my eyes while slapping my hand to my forehead. My computer work will still be here in ten minutes, I thought, and my kids will be ten minutes older--ten minutes I will never get back with them.

I sat here for another minute and realized that what I was missing was important, not the computer work, but playing with my kids. I know, some day, sooner than I will be ready for, they will be gone and on their own and I will be sitting here wishing they could be here asking me to dance around the living room.

We ended up getting out our disco ball, cranking up the music, and dancing around like a bunch of crazy old fools, all the while laughing our heads off! I know that my computer isn't going anywhere, but someday my kids will, so I had better enjoy the heck out of them now, while they still want me to!
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Generosity Doesn't Come Easy for Some. My 100 word essay

Generosity Doesn't Come Easy for Some.
Yesterday, I watched as a homeless man asked a lady for her doggie bag as she exited a restaurant. She seemed angry and walked away.
How desperate he must have been to ask for a doggie bag-someone's half-eaten lunch. I gave him my lunch and he thanked me.
He looked so hungry, and that lady's refusal to help made my heart sink. He wasn't asking for money, just something to eat.
Sometimes it takes so little to make things easier for others.

I wrote the above story and it appeared in the Sacramento Bee Newspaper as an "I'm Just Saying" 100-word essay.

I have an extremely large soft spot for the homeless; I always have. How can it be ok for people, human beings, to sleep in a doorway on a cold, wintry night? I am really bothered by this and I wish I could help them. I get irritated if my blankets are crooked; they would be happy to have a blanket, crooked or not. I hate to see others suffer and it makes me sad. I wish I could fix the homeless problem, but I don't know how and I don't think I can. I can only wish that they are all ok and survive another night on the streets. Maybe someday, good things will happen and they will have a nice house with lots of extra blankets that they can share with others.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Mouse. Mouse 2. Mouse 3. Mr.Bitey. Jr. Jeff. Princess. Elvis. DaisyMayRosesPrincessPiggy.

What the? What are those? In my house, they are the norm. In other homes, not so much. Those are names my kids and I have given our pets. At first glance, they might seem normal enough, but let me explain why they are not.

MOUSE. Mouse was a hamster that we named Mouse. Yes, we named our hamster Mouse.
Mouse 2 and 3. When the original Mouse died and we replaced it, the next two were also Mouse with the number. Again, they were hamsters.

MR. BITEY. He was the only pet we have had that his name made sense. He was not my favorite for one reason, hence the name, Mr. Bitey. Ouch!

JR. Jr. looked exactly like Mr. Bitey and he was also a biter. He, also, wasn't my favorite.

JEFF. Ok, Jeff is a Russian Tortoise. Not only is Jeff a Russian Tortoise, but Jeff is a FEMALE Russian Tortoise. My kids liked the name Jeff, so now our female Russian Tortoise is forever branded with the male name of Jeff. People in the neighborhood call her The Jeffers. Much better. Uh-huh.

PRINCESS. This would be a cute name for a female hamster, but ours was not so lucky. Ours was a male hamster named Princess. Poor guy.

ELVIS. I love Elvis and named one of our cats Elvis. One of my kids wanted to name him Balloons, so I took over on this one. We also named our 11 fish Elvis as it made it easy to point to the tank and say, "Oooh, look how pretty Elvis is," you can never go wrong. I know, I am a genius, go ahead and say it, it's ok. I also named them all the Swimming Elvises, or is it Elvi?

Last, but not least, is the cat with the hundred dollar name. That would be Ms. DaisyMayRosesPrincessPiggy. My seven year old couldn't decide on just one name and she said her cat was so special it needed several names, so, DaisyMayRosesPrincessPiggy is the name. I just call it Lazy, or Crazy, or Getoffthecounter, but the cat prefers Heresyourfoodeatup.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Judy, Deanna, and Susan. Gone forever, but not forgotten

Three dreams about three beautiful women, Judy, Deanna, and Susan, all of whom have passed away too early and too young.

My mom, Judy. She died when I was 16 and she was 42. After she died, I never felt that I needed to go to the cemetery. This bothered me as most people visit graves and it seems to make them feel better. For some reason, I never felt the need to go. Then I had a dream one night wherein my mom came over to me. Well, she sort of floated as she was a spirit or something. I apologized to her for not visiting her grave. She laughed and said it was fine and that she wasn't in there, but she was everywhere. She told me anytime I wanted to talk to her, just look up and she will hear me. She said it was nice when people did visit, but she also knew when they were talking to her and it made her happy. Years later, when I did visit, I took my kids. They were about 4 and 5 years old. My son walked over the her grave, put his ear on the headstone and said, "What's that? You want me to tell my mommy that you love her and you miss her? I will tell her!" He turned around and told me what my "mom" had said. It was sweet, like I got to hear her tell me she loved me one more time.

Deanna, Annie-Banannie. We had been best friends since we were 11. She died two years ago at the age of 34. We used to be so close, but had drifted apart with families, jobs, and life. One night I had a dream about her. It started that I was in the womb waiting to be born. Weird, I know, but it was dream. Anyway, I couldn't come out because I only had 3/4 of a sole and it needed to be whole. Somehow, Deanna, who was also waiting to be born, said I could have 1/4 of hers, but with the condition we always stay close or she would die. Years later in my dream, Deanna and I moved apart from one another and because we weren't as close as we were and because we were so busy, she died. I was very upset in my dream, but then she came back to me and told me it was ok, that she was never far away, as I would always have part of her sole with me. It made me think that people we love, we will always have a part of them, our memories, with us in out hearts forever.

Susan. Susan passed away a few weeks ago and had been one of my best friends for seven years. I will just say she was under 40, as she would probably strike me with lightening if I revealed her real age. Last night I had a dream and I was looking for her. I couldn't find her. I heard someone whispering my name from inside a tree. I looked inside the tree and there she was. She looked so pretty, and happy. I told her I missed her and asked if she could come back. She said no, but that she would be in the tree and I could visit anytime I wanted. She said she could be in any tree she wanted and when she wanted to say hi, she would move the branches and the leaves would wave at me. Today, while driving to the store to buy a newspaper with her obituary, I was stopped at a light, just spacing out, when out of a group of trees, only one moved. It surprised me as I hadn't been thinking about my dream, but it made me smile. Was she waving hello? I will never know, but it also made me cry as I was sad, but comforted thinking just maybe it was Susan.

I miss these three so much it hurts. They were all taken too early and too young. There are days when I wish I could take out my heart and squeeze out all the sadness, but I know I can't. I just hope they are safe and happy. Every time I see a tree move, I will wonder if maybe, just maybe, one of them is saying hi.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Secret of the Hair Color

I started coloring my hair at the age of 13. I was bored with my drab hair color, and being a teenager, I was bored with life. I knew I needed a change so I saved my money and bought my first bottle of bleach. I ended up buying this gawd-awful product-that I won't name-that was sprayed on the hair. After spraying, you had to sit in the sun for an hour and it was supposed to magically turn your hair a beautiful shade of blond, like the picture they had on the bottle. Well, needless to say, my hair looked nothing like the beautiful blond hair on the bottle, but more like a frizzy, clownish, orangy cotton ball. Not a good look for most people, and especially not a good look for me.

At about 16, I learned of this wonderful product called hydrogen-peroxide. Oooooh, all my prayers had been answered. Bleach I could pour directly onto my hair and it would make my hair beautiful! Ahh, but once I bleached and removed the towel from my head for my fabulous new hair reveal, I was again left with a wiry, orangy, frizzy mess. Again, not a good look for me.

A few years later I discovered the best invention known to womankind. Hair color in a bottle. What more could a woman want? Such a happy day that was! I still get a little tickle in my heart thinking of how happy I was at seeing all those different shades on the shelves. It looked like a rainbow, a blond to black rainbow, but nonetheless, it was my rainbow and I found my pot of gold!

I am telling you, ladies, a bad day can be cured by getting a new hair color, adding some highlights, or even adding some dark streaks. There is no limit to what we can do, the fun we can have doing it, and how good we can look when we get it just right! We may be stuck going to the same old job, driving the same old car, doing the same old-same old every day, but we can always change our hair! It that doesn't make you happy, then I don't know what will.

I have since gone over to the "dark" side and really like it. I went from bleach blond to black and I have since settled for an in-between. I am sure I will change it in the very near future and as even though everything else will be the same in my life, at least my hair will be different!
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Gay Marriage. Why not?

I am straight. I always have been and most likely always will be. With that being said, I have a few friends who are, shall I say it?-ok, I will, they are in love. Not only are they in love, but they are gay.

The other day I was with a group of kids and one asked what the word gay meant. I told them that if a man loves another man, he is gay. If a woman loves another woman, she is gay. The kids thought about his for a while and one asked me if they could get married if they loved each other. I said, no, not in the state we live in. The kids seemed intrigued by this and one of them asked, "Well, that is just silly. If two people who love each other are happy, why can't they be married?" I didn't have an answer.

I have been thinking about this quite a lot and it bothers me. Why do people care if they get married? They aren't hurting anyone. I have seen many marriages fail, my own included, and I don't see why it is such a big deal for them to be married. I have seen how much my friend loves his boyfriend and how unfair it is that they can't be married.

As the kids said, "If two people are in love, why can't they get married?" Did you get the part where it said, "two people", not just a man and a woman?

I am not trying to start a debate on this, I just think it is something to think about.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

A Poem For My Mom. I Sure Miss Her

Hi All,
The following is a poem I wrote when I was 16. My mom had died from breast cancer a few weeks earlier and I went to the cemetery to visit. I am not a poet by any means, but this is special to me and I wanted to include it on here. She has been gone 20 years and she was such a great mom. I miss her.

So long,
For now,
I have to accept you're gone.
I know,
I know,
Nothing will bring you back;
Not money, not time, not love.

Five minutes,
That's all,
I am not asking for much,
Just five more minutes.

My memories,
I cherish,
They are all I have,
or ever will have;
and even they are fading.

The pain,
The emptiness,
The loneliness,
The heartache.

So long,
for now,
I will think of you often,
As I leave my heart with you.

So long,
for now,
I must go,
The cemetery is closing.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Looks like a duck!

While looking at the clouds with my seven year old daughter, I pointed to one and said, "Look at that one, it looks like a duck."

"Which one?" she asked.

"That one." I said pointing to the cloud that looked like a duck.

"Which one?" she asked again.

"That one, the one that looks like the duck!" I said a bit louder.

"Uh, mom, which one looks like a duck?"

Oh never mind...
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007 Me and Jason, Call the Grammar Police

I often correct my kids when they say, "Me and so-and-so went to the movies." Or "Me and so-and-so did this and that". I always say, "Oh, so-and-so is mean?" This really irritates them, but over time they have learned to put themselves last and will correct what they are saying.

Today, though, my seven year old daughter said, "Me and Jason got in trouble." I quickly corrected her and said, "Jason and I, and what kind of trouble did you get into?" She looked at me and said, "No mom, he really is mean, so this time I meant to say "Mean Jason got in trouble." Hey grammar police, betcha didn't see that one coming, huh? Me neither.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007 Cancer Walk

Today I participated in a breast cancer walk. Pink is the signature color for breast cancer and my sister, niece, kids and I walked along wearing pink wigs, pink boas, and even pink eyelashes. About half-way into the walk, I began to wonder the importance of why we were there. What made me get up that morning and walk several miles and donate money? I don't even like exercise, yet here I was, walking more than I have walked in a very long time. My feet were hurting, the wig was itching, and I was getting tired. My kids were hungry and walking very slowly. Why did I put myself through this every year? Why didn't I just stay home and sleep in on a cold, Sunday morning? As I was wondering these things, I looked in front of me and saw a lady with a name tag on her backpack that read, "Walking In Honor of ME". I stopped in my tracks and realized why I was walking.

Even though I am healthy, one day I could be the one with that name tag and it made me shiver. I again looked at the lady and realized why I was there. I was walking in memory of my mom and to honor those who are still fighting. If I ever do get cancer, I hope "they" will have found a cure. I hope my financial contribution to walk helps lead to a cure and my physical contribution of being there helps draw awareness. I hope with all that I have that I don't get cancer, but if I do, I hope my contributions have made a difference and there will be people walking to honor me.

I am surprised by the impact that name tag had on me. I want a cure to be found so that she will be back next year...and the year after...and the year after that. Next year, when I get up early on a cold, Sunday morning to walk, I will think of her and look for her and I will not complain about being tired from walking or an itchy wig. I doubt I will ever see her again, but I hope she is there with that same name tag for many years to come. I will be thinking of her and hoping she is beating this terrible disease.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007 Oy. The raincoat, the umbrella and the shower.

I was doing some research on the computer when I saw my nine year old son quietly put on a raincoat, pick up an umbrella, and head into the bathroom. I went back to my research when I heard the shower running. It was the middle of the afternoon, which seemed an odd time for my son to be taking a shower. Actually, anytime he would voluntarily take a shower without being asked, would be odd.
I opened the bathroom door and there was my son, he was happy as could be. He was standing in the shower, fully clothed, raincoat on, and umbrella open. The water was pouring down on the umbrella as he was splashing around and having a ball.
I quickly put an end to his having a ball, but I couldn't help but smile. Only a kid would think to do what he did. He was just having a good time and wasn't thinking about the water he was wasting, the clothes he was getting soaked, or anything for that matter. You know, he just didn't care. All he cared about was that he was having a good time.
He didn't get in too much trouble, but I did give him a lecture about wasting water, which I sure he has already forgotten. But, it did give me a good laugh and that's not such a bad thing. That's what makes life a little better, the little things. Kids are goofy and I wouldn't have it any other way.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 19, 2007

August, 2007 One glass of water

I went to a local sandwich shop to get lunch when a homeless man walked in and asked the lady behind the counter for a glass of water. It was around 98 degrees and hot. I will admit, he looked a little frightening with his hair in tangles, tears in his clothes, holes in his shoes, and was in need of a bath. He said he was thirsty and just wanted some water. It seemed as if everyone in the sandwich shop was staring at him. I didn't want to stare, so I fidgeted with my keys and just awkwardly looked around.

The lady behind the counter looked him up and down and told him, "No. You can't have any water unless you buy something." He apologized and told her he didn't have money, he was thirsty and just wanted a glass of water, he even said please. Irritated, she again said no and told him to leave.

This upset me and I wanted to make it right for him. I bought an extra sandwich and a bottle of water and went to find him. I drove around for about 20 minutes looking for him. I felt sad and couldn't eat until I found him as I didn't feel right eating my sandwich when I knew he was hungry.

I finally found him and asked it he wanted a sandwich and some water. He was happy, I was happy and that lady is still a horrible human being. How heartless she must have been to turn someone away from a glass of water. One glass of water.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

October, 2007 Diamond and Hitchhiker

Diamond and Hitchhiker
Those are the names my son gave his two new crickets. Yep. He goes to the pet store and buys the little feeder crickets and keeps them as pets. At eight cents a cricket, works for me! Anyway, he used to have 60, but they all died out (darn-NOT!) and I thought he forgot about them. Nope. So, we actually bought four tonight, but when we checked the cage, there were only two. Great. Have a good night all! P.S. He can't believe someone would actually buy the crickets as food for another animal. To him, that would be like feeding your puppy or kitten to another animal. He wants to save all the crickets. :)Never a dull moment around here......
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 19, 2007 Why trees were invented

Yesterday, my kids were climbing a tree and having a ball. When they got down, my daughter looked up at the tree and said, "You know, I know why trees were invented." Ok, sweetie, why? "They invented trees for kids to climb on!" I think she is right. :)
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 18, 2007 Susan's funeral. A friend of the friendless

Today I watched as one of my best friends, Susan, was buried. No matter how many funerals one has been to, it never gets easier. The act of attending the funeral gets easier, but the pain that makes the heart weigh so heavily does not.She was fun, tall, loud, and beautiful. I used to say she was a "friend of the friendless" as she could make friends with anyone, anywhere. I loved her easy going nature and love of life, and I will carry her memories with me. I miss my friend.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007 What my friend taught me

Sunday, October 14, 2007
My heart is so sad...
I lost a very good friend today, Susan. She had a wild ride in life and no matter what, she was always smiling. I wish I could take my heart out and wring out all the sadness. Losing a friend in such an unexpected way is so sad. I know it gets easier with time, just wish I could fast forward to where I don't feel so bummed. I miss my friend.
She taught me that sometimes you just have to take people for their craziness and accept them and accept who they are and then hope like hell they accept you for all your weirdness. Sigh. I always told her was a friend to the friendless...that takes a big person.
(c)2007 Cindy Breninger. All Rights Reserved.